Changing Lives

Robert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialistRobert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialist Design for the Dean Orphanage, EdinburghDesign for the Dean Orphanage, Edinburgh Rev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformerRev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformer Landscape with ruinLandscape with ruin Close No. 101 High Street, GlasgowClose No. 101 High Street, Glasgow Three Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, EdinburghThree Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh Pitch and TossPitch and Toss Children and Chalked Wall 3Children and Chalked Wall 3 Sir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. ArchitectSir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. Architect TenderTender

John Muir Wood

Landscape with ruin
1850

Although conditions in the cities could be grim, life in the Scottish countryside during the Highland Clearances was little better. From the 1760s onwards, thousands of farmers and their families were evicted from their crofts so that landowners could use the land more profitably for sheep farming. In addition, the potato famine of 1846 left many people with no option but to emigrate to the colonies or head south to work in the factories in lowland Scotland. By the 1860s the Clearances were effectively over, and only very few farmers remained. These farmers organised themselves under new leadership - something which had been difficult after the break-down of the clan system - and after a long struggle they succeeded in improving their rights.

  • Credits Sir Alan Muir Wood Collection, presented 1985
  • Medium Salt paper print from a calotype negative
  • Size 24.00 x 19.50 cm

Did you know?

Crofting, or small-scale tenant farming, was the traditional way of life throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Crofters Act of 1886 was introduced by the government to protect farmers against eviction.