Improvement and the Scottish rural estate: Sir Archibald Grant at Monymusk, 1715-1778

Doroszenko, Rebekah (2015) Improvement and the Scottish rural estate: Sir Archibald Grant at Monymusk, 1715-1778. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this study is ultimately to analyze the influence of cultural attitudes on the treatment of the Scottish estate in the first half of the 18th century (c.1715 – c.1776), making particular reference to the ideology of improvement, through the use of Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk as a case study. Grant’s improvement of his estate is not understood as literally agricultural or economic development alone, but as a complex ideological commitment to the transformation of land, landscape and society.
Whilst Grant of Monymusk has been discussed with reference to economic improvement, the relationship between his role as a publically acknowledged improver and his patronage of art and architecture, as well as his attempts at publication, has not been subject to similar interest. This thesis uses an innovative interdisciplinary approach which draws on archaeological as well as art historical methodologies. It discusses a wider range of estate commissions, in particular Grant’s patronage of the portrait artists John Smibert and William Robertson, the poet John Ogilvie, his commission of the architectural surveyors Alexander Jaffray and Robert Robinson, as well as his work to construct planned villages at Kirktown of Monymusk and Archiestown. The thesis attempts to place these commissions within the context of recent studies of improvement which emphasize its role as an ideology with cultural implications. The use of an individual case study allows for a more in depth discussion of specific reactions to historical and ideological change, providing a narrative of a specific site and thus creating an individual response towards broader cultural and scientific developments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright issues this thesis is not available for viewing. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: Estate, 18th century, improvement, Scotland, Scottish history, art, Monymusk Aberdeenshire, Sir Archibald Grant, landscape, archaeology, design, portraiture, John Smibert Alexander, Jaffray John Ogilvie, Robert Robinson.
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Supervisor's Name: Rush, Dr. Sally and Dalglish, Dr. Chris and Hermens, Dr. Erma
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Rebekah Doroszenko
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6865
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2016 10:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 16:46

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