The 1st Statistical Account

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(Counties of Cromarty and Ross, Presbytery of Dingwall, Synod of Ross)

Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness (Image taken from Raeburn painting) with background of west coast outline

Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness standing in front of map of Ross and Cromarty


In 1775, the numbers were rated at 1483
At present, the number of souls is 1730
Number of males 881
Number of females 849
Number of Male servants 483
Number of Female servants 358
Number of Male children under 7 years of age 122
Number of Female children under 7 years of age 120
Number of families 330

Rent and Farms
The valued rent of this parish is 3543L. 3s. 4d. Scotch money. The real rent is chiefly paid in bolls, so that its value is annually altering; converting these, however, at a moderate price, the rent is supposed to be nearly 1400 Sterling per annum. There are 8 proprietors in the parish, none of whom have ever resided in it. There arc 10 principal farmers here, who pay rent to the value of 40L. Sterling each per annum; 150 smaller tenants, who pay from 16L. Sterling per annum each, to 2L. Sterling per annum each; and 100 cotters who pay from 2L. Sterling per annum each, to 2s. Sterling each per annum.

Crops, and Method of Culture
The only crops raised here are barley, oats, pease, and potatoes. The old method of constantly cropping is generally followed by all the classes of farmers. Some attempts have of late been made by a few towards altering the system of farming, by the introduction of sown grass, sallow, and turnips; but these essays have always been checked by the want of encouragement shown to those who tried them, none of the proprietors here having ever allowed any of their tenants to derive any advantage from their improvements, or offered them any assistance to enable them to carry them on.

Manners and Employment of the People
There is for some seasons of the year, a very great want of industry among the inhabitants here. During the weeks of seed-time and harvest they exert themselves to a great degree, but during the remainder of the year, having no field for familiar exertions of industry, they indulge themselves to a great degree in indolence and inactivity. The want of employment here, forces those who are industriously inclined, to go and find labour in the southern districts of Scotland, so that great numbers of both sexes leave their homes in the months of May and June, and return again in November, with from 10s. to 42s. which is the fruit of their industry. Sloth seems to be the greatest enemy to the morality of the people here, as those who will not procure their own subsistence by labour, are forced to use dishonest means for procuring it. They are much addicted to use the spirits, and will go every length to procure it.

Church, School, and Poor
All the inhabitants of this parish, except two, are of the established Church, and these are of the Church of England. The living consists of 6 chalders and a half of barley – 25L. Sterling money – a glebe, and the minister has a right to the small tithes. The patron is Kenneth MacKenzie of Cromarty, Esq. The salary of the schoolmaster is 11L. 2s. Sterling. The school-house was built anno 1779, and is now in a good state of repair. There are now on the poors roll 50 persons, who receive a part of their subsistence from the funds allotted to them. There are, 1st, a mortification by George Earl of Cromarty to them of 12 bolls of barley per annum; 2d, the interest of a legacy of 80L. Sterling, left to them by Mrs Morrison, of the island of Jamaica; 3d, the weekly collection on Sunday at church, which at an average is nearly 8L. per annum.

Prices of Labour and Provisions
The wages of a labouring man seldom exceeds 6d. per day; of a woman, 5d. Servants are generally hired here by the year; then the terms are to a man servant 3L. per annum, and 6 bolls meal; to a woman from 1L. to 1L. 15s. per annum, and 5 bolls meal, when they do not receive their board. Beef and mutton sell at an average for 3d. per pound, Pork for 2 and a half d. per pound, Fowls at 4d. each.

The language generally spoken here is Gaelic, there being but two in the parish who do not understand that language well.

Parish of Fodderty continue reading

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