Waternish, Skye, 14 May 1883 - Murdo Mclean

MURDO M'LEAN, Crofter, Forsavriev (64)—examined.

3572. The Chairman.
—Are you also a fisherman?
—I was a fisherman at one time.

3573. Have you been elected a delegate by the people of Forsavriev, or have you come on your own account?
—The former witness and myself were put forward to speak for the rest.

3574. Did you hear what the former witness said, and did you understand it ?

3575. Have you anything to add to what the former witness said?
— There is plenty to say in addition if it would be of any use. We are not wanting much wealth, if we only could get a place where we could grow crops. But we are placed on land where we cannot grow crop,—soft, peaty land. It is two years since we sent anything to the mill to grind. Before then we may have been sending a little while there was strength in the ground. We think that if we could get a place in which we could grow a crop, we would be quite willing to pay a reasonable rent for it—if we could get a.place where we could work for ourselves, and improve ourselves.

3576. Is there any land near there which the proprietor could give you if he pleased, and where you could grow crop?
—Yes, there is land. Our sheep are trespassing upon it, and being poinded, and we ourselves are quite willing to take it, and to pay for it. I mean land which is near us, which we never had before, which would grow crop, and which would answer our purpose. I do not say we are paying for it, but that we are willing to pay for it if we got it.

3577. Have you asked the landlord for this land 2

3578. What did he say?
—He said at first that we would get it, and then that we would not.

3579. Has your present landlord ever raised your rent ?
—No, it is just as it was when we got the place.

3580. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Where did you come from ?
—Ascrib island.

3581. Were you more comfortable there than you are now?
—Yes, we were; we were producing food, which we cannot produce where we are.

3582. How did the children get taught there?
—They were without schooling, and that is the reason why we could not write to Edinburgh to the Commissioners, as others have done.

3583. Was there ever a school at Ascrib ?

3584. How many children would be there of an age for school ?
—Up to fifteen.

3585. Why did you not get a lad to teach them?
—We spoke about that, but we were not thought of sufficient importance.

3586. To whom did you apply for a teacher?
—The late Rev. Roderick M'Leod of Snizort. He told us he would try to get us a lad to teach our children.

3587. But none was got ?

3588. If you had got a good place, would you not rather be on the mainland of Skye than on the island of Ascrib ?-
—I was very sorry when I was put out of the island, though it had its drawbacks.

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