Military recruiting in the Scottish Highalnds 1739-1815: the political, social and economic context.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis analyses the origins, development and impact of British army recruiting in the Scottish Highlands in the period from 1739-1815. It examines the interaction of government, landlords and tenantry using estate papers, notably the Macleod of Dunvegan and Gordon Castle Muniments, the Forfeited Estates papers and Campbell of Breadalbane collection. Recruiting is analysed within the context of rapid socio-economic change. The emphasis is on tenant reactions to recruiting, and the study concludes that the upward pressure released by this process was a vital factor in bringing about change in the tenurial structure in the region. Both the decline of the tacksman and the emergence of crofting are linked to the process of regiment raising. Military recruiting involved a clear recognition on the part of Highland landlords and tenantry that the empire and the 'fiscal military state' offered alternative sources of revenue. Both groups 'colonised' various levels of the state's military machine. As a result of this close involvement, the government remained a vital influence in the area well after 1745, and a major player in the region's economy. Recruiting was not merely a residue of clanship, rather it was a form of commercial activity, analogous to kelping.
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