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Due to its flatter, more fertile land, Lewis contains three-quarters of the population of the Western Isles, and the largest settlement, Stornoway.The island's diverse habitats are home to an assortment of flora and fauna, such as the golden eagle, red deer and seal, and are recognised in a number of conservation areas.At that time, people began to settle in permanent farms rather than following their herds.The small houses of these people have been found throughout the Western Isles; in particular, at Dail Mhor, Carloway.

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Control of Lewis itself was initially exercised by the Macleod clan, but after years of feuding and open warfare between and even within local clans, the lands of Clan Mac Leod were forfeited to the Scottish Crown in 1597 and were awarded by King James VI to a group of Lowland colonists known as the Fife adventurers in an attempt to anglicise the islands.Lewis became part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, an offshoot of Norway.The Lewis chessmen, found on the island in 1831, date from the time of Viking rule.The Norse language persists in many island placenames and some personal names to this day, although the latter are fairly evenly spread across the Gàidhealtachd.Lewis (and the rest of the Western Isles) became part of Scotland once more in 1266: under the Treaty of Perth it was ceded by the Kingdom of Norway.

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