At the start of the1700s the life of Scottish clansmen was settled compared to the past. This book describes how Clan families lived simple lives in primitive homes. The Battle of Culloden in 1746 changed Scotland forever. Clansmen were now subject to English justice, prohibited from wearing traditional clothing and carrying weapons. Clan chiefs morphed into hard-nosed landlords and ordinary clansmen faced a different and difficult future, with challenges never experienced by their forefathers.
Land reform and the introduction of sheep displaced Gaelic Scots, who had to either live elsewhere, become crofters or emigrate. The development of crofting communities dependant on growing potatoes, and the lives of the people who lived in them, is an essential part of this book. While focused on Mull and Iona, it is a fascinating story about the hardship that tenants experienced throughout Scotland.
Disease that decimated potato crops in 1846, caused famine, starvation and great poverty. People lost their livelihoods and were evicted from their homes. Evictions, starvation and government policy led to an upsurge in emigration. Until economic conditions improved during the Crimean War, emigration played a key role in the salvation of a starving population.