Appendix XXXIX

STATEMENT on behalf of Lady MATHESON of the Lews.

LADY MATHESON has asked that the following paper should be appended to the evidence taken by this Commission, viz.:—

(a) The original letter from Kenneth Nicholson, Calbost, of which an imperfect copy which was printed which omits the threatening paragraph referred to in the minutes of evidence, Q. 18455 and following.

(b) Statement No. 1, relating to the population, area, and local taxation of the Lewis.

(c) Statement No. 2, detailing the expenditure incurred by the late Sir James Matheson in his attempts to develop the resources of that island.
With reference to the petition mentioned in Kenneth Nicholson's letter, Lady Matheson explains, that' having been answered by anticipation in 1880, it needed no written acknowledgment in January 1882, though a verbal answer was given.

23rd December 1882.

HONOURED LADY,—On behalf of a number of fishermen residing at Calbost, Maravich, and Gravir, in the parish of Lochs, I beg leave most respectfully to send you herewith copy of a petition, addressed by us to your ladyship, through Mr M'Kay, chamberlain of Lewis, last January, and to which we have had no reply.
Trusting we may not be led to resort reluctantly to such steps as many of our unfortunate countrymen are forced to adopt.
May I take the liberty of asking that you be so good as let the petitioners know your own views regarding the matters contained in the petition,
—I have the honour to be, your ladyship's obedient servant,

Memorandum as to the population and area of the island of Lewis.

Population in 1755 6,396
Do. 1791 8,371
Do. 1801 9,168
Do. 1811 10,099
Do. 1821 12,231
Do. 1831 14,541
Do. 1841 17,037
Do. 1851 19,694
Do. 1861 21,059
Do. 1871 23,443
Do. 1881 25,487

To the population of 1881, 400 militiamen should be added, who were out of the island at the time of taking the census.

Population in 1841 17,037
Do. 1851 17,694
Increase in ten years 2,657

Population in 1851 19,694
Do. 1861 (exclusive of 1772 who emigrated) 21,059
Increase in ten years 1,365

Population in 1861 21,059
Do. 1871 (exclusive of 459 emigrants) 23,443
Increase in ten years 2,384

Population in 1871 23,443
Do. 1881 (including 400 militiamen out of the island when the census was taken) 25,887
Increase in ten years 2,444

Total increase in forty years 8,850
Population of the island in 1881 25,887

Deduct: Burgh of Stornoway 2,626
Tacksmen and others, not crofters... 789

Leaving a crofter population of 22,474 on 2881 crofts, all under £5 of yearly rent, yielding a gross rental of £8167, 2s., or an average rental of £2 , 17s. per croft; and gives a population of nearly ight souls per croft.

The population of the county of Ross, exclusive of the island of Lewis is 52,633

The gross rental of the county, as per valuation roll, exclusive of the Lewis, is £264,768.

The population of the island of Lewis is 25,887

With a gross rental, as per valuation roll, of only £26,666.
The population of the county of Sutherland, in 1881, including the burgh of Dornoch,was 23,326

and the island of Lewis, including the police burgh of Stomoway 25,887

Showing a population of 2561 more in the Lewis than in the whole county of Sutherland.

The area of the county of Sutherland is 1,207,188 acres, which give 51 3/4 acres to each soul of the inhabitants ; whereas, in the island of Lewis there is only an area of 417,460 or about 16 acres for each soul of the population.

The rental of the Lewis is, therefore, in the proportion of £1000 for every thousand of the population; whereas, in the rest of the county of Ross, the rent stands in the proportion of £5000 to every thousand of the population. Consequently, local rates in the Lewis must be five times more than in the rest of the county.
Taking the landward parishes of the Lewis, viz., Lochs, Uig, and Barvas, there is a population of 15,192, with an assessable rental of £12,000. For these three parishes 22 schools have been provided, with school  accommodation for 3114 children.

The rates and taxes in the Lewis for the last three years have been as follows:—payable, one half by proprietrix and one half by tenants:—

Year ending    Parochial rates    School rates    Roads    Total
15 May 1880    2/10        1/8        1/0    5/6
1881        3/2        2/2        1/0    6/4
1882        3/4        2/0        1/0    6/4

Year ending    Parochial rates    School rates    Roads    Total
15 May 1880    2/10        3/0        1/0    6/10
1881        3/10        4/6        1/0    9/4
1882        3/10        4/2        1/0    9/0

Year ending    Parochial rates    School rates    Roads    Total
15 May 1880    3/4        2/8        1/0    7/0
1881        3/8        4/6        1/0    9/2
1882        2/6        2/8        1/0    8/2

Year ending    Parochial rates    School rates    Roads    Total
15 May 1880    3/2        3/4        1/0    7/6
1881        3/10        6/8        1/0    11/6
1882        3/6        3/8        1/0    8/2

The average births in the Lewis for each year for 26 years, ending with 1880, was 755 4/13
Average deaths 363 7/26
Do. marriages 126 5/26
STORNOWAY, 18th January 1883.

Memorandum as to expenditure incurred by the late Sir James Matheson, with the view of developing the resources of the Island of Lewis.

In his evidence before the Commission at Stornoway, Mr William Mackay mentioned the following items of expenditure for the above purpose, the total amount of which is here added up :—

Building houses and reclaiming land £99,720
School buildings and teachers' salaries 11,680
Roads and bridges 25,593
Patent slip at Stomoway 6,000
Fish-curing houses at Stomoway 1,000
Steamboat quay 2,225
Bulls for improvement of crofters' stock 1,200
Chemical work 33,000
Loss in establishing steam communication 15,000
Loss on improved mail service 16,800

In addition to the above, Sir James Matheson spent on—
Brickworks £6,000
Meal and seed for crofters in years of destitution 30,000
Emigration 11,000
Making a total of £259,218
Irrespective of the cost of the mansion house at Stornoway, and of the shooting lodges at Morsgail and Uig.

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