John Ramsay’s letter about Tiree schools

Transcription of John Ramsay’s letter to the 8th Duke of Argyll about Tiree schools in 1863.

Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll

In 1863, John Ramsay, MP for Falkirk Burghs, reported on the state of Tiree schools to the Royal Commission on Education in Scotland chaired by the 8th Duke of Argyll. At the time of the report, there were eight schools on Tiree, of which only three made a good impression.

In this private letter to the Duke, Ramsay made several suggestions on how to improve the quality of the teaching on the island by removing unsatisfactory teachers, offering inducements for better pupil attendance and school inspections by the factor, Lachlan MacQuarie.

Rather than appealing to the Duke’s altruism, Ramsay stressed ‘the pecuniary value of education to the proprietor of a Highland estate’.

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