ANGUS PATERSON, Crofter, Kirvig (58)—examined.
14937. The Chairman.
—Are you a fisherman ?
—I was a fisherman, but not now.
14938. You have a statement to submit to the Commission?
—Yes. Memorial from the Tenant of Kirvig, Carloway :
—We, as crofters of the township or village of Kirvig beg to request the old boundaries of our village and parish be restored or changed to its former place. We also beg to state that at the time when Sir James Matheson became proprietor of Lewis, our village was divided into seven (7) crofts, and that at that time those seven crofts were made into ten (10), thereby rendering the crofts quite inadequate for the subsistence of the families living on them, and that those crofts have been further divided into fifteen (15), and that there are in the village five (5) " squatters," or families without land, who are a burden on their parents and on the rest of the crofters in the village, besides a lot which is let in the pasturage of the village (see Appendix A. XLI). There are in the village a large number of young men, married and single, all of them fishermen and naval reserve men, who are compelled to be a burden on their parents, because they cannot obtain land to cultivate, or even a site for a house. There is, for instance, one married man, who built a miserable bothy on his father's lot, and he had no sooner done so than his father was intimated by the factor, that if his son remained on his lot he (the father) would be forthwith evicted. This is but one instance out of very many, and this is all caused by the factor hemming in the people on all sides, to make room for sheep farms, as, for example, there is in our vicinity an aged bed-ridden bachelor, who rents a sheep farm which would hold comfortably from 200 to 300 crofters.
14939. Is the increase of families upon the township to be accounted for by the natural increase, or have strangers been brought into it ?
—They all grew up in the place.
14940. Have the crofts been divided with the consent of the factor, or against his consent ?
—It was against the rules of the estate.
14941. Then your demand is that you should obtain more land?
—That the land should be given to the sons of men which was owned by their fathers, and for which their ancestors shed their blood.
14942. Are there tacks adjacent to them?
—We are close to the boundary between Uig and Carloway.
14943. You want a piece of ground. Is there a tack contiguous to [y]our township ?
—No, there is no tack near us. We want the boundaries to be restored as they were in the times of our fathers and grandfathers, which were altered under the factorship of Mr Mackenzie.
14944. When the boundaries were altered was the area of the whole diminished ?
14945. To whom was the land given that was taken away from you?
—It was formerly part of the tack of Mr Kenneth Smith, and when people were removed from Mangersta, it was given to them.