Easter Ross, 1750-1850: The Double Frontier

Easter Ross, 1750-1850: The Double Frontier

Easter Ross, 1750-1850: The Double Frontier

Easter Ross, 1750-1850: The Double Frontier

Excerpt

The eastern districts of Ross and Cromarty probably have figured more prominently in the national consciousness in the twentieth century than at any time since Macbeth rose from his traditional position as Mormaer of Ross in the eleventh century to become King of Scotland. The importance of the Invergordon naval base in two World Wars has been succeeded by the arrival of industrial development in the shape of aluminium smelting and, even more notably, oil and its related concerns. At the same time, there has been an increasing awareness that the area, as part of the larger, inner-Moray Firth region, is one of the last, relatively unspoilt parts of the United Kingdom hospitable to human settlement. The debate about the ways in which the area can be developed already has engendered as much heat as light and no crystal ball is required to see that contention is far from being stilled.

Oil, aluminium and twentieth century warfare may seem to be far removed from the concerns of a pre-industrial society but, if history does not repeat itself, certain historical problems most certainly do. The threat of exploitation, the need to face the challenge of change and the balancing of private and local desires against public and national interests were dominant issues in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as they are today. While they are dealt with here at a local level, they have indeed a universal relevance.

This study of Easter Ross in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was conceived originally as a topic suitable for an undergraduate dissertation and has grown through a post-graduate thesis to its present form as a book. Despite its academic origins and its treatment of fundamental issues the book, above all, is a study of local roots. No doubt the author has displayed bias in one or more directions but it is open to question if true historical objectivity is ever achieved. So far as possible the evidence has been allowed to speak for itself.

In preparing this book I have become indebted to large numbers of . . .

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