This illustration is from 'Memoir of George Granville, late Duke of Sutherland, KG', by James Loch
George Granville Leveson-Gower (1758-1833) was from a notable English family. He was a Member of Parliament between 1778-1784 and 1787-1798 and was also the British Ambassador in Paris from 1790-1792. However, in the Highlands he is remembered for something much more notorious.
In 1785 he married Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland. He was appalled by the living conditions of the people in the interior of Sutherland and believed that the land could not sustain them in the long term. He began to resettle thousands of families along the Sutherland coast to make way for sheep in the interior. The Duke's factors were ruthless, burning many houses and using brute force to move people. The Sutherland clearances were the most notorious of all the Highland Clearances in the 19th century.
Click to enlarge the image, read the text then answer the following questions.
- What lay behind the Duke of Sutherland's decision to resettle the people on the coast?
- Why were the Sutherland clearances so notorious?