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Title: The Scottish glass industry, 1610-1750
Author: Turnbull, Jill
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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Very little information about the early Scottish glass industry is available in secondary sources, and what has been written implies, incorrectly, that it was in existence for only short periods before the mid-eighteenth century. The industry was founded in 1610, under a patent to make iron and glass, granted to Sir George Hay, later first earl of Kinnoull and Chancellor of Scotland. Thanks to the politics surrounding the English glass monopoly and Hay's powerful position, the industry thrived and Scotland was deemed to be self-sufficient in glass only eleven years later. The Italian workforce responsible for this success left in 1646, but despite all the many upheavals of the seventeenth century, glass continued to be made at various sites. This thesis will show that, albeit on a small scale and with difficulty, glassmaking did, in fact, persist throughout the period 1610 to 1750, with the probable exception of two small breaks. For the general reader, methods of manufacturing and some technical details are explained, together with an analysis of the ownership of glass in the seventeenth century. The main narrative describes the chronological history of each known glassworks, as thoroughly as extant material permits. Most of the sites were on the east coast of Scotland, at Morison's Haven, Westpans, Leith, Port Seton, Wemyss and Kirkcaldy, but a glassworks also operated at Glasgow from 1700. All required the recruitment of skilled workers from England. The entrepreneurs responsible for funding and managing the glassworks have been traced, and include Scottish aristocrats, members of parliament and men involved with the Charitable Corporation and the York Buildings Company. Some insight is also given into the commercial practices of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, particularly the emergence of joint-stock companies and the gradual development of practical business methods. By the end of the period, the commercial infra-structure was in place to facilitate future industrial expansion and a new generation of glassworks was ready to take advantage of expanding trading opportunities and the increasingly affluent domestic market.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available