See also:group of islands off the west
See also:coast of Scotland . They are situated between 550 35' and 58° 30' N. and 5° 26' and 8° 40' W . Formerly the
See also:term was held to embrace not only all the islands off the Scottish western coast, including the islands in the Firth of
See also:Clyde, but also the peninsula of Kintyre, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Rathlin, off the coast of
See also:Antrim . They have been broadly classified into the
See also:Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides, the Minch and Little Minch dividing the one group from the other . Geologically, they have also been differentiated as the
See also:Gneiss Islands and the
See also:Trap Islands . The Outer Hebrides being almost entirely composed of gneiss the epithet suitably serves them, but, strictly speaking, only the more northerly of the Inner Hebrides may be distinguished as Trap Islands . The chief islands of the Outer Hebrides are
See also:Harris (or Long
See also:Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Barra, the Shiants, St Kilda and the Flannan Isles, or Seven Hunters, an uninhabited group, about 20 M . N.W. of
See also:Head in Lewis . Of these the Lewis portion of Long Island, the Shiants and the Flannan belong to the
See also:county of
See also:Ross and Cromarty, and the
See also:remainder to
See also:shire . The
See also:total length of this group, from Barra Head to the Butt of Lewis, is 130 m., the breadth varying from less than r m. to 3o m . The Inner Hebrides are much more scattered and principally include
See also:Skye, Small Isles (Canna, Sanday,
See also:Rum, Eigg and Muck),
See also:Mull, Ulva, Staffa,
See also:Iona, Kerrera, the
See also:Slate Islands (Seil, Easdale, Luing, Shuna, Torsay),
See also:Colonsay, Oronsay, Scarba, Jura,
See also:Islay and Gigha . Of these Skye and Small Isles belong to Inverness-shire, and the
See also:rest to
See also:Argyllshire .
The Hebridean islands exceed 500 in number, of which one-fifth are inhabited . Of the inhabited islands 11 belong to Ross and Cromarty, 47 to Inverness-shire, and 44 to Argyllshire, but of this total of 102 islands, one-third have apopulation of only ro souls, or fewer, each . The population of the Hebrides in 1901 numbered 78,947 (or 28 to the sq. m.), of whom 41,031 were
See also:females, who thus exceeded the
See also:males by ro%, and 22,733 spoke Gaelic only and 47,666 Gaelic and
See also:English . The most populous island is Lewis-with-Harris (32,160), and next to it are Skye (13,883), Islay (68J7) and Mull (4334)• Of the total
See also:area of 1,Soo,000 acres, or 2812 sq. m., only one-ninth is cultivated, most of the
See also:surface being moorland and
See also:mountain . The
See also:annual rainfall, particularly in the Inner Hebrides, is heavy (42.6 in. at Stornoway) but the temperature is high, averaging for the
See also:year 47° F . Potatoes and turnips are the only
See also:root crops that succeed, and
See also:barley and oats are grown in some of the islands .
See also:Sheep-farming and
See also:cattle-raising are carried on very generally, and, with the
See also:fisheries, provide the
See also:main occupation of the inhabitants, though they profit not a little from the tourists who
See also:flock to many of the islands through-out the summer . The
See also:industries include distilling, slate-
See also:quarrying and the manufacture of tweeds, tartans and other woollens . There are extensive
See also:deer forests in Lewis-with-Harris, Skye, Mull and Jura . On many of the islands there are prehistoric remains and antiquities within the Christian
See also:period . The more populous islands are in
See also:regular communication with certain points of the mainland by means of steamers fromGlasgow,
See also:Oban and Mallaig . The
See also:Church has a strong hold on the poeple, but in a few of the islands the
See also:Roman Catholics have a
See also:great following .
In the larger inhabited islands
See also:schools have been established . The islands unite with the counties to which they belong in returning members to parliament (one for each shire) .
See also:History.—The Hebrides are mentioned by
See also:Ptolemy under the name of "E(3ovta,c and by Pliny under that of Hebudes, the
See also:modern spelling having, it is said, originated in a misprint . By the Norwegians they were called Sudreyjar or
See also:Southern Islands . The Latinized
See also:form was Sodorenses, preserved to modern times in the title of the
See also:bishop of Sodor and Man . The
See also:original inhabitants seem to have been of the same
See also:race as those settled on the mainland . In the 6th century Scandinavian hordes poured in with their
See also:idolatry and lust of
See also:plunder, but in
See also:time they adopted the language and faith of the islanders . Mention is made of incursions of the vikings as early as 793, but the principal immigration took place towards the end of the 9th century in the early
See also:part of the reign of
See also:Harald Fairhair,
See also:king of Norway, and consisted of persons driven to the Hebrides, as well as to
See also:Orkney and
See also:Shetland, to
See also:escape from his tyrannous
See also:rule . Soon afterwards they began to make incursions against their
See also:country, and on this account Harald fitted out an expedition against them, and placed Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides and the Isle of Man under
See also:government . The chief seat of the Norwegian
See also:sovereignty was Colonsay . About the year 1095 Godred Crovan, king of
See also:Dublin, Man and the Hebrides, died in Islay . His third son, Olaf, succeeded to the government about 1103, and the daughter of Olaf was married to Somerled, who became the founder of the
See also:dynasty known as Lords of the Isles .
Many efforts were made by the Scottish monarchs to displace the Norwegians .
See also:Alexander II. led a
See also:fleet and army to the shores of Argyllshire in 1249, but he died on the island of Kerrera . On the other
See also:Haakon IV., king of Norway, at once to restrain the independence of his jarls and to keep in check the ambition of the Scottish
See also:kings, set
See also:sail in 1263 on a great expedition, which, however, ended disastrously at
See also:Largs .
See also:Magnus, son of Haakon, concluded in 1266 a peace with the Scots, renouncing all claim to the Hebrides and other islands except Orkney and Shetland, and Alexander III. agreed to give him a sum of 4000 merks in four yearly payments . It was also stipulated that
See also:Margaret, daughter of Alexander, should be betrothed to
See also:Eric, the son of Magnus, whom she married in 1281 . She died two years later, leaving an only daughter afterwards known as the Maid of Norway . The race of Somerled continued to rule the islands, and from a younger son of the same potentate sprang the lords of Lorne, who took the patronymic of Macdougall .
See also:Macdonald of Islay, who died about 1386, was the first to adopt the title of
See also:Lord of the Isles . He was one of the most potent of the island princes, and was married to a daughter of the
See also:earl of Strathearn, afterwards Robert II . His son, Donald of the Isles, was memorable for his
See also:rebellion in support of his claim to the earldom of Ross, in which, however, he was unsuccessful . Alexander, son of Donald, resumed the hereditary warfare against the Scottish
See also:crown; and in 1462 a treaty was concluded between Alexander's son and successor John and
See also:Edward IV. of England, by which John, his son John, and his
See also:cousin Donald Balloch, becamebound to assist King Edward and
See also:James, earl of
See also:Douglas, in subduing the
See also:kingdom of Scotland . The
See also:alliance seems to have led to no active operations .
In the reign of James V. another John of Islay resumed the title of Lord of the Isles, but was compelled to surrender the dignity . The
See also:glory of the lordship of the isles—the insular sovereignty—had departed . From the time of
See also:Bruce the Campbells had been gaining the ascendancy in
See also:Argyll . The Macleans, Macnaughtons, Maclachlans, Lamonts, and other
See also:ancient races had sunk before this favoured
See also:family . The lordship of Lorne was wrested from the Macdougalls by Robert Bruce, and their extensive possessions, with
See also:Castle, bestowed on the king's relative,
See also:Stewart, and his descendants, afterwards lords of Lorne . The Macdonalds of Sleat, the
See also:direct representatives of Somerled, though driven from Islay and deprived of supreme power by James V., still kept a sort of insular state in Skye . There were also the Macdonalds of Clanranald and Glengarry (descendants of Somerled), with the powerful houses of Macleod of Dunvegan and Macleod of Harris, M`Neill of Barra and Maclean of Mull . Sanguinary feuds continued throughout the 16th and 17th centuries among these
See also:rival clans and their dependent tribes, and the turbulent spirit was not subdued till a comparatively
See also:recent period . James VI. made an abortive endeavour to colonize Lewis .
See also:William III. and
See also:Queen Anne attempted to subsidize the chiefs in
See also:order to preserve tranquillity, but the
See also:wars of Montrose and Dundee, and the Jacobite insurrections of 1715 and 1745, showed how futile were all such efforts . It was not till 1748, when a decisive
See also:blow was struck at the power of the chiefs by the abolition of heritable jurisdictions, and the
See also:appointment of sheriffs in the different districts, that the arts of peace and social improvement made way in these remote regions . The
See also:change was great, and at first not unmixed with evil .
See also:system of management and high rents were imposed, in consequence of which numbers of the tacksmen, or large tenants, emigrated to North
See also:America . The exodus continued for many years . Sheep-farming on a large scale was next introduced, and the crofters were thrust into villages or barren corners of the
See also:land . The result was that, despite the numbers who entered the army or emigrated to
See also:Canada, the standard of
See also:civilization sank
See also:lower, and the population multiplied in the islands . The
See also:people came to subsist almost entirely on potatoes and
See also:herrings; and in 1846, when the potato blight began its ravages, nearly universal destitution ensued—embracing, over the islands generally, 70% of the inhabitants . Temporary
See also:relief was administered in the shape of employment on roads and other
See also:works; and an emigration fund being raised, from 4000 to 5000 of the people in the most crowded districts were removed to
See also:Australia . Matters, however, were not really mended, and in 1884 a royal commission reported upon the
See also:condition of the crofters of the islands and mainland . As a result of their inquiry the Crofters' Holdings
See also:Act was passed in 1886, and in the course of a few years some improvement was evident and has since been sustained . AUTHoRTTIES.—Martin
See also:Martin's Description of the Western Islands of Scotland (1703); T .
See also:Pennant's Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides (1774); James
See also:Boswell's Tour to the Hebrides with
See also:Johnson, LL.D . (1898); John Macculloch's
See also:Geological Account of the Hebrides (1819) ; Hugh
See also:Miller's Cruise of the " Betsy " (1858) ; W . A .
See also:Smith's Lewisiana, or
See also:Life in the Outer Hebrides (1874); Alexander Smith, A Summer in Skye (1865); Robert
See also:Buchanan, The Bebrid Isles (1883) ; C . F .
See also:Cumming, In the Hebrides (1883) ;
See also:Report o the Crofters' Commission (1884); A . Goodrich-Freer, Oute' Isles (1902); and W . C .
See also:Mackenzie, History of the Outer Hebrides (19o3) . Their history under Norwegian rule is given in the Chronica regum Manniae et insularum, edited, with learned notes, from the MS. in the
See also:British Museum by
See also:Professor P . A . Munch of
See also:Christiania (186o) .
EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
HEBRON (mod. Khulzl er-Rahman, i.e. " the friend of...
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