7. Maintenance of the poor and pauper lunatics

Before the passing of the Poor Law Act in 1845 (8 and 9 Vict., cap. 83) the poor of the Island of Lewis lived mainly by begging among their neighbours, such help as they received in this manner being supplemented by the weekly church-door collections and the amount of fines or mulcts imposed on moral delinquents. At the end of the 18th century Mrs. Mackenzie of Seaforth distributed food and clothing among the more necessitous; and afterwards an annual sum of money was sent by her and her husband to each parish for the like purpose.

The number of poor in the Parish of Stornoway about 1790 is stated at 127, of whom 63 lived in the town. There were in Barvas at that time 80, in Lochs 58, and in Uig 50. By 1833 the number of poor persons in Stornoway had increased to 219, who received on an average 5s. each per annum. In Barvas the number at that time is stated at 30. The relief from the Kirk Session there, however, could not have been material, for the church-door collections and mulcts did not exceed £3 yearly. Exclusive of this aid it would appear that poor persons depended on the generosity of their neighbours. Thus it was a custom, which long survived in Barvas, for the tenants to contribute a quantity of seed in the spring time, and hand the same to the Kirk Session for distribution among the poor. In Uig the paupers are stated at 50 ; but the church collections are declared to l1ave been quite inadequate for their support. The number of paupers in Lochs at that time had not been ascertained. ‘The parish minister, however, states that such of them as did not have near relations to support them, found willing friends among their neighbours to administer to their necessities. Before 1845 poor people throughout the Highlands proceeded from house to house, and from township to township, obtaining such alms as the inhabitants could afford.

So common had the practice been, that the receipt of food and clothing in charity was regarded as a natural right, and it was customary to hear of a mendicant’s peregrination as “ ag iarraidh a chodach ” (seeking or asking for his portion). To the present day the poor in Lewis depend largely on the charity of their neighbours. This may be inferred from the statistics received from the Local Government Board, which show that the proportion of paupers to the whole population of the island is little more than half the corresponding figures applicable to the mainland of Ross and Cromarty. Having regard to the general poverty of the inhabitants a different result might have been expected, but when the circumstances are considered it is easy of explanation. A considerable proportion of the ratepayers are very poor, and the existing poor rates higher than they can well bear. Accordingly, a large number of applications for parochial relief have to be refused, and the applicants are then obliged to have recourse to the bounty of their neighbours, who, though often unable to help them with cash, are usually able and ready to afford help in kind. Their charity assumes various forms. A feeble or infirm person who is not the recipient of parochial relief gets land tilled and seed sown for him or her. In like manner aid is given in casting and curing and carrying home peats. When boats arrive with fish, the poor who have no male relative to fish for them are seldom forgotten ; and when the crops are reaped in autumn those who have not sown often receive quantities of potatoes, &c., from neighbours. Indeed, a large number of those in receipt of parochial relief must depend to a considerable extent on their friends and neighbours, for, in many cases, the allowances are practically illusory. In this connection reference may be made to the Report on the Condition of the Cottar Population of Lewis, to the Secretary for Scotland, made in 1888 by the late Sheriff—Substitute Fraser and Mr. Malcolm M‘Neill, C.B., formerly of the Board of Supervision, now Vice—President of the Local Government Board. Statistics are given in the Appendix to that Report as to the rates of weekly aliment paid to paupers in each of the four Parishes of Lewis. At that time there were in the island 14 persons receiving 6d. a Week or less; 136 receiving between 6d. and 9d. ; and 139 between 9d. and 1s. In the following Table the figures applicable to the said parishes are given, these being taken from the Appendix mentioned :—

Aliment per week
Parish of


6d. or less

6d to 9d.
9d to 1s
1s to 1s 6d
1s 6d to 2s
2s to 2s 6d
3s to 5s


Croft rents at 10½ d a week


Clothing and room rents at 1s 3d a week




In addition to aliment paid at the foregoing weekly rates, some of the paupers received other help from the Parochial Boards. The subjoined figures applicable to the four parishes are taken from the details given in the said Report :—

Attendance on Poor
£15 11s 0d
£19 17s 0d
£49 5s 3d
£21 6s 0d
Bedding for  Poor
£10 14s 1d
£14 11s 1d
£15 12s 9d
£11 1s 6d
Clothing for Poor
£39 13s 1d
£99 5s 5d
£110 19 10½d
£55 2s 2d
Extra relief to Poor
£6 6s 5½d
£18 0s 10d
£36 5s 1½d
£13 2s 6d
Fuel to Poor
£18 6s 6d
£14 10s 9d
£28 11s 6d
£16 4s
Rents of Paupers’ Houses and Lands
£9 15s 4d
£27 8s 7½d
£101 7s 4d
£43 5s
Repairs of Paupers’ Houses
£21 11s 9½d
£26 6s 7½d
£16 11s 5d
£9 5s 2d
Nutritious Diet to Paupers
£2 19s 4d
£4 13s 10½d
£13 1s 7d
£2 19s 4d
Education of Pauper Children

£2 18s 10d

£124 17s 7d
£224 18s 2½d
£371 14s 10d
£175 4s 6d

The figures in respect of aliment show that, no matter how economically the paupers lived, a large proportion of them would require to have the amount allowed by the Parochial Boards supplemented from other sources to escape starvation, yet death from starvation but rarely, if ever, occurs in any part of the crofting area. Returning to the question of the proportion of paupers to the total population, it may be observed that in 1880 there were 777 paupers (including dependants) in a population of 25,487 (the Census of 1881 being taken as the nearest record of the
population in 1880). That number gives a proportion of 304 per thousand. There is a steady increase down to 1895, when the proportion of paupers stands at 34.2 per thousand. In 1900 there is a reduction, the proportion being 30.1. On the mainland of Ross and Cromarty there were 3,134 paupers (including dependants) in 1880 in a population of 53,060, or 59.0 per thousand. By 1895 the proportion had fallen to 49.6 per thousand; but in 1900 it stood at 50.9.

The following Table gives the population in 1881, 1891, and 1901 ; the number of paupers in every fifth year, and the proportion of paupers to the entire population, firstly, for the Island of Lewis, and secondly, for the rest of the County :—

Island of Lewis
Mainland of Ross & Cromarty
Number of paupers in each fifth year
Proportion of paupers per 1000 of population
Number of paupers in each 5th year
Proportion of paupers per 1000 of population




An examination of these figures shows that during the 20 years from 1881 to 1901 the population of Lewis has increased by 3,462, or at the rate of 136 per cent. The number of paupers in 1900 showed an increase of 96 over the number in 1880, or at the rate of 12.3 per cent. That pauperism has not increased to the same extent as the population is satisfactory, but the rate of increase in each case is not materially different.

As regards the mainland of the county, population and pauperism have both been on the decrease. The decrease in the population during the 20 years is 5,588, or 10.5 per cent. The decrease in the number of paupers, on the other hand, is 716, or 22.8 per cent.

With regard to the number of paupers in each Parish of Lewis, a reference to the detailed statement furnished by the Local Government Board, as the same appears in Appendix C. (page 8), will show that the number of paupers in Lochs, Stornoway, and Uig has not greatly changed during the 20 years under review. In the first of these Parishes the number in 1880 was 152, rising to 226 in 1891. In 1898 it stood at 212, and in 1900 at 162, or 10 more than in 1880.

The number of paupers in Stornoway in 1880 was 406. Thereafter it fluctuated from 381 in 1881 to 538 in 1897. In 1900 the number stood at 419, or 13 more than in 1880.

The fluctuations in the Parish of Uig are not so marked. In 1880 the figures were 124, and in 1883 and 1884 they decreased to 102. The highest limit was reached in 1899, when the number stood at 144. In 1900 it was 131, or 7 more than in 1880. These various figures are on the whole in keeping with the increase of population. The Parish of Barvas, however, presents a different state of matters. In 1880 the paupers numbered 95, and they were as low as 82 in 1882. Since then there has been a gradual, if not a rapid, increase, until 1898, when the high figure of 198 was reached or more than double the number in 1880. In 1900 the figures stood at 161, or 66 more than the number in 1880. It ought to be explained that the number of paupers stated in the Appendix include pauper lunatics in every case.

The maintenance of such a large pauper population as is shown above, imposed a serious burden on the ratepayers. In the section of this Report dealing with Education the rates under that head were mentioned. The poor rates were equally serious. Mr. George Walker, of Port-Lethen, who was an Assistant Commissioner under the Royal Commission on Agriculture of 1878, visited the Island of Lewis before he submitted his report in 1880. At page 557 of that report the amount of rates payable in each of the four Parishes is given. Including poor rates, school rates, registration dues public health and road assessment, they were as follows (one—half being payable by the landlord and the other half by the tenants) :—

Stornoway, 6s. 4d. per £
Lochs,... 9s. 4d. per £
Barvas, 11s. 6d. per £
Uig, 9s. 2d. per £

Mr. Walker says the tenants complained greatly of rates, especially excessive school rate, and suggested it should be made an Imperial tax, or that relief should be obtained in some other way (see page 557 of his Report). This is an interesting statement in view of what has since been done by the Legislature.

At page 33 of the Appendix to the Report on the Lewis Cottars previously referred to, the rates from 1.880 to 1888 are given. They consist of poor rates (including cemetery, sanitary, valuation, and registration rates), school rates, and road rates. The total of these per £ in the four Parishes was as follows in each of these years:—
[table omitted]

Parliamentary Papers published in 1885 and 1888 respectively give the gross rental, the rateable value, and the poor rate per .13 for the years 1884-85 and 1887-88 and, as they may be taken as typical of the state of matters from 1880 down to about 1890 the details applicable to the four Parishes of Lewis are stated here :—
[table omitted]

The poor rates for the period from 1892 to 1900 appear in the annual reports of the Board of Supervision and Local Government Board for Scotland, and the figures applicable to Lewis may be stated here:—
[table omitted]

The amounts realised from these rates levied on proprietors and tenants during the twenty years were as follows in each year:—
[table omitted]

The Supplementary Statement furnished by the Local Government Board for Scotland, and which appears at page 65 of the Appendix to this report, shows the gross rental of each Parish in Lewis during the 20 years under review, the Parish Council expenditure not defrayed out of loans, the receipts by Parish Councils other than from assessment, the net amount of Parish Council expenditure to be met by assessment, and the rate per £ of gross rental required to raise such assessment. In the figures above given the actual rates, and the actual amount received from assessment as the same appear in the reports of the Board of Supervision and the Local Government Board, are given. The Supplementary Statement now referred to, on the other hand, shows the rates that would be required to meet the expenditure but for the grants received from Government.

In 1888 the Poor Law administration in Lewis seemed about to break down in the same manner as the educational system had done. The amount received in Barvas had fallen from £655 in 1887, to £393 in 1888 ; and in Lochs from £1,279 in the former, to £764 in the latter year. In Stornoway there was an increase; and in Uig the decrease was not marked. The rates were not collected ; the credit of the Parochial Boards was exhausted at the Banks, and a deficiency in the funds required to pay for maintenance of the poor was anticipated. With regard to the situation which had arisen, the Board of Supervision in their 43rd Annual Report say:—“ The Parochial Boards seemed to be paralysed by the difficulties with which they were surrounded, and not to know what to do in the circumstances. We pointed out their duty to them, and remonstrated with them as to their failure to use the utmost powers at their command for enforcing the payment of rates. We are glad to be able to add that more vigorous measures were resorted to by the Parochial Boards, with the result that the dreaded deficiency of funds has been, for the present, averted. But the crisis referred to, and, indeed, the collapse of the whole system of administering relief to the Poor in these Highland districts, is, in the present condition of the population, in constant danger of recurring, and some effectual and permanent remedy is urgently called for ” (pp. ix.—x.)

The Parochial Boards had a difficult task to perform at this period, for unquestionably a large proportion of the people were in exceedingly straitened circumstances. Important testimony on this point is afforded by the Report of 1888 previously quoted. The Parochial Board of Stornoway, at a meeting held there on 9th January 1888, with the Chamberlain of the island, Mr. William Mackay, in the chair, considered certain questions put by Mr. M‘Neill. The Board recorded “that great poverty does exist among the cottars in the landward district” (p. 24). So critical did the Board regard the situation that they authorised the Inspector "to deal with cases of absolute destitution threatening starvation.” The Inspector had, in point of fact, occasionally relieved such cases (p. 25 .)

Mr. Macfarlane, the Inspector of Poor for Stornoway, being interrogated, replied, “I am a native of this Parish, and I do not think the people ever had less money and credit in my experience. But for the last good harvest the people would have been starving. It frightens me to think what may happen in the present condition of the fishing. If next harvest is bad there must, in my opinion, be starvation” (p. 26).

The Rev. Hector Cameron, Free Church minister of Back, writes :—“Among the squatter portion of our population we have every reason to expect greater and more pressing poverty this year than formerly, more especially among those of them who have got little or no land” (p. 26).

The Parochial Board of Lochs on 10th January of the same year, in answer to Mr. M‘Neill, record that “ there were then some cases of absolute destitution in the Parish.” They had no expectation of widespread destitution, however, but the condition of the people would be one of marked but not of unusual poverty during the spring and early summer. The Inspector was authorised to relieve cases in which starvation was threatened, and he did frequently relieve such cases (p. 27).

The Parochial Board of Uig on 11th January record that there was no absolute destitution, except in some isolated cases, but they added, “from the failure of the East Coast fishing last year, and the low price of stock, and particularly from the fact that credit in consequence is at a very low ebb, it is feared there will be some of the people in absolute want before the end of next summer” (p. 29).

The Minute of the Parochial Board of Barvas is to the same effect as that of Uig. Such was the condition of the island in 1887-8 ; and the relief of taxation afforded to the ratepayers under the Probate Duties (Scotland and Ireland) Act, 1888 (52 & 53 Vict., cap. 60), was cordially welcomed. Section 2 ( 1) (A.) (1.) of that Act provided for the paying of a sum of £3 0,000 for the relief of local taxation in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland such proportion and manner as might from time to time be directed by the Secretary for Scotland. Under this enactment the Parish of Barvas received £920 15s. 6d. for the relief of rates, and £16 5s. 1d. towards the cost of management of Parochial Boards, pauper lunatics, 850., between 1889 and 1890; the Parish of Lochs £1,086 12s. 2d. for the former, and £33 2s. 5d. for the latter purpose during the same period; the Parish of Stornoway, £1,810 18s. 10d. for the former, and £97 12s. 10d. for the latter purpose, also during the same period; while Uig received £603 6s., and £15 13s. 10d. for those purposes respectively in the two years mentioned.

The money thus received relieved the Parochial Boards from their difficulties ; and grants annually voted since 1890 in relief of local taxation under subsequent statutes have enabled the Boards to carry on their duties.

The details of these various grants from the Scottish Office between 1889 and 1901 will be found in Appendix D. (pp. 9-11) ; while the details of grants from the Board of Supervision for the period from 1880 to 1889 will be found in Appendix C. (p. 8). These it may be convenient to summarise here. The figures applicable to each of the Parishes of Lewis during the twenty years under review are as follows :—

I. From Board of Supervision, 1880—89—
(1) Medical Relief, . . . . £646 8 0
(2) Pauper Lunacy, . . . . £323 16 6
———-——— £970 4 6

II. From Scottish Office 1889-1901—
(1) Relief of Rates (1889-90), . . . £920 15 6
(2) Towards Cost of Management of Parochial
Boards, Pauper Lunatics, &c.'(1889—90), . £16 5 0
(3) Towards Maintenance of Pauper Lunatics
(1891-1901), . . . . £1,069 0 3
(4) Poor Law Medical Relief, . . . £789 3 8
(5) Relief of Rates (1894-1901), . . . £389 10 9
(6) Relief of Rates on Agricultural Occupiers
(1898-1901), . . . . £673 9 11
—-——————- £3,858 5 1 = £4,828 9 7

I. From Board of Supervision, 1880.89—
(1) Medical Relief, . . . . . £832 19 7
(2) Pauper Lunacy, . . . . £688 3 4
—-————————— 1,521 2 11

II. From Scottish Office, 1889-1901——
(1) Relief of Rates (1889-90), . . . £1,086 12 2
(2) Towards Cost of Management of Parochial
Boards, Pauper Lunatics, etc. (1889-90), . £33 2 5
(3) Towards Maintenance of Pauper Lunatics
(1891-1901), . . . . £1,629 12 5
(4) Poor Law Medical Relief, . . . £765 10 0
(5) Relief of Rates (1894-1901), . . . £291 17 9
(6) Relief of Rates on Agricultural Occupiers
(1898-1901), . . . . £409 0 11
————-— £4,215 15 8 = £5,736 18 7

Board of Supervision, 1880-89—
(1) Medical Relief, . . . . £1,097 6 9
(2) Pauper Lunacy, . . . . £1,263 3 5
——_—— £2,360 10 2

From Scottish Office, 1889-1901-
(1) Relief of Rates (1889-90), . . . £1,810 18 10
(2) Towards Cost of Management of Parochial
Boards, Pauper Lunatics, &c. (1889-90), . £97 12 10
(3) Towards Maintenance of Pauper Lunatics
(1891-1901), . . . . £2,375 0 2
(4) Poor Law Medical Relief, . . . £1,135 4 11
(5) Relief of Rates (1894-1901), . . . £839 11 9
(6) Relief of Rates on Agricultural Occupiers
(1898-1901), . . . . 603 10 10
———————— £6,861 19 9 = £9,222 9 11

I. From Board of Supervision, 1880-89— .-
(1) Medical Relief, . . . . £661 10 10
(2) Pauper Lunacy, . . . . 333 16 2 ‘
———— £995 7 0
II. From Scottish Oflice, 1889-1901
(1) Relief of Rates (1889-90), . . . £603 6 0
(2) Towards Cost of Maintenance of Parochial
Boards, Pauper Lunatics, &c. (1889-90), . £15 13 10
(3) Towards Maintenance of Pauper Lunatics
1891-1901, . . . . £1,009 19 2
(4) Poor Law Medical Relief, . . . £814 1 7
(5) Relief of Rates (1894-1901), . . . £300 12 1
(6) Relief of Rates on Agricultural Occupiers
(1898-1901), . . . . £589 6 3
——————— £3,332 18 11 = £4,328 5 1
Total, . . . . £24,116 4 0
In addition to the grants referred to in the foregoing Tables, other grants were made to the County of Ross and Cromarty, in which the Island of Lewis participated, during the period from 1889 to 1901. A statement of these County grants will be found in Appendix D. (p. 11). In the matter of maintenance of roads the County received £8,803 0s. 9d., of which the sum of £1,326 7s. 3d. effeired to the Island of Lewis. The same Appendix (p. 11) shows grants made to the Burgh of Stornoway in respect of maintenance of roads, sanitary officers’ grants, residue grant, and equivalent grant, amounting in thirteen years to £1,570 11s. 10d.

In Appendix E. pp. (12-13), details will be found showing (1) the total amount received from poor rate assessments in each year from 1880 to 1900 inclusive ; (2) the amount of grants in respect of medical relief, maintenance of pauper lunatics, &c.; (3) the total amount from other sources (if any) ; and (4) the gross receipts in each year. The column setting forth the expenditure gives the total amount of the ordinary outlays, including maintenance of registered and casual poor, medical relief, management, &c., but does not include outlays of a miscellaneous character. The difference between the total receipts and the total amount of ordinary expenditure was available for such purposes. The question of pauper lunacy next falls to be considered. The statistics with regard to this matter furnished by the General Board of Lunacy for Scotland at first present an alarming appearance, but on examination in the light of the change which has been gradually taking place in the treatment of the insane and imbecile within the last fifty years, it will be seen that the growth of lunacy is not in any degree disproportionate to the growth of population. Formerly the harmless lunatic and the imbecile were maintained among their relatives. Occasionally they wandered through the country and became objects of mirth’, or of compassion, according to the form their mental defects assumed, or the disposition of the persons among whom they moved. They received food wherever they went, and a bed in a barn or other outhouse, for persons of this class, was considered a necessary feature of every farm. The humblest tenant provided for them according to his means when they visited his home. Whenever any such weakling remained in a house for an evening, numbers of youths allowed and teased him. His quaint remarks on hearing of some strange event narrated to tickle his fancy, or the expressive oaths to which he occasionally gave utterance, formed a theme for the amusement of the thoughtless in the locality long after the unfortunate individual had departed.

Sometimes these persons became dangerous, and caused alarm in their neighbourhood. When it became necessary to overpower them, care was taken lest they should scratch the skin of any of those engaged in overcoming them. If such an accident happened, it was believed that the person injured would himself become insane sooner or later!

For half a century or more the tendency has been to put persons mentally afflicted under restraint-—the more dangerous being confined in asylums and the less dangerous boarded in private houses ; and the result is that even in the most remote districts these unfortunates are rarely met with wandering at will; and the bed in the outhouse for the waifs and strays has become a custom of the past.

In the case of dangerous lunatics there was formerly a strong aversion on the part of relatives to send them to asylums. They had heard tales of cruelties practised on asylum patients ; and they endeavoured to tend their hapless relative at home rather than send him among strangers; and in the hope of effecting a cure they had recourse to some of the popular remedies which had for generations found faVour( throughout the country on the mainland there were Loch Maree in Ross—shire, Loch Monar in Strathnaver, Sutherlandshire, and St. Fillan’s Pool in Perthshire. At the first of these, the patient, after drinking out of the holy well on St. Maelrube’s Island in the lake, was thrown into the water and towed after the boat round the island.

Maelrube’s name appears to have been associated with the cure of insanity for centuries, for upwards of 250 years ago the Presbytery of Dingwall condemned superstitious practices at Loch Maree with regard to “ Mourie his derilans ” (Maelrube’s afflicted ones). Loch Monar is little more than a horse pond. It was resorted to on the first Monday of each quarter—February, May, August, and November—by parties not only from the northern Highland counties, but also from Orkney. Deranged and fatuous persons were conveyed 10 the side of the loch on the preceding Sunday. Each victim was kept bound and sparingly fed till midnight. After that hour he was unbound, and to quote the language of the Rev. Donald Sage “led forth to nearly the middle of the pool, and hurled head foremost under its dusky waters. Then he was dragged out, stripped, and dried, and conveyed home by his attendants, in the confident expectation of his recovery.” (Memorabilia Domestica p. 242.)

At Strath Fillan the patient was dipped in a pool in the River Fillan, and afterwards bound hand and foot and kept all night under watch in the old chapel of the Saint. The practice in connection with this place has not escaped the eye of Scott, for we read of the Palmer in “ Marmion ” about to visit

“St. Fillan’s Blessed well,
Whose spring can frenzied dreams dispel,
And the crazed brain restore.”

Lewis had its own shrine for the cure of the mentally deranged——viz., the temple of Maeldubh at Eoropie in Ness. There, the patient was brought to the holy well in the township, made to drink the water, and thereafter led to the old chapel, and going three times round it sunwise was brought inside. He was then bound hand and foot, and with his head resting on the Saint’s stone pillow was left there for the night. If this drastic treatment did not effect a cure ere morning, the malady was regarded as incurable.

The Siloams of Maree, Monar, and Strathfillan have long ago ceased to be resorted to, but there is still a lingering belief in the eflicacy of the ceremony at the temple of Maeldubh in Lewis; and it is said that some unfortunate persons have been subjected to the ordeal we have described within comparatively recent times.

The old remedies for the cure of insanity having fallen into disrepute, recourse is now had to more modern treatment, and hence the seeming increase of insanity as indicated by statistics. In Lewis there were 35 pauper lunatics on the rolls of the Parochial Boarder 1881—17 of them being in asylums and 18 in private dwellings. In 1901 the number had increased to 97—42 in asylums and 55 in private dwellings. These figures represent a rise of from 6.7 to 14.5 of asylum patients, and of from 7.0 to 19.0 of patients in private dwellings, in proportion to every 10,000 of population. The numbers certainly look startling, but it has to be noted that in both cases they apply to the registered insane; and that while in 1901 it may reasonably be expected that all the insane paupers are registered, there must have been a considerable number in 1881 who were not registered, and therefore the figures do not afford a safe basis for comparison. The Lunacy Board believe that a great many persons were recognised as lunatics and sent to Asylums for private treatment in 1901 who would not have been so recognised in 1881. This change, though much less recent in most places than in Lewis, is common to all Scotland, and is believed to account for the general growth of lunacy as presented by the published statistics. Had a comparison been made between 1861 and 1881, it is believed that the increase in the latter year would be as striking as the apparent increase in 1901 when compared with 1881.

Comparing the different Parishes of Lewis, the figures applicable to Stornoway differ greatly from those relating to the other three Parishes of the island. The increase in Stornoway during the 20 years is only 38 per cent., the numbers being 15 in 1881 and 26 in 1901. In Barvas, on the other hand, the number of registered insane poor had risen from 3 in 1881 to 24 in 1901. In the Parish of Lochs the number in 1881 was 32 and in 1901, 24. Uig increased from 5 in 1881 to 23 in 1901.

These figures appear extraordinary, but they do not differ on the whole from these relating to the rest of Scotland, and are accounted for by the explanation above given. The proportion of all patients on the pauper lunatic roll per 10,000 of population is as follows:
Stornoway, 20.0; Lochs, 50.7; Uig, 51.1 ; Barvas, 35.6.

The corresponding figures for Ross and Cromarty as a whole are 51.6 ; for Sutherlandshire, 48.7 ; for Caithness, 56.1 ; for Orkney, 39.7 ; and for Shetland, 39.4 and for all Scotland, 30.8.

The increase in the number of registered insane poor will prepare one for the corresponding increase in the expenditure. The total expenditure in 1880 was £575 while in 1901 the amount had risen to £1,624. The figures applicable to each of the four Parishes of Lewis for 1880 and 1901 may be stated here in tabular form :—

1880: number of pauper lunatics
1880: cost
1901: number of pauper lunatics
1901: cost
The local rates and public grants are the sources from which this expenditure is met. There are occasionally contributions by relatives, but these are little more than nominal. The amount annually derived from public sources for parochial purposes has already been dealt with, but a brief reference to the burden which pauper lunacy imposes on the rates may be referred to here. In Lewis, apart from the Burgh of Stornoway, the tendency of the rental is downward, and accordingly, while the present rate of expenditure continues or is increased, the rate per £ must increase in a corresponding degree. Stornoway in 1881 was expending at the rate of 4s. per £10 of rental on these pauper lunatics. The increase in the rental since that date has been such that in 1901 the rate was only 3s. 9½d. per £10 of rental. In the other three Parishes the rate has increased. Lochs, for instance, was expending at the rate of 5s. 10½d. per £10 of rental in 1881. In consequence of the decrease of rents and the increase of lunacy chargeable to the Parish the expenditure now is £1 4s. 4½d. per £10 of rental. Barvas, which in 1881 was expending 3s. 11d., is now expending £1 4s. 1½d. per £10 of rental ; while in Uig the rate has risen from 3s. 8½d. in 1881 to 18s. 4½d. in 1901. The corresponding rate for all Scotland has risen from 1s. 9½d. per £10 of rental in 1881, to 2s. 5d. in 1901. '

In conclusion, reference is made to the Memorandum, with relative statistical tables, bearing on the question of lunacy in Lewis, furnished by the General Board of Lunacy and appearing in Appendix F. (pages 14-23).

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