"Survey return from Archibald Nicol"
Coll, by Tobermory.
Archd. Nicol was a church minister to Coll parish.
Coll was an island parish in the Hebrides. There was a lot of fishery, improved methods of agriculture, and much livestock keeping. In 1831, the population of Coll was 1316.
1. How many Medical Men practice within the Parish of Coll & Tryee?
In the Island of Coll containing a population of 1400, there is no Medical man at all. In the Island of Tyree there are two Medical men. Both Islands make one Parish.
2. The Names and Addresses of these.
Mr John Gilchrist Surgeon-
Mr Daniel McLean Surgeon-
3. Has the number increased or diminished of late years?
The number the same as late years.
4. Have any left the Parish since you became connected with it? If so, for what reasons?
Medical men stay not very long in Tyree in general. Want of emoluments to support them I believe
5. Is there any complaint among the people of inadequacy in the supply of Medical aid?
In the Island of Coll there are many complaints of this kind.
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?
No doubt there have been many cases of suffering, and injury by accident, those might have been alleviated had proper Medical advice been at hand- Sometimes Medical aid could not1 be procured from any of the neig neighbouring Islands for a week in stormy weather.
7. To what extent is the deficiency of qualified Practitioners made up by the efforts of other parties?
The deficiency is only made up by an old man the Kirk officer an bellman who bleeds2 and services in advice and attends at most of the births in the island. There is one Female also who is occasionally employed in the service.
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?
The evil could be alleviated in different respects, but not without some emoluments or other to support a Medical man.
9. What Heritors3 are resident, either generally or occasionally, in your Parish?
No Heritors reside either generally or occasionally on the Island.
1. Continues into box for query 7.
2. Bleeding, or bloodletting, is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to prevent or cure illness and disease. This was a common medical practice in the 1800s, dating back to antiquity, and was often carried out by unlicensed healers as well as qualified physicians.
3. 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.
4. “Coll. C” and “Tyree A” are at the top of the page.