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

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Names from Bald's 1804 Map of Harris

In the sea off the West coast of Berneray we find the following:
Revd. Bethune
Luard(?) Sacre
School House
The Reverend John Bethune appears on the 1841 and 1851 censuses. He was born on Harris in circa 1793/96 and his Stornowegian wife, Una, is with him in Rushgarry. His son, Alexander, was Minister of Uig(?) in Stornoway in 1851 and born in Harris in 1826. Of John and Una I can find no record after 1851.
Whoever made these pencil additions did so during John Bethune's time as Minister and hence prior to 1861. He may have been the Minister as early as, say, 1815 but this is something that I have yet to confirm.

Several other annotations appear in what seems to be the same hand, including a second reference to Asbestos and at least one to Serpentine. This leads me to wonder if the hand that made these marks was none-other than Dr MacCulloch, who's discoveries are mentioned in this article from 1828?

In the top right-hand corner of the map we have a list of four names and an address which are all rather difficult to decipher but appear close to:
J Macleod
N Macleod
M Morrison Tarbert
J Macdonald Urgha
10 Laxdale(?)
and a long division sum showing 140/4=35 All rather mysterious!

Additionally, on the West coast there is the word 'Lodge' written across the border between Nisibost and Borve, suggesting a date after the building of Borve Lodge (in the 1860s?) for this particular entry.

Clearly this map passed through several different hands between being drawn for Alexander Macleod and ending-up in the National Library. I wonder if it became part of the papers of the estate, going from first Macleod, to Dunmore (perhaps Scott?) and then Leverhulme possession?

A mystery, to be sure, but I do wonder what Bald would have made of this 'graffitti' littering his masterpiece?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your blogs very much Peter - some great stuff there. I had a look at Bald's map, thank you, and I think what's written there is "quoad sacra" which was the old way of mentioning anything ecclestiastical, as pertaining to sacred matters. The Rev John Bethune was infamous for ascending the pulpit inebriated one Sunday morning which precipitated the schism in the Established Church. Tormod mac Shomhairle (Paterson) shouted "Murt,murt air anamanan dhaoine!" (Murder of people's souls!) and led most of the congregation out to later form the Free Church in Berneray. This happened in 1851 I think.