Highland and Island Emigration
The HIES Ship List information was generously
William "Bill" Clarke.
The passengers were assisted by the Highland and Island Emigration Society, the records of the Society lists the number of people as being 298. Of this number, there was a party of 36 from St.Kilda who had left that island on a sailing ship owned by Mrs. Sarah MacDonald and went to Skye via Harris. They spent about a fortnight on Skye before boarding a steamer for Glasgow, where they spent 24 hours before boarding another steamer for Liverpool. Here they spent nearly four weeks in the immigration depot there.
The Inverness Advertiser on the 2nd of August 1853 had this to say about the people from St. Kilda; "Their appearance and their gentle and uncomplicated manners attracted considerable attention when they arrived in Portree en route to join the Priscilla at Liverpool, a feeling which deepened when it was discovered that their motive to emigrate was less the hope of bettering their own condition than their removal was necessary the well being of those left behind"
Mr. R. Balfour M.A. M.Litt LLB in an extensive article on the Highland & Island Emigration Society, published in the "Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness " Vol LV1 190-1992 has the following comment
"While this assertion may have been correct to a degree, the relative prosperity of their community, which had been afflicated little by either famine or congestion, suggests that the prime cause of their departure was a denominational rift leading to and following upon the establishment of a Free Church congregation on the island in 1846. The cost of their fares and outfits had been met in full by the proprietor, Sir John MacLeod, who subsequently concerned that their departure would endanger the viability of the remaining community, met them in Glasgow from which he travelled with them on the steamer to Liverpool in an unsuccessful endeavour to encourage them to return. As an inducement he offered to pay the cost of a steamer to convey them back, and to give them all they needed for two years. Sadly the islanders susceptibility to infection manifested in a disease known to them as `cnatan na Gall' (the strangers cold) was to prove fatal amid the fetid atmosphere aboard the Priscilla with the result that eighteen of their number -half of their party - were to perish during the voyage or in quarantine."
In the records of the HIES against all of the families from St. Kilda it has the following notation, " Mr. MacLeod the proprietor of St. Kilda has paid for the outfits and undertaken to pay the deposit".
A family from Heribusta, named McCuam, has one of the largest notations in the records of the HIES. against it, It states:-
"Particulars of this family recorded to show that age, is not always a criterion by which the eligibility of a family, can be determined. The two lads aged 19 & 17 respectively are smaller of stature & posses much less physical power than many boys some years younger. One of the most wretched families submitted for inspection. Their appearance was truely appalling and their grief on being rejected most painful to witness. Attention was drawn to the condition of this family to Mr MacLeod of "Kingsburgh" and a small subscription raised for them by Miss McLeod. They were carefully fed for some time and greatly improved in health and appearance and were permitted to proceed on the Priscilla." There were also 4 other younger children
In 1995, the Scottish Genealogy Society Edinburgh, published "The St. Kilda Heritage" an autobiography of Malcolm McQueen, although the Priscilla shipping records states that he could not write. The article contains the same information as does the one by R. Balfour but also has the following:-
" We left St. Kilda in a sailing ship belonging to Mrs. Sarah MacDonald and came to Skye. We called at Harris. We were about a fortnight in Skye and neighbourhood. From there we went by steamer to Glasgow.
We were there some 24 hours and shipped aboard a steamer to Liverpool. We were there some three or four weeks and shipped aboard the Priccilla bound for Port Phillip, departing 13th October, 1852.
We saw no land or vessel till we came near The Heads after 13 weeks. Three weeks after leaving, measles broke out and many died, about 80 old and young- largely owing to the ignorance of the doctor. He used to drive them on deck and they would be dead the next morning.At last the passengers rebelled and refused to allow the doctor to have his way; no-one died after that. I was the last man to take ill with it. My mother was laid up at the same time as I was. A young widow and another woman were very kind. Frank MacKenzie and Alex MacDonald were very kind to me. They did not live long after getting here.
On our arrival we were placed in quarantine. Passengers were landed at the Quarantine Station but those who were ill were kept aboard and the vessel was made a quarantine hulk. Scarlet fever was aboard when we arrived. Many who were well when landed got ill at the quarantine station and most of them died.
The total number of deaths was 42, 31 on the voyage, mainly due to measles, and 11 at the quarantine station.These deaths were shown to be from scarletina (Scarlet fever) but may have been caused by typhus. Passengers from the “Ticonderoga "were at the quarantine station, this ship had lost many passengers to typhus.
LIST OF EMIGRANTS ASSISTED BY THE HIGHLAND AND ISLAND EMIGRATION SOCIETY, AND EMBARKED ON BOARD THE SHIP PRISCILLA WHICH SAILED FROM LIVERPOOL FOR VICTORIA ON THE 13TH OCTOBER 1852. ARRIVED MELBOURNE 24th FEBRUARY 1853 AND PLACED IN QUARANTINE
Surnames - BETHUNE, BRUCE, BUCHANAN, CAMPBELL, CUMMING, FERGUSON, FINLAYSON, GILLIES, MacAULAY, MATHESON, McASKILL, McCRIMMON, McCUAN, McDONALD, McINTOSH, McKAY, McKENZIE, McKINNON, McLEAN, McLENNAN, McLEOD, McPHEE, McPHERSON, McQUEEN, McRAE, McSWEEN, MORRISON, MURCHISON, NICHOLSON, ROSS, STEWART, THOMPSON.
BUCHANAN John 29 Achnahannait Lord MacDonald
237 Mary 28 Died 20-11-52
Donald 9 Died 19-11-52
Mary Inf Died 29-11-52
P/N £9-19-2 Eligible couple.
BETHUNE Marion 52 Uig Lord MacDonald
238 Anne 27
BRUCE Ann 16
P/N £29-18-4 . Healthy eligible family.
BUCHANAN Alexander 38 Borniskitaig Lord MacDonald
239 Catherine 38
Christy Inf Died 11-11-52
P/N £20-4-7 Cottage destroyed by fire last year. Very poor family.
BETHUNE Norman 32 Romisdale Lord MacDonald
240 Catherine 28
Janet 4 Died 17-2-53
Peter 22 Uig
Ann 25 (sister & Brother of Norman)
P/N 156 16-14-5 Very good family
CAMPBELL Ann 46 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
241 Angus 18
P/N £17-0-11 Very poor and destitute.
CUMMING Mary 54 Carbost, Lord MacDonald
242 Kate 22 Bernisdale
P/N £11-2-8 Strong healthy woman. Nurse & midwife.
FINLAYSON Murdoch 39 Balmeanach Lord MacDonald
243 Catherine 36
P/N £12-10-3 Good family.
FERGUSON Malcolm 31 St. Kilda J.M.MacLeod Esq.
244 Catherine 23 Died 9-2-53
Mary 3 Died 6-12-52
MORRISON Mary 57 Died 9-11-52
FERGUSON Hector 35 Died Quarantine Station
Mary 22 (Nee Morrison)
* Mr MacLeod the proprietor of St.Kilda has paid for the outfit and has undertaken to pay the deposit. Catherine daughter of Roderick McDonald No 277
GILLIES Ewen 27 St. Kilda J.M.MacLeod Esq.
245 Margaret 28
Mary 1 Died 3-12-52
* Mr. MacLeod the proprietor of St. Kilda has paid for the outfit and has undertaken to pay the deposit. Margaret daughter of Roderick McDonald 277. Ewen as a widower returned to St. Kilda, remarried and emigrated to Canada.
McPHEE Margaret 60 Rhuandunan MacLeod of MacLeod
246 Christy 29
£27-0-9 Healthy old woman. Has two sons in Australia. John and Duncan arrived Victoria on "Europa"
McPHEE Archibald 36 Rhuandunan MacLeod of MacLeod
247 Christy 36
Jane 4 Died 10-12-52
Infant born at sea, Died 8-12-52
P/N £15-1-8 Son of Margaret McPhee
McPHEE Angus 34 Sligachan MacLeod of MacLeod
248 Effy 34
Inf. born at sea
P/N £12-8-0 Son of Margaret McPhee. An excellent family. Appointed constable on board the Priscilla.
McPHEE Donald 36 Carbost MacLeod of MacLeod
249 Marion 36
Mary 3 Died 6-1-53
Very eligible man. Appointed Constable on board the Priscilla.
McKENZIE Duncan 25 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
250 Christy 24
Mary born at sea Died 8-12-52
P/N £8-11-10 Very Poor family.
McKENZIE Murdoch 29 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
251 Catherine 29
Ann 1 Died 3-12-52
P/N £16-5-8 Son of Murdoch no 252. Strictly within the regulations of the Emigration Commissioners, but not a very good family on account of the number of young children.
McKENZIE Murdoch 63 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
252 Catherine 63
P/N £52-2-11 Hale old man, family well clothed
McKENZIE Neil 60 Sconser Lord MacDonald
253 John 29
P/N £35-4-11 Sons and daughters eligible.
McKINNON Neil 55 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
254 Christy 24
P/N £31-4-4 (Neil widower) Very poor family. Children very eligible.
McKINNON Angus 47 Coillemore Lord MacDonald
255 Ann 44
Very poor and destitute family, but a very suitable one for Australia.
McINTOSH Lachlan 35 Achnahannait Lord MacDonald
256 Margaret 30
P/N £11-7-9 Eligible young people. _
McLEOD Donald 33 Tormichaig Lord MacDonald
257 Effy 30
P/N £14-7-0 Very poor family
McKENZIE John 20 Sconser Lord MacDonald
258 Jane 19 (wife)
P/N £22-15-6 Eligible young people
MacAULAY Angus 55 Kildonan Alexander McDonald of Lyndale
259 Ann 47
Donald 1 Died 21-11-52
P/N £39-7-10 Very poor and destitute, but a good family for Australia.
McDONALD Alexander 58 Sheader, Uig Lord MacDonald
260 Margaret 52
P/N £47-19-11 Very poor family, but a very suitable one for Australia.
McDONALD Duncan 55 Upper Lachasy Lord MacDonald
261 Marion 50
P/N £47-12-11 Very poor family but a good one for Australia.
McKENZIE Alexander 35 Uig Lord MacDonald
262 Marion 22
Donald Inf Died 6-11-52
P/N £9-4-4 Eligible couple.
MATHESON Effy 20 Uig Lord MacDonald
263 Alexander 18
P/N £7-10-10 Brother & sister Eligible young people.
To More Passengers of the "Priscilla" (264 - 295)
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