Tag Archives: crofting

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2022.32.2

Digitised copy of a letter from D MacInnes to Lord Archibald Campbell, 7 April 1885.

In the letter MacInnes (4 Battery Terrace, Oban) describes a conversation with an unnamed Tiree man who was born and brought up on the farm of ‘Hianous’ (perhaps Heanish). This unnamed man believes that the people of Tiree are better treated than on any other estate, but that only one half of the population can afford a comfortable living. He describes the situation on the farm of Scarinish, and mentions Sandy MacLean. He writes that four of the crofts there each maintain a horse, two cows, and a ‘stirk or two’ for £15 rent, and that the tenants have ‘unrestrained liberty’ to use as much sea ware (seaweed) as they like for manure and kelp making.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

2022.31.6

Digitised copy of a letter from John McKinnon to the Duke of Argyll, dated 30 January 1894. In this letter McKinnon (Moss) complains that he was due to inherit a croft from his cousin, Catherine Sinclair (Moss), but that it was claimed by his cousin Neil Sinclair (cottar, Balephuil) and that the Factor, Mr Wyllie, entered Neil Sinclair’s name on the rent book. McKinnon references the work he did to improve the croft, that he took care of his cousin in her old age, and his current hardships. He was summoned by Mr Sproat (Procurator Fiscal) in Tobermory and failing his appearance was told his cow would be poinded. McKinnon also mentions that Sinclair was one of the first to take up their abode in Moss.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

 

2022.31.5

Digitised copy of a letter from Donald Campbell (Kirkapol) to the Duke of Argyll, addressed from Gott and dated 10 November 1890.

In the letter Campbell explains how he has been ‘reduced to my present unfortunate position’, he refers to his cows ‘shirring’, resulting in death of calves, blames his three sisters for their lack of care towards the cows, problems in paying his rent and accruing ‘considerable’ arrears, his sisters commencing a law-suit against him, advice from Mr Sproat (Procurator Fiscal) in Tobermory to declare himself bankrupt, the sale of his belongings, and his hope that the Duke will allow him to keep his crofts. Campbell writes that his father-in-law Donald MacKinnon (tenant, Kirkapol) is willing to undertake joint payment of the rent. The letter contains a postscript signed by his father-in-law expressing his willingness to join with Donald Campbell in the management of the crofts in Gott and payment of the rent. Campbell also mentions attending the market in Mull to sell horses.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

 

2022.31.4

Digitised copy of a Report of Enquiries made regarding Donald Sinclair, 20 August 1886.

Donald Sinclair was a joiner and Chairman of the Land Law Reform Association and one of the six arrested crofters who were taken to Inveraray. The report details how Sinclair was convicted on charges of theft in October 1877 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, after breaking into a spirit shop at 55 London Street, Glasgow, and stealing beer or porter, champagne and gin.

Enclosed is a copy of a statement made by Neil MacKinnon (24 Raglan Street, Glasgow), a childhood friend of Sinclair. MacKinnon provides details of Sinclair’s good character, particularly following his time in prison, and claims that Sinclair is now an evangelist, teaches Sunday School and preaches, and that he is a fluent speaker in Gaelic on religious and political subjects. MacKinnon also provides details of Sinclair’s marriage to the daughter of ‘the largest merchant in Tiree’. The following people gave evidence on behalf of Sinclair: Mr McIntyre (publican), Mr McKechnie (the contractor), John McDonald (watchman), Donald McKechnie (contractor’s foreman). Apart from the publican, these were all natives of Tiree.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

 

2022.31.3

Digitised copy of Tiree Estate, Improvements &c done for Crofters, 1878-1885. The list is organised by year and contains details of improvements, repairs to buildings, charity and ‘miscellaneous’ works along with their costs. Works performed include fencing, drainage, ditches, dykes, and roofing. There are records of charitable works, such as supplying seed potatoes to crofters, and providing assistance for replacing a boat, the purchase of livestock, and animals, or for building repairs.

The following names appear in the record, and some names appear more than once:

Lachlan McLean (Cornaigbeg), Malcolm McDougall (removed from Heanish), John McLean (Caoles), Alexander, Neil and Donald McFadyen (Caoles), John McLean (Balephuil), Widow Murdoch Campbell (removed from Balinoe), Widow Catherine McKinnon (Kilmoluaig), Donald McCallum (smith and crofter, possibly Kilmoluaig), Donald McPhee (crofter, Balemartine), Captain William Sinclair (Mannal), Widow Murdoch Brown (Mannal), John McKinnon (Balephuil), Angus McArthur (crofter, Balemartine), John Brown (Mannal), Colin Henderson (Balemartine), Widow Alexander Henderson (Balemartine), Rev John McFarlane (Balinoe), Archibald, Donald and John Campbell (farmers, Balinoe), Neil McKinnon (Moss), John Morrison (son in law of Neil Morrison [deceased], Moss), Donald McDougall (Balephuil), Donald McFarlane (Balemartine), Angus McInnes (Kilmoluaig), Alexander Livingston (Heanish), Rev Duncan McFarlane (Heanish), Hugh McKinnon Junior (crofter and packet man, Heanish), G B Smith & Co (Glasgow), Alexander and John McFadyen (Barrapol), A & J McFadyen (Balemartine), James Brown (Balemartine), Hector McDonald (Caoles & Ardess), Archibald McDonald (Caoles & Ardess),  Widow Neil McKinnon (Heanish), John McDonald (Heanish), Angus Munn (Heanish), Neil Campbell (Balinoe), Archibald McLean (Balemartine), Donald Campbell (Balemartine), Donald McLean, (Balemartine), Widow Mary McLean (Crofter, Vaul), John McPhail (crofter, Cornaigmore), John McLean (crofter, Kilmoluaig), John Cameron (Moss), P & R Fleming & Co (Glasgow), Hector McPhail (Cornaigmore), Hugh McLean Junior (Caoles), Donald Kennedy (Balevulin).

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

2022.31.1

Digitised copy of a Report from Heylipol Public School for the winter months, February 1883. The report was written for the Duke of Argyll by J McFarlane and is divided into observations on ‘attendance’, ‘progress’, ‘general’ and ‘state of the island’ and contains remarks on: attendance for December 1882 to February 1883; the affect of weather on attendance; subjects taught and standards; appointment of compulsory officers; comments on parents and their attitudes to education; and teachers. McFarlane also discusses unrest in the island (the ‘wild & extravagant ideas that originally started in Ireland’ and the ‘circulation of pernicious & revolutionary literature’) and refers to a petition signed by crofters in the west end. He recounts a conversation with a man named Donald, a crofter in Balevullin, and also refers to the consequences of inadequate farming techniques.

Click to read a transcript of this item.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

 

2023.13.1

Scanned copy of a newspaper cutting lent by Captain George Campbell of Kenovay. It shows members and friends at the Tiree Pipe Band dinner and dance held in Scarinish Hotel.  A post-it note on the back reads ‘As promised, Archie’ and is dated ‘Apr 4/70’ on the front in ink.

2021.54.91

Transcript of Inventory of Precognition submitted to Tobermory Procurator Fiscal investigating the death of three cows and two horses at Cornaigmore, in June 1876. The transcript contains medical reports written by Alexander Buchanan into the death of the two horses. The animals may have been poisoned by strychnine.

The transcript contains notes on the rent paid by John Macphail, the value of his stock on the farm and some remarks on stock management.

Statements are provided by:

John Macphail (crofter, Cornaigmore)
Janet MacLean (servant to John MacPhail, Cornaigmore)
John Macphail (tailor, Cornaigmore)
John Campbell (tailor, Cornaigmore)
Malcolm Lamont (labourer, Cornaigmore)
Neil Lamont (tenant on the farm of Cornaigmore)
Malcolm Lamont (servant to John MacPhail, Cornaigmore)
Lachlan Macphail (crofter, Cornaigmore)
Hugh MacDiarmid (factor for Tiree, Island House)
Alexander Buchanan (surgeon, Baugh)
Allan Cameron (Inspector of Police, Tobermory)
Hector Macphail (crofter, Cornaigmore)
Ann Macphail (widow, Cornaigmore)
Flora Macphail (daughter of Ann Macphail, Cornaigmore)
John MacDougall (Police Officer, Baugh)

Click to read a transcript of this item.

From the liveArgyll Archives in Lochgilphead, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

 

 

2021.52.1

A digitised copy of a volume containing accounts and rentals for Tiree’s crofts from 1845 to 1887. The volume was prepared by Messrs Lindsay, Howe & Co.

For each township there is given: a table with figures for sowning (horses, cows, stirks, and sheep) and acreage (arable, pasture, common); a tabular abstract containing the number of holdings and tenants, total rents, improvement outlay (drainage and buildings) and notes; a ‘detailed history of crofts’ providing an overview of changes which the individual holdings in each township have undergone as regards tenancy, rent, consolidation, enlargement, or otherwise.

There is no data provided in the tabular abstract for the years 1846, 1866 and 1867.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

2021.50.7

Digitised outline copy of the Plan of Kenvar and Gortandonel, Tyree, as divided by George Langlands, 11th August 1802. The township is divided into 16 crofts (no acreages given) laid out in an irregular grid pattern around the North and East shores of Loch Phuil. Separate areas of common pasture are shown for crofts 1-2, and crofts 7-16. The irregular line of the old march dike is shown.

From the archives of the Dukes of Argyll at Inveraray Castle, made available through the Written in the Landscape project.

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