ISBuC (v7) 2012
Claude Augustus Lillingston
'Pastor of Fjalor, Dalsfjorden'

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Claude Augustus Lillingston was precocious and academically gifted. At 12 he was provided with tutors to guide him on his way to study in Greek, Latin, history, theology and jurisprudence at Oxford University. His family long held the manor of Elmdon Hall, Warwickshire, now demolished, but he was born near Ipswich.

Claude shows up on Skye in the 1861 census, at Cuidreach, south of Uig, where aged 24 he was recorded as farming 2,500 acres and employing 1 shepherd, 1 ploughman and a housekeeper, Isabella Campbell, aged 37.

The census record credits him with BA Hons, Oxon so he had obviously lived up to academic expectations, but with a lesser aptitude for farming he soon moved on.

In 1863 in Derbyshire Claude, by now ordained, married Edith Pares (1840 - 1908), daughter of Thomas Pares, MP for Leicester. The couple later moved to Norway. In 1872 at the British Consulate in Bergen they Christened a son, Frank, the first of 11 children.

Claude became pastor to the community of Fjalor, Dalsfjorden, refurbishing the former judges house in an English style and cultivated an English cottage garden.

In 2002 the community of Fjalor purchased the picturesque fjord-side house and turned it into a museum and plush convention centre which is kept much as it would have been in the days of Pastor Lillingston. Many of Claude's effects are there, including pictures he is believed to have been painted on Skye. Lillingstonheimen, as it is called, is now also a refreshment stop for those enjoying activity holidays.

Claude's arrival on Skye may have something to do with the Innes-Lillingston family resident in the parish of Lochalsh. Isaac (or Issac) William Lillingston, a nephew of famous anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, married Katherine Lindsay (whose mother's name was Innes) in 1832. A Katherine Lillingston, on her death in 1952, bequeathed parts of her family's land at Balmacara to the National Trust for Scotland.

(On the internet Lillingston is commonly confused with Lillington)

Courtesy of Geoff Holman