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

Monday, 28 March 2011

Renting Rodel

Isle of Harris.
TO LET with Entry Whitsunday next (1887),
consisting partly of Arable Land
and partly of Hill Grazing.
Apply to Mr BRYDONE, Luskintyre, Harris,
or Messrs. DONDAS & WILSON,
15 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

This advertisement appeared in the Scottish Highlander on the 17th March 1887 and it interests me greatly:

Firstly, 'Mr Brydone' is Thomas Brydone, who had been the Factor of the South Harris Estate for only 6 months when he appeared before the Napier Commission. His life has been explored more fully in this piece from ADB's 'Pentland Road' blog.

Secondly, six years before the advert my relative Angus Kerr was the Farm Manager at Rodel but was no longer in that role in 1891. We also know that in 1883 Rodel House was unoccupied and, apparently, being readied for the 7th Earl of Dunmore. From that same piece we see that in 1891 my relative was a 'Retired Groom' and then in 1901 a 'Retired Coachman', so if the Earl did indeed return to Rodel House anytime between 1883 & 1891 then Angus was probably the man driving him & his guests around in their coach!

Finally, although there is no Farmer listed at Rodel in 1891, those shown there in 1901 were Roderick Campbell and his son John, who was living with his wife Marion and her parents - Angus & Lexy Kerr.

It must be remembered that all those, including my relatives, who thrived at Rodel Farm were able to do so because of the dreadful event that took place there in 1818. and that it was one Mrs Anne Campbell, holder of the Tack of Strond & Killegray, whose kindness at this particular time was remarked upon. 
Was this the real reason for her incurring the wrath of Donald Stewart in 1834?  I suspect so!

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