Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

John Macleod. Glass's uncle leaves for America.

John Macleod(Iain mhic Iain 'Ic Iain) was born in Garenin on the 4th May,1815(confirmed by church records at his birth place) and was my grandfather,Donald Macleod's uncle (ie.Glass,5 Dalmore).Before crofts were lotted,Garenin was a small hamlet of houses occupying an area below the present road called the "Sithean",and the people were almost all Macleods.John Macleod did what many others did,in making illicit whisky for personal consumption and possibly resale.In this endeavour he had a partner,a tinker from the shore encampment in the village.Their operation was located on the open moor on the Dalmore side,where it would be easy to see the "gaugers"(excise men)from along way off.They had a couple of peat fires burning,one under the large cauldron of boiling barley mash,the other heating the copper still to which the "worm" was attached.
John and his tinker pal(at other times he worked tin)used to help themselves to the first liquor dripping from the copper coil,and a powerful sensation that was,especially out there on the wind blown moor,with a scattering of snow on the ground.They began to argue over something(perhaps something relating to the business),but crazy with drink,they fought furiously,until John lifted the tinker bodily and threw him into the boiling cauldron of mash.The poor man managed to climb out of the pot and began to roll himself on the snowy ground.Pieces of his skin were later seen at the site of the affray.John must have sobered enough to realise what he had done and,running down to the village,he told his people.They immediately left to see to the man,and carried him home to their house in a blanket.They treated his burns by smearing butter over extensive areas of his body and with their ministrations they saved the poor man's life.He was never again fit to work,but my family looked after him and his family in their tent by the shore.
John must have thought that the tinker would die,that day, and that he might be charged with murder.He was told that the police would by now be on their way over from Stornoway,and was advised to quit Lewis that very night.He never saw any police as he left the island for the last time,and travelled to Stromness in Orkney,where he signed on with the Hudson Bay Company. He shipped out for Canada on the "Prince Rupert IV." in 1837 arriving in Quebec,aged 22 years. He never did return to Lewis again.

1 comment:

Stuart Maclennan said...

hi uncle iain, its stuart here. Just thought i'd say that we all love reading about Dalmore and the stories and history that you write about. Keep up the good work, Kirsteen and I are planning to come through and see you later this week.

Stuart x