The Problematical Inheritance
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In effect, as a result of the unusual priorities entertained by the Sutherland family, there was a remarkable channelling of English capital northwards to the Scottish Highlands in the early nineteenth century. A large part of the command of English capital by the family derived from its interest in the canal and railway sector of the economy. Directly and indirectly the House of Sutherland had acted the role of aristocratic entrepreneur in the Industrial Revolutionand it had reaped substantial rewards. A considerable proportion was directed to the development of the Scottish estates. In this sense there was a diversion of capital away from the advancing industrial sector of the British economy to an economically backward area. Furthermore, this diversion was not determined, in the first instance, by any 'rational' balancing of returns to the factors of production. Less impersonal forces were at work.