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History / Gobha Na Hearadh
John Morrison's Gravestone

Gobha Na Hearadh - Iain Moireasdan

( John Morrison - The Harris Blacksmith )

John Morrison - Gobha Na Hearadh( The Harris BlackSmith ) was born in Rodel in 1790. According to tradition the Morrisons were said to be strong and valiantly brave people and this could also be said about him.

John was never educated in school other than a month in Rodel, but this did not hinder him. Through reading a lot and the help of a good memory, he taught himself to fluently read and write both in English and Gaelic.

In 1820 he married Marion MacLean who belonged to Mull and Skye, she died nine years afterwards leaving behind four children.
He wrote an Euligy to his wife "Marbhrann da Cheile" which showed how distressed he was with her loss but at the same time understanding it was the will of God.

John Morrison lost his second wife , Catherine MacLeod, on her death leaving two children a boy and a girl. He named the boy Donald Munro after " An Dall Munro ", the blind fiddler Munro who belonged to Sniosart in Skye. Mary MacAulay from Harris was to be his third wife.

John was spiritually converted at an early age. In 1821 he wrote his first Hymn " An Ionndrainn" where he discloses his desire to search for God's works and doctrine.
When " Domhnallach na Toiseachd - The Chief Donald " visited Harris in 1822, John enjoyed his preaching so much that he himself began preaching. In 1828 the S.S.P.C.K ordained him as a missionary.

There was much unrest within the Church of Scotland and John joined the Free Church and in 1843 he was ordained into the Free Church.
He was praised for the work and help he provided in the structure and building of Manish Church, he travelled as far as Glasgow and Edinburgh in his quest for help and it was at this time he wrote "Cuairt Cuain". While in Edinburgh he preached in Professor Candlish's Church which was full to capacity.

In 1848 he was driven out of Leverburgh and went to stay in Lacklee.

He suffered for many years with Sciatica as was written in the letters he sent to his son Ewen in Stornoway.

He was a loyal servant, working among hardship and poverty without much guidance or help at times.

John Morrison ( Gobha Na Hearadh ) died at Lacklee in 1852 and was burried at St. Clements Church, Rodel

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