BOOK REVIEW: McDougalls and Gunpowder

BOOK REVIEW: McDougalls and Gunpowder

BOOK REVIEW: McDougalls and Gunpowder

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by


THIS book tells the story of the branch of an ancient Scottish family who headed south from the little island of Seil, in Argyll, where they joined the English Industrial Revolution.

In this case, the journey south took them to the Blackbeck Gunpowder Works, in south Cumbria.

The narrative spans the years from 1771 to the present day, but it was the birth of John MacDougall on Seil in 1816 that was to ultimately decide the fate of this branch of the MacDougall (later McDougall) family.

In the 1860s, after seeing an advert in the Oban Times for workers at a new gunpowder mill in the Lake District, experienced ‘powder’ worker John left Seil with his wife Mary and their children to start their new life at Blackbeck and Bouth, where they maintained connections with gunpowder well into the 20th century.

To order call the author on 01539 821124.

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