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dc.contributor.authorHaldane, Archibald Richard Burdonen
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-15T14:28:52Z
dc.date.available2019-02-15T14:28:52Z
dc.date.issued1952en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/34605
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractDURING the autumn of 1942 I had occasion, in the course of certain work on which I was then engaged, to call to mind an old road which crosses the Ochils immediately behind my home near Auchterarder in Perthshire. For a mile or two back into the hills the road serves as an access to upland farms, but at the sheep farm of Coulshill it loses this character, and from that point to its junction with the main road through Glendevon it is now little more than a lonely grass -grown track crossing the hills. Little used as it now is, the grassy road retains the clear marks of extensive use by the traffic of former days, and it occurred to me that it would be of interest to try to trace something of its history. Local inquiries left little doubt that the road had seen much and varied traffic. Over the Ochils passed at one time coal and lime from West Fife going north to the rich farm lands of Strathearn, while slates from Glenalmond and Glenartney, together with grain, flax, wool and timber went south to the Forth basin. It may be that a part of this traffic crossed the Ochils by this Coulshill road in preference to the parallel routes through Gleneagles or by Dunning to Yetts of Muckhart ; but besides all this, local tradition marked the road as one which was in use in the latter part of the eighteenth and much of the nineteenth centuries by droves of cattle and sheep bound from the Highlands to the great market at Falkirk. I knew little or nothing of the nature or extent of this traffic and my informants were in little better case, but the subject seemed to be one of interest and I determined, as opportunity offered, to get to know more of this droving traffic, the routes by which it reached the Lowlands, its ultimate destination and the methods of the men whose work it was. The material contained in the pages which follow has been gathered over the past eight years, partly from the personal recollection or inherited tradition of men and women in many parts of Scotland, but in the main from scattered references contained in a wide variety of manuscript and printed sources in Scotland and England, from which has been gradually pieced together to the best of my ability the story of the drove roads of Scotland.en
dc.description.abstractThe main intention at the outset was to discover the routes THE DROVE ROADS OF SCOTLAND by which the cattle of the Highlands were brought to the markets or trysts in the centre of Scotland, and to a substantial extent this intention has been adhered to ; but at an early stage it became apparent that before any intelligent appreciation of the drove routes could be gained, a wider knowledge of the history, nature and extent of the droving traffic must be acquired than could be obtained from any sources then available to me, while the growing interest of the subject, as research proceeded, suggested that a more comprehensive study would be worth attempting.en
dc.description.abstractTo anyone attempting to trace the origin and development of the movement of livestock the problem must immediately arise of deciding to how early a date the research is to be carried. In Scotland, as in all other largely pastoral countries, the breeding and movement of livestock was fundamental to the life of the people and can be traced back as far as historical records exist. Part of this movement was clearly of a normal and legitimate character called for by the need to move stock from one grazing area to another, or by the droving of beasts to such markets as then existed. To this extent it forms part of the history of droving which may thus claim to date back at least as far as recorded history. The Register of the Privy Council from which much of the early historical material has been drawn shows, however, that as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a large part of this movement was the result of cattle thieving. That the cattle traffic of the earlier centuries was largely of a like character seems certain, and the early history of the drove roads is to a large extent the story of the gradual transition from lawless cattle driving to lawful cattle droving. The evidence available suggests that this process of change began to . be apparent about the end of the fifteenth century, gradually acquiring momentum during the two centuries which followed. The Union of the Crowns helped the trend towards the legitimate movement of livestock, but it was only after 1707 that droving in the sense of large -scale organised movement of livestock on foot to established markets became a marked feature of Scotland's economy.en
dc.description.abstractThe century which followed the Union of the Parliaments witnessed several great developments which fundamentally affected the commercial life of the country and not least the trade in livestock. During these hundred years the Union with England became a reality and Scotland was finally integrated as an essential part of the commercial life of Great Britain, losing in some degree her identity and with it certain Continental markets; but gaining in return the advantages of a growing market in England and the vast markets and resources of the . extending Empire. The. Union with England had involved Scotland in the full consequences of British foreign policy, and the constant wars which filled much of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were of direct and vital consequence to the droving trade. The eighteenth century saw the final pacification of the Highlands and the transformation of Highland communications brought about first by Wade and, the builders of the military roads who immediately followed him, and later by the great work of the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges. Most important of all in its effect on the livestock trade, the second half of the eighteenth century saw the start of a great revolution in farming practice comparable in scope to the industrial revolution with which indeed it was closely connected and to which it was in many ways complementary. Coinciding as it did with other changes, political and economic, the agricultural revolution at first brought a great extension to the droving industry, and only in its later stages in the second quarter of the nineteenth century brought into play factors which led in the end to the decline of the trade. It is, then, of this century and a half which followed the Union of the Parliaments, of the growth, fortunes and vicissitudes of the cattle trade during these years that the story of the drove roads of Scotland mainly tells.en
dc.description.abstractThe magnitude of the changes, social, political and economic, which took place during this period of 150 years presents a formidable problem in attempting to construct an intelligible picture of a trade which persisted throughout. The main wealth of the material available for the task comes from the Statistical Account of 1791 -99, the New Statistical Account and the many surveys of Scottish agriculture which were undertaken in the years between ; but much comes also from the early and middle part of the eighteenth century. From all we know of them . it is very evident that drovers were adaptable fellows. Handicapped by few preconceived ideas or perhaps even by any too rigid code of commercial morality, they were quick to change their methods to suit the needs of their rough -and -ready trade. So it is that the fleeting and scattered glimpses of the droving trade through - out the long years of its continuance reveal a variety of custom and technique. The main outlines are clear, but any comprehensive survey of a drover's life and work must almost inevitably include detail and colour belonging to different phases in the history of the trade.en
dc.description.abstractA similar difficulty presents itself in considering the routes used by the drovers. Without a doubt these changed from time to time according to the political and social conditions of the time, the market requirements, the type of beasts forming the drove, the weather or even the individual tastes, prejudices and idiosyncrasies of the drovers. It can be little, if any, exaggeration to say that there are few glens in the Highlands, even few easy routes leading to the South over moor or upland country, which have not known the tread of driven cattle on the way to the Trysts. At an early stage in the research it became apparent that to construct a map on which were marked all the routes, the use of which at one time or another as drove roads could be established by reasonable evidence, would be an unmanageable task, and that such a map, through the very multiplicity of routes, would lose much of its meaning. It was, therefore, decided to show only the main routes used by the drovers, with such subsidiary routes as appeared to be of substantial importance or interest, and no claim is made that the map is in any way exhaustive.en
dc.description.abstractFor the purpose of exact historical record this work has been too long delayed. Had it been undertaken even twenty years earlier, much information now lost might have been secured. The written and printed sources, scanty and widely scattered though they be, remain, but the generation of those who can recall the last days of the droving trade is almost gone, and there survives only a small and fast -dwindling band of old men who themselves took cattle to Falkirk Tryst in the last years of its existence and can speak either from their own recollection or at least from information handed down to them from the generation before. How often in the course of inquiries in all parts of the Highlands has a request for information been met with an expression of regret that it had not been made during the lifetime of those not long since dead. If this has often provoked tantalising speculation as to what might have been, it has no less brought realisation of the importance of securing what can still be secured before that too becomes obliterated by the passage of time ; but perhaps the delay in attempting this research has been not without some advantage, for it may be that had the work been started earlier, at a time when droving was still a part of everyday life or even a very recent memory, the picture might have lost something from over -abundance of detail and from the absence of that perspective which distance lends.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2019 Block 22en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleThe drove roads of Scotlanden
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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