Talk: Civility, Order and the Highlands in Cromwellian Britain [Dornoch]

21 February 2018, Starts: 18:00

Civility, Order and the Highlands in Cromwellian Britain

Talk by Dr Allan Kennedy, University of Dundee

Ross House, Grange Road, Dornoch . Organised by UHI Centre for History. If you would like to attend by VC, please email

Above all, the republican regime that governed first England, and then the entirety of the British Isles in the 1650s viewed itself as ‘Godly’. This was a concept with deep roots in English puritanism, and it consistently conditioned the domestic aims and policies of the Cromwellian state. But what did ‘godliness’ mean outside England? We know that the Commonwealth made some effort to ex-port ‘godliness’ to Scotland, but little effort has so far been made to trace the implications of this agenda for the most traditionally ‘ungodly’ part of Scotland – the Highlands. This paper seeks to ad-dress that gap. It traces how the notion of ‘godliness’ influenced Cromwellian attitudes towards Highland Scotland, as well as exploring the ways in which government policy tried to affect religious and behavioural reformation among Highland Scots. In so doing, the paper seeks to shed light upon the nature of the English regime in Scotland, while also offering an under-appreciated insight into the mental realm of the Commonwealth state more broadly.

Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
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