Torran, Raasay, 22 May 1883 - Alexander Mclennan

ALEXANDER M'LENNAN, Crofter, Eilean Fladda (74)—examined.

7910. The Chairman.
—Have you any information to give us about the evictions which formerly took place in Raasay?
—I was born in the south of Raasay. I was acquainted with the two last lairds, MLeod of Raasay. When the first laird got into difficulties, Mr M'Kinnon, Corrie, was factor, and the sheep began to come to this place. The place was getting into debt ever since then. When Mackenzie took the place from Mr Rainy, there was in his lease power to clear any township that he pleased, and every township was cleared accordingly, except those which were not favourable for sheep. The place was spoiled before Mr Wood got it, and I have to say for myself and for us all three things that I wish to speak to. We got boats when the storm broke; we got a reduction of one-third of this year's rent, because of the badness of the year; and we got seed potatoes. We have now to say of Mr Wood that he is a good landlord.

7911. You have heard what the previous witness said about fourteen townships being cleared at one time, and of their going away. Do you confirm the truth of what he stated?
—Yes, I concur with what the previous delegate said, and I have one word to say for myself. I was at
the quay when the people were sent off, and they were like lambs separated from their mothers. There was one old man there who said,' Should I go to Australia I may die on my arrival, I should prefer remaining in Raasay, but I must go.'

7912. So far as you are aware, until the time of M'Leod who got into difficulties, were the lairds of Raasay minding their people, and were the people fairly comfortable?
—Yes, they had the hill from the upper part of Raasay to Scribidale, except the square.

7913. Are you aware that any people were sent away to America in the time of the M'Leods before Corrie became factor?
—No, that was the first break that was made in the population of Raasay when Corrie became factor, and when M'Leod left Raasay the place was getting into debt.

7914. Before the M'Leods finally lost the property, were there any people sent away by ship-loads ?
— I cannot remember. The place began to suffer disadvantage ever since Corrie came to be factor.

7915. How long is it since Corrie became factor?
—I cannot say.

7916. Is it forty years ago?
—It is more than forty.

7917. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—Who was the factor at the time Mr Rainy sent the people away?
—Mr Harry Macdonald, the father of Mr Alexander Macdonald, Portree; and if any one of us happened to be 10s. in arrears, we would be served with a summons of removal, and would
have to pay 10s. for the summons.

7918. Is Mackenzie, the tacksman who had the right to remove the people, alive now?
—No, he is dead long ago.

7919. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Is everybody who was connected with these removals, from the landlord down to the lawyer and ground officer, all dead?
—They are all dead, down to the ground officer.

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