Jacobitism and the Scottish Enlightenment

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Issue 4 (Winter 1995), News, Volume 3

1995 marks the 250th anniversary of the ‘45 which also coincides withthe quincentenary of the foundation of the University of Aberdeen.Organised in conjunction with the Thomas Reid institute, the collegeprovided the ideal location for a week-long conference in August onJacobitism and the Scottish Enlightenment. This unique gatheringbrought together many of the foremost authorities in the field, many ofwhom have established Jacobitism as a serious scholarly option to theWhig school which still retains a fixed foot in the historiographicalconsciousness of the three kingdoms.
Joan Pittock-Wesson, Michael Fry and Catherine McInerney are to behighly complimented on an extremely well-organised and diverseprogramme—historical and literary presentations, papers on Jacobiteiconography, glass and print-cultures, Jacobite song recitals and aseries of visits to places of historical interest including Cullodenand Dunottar Castle. Another highlight of the conference was Drambuie’sexcellent reception, in conjunction with their exhibition of Jacobiteportraits, prints and Jacobite toasting  glasses which was expertlydisplayed by Robin Nicholson.
If not much more than a whimper was heard from Irish Jacobitesduring the ‘45, or at many Jacobite symposiums and conferences inrecent years, they were well represented at this conference. As well aschairing the session on Scottish-Gaelic Jacobite poetry, Breandán ÓBuachalla presented a well-received paper on Irish Royalism andJacobite poetry which served to whet the appetites of his audience forhis forthcoming extensive monograph which will appear in Irish, andlater in a shorter English version, within the year. Míchéal Mac Craithexamined a corpus of Irish Jacobite poetry, in the contemporarypolitical and literary context of the three Stuart kingdoms, the focusof a number of recently published articles. Vincent Morley, who hasjust published an extensive scholarly biography of Aodh Buí MacCruitín, provided a glimpse into the world of this prolific poet,lexicographer, historian and genealogist, with particular reference tohis Scottish contemporary Alasdair Mac Mhaistir Alasdair. Éamonn ÓCiardha concluded the Irish Jacobite proceedings with an analysis ofthe political importance of the Irish Brigade in the service of Franceand Spain in eighteenth-century Irish historiography. The pivotalimportance of the Irish and Scottish Brigades in eighteenth-centuryEurope received a further airing from Philippe Henri Morbach, whilePatrick Clarke de Dromantin focused on a family of Irish refugees afterthe treaty of Limerick.

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