JOHN M'LEOD, Cottar, Tarbert (70)—examined.
18029. The Chairman
—Do you remember the time when your father's father was sent to Borv in 1846?
18030. Where was your father's family before that time?
18031. Was he in good circumstances there ?
—Yes. They were able to support themselves, and to sell some when they were there.
18032. Do you know what stock they took with them to Borv?
—I cannot tell
18033. Had they sufficient stock for the place?
—We had not much when we went there, but our stock was increasing. We had a great deal of stock when we left it.
18034. What rent did they pay for the croft they got at Borv?
—£11, 5s. or £11, 15s.
18035. How long was your father at Borv?
—In the first place we went to we were allowed to remain three years.
18036. What was the name of the place ?
18037. Were you then removed?
18038. Where to ?
18039. How long did you stay there ?
18040. Why did you leave ?
—We were put out of it.
18041. Why were you put out?
—Well, they did not wish us to remain there.
18042. Had you paid your rents?
—Not the whole of it. Some of the rent was unpaid. When the people were summoned out of this Little Borv, the factor told them that if they got security they would pay £100 at the next market, they would not be disturbed that year. The minister that was at Scarista at the time—the present minister of South Uist—offered to become security for the required amount, but they would not accept the security.
18043. Why were they removed in the first place from Big Borv?
—They wanted to add Big Borv to the tack of Scarista-vore.
18044. Were the tenants of Big Borv in arrears at that time?
—I believe they were behind with their rent. The years were very bad, and there was no price for cattle. The prices rose the very year they left, and never fell to the same point since.
18045. Had they any other debts on the stock besides the rent?
—I do not think they were in debt for which the stock could be called upon to pay.
18046. At the time they were removed from Little Borv, had all the tenants the full stock?
—The minister said at the time they were sent away, that the poorest man in the country might become security for them, because they had sufficient stock to meet the demands upon them.
18047. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—When you speak of the minister of Scarista, do you mean the parish minister of Harris ?
18048. Was he a man in perfectly good credit and substance?
—Well, he said himself that it was through the factor that he received his stipend, and that his stipend might be good for the sum.
18049. Who was the factor who carried this out?
—M'Donald of Rodel.
18050. Was he factor at the time this first settlement was made when they were taken out of Pabbay ?
—Yes; it was the same factor.
18051. Had Captain Sitwell been removed by the time they were put away from Borv?
—I cannot tell. It was Captain Sitwell who arranged they should be sent there.
18052. Were all the arrears that were due by your father paid at the time they were summoned out before they were allowed to remove the little stock that remained ?
—I believe not.
18053. Where did your father go after leaving Borv?
—Ardhassaig, West Loch Tarbert.
18054. Did your father build a house when he went first to Big Borv ?
—Yes, where there was not a stone upon the ground,—both house and barn.
18055. Did it necessarily involve a great expenditure to your father?
—There was not much in the outlay. The family assisted to build it.
18056. Did they get any value for the houses when they went to Little Borv ?
—Not a shilling.
18057. Then did you find the houses at Little Borv ready for you?
—There were the walls of the house.
18058. But you had to make it fit for habitation?
18059. Did you get compensation when they left Little Borv?
—No; but we removed the roof of it when we went away.
18060. Was it with your father's will or the will of the other tenants that they were finally removed from Little Borv?
—No; it was against their will.
18061. Did they ever get a fair chance there of getting on in the world, with these three shiftings in the course of five years ?
—The very opposite. At Ardhassaig again, after we were shifted, we were there a year without land at all. The man into whose land we came had himself cropped it that year, and so we had no crop, and that threw the family back very much.
18062. When you went to Big Borv, what time did you go to it?
—In the beginning of summer.
18063. Was there crop or house or anything there?
—Nothing; we dwelt in a bothy till we were able to build a house.
18064. When was the first rent due?
—I cannot tell.
18065. Did they pay from the very moment of entering?
—We were paying certainly. I know the first settlement we went to we were paying £ 17, but I cannot tell what was paid after that.
18066. How often were the rents uplifted?
—Twice a year. It was taken from them at any time.
18067. Do you recollect your father going to the rent collection at Martinmas that year ?
—I do not remember that he did.