William Daniell's journeys around Skye, Raasay and the Moray Coast in 1815

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Part of the Isle of Rum

Portree on the Isle of Skye

Loch Cruisk near Loch Scavig

Castle Broichin on the Isle of Raasay

Quotations from the text

With original spellings

Walter Scott’s advice to Daniell on his itinerary in Skye
Isle of Sky. Go into Loch Slapin & land at Macalisters cave which see - After this do not fail to coast the island and go into Loch Scavig - it is divided at the bottom of the bay by a small headland, keep the north side of the head land & land where a torrent breaks down from the land - five minutes walk will conduct you to the most astonishing piece of scenery.
Alexander Nicolson on the break up of the Clan system
We have seen how the chiefs were being slowly, but surely, transformed from patriarchs to mere parasites on their clan. The old order was failing to interest them, for they were carried away by the glamour of the new.
James Boswell quoting Dr Johnson’s views on the highland chiefs
Sir, the Highland chiefs should not be allowed to go further south than Aberdeen. A strong minded man, like Sir James Macdonald, may be improved by an English education; but in general, they will be tamed into insignificance
William Daniell on a large catch of whales in Isleornsay
.....one of the headmost rushed upon the beach, and the shoal, consisting of seventy-six whales of various sizes , the largest 30 feet in length, and the smallest six or seven, were taken.
William Daniell on the people he met in Skye
Their speech is in a great measure free from the inflexions peculiar to the dialect of their countrymen in the east of Scotland; so much so indeed, that if an inhabitant of Skye were conversing in any circle of the metropolis, he would be taken for an Englishman.
William Daniell on the state of the roads on Skye
It may be observed generally, without exaggeration, that the roads in Skye are equal to the best turnpike-roads in Great Britain.
Dr John MacCulloch on asking for directions on Skye
The fact is, that the mile is out of its place in the Highlands; it is an unknown quantity. In the Lowlands, it is double that of England; as the Highlander must, from his very nature, answer every question, a certain number of miles is named at hazard, and the bitty forms a mental reservation for all possible and probable errors.
William Daniell on MacNab’s Inn in Portree
The house there situated is the principal inn of Portree, celebrated twenty years ago for its pre-eminence in dirtiness, a distinction which at the present day it has not altogether forfeited.
Walter Scott
23d August 1814. --- Wake under the castle of Dunvegan, in the Loch of Folliart. I had sent a card to the laird of Macleod in the morning, who came off before we were dressed, and carried us to his castle to breakfast…………
William Daniell on entering Loch Scavaig
Even with the advantage of bright and clear weather, the frowning grandeur of the savage and sterile scene spread a gloom and over the spirits, which, for a time, was indescribably oppressive. It seemed as if nature had destined this spot for a solitude, which should defy the cheering influence of cultivation, and for ever mock the gladdening smile of the summer’s sun.
William Daniell on Loch Coruisk
What might be the impression produced by such a scene on the mind of a solitary wanderer, it would perhaps be painful to conjecture; for, even in this cheerful company, fully intent on a pleasant excursion, ‘with all appliances and means to boot’, the predominant feeling at present partook rather of the pensieroso than the allegro; and it required some effort on the part of each individual to buoy up and promote the general hilarity.
Walter Scott on finding the door into the Spar Cave in Strathaird was locked
We therefore, with regret, resolved to scale the wall, in which attempt, by the assistance of a rope and some ancient acquaintance with orchard breaking, was easily succeeded.
William Daniell comparing a social evening in London with one on Raasay
Were it necessary to exemplify these opposite characteristics, in the way of contrast, it would be sufficient to allude to the sedate and business-like solemnity of one of our own whist parties, and to the active and frolicsome hilarity of a highland reel.
Dr John MacCulloch on visiting Raasay
But only imagine my utter confusion of mind and body, when suddenly I found and felt myself in an elegant room, round which were arranged some twenty young ladies, with their white muslims, and feathers, and all things befitting, like flowers in a green house, breathing sweets.
Dr John MacCulloch on visiting Brochel castle on Raasay
This is, indeed, the garden of Rasay; and if the ancient seat of this ancient family is neither very convenient nor very capacious, it is by much the most remarkable in the whole catalogue of Highland castles.