View Full Version : Lowland clearances "worse than Highlands"

Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:50 PM
Lowland clearances 'worse than Highlands'

LOWLAND clearances were far worse than in the Highlands yet have been largely forgotten, a leading Scottish historian claims.

In a controversial lecture due to be delivered tomorrow, Professor Tom Devine challenges the Highlands' "cultural possession" of the clearances.

He says that, until recently, history has recorded the clearing of people off land needed for farming as a largely Highland issue. While the clearances are recalled in poems, songs and books in the north, nothing similar exists in the culture and folklore of the rural south.

Prof Devine, who is giving the annual lecture of the UHI Millennium Institute at Dornoch Cathedral, said: "In the Highlands, landowners had an unsavoury reputation; they were regarded as the clearers.

"In Lowland society, they were regarded as enlightened improvers. The curious thing is that both types of landlord adopted virtually the same policies.

"There was considerable protest in Highland society against removals, which led to the Crofters' War of the 1880s... The dispossession in Lowland society, however, caused hardly any violent response.

"There is no folk memory, despite the fact that, in my estimate, significantly more people lost their land in Lowland society than in the Highlands."

Source (http://heritage.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1272&id=1434192006)