Skip to main content

Custom and story entitled 'Souming', 15 December 1894

Identifier: Coll-97/CW1/55

Scope and Contents

Custom and story written down by John Ewen MacRury, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula entitled 'Souming' [number and type of stock an individual croft can graze on a common grazings] describing the ages at which cows were included in the 'leibhidh' [levy], how in 1810 Lord MacDonald and MacCoinnich Bodhar of Lewis [MacKenzie of Seaforth, Eilean Leòdhais/Isle of Lewis] introduced new rules while Clanranald had no souming until 1820. MacRury states that in 1830 his grandfather had to send five heifers to Barra [Barraigh/Isle of Barra] from Carinish [Cairinis, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist] 'as Lord MacDonald would not grant on any account grazing to any person and not only that but other tenants who was (sic) short of full souming were strictly prohibited from giving it for full value to their neighbours.' He notes the Beinn Mhor a chinn-a-deas [Beinn Mhòr/Ben More, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist] was open to all 'even people from Mull used to send cattle & horses there and take them away without paying a fraction for them.' MacRury states, 'Under these circumstances the tenants who were unsuccessful in rearing stock were not benefited and those who were more lucky were handicaped in increasing their fortune in an honest way.'


  • 15 December 1894

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 114 folios ; 14 x 20 cm