Henry Cockburn (1779–1854) was a judge of the Court of Session and a leading personality in 19th-century Edinburgh, best remembered now for his posthumous literary works, Memorials of His Time (1856), Journal (1874) and Circuit Journeys (1888). This selection of 180 letters written by Cockburn provides new information about his career as judge, Whig activist, family man and pioneer of building conservation. With introduction, notes and index.
The Dundas Despotism
First published in 1992, this is a comprehensive biography of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742–1811), and his son Robert, 2nd Viscount (1771–1851) who ruled Scotland from the 1770s to the 1830s. Though satisfactory to Scots at the time, that period of government was later dubbed 'the Dundas Despotism'. In this study, Michael Fry overturns the traditional view that the Dundases presided over a corrupt and authoritarian regime.
Pewter objects were indispensable in Scottish homes and churches for 350 years, though due to the metal’s recyclability, few artefacts from this period survive. Pewter-makers’ records, however, provide details of the material and the culture that surrounded production. This thoroughly researched guide includes a short history of pewter in Scotland, information on how objects were produced, the pewterers, their markings, and a photographic catalogue of pewter plates, tankards and measures.
The Clerk Maxwells and the Scottish Enlightenment
The physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) was one of the ‘great men’ to emerge from the Scottish Enlightenment. Although prompted by Clerk Maxwell’s achievement, this study goes beyond his life to examine the family he emerged from and its wider connections. Covering the period following the religious and political turmoil of the 17th century, John Arthur explores how Scottish families such as the Clerk Maxwells and their associates produced the brilliant Scots of the Enlightenment and the 19th century.
Mary Queen of Scots
A Study in Failure
First published in 1988, when it provoked much controversy, Wormald’s classic study of Mary, Queen of Scots ‘as a queen rather than a woman of great misfortune’ differed sharply from the usual emotive responses to Mary’s story. Focusing on her reign, 1561–1567, and her actions as the ruler of a European kingdom, Wormald argues that the queen’s downfall was because of her way of dealing, or failing to deal, with the problems facing her as a Renaissance monarch. Foreword by Anna Groundwater.
Duke and King of Scots, 1633–1701
In this scholarly biography the Duke of Albany, later James VII and II, is 'discussed from birth to death as a prince of Scotland'. That Scottish perspective allows Mann to re-evaluate traditional views of the king as a Catholic extremist and absolutist who failed through incompetence; to reassess his personality and motives; and to give a full account of James as a member of the royal house of Scotland, as a commander, as king and, finally, as exile.
A Tale of Three Cities
The Life and Times of Lord Daer, 1763–1794
Basil William Douglas, Lord Daer (1763–1794), left an indelible impression on everyone he met, including the poet Robert Burns and the radical Thomas Paine. This first-ever biography charts the life of this far-sighted progressive politician, his immersion in Scottish Enlightenment ideas, and his experiences in Edinburgh, London and Paris against the turbulent backdrop of revolution and war. And, as the Scots and English reappraise their union, it shows the continuing relevance of Daer's political vision.
The Real Patriots of Early Scottish Independence
The Battle of Bannockburn gave Scotland a great hero in Robert Bruce, but deprived the country of three other 'patriot heroes'. This study tells the story of three members of the Comyn family, pillars of an independent Scottish monarchy, whose rightful place in Scottish tradition has been lost because of Bruce's success: John Comyn III, Lord of Badenoch, murdered by Bruce in 1306, Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith (d.1258) and Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan (d.1289).
Dr Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish
General practitioner, researcher and activist Lachlan Grant influenced debate about social reform in rural Scotland in the early 20th century. The two parts of this book comprise a collection of essays examining a broad range of his interests, from the provision of healthcare in the Highlands and Islands to land reform and economic development, and a selection of his journalism, speeches and correspondence, including his evidence to the Dewar Committee in 1912.
Soldier, Diplomat, Ideologue of British India
Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833) is still highly regarded in India, which was his home for half a century and where he helped to transform the East India Company into an agent of imperial government. This biography by his modern-day kinsman explores Malcolm's humble Scottish origins, his years of military service, his influential books and the leading role he played in missions to Persia during the early years of the Great Game of diplomatic rivalry between Britain and Russia.
Realities, Myths, Ballads
In 1411, the ageing Donald of Islay, Lord of the Isles, invaded mainland Scotland with a huge, battle-hardened army, only to be fought to a standstill on the plateau of Harlaw, 14 miles from Aberdeen. This great battle left around 3,000 dead or wounded, yet beyond Aberdeenshire, it has faded from historical memory. This book brings Donald’s invasion and Harlaw back into view, with translations of contemporary records and ballads, later historical accounts, and myths and legends of Harlaw.