Eddrachillis

"EDDRACHILLIS, a parish in county Sutherland, Scotland. Scourie is its post town. It lies open to the Atlantic on the W. coast; its inland boundaries being the parishes of Farr, Durness, Lairg, Creech, and Assynt. Its greatest length is 27 miles, its width 17 miles. The parochial limits include several islands in the vicinity. This parish is in the presbytery of Tongue, and synod of Sutherland and Caithness, in the patronage of the crown. The minister has a stipend of £158. The church, built in 1829, stands near the opening of Loch Inchard. Here are two Free churches, a Society school, and some private schools. This parish, once a part of Durness, is almost wholly a trackless wilderness. The Duke of Sutherland's deer forest occupies a considerable portion. Two sea-lochs indent the parish, and divide it into three districts. It was bought back into the Sutherland family in 1829 front the Mackays, who held it from the Kinnairds of Kinnaird in 1515, into which family it had passed by the Morays in 1440, Richard Moray having it from his brother, the Duke of Sutherland, the original landowner, at the end of the 12th century."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

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Presbyterian / Unitarian
Eddrachillis, Church of Scotland

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

EDDRACHILLIS, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 15 miles (N. N. W.) from Assynt; including the islands of Handa and Scourie, and the late quoad sacra district of Keanlochbervie; and containing 1699 inhabitants. The Celtic name of this place, Eadarda- chaolas, signifies " between two kyles or arms of the sea ", and is descriptive of the situation of the main part of the parish between the kyle of Scow, which separates Eddrachillis from Assynt on the south, and the kyle of Laxford. The parish was anciently part of the barony of Skelbo, and was granted by Hugo Freskyn de Moravia, ancestor of the Duke of Sutherland, in the twelfth century, to his brother. Bishop Gilbert Moray, by whom, in 1235, it was transferred to a third brother, Richard Moray, of Culbyn. About the year 1440, it came to the family of Kinnaird of Kinnaird, by an heiress, Egidia Moray; and in 1515, Andrew Kinnaird disposed of it to John Mackay of Eddrachillis, son of Mackay of Strathnaver, the superiority remaining with the Earls of Sutherland. In 1829, it was restored to the Sutherland family by purchase. So early as 1550, another branch of the Mackays seized the territory of Scourie by displacing the Mc Leods, and located themselves here under the title of Mackays of Scourie. From this family sprang Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay, the famous commander-in-chief in the time of William and Mary, eminent for his skill and bravery, and who fell in the year 1692, shortly after the siege of Namur, where he commanded the British division of the grand army. The PARISH was formerly included in Durness, but was separated in 1726. Its extreme length from north to south is twenty-five miles, its mean breadth seven miles, and it contains an area of about 112,000 acres. It is situated in the angle of the county formed by the Atlantic and Northern Seas, and in its general features, like other Highland districts, is exceedingly wild, rugged, and mountainous, but in some parts highly romantic, and interesting to the tourist. The outline is altogether irregular, being indented by numerous fissures and arms of the sea, and the parish is naturally formed into three parts, namely, the Scourie division, between Loch Glendhu and Loch Laxford; Ceatliramh-garbh, between Loch Laxford and Loch Inchard; and Ashare.

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

ELAN-A-BHRIU, an isle, in the parish of EddraCHiLLis, county of Sutherland. It lies off the western coast, and derives its name, signifying " the Island of the Judge", from the circumstance of the bowels of Judge Morrison of Lewis having been interred here, after his murder by Little John Mac Dhoil Mhich Huishdan. The isle is about four acres in extent, and furnishes good pasture for lands. It is always held by the minister of Eddrachillis, as the gift of the noble family of Mac Kay, Lords Reay.

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

HANDA, an island, in the parish of Eddrachillis, county of Sutherland; containing 65 inhabitants. It is situated off the western coast of the county, and separated from the main land of the parish by a narrow sound; and is about a mile square. On the north, one vast perpendicular rock, or majestic cliff, 600 feet in height, presents its face to the sea, and is the habitation of innumerable sea-fowl during the season of incubation; on the south the isle is much lower, and the ascent gentle and easy. It has some fertile spots, producing corn and hay, but is principally appropriated to sheep-walks. Fishing is the chief employment of the population, who also obtain by fowling, and frequently by daring exploits, great quantities of birds and eggs, as well for disposal to their mainland neighbours, as for their own subsistence. This was once the residence of Little John Mac Dhoil Mhich Huishdan, one of the Macleods of Assynt, and the murderer of Judge Morison, of Lewis, in the reign of James VI.

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

SCOURIE, a village, in the parish of Eddrachillis, county of Sutherland, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from the village of Eddrachillis; containing 108 inhabitants. This place is situated on the western coast of the county, and on a safe and commodious bay, to which it gives name. It contains a good inn, a post-office, the parochial school, and a savings' bank. The road from Dornoch Firth, through Sutherland, terminates here. About the middle of the sixteenth century, a branch of the Mackay family planted themselves at Scourie, under the designation of the " Mackays of Scourie". Of this branch was Lieutenant-general Hugh Mackay, the celebrated commander-in-cliief in the time of William and Mary; he fought against Dundee at the battle of Killiecrankie, and although the fortunes of the day proved adverse, he showed great military skill in his retreat, and retrieved his military reputation by his subsequent successes in Ireland. He was to have been rewarded with a peerage, under the title of Earl of Scourie, but this intention was frustrated by the alleged intrigue of his rival, Mackenzie of Cromarty. This distinguished soldier closed his career in 1 692, shortly after the siege of Namur, where he commanded the British division of the allied army.

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