the disemboweled judge

The clan Morrison was strong on the Isle of Lewis, mainly in the area around Ness and Barvas. They held the hereditary office of brieve, meaning they were the judges in the area; a station of absolute power but not always absolute integrity. One John Morrison, brieve of Lewis, had come to the conclusion that... Continue Reading →

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smoked out

smoked out One day, long in the past, sometime between the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, the Morrisons of Ness were resting in the mighty Dun Carloway, cattle grazing peacefully outside. It was summer and the days were long, birdsong filled the air. But peace was evanescent and this was... Continue Reading →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

the warrior chief

From the first Viking raids right up to the middle of the 17th century Gairloch was nothing but a big battlefield.  First the Norsemen against then Scots, then the Mackenzies, the McLeod, and the MacDonalds among each other, fighting for power and ownership,  retaliating attacks, avenging murders, killing rivals. Many died a brutal death here.... Continue Reading →

historic murder comic

There are many Pictish stones in Moray, most of them stand lonely in some field or other somewhere along the roadside, often fenced-in with a small sign giving a few an explanations. They usually do not differ very much to the untrained eye, prior knowledge of Pictish symbolism often helps. The Sueno stone is an... Continue Reading →

deadly woman

This is an old and bloody story, told among the people of Brig o’ Turk about a brave Scottish woman fighting an English soldier. The woman was one Ellen Stewart or Stuart, and she defended herself and the other women of the glen in a true Highlands way. Ellen Stewart’s great grandson, who lived in Brig... Continue Reading →

the tiger that would not be buried in Brechin

The Lindsays were a very popular family in the 15th century, influential with substantial property in Angus and the Mearns. For generations they were locked in a feud with the Ogilvies and their supporters. But the Lindsays had an even more powerful enemy – the King. tiger and king James II of Scotland was monarch... Continue Reading →

Hill of blood, Dunfallandy       

Most people will travel to Dunfallandy to see the Pictish stone. But a far more bloody tale tells the burial enclosure right next to the ancient marker of the Picts. The graveyard is not signposted for it is the private burial enclosure of the Fergussons of Dunfallandy. There has been an early chapel on this... Continue Reading →

killed on wedding day

The murder of John Stewart, Lord of Lorn on his wedding day, the killing of his murderer Alan MacDougall in battle and a graveyard for the line of the legitimized bastard – the dramatic birth of the Stewarts of Appin.  At the beginning of the Clan Stewart of Appin was lust, maybe even love. It... Continue Reading →

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