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Thread: Our new MPS first speech in westminster :

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rheghead View Post
    I believe the general consensus amongst historians is that Scotland is still living with the injustices of The Clearances. Any other opinion is simply out of touch.
    I'm the other way round from Golach, I was born and brought up in the lowlands and live here now. I do'nt honestly think the whole of Scotland is still living with the injustices of The Clearances, in fact I never knew anything about them until I moved here, no mention was ever made of it at my school, and I quite liked history. I know people are still resentful, I mentioned a few years back I was going to visit Dunrobin Castle, and it was as if I was committing a crime going there. It was an awful thing that happened, but you are talking about something that happened two centuries ago.

  2. #22
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    Goodness me have none of you been watching the goings on in Westminster.

    if you were you would of course know that the Maiden Speech is a peculiar animal and that there is - as with everything in that place- a set of traditions around it. It has to be uncontroversial, it has to pay tribute to the previous MP and it has to talk about the history of the constituency, its features and its issues and a bit of personal stuff about the MP themselves.

    How could the MP for Caithness and SUTHERLAND ignore the clearances when talking about his constituency. He couldn't. If Rosa Parks and the chagossians influenced him more than Keir Hardy then why should he not talk about them? I would respectfully suggest that it doesn't look like Keir Hardy had much influence on today's Labour Party Either given the news they will not oppose the Tory cuts to tax credits and the benefit cap.

    Finally the other thing about the maiden speech is that until it is done an MP cannot speak in parliament on any matter. So no interventions, no questions. Only after a maiden speech is done can an MP participate fully in the business of the house apparently.

    Hope that clears a few things up for folks

  3. #23

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    the Maiden Speech is a peculiar animal and that there is - as with everything in that place- a set of traditions around it.

    It's no wonder then that no one bothers listening to them and other than conferring on the new MPs the right to speak in the house, they might as well save their breath.
    Dr Ms speech was an embarrassment and would be laughable had it not been a serious matter. I for one 'don't buy it' as the saying goes and would have hoped for something much more pithy and relevant so not a good start in my view.

  4. #24
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    squidge, thanks for that, it helped clear up a lot about the maiden speech by our MP, not that I voted for him, but I did think he is/was a decent candidate who will now make a good MP.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by squidge View Post
    Goodness me have none of you been watching the goings on in Westminster.

    if you were you would of course know that the Maiden Speech is a peculiar animal and that there is - as with everything in that place- a set of traditions around it. It has to be uncontroversial, it has to pay tribute to the previous MP and it has to talk about the history of the constituency, its features and its issues and a bit of personal stuff about the MP themselves.

    How could the MP for Caithness and SUTHERLAND ignore the clearances when talking about his constituency. He couldn't. If Rosa Parks and the chagossians influenced him more than Keir Hardy then why should he not talk about them? I would respectfully suggest that it doesn't look like Keir Hardy had much influence on today's Labour Party Either given the news they will not oppose the Tory cuts to tax credits and the benefit cap.

    Finally the other thing about the maiden speech is that until it is done an MP cannot speak in parliament on any matter. So no interventions, no questions. Only after a maiden speech is done can an MP participate fully in the business of the house apparently.

    Hope that clears a few things up for folks
    Pitty he did not mention the black slave trade Scotland was involved with :-)

  6. #26
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    [QUOTE=squidge;1123858]

    How could the MP for Caithness and SUTHERLAND ignore the clearances when talking about his constituency. He couldn't.

    Are you trying to tell me, in the entire history of Caithness and Sutherland, The Clearances are the only thing of note that happened here? Is there nothing else worth mentioning ?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by squidge View Post
    Goodness me have none of you been watching the goings on in Westminster.

    if you were you would of course know that the Maiden Speech is a peculiar animal and that there is - as with everything in that place- a set of traditions around it. It has to be uncontroversial, it has to pay tribute to the previous MP and it has to talk about the history of the constituency, its features and its issues and a bit of personal stuff about the MP themselves.

    How could the MP for Caithness and SUTHERLAND ignore the clearances when talking about his constituency. He couldn't. If Rosa Parks and the chagossians influenced him more than Keir Hardy then why should he not talk about them? I would respectfully suggest that it doesn't look like Keir Hardy had much influence on today's Labour Party Either given the news they will not oppose the Tory cuts to tax credits and the benefit cap.

    Finally the other thing about the maiden speech is that until it is done an MP cannot speak in parliament on any matter. So no interventions, no questions. Only after a maiden speech is done can an MP participate fully in the business of the house apparently.

    Hope that clears a few things up for folks
    Thanks for the consitutional clarification, now Compare Charles Kennedys maiden speech with our SNP MP's : read http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...f-Commons.html : Kennedys consituency suffered equally through the clearance impact his speech raises pertinent political issues based on the key issues of the day....

  8. #28

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    [QUOTE=cptdodger;1123871]
    Quote Originally Posted by squidge View Post

    How could the MP for Caithness and SUTHERLAND ignore the clearances when talking about his constituency. He couldn't.

    Are you trying to tell me, in the entire history of Caithness and Sutherland, The Clearances are the only thing of note that happened here? Is there nothing else worth mentioning ?
    There were very little clearances per se in Caithness, only "issues" happened in Reay c 1795 and cannot be compared with the very harsh treatment dished out in Sutherland ie wholesale burnings and destruction of peoples croft houses, he couldve have paid tribute to the resistance of crofters ( led largely my women ) who embarressed the then government into passing the crofters land act 1886 : The Act was largely a result of crofters' agitation which had become well organised and very persistent in Skye (then in the county of Inverness-shire) and of growing support, throughout the Highlands, for the Crofters' Party, which had gained five Members of Parliament in the general election of 1885. Agitation took the form of rent strikes (withholding rent payments) and what came to be known as land raids: crofter occupations of land to which crofters believed they should have access for common grazing or for new crofts, but which landlords had given over to sheep farming and hunting parks (called deer forests). This is real example of triumphying in the face of advertisty is part of Gael history, the way the good Doctor tells it, we, the native highlanders, rolled over and were annahilated by land owning aristoctrats...not at all historically accurate Im afraid.....Ironically the sheep farms were near bankrupt ny the end of the c19th century as cheaper better wool / meat came form NZ and Austrlia from sheep farms irononically owned and worked on by emmigrant cleared scots....sweet justice eh !

  9. #29

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    [QUOTE=rob murray;1123873]
    Quote Originally Posted by cptdodger View Post

    There were very little clearances per se in Caithness, only "issues" happened in Reay c 1795 and cannot be compared with the very harsh treatment dished out in Sutherland ie wholesale burnings and destruction of peoples croft houses, he couldve have paid tribute to the resistance of crofters ( led largely my women ) who embarressed the then government into passing the crofters land act 1886 : The Act was largely a result of crofters' agitation which had become well organised and very persistent in Skye (then in the county of Inverness-shire) and of growing support, throughout the Highlands, for the Crofters' Party, which had gained five Members of Parliament in the general election of 1885. Agitation took the form of rent strikes (withholding rent payments) and what came to be known as land raids: crofter occupations of land to which crofters believed they should have access for common grazing or for new crofts, but which landlords had given over to sheep farming and hunting parks (called deer forests). This is real example of triumphying in the face of advertisty is part of Gael history, the way the good Doctor tells it, we, the native highlanders, rolled over and were annahilated by land owning aristoctrats...not at all historically accurate Im afraid.....Ironically the sheep farms were near bankrupt ny the end of the c19th century as cheaper better wool / meat came form NZ and Austrlia from sheep farms irononically owned and worked on by emmigrant cleared scots....sweet justice eh !
    Also , ironically , those cheaper sheep in Aus and NZ had been raised on land that had evicted the indigenous population to make way for sheep - never hear that one do we?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob murray View Post
    Thanks for the consitutional clarification, now Compare Charles Kennedys maiden speech with our SNP MP's : read http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...f-Commons.html : Kennedys consituency suffered equally through the clearance impact his speech raises pertinent political issues based on the key issues of the day....
    Exactly, his speech was relevant to the issues of the day, issues I might add are still very relevant to this day. In (at the most) twenty years, when Dounreay closes its doors for the last time, what's going to happen? What are the SNP doing to get a replacement for this large employer ? They cannot wait until it has gone, by then it will be far too late.

  11. #31
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    [QUOTE=spurtle;1123874]
    Quote Originally Posted by rob murray View Post

    Also , ironically , those cheaper sheep in Aus and NZ had been raised on land that had evicted the indigenous population to make way for sheep - never hear that one do we?
    I was just going to say, I did'nt write that, my knowledge of the Clearances is basic at best. If you are referring to the Aborigines, then I think their plight is well documented.

    I think something is going wrong with the quotes, Rob did'nt write that, it was Spurtle !
    Last edited by cptdodger; 13-Jul-15 at 10:50.

  12. #32

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    [QUOTE=cptdodger;1123877]
    Quote Originally Posted by spurtle View Post

    I was just going to say, I did'nt write that, my knowledge of the Clearances is basic at best. If you are referring to the Aborigines, then I think their plight is well documented.
    NO sorry I didnt mean the indigenous Autralian population but the success of sheep farms in Australia / NZ was heaviliy progressed by emmigre scots ie people cleared from their land here or who left Scotland for a better life thats all. The UHI have a lot of interesting research work going at the moment into various factors of the clearances, what is very interesting is the role women ( the widows of scots killed serving their country, and crofters wifes : people know about the role women and the WW1 Glasgow rent strikes.... ut there soon gonna know about the Gael women ) played in the lead upto the crofters act.......a great starting point on the clearnances is to get or read on line......... Donald Macleods Gloomy memories, if you live in Wick the library holds the actual printed transcripts behind the parliamentary commission that lead the the passing of the Crofters act. I am anorak enough to confess reading through them and have had a copy of Donald Macleaods book for over 30 years as Highland history is one of my lifes passions. Macleaod was a stone mason who lived in a croft in Strathnaver and witnessed at first hand the atrocities committed there where 245 houses were burned to the ground, people turned out into the dead of night, cattle chased and crops left to rot...leaving a desperate destitute populace. Macleaod has an attachment to Wick as he worked in WIck as a stone mason for a while ( couldnt get work in SUtherland as he was "black listed...an agitator, his wife and young family still lived in Sutherland but they too were kicked out in mid winter, so the poor women walked with her young familiy all the way to Wick to get food and shelter.)

    Seriously either get the book or look for info on line as Donald Macleod ( who eventually threw the towel in and emigrated to Canada ) was a rare person for the times as he could read and write English, wrote letters to Edinburgh papers on the clearances and eventually wrote his book, which was in response to Harriet Beecher Stows Happy Memories, a book she wrote whilst enjoying life with the privilged elite in DUnrobin Castle....her account of life there and " life " in the area so appalled and sickened Macleod that he wrote and had printed his retort to the fantasy being peddled....hence Gloomy Memories.

  13. #33

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    [QUOTE=spurtle;1123874]
    Quote Originally Posted by rob murray View Post

    Also , ironically , those cheaper sheep in Aus and NZ had been raised on land that had evicted the indigenous population to make way for sheep - never hear that one do we?
    Your quite correct, and it is very ironic

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob murray View Post
    There were very little clearances per se in Caithness, only "issues" happened in Reay c 1795 and cannot be compared with the very harsh treatment dished out in Sutherland ie wholesale burnings and destruction of peoples croft houses,
    Like its southern neighbours, Caithness has its share of abandoned villages, including Broubster. In 1838, 27 families were evicted from Broubster and 31 families from Shurrery. Additional evictions in Caithness took place at Buldoo and Achreamie in the 1840s. In addition, some 67 families were evicted around Dounreay as well as at Skiall and Borrowstone. In sum, approximately 170 families were cleared between the late 1830s and 1860. In 1835, Sinclair of Freswick cleared 107 families at Badfern. Other clearance sites in Caithness included Olrig, just south of Castletown, Dunnet, West Greenland, Lochend, Hollandmake, Dunbeath Strath and Reaster.

    At Badbea, now a deserted Clearance village, a sign-posted footpath leads to the site located about five miles north of Helmsdale. It consists of a group of ruined crofts perched on a cliff-top high above the North Sea. The village was settled in the 18th and 19th centuries by families that were evicted from Langwell and from nearby Ousdale and Berriedale by landowner Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster to make way for sheep farms. (Some settlers also came from Auchencraig and Kildonan.) The evicted had to clear the land and build their new homes on steep slopes where they earned their living primarily in the herring trade and later salmon fishing. The village had a few cows, pigs and chickens and one horse; each house had its own spinning wheel. While the men worked, the children and even the livestock were tethered to the rocks to prevent them from being blown off the cliffs to certain death by the fierce winds.
    Last edited by pinotnoir; 13-Jul-15 at 11:16.

  15. #35
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    Sorry Rob, I was referring to what Spurtle wrote "Also , ironically , those cheaper sheep in Aus and NZ had been raised on land that had evicted the indigenous population to make way for sheep - never hear that one do we? " I thought he or she meant the Aborigines !! This is getting confusing now !

  16. #36

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    In addition to being profoundly affected by the Clearances, Caithness was to play a central role in the events that led to an emancipation of the crofters from what was becoming serfdom.

    Although many emigrated either to North America, New Zealand and Australia, or to the cities in the south of Scotland in particular Glasgow, which underwent an explosion in its population during the period of the Clearances and the Irish famine, most stayed behind at least for a time. They were crammed into crofting townships on very small areas of land where they were often vulnerable to the abuse and exploitation of their landlords. Many lacked even crofts of their own and became cottars and squatters on the crofts of other people. In the 1880s the Highlands and Islands were recently ravaged by the potato famine of the mid nineteenth century. The 1880s were also a time, however, of growing democracy and of government which was increasingly responsive to public opinion, particularly after the electoral reform Act of 1884.

    In the early 1880s, in terms of gaining sympathetic public opinion, crofters were protesting very effectively, with rent strikes and land raids, about their lack of secure tenure of land and their severely reduced access to land. The government responded in 1883 with a commission of enquiry headed by Francis Napier, and the Napier Commission published recommendations in 1884. Napier’s report fell a long way short of addressing crofters’ demands, and it stimulated a new wave of protests.

    The earlier protests had been largely confined to Skye. In 1884 protest action was much more widespread, many thousands of crofters became members of the Highland Land League and among MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election of 1885 there were Crofters Party MPs elected into the constituencies of Argyllshire, Inverness-shire, Ross and Cromarty and Caithness – Dr Gavin Brown Clark. At Wick Burghs John Macdonald Cameron was also allied to the Crofters Party. A year later Parliament created the Crofters Act.

    The recognised leader of the Land League group who was to play the most prominent part in its activities in Parliament was DR G.B. Clark, who was returned for Caithness by 2,110 votes to 1,218 for the Liberals. A graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, Clark was active in a number of ‘advanced’ causes. He had been a member of Karl Marx’s International Workingmen’s Association in London in the 1870s – the ‘International’ gave a good deal of attention to land tenure. He was also a member of the Fabian Society and the Scottish Home Rule Association. He had travelled in Africa, India and Canada, and contributed to periodicals on the African, Indian and crofting questions. He was also the editor of the ‘Good Templar’, this being the interest which brought him into close touch with Keir Hardie, who was an enthusiastic member of the order in the 1880s. He strongly encouraged Hardie on his first entry into politics in 1887. After the Crofters Party dissolved he was re-elected as the Liberal candidate in 1886, 1892 and 1895. For the 1900 General Election he was replaced as Liberal candidate and defeated.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    Like its southern neighbours, Caithness has its share of abandoned villages, including Broubster. In 1838, 27 families were evicted from Broubster and 31 families from Shurrery. Additional evictions in Caithness took place at Buldoo and Achreamie in the 1840s. In addition, some 67 families were evicted around Dounreay as well as at Skiall and Borrowstone. In sum, approximately 170 families were cleared between the late 1830s and 1860. In 1835, Sinclair of Freswick cleared 107 families at Badfern. Other clearance sites in Caithness included Olrig, just south of Castletown, Dunnet, West Greenland, Lochend, Hollandmake, Dunbeath Strath and Reaster.

    At Badbea, now a deserted Clearance village, a sign-posted footpath leads to the site located about five miles north of Helmsdale. It consists of a group of ruined crofts perched on a cliff-top high above the North Sea. The village was settled in the 18th and 19th centuries by families that were evicted from Langwell and from nearby Ousdale and Berriedale by landowner Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster to make way for sheep farms. (Some settlers also came from Auchencraig and Kildonan.) The evicted had to clear the land and build their new homes on steep slopes where they earned their living primarily in the herring trade and later salmon fishing. The village had a few cows, pigs and chickens and one horse; each house had its own spinning wheel. While the men worked, the children and even the livestock were tethered to the rocks to prevent them from being blown off the cliffs to certain death by the fierce winds.
    Thanks Ive been to Badbea seen the place and the memorial didnt know the extent of clearances in west caithness though, I thought it was just Reay in 1790's.... so will do someresearch and reading on this many thanks ! I knew a ship left scrabster in the 1830's / 1840's taking people to the colonies but didnt realise that the people could well have been cleared from the land. Wick used to have 2 newspapers the Groat and Northern Ensign, the ensign was a liberal paper and apperently at the time ( 1840's ) spoke out on issues including clearances, copies are held in the North Highland Archive Wick Librarymight take a lookie up there. the partilamentary enquiry stuff in the wick library focuses mostly on the sutherland clearances, Strathnaver in particular primarily because of the brutality involved.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    In addition to being profoundly affected by the Clearances, Caithness was to play a central role in the events that led to an emancipation of the crofters from what was becoming serfdom.

    Although many emigrated either to North America, New Zealand and Australia, or to the cities in the south of Scotland in particular Glasgow, which underwent an explosion in its population during the period of the Clearances and the Irish famine, most stayed behind at least for a time. They were crammed into crofting townships on very small areas of land where they were often vulnerable to the abuse and exploitation of their landlords. Many lacked even crofts of their own and became cottars and squatters on the crofts of other people. In the 1880s the Highlands and Islands were recently ravaged by the potato famine of the mid nineteenth century. The 1880s were also a time, however, of growing democracy and of government which was increasingly responsive to public opinion, particularly after the electoral reform Act of 1884.

    In the early 1880s, in terms of gaining sympathetic public opinion, crofters were protesting very effectively, with rent strikes and land raids, about their lack of secure tenure of land and their severely reduced access to land. The government responded in 1883 with a commission of enquiry headed by Francis Napier, and the Napier Commission published recommendations in 1884. Napier’s report fell a long way short of addressing crofters’ demands, and it stimulated a new wave of protests.

    The earlier protests had been largely confined to Skye. In 1884 protest action was much more widespread, many thousands of crofters became members of the Highland Land League and among MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election of 1885 there were Crofters Party MPs elected into the constituencies of Argyllshire, Inverness-shire, Ross and Cromarty and Caithness – Dr Gavin Brown Clark. At Wick Burghs John Macdonald Cameron was also allied to the Crofters Party. A year later Parliament created the Crofters Act.

    The recognised leader of the Land League group who was to play the most prominent part in its activities in Parliament was DR G.B. Clark, who was returned for Caithness by 2,110 votes to 1,218 for the Liberals. A graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, Clark was active in a number of ‘advanced’ causes. He had been a member of Karl Marx’s International Workingmen’s Association in London in the 1870s – the ‘International’ gave a good deal of attention to land tenure. He was also a member of the Fabian Society and the Scottish Home Rule Association. He had travelled in Africa, India and Canada, and contributed to periodicals on the African, Indian and crofting questions. He was also the editor of the ‘Good Templar’, this being the interest which brought him into close touch with Keir Hardie, who was an enthusiastic member of the order in the 1880s. He strongly encouraged Hardie on his first entry into politics in 1887. After the Crofters Party dissolved he was re-elected as the Liberal candidate in 1886, 1892 and 1895. For the 1900 General Election he was replaced as Liberal candidate and defeated.
    Great read, shows very graphically that crofters / gaels didnt meekly roll over, but were instrumental in instigating very radical political change. The tie in with Keir Hardie is fascinating, again didnt know of that so thanks, this thread is now developing into the most educational informative and enjoyable Ive ever partipcated in on the org, many thanks keep the facts comming !!

  19. #39

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    In 1845 the people of Glencalvie were evicted off their land their families had lived on for generations. Eighteen families, 88 people, lived in Glencalvie in turf cabins, growing barley and oats, herding cattle and sheep on a total holding of no more than 20 acres. The most incredible rent, almost four times what a farmer in England would pay for the same land, was paid for this land for generations without arrears, except for some weeks during the famine in 1836. Of the 400 to 500 inhabitants cleared, 90 or so people had nowhere to go and took shelter in the churchyard of Croick Kirk. Ive been there at Croick and etched in the church windows you can still see names and snippets of the story behind their clearance.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinotnoir View Post
    Like its southern neighbours, Caithness has its share of abandoned villages, including Broubster. In 1838, 27 families were evicted from Broubster and 31 families from Shurrery. Additional evictions in Caithness took place at Buldoo and Achreamie in the 1840s. In addition, some 67 families were evicted around Dounreay as well as at Skiall and Borrowstone. In sum, approximately 170 families were cleared between the late 1830s and 1860. In 1835, Sinclair of Freswick cleared 107 families at Badfern. Other clearance sites in Caithness included Olrig, just south of Castletown, Dunnet, West Greenland, Lochend, Hollandmake, Dunbeath Strath and Reaster.

    At Badbea, now a deserted Clearance village, a sign-posted footpath leads to the site located about five miles north of Helmsdale. It consists of a group of ruined crofts perched on a cliff-top high above the North Sea. The village was settled in the 18th and 19th centuries by families that were evicted from Langwell and from nearby Ousdale and Berriedale by landowner Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster to make way for sheep farms. (Some settlers also came from Auchencraig and Kildonan.) The evicted had to clear the land and build their new homes on steep slopes where they earned their living primarily in the herring trade and later salmon fishing. The village had a few cows, pigs and chickens and one horse; each house had its own spinning wheel. While the men worked, the children and even the livestock were tethered to the rocks to prevent them from being blown off the cliffs to certain death by the fierce winds.
    Can I ask where you got the information on as regards the Caithness Clearances as I would really like to read up on this aspect of highland local history that I knew very little about : is there anything on line or a book available ?

    the 27 families evicted from Broubster and 31 families from Shurrery. Additional evictions in Caithness took place at Buldoo and Achreamie in the 1840s. In addition, some 67 families were evicted around Dounreay as well as at Skiall and Borrowstone. In sum, approximately 170 families were cleared between the late 1830s and 1860. In 1835, Sinclair of Freswick cleared 107 families at Badfern. Other clearance sites in Caithness included Olrig, just south of Castletown, Dunnet, West Greenland, Lochend, Hollandmake, Dunbeath Strath and Reaster.

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