Sheep stealing from Keose Grazing- A High Price to Pay

Elgin Courier, Fri 27 April 1849, p.4 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

This report in the Elgin Courier from 1849 details the exploits of a repeat offender from Harris called Roderick Morrison. The article certainly makes out that he was a persistent thief, though the only crime he eventually admitted to was stealing sheep. He even managed to break out of Stornoway Jail and flee to Skye, only to fall foul of the law again after seemingly robbing a local merchant. 

In total, he was charged with stealing cattle from Harris, stealing sheep from the grazings of Leurbost and Keose, fleeing justice, and stealing two caps in Portree. He was given a hefty sentence for his trouble; seven years of transportation. This was a common punishment for theft. Mr Morrison likely ended up in Australia. The journey would have taken several months and the conditions onboard the ship would not have been comfortable. 

This newspaper extract was found in the British Newspaper Archive.

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