Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Clearances on the Sutherland Estate (1 of 3)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_RODHOUSTON_03
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND
DATE OF RECORDING
1991
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Rod Houston
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1782
KEYWORDS
Improvers
crofters
audio

Get Adobe Flash player

The Highland Clearances is an emotive subject which has evoked much debate. Evictions on the Sutherland Estates, in particular, have attracted notoriety. In this audio extract, Rod Houston talks about the clearances in Sutherland. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series.

There are a great, great range of points of view on this subject, from those who abhor the whole thing and still hold the current generations accountable for the sins of their forefathers, to those who say it was inevitable, it took too long to happen, it should have happened. What we do know is that the statue [Duke of Sutherland's statue above Golspie] was erected by requisitioning the tenants to subscribe to it on the death of the Duke, and it's left a very significant landmark and I think maybe that's why people still argue about the Clearances; this landmark does tend to remind them of it. The other thing is, very few estate managers published a book, in defence of their action. James Loch did, in his account of the improvements in the estate of Sutherland, so perhaps the Sutherland Estate provided a focus for the argument because they had this physical manifestation - the monument - and they had the book published.

Whether or not its right is a difficult matter; the estate certainly controlled it. If we look at the arguments for and against the whole thing, there's no doubt we've got to go back perhaps even to the Jacobite insurrection where they got beaten. They made a play for power and they lost. Now any faction which makes a play for power in a country historically and loses, suffers heavily, so the net effect was that the people who controlled the land, their attitude towards the clan system, they argued, we should arrange our estate to earn more income. Other people argued that the lifestyle which people had in the straths had a nice balance to it. There was almost a sort of nice, almost a green rhythm to it by current standards. They would portray it as idyllic. The question is, 'Was it really idyllic and did things improve for the tenants?'

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Clearances on the Sutherland Estate (1 of 3)

SUTHERLAND

1990s

Improvers; crofters; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Clearances

The Highland Clearances is an emotive subject which has evoked much debate. Evictions on the Sutherland Estates, in particular, have attracted notoriety. In this audio extract, Rod Houston talks about the clearances in Sutherland. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series.<br /> <br /> There are a great, great range of points of view on this subject, from those who abhor the whole thing and still hold the current generations accountable for the sins of their forefathers, to those who say it was inevitable, it took too long to happen, it should have happened. What we do know is that the statue [Duke of Sutherland's statue above Golspie] was erected by requisitioning the tenants to subscribe to it on the death of the Duke, and it's left a very significant landmark and I think maybe that's why people still argue about the Clearances; this landmark does tend to remind them of it. The other thing is, very few estate managers published a book, in defence of their action. James Loch did, in his account of the improvements in the estate of Sutherland, so perhaps the Sutherland Estate provided a focus for the argument because they had this physical manifestation - the monument - and they had the book published. <br /> <br /> Whether or not its right is a difficult matter; the estate certainly controlled it. If we look at the arguments for and against the whole thing, there's no doubt we've got to go back perhaps even to the Jacobite insurrection where they got beaten. They made a play for power and they lost. Now any faction which makes a play for power in a country historically and loses, suffers heavily, so the net effect was that the people who controlled the land, their attitude towards the clan system, they argued, we should arrange our estate to earn more income. Other people argued that the lifestyle which people had in the straths had a nice balance to it. There was almost a sort of nice, almost a green rhythm to it by current standards. They would portray it as idyllic. The question is, 'Was it really idyllic and did things improve for the tenants?'