Category Archives: History

The Bandit of Callander: Crime and Marginality in Restoration Scotland

  Dr Allan Kennedy tells the story of the little-known bandit Calum Og McGrigor, who terrorised the Stirlingshire area throughout the 1660s, and asks what his crimes can tell us about deviance and marginality in 17th-century Scotland.   Follow Allan on Twitter at: @Allan_D_Kennedy    Banditry was a major problem in 17th-century Scotland, particularly the Highlands.

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Tales from the Dundas Archives 2

Continuing his exploration of the rich and fascinating papers of West Lothian laird Sir Walter Dundas (1562-1636), Dr Alan MacDonald grapples with an age-old problem: how many legs are there on a goose? Follow Alan on Twitter at @estaitis   In 1616, John Meek was in arrears of rent to the laird of Dundas in West Lothian.

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‘Scotch Songs’ and English Perceptions of Scotland in the Restoration

Dr Allan Kennedy looks at the vogue for Scotland-based popular songs in Restoration England, asking what their subject-matter was, and what they can tell us about English attitudes towards Scotland in the later 17th century. Follow Allan on Twitter at: @Allan_D_Kennedy    The Restoration (1660-c.1688) is well known as an age of exuberant artistic expression in

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Tales from the Dundas Archives 1

  Dr Alan MacDonald delves into the rich and fascinating papers of Sir Walter Dundas (1562-1636), a West Lothian laird whose innovative land-management practices suggest that ‘Improvement’ may have begun in Scotland a good deal earlier than is often supposed. Follow Alan on Twitter at @estaitis   Sir Walter Dundas (1562-1636): Pioneer of ‘Improvement’? When I

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A Kirk Session Coverup

  Samantha Hunter is a PhD student at the University of Dundee, researching governance and social control in seventeenth-century Scotland.   Follow Samantha on Twitter at @sam_hunter95   The records of the early modern period provide wonderful, and often unexpected, glimpses into the lives of the people who lived centuries ago. Not only can they

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A Horror of Dirt: Uncleanliness and Vice in Early Modern Scotland

  Dr Allan Kennedy discusses the concept of uncleanliness in early modern Scotland, and explores the way this idea linked to issues of public order and criminal deviance.  Follow Allan on Twitter at: @Allan_D_Kennedy    Among the many consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been renewed emphasis on the importance of cleanliness. Thorough hand-washing, we

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The Marital Woes of Margaret Tosheoch: Mythologizing Marriage, Divorce, and Concubinage in Early Modern Perthshire

  Lisa Baer-Tsarfati is a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph, whose research uses natural language processing and word embeddings (vector space modelling) to examine how language was used to exert control in early modern Scotland. In this special guest post, she discusses what family tradition around one 16th-century Perthshire marriage can tell us about matrimony,

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The Missing Colourist? Searching for John Maclauchlan Milne RSA

  In this guest post, Maurice Millar explores the life and work of the often-overlooked Dundee Colourist painter John Maclauchlan Milne.   John Maclauchlan Milne (1885-1957) – JMM –  was in the same places, at the same times, doing the same thing, as those who would later become known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’, namely the

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Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins

  In this guest post, Murdo Macdonald, Professor Emeritus of the History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee, tells us about his new book, Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins (Edinburgh University Press, 2020).   My book, Patrick Geddes’s Intellectual Origins (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) explores the interdisciplinary achievement of one of the key thinkers of the

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Who was Expected to go to Church in Early Modern Scotland?

  Samantha Hunter is a first-year PhD researcher at the University of Dundee, exploring governance and control in seventeenth-century Scotland. In this guest post, she discusses early modern expectations of church attendance, and asks when, and for what reasons, certain people might have been excused from attending.   Follow Samantha on Twitter at @sam_hunter95   It

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