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Deposition of Donald Macaulay (Lewis/Harris boundary dispute) 1805
Deposition of Donald Macaulay (Lewis/Harris boundary dispute) 1805
The following is the testimony of Donald Macaulay at the first hearing of the Lewis/Harris boundary dispute;
Compeared Donald M'Aulay, at Bunavonedder, in the forrest of Harris, a married man, aged eighty years depones, That he was born in Deerascol, near the march betwixt Lewis and Harris on the west, and lived thirty three years there. Depones, That he has lived in other parts of the forest of Harris ever since, except for the space of six years that he lived in Mainish in another part of Harris. Depones, That his father Donald M'Aulay was sub-forester of the forest of Harris at the time of this death, which happened about seventy years ago. Depones, That while he acted in that capacity, he had the charge of keeping the deer in the western half of the forest, from Eeuntom-na-laig Aird to Hushnish. Depones, That it was part of his duty to prevent the people of Lewis from passing over the Harris march, and killing the deer. Being interrogated, If he knows the situation of the march line which his father kept, as above noticed? depones, That he does: That it commenced at the head of Loch Resort: That it followed the tract of the river to a place called Laggan toute Choinaich, at the junction of the two rivulets called Amhuinn a chlair bhig, and Amhuinn a chlair Mhoin, with the Water of Resort, from whence it proceeded in a straight line to Eeuntom-na-laig Aird. Depones, That he saw a stone in the last mentioned place erect, of an oblong form, light blue; which according to general report, had been placed as a march-stone at a remote period. Depones, That it was surrounded by heath and moss, and one end of it inserted in the earth: That it was an uncommon stone, with four regular sides, but broader than thick. Depones, That he does not know when or by whom it was first discovered. Depones, That said stone was taken to Stornoway by Murdo M'Leod, Lewis forester, and his servant John Mackay, at the desire of George M'Kenzie, chamberlain of Lewis; who, having looked at it, returned it by the said persons to be replaced in the station where it formerly stood. Depones, That he has not seen the stone since it was carried to Stornoway, as he has not been upon the spot since. Depones, That he is not so well acquainted with the situation of the march betwixt Lewis and Harris, as it proceeds to Loch Seaforth on the east, but understands it to be at the rivulet called Gil a Mhoil, which falls into Loch Seaforth, at Mol na Herradh; and that the term Mol na Herradh signifies, The Stoney Beach of Harris, which name it has always had. Depones, That he heard that coal was deposited in the line of march as a march-mark. Depones, That he has heard that the march was of old in the same direction as already described. Depones, That he knows that the people of Lewis did not encroach over that part of the march under his father's charge, during the period of his sub-forestership. Being interrogated, If he heard that Malcolm Campbell of Scalpa took from the forester of Lewis his dog and gun? Depones, That he saw and was present when Malcolm Campbell deprived Murdo M'Leod of his dog and gun. Depones, That his reason for doing so was, that Murdo M'Leod had been guilty of poaching on te Harris side of the march on former occasions. Being interrogated for the defender, depones, That he has no perfect recollection of his father's describing the line of march to himself as it runs as formerly described; but that his father had pointed out that line of march to others. Being interrogated, If he can condescend on the name of any particular person who informed him that the line he has already described was the line of march betwixt the two countries? Depones, That Murdo M'Leod, who succeeded his father as sub-forester of Harris, informed the deponent that that was the line of march. Depones, That Murdo M'Leod informed him of this about 40 years ago. Depones, That he had heard the same fact from John and Malcolm Campbell of Scalpay ever since he remembers. Being interrogated, If he was present when the march-stone was conveyed from Eeuntom-na-laig Aird to Stornoway? Depones, That he was not; nor was he present when it was delivered to the chamberlain. Depones, That he heard, that when the stone was ordered to be returned by the factor of Lewis, that it was left for one night at the back of a dyke at Kenresort, and that it was carried again back to its former station. Being interrogated, Whether or not the tacksman of Kenresort, Murdo M'Leod, or his son John, were in the habit of grazing their cattle and building shealings in Glenachlare near Lochchrystle, on the Harris side of the line he has already described? Depones, That they did not; that they neither erected sheallings or grazed their cattle there since ever he recollects. Being interrogated for the pursuer, How he came to learn that the stone was carried to Stornoway? Depones, That he understands it from the common report of the country. And being interrogated, Whether or not he heard any other individuals besides John and Malcolm Campbell and Murdo M'Leod condescend upon the foresaid line as the line of march? Depones, That he heard it pointed out as the line of march betwixt the two countries by every person in the forest of Harris, residing in the neighbourhood of the marches. All which is truth, as he shall answer to God.
Sept 18, 1805
Donald M'Aulay, the preceding witness, began again solemnly sworn, depones, That his uncle, Donald M'Aulay of Brenish, in Lewis, held in tack from Norman M'Leod of Macleod, great-grandfather of the present M'Leod of Macleod, the hills called Binachlair: That his uncle died about 60 years ago. Depones, That the same laird of Macleod renewed the lease of the above hills to Donald Oig M'Aulay of Brenish, the son of the before mentioned Donald M'Aulay. Depones, That the two Donald M'Aulays had successively from M'Leod of Macleod, his half of the fishing of Resort. Being interrogated for the defender, How he came to the knowledge that the two Donald M'aulays held the above mentioned hills from M'Leod as before stated? Depones, That he was informed of the circumstance by the younger Donald M'Aulay; and he has seen their cattle grazing on the premises. Depones, That he does not know whether the said M'Aulays held these hills in virtue of a written tack or verbal agreement. Depones, That the two M'Aulays, while they held these lands from M'Leod, resided in Lewis; and he knows not whether or not they had any other lands in Harris from M'Leod. Upon the pursurer's interrogatory, depones, That he himself has never held lands by the tenor of a written lease, although he has rented lands and occupied them since he came to manhood, but till of late; he likewise held lands from a tacksman. All which is truth, as he shall answer to God