Exiles and Emigrants
Education Resource

Leaving Home


Robert McGregor
Gathering stones 1877

In Scotland, women, known as bondagers were required to do tedious and unpaid tasks such as gathering stones to clear the land for wealthy landowners in exchange for free rent. These bondagers were allowed to grow vegetables and keep a cow to provide food for their children, yet life was difficult.

Robert McGregor
born England 1847
emigrated to Scotland c.1855
died Scotland 1922
Gathering stones 1877
oil on canvas
68.6 x 127.0 cm
City Arts Centre, City of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries, Scotland