Education in Harris in 1794

“There is a parochial school at Rowdill, now attended by 30 poor children, the whole emoluments of which to the schoolmaster may be about 20L per annum.
There is a new school soon to be set up in another district, on the establishment of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. 
The same benevolent and patriotic society have already erected at Rowdilll a seminary of female industry.”
Rev Mr John Macleod, The Statistical Account of Scotland 1794, p380


Three short sentences that are rich with information. We have the location of the Parish school in ‘Rowdill‘, serving a mere 30 children from a population of over two-and-a-half thousand people, and in which nearly 50 years later we find Donald Murray teaching. The Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge’s intention to start a new school ‘in another district‘ the precise location of which I believe had yet to be decided upon. Finally, half a century before the discovery of the ‘Paisley Sisters’, a ‘seminary of female industry‘ had already been established by the Society at ‘Rowdill‘, – a precursor to the Embroidery School, the development of the Stocking Knitting industry, and the ‘Industrial School’, all found in or around An-t-Ob from the 1850s by virtue of the vision of the Countess of Dunmore & Mrs Frances Thomas.

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