Sleat Summary



Principal Sources


E656/1 1718 Rental

1733 Rental, typescript copy in Museum of the Isles, Armadale, Skye.

GD 221.8.1 Charter 1614

GD 221.8.2 Sasine 1614

GD 221.186, 193, 197, 209

GD 221.4273.1, 2, 3

GD 221.4274.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12

GD 221.4275

GD 221.4280.4  1738

GD 221.4287


RMS II (806) 1464, (2286) 1495, (2873) 1505

RMS VI (472) 1596

RMS VIII (547) 1623

RMS XI (902) 1666

J & RW Munro, Acts of the Lords of the Isles No 96 pp 152-6

APS II p 333

Inverness Retours (32) 1617, (45) 1626, (68) 1644

Macfarlane’s Geographical Collections II p 182

ER XVII pp 556-7 1540-42

RSS II (4995) 1542

W Purves, Revenue of the Scottish Crown, Edinburgh, 1897.


Stobie’s map of Sleat 1763 in Museum of the Isles, Armadale.


ALI No 80 of 1463 and RMS II (806) of 1464 refer to 28m of Sleat for which the Reddendo was one 18-oared ship. Numerous other documents make reference to either 28m or £20 (30m) of Sleat. ‘Slaite’ appears as £20 in a Rental of the Isles dating originally to c. 1500 (Purves p 182). ER XVII pp 556-7 (1540-1542) explains that 2m (out of 30m old extent) belonged to the church. We know this was the 2m or 10d of the two Armadales, which belonged to the Bishop of the Isles, so the figures reconcile if we reckon on 28m lay property and 2m ecclesiastical making an overall total of 30m. At 4m per ounceland this was equal to 7½ ouncelands or 150d.


We can be confident that davachs and ouncelands were equivalent here as elsewhere in the northern Hebrides. In the History of the Macdonalds (Highland Papers vol 1 p 65) there is reference to the ‘upper Davich of Sleat and the Davich of Dunskaich’. A charter (GD 221.8.1) and sasine (GD 221.8.2) of 1614 both refer to tirungs (ouncelands) called ‘Chastell’ and ‘Nauchter’. The former is ‘of the castle’ and was presumably allocated to maintain the castle. The latter may well be the ‘upper Davich’ of Sleat.


The total number of pennylands in Sleat is 166¼d or about 8⅓ ouncelands. 5d of this is Kinloch (or Kinlochnadale) which always appears as part of the Strath estate in the rentals. However we still have a total which is at least 10d more than Sleat’s theoretical value of 150d. I can only assume that my list includes some farms which, in past times, were not always counted as part of Sleat. I would expect these to lie in the north-eastern section towards Kylerhea.


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