the mutineers‘ end

Tolsta marks the end of an unhappy journey. Francois Gautiez an French cook and the English mate Peter Heaman were on board of the ship Jane, commanded by Thomas Johnson. The Jane of Gibraltar was heading for Bahia de Brazil and among the many things she was carrying were also Spanish silver Dollars, a considerable... Continue Reading →

no space by her husband’s grave

St John’s chapel lies in ruins. The 15th century chapel in the Bragar cemetery stands on a much older site of which nothing can be seen any longer, it was a prehistoric settlement mount. This cemetery has a peculiar atmosphere, the many marker stones give it an overcrowded feel, and it certainly is that, crowded.... Continue Reading →

the aftermath

Crosbost cemetery, Isle of Lewis The morning of the first day of the year 1919 dawned but despite the light the day was as dark as a day could be for the islanders. Lewis was in shock, the death toll after the sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men... Continue Reading →

sudden death oddly brought on

Here lies alas! poor Roger Norton, Whose sudden death was odly brought on! Trying one day his corns to mow off, The razor slipped and cut his toe off! The toe, or rather what it grew to, The part then took to mortifying. Which was the cause of Roger's dying. From a Churchyard near Greenock... Continue Reading →

death on the beach

Luskentyre (Losgaintir in Gaelic) is probably the most famous beach in the whole of the Western Isles; it certainly is one of the most spectacular ones with a haunting beauty, endless white sand and sparkling emerald water. What a place to bury the dead! Burying near a beach is standard practice on the Island of... Continue Reading →

death by pownie

Here lies a man o' micht, His name was Donald Downie: He lost his life ae market nicht By fa'in aff his pownie. Aged 37 years Cullen Graveyard, Banffshire   Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh,1990

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 mourning girl’s grave

The last Laird of Foyers was born in 1760. The estate still belonged to the family then because his grandfather had bequeathed it to his son, the last Laird's father, before he joined the Jacobite Rising in 1745. It was therefore safe, most of the other rebel properties in Scotland had been confiscated by the crown.... Continue Reading →

fatal Falkirk

Battle of Falkirk, 22nd July 1298 This is the grave if Sir John Stewart of Bonkyll who died a hero’s death in the Battle of Falkirk where he had fought alongside Sir John de Graeme (buried a few metres away) and William Wallace who never got a burial at all. Sir John commanded the Scottish Archers that... Continue Reading →

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