Broadford, Skye, 16 May 1883 - Donald Nicolson

DONALD NICOLSON, Crofter and Fisherman, Luib (48)—examined.

4920. The Chairman.
—Were you elected by the people of Luib freely ?
—Yes; it was only done to-day. That is the reason of the names not being sent in.

4921. What statement have you to make?
—We have to complain of the smallness of our holdings. We are planting potatoes during the last fifty-six years; and if we sow oats in any part of the ground, we have no means of planting potatoes, and even should we sow oats the deer will destroy them.

4922. Have you any hill pasture ?

4923. What is the summing of the crofts ?
—Only three cows, no horse ; and we are forbidden by the factor to keep sheep, but we are keeping a few all the same.

4924. How many sheep could you keep if you were allowed ?
—We could keep about two hundred or three hundred on the township.

4925. How many for each croft ?
—Up to twenty each. There are eight crofts.

4926. If you are forbidden to keep sheep, what do you do with the land ?
—No good in the world from it. We might be as well without it

4927. What is the rent ?
—£4 a lot

4928. Have you got keep for the cows in winter ?
—No, we could not get as much off our lots as would feed one cow, and some of these lots have two or three families settled on them.

4929. Describe what harm the deer do to you ?
—They eat the crop at night

4930. Have you represented that to the factor for many years past ?
— No we did not; but even should we do so, we would not be the better of it

4931. Does the factor make any allowance to you in order to keep a watcher at night ?

4932. Does the factor help you in any form to protect yourselves against the deer ?

4933. Did you hear they were going to get a fence against the deer in another township ?

4934. Will your people apply to the factor for a fence at your place too?
—We would be glad to do that.

493.5. How long would it be ?
—About four miles.

4936. Round the whole hill pasture ?

4937. And how long would the fence be round the arable land ?
—Not above three quarters of a mile.

4938. Are you prevented from walking on the hill pasture on account of the deer ?
—Yes, we are forbidden during the hunting season.

4939. Are you on friendly terms with the gamekeeper ?
—We would require it all, sometimes.

4940. Have you any other complaint to make ?
—They planted the school too far from us. The children have a wild moor to cross to get to it.

4941. How far ?
—Two and a half miles.

4942. Is it farther from your place than any other place ?
—No, but we have the worst road.

4943. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Could they have made it nearer to your place without injustice to somebody else ?

4944. Where ?
—If the school would be half the way, on the hill.

4945. Would that have suited ever body ?
—Yes, it would be an equal distance from each township.

4946. Who chose the site of the school ?
—The factor.

4947. Why did he choose it in that place ?
—I do not know.

4948. Where is the school ?
—In Dunan.

4949. Close by the sea-shore ?

4950. Was there great distress at Luib this winter or spring?
—Yes; the storms damaged our boats.

4951. But was there any extraordinary want of food?
—Not that we heard of.

4952. I suppose you had plenty herring?
—Yes, we could get plenty herring, if we could cure them and make use of them.

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