They would be better dead, they said, than set adrift upon the world. But set adrift they were – thousands of them, their communities destroyed, their homes demolished and burned. Such were the Sutherland Clearances, an extraordinary episode involving the deliberate depopulation of much of a Scottish county during the early part of the 19th century.
In this book James Hunter tells the story of the Sutherland Clearances. His research took him to archives in Scotland, England and Canada, to the now deserted straths of Sutherland, to the frozen shores of Hudson Bay. The result is a gripping, moving, definitive account of a people’s struggle for survival in the face of tragedy and disaster which includes experiences which have not featured in any previous account.
James Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands and was its first Director of the Centre for History. The author of eleven books about the Highlands and Islands, he has also been active in the public life of the area for many years.