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TITLE
Petition of Robert Dundas to Lord Stonefield
EXTERNAL ID
Z_GB232_L_INV_HC_9_27II_02
DATE OF IMAGE
1792
PERIOD
1790s
SOURCE
Highland Archive Centre
ASSET ID
5762
KEYWORDS
court papers
court records
Petition of Robert Dundas to Lord Stonefield

This is a petition of Robert Dundas, Esq, His Majesty's Advocate for His Majesty's Interest, to Right Honourable Lord Stonefield, one of the Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, Judge on the Circuit at Inverness, for the arrest and imprisonment of John Ross, a tenant in Strathrusdale, along with his sons Alexander and John Ross, and Donald Munro alias MacAdie and his son William MacAdie.The accused are alleged to "have been guilty of illegally convocating, seizing upon and driving away various flocks of sheep".

It appears that this document was hurriedly written. The petitioner is originally given as John Burnett, Advocate Depute in the Northern Circuit, but his name is scored out and replaced, though it is he who signs it.

The document relates to an incident in the Ross-shire Sheep Riots, later known as 'Bliadhna nan Caorach' ('Year of the Sheep'). On 27 July 1792, the Rosses of Strathrusdale were gathered at a wedding and resolved to carry out a previous threat to drive the sheep out. Four days later an estimated 400 men began driving sheep out of the Highland hills and by Saturday 6th August they had six thousand sheep or more heading towards Beauly. However, the military were on their way and in the early hours of the morning arrested a number of Rosses still out on the hill, and John Ross, Donald Munro and his sons who had returned home.

The Ross-shire riots represent the early stages of the Highland Clearances, when landowners were discovering that large-scale sheep farming was more profitable than renting out their land to tenants.


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Petition of Robert Dundas to Lord Stonefield

1790s

court papers; court records

Highland Archive Centre

Inverness County Sheriff Court Records

This is a petition of Robert Dundas, Esq, His Majesty's Advocate for His Majesty's Interest, to Right Honourable Lord Stonefield, one of the Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, Judge on the Circuit at Inverness, for the arrest and imprisonment of John Ross, a tenant in Strathrusdale, along with his sons Alexander and John Ross, and Donald Munro alias MacAdie and his son William MacAdie.The accused are alleged to "have been guilty of illegally convocating, seizing upon and driving away various flocks of sheep". <br /> <br /> It appears that this document was hurriedly written. The petitioner is originally given as John Burnett, Advocate Depute in the Northern Circuit, but his name is scored out and replaced, though it is he who signs it. <br /> <br /> The document relates to an incident in the Ross-shire Sheep Riots, later known as 'Bliadhna nan Caorach' ('Year of the Sheep'). On 27 July 1792, the Rosses of Strathrusdale were gathered at a wedding and resolved to carry out a previous threat to drive the sheep out. Four days later an estimated 400 men began driving sheep out of the Highland hills and by Saturday 6th August they had six thousand sheep or more heading towards Beauly. However, the military were on their way and in the early hours of the morning arrested a number of Rosses still out on the hill, and John Ross, Donald Munro and his sons who had returned home.<br /> <br /> The Ross-shire riots represent the early stages of the Highland Clearances, when landowners were discovering that large-scale sheep farming was more profitable than renting out their land to tenants. <br /> <br /> <br /> For further information about this item and the collection to which it belongs, please <a href="mailto: archives@highlifehighland.com">email</a> the Highland Archive Service