Article XIV about the Meikle Ferry Disaster written by Alexander Gunn was published in the Northern Ensign 30 June, 1881 - Part C
Meikle Ferry Disaster Fund
On 16 August 1809, ninety nine people drowned in the Meikle Ferry disaster with twelve passengers being saved.
|The Courier, 21 November 1809|
Many of the bereaved were left in severe hardship. From young children orphaned, to widows, widowers, and old parents, many were left without any ways of sustaining themselves. Not only had lives been lost but some folks who were going to the fair to trade had all the spare money they owned with them.
An appeal fund was formed to aid the families of those drowned.
Total fund of £2909
The Meikle Ferry Fund distributed £509 to widows, husbands and children and parents of the dead on 14 December 1809. On 29 March 1810 another £1000 was distributed and a further £1400 was distributed on 11 December 1811. The total fund amounted to £2909 which was a huge amount of money for that time.
I note that while Alexander Gunn heaped such righteous anger on the heads of the ‘wicked’ ferrymen, the detail of the distributions of the fund includes £10 to the bereaved parents of Donald Chisholm, Ferryman, and £26 to the widow and nine children of Ferryman, Wm Sutherland.
The following are pages from the reports of the Appeal Fund committee.