Bracadale, Skye, 18 May 1883 - Donald Mcleod

DONALD M 'LEOD, Labourer, Garamore (27)—examined.

6431. The Chairman.
—Are you a cottar ?
—I am a cottar's son.

6432. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—It was stated in evidence here that the people of Garamore asked land and were refused. Can you tell us about it; when did they do it ?
—This year.

6433. Since Martinmas ?
—Before Martinmas.

6434. To whom did you apply?
—I spoke to the factor, and we wrote to the landlord—M 'Leod; but we did not tell M'Leod the place in which we were—we thought he knew it himself already.

6435. Are you upon a tacksman's farm ?
—We were on the tack of Ulinish, but it is now in the landlord's own farm.

6436. What exactly did you ask for ?
—Some of us were asking a place near to where we were, and we were asking to have homes given us where the others were allowed such.

6437. Was there more than one letter, or two different requests made in one letter ?
—We only sent one request.

6438. Some wanted land at Garamore, and some wanted land where others got it ?
—Yes, some were wanting laud near where they were at Garamore.

6439. What was the answer they got?
—M'Leod said in the letter which he sent to us that possibly that might suit us, but it would not suit him.

6440. Did you keep the letter ?
—We did not keep the letter.

6441. And there the matter ended ?
—Yes. I have to say the sheep are spoiling our crops. They go all through our crop, and we have no means of preserving our crop.

6442. What is the state of the land there?
—I cannot tell. It is not much worth. We cannot cultivate the sort of land it is. We are only allowed to keep a cow.

6443. The Chairman.
—-From whom did the letter come on the part of the landlord ? Was it from Mr M'Leod himself or from the factor ?
—The landlord himself wrote us.

6444. Did you see the letter ?

6445. It was written in English ?

6446. And you understood it ?

6447. Repeat again, so far as you can recollect, exactly what the letter said ?
—What was in the letter was, as I said already, that the request might suit us, but perhaps it might not suit him.

6448. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh
—Was there a verbal statement made to the factor ?

6449. Was that before or after you received that letter ?

6450. What did he say to it ?
—I cannot be very sure what the factor said to us.

6451. Was it to ask them to write to M'Leod direct, or did it refuse you ?
—It did not grant our request, neither did it ask us to write to the landlord.

6452. Then, have you given up the matter ?
—We have not given up the matter; we expect it.

6453. How many concurred in thi3 application?
—Five of us in the township, and one of them is a shepherd to M'Leod, and he did not put his name to the letter; but the four of us concurred in it.

6454. Did they put their names to it?
—Yes, each name.

6455. Professor Mackinnon.
—What was it you asked ?
— We were for getting a piece of land.

6456. Over here beside the people at Struanmore ?

6457. Did you say how much land ?

6458. How much were you looking for, or are you looking for ? How much would you wish to get ?
—We would take as much as would keep three cows and a horse and about fifty sheep.

6459. Each of you would take that ?

6460. And you would be able to stock such a piece of ground if you got it ?^-I suspect we would require help.

6461. But you would be able to do a good deal of it?
—I think we would.

6462. Did you offer any rent for the place?
—No, we did not offer until we should know what we were to get.

6463. Do you think you could pay the same rent that was being paid for it when it was under a tacksman ?
—Yes, I think so.

6464. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Were you quite in earnest? Did you talk over it several times among yourselves before you made up your minds ?
—Yes, and we are still quite in earnest.

6465. And you are still wanting it ?

6466. How far is the schoolhouse ?
—Three miles.

6467. Were you attending it yourself?

6468. Summer and winter ?

6469. The children are almost all able to read and write *
—Some of them.

6470. Are there more children now than when you were a boy able to read and write ?
—I do not think there are so many children to be learned.

6471. I don't mean in your own place, but about the school. You think there are not so many clnldren now as there were at one time ?
—I don't think it.

6472. But those that are, say for the last ten or twelve years, are they able to read and write more readily than they did before ?
—I am not sure ; I cannot say.

6473. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Who is the schoolmaster of this parish?
—It is a female teacher we have.

6474. How long has she been here?
—She is only here a week or a fortnight.

6475. Professor Mackinnon.
—You say you are still expecting to get that land. Have you any reason to suppose you will get it ?
—We are thinking it is for that that this Commission has come.

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