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When Moray faced starvation


By Alistair Whitfield


THE little-known story of the Highland Potato Famine will be the subject of a talk by a retired History professor at Elgin Library next month.

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Up to a million people starved to death in Ireland after the potato crop was wiped out in 1846.

While the situation was nowhere near as severe in Scotland, widespread destitution and malnutrition were experienced here.

Towns and villages from Aberdeen to Wick rose up in protest at the cost of the oatmeal that replaced potatoes as the population's basic foodstuff.

As a bitter winter began to grip, people became increasingly desperate.

Grain carts were seized, ships were boarded, harbours blockaded, a jail forced open and the military were confronted.

James Hunter, who used to lecture at the University of Highlands and Islands, is the author of 11 books about the north of Scotland.

He will be giving his talk at Elgin Library on Tuesday, December 10, from 7pm

Tickets are £5 and can be purchased via Elgin Library.

On the evening, Yeadons will be selling copies of Professor Hunter's latest book, Insurrection, which tells the story of the famine in detail.

Professor James Hunter
Professor James Hunter

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