A journey through time, following the path of the men and women of Badenoch from the end of the last Ice Age until the outbreak of the First World War.
Badenoch - the isolation, topography, environment and climate has always dictated the number of people the valley could support. The paper looks at the impact, both external and internal, of climatic events on Badenoch, the rise of the clan system and the social cohesion that was achieved through marriage and the control over land and resources.
Dùthchas and Oighreach, the two systems of land ownership that created much division in Scotland is examined, along with The Run Rig Land Act and the Division of Commonties Act of 1695 that would lead to the breakup of the clan system and mass emigration. An argument is made that the clan system, whilst seemingly broken, did not disappear post Culloden; indeed, it thrived in the countries to which the emigrants were either pushed or had fled; it helped them to survive, indeed prosper. Land was the key, whether in Badenoch or Australia; the paper looking at the fortunes of a couple of Badenoch families in Australia, the rise in prosperity in Badenoch until the eve of the 1st World War.
Born and raised on a windswept island off the north-western coast of Tasmania, the great great granddaughter of Scottish immigrants, I have always had a love and respect of wild and challenging regions. Badenoch, once discovered, has always held a special place in my heart. A keen traveller, a lover of history and people, ‘The Spirit of Badenoch’ is the culmination of 15 years research and the basis from which many strong ties and friendships have grown.