1886 – The Crofters Act
After a century of being treated worse than the cattle they lost their lands to, the government finally acknowledged that the victims of the Clearances were still being victimised and needed protective legislation.
The Napier Commission studied the situation and put forward recommendations.
Ignoring most of the Napier Commission’s work, the government of William Gladstone drew up a Bill which would satisfy the Highland Land Law Reform Association. In 1886 it became the Crofters’ Holdings Act.
This gave the crofters security of tenure, the right to arbitration when faced with rent increases, the right to bequeath their tenancies and the right to compensation when improvements to new locations were required.
The Act became known as the ‘Magna Carta of Gaeldom’.