Quoys was a farm in Wasbister, the buildings of which now stand as ruins on the west bank of the Burn of Quoys and situated between the lands of Quoyostray and Cogar.

Quoys (2)

In 1841, the land was farmed by 35-year-old William Gibson and he was paying £10 a year rent. He lived there with his wife Janet Craigie, daughter of Hugh and Isabel Craigie of Brough, Westside, who was born on July 20th 1808. Living under the same roof was Ellen Craigie, a servant, and 13-year-old Hugh Marwick who was an agricultural labourer. Lerquoy was added in 1847, as was Deithe in 1849, and at that time William paid £15.14.7. rent.


In 1851, William and Janet had three servants; John Clouston, a 19-year-old, working on the farm; 22-year-old Jane Craigie, who worked in the house; and 13-year-old Betsy Clouston, a cowherd.


Another tenant at this time was widowed farmer William Marwick, who lived there with his 20-year-old son David, a shoemaker.

Quoys (3)

By 1861, the previously mentioned Hugh Marwick was joint tenant of Quoys with William Gibson. At this time he was a 33-year-old fisherman. On December 1st 1858, he married Mary Inkster, the daughter of James Inkster and Janet Craigie of Innister, born on December 5th 1834. While living at Quoys they had four children between 1859 and 1866.


They then moved to Whitemeadows, a small croft high up on the west side of Kierfea Hill, and between June 1869 and October 1880, Mary gave birth to another six children there. James Mowat was born on June 3rd 1869, William on July 10th 1871, Thomas on June 23rd 1873, John on November 26th 1875, Alexander on December 10th 1878 and Magnus, who was born on October 14th 1880.


Both Hugh and his wife Mary died in 1882, within a month of each other. He was aged 54 and she was 46. Seven of the ten children were younger than 18 when they were orphaned. The following is the inscription on their gravestone in the Wester kirkyard:-


Erected by their family in loving memory of

Hugh Marwick, who died 22nd March 1882, aged 53 years,

and Mary Inkster his wife, who died 17th April 1882, aged 46 years.


“Weep not for us our children dear:

because we died and left you here:

Our heavenly Father thought it best:

to call us home and give us rest.”

Quoys (1)

In 1871 James Kirkness and his wife Margaret Inkster lived at Quoys. He was the son of James Kirkness and Grace Craigie of Quoyostray and later Grain, and he was born on March 28th 1843. In 1864 he married Margaret, daughter of James Inkster and his third wife Elizabeth Mowat, and she was born on November 17th 1844. They had four children; Janet, James, William, and David, born between 1865 and 1878.


In 1873, William Gibson, who still owned the 58.8 acres of land at Quoys, paid an annual rent of £20.

Quoys (4)