The Charge Sheet: We Have Waited Long Enough (1913)

On the day in November 1913 when the Reef Raiders drove the stock from Reef Farm, the local Constable made the following report (the list doesn’t correspond exactly to the men identified in the photo):

Charge, Breach of the Peace
Police Station
Miavaig, 28th November 1913


I beg to report to you that between the hours of 10am and 1pm on Friday the 28th day of November 1913, on Reef Farm, occupied by Alexander Macrae, Farmer in the Parish of Uig

1. Malcolm Macritchie (64), Married, Squatter, Fisherman, Kneep
2. Allan Morrison (56), Married, Crofter, No 3 Kneep
3. Donald Morrison (49), Married, Squatter, Fisherman, No 13 Kneep
4. Murdo Macdonald (52), Married, Squatter, No 2 Kneep
5. John Morrison (48), Single, “alias” Cooper, No 13 Kneep
6. Murdo Mackay (25), Single, (Angus Son), No 30b Valtos
7. Donald Matheson (54), Married, Squatter, Fisherman, Valtos
8. Alexander Mackay (41), Married, Squatter, Fisherman, Valtos
9. Alexander Macdonald (60), Married, Squatter, Fisherman, Valtos
10. Angus Mackay (26), Single, (Norman Son), Fisherman, Valtos
11. Norman Mackay (24), Single, (Malcolm Son), Fisherman, Valtos
12. Donald Morrison (23), Single (Malcolm Son), Fisherman, Valtos
13. James Morrison (20), Single (Murdo Son), Fisherman, Valtos
14. Donald Maclennan (18), Single (Widow John Son), Valtos

all in the Parish of Uig.

Did form in a body and forcibly and unlawfully enter said farm, there gathered together all the sheep about 200 in number, and 5 head of cattle, and drove them to the march stone dyke which they knocked down, and forced them over the broken wall, thereafter drove them together across the moor through Kneep and Uigen to Miavaig public road, thence along the road through Valtos Glen to Timsgarry Farm, occupied by John Macrae, Farmer, all to the terror and alarm of both farmers, and in breach of the public peace.


Alexander Macrae, 32 years of age, single, farmer, Reef Farm, in the Parish of Uig, says:–

“About 10am on Friday the 28th inst. I was going into Reef Farm with two tups which I was putting along with my ewes. I saw a great number of men and young lads on the farm, and soon after they went round the sheep and gathered them.

The men spoke to me and said, that they gathered there to clear the farm of all the stock, and that they were going to drive them up the glen to my father’s ground. They gathered the sheep to the march, which is a stone dyke. The made an opening on this dyke and afterwards forced all the sheep and cattle out by it. They only left one horse on the farm which they failed to put out.

The 14 men and young lads who I mention to you were the leaders, it was them who drove the sheep and cattle away. I stood there looking on as I was quite helpless alone, but warned them not to remove the stock off the farm, as it was a serious thing to do and against the law, their reply was, that it was time they were doing something, that they waited too long.

They then drove all my sheep up Valtos Glen, and I don’t know if ever I will see them together again. I am to bring my stock back to Reef Farm, but if these people put them out again I don’t know what to do, as I fear very much they are to give me some trouble.


Between 9 and 10 am on Friday the 28th ult. the complainer Alexander Macrae, called here and reported that he heard the Cottars of Kneep and Valtos were to remove the stock from Reef the first favourable day, as they could not remove the stoke with out passing the Police Station. I waited about for some time and about noon when in the post-office Mr Macrae, Postmaster, Callanish, informed me that when he was crossing from Callanish he saw a great number of men gathering the sheep on Reef Farm, at that moment I saw the men coming in sight at Uigen with the sheep and cattle. I made up my mind that I would meet them at the mouth of the glen where I could have a good view. Near the footbridge in Valtos Glen I met Alexander Mackay No 8 and Donald Maclennan No 14 driving the Reef cattle. Mackay said that I could have plenty prisoners now. I asked him where he was going with the cattle, and he replied, that they were going to drive them up to Timsgarry. I warned them to turn with the cattle or that they would get themselves into trouble. Mackay said, they waited too long, that Reef was promised them long ago, and, they had now made up their minds to take it, whatever would be done to them, and proceeded accompanied by Maclennan with the cattle.

I met the other twelve mentioned in the report at Miavaig Church, driving the sheep before them, I advised them to turn with the sheep, at the same time I said to them, that they would get themselves into trouble for what they had done. Some of them said something I did not understand about waiting too long. They drove all the sheep to Timsgarry farm and left them there.

I had some difficulty last night before I found out all the names and addresses, when doing so I was informed that they were to drive them away as often as Macrae would take them back to Reef.

At 7.30pm Friday, I wired Superintendent Ross, Stornoway as follows:–

“Cottars of Valtos and Kneep, cleared Reef farm of all live stock today.”

Constable Maciver
(signed) Kenneth Maciver PC