JOHN M'LEAN, Crofter, Sand, Gruinard (72)—examined.
29329. The Chairman.
—Do you remember before the clearances were made on the Gruinard estate?
—I remember of the estate being held by five proprietors—the two Davidsons, Henry and Duncan, and three Bankes's; I remember when the people were evicted from the estate. That was done in old Bankes's time.
29330. When the people were evicted what became of the old arable ground from which they were turned out?
—The land was taken by other people. The chamberlain we had at the time took £30 worth of our grazings unknown to the proprietor and gave it to other people. The arable ground of those who were cleared away was given to people who were in the place.
29331. Did the people who remained in the place benefit by the others being turned out ?
—I cannot tell. The people are in that place yet.
29332. Did the cottars who had no land before get the places which were vacated by those who were driven out ?
—Some of those who received land were cottars without land; others were crofters there, and their
holdings were enlarged.
29333. Are the holdings in this place—Sand—rather better than usual ?
—I cannot tell whether the crofts are better or not. They were injured by the pasture ground being taken away; and the rent is high.
29334. I see there are two big crofts, one belonging to Alexander Mackenzie and another to the widow of Donald Mackenzie —how were those big crofts formed ?
—-They are not much better since the hill was taken from them and low ground was taken from them
—what they had for the cattle.
29335. Are these two people comfortable in their crofts ?
—Middling, but the hill is taken from them.
29336. What sort of houses have they —slated houses ?
—No, very poor houses.
29337. One, I see, pays £21?
—Well, the house is not a great deal.
29338. Has the widow not a good house?
—She has an ordinary house. The house would do if the land were good; but it is not good.