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Title: Highlanders from home : the contribution of the Highland Society and the Gaelic Society of London to Gaelic culture, 1778-1914
Author: Fairney, Janice May
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines the contributions made to Gaelic culture by the Highland Society of London from 1778 and the Gaelic Society of London from 1830. Their members were scathingly called ‘Cockney Gaels’ and their roles have been essentially ignored by both other Highland societies in urban Scotland and by the academic world. Yet these expatriate London Gaels provided leadership for addressing deficiencies and key issues in the homeland. They turned recognition of problems into concerted action, with varying degrees of success. Individual members of both societies were Members of Parliament, and also enjoyed close support from their societies. By harnessing the power of central Government, they were able to bolster and encourage initiatives to improve the life of the Gaels in the homeland. London was an energy centre where much was happening, and the London Gaels used ‘networking’ to their own advantage when they could. In so doing they kept the Gaelic flag flying high in the metropolis of London. Through systematic evaluation mainly from primary sources, this thesis demonstrates how both societies responded to important current concerns. Those identified by the societies were primarily education, highland development and philanthropy. The need for Gaelic worship for Highland migrants in London also had a prominent place. The desire to preserve all aspects of Gaelic culture, including dress, language, literature, music and dance, underpinned their existence. These contributions to Gaelic culture made by the HSL and the GSL paved the way for other Highland societies in Scotland to take up these challenges and to begin new initiatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available