Scottish history suffers from a profusion of very general surveys, a multitude of specialized studies and monographs, and not enough good books in between. Historians who write for a general audience tend to be drawn to the more romantic episodes in Scottish history, such as the life of Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Go to any public library and these are the books you find on the Scottish shelf, along with a life or two of Robert the Bruce or William Wallace, and perhaps an older volume on Scotland during the English Civil War (such as John Buchan’s life of the Earl of Montrose, who raised the clans for Charles I in 1645).
In recent decades a trio of scholars have set out to correct this problem. Thomas Devine’s The Scottish Nation: A History, 1700–2000 (New York, 1999) is an invaluable guide to the economic and social history of modern Scotland. But Devine has also published useful books on topics as diverse as the Glasgow Tobacco Lords (in 1975), clan life in the Highlands after Culloden, and The Transformation of Rural Scotland (Edinburgh, 1994), and edited several more. Another model of scholarly industry is Professor Bruce Lenman at St. Andrews University, whose books such as The Jacobite Risings in Britain, 1689–1746 (London, 1980), The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen (London, 1984), and Integration and Enlightenment: Scotland, 1746–1832 (London, 1981) offer an insightful and level-headed look at the evolution of eighteenth-century Scotland, on which I have relied for this book.
The late John Prebble spent a lifetime trying to uncover the forgotten tragic episodes of modern Scottish history and make them come alive for the modern reader. It is not going too far to say that his trilogy on the defeat of Highland Scotland—Culloden (London, 1961), The Highland Clearances (1963), and Glencoe: The Story of the Massacre (1966)—altered the face of Scottish historical writing and helped to fuel the flames of modern Scottish nationalism. Prebble did nothing to disguise his populist anti-English bias in his triology or his other books, such as The Darien Disaster (London, 1968) and his last book, The King’s Jaunt (London, 1999). The intelligent reader sets that bias aside when it gets to be too much, and simply enjoys the absorbing story and the wealth of vivid detail. Prebble also published a personal survey of Scottish history, The Lion in the North (New York, 1971). Every scholar working in the field owes Prebble, who was a journalist and not a professional historian, a debt of gratitude.
Three other general works, all out of print, also deserve mention. Wallace Notestein’s very dated but still interesting The Scot in History (New Haven, 1947) touches some of my themes, but concentrates on the impact of the Scottish Reformation. Neil McCallum’s A Small Country: Scotland, 1700–1830 (Edinburgh, 1983) presents a series of vignettes and anecdotes relating to the rise of eighteenth-century Scotland, some of which found their way into this book. Iain Finlayson’s The Scots (London, 1987) tried to summarize the “Scottish national character” in broad and vivid strokes, and sometimes succeeded, although his chapters on Scotland as part of modern Britain no longer have much relevance in the age of devolution.
Details of the Thomas Aikenhead case can be found in A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings, edited in thirty-three volumes by T. B. Howell in London in 1812, of which volume 13 contains information relating to the trial, including affadavits from the witnesses, Aikenhead’s petition to the Privy Council, and the letter from Lord Anstruther from which I drew the relevant quotations. The John Locke connection is found in volume 6 of The Correspondence of John Locke, E.S. de Beer, ed. (Oxford, 1981). The anecdote concerning Baron Polwarth in the family burial vault is from the second volume of Samuel Cowan’s The Lord Chancellors of England (Edinburgh, 1911). The Edinburgh town council’s resolutions are in Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh—1689 to 1701, H. Armet, ed. (Edinburgh, 1962). The full quotation from Henry Gray Graham on the famine of 1695 can be found in David Daiches’s biography of Andrew Fletcher (see Chapter Two, below).
CHAPTER ONE: THE NEW JERUSALEM
Rosalind K. Marshall is supposed to publish a new biography of John Knox, which is badly needed. Until then the reader must turn to Jasper Ridley’s John Knox (New York, 1968) and Stanford Reid’s 1974 biography of the same name. Roger Mason has also edited a brand-new edition of Knox’s political writings for the Cambridge History of Political Thought series, which is available in paperback along with George Buchanan in the same series. For a discussion of their revolutionary endorsement of popular sovereignty, see Quentin Skinner’s The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Volume 2: The Age of Reformation (Cambridge, 1978).
A highly readable account of the Scottish uprising against King Charles is in C. V. Wedgewood’s The King’s Peace, 1637–1641 (London, 1955; paperback edition 1969). A more scholarly one is David Stevenson’s The Scottish Revolution, 1637–1644: The Triumph of the Covenanters (New York, 1973). The expert on the post-Reformation “parish state” in Scotland is Rosiland Murchison, especially her essay on the Poor Law in People and Society in Scotland, volume 1 (Edinburgh, 1988), edited by Murchison and Thomas Devine.
The place of literacy in post-Reformation Scotland has prompted a great deal of debate and revision recently. The standard view takes statistical form in Professor Lawrence Stone’s classic article, “Literacy and Education in England, 1640–1900,” published in Past & Present in 1969. The revisionist view is found in R. A. Huston’s Scottish Literacy and Scottish Identity 1600–1800 (Cambridge, 1985), which argues that the supposed Scottish bias toward literacy is a myth—an argument which for various reasons I find unconvincing. Another provocative thesis is found in Alexander Broadie’s The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy (Savage, MD, 1990), which argues for a deep continuity of Scottish thought from the Middle Ages all the way to the Enlightenment. See also George Davie’sThe Democratic Intellect: Scotland and Her Universities in the Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh, 1961) for the lasting impact of the Scottish educational ideal. The evidence for the public library in Innerpeffay comes from Anand Chitnis’s The Scottish Enlightenment (London, 1976).
G. Whittington and I. D. White, An Historical Geography of Scotland (London, 1983), give a valuable overview of the changes in the Scottish economy from the sixteenth century to the eve of union, as do the relevant chapters in Thomas Devine’s The Scottish Nation, mentioned above. John Prebble’s The Darien Disaster provides all the relevant material on William Paterson’s ill-fated scheme, although a much older work, The Darien Venture (New York, 1926), still provides some interesting details—including the quotation from William Paterson on Panama as “the key of the universe.”
CHAPTER TWO: A TRAP OF THEIR OWN MAKING
There are several books on the relations between England and Scotland before the Act of Union: the best is probably William Ferguson’s Scotland’s Relations with England: A Survey to 1707 (Edinburgh, 1977). The best book on the debate over union is by Charles Dand, The Mighty A fair (Edinburgh, 1972), which can be supplemented by information on the financial details in John Shaw’s ThePolitical History of 18th Century Scotland (London, 1999) and P.W.J. Riley’s The Union of England and Scotland: A Study in Anglo-Scottish Politics of the Eighteenth Century (Manchester, 1979). The description of the opening ceremonies for the opening of the Scottish Parliament is from Frederick Watkeys’s Old Edinburgh, volume 1 (Boston, 1907).
David Daiches wrote a brilliant and vivid introduction for his Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun: Selected Political Writings (Edinburgh, 1979), which is not only a condensed biography of Fletcher but a fine summary of Scottish political history between the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the Act of Union in 1707. However, Daiches must now be supplemented with Paul H. Scott’s full-length biography, Andrew Fletcher and the Treaty of Union (Edinburgh, 1992) and John Robertson’s edition of Andrew Fletcher: Political Works (Cambridge, 1997).
I made two slight modifications in the historical sequence in this chapter. Besides including the rituals of “the riding of Parliament,” which took place in 1703, my quotations for Fletcher’s arguments against the economic consequences of Union actually come from Fletcher’s An Account of a Conversation Concerning a Right Regulation of Government, published in 1704.
CHAPTER THREE: THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND I
Probably no figure in the history of the Enlightenment is more discussed in passing than Francis Hutcheson. Everyone acknowledges his enormous influence on both sides of the Atlantic, and on both sides of the English Channel; everyone admits his role as the founding father of the Scottish Enlightenment. But precisely because Hutcheson is such a useful foil for scholars who really want to talk about two even greater figures, Adam Smith and David Hume, and because his works now make (to be honest) tedious reading, the list of books dedicated to Hutcheson, and Hutcheson alone, is woefully short. We have to make due with W. R. Scott’s venerable biography, which first appeared more than one hundred years ago, and some excellent scholarly articles published in learned books and journals. The one that most influenced my approach to Hutcheson is by James Moore, “The Two Systems of Francis Hutcheson,” in Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment, M. A. Stewart, ed. (Oxford, 1990). Chapters on Hutcheson by Donald Winch and Ian Ross in their books on Adam Smith are particularly useful as well (see Chapter Nine, below).
Hutcheson’s milieu in Dublin can be reconstructed from Scott, Francis Hutcheson, and M.A. Stewart’s illuminating article, “John Smith and the Molesworth Circle,” which appeared in 1987 in Eighteenth Century Ireland. Lord Islay’s role in the hiring of Hutcheson at Glasgow, and in Scottish academic politics generally, is covered in Roger Emerson’s “Politics and the Glasgow Professors, 1690–1800,” in The Glasgow Enlightenment, Andrew Hook and Richard Sher, eds. (East Linton, 1995).
Hutcheson’s writings suffer from the same neglect as the story of his life. Bernhard Fabian put together a facsimile reprint of the 1755 edition of Francis Hutcheson’s Collected Works, published in Hildesheim, Germany, in 1969. Excerpts of his writings are available in an inexpensive Everyman Classics paperback edition, and in Alexander Broadie’s selections of various authors in The Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1999). A System of Moral Philosophy and An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, from which I quote extensively in this chapter, both exist in modern editions but are out of print. On the other hand, one of Hutcheson’s earliest and shortest treatises, his Remarks on [Bernard Mandeville’s] “Fable of the Bees,” which denounced Mandeville’s idea that private vices yield public benefits, does circulate in numerous versions, and can even be found on the Internet—again, since it serves as a foil for the economic theories of Adam Smith.
CHAPTER FOUR: THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND II
From a biographical point of view, Lord Kames fares much better. Two modern biographies exist, William Lehmann’s Henry Home, Lord Kames and the Scottish Enlightenment (The Hague, 1971) and Ian Ross’s Lord Kames and the Scotland of His Day (Oxford, 1972), which is the better of the two. Even the 1814 biography by Alexander Fraser Tytler of Woodhouselee bears rereading, especially for its discussion of his fellow judges on the Court of Session. There is also invaluable information in Ernest Mossner’s The Life of David Hume (see Chapter Eight, below).
Kames’s writings, unfortunately, have fared even worse than Hutcheson’s. A modern edition of Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion appeared some years ago. Otherwise, if you want to read Historical Law Tracts or Sketches on the History of Man, you will need to visit a large university library.
The main theme of these chapters is the origins of the Scottish Enlightenment. The old classic on the subject is Gladys Bryson’s Man and Society: The Scottish Enquiry of the Eighteenth Century (Princeton, 1945) but the illustrated volume edited by David Daiches, Peter Jones, and Jean Jones, Hotbed of Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment, 1730–1790 (Edinburgh, 1986), might be a better place to begin, while Anand Chitnis’s The Scottish Enlightenment (mentioned above, Chapter One) still offers the best account of the social background to this amazing episode in the history of European culture. The now-famous collection of essays in Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment, I. Hont and M. Ignatieff, eds. (Cambridge, 1983), have shaped my own approach: David Lieberman’s essay in that collection, “The Legal Needs of a Commercial Society: The Jurisprudence of Lord Kames,” was important to this chapter, as well. Robert Wokler, “Apes and Races in the Scottish Enlightenment: Monboddo and Kames on the Nature of Man,” in Peter Jones’s edited volume, Philosophy and Science in the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1988), covers Kames’s views on race and history. The Joseph Knight case deserves more attention than it gets: my description is from Ross’s biography of Kames.
CHAPTER FIVE: A LAND DIVIDED
Neil Macallum’s A Small Country offers interesting details on Edinburgh in the early eighteenth century, as does A. J. Youngson’s The Making of Classical Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1966). The Works of Adam Petrie, The Scottish Chesterfield (Edinburgh, 1877) offers up the rich material of Petrie’s guides to civilized comportment.
The standard work on the Scottish-English “culture wars” of the eighteenth century is David Daiches’s The Paradox of Scottish Culture (Oxford, 1964). The journals and correspondence of James Boswell, however, provide plenty of material for analyzing this problem; the volumes edited by Frederick Pottle and William Wimsatt, especially Boswell’s London Journal, 1762–1763 (New York, 1950), Boswell For the Defence, 1769–1774 (New York, 1959), and James Boswell: The Earlier Years, 1740–1769 (New York, 1966), are very useful—as well as fun reading. Boswell’s fantasy of upbraiding Rousseau in broad Scots comes out of The Earlier Years. A fascinating article on Scots, “A Corrupt Dialect of English?” by Brian Osborne, appeared in Highlander magazine in May/June 1998. The quotation from Robertson that starts this discussion is from the second volume of the 1811 edition of his History of Scotland.
My interpretation of Highland society and culture has been decisively shaped by two works by Bruce Lenman, The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen, 1650–1784 (London, 1984) and The Jacobite Risings in Britain, supplemented by Thomas Devine’s Clanship to Crofter’s War: The Social Transformation of the Scottish Highlands (Manchester, 1994), R. A. Dodgson, “The Nature of Scottish Clans,” in R.A. Huston and I. D. White’s Scottish Society, 1500–1800 (Cambridge, 1989), and I. F. Grant and Hugh Cheape’s Periods in Highland History (London, 1987). The account of Coll MacDonnell of Barrisdale is from Frank McLynn’s The Jacobites (London, 1985), as is the quotation from Cassius Dio that opens the chapter. The story of Big Archie MacPhail comes out of John Prebble’s Glencoe, which like its companion volume, Culloden, gives an especially vivid picture of Highland life.
Prebble also discusses Duncan Forbes of Culloden and his quizzical view of his Highland neighbors; so does Robert Clyde in From Rebel to Hero: The Image of the Highlander 1745–1830 (East Lothian, 1995), and both can be supplemented with George Menary’s vintage biography, The Life and Letters of Duncan Forbes of Culloden (London, 1936).
CHAPTER SIX: LAST STAND
I found the Jacobite song that opens the chapter in Robert Chambers’s History of the Rebellion of 1745–6 (1840; Edinburgh, 1869). The new scholarship that clarifies the importance of Jacobitism, both in England and in Scotland, is too extensive, and probably too scholarly, to cite at length for the general reader. But any works by Evelyn Cruickshank (such as Political Untouchables: The Tories and the ’45) and Paul Monod’s Jacobitism and the English People, 1688–1788 (Cambridge, 1989) will give the reader some idea of how historians are coming to appreciate the crucial role of Jacobitism as a political ideology in the Age of Reason.
Oddly enough, no such scholarly work exists on Jacobite ideology and sentiment in Scotland, although there are literally shelves of books on the Jacobite risings in Scotland, both in 1715 and in 1745. The usual starting place for learning about the Forty-five is a biography of Bonnie Prince Charles. Almost every writer of British history for a popular audience eventually tries his or her hand at recounting the prince’s story. Everyone has his candidate for the best version: David Daiches’s Charles Edward Stuart: The Life and Times of Bonnie Prince Charlie (London, 1973) seems to me to have the right balance between readability and scholarly accuracy. I have not hesitated to use it in shaping this chapter, although I also relied on Frank McLynn’s more detailed Charles Edward Stuart (London, 1988) and Chambers’s History of the Rebellion and his Jacobite Memoirs of the Rebellion of 1745, published in Edinburgh in 1834.
The stories about the Edinburgh volunteers come from John Home’s The History of the Rebellion in the Year 1745 (London, 1802) and Alexander Carlyle’s Anecdotes and Characters of Our Times, which is available in various editions. For the battle of Culloden itself, John Prebble’s Culloden cannot be surpassed, just as Prebble offers the definitive account of the battle’s bloody aftermath. However, I have also relied on Katherine Tomasson and Francis Buist’s Battles of the ’45 (London, 1962) for its lucid discussion of the military aspects of the campaign as a whole.
Eric Linklater’s The Prince in the Heather (London, 1965) is a vivid account of Prince Charles’s escape and time in hiding in the remotest corners of Scotland, although there is a more recent version in Hugh Douglas and Michael J. Stead’s The Flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Edinburgh, 2000). The final remarks by Samuel Johnson come out of A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, which exists in several editions, although I chose to use the Yale University Press version, edited by Mary Lascelles and published in 1971.
CHAPTER SEVEN: PROFITABLE VENTURES
The invaluable book on the Glasgow tobacco trade and its participants is Thomas Devine, The Tobacco Lords (1975; Edinburgh, 1990), and what it sometimes lacks in discussion of personalities I more than made up for by turning to George Stewart’s Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, as Exhibited Chiefly in the Business Career of Its Old Commercial Aristocracy (Glasgow, 1881), C. A. Oakley’s Our Illustrious Forbears (Glasgow, 1980), and Margaret Lindsay’s Portrait of Glasgow (London, 1972). Adam Smith’s relations with commercial Glasgow are covered in Ian Ross’s biography (see Chapter Three, above), as are his relations with Robert Foulis. For the Foulis brothers themselves, I relied on David Murray’s Robert and Andrew Foulis and the Glasgow Press (Glasgow, 1913), and Some Letters of Robert Foulis (Glasgow, 1917), and Richard Sher’s “Commerce, Religion, and the Enlightenment in Eighteenth Century Glasgow,” in Glasgow, Volume I: Beginnings to 1830, edited by T. M. Devine and Gordon Jackson (Manchester, 1995).
The book I found most helpful for understanding the physical evolution of Glasgow was Andrew Gibb’s Glasgow: The Making of the City (London, 1983). For Edinburgh, A. J. Youngson’s classic study, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1966), is still indispensable; Charles MacKean’s Edinburgh: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (Edinburgh, 1992) is a handy street-by-street, almost house-by-house guide to the evolution of this fascinating city. On James Craig, see Kitty Croft and Andrew Fraser’s James Craig, 1744–1795 (Edinburgh, 1995).
The Adam family, father and sons, still have not received the kind of systematic scholarly attention they deserve. It is possible to find editions of Works in Architecture, whose preface gives the best idea of their political and social agenda, as well as their aesthetic creed. Otherwise, the scholar still relies on a wonderful little book by John Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh and Rome (Cambridge, MA, 1962), which is a model of what professional historical scholarship should be: careful, detailed, but also gracefully written. Also useful for this chapter were Joseph and Anne Rykwert’s Robert and James Adam: The Men and the Style (London, 1985), Steve Parissien’s Adam Style (London, 1992), and Sterling Boyd’s The Adam Style in America, 1770–1820 (New York, 1985). Those curious about Charles Cameron can check Dimitri Shvidkovsky’s The Empress and the Architect (New Haven, 1996).
CHAPTER EIGHT: A SELECT SOCIETY— ADAM SMITH AND HIS FRIENDS
The bibliography on Adam Smith is, of course, vast—especially since those who write about him come at their subject from three, or even four, different directions. Historians conjure up an Adam Smith who is slightly different from the one philosophers discuss, while economists manage to come up with yet another version, and sociologists still another—compare, for example, the Adam Smith described in Donald Winch’s Adam Smith’s Politics (Cambridge, 1978) with the one in Robert Heilbronner’s The Worldly Philosophers (1953; seventh edition, 1999). However, the best place to start for understanding Adam Smith in his own time and place might be in a book in which he appears only as a minor character: Richard Sher’s Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment: The Moderate Literati of Edinburgh (Princeton, 1985). It is the indispensable guide to the intellectual milieu of Edinburgh in the second half of the eighteenth century, and offers the proper context for understanding the reception and impact of Smith’s ideas. The two best introductions to Smith himself are Donald Winch’s book mentioned above, and Jerry Z. Muller’s Adam Smith in His Time—And Ours (New York, 1993).
Ian Ross’s biography of Smith (see Chapter Three, above), was of course crucial for writing this chapter, as was Dugald Stewart’s Biographical Memoir of Adam Smith, which first appeared in 1793 but which was reprinted from the collected works of Dugald Stewart in 1966. Adam Smith’s two major works, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, are generally available, while even his lectures on jurisprudence and Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, both of which are based on notes by former students, can be found in modern editions. The edition of Wealth of Nations I found most useful for this chapter is the University of Chicago Press edition, edited by Edwin Canaan.
William Robertson’s celebrity as historian and author is all but forgotten now: but Stewart Brown’s edited volume, William Robertson and the Expansion of Empire (London, 1997), helps to set the record straight, especially Richard Sher’s brilliant little article, “‘Charles V’ and the Book Trade.”
The amount of scholarship on David Hume is almost as staggering as that on Adam Smith—although in this case it is the philosophers who enjoy the main right of way (an excellent overall guide is David Norton’s The Cambridge Companion to Hume, which became available in paperback in 1993). A key advantage of all this attention is that, as in Smith’s case, almost all of Hume’s works are in print in one form or another, even his Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, of which the best edition is the one edited by Eugene Miller for the Liberty Press in 1985. Even Hume’s History of England can be found in abridged form for the general reader—although no one should take on Hume as historian without first reading Duncan Forbes’s Hume’s Philosophical Politics (Cambridge, 1975) and the relevant section on Hume in J.G.A. Pocock’s The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, 1975), which has decisively shaped my approach to Adam Smith, as well.
My interpretation of Hume is bound to strike some as controversial; not surprising, since Hume is always controversial, even two hundred years later. A different approach to mine, and in some ways a compelling one, can be found in Donald Livingston’s Hume’s Philosophy of Common Life (Chicago, 1981). In any case, the basis for any serious treatment of Hume as a historical figure is Ernest Mossner’s unsurpassed biography, The Life of David Hume (Oxford, 1954), which is now available in paperback, and his collection of essays on Hume, The Forgotten Hume, first published in 1943. A biographical shortcut is Nicholas Phillipson’s stimulating and intelligent Hume, published by Cambridge University Press in 1989 but now unfortunately out of print. The general reader will enjoy perusing Hume’s short autobiography, which is reprinted in the Liberty Fund edition of the Essays, and even The Letters of David Hume, published in Oxford in 1932.
Thanks to his connections to Hume and Smith, who were also his harshest critics, Adam Ferguson is the recipient of a tidy little scholarly industry. There are two modern editions of his Essay on the History of Civil Society; there is a trail of excellent critical studies, of which the best might be Duncan Forbes’s Adam Ferguson and the Idea of Community (Paisley, 1979); and even a fine study of Ferguson’s influence on European thought, in Fania Oz-Salzberger’s Translating the Enlightenment: Scottish Civic Dicourse in Eighteenth Century Germany (Oxford, 1995), which clearly shows Ferguson’s influence on German thinkers such as Fichte and Hegel—and by extension, on Karl Marx. Edward Gibbon’s relations with the Scottish school are detailed in J.G.A. Pocock’s magisterial study, Barbarism and Religion: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737–1764 (Cambridge, 2000). The quotation about Gibbon’s debt to Hume comes from The Autobiography of Edward Gibbon, edited by John Murray (London, 1896).
CHAPTER NINE: “THAT GREAT DESIGN”— SCOTS IN AMERICA
I must mention two invaluable guides to the Scottish diaspora at the outset. Duncan Bruce’s Mark of the Scots (Seacaucus, 1996) is a comprehensive reference guide not only for tracing the Scottish impact on American life, but its effect around the world. Mr. Bruce’s more genealogical approach is different from mine, and we disagree on certain details—such as whether the Scots actually discovered America before Columbus! But my work was made much easier by being able to turn to his comprehensive catalog of famous Scots in history, which he supplemented with The Scottish One Hundred: Portraits of History’s Most Influential Scots (New York, 2000). There is an older prototype of Bruce’s project, Scotland’s Mark on America by George Fraser Black (New York, 1921), which is still useful.
The standard guide to the Ulster Scot influence in America is James Leyburn’s The Scotch-Irish: A Social History (Chapel Hill, 1969). It is a dated work in many respects; Leyburn also refused to see the Scotch-Irish as Scots. It is a view which, as I hope the chapter makes clear, I reject. In fact, both groups had a great deal in common with settlers from the English Border region, a point David Hackett Fisher makes in his Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (Oxford, 1989), a principal source for the first half of this chapter, especially my discussion of words and things, along with Layburn and Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (Tuscaloosa, 1988).
Otherwise, two fine books cover the relationship between Scots and Americans in the eighteenth century: W. R. Brock’s Scotus Americanus (Edinburgh, 1982) and Andrew Hook’s Scotland and America: A Study of Cultural Relations (Glasgow, 1975). My source on the Scottish impact on the Great Awakening is Marilyn Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening, 1625–1760 (Oxford, 1988). For Benjamin Rush, I looked to Donald D’Elia, Benjamin Rush: Philosopher of the American Revolution (Philadelphia, 1979); the quotation from President Samuel Davies comes from John Kloos’s A Sense of Diety: The Republican Spirituality of Doctor Benjamin Rush (Brooklyn, 1991).
Most Americans are totally unaware of John Witherspoon’s role in the making of their revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Even scholars rarely include him among the charmed company of “Founding Fathers,” perhaps because of his anomalous status as a clergyman. Nevertheless, an academic subculture of Witherspoon studies continues to thrive. Thomas Miller edited The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon (Carbondale, 1990), including the central text of The Dominion of Providence; L. Gordon Tait recently published a study of Witherspoon’s thought, The Piety of John Witherspoon: Pew, Pulpit, and Public Forum (Geneva Press, 2000); Witherspoon plays a major role in several articles that appear in Richard Sher and Jeffrey Smitten, Scotland and America in the Age of Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1990). However, the only detailed biography remains Varnum Collins’s President Witherspoon: A Biography, two volumes (Princeton, 1925). The story of Witherspoon’s recruitment to preside at Princeton is found in Lyman Butterfield’s John Witherspoon Comes to America (Princeton, 1953).
Tracking the Scottish Enlightenment’s impact on the Founding Fathers follows a more familiar path. Even general readers can enjoy Douglass Adair’s brilliant and stimulating article “‘That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science’: David Hume, James Madison, and the Tenth Federalist,” which is republished in Essays by Douglass Adair, edited by Trevor Colborn (New York, 1974). In it Adair states my central point definitively: “The young men who rode off to war in 1776 had been trained in the texts of Scottish social science.” Garry Wills made the same point somewhat differently in his Inventing America: Je ferson’s Declaration of Independence (New York, 1978). Wills was justly criticized for casting his net too wide in his search for Scottish influences, and for trying to make all the Scottish Enlightenment’s disparate elements fit into a single communitarian mold. But he deserves great credit for forcing everyone to pay attention to the crucial role thinkers like Hutcheson, Reid, and Hume played in shaping the mental frame for the American Revolution.
For Thomas Reid himself, the bibliography is almost, but not quite, as extensive as it is for David Hume. Perhaps the best place to begin is Knud Haakonsen’s stimulating introduction to his edition of Practical Ethics for Princeton University Press in 1990. D. D. Todd offers another good summary of Reid’s philosophy in his introduction to The Philosophical Orators of Thomas Reid (Carbondale, 1989). I also found quite useful Peter J. Diamond’s Common Sense and Improvement: Thomas Reid as Social Theorist, which is now available in paperback, and George Davie’s classic study, The Social Significance of the Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense (Dundee, 1973).
Finally, my discussion of James Wilson relies on Mark David Hall, The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson 1742-1798 (Columia MO, 1997), and Shannon Stimson’s brilliant piece, “A Jury of the Country,” in the Sher and Smitten volume on Scotland and America cited above.
CHAPTER TEN: LIGHT FROM THE NORTH— SCOTS, LIBERALS, AND REFORM
The best way to learn about Edinburgh’s so-called Golden Age, roughly the years from Adam Smith’s death in 1790 to the Royal Visit in 1822, might be to go direct to the source. This means Henry Cockburn’s Memorials of His Time, of which the edition by Karl Miller for the University of Chicago Press in 1974 is the most accessible; even though it is out of print, it should be available at any good library. Otherwise, Youngson’s The Making of Classical Edinburgh is still useful for this later period in Scottish architecture and city planning, including the construction of the new university and Charlotte Square. David Daiches’s Sir Walter Scott and His World (New York, 1971) neatly summarizes the cultural life that era, as does the section on Scotland in Paul Johnson’s The Birth of the Modern, 1815–1830 (New York, 1991)—which, unfortunately, talks exclusively about Edinburgh and neglects the other two powerhouses of new ideas and new men, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The full story of how Scotland emerged from the Enlightenment and took over the cultural controls of Britain in the early nineteenth century has not been told before. However, Anand Chitnis in The Scottish Enlightenment and Early Victorian English Society (London, 1986) points out the path and the principal features on the way. Chitnis fully grasps the importance of John Millar, just as John Burrow, Stefan Collini, and Donald Winch uncover the crucial role Dugald Stewart played in shaped the early Victorian mind, in their fascinating collection of essays, That Noble Science of Politics (Cambridge, 1983). We are still waiting for a single definitive study or biography of Stewart. So for understanding Stewart’s relationship to Thomas Reid, I looked to John Veitch’s “A Memoir of Dugald Stewart,” reprinted in the 1966 edition of Stewart’s Biographical Memoir of Adam Smith, William Robertson, Thomas Reid (see Chapter Eight, above). The quotation about Stewart’s appeal to the English mind comes from James McCosh in his essay on Stewart in Scottish Philosophy (1875), which can be found in various reprint editions and even online (www.utm.edu/research/iep/text/mccosh/mccosh).
Dugald Stewart languishes in a scholarly limbo. No such fate has befallen his gifted students who founded the Edinburgh Review. The classic study is by John Clive: Scotch Reviewers: The Edinburgh Review, 1802–1815 (London, 1957). It can be supplemented with Joanne Shattock’s Politics and Reviews: The Edinburgh Review and the Quarterly (Leicester, 1989) and Biancamaria Fontana’s Rethinking the Politics of Commercial Society: The Edinbugh Review (Cambridge, 1985). Several biographies of Brougham and Jeffreys exist, including Henry Cockburn’s invaluable portrait of his friend Jeffreys. I found Robert Stewart’s Henry Brougham (London, 1985) particularly useful. The quotation about the Lothian workers cheering “Henry Brougham forever!” when they learned the Tories were out and the Whigs were in, comes from that work.
On Thomas Macaulay, one book does the job: John Clive’s Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian (New York, 1973). Macaulay’s two most important parliamentary orations can be found in various collections of his essays, since these were once considered indispensable models of English prose. Today we have no need of Macaulay, since we have Joan Didion, or perhaps P. J. O’Rourke, so these collections are hard to find in print; but it is still possible to spring one loose from a used bookstore or public library.
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE LAST MINSTREL— SIR WALTER SCOTT AND THE HIGHLAND REVIVAL
Why is there is no full-length literary biography of Sir Walter Scott, apart from Edgar Johnson’s Sir Walter Scott: The Great Unknown, two volumes (London, 1970), which is now more than thirty years old? One reason, without a doubt, is that Scott remains the most underrated major author in modern literature; this is a sad fate for an author of whom William Hazlitt said, “his worst is better than anyone else’s best,” and whose novels, which have been ignored by serious critics for generations, have been turned into popular movies (witness Ivanhoe and Rob Roy). So the curious reader still needs to turn to The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, published in one volume in Edinburgh in 1950, and his son-in-law James G. Lockhart’s biography, The Life of Sir Walter Scott, which appeared in seven volumes in 1837–8—although Lockhart himself has been savagely attacked in a curious little book by Eric Quayle, The Ruin of Sir Walter Scott (New York, 1968), who puts the blame for Scott’s financial disasters later in life squarely on Scott himself, and accuses Lockhart of covering up the facts.
Scott has also suffered from the scorn of Scottish nationalist writers because of his associations with the Royal Visit in 1822. However, Paul H. Scott’s Walter Scott and Scotland (Edinburgh, 1981) is actually a sympathetic and deeply perceptive treatment—the reader’s only wish is that it were longer. The same is true of David Daiches’s Sir Walter Scott and His World, mentioned under Chapter 10, above. Graham McMaster’s Scott and Society (Cambridge, 1981) gives a good overview of Scott’s reliance on the Scottish historical school, including John Millar. For Scott’s relations with other folklorists and collectors of Scottish heritage, including Hogg and James Wilson, the scholar turns to Jane Millgate’s Walter Scott: The Making of the Novelist (Toronto, 1984) and Donald Carswell, Scott and His Circle (Garden City, N.Y., 1930).
There are by one count over nine hundred biographies of Robert Burns— just about one for every possible taste. I turned to the study by the editor of Burns’s letters, James MacKay: RB: A Biography of Robert Burns (Edinburgh, 1992). But any biography by David Daiches is worth reading, including his Robert Burns (New York, 1966), and Hugh Douglas offers a new version of Burns’s life in Robert Burns: The Tinder Heart (1999). Anything else relating to Burns studies can be found in The Burns Encyclopedia, edited by Maurice Lindsay in 1959, but reissued in paperback more recently in 1996. Burns’s poems, of course, are available nearly everywhere, including in the heads of most literary-minded Scotsmen.
The best book on James McPherson is by Fiona Stafford, The Sublime Savage: A Study of James McPherson and the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh, 1988), who also wrote the introduction to the best modern edition of The Poems of Ossian, edited by Howard Gaskill for the Edinburgh University Press and available since 1996 in paperback.
John Prebble told the harrowing story of the Highland Clearances in his book of that title in 1963, but it needs to be balanced with Thomas Devine’s Clanship to Crofters’ War (Manchester, 1994). Also useful is Alexander MacKenzie’s History of the Highland Clearances, which first appeared in 1883 but which has been reissued by Mercat Press in Edinburgh; it contains Donald MacLeod’s description of the clearing of Strathnaver in Sutherland quoted in this chapter. James Robertson’s biography of David Stewart, The First Highlander: Major-General David Stewart of Garth (Edinburgh, 1998), is not only informative about his career and writings, but also has a detailed description of his role in the Royal Visit—which the reader can supplement with John Prebble’s The King’s Jaunt. Books on the “invention” of Highland traditions and Scottish identity abound, and even on the “invention” of the Highlands themselves (meaning the construction of an ideological myth surrounding them)— anyone curious on the subject can find a author to match his own opinions and feelings, which usually range from mild amusement to outrage. I think Robert Clyde’s From Rebel to Hero: The Image of the Highlander (see Chapter Five, above) does as well as any other, but it is safe to say that no one has had the last word on this tendentious and volatile issue.
CHAPTER TWELVE: PRACTICAL MATTERS—
SCOTS IN SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
My sources for this and the next two chapters are so many and various as to defy adequate summary. So I will limit myself to pointing out where certain quotations and facts came from, and what books are particularly useful for the discriminating reader.
I have relied on two sturdy classics on James Watt: John Lord’s Capital and Steam Power, first published in 1923 and reprinted in a second edition in 1965, and Thomas Marshall’s 1925 biography. The discussion about the relations between Glasgow professors and local industrial entrepreneurs is from David Daiches’s essay in Hotbed of Genius, which also has a valuable article on James Hutton. The starting point for any discussion of the roots and impact of Scottish medicine is David Hamilton’s The Healers: A History of Medicine in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1981). For Boerhaave and his students, the standard work is G. A. Lindeboom’s Hermann Boerhaave: The Man and His Work (London, 1968). The background to the relationship between medicine and science is carefully delineated in A. L. Donovan’s Philosophical Chemistry in the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1975).
The Hunter brothers are the subjects of several, not always accessible, biographies. I found Charles Ilingworth’s The Story of William Hunter (Edinburgh, 1967) still useful, along with George Quist’s John Hunter, 1728–1793 (London, 1981); the best most recent piece is Roy Porter’s lovely essay on William Hunter in Richard Sher’s edited volume, The Glasgow Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1995). The role of Scottish doctors in the development of public health policy in Manchester and elsewhere is set out in Anand Chitnis’s Scottish Enlightenment and Early Victorian English Society.
For a good overview of the transportation revolution in Scotland and Britain, see A.R.B. Haldane’s New Ways Through the Glens: Highland Road, Bridge, and Canal Makers in the Early Nineteenth Century (London, 1962). Of the biographies of James Macadam, I like W. J. Reader’s Macadam: The Macadam Family and the Turnpike Roads (London, 1980) best. Thomas Telford is the subject of a very recent biography by Anthony Burton (London, 2000), but I have relied more on Derrick Beckett’s Telford’s Britain (Newton Abbot, 1987). There is also a stimulating account of Telford at work in Paul Johnson’s Birth of the Modern (mentioned under Chapter Ten, above). On Henry Bell and the steamship, see Brian Osborne’s The Ingenious Mr. Bell (Argyll, 1995). Samuel Smiles’s Self-Helpcan be found in various editions, but his Lives of the Engineers deserves almost as much attention and was helpful for writing this chapter. Smiles should have his own biographical treatment; unfortunately, most authors who deal with him are so dismissive or condescending that their books have only passing value.
Finally, another study of Scottish engineers should not be missed: that of Robert Louis Stevenson’s family and their construction of lighthouses, described in delightful detail by Bella Bathurst in The Lighthouse Stevensons (New York, 1999).
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE SUN NEVER SETS— SCOTS AND THE BRITISH EMPIRE
I first saw the quotation from Robert Louis Stevenson in Ian MacLeod’s The Scots and have not hesitated to borrow it here. The overseas Scots diaspora is a large and complex subject. The best place to start might be Thomas Devine’s chapter on emigration in The Scottish Nation and the collection of essays in R.A. Cage’s edited volume, The Scots Abroad, 1750–1914 (London, 1985). Also worth reading is Gordon Donaldson’s The Scots Overseas (Westport, CT, 1976).
Duncan Bruce’s The Mark of the Scots has a section on Scots and the British Empire; James Morris’s Heaven’s Command: An Imperial Progress (London, 1973) is an entertaining survey of the British Empire at its height, even though it says nothing particularly about Scots—except for a wry and witty essay on Charles Napier, which I have quoted in this chapter.
Paul Johnson discusses Charles Pasley in The Birth of the Nation; Pasley’s Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire went into successive editions: I used the fourth, published in London toward the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1813. There is an abridged edition of Mill’s History of British India from the University of Chicago Press, edited by William Thomas in 1975, which can be found in some used bookstores. More accessible is the Cambridge University Press selection of Political Works by James Mill. Suresh Chandra Gosh’s Dalhousie in India: 1848–56 (New Delhi, 1973) gives a fascinating summary of Dalhousie’s attempts to raise the quality of life for India’s women.
The story of the Nemesis and its role in the First Opium War comes from Daniel Headrick’s Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 1981), which also summarizes the impact of the breech-loading rifle and its percussion cap. On the Jardine-Matheson partnership, see Robert Blake’s entertaining Jardine Matheson: A History (London, 1999). For Scots in Canada, there is Stanford Reid, The Scottish Tradition in Canada (Guelph, 1976). The account of the Orcadians’ role in the Hudson’s Bay Company is from Peter Newman’s Company of Adventurers (New York, 1985); the description of George Simpson is from Bartlett Brebner’s Canada: A Modern History (Anne Arbor, 1960). John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Scotch (second edition, Boston, 1985) is a charming and astute portrait of the Scottish legacy in Canada. The quotations about Glengarry come from James Hunter’s A Dance Called America: The Scottish Highlands in the United States and Canada (Edinburgh, 1994), which was helpful for this chapter and the one that follows. There is a new biography of Sandford Fleming by Clark Blaise, Time Lord: Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time (New York, 2001).
For Lachlan Macquarie, see Robert Hughes’s fascinating The Fatal Shore (New York, 1987). I relied heavily on George Seaver’s David Livingstone: His Life and Letters (New York, 1957) for my portrait of Dr. Livingstone. In this multicultural age, some biographers try to debunk the Livingstone legend, but even Judith Listowel in The Other Livingstone (1974) can only criticize him for claiming to find some places when others deserve some of the credit. Dorothy Helly’s Livingstone’s Legacy (Athens, OH, 1987) ends up vindicating Livingstone’s progressive racial views.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: SELF-MADE MEN— SCOTS IN THE UNITED STATES
In addition to the works by Duncan Bruce and George Black already mentioned (for Chapter Nine, above), I think the best guide to understanding the Scottish contribution to the United States is Bernard Aspinwall’s Portable Utopia: Glasgow and the United States, 1820–1920 (Aberdeen, 1984) and his tightly packed article “The Scots in the United States” in R.E. Cage’s volume mentioned for the previous chapter. The numbers for immigration to the United States come from Gordon Donaldson’s The Scots Overseas, also mentioned above.
Douglas Sloan gives a solid account of the Scottish contributions to American education in The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal (New York, 1971), which can be supplemented with David Hoeveler’s James McCosh and the Scottish Intellectual Tradition (Princeton, 1981). George Jardine deserves his own biography: nineteenth-century copies of Outlines ofPhilosophical Education abound, which is itself significant, but Jardine himself remains largely ignored, even in Sloan’s otherwise fine work.
My account of Scots in California owes a large debt to Kevin Starr’s America and the California Dream (Oxford, 1973) and Susanna Bryant Dakin’s A Scotch Paisano: Hugo Reid’s Life in California, 1832–1852 (Berkeley, CA, 1939). On William Taylor, see John Paul’s The Soul Digger or The Life and Times of William Taylor (1928). I used S. I. Prinne’s The Life of Samuel F.B. Morse, LL.D. (New York, 1875) to trace Morse’s Scottish and Scotch-Irish lineage, and Robert Bruce’s Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude (Boston, 1973) for the life of the inventor of the telephone. Bell’s role in the making of Langley’s airplane is summarized in Duncan Bruce’s notice on Bell in The Scottish One Hundred; other details can still be gleaned from the exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.
Unlike his colleagues John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie still has not found an author able to turn his life into a bestseller. So I have relied on an older biographer, Joseph Frazier Wall, and his Andrew Carnegie (New York, 1970) and Harold Livesay’s concise and brilliant Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business, both of which can be found in paperback. But the reader curious about Carnegie does not need to stop there; his Autobiography, available in many modern editions, is not only a mine of information, it is charmingly written, especially the sections on Scotland.
The scholar I quote on the grim conditions of everyday life in late nineteenth-century Scotland is C.W. Hill in his Edwardian Scotland (1976). However, better and more detailed accounts of Scotland in those years exist, including the later chapters of Thomas Devine’s The Scottish Nation and I.G.C. Hutchison’s Scottish Politics in the Nineteenth Century (London, 2001). David Daiches’s Scotch Whisky: Its Past and Present (Glasgow, 1976) is the perfect guide to understanding the swift rise and then decline of the Scottish distilling industry in the nineteenth century. For trying to understand James Bond, I always turn to Kingsley Amis’s The James Bond Dossier (London, 1967), which is sadly out of print.
Pat Gerber gives the best most recent account of the Lia Fail in her Stone of Destiny (Edinburgh, 1997), which bravely attempts to sort out the fact from the fiction surrounding the many versions of the stone’s origins and travels. Kay Matheson’s eyewitness account of the 1950 heist comes from that book, as does the quotation from Ian Hamilton when the stone was returned to Scotland. Books on Scottish nationalism and the future of Scotland under devolution grow thick on the bookshelves with each passing month: however, I think Keith Webb in The Growth of Nationalism in Scotland (Glasgow, 1977) gives the best and most balanced account of the movement’s origins and links to mainstream politics. The fact that in 1977 neither Webb nor anyone else knew where the Scottish Nationalist Party would finally end up gives the book, oddly enough, a kind of detached perspective more recent and more enthusiastic accounts do not. Colin Kidd’s Subverting Scotland’s Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity (Cambridge, 1993) is actually a more balanced book than the title implies: it reveals the tension between the Enlightenment’s desire to establish a modern identity for Scots as well as Britons, and the traditionalists’ pride in Scotland’s past, including the Declaration of Arbroath. For those who want a more nationalist-driven view of these matters, there is always William Ferguson’s The Identity of the Scottish Nation (Edinburgh, 1988). One can only hope this debate will finally end on a less angry note.
1 For more on Robertson, see chapter 4.
2 The last of these took place in 1703, when the Parliament that voted the treaty of union first took their seats.
3 Whig is one of the most famous words in English politics; its origin, however, is Scottish (just as its counterpart, Tory, is an Irish word). Whigg is Scots for a kind of sour milk or whey. In hard times it was the main diet of the poor and indigent; since many of the Covenanters were thought to be lower-class trash, opponents taunted them with the word. When a group of Covenanters marched on Edinburgh to prevent the Engagement with Charles I in 1648, it became known as the “march of the whiggamores” or “sour milk men.” Whiggamore soon shortened to Whig; in John Locke’s day, it referred to anyone bound and determined to have a Protestant succession, whether in Scotland or England.
4 Sept refers to a subclan of Highlanders commanded by a minor chieftain. For more about this, see chapter 5.
5 In the end, they agreed to split the inheritance between them.
6 When Scottish judges took their seats on the Court of Session, they were automatically addressed as “my Lord” and allowed to take honorary titles. Hence James Boswell’s father, Alexander, became Lord Auchinleck, James Burnett became Lord Monboddo, and so on. Kames’s title, which he took from his family estate, was in no way a peerage or a claim to nobility: from that point of view, Lord Kames remained a commoner for the rest of his life.
7 The Essays, however, did have an enormous impact on Kames’s friend the Aberdeen philosopher Thomas Reid, and served as the foundation for his own philosophy of common sense. For more on Reid, see chapter 9.
8 For details, see chapter 6.
9 Mansfield actually happened to be a Scot, although he was educated in the law in England and served on the King’s Bench in London.
10 See chapter 7.
11 Meanwhile, Millan went on to create Britain’s most prestigious publishing house, under the name he used in London: Macmillan and Company.
12 Which we can translate as: “Tell me, Jean-Jacques, why do you always act so strangely? You have written an excellent book; so get hold of yourself. Why can’t you live like other people?” In the event, Boswell kept his thoughts to himself.
13 MacDonnells were, like their cousins the MacDonalds, an independent branch of the great Clan Donald.
14 Sometimes mistakenly called a claymore. In fact, the claymore or claidheamh-mór (which simply means “big sword”) was the two-handed battle sword popular in the Middle Ages, which the clans had largely abandoned for the lighter but just as deadly broadsword, with its characteristic basket hilt.
15 The term comes from the Latin Jacobus , or James, as in James the Pretender.
16 Although scholars usually blame this on Pope’s Roman Catholicism.
17 One of Campbell’s earliest efforts was the Tobacco Lord mansion Shawfield House, which he built in Glasgow in 1712. It impressed and inspired Lord Burlington, the father of English Palladianism; so one could with justice argue that Shawfield House was actually the first neo-Palladian edifice in Britain.
18 It was not very far from what Francis Hutcheson had said on the subject in An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. In fact, both Adam brothers must have heard a great deal about the late Glasgow professor from their cousin William Robertson, and from other friends who intensely admired Hutcheson.
19 The title was a swipe at the Earl of Shaftesbury and his famous essays, which influenced all the leading Moderates, including Hutcheson himself. See chapter 3.
20 Steuart had been, interestingly enough, Charles Stuart’s private secretary during the Forty-five and had been pardoned afterwards, living quietly in Edinburgh until his death in 1780.
21 For details, see chapter 11.
22 In fact, Smith pointed to the Continental Army as his chief example of how a trained citizen army could compete with such professionals as the British redcoats.
23 When Gilbert Tennant died in 1764, Rush wrote a glowing eulogy in his memory—it was his first published work.
24 Scholar Duncan Bruce insists the number should be twenty-one: he adds Abraham Clark of New Jersey and Lewis Morris of New York to the list originally compiled by genealogist William Scott.
25 See chapter 8.
26 This related him to two earlier interesting figures: Robert Adam and Patrick Henry.
27 The official term is sheriff-depute. It is not as romantic a job as it sounds, more like an assistant district attorney.
28 Charles Darwin sat in on the last of the Munros’ classes in the 1820s, however, and remembered, “Dr. Munro made his lectures on human anatomy as dull as he was himself.”
29 That led two enterprising Irish scoundrels, William Burke and William Hare, to offer a steady supply of dead bodies to anatomy professor Robert Knox with no questions asked—steady because they began murdering the victims themselves. When their hideous enterprise was revealed in 1829, the trial of Burke and Hare caused a major scandal. The grisly story inspired, among others, Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story “The Body Snatcher.” Knox himself was never charged, while Hare turned king’s evidence. William Burke went to the gallows—and ended up as a cadaver for dissection at the medical school. His skeleton is still there, preserved in its museum.
30 Here again, oddly enough, a Scot proved to be the pioneer: James “Paraffin” Young, who developed a technique for extracting kerosene from oil shale from the Lothian mountains in the 1840s, and created the foundations of the petroleum industry.
31 Legend has it the volunteers took the kiss and gave the guinea away to their neighbors.
32 Literally hardheaded: one day Jardine was walking on the street in Canton when an iron bar fell from a construction site and hit him on the head. Jardine simply walked on. The Chinese gave him the nickname of Iron Head Rat—which was meant as a compliment.
33 Ironically, Minto and Palmerston also happened to be Dugald Stewart’s pupils. Palmerston later wrote that studying with Stewart was where “I laid the foundations of whatever useful knowledge and habits of mind I possess.” A curious compliment, since it is hard to think of a man more immune to Stewart’s principled highmindedness than Palmerston.
34 However, the ironies do not end there. In 1820 the Scotland-born commissioner for Assam in India, Robert Scott, found a strange species of camellia he had never seen before. He sent it to London for analysis: it turned out to be a wild tea plant. Within a generation, Indian-grown tea would shoulder the Chinese product out of the British market. If Palmerston and Minto had only waited, the demand for China tea would have faded and, with it, the need to smuggle opium. But then Hong Kong, Asia’s premier commercial city and modern China’s window onto the capitalist West, would not exist.
35 Even here, ironies abounded. As an English officer at the battle of Culloden, Wolfe had tried to save the life of young Fraser of Inverlochy, colonel of the Fraser regiment in Prince Charles’s army. Now, Wolfe commanded the Frasers as a British regiment, dying just as Fraser had, at the end of the battle. Prince Charles’s Scottish aide, the Chevalier Johnstone, also took part in the battle of Quebec—as an aide to Wolfe’s French opponent, General Montcalm.
36 Elgin was the son of the Scottish diplomat who brought the Parthenon’s famous marble friezes from Athens to London, where they would remain as the Elgin Marbles.
37 *Later, William Gladstone tried the same thing with Ireland that Elgin had done in Canada—unfortunately, with disastrous results.
38 British railways had overcome this difficulty by adopting Greenwich Mean Time, long familiar to mariners and sailors. But an English traveler soon learned that clocks in Paris or Berne or Lisbon or even Calcutta kept a local time totally unrelated to what he considered the true hour of the day.
39 Those that do not trace their lines to Scotch-Irish immigrant Alexander Riley, who followed MacArthur in importing Saxon merino at his sheep station at Cavan.
40 New Zealand’s origins were far less sinister than those of its sister colony to the west. It was founded by pious and business-minded Scotsmen, who first arrived in 1807 and never stopped coming. Scots set up the first permanent settlement at Petone, near Wellington, in 1840. John Logan Campbell owned the first ship to sail directly from England to New Zealand; he founded the city of Auckland and shipped the first cargo of New Zealand produce back to Britain in 1844. Otago was New Zealand’s first planned community, founded by Scotsman George Rennie. One of its leaders was Robert Burns’s nephew Reverend Thomas Burns. By 1861 almost a third of New Zealand’s population were Scots.
41 Unfortunately, the story does not end well. Having failed in the sheep business, Anaeas MacDonnell returned to Glengarry and died there in 1852. His widow was left with the same old debts and a young son. She settled the debts the only way she could, by clearing the last inhabitants from Knoydart.
42 Livingstone published the first dictionary of Setsowma in 1852, and was the first European to realize that the various Bantu tongues belonged to the same linguistic family.
43 In fact, Princeton was the very first college to which the word campus applied. John Witherspoon had used the Latin word, meaning an open field, to describe the college’s site.
44 His mother’s father was Ulster-born Princeton president Samuel Finley, who had inspired Benjamin Rush and the last pre-Witherspoon generation of Princeton graduates.
45 As secretary of the Smithsonian from 1846 until his death in 1878, Henry also created the National Weather Service.
46 Here, as always, ironies abounded. The University of Edinburgh had been the conscious model for University College, London, when it was founded in 1810: the bulk of its first faculty were Scots or Scottish-trained.