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Roderick Murray

Roderick Murray

Roderick (1765-1857) was the son of John Murray; it is not clear where the family were living at the time of his birth, but he may have come from Ness.

He married Mary Smith. 

In around 1798 Roderick was drinking, in Stornoway, with Donald Murray, who was also from Tolsta, and the pair were tricked into putting their crosses on a sheet of paper on which their name had been written. Only afterwards did the two friends realise that this cross meant they had enlisted into the Seaforth Militia. They quickly headed back to Tolsta and, rather than sleeping in his own house that night, Roderick is said to have taken refuge in a shallow cleft in Ben Garry: which then became known as Sgor Ruairidh. When the officers appeared the following day Roderick gave himself up and was marched out of the village with his friend. 

Roderick was in the Seaforth Highlanders for 21 years. He served in the Napoleonic Wars and was overseas for a long period. In his absence his wife, Mary, assumed he was dead and had twins, a boy and a girl, with Alexander Campbell of Tong. 

In around 1818 Roderick Murray was discharged, with a pension, and returned to Lewis and to his wife. Having no children of his own, he adopted Mary's twins.

In 1820 he is listed as a sub-tenant in Old South Tolsta Tack.

In 1830, when the township was broken into crofts, he obtained 18 Old South Tolsta. 

In the 1851 croft relottings Roderick obtained 19 North Tolsta. He died a few years later.


Title: Roderick Murray
Record Type: People
Also Known As: Ruairidh Pensioner; Ruairidh Saighdear
Date of Birth: 1765
Date of Death: 02-03-1857
Occupation: Soldier
Sex: Male
Bk Reference: CET 1028
Record Maintained By: CET
Subject Id: 91766