Farm rental

Rental books of Breadalbane 1582

The Mylne of Eddergoll: tenants Malcom McNaughtane, Donald M'Intailzeour Moris wyfe, Johne Makindeora, John McEwin Moir

Pais of meill - xxxvi bollis
Of malt - xiiii bollis
('Pais' = measured as weight. A 'boll' = 140lb)

C. Innes in his preface to the Rentals and estate books of Breadalbane 1582 which recorded the above example of a 'Receipt of Meill and Malt fra the tenants of Braidalbane' writes:

Much of the rent is paid in oat meal and malt the staples for food and drink. The tenants had little capital. The stock on the farms was " steelbow," the property of the landlord, only the produce belonging to the tenant. The bow-house (cattle-house) was rated at so much " kain " or produce, in butter and cheese, in proportion to the cattle on that pasture. The money which seems to have been appropriated as part of the requisite stock for cultivating the bow-house farm, is called by an unexplained name of " strenth-silver." We are led to think what became of those cattle during the long winter of the Midland Highlands ; but no information is afforded. Hay is not once named, and the natural produce of the glens can have been saved only in trifling quantities from the deer. Sheep were evidently in small numbers, and the " clip of wool " insignificant, compared with modern produce, probably from the want of winter food as well as from the deer occupying the outlying pastures, insecure, at any rate, for any valuable stock.

Oat meal and malt furnished the ordinary bread and the chief drink of the castle, where ale was distinguished as Ostler ale, household ale, and best ale. There was beef and mutton, fresh in summer, and for the rest of the year "marts," killed and salted when fat on the pasture ; a small quantity of bacon ; salmon of Loch Tay, and Glenurchy Salmon. Loch Fyne herring was already appreciated

18th century rentals

By the 18th century rent was mostly paid in cash. From 1754 - 74 rents on the Perthshire estate of the Breadalbane family rose from £2,118 to £4,599 (Gd112/9/49 and 53), e.g. in 1769 McArthur suggested increasing the rent of Alekich from £10 10/- to £18 19/7.

These increases proved to be merely a prelude to much sharper rises in the 1792 - 1815 period.

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