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1844 Visitation | Scullomie | Blandy | Strathtongue | Dalcharn | Coldbackie | Rhitongue | Tongue Village | Braetongue

Coldbackie 1844

Trustees for the Free Church
Lot: half of an acre of unimproved Muir at the north side of the road as marked off by Pit Stones. Rent 10s.
House: a meeting house now begun to be put up and the foundation cut for a dwelling house.

First tenant’s house, east end of Coldbackie.
Lot: This runs right North from his House – leaving a pass betuixt it & the commonty on the east for the purpose of reaching the Creek at Scullomy – In 1829 there was in this Lot p[er] Plan of Arable Land – the Lot being No 1 – 2.2.39 & of pasture and 2.2.6 arable - in all 5.1.5 – Since that time he has removed the rubbish of the old House and trenched out the foundations, adding fully an Acre to the Arable Land – The Dyke should however be carried up to the road, and the Lands taken in, while some patches below might be likewise taken in – Rent £5 9s 10d – Has a Garden in the middle of the Lot.
House: one of the new tenantry ones, thatched, divided by clay partition, not lofted except over room, lobby and closet.
Family: tenant a weaver about 67 (John Mackay 1774-1848), has a wife age 68 (Catherine Mackay 1775-1860 ?1866) - A daughter married in Scullomy (Barbara 1808-1899 m. George Mackay) and a son settled as a constable in Alloa (unidentified - check 1841 census). Has in the house with him three daughters, 34 (?Angusina c.1812-1892), 29 and 25 (not yet unidentified). Has likewise a nephew of the wife’s living with him Alexander Mackay, aged 24 (not identified), a herring fisher and labourer, a good and active hand. One of the daughters occasionally goes to service, or to the shearing in Caithness. Tenant now poor - promised to give him some blankets to make for the Duke.
Stock: 4 cows, 8 sheep, 1 poney.
(My Reference 2374)

Second tenant’s house from east end of Coldbacky.
Lot No.2 of plan 1829. Then 2.2.7 arable and 0.1.7 in pasture, total 2.3.14. Removed a few cairns and taken in 10 or 12 falls, only a small piece left in pasture at bottom. Has a Garden immediately above road. Rent £5 12s 1d.
House: a new tenantry one, thatched, clay partitions, joisted but not lofted - occupied by himself and step-mother separately.
Family: tenant 40, an active fisherman and labourer (Alexander Mackay 1804-1872). Has a wife, 31 (Isabella Mackay abt.1810-1906), and three children, a boy of 13 (unidentified, check 1841) and two daughters, one of 4 and the other of two (Betty 1840- and Dorothy 1842-1931). His step-mother, aged 67, lives in one end with her daughter aged 27. Step-mother gets a third part of the pasture of the lot.
Stock: 4 cows, 9 sheep.
(My Reference 2663)

deceased. Third house from east end, joined to the end of William Mackay’s. Tenant died in 1840 or 1839.
Lot: No.3 of plan 1829. Then arable 2.2.27 and in pasture 0.0.13 - in all 2.3.0. The little patches were all taken in and the cairns removed. Rent £5 0s 3d. A small patch of a garden under the road, and has a share with William Mackay, of a good one behind.
Family: widow about 58 (Catherine Mackay abt.1779-1872), has a son on board of a man of war (Angus aged 29) (fate unknown to me), and in the house two sons and two daughters, the ages of the sons [blank] and 24 (Hugh Manson 1808-1892 and Mackay Manson 1819-1879 m. neighbour Mary Campbell), and of the daughters 27 and 20 (Mary 1820-1901 and Marion, m. neighbour Walter Campbell emigrated Canada 1877) Has likewise another daughter at present in service with Wm. Mackay, Strathtongue (Georgina 1826-1909). The eldest son, Hugh, was for about 8 years away in the South as a policeman, is well educated.
New Tenant: Hugh Manson, to be tenant but on the distinct undertaking that he look after his mother and the other members of the family whom he shall not turn out. Rent reduced to £5 0s 0d.
Stock: 4 cows, 5 sheep.
(My Reference 2914)

Fourth tenant’s house from east end – joined to Manson’s.
Lot: the east half of No.4 of plan 1829. Then 2.1.9½ arable and in pasture say 6 falls - the 6 falls now brought in - has the half of the garden on the commonty behind, the greater part of which was taken in by the two previous Tenants. Rent £3 6s 9d. Rent £3 6s. 9d.
House: a new tenantry one, partitions not finished - one end joisted - thatched.
Family: tenant a little man of 83, was in the Reays in Ireland in the time of the rebellion, was at the battle of Tarahill. Has a second wife of 54 years old. Has a son, George, Lotter to the east of him, and in his own house two sons and a daughter, sons 21 and 19, the daughter 17. (I have no knowledge of this family, need to check 1841 and 1851)
Stock: 1 cow, 1 stirk and 2 sheep.
(My reference 1026) 

Fifth house from east end.
Lot: West half of No.4 of plan 1829. Then 2.1.9½ arable and 6 falls in pasture, in all 2.1.15½. All cultivated now, except a cairn of stones which he promises to remove when the crop is cut. No garden. Rent £3 7s. 0d.
House: a new tenantry one, the best in Coldbacky, properly divided, lofted over rooms, closet and passage, and joisted over kitchen, slated.
Family: tenant a shoemaker aged 30 (John Bruce 1815-1889), has a wife also about 30 or 32 (Janet Mackay 1814-1898), three bairns, one boy of 3, two daughters, one 5 and the other about 1½ (John 1841-1861, Grace 1840-1927 and Elizabeth 1843-1925).  Stock: 3 sheep.
(My Reference 3731)

Sixth house from east end.
Lot: No.5 of plan 1829. Then 2.2.0 all arable. A good deal of drains cut - several cairns of stones however still require to be removed. A small bit of a garden at the west end of the house taken in by the tenant from the Commonty. Rent £6 8s. 0d. Seemingly higher rented than the others.
House: a new tenantry one, thatched and divided by clay partitions and partly joisted, not lofted.
Family: tenant an industrious labourer, age about 48 (William Campbell abt.1796-bef.1855). Has a wife age 53 (Isabella Mackay 1791-1863). Has one son and five daughters. Son, Walter, who generally works in Tongue Garden, 24 years old (Walter Campbell m. neighbour Marion Manson, emigrated Canada 1877), and the daughters 25, 20, 16, 12 and 9 (Ann 1824-?, Christina 1828-1910, Williamina 1830-1921, Catherine 1834-1902). The two oldest daughters generally go to the herring fishing at Helmsdale. Stock: 2 cows.
(My reference 3916)

Seventh house from east end.
Lot: No.6 of plan 1829. Then 2.1.21. Some drains made and stones removed since 1829. Rent £6 3s 7d. Garden behind house taken in from the commonty - at the back of the offices.
House: a new tenantry one, thatched, undivided and partially joisted.
Tenant: a frail old man of 74 - was in the Sutherland Fencibles for several years, and a labourer while able. (Hugh Matheson 1766-1861)
Family: Has a wife aged 70 (Janet Mackay 1774-1858), a son settled in the South of about 25 (may be Neil, but he died 1843, killed in an accident at works on Burntisland Pier) – and in the South [sic, I think he means “in the house”] one son of about 23 (George 1820-1861) and two daughters, one 35 and the other 30 (Mary 1806-aft.1881 and Catherine 1812-1910). The son a fisher, the eldest daughter dumb and very bad-tempered. Has been unfortunate in his family, one son having died after another, very poor.
Stock: 4 cows, 9 sheep and 1 pony.
(My reference 3570)

Eighth house from east end.
Lot: No.7 of plan 1829. Then 2.7.35 all arable, nothing done since except a few drains in lower part, and a garden taken in from the commonty behind the offices.
House: a new tenantry one, neither joisted nor lofted, but has clay partitions.
Family: tenant about 49 and a good labourer (George Mackay 1791-1874), has a wife about 45 (Alexandrina Ross 1789-1894) and has at home six children, that is to say, three sons of 24, 22 and 12 (Sutherland 1821-1899, William 1823-aft.1901, Andrew 1832-1861), and three daughters of 17, 13 and 10. Has in service three daughters of 25, 20 and 18 (I have daughters as - Grace 1818-1903, Ann 1823-1886, Elizabeth 1827-aft.1881, Marion 1829-aft.1844, Williamina 1835-1918, Nancy 1837-). The two eldest sons generally work with Peter Mackay. Wife not very stout [i.e. not robust in health].
Stock: 1 cow, 4 sheep, 1 pony.
(My reference 676)

Ninth house from east end.
Lot: No.8 of plan 1829. Then 3.2.32, nothing done since. Rent £4 9s. 6d.
House: A new tenantry one, thatched, partly joisted but altogether undivided.
Family: Tenant left for the south more than seven years, and is supposed to be in Edinburgh, and is said to have married again, takes no interest whatever in his family left here. Children’s mother died eight years ago (Ann Mackay). Two sons, 15 and 12 (John 1829- and Isaac 1831-), and four daughters, 25 (Barbara), 23 (Ann 1820-1887 m. Donald Mackay c.1810-1873), 21 (Mary 1823-1903 m. neighbour Mackay Manson 1819-1879) and 12 (Jane Russel 1831-1909 never married). Go to the fishing, shearing, etc. Badly off. Boy now beginning to work, and promises well. No garden.
Stock: 2 cows, 1 stirk, 2 sheep.
(My Reference 3071) 

, maiden name ISABELLA SUTHERLAND. [sic]
An indifferent house to the north of the Thurso road with about an acre of cultivated land within a ring fence, formerly garden for the Coldbacky people, and not more than 1/3 of the land taken in by the widow. Got the land after her husband’s death and leaving the lot in Scullomey. Has occupied the ground gratis for 10 or 12 years. Ought however to be put on the Rental tho’ at nominal rent, say 1 shilling.
Byre and House in one
Family: widow about 35, healthy and active (Isabella Sutherland 1807-1888). Has three children, a boy 13 (William 1829-aft.1861) and 2 girls, 15 and 11 (Bessie 1828-aft.1881 and Elizabeth 1832-aft.1881 m. James Mackay, Tubeg). Has also a sister in the house, HENNY SUTHERLAND, an unmarried woman of 28 who hires herself for labouring to the tenants, goes to Caithness etc (Henrietta Sutherland 1816-1880). Stock: 1 cow.
(My Reference 461)

BETTY MACKAY, an unmarried woman of nearly 80, very infirm and on the Poors’ roll, a beggar. Her sister, who often came to Tongue, died last year. Has in the house a distant relative, Gordon Mackay or White, aged about 17, who breaks stones etc. and assists in supporting the old woman to whom he is said to be very dutiful and kind. House a veritable bothie and looks as if it formed part of John Mackay’s offices.

Widow MARY MACKAY, about 75 and very infirm, now confined to bed by rheumatism, a half-sister of the ground officer’s, and said to be on the Poors’ roll. Has at present a woman by the name of Christy Mackay looking after her, Christy is fully 50 and likewise infirm and but able to do little.
House: a little stone bothie on the common some 50 yards behind Alexander Mackay’s house.

In the back of the commonty to the eastward of John Mackay’s lot there are about 3 acres cultivated, and divided according to the rents among the tenants some 9 or 10 years ago.

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