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Source 5C - Letter from Alexander MacGregor, Minister of Kilmuir.

The Highland Famine lasted for a number of years. The minister of Kilmuir sent this letter to the Committtee which was organising food supplies for the Highlands in 1849.

Study the document transcript and answer the following questions.


1. The minister gives three reasons why the people in his parish (area) were poor. What are the three reasons?

2. What is the minister worried about?
letter from Alexander MacGregor
Letter from Rev. Alexander MacGregor in the records of the Highland Destitution Board, National Archives of Scotland - HD 14/ 21
"It is a matter of the most serious concern what is to become of the miserable population of this parish, when your Committee's supplies will be exhausted. I believe it to be the poorest parish in the Hebrides, owing to the continued total failure of the potatoes in it, the small divisions of land and the excessive number of landless families."

"This fact may be seen from the present state of the tenants here compared to those of the neighbouring parish of Steinsholl. I hear that here between 40 and 50 tenants have been warned by their proprietor for arrears of rent, whereas no tenant has been warned in Steinsholl; and it is well known that Lord MacDonald is one the most indulgent proprietor anywhere. I merely mention this circumstance to illustrate the comparative poverty of the two parishes."
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