Rabbit Islands

(Eilean nan Gaill)

A pair of small islands located in Tongue Bay on the northern coast of Sutherland, the Rabbit Islands (Gael: Eilean nan Gaill) lie 5 miles (8 km) north of the settlement of Tongue. They are so named because a rabbit population was once maintained here as a food supply for the Mackays of Tongue.

The ship Le Prince Charles Edward Stuart ran aground here in March 1746, carrying money and supplies for the Jacobite Army. She had been chased down by the British Navy and, following an exchange of fire over a period of some five hours, the ship was abandoned and the crew and soldiers captured while trying to make for Inverness. Although flying the French flag and with a French crew, this ship had previously been the British vessel Hazard, which had been captured by the Jacobites at Montrose and taken to Dunkirk.

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