Payments to emigrants from Tiree to Canada in August 1849
Transcription of a list of payments made to emigrants to Canada in August 1849.
Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll
In 1847, the second year of the potato famine, the Central Relief Board assumed overall control of the relief efforts of the Free Church and the Destitution Committees of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The following year inspectors were appointed to ensure that all recipients passed the ‘destitution test’.
No-one was eligible for relief until all their means were exhausted. Able-bodied labourers were excluded as were those who had a legal claim to subsistence from the Parish. Those considered fit enough were expected to labour outdoors on public works, the rest to spin, knit or make nets.
To ensure that only the truly destitute would accept relief, the meal ration was cut to one pound a day and paid for by the whole labour of the recipient. Such harsh conditions and the promise of assisted passages from the Estate persuaded a further 364 to emigrate from Tiree in 1849.