From the mid 1850s, estate policy was not violent eviction,
but the quiet encouragement to remove, the easing out of a people
who could often pay little rent and who might become a substantial
liability if they stayed. A Century of the Scottish People 1830-1950,
TC Smout, page 69
1850 Central Board figures and, those from Estate and
Poor Law records show acute distress concentrated in the Ardnamurchan
peninsula and the parishes of Arisaig, Moidart, Glenelg, Kintail
and Lochcarron. Great Highland Famine p46 TM Devine and
John Donald 1988- Jean Lawson
1851 An inquest was held into the deaths of a miner at Strontian
when a rock fall in the mine crushed him. The rock was known to
be dangerous and had been reported a number of times. See Court
Records. John Dye
Archibald Maclean was convicted of assaulting a policeman after
causing a disturbance in Mary Lowrie's tent at Salen. See Court
Records. John Dye
Census Returns (available Fort William Library on microfilm):-
John McVarish 42, shepherd
Flora McVarish 32
4 sons, 1 daughter
Female servant, 22
Lachlan McPherson 38, shepherd
Christian McPherson 30
4 children, 9, 6, 3 and 2
Duncan Mcleod 20, shepherd, born Morvern
Alexander Mcleod 26, shepherd, born Dorlin
Margery McPherson 35, unmarried. House servant, born Dorlin
Donald McDonald 15, herdboy
Widow with 5 children under 15, cottar
House servant 29, female
Male 19, boatbuilder
Alexander Stewart 46, sheep farmer
Christine Stewart 75, mother
Mary MacDonald 23, unmarried servant
Ann Mclean 35, unmarried servant
Alan McVarish 30, unmarried, crofter
May McVarish 57, mother
Mary McVarish 28, unmarried sister, farm servant
Brother 26, farm servant
Sisters (2), farm servants
Catherine McVarish 16, scholar
Macdonald 67, unmarried
John Macdonald 42, shoemaker
Mary Macdonald, sister, farm servant
Mary Macdonald 62, widow, pauper
Unmarried daughter, 41
Cath Macdonald 2, granddaughter
Donald McDonald 74, Keeper
Daughter 43, unmarried
Daughter 38, unmarried
Daughter 34, unmarried
John 8, grandson, scholar
Angus McNeil 40, ploughman
May McNeil 34, wife
May 3, daughter
Catherine 1, daughter
Mary Mc Gilvray 60, mother in law
Sarah Mc Gilvray 24, unmarried, farm servant
Catherine McPherson 64, widow, retired cook
John McPherson 39, visitor, cottar
J McDonald 16, undergardener
Donald McPherson 34, unmarried, ploughman
William Robertson 49, landed proprietor, Advocate to Ceylon
William 16, son, studying at home
McPherson 25, visitor, unmarried law student
5 female servants, 2 male servants
John McPherson 32, agricultural labourer
Catherine 31, wife
Daughters, 8 and 6
Sons 3 and 6
Hector McGilray 36, smith
Ann 31, wife
4 sons, 6 months to 9 years
Donald Cameron 39, postmaster
Jessie 27, wife
Rhoderic McDonald 50, herdsman
Margaret 46, wife
Sons, 13, 10 and 8, scholars
Angus McVie 71, retired carpenter
Catherine 65, wife
Mary 29, daughter unmarried, servant
Alexander 25, son shoemaker
Margaret 23, daughter
Sarah 21, daughter
1 house uninhabited
Alexander McDonald 45, married shepherd
Mary 41, wife
5 daughters, 21, 17, 15, 6 and 5
1 son, 9
Ann McDonald 85, unmarried pauper
Margaret McDonald, sister unmarried
Archibald Fletcher 20, schoolmaster
Simon 14, brother (Gordon Barr suggests he was called Duncan)
Alan McDougall, visitor, tailor
John Cameron 39, miller
Jane Cameron 52, unmarried housekeeper
Agnes Cameron 19, unmarried visitor, dressmaker
Eilean Shona:- follows
Moidart Census Returns 1851, reel 18 Inverness Central Library
- Jean Lawson
1851 The Society for Assisting Emigration from the Highlands
and Islands of Scotland was formed. With origins in Skye, it soon
grew to a national body with headquarters in London and the Great
and the Good on its Council. It received Government assistance through
the Colonial Land and Emigration Department. Those using its services
should sell up all they had and if there was a shortfall against
the cost would be assisted by funds from the Society. Highland proprietors
welcomed the Society with relief and willingly contributed the one
third cost of emigration, thereby clearing their glens for sheep.
The Highland Clearances p202 John Prebble. Mr Chant was an
employee of the Australian Land Commissioners; his name appears
on the Manifest of the Allison which sailed with many from Moidart
in 1852. PEI website http://www.islandregister.com
which is run by peter email@example.com
Kintail, Lochalsh, Arisaig and Moidart there were numerous evictions,
the expropriated tenants lands being added to sheep farms
in almost every case Crofting Community 1852
1852 Briaig, near Port aBhata was one of
five local villages cleared. Accounts suggest that the people sailed
in the Allison, but there are those who say it was the Marco Polo.
The largest building now to be seen in Briaig has the appearance
of a church, but local tradition suggests that its use was as a
corn store. John Dye
1852 Marco Polo sailed from Tobermory for Port Philip. Kinlochmoidart
House Stephen Jefferson 1995. There were 930 people on board.
1852 Allison sailed for Port Philip Kinlochmoidart
House Stephen Jefferson 1995
1852 Emigrant families, advanced £110.10.0
paid to MacDonalds, Alex, Mary, Angus Alex, Donald, Angus (Kylesmore)
all going to Victoria. Clanranald & Robertson MacDonald Papers
ref E 482 MFS Nat Lib Scot Derek Powell
1852 From the list of Emigrants assisted by Highland
and Island Emigration Society and embarked on board the ship Allison
which sailed from Liverpool for Melbourne on 13thSeptember 1852,
those from Moidart included the following:
MacDonald, 2 adult/5 children (John 38, Flora 30, John 12, Effy
10, Duncan 7, Charles 4, Dugald 1) from Glenmoidart, the estate
of Col Ross. They received no aid and Mr Robertson guaranteed the
third in this case.
McDonald, 2 adult/3 children (Alexander 34, Flora 33, Mary 8, Catherine
4, Angus 2) from Kinlochmoidart, the estate of Mr Robertson. They
contributed £7.19.3 and were described as being a Good
McDonald, 5adult/2 children (Mary 50, Allan 28, Donald 24, Mary
26, Migi (?) 22, Peggy 20, Kate 18) from Kinlochmoidart, the estate
of Mr Robertson. They provided a promissory note of £27.10.11/2
and were described as being a very good family.
McDonald 4adults/5 children (Angus 55, Mary 48, John 26, Roderick
24, Donald 16, John 14, Ronald 10, Mary 20, Kate 12) from Kinlochmoidart,
the estate of Mr Robertson. They provided their own payment of £16.4.3
and were described as Hale man, strong healthy family
McDonald 2adults/6 children (Alexander 44, Mary 43, Alexander 18,
John 15, Allan 13, Ann 11, Kate 8, Donald 5) from Kinlochmoidart,
the estate of Mr Robertson. The provided their own funds of £17.0.10
and were described as Eligible man, fine healthy family.
McDonald 2 adults/8 children (Donald 43, Ann 42, Duncan 18, Hugh
16, Angus 16, Margaret 12, John 8, Ann 10, Flora 3, Mary 14) from
Kinlochmoidart, the estate of Mr Robertson. They provided their
own funds of £23.13.0 and were described as a Strong
McDonald 2 adults/5 children (Alexander 48, Mary 35, John 13, Margaret
11, Ann 8, Mary 5, Kate 1) from Kylesmore on the estate of Mr Robertson.
They provide funds of £18.0.71/2 and were described as Very
fine couple likely to be serviceable on arrival
The manifest shows that Allison contained 184 adults (91m
and 93f) and 105 children (61m and 44f). Of these, 53 came from
Kinlochmoidart, 10 adult males, 9 adult females, 17 boys and 17
girls. The Allison list of Emigrants Public Record Office, Inverness
Summary taken from HIES records:-
1 to 14
were also 13 natal deaths. Information taken from PEI website.
addition to describing Allison, the document also goes into the details
of everybody on board, citing their religion and whether they could
read and/or write. There are a surprising number of non-Catholics
on board, especially considering the role that Father Rankin is said
to have played. Sadly, there is a further document showing how disease
took its toll on board. Allison sailed from Liverpool on 13 September
1852, arriving at Geelong on 20thDecember. However, because of Typhus,
the passengers were held on board in quarantine until 8th February
1853, by which time 5 adults and 13 children had died. In addition
there were also 13 natal deaths Information taken from PEI website.
There is also a description of the Allison, built in 1851 in New
Brunswick, registered in London in http://www.islandregister.com
The following reference to Moidart was published in 1852, but
was probably written slightly earlier in the century judging from
cross-references dated 1831 in a parallel entry for Muck . - MOYDART,
a territorial district and a marine loch in the south-west extremity
of Inverness-shire. The district is bounded on the north and north-east
by Morar; on the south-east and south by Loch Shiel, which divides
it from Ardgour and Suinart; and on the west by the Deu-Caledonian
sea. Its greatest length from east to west is 18 miles; and its
mean breadth is 7 miles. Its coast-line, everywhere is irregular,
is very deeply indented by pieces of the sea, particularly lochs
Ailort, Na-Nua, and Moydart. Its interior is thoroughly Highland,
and possesses little interest. Some wood along Loch-Shiel and portions
of the sea-coast, soften the prevailing wildness. It is traversed
across the north by the road from Fort-William to Arisaig, and contains
the latter village, the old ferry station to Skye. The district
forms part of the enormous parish of Ardnamurchan. Loch-Moydart
is situated on the southern boundary, and continues the narrow communication
from Loch-Shiel outward to the sea. It penetrates 5 miles into the
land, but over two thirds of its length it is split into two channels
by the island of Shona. The south or main channel has, at its entrance,
two islets mantled with plantations of birch and larch; at its head
it is adorned with Kinloch-Moydart, the mansion of Colonel Robertson
Macdonald; on its south shore it is overhung by the bold form of
Castle Tirim (which see); but everywhere else it has a dull, bald
skirting of cold, unrelieved heathy hills. Extract from
Gazetteer for Scotland 1852 - supplied by Caroline Picton Phillipps
A slightly different account dates from exactly the same period
and seems to carry a more optimistic tone. Kinlochmoidart
at the head of Loch Moidart, which indents the western extremity
of this district, the high bounding ranges which enclose the lake
continue to run inland and form the first part or opening of a valley,
about 7 or 8 miles long. The level land here is about 200 acres
in extent, (the soil moss about 2 feet thick on a bed of clay, extending
about three quarters of a mile along the head of the loch and about
the same distance back into the glen, with a quarter of a mile in
mean breadth.) It is all good and productive arable, though still
capable of improvement, to which the greatest obstacle is its slight
elevation above the level of the sea. Some fine old sycamores and
other trees around the embowered and sequestered residence of the
proprietor, attest the maturity and great size to which forest trees
are capable of arriving. Groves of vigorous larches and firs and
woods of oak, birch and ash, profitably adorn the lesser eminences
of the slopes of the high mountains where the plain of Kinlochmoidart
terminates to the east, the valley takes a north easterly direction
and we come upon the farm of Lochans and a small lake not more probably
than 10 or 15 feet above sea level, the flat land being about 150
yards broad, chiefly swampy, yet improvable land. After this, the
valley, under the name of Glenforslan, contracts, until, at about
a mile from its upper extremity, beyond a farmhouse of that name,
the level ground ceases and the stream fills the entire bottom.
This last is much the least valuable in the glen. The hills, though
steep, are covered with a depth of soil uncommon in such situations,
and of coarse grass of superior quality. New Statistical Account
Renfrewshire & Argyllshire VII, 1845. Written 1838 by Rev Angus
1853 Eilean-Shona, bequeathed to Archibald Macdonald
of Rhu in 1818 by Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale, was sold by
Lochshiel, son of Rhu to Captain Swinburne RN for £6,500. Shona
Beg was not included because it formed part of the Kinloch and not
the Clanranald holding. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p 214 Charles
MacDonald, Ed John Watts
1853 In this year, nine hundred and forty seven emigrant
vessels sailed from Liverpool to North America. Emigrant berths
were three or four tiers high and in bad weather the hatches were
battened shut. The smell after being at sea for over a week was
like an open cess-pool. Passage to America, Terry Coleman, page
Additional clearances were affected on the Ardnamurchan Estate,
.with an aggregate of about 3,000 acres, was divested
of tenants (sixteen)
.When cast adrift, most of them were assigned
an acre each on the rough lands of Sanna and Portuairk
James Riddell was the proprietor responsible
he divested of people and placed under sheep included Laga (eight
tenants) and Tarbert (four). Stories of the Highland Clearances,
Alexander Mackenzie (1883), Lang Syne Books P106
1854 The miners at Strontian attempted to bring an action
against the Mining Company arising from some of the inadequate workplace
practices in existence which had been highlighted at an inquest
three years earlier. See Court Records. John Dye
Archibald Macdonald of Gaskan was charged with stealing timber for
firewood at Gorten. See Court Records. John Dye
Clark's Pirn Mill at Salen was burnt by fire and the housekeeper,
Mrs Agnes Torrance lost all her possessions in the conflagration.
See Court Records. John Dye
The emigrant went steerage in a sailing vessel, fare £3.10s
and the passage usually four to seven weeks. Those on a Cunard Steam
Packet, paid £25.00 and took twelve and a half days. Passage
to America, Terry Coleman, page 18. The biggest emigrant ships
carried a thousand steerage passengers, and most of the deck space
was kept not for them, but for the few cabin passengers. Passage
to America, Terry Coleman, page 20.
Some Moidart tenants sailed to Port Philip, Victoria,
on the ship Allisonin 1852, and more on the Hornet
in 1854, but documented numbers were small. The greatest concentration
of Catholic highland settlers was at Little River, thirty miles
from Melbourne, and also at Belmont, a suburb of Geelong. Father
Rankin made Little River his home from 1857. Moidart families were
still also taking the traditional emigration route to America after
the Famine, one group reaching Giants Lake, Guysburgh, Nova Scotia
about 1848, and another, which included Lochshiel tenants, sailing
in 1850. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p 223 Charles MacDonald,
Ed John Watts
1854 Alexander Stewart, late tenant of Glenforslan, purchased
Glenuig from Dr Martin. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p2o4 Charles
MacDonald, Ed John Watts
1854 Crimean War.
1855 Lochshiel estate sold to Hope Scott for £24,000.
Moidart Among the Clanranalds p220 Charles MacDonald, Ed John
1855 Just after Rankin left for Australia, in the same year
(1855) that the estate was bought by Hope-Scott of Abbotsford (James
Hope added to his name on marrying Sir Walter Scott's granddaughter),
the chapel was described as 'a miserable thatched edifice, destitute
of everything befitting the service of religion.' Rankin's successor
the Rev. Hugh Chisholm described work being carried out at Langal
in 1855: 'Gillespie Ban commenced to thatch the Vestry Nov. 15th
- Finished it the following morning. The work was done gratuitously
except what it cost me in whisky.' Catholic Chapels of Moidart
and Glenfinnan, by Alasdair Roberts
1855 The Derry Castle took some folk from Drumsallie to Portland
Bay, Victoria. John Dye
1856 Ann Cameron at Shielfoot died eight days after childbirth.
See Court Records. John Dye
John McPhail, the apprentice to the blacksmith at Bridgend Strontian
was accused of injuring Allan Tolmie, the Minister's young brother
during a bit of horseplay which got out of hand. See Court Records.
John McPhail, the blacksmith's apprentice in trouble again, this
time together with Ewen Young assaulting Charles Cameron at Strontian
because they were aggrieved that he had outbid them at the sales
for a grinder. See Court Records. John Dye
Inman took over the United States mail contract. His ships were
all iron-hulled screw ships, unlike the paddle-wheel, wooden Cunarders.
He and is wife made one voyage to see how the discomforts of an
emigrant ship could be made more bearable. Although not luxurious,
it is true to say (as he did himself) that he carried emigrants
in "so much shorter a period and in so much better a way"
liners crossed in fourteen or fifteen days, slightly longer than
the Cunarders, but more than twice as quickly as the sailing packets.
Passage to America, Terry Coleman, page 237.
1857 Foundation stone of St Finans church laid by Mrs
Sarah Robertson-Macdonald. Shortly afterwards the vicarage was built.
Kinlochmoidart House, Stephen Jefferson, 1995
1857 William Johnston was fined £6.13.01 for the Sunday
selling of Whisky etc at Shielbridge Inn to Charles Leslie,
a Painter & Alexander Stott, also a painter and now or lately
with Captain Thomas Swinburne Esqr. of Island Shona. Both were that
drunk that they were nearly drowned going across to Island Shona.
Charles Leslie fell out of the boat and was in the water for a long
time until a boat from the shore came to his rescue.
Secondly, John McDonald, a Sailor on board the vessel 'Dart', belonging
to Captain Thomas Swinburne & Alexander Smith, son of and now
residing with Alexander Smith, his father, a Crofter in Island Shona,
Donald Kennedy, son of John Kennedy, also a Crofter, Island Shona,
all drinking at Shiel Bridge Inn on Sunday the 2nd day of August
1857, the above parties did not travel more than 2½ miles that
day to the public house.
In the margin of the above are added the names of Mary Smith, daughter
of Alex Smith, Carpenter, Island Shoona and John McDonald Deek A
second page gives the following names:
Donald Cameron, Carpenter,
Donald Cameron, Gardener, Kinlochmoidart
Charles McKinnon a Smith, "
Alex MacKinnon a Smith, "
John Cameron, Joiner Lochgilphead Archive, Tobermory Court Records
- John Dye
1859 Dugald McNaughton and John Cameron had a fight outside
the London House Hotel Strontian and were convicted. See Court
Records. John Dye
Falkland Island Company formed. The Gaels came here voluntarily.
Documentary on Clearances.
1860 Mary MacPherson, Archibald Morrison and Archibald Clark
were drowned in a dreadful storm which tore boats from their moorings
at Tobermory in hurricane-force winds and swept them across the
Sound of Mull to be wrecked upon the far shore at Drimnin. See
Court Records. John Dye
1861 There appears a police report for, Assault and
Malicious Mischief againstAlexander Smith, son of and residing with
Alexander Smith, Crofter, Island Shona, Parish of Ardnamurchan and
County of Inverness. He was charged that upon the 28 day of December
1860, he broke four windows in the Shiel Bridge Inn, in the Parish
of Ardnamurchan and County of Argyle, the property of James Dalgleish
Esq. and in possession of William Johnston, Innkeeper there and
the said Alexr. Smith broke a chair and table belonging to the said
William Johnston and assaulted John McDonald, son of and residing
with Angus McDonald, Crofter, Barrmore, Island Shona in the Parish
of Ardnamurchan and County of Inverness. He then went out and seized
hold of John McDonald, son of Angus McDonald, Island Shona, and
put him down in the door of the Inn whereby his foot was sprained
severely and no being able to move he said it was Smith that did
it. The said Alexander Smith was left out and the door bolted, he
then went round the house and broke four windows in the house.
Sentence - 10/6 fine or 10 days imprisonment Lochgilphead Archive,
Tobermory Court Records - John Dye
1861 Moidart Census Returns (available Fort William Library
Allan McPherson 22, unmarried Assembly Schoolmaster, born in Argyll,
Lachlan McPherson 53, shepherd, born in Appin 2 rooms
Christy 40, wife born in Strontian
Colin 19 unmarried son, born Assary
Ann 16 unmarried daughter, scholar born Moidart
Angus 13, scholar born Moidart
Alexander 11, scholar born Moidart
Mary 9, scholar born Moidart
Sarah 6, born Moidart
Catharine 4, born Moidart
Susan 9 months, born Moidart
Margery McPherson 50, unmarried visitor, born Appin
Joseph Rawlins, Reverend aged 32, Episcopal Incumbent of St Finans,
Kinlochmoidart, BA Trinity College Dublin, 8 rooms, born in Ireland
Mary Matilda, daughter 7, born Ireland
Elizabeth Mclean 31, unmarried domestic servant, born Ireland
Thomas McCormack 18, unmarried, labouring the ground, born Ireland
Angus McNeil 45, ploughman, 2 rooms, born Acharacle
Mary 43, wife born Acharacle
Catherine 11, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
Christy 9, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
Sarah 6, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
Donald 3, son, born Acharacle
Mary McDonald 70, mother-in-law, pauper, formerly farmers
wife, born Ardnamurchan
John McIntyre 48, agricultural labourer, 2 rooms, born Morvern
Margaret 48, wife born Skye
Lachlan 15, son, scholar born Arisaig
Christian 13, daughter, scholar born Arisaig
William 11, son, scholar born Arisaig
Donald Cameron 41, merchant born Strontian
Jane 35, wife born Dumbartonshire
Mary 13, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
Charlotte 11, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
John 9, son, scholar born Acharacle
Agnes 6, daughter, scholar born Acharacle
Sarah 4 born Acharacle
David 2, born Acharacle
Angus McNeil 86, pauper formerly boat carpenter born Acharacle
Catherine 70, pauper his wife, born Strontian
Margaret 30, unmarried daughter, domestic servant born Acharacle
Amy Cameron 6, grand-daughter
Angus McDonald widower, farmer, 3 rooms, born Acharacle
John 22, son born Acharacle
Mary 19, daughter, born Acharacle
William Gracie 34, shepherd 7 rooms, born Kirkcudbrightshire
Anne 36, wife born Minniegaft
William 7, born Minniegaft
Elisabeth 5, born Minniegaft
James 3, born Minniegaft
Jane 1, born Minniegaft
Sarah McPherson 20, unmarried domestic servant, born Acharacle
Roderick McVarish 30, unmarried servant shepherd
Duncan Rankin 45, shepherd 2 rooms, born Strontian
Cathy 38, wife born Morvern
Ewen 7, born Kinlochmoidart
Dugald 6, born Kinlochmoidart
Alexander 6 months, born Kinlochmoidart
Betty Cameron 24, unmarried domestic servant, born Morvern
Ewen Cameron 50, shepherd 2 rooms, born Morvern
Janet 48, born Morvern
Catherine 14, daughter scholar, born Morvern
John 11, son scholar, born Corran
Ann Cameron 20, unmarried domestic servant, born Tobermory
Hugh Ross 74, Lieutenant General Madras Army, 10 rooms born Lochaber
Margaret Mitchell 47, unmarried housekeeper, born Kilmonivaig
Catherine Cameron 26, unmarried cook servant, born Fort William
Emly McNaughton 47, unmarried dairymaid servant, born Acharacle
Alexander McDonald 26, unmarried shepherd servant, born Glenmorrison
Ewen McDonald 25, unmarried gardener servant, born Glengarry
Dugald Rankin 76, former servant, born Acharacle
John McDonald 16, unmarried herdboy servant, born Glasgow
John Fraser 60, unmarried working mason, born Dores
Another Glenmoidart household of 6 persons
Shepherd and wife plus 2 sons and 2 daughters, born Morar
Another household of 5 persons in 2 rooms
Another household of 2 rooms with single occupant
Ann McDonald 38, widow day labourer, born Arasaig
William Henderson 37, widower shepherd, 7 rooms, born Dumfermline
3 sons, 12, 10 and 8 all born Acharacle
Robert 21, nephew shepherd, born Dumfermline
Mary McDonald 26, unmarried domestic servant
Another house of 2 rooms occupied by a pauper of 80, formerly domestic
Mary McDonald, widow in 2 rooms, pauper
William McDonald 11, grandson scholar
Another house with Catherine McDonald 50, widow
1861 Moidart Census Returns Reel 14, Inverness Library, Kinlochmoidart.
Res Dist. Acharacle Jean Lawson
1862 There is a Police Report of Assaults against Simon McDonald
son of Angus McDonald, Farmer, Smearisary, in the Quod-sacra parish
of Aharacle and County of Inverness, Donald McDonald, Crofter, Smearisary,
Allan Kennedy, son of Alexander Kennedy, Crofter, Elin Shona and
Neil Gillis, Archibald Gillis & John Gillis, joint Farmers in
Elin. The above named parties did attack & assault each other
with their clenched fists to the effusion of blood near to the door
of the Inn at Shiel Bridge occupied by William Johnston .Robert
Currie, Constable, Ardnamurchan says: Upon Thursday the 2nd
day of October 1862 years, while on patrol duty at Shiel Bridge
about 5 p.m., a large number of people came out of the Inn in a
very disorderly state, the above named Simon McDonald had his coat
or jacket off and appeared to be in a very exited state. He said
that he would fight any of the Gillis's. I then saw Donald McDonald
come & stand near to him, shortly after I saw a large crowd
of people on the top of each other on the road engaged in fighting.
I saw Neil Gillis bleeding from a cut on his cheek. Later I saw
Archibald Gillis bleeding from a cut on his nose.
Sentence - Fined 5/- each or 5 days Impt. 30/- in all. Lochgilphead
Archive, Tobermory Court Records - John Dye
1862 There was a general complaint by the Registrar General
about the slack way Births, Marriages and Deaths records were maintained
at Acharacle. Specific examples of poor administration were given
At Aharacle 22d August 1862, Examining Registrar's Books
Found no entry in Duplicate Register of the birth of male child
of Mary MacNaughton, wife of Alex Cameron, Labourer, on 28 Dec.
Do. as to the birth of male child of Janet Cameron, wife of John
Cameron, Arivegaig on 10 January 1862
Marriage of Charles Macinnes, Dorlin and Marjory Macdonald, Dalnambreach
5 Feby. 1862
Do. no entry in Duplicate Book of birth of male child of Ann Macdonald,
wife of Dugald Macdonald, Blain, 23 March 1862
Do. as to the death of Angus Macdonald, Kinlochmoidart 8 June 1862
Etc Lochgilphead Archive, Tobermory Court Records - John
1863 "The result has been that the Parish, for example
which once had a population of 2,200 souls, and received only £11
per annum from public (Church) funds for the support of the poor,
expends now (1863) under the Poor Law upwards of £600 annually,
with the population diminished by one half and with poverty increased
in greater ratio". (Attributed to Dr Norman MacLeod "Reminiscences
in a Highland Parish") quoted in Stories of the Highland
Clearances, Alexander Mackenzie (1883), Lang Syne Books P106
James Brady a peddler sold fake soap to two gullible Cameron ladies
and was convicted. See Court Records. John Dye
Dorlin built, as was the church and the school. Moidart Among
the Clanranalds p220 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts
Macdonald drowned in a punt at Resipol trying to lay out an anchor.
See Court Records. John Dye
Report regarding assault and breach of the peace by Alexander Smith,
Sailor or Labourer of Eilean-Shona, parish of Ardnamurchan, in the
Shielbridge Inn, on John MacEachen, Crofter of Tougall-Rever, South
Morar. Lochgilphead Archive, Tobermory Court Records - John Dye
1870 The large scale keeping of sheep did not continue to
flourish. From the 1870s onwards the imports of wool and then of
meat from overseas made it less and less profitable. Highland
Folk Ways, IF Grant, page 53
1870 The demand for deer forests had begun to rise in the
1870s and there was considerable change-over from sheep-walks to
moors and forests. Highland Folk Ways, IF Grant, page 61
1871 Moidart. The Census describes the area in two parts,
the first being in Enumeration District Number 6.
This covers part of the Parish of Acharacle, bounded on the West
by Loch Shiel, on the South by the Glenaladale Burn, on the East
by Inishruary and on the North by the Parliamentary Road. It comprises
Blain, Moss, the part of Dalnabreck and Langal South of the Parliamentary
Road, Dalilea, Coul, Glenmoidart, also part of Kinlochmoidart and
Gasgan. The district lies along the North side of Loch Shiel up
to the march of Glenaladale then crosses North to a considerable
hill, the shortest way to Glenmoidart, and comes down through that
glen and embraces part of Kinlochmoidart. The length is estimated
at nine miles which cannot embrace the distance across the hill
and through Glenmoidart and down to Kinlochmoidart Bridge, where
the last house of the district is, the first visited being within
a ¼ of a mile of Shielbridge.
District Number 7 covers part of the Parish of Acharacle bounded
to the South by the Parliamentary Road, to the West by Lochmoidart,
on the North by the Atlantic Ocean, on the East by the Parliamentary
Road to the Bridge at Kinlochmoidart. There by a straight line from
the said bridge, due North to the Arisaig boundary. Comprising part
of Langall, Dalnabreach, Kinlochmoidart, Duiles, Glenuig, Samalaman.
Extracts are as follows:- (Glen/dart = Glenmoidart, Kin/dart = Kinlochmoidart)
Macdugald m 45 Shepherd
16 Dtr Domestic Servant
18 Son Cow Herd
10 Dtr Scholar
5 Son Scholar
Jones m 37 Visitor Hawker
McVarish m 45 Shepherd
15 Dtr Domestic Servant
12 Son Scholar
9 Dtr Scholar
7 Dtr Scholar
11 months Son
McMaster m 39 Formerly Domestic Servant
12 Dtr Domestic Servant
9 Son Scholar
9 Dtr Scholar
6 months Son
Cameron m 33 Sheep Manager
MacDonald 37 unm Agric Labourer
McPherson 15 unm Domestic Servant
Cameron 15 unm Cow herd
McDonald 70 m Agric Labourer5
27 Dtr unm Domestic Servant
McDugald 2 Grand Dtr
Kennedy 35 m Visiter Hawker
Kennedy 12 Scholar
MacDonald 41 unm Sheep Manager
70 Mother Domestic servant
McDugald 19 unm Shepherd
Gillies 23 unm Domestic Servant
Mclean 48 m Visitor Shepherd
McIsaac 78 unm Formerly Domestic Servant
unm Sister 39 Former Servant
McIsaac unm 98 Former Domestic Servant
McDonald 89 Wid Former Domestic Servant
46 unm Dtr Farm Servant
McInnes 22 GDtr unm Dom Servant
McNeil 54 m Ploughman
22 unm Dtr Domestic servant
14 unm Dtr Domestic Servant
11 Son Scholar
McGillivray 78 m-in-l Wid Former Dom Servant
McNeil 80 Wid Former Dom Servant
50 Dtr unm Domestic servant
57 Dtr unm Domestic Servant
Cameron 11 GSon Scholar
McIntyre 50 Wid Housekeeper
McVarish 20 unm 20 Farm Servant
McNeil 17 unm Cattle Herd
Cameron 40 m Visitor Fox Hunter
Robertson 69 m Landowner
Adams 67 Wife
Cameron 27 unm Domestic Servant
Mclean 26 unm Domestic Servant
Cameron 28 unm Domestic Servant
Cameron 30 unm Dairy Maid
McDonald 25 unm Shepherd
22 Sis unm Domestic Servant
6 Nephew Scholar
56 Wid Mother Retd Housekeeper
McDougall 52 m Tailor
Ann 8 months Dtr
Smith 14 Domestic Servant
McDonald 70 unm Farmer on small scale
55 unm Brother Agric Labourer
Sister 45 unm Domestic Servant
Paterson 62 unm Boarder Lunatic
McDonald 67 unm Retired Farm Servant
64 unm Sister Retired Domestic Servant
McPherson 60 m Shepherd
12 Dtr Scholar
9 Dtr Scholar
Gillies 32 m Farmer
1 day Son
74 Mother Wid Retired Farmer
McDougall 43 m Crofter
McDougall 86 Widr Farmer
33 m Son Farm Servant
Reference Library Reel 18 Extracted and recorded by Jean
1871 Lord Howard of Glossop bought the Lochshiel estate from
Hope Scott. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p220 Charles MacDonald,
Ed John Watts
1872 The Education Act
1873 Selection of place names and sources referred to by
Ordnance Survey as written
back up to their plan for 1873 (REEL 67 INV PRO). This indicates
the condition of some of the properties and their ownership's at
CHROIT BHEINN Owned by JA MacDonald of Glenaladale and William
AGNESS'S CHAPEL, GLENUIG Built about 30 years ago. Seats
200. RC Priest attached to St Mary's Shiel Bridge attends.
ALISARY Small one storey house east of Loch Ailort, property
of H Blackburn.
AONACH A couple of very small one storey thatched houses.
ALT NA CRICHE The March Burn (see also March Burn).
ARDMOLICH small 1-storey thatched house and smithy. Robertson.
ARDMOLICH WOOD Wood. Robertson.
ARD MOLACH "Rough Height", large hill. Howard of
ARDNISH The name applied to a small district nearly surrounded
by Loch Ailort and Loch Nan Uamh, the property of the Trustees of
the late FHP Astley.
AREAN This name applies to a small 1-storey thatched house
situated a short distance North of Port Arean. Proprietor Captain
Swinburn R.N. Eilean Shona House.
ARIENSKILL Small one storey slated house in good repair.
Trustees FHP Astley.
ASSARY dwelling houses and ruins one story high, thatched
in indifferent repair. Robertson.
AULTIGIL this name applies to a croft situate about 30 chains
SE of Egnaig on the property of I McLean Esq of Glenuig (also on
1869 & 1870 valuation roll. - Jean Lawson).
AUSTINSCROFT Small house, one storey, thatched, good repair.
Lord Howard of Glossop.
BAD AN DOBHRAIN "Otters' Clump" in a wooded hollow
on Egnaig Hill, prop J McLean.
BAILETONACH Six or seven one storey thatched houses.
BARRAMORTE Couple of small 1-storey thatched houses situated
on the South side of Port a Bhana. Prop Captain Swinburn etc.
BEALACH A BHAILLIDH "The bailiff's pass", Eilean
BEINN A MHINN "Kids' Height" at Dorlin, the property
of Lord Howard of Glossop.
BLAIN Small house 15 chains south of Shiel Bridge in good
repair. Lord Howard of Glossop.
BRIDGE (Kinlochmoidart) Stone and lime bridge of one arch.
In good repair. County.
BRIDGE (Brunery) Old stone and lime bridge. One arch. Not
a county bridge.
BRUNERY Two storey slated house, formerly a farmhouse but
now occupied by a shepherd. Middling repair. Robertson.
CEAN-AN-T-SAIDEAL Bay or shallows, small arm of Loch Moidart.
CEANN Loch Uachdrach "Upper Kinloch hill". Lord
Howard of Glossop.
CHAPEL (Polnish) This chapel is now in course of erection.
It will be seated to accommodate 200 persons. It has 120 (?) dedicatory
names as yet.
CLIFF Large farm steading 25 chains from Shiel Bridge. Slated
and in good repair. Lord Howard of Glossop.
COIR AN UTHA A corry, the joint property of Mrs Lucy Meoble
and JA MacDonald of Glenaladale.
COIRE FEARNA this name implies Alder Corry, the hollow immediately
north of Brunery Hill, Wm Robertson Esq proprietor, Kinlochmoidart
by Fort William.
COUL A one storey house, thatched, good repair. Originally
a farmhouse, now occupied by a keeper. Lord Howard of Glossop.
CREAG SPEIREIG Rock of the sparrow hawk, 20 chains north
of Roshven House, Hugh Blackburn.
CREAG SHOINEACH A pretty high rocky hill about three fourths
of a mile from Kinlochmoidart. The hill was used in former times
as a Ban or Bonfire station on Midsummer and Hallow Eve as it commands
a very extensive view up and down the Glen and also of Argyllshire.
Meaning: A Kind of Torch, or Hill of the Torch. - Jean Lawson.
CREAGAN DUBH A small rock situated at the junction of the
River Moidart with Loch Moidart. It was here that Prince Charles
landed in 1745 when going to Kinlochmoidart to solicit the aid of
the Robertsons and their powerful clan. Meaning: a small black crag.
Prop WR - Jean Lawson.
CRUACH BHUIDHE "Yellow Hill" on Eilean Shona owned
by Captain T(homas) Swinburn RN.
CUIL A CHAPUILL A small corner of rocky grazing land a short
distance East of the Parsonage. Meaning: The mare's corner.
DALILEA Large stone edifice with outbuildings 55 chains east
of Austincroft. Two storeys high. Slated and in good repair. Lord
Howard of Glossop.
DALNABRECK A number of small crofts 1 mile east of St Mary's
RC chapel. They are thatched and in middling repair. Lord Howard
DOIREANEIGHINN One storey cottage to south of Port Hairbeirt.
EGNAIG this name is applied to a number of small crofts,
situate about 30 chains NW of Aultigil on the property of I McLean
Esq of Glenuig. Sources I McGillivray, Eilean Shona and I McDonald,
Kylesbeg. (Also on 1869 & 1870 valuation roll. - Jean Lawson).
EILEAN AN-T-SABHAIL "Barn Island", Swinburn.
EILEAN COMPLACH (Also see Eilean Dubh) Adjoining islands
in Loch Shiel near Gaskan. Eastern belongs to MacDonald of Glenaladale.
Western belongs to Lord Howard of Glossop.
EILEAN DUBH (Also see Eilean Complach) Adjoining islands
in Loch Shiel near Gaskan. Eastern belongs to MacDonald of Glenaladale.
Western belongs to Lord Howard of Glossop.
EILEAN NAN GOBHAR Goat Island, on which is to be seen the
remains of a vitrified fort.
EILEAN SHONA HOUSE
Stone,2 stories, slated. Captain
Swinburne RN proprietor.
DORLIN HOUSE large mansion, 25 chains SE from Castle Tirrim,
3 stories high, stone, slated and in its grounds. Lord Howard of
FORSY The name of a piece of ground where some tenements
stood which were razed to the ground after 1745 rebellion. (Reputed
to be the spot where Prince Charles laded from Loch nan Uamh - Ken
GLEN FORSLAN (1) Glen east of Glenmoidart, three miles long
and a quarter of a mile wide. Robertson.
GLEN FORSLAN (2) A farmhouse at junction of Glen Forslan
River and River Moidart. One storey slated, and in good repair.
GLENMOIDART This Glen is about six miles long and a half
a mile wide. It is cultivated for nearly three miles. Robertson.
GLENMOIDART HOUSE A large mansion house of 2 storeys in good
repair. Property of Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Robertson Ross of
Colchester. - Jean Lawson.
INCHRORY dwelling house at head of Glen Moidart, one story
high, thatched and in fair repair.
INVERAILORT Mansion House. Two storeys high, slated and in
excellent repair. D(uncan) Cameron.
IRINE Property of Hugh Blackburn, applied to a farm (now
known as Roshven Farm - Ken Bowker).
KINLOCHAILORT INN Public House licensed to sell whisky, ale
and porter and to accommodate man and horse. One storey high and
slated. On road between Fort William and Arisaig. In good repair.
Trustees of the late FHP Astley.
KINLOCHMOIDART BRIDGE Stone and lime bridge of one arch.
In good repair. County (see also Brunery Bridge).
KINLOCHMOIDART HOUSE A large 2-storey slated mansion house
with back living and a small yard. There is a good fruit garden,
croquet lawn and pleasure ground attached. In very good repair.
KINLOCHMOIDART PIER About 1 ¾ miles from Kinlochmoidart
House. Proprietor William Robertson - Jean Lawson.
KYLESBEG A small croft. Prop. William Robertson (also in
Valuation Roll) - Jean Lawson.
KYLESMORE (1) several small crofts 45 chains from Eilean
Shona (Wm Robertson.
KYLESMORE (2) A small croft 46 chains NW of Kylesbeg. Property
of William Robertson, Kinlochmoidart. (Valuation Roll) - Jean Lawson.
LANGALL Several small crofts 30 chains east of Dalnabreck.
All thatched and in middling repair. Lord Howard of Glossop.
.receives River Shiel at Dorlin and River
Moidart at upper end. It is navigable for vessels of light draft
only. There are three mansion houses at Dorlin House, at Eilean
Shona House and Kinlochmoidart House. Sources, Wm Robertson of Kinlochmoidart,
M McDonald of Arieskill and R McDonald of Coul.
LOCH NAM LOCHAN Small loch south of Glenmoidart House. Lieutenant
LOCH NAM UAMH Loch of the caves.
LOCH NAN PAITEAN The humpy loch. Prop. William Robertson
- Jean Lawson.
MARCH BURN A stream a mile NW of Glenmoidart House marking
boundary with estates of Wm Robertson Esq and Lt Col Patrick Robertson
MILLHOUSE (Kinlochmoidart) 2 storey slated, near Pier, good
MINGARRY Some ruins 30 chains north of Mingarrypark.. Lord
Howard of Glossop.
MINGARRYPARK House, 5 chains south west St Mary's RC chapel.
Two stories, slated in good repair. Lord Howard of Glossop.
MOUNT MARGARET The favourite resort of Lady Margaret Robertson
- Jean Lawson
MOSS Small district, some houses one storey. Good repair.
Lord Howard of Glossop.
PARSONAGE (Kinlochmoidart) Two storey cottage occupied by
Episcopalian Minister. Good repair. Property Right Reverend Wilson
POST OFFICE (Kinlochmoidart) Small one storey slated house
used as a sub-Post Office. District of Strontian. Departure of mails
10.10 Arrival of mails 12.30. Robertson.
PRINCES WALK Avenue, favourite resort of Prince Charles 1745.
RISKA ISLAND Island 15 chains north of Castle Tirrim the
property of Captain MacDonald of Clanranald.
ROBAR SOINEACH A small well or spout on the property of Mr
Robertson Esq (sic) and near his residence, at which in former times
the Lads and Lasses of the district assembled on Halloween to Carouse
and Light Torches on Bonefires (sic). Meaning: The Torch Well. -
ROSHVEN (1) Large house built with stone, 2 storeys high.
ROSHVEN (2) "Hill of showers" according to Robertson
MacDonald to the Ordnance Survey, in support of correspondence in
December 1880 from H Blackburn. Both wanted Gaelic spelling and
after taking advice, OS ordered a change to what they had engraved
originally on the plate to "Fros-bheinn".
SAINT FINNAN'S CHURCH Episcopal. Erected 1859. Public subscription.
Seating 100. Property of Right Reverend Dr Wilson of Glasgow and
SAINT MARY'S CHAPEL (Mingarrypark) Erected 1862. Seating
for 600. Built by Hope Scott.
SAMALAMAN Two storeyed slated house in good repair, the property
of J McLean.
SCHOOL GLENUIG At the northern extremity of Glenuig and supported
by Mrs H Blackburn of Roshven, SPCK No 26.
SCHOOL KINLOCHMOIDART Small one storey slated house used
as a school. It is supported by Mrs Robertson and SPCK and scholars'
fees. Average attendance 10.
SCHOOL MINGARRYPARK Held in the west wing of the building
known as Mingarrypark. It is a subscription school. Average pupils
40. It is in connection with St Mary's RC chapel adjacent.
SCHOOL POLNISH Schoolhouse 44 chains from farmhouse of Kinlochnamuan.
Created by Mrs Astley and supported by the Proprietor, by subscription
and the SPCK. Average attendance 14.
SGOR A MHEADHOIN Rocky hill at end of Glenmoidart, Colonel
SGOR GORM Rocky Hill north of Glen Forslan, "Green Hill",
SHONA BEG Part of an island connected by an isthmus to Eilean
Shona. Proprietor William Robertson (Valuation Roll) - Jean Lawson.
SMEARISARY This name applies to a few small thatched houses.
They are situated a short distance East of Port an Doill and are
the property of J Maclean Esq, Glenuig.
THE THREE OLD MAIDS Three conspicuous rocks above Kinlochmoidart
House. Prop WR - Jean Lawson.
TOM SOINEACH A small wooded hill a short distance from the
head of Kinlochmoidart on which the young people of the district
light torches on Halloween. Meaning: A kind of Torch, or Hill of
TORR PORT A BHATA "The hillock of boat point" 25
chains SW of Rudha Port a Bhata, on the property of Lord Howard
of Glossop, Glossop House, Derbyshire.
ULGARY a glen at the head of Glen Moidart extending about
a mile along River Moidart (Robertson).
Moidart and Glen Moidart1873 place names for OS 6"=1mile Public
Record Office, Inverness; also Jean Lawson
contains airighshieling, or to be more precise
Old Norse erg, a shieling term probably borrowed from the
Gaelic. The first part has various possibilities, including Osoutlet
stream flowing from a loch, or askash tree or perhaps a personal
ULGARY is also Norse. Here the final element is gardr,
enclosure. The first part is conjectural, perhaps ulfrwolf
or the personal name Ulf
UACHDRACH simply means the upper place
INCHRORY is straightforward enough being Innis RuairidhRodericks
open space. Innis here has the sense of a field or open area, usually
beside a river
DUILAD means dark or black hill-slope, probably from dubh-leathad
Letter from Ian Fraser to Iain Thornber, School of Scottish Studies,
University of Edinburgh, Glenmoidart Notes, Bonnalie/Impey Papers
MHADAIDH wild dog
CAILLICH old lady
CLOICHE SGOILTE split rocks
ARDA PHUILL high muddy loch
LA CROIBHE crow
NAM PAITEAN safe refuge (or, crab)
Loch names - Blair Howkins to Tim Roberton
AHARACLE the ford of Torquil
AULTBEA the birch stream
ARIVIGAIG the shieling of the little stream
CAMUS NAN GEALL bay of the churches
CORRIEVULLIN corrie of the mill
EIGNEIG oak bay
FASCADALE field of the ship
GLENBORRODALE the field of the fort town
GLENDRIAN the glen of the bramble
GORTENFERN the corn field of the alder
INNIS the valley of the squirrels
KILCHOAN the church of St Congan
KILMORY the church of St Mary
the head of the beach
LAGA a hollow
PLOCAIG high lump bay
SALEN sea pond
SANNA sandy island
SWORDLE grassy field
LOCH MIUDEART muddy fjord
Ardnamurchan Place-names, Angus Henderson, The Celtic Review
page 149,Bonnalie/Impey Papers Ref 24
RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
ABOUT 1851 - 75
of Osgood Mackenzie - The Gairloch people were indeed devoted
to their proprietor in those days
.Still, when my mother and
my uncle were ruling these five hundred to six hundred families
of crofters it was an extra hard time for them, for first there
was the potato blight - and want generally brings out the bad and
not the good qualities of a people; then there was the great upheaval
caused by the trustees deciding to do away with the runrig system
and dividing all the arable land into crofts of about four acres.
They forced the people to pull down their old insanitary houses,
where the cattle were under the same roof as human beings, and where
the fires were on the floor in the centre of the dwelling room,
with only a hole in the roof to let the smoke out, and made them
build new and rather better houses on their crofts, the proprietors
providing the timber
.There is no doubt that the people of
the west coast went through periods of terrible hunger
before the introduction of the potato
.But even prior to the
destruction caused by the potato blight, when the potatoes usually
grew so well, there was hardly a year in which my grandfather and
my father did not import cargoes of oatmeal to keep the people alive,
and those cargoes were seldom, if ever, paid for by their poor recipients.
- A Hundred Years in the Highlands, Osgood Mackenzie, page 147
pens and sheep pens - Cattle pens are lower (cows do not jump
like sheep). Sheep pens sometimes have lintels over the doors (cattle
could not pass beneath them). Cattle peaked about 1845, falling
afterwards into decline and being virtually dead by 1860. This was
due to a number of factors including railways, cheap imports and
- Airaigh in Gaelic. Hence Brunery (Brambles), Assary (Waterfall),
Ulgary etc. Cattle went off from May to late August to the shieling
and thence to market. The 1851 census identifies two drovers in
Moidart.- Gordon Barr