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Title: The Scottish Burghs during the Cromwellian occupation, 1651-1660
Author: Gillanders, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 4725
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis examines the impact of the occupation of Scotland by the English army in 1650 and 1651, and the subsequent political union that lasted from 1652 until the Restoration in 1660. It concentrates on smaller burghs, which were treated differently by the English authorities than the major burghs of Edinburgh and Glasgow, which were of more strategic importance. From the earliest times of the occupation the Scottish burgh officials followed a practical policy of co-operation with the English authorities, in order to protect their own burgh's welfare, and to retain the burghs' traditional rights and privileges under the new regime, thus, safeguarding the integrity of Scottish urban government. There was little change in the personnel in the burgh councils during the 1650s and this provided continuity in urban government from the previous Covenanting regime of the 1640s, and continued into the 1660s. This continuing link helped to minimise the disruption the English occupation brought to Scotland, and the traditional civic leaders' experience helped the burghs deal more effectively with the problems the occupation brought. These included increased financial demands by the English authorities, and the financial and social problems of quartering English soldiers, the main burden of which fell on the towns. All these brought increased poverty to an already impoverished country and increased the workload on the burgh officials. The burgh councils' effective management of these problems, and their willingness to co-operate, helped to build a good relationship with the English authorities, both at local and national levels. This was important as they found themselves distanced from the centre of political influence, which had shifted to London. The loyalty of the burghs to the English regime was based on practicality and self-interest, and they welcomed the return of the monarchy in 1660. The existence of an experienced urban leadership was important to the overall stability of the English regime, as their control of urban affairs reduced disorder in the towns and increased the effectiveness of quartering and collection of tax. In return for co-operation the English authorities proved unwilling to interfere in the internal working of the burghs. The retention of the traditional burgh structures and leaders resulted in normality returning quickly to the towns, despite the continued disruptive presence of the army. The 1650s also saw attempts by the civic leaders to tighten their control over the internal working of the burghs, as normal burgh life had become disrupted in the years of war and occupation, particularly in the areas of trade and justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available