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TITLE
Comparative kelp prices, page 1
EXTERNAL ID
Z_CDT_20_MEP4491_1_1
DISTRICT
Skye
PERIOD
1800s
SOURCE
Clan Donald Library and Museum of the Isles
ASSET ID
2596
KEYWORDS
kelp
MacDonald
MacDonald of Clanranald
industry
sales
wars
landowners
agriculture
Comparative kelp prices, page 1

'Comparative view of kelp sales made on account of Lord MacDonald, and of the kelp sales made for behoof of Clanranald - in the years 1801, 1803, 1804 and 1805 being the only years the accounts of which have come under inspection.'

The kelp industry became very important to Highland landowners during the Napoleonic wars. Seaweed was collected, dried and burnt. The ash that was left contained chemicals that were used in a variety of industries including glass and soap production. The chemicals had originally been imported from Spain but the wars disrupted this. When the wars began in 1805 a ton of kelp ash sold for £2 but by 1800 a ton of ash was selling for £22.

Landowners could make a lot of money from kelp and needed their tenants to work for them but were not willing to pay good wages. Instead landowners increased rents and reorganised land tenures, which forced farming tenants to take up extra employment in kelp.

This document details the amounts of money made by Lord MacDonald and MacDonald of Clanranald over a period of four years.
In 1801 Clanranald made £7552 9s 11d and MacDonald made £6190 6s 8d.
In 1803 Clanranald made £8350 and MacDonald made £7771 7s 6d.
In 1804 Clanranald made £8225 13s 2d and MacDonald made £7352 7s 4d.
In 1805 Clanranald made £8139 13s 4d and MacDonald made £7986 3s 9d.
The document goes on to say that had Lord MacDonald's kelp been sold at an equal price of that of MacDonald of Clanranald, Lord MacDonald would have had a higher return.

This manuscript is from the collection of the Clan Donald Library and Museum of the Isles, Isle of Skye

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Comparative kelp prices, page 1

1800s

kelp; MacDonald; MacDonald of Clanranald; industry; sales; wars; landowners; agriculture

Clan Donald Library and Museum of the Isles

Clan Donald Library papers

'Comparative view of kelp sales made on account of Lord MacDonald, and of the kelp sales made for behoof of Clanranald - in the years 1801, 1803, 1804 and 1805 being the only years the accounts of which have come under inspection.'<br /> <br /> The kelp industry became very important to Highland landowners during the Napoleonic wars. Seaweed was collected, dried and burnt. The ash that was left contained chemicals that were used in a variety of industries including glass and soap production. The chemicals had originally been imported from Spain but the wars disrupted this. When the wars began in 1805 a ton of kelp ash sold for £2 but by 1800 a ton of ash was selling for £22.<br /> <br /> Landowners could make a lot of money from kelp and needed their tenants to work for them but were not willing to pay good wages. Instead landowners increased rents and reorganised land tenures, which forced farming tenants to take up extra employment in kelp.<br /> <br /> This document details the amounts of money made by Lord MacDonald and MacDonald of Clanranald over a period of four years.<br /> In 1801 Clanranald made £7552 9s 11d and MacDonald made £6190 6s 8d.<br /> In 1803 Clanranald made £8350 and MacDonald made £7771 7s 6d.<br /> In 1804 Clanranald made £8225 13s 2d and MacDonald made £7352 7s 4d.<br /> In 1805 Clanranald made £8139 13s 4d and MacDonald made £7986 3s 9d.<br /> The document goes on to say that had Lord MacDonald's kelp been sold at an equal price of that of MacDonald of Clanranald, Lord MacDonald would have had a higher return.<br /> <br /> This manuscript is from the collection of the Clan Donald Library and Museum of the Isles, Isle of Skye