ABERDEEN-L ArchivesArchiver > ABERDEEN > 2010-06 > 1277372956
From: Ray Hennessy <>
Subject: Re: [ABERDEEN] illegitimate children
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2010 10:49:16 +0100
On 24 June 2010 09:05, Gavin Bell <> wrote:
... They may have "had" their crofts, but they will have rented them, not
> owned them. And while it may sound cosy, a "croft" was often a fairly small
> patch of poor land, insufficient to support even a single family.
Am I right in thinking that many crofts were originally leased by the main
or tenant farmer [i.e. the landlord] to their workers? The attached land -
sometimes as little as 2 acres - was often poor or totally uncultivated and
it was the crofter's task to bring it up to agricultural standard. The
landlord exacted a rent [a sort-of tithe?] and could if he wished
discontinue the rental agreement to take the land back for his own use. [At
this point some will spit on the Duchess of Sutherland!].
In effect the original crofter was a serf with few rights of tenure who had
to work his own land and also work for the landlord farmer. Given the
conditions of land in those far off days, a far from cosy life, although
many farmers would have cared as best they could for their workers so that
they got the best from their land.