Uig Deforcers Refusing to Appear, 1885

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 15th May last, by surrounding them and threatening them with violence, and hooting and yelling at them, and by a masterful and violent manner preventing them from removing a bull from the Island of Bhuidhamhor to the steamer Norseman, and preventing the said John Fraser and his concurrents from returning to the steamer, and removing them from off the said island and conveyng them forcibly and against their will in a boat to Valtos, where they detained them in custody for several hours.  The accused were further charges with having forcibly removed from the hold of the Norseman three heifers then in the custody of the said John Fraser, in virtue of the Court of Session warrents, and did push or shove the heifers overboards, and the deprived Fraser of their custody.  The accused were all served with copies of the complaint last wek, citing them to appear before Sheriff Black to answer to the charge against them, but on Tuesday [22 September] none of them appeared.  On the motion of the Procurator Fiscal, Sheriff Black granted a warrant for their apprehension.  The names of the accused are:  Peter Macdonald (baker), Malcolm Matheson, Donald Smith (blacksmith), Angus Macleod, Norman Maciver, Murdo Macdonald, Murdo Macleod, from Valtos; Allan Morrison, Donald Maclennan and William Morrison, Kneep, Uig, Lewis.  It is reported that the accused have sent a letter to Sheriff Black stating that they are quite prepared to appear before any impartial judge or to be tried elsewhere, but they decline to appear before him to be tried, on the ground that he has acted onesidedly.