Sheriff Robertson's Mull Diaries

Transcribed & edited by Joseph Buist Loudon. 201 pages in A4 paperback format

The diary of James Robertson, Sheriff Substitute of Tobermory 1842 - 1846

James Robertson was Sheriff Substitute of North Argyll between 1842 and 1846. Based at Tobermory, he kept a concise record of his stay in a series of diaries, most of which have survived. Carefully transcribed and edited by Joesph Buist Loudon, they are now published for the first time.

With their incisive insights into people and events, they have much to offer the historian and enthusiast. By illuminating people, manners and the preconceptions of the time, they shed light on social history. Local lairds stride through its pages, and emigrant ships anchor in the bay.

The Sheriff Substitute was clearly a sociable man, on one occasion nothing that two emigrants, Moydart men called: crack and dram, though often lamenting lack of congenial company. He also had a keen sense of humour as his dry account of a thoroughly wet tourist excursion to Iona makes clear. Whether relating serious issues, such as the problems of the would-be emigrants, or making almost inconsequential arrangements to retrieve a night shirt and cap from an Oban hotel, James Robertson allows us a possible unique insight into his own working life and, though his eyes, into life on the island in the mid 19th century.