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Murdo Macrae

Murdo Macrae

Murdo Macrae (1857-1945) spent his entire life as a stalker and keeper. Born at Clyne in Sutherland, he began his career in his native county before moving south to Kintail in the heart of Ross-Shire stalking country. When he was nineteen years of age in 1876, he crossed the Minch to the Island of Lewis to become an underkeeper and stalker with Sir James Matheson on the 70,000 acre Park estate, then managed as a sheep farm with shootings. The sporting rights were let to Alfred Bonham-Carter of London, Referee for Private Bills in the House of Commons.

A year after his appointment, in November 1887, Murdo was faced with one of the most challenging situations in his life when hundreds of impoverished crofters marched into the Park forest carrying guns, sails, ropes and bags of meal and began to enact a traditional deer drive in protest at the failure of the proprietor, Lady Matheson, to allow them to have some of the afforested land for new crofts. At the High Court in Edinburgh in January 1888, he was obliged to stand up in court and give evidence to the Solicitor General for Scotland.

Murdo was allowed to continue living on Eishken Estate until his death in 1945. His place as head stalker and keeper was taken by his son, Duncan Macrae. He in turn, was succeeded by his son Tommy Macrae. Christopher Macrae, Tommy's son now heads the Eishken stalking team, one hundred and five years after the family first arrived on the Estate.

Title: Murdo Macrae
Record Type: People
Date of Birth: 1857
Date of Death: 07-01-1945
Occupation: Gamekeeper
Sex: Male
Bk Reference: CECL 5022
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 29352