Tag Archives: land leagues

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Digitised copy of a Report from Heylipol Public School for the winter months, February 1883. The report was written for the Duke of Argyll by J McFarlane and is divided into observations on ‘attendance’, ‘progress’, ‘general’ and ‘state of the island’ and contains remarks on: attendance for December 1882 to February 1883; the affect of weather on attendance; subjects taught and standards; appointment of compulsory officers; comments on parents and their attitudes to education; and teachers. McFarlane also discusses unrest in the island (the ‘wild & extravagant ideas that originally started in Ireland’ and the ‘circulation of pernicious & revolutionary literature’) and refers to a petition signed by crofters in the west end. He recounts a conversation with a man named Donald, a crofter in Balevullin, and also refers to the consequences of inadequate farming techniques.

Click to read a transcript of this item.

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



Large, ornately framed oil painting of Hugh MacDiarmid (1846-1928), known locally as Am Baillidh Dubh / the Black Factor, for his part in evoking Tiree’s ‘land war’ in 1886. The portrait was painted by the established artist Duncan MacGregor Whyte (1866-1953) in around 1922. MacGregor Whyte built The Studio at Balevullin. For more detailed information, see our exhibition material.


Digitised copy of Newspaper cuttings on the Tiree riots, 1886. Contains cuttings from The Daily Mail, The Morning Post, The Scotsman, The Glasgow Herald, The Daily News, The Oban Times, and The Standard reporting on the riots of 1886. There is no transcript for this item.

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.


Softback book ‘The Secret Island – towards a history of Tiree’, 2014. Published proceedings of a three-day conference held on Tiree by the Islands Book Trust in September 2013, with chapters by many authors on a wide variety of aspects of Tiree’s history and culture.

Click here to view contents


Handwritten letter, dated 21 June 1883, from Hector McDonald, Lochgilphead, to Lachlan (a’ Mharsanta / the merchant) McLean (1836-1921), Kenovay, regarding the activities of the Royal Commission and the hardships of Tiree crofters. The letter is very probably referring to Crofters’ rights and the  Napier Commission. Includes the remains of the original envelope stamped by both Lochgilphead and Oban post offices. Part of a large collection of items belonging to and about Donald Archibald McLean, Kenovay (1890-1981), and his family.

Click here to view 2020.1.52


Softback book ‘Tiree and the Dukes of Argyll 1674-1922’ by James Petre, 2019. A concise history of one island during arguably the most dramatic period in Scottish history. A story of change and controversy. At its core are ducal policy, burgeoning population growth, destitution and emigration, followed by government intervention and land settlement.


Black & white sketch of Rev. Donald MacCallum by J Gordon Murdoch, Cambuslang 1923. From the frontispiece of Donald’s book ‘Dain Domhnullan’. The Reverend MacCallum was minister of Heylipol during 1887-1889. He was a key agitator during the Highland Clearances and a chief leader during Tiree’s Crofters’ War. A memorial cairn ‘Tùr Mhic Chaluim’ was erected by the people of Tiree at Kilkenneth-Moss.


Black & white photograph of the Rev. Donald MacCallum (seated) and an unidentified crofter at the cairn at Kilkenneth, which was erected to him by the people of Tiree in 1889 for all he did for them during the Crofters’ War. Digitally enhanced from a copy of the original, which was published in a newspaper from the time.

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