The Oldest Man in Britain.
Hugh MacLeod, crofter, Morefield, parish of Loch Broom, County of Ross, Scotland, was born in the adjoining parish of Assynt, township of Elphin, Sutherlandshire, on November 24, 1783, so that he is now in his 107 th year. He is still as straight as a lamp-post. He says he gets up in summer between 5 and 6 a.m., and goes to bed at 9 p.m. In winter he rises at 8 a.m., and retires at 10 p.m. "I had," he says, "to drop the croft, as I could not cultivate it at last, but I still cut my own fire (peats), and I carried home on my own back a creelful of peats (841b) yesterday." Continuing, he states :—" I take porridge and milk for breakfast, as I always did throughout my life ; potatoes and herrings and fish and mutton (salt) when I can get it." While in this humor he observed that he had growa fond of toa, which was absolutely unknown in his younger days, and that he was very heavy on chewing "thin twist." That extraordinary vitality and strength are still left to him is proved from the fact that he carries home his turf in loads of nearly three - quarters of a hundredweight a distance of nearly a mile, one-fourth of which is a very steep ascent, and over a stony, rugged footpath. Like his father, who was a weaver, he was himself a craftsman also—a carpenter and joiner—and in this capacity he went much about the Western Isles, where he heard a great deal about British Empire-making from the mouths of men fresh " from the fields of battle gory, from amidst the toils of war," and bearing on their bodies too evident marks of that proud fact. "You have also met many men who have been pressed into the navy?" " Yes," he said, " I have. Men who were afloat with Rodney, Duncan, and Nelsonlads of my own acquaintance. They, or some of them, were present at St, Vincent, Camperdown, and the Nile. But the most of people whom I met then were those who were taken away to fill the ranks of the 78th, 72nd, and 71st Highlanders, all from the county of Ross, to contend with equal success against Turk, Tartar, Hbdoo, American, Indian, or Frenchmen—many thousands of them, where not as many tenß could be got now."
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The Oldest Man in Britain., Evening Star, Issue 7917, 27 May 1889
The Oldest Man in Britain. Evening Star, Issue 7917, 27 May 1889
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