Braes, Skye, 8 May 1883 - Angus Stewart

ANGUS STEWART, Crofter, Beinn-a-chorrain—examined.

1. The Chairman.
—Would you have the goodness to state what is your occupation ?
—A crofter.

2. Have you also been engaged in fishing ?

3. Were you born here, at the Braes?
—Born at the Braes.

4. Have you lived here all your life?
—Not all my life. I have been away, but not very far off.

5. From time to time?
—From time to time.

6. But you are thoroughly acquainted with the feelings and interests of the people here?

7. Have you been freely elected by the people to be their delegate?
— Yes.

8. Now, will you have the goodness to state to me what are the hardships or grievances of which the people complain who have elected you ?
— Yes; but it is in Gaelic that I prefer to speak.

9. You desire to be examined in Gaelic?
—Yes. [From this point the examination of the witness and of subsequent witnesses in Skye was conducted through Mr Dugald McLachlan, sheriff-clerk depute, as interpreter.]

10. Then you wit! have the goodness to state what are the hardships and grievances, if any, of which the people whom you represent at this place complain?
—I would wish that I should have an opportunity of saying a few words before I tell that, and that is that I should have the assurance that I will not be evicted from my holding by the landlord or factor, as I have seen done already. I would not have a fire in my house at Whitsunday I want the assurance that I will not be evicted, for I cannot bear evidence to the distress of my people without bearing evidence to the oppression and high-handedness of the landlord and his factor.

11. Have you anything more to add to your preparatory statement?
— No.

12. It is impossible for the Commission to give you any absolute security of the kind which you desire. The Commission cannot interfere between you and your landlord, or between you and the law, but we trust that no act of oppression or severity would ever be exercised towards you or any one else by the landlord in consequence of your courage and goodness in telling the absolute truth.

Angus Stewart's examination is adjourned at this point, pending the examination of the Factor for Lord Macdonald. The second part of Angus Stewart's evidence is relayed after the interrogation of the Factor, on this link.

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