Glendale, Skye, 21 May 1883 - John Mcswan

JOHN M'SWAN, Crofter and Fisherman (52)—re-examined.

7166. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—You gave evidence at Dunvegan?
—Yes, I was asked especially about the practice of the tenant paying the arrears due by his predecessor.

7167. The Chairman.
—Who selected you to appear in place of Donald M'Lean ?
—I was co-delegate with Donald M'Lean.

7168. Have you any written statement from the people of Skiniden?

7169. Would you make a verbal statement?
—I have not much to say, and I am not going to say much. It is only eleven years since I went to Skiniden, and you know that each township has marches, and every lot is the same, and the fourth part was taken from the march at Skiniden by the factor who settled it This factor was Norman M'Raild, and his father had it for £80, and the poor people are now paying £88 for it, while the fourth part of the land has been taken away from them.

7170. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Who has that fourth part?
—M'Raild himself. Another thing is, that one of the crofters in the place had about half an acre of the best part of his lot taken by M'Raild, who added it to his own holding, while the man is paying still for it. The factor also took from the man the upper part of his lot and gave it to a herd, so that the man has only the middle of his lot, and he can neither go to the hill nor to the sea-shore from his lot without trespassing on somebody else, unless he goes over the rocks. Again, every crofter was promised a ton of seaware. They did not get the half of that, and they were under the necessity of buying sea-ware off M'Leod of M'Leod's property, but last year the sea-ware was ahowed them by Tormore. There is no reason for my saying much. I have seen a great deal of the high-handedness of the landlords and the factors since I remember.

7171. I wish particularly to hear about the islands at Skiniden—two islands. Do you know about them. They were taken away ?
—Yes, they were taken away from the town.

7172. What evidence have you got that those two islands ever formed part, in old times, of the pasture ground of the town ?
—That they always formed part of the township till M'Raild deprived the township of them.

7173. What year was that?
—I think it was thirty-four years ago.

7174. Is the very M'Raild that did it alive yet?

7175. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Are these islands the fourth part you were talking about ?
—Yes, the fourth part of the grazing of the township.

7176. The Chairman.
—You remember having seen these islands occupied by the people as their grazing ground in old times ?
—I saw them in the possession of Mr Tolmie.

7177. Is there anybody still alive whom you can point out who saw
these islands in the possession of the township ?
—Yes, plenty.

7178. Is there anybody here in this room ?

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