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Others were found to contain fifty, others a hundred, others a
hundred and fifty, and some with extensive tracts on the main land,
were found to contain above two hundred acres for each person. RENT
OF LAND. An account of the rent of land cannot be obtained with
precision, in any of the remote Highland countries. The farms are
sometimes estimated rather by their extent in computed miles, than
by statute acres. No lands have ever been surveyed, and the
inhabitants even know not what the measure of an acre is. The farms
are valued, so far as it can be known, according to the number of
black cattle which they keep, or rather according to the number of
cows and their followers, every farm being entirely occupied by a
breeding stock. The horses, the sheep, the goats, and even the
arable land, which is generally indeed inconsiderable, are not
taken into the account, but merely considered as necessary to the
service of the farm, and the accommodation of the farmer's family.
The black cattle are the only article upon the farm which affords
money to the tenant, and payment to the landlord. The old custom of
the payment of the rents in victual, and in services and
casualties, does in some degree remain, but has of late years been
much abridged, die rents in many places being now paid chiefly, if
not entirely, in money. From the state of the farms, however, as
now described, no accurate idea can be formed of the rent payable
from any certain quantity of land. From a general computation of
the extent of many of the Hebridian isles, compared with their
general amount of rent, it appeared, that in the year 1771, the
most productive of the islands north of Cantyre, did not afford in
rent above sixpence the Scots acre: In some, the rent turned out to
be only fourpence, in others threepence,...
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