William Mackenzie (1851-1935) records a world of local legend, folklore and superstition, and charts the changes he saw in his lifetime in agriculture, education, the Church and, of course, through emigration. He recounts the history of the leading families of Skye and also the lives and experiences of the crofters, for whose rights he actively campaigned in the 1880s. Old Skye Tales is a unique and valuable record, written by a man of intelligence and sensitivity.
William Mackenzie was born in 1851 in Melness, Sutherland though moved to Skye at an early age. He began teaching in Uig and in 1879 was appointed headmaster of Valtos in Staffin. He became active in the crofter agitation of the 1880s and was one of the crofters’ representatives at the Napier Commission of 1884. He retired in 1915 and began to write his reminiscences, which were published in two books in 1930 and 1934. The present volume is an edited compilation of these two works.