Sunday, 19 December 2010

Clearances at Rogart - Janet and Christina Ross

Illustrative of harshness, I am requested to produce the case of Janet and Christina Ross, who succeeded their brother as tenants. In November 1877, one of the sisters attended, as usual, to pay the rent, but the factor, instead of accepting of the rent, told her that they were to be removed from their lot. After making fruitless attempts to get the factor to accept of her rent, she left the money on the table. The factor returned the money by one of their neighbours; but expecting to keep possession, they refused it. Shortly afterwards officers were sent to evict them. Instead of that being done in the ordinary way, they were shut up in a compartment of their dwelling-house till the other compartments and their barn were levelled to the ground, and their stock driven away to the hill. In this houseless condition, and their crop exposed on the field, they were visited by the ground officer, who saw clearly that they could not live without some shelter from the snow storm. A kind neighbour was applied to, and this man took them into his house for three weeks, after which time they were turned back to their old place, to live in one end of the byre which was left standing; and the ground officer, so as to make them more comfortable in their miserable situation, levelled down some manure that happened to be in the byre at the time. All this was done in the presence of three witnesses, who are ready to prove how these creatures were dealt with. As one of these creatures, on a certain occasion, applied to Mr Peacock for relief, the Rev. Mr M'Kay, who happened to be present, asked Mr Peacock if the Duke was aware of how these creatures were abused. Mr Peacock replied that the whole affair was carried out according to the Duke's instructions.
— ALEXANDER BAIN, witness; ALEXANDER GUNN, witness.'

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