Captain Hector McFadyen

After the scandalous goings on of recent posts this may come as a welcome relief – not all our ancestors have skeletons in their closets.

It comes courtesy of Andy and is an account of the life of Hector Mcfadyen, born on the Isle of Tiree in 1868, who became a master mariner and sailed with the P & A Campbell passenger steamers based in Bristol.

Tiree map for blog Hector McFaddyen

Tiree is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides.  This low-lying island, southwest of Coll, has an area of 7,834 hectares and a population of around 650.  It is very flat and has been described variously as ‘a raised beach’ and ‘the land below the waves’.   It has a mild climate with some of the highest levels of sunshine recorded in the British Isles and latterly is famed for the good surf.

Hector was born on 15th February 1868 in Heanish, Tiree, Argyl to Lachlan and Christine McFadyen.  They were married in 1861 at the Baptist Church in Hough Tyree and had 6 children in total.

Fishing and crofting were the usual occupations, life was hard and poor.  Many of the islanders emigrated to make a better life for themselves.  In June 1888, aged 20, Hector was a sailor (rank able bodied seaman) on the Viceroy sailing out of Glasgow.  He worked on a further seven ships before the Cambera 102498, part of the P&A Campbell fleet registered in Bristol.

In the late 1890’s it was fashionable for people to sail along the Firth of Clyde from Glasgow and the Campbell steamers were a popular fleet of ships working the holiday trade in the summer months.  It was whilst the Cambera was in the Clyde that Hector joined the company. This photo shows Hector (centre) with two officers outside the Captain’s Room on possibly the Brighton Queen taken in 1915 whilst on loan to the Admiralty for mine sweeping duties.

Hector McFadyen picture for blog

He lived in Bristol, got married in 1900, raised a family and finally died on 6th March 1953 aged 85.