"Survey return from Dan. Fraser"
Dan. Fraser was a church minister in Lerwick.
Lerwick was a parish and a post town on the Shetland Islands. It has a harbour in Bressay Sound. The population in 1837 was 3564. The parish had a freestone quarry. The biggest industry was fishing.
1. How many Medical Men practice within the Parish of Lerwick?
One, who has to supply not only Lerwick but almost the whole country besides.
2. The Names and Addresses of these.
John Cowie Surgeon Lerwick
3. Has the number increased or diminished of late years?
When I came to Lerwick in 1846 there were three medical Practioners1 – but two have died since.
4. Have any left the Parish since you became connected with it? If so, for what reasons?
None have left it.
5. Is there any complaint among the people of inadequacy in the supply of Medical aid?
There is I believe a great and universal complaint of inadequacy – not that they are generally dissatisfied with Mr Cowie – but the work appears to be too much for him - & he is liable to be called to a distant part of the country where he wmay remain for days
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?
I am not aware that any such case has occurred in Lerwick – but I am aware that several such cases have occurred in the country districts.
7. To what extent is the deficiency of qualified Practitioners made up by the efforts of other parties?
In Lerwick a young man who has not yet completed his studies has commenced to practice – In Scalloway a neigbouring2 village a merchant has been dispensing medicine & giving advice for some time.
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?
As to a measure of general applicability – I can think of none other than that of raising a fund to be properly invested in behalf of such destitute localities and its proceeds to be applied in supplementing the income of medical men labouring in such districts – with regard to Lerwick I think it might support another medical practitioner and were one supplied for it, it would be a great boon not only to Lerwick but to the surrounding country.
9. What Heritors3 are resident, either generally or occasionally, in your Parish?
of Resident Heritors the following may be mentioned as the principal. James Greig Esqre of Sandsound. Francis Heddell Esqre Joseph Leask Esqre Robert Bell Esqre William Hay Esqre
1. Misspelling of “practitioner”.
2. Misspelling of “neighbouring”.
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.