Ullapool, 30 July 1883 - Murdo Stewart (Achiltibuie)

MURDO STEWART, Fisherman and Crofter, Achiltubuie—examined.

28136. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—About what part of Achiltubuie do you reside ?
—The end nearest Ullapool.

28137. Do you know a farm called Morefield 1
—Yes, it is upon the other side of the river.

28138. Is it well fenced and a dyke about it?
—We live far away; I don't know. The people hereabout will know.

28139. Do you know the Free Church ?
—Perfectly well.

28140. What is the name of the place beyond the church over which there is a new bridge ?
—Baden Tarbet.

28141. Who occupies that part immediately beyond the bridge ?
—Mr Cameron.

28142. Were people removed from that place looking towards the sea ?
—Yes, but there are others who can tell more about that than I can.

28143. In going along that road on this side of the church do you know a house of two stories occupied by a man Macleod ?
—Quite well, and I know Macleod also.

28144. Do you know a house between the road and the sea very near Macleod's house occupied by an elderly man rather infirm in his health, and his wife and daughter ?

28145. What is the name of that man?
—James Macleod.

28146. Have you been in his house?

28147. Have you ever seen a worse house in your life occupied as a dwelling ?
—Yes, I have, but there are not very many worse to be seen now.

28148. Do you know Drumraonaidh ?
—Yes I know Drumraonaidh very well.

28149. What is it now?
—There are shepherds and a shooting lodge there; it is part forest and part under sheep.

28150. How long is it since part was made forest?
—It is not very many years since it was made into a forest, but there have always been deer on the hill.

28151. Is it part of Rhidorrach ?
—I cannot tell.

28152. Do you know what the forest of Rhidorrach used to be?
—I never was that way ; I had more to do with the sea than the land.

28153. Are there any delegates here to-day who can give any information about the forest ?
—The people near this place ought to know more about it, and if you come upon any of them they may be able to tell you.

28154. Do most of the people in your place keep sheep ?

28155. Is there any fixed number for a man according to his rent ?

28156. Does anybody keep more sheep than his rent entitles him to on the hill ?
—Yes, there are some that keep more sheep.

28157. What is the greatest number of sheep that any man has on that hill ?
—I cannot tell accurately.

28158. Is there anybody else from Achiltubuie who can tell?
—I don't think there is.

28159. Is it not the case that some people keep more sheep there than
they are entitled to, and that others have less than they might keep ?
—That is the case.

28160. Do you think it would be desirable and agreeable to the people if it were made into a club farm?
—Yes, I think it would be very desirable if it could be done, but there are too many families to make an arrangement of that kind.

28161. Why too many families: would not these families have one shepherd watching all their sheep —would not that be an advantage to them ?
—The reason why it would not suit is because, owing to the great number of people, there would be a difficulty in getting them to agree.

28162. The people who have more sheep than they are entitled to would not like it ?
—That is the case.

28163. But don't you think that if the factor were endeavouring to arrange it for them, with their own consent, and pay a man chosen by themselves, the thing might be done with advantage?
—Yes, the factor has imposed upon us a thing less desirable than that.

28164. What do you refer to?-
—Additional rent.

28165. When was your rent raised?
—Three years ago.

28166. What was it before ?
—It was three guineas before, and it is £4, 5s. now.

28167. How many beasts do you keep yourself?
—One cow and two smaller beasts, no horse, and four sheep. I am more a fisherman than a crofter.

28168. Are you sure you have not twenty sheep?
—I have never had that number since I was born. It would be more to the purpose if I were to be questioned about nets.

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