HEALTH AND HOUSING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. ‘Black House’, the Western Isles. Divided by box beds. Kists for blankets. No toilet. No chimney Soot build up. Earth floor. Kists for clothes. Little furniture. HEALTH. Bovine TB – living with cattle.
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‘Black House’, the Western Isles
Complete Activity 1 of your work
WHAT EVIDENCE QUESTIONS
At General level there will
be two sources to study.
At Credit level there will
be three sources to study.
The most vivid description would not do justice to the extraordinary and disgusting filth of Roag near Dunvegan. The people barricade themselves up behind their cows in the farthest and smallest end of the hut. There the whole family sits in dirt, and smoke, and darkness. They stare from morning to night into a peat fire. They appear quite contented to have no clean air or clean water. They must be instructed, and assisted to escape these conditions, and encouraged to emigrate.
I saw our houses swept away and the people being driven out of the countryside to the streets of Glasgow and to the wilds of Canada, such as them that did not die of hunger and smallpox while going across the ocean. I have seen the women putting their children in the carts which were being sent from Benbecula to board an emigrant ship on Loch Boisdale. Almost everyone was crying. Bailiffs and constables gathered behind them and made sure they boarded the ship. Some men showed boldness and looked for adventure but for most it was a loathsome day.
We settled in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. Many Scots emigrated because of the better living prospects that life in Canada offered them. Unlike some emigrants, we had no difficulty in settling down as we had two uncles and an aunt to welcome us. Scottish emigrants received a special warm welcome from the Canadians. I met hundreds of Scottish, mainly Highland, emigrants in Vancouver. All of our family in Canada stayed on at school till they were fourteen. None of us regretted leaving Uist.
The easiest and clearest way of answering these questions is by the using a table..
ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT YOU INDICATE WHERE THERE ISN’T EVIDENCE IN A SOURCE
Source A was written by a visitor to the Highlands of Scotland in 1847.
In the centre of the cottage is heaped dirt and stones in which is fixed small iron bars, leaving a small hollow as a grate for fire. There is no chimney but a hole in the roof. The dirt floor is full of holes retaining wet or dirt. In one corner is a box nailed to the wall with a great many blankets. Into this box creep as many as it can hold. In this house stood another box containing milk, oatcakes, broth, etc and eating utensils.
How useful is Source A as evidence of rural housing conditions? (4)