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article image205-year-old Scottish journal published

By Lynn Curwin     May 26, 2011 in Entertainment
A 205-year-old journal, in which Scottish teacher and engineer Alexander Nimmo provides a first-hand account of what was taking place in the Highlands, has just been published.
Nimmo, who was born in 1783, was Rector of Inverness Academy in 1806, when the Commission for Highland Roads and Bridges hired him to survey the boundary of Inverness-shire.
The University of the Highlands and Islands website states that: "His 1806 ‘perambulation’ of the Inverness-shire boundary was undertaken in ‘boisterous’ conditions during a period of revolutionary change in rural life."
During this time the Highland Clearances were taking place, with areas families had occupied for generations being cleared so that large-scale sheep farming and the rearing of deer could take place. Those who did not leave voluntarily were forced to move on after their homes were burned.
The information compiled by Nimmo was used for create a map printed in 1807.
According to Electric Scotland, a year or two later he surveyed a possible route for a road across Rannoch Moor, but this was never built. He also studied the water temperatures in Loch Ness and reported on the movement of sediment along the coast of the Moray Firth.
In 1811 he resigned from his school position to work as an engineer with the Commission for the Bogs of Ireland.
The Royal Irish Academy states that, "he went on to complete amazingly comprehensive and unsurpassed surveys, maps and reports on the Iveragh peninsula of Co. Kerry and Connemara, Co. Galway, playing an iconic role in Ireland in surveying those then isolated regions."
The BBC reported that he was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and both organisations were involved in publishing the journal.
The book will be launched in Inverness on June 8, at an event hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Nimmo died in Dublin in 1832.
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