"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday 12 November 2015


II Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "COPIED FROM FACEBOOK. Author Keith Merz": 

Is there a Scottish version?

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 12 November 2015 at 20:10


There is indeed. It was  the Clan system . In general terms it was feudalism. Serfdom is part of it and the difference to slavery is in degree. Land owners owned the inhabitants of the land. 

In Scotland , crofters farmed the  area they lived on and except for a small percentage , everything they produced belonged to the Chieftain or The Laird. 

Fish in the rivers and game in forests belonged to The Laird. Salmon belonged  to the KIng  
Disputes with neighbours meant sons of crofters were expected to fight and die for The Laird.  

In more recent history, absentee  Highland landowners discovered sheep were more profitable than people. 

They  turned the crofters out of their homes , burning  the  thatched roofs over their heads to force them to leave.  

The event became known as  The Highland Clearances. 

Settlement areas were created at the coast with no means of livelihood.

Many  were transported on leaky boats across the Atlantic to a place that became known as
Nova  Scotia. 

read somewhere recently clan members' rights of ownership were eventually  established through the courts. But not before horrendous hardship had been perpetrated against them by those with power. 

If a man committed an offence , he could  be sentenced, with his entire family to work in a coal mine for a private owner. 

The mine was  accessed by  long rickety ladder. A mother would go down with an infant in a basket on her back. By the time she came back up, her hair would be so matted with coal dust and skin so coated, she would  be hardly be recognizable as human. 

The King created Royal Burghs. People living  and earning a livelihood in a burgh were freemen.They 
had  elections. 

Towns had gates that were closed at night. A watchman  would guard the gates. Every  hour he would   ring a bell, call out the hour and shout ALL's WELL.

If a person could hide and earn a living in the town for twelve months, he too could become a freeman. 

But that was hard because mediaeval guilds protected the  trades. The right to be a saddler for example passed from father to son. There was no free trade. 

The Industrial Revolution changed things.  In hard times, children died of starvation.  

Things  were worse in France. They had a different revolution. With a guilotine. 

The British were afraid it would spread and  established the first police force. 


Anonymous said...

It has always been a dangerous thing to be born at the bottom of an economic or political ladder.

Anonymous said...

We studied the feudal system but it was a cold look. You got the picture that the top guy owned the river and the big house while the ' tenants ' got to farm the bits assigned to them. Clearly there was to be no mixing. Sort of like the cattle and sheep people in the west.