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History, Politics & Current Affairs
Publication Date
04 April 2013
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Out of Print
Birlinn Limited

The Poor Had No Lawyers

Who Owns Scotland and How They Got It

This edition is out of print – Click here for new edition
by Andy Wightman - Find out more about the author


eBook also available at the iBookstore

‘It is historical and oh-so contemporary and, perhaps, in these exciting times, a call to arms’ – Laura Marney

Who owns Scotland? How did they get it? What happened to all the common land in Scotland? Has the Scottish Parliament made any difference? Can we get our common good land back? In The Poor Had No Lawyers, Andy Wightman, author of Who Owns Scotland, updates the statistics of landownership in Scotland and takes the reader on a voyage of discovery into Scotland’s history to find out how and why landowners got their hands on the millions of acres of land that were once held in common. He tells the untold story of how Scotland’s legal establishment and politicians managed to appropriate land through legal fixes. From Robert the Bruce to Willie Ross and from James V to Donald Dewar, land has conferred political and economic power. Have attempts to redistribute this power more equitably made any difference and what are the full implications of the recent debt-fuelled housing bubble? For all those with an interest in urban and rural land in Scotland, this updated edition of The Poor Had No Lawyers provides a fascinating analysis of one the most important political questions in Scotland – who owns Scotland and how did they get it?

Andy Wightman was born in Dundee and gained a degree in forestry at Aberdeen University. He has worked as a ghillie, environmental scientist, and an environmental campaigner before becoming a self-employed writer and researcher in 1993. He is the author of several books and a prominent analyst and critic of land reform process. He lives in Edinburgh.