Islay – The Land of the Lordship is a comprehensive history of Islay up to the present day which covers both the main political developments and the social history of the population. Islay was originally part of Dal Riata, the early kingdom of the Scots, but was then colonised by Scandinavian settlers in the middle of the ninth century. It was also the home of the MacDonalds who established the Lordship of the Isles during the Medieval Period. In the Gaelic world, their status was king-like and, at the height of their power in the 15th century, they mounted a challenge to the Stewart dynasty for control of Scotland. However, this book is not just about the great men. It also looks at the lesser folk, especially during the time of the Campbell lairds, from the early 17th century onwards.
Archaeology combined with documentary research has helped to build up a picture of how the people of Islay lived, the way the land was farmed and the development of local industries, including the distilling of whisky. This book provides a comprehensive grounding in island history for visitors and locals alike, and, for the valuable details it gives on local families, will be particularly valued by genealogists and those tracing their roots to Islay.