Uig, 10 May 1883 - Donald Mcdonald (Hundlader)

DONALD M'DONALD, Crofter, Hundlader (74)—examined.

2355. The Chairman.
—What is the size of your croft?
—Four and a half acres or thereby.

2356. What stock is it calculated to keep?
—Two cows.

2357. Any sheep?
—No sheep.

2358. Nor horses?
—No horses.

2359. How long have you been in the croft ?
—For forty years.

2360. Have you heard what the previous delegates have stated, and do you generally agree with them ?
—I desire to say something besides what has been already said. We had the hill pasture along with our arable land in old time always until the captain came, and now we have the rent much increased, double what it was, without the hill at all.

2361. Who was the hill given to?
—It was divided between Duntulm and Monkstadt. We are continually getting poorer since we lost the hill. Old people and young people have no means of living. Young, strong men can earn what will provide them with clothing in the south, but old people and young people cannot do that; and now, the most profitable land that we had in our townships is under sheep connected with the big tacks, and we understand they were all productive townships. We understand that the land was good land, when we could get ten returns for our corn, and these families could only get two and a half returns in the land to which they were removed. We have not got sufficient land now to enable us to cultivate it in rotation. The township in which I am now, my father and his brother, and another man, had it to themselves, and now there are fourteen in it. You can easily see that if feeding of three individuals was apportioned to fourteen it could not be too scarce. We are undergoing all the exactions that were laid upon us in quietness. The rent was raised upon us, and we had the alternative offered us of leaving the place or to pay the increased rent. We are very needy now that the rights of our fathers and grandfathers should be restored to us—that is the hill pasture—and it was the want of that that brought the great poverty upon the township of Kilmuir. If crofters who are huddled together now in small holdings were spread over the old crofter lands which are fertile, there would be more comfort, and the big tacks would still remain. I am getting old, and cannot do much for myself now, and it is our families who are looking after us when we are getting old, and this is disgusting them from the land—the poor soil they have to deal with. They cannot get so much out of the laud as a pair of stockings. When we had the hill, should we only got that itself out of it, it would be so much help. We cannot tell the inconveniences to which we are subjected through the loss of the hill

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