South Uist Estates History
CLAN RANALD STRONGHOLD
Reginald, 1st of Clanranald, succeeded through his mother Amie mac Ruari in the majority of the old lands of Clann Ruaidhrí. In 1371, his father John confirmed this succession by a charter of these lands; it included the lands of Eigg, Rum, Uist & Harris.
In 1769, the chief of the Macdonalds of Clanranald attempted to forcibly convert his tenants on South Uist to Presbyterianism, threatening to remove them of his lands. This followed in 1772, with over 200 Roman Catholics mainly from the Clanranald estates of South Uist, Barra and Eigg emigrating to Prince Edward Island.
1371 : 1838
1838 : 1944
TURBULANCE & TURMOIL
In 1838 South Uist was sold by the Chief of Clan Ranald to John Gordon of Cluny. This led to a period of turbulance and turmoil across the Islands as he brutally cleared half his tenantry from Uist and Barra across the Atlantic to Canada in 1851 to make way for more profitable sheep. On his death in 1858 the Estate passed to his son Captain John Gordon.
Lady Emily Gordon Cathcart inheritated the Estate in 1878 and was well known for her anti-catholicism, continuing the mass evictions initiated by her father-in-law. She is thought to only have visited the Islands once before her death in 1935.
1944 : 1960
AN ISLAND INVESTOR
By 1944 Lady Gordon Cathcart trustees sold South Uist Estate to Herman Andreae, of Moundsmere Manor in Hampshire. Andreae acquired the island both for sporting purposes and as a speculative investment.
1960 : 2006
A SPORTING SYNDICATE
In the early 1960’s Andreae disposed of the South Uist’s 93,000 acre island to a syndicate of business men and bankers chaired by Colonel D.C. Greig. The members of which were primarily interested in the superlative snipe shooting and sea trout fishing which the island had to offer.
A COMMUNITY BUYOUT
A historic buyout. In December 2006 the island communities of South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula undertook the largest ever community buyout. South Uist Estates is now the largest community owned area in Scotland.
Storas Uibhist is the community owned company that now operates the Estate.