Crofters and cottars
had no security of tenure and could be moved or evicted at the mere whim of a factor or landlord.
As for the cottars, they had no open field land or small holding.
Because they were poor, cottars often turned to making things to sell or developed skills which were needed in their settlement.
The more well-known band is the Cottars
, two pairs of teenage siblings: Ciaran and Fiona MacGillivray and Roseanne and Jimmy MacKenzie.
Some of these discoveries, such as the potato, made a significant contribution to dietary standards, demography and estate management, as they could be grown as a source of nutrition that improved survival prospects on small plots of land suitable for rural cottars
, village labourers and urban householders.
As a cottar
, of course, Piers's hiring of wage-laborers would be unlikely, since cottars
themselves had to seek wages "as a supplement to income from agriculture" (Barbara A.
Indeed, four-fifths of the recorded heads of household in 1086 are dependent labourers of some sort, ranging from the villein class--over a third of the entire population--through bordars, cottars
, burs and slaves or serfs (servi), the last class amounting to nearly a tenth of the recorded population.
For land-hungry crofters and cottars these estates became potent symbols of land deliberately left underdeveloped and kept out of circulation.
The following year, official findings were published in the Report and Evidence of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the Conditions of the Crofters and Cottars in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Cottars, in particular, continued to agitate well into the twentieth century.
This was a male-dominated age and there were many grades and conditions of men: laymen and churchmen, townsmen and countrymen, lords and peasants, great magnates and minor country gentlemen, merchants and hucksters, franklins and petty freeholders, substantial customary tenants and poor cottars
, and a growing class of landless who laboured, begged and stole.
There were fewer cottars
or smallholders, who were often the village craftsmen such as blacksmiths, and an even smaller percentage of free peasants.
Cottars and subtenants were diverted into other forms of agricultural and industrial employment; farm sizes grew; and farmers adapted to the needs of a market economy.
In the Lowlands the cottars were moved aside to make way for progressive agriculture on enclosed farms, while in the Highlands a widespread assault on the traditional township or baile was partly designed to open up the land for grazing sheep.
Therefore in order to prevent further mischief and that he the said Robert Moncur and his wife and others in the neighbourhood may not be in continual terror and hazard from the said William Bran, the session judge it proper that he be shackled and secured in a house and maintained by the parish, for which they reckon it would be requisite that a peck of meal be paid in to the said Robert Moncur by every farmer for every pleughs labouring in his own land, half a peck by everyone having half a pleughs labouring and a lipie by each cottar
and grassman within the parish for maintenance of the said William Bran for one year, and ordains the minister to intimate this to the congregation.