Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strathnaver Clearances

The year 1814 has gone down in history as the year of the burnings.  On June 13 of that year, Patrick Sellar, who served as factor for Lord and Lady Stafford, began burning Strathnaver.  Walter Scott commented on the clearances (generally) "In too many instances the Highlands have been drained, not of their superfluity of population, but of the whole mass of the inhabitants, dispossessed by an unrelenting avarice, which will one day be found to have been as shortsighted as it is selfish and unjust. Meantime, the Highlands may become the fairy ground for romance and poetry, or the subject of experiment for the professors of speculation, historical and economical. But, if the hour of need should come, the pibroch may sound through the deserted region, but the summons will remain unanswered."

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