Two important, very old, and very rare books by G. Gregory Smith about Islay have been donated as anonymous gifts to the Oxfam Book Shop in Aberdeen. The first is The Stent Book and Acts of the Balliary of Islay 1718-1843, published in 1890 (292pp). The second is The Book of Islay of 1895 (xcii + 648pp) which details the history of the island from the 11th to the 18th century. Both were privately printed by Neill and Co., Edinburgh, in a limited run of 250 copies each, and both bear handwritten inscriptions (dated 14 July 1904) from Iain Ramsay of Kildalton to Miss MacCuaig.
Sealed bids are invited to be submitted to the shop by April 5th 2008 with a reserve of Â£750 for the pair. It is hoped that the two books will be sold as a pair because they share the hand written inscriptions relating to the Ramsays, a family that has made an important contribution to the history of Islay and its distilleries.
It is hoped that the money raised by Oxfam could start a school library in the third world, pay the salaries of 15 Kenyan teachers for a month, or provide safe drinking water through filters, tanks and taps for around a thousand people. Bids should be made in writing directly with the Oxfam Shop to Marion Craigie, Bookshop Manager, 5 Back Wynd Aberdeen AB10 1JN. If anyone would like more information please donâ€™t hesitate to contact the shop, either by phone at 01224 642490 or by email.
First page from the Book of Islay
Introduction page from the Book of Islay
Very old Colour Map from the Book of Islay
Introduction page from the Islay Stent Book
The pictures were taken from the original books I was allowed to borrow from a good friend on Islay in May 2007