Associated People: Buchanan, Dr Alexander, Baugh (1835 - 1911)


Dr Alexander Buchanan

Photograph of Dr Alexander Buchanan, Medical Officer for Tiree 1860-1911.


Courtesy of Mr Hugh MacKinnon

In 1860 Dr. Alexander Buchanan, a 25 year old surgeon newly qualified from Edinburgh, was appointed Tiree’s Medical Officer. He was given the tenancy of Baugh farm as a living by the Duke of Argyll.

He married Colina Campbell, daughter of the tenant of Balephetrish farm, and the couple had six children. From a farming background himself, he was no doubt helped in the running of his 160 acre farm by his wife’s family.

Dr Buchanan worked until his death in 1911 aged 75. It was said his patients would feel better at the sound of his oilskins rustling. On his death a monument was erected on Cnoc Eibrig in Baugh to a ‘Medical officer and loved and valued friend of the islanders’.

Black and white photograph of Dr Alexander Buchanan, 1835-1911.

Dr Alexander Buchanan, 1835-1911, Medical Officer for Tiree from 1860 to his death in 1911.


Photocopied journal of Lord Lorne dated 23-28/4/1884.

The journal of Lord Lorne written during a visit to Tiree 23-28/4/1884 and in the form of a letter to the 8th Duke of Argyll.

Click here to view 1998.197.1


Typewritten extract about expenses incurred by Argyll Estates on Tiree 1864-1899.

Information about expenses incurred by Argyll Estates on Tiree 1864-1899, e.g. maintenance of schools, teachers` salaries, maintenance of other infrastructure, assistance to emigrants, fishermen and crofters, nurses` wages, etc.


Lachlan MacQuarie’s letter of 1866

Transcription of Lachlan MacQuarie’s letter of 1866 to the Duke of Argyll about a summons of removing served on him in Baugh.

Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll

In 1860, Dr Alexander Buchanan was appointed Medical Officer for Tiree. He was encouraged by the Duke of Argyll who seems to have promised him the tenancy of Baugh Farm. Previously doctors had not stayed long in Tiree due to insufficient remuneration.

His arrival was fiercely opposed by the sitting tenant at Baugh, Lachlan MacQuarie. The latter wrote to the Duke accusing Dr Buchanan and the factor Mr Geekie of excessive drinking and setting a bad example to the islanders which had led to an outbreak of petty crime.

As well as maligning the doctor and the factor, MacQuarie questioned the Duke’s ability to judge character. His appeal was rejected and Dr. Buchanan settled down in Baugh Cottage on the site of the present kitchen of Baugh House.


Township history for Baugh researched and written by Hector MacPhail.

Information about prominent people in Baugh – Dr Buchanan and the MacFarlane family – and about Port a` Mhulinn and the Poor House.