Wax Letter Seal Belonging to Patrick Sellar
Brora Heritage Centre
This wax seal was used by Patrick Sellar (1780-1851), forever associated with the notorious Sutherland Clearances from 1814. Sellar’s role as factor for the Sutherland Estate was complicated when he became a sheep farmer and personally benefitted from the land he had cleared.
Sellar was eventually tried in connection with the deaths of two elderly residents who had been cleared from their homes by Sellar under distressing circumstances.
Sellar was known to be a copious letter writer, expressing his opinions at length and often underlining key points for his readers.
For centuries, wax seals were an effective way to seal correspondence whilst also ensuring the confidentiality of letters’ contents. Once open, letters cannot be resealed without damaging the motif on the wax.