Bonar Bridge, Sutherland, 9 October 1883 - Alexander Ross

ALEXANDER ROSS, Achnahannet (63)—examined.

39902. The Chairman.
—What is your occupation?
—I have no occupation except labouring when I can get work.

39903. Mr Fraser-Mackintosh.
—Where were you born?
—In Rielonie of Culrain—the place from which I was last evicted.

39904. What was the name of the property of which that was part, of old?
—It was the property of Novar. The portion on which I lived was bought by Mr Hadwen.

39905. I understand you have some complaint as to the way you have been used; what have you to say on that subject?
—That I was removed a year from Whitsunday last.

39906. Were you owing any arrears of rent?
—I was £2 in arrears; they knocked down the house, and we were two nights obliged to live on the hillside. I then got a house from a tenant of Mr Mackay at Achnahannet.

39907. What rent had you been paying at Rielonie?

39908. What stock did you keep?
—Two cows and a heifer, and a mare and a foal.

39909. What has became of the place from which you were removed; who has it?
—It was divided, I believe, among my neighbours.

39910. Did you give any offence to the proprietor that, in your opinion, would justify your removal?
—Nothing, except that I was not present at the time of the paying of the rent, and was a little behind with it afterwards

39911. Had you sufficient stock to pay your full rent, and if you got a little time would you have been prepared to pay up your arrears?
—As soon as I was able I paid the rent, all except £2, and I would have paid that too, if they had only given me time.

39912. Did you personally go to the proprietor and remonstrate against being removed from the place where you were born?
— He was ill at the time, and I could not get to see him; and I was sending petitions to him, but I got no encouragement in reply.

39913. Has this step that has been taken against you reduced you now to poverty, or next door to it?
—That is undoubtedly so, as there is not so much work to be had.

39914. Are you able, at your time of life, to turn your hand to anything else except labour?
—I am not fit for anything but the kind of work I used to be working at.

39915. Have you always maintained a respectable character in the locality?
—Oh, yes; there is nothing they can say against me.

39916. Have you been in the habit of writing Gaelic verses and poetry?
—I have often done so.

39917. Are you quite sure you never wrote anything of a satirical kind that would irritate your proprietor to take the step he did against you?
—I never wrote a satire against anybody, but I may have said some sharp things when I told the people the truth that people didn't like.

39918. When this gentleman became the proprietor of the estate of Rielonie, did you not, on the contrary, write some lines in his favour as a proprietor who had just come in?
—He was a while there before I did so.

39919. But you did so?
—I did.

39920. How do you support yourself at present?
—I live as best I can by such work as I can get

39921. Have you anybody depending upon you?
—I have a wife.

39922. Sir Kenneth Mackenzie.
—If the proprietor was ill at the time you were removed, was that done by his orders or by the factor's?
—I understand by the factor's. It is my impression that the factor was the cause of it.

39923. Were you usually punctual in paying the rent?
—Yes, I did so, until the year before last, when I was a little behind with the rent.

39924. The Chairman.
—Where were you educated?
—In the parish school.

39925. Was there Gaelic taught in the parish school?

39926. How did you learn to write verses?
—I learnt to read the Gaelic myself, and never took a lesson in Gaelic in school.

39927. Is it customary for the Gaelic-speaking people in this country to compose verses? Do many of them do it?
—Some of them.

39928. Have you printed any of your verses?

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