Thursday, 5 May 2011

Napier witnesses: Malcolm Mcphail

Malcolm Mcphail gave evidence to Lord Napier during the Commission's session at Barvas on 6 June 1883. He represented the people of South Shawbost.

In the 1881 census, there are two men named Malcolm Mcphail in the Carloway district, but the corresponding records in the 1871 census confirm that it was Malcolm Mcphail of South Shawbost, married to Anne, who had spoken to Lord Napier. He was a crofter, aged 65 in 1881, with a wife aged 70.
A decade earlier, we find the couple with their children Mary (29) and Murdo (a sub teacher, aged 20). In 1861, we also find sons John (15) and Robert (13). The family is found complete in the 1851 census, although their ages do not correspond to a passage of 10 years. Malcolm and Anne first appear in the census of 1841, aged 25 and 30, with their eldest child, Mary, aged 1.

In 1891, we find Malcolm and Ann at Uig Manse, as a retired crofter. They are living with their son John (47) and daughter Mary (49). Also present is John's niece Catherin Smith (49) and a number of farm and domestic servants.

Malcolm passed away on 18 January 1898 aged 80, marked as the widower of Ann (nee Macleod), who died in 1894 aged 66. His parents were Duncan and Margaret. He had suffered rheumatic fever for a year. His son John reported the death. Malcolm died at Balnakille in the district of Uig. His occupation is noted as missionary.

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