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Of the Dean himself little is known beyond the fact that he travelled through the Isles in 1549 on a pastoral visit of inspection. Columbas Church, Eye, Island of Lewis, in the sixteenth century was a Sir Donald Monro and Mr W. Mackenzie, the Highland historian, considers that he "was probably the sixteenth century Archdeacon of the Isles with whose description of the Hebrides the historian is familiar." Many of the names as noted by the Dean suggest that he was either not very familiar with Gaelic or that he was unable to write it with any accuracy.It is also probable that he did not concern himself with recording many of the names accurately and that in several instances the forms he gives were written down by him from memory some time subsequent to his visit.In any case not a few of them are difficult to identify as well as to explain.But the contrast between the glimpses he provides of insular economic and social life in the islands in the sixteenth century and those noted in Martins fuller record towards the end of the seventeenth century cannot fail to attract the interest of the reader. I Captain Hugh Mconal Lawfull son to umq Alexr Mcdonal of pabellseary binds and oblidges me and my heirs to procure from Mistris Anna Macky my mother and from Mr Hugh Munro minister of Durness her husband a full and ample disposition and discharge to Sir Donal Mconal of Slait or his heirs of all they can ask or crave of him after the term of Whitsunday next to come eightie six years either upon the account of the sd mistris Anna Mckys matrimoniall contract or any other transaction or agreement made betwixt the Late Lord Reay her brother (with her consent) and Sir James Mackdonald of Slait, but still wout prejudice of qt is due to her be the sd Sir Donal preceeding the forsd term.His book is a very imperfect performance, and he is erroneous as to many particulars, even some concerning his own Island. D., Kiltarlity, the well-known Clan historians and authors of other well-known and valued works dealing with the history and literature of the Highlands. papers in connection with Duntulm in Martins time writes under date 12th October, 1931, "When recently arranging some old Mac Donald Charter chest papers I came across an obligation by a Captain Hugh Mac Donald, dated 30th March, 1686, and as this Deed was witnessed by Mr. Martin was succeeded at Bealach by his son, Donald III. Kilda," which was published in 1698, and of "A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland," published in 1703.Yet as it is the only book upon the subject, it is very well known. I cannot but have kindness for him, notwithstanding his defects. Martin Martin, in whose work you are interested, I think you may be also interested in seeing a copy of the Deed, which I enclose. Martin was there described as Governor to the Laird of Mac Donald, Younger. Fraser summarises the reference in "Clan Donald" as follows: ----- THE MARTINS OF BEALACH AND DUNTULM. He fought under the Macdonald banner in the campaign of Montrose, and acted shortly thereafter as chamberlain of Troternish. Martin, who was a man of ability and culture, qualified for the medical profession, but he never practised.The present edition, like that of 1884, is a verbatim reprint with all the old curious spellings and names strictly retained.
In 1884 a limited edition of two hundred and fifty copies was published.James Boswell, 16th April, 1774." There is good reason for concluding that Martins Description of the Western Isles was one of the main causes that induced Johnson to visit the Hebrides. Attached to it I have put a facsimile tracing of Martin Martins signature. "," the first of the family of whom there is any trace, is said by tradition to have been a seafaring man, with no fixed place of residence. He married Mary, daughter of Alexander, brother of Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, and by her had: ----- 1. He lived latterly in London, where he died unmarried. 335, 336 we note that, "For some period until 1686 he was governor to Donald Mac Donald, younger of Sleat-afterwards fourth baronet, evidently born ca.In his Journal of their famous tour Boswell states that Dr. No doubt you note the reference in the "Clan Donald" to Martin Martin where he is shown as a descendant of the Martins of Bealach. He received the name by which he became known from his wandering life among the Western Isles in his galley in all seasons and in all kinds of weather. Donald Martin of Bealach was succeeded by his son, Donald IV. 1665, who led the Sleat men at Killiecrankie in 1689 and died in 1718, two years after being forfeited.Copy of Deed from the Macdonald Charter Chest referred to by Mr G. And in case I the sd Captain Hugh fail in procuring the forsd disposition & discharge betwixt the dait hierof and the term of Mertimess next to come eightie six years.Then and in yt case I bind and oblidge me and my heirs not only to give up to the sd Sr Donal or his heirs an contract of Wodsett granted be him to me of the Lands of Dustill more, but Likewayes to renounce the sds Lands in favours of the sd Sr Donal or his forsds, and also to be bound to pay to the sd Sir Donal or his forsds the usuall rent of the sds Lands at the term of mertimess abovmentiond, and ilk year thereafter during my stay there, and yt allenerly in case of failing in the fullfilling of the premises.
170, a copy of the first edition (1703) of Martins work with the following inscription in Boswells hand-writing: ----- "This very book accompanied Mr.