Petition from Poor Persons in Tyree for Aid to Emigrate
Transcription of a petition for assistance to emigrate appended to ‘Crofts and Farms in the Hebrides’ by the 8th Duke of Argyll.
This petition was sent in 1851 to Sir John MacNeill, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for the Relief of the Poor in Scotland. Sir John was married to a daughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, who appended the petition to his ‘Crofts and Farms in Hebrides’ addressed to the Napier Commission of 1883.
A hundred and thirty-six islanders signed the petition. Ninety-nine of them were landless cottars; the remainder were small tenants, of whom only four paid rent over £10 a year. They represented the class of islanders that the Duke was anxious to clear from his estate.
Around a third of the petitioners were given assistance to emigrate with their families on board the ‘Conrad’, ‘Birman’ and ‘Onyx’ in July 1851. Another twenty-seven families from the island left with them.