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The Highland Clearances: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss evictions and migrations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how and why Highlanders and Islanders were cleared from their homes in waves in C18th and C19th, following the break up of the Clans after the Battle of Culloden. Initially, landlords tried to keep people on their estates for money-making schemes, but the end of the Napoleonic Wars brought convulsive changes. Some of the evictions were notorious, with the sudden and fatal burning of townships, to make way for sheep and deer farming. For many, migration brought a new start elsewhere in Britain or in the British colonies, while for some it meant death from disease while in transit. After more than a century of upheaval, the Clearances left an indelible mark on the people and landscape of the Highlands and Western Isles.

The image above is a detail from a print of 'Lochaber No More' by John Watson Nicol 1856-1926


Sir Tom Devine
Professor Emeritus of Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh

Marjory Harper
Professor of History at the University of Aberdeen and Visiting Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands


Murray Pittock
Bradley Professor of English Literature and Pro Vice Principal at the University of Glasgow

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

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