"Survey return from Alexander McKenzie"
Kildalton, by Bowmore.
Alexander McKenzie (also written as MacKenzie) was a church minister to Kildalton parish.
Kildalton was a parish in the historic County of Argyle and contained multiple small islands. There was much livestock breeding in the parish and agriculture and husbandry was maintained. The population was 3315 in 1841.
The Revd p.p.
1. How many Medical Men practice within the Parish of Kildalton & Oa?
There is our resident practitioner. I am not certain whether he has a diploma
Two others from a distance of 11 and 13 ½ miles respectively attend such cases as they are called to
2. The Names and Addresses of these.
Mr William Campbell Port Ellen
Dr. Currie, Bowmore
Dr McTavish Bridgend Islay
3. Has the number increased or diminished of late years?
No increase or diminution
4. Have any left the Parish since you became connected with it? If so, for what reasons?
5. Is there any complaint among the people of inadequacy in the supply of Medical aid?
There is a very general complaint.
6. Do you know of any cases of protracted suffering, or of injury by Accident, such as might have been alleviated had proper advice been at hand?
Several deaths have occurred within the last three years which in my opinion might have been caus prevented by means of sufficient medical aid
7. To what extent is the deficiency of qualified Practitioners made up by the efforts of other parties?
Within the last three years & a half I have attended a considerable number of cases of the more common complaints but have of late been obliged to discourage applications of this sort - The Rev Mr Dewar of Oa also prescribes for similar cases.
8. Does your experience enable you to suggest any measure – of general applicability – such as would be likely to relieve to some extent the evils (if they exist) of deficiency in the supply of Medical aid?
A well qualified practitioner is indispensably necessary in this district. It is only the want of a fair prospect of adequate emoluments which prevents one from occupying the field. The resources of the locality are quite insufficient [1 word illegible] that. I believe however that1 with some extraneous aid which I hope the Royal College of Physicians may eventually have it in their power to give, the object might be more easily accomplished here than in many other localities in the North West Highlands.
9. What Heritors2 are resident, either generally or occasionally, in your Parish?
93 None. The whole property is in the hands of the Trustees of Mr Campbell the late proprietor - and they are non-resident
N.B. They are property the Trustees of the Creditors of the Estate
F.C. Manse. Kildalton
Islay 2nd. Decr 1850
I herewith return to you the Schedule of queries you were pleased to address to me, with such answers annexed as my knowledge of the matters referred to enabled me to give.
The subject to which they relate I consider to be of very great importance. From the circumstances in which I have been situated during the three years and a half that I have resided here, I have had many opportunities of knowing the state of health of a large4 proportion of the people and the extreme inadequacy of the medical aid within their reach. but for such non-professional attention as is alluded to in the replies.
I cannot mention to be explicit respecting the only resident practitioner. Let it suffice to say that he is employed by no reputable family in the district, nor by any other that can possibly avoid it.
The other two gentlemen are at too great a distance to be sufficiently available, besides that their state of charges (which I do not mean however, to say is unreasonable) is too5 high for nineteen-twentieths of the population. In fact, any practitioner who would meet the exigencies of the locality, would require not only to prescribe, but also to supply medicine, gratis, to a very considerable extent, [1 word illegible] among the non-pauper inhabitants.
If I can be of further use to you in reference to this object, you may freely command my services.
I [1 word illegible]
Yours with much respect
1. Continues into query box 9.
2. A heritor was a landowner, under Scots Law, whose holdings were sizeable enough for them to be liable for the payment of public burdens such as Poor Law rates, road and bridge assessments and the church minister’s stipend.
3. Written below query box.
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