Emailed information from the Archivist at Argyll Estates’ archives at Inveraray to Iain Knapman, Balephuil, regarding material relevant to the history of land settlement on Tiree. Includes printouts of the two attachments mentioned below.
“There is minimal published research on the history of the land settlement of Tiree. I understand that TM Devine in his ‘The Great Highland Famine: Hunger, Emigration and the Scottish Highlands in the 19th Century’ (Edinburgh, 2004) refers to there being 329 crofts on Tiree by 1802 and that by 1806 four fifths of Tiree was worked by crofters, but I do not know where these figures come from.
Prior to the establishment of crofts, the land was worked by communal farming settlements of multiple tenant farmers, cottars and servants – the baile. Certainly the 5th Duke of Argyll was keen to improve his lands, and the surveys of the lands and of the people who worked the lands that he commissioned towards the end of the 18th century were intended to inform agricultural improvements and the selection of the best workers to carry them out.
Apart from references in the Instructions that you have read, we hold additional correspondence within the bundle series (see attached list for possibly relevant bundles) and there is also a portfolio of specifically Tiree related material, ref. PV65, which Eric Cregeen listed briefly and which I assume informed his publication of the Instructions. I attach a copy of this list as well.”