Search results

The British case, 1750–1900

Very large numbers of people began to depart the British Isles for the New Worlds after about 1770. This was a pioneering movement, a rehearsal for modern international migration. This book contends that emigration history is not seamless, that it contains large shifts over time and place, and that the modern scale and velocity of mobility have very particular historical roots. The Isle of Man is an ideal starting point in the quest for the engines and mechanisms of emigration, and a particular version of the widespread surge in British emigration in the 1820s. West Sussex was much closer to the centres of the expansionary economy in the new age. North America was the earliest and the greatest theatre of oceanic emigration in which the methods of mass migration were pioneered. Landlocked Shropshire experienced some of the earliest phases of British industrialisation, notably in the Ironbridge/Coalbrookdale district, deep inland on the River Severn. The turmoil in the agrarian and demographic foundations of life reached across the British archipelago. In West Cork and North Tipperary, there was clear evidence of the great structural changes that shook the foundations of these rural societies. The book also discusses the sequences and effects of migration in Wales, Swaledale, Cornwall, Kent, London, and Scottish Highlands. It also deals with Ireland's place in the more generic context of the origins of migration from the British Isles. The common historical understanding is that the pre-industrial population of the British Isles had been held back by Malthusian checks.

The social transformation of the Scottish Highlands

This book charts the story of the people of the Scottish Highlands from before the '45 to the great crofters' rebellion in the 1880s - a powerful story of defeat, social dissolution, emigration, rebellion and cultural revival. The conventional and familiar division of Scotland into 'Highlands' and 'Lowlands' is a comparatively recent development. Strangely, fourteenth century chroniclers who noted differences in culture, dress, speech and social behaviour between the Highlands and the Lowlands failed to comment on clanship as a distinguishing characteristic. During the Wars of Independence against England, soldiers from the Highlands fought on the Scottish side but were not given clan affiliations. The penetration of feudal structures into the Highlands blurred the distinction between clanship and social systems elsewhere in Scotland and many of the greatest clan chiefs were feudal lords as well as tribal leaders. This can be best illustrated from the history of the Lordship of the Isles. Successive heads of the MacDonald dynasty practised primogeniture, issued feudal charters to major landowners in the lordship and employed feudal rules in marital contracts. It used to be thought that Highland clanship died on Culloden Moor in 1746 and was effectively buried by the punitive legislation imposed on Gaeldom after the final defeat of the last Jacobite rebellion. It is clear that clan society was undergoing a process of gradual and protracted decline long before the '45 and that the climax to this was reached in the decades after the failure of the rebellion.

Abstract only
The Scottish Highlands

13 Remote departures: the Scottish Highlands Remote yet early The Scottish Highlands and Islands were furthest from London, remote from the trade routes and commerce of the nation, the last region to experience a battle of great military forces. The region was also remote from the norms of British society and relatively slow to adapt its social and agrarian systems to modern modes. Until late in the eighteenth century, it was regarded as barely within the orbit of civil society in Britain. It was seen as half-civilised, still extremely difficult to get to (as

in The genesis of international mass migration
Semantics and the Scottish diaspora

obvious exception of Zionism, the role of ‘homeland’ for most such movements has remained largely symbolic. This chapter is concerned with the contemporary phenomenon of ‘roots tourism’ in the Scottish Highlands and Islands: journeys made by people of Scottish Highland descent (or part-Highland descent) ordinarily living in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and in other regions where Scots have historically settled to places associated with their ancestors in the ‘old country’. To borrow a phrase from the

in Emigrant homecomings
Abstract only

1 Fieldwork Every year at the beginning of August, since 2006, Professor Rob Wilson has been busy putting the finishing touches to an annual fieldwork expedition in the Scottish Highlands. Rob is the leader of the ‘Scottish Pine Project’, a dendroclimatological project aiming to use Scots pine trees (Pinus Sylvestris L.) to reconstruct the climatic history of Scotland over the last two millennia. During fieldwork, the members of the Scottish Pine Project and other occasional participants like me collect pieces of Scots pine wood from forests, buildings and

in Into the woods

northwest Sutherland the inland population was settled on the coast in the 1810s and further south in Wester Ross and western Inverness similar forced movements from the inland areas occurred in Glensheil, Glenelg, Morvern and other districts. The people no longer had traditional guarantees of land and the old social order was destroyed forever. II The social experience of the Scottish Highlands in the decades after c. 1760 had its distinctive characteristics, but it was far from being unique in Europe as all over the continent and the British Isles ancient social

in Clanship to crofters’ war
Navigating gender and collecting objects in India and Scotland, c.1810–50

travellers in empire. This chapter examines the role of travel in the life of Mary Mackenzie (1783–1862), a hitherto overlooked landowner and collector. Using the letters she wrote and received while in India allows access to the delight of and difficulties with using the colonies to sustain and furnish the country house during the Georgian period. Thus this chapter engages with the furnishing of an imperial country house through the luxury and quotidian objects that Mackenzie circulated between metropole and colony, London and the Scottish Highlands, Madras and the

in Travel and the British country house
Open Access (free)
Clergy, orality and print in the Scottish Gaelic world

have continued to enjoy considerable status in their communities, standing shoulder to shoulder alongside schoolmasters and doctors as the beneficiaries of formal education and its associated literary skills, acquired in their college and university training. This chapter proposes to examine primarily the role of the Protestant clergy in the Scottish Highlands as practitioners of the written word, especially in relation to the Gaelic language. The extent to which the clergy stood at the boundaries of oral and literary traditions in the Scottish Highlands, as in other

in The spoken word
Abstract only

Rob meant is that the ring-width chronologies from Glen Affric, a site in the North-Western region of the Scottish Highlands, did not show the declining trend that he expected to find due to the ageing of trees. Instead, the ring-width chronologies showed irregular peaks of growth around the decade 1820–1830, which were not related to any documented increase of temperature in Scotland. Rob did not have any reason to suspect that the irregular fluctuations in the ring-width data were due to any measurement errors, as he thought of the student who generated the data

in Into the woods

Notions of Scottishness Behind’, New Statesman 12 (1999), p. 28. 11 McCrone et al., Scotland – the Brand, p. 207. 12 Martin Macgregor, ‘Gaelic Barbarity and Scottish Identity in the Later Middle Ages’, in Miorun Mor nan Gall, The Great Ill-­Will of the Lowlander. Lowland Perceptions of the Scottish Highlands, ed. D. Broun and M. Macgregor (E-­book, University of Glasgow, 2005). No evidence for the concept of the ‘Highlands’ is found before the second half of the fourteenth century. On the ‘intellectual exercise of trying to divide Scotland into Highlands and Lowlands

in Warrior dreams