The Highland Clearances
Many thousands of crofters, whose families had lived on the land for generations, were forcibly evicted, leaving empty glens and desolate villages.
A storytelling from Elliot Rudie with Rosemary Mackintosh Strathnaver Museum
The Highland Clearances are a notorious part of Scottish history. The 19th Century is known as the age of improvement, a time when all the landlords looked at their estates to see how they might be made more productive and financially rewarding. What the landlords thought of as necessary "improvements", later to become known as the Clearances During what became known as the ''Highland Clearances'', it was not just a hundred or so victims who suffered eviction, but tens of thousands of men, women and children. They led to mass emigration to the sea coast, the Scottish Lowlands, and the North American colonies.
The clearances were part of a process of agricultural change throughout the United Kingdom (called enclosure elsewhere), but were particularly notorious as a result of the late timing, the lack of legal protection for year-by-year tenants under Scottish law, the abruptness of the change from the traditional clan system,