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

Friday, 7 May 2010

Stornoway's Sheriffs

These are those associated with the role of Sheriff in Stornoway from 1841-1901.

John Mackenzie, 65, Sheriff Substitute, Point Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
Colin Deitch, 55, Sheriff CL, South Beach Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
Donald Macleod, 40, Sheriff Officer, Keith Street, b. Scotland
Malcolm Maqueeen, 35, Sheriff Officer, Keith Street, b. Ross and Cromarty
John Munro, 20, Sheriff Officer, North Beach Street, b. Scotland

Colin Leith, 65, Sheriff Clerk Depute, Head, South Beach, b. Dingwall, Ross
Norman Macdonald, 54, Sheriff Officer, Head, Bayhead, b. Stornoway
Donald Macleod, 53, Keith Street, Sheriff Officer, Head, b. Harris
John Macquarrie , 47, Sheriff Officer, Visitor, Keith Street, b. Mull, Argyll
John Munro, 32, Sheriff Officer, Lodger, South Beach, b. Assynt, Sutherland

Andrew L Macdonald, 59, Sheriff Substitute of Lewis, Head, 4 Church Street, b. Edinburgh
Colin Leitch, 69, Sheriff Clerk Depute and Registrar, Head, South Beach Street, b. Dingwall
John Macquarrie, 56, Sheriff Officer and Constable, Head, Point Street, b. St Cuthbert, Edinburgh
John Henderson, 44, Sheriff Officer, Head, Point Street, b. Dunfermline, Fifeshire
(Donald Macleod, 63, Sheriff Officer Ross-shire, Boarder, East Tarbert Private House, b. Harris)

A L Macdonald, 69, Sheriff Substitute, Head, The Cottage, b. Edinburgh
John Ross, 34, Sheriff Clerk Depute and Clerk Ross Police Commission and Road Tolls, Boarder, 15 North Beach Street, b. Tain, Ross
Norman Macdonald 75, Sheriff Officer, Head, 43, Bayhead Street, b. Stornoway
Alexander Macdonald, 41, Sheriff Officer, Lodger, 8 New Street, b. Inverness

John Black, 53, Advocate and Sheriff Substitute, Head, The Cottage, b. Kirkaldy, Fife
John Ross, 44, Sheriff Clerk Depute, Boarder, 15 North Beach Street, b. Tain
Walter Rose, 44, Sheriff Officer, Head, 2 Bayhead Street, b. Nigg, Ross-shire
William R Macleod, 31, Sheriff Officer, Head, Pringle's Court, b. Dundee, Forfarshire
(Donald Macleod, 83, Sheriff Officer (Retired), East Tarbert No 13, b. Harris)

Andrew Jameson, 45, Advocate Sheriff of Ross-shire, Visitor, Imperial Hotel, South Beach Street, b. Ayr, Ayrshire
John Ross, 54, Sheriff Clerk Depute, Boarder, 15 North Beach Street, b. Tain
William R Macleod, 40, Sheriff Officer and Grocer, Head, 36 Church Street, b Dundee

George J Campbell, 57, Sheriff Substitute, Head, The Cottage, b. Farr, Sutherlandshire
John Ross, 64, Sheriff Clerk Depute, Boarder, 36 Lewis Street, b. Tain
William Ross Macleod, 52, Sheriff Officer, Head, 6 Church Street, b. Dundee

The most obvious feature is the overwhelming presence of men from the mainland. This, coupled with the known facts of the behaviour of the Factor at this time, cannot have helped with the peoples attitude towards, and experience of, such authority figures in their midst.

It appears that, from 1871 onwards, 'The Cottage' was home to the Sheriff Substitute but I do not know the locality of that house, nor whether it still exists. In 1891 it was home to William Lott, 55, Divisional Officer of Coast Guard who came from Kent: Coast Guards of Stornoway

John Ross, from Tain, I think was related to Donald Munro, the 'Shah' of Lewis: Donald Munro Shah of Lewis

Explanation of Terms:
Sheriff Depute – Chief Judge
Sheriff – Local Judge
Sheriff Substitute – Performs duties delegated by a Sheriff
Sheriff Clerk – Official in local sheriff-court.
Sheriff Officer – An officer of the law

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