Tedious or not, I am off to the National Archives of Scotland for the day, to do some counting. And am in hopes that, within a short time, I will have a clearer idea of how many there were, who owned them and what they were like.
Since, until the quite recent past, Scotland's sheep outnumbered Scotland's people, they have been very important. Historians have failed to appreciate the complexity of the ovine story mainly for lack of the new evidence which is still lurking in the archives.
Watch this space.