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

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Charles Murray, 7th Earl of Dunmore in 1881

We find the Murray family at 109 Cromwell Road, Kensington, London. The household comprises:

Earl of Dunmore, 40,Peer of the Realm,  b. London, Middlesex
Countess of Dunmore, 33, b. Holkham, Norfolk
Lady Emily Murray, 13, b. Edinburgh
Lady Muriel Murray, 11, b. London, Middlesex
Lady Grace Murray, 8, b. Dunmore
Lady Alexandra Murray, 3, b. London, Middlesex

Frederica Chapman, 20, Governess, b. London, Middlesex
Annie Giles, 41, Lady's Maid, b. Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire
Esther Murrow, 25, Nurse, b. Wells, Somerset
Margaret Baptie, 18, Nurserymaid, b. Carberry, Musselburgh
Rebecca Turner, 20, Nurserymaid, b. Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire

Elizabeth James, 45, Housemaid, b. St Dennis, Cornwall
Edith Black, 22, Houemaid, b. Chilin, Kent
Marion Morrison, 24, Cook, b. Strond, Harris
Jane Laurence, 21, Kitchen Maid, b. Chelsea, Middlesex
Richard Fisher, 38, Butler, b. North Berwick
Lewis Kinder, 17, Page, b. London, Middlesex

I hadn't realised that this Earl had married a grand-daughter of Thomas Coke (pronounced 'cook'!) of Holkham, 1st Earl of Leicester, who was an agricultural reformer best known for his work with cattle, sheep and pigs. He is perhaps not quite as famous as the earlier 'Turnip' Townshend who's estate at Raynham is a few miles inland from Holkham and who introduced the four-field sytem of crop rotation to Britain.

However, what stands-out the most in this list, after one has noted that it takes eleven servants to support the six members of the family, is the presence of a lass from Strond in Harris. Marion Morrison, at the young age of twenty-four,  is in that powerful and well-respected role of Cook!

There are two Marion Morrison candidates but the most likely one  is the daughter of Donald Morrison, a Fisherman, and his wife Mary who in 1851, prior to Marion's birth, were one of the 44 families at Port Esgein.

Her story of how she came to become Cook to the family of the owner of her island home, and living in a house almost as tall as the hills behind the house she was born in, is one that would wonderful to be told.

Oh, and she is one of the very few people  that I have found in the all the censuses of England whose birthplace is given as 'Harris', let-alone, 'Strond'!

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