Message in a bottle

When Rae Woodrow from the Islay Quilters sent me a message some time ago with the title "Message in a bottle" I thought something important had washed up on Islay's shores. Chances of that happening are pretty big with so many miles of shoreline available. Attached to the message from Rae was a copy of a letter dating back as far as 1869. Turned out the bottle wasn't washed ashore on some remote beach on Islay but was found in 1992 under the pulpit in the Islay Baptist Church in Bowmore. Rae sent me the first page of three and it turned out to be a very intreaging letter written by Alex McDougall in 1869 during renovation works at the Baptist Church.

A quote from that letter:
This is intended to preserve the remembrance of the repairing of this place of worship, which is (henceforth to be called The Bowmore Tabernacle). Previously to these repairs, the place was most unsightly to behold, and most uncomfortable as a place of worship, by reason of cold and damp. The house was built about the year 1849 while the Rev, Angus Mc Naughton was minister of the church. Mr Mc Naughton was minister of the church, Mr McNaughton having emigrated to Canada, he was succeeded as missionary in Islay by the Rev James Miller who was minister of this church for upwards of twenty years, until the end of 1868, when being nearly 87 years of age, he retired on a small allowance granted by the Baptist Home Missionary Society for Scotland, which Society has supported the causes in Islay from its commencement.

Later on Rae made the effort of typing over the whole letter and sending it to me. I have created a special page on the Islayinfo website with the complete letter, making sure this remarkable letter and gentleman will not be forgotten.

  • Bowmore, Islay, 23rd Sept. 1869. Message in a Bottle

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