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Donald Munro

Donald Munro

Donald Munro (1818-1890) was born in Tain. He was a practicing solicitor in Stornoway before becoming Chamberlain (or factor) to Sir James Matheson, as which he served from 1857 to 1874.

He held a multiplicity of offices, namely chairman of the parochial boards of the four parishes, vice-chairman of the Stornoway Harbour trustees, director of the Stornoway Gas Company, Water Company, deputy-chairman of the roads trust, law advisor to the parochial boards, chief magistrate and justice of the peace, commissioner of supply and commissioner under the Income Tax Act, notary public, Baron-Baillie of the Lews, commanding officer of the 1st Company of the Ross-shire Artillery Volunteers, and procurator fiscal. This gave him great power over the crofters who had no security of tenure - see the Bernera Riot.

Munro's was tyrannical in his dealings with the crofters and was roundly despised.

After his humiliating experience during cross-questioning by Charles Innes at the trial of the Bernera Rioters, Donald Munro was removed from his position as Chamberlain and stripped of most of these offices. He continued to work as a solicitor and notary public, but died unlamented in much reduced circumstances.

In his defence it was said that all his actions were undertaken for the good of his master Sir James Matheson.

He was unmarried and lived 13 South Beach Street with his sister Eliza; latterly they lived on Kenneth Street.

Title: Donald Munro
Record Type: People
Also Known As: The Shah
Date of Birth: 1818
Date of Death: 1890
Occupation: Chamberlain of the Lews; Factor
Sex: Male
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 40723