The Economy of Scotland in Its European Setting, 1550-1625

The Economy of Scotland in Its European Setting, 1550-1625

The Economy of Scotland in Its European Setting, 1550-1625

The Economy of Scotland in Its European Setting, 1550-1625


In two broad sections, the book deals first with Scotland's domestic social and economic development, and second with specific branches of Scotland's external trade.


The period covered by this book has, in the past generation, attracted the attention of both English and Continental historians, and my primary intention has been to discover how far the great Europe-wide economic tendencies were reflected in Scotland's domestic life and external relationships. In. some measure the raw material was ready to hand, for since the time of William Robertson the historians of Scotland have increasingly laid bare the facts of the past, and, with W. R. Scott, Dr Grant and Dr Insh, the focus of attention has turned onto the economic affairs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With, I hope, due acknowledgment, I have re-used and reinterpreted their material to suit the plan of this book; and, in such important matters as overseas trade and relations with England, I have supplemented our meagre native data by drawing on sources outside Scotland.

I have not confined myself within any narrow defination of economic history. Even if the data were adequate, the resulting picture would reveal little more than the bones and sinews of the nation. The outer body, the thing of flesh and colour, is a compound of many elements, and its vitality is not sustained by bread alone.

Scattered over the chapters are reproduced, either verbatim or in paraphrase, a few passages which have already appeared in my contributions to Dundee Economic Essays (1955), the Scottish Journal of Political Economy (1958), and Abertay Historical Society Publications (1958).

It is a pleasure to make public acknowledgment of the kind help I have received. Professor H. Hamilton of Aberdeen University encouraged me from the start and gave valuable guidance. Two colleagues in this College, Professor D. F. Macdonald and Dr I. F. Gibson, read the work in various immature stages and made many suggestions for its improvement. Dr A. M. Millard of the Battersea Training College . . .

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