The Napier Commission


The evidence gathered by the Napier Commission captures in English (in many cases, in translation from Gaelic) the voice of a people and their grievances. Here we have direct testimony of the profound issues affecting ordinary people of the Highlands and Islands at the end of the nineteenth century.

This Commission marked the start of a century of land reform legislation. As such it is a resource of near-unique importance.

The five volumes provided here were originally digitised and hosted by West Highland College UHI (formerly Lochaber College) but transferred over to the Centre for History, with the agreement of West Highland College UHI, in November 2018, and we are delighted to make them available to UHI staff and students, and the broader public, here (pdf format):

Also available is an index to the reports, created by Guido Blokland.

Harvest in the Highlands

Photo courtesy of Historylinks Museum, Dornoch.

The Napier Commission is one of the key primary sources on our MLitt (masters) Highlands and Islands History, a programme available online from wherever you are in the world. It is an especially relevant source in relation to three modules from that postgraduate degree, each available on a stand-alone basis:  Arguments and Alternatives, Contemplating the Clearances and Primary Sources in History.