Second Shetland Truck System Report

Author: William Guthrie

Lerwick, January 30, 1872, George Jamieson, Examined.

15,400. Have you a farm at North Roe, on the estate of Busta?-
Yes. I have only had one crop there.

15,401. Have you been a fisherman?-Yes, all my life.

15,402. Whom did you fish for?-I have fished for different people in my time. When I was on Messrs. Hay’s property I fished for them; but they suspended me from fishing, and I would not go again. They wanted to put me into a boat with some old men. I
would not agree to that, and I lost my fishing for four years.

15,403. Were you at liberty to fish for whom you pleased?-I was not. They stopped other fish-curers from taking me during these four years.

15,404. How did they do that?-I offered to go for different men,
and they would not take me for fear of Mr. Greig, Messrs. Hay’s factor at North Roe.

15,405. Are the tenants on the Gossaburgh estate bound to fish for
Messrs. Hay & Co.?-Yes. I was bound to do so all the time I was there. One year I agreed with Mr. Anderson, Hillswick, to go to the fishing for him, and I came with my share of fishing lines, but he would not give his men a share of lines to make up the fishing with; and he gave us an old boat that we would not risk our lives in, and he would not give us any meal.

15,406. Are you also employed in keeping paupers?-Yes, I
have two old women-one from the parish of Lerwick, and one from the parish of Northmaven. I have £8 for the one from
Northmaven. I only had 13s. for five months for the pauper who belonged to Lerwick, but now they have given me 1s. 6d. a week,
which comes to £3, 18s. a year.

15,407. Who pays you these sums?-Mr. Greig.

15,408. Does he pay you for both the paupers?-Yes.

15,409. Does he keep the post office?-No; but they put the money into his hands, and most of it has been taken out in truck.
He refuses to give me any money except a mere trifle.

15,410. Whom did you make your bargain about these paupers with?-One was with Mr. Johnston of Lerwick, and the other was with Mr. Bruce at Urrafirth.

15,411. Do you not receive post-office orders or money from Mr.
Bruce or Mr. Johnston for the maintenance of these paupers?-It comes to Mr. Greig; I cannot say how it comes.

15,412. Have you ever asked that the money should be sent to you direct?-No.

15,413. Is Mr. Greig a member of the parochial board of
Northmaven parish?-I believe he is.

[Page 390]

15,414. But he is not a member of the Lerwick parochial board?-

15,415. How does he happen to pay you money for Lerwick parish?-They send it to him.

15,416. Have you ever asked him for the whole of that money in cash?-No.

15,417. Why?-Because he seemed that he would not pay it in cash.

15,418. How did he seem so?-He said he would not do so, and that there was no use of him taking the trouble if I would not take the greater part of it out in truck.

15,419. When did he say that to you?-He has said it to me several times. He said it some time after I got the first pauper,
who belonged to Northmaven. That is about two years back.

15,420. Did he say it to you when you went for the first payment?-Yes.

15,421. Had you not run up an account at his shop before the money was due?-I had not.

15,422. Did you owe him anything then?-I owed him nothing.
He was my landmaster then, but I did not owe him anything.

15,423. Is that money paid quarterly?-It is paid monthly here.

15,424. Did you ever ask Mr. Greig for a monthly payment in cash?-I did not.

15,425. Why?-I cannot tell. I suppose it was because we always had his shop to go to for things that we required for the paupers,
and we thought we need not ask for cash.

15,426. Were you not always due him as much as the monthly payment before it became due?-I was not.

15,427. Were you not due him something?-Yes, a small thing,
but not the whole of the money.

15,428. Did you ever ask him for the balance in money?-Yes.

15,429. Did you get it?-Yes.

15,430. Then, when was it that Mr. Greig said he could not give it to you in money, but that you must take it out in truck?-Just when they sent the paupers to me.

15,431. Are you sure there was not something due to Mr. Greig then for supplies to the paupers?-There was nothing due.

15,432. Had you not got any supplies from him for these women before the first payment was due?-Yes, I got what I wanted whenever I asked it.

15,433. Then there was something due to him for that?-Yes; he never refused to give me anything for them as soon as I came for it.

15,434. There was something due to him for these supplies at the time when the first monthly payment became due?-Yes, but not to the whole amount of it.

15,435. Why did you say that you were not due him anything?-I
had to take out the things because I could not get the money.

15,436. Did you ask him for the balance?-I did.

15,437. How much was there due to you at that time?-I cannot tell, because we don’t keep accounts.

15,438. Have you no pass-book?-No.

15,439. Did Mr. Greig actually say to you that you must take your payment in truck?-He said we must take part of it in truck, and that he would not pay it all in money.

15,440. Did he use the word truck?-Yes.

15,441. Did he not say that you were to take part of it in goods?-
Goods were the same as truck, and he meant that we were to take meal or tea, or anything, out of his shop.

15,442. But what did he actually say?-He said we must take goods out of his shop for part of the money, because he could not pay it all in money. He said that the first time I went to him.

15,443. When did he say it again?-He said it very often.

15,444. When did he say it last?-This winter.

15,445. Where did he say it?-In his shop at North Roe.

15,446. Were you asking for money at that time?-Yes. I asked him then for the 13s. which came for the pauper from Lerwick,
and he said he would give me that, but that he need not have the trouble of paying it all down in money.

15,447. Had you not got a lot of supplies at that time?-No.

15,448. Do you swear that, when you asked him for the 13s., you were owing him nothing for supplies?-I was owing him nothing.

15,449. Had you got any supplies from him before that?-I had got nothing from him for the pauper from Lerwick.

15,450. But had you got supplies for your own household?-I had;
but I was due him nothing.

15,451. Had all the supplies that you had got from Mr. Greig for other parties up to that time been paid for?-They were all paid for when I asked for the 13s.

15,452. Had you any account due at the-shop at that time?-I
cannot tell. I don’t think it. There could be nothing due.

15,453. You said just now that all the supplies you had ever got were paid for at that time?-They were paid for.

15,454. And then you say in the next sentence that you cannot say whether they were paid for or not?-I asked for nothing for this woman until the came.

15,455. Do you keep a separate account for every woman that you have?-I believe we do.

15,456. Do you know anything about your accounts?-I don’t know a great deal about them.

15,457. Are you sure that Mr. Greig has told you that you must take part of your payment for the paupers in goods?-Yes.

15,458. Is not all that he has done merely to keep part of the money that was already due to him for supplies which you had got?-He said he would not pay it all in money. That is all I
have got to say about it.

15,459. Did he not say that he would not give it all to you in money because you were due him something for supplies you had already got?-I was never due Mr. Greig anything.

15,460. Had you not got supplies from him before he said that?-I
had got supplies, but they never ran up to the sum which I had to get payment of from him. There was always money due to me.

15,461. Were you ever due Mr. Greig anything at all?-I was not.

15,462. Did you not owe him money for the supplies you had got?-We never sought supplies that would run up to the sum which we had to get. There was always something in his hand.

15,463. Do you understand what it is to be due a man money?-

15,464. Do you understand that you are due a man money when you have got goods from him and not paid for them?-I know that.

15,465. Were you not due Mr. Greig money when you had got these goods and had not paid for them?-I was.

15,466. Was it not at the time when you were due him money for these supplies that he said he could not give you the money which was due for the paupers?-He said, first of all, that we were not to ask all money when we were due him for goods.

15,467. Is there anything else you wish to say?-Nothing.

15,468. You have given your evidence in such a manner, that I
cannot allow you any expenses for attending here.


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Chicago: William Guthrie, "Lerwick, January 30, 1872, George Jamieson, Examined.," Second Shetland Truck System Report, trans. D’Anvers, N. (Nancy Bell), D. 1933 in Second Shetland Truck System Report Original Sources, accessed June 3, 2023,

MLA: Guthrie, William. "Lerwick, January 30, 1872, George Jamieson, Examined." Second Shetland Truck System Report, translted by D’Anvers, N. (Nancy Bell), D. 1933, in Second Shetland Truck System Report, Original Sources. 3 Jun. 2023.

Harvard: Guthrie, W, 'Lerwick, January 30, 1872, George Jamieson, Examined.' in Second Shetland Truck System Report, trans. . cited in , Second Shetland Truck System Report. Original Sources, retrieved 3 June 2023, from