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Story about Mairi ("ni Raoil") NicNeill, dairy woman to the MacNeill of Barra, 1885

Identifier: Coll-97/CW87/43

Scope and Contents

Story about Mairi ("ni Raoil") NicNeill [Mary MacNeill née MacDonald], dairy woman to the MacNeil of Barra, [Bruairnis/Bruernish, Eòlaigearraidh/Eoligarry, Barraigh/Barra]. The story tells of how, when General Roderick MacNeil was at war in India, the factor 'would not allow her her own mode of feeding the calfs'. When MacNeil returned he asked for Mary but was told by the factor that she had left. MacNeil reproached him saying that his cattle was famous long before a factor ever saw them and told him to have Mary reinstated adding 'se mo thaighsa a dachaidh gu lath bais' [My house is her home until the day she dies]. Mary was brought back to Eoligarry where she supervised the dairymaid and the cowherd until she died of old age. Carmichael notes that Mary was 'full of old lore...old songs and "eolas" and orachan about the cattle'.


  • 1885

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 41 folios ; 18 x 23 cm