Sunday, 19 December 2010

Clearances: Rogart - Alexander Bain

—' The special Grievances of Alexander Bain, Tenant, Carry.—
My uncle George M'Kenzie, on being evicted from Strath-Carnaig, got the lot I now occupy which is situated in the tenants' pasture on the south side of Strathfleet. The lot is high and cold, and very much exposed to the north storm. I was adopted and brought up by my uncle, and his constant kindness induced me to devote as much as possible of my time to the improving of his lot, and by my own labour I reclaimed seven acres of moorland. After my uncle's death I expected to succeed him as tenant, but on account of some rent arrears left by my uncle, I was refused possession unless I would pay these arrears, which I considered illegal and unjust, consequently I was summonsed; and having occasion to be away on a certain day about the middle of July 1877, on my returning home in the evening I found my delicate wife, with my weak and numerous family, and all my furniture, turned out to the field, and all the doors locked. My first endeavour was to kindle a fire and cook a meal for my family, which 1 had to do in an earthen bank, and under drenching rain. I made several applications to get possession, but without success. At last the Duke and his factor came to the place, and stood in the hut I rudely built for protection. When his Grace was leaving I asked, what was to become of me now with my delicate wife and weak family. His Grace's reply was, " You are entirely in Mr Peacock's hands, and attend at the office Tuesday first." When I got there I was told the old story, viz., that I would get no settlement unless I would agree to pay the arrears of rent, and that in future the rent of my lot would be £9, 14s. instead of £ 3 , 7s. 6d., my uncle's rent. However, my rent was reduced to £6, but I had to pay the arrears, which I still feel a burden.

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