South Uist, 28 May 1883 - Donald Gillies

DONALD GILLIES, Crofter and Fisherman, Caoias-an-eilean (36)—examined.

11795. The Chairman.—You have been freely elected by your people?
—Freely elected.

11796. Have you any statement to make?
—No statement.

11797. What is the complaint of the people of Caolas-an-eilean ?
—I am about eleven years married, and, when I did marry about three acres of mossland was marked out for me. I have several of a family since. I have been obliged to knock about, and serve here and there to earn food for my wife and family, which could not grow upon my three acres of moss. I have been for seven years asking for more land, and I cannot get a yard of land more than I have now. I am quite able to stock more

11798. Then your complaint is the want of land ?

11799. Anything else?
—I have no other statement to make.

11800. Sheriff Nicolson.
—Where is Caolas-an-eilean ?
—Two or three miles from here.

11801. How many families are there in the place?
—Five families altogether, and each of these has the same complaint to make.

11802. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.—Is there auy land near that they can get ?
—There is land suitable near it. I have been often asking it, but could not get it.

11803. Where is the suitable land?
—Down in the direction of where Lady Cathcart made the park. In that direction there is suitable land. There is an island that would also keep a few of us.

11804. What is the name of the island?
—Eilean More, and if a portion of the five were removed elsewhere and a portion left, they would both be better.

11805. What rent do you pay?

11806. What stock do you keep?
—Two cows and a heifer—that is the summing.

11807. Where do you feed them?
—Over the hills. I buy fodder for them, and at present I buy meal for them to keep them alive. I have to go over the wave to earn money to keep those cows in winter.

11808. Are the other families in the place in the same condition?
—In the same way.

11809. Paying the same rent?
—The same rent.

11810. Do they keep cows also?
—Some of them have two cows, and others have one cow and a heifer.

11811. Is there any fishing near you?
—There is none.

11812. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.—Where did you come from ?
—I do not know where my great grandfather came from, but I was born in South Loch Boisdale.

11813. Had you brothers?
—My father is living, and I have a brother living.

11814. Is your brother living with your father?

11815. And when you married, was there no room for you on your father's croft ?
—There was no room on my father's croft.

11816. And so you got this piece of land as a place to take your wife to ?

11817. Sheriff Nicolson.—How old were you when you married?
—About twenty-seven.

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