41498: Rev David Watson

David Watson, born in Croy, Inverness-shire, was a son of William Watson and was married to Margaret Mackay from from Farr, Sutherlandshire. They had four children: William 1843, David 1845 (both born in Edderton), Alexander 1851 (born in Edinburgh) and Janet 1855 (born in Uig).

Rev Watson was appointed Church of Scotland minister in Uig in 1845, the first after the Disruption which saw the previous minister, Alexander Macleod, and all but two of the congregation leave the Established Church to form the Free Church at Miavaig, Uig. Watson lived with his family at Baile na Cille manse and his church was the large new one just up the road, but he struggled throughout his time in Uig to gather a congregation and there was no regular kirk session in his time.

Apparently was frequently at odds with his neighbours and with the Chamberlains of the Lewis, both John Munro Mackenzie, as Mackenzie’s diary attests, and subsequently Donald Munro. His mental health was clearly poor and he sought leave of absence for 27 months from May 1853, which was granted.

The minister was found hanged in an outbuilding in 1856 and his death certificate notes "suicide by hanging". Local tradition maintains that he was discovered by a maid, who ran over to Crowlista where a prayer meeting was in progress to raise help. He is buried at Baile na Cille cemetery.

His son William was headmaster in the Parish School, Keose from 1858-1860 and subsequently at Cross; he went on to be ordained as a minister as well. Alexander became a physician.

Record Type:
Date Of Birth:
Date of Death:
11 May 1856
Brothers Keeper Reference:
CEU 3175
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