The Sheriff in the Heather: Beaton v Ivory

Research output: Working paper


This essay was written for publication in a collection which examines in detail the background to various leading Scots cases prior to the twentieth century. The case in question, Beaton v Ivory, decided in 1887, was to become one of the leading Scots authorities limiting liability in delict/tort on the part of public officers for wrongful deprivation of liberty. But while this case has been frequently cited, little attention has been paid to the controversial circumstances from which it arose. This essay traces the troubled background of the Crofters' War in the Scottish Highlands in 1880s and suggests the importance of that context to the outcome of the case. It goes on to evaluate the continuing significance of the case as an authority in the modern law.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh, School of Law, Working Papers
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Law
  • delict tort
  • deprivation of liberty
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Crofters' War
  • nineteenth century

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