STATEMENT by ALEX. MACDONALD, Esq. of Treaslane, Skye, and Factor to Lord Macdonald.
PORTREE, 16th August 1883.
I was duly favoured with your letter of 2nd June last, wishing me if possible to give an abstract of prices of Highland stock for the years 1852, 1862, and 1872. It would have given me much pleasure indeed to have replied before now, but it took me some time to obtain the necessary information, and I regret to say that even now the information which I have been able to obtain is somewhat imperfect The following information, however, may be found useful. The price of blackfaced sheep for the years mentioned will be found to be as follows, viz.:-
The prices of wool for the same years were as follows, viz.:—
In 1852, blackfaced wedders were from 23/0 to 27/0
Blackfaced ewes were from 14/6 to 16/6
Blackfaced lambs were from 8/0 to 11/6
In 1862 blackfaced wedders were from 17/0 to 27/0
Blackfaced ewes were from 12/0 to 18/8
Blackfaced lambs were from 6/0 to 12/0
In 1872 blackfaced wedders were from 31/6 to 45/0
Blackfaced ewes were from 18/0 to 32/0
Blackfaced lambs were from 12/6 to 18/0
In 1852, Cheviot wedders were from 21/0 to 32/0
Cheviot ewes were from 15/6 to 23/0
Cheviot lambs were from 8/0 to 14/0
In 1862 Cheviot wedders were from 27/0 to 37/6
Cheviot ewes were from 17/6 to 28/0
Cheviot lambs were from 10/0 to 16/0
In 1872 Cheviot wedders were from 45/0 to 56/0
Cheviot ewes were from 32/0 to 42/0
Cheviot lambs were from 16/0 to 22/0
In 1852, the price of laid Cheviot wool was from 13s. to 15s. per stone, and of laid blackfaced wool from 8s. to 9s. per stone.
In 1862, Cheviot wool averaged from 18s. 6d. to 26s. per stone, white Cheviot from 30s. to 37s. per stone, and laid Blackfaced from lis. 6d. to 16s. per stone.
In 1872, laid Cheviot wool was from 26s. to 37s. 6d., white Cheviot from 40s. to 48s., and laid Blackfaced from 18s. to 21s. per stone.
I have had considerable difficulty in obtaining information about the price of cattle for the same periods, but you can readily obtain it, I think, by referring to the files of some of the current newspapers at the time. I have been able only to obtain the following information:—
In 1873, Highland stirksmade from £ 6 , 10s. to £ 8 , two-year-olds from £10 to £14, and three and four-year-olds from £15 to £19, and some choice animals as far as £21 and £22. Before the extraordinary rise in the price of cattle, from £10 to £12 was thought a high figure for the choice descriptions.