• Land Issues

    Grievances Told to the Napier Commission

    by  • 17 September 2008 • Crofting, History, Land Issues • 1 Comment

    The Napier Commission came to Miavaig on 4 June 1883, led by Lord Napier, and took evidence from Murdo Maclean, fishcurer in Valtos, Donald Matheson Kneep and Norman Morrison Brenish, and from the Chamberlain, William Mackay. Among the grievances enumerated by the crofters were issues to do with the keeper and shooting tenants in the […]

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    The Departure of the Barlow, 1851

    by  • 2 September 2008 • Emigration, History, Land Issues • 2 Comments

    In 1851 several shiploads of emigrants left Lewis for Canada.  The arrival and departure of the Barlow was delayed for a month, causing desperation amongst the prospective emigrants, but she eventually sailed at the end of June from Loch Roag.  The following is from the Diary of John Munro Mackenzie, Chamberlain of the Lews. Wednesday […]

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    Waiting for the Barlow

    by  • 29 August 2008 • Emigration, History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    The Barlow sailed from Lewis in 1851 with 287 emigrants on board, one of several emigrant ships that year.  Like the Marquis of Stafford it carried people who had been removed from their land and offered paid passage to Canada by the proprietor, but unlike the Marquis, which sailed in May, the Barlow was delayed and in […]

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    Rev David Watson’s Boundary Dispute

    by  • 25 August 2008 • Church, History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    David Watson was ordained as minister of Uig in 1845 but as the congregation had mostly migrated to the Free Church, his Church remained largely empty. He was at odds with the people and the estate, as the following notes in the 1851 diary (published by Acair) of the Chamberlain John Munro Mackenzie attest: Thursday […]

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    Uig Deforcers Refusing to Appear, 1885

    by  • 15 August 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    From the Scottish Highlander, 25 Sept 1885: The Uig Deforcers Refusing to Appear Before Sheriff Black.– Ten fishermen from Valtos, Uig, and Lewis were cited to appear on Tuesday before Sheriff-Substitute Black on the charges of assault and breach of the public peace, by attacking and assaulting John Fraser, sheriff-officer, Stornoway, and his concurrents, on […]

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    Letter from Reef, 1920

    by  • 11 August 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    After the Reef Raiders were tried, briefly imprisoned and let home to a hero’s welcome in 1914, the Great War intervened before anything was done about the lotting of Reef. Even after the end of the war, it appeared that nothing was going to happen. The following is from the men of Kneep and Valtos, most […]

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    The Reef Raiders

    by  • 9 August 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    Some of the Reef Raiders:  Alexander Mackay, Valtos (Alasdair Dhomhnaill Aonghais) Allan Morrison 3 Kneep (Ailean Tharmoid Tharmoid Ruaidh) Malcolm Macritchie Kneep (an Irish) Murdo Mackay 30 Valtos (Murchadh Aonghais Aonghais) Angus Mackay 18 Valtos (Aonghas Tharmoid Aonghais) John Morrison 13 Kneep (Iain Tharmoid Tharmoid Ruaidh, or an Cupair) Donald Maclennan Reithmir (Domhnall Ruadh, the […]

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    Valtos, Kneep and Reef Grazings, 1959

    by  • 6 August 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    Click to show shieling grounds.  Map and area in acres from Uig, a Hebridean Parish (1960). Valtos (36 tenants) 149 inbye 1482 adjacent pastures 3905 detached/shielings Kneep (18 tenants) 155 inbye 459 adjacent 1806 detached/shielings Reef (14 tenants) 94 inbye 207 adjacent 101 machair 770 detached Total (68 tenants, 14 absent) 398 inbye 2249 adjacent/machair 6481 […]

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    Rental Paid in 1725

    by  • 27 July 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    Having been on the losing side in the Jacobite rising of 1715, the Seaforths had to forfeit their lands to the Crown. These were then administered by a body of Commissioners for a number of years (though the Seaforths were eventually allowed to buy them back, because no other buyer could be found.) It appears […]

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    An Dotair Ruadh

    by  • 23 July 2008 • History, Land Issues, People • 2 Comments

    (picture of Valtos and Kneep by Chris Murray) An Dotair Ruadh, Donald Macaulay, seventh in line from Dòmhnall Càm, was the son of Dòmhnall mac Sheorais, the tacksman of Linshader who himself became something of a legend because of his size and strength. His son has come down in tradition as equally renowned, but for […]

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    Kneep Crofts in 1959

    by  • 20 July 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    Click picture to enlarge (and again to zoom in). From Uig, A Hebridean Parish (1960). In the period before the lotting of crofts the whole peninsula was occupied by some five clachans – Valtos, Cliff, Kneep, Uigen and Reef – some of which shared common pastures. During the early part of the nineteenth century and […]

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    “Strange Conduct of Lewis Crofters”

    by  • 19 July 2008 • History, Land Issues • 2 Comments

    Highland News, Monday 13 October, 1884: The Northern Chronicle publishes the following sensational statement which we trust is somewhat exaggerated:– Mr Wm Mackay, Chamberlain of the Lews, has for some time back been engaged in visiting the different parts of the island for the purpose of collecting rents.  On Monday last week [30 September 1884] he […]

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    Meeting at Islivig School, 1908

    by  • 19 July 2008 • History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    From Joni Buchanan’s The Lewis Land Struggle (Acair 1996): On Christmas Day 1908, 46 crofters and squatters met at the schoolhouse in Brenish (known as Islivig School) and passed eight resolutions demanding the breakup of Mangersta and Carnish farms:  “So that without leaving the locality where they were born and where all associations and kinships that […]

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    Aird Uig in 1959

    by  • 16 July 2008 • Crofting, History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

      A chapter from Uig, a Hebridean Parish (1960) by Madge Phillips. The little township of Aird is an isolated and old-established crofting settlement along the western side of the steep and narrow valley of the Amhainn Gil na h-Airde three miles north of Crowlista.  After leaving Loch Meacheit, the river flows northward through a gorge […]

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    Proposals for Emigration, 1851

    by  • 12 July 2008 • Emigration, History, Land Issues • 2 Comments

    Following his tour of the island in the spring of 1851 to assess arrears owed by tenants and determined which of them were “to be emigrated”, the Chamberlain of the Lews, John Munro Mackenzie, drew up the following memorandum (from the Acair publication of his 1851 Diary.)  Two emigrant ships, the Marquis of Stafford and […]

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    Plans for Crowlista, Aird and the Bays, 1851

    by  • 1 July 2008 • Emigration, History, Land Issues • 0 Comments

    From the Diary of John Munro Mackenzie, Chamberlain, in 1851: Friday 14 Feby. Met the people of Crowlista, Aird Uig, Carishader, Geshader, Enaclete, Ungeshader and having explained the conditions on which they were to be emigrated, their condition state of arrears etc the following results were arrived at — Crowlista, 6 families, £34.8.4 in arrears, […]

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