Appendix LXXXIII.

STATEMENT concerning F. W . CALDWELL, Esq. of Mishnish, and Rev. Charles ALEXANDER ALLAN, Esq. of Aros. FREE CHURCH MANSE, TOBERMORY, August 31, 1883. I have been requested to transmit the accompanying document to the Royal Commissioners. You will observe that it is signed by the sheriff of the county, by three clergymen, and many others, as well as by the great body of the crofters and tenants on the two estates referred to ; and it would have been very easy to have greatly increased the number if it were thought in the least necessary. I can assure you that the signatures are all genuine, and were most readily and heartily given. I may explain that as it was the week of our communion, and as I had been engaged in the church the day the commissioners visited this place, I was prevented from being present at the meeting except for a few minutes. I heard no statement but Mr Allan's own, which I thought quite sufficient. Had I heard the previous statement I certainly would have spoken. But I did not and hence m y silence. But this I will say, that if any gentleman in the West Highlands deserves to have his services recognised, Mr Allan of Aros does, for his many generous and enterprising efforts to raise the condition of this place, ever since he came to reside among us. I feel confident that the Royal Commissioners, who have already won such golden opinions for themselves, will give this paper every due consideration in drawing up their report. I think it right to say that those who got up this document never consulted either of the proprietors mentioned, that they have nothing whatever to do with it. It is the spontaneous act of the people themselves. CHARLES ROSS, Free Church Minister Tobermory, 23d August 1883 To the Right Honourable the Chairman and Members of the Royal Commission for Highland Crofters. We , the undersigned tenants and crofters on the estates of Mishnish and Aros, and inhabitants of Tobermory, consider it our duty to submit to your honours the following statement in connection with your recent visit to this place, expressive of our high esteem for the two proprietors of the estates just named, viz., Frederick William Caldwell, Esq. of Mishnish, and Alexander Allan, Esq. of Aros. Referring to the former of these gentlemen, we have much pleasure in declaring that we have always regarded Mr Caldwell as a very kind and considerate landlord. We cannot forget the great benefit which he has conferred on this place in various ways—in the erection, some years ago, of the new pier, which has proved such a convenience to the whole country, in building very lately the large and handsome new hotel, which promises so much for the future prosperity of Tobermory, and also by his liberal contribution of £300 sterling towards the expenses of the water and drainage works, and the free grant of land and water. And we are glad to state that Mr Caldwell has always been very kind to the poor on his estates, and has regularly contributed to the funds of our relief committee. We also feel in duty bound to express to your honours our very great satisfaction with and warm attachment to Mr Allan of Aros, as a most kindly, liberal, and dutiful landlord. We desire very heartily to corroborate, in every particular, the clear and admirable statement made by himself on the occasion of your visit to this place regarding the management of his estate; and we could go a great deal further than anything that he then said. We are well aware of the large sums of money laid out by Mr Allan on improvements, in building new houses, and in repairing and rebuilding not a few old dilapidated ones, thus giving employment for years past to many tradesmen and others. And we ought not to omit, in this connection, the handsome sum of £600 sterling granted as a free gift towards the expenses of the water and drainage works. We mention with special gratitude the fact that Mr Allan has always, and often at great inconvenience and expense, put himself at the head of every movement which seemed well-fitted to ameliorate the circumstances of the people ; while the other members of his household have uniformly shown the utmost kindness and attention in relieving the wants of the poor. The temperance hall and reading-room, built and furnished by Mr Allan at his sole cost, constitutes no small claim upon the inhabitants of Tobermory and neighbourhood. Nor should it be forgotten that the present elegant and commodious Free Church, which is indeed an ornament to our rising town, in all probability never could have been built but for his and his family's great liberality. His efforts to remove the great reproach of our country, and to promote the cause of temperance, by his counsel, example, and means, have won for him our warmest gratitude. The constant residence of himself and family among us, the whole year round, we regard as a special boon to the district. It is our earnest desire that he and his may long be spared to go in and out among us, to carry on their beneficent work, and that the present very happy relations between us may long be continued:— Hugh Ross, sheriff-substitute of Argyleshire. Charles Ross, M.A., Free Church minister. John Cameron, M.A., minister of Tobermory. John Maclachlan, writer and bank agent, Tobermory. A. Brown, merchant. Andrew Warwick, merchant and tenant. James Ferguson, H.M. Inland Revenue, Tobermory. Chas. Parker, Western Isles Hotel, Tobermory. and sixty-five merchants, crofters, tenants, mariners, and tradesmen.

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