Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Ropemakers of Stornoway

Having ascertained where these people worked, I elected to identify those from the earliest two censuses and give the numbers employed for the following five:

Update: Pigot's 1837 Directory informs us that there were two Rope-works and lists two 'Rope & Twine Makers' as seen below:

Alexander Morison, Bayhead St
Donald Morison, Bayhead St

1841 5 listed
Donald Morrison, 30, Rope Maker, Mill Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
Alexander Morrison, 30, Rope Maker, Bayhead Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
Roderick Macleod, 20, Rope Maker Apprentice, b. Ross and Cromarty
Murdo Morrison, 20, Rope Maker Apprentice, Mill Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
Donald Morrison, 16, Rope Maker, Bayhead Street, b. Ross and Cromarty

1851 13 listed
John Stewart, 36, Ropemaker, Keith Street, b. Bute
John Smith, 32, Ropemaker (Journeyman), Enaclete, b. Uig, Ross
Donald Morrison, 28, Ropemaker, Bayhead Street, b. Stornoway
Murdo Morrison, 33, Rope Maker, Bayhead, b. Stornoway
John Mackenzie, 34, Ropemaker, Bayhead Street, b. Bayhead, Stornoway
Allan Mackenzie, 24, Ropemaker, Bayhead Street, b. Stornoway
Norman M, 23, Ropemaker, Bayhead Street, b. Bayhead, Stornoway

John Macrae, 31, Rope Spinner, Bayhead Street, b. Stornoway

John Grant, 18, Ropemaker Assistant, Keith Street, b. Stornoway
Angus Grant, 16, Ropemaker Assistant, b. Stornoway

Malcolm Matheson, 23, Apprentice Ropemaker, Bayhead, b. Stornoway
Murdo Maciver, 16, Ropemaker Apprentice, Bayhead, b. Lochs
David Macleod, 14, Apprentice Rope Maker, Culregrein, b. Stornoway

1861 10
1871 13
1881 15
1891 10
1901 03

From 1851 to 1891, the Rope Making industry consistently employed between 10 and 15 people.
Unless the 1901 result is due to some unknown artifact, it probably accurately depicts the fate of Rope Making as ships turned increasingly from sail to steam for their power.

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