Letter of 1847 from the Secretary of the Board of Fisheries
Transcription of a letter of 1847 from the Secretary of the Board of Fisheries to the Marquis of Lorne.
Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll
The failure of the potato crop in 1846 led to widespread food shortages in the Highlands and Islands. In an attempt to provide work for people suffering from destitution, the government decided to improve ‘certain creeks on the west coast of Scotland’.
The Board of Fisheries sent an inspection team to Tiree and neighbouring islands to examine the state of the fishing boats, lines and piers. They concluded a total of £2,199 was needed to develop the fishing industry on Tiree, Mull and Iona and that the Duke of Argyll should pay half the costs.
The Marquis of Lorne argued against this proposal with some justification as the estate had tried for many years to encourage islanders to combine crofting and fishing with little success. However, in 1847 the Duke agreed to pay £690 towards building four new piers at Balemartine, Hynish, Milton and at the Green in Kilmoluaig.