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TITLE
John Mackay, C.E., J.P., Hereford
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_467_P284
DATE OF IMAGE
1897
CREATOR
Rev Adam Gunn, MA & John Mackay (eds)
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31255
KEYWORDS
clearances
Crofters' Commission
John Mackay, C.E., J.P., Hereford

John MacKay was a native of Rogart, Sutherland, and claimed descent from the Abrach MacKays. He was educated locally and became proficient in Latin, Greek and Gaelic, the teaching of which was banned at that time. At age 20 he went to work in the construction of the railway system in France and by 24 he was a superintendent on a section of the Dieppe line. He returned to Britain in 1848 and became a sub-contractor, constructing a line on the Great Northern Railway. This was followed by further engineering work at home and abroad including the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway and the Sambre and Meuse Railway in Belgium.

Despite his travels he took every opportunity to revisit his native Sutherland and keep abreast of its social and economic circumstances. In 1883 he gave evidence before the Napier Crofters' Commission where he presented eye-witness accounts, which he had arranged to be taken, of the Sutherland evictions. These statements were taken down in Gaelic, translated into English, and read to the declarant again in Gaelic and English in the presence of witnesses who attested them, and who understood both languages.

In 1890, he spoke before the Highlands and Islands Harbour Commission which went on to construct several piers and harbours in the area. He also delivered several papers on the place names of Sutherland to the Gaelic Society of Inverness and held the highest positions in the Highland Association (Commun Gaidhealach), the Gaelic Society of London and the Clan MacKay Society. He was also a Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire.

This image is from 'Sutherland and the Reay Country' edited by Rev Adam Gunn & John Mackay, 1897, to which he contributed

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John Mackay, C.E., J.P., Hereford

clearances; Crofters' Commission;

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

John MacKay was a native of Rogart, Sutherland, and claimed descent from the Abrach MacKays. He was educated locally and became proficient in Latin, Greek and Gaelic, the teaching of which was banned at that time. At age 20 he went to work in the construction of the railway system in France and by 24 he was a superintendent on a section of the Dieppe line. He returned to Britain in 1848 and became a sub-contractor, constructing a line on the Great Northern Railway. This was followed by further engineering work at home and abroad including the Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway and the Sambre and Meuse Railway in Belgium.<br /> <br /> Despite his travels he took every opportunity to revisit his native Sutherland and keep abreast of its social and economic circumstances. In 1883 he gave evidence before the Napier Crofters' Commission where he presented eye-witness accounts, which he had arranged to be taken, of the Sutherland evictions. These statements were taken down in Gaelic, translated into English, and read to the declarant again in Gaelic and English in the presence of witnesses who attested them, and who understood both languages.<br /> <br /> In 1890, he spoke before the Highlands and Islands Harbour Commission which went on to construct several piers and harbours in the area. He also delivered several papers on the place names of Sutherland to the Gaelic Society of Inverness and held the highest positions in the Highland Association (Commun Gaidhealach), the Gaelic Society of London and the Clan MacKay Society. He was also a Justice of the Peace for Herefordshire.<br /> <br /> This image is from 'Sutherland and the Reay Country' edited by Rev Adam Gunn & John Mackay, 1897, to which he contributed