Obe, Harris, 31 May 1883 - Duncan Morrison

DUNCAN MORRISON, Cottar, Finsbay (73)—examined.

13432. The Chairman.
—What have you got to say?
—I have a particular hardship of my own to tell of. In the first place, when I was sixteen years old I was sent away on account of a tacksman of big sheep from Borv, where I was, to Cuidinish. My father was sent—the whole family. We were doing there a while as Providence allowed us, till the next depopulation came upon Cuidinish, and when Cuidinish was depopulated and given to another tacksman, I was sent away from it. I was for two years among the sheep at Cuidinish. I have no complaint against the man who took the place, because he could not put me out of it, and I had no other place to go to. After that time there came another schemer, who wanted to put me out of it. Then the factor, Macdonald, showed me some favour, if a friend would allow me to get the site of a house, to escape from the shepherd, and which I did get. I then escaped from Cuidinish, and got a bit of ground upon which I built a house at Finisbay, where I am now—a little bit upon which to raise a bit of crop, and feed myself and nine children. It is about twenty years since that took place, and I have
had no means of living there since then except what help I got from my worthy neighbours. I had been paying till I came there to four different landlords, and I never was one penny in arrears when I was removed from Cuidinish, so if I have not been unjustly treated, I don't know any man that ever was. Notwithstanding all that I have borne myself respectfully, and no person in authority ever knew from anything I said how ill I had been used.

13433. Have your sons not assisted you ?
— Our chief support is one son, who has been in the militia, and in the naval reserve at Stornoway. He is our only support.

13434. Are you a fisherman ?
—I never was a fisherman, but my son fishes.

13435. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Who is the man that put you out of Cuidinish ?
—The factor, Macdonald—the late Mr Macdonald of Rodel. Notwithstanding that he was very kind to me, and he gave me employment as long as the kelp was worked, which was for about ten or twelve years ; but ever since then I have had no employment whatever.

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