Prof. Eric Richards PhD Adelaide

Exodus is one of the great themes in modern Highland history – dispersal of the Highlanders from their ancestral homelands across the globe. Whether Highlanders abroad sustained especially cohesive identities, or whether, in their new destinations, they punched above or below their weight, are ultimately difficult questions. More accessible, but no less contentious, are questions relating to the causes of their emigrations and the consequences for the Highlands.

Dr. Annie Tindley PhD  Glasgow

At its peak after 1840, the Sutherland estate covered nearly the whole county, roughly one million acres, with the seat of the family in the east of the county, at Dunrobin Castle. In addition, they had roughly 30,000 acres of land in England, plus three further country mansions, as well as their London palace, Stafford House. They were the largest landowners in western Europe and the eighth richest patrician landowners in Britain, with an annual income in our period of roughly £120,000 per year.  Roughly half of this income was generated by the Scottish estate, although this varied but during the clearances the income dropped like a stone.

Prof. Edward Spiers PhD Leeds
Ultimately the 78th earned eight Victoria Crosses in this campaign and the sobriquet, “Savours of India” but they had to await the arrival of Sir Colin Campbell’s army before the residency could be relieved (17 November 1857). Once again Highlanders served as assault troops, with the 93rd, aided by Sikhs and artillery, storming Sikandarbagh and the Shah Najaf mosque, killing some 2,000 sepoys. Having evacuated the women, children, sick and wounded from Lucknow,

Prof. John Sheets PhD Missouri
Small and isolated communities in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland showed their mettle by how they responded to Clearances and Improvements in the early nineteenth century. Some of the character traits of the people are evident in these case studies of two remote communities in the Hebrides, Colonsay and Benbecula. Foremost amongst these traits were resilience, independence of spirit, making do and willingness to face the unknown.

Angus MacMillan, UK

Many of the criticisms, whether directed at the Colonel, his Factor, the shipping agent or the owners of the Lulan, that the passengers were delivered to the wrong destination, do not distinctly stand up to scrutiny. In other circumstances, healthy and funded, being off-loaded in Pictou and forwarded to Prince Edward Island would have been an entirely normal and acceptable procedure.  Even at the time, judgements were clouded by ignorance. An emergent bourgeois society in Victorian Great Britain and in Nova Scotia, was shocked by the penury exhibited by the Hebrideans and found it impossible to see that this was not something brought on by malignity or inhumanity on the part of the landlord. .

This book explores the limited number of possible responses people were faced with throughout the catastrophic scenarios that occurred in Ireland and Scotland during the period 1798-1858. The ability of people today to identify and empathise with kith and kin from previous generations is what keeps a sense of ethnic identity alive. The book explores how  family roots still run deep and how descendants five generations on and oceans removed still continue a search.

Chapter contributors


Compromised Identity 1798-1858
Highland Diaspora Prof. Eric Richards PhD Adelaide
The Big House Dr. Annie Tindley PhD  Glasgow
A Hole in the Fence  Prof. John Sheets PhD Missouri

Conflicted Identity 1798-1858
Ceathrar air an Urlar Dr. Donald MacFarlane PhD Belfast
A Price on His Head Peter Gallagher Sydney
Young Ireland Prof. Christine Kinnealy PhD New Jersey
The Murder of Annie Beaton Dr Douglas Malcolm PhD PEI

Oppressed Identity 1798-1858
Base and Clever Prof. Malcolm Prentis  PhD Canberra
Rogues and Fools Dr. Christine Wright PhD  Canberra
Three Hundred Lashes Merle O’Donnell Brisbane

Displaced Identity 1798-1858
The Adam Lodge Brian Boggs Canberra
The Highland Soldier Prof. Edward Spiers PhD Leeds
The Lulan Voyage Angus MacMillan UK
Ethnic Violence in Conception Bay  Prof. Willeen Keough PhD Vancouver

Reconstructed Identity
Reaching Back Victor Barnett Ohio
Irish Bamboo Dr. Chad Habel PhD Melbourne
Present Pasts Dr.Laurie Gourievidis PhD  Clermont-Ferrand, France
Lost Places Dr. Carol Glover PhD Adelaide


One response to “Amazon

  1. Don MacFarlane

    January 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

    ‘The Sea is Wide – New Celts from Old Horizons’

    500 Copies of ‘The Sea is Wide’ have already been downloaded from this site free of charge, proving its appeal to family researchers. From now on in (as of April 1, 2013), the volume can be downloaded (PDF format is the best option) at a cost of £6 (US$9)from

    Alternatively it can be downloaded at the much cheaper cost of £2 (US$3) on giving a donation to the Derry charity, Children in Crossfire, at

    To secure the cheaper purchase, please post the request on this page under your pseudonym if preferred, with perhaps any genealogy query for good measure. Upon receipt by Waxwings (my pseudonym) of any such request, and confirmation to Waxwings from Justgiving of a donation to Children in Crossfire, Waxwings will temporarily unblock the Smashwords site to enable the free download.

    Although Smashwords favours the ePub format, for downloads the PDF version seems to work better, fully preserves the formatting and more closely resembles the appearance of a normal book. All that is lost in the PDF version is the technicolour but it reads just like a Kindle.


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