The People of the Scottish Burghs: The People of Arbroath, 1660-1799


Author: Dobson, David
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: viii 98 pp.
ISBN: 9780806357041


This volume in David Dobson’s series devoted to the inhabitants of Scottish burghs concerns the town of Arbroath. Arbroath lies on the east coast of Scotland and dates from 1178, when Arbroath Abbey was constructed by Tironsian monks. By the mid-16th century it had become a Royal Burgh under the control of a council elected by the burgesses, who alone had the right to vote, run businesses, etc. As a Royal Burgh it was authorized to conduct overseas trade and had developed economic links with Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Netherlands, France, England, and latterly America.

The People of Arbroath is designed as an aid to researchers wishing to find information on inhabitants of Arbroath during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is based overwhelmingly on primary sources, such as the High Court of the Admiralty, Customs and Excise Records, Exchequer Records, the Register of Deeds of the Court of Session, Burgh Records, Port Books, Services of Heirs, and monumental inscriptions, variously located in the National Archives of Scotland (Edinburgh) and the Angus Archives at Restenneth. Though by no means an exhaustive list of the inhabitants of Arbroath, the persons identified here are fully referenced and should provide interesting material for those researching their family histories. Typically, the entries found here identify inhabitants by their full name, occupation, a date, and the source. In some cases we are also given the names of spouses and other relatives, and, in the case of seamen, the names of their vessels and their destinations in the New World. In all, Dr. Dobson cites over 1,500 persons based in Arbroath between 1660 and 1799.

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