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St Kilda

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"ST KILDA, island, Harris par., Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire, pop. 77; is the chief islet, and the only inhabited one, of a rocky group lying far out in the Atlantic, 40 miles W. of the NW. extremity of North Uist; measures about 7 miles in circumference, has precipitous cliffs on its coasts, and a maximum alt. of 1220 ft. The islets swarm with myriads of seafowl, which are killed in great numbers by the inhabitants for the feathers and also for the oil which some species yield. Very little of the soil is cultivated; some sheep and cattle are reared."

Description from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, (1887).

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Bibliography

'From Hirta to Port Phillip. The story of the ill-fated emigration from St Kilda to Australia in 1852' by Eric Richards (Islands Book Trust, 2010)

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Emigration & Immigration

Scotland's History: Emigration from St Kilda

  • In September 1852, 36 inhabitants of St Kilda left for Australia on board the ‘Priscilla’. The ship was carrying migrants under a new scheme funded by the Highland and Island Emigration Society.
  • The voyage from Birkenhead to Port Phillip (Melbourne) lasted 98 days – a journey that witnessed many deaths and sickness, primarily caused by measles. The final death toll among the original 36 emigrants was probably 19, leaving 17 survivors.


Highland and Island Emigration Society Archive

  • Almost 5,000 people who left Scotland to make a new life in Australia between 1852 and 1857 are recorded in the archive of the Highland and Island Emigration Society in National Records of Scotland. This all-new database (2019) supersedes the transcript that has been available through the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) website. The entries and images are all free to search and view.
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Gazetteers

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which St Kilda has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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History

  • The entire population of the island was evacuated in 1930.
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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NA106018 (Lat/Lon: 57.835395, -8.56483), St Kilda which are provided by: