INFORMATION SHEET No. 7


Landholding


Tacksmen. A tack was a lease for an agreed period, seldom more than 5 years but later often 19 years and upwards. In the Highlands it was especially applied to a tenant who leased a large area of land and sublet to a number of sub-tenants. They were often junior members of the Chiefs family. The written tack stated the expiry date and the agreed rent.

Wadsetters. A wadset was a conveyance of land with a reversion; land in pledge for security for money lent to the Chief or Landlord. There was not often a set period within which the money must be repaid so the wadsetter might lose his land at any time. While holding the wadset he had the use of the rents due to the Landlord.

Feuars. A feu was property conveyed in perpetuity in return for a fixed rent or annual payment.

Cottar. This was a tenant holding only a minimum if any arable land or pasture in addition to a cottage and who probably earned a wage by working for a Landlord.

Crofter. This was the holder of an individual piece of arable land with common pasture, whose rights were defined in 1886 in strict legal terms. A croft always includes land and is not an alternative word for a cottage in the Highlands.

Laird. This is a landowner usually described formally by the name of his estate as for example Munro of Foulis, and referred to as the Laird of Foulis or simply Foulis.

Goodman. This is an unusual way of describing a man of property and standing, less powerful than the Laird. Munros of Coul, Lemlair and Obsdale have references in this style. It seems that a Goodman held his lands from a subject and the Laird held his from the Crown.

 

2010 The Clan Munro Association of Canada