I was doing a little research into some of the smaller isles around Harris when I happened upon an interesting entry from the England census of 1881:
Angus Macrae, 25, Piper (Musician), Newbold Revel Hall, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, b. Ensay, Inverness-shire, Scotland
The Hall had been bought in 1862 by Burslem-born Edward Wood who, in 1869, was the High Sheriff of Warwickshire but had been a Magistrate in Devon two decades earlier.
In 1871, 14 year-old Harris-born Piper Angus Macrae was living in the Farm House of Balranald on North Uist which was home to JP and Farmer Alexander Macdonald, aged 40.
In 1861, an 8 year-old Angus Macrae is living on the Island of Ensay and is the youngest of the six children of Boatbuilder, Christopher Macrae.
Quite what route Angus took in travelling from the tiny island of Ensay, via the Farm in North Uist, to the Justice of the Peace’s home in England is unknown but I always like discovering these unusual instances in the records and thought that I’d share this one with you.
Angus, by the way, is the only person I can find in England who ever gives ‘Ensay’ as their birthplace.
Update: I have been informed by the people at http://carmichaelwatson.blogspot.com/ (who are researching the work of Alexander Carmichael) that Edward Wood was the owner of the Island of Raasay in 1861 which explains why he was employing a Piper from the isles.
I am very grateful to Dr Donald William Stewart for supplying me with this detail.