Key local events in Barvas and Brue   Key World events
1598 - The Fife Adventurers - In an attempt to Anglicise Lewis King James VI gives a group of Fife men known as the 'Fife Adventurers' titles to lands outside Stornoway. Despite three attempts by the Crown at planting the Fifers in Lewis they are ultimately unsuccessful - coming up against resistance from native landowners like Niall Odhar (see below, 1613). Some of the Fife Adventurers settled into Lewis and became Gaelicised. Their heritage is seen in the prevalence of surnames like Paterson on the island
1609 - The Statutes of Iona are passed. These ensure that the children of Gaelic noblemen are educated in the Lowlands through English
1613 - Neil MacLeod (Niall Odhar) - the last son of the MacLeod chiefs of Lewis - is hung in Leith for piracy
1688 - August - The Battle of Maol Ruadh, the last private battle between Highland clans, takes place in Mulroy, Lochaber. It was fought between the Mackintoshes - with the aid of government troops - and an alliance of MacDonalds of Keppoch and Camerons
1688-89 - This period saw a series of events that set the tone for the following decades of Scottish and Gaelic history. The 'Glorious Revolution' saw King James VII and II usurped by King William and Queen Mary through an Act of Parliament.This was followed by the first Jacobite uprising and it also catalysed the events that led to the Act of Union in 1707. (see below 1707, 1715, 1745-6)
1688 - The first Jacobite rebellion is led by Graham of Claverhouse. Despite a Jacobite victory at the Battle of Killiecrankie they endure heavy casualties and the uprising is eventually defeated
1692 - The Massacre of Glencoe - After the MacDonalds of Glencoe fail to meet a New Year's Day deadline to sue for peace terms after the failure of the first Jacobite rebellion the government punishes the people of Glencoe to make an example of them. Although not as bloody an event as it was planned or as it was later claimed to be, it provided valuable propaganda for Jacobitism
1707 - 16 January - The Act of Union - The Scottish and English Parliaments dissolve to form a unified British Parliament. This is a matter of great controversy with evidence of bribery and political pressure rife. It also marks the point where Jacobitism became a primarily Scottish affair as its leaders exploited the cause for Scottish independence
1715 - The '15 - A Jacobite rebellion led by the Earl of Mar fails. Despite having greater support than the 1688-9 uprising (see above) the inept leadership of the Earl prevents any success. The failure of this rebellion is followed by a lull in Jacobitism between here and the '45. One aspect of this drop in enthusiasm is that the support is concentrated more in the Highlands from Episcopalian and Catholic clan chiefs rather than in the Lowlands
1715 - After the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715 William 5th Earl of Seaforth and owner of Lewis, who had fought for the Stuarts, fled to France. By Act of Parliament in 1716, William forfeited both his title and his estates
1745-6 - The '45 - The final Jacobite rebellion is led by 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. The Prince landed in Eriskay and received mixed support from the Highland clans; he would eventually reach York before turning back to Scotland where the uprising climaxed at the Battle of Culloden, outside Inverness. The Prince gradually escaped to France and Italy after a period of hiding in the Highlands. Meanwhile the Highlands and Gaeldom underwent a series of retributive acts from the British government which accelerated the internal changes that had been happening in the Gaidhealdachd in the decades before the '45
1767 - The manse at the old Established Church building in Barvas is built  
1783 - Bliadhna na Peasrach - Because of storms and crop failures in the autumn of 1782 there was the danger of a famine in the Highlands. This was averted when the government sent £17,000 of emergency aid to the region. Most of the aid was surplus peasemeal that the army had after the end of the American War of Independence, and therefore 1783 was remembered in the Highlands as Bliadhna na Peasrach - the Peasemeal Year.
1791 - Colonel MacKenzie of Seaforth, then the owner of Lewis, begins a road-building project to connect Barvas Parish with Stornoway Parish 1793 - July - The Stornoway born Alexander MacKenzie reaches the Pacific coast of modern day Canada having travelled from Fort Chipewyan on the Atlantic coast. This was the first crossing of the North American continent performed north of Mexico. There is a plaque commemorating him on the wall of Martin's Memorial Church in Stornoway
1803 - June - The writer James Hogg stays in Barvas with the Rev Donald MacDonald for two days 1803 - 23 September - The Battle of Assaye - An army commanded by the Duke of Wellington defeats a 50,000 strong force of Maharatta men supported by 100 French artillerymen near Assaye in western India. Of the 4,500 men in Wellington's army 1/16 were Leodhasaich. Assaye Place in Stornoway was named to commemorate this
1815 - End of the Napoleonic Wars - Thousands of Highland soldiers return home and many of them were promised land by their landlords as a reward for their military service. The fact that the landlords are unable to fulfill these promises leads to overpopulation, subdivision of land and land wars.
1822 - Bliadhna an Fhaomaidh' - Barvas becomes particularly affected by an outbreak of religious frenzy associated with fanatical preaching by laymen
1822 - August - King George IV visits Edinburgh, becoming the first monarch to enter Scotland since Charles II in 1651. A string of pageants organised by Sir Walter Scott based on Celtic and Highland themes take place with the king eventually wearing a full Highland dress. This represents the point where Highland culture gains wide acceptance as Scottish culture, at the same time that the traditional Highland and Gaelic society was falling apart
1827 - Brue becomes a separate village from Barvas  
1836 - Because of the construction of the Stornoway to Ness road the Barvas villages, which were originally situated about half a mile further towards the coast, had to relocate further inland to where the road was being built. The road was initially meant to pass through the old village but the builders failed to overcome the marshy land that lay south of the Glebe, therefore they laid it where it is today and the houses followed it  
1840s - The salmon river outlet at Bun na h-Aibhne is blocked by the Barvas Estate and a new outlet is opened into Goile Chròic. This would be the basis for later land agitation in Barvas in 1888 (see below) 1840  
1843 - The majority of the Established Church Barvas Congregation leave to form a Free Church  congregation 1843 - Disruption in Established Church of Scotland.  Thomas Chalmers lead about a third of the Church from the Assembly at  St Andrews and St George‘s, Edinburgh to establish the Free Church
  1844 - Sir James Nicolas Sutherland Matheson, 1st Baronet (17 October 1796 – 31 December 1878), born in Shiness, Lairg, Sutherland, bought the Isle of Lewis for £190,000 and built the current day Lews Castle.
  1845 - The Irish Potato Famine - Described as 'the greatest human disaster in western Europe in the nineteenth century' the potato blight destroyed crops across Ireland. One million people died because of its consequences and a further two million were forced to emigrate
  1846 - August/September - The potato blight strikes in the Highlands and Islands. There is widespread famine and disease in the region but the consequences are not as grave as they were in Ireland due to the region's smaller population and the fact that the government was more prepared after the Irish case
1850 - The Barvas Free Church is built along with its manse
Mid 19th Century - Transport and communication revolution - improvements in transport and communications massively increase movement between Europe and America. The increase in information and decrease in travel time encourages far more Gaels to emigrate to the USA and British North America (Canada). Between 1850 and 1914 the time taken to cross the Atlantic would go from six weeks to one week.
1851 - John Murdo Mackenzie, Sir James Matheson's factor, arranges for the removal of 13 families from Barvas whose rents were in arrears. Only seven families actually leave (the others presumably paid their arrears of rent) and they mostly go to Quebec with one, John Matheson, opting for Bruce County, Ontario.

1852 - The Highlands and Islands Emigration society is founded. Between 1852 and 1857 it assisted almost 5000 individuals to leave western Scotland for Australia
1853 - Free Church built in Barvas  
1856 - Barvas Post Office opens - the first in rural Lewis. This may also be the date that telegraph first came to Barvas and Brue  
1857 - Allan MacArthur from Mull becomes the first resident minister at the Barvas Free Church  
1861 - Domhnall MacDhomhnaill, The Barvas Bard, is born in Galson  
1863 - Fàsachadh Gabhsann (Galson Depopulation) - The residents of Galson are cleared and offered the chance to either emigrate or to resettle in fishing villages on Lewis. Most of them opt for resettlement and the chance to emigrate was then taken up by many families from Barvas, and they then left Lewis aboard the ''Elizabeth''.  
  1867 - Federal Dominion of Canada (former British North America) founded
  1872 - The Education Act of 1872 is established, making elementary education compulsory in Great Britain
  1873 - The Nicolson Institute is founded. The school was named after Alexander Nicolson, a Stornowegian engineer who was killed by an engine-room explosion on a ship in Shanghai. In his will he had left his fortune for the foundation of a school in his native town
1874 - 21 October - A 1,000 ton clipper ship called The Maju is lost off of Codal, Barvas in a severe gale along with all 24 of its crew. The bodies of the crew members were kept in Sabhal a' Mhaor (see below, 1998) after they were washed ashore. 1874 - The Bernera Riot - Crofters in Great Bernera riot in response to Sir James Matheson's attempts to grow a deer forest over their crofting land
1874 - A new Established Church is built at the top of Upper Barvas. It became known as 'Eaglais Laing', after its last mninister Norman Laing 1874 - The earlier seceders from the Established Church unite to form The United Presbyterian Church of Scotland
1878 - 27 February - Barvas School formally opens  
  1882 - Battle of the Braes - crofters in the Braes area of Skye successfully challenged landlordism by protesting to get their common grazings back. 50 Glasgow policemen were brought in to quell them.
1883 - The Napier Commission's surveys of conditions in Barvas and Brue reported crofter's who were nearing starvation and some whose potatoes were in such a decrepit state that they had not bothered lifting them out of the ground 1883 -The Napier Commission is appointed to investigate the conditions of cottars and crofters in the Highlands and Islands. It held hearings in Lewis in May and June
  1884 - The Napier Commission's Report is pubished and receives criticism from both landholders and tenants - from the former because it advocated controls over their powers of ownership and from the latter because it did not meet their expectations
  1886 - William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, (19 September 1851 – 7 May 1925) established a soap manufacturing company called Lever Brothers (now part of Unilever) with his brother James, in Port Sunlight, Merseyside, England.
  1886 - The Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1886 is passed
1888 - 18 January - 70 or 80 Lower Barvas crofters block up the salmon river outlet at Goile Chròic (see above, 1840s) and divert it back to its former outlet and Bun na h-Aibhne.

19 January – Police, Marines and Royal Scots arrested five Borve men in relation to the land agitation and they were escorted to Stornoway to be tried. The affair  was reported in The Scotsman.
  1892 - The Canadian government appoints two full time agents to tour Scotland's markets, village halls and agircultural shows so as to promote emigration. WG Stuart, the agent in the North, could deliver his lecture in Gaelic.
  1896 - 1 February - The Lewis Hospital is opened
1900 - A majority of the Barvas Free Church join with the anti unionists but a considerable number support the union.

1900 - The British Labour Party is founded

1900 - The Free Church and the United Presbyterian churches unite to form The United Free Church of Scotland.

A small minority of the Free church, mainly in the Highlands, refuse to join the union and lay claim to the church properties and the title “Free Church of Scotland”
1903 - 18 April - Barvas become the first team from rural Lewis to take part in a football match, losing 4-0 to Stornoway at Goathill pitch  
1904 - The Unionists are forced to vacate the original Free Church properties. 1904 - Following a protracted legal dispute The House of Lords finally rules in favour of the anti-Unionists
1904 - Alexander Morrison opens his shop at 40 Lower Barvas  
1905 - The anti union congregation  (Free Church) occupy a new building-  “The Zinc Church”  
1906 - The United Free Church congregation in Barvas applies for a a church and manse site  
1910 - The new United Free Church of Scotland in Barvas is officially opened 1910 - With the increase in demand for Harris Tweed at the beginning of the 20th Century came an increase in the number of weavers; this also meant that a lot of inexperienced weavers began producing poorer quality tweed. It is because of this that the trademark and definition of Harris Tweed was devised around 1910
1912 - Norman Laing - the last minister to serve the Barvas Established Church -  arrives from North Uist. The church building at the top of Upper Barvas was known locally as 'Eaglais Laing' after him  
1912 - Brue Drowning Tragedy - On the 3rd of February brother and sister Norman (aged 8) and Margaret (aged 16) MacLeod of 8 Brue drowned as they tried to cross Loch Mòr Bharabhas while it was frozen over  
1914 - 19 men from Barvas and 11 men from Brue were killed in WWI, either during the war itself or in the Iolaire Disaster 1914 - 28 June - Start of WWI; Every second man from Lewis joined the armed forces during WW1 - 1/6 of these men died in the war
1914 - A local Committee is poised to run a Show in Barvas but this is postponed due to WW1. The first Show and Sports would take place in 1921 (see below)  
1916 - Domhnall MacDhomhnaill, The Barvas Bard, (see above, 1861) dies 1916 - The Highlands and Islands Medical Service is established to provide state assistance for the development of the Lewis Hospital, which had so far been built mostly on local funds and initiative. The service is seen by some as anticipating the National Health Service (see below, 1948)
  1918 - November 11 - WWI ends; The descendants of Sir James Matheson (1796 – 1878) sold Lewis to the soap magnate Lord Leverhulme for £150,000. He proceeded to buy up neighbouring Harris as well.
1919 - One resident of Barvas and Brue was killed in the Iolaire disaster; he was Seaman RNR Donald Macleod (Dòmhnall Mhurchaidh Ruaidh) of 20 Loch Street 1919 - 1 Jan - The Iolaire Disaster, Beasts of Holm, Stornoway. At least 205 men, 181 of whom were Leodhasaich, perish as the HMS Iolaire sinks one mile away from Stornoway harbour
1920s - First telephone in Barvas. Some recall the first phone being installed in the Police Station although others think it was in the Post Office at Torraybank. The Post Office's number was 'Barvas 1' while the Police Station's was 'Barvas 2' so it is possible that they were installed at the same time  
1921 - 24 August - The first Barvas Show is held. It was opened by Lord Leverhulme 1921 - The Hattersley loom is invented. This machine greatly increased the efficiency of the Harris Tweed industry, increasing production capabilities and also provided enough alternative home employment for crofters to sustain the crofting way of life
1923 - Five men from Barvas and Brue emigrated on the Metagama. They were Donald Macdonald, 4 Park; John Macdonald, 2 Brue; William Matheson, 4 Brue; Norman Finlayson, 11 Brue; and Neil Paterson, 20 Brue 1923 - 21 Apr - 280 Lewis men and 20 Lewis women emigrate to Canada aboard the Metagama
1924 - Norman Laing leaves the Barvas Established Church for Skye. Although the union of Established and Free Church (see below, 1929) would not occur for another five years the Established Church ceased to function in Barvas after his departure 1924 - 26 April - Emigrants leave Lewis for Canada aboard the ''Marloch'' 

17 May - Another emigrant ship called the ''Canada'' leaves Lewis for Canada
1925 - The well known international explorer John Talbot Clifton of Lytham Hall, Lancashire purchased the Barvas Estate from the executors of the late Viscount Leverhulme at auction for the sum of £2,900  
1926 - The United Free Church building is designated as  the Barvas Church of Scotland  
1928 - Mr Talbot Clifton (see above) died within three years of purchasing Barvas and the estate passed to his friend, William Duckworth of Ribby Hall, Kirkham, Lancashire.  
1929 - The Depression affected Lewis migrants in two ways. Before its impact made them emigrate out of necessity it first prevented many from doing so. One such example was Donald Alexander Morrison of Upper Barvas who was prepared to leave for his uncle Hugh's farm in Manitoba, Canada when the Depression hit and took his opportunity away

1929 - Great Depression
1929 - The Established  and the United Free Churches join to form the Church of Scotland
1930 - The first radios arrive in Barvas 1930 - 29 August - The evacuation of St Kilda. The last St Kildans permanently leave the island aboard the Harebell
1932 - The original Free Church building is refurbished and occupied by the Free Church congregation  
1933 - The original Free Church building in Barvas is restored  
  1934 - Scottish National Party founded
1937 - The poet Louis MacNeice visits the Westside Agricultural Show - then known as the Barvas Sports - during his visit to the Hebrides. He wrote about the visit in his book I Crossed the Minch  
1938 - The first radios are brought to Brue  
1938 - The first tarmac road surface in Barvas and Brue is laid by the contractor Tawse. Only the main Lower Barvas road was tarred at this point due to the Second World War starting - the Upper Barvas to Ness road was tarred after the war.  
1939 - Five men from Barvas and two men from Brue lost their lives in WWII and unlike WWI women also served. 1939 - September 1 - WWII Begins
  1945 - September 2 - WWII Ends
  1945 - Robert McIntyre wins the first parliamentary seat for the SNP at Motherwell by-election
Post WWII    
1946 - Angus Morrison (A' Mhillichean) buys his first bus  
The Brue village road is tarmaced. Previously it had been maintained by the local road squad using clay from the quarry  
1948 - Na Taighean Ùra - As part of a nationwide house building programme launched by the government after WWII a survey of housing in Lewis finds that many of the homes on the island were either blackhouses or unfit whitehouses. Barvas parish had the highest number and poportion of blackhouses. To alleviate this Lewis had 40 prefabricated 'Swedish' houses allocated to it and 18 of these were put up in Barvas on Cnoc an Fhraoich. Their projected lifespan was twenty years but to this day they are still there 1948 - The National Health Service is set up
Early 50s - John Paterson, 20 Brue starts his mobile grocery business 1951 - The arrival of domestic electricity was one of the first of many improvements brought to the Highlands and Islands in the years after the War. The North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board - the 'Hydro' - had been nationalized in 1948, and through its initiatives in the following decade it proceeded to vastly improve the quality of life in the region. The provision of electricity has been described by historian Ewen A. Cameron as 'the most fundamental contribution from any agency in twentieth century Highland history'
1951 - Mains electricity is installed in Barvas and Brue  
1951 - The first Barvas School Canteen is built  
Mid 50s - Mains water is installed in Brue  
1956 - Mains water is installed in Barvas  
1957 - The first Barvas and Brue Community Centre, 'a commodious…dismantled wooden hut', is built  
Late 50s - The first telephone installed in Brue - probably for shop businesses at No 20 and 24 Brue  
1963 - John Paterson's grocery business is sold to Kenneth MacLennan  
1966 - First televisions in Barvas and Brue  
  1973 - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is founded
1974 - The current Barvas and Brue Community Centre is built  
1978/79 - Sewerage scheme for Barvas - contractor R J Macleod  
1981 - The shop founded by Alexander Morrison in 1904 is closed by his grandson Donnie because of a lack of business due to the arrival of supermarkets in Stornoway  
  1985 - The first Gaelic Medium Education classes start
  1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall
1990 - The first Gaelic Medium Education class starts in Bun Sgoil Bharabhas  
Early 90s - Sewerage scheme for Brue - contractor Uist Builders  
  1993 - The Harris Tweed Act of 1993 - 'An Act to make provision for the establishment of a Harris Tweed Authority to promote and maintain
the authenticity, standard and reputation of Harris Tweed' - is passed
1995 - Comunn Eachdraidh Bharabhais agus Bhrù forms  
1996 - The new General Purpose and Community Wing (GP Room) of Bun Sgoil Bharabhas is built  
1996 - October - The old Barvas School Canteen (see above, 1951) is demolished with school catering now taking place in the GP Room (above) 1996 - 19 - 22 June - The first Hebridean Celtic Festiva is held
  1997 - 11 September - Referendum held on Scottish Home Rule, 74.3% of voters in favour of a Scottish parliament
1998 - September - Sabhal a' Mhaor - a barn at the Barvas Inn and a popular social centre which held numerous ceilidhs - is demolished  
1999 - Barvas Machair Archaeological Survey - A survey of Barvas Machair is carried out by the archaeologist Mary MacLeod with assistance from locals and Comann Eachdraidh members. They surveyed two areas on the Machair: Cnoc Mòr and Abhainn Shanndaidh. By the end of the survey they had discovered definite Prehistoric, Iron Age and Medieval settlements along with another settlement which was possibly from the Iron Age. Taken together these settlements contained 3,500 years of human history, going from 2000BC to 1500AD 1999 - 6 May - elections held for the new Scottish parliament; 1 July - Power transferred from Westminster to the new Scottish parliament
  1999 - Bun Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu opens
  2000 - Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) forms
2003 - Friday 18th April - Barvas Moor Fire - A small fire near Mùirneag is caught in a breeze and within hours spreads across the Barvas Moor. By the time the fire was extinguished the following Tuesday it had devastated 18 square miles of moorland and come within a mile of Barvas and Ballantrushal. Three dozen firemen on foot fought the fire with support from community volunteers  
2005 - 22 Aug - Broadband arrives. The first customers are at 19 Brue followed by Barvas School  
Mid - late 00s - Wind Farms - The Scottish government's proposal to erect 181 wind turbines on Barvas Moor sparked a debate which dragged on for several years. After much campaigning from locals both for and against the wind farm, the proposals were found to be incompatible with European law in April 2008 2006 - Bun Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu relocates and reopens as Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu with the capacity to teach children through the Gaelic medium from pre-school to secondary school
2007 - The renovated Barvas and Brue Community Centre opens 2007 - Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinacle, the first Gaelic feature-length film, is released
  2008 - BBC Alba, the Gaelic digital television, channel is launched
2009 - 3-7 August - During the Homecoming Week the descendants of various Barvas and Brue emigrants visited their ancestors' former home. This included eight descendants of Kenneth MacIver of Loch Street. Comann Eachdraidh Bharabhais agus Bhrù set up a museum in the Barvas and Brue Community Centre with various historical artefacts and family trees for the visitors to view. The week climaxed with a reunion between Kenneth MacIver's Canadian descendants and those still living in Barvas
2009 - The Year of the Homecoming. The Scottish government launches an initiative to encourage Scottish expats and people of Scottish heritage to return to the country