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Old 06-03-2013, 09:56
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default The Highland Clearances-a Summary

After the defeat at the Battle of Culloden [Drummossie ] orders were issued from George II to William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, general of the Hanoverian/British army to break the clan system and make sure another rising would never happen again. Cumberland carried out the orders giving no quarter to almost anyone he and his men came across, regardless if they were even involved in the battle or not. His brutal actions would later earn him the nickname of the “Butcher”. In the following months Cumberland’s troops swept all over the highlands burning, murdering, raping, cattle stealing, thieving from all those that were suspected of supporting the Stewart cause.

Although Jacobite supporters were being hunted the real prize was Charles Edward Stewart [Bonnie Prince Charlie] who was in hiding, harbouring a 30,000 pounds sum on his head, the equivalent to 3 million today. The hunt stretched as far as the outer Hebrides, which in some cases the people never even knew about the battle at Culloden[ Drummossie] or that it had even been fought. Following the battle, those who were captured and taken prisoner were not all instantly condemned to death, surviving Highlanders and Clan Chiefs were sent to the Caribbean as slaves, as well as being sent to London, Brampton, Carlisle, York for imprisonment or execution or both.
Those who had lands and estates had to forfeit them under the Forfeited Estates Act of 1707, an English custom which was introduced into Scotland when the Union was formed, coincidently the same year.

When Charles Edward Stewart set sail from Loch Nan Uamh, he took with him not only the Jacobite cause, but the hope of a nation. Others followed the Prince into exile, such as Lord George Murray and Cameron of Locheil. Other Acts of Parliament were brought in to destroy what was only the beginning of the establishment’s plan, to eradicate the clan system and highland way of life.

1747 -- The Act of Proscription was introduced which was to ban the wearing of tartan, the teaching of Gaelic, the right of Highlanders to "gather," and the playing of bagpipes in Scotland.

1747 -- The Heritable Jurisdictions Act forced Highland landowners to either accept all English rule or else forfeit their lands. Many Highland landowners and Clan chiefs moved to London.

Because of the two acts above it left the Clan Chiefs and their Kin with decisions to make about their future. Some took the decision to emigrate to the land of promise in which they thought would lead to a better life. Fighting men who had been so heroic in battle and fought against the British Crown found them selves being forced to join the British army, not because they changed loyalty, but for the money and because they had no other option as it was the only thing they knew.Although this was not always the case, some suffered from new parliamentary acts introduced over the years, introduced by the unwanted Union in 1707 with England, which would bring even further hardships. Those who had taken the Kings shilling and those who bought the forfeited lands and estates took advantage of their situation knowing fine well they would have the support of King George II.

1746 (April) -- Following the Battle of Culloden, surviving Highlanders are sent to the Caribbean as slaves.

1762 -- Sir John Lockhart-Ross brings sheep to his Balnagowan estate, raises tenant rents, installs fences and Lowlander shepherds.

1782 -- Thomas Gillespie and Henry Gibson lease a sheep-walk at Loch Quoich, removing more than 500 tenants, most of who emigrate to Canada.

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.

1780s (late) -- Donald Cameron of Lochiel begins clearing his family lands, which span from Loch Leven to Loch Arkaig.

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.

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 favour 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.

[b]There is no doubt that in the years after 1745, British authorities acted to suppress the clan loyalties in the Highlands. Culminating after the 1745 Battle of Culloden with brutal repression including prohibitions against the wearing of traditional highland dress, the bagpipes, and other related legislation from 1746 on leading to the destruction of the traditional clan system and of the supportive social structures of small agricultural townships. The warrior culture of the Highlands was re-diverted as Highlanders were recruited as soldiers to serve in the wider British Empire. Clan Chiefs were encouraged to consider themselves as owners of the land in their control, in the English manner - it was previously considered common to the clan.

The Clan system and way of life although not realised at the time, was beginning to die with Culloden and the 1745 Jacobite Rising.The clans from north of the River Tay were to notice this to a greater extent in the years that were to follow than those from the lower parts of Scotland, as the highland clans had not been subject to the same English transformations. The stories of the Highland Clearances are endless, whether they are individual cases or something that effected whole communities.

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Old 06-03-2013, 19:47
Scatari Scatari is online now
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Default Re: The Highland Clearances-a Summary


If there was a "silver cloud" to these brutal policies, it would have to be the huge contribution made to the British Empire by those Scots who were exiled or who emigrated to escape the situation.

From a Canadian perspective these people (among them my maternal Cameron ancestors!) were instrumental in helping Voltaire's "few acres of snow" develop into the great country it is today. They thrived as fur-traders, trappers, farmers, business men, soldiers, politicians ... in fact there were few areas in which they did not make a huge and positive impact on what is now Canada.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:45
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: The Highland Clearances-a Summary

They (and the Irishmen who followed a century later) also contributed greatly to the strength, vigor, creativity, and industrial drive of the USA.

Just imagine what they could have contributed to the United Kingdom had they not been driven out, but instead embraced and an inclusive society created.

As a Scots-Irish American (~3/5 Scot, and the ~1/5 "Irish" is heavily "orange", having originally been some of the Protestant Ulstèr-Scotch who followed William III's army into Eire before coming to the US in the mid-late 1800s), I am glad the British were so short-sighted that they drove their most energetic creators "west over the sea".
Only a fool fights in a burning house. __ Jon A., Sgt USMC '81-'89; CV-61 USS Ranger '85-'87
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:55
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: The Highland Clearances-a Summary

Gentlemen-Tim and Jon-I appreciate your comments fully and my thanks for your interest.As you have said one nations loss is another's gain; but we had the British Empire then, and were rightly or wrongly plucking out what we then thought were "thorns in our corporate flesh"-shortsighted- I do not think so at the time,the English eradicated the "clan system" by exiling the populace who favoured it.I cannot change history and it is puerile to apologise for it-S--- Happens!!!

NB I myself am affiliated to the Graham Clan of Montrose via my mother

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