Broadford, Skye, 16 May 1883 - William Fraser

WILLIAM FRASER, Crofter and Mason, Blackpark (62)—examined.

4883. The Chairman.
—Were you freely elected a delegate?

4884. Have you any statement to make on the part of those who chose you?
—There are twelve lots in the Blackpark. These lots were portioned out six years ago, but we were kept back for a whole year, after I myself had expended 30s. on the drainage of my lot, and when the time came when I should sow my seed I was prevented from so doing, as the tacksman's lease of it had not run out. We have no grazing nor right to seaweed, he counting us as thieves when we are upon the shore. I am the third individual mentioned by Mr Logan who was denied sea-weed. The tacksman, when we went to the sea-shore for weed, came with his ground officer to prevent us. There were three of us—John M'Lean, John M'Leod, and myself. I am for the past five years working very hard, and with the assistance even of my family in the sort of place which I have, I could not yet manage to sow a boll of oats in it, even without potatoes at all. Every time I have cultivated it I am going to a depth of eighteen inches with the pick and spade. I built a house upon it, and spent a good deal upon it, and I asked that the factor should give me some assurance that I would be left in the lot;—of some hold of my own house—and I did not get that. We are without glazing for a cow or a goat, but we could graze a pet sheep on the grass or on the lot,—not outside the lots,—we cannot keep a pet there. I have not much more to say. My hardships have been told, and that is all my neighbours have to say likewise.

4885. Did you say these portions have been made six years ago ?

4886. Where did the people come from?
—We were throughout the place here. My father was twenty-three years in Keppoch, in that township that was cleared, but the rest of my people are down about here.

4887. From whom was the land taken in order to form your lots
—Off the tack of Corrie. It was a practically useless piece which nothing green was growing upon
—just a bit of moss called Blackpark, and very properly so. We pay £6 for this park among us.

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