Tag Archives: domestic economy


Digitised copy of a Memorandum on Poor Law Matters in Tyree, c1864. Sets out instructions and recommendations for improving the administration of the Poor Law in Tiree and Coll. Refers to ‘slovenly audits and slovenly records’; the use of the Poor House in Tobermory; administration of ‘outdoor relief’ which may ‘deteriorate the character and relax the Industry of the Population’; irregularities in application of Statute between Coll and Tiree, resulting in ‘antagonism’ between the two islands’; difficulties in communicating between the two islands; affairs of Parish in ‘great confusion’; mismanagement, borrowed funds and the need for better management and improved direction.

The Interim Inspector of Poor for the Island of Coll had previously been charged with fraud: see record 2021.54.25.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.


Digitised copy of Observations on Tiree by Dr Walker, 1765. Dr Walker’s observations are arranged under the following headings: situation, extent, hills, harbour, tides, springs, sea, soil, rieve [reef], climate, crops, inhabitants, longevity, diseases, antiquities, agriculture, inclosures, cattle, grain, change of seed, hay, manures, turneps [turnips], price of commodities, price of labour, exports and imports, manufacture, fishery, hemp, natural productions, marble, copper, porphyry. There is no transcript for this item but see 1997.273.1.

The Rev Dr John Walker, minister of Moffat and a pioneer of scientific botany and geology, was sent to the Hebrides in 1764 and 1771 by the Commission for Annexed Estates to report on the social conditions, population and the state of manufacture, agriculture and fisheries.

Click to view a record for this item on Inveraray’s online catalogue.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.


Three detailed diaries of Neil MacPhail, Registrar at Kirkapol during 1897-1924. The diaries cover the periods 1897-1900, 1911-1926, 1920-1923. Entries include the weather,  maintenance around the croft, sowing, harvests, cattle breeding, deaths, purchases and payments. Neil was awarded an MBE in 1979 for his services as a Registrar.


The Scots Magazine, June 1965, with an article about Tiree and its people ‘Island of Prosperous Crofters’ by Campbell K Finlay. Includes photographs of Scarinish Harbour: A D Brown, Tobermory (merchant to Tiree); Margaret Brown, Vaul; Malcolm M MacLean, Salum; A H MacPhail, Clachan; A G H Bruton, Lodge Hotel; Travee; coastal cliffs; croft house, Scarinish; Parkhouse, Balephetrish; L J MacFadyen, Kenovay;  J L MacInnes, Salum; W MacPhee, gamekeeper; Balephetrish road. Also mentioned in text: Walter Hume, the Reef & An Fhaodhail, primary schools, boarded-out children, island house, sheep, bulb-growing, cottars, income, crofters’ war, snipe shooting, tourism, fishing.

Click here to view 2018.78.1


Booklet “Gaelic in a Bruce County (Canada) Tiree Settlement”

Booklet by Tiree descendent Archie MacKinnon about his recollections of his Gaelic-speaking community in Bruce County, Canada. Includes photographs and the entire booklet on DVD with embedded audio files.


Photograph of the view of Loch Bhasapol from Calum MacKinnon`s house in Kilmoluaig, ca 1970

Black and white photograph of the view of Loch Bhasapol from the door of Calum (Iain Bhan) MacKinnon`s house at Kilmoluaig during the 1970s. Note the size of the stones acting as gate posts and bolt for locking. His house was the last without electricity on the island – he never wanted it.



‘Tiree – an unauthorised biography’ – a history of Tiree and its people by William Clelland, 2009.

Text on CD-ROM about the history of Tiree and its people compiled by Australian descendant of Tiree, William Clelland. Includes chapters on the geography of the island, archaeology and first settlers, Christianity and the Gaelic language, Vikings and the wider Scottish history, overpopulation, black houses, kelp and education, evictions and emmigration, Napier Commission, Tiree bards. Index. Appendices including Tiree place names, weapons held by Tiree men and whether `rebel` in 1715, Argyll Estate report of 1737, prisoners of the `45 rebellion, sales from farms, Old Parish Register for marriages and baptisms 1766-1854, households and population 1747-1901, Napier Commission evidence and witness statements 1883, population census 1779-1891. For appendices see 2009.123.2-11.


Book “We`ll See the Cuckoo”

Book “We`ll See the Cuckoo” by Jean Brown who brought groups of Girl Guides on holiday to Tiree in the 1950s-70s. About life on her farm in Yorkshire since around the 1930s. Signed by the author.


Book “A Song to Sing and a Tale to Tell”

Book “A Song to Sing and a Tale to Tell” by Jean Brown who brought groups of Girl Guides to Tiree in the 1950s-70s. The book recalls her days on Tiree and other Hebridean Islands, with black & white sketches and photographs. Signed by the author.