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The Sergeant Mor of Pabbay

The Sergeant Mor of Pabbay

From Donald Macdonald, Tales and Traditions of the Lews (1954):

Pabbay was the rich fertile island of Dean Munro "wherein there was a sanctuary temple where Macloyd of the Lewis used to go when he wished to be quate or was fearit". 110 years ago [that is, c1840] there were four families living on Pabbay, prominent among them was one of the old soldiers of Uig, the Sergeant Mor, a son of Tormod Mòr Maciver of Beirghe (Reef). These old soldiers were retained by the customs authorities as coast watchers. A ship put into the shelter of Pabbay and the sailors disclosed to the islanders that she was loaded with smuggled whisky. The ship set sail but was becalmed in the Sound of Bernera. The men of Pabbay set off in pursuit and the sergeant shot the captain through the head. Many months later, a rumour arose that the relatives of the dead captain were coming to wreak vengeance on the people of Pabbay. The islanders gathered their possessions and made for the mainland where they were given land by the people of Valtos. It is not clear whether the ship ever came seeking revenge upon the Pabbay people but the island is now used as winter grazing by the Valtos people. The ruined wall of the Sergeant's house is still evident.

Estate of Donald Macdonald

Title: The Sergeant Mor of Pabbay
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Type: Extract From Book
Date: 1840
Record Maintained By: CEU
Subject Id: 38988