Deforcement in Coigach

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This letter to the editor was published in the 1 November 1853 edition of the The Inverness Advertiser.


A party of emigrants numbering in all 78 souls chiefly from the property of the Marquis and Marchioness of Stafford, left this parish on Monday, the 31st ult., for Australia. Previous to their going on board the Chevalier steamer at Ullapool, which was to carry them to Glasgow, they assembled in the Free Church school-room there, between the hours of six and seven in the morning, to hear a parting address from their excellent and beloved minister, Mr Macleod. From the interest felt by friends and neighbours in those leaving, the school-room was densely crowded, even at that early hour, and there were many obliged to stand outside. After reading the xi. chapter of Isaiah, their attention was called to subjects peculiarly suited to the circumstances in which they were placed. During the address, the concluding prayer, and singing, many were in tears. Mr Macleod was anxious to see them supplied with bibles. We were sorry to hear that they had a very stormy passage, and some detention on their way to Glasgow, in consequence of a slight derangement of the engine, which excited considerable alarm among the passengers. Their sufferings, however, were greatly alleviated, and their different cases well attended to, by the local factor, who accompanied them to Glasgow. They left Glasgow for Liverpool on the 8th, but on their arrival there found that the vessel intended to carry them to their destination was condemned. They are now in the emigration depots at Birkenhead, waiting a vessel to take them away.

The best study of the emigration to Van Diemen's land aboard the Sir Allen McNab was done by the Tasmanian historian, Hugh Campbell, and with his permission is transcribed on this website as a file at corn.htm At the time Hugh wrote his study this article detailing the earliest days of the emigration, and a letter by the Coigach Factor, Kenneth MacKenzie about his unpleasant journey on the first part of their trip were not yet known to him.

Though this article mentions 78 passengers (possibly mistranscribed from 73; blurry page), the passenger list names 68.

This file, and others dealing with history and genealogy of Coigach, links from my homepage at:

Any suggestions for additions or edits please feel free to email me,

Donald MacDonald-Ross, at:

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