SS Dunara Castle 1901 – Port Tarbert, Harris, Sunday 31st March

List of souls on board:

John McDougall, 48, Master, b. Jura
George Macdonald, 36, Mate, b. Coll
William Anderson, 59, Chief Engineer, Cathcart, Lanarkshire
Daniel Currie, 32, Assistant Engineer, b. Glasgow
John Maclean, 30, Boatswain, b. Coll

Duncan Turney, 42, Able Seaman, Kilmoran, Argyll
Neil Mackenzie, 23, Able Seaman, b. Harris
Kenneth Macaulay, 35, Able Seaman, b. Harris
Alexander Campbell, 48, Able Seaman, b. Durnish, Inverness
William McCormack, 26, Able Seaman, Ross of Mull
Dougal Mckinnon, 31, Able Seaman, b. Tiree

Archibald Campbell, 44, Steam Winch Driver, b. Tiree

Henry Cunningham, 25, Fireman, b. Glasgow
Edwin McPhee, 46, Fireman, b. Glasgow
John Hartley, 28, Fireman, b. Glasgow

Donald Mcfarlane, 39, Steward, Waternish, Inverness
Kenneth Campbell, 21, Steward, b. Harris
Jessie MacGregor, 35, Stewardess, b. Kilmorrock, Inverness
John Graham, 32, Cook, b. Glasgow

William Donald, 58, Super Cargo, b. Dalrymple, Ayr

Neil McKay, 50, Crofter and Fisherman, Passenger, b. Harris
Margaret Macleod, 26, Domestic Servant, Passenger, b. North West, Inverness

The final instalment in my tracking of the SS Dunara Castle may lack the notable passengers of previous voyages but Alex Campbell, Able Seaman, remains with us.

Two of his fellows are from Harris, as is one of the Stewards, and the only passengers are a pair of Hearachs too.

I have searched in vain for any missing passengers, for the ship had room for forty-four, but it would appear that there are none.

We now leave the 25 year-old SS Dunara Castle, safely at harbour in Tarbert, in the knowledge that 29 years hence she will be carrying the last inhabitants of St Kilda on their final journey away from home…

SS Dunara Casle – 1891

I mentioned earlier that this vessel appeared thrice in the censuses and have pleasure in presenting the second tidbit for your delectation:

Charles Mckinnon, 45, Master, b. Coll, Argyll
Donald Maclean, 36, Mate, b. Iona, Argyll
Peter Mcgilip, 48, Boatswain, b. Crinan, Argyll

Alex Campbell, 37, Able Seaman, b. Mull, Argyll
Neil Mcinnis, 43, Able Seaman, b. Skye
John Mcdougall, 24, Able Seaman, b. Mull, Argyll
George Macdonald, 25, Able Seaman, b. Coll, Argyll
Archibald Macdonald, 48, Able Seaman, b. Islay, Argyll

Murdo Mcneill, 50, Donkey Engine Driver, b. Barra
John Maclean, 21, Ordinary Seaman, b. Skye
William Donald, 48, Shipping Clerk, b. Dalrymple, Ayr

John Marshall, 33, Chief Engineer, b. Glasgow
Donald Cameron, 34, 2nd Engineer, b. Glasgow
Charles Hume, 30, Fireman, b. Glasgow
Alex Mcalman, 35, Fireman, b. Mull, Argyll
Bernard Mcnamee, 36, Fireman, b. Tyrone, Ireland
John McConnel, 17, Trimmer, b. Glasgow

Alex Kay, 52, Chief Steward, b. Paisley
Charles Macintosh, 29, Steward’s Assistant, b. Portree, Skye
William Allan, 21, Steward’s Assistant, b. Glasgow
John Macintyre, 31, Cook, b. Oban

An McPhie, 26, Domestic Servant, Passenger
John Maclean, 15,
Sir John Carstairs McNeil, 60, Major-General, Equerry to the Queen, Passenger, b. Colonsay
Malcolm McNeil, 51, Visiting Officer Board of Supervision, Passenger
Neil Archibald McNeil, 13, Scholar, Passenger
Susan Carruthers McNeil, 45, Passenger
Ena Erskine McNeil, 16, Scholar, Passenger
Amy Sophia Chancellor, 14, Scholar, Passenger

The avid reader of this blog (should one exist!) will recognise several of the crewmen from 1881.

Although the address is only given as ‘North Harris’ the 1891 Enumerator was rather lacking in precision and we can be sure that the vessel was docked at Tarbert on Sunday 5th April 1891.

Two of the passengers are of particular interest:

Sir John Carstairs McNeil was a holder of the Victoria Cross and his story can be read here:

Malcolm McNeil played a pivotal role in the treatment of poverty in the Highlands and Islands including writing this paper on St Kilda:

‘Alleged destitution in the island of St. Kilda in October 1885. Report of Malcolm McNeill, Inspecting Officer of the Board of Supervision.

He also inspected conditions on Lewis as a result of the Park Deer Raid of 1887, the full story of which event can be found in the Angus Macleod Archive.

His presence on the SS Dunara Castle (the very vessel that would evacuate the last inhabitants of St Kilda nearly 40 years later) at the time of the 1891 census is another of those serendipitous events that makes perusing the past so pleasant.

Some other references to Malcolm McNeil that may be of interest:

SS Dunara Castle

The S.S. Dunara Castle, named after a ruined castle on the north west coast of Mull, was built by Martin Orme. Her maiden voyage was on 21st July 1875.

As well as carrying cargo the Dunara Castle had accommodation for 44 cabin class passengers.

She sailed weekly between Glasgow and the Hebrides in the summer months, and during the high season the trips were extended to St. Kilda.

She was used in the evacuation of St Kilda residents in 1930.

Most of the crew were Gaelic speakers from the highlands and islands, with three generations of one family serving on the steamer.

(Source: )

On the evening of Sunday 3rd April 1881 she was docked in East Tarbert, Harris with the following crew and passengers aboard:

Archibald McEwen, 46, Master, b. Craignish, Arygll
Duncan Baxter, 47, Mate, b. Argyllshire
Dougald McQuicken, 29, Boatswain, b. Argyllshire

William Reid, 44, Chief Engineer, b. St Johnstone
William Galbraith, 23, 2nd Engineer, b. Stranraer

Malcolm Macfaden, 36, Seaman, b. Tiree
Donald Lamont, 32, Seaman, b. Skye
John Macarthur, 29, Seaman, b. Iona
Alexander Campbell, 29, Seaman, b. Bunessan(?), Argyll
Norman McCaskill, 32, Seaman, b. Durinish
Alexander Mcrae, 34, Seaman, b. South Uist
Donald Mcfaden, 28, Seaman, b. Tiree
Donald McArthur, 20, Seaman, b. Tiree

William Hazzeen, 45, Winchdriver, b. Holland

John Brown, 56, Fireman, b. Glasgow
John Dunlop, 28, Fireman, b. Ireland
William Beattie, 25, Fireman, b. Ireland
John Brown, 20, Fireman, b. Kirkintilloch

Alexander Kay, 44, Steward, b. Paisley
Charles Macintosh, 22, Steward, b. Portree
Alexander Smart 19, Steward, b. Glasgow
Alexander Roberts, 14, Steward, b. Port Glasgow
Agnes Donaldson, 22, Stewardess, b. Glasgow
John Mckinnon, 25, Cook, Oban
William Donald, 28, Clerk, Dalrymple

Angus Maclean, 41, Seaman Passenger, b. North Uist
Donald Nicolson, 35, Minister Free Church Passenger, b. Barras, Ross-shire
Mary Macaskill, 38, Servant Passenger, b. Durinish
Ann Campbell, 19, Servant Passenger, b. Durinish
Malcolm C Campbell, 21, Divinity Student Passenger, b. Durinish

(By chance, she was also in Harris at the time of the following two censuses in 1891 and 1901)

Actually, it transpires that her presence was a direct consequence of Sir E Scott’s purchase of the north Harris Estate.