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NJ2263 :: Tomb of Patrick Sellar

Taken 11 years ago by Anne Burgess near Elgin, Moray, Scotland

Tomb of Patrick Sellar by Anne Burgess
Tomb of Patrick Sellar

The infamous Patrick Sellar was born in Elgin on 5 December 1780, the son of Thomas Sellar and his wife Jean Plenderleath. He trained as a lawyer, and in 1803 joined hi father's legal practice. His father bought the estate of Westfield, near Elgin, and Patrick also became the owner of extensive estates in Sutherland. He was engaged as factor to the Duke of Sutherland, and earned the hatred of many Sutherland tenants because of the brutal way they were evicted from their homes and the land they farmed and forced to emigrate. In 1814 an elderly woman, Margaret Mackay, died after Sellar's men set fire to the house of her son-in-law William Chisholm to force the family out of their home. Sellar was tried on charges of gross inhumanity and culpable homicide, but acquitted by a jury of landowners because there was said to insufficient evidence that he had actually taken part personally in the eviction. Sellar made himself just as unpopular on estates he acquired and cleared in Argyll, and eventually died in Elgin on 20 October 1851. His name is synonymous with all the worst evils of the Clearances, and people from all over the world still visit his grave specifically to express their forebears' bitter hatred towards him.
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Subject Grid Square NJ2263
Subject Lat/Long 57.650697,-3.306215 (click to view more nearby images)
Near Elgin, Moray, Scotland
Photographer Anne Burgess
Taken 20110511 201105 2011 (about 11 years ago)
Submitted 2011-05-11
Context Burial ground, Crematorium ·
Group Tomb ·
Term wife jean · inhumanity · insufficient evidence · landowners · westfield · culpable homicide · lawyer · eviction · william chisholm · elderly woman · argyll · woman margaret · forebears · mackay · evils · sellar · elgin · duke of sutherland · bitter hatred ·

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