Illustration taken from 'Remarks on Local Scenery and Manners in Scotland' vol.1 by John Stoddart when the author visited Ulva.
The island of Ulva sits just off the west coast of Mull. In the early 1800s, Ulva was quite prosperous and had a population of over 600. This was due to the kelp (seaweed) industry, producing kelp for use in glass and soap. Kelp production was very labour intensive. The collapse of the kelp industry, potato blight and brutal clearances around 1850 led to a dramatic drop in the population to less than 30 people. General Lachlan Macquarrie, from Ulva, was Governor of New South Wales in Australia from 1810 to 1821.
Click to enlarge the image, read the text then answer the following questions.
- What was kelp used for?
- Give three reasons why the population fell from 600 to less than 30?
- What evidence is there that Highland emigrants could do very well abroad?