Next, large-scale sheep-farming came to the Highlands, based on the replacement of the small indigenous sheep by commercial breeds such as the black-faced Linton. With Lowland sheep came Lowland farmer-capitalists and often Lowland shepherds, though some former tacksmen contrived to thrive. By the early 19th cent. this revolution had reached the vast Sutherland estates north of Inverness. Tenants were resettled on the coastal areas to combine fishing with farming and ancillary activity such as gathering kelp on the beaches to make commercial alkali.
The collapse of kelping due to cheaper imports after 1815 was followed by the decline of wool prices due to the arrival of cheap Australian and then New Zealand wool, and in 1848–9 by widespread famine conditions. After 1860, tenants were cleared to create deer forests, treeless shooting estates which, by 1914, covered 3½ million acres in the Highlands. By 1886 a residual crofting population clung to the margins of the region with legal security of tenure.
Bruce Philip Lenman
"Highland clearances." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/highland-clearances
"Highland clearances." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/highland-clearances
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