"Survey return from William MacRae"
Barvas, by Stornoway.
William MacRae was a church minister in Barvas.
Barvas was a parish on the Island of Lewis in the historic County of Ross and Cromarty. The main industries were agriculture and fishing. In 1836, the population was 1840.
1. How many Medical Men practice within the Parish of Barvas, Island of Lewis, & County of Ross?
There are none resident within the Parish. The Medical men who are called occasionally reside in Stornoway & are distant 13 miles from the nearest part
shof the parish-- 30 miles from the more remote.
2. The Names and Addresses of these.
The names of those above referred to are,
Roderick Millar Surgeon,
Charles M. MacRae, M. D. Surgeon } by Stornoway1
3. Has the number increased or diminished of late years?
The State of this Parish, as regards Medical Relief, cannot be said to have undergone any change.
4. Have any left the Parish since you became connected with it? If so, for what reasons?
None, excepting that one of the above Medical men, being qualified to practise in 1848, removed from this his native parish, there being no field here by which to earn even a base subsistence, the population, upwards of 4000, rural & all very indigent.
5. Is there any complaint among the people of inadequacy in the supply of Medical aid?
Although all urgent calls from the country are promptly responded to by the medical men, yet the distance of their residence & the inability of the people to requite their (almost gratuitous) services occasion the complaint that they often neglect the means or cannot command the means that would be otherwise available.
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?
x out of the position2
Such cases are known not unfrequently to occur, mainly owing to the causes just stated & to the apathy & procrastination growing perhaps out
tof the people as to medical relief, causing them to delay application [manuscript damaged]3 for aid so long & so late that in many cases every resource [manuscript damaged]4 must prove utterly unavailing.
7. To what extent is the deficiency of qualified Practitioners made up by the efforts of other parties?
In the Manse & two other families, the simplest domestic medicines are gratuitously furnished to applicants, with any simple directions for treatment that can be given, in cases of emergency.
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 only measure for redressing the grievance referred to is, if such an adequate provision, in the shape of Salary could be made as would be an inducement to a respectable medical man to reside & practice within the parish.
9. What Heritors5 are resident, either generally or occasionally, in your Parish?
None - James Mathison Esqr M.P. Sole Heritor is always non-resident in the parish
William MacRae Minr.
1. A bracket to show both Millar and MacRae are from Stornoway.
2. Written in box of query 6.
3. There are some ink blots which obscure the word.
4. There is a tear in the paper which has removed some of the word(s).
5. 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.