Comann Eachdraichd Uig

Timeline


Some key dates in the history of Uig and the Isle of Lewis.

Further suggestions welcome.

  • 9000BC O chionn aon mhìle deug bliadhna – 11,000 years ago

    The story of the Uig environment over the last 11,000 years, is of a mobile, changing landscape. The last glaciers…

  • 7000BC Meadhan-linn na Cloiche – Mesolithic (9000 – 6000 years ago)

    The first humans, hunter gatherers, would have arrived in dugout or skin boats. No evidence of houses or temporary shelters…

  • 4000BC Nua-linn na Cloiche – Neolithic (6000 – 3800 years ago)

    People arrived, possibly from the north, with the idea of settling in one place and cultivating plants and domesticating animals.…

  • 2000BC Linn an Umha – Bronze Age (3800 – 2800 years ago)

    During this period sea level was rising, turning coastal headlands into offshore islands. The weather has become cooler and wetter,…

  • 400 Linn an Iarainn – Iron Age (2800 – 1200 years ago)

    In the Iron Age, status and fear seemed to be the reason for a new architecture, which included brochs and…

  • 563 Tràth Chrìostaidhean – Early Christians

    From 563 AD onwards, Irish monks appeared along the Uig coast, built cells to live in, and subjected themselves to…

  • 800 Linn nan Lochlannach (800 – 1266) – Viking Period (800 – 1266)

    Viking invaders arrived by sea from the north, raiding and plundering. The Uig men probably died defending their territory, but…

  • 1150 Luchd-tàileisg Leòdhais (1150) – Lewis Chessmen (1150)

    Lewis was part of the Norse Kingdom at the time that the pieces were made and would have had an…

  • 1266 Tighearnas nan Eilean (1266 – 1493) – Lords of the Isles (1266 – 1493)

    The Western Isles now came under the control of the Lords of the Isles, based in Islay and remaining fairly…

  • 1600 Coinneach Odhar – The Brahan Seer

    Coinneach Odhar – The Brahan Seer According to folklore, Kenneth Mackenzie was born at Baile na Cille. It was in…

  • 1600 Dòmhnall Cam MacDhùghaill – Donald Cam Macaulay

    From the 15th to the 17th centuries, Lewis was torn by internal quarrels and strife. There were three main clans:…

  • 1600 Clann MhicAmhlaigh – The Macaulays in Uig

    The exploits of the Macaulays earned them leases of the best land, often free or rent for life.  John Roy…

  • 1603 Aonadh nan Crùn – Union of the Crowns

    Until the early 17th century England and Scotland were two entirely independent kingdoms. This changed dramatically in 1603 on the…

  • 1613 Beiriseigh: Seasamh Dheireannach Nèill MhicLeòid – Berisay: Neil Macleod’s Last Stand

    Neil Macleod, illegitimate son of the last Macleod clan chief of Lewis, is credited with driving out the Fife Adventurers,…

  • 1638 An Cùmhnant Nàiseanta – National Covenant

    In 1638, the National Covenant was presented and signed in front of the pulpit. This was a document of great…

  • 1640 Cinneadas nan Gàidheal – The Highland Clan System

    A clan chief’s status depended on the number of armed men he could command. Chiefs Chiefs rewarded their kinsmen with…

  • 1640 Settlement from above

    No matter how rocky or uneven, every available plot was drained and tilled using spade and cas-chrom. Photo © Richard…

  • 1645 Blàr Allt Èireann – Battle of Auldearn

    Settlement which housed Angus Macaulay, killed at Auldearn Fear Bhreanais, and his retainers. “Seachain laimhrig fir Uige, the droch rath…

  • 1745 Blàr Chùil Lodair – Battle of Culloden

    On 16 April 1746, the final Jacobite Rising came to a brutal head in one of the most harrowing battles…

  • 1745 Cur às do na Cinneadhean Gàidhealach (an dèidh 1745) – Dismantling Clan Structures (post 1745)

    Eleven tacksmen (lesser clan members) held South West Uig up to the late 18th century. From that period, the proprietor,…

  • 1755 Àireamh an t-sluaigh 1755 – 1755 Census

    The first Scottish census puts the population of Uig at 1312.

  • 1775 Long an Iarainn – The Ship with the Cargo of Iron

    During a severe storm, this ship had taken shelter in Camus Uig between Crowlista and Carnish. During the night she…

  • 1778 Na Seann Shaighdearan (1778-1793) – The Old Soldiers (1778-1793)

    In 1778, the 4th Earl of Seaforth raised Saighdearan Choinnich Òig – the original 78th Foot Regiment to fight with…

  • 1790 Gnìomhachas Dualchasach (1790 – 1830) – Traditional Production (1790 – 1830)

    Barley and black oats were the main crops but by the 1790s large quantities of potatoes and kale were also…

  • 1791 An Seann Chunntas Staitisteil – Statistical Account

    The Old Statistical Account tells of a fairly prosperous community engaged at kelp-making and fishing. On Cliatasay, a small island…

  • 1796 A’ Chiad Sgoil an Ùig – First School in Uig

    Early schools were Parochial schools or set up by the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Learning and teaching…

  • 1800 À Crabhlasta chun a’ Bhaltaig – From Crowlista to the Baltic

    In the early 19th century Uig people traded in dried ling, cod and cured herring. Occasionally, the bigger boats took…

  • 1800 Beartas a’ Cheilp (1800-1820) – The Kelp Boom (1800-1820)

    The kelp industry offered a lucrative opportunity for the Seaforth estate. Kelp was an alkaline seaweed extract used in the…

  • 1804 Na Saighdearan Dall – The Blinded Soldiers

    In 1804, about twenty Uig men were enlisted into the 78th, this time under the command of John Munro, son…

  • 1809 Rathad gu ruige Steòrnabhagh – A Road to Stornoway

    “ One great line of road … remains yet to be opened, and that is the road from Stornoway to…

  • 1815 Trosg a Lunnainn (1815 – 20) – Cod for London (1815 – 20)

    “It may be remarked that along the west side of the Lews the finest cod banks in Britain are situated.…

  • 1815 Sgoiltean Gàidhlig – Gaelic Schools

    Valtos School opened with Donald Morrison A Sgoillear Ban as teacher and twelve scholars. The Edinburgh Society for the Support…

  • 1820 Toiseach nam Fuadach (1807-1820) – Start of the Clearances (1807-1820)

    In the 1820s, pastoral farming, requiring large tracts of land, was introduced as a means of shoring up estate finance…

  • 1824 Dùsgaidhean Spioradail – Religious Revivals

    On 28 April 1824 Alexander Macleod was, through the patronage of Mrs Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, inducted as the first…

  • 1831 Fir-Thàileisg air a Lorg sa Bhealach-Bhàn – Chessmen Found

    The precise circumstances of the chessmen’s discovery are shrouded in mystery. Oral tradition tells that they tumbled out of a…

  • 1831 Mac an t-Srònaich (1831 – 36)

    “ Fhad ’s a gleidheas mise beanntan Ùig, gleidhidh beanntan Ùig mi” “As long as I keep to the Uig…

  • 1832 Cosnadh san Talamh Fhuar – Hudson’s Bay Co

    Several Uig men joined the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was founded in 1670 by King Charles to exploit the natural…

  • 1835 An t-Sròm air Fhuadach – Strome Cleared

    Letter from Alexander Macrae, tenant of Scaliscro to Seaforth 1833 “I am sadly annoyed by the Tenants of Strome, whose…

  • 1835 Cidhe Chàrnais air a Thogail – Pier Built at Carnish

    Mr Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, whose revenue from kelp was sadly depleted, determined that a sufficient number of safe landing…

  • 1835 Galar a’ Bhuntàta (1835 – 36) – Potato Failure (1835 – 36)

    In 1835-36, poor weather conditions resulted in “the potato crop being well under average” and a poor harvest; snow and…

  • 1836 Planaichean Fuadaich Iarla Shìophoirt – Seaforth’s Eviction Plans

    In 1835-36, the potato crop failed while cattle prices hit rock bottom. Temporary food relief amounting to 1000 bolls of…

  • 1837 Doilgheas nam Fuadach – Heartbreak and Mass Eviction

    A period of systematic clearance began in 1837. The arable land of five or six villages was cleared and converted…

  • 1841 Caoraich Bhàna an Àite nan Daoine – Sheep Where Once There Were People

    Vuia Mhòr cleared – to Geshader, Balallan and Cape Breton According to the 1841 Census 1981 lived in Uig, 700…

  • 1841 Ceatharnach Mhegantic – The Megantic Outlaw

    In July 1841, Murdo Morrison of Kneep and his wife Sophia sailed from Stornoway aboard the brig Lady Hood Mackenzie…

  • 1841 Dìleab Eachdraidh – The Legacy of History

    For reasons connected to the landlords’ ownership of production (land, the coast and seaweed), neither kelping nor the raising of…

  • 1844 Crìoch Linn nan Sìophortach – End of the Seaforth Era

    “Our places were crowded first when Mealista was cleared. Six families of that township were thrown in among us; the…

  • 1846 Eaglais Shaor air a togail aig Ceann Langabhat – Free Church built at Ceann Langabhat

    Virtually the whole congregation of Uig had left the parish church at Baile na Cille and joined the Free Church…

  • 1846 Bliadhnaichean Cnàmh a’ Bhuntàta – Failure of the Potato Crop

    “The practice of going to the Caithness herring fishing, to which at least one person from almost every family goes…

  • 1848 Toiseach Aghaidheachd – The Start of Resistance

    Twenty-eight Reef families resisted eviction for three years. During this time, they were refused work on Matheson’s work schemes –…

  • 1849 Destitution Wall, Crowlista (1849-1850)

    Destitution Wall, Crowlista, built overwhemingly by female labour. Photo © Richard Davies

  • 1849 Saothrachadh airson Min nam Bochd (1849 – 50) – Working for Destitution Meal (1849 – 1850)

    “After the potato failed the estate introduced work-schemes for which people were paid between 10d and 1/ and ‘committee meal’…

  • 1849 Sgeamaichean Obrach (1849 – 50) – Work Schemes (1849 – 50)

    “There was draining and trenching done … it began in the Spring of 1849 but interrupted by the Spring culture…

  • 1851 Piseach a’ Tighinn air Eaconamaidh na Sgìre (1851 – 1900) – Years of Recovery (1851 – 1900)

    The economy was already recovering by 1851; in Valtos there were “150 cows and 400 sheep, crops both of potatoes…

  • 1851 Bàta Eilthireach a’ Fàgail Chaolas Bheàrnaraigh – Emigrant Ship Leaves the Sound of Bernera

    On May 15th 1851, the ‘Marquis of Stafford’ arrived in Loch Roag … the following Monday, she sailed through the…

  • 1851 Muinntir Mhiabhaig agus Ghiosla air an cuir às an Fhearann – Miavaig and Gisla Cleared

    Emigrants from Gisla to Quebec (Na Laoghaich, Macdonalds) gave a parcel of land to be used as a cemetery. It…

  • 1851 Buil nam Fuadach (1851-52) – The Reality of Evictions (1851-52)

    “He has been summoned out of his lot he is in arrears of rent about £2. 10/- … he owes…

  • 1851 “Beannachd leis an Talamh Eòlach…” – “Farewell to the Familiar Earth…”

    When the work schemes were withdrawn new estate proposals involved the removal of 400 people. John Munro-MacKenzie, Sir James Matheson’s…

  • 1851 An t-Iasgach (1851 – 1900) – The Fishing (1851 – 1900)

    In 1851 Valtos had four boats with crews of nine men each, they fished for cod and ling which was…

  • 1852 Daoranach air a chuir a-null gu Tìr Van Diemen – Convict Transported to Van Diemens Land

    Angus Mackay, born in Miavaig in 1833, left Portsmouth on the St Vincent with over 200 other male convicts on…

  • 1857 Dh’fhosgail Oifis a’ Phuist am Miabhag – Miavaig Post Office Opened

    A foot post from Stornoway to Miavaig was instituted, and eventually upgraded to a horse post and then a mail…

  • 1858 Letting Advertisement for the Uig estate 1858

    Letting Advertisement for the Uig estate 1858

  • 1858 Nochd a’ chiad Mhap de Leòdhas / bho Chlàrachas na Dùthcha – 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map of Lewis

    In 1846, James Matheson, proprietor of the Isle of Lewis, paid the Treasury £1200 to have a detailed map of…

  • 1858 Malairt Ionadail – Local Trades

    Alongside crofters, fishermen and domestic servants, there were weavers, knitters, tailors, shoe-makers, boat-builders, stonemasons, carpenters, merchants and fish-curers. The basic…

  • 1870 Bho Thuathan Chaorach gu Frìthean Fèidh – Sheep Farms to Sporting Estates

    In the 1870s Grimersta and Uig Lodge became sporting estates. By then up to 40,000 acres of Uig was in…

  • 1872 Achd an Fhoghlaim 1872 – 1872 Education Act

    The Education Act brought in compulsory education for all children between the ages of five and thirteen. School Boards had…

  • 1872 An Teileagraf air a Stèidheachadh – Telegraph was Established

    “Her Majesty’s Postmaster General has called the attention of this department to the wanton injury occasioned to the telegraph wires…

  • 1875 Air ais a Bhaile na Cille – Return to Baile na Cille

    After the repeal of the Patronage Act most of the congregation rejoined the Established Church of Scotland with Rev Angus…

  • 1879 James Matheson

    James Matheson spent £100,495 on the construction of a castle in Stornoway and £11,895 on building two sporting lodges at…

  • 1879 Dh’fhosgail Sgoil Loch Croistean – Lochcroistean School Opens

    Lochcroistean Public School, designed to accommodate sixty five scholars, opened 5 June 1879 by Rev John Campbell. Teacher John Smith.

  • 1879 Dh’fhosgail Sgoil Bhaltois – Valtos School Opens

    Valtos Public School, designed to accommodate a hundred and sixty scholars, opened 21 July 1879 by Rev John Campbell. Teacher…

  • 1880 Dh’fhosgail Sgoil Chrabhlastadh – Crowlista School Opens

    Crowlista Public School, designed to accommodate fifty five scholars, opened 28 January 1880. Teacher Alexander Macphail.

  • 1880 Dh’fhosgail Sgoil Islibhig – Islivig School Opens

    Islivig Public School, designed to accommodate a hundred and fifty scholars, opened 9 November 1880 by Rev Angus Maciver. Teacher…

  • 1883 Malcolm Maclean & Norman Morrison

    Seo mar a dh’innis Murchadh Chalum Sheòrais mun là a choinnich an Coimisean am Miabhaig air an 4mh là dhen…

  • 1883 Coimisean Napier – The Napier Commission

    Crofter unrest throughout the Highlands and Island gained political expression through the Highland Land Law Reform Association (HLLRA) forcing the…

  • 1884 Strì an Fhearainn – Land Agitation (1884)

    Valtos and Kneep crofters had announced their intention to withhold their rents, until they were given more land. There were…

  • 1884 Coitearan Bhaltois agus a’ Chnìp a’ Ruagadh Tac na Riobhadh, Dùbhlachd 1884. – Landless Crofters Raid Reef Farm, Dec 1884.

    Towards the end of December 1884, ‘HMS Assistance’ sailed into Loch Roag and Marines arrested eight men who had raided…

  • 1884 Comann Ath-Leasachaidh Lagh an Fhearainn – The Highland Land Law Reform Association

    While the recommendations of Napier were widely endorsed the HLLRA called for more radical reforms including security of tenure, a…

  • 1885 Strì an Fhearainn – Land Agitation (May 1885)

    The chamberlain of the Lewis estate had chartered the steamship Norseman and removed crofters’ cattle from Pabbay. While it steamed…

  • 1886 Comhaireachd Boireannaich Bhaltois – The Women’s Resistance

    On 27th August 1886, while the men were at the East Coast fishing, an attempt was made by the tacksmen…

  • 1886 Achd nan Croitear (1886)- Crofters Acts – and Security of Tenure

    The Highland Land Law Reform Association supported candidates in Parliamentary elections and four ‘Crofters Party’ MPs were elected in 1886.…

  • 1891 Distribution of Population

    Distribution of Population: H.A. Moisley, Uig a Hebridean Parish, 1960

  • 1892 Coimisean Frìthean Fèidh – The Deer Forest Commission 1892

    The Commission of government-appointed land experts recommended the re-settlement by crofters of Mangersta, Carnish, Timsgarry, Reef, Linshader, Morsgail and Scaliscro,…

  • 1896 An Grana air na creagan aig tràigh Mhangurstaigh – The Grana aground at Mangersta

    On 21 October, the crewmen of a Danish schooner, forced ashore by raging seas, were rescued by Christina Mackay of…

  • 1898 An Esra air grunnachadh air tràigh na Cliobhadh – The Esra aground at Cliff

    A Norwegian barque carrying a load of timber was grounded in Cliff Bay. No lives were lost, the crewmen were…

  • 1900 Cidhe Bhaltois air a Thogail – Valtos Quay

    As early as 1828, Valtos was surveyed and the cost of a pier was estimated at £150. There was already…

  • 1900 An Eaglais Shaor Aonaichte Stèidhte aig Ceann Langabhat – Ceann Langabhat Church now the United Free Church, Uig

    The Free Church united with the United Presbyterian Church to form the United Free Church and went to court to…

  • 1900 Flyleaf from Esra Bible

    Flyleaf from Esra Bible

  • 1908 Dùmhlachd agus Cion Fearainn anns an Fhicheadamh Linn – Congestion and Landlessness into the 20th Century

    The Crofters Acts did not address the issue of landless cottars. By 1908, one-third of Uig’s inhabitants remained as ‘cottars…

  • 1908 Ceidhe Mhiabhaig – Miavaig Slip

    Miavaig slip was constructed, financed by the Congested Districts Board.

  • 1912 Sluagh ann am Bochdainn – An Impoverished People

          Nurse Annie Maclean. Provision of nurses after the setting up of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service…

  • 1912 Sgoil Mhangurstaidh air Ùr-Fhosgladh – Mangersta School Opens

    Because of the resettlement of Mangersta, a school was needed. At first lessons were held in the old farmhouse in…

  • 1913 Ruagadh na Riofadh – Reef Farm Raids

    Reef Raiders, frustrated at undelivered promises of land, raid the farm and drive the farmer’s stock away.  They are tried…

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