"Survey return from William Findlater"
William Findlater was a church minister to Durness parish.
Durness was a parish in the historic County of Sutherland. It extended along the coast and one of the main industries was fishery. Much of the parish area was converted into sheep farming land. In 1831, the population was 1153.
1. How many Medical Men practice within the Parish of Durness ?
One, whose range of extends over 3 parishes of great extent – being in all about 500 square miles
2. The Names and Addresses of these.
Robert Walker Black, Tongue by Golspie
3. Has the number increased or diminished of late years?
4. Have any left the Parish since you became connected with it? If so, for what reasons?
There is none resident, nor has been for at least the last 50 years Population about 1100.
5. Is there any complaint among the people of inadequacy in the supply of Medical aid?
There must be occasionally in extreme cases, owing to the distance of the Medical man who lives about 25 miles from the central part of the Parish, & 2 arms of sea to cross
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?
There are a few – besides cases of delivery in childbed – No qualified female accoucheur1 being in the parish
7. To what extent is the deficiency of qualified Practitioners made up by the efforts of other parties?
There are 2 or 3 who can use the lancet, & some simple medicines are sold in shop or kept by a few private families
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?
Provision to be made for one Medical man, together with accommodations – also for a Female regularly qualified to attend in cases of delivery
9. What Heritors2 are resident, either generally or occasionally, in your Parish?
None. The Duke of Sutherland being sole Heritor & pays the Medical practitioner £50 per Ann. & free house. The Tacksmen3 & ministers make about an equal sum – The poor tenants are generally served gratis
Durness by Golspie}
9th Decr 1850 }
Wm Findlater Minr
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. A person who held a lease and sublet land to others.