Record

CodeNA11261
JurisdictionSutherland
Person NameSutherland; Skibo estate; Dornoch
ActivityIn 1186 Skibo estate was granted to Gilbert de Moravia (d 1245), Bishop of Caithness. Skibo remained the residential seat of Bishops of Caithness until 1545 when the Church disponed the estate to John Gray (d 1586). In 1745 the Gray family surrendered the estate and Sir Patrick Dowall of Edinburgh became the new proprietor. He was succeeded by his nephew George Mackay in 1751. George Mackay held the estate until 1756 when it was sold to William Gray (d 1760). In 1785 the estate was purchased by George Dempster (1732-1818). The estate was inherited by his niece, Harriet Milton (d 1810), afterwards, Harriet Sope-Dempster. Skibo estate passed to George Sope-Dempster (d 1889) who sold it in 1866 to a Mr Chirnside of Australia. Around 1872 the estate was purchased by Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker. From 1898 the estate was owned by Andrew Carnegie.Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), was the eldest son of William Carnegie, weaver in Dunfermline, and Margaret, daughter of Thomas Morrison. He was born on 25 November 1835 in Dunfermline. In 1848 the Carnegie family emigrated to the United States of America and settled in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. He began work in a cotton factory at the age of thirteen . In 1850 Colonel James Anderson, the founder of free libraries in Western Pennsylvania, decided to open his private library to 'working boys'. Andrew Carnegie, then working as a messenger boy, wrote a letter to the 'Pitsburgh Dispatch' in order to persuade him to include messenger boys in that category. He was successful and obtained books from that library every Saturday. In 1853 he began employment with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and subsequently invested in various railroad projects. During the Civil War (1861-1865), during which time iron rails were in demand, he organised a rail manufacturing company, launched the Pittsburgh Locomotive Works and formed the Keystone Ironbridge Company. Andrew Carnegie quickly became very wealthy and by 1899, when his various concerns vested in the Carnegie Steel Company, the profits were forty million dollars. In 1901 the Carnegie Steel Company was sold to the United States Steel Corporation for £89,000,000 and Andrew Carnegie retired from business and embarked his doctrine of the wise distribution of surplus wealth. He granted four million dollars for the establishment of an accident and pension fund for workers of his company as well as one million dollars for the maintenance of libraries and other institutions in Pittsburg which he had established. In 1882, he gifted a library to Dunfermline. From 1882 to 1919 Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Foundation of New York (from 1911) had spent £60,600,000 on the endowment of libraries in the United States, British Isles, Canada and other countries, as well as numerous other benefactions. Benefactions made in the British Isles were; The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 1901; The Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, 1903; The Carnegie Hero Fund Trust, 1908, and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, 1916. In 1902 Andrew Carnegie received an honourary degree from the University of St. Andrews and was installed as Lord Rector. He was also Lord Rector of Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities. In 1898 he purchased the estate of Skibo, Sutherlandshire. He was a member of the Peace Society of Great Britain and became the first president of the Peace Society of New York in 1907. In 1887 he married Louise, daughter of John W. Whitfield, of New York. He died in Lenox, Massachusetts on 11 August 1919. The estate passed to his widow Louise Whitfield Carnegie who administered the estate until her death on 24th June 1946. The estate was then inherited by their daughter, Mrs Roswell Miller, who formally took possession of it in 1946.
Corporate NameSkibo estate
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