STATEMENT of the Rev. CHARLES CLOUSTON, LL.D., Minister of Sandwick, Orkney.
SANDWICK MANSE, STROMNESS, ORKNEY
24th September 1883
I am favoured with a request that I will furnish the Commissioners with a written statement on the subject of their enquiry in Orkney. I am sorry that the illness of Lord Napier prevented the Royal Commissioners from calling here as they intended, when I would have given them any information in my power; but I feel that in writing on the subject I might be far from giving them the information they wish without sending me such queries as they wish me to answer. I may, however, say that the Commissioners would find little in their line to rectify in this parish, as we have no complaining crofters, but above seventy heritors, most of whom occupy their own properties, and the principal proprietor, who is resident, and owns one-third of the parish, allows a member of the family of any tenant who dies to succeed to the farm, and I do not recollect of any one on the estate being evicted. The parish was valued at £763 in 1816, and is now valued at £3,564, 8s. 4d.; but I believe the tenants are better able to pay their present rents, than they were those of the former period, owing to the increased price of produce, particularly that of cattle, and the improvements in agriculture. Their habitations and dress are greatly improved, and also their mode of living, since I began to do duty in the parish as assistant minister in 1822.