1848 - Toiseach Aghaidheachd – The Start of Resistance

Twenty-eight Reef families resisted eviction for three years. During this time, they were refused work on Matheson’s work schemes – even in return for destitution meal. As a result they fell into arrears and were ‘forcibly ejected’ in 1850. Some were sent elsewhere on the island and the rest to N America. Four families sent to peat land at Breasclete Park carried their roof timbers with them.

To the outside world, the work schemes were presented as a form of philanthropy and James Matheson was awarded a baronetcy in 1850 for his actions during the potato famine.