Resolution against drinking ardent spirits at funerals
Transcription of a resolution by the minister and Parishioners of Tiree against drinking ardent spirits at funerals.
Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll
In ‘The Statistical of Account of Scotland’ published in 1845, the minister of Tiree, Rev. Neil MacLean, wrote condemning the practice of ‘drinking ardent spirits at funerals’ and of ‘poor families parting with their last horse or cow, to furnish entertainment of this kind.’
This Resolution of 1847 called on like-minded parishioners to abstain from drinking more than one glassful of spirits at funerals or to pay a penalty of five pounds to benefit the poor of the parish. Rev. MacLean successfully sought the backing of the Duke of Argyll.
In November 1855, the Tiree factor, Lachlan MacQuarie, issued a notice prohibiting the consumption of spirits at ‘weddings, balls, funerals or any other gathering’ by tenants paying less than £30 rent, on pain of dispossession of their lands.