Land of setting sun

Land of setting sun

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The Highland Clearances

In the late 18th century well into the 19th century, Highland estates moved from arable and mixed farming, which supported a large tenant population, to the more profitable sheep-farming. Surplus tenants were ‘cleared’ off the estates from about 1780; and the Clearances were ongoing nearly 70 years later at the time of the potato famine in 1846.
Not all clearances were brutal, but some were. Nor were they confined to the Highlands. But the Highland experience was the most traumatic. The Highland Clearances devastated Gaelic culture and clan society, driving people from the land their families had called home for centuries.

Luing clearances

Although it was thought that the island did not suffer the severity of the Highland clearances as did many estates in Scotland, it did however have an impact,

A letter of 1853 written by Mr R Allister and sent to the Marquise of Breadalbane about the eviction of tenants of his estates. Mr Allister made the charge that his lordship, had made a claim that there was no clearances on his lands, where in fact there was no less than 500 cleared since 1934. He went on to say  "Is it true, my Lord, that you purchased an island on the west coast, called Ling, where some 25 families lived at the beginning of this year, but who are now cleared of to make room for one tenant, for whom an extensive steading is being erected*!

His Lordship chose not to reciprocate this letter.*

*History of the Highland Clearances. Alexander MacKenzie,1983.

Mercat Press, Edinburgh.

In Luing, for instance, garden ground and small allotments of land are in great demand by families, and especially by the aged, who's labouring days are done, for the purpose of keeping cows, and by which they may be able to earn an honest, independent maintenance for their families, and whereby their children might be brought up to labour, instead of growing up to be vagabonds and thieves.

 A familiarity with Luing , an explorative nature and referencing old maps, reveals where a lot of these old settlement's and farmsteads were located.
Luing is now but one farm, and a few acres of privately owned former crofts.

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