Media release: Sir Tom Devine to provide lowdown on The Clearances, in u3a lecture


IF you want to know the truth about The Clearances, come and quiz eminent historian, Professor Sir Tom Devine, on Thursday 22 April at 2pm.

His online lecture, arranged by the new Online Across Scotland u3a, will also reveal how the Lowlands of Scotland were altered forever by evictions and widespread changes in land use.

This free event for existing and new u3a members is limited to 500 attendees. All details re Zoom booking at:

Scottish u3a trustee, Ann Keating, remarked: “Anyone interested in Scottish history is in for a treat. Viewers will hear one of the country’s leading historians share findings from his book, ‘The Scottish Clearances: a history
of the dispossessed, 1600-1900′.

“Then, there will be an opportunity to question Sir Tom Devine about his investigative research. Scotland in the
18th century had many enlightened ideas but it generated turbulent times too.”

Said Professor Sir Tom Devine: “In this lecture, I will try to answer two questions which I have long found intriguing. Firstly, if clearances were so extensive across the whole of Scotland, as I contend, why have historians, novelists, poets, the media and most Scots worldwide assumed it was simply the Highland Clearances?

“Secondly, why have these traumatic events happening in the Lowlands and Borders been largely forgotten, both in folk memory and written tradition, until they were ‘rediscovered’ by a modern scholar?”


Notes for editors:

1. Eminent Professor Sir Tom Devine is the guest speaker at the Online Across Scotland u3a zoom meeting on Thursday 22 April at 2pm. For more details, contact Scottish u3a trustee, Ann Keating, on 07757 976936 or to
interview Sir Tom Devine, please contact PR advisor, Allana Parker, on 07483 820027 or email

2. Online Across Scotland u3a was initiated in 2020 as a response to the Covid 19 pandemic and government regulations concerning public meetings.

This new u3a network enables people to learn in online groups. It suits those who cannot attend local u3a events in person because of health or travel issues, or where no local u3a or a specific interest group exists.

3. Scotland has 55 community u3as which form part of a UK-wide and international educational movement. Local volunteers lead these self-help learning co-operatives for semi- and fully-retired people, or those who are
unable to work. The u3a motto is ‘Learn, laugh, live’.

4. Professor Devine’s presentation, entitled ‘New Perspectives on the Clearances’, is based on his aforementioned book published in Penguin paperback (2019). In 2014, he was knighted ‘for services to the study of Scottish history’, understood to be first historian of Scotland to be so honoured.

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