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The Vatersay Raiders

by Ben Buxton


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ISBN: 9781839830327
Published: 06 Apr 2023
Format: Paperback
Extent: 256
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Origin
Local history
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About the Book

All they wanted was land: land for crofting and land on which to build a house.

In 1908, ten desperate men from the islands of Barra and Mingulay in the Western Isles were imprisoned in Edinburgh for refusing to leave the island of Vatersay, where they had built huts and planted potatoes without permission. The case caused an outcry throughout Scotland, and led eventually to the purchase of the island by the government for crofting. This book, the first about Vatersay, tells the remarkable story of the raiders and their struggle to escape from the poverty which the policies of an absentee landowner forced them to endure.

The Vatersay Raiders documents not only these events, which had enormous significance in the history of crofting, but also the fascinating earlier history of Vatersay and its now-deserted neighbour Sandray. An outline of more recent developments brings the account up to date.

The Author

Ben Buxton

Ben Buxton first explored the Barra Isles in the 1970s. Later, while studying for a degree in archaeology, he investigated the archaeology and history of Mingulay. In 1995 Mingulay: An Island and its People was published by Birlinn. This was joint winner of the Michaelis-Jena Ratcliffe Prize for Folklife in 1997. Ben Buxton now lives in Dorset, where he teaches adult education classes in archaeology.

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