The Clearance at Glencalvie

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A short article from the Times on the people of Glencalvie sheltering in Croick churchyard after being cruelly evicted from their homes, in 1845.

"Glencalvie people was in the church here May 24, 1845"
"Glencalvie is a wilderness blow ship them to the colony"
"Glencalvie people, the wicked generation"
"John Ross shepherd"
"Glencalvie people was here"
"Amy Ross"
"The Glencalvie Rosses"

These are the words etched into the windows of Croick Church where the evicted tenants of Glencalvie took shelter in May of 1845.

London Times, Ardgay, 27th May 1845

“Although it was May, the weather was wet and cold. Behind the church, a long kind of booth was erected, the roof formed a tarpaulin stretched over poles, the sides closed in with horsecloths, rugs, blankets and plaids. Their furniture, excepting their bedding, they got distributed amongst the cottages of their neighbours; and with their bedding and their children, they all removed on Saturday afternoon to this place. They had been round to every heritor and factor in the neighbourhood, and 12 of the 18 families had been unable to find places of shelter.
With the new Scotch Poor Law in prospect, other cottages were everywhere refused to them. Many of them, indeed, wished that their lot had landed them under the sod with their ancestors and their friends, rather than to be treated and driven out of house and home in such a ruthless manner.

It was a most wretched spectacle to see these poor people march out of the glen in a body, with two or three carts filled with children, many of them mere infants; and other carts containing their bedding and their requisites. The whole countryside was up on the hills watching them as they silently took possession of their tent. No one dared to succour them under a threat of receiving similar treatment to those whose hard fate had driven them thus among the tombs.

A fire was kindled in the churchyard, round which the poor children clustered. Two cradles with infants in them were placed close to the fire, and sheltered round by the dejected-looking mothers. Others busied themselves into dividing the tent into compartments by means of blankets for the different families. Contrasted with the gloomy dejection of the grown-ups and the aged was the, perhaps, not less melancholy picture of the poor children thoughtlessly playing round the fire, pleased with the novelty of all around them. There were also some young and unmarried men and women, but most of the refugees were over forty. Within a week the churchyard was empty.”