I have been reading about the clearances and in particular Handa island trying to understand the history and resulting emmigration to Canada.

'The Sutherlands were in posession of this land for over a century. Europe at this time was in a continual state of war and this resulted in amongst other things an increasing demand for wool and mutton. The economic climate at the time of the industrial and agricultural revolutions encouraged the Countess to inflict a devastating policy on the inhabitants of Sutherland'

By 1822 the area was dominated by sheep farms with people moving to a harsh less fertile coastline

' when enlisting officers toured the highlands in 1854 to recruit men for the Crimea war they were greeted by men bleeting like sheep. The Duke was told

'since you have preferred sheep to men, let sheep defend you '

'and the sheep oh the sheep have been the cause of great suffering starvation and sorrow

it has driven many to the shore and over the sea

my body has known the pain of seeing white sheep and deer nibble at the land they have left

that would feed many a gael'

speech in lochcarron school in 1886 after hearing about the crofters act being past.

I have been thinking that wool may play an important part of my work based on Handa. I have been talking to a local spinner about spinning the the wool of the cheviot sheep. This would link with the history and the use of local materials.

Increased development of cloth manufacturing added to the importance of wool growing, and no wool could compare with the Cheviot in making the durable "Tweeds"

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