1893 petition to the County Council
Transcription of a petition of 1893 to the County Clerk by Tiree cottars asking to benefit under the Small Holdings Act.
Courtesy of Argyll & Bute Archives
The Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act of 1886 introduced a new form of land tenure based on security of tenure, fair rents, and compensation for permanent improvements at the termination of a tenancy. The new Act only applied to holdings which were held on a yearly tenancy and whose annual rent did not exceed £30.
Cottars who had no crofts remained outside the political settlement until 1892 when the Small Holdings Act enabled County Councils to acquire suitable land ‘for the purpose of providing small holdings for persons who…will themselves cultivate the holdings.’
In 1893 forty-two cottars, most of whom were formerly in possession of crofts, petitioned the County Clerk William Sproat asserting the demand for small holdings on the island and claiming their right to benefit under the new Act.