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THE YOUNG HIGHLANDER 

THE YOUNG HIGHLANDER

A young Highland boy and his family are forced to immigrate to a strange and distant land.
Whilst this is a fictional story, it is based on historical facts, and highlights the exciting and often dangerous existence that faced new settlers in the colony of New South Wales in the nineteenth century.

In Store Price: $AU22.95 
Online Price:   $AU21.95

ISBN: 1-9210-0512-2
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 264
Genre: Fiction/Historical
 

Also by Neil McInnes:

The Awakening

 


Author: Neil McInnes 
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2005
Language: English

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About the Author 

 

Neil McInnes lives on the New South Wales North Coast where he indulges in his three main loves…fishing, golf and writing.

 

The Young Highlander  

Part One

‘Land of Promise’  

Then stately ships came sailing

From every harbours mouth,

And sought the Land of Promise

That beaconed in the south.  

                      Henry Lawson. 

Prologue 

 

The first clear memory William Macleod had of his journey were the docks at Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull. The vision of so many huge sailing ships, their masts reaching into the morning mist, would remain with Will for the rest of his life.  Sitting astride the broad shoulders of his father he stared, open mouthed, at the masses of people leaving for distant places, farewelled by distraught and anxious families. For a five-year-old child the whole scene was both exciting and bewildering. 

Will had only vague recollections of the land of his birth, and that mainly involved incidents of upheaval, moving from one location to another. During this period his memories were of his mother, whom he clung to desperately for security and reassurance. Despite her brave and determined efforts Will could sense his mother’s fear and desperation as the family became victims of the notorious Highland Clearances.  

Will’s father, Robert Macleod, was a farmer, who tended his herd of sheep on a small island off the mainland of Moidart. He was shepherd, as was his father before him. His family had made their meagre living from this area, their ancestral home, for hundreds of years.  

With the help of government officials, landlords had begun clearing their Highlander tenants from the lands they had farmed for generations. Their action had been well planned. It not only forced out the troublesome Highland Scots from the area; it enabled their ruthless landlords to run their own stock of Highland cattle and large herds of black faced sheep.  

Several years earlier Robert and his family were removed to a coastal town on the mainland. Without any prospect of regular work Robert, like so many of his countrymen, was given a choice. Emigrate or starve. The government’s cruel and unjust clearance plan had worked. Now thousands of Highlanders, dispossessed of their ability to earn a living, were forced to leave their homeland and emigrate to North America, or to the colonies.          

That was the lot of Robert Macleod and his family, now leaving their beloved country to seek a new life in Australia.   The voyage documents recorded that William was the youngest child of Robert and Anne Macleod, of Moidart, Invernesshire. He had a seven-year-old sister Julia and the eldest sister, Kate, was nine. And so, on the 16th September, In the year of our Lord, 1842, the Macleod family left their beloved Scottish Highlands and sailed for Sydney on the 460-ton barque, ‘George Fyfe’.   

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