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16 October 2014
The Highland Clearances

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The Highland Clearances: Text Only Version: Meet the Clan


Meet the Clan MacAndrew and find out how they lived in the Highlands of Scotland two hundred years ago.

Callum MacAllan

"I am Callum MacAllan and I rented land in the village of Glenmorven. Just enough to feed myself and my family. We did well enough. I rented my land from the tacksman who rented the whole glen from the Clan Chief himself. So you see, the tacksman was the tenant and I was the sub-tenant farmer, or some would call me a crofter. We spoke Gaelic then, most of us spoke no English at all."

William MacAndrew

"I am William, Chief of Clan MacAndrew. For hundreds of years our clan lived on this land that belonged to me and my ancestors. My clan was like a family to me, with me at the head and the clan members my children. They liked to believe they were all related to me but in fact they were not directly. They always did as I told them because they knew that I only wanted what was best for them."

Donald MacDavid

"I am Donald MacDavid. My father had a small farm in Glenmorven and I lived there with my mother, and two sisters. We children helped by milking the cows, feeding the hens and collecting their eggs. When we weren't working, we went to the township school which was run by my friend's mother. We were all happy until the changes came."

Mary MacTavish

"Hello. My name is Mary MacTavish but I am usually called 'the Widow MacTavish'. You see, my husband went off to fight for the British Army in Canada and never came back. I was just a servant, paid to look after the sub-tenant's potato patch. Life was hard for me and my bairns but I managed to rent a very small patch of land to grow vegetables for myself. People like me, we were called cottars."

John MacAndrew

"Good day. I am John MacAndrew, cousin of the Clan Chief of MacAndrew, and Tacksman of the whole of Glenmorven. There were five villages on that land, and I became quite a rich man renting the land to the villagers. I made sure everything ran smoothly on the Chief's land. There was a time when my grandfather would have led the villagers into battle in the Clan Chief's army but things changed and the Chief did not want fighting men any more, just their money!"

Callum MacAllan

"Now that you have met others in my clan, travel back in time with me to 1800, 1814 or 1821."

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