A Place to Call Home

In 2017 when you could still travel outside Australia’s borders, Kate and I had 3 weeks touring Scotland, England, Paris and Berlin. I loved every minute of it and cant wait to go again when COVID is under control. The first place we visiting was the Isle of Skye as this is where some of my family came from.

This is Uig, on The Isle of Skye. I wanted to go as this is where Duncan and Mary Campbell came from in 1852. They are my great, great, great grandparents and were the parents of Catherine Campbell who married Henry Julius Mueller in 1876.

Duncan and Mary were victims of the Highland Clearances and despite them coming from one of the remotest spots in the UK, quite a bit is known about them.

He was a shoe maker and they lived in Uig. They were supposedly destitute and homeless when they were collected by the HIES (Highland and Islander Emigration Society) and put on the Allison to voyage to Port Phillip Bay.

The resettlement scheme was set up with donations from prominent Londoners including  Queen Victoria and was run by Charles Trevelyan Assistant Treasurer (notorious in Ireland as the man that oversaw the Famine).  They were pretty much motivated by a ethnocentric attitudes to the Celts, laissez faire politics and the overarching belief in their god. Racism, economic policy and religious fervour – a deadly mix or at least it is for the victim.

I cant see Duncan making anything from repairing shoes considering everybody was starving so forced or not the resettlement was an opportunity for them and their children who all survived the journey.

But Uig although very beautiful and rugged was a very bleak place the days we visited.

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