timeline, early christianity
63AD -- Joseph of Arimathea, one of Jesus's disciples, was sent to Britain to convert the people to Christianity.
75 - 77AD -- Roman Conquest of Britain completed
The Romans defeated the last of the resistant tribes in the North making all of Britain Roman.
79AD -- Agricola invaded Scotland. The Governor of Britain, Agricola, attempted to conquer Scotland for Rome but was unsuccessful.
Hadrian's Wall built. The Emperor Hadrian visited Britain
and ordered that a wall be built between England and Scotland
to keep the rebellious Scottish tribes out. Construction of the
wall began in 122 and was completed by 139.
142AD -- Antonine
Wall Built. The Romans made another attempt to conquer southern
Scotland and after making some gains built another wall across
the land between the Forth and the Clyde. It was abandoned in
22nd June 304AD -- St Alban Martyred. Alban became
the first Christian Martyr in Britain. The Emperor Diocletian
ordered that all Christians should be persecuted. St Alban, a
recent convert to Christianity changed places with a local priest
who was wanted by the Romans. When he was discovered he was executed
312AD -- Christianity the official religion of the Empire
360sAD -- Attacks from Picts, Scots, Franks, Saxons. Roman Britain was attacked by tribal groups of Picts, Scots, Franks and Saxons. Reinforcements were sent to Britain and the attacks were repelled.
The Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and made Christianity legal throughout the Roman Empire
388 - 400AD -- Romans begin to leave Britain
The Roman Empire was being attacked by many different barbarian tribes and soldiers stationed in Britain were recalled to Rome.
410 -- Last Romans leave Britain All Romans had
been recalled to Rome and the Emperor Honorious told the people
of Britain that they no longer had a connection to Rome and that
they should defend themselves.
Mid 400s -- St
Patrick, a Romano-Christian, born probably in the Melrose area of the Scottish Borders, and whose father was a Deacon, was kidnapped by Irish pagans and taken to Ireland. He was a prisoner for 6 years. He escaped,
returned home, developed his religious beliefs and then left for Ireland to successfully convert the pagans (possibly Druids) to Christianity. He became the Patron Saint of Ireland.
500 -- Ambrosius Aurelianus - British warlord
Ambrosius Aurelianus was a British warlord who commanded the victorious Britons at the Battle of Mons Badonicus. The Saxons had pushed the Britons further and further west unchecked until this battle. The story of King Arthur dates from this period.
Columba and his followers remained in the district for a long
time preaching the Gospel and again turned the Pictish people
into Christians. The first church of the Celtic Faith in the Foyers
district was founded shortly after St. Columba, by St. Moluag,
another Iona saint, who built the church of St. Moluag at nearby
Inverfarigaig. The first Roman Catholic Church in Foyers itself
was probably founded in the 12th century by David I, that "sair
Sanct tae the croon" whose gifts to the church left the Scottish
Crown quite impoverished.
In 664AD the Synod
of Whitby decided that Northumbria (the seat of British power)
should cease to look to Ireland for its spiritual leadership and
turn instead to Rome. The Irish monks of Lindisfarne, with others,
went back to Iona.
became prior of Lindisfarne. Wilfrid
(in Ripon) had won the argument to look to Rome where he was
trained, under the sponsorship of the Queen of England.
Kings of Scotland
THE HOUSE OF ALPIN
During this Dynasty Gaelic eventually replaced Pictish as the language of the North, the Celtic Church gave way to the Roman Catholic and only small pockets of Picts remained in places like Foyers, Stratherrick and Glen Urquhart - many of whose descendants are still living in these districts today.
Kenneth Macalpin (843-859)
Donald I (860-863)
Constantine I (863-877)
Donald II (889-900)
Constantine II (900-942)
In AD 911, in the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Charles the Simple left to the Viking chief Rollo (Rollon), the territory now known as Normandy. Rollo thus became the first Jarl (or Duke) of Normandy. After two successful extensions into Western Neustria (colonised mainly by Norwegians), the Norman territory had almost achieved its present frontiers by AD 933.
Some time between 954 and 962 a party of Vikings from Orkney, led by the sons of King Eric Blood-Axe raided the Buchan coast but were defeated by the natives. The exact site of this battle is unknown but one account would suggest that it was on the slopes of the Aldie Hill at Cruden.
The invasion of Frankia ceased, but the taste for foreign expeditions persisted in the Normans, who went on to found principalities in southern Italy and Sicily in the 11th-12th centuries, and conquered England after the Battle of Hastings in AD 1066.
THE HOUSE OF DUNKELD
Malcolm I (942-954)
Kenneth II (971-995)
Constantine III (995-997)
Kenneth III (997-1005)
Malcolm II (1005-1034)
large force of Danes under the command of Canute (later King Canute)
landed at Cruden in 1012. They built a fort on the links where
the golf course now stands. King Malcolm II gathered an army and
following a very fierce battle the Norsemen were defeated. Casualties
on both sides were very high. Duncan I (1034-1040) Macbeth
(1040-1057) Lulach (The Fool) (1057-1058)
THE HOUSE OF CANMORE
Malcolm III (Canmore) (1058-1093)
1066 The Norman Conquest - Britain will
never be the same again!
King Harald of Norway
(commonly known as Harald Hardrada) was one of the many claimants
to the throne of England. He believed he had a right to the throne
of England based on a treaty between the King of Norway and one
of earlier Kings of England. In early September 1066, Harald invaded
northern England with a fleet of 300 ships and about 15000 men.
He was assisted by the estranged and exiled brother of Harold
Godwinson, Tostig Godwinson. Initially the Norwegian invaders
were successful and were able to capture the city of York. The
army of Harold Godwinson was rushed to the north of the country
to battle the invaders. A fierce battle took place at Stamford
Bridge on 16th September 1066, and the Norwegian invaders suffered
a crushing defeat. King Harald of Norway was killed in the battle.
Out of the 300 ships that had reached England, only 24 could return
with the injuredwarriors. Though the English army was victorious
in the battle of Stamford Bridge, it also suffered losses. It
was in a battered and weakened state which adversely affected
its capacity to repel the Norman invasion of England. William of Normandy, distant cousin of the recently dead King of England (Edward the Confessor who died in January 1066), believed Edward had promised him the throne. This was contested by Harold Godwinson. William decided to settle the matter once and for all and invaded England 28 September 1066. Under William's rule the English Church was more in line with Rome, although toward the end of William's reign he was arguing with Pope Gregory VII who believed Rome should rule above Kings. The Normans rebuilt churches in England to a high standard, replacing Anglo Saxon styling with what scholars call Romanesque
The Winchester Roll was
commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085, which later became
Domesday Book by 1180.
Donald Ban (1093-1094)
Duncan II (May-November 1094)
Donald Ban and Edmund (1094-1097)
Edgar (The Peaceable) (1097-1107) - Edgar brought up in England at Royal Court.
Alexander (The Fierce) (1107-1124) brought up in the royal English court
David I (1124-1153) David was brought up in the Royal Court in England. When he became King of Scotland he was already Earl of Huntingdon, French speaking. He invited:
From Normandy, The Bruce Family and gave them Annandale in South West Scotland
From Brittany the Fitzalans and gave them areas of Renfrewshire. The first of the family, Walter Fitzalan was made hereditary title of High Steward of Scotland - his descendants became the Stewarts.
From Picardy the Balliol family who chose to live in West Scotland.
Being Earl of Huntingdon, David enjoyed respect of the nobility of England. He invited French speaking noble families which included:
Douglases (see later history of Reivers
of Southern Scotland.
David 1 introduced coinage which led to a vastly improved economy being established in Southern Scotland where his base was (in Dumfries and Galloway).
David built many abbeys in Scotland:
Melrose (later burial place of the heart of Robert the Bruce) - David brought monks, such as Cistercians and Tironensians, Benedictine, Franciscan..... He also upgraded his mother's Benedictine Priory at Dunfermline to abbey status.
Dryburgh (later the burial place of Sir Walter Scott)
The entourage of peasants who arrived in attendance of the nobles all spoke 'Inglis', the purest form of Anglo-Saxon language. In Southern Scotland this became the lingua franca and evolved to 'Scots' favoured by King James V1 of Scotland, at the expense of Gaelic.
de Payens engaged on a tour of several European countries between
1124-1128ce, he received official endorsements from the Catholic
Church at the Council of Troyes in France in 1124ce and he visited
his comrade Henri
St Clair, First Earl of Roslin at the St Clair home in Roslin,
Scotland around 1126-28ce, during this visit he was given
land by King David I of Scotland to build the first Templar Preceptory
outside the Holy Land, at Balantrodoch near Edinburgh now called
Temple, Midlothian. Around this time Hugues de Payens also established
a Preceptory in London, England. Hugues de Payens visit to Scotland
establishes the first connection of Rosslyn to the Knights Templar.
Malcolm IV (The Maiden) (1153-1165)
William (The Lion) (1165-1214)
Alexander II (1214-1249)
Earldom of Sutherland, the oldest extant in Britain, is said
to have been granted by Alexander II, to William, Lord of Sutherland,
about 1228, for assisting to quell a powerful northern savage
of the name of Gillespie. William was the son of Hugh Freskin,
who acquired the district of Sutherland by the forfeiture of the
Earl of Caithness for rebellion in 1197. Hugh was the grandson
of Freskin the Fleming, who came into Scotland in the reign of
David I, and obtained from that prince the lands of Strathbrock
in Linlithgowshire, also, the land of Duffus and others in Moray.
Alexander III (1249-1286) Cistercian
monks at Melrose become successful farmers of sheep and have many
'ranches' in the borders. They trade very successfully with Flemish
merchants. Alexander has to give up land he used for Royal Hunting
to ensure more pastures for sheep. Margaret (Maid of Norway) (1286-1290)
THE HOUSE OF BALLIOL John Balliol (1292-1296)
Wishart of Glasgow was the power behind the encouragement
Wallace and the accession of Robert de Bruce.
By 1300 the Cistercian monks at Melrose were maintaining huge flock of 12,000 sheep.
1305 -- William
Wallace was dragged " or "drawn" behind horses 4 miles to
Smithfield. This was the punishment for treason. He was then hanged,
the punishment for the crimes such as arson, murder and robbery.
He was cut down before he could die. He was then emasculated (castrated)
and disembowelled. His internal organs were burnt, as a punishment
for his sacrilegious treatment of the religious buildings. His
head was cut off and put on a spike on London Bridge. His body
was then cut into 4 pieces and each sent to different places:
Newcastle upon Tyne, Berwick, Perth, and Stirling, or possibly
Aberdeen. Wallace's struggle was finally over.
THE HOUSE OF BRUCE
I (The Bruce) (1306-1329)
David II (1329-1371)
1348 - Black Death hits southern coast of Britain and takes 1 year to arrive in Scotland.
THE HOUSE OF STEWART
Robert II (1371-1390)
Robert III (1390-1406)
James I (1406-1437)
James II (1437-1460) In the 1440’s (130 years after the dissolution
of the Knights Templar) Sir William St Clair, Jarl of Orkney was
the most powerful man in Scotland, he was a direct descendant
of William de St Clair the last Temple Grand Master of Scotland,
who had died taking the heart of Robert de Bruce (as part of James
Douglas, Lord of Douglas expedition) on a last crusade to Jerusalem.
1446 -- Sir
William St Clair Sir William wanted to build a temple
on his land at Rosslyn, near Edinburgh. He sought and received
a founding charter from the Church in Rome to build a collegiate
chapel in 1446ce
James III (1460-1488)
James IV (1488-1513) Killed at the Battle
Knox (1505-1572), was Scotland's most powerful political and
religious leader for the last twelve years of his life. He is
reputed to be the only man that Mary, Queen of Scots, feared.
Knox preached that Romish traditions and ceremonies should be
abolished as well as "that tyranny which the pope himself has
for so many ages exercised over the church" and that he should
be acknowledged as "the very antichrist, and son of perdition,
of whom Paul speaks." In public challenge, Knox said, "As for
your Roman Church, as it is now corrupted - I no more doubt but
that it is the Synagogue of Satan; and the head thereof, called
the Pope, to be that man of Sin of whom the Apostle speaketh."
James V (1513-1542) The principal development of
the early 16th Century was the foundation
of the College of Justice in 1532. After a costly war James
V needed to replenish his finances. Pope Paul III needed loyalty
and such was the statecraft of the times that James approached
the Pope for funds. The Pope granted a tithe on the Church in
Scotland in 1531. One of the conditions of which was that the
King would establish a college of justice. In 1535 the Bull was
issued establishing the court (which had been set up in 1532),
and in 1541 Parliament ratified the Papal Declaration. James was
married to Marie de Guise who did her very best to keep the rise
of Protestantism at bay. She was widowed early in her marriage
and became Regent to her daughter Mary. Being French, she was
reviled by an increasing number of Scots, and being Catholic many
despised her faith and wanted to expel Catholicism from Scotland.
She died of dropsy at the young age of 45, leaving her daughter
to defend Catholicism.
1517 -- The start of Protestantism in Europe spearheaded by the challenge of Martin Luther, an Augustian Friar who taught at the University of Wittenburg, Germany. Luther
became increasingly angry about the clergy selling 'indulgences'
- promised remission from punishments for sin, either for someone
still living or for one who had died and was believed to be in
purgatory. On 31 October 1517, he published his '95 Theses', attacking
papal abuses and the sale of indulgences.
Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587)
of Protestantism in Scotland can be traced to the 1520's. However,
the first significant incident in the history of the Scottish
Reformation was the death of the first Protestant martyr, the
fiery evangelist George
Wishart, who was burned at the stake at St. Andrews in 1546.
1558. Elizabeth. cousin to Mary Queen of Scots, becomes queen of England. 1559. Elizabeth repudiates
Romanism. Act of Supremacy makes her head of Church of England.
Romanist bishops expelled. Coverdale and other leading Protestants
return to England. Matthew Parker made Archbishop of Canterbury.
1560 - - the Catholic Faith was abolished by act of the Scottish Parliament. The Reformed Church of Scotland came into being, established in 1567.
was captured and imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle and was forced
to give up the throne in favour of her son. • Here she
managed to befriend her jailer and with his help she escaped on
the 17th June 1567, and raised a small army. • On 13th May, 1568,
she was again defeated at the Battle of Langside. • Mary avoided
capture and on 16th May, 1568, fled over the border to England
seeking refuge from her cousin Queen Elizabeth. • Elizabeth immediately
realised the implications and threat of having a Catholic Queen
living in England and placed her under semi- captivity. Mary was
to remain in England for the next 18 years. Mary Stuart
abdicates throne of Scotland, is succeeded by her son James under
James VI (1567-1603) of Scotland and also James 1 of England to 1625. When he left for London he did not return to Scotland until 1617. His beloved son Henry died in 1612, leaving his only other son, Charles as his successor.
1587. Death of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, mother of James.
1588. Destruction of Spanish Armada.
King James gave lands in Scotland as rewards for
support in battle, or forfeited for betrayal or causing defeat
1594 -- when the King's Secretary, as Keeper of the Signet, granted
Commissions to a Deputy Keeper and eighteen other writers, forming
of Writers to His Majesty's Signet. This provided the foundation of the legalising of land ownership as agreed by the King over the rights of those who had lived on the land for previous generation, but had no legal documents to continue their right to live there.
1603 -- Death of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England
of the Crowns in which King James V1 of Scotland also became
King James 1 of England, this brought a common royal family. New
Scotland established Sir William Alexander with King James
devised a settlement scheme of granting the title "Baronet of
Nova Scotia" to any who would purchase large grants of land in
New Scotland (Nova Scotia), secure and settle those lands. These
Baronets of Nova Scotia received their lands in New Scotland (Nova
Scotia) during the ancient ceremony of "Earth and Stone" while
standing on a plot of land deemed by imaginative legalese to be
part of New Scotland (Nova Scotia). Amongst these were the Sinclairs
of Caithness. William Alexander, son of Sir William Alexander,
brought out settlers to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in the late
1620s and established Charles Fort there. When the colony again
went back to the French, about three years after their arrival,
these Scottish emigrants were required to return to Scotland.
1605 -- English Romanists attempt to blow up Parliament in the "Gunpowder
plot," arousing great and lasting public indignation against
1607 -- Work on King James Bible begun.
1608 -- Pilgrim
Fathers leave England for Holland, being unpopular in England.
1611 -- King James Bible (dedicated to James) published and authorized in England.
1617 -- Celebration of centenary of Martin Luther's challenge to the pope. Led to the war between Catholics and Protestants in1618.
of Thirty Years War on Continent.
1620 - the
Pilgrim Fathers travel on to America, not being successful
1625 -- Charles 1 succeeded as the second Stuart King
Coventanters movement which protested the 'established church' attempts to introduce bishops.
1638 -The National Covenant is written placing Jesus, not King Charles as King of the people of Scotland. King Charles is Anglican, believing he has Divine Right of Kings. Covenanters are Presbyterian and against the imposition of Bishops as created by Charles's father. The English population of Protestants also do not approve of the 'Divine Right of Kings'.
1642 - Parliament raises an army and makes war against the despotic king Charles and his Romanizing bishops. • Brian Walton (Romanist) deprived of office.
1643. Westminster Assembly convened.
Laud put to death.
1647 -- Westminster Confession published.
1648 -- Parliament adopts the Westminster Confession of Faith, establishing Calvinistic doctrine and presbyterianism in England. • Buxtorf assails Cappel's view of the Hebrew vowel points. • Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years War on the continent, legitimizes Calvinism.
he names of their settlements in Scotland's northeast county of Caithness reflected their beliefs, like the town of Thurso, named for the Norse god Thor.
--Though the town still stands after all these
centuries, it came perilously close to obliteration one day in
1649. That year's raid on Thurso by a small group of veteran Irish
fighters and a handful of Scottish highlanders is not found
on any list of Scotland's great battles, but the raid was significant
largely for one reason it marked the last gasp of the once powerful
Irish brigade (known as ‘Redshanks') that came to Scotland to
aid the Marquis of Montrose and his Royalist forces during the
British Civil War.
Charles I put to death. Cromwell rules as "Protector of the
Commonwealth." • John Owen (Puritan) preferred to offices. • George
Fox disrupts church service in Nottingham, begins preaching Quakerism.
1650 -- Up to three million Africans had been
transported in British ships since 1650, and at the end of the
18th century Britain was dominating the trade, with an average
of more than 150 slave ships leaving Liverpool, Bristol, and London
each year. The
slave-based economy of the British West Indies was flourishing,
and its share of the world coffee and sugar production was sustaining
1651 Oliver Cromwell's troops seized and damaged Dunbeath, Dounreay and Ackergill. Cromwell also sent a garrison of 70 foot and 15 horse to hold Girnigoe/Sinclair castle. Cromwell was punishing the Scots who supported Charles as they were Romanist.
1658. Death of Cromwell.
1660. Monarchy restored with king Charles II
1665. Great Plague of London kills over 68,000.
1666. Great Fire of London.
1685. Death of Charles II. He is succeeded by a Roman Catholic king, James II.
that emptied Scotland 1685 onward
1685 -- George
Scot transported Covenanters on the Henry and Francis, who
had refused to take the oath of allegiance to the king, and thus
were banished to the Americas where they were known as the "Redemptioners". They arrived to Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
1688. James II deposed by Parliament, and replaced by William of Orange, with regulation for Protestant succession and greatly enlarged powers of Parliament. Threat of Romanism forever ended in England.
Glencoe Massacre. Many escapees descendants became Montana
residents living with the Nez Perce Indians in the turbulant
times of anti-Indian actions by the US Government.
Dalrymple, Master of Stair, Secretary of State for Scotland
under King William (of Orange) masterminded the Glencoe Massacre.
1695 -- Act of Scottish Parliament allowing common land to be divided amongst the landowners rather than the common people using the land for grazing their animals, something they had done for centuries. They had no-where large enough to graze their animals, so they could not keep them in quantity as they had over the centuries. The Duke of Buccleuch took 30 per cent of the land south of Hawick. He even tried to end the practice of 'common ridings' - but failed.
regiment of the Scots Brigade formed by Lord Stranaver.
1695 -- The next few years saw tens of thousands
(out of a population of around 1 million in Scotland) die from
climate induced famine. This was named the Ill
Paterson convinced the Scottish parliament to take an interest
in the Darien Scheme. The Government soon started to invest money
in the project, causing conflict with the English, who strongly
opposed the idea and banned their citizens from investing money
in it. By the end of 1690s, it is estimated that between a quarter
and a half of the total wealth of Scotland was invested into the
Darién project. In July 1698, the first five ships left Scotland
heading for Panama. Among 1,200 passengers were Paterson and his
second wife Hannah (his first wife Elisabeth had died prematurely)
and child. The trip however soon turned to a complete disaster.
Many of the passengers died on the way, including Paterson’s wife
and child. He was among the few who actually survived. The colonists
eventually settled down in Darien, but remained there only for
short time and ultimately returned to Scotland abandoning the
whole project. The failure is attributed to the harsh living conditions
the settlers found, lack of proper leadership, numerous tropical
illnesses which killed hundreds, and the hostile local population,
which supported by the Spanish, sacked several settlements and
prevented the supply ships from reaching the settlers. Paterson
is however mostly remembered for the disastrous Darien Scheme,
which almost resulted in the bankruptcy of the entire Scottish
economy, and did result in the death of more than 2,000 people.
Paterson returned to Scotland in December 1699, bankrupt and rather
ill. He continued with trading business and was instrumental in
the movement for the Union of Scotland and England. The treaty
led to the Act of Union in 1707.
1701 -- Act
of Settlement: Mary’s father, James II, had fled England
in 1688 during events described as the ‘Glorious Revolution’.
James’s Roman Catholic sympathies and belief in the divine right
of the Crown, resulted in disgruntled parliamentarians offering
the throne to his eldest Protestant daughter, Mary. She accepted
it on condition that she could reign jointly with her Dutch husband,
William of Orange, who became William III. From this time onwards
the Bill of Rights proved to be of fundamental importance for
the evolution of constitutional monarchy. The Act of Settlement
reinforced the Bill of Rights, in that it strengthened the principle
that government was undertaken by the Sovereign and his or her
constitutional advisers (i.e. his or her Ministers), not by the
Sovereign and any personal advisers whom he or she happened to
choose.........According to the 1701 Act, succession to the throne went to Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover (James I's granddaughter) and her Protestant heirs. However, Sophia died before Queen Anne, therefore the succession passed to her son, George, Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 became King George I. The act was later extended to Scotland as a result of the Treaty of Union enacted in the Acts of Union of 1707. The Act also laid down the conditions under which
alone the Crown could be held. No Roman Catholic, nor anyone married
to a Roman Catholic, could hold the English Crown. The Sovereign
now had to swear to maintain the Church of England (and after
1707, the Church of Scotland).
1712 -- The Toleration Act Attempt to impose bishops on the Kirk by creating the Scottish Episcopal Church.
1714 -- HOUSE
OF HANOVER rules Britain to 1837
1715 -- 13 November, The Jacobite Uprising, culminating in the
battle of Sherriffmuir which failed to restore the Jacobite 'Old Cavalier' (James VIII) to the Scottish throne.
1716 -- Jacobite Rebellion ships transported prisoners.
These passenger lists are still being transcribed at ISTG.
Scipio sailed from Liverpool, England to Antigua/Virginia,
the Americas. The
Wakefield Liverpool, England to South Carolina, The Americas.
Two Brothers Liverpool, England to Jamaica, West Indies Liverpool
April 26, 1716 to Montserrat, June 1716 (unconfirmed).
Susannah Liverpool, England to South Carolina, the Americas.
Friendship Liverpool, England to Annapolis. The
Hockenhill Liverpool, England to St. Christophers, Leeward
Islands, West Indies.
From about 1725, in the aftermath of the first Jacobite Rising,
Highlanders had begun emigrating to the Americas in increasing
Disarming Act of 1716 and the Clan Act made ineffectual attempts
to subdue the Scottish Highlands, and eventually troops were sent
in. Government garrisons were built or extended in the Great Glen
at Fort William, Kiliwhimin (later renamed Fort Augustus) and
George, Inverness, as well as barracks at Ruthven, Bernera
and Inversnaid, linked to the south by the Wade roads (constructed
for Major-General George Wade). These had the effect of limiting
organisational travel and choking off news and further isolated
the clans. Nevertheless, conditions remained unsettled for the
whole decade. In
1725 General Wade raised the independent companies of the Black
Watch as a militia force to keep peace in the unruly Highlands.
This increased exodus of Highlanders to the Americas. Increasing
demand in Britain for cattle and sheep and the creation of new
breeds of sheep such as the black-faced, which could be reared
in the mountainous country, allowed higher rents for landowners
and chiefs to meet the costs of their aristocratic lifestyle.
As a result, families living on a subsistence level were displaced,
exacerbating the unsettled social climate. In 1792 tenant farmers
from Strathrusdale led a protest against the policy by driving
over 6,000 sheep off the land surrounding Ardross. This action
was dealt with at the highest levels in government, with the Home
Secretary Henry Dundas getting involved. The Black Watch was mobilised;
it halted the drive and brought the ringleaders to trial. They
were found guilty, but later escaped custody and disappeared........What
became known as the Clearances were considered by the landlords
as necessary "improvements". They are thought to have been begun
by Admiral John Ross of Balnagowan Castle in Scotland in 1762.
MacLeod of MacLeod (i.e. the chief of MacLeod) began experimental
work on Skye in 1732. Chiefs engaged Lowland, or sometimes English,
factors with expertise in more profitable sheep farming, and they
"encouraged", sometimes forcibly, the population to move off suitable
1726: Clearance of GLEN LUI, one of the major glens of the Mar Estate (Earl of Mar led the 1715 Jacobite Uprising and had his lands taken from him).
1733: Clearance of BADDOCH to make way for sheep.
16 April 1746
Culloden Following defeat at the Battle of Culloden, life
and times became very difficult in the Highlands. The people were
forbidden to speak their language (Gaelic), play the Bagpipes
(considered instruments of war) or to wear their Highland dress.
The economy went from bad to worse, and the atrocities committed
on the Highlanders by Butcher Cumberland and his followers left
tales almost too horrible to tell. The Highlanders, if they could,
left. Catholics were persecuted, and ClanRanald in particular were forced to leave en masse over the next 40 years.
1749 -- The
Fair Lady sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Glasgow.
1752 -- The beginning of the breakaway Relief Church led by Thomas Gillespie
1757 - 1761 William
Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister, had the idea of using
Highland regiments during the war across Europe and India, and
North America too. The prowess of these regiments transformed
the English perceived image of the Highlanders from barbarians
to awesome fighters. They were sent into the front of every battle
scoring success after success and raising the flag for the British
Empire as it began to grow through defeat of the enemy. France
relinquished land and trade routes such that the British East
India Company prospered, and the last land in Canada, Montreal,
was taken from them. The Highlander regiments went on to be much
admired (and feared) globally. They had been brought into the
fold and Scots could begin to prosper through trade in leaps and
bounds. They exploited all opportunities, becoming tobacco magnates
and slave traders, obtaining land where labour was either poorly
paid or used bonded slaves.
In 1757 Benjamin
Franklin visited Britain, his father having been born in England.
In 1759 he met with figures of the Scottish
Enlightenment and met with owners of the impressive new businesess
around the Glasgow region and saw the progress due to innovations
of manufacturing such as in the linen business. He was highly
impressed but shocked that such sophistication did not translate
to benefits for all, only a small elite. He wrote: "I have
lately made a Tour thro' Ireland and Scotland. In these Countries
a small Part of the Society are Landlords, great Noblemen and
Gentlemen, extremely opulent, living in the highest Affluence
and Magnificence: The bulk of the People Tenants, extremely poor,
livng in the most sordid Wretchedness in dirty Hovels of Mud and
Straw, and cloathed only in Rags...... Had I never been in the
American Colonies, but was to form my Judgement of Civil Society
by what I have lately seen, I should never advise a Nation of
Savages to admist of Civilisation. For I assure you that in the
Possession and Enjoyment of the various Comforts of Life, compar'd
to these People every Indian is a Gentleman: And the Effect of
this kind of Civil Society seems only to be, the depressing Multitudes
below the Savage State that a few may be rais'd above it."
1758: Clearance of GLENFEMATE; MORVERN;
to make way for sheep.
1759: Clearance of GLENFEMATE; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1760: Clearance of GLENFEMATE; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1761: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1762: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1763: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1764: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1764: The disquiet
leading to the American Revolution
Forfeited Estates, administered by the Crown since the Jacobite
Rebellion, are restored to their owners.
1765: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1766: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1766 William,17th Earl of Sutherland and his wife
die after an illness triggered by the death of their baby, who
died from an accidental fall from her father's arms. The remaining
orphaned daughter Elizabeth
goes to live with her maternal grandmother, Lady Alva, in Edinburgh.
1767: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1768: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1769: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1770 -- The
Edinburgh sailedfrom Campbeltown, Kintyre to Cape Fear, North Carolina.
1770 Tax on distillation of spirits introduced
1770: Clearance of BLAIR ATTHOL; BRAES O' LOCHABER; ABERCARDER; BALLACHULISH; MORVERN to make way for sheep.
1771: Clearance of BLAIR ATTHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1771 Sir Walter Scott born
1772 Slavery declared illegal in Britain. The Alexander (Glenaladale ) sails from Greenock, to St Johns, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Pennant, an early travel writer, rode through the Scottish
Borders in 1772 and made these observations after centuries of
sheep farming had removed the population to make way for sheepwalks
in the Scottish Borders:
All this country is open, destitute of trees,
and almost even of hedges, for hedges are in their infancy in
these parts, as it is not about seven or eight years since they
have been introduced. The land is fertile, swells into gentle
risings, and is rich in corn. It is miserably depopulated; a few
great farmhouses, and hamlets, appear rarely scattered over the
vast tracts............A humour fatalto the commonwealth prevails
over many parts of the north, of flinging numbers of small tenements
[tenancies] into a large one, in order to save the expense of
building; or perhaps to avoid the multiplicity of receipts, lay
a whole country into a sheepwalk. These devour poor men's houses,
and expel the ancient inhabitants from their firesides, to seek
their bead in a strange land. I have heard of a character.......that
is too infamous to be overlooked; which has so little feeling
as to depopulate a village of two hundred souls, and to level
their houses to the ground; to destroy eight or ten farmhouses
on an estate of a thousand a year; for the sake of turning almost
the whole into a sheepwalk. There he lives, and there may he long
live his own tormentor, detesting, detested by all mankind! Wark
and Learmouth, once considerable places, are now scarcely inhabited.
1772: Clearance of BLAIR ATTHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
Hector' sails to Nova
Scotia in the first major Highland emigration to Canada, arriving
September 15th. Most on board were from Wester Ross, Sutherland
and East Inverness-shire. The emigrants were recruited by John
Ross, an agent for the Philadelphia Land Company which owned 200,000
acres of wilderness land in Pictou. The ship was owned by John
1773: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; ALLANGRANGE to make way for sheep.
Lovely Nelly sails with passengers from Kirkudbrightshire
and Dumfriesshire, departing Whitehaven to Prince Edward Island,
many of the emigrants moving on to Pictou.
The John and Jean sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax
and Quebec the same year, arriving June 7th.
1774: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1775: The ship, the Glasgow, was the last ship to sail to America before
the Revolution. It sailed with people intending to settle in the
Mohawk Valley. As it turned out they were forced to join the 84th
Regiment. However, ships were sailing to Canada. The Lovely
Nelly sailed from Dumfries to Prince Edward Island, emigrants
arrived then mostly moving on to Pictou later.
1775: Last Earl of Langwell, Robert Sutherland has his debts to his tacksman of Ausdale, William Campbell, repaid by William Gray. His brother Captain Walter Gray takes over the tack for a short time but is called away to serve in Orkney. William Gray occupied Langwell for 12 years then sold the Estate to the wife of Sir John Sinclair (1787).
July 4th 1776: America
declares Independence from the British Crown. We, therefore,
the Representatives of the united States of America, in General
Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world
for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority
of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,
That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free
and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance
to the British Crown, and that all political connection between
them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally
dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have
full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish
Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent
States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we
mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our
sacred Honor. — John Hancock
1776: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
76th McDonald Highlanders were raised to fight
in the American Revolution, like other battalions, survivors came
back and were disbanded in Stirling in 1783. 1776: 71st Highlanders
sailed for North America with Archibald
Campbell leading his men in the few battle achievements such
as retaining Georgia.
1777: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1778 -- The
Highland Society of London was formed
1777: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1778: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1779: Clearance of BLAIR ATHOL; MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1780 -- Patrick Sellar was born on 5 December 1780, the only son of Thomas Sellar, solicitor and his wife Jean Plenderleath, daughter of an Edinburgh minister.
1780: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1780s (late) -- Donald Cameron of Lochiel begins
clearing his family lands, which span from Loch Leven to Loch
Arkaig. Many sailed on the notorious ship, the Dove,
to Pictou, or had departed earlier on the Hector.
The Mac Sheumais (or McHamish) Gunns continued to live in Strath Kildonan first at Killeaman and later at Badenloch at the top of the Strath until the old line died out in 1782.
1780 -- From this point on the Aborigines
of Australia suffered during the following centuries of colonization.
The Australian environment was very harsh for a low technology
people, but they adapted well, and bred up to somewhere between
200,000 and 500,000 people. Their technology was not advanced,
but it served them pretty well and they were able to spent a lot
of their time finger-painting on the walls of caves and making
up stories about the Dream Time. European settlers with more advanced
technology arrived in 1788 from England and began re-colonizing.
They got on rather badly with the locals. Two primitive cultures
based on force and exploitation (and nothing else in common) were
bound to clash badly. The European settlers were embarrassed by
this, and the English ordered the Australian Governor to make
a treaty with the native population. He was unable to do so, partly
because of limited resources (life was not just brutish and short
for the Aboriginal population) but mostly because there was no
central Aboriginal authority to deal with. The Aborigines were
in relatively small tribes, spoke many different languages and
spent much of their surplus waring with each other. Negotiating
with all of them was nearly impossible. The Local Governor reported
this to his English command. The English were embarrassed by this,
and as a convenience they declared Australia 'Terra Nullius' (effectively
uninhabited). The European settlers passed many diseases to the
Aborigines, who through their isolation for so long, had little
resistance. In particular, two plagues of small-pox in 1792 and
1822 swept through the Aboriginal populations and wiped many of
them out. There was also a plague of venereal disease, but many
believe this was contracted from non-European fishermen in the
north of Australia.
1781: Clearance of MORVERN; BALNAGOWAN to make way for sheep.
1782: Clearance of MORVERN; BALNAGOWAN to make way for sheep.
1782 -- Thomas Gillespie and Henry Gibson lease
a sheep-walk at Loch Quoich, removing more than 500 tenants, most
of whom eventually emigrate to Manitoba, Canada.
1782 Tartan wearing legalised again after a 35-year
1782 -- the Act of Proscription is repealed, but
many Highland landowners, who have been born and raised in London
or other metropolitan areas, remain in their urban homes, distancing
themselves from the tenant Clan members on their lands.
1783: Clearance of MORVERN; to make way for sheep.
1783 -- The Sally sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S arriving in August. 39 died onboard, and others died soon after arriving.
1784: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM to make way for sheep.
1784 -- The Glasgow sailed from Greenock to Halifax, N.S. carrying indented passengers who petitioned for land in Pictour on arrival.
Same year The John sailed from Aberdeen first to Halifax, N.S. then Sherbourne, then Philadelphia, USA.
The Laki eruption, in Iceland, resulted in a noxious fog which travelled down through Norway, Germany, France and across to Britain, causing panic when farm labourers began dropping like flies. People at this time had no idea where the fog had come from or that sulphur dioxide was mixing with water vapour in the lungs to choke victims. Research into parish records has led to estimates of more than 20,000 deaths in Britain alone during the summer of 1783.
1785: Clearance of MORVERN;FORT WILLIAM; KILMORACK to make way for sheep
1785 First large clearances on
Glengarry's estates. Same year, the marriage of Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland to the Marquess of Stafford.
Morrison Gunn, the Clan Chief, dies in battle abroad, leaving no heir.
1786: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
1786 Large emigrations to Canada
from Knoydart, on Glengarry's
1787: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
1787 French Revolution begins: storming of the Bastille
1788 The Langwell estate was purchased from William Gray by Sir John Sinclair for £9,000, using his wife's dowry (see A History of the Highland Clearances: Emigration, protest, reasons
By Eric Richards). On this estate was the small village of Auchencraig, where the Gunns were born, who were eventually cleared to Badbea by order of Sir James Sinclair.
"The last of the lairds of Langwell was the
elder brother of George Sutherland of Midgarty. He lived at the
property at the beautiful and romantic place of Langwell, on terms
of amity and friendship with all his relatives and fellow-proprietors,
and in the exercise of an unbounded hospitality. His estate furnished
him with the choicest luxuries of the table, such as mutton, beef,
salmon, venison, and game of every variety, while, from a wellstocked
garden, he had the best fruits and vegetables which the soil and
climate could produce. He was himself an epicure in no ordinary
measure, but so social was his disposition that, even if his table
groaned with good things, he could not eat a morsel with relish
or comfort, unless he had one or more guests to enjoy them along
with him. He was, besides, an excellent landlord, and, the desolating
system of sheep-farming being then unknown, the straths of Berriedale
and Langwell were the happy homes of a numerous peasantry, all
of whom were ardently attached to their warm-hearted landlord.
His eldest son and heir was, however, unworthy of his father and
of his race. He was a determined prodigal. During his father's
lifetime, he married Miss Sinclair, sole heiress of Brabster and
West Canisbay, which, united with his paternal inheritance, afforded
him the prospect of a very handsome income. But his extravagance
and profligacy blasted his prospects. His loose habits so alienated
the affections of his wife, that she felt herself compelled to
sue for a divorce, whilst, by his extravagance after his father's
death, he found himself so overwhelmed in debt, that he was obliged
to sell his fine paternal estate far under its value. " There
is an account of the downfall of the lairds of Langwell on p.
106 of "Memorabilia
domestica; or, Parish life in the North of Scotland" by the
Rev Donald Sage
1789: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
Graham planted half an acre of ground with potatoes on the
croft of Neilstone, to the north of the town of Kilsyth, where
he at that time resided as factor on the estate of Kilsyth. This
is the first account of the commercial cultivation of potatoes
in Scotland, and excited considerable interest.
1790: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
Great Cheviot sheep are brought to Ross and Caithness. In
John Mackay sold the land in Strathy to William Honeyman,
an Edinburgh lawyer. Honeyman was later to become Lord Armadale
of Strathy when he was appointed a judge in Edinburgh's Court
of Session. 1790 The ships Jane and Lucy sailed from Drimindarach to Prince Edward Island, Canada.
The British Queen sailed from Arisaig to Prince Edward Island, Canada
1791 --The Society of the Propagation of Christian Knowledge reports that over the previous 19 years more than 6,400 people emigrated from the Inverness and Ross areas.
1791 -- "The dis-peopling in great measure of large tracts of country in order to make room for sheep (is taking place)," observes the Reverend Kemp after visiting the Highlands.
The Dunkenfield and another vessel sail Glasgow to Pictou taking mainy Roman Catholics from the Western Isles. They were dispersed on Prince Edward Island, Antigonish and Cape Breton.
1791: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KILDERMORIE to make way for sheep
And even in 1792, when manufacturers and professional
men were prominent in the reform movement, this was still the
balance of forces. But, after the success of Rights
of Man, the radicalisation and terror of the French Revolution,
and the onset of Pitt's repression, it was the plebeian Corresponding
Society which alone stood up against the counter-revolutionary
wars. And these plebeian groups, small as they were in 1796, did
nevertheless make up an "underground" tradition which ran through
to the end of the Wars. Alarmed at the French example, and in
the patriotic fervour of war, the aristocracy and the manufacturers
made common cause. The English ancient régime received a new lease
of life, not only in national affairs, but also in the perpetuation
of the antique corporations which misgoverned the swelling industrial
essentials of E P Thompson
1792: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; MONAR FOREST; STRATHRUSDALE; ARMADALE to make way for sheep
1792 -- Sir
John Sinclair of Ulbster brings the first Cheviot
Sheep to his Caithness estates. These sheep would later be
referred to as four-footed Clansmen, indicating the tenants' rage
at being removed in favor of animals.
1792 (late July to early August) -- Angry tenant
farmers drive all the Cheviots in Ross-shire to Boath. The 42nd
Regiment intervenes, and the sheep are returned to Ross-shire.
50 families from Eddrachillis
Sutherland Fencibles are formed
1793: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINGUSSIE; STH UIST; CANNA; UIG to make way for sheep
1793 Execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
of France. A year before she was executed, Marie Antoinette gave
two bags of pearls and diamonds to Lady Elizabeth Leveson-Gower,
the wife of the English Ambassador, to take to London with her
when she fled from the French Revolution in 1792. The future
Countess of Sutherland had
aided the royal family by bringing them clean linen and clothes
to their prison in the Temple in Paris. As the Queen was executed
in 1793, she never reclaimed her jewels and they were set in a
necklace alongside rubies and diamonds as a gift for the Countess’s
grandson’s bride in 1849. The 21 tear-shaped pearls stayed in
the Sutherland family until in 2007 they were put up for auction
at Christies in London, where they were expected to fetch up to
£400,000. However this rare and unique pearl necklace sensationally
failed to attract a buyer at the auction, which otherwise had
raised £9.3 million pounds in jewelry sales.
1793 The whole Parish of Uig was being advertised as a sheep farm. By 1803, three vessels took 600 Lewis emigrants to Pictou from Stornoway, one of the vessels was The Alexander.
"The captain died on the passage and the owner who was on board took sick, when the vessel was taken charge by Mr David McGregor, afterward MP for Glasgow and Secretary to the Board of Trade, but then only a child"
7 May 1794: Great
Britain: Suspension of Habeas Corpus.
1794: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; GLENGARRY to make way for sheep
98th Argyllshire Highlanders renumbered 1798 as the 91st.
1795: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
1796: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; BALNAGOWAN to make way for sheep
1797: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
1798: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make
way for sheep
1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill, Ireland, where men from Scotland
fought with the
British army against the Irish
1799 Napoleon Bonaparte made First Consul of France.
A third of the British army which fought the French was made up
Hanoverian supporting Scotsmen.
By now the momentum had built since the early 1700s towards political representation for Scotland. Those behind the Union were also Hanoverians, thinking of themselves not as 'Scots' but 'North Britons'. The Presbyterian Hanoverians were initially nicknamed "Whiggamores" and later called themselves 'Whigs'. The Anglican Church Hanoverians were initially nicknamed "Torraidhe" and became known as Tories. The Whigs despised the landowning Tories. Walter Scott was a Tory and always feared anti-Hanoverian uprisings. He created an ancient 'chivalry' fiction set in the beautiful landscape of the Highlands, to inspire a pride in being from Scotland and a respect for landowning gentry. He married a Frenchwoman in 1797 and in 1799 became Sheriff Depute of Selkirkshire. His fellow Tories disliked his harping on the past as they felt shame of the English 'barbaric' label of their ancestors.
1799: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; to make way for sheep
1799 - 1881, 93rd Sutherland Highlanders The
raising of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, in April 1799, was
an even more feudal affair than the raising of the 98th. In the
remote and mountainous north, Elizabeth Countess of Sutherland
delegated the task of raising a Sutherland Regiment to her cousin
Major-General William Wemyss of Wemyss. He assembled 259 men from
the recently disbanded Sutherland Fencibles and most of the rest
were drawn from the Countess's tenantry by a process which, though
highly original, amounted to a form of conscription.
riots in Glasgow. Strathnaver sold to the Sutherlands leaving Durness and Tongue as the last of the McKay strongholds.
1800: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; BIGHOUSE; STRATH OYKELL; KINTAIL' ARDNAMURCHAN; MULL to make way for sheep
1801 -- Many ships sailed this year. The Alexander sailed from Fort William to Pictou carrying mostly Roman Catholics from the Western Isles and the West Highlands. The Good Intent sailed from Fort William to Pictou taking mostly Roman Catholics from Glen Moriston. The Hope of Lossie sailed from Isle Martin (Ullapool) to Pictou, taking 122 souls from the estate of Strathglass. The Nora left Fort William to Pictou, with 65 adults and five children succumbing tosmallpox, arrivals moved to PEI, Truro, Antigonish and Cape Breton. The Dove sailed from Fort William to Pictou carrying passengers mostly from Invernesshire, the Sarah also sailed with passengers from Invernesshire to Pictou.
1801: Clearance of MORVERN; STRATHGLASS: LOCHABER; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; KILMORACK to make way for sheep
1802-1803 Sir Walter Scott publishes 'Border Minstrelsy'.
1802: Clearance of FORT WILLIAM; LOCHABER; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; TRESHNISH to make way for sheep
1800-1813 -- Extensive clearances in Strathglass, Farr, Lairg, Dornoch, Rogart, Loth, Clyne, Gospie, Assynt, and lower Kildonan. James Horne purchased the Langwell Estates from Sir James Sinclair for £40,000. His son Donald made fishing the main occupation for the people of Badbea, many of whom lost their lives at sea.
1801 -- Large numbers of Catholic Highlanders are transported to Pictou on six vessels, The Hope, of Lossie,(100 passengers) left from Ullapool; and from Fort William left the Nova with 500 passengers; the Golden Text, of Aberdeen, numbers of passengers unknown; 219 on the Dove; 350 on the Sarah, of Liverpool. 65 children died from smallpox on the Nova. 75 years later, Margaret Chisholm told "of the horrors of that long, long voyage. How that at the starting nought could be heard but the laughter and frolic and crying of children, how that one by one their tiny bodies were consigned to the angry deep, until at last the laughter and frolic and crying were hushed, and the hearts of the mothers were filled with anguish."
1801 -- The first clearances of the Strathglass area by William, the 24th Chisholm. Nearly 50% of the Clan living there are evicted. The emigrant ship The
Sarah sails from Fort
William to Pictou. By contemporary laws, only 489 slaves would
have been allowed to be carried in the ship's holds. But no such
laws govern emigrants, and almost 700 people are crammed into
the ship, with nearly 50 people dying on the journey and countless
others falling ill. The
Dove sailed with many McDonalds onboard to join other settlers
1802 70 Sutherland families were sent on The Tweed, of Ullapool to Pictou and a further 500 followed on The Favourite, of Kirkaldy in 1803. The Sutherlanders founded the Mill Brook and New Lairg 20 miles up the Middle River from Pictou Harbour. In the same year about 900 sailed to Pictou on vessels unknown, from Lochboisdale. These were Catholics from the Clanranald Estate in South Uist and Barra who mainly settled in Antagonish and Cape Breton. The Northern Friends took 340 from Moidart to Sydney, Cape Breton, mainly Catholics from Inverness-shire. The Aurora sailed from Fort William to Pictou, again, taking mostly Catholics from Invernesshire.
1803: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM: LOCHABER; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1803 -- Seeing their labour-base diminishing because
of emigration, landowners in the Hebrides work towards the passage
of the Passenger Act, which limits the number of people who can
emigrate to other countries, trapping and keeping many tenants
in poverty. The
Commerce sailed from Port Glasgow to Pictou on 10th August, 1803 with those cleared mostly from Perthshire. The Alexander and two other ships sailed from Stornoway to Pictou with 600 souls. Four unnamed vessels took 480 people from the Moray Firth to Pictou. Major Simon Fraser, who had been transporting people since the 1790's also removed people on two unnamed vessels this year.
1804: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1804 Oughton Scotland to Prince Edward Island, Canada
1805: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1805 -- The Polly sailed to Canso, Cape Breton, The Sir Sydney Smith sailed from Stornoway to Pictou, but no further details are available. The Nancy sailed from Tobermory to PEI, landing passengers at Three Rivers.
1806: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1806 -- The Pallas sailed to PEI, Sydney. Pictou
and Quebec. The Elizabeth
and Ann sailed from Thurso to PEI with 107 passengers from
the North East Highlands. The Hope sailed with 47 souls from Glasgow
to Halifax and Quebec. The
Rambler sailed 8th November 1806 from Thurso to Nova Scotia.
Humphreys sailed to Nova Scotia. The ship The Isle of Skye left Tobermory for Nova Scotia.
1807 (Whitsun) -- Evictions at Farr & Lairg -- the first major Sutherlandshire clearances.
Sutherland clearances were commenced in a comparatively mild
way in 1807, by the ejection of ninety families from Farr and
Lairg. These were provided for, some fifteen or seventeen miles
distant, with smaller lots to which they were permitted to remove
their cattle and plenishing, leaving their crops unprotected,
however, in the ground from which they were evicted. They had
to pull down their old houses, remove the timber, and build new
ones, during which period they had in many cases to sleep under
the open canopy of heaven. In that autumn they carried away, with
great difficulty, what remained of their crops, but the fatigue
incurred cost a few of them their lives, while others contracted
diseases which stuck with them during the remainder of their lives,
and shortened their days.
1807: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; LAIRG; LOVAT; STRATHNAVER to make way for sheep
1807 (October) -- The
Rambler, carrying 133 emigrants (from Farr, Lairg and Rogart) from Thurso, headed for Pictou, sinks in the Atlantic. Only three passengers survive.
1807 (November) -- A gathering of The Northern Association of Gentlemen Farmers and Breeders of Sheep agree to move their activities into Ross-shire, Sutherlandshire, and Caithness. This decision would lead to massive clearances in those areas.
1808 -- The
Clarendon sails to Prince Edward Island from Tobermory with
people from Mull and Perth.
1808: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; LOVAT to make way for sheep
1809 -- The Chisholm enacts another large clearance of his lands in Strathglass, advertising to interested sheep-farmers lots holding between 1,000 and 6,000 sheep.
1809: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; LOVAT to make way for sheep
Glen Loth was cleared at the same time as nearby
Kildonan, in three waves in 1809. 1813 and 1819.
1809 several hundred were evicted from the parishes of Dornoch,
Rogart, Loth, Clyne and Golspie, under circumstances of much greater
severity than those already described. Several were driven by
various means to leave the country altogether, and to those who
could not be induced to do so, patches of moor and bog were offered
on Dornoch Moor and Brora Links -- quite unfit for cultivation.
This process was carried on annually until, in 1811, the land
from which the people were ejected was divided into large farms,
and advertised as huge sheep runs.
1809, 16th August, Meikle
Ferry Disaster when 99 of the 111 passengers died on the overladen ferry.
18010: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; KINTAIL; ARDNAMURCHAN; LOVAT; NORTH UIST; to make way for sheep
1810 -- 31 sail on The Favourite from Oban to Pictou.
1811: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1811 -- More than 50
shepherds are brought into Sutherlandshire and made Justices
of the Peace -- thereby giving them legal control over the native
1811 - 1851 -- The demand for seaweed (or kelp) falls. The harvesting of kelp was taken up by many cleared farmers who were relocated to the coast of Scotland. The lowering demands for kelp returns those farmers to poverty.
1811 -- Sir James Sinclair sold the Langwell Estate
for £40,000 to James
Horne, whose nephew, inherited in due course. See
the history of the Society of Writers (Lawyers) of Scotland.
1811 -- The Ploughman sails from Aberdeen to Pictou with 28 onboard. 12 sail on the Malvina from Aberdeen to Quebec. 30 leave on the Mary from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S. 26 leave from Stornoway to Pictou on The Anne. 18 sail on the Centurion to Halifax from Aberdeen.
1812: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; GLEN FESHIE' CALGARY; LOCH ASSYNT to make way for sheep
1812 -- 12 sail on The Ploughman from Aberdeen to Pictou, and 20 on The Mary from Aberdeen to Halifax; 33 on the Cambria from Aberdeen to Halifax.
America declares war against the British.
1813 -- Lord and Lady Stafford, the landowners of
Sutherlandshire, hire James
Loch to oversee the clearing of their lands.
1813: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
Evicted tenants travel to Stromness to board the Prince
of Wales to sail to Hudson Bay; 25 sail on The Oswald, 7 sail on the Ploughman from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S.
source says: 1813 and 1819 - so savagely that these clearances
provoked the first recorded dissent against the evictions anywhere
in the Highlands. The clans here were Gunns, Mathesons, Mackays,
Macbeths and Sutherlands - all the peoples of the Sutherland/Caithness
border region, but Kildonan was predominantly Gunn territory,
and it was the Gunns who resisted in 1813. They first ran off
a Mr Reid, agent for some southern sheep-farmers, who had visit
the strath, asking questions and taking notes; Mr Reid declared
to anyone who would listen that he had been attacked by a mob
and had barely escaped with his life. IT WAS JUST THE EXCUSE the
Duke of Sutherland's factors had been praying for. The male staff
of the estate were sworn in as special constables and a detachment
of infantry sent out at the double from Fort
George. This was more than the Gunns could withstand and their
resistance melted away. Within three months large areas of upper
Kildonan had been entirely cleared, and the people offered tiny
allotments of poor land on the clifftops near Helmsdale, or sent
into exile in Canada - the choice of many of the younger people.
In June of the year they sailed from Stromness in Orkney, bound
for the Red River settlement in Manitoba. IN 1819 THE LAST INHABITANTS were cleared from lower Kildonan. This time there was no dissent; the people had learned by bitter experience that neither government, nor law courts, nor their church, would speak a word or lift a hand in their defence. They went quietly into exile; to Glasgow; to whatever patch of land they might be offered to scrape a living. Some went to join their kinsmen across the Atlantic. After the events of 1813, there had been further evictions and emigrations in 1815, when 700 Kildonan clansfolk left for the Canadian settlements along the Red River and in Glengarry County. They had a hard time and had to fight both the harsh Canadian winter, Cree Indiansand renegade Frenchmen. They called their new home Kildonan.
1813 -- Sir George MacKenzie of Coul writes a book justifying the clearances, citing: "The necessity for reducing the population in order to introduce valuable improvements, and the advantages of committing the cultivation of the soil to the hands of a few...."
1813 (Spring) -- Lady Stafford writes that she would like to visit her Sutherlandshire estate but: "At present I am uneasy about a sort of mutiny that has broken out in one part of Sutherland, in consequences of our new plans having made it necessary to transplant some of the inhabitants to the sea-coast from other parts of the estate."
1813 (Spring) -- a group of Strath Kildonan residents
march towards Golspie in order to have their grievances against
the clearances heard. They are met by
soldiers and the Sheriff, who, aided by local church ministers,
intimidate the tenants into returning to their homes to await
their eviction notices.
1813 (December 15) -- Tenants of the Strathnaver
area of Sutherlandshire go to Golspie at the direction of William
Young, Chief Factor for Lord and Lady Stafford. The tenants
are told they have until the following Whitsunday to leave their
homes and relocate to the wretched coastlands of Strathy Point.
1813 -- Two ships sail from Aberdeen to Halifax with a total of 42 passengers: the Cambria and Ploughman.
1814 (April) -- Under the direction of Patrick
Sellar, a Factor for Lord and Lady Stafford, heath and pastures
surrounding Strathnaver are burned in preparation for planting
grass for the incoming sheep. The native tenants of Strathnaver
make no motion of moving to Strathy Point, or anywhere else.
1814 (June 13) -- Patrick Sellar begins burning Strathnaver. Residents are not given time to remove their belongings or invalid relatives, and two people reputedly die from their houses burning. Known as 'The Year of the Burnings'.Patrick Sellar recalls: “Lord and Lady Stafford were pleased humanely to order the new arrangement of this country. That the interior should be possessed by Cheviot shepherds, and the people brought down to the coast and placed in lots of less than three acres, sufficient for the maintenance of an industrious family, pinched enough to cause them to turn their attention to the fishing. This was a most benevolent action to put these barbarous Highlanders into a position where they could better associate together, apply themselves to industry, educate their children and advance in civilisation."
WILLIAM MACKAY (Ban) 80 years of age, army pensioner
and crofter, Achina, Farr I
am a native of Rossal on Strathnaver, and now living at Achina.
One morning in May, when I was about twelve years of age, I went
up to Achcaoilnaborgin to see Sellar's party putting the houses
in that township on fire, as I, like a child, thought it grand
fun to see the houses burning. The burning party was under the
leadership of one Branders. When I reached the place the houses
were ablaze, and I waited till they were all burnt to the ground,
six in number. Then I accompanied the burners to Achinlochy, were
six more houses were reduced to ashes. In one of these houses
I saw an old man, Donald Mackay (MacWilliam), who was over 100
years of age, lying in bed. Branders and his men, on coming to
this house, glanced at the old man in bed, and then set fire to
the house in two or three places, and the poor man, who could
not escape, was left by them to the tender mercies of the flames.
The cries of the sufferer attracted the attention of his friends,
who, at their own peril, ran in and rescued him from a painful
death. It can be said with certainty that the terror and the effect
of the fire on his person tended to hasten the man's death. I
may state that I have travelled a large portion of the four quarters
of the globe, lived among heathens and barbarians where I saw
many cruel scenes, but never witnessed such revolting cruelty
as I did on Strathnaver, except one case in the rebellion of Canada.
I knew Donald Macleod, the author of "The Gloomy Memoirs of
Sutherland", to be honest and truthful, and what I read in this
book was nothing but the simple truth.
ANGUS MACKAY 89 years of age, crofter, Leadnagiullan,
spent twenty-three years on Strathnaver, in my birthplace
Ceann-na-coille, and I am confident they were the happiest days
I ever spent. We were very happy and comfortable on the Strath.
There were seven houses in Ceann-na-coille, which I, with a sad
heart, saw burnt to the ground. I saw Rossal, with upwards of
twenty houses, also burnt. Sellar's orders to the people were
to have their furniture, and whatever else they wished to bring
with them, removed from these townships before a certain day.
My friends, and several of the townspeople endeavored to obey
this cruel summons, and carried their effects down to the river's
side. Here they formed a kind of raft, whereon was placed all
their furniture, farm implements, clothes, etc., in fact all their
wordly possessions, except their cattle. Then they took shelter,
and anxiously awaited the rising of the river to enable them to
float the raft down the stream towards their new home. Soon, however,
the furious burners came, and in spite of the poor people's entreaties
and promises, the raft was easily set on fire, and before the
party left the ground it was all in ashes along the banks of the
river. Nor did the ruthless work of Sellar's party end here. They
now turned their course to the township of Baclinleathaid, and
there commenced the burning again. In a certain hut there, there
was an old woman who, perhaps, had none of her friends alive,
or at least at hand, to be of any help to her in the hour of need.
The party came to the hut of this friendless woman, set fire to
the house, and instantly marched off, leaving the poor decrepit
woman, who was within the house, to burn. It is true the woman's
body was taken out by some neighbours who, too late, knew what
was taking place, but death relieved her from pain ere they carried
her across the threshold of her burning house. I was well acquainted
with Donald Macleod, who wrote "The Gloomy Memoirs of Sutherland",
and always found him to be a truthful man. I heard some parts
of his book read, and can emphatically say from my own experience,
which now extends over a period of eighty-nine years, that it
states the truth. Macleod only wrote what hundreds could testify
to ten years ago, but now almost all the people who knew much
about the Strathnaver cruelties are dead, and the young generation,
though they have heard sof these things from the lips of their
fathers, cannot testify to them as eye-witnesses could. People
now-a-days cannot imagine the awful cruelties perpetrated on Strathnaver
by Sellar and his minions. I declare this statement of mine is
true. Angus Mackay Witnesses: -- Ann MacKay -- Murdo Mackay
29th Aug. 1883
In 1814, George Gunn, son of Hector (great grandson
of George Gunn of Borrobol, the brother of the sixth MacKeamish,
declared chief of Clan Gunn by someone, nobody seems completely
sure who, but it was not the Lyon Court. It is probable that he
simply assumed the role of chief due to the erroneous belief that
his father was chief. It is doubtful that George Gunn of Rhives
(Rhives being the estate given to him by the Countess, who hired
him as her factor at Assynt) was ever accepted as chief by many
of the clan. 13 families cleared from Rosal, more from 5 mile south location of Grumbeg
1814 Walter Scott's 'Waverley' published.
1814 -- 30 sail on the Mary from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S; unknown number of passengers sail on the Perseverance from Cromarty to Pictou; 35 sailed on the Cambria, 7 on the Halifax Packet from Aberdeen to Halifax N.S
1814: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; STRATHNAVER; ROSAL; GRUMBEG to make way for sheep
McDonald research reveals "A map dated 1773 by John Kirk
showed that the land on which Portgower was later built formed
part of Middle Garty. Esther explained that the village had been
created by the landowners, the Countess and Marquis of Sutherland,
as part of their improvements over the wider district. In 1815,
Portgower has 18 named tenants whose rental amounted to £34/9/2.
By 1819 a street of fisherman’s houses had been built (known as
evicted tenants emigrate to Canada aboard the Prince
of Wales and settle near Lake Winnipeg. The Eddystone convoyed with them, carrying
Hudson Company men from Orkney, to Canada.
Seven of them applied for grants
of land in the Selkirk settlement. Selkirk
took 100 of them and these made the party that sailed from Stromness
on The Prince of Wales, in convoy with the Eddystone which arrived
with servants and officials of the Selkirk's settlement, and under
the protection of a sloop-of-war. Selkirk made it clear that the
sea-passage would cost each emigrant 10 pounds. The money was
paid, and many of the people were able to bank more with Selkirk,
to be drawn upon when they reached Canada. Source: The Highland
Clearances by John Prebble, page 114 A contemporary book "The
Selkirk Settlers" written at the time describes the hardship
of the settlers.
1815 -- 242 passengers, mostly from Scotland, sailed
to Quebec from Greenock on the Atlas.
194, mostly from Edinburgh,sailed on the Dorothy
from Greenock to Quebec. 194 from Edinburgh sailed on the Baltic
Merchant to Quebec. 123 from Ediburgh sailed on the Eliza
1815 Battle of Waterloo. Whenever men were sent off to fight from Caithness and Sutherland, invariably, once they were gone their families were thrown out of their homes and their crofts were destroyed.
1815 -- The Sheriff-Substitute for Sutherlandshire arrests Patrick Sellar for: willfull fire-raising...most aggravated circumstances of cruelty, if not murder. Not surprisingly, a jury of affluent landowners and merchants acquit Sellar.
1815 -- The
Prince William sails from Thurso to Pictou, carrying Sutherland
emigrants. 29 passengers sail on the Amethyst, 4 on the Fame, 35 on the Mary, 3 on the Halifax Packet, 19 on the Seven Sisters, 2 on the Ruby, 17 on the Glentanner, 4 on the Helen from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S. Number unknown sail on the John from Fort George to Halifax, N.S; number unknown sail on the Perseverance from Cromarty to Halifax.
1815: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1816. Soon after, Sellar continues clearing vast areas of Sutherlandshire.
1816: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1816 -- 36 sail on the Amethyst, 36 on the Louisa, 17 on the Yohan from Aberdeen to Halifax N.S. 70 sailed from Leith to Halifax, N.S. 37 sailed on the Phesdo from Aberdeen to Halifax and St John, N.S. 7 sailed on the Ploughman from Aberdeen to Halifax, 23 on the Surrey from Greenock to Halifax. 144 people of Tobermory sailed from Dundee to Pictou. 42 passengers petitioned for land in Long Point, Cape Breton (Catholics).6 sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax on the William, 12 on the Cambria from Aberdeen to Pictou and Miramichi. 83 sailed from Leith to Halifax on the Dorset. 29 sailed from Dumfries to Pictou on the Lovely Mary. 20 sailed on the Sprightly from Aberdeen to Halifax, Pictou and Miramichi. 81 sailed from Cromarty and Thurso to Pictou on the Vine. 139 sailed from Thurso to Halifax on the Aimwell. 2 left from Greenock to Halifax on the Diadem. 69 left from Fort Wiliam to Pictou on the Good Intent. 12 left Greenock for Halifax and Pictou on the Lord Gardner. 55 left Fort William for Pictou on the Nymph. 8 left from Greenock for Saint John and Halifax on the Protector. 148 passengers boarded at Stornoway and 158 at Leith on the Three Brothers bound for Pictou and Miramichi. 13 left on the Louisa from Aberdeen to Halifax.
1817: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1817 -- 32 on the Aimwell sail from Aberdeen to
Halifax and 30 on the Good Intent from Aberdeen to Pictou. 65
sailed on the Louisa, 8 on the Phesdo from Aberdeen to Halifax.
100 on the Skeene, 72 on the Margaret from Leith to Halifax. An
unknown number sailed on the Protector from Greenock to Halifax
and St John. 115 sailed from Dumfries to Pictou and Miramachi.
7 on the Douglas, 5 on the Hunter from Aberdeen to Halifax. 164
on the Nancy, 193 on the Prompt, 200 on the Agincourt from Leith
to Halifax and Quebec. 126 sailed from Thurso to Halifax on the
Amity, 93 from Kirkaldy to Halifax on the Helen. 40 sailed from
Leith to Halifax on the Traveller. Foundered but all crew and
passengers saved. Landed in Charlottetown, PEI. 161 (from Barra)
sailed on the Hope from Greenock to Sydney, N.S. Settled near
the Narrows. 26 sailed from Fort William on the Minerva to Halifax
and Quebec. 221 (from Barra) sailed from Greenock to Canso, Cape
Breton. 24 left on the Earl of Dalhousie from Aberdeen to Halifax.
18 left from Dumfires to Pictou, Miramichi, Quebec on the General
Goldie. 166 sailed from Tobermory to Pictou and Quebec. 136 sailed
from Fort William on the Frances Ann and 19 sailed from Aberdeen
to Halifax on the Louisa. 30 sailed from Leith to Halifax on the
Prince Leopold and 120 on the Scotia.
1818: Clearance of MORVERN; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1818 -- Patrick Sellar retires to his Sutherlandshire estate, given to him by Lord and Lady Stafford in acknowledgment of his work.
Norman McLeod sailed to Pictou on the the Frances Aini. 150
sail from Lochinver to Pictou on the Perseverance. The passengers
wanted to settle near Norman
MacLeod but there was insufficient land. They later moved
to St Anns, Cape Breton. The Rowena sails with numbers unknown
to Pictou. 33 sail on the Aimwell, 40 on the Louisa from Aberdeen
to Halifax, N.S. 120 sail from Dumfries to Pictou and Miramichi
on the Augusta. 85 sailon the Skeene from Leith to Halifax. 53
sail from Dumfries to Pictou on the Lovely Mary. 129 sail from
Cromarty from Leith to Halifax on the Ann. 131 sail from Leith
to Halifax on the British Queen. 113 sail from fort William to
Pictou on the Bassettere.
1818 -- Walter Scott is knighted for
locating the Scottish
crown jewels to present to The Prince Regent George IV. They
were symbolically walled up at the imposition of the 1707
Act of Union.
1819: Clearance of FARR; KILDONAN; ROGART; GOLSPIE; LOTH; LOCH ASSYNT; ALTNACAILLLICH; ROSAL; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1819 (May) -- Another violent clearing of Strathnaver residents. Donald Macleod, a young apprentice stonemason witnesses: "250 blazing houses. Many of the owners were my relatives and all of whom I personally knew; but whose present condition, whether in or out of the flames, I could not tell. The fire lasted six days, till the whole of the dwellings were reduced to ashes or smoking ruins."
1819 (May) -- The Kildonan area is cleared. Donald MacDonald later writes: ...the whole inhabitants of the Kildonan parish, with the exception of three families--nearly 2,000 souls--were utterly rooted and burned out. Lothmore and Lothbeg were cleared and an approving account of these clearances was written by an Alexander Sutherland: A Summer Ramble in the North Highlands, published in 1827. But Sutherland did describe the area north of Brora where 67 families had been removed: "All was silence and desolation. Blackened and roofless huts, still enveloped in smoke, articles of furniture cast away, as of no value to the houseless and a few domestic fowls, scraping for food among hills of ashes, were the only objects that told us of man. A few days had sufficed to change a countryside, teeming of the cheeriest sounds of rural life, into a desert. Man the enlivener of this scene was gone - gone into the wilderness, like our first parents, a pilgrim and an exile; and the spirit of desolation sat exulting on the ruins of his forsaken abode. It is impossible for a stranger, with such a scene before him, to keep his mind totally free from prejudice."
Achnaheaglais - or Kirton of Assynt cleared. Adjacent townships, Camore and Cuilean contained 143 people. The minister and schoolteachr were not evicted and 15 others were allowed to stay. The 129 people were cleared to the already overcrowded plots on the north Assynt coast, mainly at Clasjnessie, Achnacarnin and Culkkein. Achnaheaglais is not on any map, the name has vanished like the people.
1819 (June) -- The Sutherland Transatlantic Friendly Association is formed to assist cleared tenants who wanted to emigrate to America. It generates little interest and soon folds. One hundred able bodied men were shipped from Loch Eriboll bound for Ontario. The ship was wrecked in winter storms, all were lost. Another ship was grounded on Orkney and passengers survived.
1819 -- An unknown number sail to Pictou on the Victory. An unknown number sail to Halifax from Aberdeen on the Louisa. 150 sail on the Skeen, 32 sailed on the Mary, 85 on the Percival, 200 on the Agincourt, 150 on the Leopold from Leith to Halifax and Quebec. 150 emigrants from Lochaber sailed from Oban to Pictou and Quebec on the Speculation. Number unknown sailed on the Caledonia from Alloa and Greenock to Halifax and Pictou. 90 sailed on the Garland from Leith to Halifax. 120 sailed from Tobermory to Pictou on the Louisa. 47 sailed from Leith to Halifax and Quebec on the Minerva. 264 sailed on the Morningfield from Tobermory to Picou and Charlottetown. 285 sailed from Tobermory on the Economy to Pictou. 60 sailed from Cromarty to Pictou on the Ann.
1819 -- Patrick
Sellar married Anne, daughter of Thomas Craig of Barmuckity,
near Elgin. They had nine children, with one son becoming professor
of Latin in Edinburgh University and another a successful MP.
Between 1838 and 1844 he bought two estates in Morven Argyll,
evicting 230 people, but soon fell out with his neighbours. After
a long illness he died on 20 October 1851 at Park Place, Elgin
and was buried at Elgin Cathedral on 1 November.
1820 -- James Loch publishes his account of enacting the clearances, or, as he calls them, 'the improvements'. He declares that Gaelic will become a rarity in Sutherlandshire.
1820: Clearance of FARR; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1820: Clearance of KILDONAN; ROGART; GRUIDS; SPEAN BRIDGE; ;;EWIS; SKYE; ;LOCH ASSYNT; CULRAIN; LOCH OYKELL; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1820 -- Journalist Thomas Bakewell severely criticizes both Loch's book and his actions during the clearances.
1820 (February and March) -- Hugh Munro, the laird of Novar, clears his estates at Culrain along the Kyle of Sutherland. A riot ensues when the Sheriff and military arrive to evict the tenants. Remonstrated by the minister Donald Matheson, the tenants eventually cease fighting and move away.
War': rising of Scottish radicals at Bonnybridge and Strathaven.
1820 Death of George III.
1820 -- An unknown number sailed from Tobermory to Pictou on the Dunlop. 120 sailed from Greenock to Halifax, St John and Quebec on the Speculation. 26 sailed from Leith to Halifax on the Manchester. 141 sailed from Tobermory to Cape Breton and Quebec on the Glentanner. 14 sailed from Greenock to Halifax on the Recovery.
1820 -- 350 from Barra and Uist sailed on the Harmony to Sydney, N.S. Most settled in Boisdale. An unknown number sailed to Halifax on the Tamerlane. 9 sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Louisa. 8o sailed from Dumfries to PEI, Pictou, Miramichi, Richubucho on the Thompson's Packet. An unknown number sailed on the Prompt from Tobermory and Fort William to N.S and Quebec. 108 sailed from Cromarty to Pictou on the Ossian.
1821: Clearance of SPEAN BRIDGE; LEWIS; SKYE; LOCH ASSYNT; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1821 (April) -- Officials bearing Writs of Removal for the tenants
of Gruids, near the River Shin, are stripped, whipped, and their
documents are burned. Fearing another riot like Culrain, military
and police accompany the Sheriff back to Gruids where, faced with
such strong opposition, the tenants gathered their few belongings
and moved to Brora. The
Ossian sailed from Cromarty to Pictou with cleared Sutherlanders
on 25th June, 1821.
1822: Clearance of SPEAN BRIDGE; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1822 Emigration poster.
IV's visit to Edinburgh. Modern styles of tartan become fashionable
in London and demands for the cloth made in the Scottish Borders
revolutionise life for people who live there. They
move from agriculture to working in the mills. Sir Walter
Scott romanticises the Highlander and creates a fictional Scotland
which gives Scotland a new identity, embraced all over the world.
A hoax manuscript Vestiarium-scoticum
laid the foundations for the Clan tartans which made the two Polish
conmen become extremely wealthy. To this day Clans wear the colourful tartans to define their Clan, all based on a con trick. Whilst the Edinburgh great and the good pranced around in their new tartans to welcome the King dressed equally ridiculously in his bright red colour, the Highlanders being celebrated were in fact being cut loose from the land of their fathers.
1822 -- An unknown number from Muck sailed from Tobermory to Port Hastings, Cape Breton on the Commerce. 14 sailed on the Union from Greenock to Pictou. 133 sailed from Dumfries to Pictou and Quebec on the Thompson's Packet. 122 on the Harmony and 125 on the Ruby, from the Duke of Sutherland's estate, sailed from Cromarty to Pictou.
1823: Clearance of SPEAN BRIDGE; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1823 -- An unknown number from Plockton, Lochalsh and Ardintoul Bay in Wester Ross sailed from the Lochalsh to Pictou and Cape Breton on the Atlantic.
Emperor Alexander sailed from Tobermory with 160 emigrants
from South Uist to Sydney, Cape Breton July 1823. John McEachern
was named as the "steward on board".
1824: Clearance of RANNOCH; SPEAN BRIDGE; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1824 -- 227 sailed on the Dunlop from Greenock to Sydney and Quebec.
NOTES RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES
In the days of the runrig system there was no incentive to improve your patch, for what you had one year one of your neighbours probably had next….In spite of all this, and although the only implements of husbandry were the caschrom (plough) and croman (hoe)….more crop was raised out of the soil then than there is now…The modern crofter has given up these implements and hires ponies and an inefficient plough….They scratch over the ground in an inefficient way to a depth of a few inches, all the head rigs and difficult stony bits being left untouched…In the old caschrom days every inch of ground was cultivated, even among boulders, where the best soil is often found and which no plough can go near…and how beautifully the women used to weed the potatoes by hand..and how beautifully they earthed up with the cromanan.
Before the potato blight in the early forties, it was fairly easy to raise food anywhere near the coast, where sea-ware was procurable. Though most of the ground consisted of poor peaty soil amongst stones and rocks, sea-ware with its potash would generally force a crop - -often a bumper crop of potatoes out of almost any soil, even though wet and boggy, if it was made into what were known as “lazy beds”.
Inland, crofters would choose a piece of level land, then surround them with a low dyke of stones and turf, just sufficiently high to stop the cows from getting over. Into these the cattle would be driven after being milked in the evening to pass the night…for perhaps three weeks, until the wise men in the community considered they had sufficiently manured that particular plot…In the following spring these manured achaidhnan (fields) were turned over by caschrom …good crop of aboriginal black barley.
One way of growing potatoes in the wilds was by substituting bracken for sea-ware and making “lazy beds” of it where the soil was fairly deep and moist. The bracken was cut in July when at its richest….ditches were opened about six feet apart and the soil from the ditches put on the bracken so that it had a covering of six to eight inches of earth on it….left for nine months to decay till spring came round again….holes bored in with a “dibble” and seed potatoes dropped in.
In those days there were but few sheep kept, and they were all of the Seana chaoirich bheaga (little old sheep) breed, with pink noses and very fine wool, quite different from the modern black faced sheep, much less hardy, and accustomed to be more or less housed at night. - A Hundred Years in the Highlands, Osgood Mackenzie, page 154
1825: Clearance of LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1825 -- the
City of London was swept by a wave of speculation. This soon
gave way to panic selling, tumbling prices, and a credit squeeze
by the Bank of England. This became the Crash of 1825 and it caught many investors out.
1826 Survey of Highland and Island schools by the Gaelic Society of Inverness established that 500 schools were in existence, of which one third were parochial schools, one quarter SSPCK and the balance of forty percent were Gaelic. TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 p 464
1826: Clearance of GAICK; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1826 -- The Island of Rum is cleared except for one family. MacLean of Coll pays for the other natives to emigrate to Canada.
1826 -- The emigrant ship James arrives in Halifax. Every person on board had contracted typhus during the voyage.
Lawrence sailed to Ship Harbour, Cape Breton from Leith on
12th July 1826 (some say 1828), former residents of the Isle of Rhum. Around 100 from the Hebrides sail from Greenock to St.Andrews, N.S on the Northumberland. 5 sail on the Mercator from Greenock to Halifax, N.S. 55 from Morth Morar sail on the Tamerlane from Greenock to Quebec and Sydney. 16 sail from Tobermory on the Highland Land to N.S and Quebec. An unknown number sailed from Tobermory on the Cadmus to Canso, Cape Breton and Quebec. An unknown number sailed from Greenock to Halifax on the Mercator. An unknown number sailed on the Thetis from Greenock to Pictou. An unknown number sailed on the Douglas from Greenock to Halifax, N.S.
1826 -- The
first immigrant ships to arive at Port Nicholson (Wellington)
New Zealand. The first was the Rosanna
1827: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1827 -- Lady Stafford visits her Sutherland estate and receives gifts from the tenants. "Those gifts," wrote Donald Macleod, "were provided by those who would subscribe would thereby secure her ladyship's favor and (that of) her factors -- and those who could not or would not were given to understand very significantly what they had to expect by plenty of menacing looks and an ominous shaking of the head."
1827 -- An unknown number from Edinburgh sail to Port Hastings on the Aurora. 23 sail from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Aberdeenshire. An unknown number sail from Alloa to Halifax on the Mars. 18 sail from Greenock to Halifax on the Mercator. 236 sailed from Stornoway from Leith to Halifax and Quebec on the Harmony. 13 people died on the crossing. 200 sailed from Tobermory to Cape Breton and Quebec on the Active. 228 sailed from Tobermory to Cape Breton on the Columbus. 193 settlers from North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra sailed from Tobermory to Cape Breton on the George Stevens. 24 sailed on the Isabella from Dundee and Tobermory to Cape Breton. 170 sailed from Tobermory to Sydney, N.S on the Stephen Wright. More than a third contracted smallpox, 3 died on ship, 2 on landing. 80 sailed from Greenock to Halifax on the Corsair.
1828: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1828 -- An unknown number from Carinish, North Uist sail from Stornoway to Sydney. 135 sail on the Mary from Stornoway to Sydney, N.S. 36 sailed from Inverness and Fort William on the Caroline. 30 sailed on the Thetis from Greenock to Pictou. 209 sailed from Stornoway to Sydney, N.S on the Ann. 12 sailed from Greenock to Halifax on the Mercator. 464 sailed on the Universe from Stronoway to Sydney. 208 from the Isle of Rhum sailed on the St Lawrence from Leith to Ship Harbour, Cape Breton. 160 left Greenock for Sydney on the Two Sisters, 40 contracted smallpox, no deaths. 8 sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Aberdeenshire. An unknown number sailed on the Isabella from Greenock to Halifax.
1829: Clearance of GLEN DEE; ROTHIEMURCHUS; LEWIS; SKYE; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1828 Some clearances in Ardnamurchan occurrred at the base of Ben Hiant….it supported about twenty six families, which were distributed over the component townships of Coire-Mhuilinn, Skinid, Buarblaig and Tornamona. At one sweep, the whole place was cleared and the grounds added to the adjacent sheep farm of Mingary. The evictions were carried out in 1828…..by Sir James Milles Riddell. Stories of the Highland Clearances, Alexander Mackenzie (1883), Lang Syne Books P106
1829 (September) -- The Canada Boat Song, a poem
protesting the clearances, appears in Scotland's "Blackwood's
Gunn (Chief of Clan) now factor for Lady Stafford, involved
1829 -- 170 "very poor" passengers sailed from Stornoway to Sydney on the Louisa. 30 sailed on the Two Sisters from the Clyde to Pictou. 18 sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Albion. 300 passengers from Uig and Skye sailed to Prince Edward Island. Passengers left from Greenock to Arican, Cape Breton, but the ship was wrecked off Newfoundland and all were saved by the crew of the ship the Mermaid. 157 left Greenock for Pictou on the Hero and more on the Nero. 301 emigrants from Skye left from Tobermory to PEI on the Vestal. 28 sailed on the Aberdeenshire from Aberdeen to Halifax.
Dynasty of the Lords of Reay sold out the last of their lands to the Sutherlands.
1830 By 1830, the Highlanders had become a society of small-holders living in great poverty on congested holdings either on crowded islands or next to extensive sheep farms: their existence hung above all else upon the condition of the potato crop, and if this failed (as it did so tragically in the 1840s) nothing could prevent the collapse of their economy and a subsequent exodus on a scale that would eclipse by far the Sutherland clearances. TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 p 358
1830: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; GLEN EY; GLEN CURIE; LORGILL; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; AUCHENCRAIG to make way for sheep
1830 -- Lady Stafford visits her Sutherlandshire estate and visits the tenants living in primitive sheds. Unable to comprehend how people could live under such conditions, but speaking no Gaelic, she is not able to ascertain the condition of her tenants lives.
1830 (October 20) -- While stonemason Donald
Macleod was off working in Wick, his wife and children were
surprised in their home: "...a party of eight men...entered my
dwelling (at) about 3 o'clock, just as the family were rising
from dinner." "The party allowed no time for parley, but having
put out the family with violence, proceeded to fling out the furniture,
bedding and other effects in quick time, and after extinguishing
the fire, proceeded to nail up the doors and windows in the face
of the helpless woman.... Messengers had (previously) been dispatched--warning
all the surrounding inhabitants, at the peril of similar treatment,
against affording shelter, or assistance, to wife, child, or animal
belonging to Donald Macleod. ...After spending most part of the
night in fruitless attempts to obtain the shelter of a roof or
hovel, my wife at last returned to collect some of her scattered
furniture, and (built) with her own hands a temporary shelter
against the walls of her late comfortable residence...(but) the
wind dispersed (the) materials as fast as she could collect them."
"Buckling up her children...in the best manner she could, she
left them in charge of the eldest (who was only seven years old),
giving them such victuals as she could collect, and prepared to
take the road for Caithness" (in search of her husband). "She
had not proceeded many miles when she met with a good Samaritan
and acquaintance...Donald Macdonald, who, disregarding the danger
incurred, opened his door to her, refreshed and consoled her,
and still under cover of night, accompanied her to the dwelling
of (a friend), William Innes...of Sandside."
1830 -- Rev.
John McDonald led 206 Catholics (some from Ireland) from Greenock
to PEI on the Corsair. An unknown number left from Greenock to
N.S on the Dunlop. 7 left from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Albion,
6 on the Aberdeenshire for Halifax. 270 settlers from Skye left
from Tobermory for Sydney and Quebec on the
Malay (also referred to as the Mallory)
1830s -- More tenants joined those already in Badbea, being evicted from Auchencraig, ordered out by Donald Horne.
Bighouse sold to Lord and Lady Stafford, previously
built in 1765 and a former home of the Chieftains of the Bighouse
and Sandwood Chieftains of the Clan Mackay, leased as a sheep
more recent times the estates of Forsinard in the south of the
Strath and Bighouse in the north were part of the lands of the
Dukes of Sutherland, who were responsible for cutting the canals
and building the flood banks in the lower part of the river in
1831. This was done to prevent flooding the valuable hay crops
on the fertile floodplain. It is an area which did not escape
the effects of the Highland clearances in the early 19th century
when a number of the people were forcibly moved out of the top
part of the Strath to make way for sheep and the Farm buildings
above Forsinain were built. Portskerra next to Melvich was built
to house some of them.
1831 -- 17 left on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax, N.S and the Romulus left Greenock for Halifax and went ashore in the Bay of Islands but all crew and passengers were saved. 140 left on the Six Sisters from Stornoway to Wallace NS and Cape Breton. 218 left on the Corsair from Cromarty from Leith to Pictou and Quebec. 116 sailed on the Rover from Cromarty, Thurso from Leith to Pictou. 20 left from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Aberdeenshire. 57 sailed on the Industry from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec. An unknown number sailed on the Lord Broughton from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec. 267 emigrants sailed on the Breeze, 392 sailed on the Cumberland to Sydney, N.S.
1831: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; FORT WILLIAM; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1832 -- Despite the fact that he forcibly evicted them, exiled members of Clan Chisholm swear allegiance to their chief back in Scotland.
1832: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1832 -- 98 sailed on the Charlotte Kerr from Glasgow and Tobermory to Pictou. 79 sailed on the Aberdeenshire to Halifax. 31 sailed on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 14 sailed on the Clyd, 10 on the Isabella from Greenock to Halifax. 150 sailed on the Phoenix from Greenock to Prince Edward Island. 237 left on the Sylvannus from Cromarty for Pictou and Quebec. 132 left Cromarty for Pictou and Quebec on the Blagdon. 241 sailed on the Canada from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec. 121 sailed on the Mary Ann from Stornoway to Sydney, N.S. 102 sailed on the Six Sisters from Stornoway to Sydney. 240 sailed on the Albion from Loch Indall (Islay) and Tobermory to Sydney and Quebec. 20 sailed on the Earl of Fife from Stornoway to Sydney. 121 sailed on the Eldon from Tobermory to Sydney. 313 (emigrants from South Uist) sailed on the Jessie from Tobermory to Sydney. 9 sailed on the Arcadian from Greenock to Halifax.
1832 (late summer) -- Cholera runs through the Inverness area, claiming almost 100 lives. Many fear the illness came from the impoverished cleared tenants who beg on the streets, and strict laws are enacted to persecute these itinerants.
1833: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1833 -- At a party in honor of King William IV, Lord and Lady Stafford become the first Duke and Duchess of Sutherland.
1833 (winter) -- After the Duke of Sutherland's death, plans are made by some of the gentry for a monument to be erected in his honor. The tenants are "asked" to contribute, but Donald Macloed writes: all who could raise a shilling gave it, and those who could not awaited in terror for the consequences of their default.
1833 -- 50 left from Glasgow to Pictou on the Charles Hockin. 34 sailed on the Aberdeenshire, 57 on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 6 sailed on the Jean Hastie, 3 on the John, 8 on the Arcadian from Greenock to Halifax NS. 41 sailed on the Highlander from Leith to Halifax. 50 sailed on the Charlotte Kerr from Glasgow to Pictou. An unknown number sailed on the Poland from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec. 89 sailed on the Economist from Cromarty, Leith to Pictou and Quebec. 170 sailed on the Jane Kay from Cromarty and Thurso to Pictou and Quebec. 8 left on the Jean Hastie from Greenock to Halifax. 150 left Cromarty for Pictou and Quebec on the Zephyr. 258 left Tobermory on the Amity for Ship Harbour, Cape Breton. 66 left on the Robert and Margaret for Pictou and Quebec. Up to 106 left Tobermory for Sydney and Quebec on the Adrian. 11 left Greenock for Halifax on the Arcadian.
1834 Forebears of current inhabitants of Prince Edward Island were the MacVarishes and Stewarts from Mingarrypark on Loch Shiel. In an interview, they recollected how their family had left there in about 1834. Their life before leaving had been very hard. They had one or two cows, but no meat to butcher, so they used to bleed the cows to make black pudding (marag). They left by way of Fort William and had no idea where they were when they landed. They had some oats and potatoes (for planting) and went to some woods and cut down a lean-to. Next Spring they crossed the mountains and settled where they have stayed ever since. On the Crofters’ Trail, David Craig, page 104
1834: Clearance of ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1834 -- 35 left on the Aberdeenshire from Aberdeen to Halifax. 14 left on the Arcadian, 13 on the Jean Hastie from Greenock to Halifax, N.S. 119 left on the Chieftain, 103 on the William Henry from Cromarty to Pictou. 31 left on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 47 left on the George Barclay, 5 on the Mercator from Greenock to Pictou. 7 left on the Jean Hastie from Greenock to Halifax.
1835: Clearance of LOCHEND; FRESWICK; DUNBEATH; ROTHIEMURCHUS; BALFERN;LARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1835 -- Sinclair of Freswick cleared 107 families from the pastures of Badfern, providing no alternative lots.
1835 -- 25 sailed on the Albion, 14 on the Aberdeenshire from Aberdeen to Halifax. 6 left from Greenock to Halifax on the Arcadian, 106 left on the Paragon from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec.
1836: Clearance of LOCH ROAG; FRESWICK; DUNBEATH; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1836 -- 49 sailed on the Albion from Aberdeen from Aberdeen to Halifax. 22 sailed on the Ann Grant from Greenock to Pictou. 75 sailed on the Albion from Cromarty, Loch Eriboll from Leith to St Anns, Cape Breton and Quebec. 140 left Thurso and Loch Eriboll to Quebec on the Mariner. 42 sailed on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 206 sailed on the Clansman to Sydney and Quebec. Many arrived suffering from smallpox.
1836 (autumn) -- a famine strikes the Highlands and Islands, leaving thousands to starve, despite efforts to fund emergency rations.
Victoria, only child of Edward Duke of Kent and Victoria Saxe-Coburg,
becomes ruler of Britain. The British Empire was at the height of its power and she ruled over 450 million people, one quarter of the world’s population and approximately one quarter of the world’s landmass. It stretched so far around the globe from Canada to the Caribbean, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand that it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire.
1837 -- 41 emigrate on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 43 sail from Stornoway to Sydney on the Harvey and William. 190 sail from Greenock to Pictou on the Isabella. 112 sail on the Hercules from tornoway to Pictou and Quebec. 100 sail from Tobermory to Sydney on the Eclipse. 124 sail on the Isabella from Greenock to Sydney and Pictou. 65 sail on the Thistle from Stornoway to Sydney.
1837: Clearance of FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1837 -- The European historian/economist J.C.L.J. de Sismondi writes of Sutherlandshire: "But though the interior of the county was thus improved into a desert--in which there are many thousands of sheep, but few human habitations, let it not be supposed by the reader that its general population was in any degree lessened. So far was this from being the case that the census of 1821 showed an increase over the census of 1811 of more than two hundred... the county has not been depopulated - its population has been merely arranged in a new fashion. The Duchess of Sutherland found it spread equally over the interior and the sea-coast, and in very comfortable circumstances--(but) she left it compressed into a wretched fabric of poverty and suffering that fringes the county on its eastern and western shores."
1837 Brilliant sailed to Sidney from Tobermory with a passenger complement of 322, of which 105 came from Ardnamurchan and Strontian. John Dye
1837 “Donald Macdonald of Kylesmore was imprisoned for six weeks, charged with theft”. Inverness Courts disk at HC Archives reference 35/60 Gordon Barr
1838 The Clanranald estates ran from Moidart to Arisaig on the mainland and on to South
Uist in the Isles. Ranald George MacDonald, eighteenth captain of the clan, sold up all by 1838, retaining only Castle Tirrim, which supported his threadbare claim to be a landed chief for another 35 years. The Highland Clearances, John Prebble p250. One by one, Reginald George Clanranald disposed of his estates. In this manner not only Eigg, Canna, Eilean-Shona, Glenuig, Roshven, Lochshiel or Dorlin and Glenmoidart, but Inverailort, Arisaig proper, Benbecula and South Uist, were steadily got rid of, until at length nothing remained of what was once something like a principality save the little, barren, uninhabited island of Risca, in Loch Moidart, and the roofless walls of Castle Tirrim. - Moidart Among the Clanranalds p202 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts
Kinlochmoidart was owned by the Cadet branch of the Macdonald family and was not part of this disposal. Some of the purchasers were: Lochshiel and Eilean-Shona, Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale, about 1811; Glenmoidart, Macdonald banker of Dalelea about 1814; Glenuig by Major Macdonald of Bail Finlay in Uist; Inverailort by General Cameron, previously living in Erroch, Lochaber. - Moidart Among the Clanranalds p202 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts
1837-1840 The Bounty Scheme Twenty ships that brought 4000 Scots to Australia
1838: Clearance of FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1838 -- Broubster to Shurrery Lodge on the Forss Water, 58 families in all were evicted. Unknown number of people from South Uist arrived at Cape Breton. 250 sailed from Tobermory to Sydney and Quebec on the Corsair. 37 sailed on the Isabella from Greenock to Pictou. 21 sailed on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax.
1839: Clearance of DURNESS; FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; to make way for sheep
1839 -- 1839
-- The Oriental, Aurora, and Adelaide sailed to New Zealand with
a total of 800 immigrants.
Oriental Ship: 506 tons Captain: William Wilson Surgeon Superintendent: Dr J. Fitzgerald Sailed London 15th Sept 1839 - arrived Port Nicholson 31st Jan 1840
First ship to sail from London, and second to reach Port Nicholson, was the Oriental, 506 tons, Captain William Wilson, by which 155 people came out, 62 being males and 93 females. Among the prominent passengers may be mentioned the Hon. Henry Petre (son of Lord Petrie), Major Hormbrook, Mr Francis Molesworth (brother of Sir William Molesworth, Bart.), Mr George Duppa, Mr W. B. D. Mantell (son of Dr Gideon Mantell, an eminent geologist) and Mr Dudley Sinclair (son of Sir George Sinclair, Bart., M. P.). Sailing from Gravesend on September 15th and Deal six days later, she called at the Island of Santiago, Cape Verde Group, and that was the last land seen until on January 22nd she entered Port Hardy, that being the day the Aurora reached Port Nicholson. Some natives seen here advised them there was a pakeha on the island, and they set off in their canoes to fetch him, spreading their blankets for sails. The man was Maclaren, the whaler, who brought a letter left by Colonel Wakefield ordering the ship to Port Nicholson. The wind blowing strong into the harbour , it was three days before the Oriental got out, and even then she just escaped going ashore on the rocks called Nelson's Monument. It was not until the 29th the the ship was off Port Nicholson, and then the wind failed, Captain Wilson was a good deal perplexed by the long line of rocks that runs right out from Sinclair Head, and next day he sent the mate away in the cutter to investigate. Of course the mate soon discovered the entrance, but there was no wind, the weather was thick, and there was a strong ebb tide, so the anchor was dropped. The following morning Colonel Wakefield came out in a ships boat, bring with him a pilot. Though there was a head wind, the Oriental beat into harbour, and at 6p.m. on January 31st she dropped anchor off Somes Island, receiving a salute of guns from the Cuba and the Aurora. Then began the work of embarking. For a few days the weather was rough, but on the 3rd February, a fine spell set in. It was decided to settle the new arrivals on the banks of the Hutt river, about a mile up from the mouth. On the 5th the disembarkation started in real earnest.The ship's boat's were used to take the heavy stuff up the river, but the bulk of the passengers tramped to their new home, over a roughly-made track, carrying in their hands or on their backs such light things as they could manage. By the 15th of the month all the cabin passengers, who had until then lived aboard, moved ashore, and by March 6th the last of the cargo was out.
The Duke of Roxburgh followed the other ships in early October, 1839, departing from Plymouth while the Bengal Merchant was also due to sail from Glasgow on October 31st with 161 emigrants.
118 sailed from Greenock to Pictou on the Isabella. 59 sailed on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 33 sailed on the Arcadian from Greenock to Halifax.
1839-51 (Various) Assisted immigrants arriving at Port Phillip, Australia
1840: Clearance of DURNESS; FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN to make way for sheep
1840 - 1841 --
Donald Macleod publishes a series of letters in the Edinburgh
Weekly Chronicle, describing his own eviction and other eyewitness
testimony of the clearances. People are removed peacably from Oldany.
1840 Treaty of Waitangi: Maori Chiefs hand sovereignty of New Zealand to Great Britain.
1840, 30,000 Highlanders were forced to move to Glasgow. None of them could speak English, none of them had ever seen a city before and none of them had ever performed any kind of work other than tending their own patch of land and their few cows and chickens. They were forced from a life of subsistence farming to one of working indoors in a factory. Others were Cleared from their Highland homes to the seaside fishing villages where they too had to give up the only way of life they knew and learn overnight how to fish in order to survive
1840s -- Donald Horne had decided that his fishermen
at Berriedale should give up herring in favour of higher-value,
and abundant, salmon.
1840 -- 31 sail on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. 37 sailed on the Isabella from Greenock to Pictou. 150 sailed from Cromarty and Thurso to Pictou and Quebec. This was one of three vessels (British King, Quebec Packet) wuth a total of 403 people, 248 were from Caithness, 60 landed at Pictou and the rest went to Quebec. 140 sailed on the Deveron from Lochinver from Greenock to Pictou. 157 sailed on the British King from Cromarty to Pictou and Quebec. 195 sailed from Stornoway to Sydney on the Cruickston Castle. An unknown number sailed on the Isabella from Greenock to Pictou. 400 passengers boarded the Nith from Skye and 150 boarded at Tobermory in Mull arrived Prince Edward Island and Sydney. 150 left Uig and Tobermory on the Rother and arrived Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. 4 sailed on the Arcadian from Greenock to Halifax.
On the 13th August, 1840, the barque London chartered by the New Zealand Company,sailed from the Port of London bound for Port Nicholson with 228 emigrants aboard. She arrived on the 12th December, 1840. There had been four infant deaths during the voyage and six new births.
1841: Clearance of HARRIS; DURNESS; FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN to make way for sheep
1841 (February) -- Henry Baillie, Parliament Member for Inverness, forms a committee to investigate the situation in the Highlands. The committee concludes that there are too many people living in the Highlands and that a course of aggressive emigration should be established.
67 families were evicted in the Dounreay area, Skiall and Borrowston. West Greenland, Lochend all the tenant are evicted and form straggling camps nicknamed 'Beggarstown' and 'Pauperstown'.
1841 (August and September) -- Given writs of removal by legal officials, the tenants of Durness and Keneabin riot and attack police and sheriffs with stones and sticks. Only after being threatened with an onslaught of military troops do the tenants accept the writs and grudgingly move away.
1841 Census returns for Highlands shows population of 396,000, up from 257,000 in 1755. Highland Folk Ways, IF Grant, page 53
1841 -- 193, mostly former tenants of Duke of Sutherland,
sail from Thurso to Pictou and Quebec. 240 sailed from Cromarty
and Thurso to Pictou and Quebec on the Lady Grey; typhus broke
out causing 6 deaths; passengers protested ill treatment during
their passage. "The Lady
Gray departed from Cromarty and arrived in Pictou, Quebec on 16th
July 1841. The ship had between 240 and 250 passengers all
bound for Pictou, Quebec. It arrived on 16th July 1841 with typhus
on board. Because there was no hospital in Pictou the passengers
were removed to shore and presumably quarantined while the ship
was cleaned. By 23rd September 1841 , 26 of the passengers had
caught typhus and 6 of them died. They were buried in the graveyard
at Cariboo Beaches. Dr. Martin the health officer of the port
seems to have also caught typhus and died. Originally 75 of the
passengers were to have disembarked at Pictou with the remainder
- 240'ish going onto Quebec. However 135 of them could not be
persuaded to get back on the ship, given what they had gone through
and given that they had liked what they saw in Pictou. The passenger
list is drawn up from a list of those who signed a protest against
their treatment during the voyage. It totals 44 men, who as head
of households presumably signed for their families." Emigrant
lists were drawn up by the Sutherland
Estates. 35 sailed from Glasgow to Halifax on the Mariner.
105 sailed from Thurso on to Pictou on the Unicorn. 28 sailed
from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Albion. 450 sailed on the Banffshire,
400 on the George, 450 on the Tay from Lochmaddy to Cape Breton
(where other Catholics had settled). These three vessels took
a total of 1300 emigrants from N.Uist "of the poorest class".
22 sailed from the Clyde to Pictou on the Cleostratus; 5 cases
of smallpox on board ship. 124 former tenants of the Duke of Sutherland
sailed on the Universe from Thurso to Pictou and Quebec. 55 sailed
on the Isabella from Glasgow, destined for Pictou; vessel stuck
on ice off Cape North, Cape Breton, passengers treated badly by
local people until they finally arrived in Pictou to a warm welcome.
(Presbyterian v Catholic issue, no doubt).
1842 -- Queen Victoria first visits Scotland.
1842: Clearance of FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN; MISHNISH to make way for sheep
1842 -- An unknown number sail from Glasgow to Pictou and Halifax on the Eagle. 191 left Cromarty and Thurso for Pictou and Quebec on the Superior. 64 left Glasgow for Pictou and Sydney on the Cleostratus. 150 left Cromarty, Thurso and Loch Lomond for Pictou and Quebec on the Lady Emily. 133 "very poor" passengers left Lochmaddy for Cape Breton on the St Andrew. 59 left on the Hercules from Lochmaddy to Cape Breton and Quebec; passengers described as "very poor". 16 left Greenock for Halifax on the Arcadian.
1842 -- The
barques, the Duchess of Argyle, (667 tons) and Jane Gifford,(558
tons), left the Port of Glasgow on June 9th and June 18th,
1842. The 'Duchess' carried 172 men, 171 women and 192 children
and the 'Jane Gifford' 82 men, 81 women and 92 children, the vessels
arriving on October 9th. During the long arduous journey there
had been 34 deaths between the two ships, many of them small children
and babies in arms. There were 16 new births recorded in the log.
Disembarking began using the ship's boats taking the passengers into Mechanic's Bay. It was
low tide and the longboats grounded in the soft mud. The boatloads
of migrants were forced to carry their children and boxes on their
shoulders, while knee deep in the soft mud which lay between them
and the sandy beach. The families crowded into the thirty rhaupo
huts erected along the foreshore.
1842-1855 (Various) Unassisted immigrants arriving at NSW, Australia
1843 -- Disruption
of the Church of Scotland: foundation of the Free Church. 400 ministers resigned from the Church of Scotland.
1843: Clearance of GLENCALVIE; FRESWICK; ROTHIEMURCHUS; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN to make way for sheep
1844: Clearance of GLENCALVIE; FRESWICK; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN to make way for sheep
1843 -- 307 emigrants sailed from Cromarty, Thurso and Loch Laxford from Dundee to Pictou and Quebec; disease broke out before arrival at Pictou and emigrants were taken to temporary accomodation on beaches. 275 "destitute" passengers left Tobermory for Cape Breton and Quebec but the ship put into Belfast in distress. Passengers shipped on John and Robert. 405, mostly Roman Catholics, left Tobermory for Cape Breton and Quebec on the Charles Hammerton; a number from Eigg, others from Gairloch and Torridon together with a few from Skye.
1844 -- 13 emigrants sailed from Aberdeen to Halifax on the Albion. An unknown number sailed from Cromarty and Thurso to Quebec on the Pacific. An unknown number left from Cromarty and Thurso for Quebec on the Harriet. 13 left on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax.
1844 Margarita Robertson-Macdonald died, passing the Kinlochmoidart Estate to her son William Frederick StephenJefferson, Kinlochmoidart House
1844-59 (Various) Assisted immigrants arriving at Sydney & Newcastle, Australia
1845 -- Denied shelter within the church itself
and believing themselves to be cursed by God, ninety evicted tenants
of Glencalvie take temporary shelter in the churchyard
at Croick, and leave messages scratched into the glass windows:
...Glencalvie people the wicked generation... ...John Ross shepherd...
...Glencalvie is a wilderness blow ship them to the colony...
...the Glencalvie Rosses...
1845: Clearance of GLENCALVIE; FRESWICK; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN; NEWMORE; STRATHCARRON to make way for sheep
1845 -- The potato blight, which had devastated Ireland the previous year, wipes out most of the potatoes in the Highlands.
1845 -- 13 passengers left on the Albion from Aberdeen to Halifax. An unknown number left from Cromarty and Thurso for Quebec on the Joseph Harrison. The Sovereign sailed from Lochmaddy and Stromness to Sydney, Pictou and Quebec - nos unknown.
1845 The Poor Law Amendment Act made landlords liable for poor tenants on their estates. This caused many landlords to look at emigration as a solution to their problems. "A very Fine Class of Emigrants", Prince Edward Island's Scottish Pioneers 1770-1850, Lucille H Campey, page14.
1845 “About five years ago, thirteen families, amounting to about 70 individuals, emigrated to Canada. In 1837 and 1838, families, amounting to about 100 individuals, sailed for Australia. The whole population is rural, there is not even an approach to a village, except at Ardnafuaran, in Arasaig.” New Statistical Account Renfrewshire & Argyllshire VII, 1845.Written 1838 by Rev Angus Mclean, Minister Jean Lawson
1845 “Census describes many sons (but not daughters) as being “scholars” or “scholars at home”. More information is available at HC Archives in the SSPCK box. A brief look in the box showed there were SSPCK schools in Glenuig, Blain and possibly somewhere about Kinlochmoidart (the map was very small scale and the dots large)”. Gordon Barr
1846 Failure of Irish potato crop. British Parliament repeal the Corn Laws. A New History of Great Britain, Mowat, page 603.
1846: Clearance of FRESWICK; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN to make way for sheep
1846 Highland potato famine. The 2nd Duke of Sutherland spent £15,000 on food aid and absorbed the inevitable rent arrears. 1846-1849 Irish potato famine.
1846 (December) -- The Reverend Norman Mackinnon of Bracadale Manse wrote to the Chaplain in Ordinary to Queen Victoria: "Oh, send us something immediately.... If you can send but a few pounds at present, let it come, for many are dying, I may say, of starvation..."
1846 “During the winter months consumption of seed corn occurred in Lewis, Barra, South Uist, Harris, Skye, Arisaig and Moidart. Great Highland Famine
TM Devine and John Donald 1988
1846 The emigration 1846-1855 was far the greatest ever known from Great Britain and Ireland. According to British Government figures, which are generally inaccurate and generally under-estimate, 2,740,000 people emigrated in those ten years. Only 430,000 altogether went to Australia, New Zealand and the Cape, and more than 2,300,000 to America…..To colonise Australia the government selected only the young and fit, and carried them out free in state-chartered ships. The North American emigration on the other hand was spontaneous, disorganised, and private. Passage to America, Terry Coleman, page 21.
1846 “William Robertson, who had a sheep farm at Kinlochmoidart, discovered that there was more to his lease than wool and mutton…’I believe that one fourth of the population of my estate would have died of famine ere now, had I not supplied them with food. This I have hitherto done at vast expense, inconvenience and sacrifice. Were it not for an imperative sense of duty, I would not remain in the Highlands and see so much that pains me.’” The Highland Clearances, John Prebble page 178
1846 “Alexander ‘Lochshiel’ MacDonald of Arisaig, following the 1846 potato blight, placed sheep on Dorlin, Scardoish, Portabhata, Briaig and Mingarry sweeping the people off, most going to Australia. Some tenants at Eilean Shona were sent away at the same time as the island had not yet been sold to Captain Swinburne. Most tenants from Glenuig went too (although not under pressure) as did those from Caolas. Father Rankin was in favour of emigration as against perpetual and incurable poverty at home and in 1852 persuaded most of his flock to go to Port Philip, he joined them in 1855. Five hundred people left the district. The catholic congregation at Moidart dropped from 1,100 to 600 Moidart Among the Clanranalds, Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts p218
1846 The Free Church referred to the tenants sharing their own little stores most liberally with the destitute in Glenorchy and, similar reports came from Tiree, Mull and Moidart. Great Highland Famine, p51TM Devine and John Donald 1988 quoting from Destitution Papers of The Free Church Jean Lawson
1847: Clearance of ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN; RAASAY; DUNBEATH;
to make way for sheep
1847 The Free Church made first impact between November 1846 and February 1847 when it became absorbed by the Central Committee. Provisions were shipped in on Breadalbane, the ship it used to carry ministers and “Grateful thanks for help came from such Catholic areas as Arisaig and Moidart” Great Highland Famine p126 TM Devine and John Donald 1988 quoting from J Bruce, Letters on the Present conditions in the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland Edinburgh 1847 pages 30-31 Jean Lawson
1847 In the Spring, almost all the able-bodied men in Arisaig and Moidart had gone to seek work in the lowlands. Great Highland Famine p321 TM Devine and John Donald 1988 temporary Migration and the Crofting Region, parish Patterns in the 1840s Jean Lawson
1847 Of the 106,812 emigrants who came to British North America this year, 17,465 died, (one in six) mainly from typhus or dysentery. Passage to America, Terry Coleman, page 150.1847
1847 the Secession Church and the Relief Church united to become the United Presbyterian Church.
1847 -- 117 emigrants sailed from Thurso to Pictou on the Serious. 50 sailed from Greenock to Pictou on the London (smallpox aboard). The Charlotte sailed from Glasgow to Boston.
1847 (February) -- James Bruce, a writer for "The Scotsman," reports that "The Highlanders' problems are 'due to their own laziness and suggests the best solution is for the native tenants, as soon as they are able to labour for themselves, be removed from the vicious influence of the idleness in which their fathers have been brought up and have lived and starved."
The Free Church of Scotland were influenced by
Wakefield's praise of the new colony and the promises of a
settlement. Committees were set up in Edinburgh and Glasgow and
urged on by the Rev. Thomas Burns, two ships were chartered by
the church to make the journey. The Philip Laing carried 247 emigrants
and the John Wickliffe 97 families. They left England on the 27th
November and the 14th December, 1847 bound for Otago Harbour and
the new settlement of Dunedin. Port Chalmers, 1848 The 'John Wickliffe'
was the storeship for the expedition and was heavily laden with
a vast supply of goods. There were thousands of bricks and slates,
tools for the plumbers and painters, blacksmiths and wheelwrights
supplies, wheelbarrows, spades, pickaxes, guns and a large consignment
of general provisions. Cash, gold and silver, to the value of
£500, was carefully locked away in the ships strongroom. The "Philip
Laing" entered Otago Harbour on the 15th April 1848, just 23 days
after the arrival of the ''John Wickliffe''. These vessels were
followed by the immigrant ships Victory, Blundell and Bernicia.
1848 "Up on deck by four in the morning. Arrived opposite Staten island. What a number of windows the houses have! No tax, as in England". Passage to America, Terry Coleman, page 169.
1848 Robert Somers wrote a series of newspaper articles in the North British Daily Mail chronicling the poverty following the great potato famine. In one he reported that he sailed from Portree on one of the Glasgow steamers and landed at Arisaig. He went to a weaver's cottage. There were a few twigs burning as a weak fire on the floor and virtually no furniture. The family faced eviction because they had not paid the rent on their potato ground. They in turn had not been paid for cloth they had woven because of the poverty in the area. There were 68 families in Arisaig. Formerly (before the famine) potatoes were grown but lately corn was planted which had a far lower yield. Everyone faced destitution unless there was intervention. Lord Cranstoun and his factor were both absentees. Letters from the Highlands, Robert Somers
1848 Robert Somers also went to Strontian and Salen on his travels. At Strontian he found the crofting tenants of Sir James Riddell "extremely poor". Opposite the land occupied by the crofters was a farm at Drumintorran with 5000 sheep. He noted that there were also about 50 miners working the Strontian lead mine and the manager told him that shortly the number would rise to 200. At Salen Robert Somers remarked upon the pirn mill, the price of wood to the proprietor being 7/6 (37.5p) per ton delivered to the Mill door. In addition to the few men workers, there were twenty six destitute boys from Glasgow also employed (see also "Court Reports" for description of the fire which destroyed the Mill later). He also saw women fulling cloth as a team and singing Gaelic working songs in Salen. Letters from the Highlands, Robert Somers
1848 -- Cholera epidemic in Glasgow.
1848 -- 137 people, mainly collier families for
Albion mines paid for by the company, sailed on the Hope
for Pictou and later went on to the USA. 62 sailed from Glasgow
to Pictou on the London.
The Duke of Sutherland chartered the Ellen
to take 154 passengers from Loch Laxford to Pictou. Col. John
Gordon assisted the passage of his tenants (of South Uist) to
sail on the Lulan
from Glasgow to Pictou. They were deceived the ship was sailing
to Pictou, in fact it would have sailed to Boston, USA. They found
out and left the ship and waited a long time for another to take
them to Nova Scotia. On arrival they were ill from disease and
suffering extreme poverty, and 24 died shortly after arriving.
Many were intending to work at the Albion Mines and Nova Scotia
authorities had to pay for their passage. These emigrants eventually
moved to PEI.
The morning of the 19th August, 1848, will long be remembered in Wick. The sky on the preceding evening had a very unfavourable appearance about sunset, especially towards the east, where a mass of dark lurid cloud, streaked with fiery red, hung around the horizon, like a warning signal of the coming gale. The barometer, too, was observed to have fallen considerably. Notwithstanding these ominous prognostics, a number of boats left the harbour, and proceeded to the fishing ground. Early in the morning the threatened storm burst forth with all the suddenness and fury of a tropical hurricane. The wind blew from the south-east with the utmost vehemence. Houses shook, and windows rattled, and families were roused from their slumbers by the unusual noise. Hundreds in the first moments of alarm ran to the harbour. The bay was fearfully agitated; and the heavy surge ever and anon broke over the bar, sweeping everything before it. Consternation was painted in every countenance. It was an appalling scene, deepened into tenfold intensity by the distress and agony of those who had relatives in the tiny craft that were dimly seen at times tossing on the crests of the foaming billows, and making for the shore, which was surrounded with a tremendous surf. Destruction was imminent, and no power of man could avert it. On that fatal morning forty-one boats were lost, and no fewer than thirty-seven men perished, many of them within a few yards of the harbour.
History of Caithness by J.T. Calder Chapter 1 - Page 6. (Transcribed on caithness.org)
From Aberdeen Journal:
CREWS and Nos drowned
William Doull and son Wick - 2
David Geddes and Crew, Staxigoe - 6
On Board the "Rose" of Slickly - 2
On Board the "Harmony" of Pulteneytown - 6
Murdoch Morrison & Crew, Lews, - 5
George Swanson, "Peggy" of Thurso - 1
James Manson and Crew , Longhope - 5
Murdoch MacDonald and Crew, Lews - 5
Donald Morrison and part Crew, Lews, - 3
On Board the "Hope" or Pulteneytown - 2
Total - 37
Thirty-seven men from Wick alone drowned leaving 17 widows and 63 children. Eighteen boats were lost on the rocks.
1848: Clearance of BARRA; ARDNAMURCHAN; MORVERN; RAASAY; to make way for sheep
1848-1849 Revolutions in France, Austria, Sicily, Naples, Hungary and Prussia.
1848-59 (Various) Assisted immigrants arriving at Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Australia
1848 The Ellen sailed from Loch Laxford, Sutherland and The Lulan sailed from South Uist & Glasgow and the Hope sailed from Glasgow and The London (in April and July) sailed from Glasgow to Pictou, Nova Scotia.
1849: Clearance of SOLLAS;
RAASAY; to make way for sheep
1849 -- Despite some rioting by the native tenants,
Macdonald clears more than 600 people from Sollas on North
1849 -- 'Thomas Mulcok, a somewhat bizarre writer and journalist with the Inverness Advertiser' arrives in the Highlands and vigorously attacks landlords and factors in print. So vigorously, in fact, that he eventually flees to France when faced with charges of slander.
1849 -- 50 sail from Glasgow to Pictou on the Sarah Botsford. The Joseph Huchison takes an unknown number from Glasgow to Cape Breton.
1850: Clearance of CONLIN; BARRA; SOLLAS; RAASAY; STRATHAIRD; RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1850s (early) -- Clearances of thousands of tenants in the Strathaird district, Suishnish, and Boreraig on Skye; and Coigach at Loch Broom.
1850 -- 82 sail from Cromarty, Thurso and Loch Laxford to Pictou and Quebec on the George. The Charlotte Harrison sails from Greenock to New York
1850s -- John Mackie took over the editorship of the John o' Groat Journal. For five years Mackie edited the Groat then left in 1850 to found and edit his own newspaper in Wick, The Northern Ensign. He was soon to encounter financial difficulties and in 1853 William Rae bought the newspaper.
Mackie’s services were retained as editor and he continued in that role until his death twenty-six years later. The Ensign ceased publication in 1926.
1851 -- Patrick Sellar, after
a long illness, died on 20 October 1851 at Park Place, Elgin
and was buried at Elgin Cathedral on 1 November.
1851 -- Sir John MacNeill, under the direction of the Home Secretary, tours the Highlands and reports back that the Highland poor are "parading and exaggerating their poverty and are basically lazy." The only solution MacNeill sees is emigration. Resistance at Knockan and Elpin succeeded.
1851: Clearance of BARRA; SOLLAS; RAASAY; STRATHAIRD;
to make way for sheep
1851 -- 18 sail from Glasgow to Pictou on the Sarah Botsford. 68 of Sir James Matheson's tenants of Lewis sail from Stornoway and Glasgow to Quebec. 500 more of Matheson's tenants sail on the Marquis of Stafford, courtesy of their landlord, to Quebec.
1851 (August) -- The clearance of Barra
by Colonel Gordon of Cluny. The Colonel called all of his tenant
farmers to a meeting to "discuss rents", and threatened them with
a fine if they did not attend. In the meeting hall, over 1,500
tenants were overpowered, bound, and immediately loaded onto ships
for America. An eyewitness reported: "...people were seized and
dragged on board (the
Admiral). Men who resisted were felled with truncheons and
handcuffed; those who escaped, including some who swam ashore
from the ship, were chased by the police...." When officials in
Glasgow complained to the Colonel about many of Barra's homeless
wandering their streets, he stated: "Of the appearance in Glasgow
of a number of my tenants and cottars from the Parish of Barra--I
had no intimation previous to my receipt of your communication.
And in answer to your enquiry--what I propose doing with them--I
1851 the parish of Loth was united to that of Kildonan,
and by this means the number of the population was more than restored.
Meanwhile, however, many of the old clan of the Gunns had gone
out to the world, never to return to the scenes of the doughty
deeds of their ancestors.(ref Electric Scotland)
the Margaret sailed from Cape Breton. She was followed six months
later by the Highland Lass. The ships, carrying 300 migrants
in all, arrived in Australia at the height of the Victoria gold
rush. The emigrants found that good coastal land was available
only at exorbitant prices. After a number of their group, including
three of Norman
McLeod’s sons, died in a typhoid epidemic, it was decided
that they should leave Australia and try to obtain land in New
Zealand. The first group of Nova Scotians arrived in Auckland
in September 1853. They immediately petitioned the government
for a block of land on which they could settle together. Four
ships followed from Nova Scotia, the Gertrude in 1856, the Spray
in 1857, the Breadalbane in 1858, and the Elten Lewis in 1858.
In addition, eight families came directly from Scotland to join
relatives from Cape Breton. In all more than 800 people took part
in the migration. While most settled at
Waipu, others formed sister settlements at Whangarei Heads,
Leigh, Okaihau and the valleys North of Whangarei - Kamo, Whau
Whau, Hukeranui and 1-Tikurangi - linking the far North in a web
of kinship and community.
1852: Clearance of BENBECULA; BARRA; SOLLAS; RAASAY; STRATHAIRD; RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1852 -- SUTHERLANDSHIRE.
BONAR BRIDGE TO LOCH INTER — SCOURIE — DURNESS —
TONGUE, LAIRG AND GOLSPIE.
The extensive county of Sutherland presents the striking
peculiarity of having the whole of its surface of 1800 square
miles under sheep, with the exception of a narrow border of
arable land along its eastern coast. More than four-fifths of
this great territory belongs to the Sutherland family, who
have recently, too, by marriage, made the large accession of
the Cromertie estates adjoining, on the west of Ross-shire —
an extent of property altogether unparalleled in this king-
dom. In its superficial configuration and aspect, Sutherland-
shire is distinguished by several marked features. It is
surrounded on three of five sides by the ocean.
Extracts from 'Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland', 1852.
1852 -- 19 emigrants sail from Glasgow to Boston
and Pictou on the Lulan. 26 left from Glasgow to Pictou on the
Tongataboo and 23 left from Glasgow to Pictou on the Lulan. The
Georgiana was one of the ships that carried assisted
emigrants to Australia. It left Glasgow on 13th July 1852 carrying
around 300 passengers and shortly before its arrival in Geelong
nearly 4 months later, a mutiny occurred on board and the crew
deserted the ship.
1852 the following sailed from Highlands & Islands to Point Henry, Geelong, Australia: The Mangerton, Borneuf, the Araminta, the Georgiana, the Blanche, The Ticonderoga.
The Medina to Adelaide, Australia. The Ontario to Sydney, Aus., The Marmion to Portland and the Louisa to Hobart, Tasmania. 1852-53 The Allison, Priscilla, Arabian and Thomas to Melbourne (Geelong).
- 1875 the SS Great Britain took thousands of UK citizens from Liverpool to Australia. 1852-1857 Highlands and Islands emigration to Australia
1853 -- Knoydart is cleared under the direction
of the widow of the 16th Chief of Glengarry. More than 400 people
are suddenly and forcibly evicted from their homes, including
women in labor and the elderly. After the houses were torched,
some tenants returned to the ruins and tried to re-build their
villages. These ramshackle structures were then also destroyed.
Father Coll Macdonald, the local priest, erected tents and shelters
in his garden at Sandaig on Loch Nevis, and offered shelter to
as many of the homeless as he could. Donald Ross, a Glasgow journalist
and lawyer wrote articles outlining the clearance of Knoydart,
which generated little sympathy. The
tenants of Knoydart, like all other Highlanders, had suffered
severely during and after the potato famine in 1846 and 1847,
and some of them got into arrear with a year and some with two
years' rent, but they were fast clearing it off. Mrs. Macdonell
and her factor determined to evict every crofter on her property,
to make room for sheep. In the spring of 1853, they were all served
with summonses of removal, accompanied by a message that Sir John
Iacneil, chairman of the Board of Supervision, had agreed to convey
them to Australia. Their feelings were not considered worthy of
the slightest consideration. They were not even asked whether
they would prefer to follow their countrymen to America and Canada.
They were to be treated as if they were nothing better than Africans,
and the laws of their country on a level with those which regulated
South American slavery. The people, however, had no alternative
but to accept any offer made to them. They could not get an inch
of land on any of the neighbouring estates, and any one who would
give them a night's shelter was threatened with eviction.
1853: Clearance of BARRA; RAASAY; RANNOCH
to make way for sheep
1853 The Panama sails from Highlands & Islands to Hobart, Tasmania. The British Queen sails from Highlands & Islands to Melbourne, Australia
1854: Clearance of W.GREENYARDS; BORERAIG/SUISHNISH; RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1854 -- The clearing of Strathcarron in Ross-shire. Some Clan Ross women tried to prevent the landlord's police force by blocking the road to the village. The constables charged the unarmed women, and, in the words of journalist Donald Ross: "...struck with all their force. ...Not only when knocking down, but after the females were on the ground. They beat and kicked them while lying weltering in their blood....(and) more than twenty females were carried off the field in blankets and litters, and the appearance they presented, with their heads cut and bruised, their limbs mangled and their clothes clotted with blood, was such as would horrify any savage."
What followed we extract from the letter of Mr.
Donald Ross, who went over from Glasgow to Strathcarron, and spent
two days in the district, collecting information and examining
the wounded. His letter is dated Royal Hotel, Tain, April 15,
1854, and states as follows: "My information goes to show
a shameful course of conduct on the part of the sheriff. He did
not warn the people of the intention on his part to let the police
loose on them. He read no Riot Act. He did not give them
time to disperse; but, on the contrary, the moment he approached
with his force, stick in hand, cried out: 'Clear the way,' and
in the next breath said: 'Knock them down,' and immediately a
scene ensued which baffles description. The policemen laid their
heavy batons on the heads of the unfortunate females and leveled
them to the ground, jumped and trampled upon them after they were
down, and kicked them in every part of their bodies with savage
brutality. The field was soon covered with blood. The cries of
the women and of the boys and girls, lying weltering in their
blood, was rending the very heavens. Some of the females, pursued
by the policemen, jumped into the deep and rapid-rolling Carron,
trusting to its mercies more than, to that of the policeman or
the sheriff. There were females who had parcels of their hair
torn out by the batons of the policemen, and one girl had a piece
of the flesh, about seven inches long by one and a quarter broad,
and more than a quarter of an inch thick, torn off her shoulder
by a violent blow with a baton. A young girl, who was only a mere
spectator, was run after by three policemen. They struck her on
the forehead, cut open her skull, and after she fell down they
kicked her. The doctor abstracted from the wound a portion of
the cap sunk into it by the baton of the savage police. The marks
of their hobnails are still visible in her back shoulders. There
are still in Strathcarron thirteen females in a state of great
distress, owing to the brutal beating they received at the hands
of the police. Three of these are so ill that their medical attendant
has no hopes whatever of their recovery. It is my own firm conviction,
from the appearance of these females and the dangerous nature
of their wounds, coupled with medical reports which I have procured,
that not one-half of these injured persons will recover; and all
of them, should they linger on for a time, will bear about on
their persons sad proofs of the horrid brutality to which they
had been subjected. Among the number seriously wounded is a woman
advanced in pregnancy. She was not among the crowd who met the
sheriff, but at a considerable distance, just looking on; but
she was violently struck and kicked by the policemen, and she
is in a very dangerous condition." We may further add that the
women who were assailed numbered only eighteen. The name of the
sheriff is Taylor. Such
is a picture of the British aristocracy in the year 1854.
1854 -- Archibald Geike, describing a recent clearance
on Skye, states he saw: (The house was) "a wretched hovel,
unfit for sheep or pigs. Here 6 human beings had to take shelter.
There was no room for a bed so they all lay down to rest on the
bare floor." "On Wednesday last the head of the wretched family,
William Matheson, a widower, took ill and expired on the following
Sunday. His family consisted of an aged mother, 96, and his own
four children - John 17, Alex 14, William 11, and Peggy 9 - the
old woman was lying-in and when a brother-in-law of Matheson called
to see how he was, he was horror struck to find Matheson lying
dead on the same pallet of straw on which the old woman rested;
and there also lay his two children, Alexander and Peggy, sick!
Those who witnessed this scene declared that a more heart-rending
scene they never witnessed." "Matheson's corpse was removed as
soon as possible; but the scene is still more deplorable. Here,
in this wretched abode, and abode not fit at all for human beings,
is an old woman of 96, stretched on the cold ground with two of
her grandchildren lying sick, one on each side of her."
1854 -- An emigrant ship is described by "The Times" as: The emigrant is shewn a berth, a shelf of coarse pinewood in a noisome dungeon, airless and lightless, in which several hundred persons...are stowed away, on shelves two feet one inch above each other...still reeking from the ineradicable stench left by the emigrants on the last voyage... After a few days have been spent in the pestilential atmosphere created by the festering mass of squalid humanity imprisoned between the damp and steaming decks, the scourge bursts out, and to the miseries of filth, foul air and darkness is added the Cholera.
1854 -- Highland landowners are asked to gather troops from their tenants to fight the Crimean War. Most of the Highlanders refuse, one telling his laird: "Should the Czar of Russia take possession of (these lands) next term that we couldn't expect worse treatment at his hands than we have experienced in the hands of your family for the last fifty years."
1853-54 The Sir Allan McNab sails from Highlands & Islands to Hobart, Tasmania. The Utopia Highlands & Islands to Portland, Australia
1854 The Arabian, the Edward Johnstone sail from Highlands & Islands to Portland, Australia. The Hornet Highlands & Islands to Geelong, Australia.
The James Fernie, the Switzerland, the Royal Albert sail from Highlands & Islands to Adelaide, Australia. 1854-55 The Derry Castle sails from Highlands & Islands to Portland, Australia
1855: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1856: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1855 - Donald Horne was the only name given when the John o'Groats journal reported an accident on the Bridge of Ord, Caithness, when his female workers were returning to Navidale from turnip hoeing on his property in Langwell. The horse pulling the cart took fright and overturned the cart and caused the death of at least 4 of the women, seriously wounding the remainder.
1856 -- Horne sold Langwell for £90,000 to the 5th
Duke of Portland.
1857 The Persian sails from Highlands & Islands to Hobart, Tasmania. HMS Hercules sails from Highlands & Islands to Cook, Adelaide, Melbourne, Australia
1857 Duke of Portland purchases the Langwell Estate and turns it into a deer forest.
1858: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1859: Clearance of RANNOCH; APPLECROSS to make way for sheep
1859 Gunn of Rhives died and his two sons not long after. In legal and genealogical terms, the office of chief of the Clan Gunn became vacant with the death of Morrison Gunn in 1785 and remains vacant today.
1859 The Broomielaw sailed from Scotland to Launceston, Tasmania
1860: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1860-79 (Various) Assisted immigrants arriving at
1860 the Storm
Cloud leaves Glasgow bound for Otago
1861 Lady Egidia sails from Greenock to Otago, New Zealand, New York
1861: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1862 The Helenslee sails from Glasgow to Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. In (April and July) the Elizabeth sails from Londonderry to St John, New Brunswick (several Scots on board). The Nubia sails from Londonderry to Quebec (many Scots on board)
1862: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1863 The Golden Empire sails to Brisbane, Australia. 1863 to 1865 Adam Shrap and his descendants owned Clyth. His rack-renting stirred so much anger in his tenants that the Napier Commission, to whom they complained, reduced their rents by 50 percent.
1863: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1864: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1865: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1866 The Steamer Iowa sails from Glasgow to New York. The Doctor Kane sails from Glasgow & Londonderry to Halifax & St. John , Canada
1866: Clearance of RANNOCH to make way for sheep
1867 The Caledonia sails from Glasgow to New York.
1868: Clearance of RANNOCH; ORONSAY to make way for sheep
1868 The SS Britannia sails from Glasgow to New York.
1869: Clearance of RANNOCH; SPEAN BRIDGE to make way for sheep
1870: Clearance of RANNOCH;
CLARE, STRATH SKIACH to make way for sheep
1871: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1872: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1873: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1874: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1875: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1876: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1876 The SS State of Pennsylvania and the Alsatia sail from Glasgow to New York
1871: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1877 The SS State of Nevada and the SS Anchoria sail from Glasgow to New York
1878: Clearance of CLARE, STRATH × to make way for sheep
1878 Glasgow to New York: SS Devonia 2 January , SS State of Pennsylvania 3 January, SS Anchoria 7 January, SS State of Nevada 10 January, SS State of Virginia 19 January, SS California 21 January, SS Ethiopia 23 January.
SS State of Indiana 26 January, SS State of Virginia 10 April, SS Bolivia 17 April, SS Victoria 25 April, SS State of Georgia 25 April, SS Ethiopia 16 September,
SS State of Pennsylvania 18 September, SS Bolivia 24 September
1878 SS Austrian Glasgow to Quebec, Canada (ISTG)
1879: Clearance of LECKMELM; CLARE, STRATH SGITHEACH to make way for sheep
1879 -- 5th Duke of Portland dies
1879 Glasgow to New York:
SS Anchoria 2 January, SS Bolivia 9 January, SS State of Pennsylvania 10 January, SS Devonia 23 January, SS State of Indiana 25 Janusry,
SS State of Virginia 1 February, SS Anchoria 3 February, SS State of Pennsylvania 15 February, SS State of Nevada 24 February,
SS Devonia 26 February, SS State of Indiana 28 February, SS State of Virginia 10 March, SS Bolivia 17 March, SS Anchoria 20 March, SS Circassia 24 March, SS State of Georgia 17 April
1880's Big sheep farms start going bankrupt in competition with New Zealand/ Australian farmers!
1880-96 (Various) Assisted immigrants arriving at Sydney ,Australia
1881 SS Manitoban Glasgow to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Steamer Northern Dundee to New York, SS State of Indiana 10 November
1882: Clearance of MUIE
1883 SS Circassia Glasgow to New York
1885 Hanoverian Glasgow to Halifax , Nova Scotia
1887 SS Anchoria Glasgow to New York
1887 In the area of Clashmore many families resisted eviction and even challenged the Sheriff. One became famous as the outlaw "Robin Hood of Assynt", a Hugh Kerr.
1888 Glasgow to New York:
SS State of Indiana 17 December, SS Furnessia 18 December, SS Ethiopia 26 December, SS State of Georgia 28 December
1890: Clearance of DURMAGLASS after Coloner Soper had an altercation with his tenant. Other tenants supported their neighbour and were all evicted. The stones from their homes were piled in a heap and left, still visible today.
1894 SS State of Nebraska Glasgow to New York
1896 SS Hibernian Glasgow to Boston
1903 SS Mongolian Glasgow to New York
1910 UK to Australia (includes Scottish)
1993 -- Assynt
Crofters took title to the land on 1st February
Crofters Estate established
21st Century Scotland
7 November 2008 -- New Catholic Church opens at Culloden
2010: Threat of evictions continues in Scotland,
such as in Aberdeen,
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We've had some brilliant news about our Tripping Up Trump campaign - the Press and Journal has revealed that Donald Trump has given up on his plans to evict families from their homes in Menie!  That's a huge victory for people power. There's no other way someone as powerful as Trump would have given up on his plans.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with brave local residents and campaign group Tripping Up Trump, we made Trump back down. That means families in Menie can go back to living their lives, without worrying that this year could be the last one they spend in their own homes.
Now, we need to make sure that people living in Menie know that if Trump ever tries something like this again, we'll be ready to send him packing. ....... "we're glad we've got rid of Trump for now but we'll be ready if he comes back in the future".
Life for people in Menie has been difficult while this struggle has been going on. It's hard to make plans and get on with your life when you know that someone so powerful is trying to chuck you out of your home, so he can build a big golf course over it.
But thousands of us signed our petition, and sent messages to local councillors, telling them that we wouldn't stay quiet while they put profit before local people's happiness. We need to make sure that they know that if Trump tries it again, we'll be ready to pile on the pressure. Then we'll get all our messages together, and deliver them to Menie........
Population of Scotland estimated at 5,168,500 and
numbers of Catholics
Crofting Bill 2011