This book examines the climatic and economic origins of the last national famine to occur in Scotland, the nature and extent of the crisis which ensued, and what the impact of the famine was upon the population in demographic, economic and social terms. Current published knowledge about the causes, extent, and impact of the famine in Scotland is limited and many conclusions have been speculative in the absence of extensive research. Despite the critical importance of this crisis, one of the four disasters of the 1690s, which are widely acknowledged to have contributed to the economic arguments in favour of the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, the topic has been largely neglected and even underplayed by historians. This is the first full study of the famine, providing a unique scholarly examination of the causes, course, characteristics and consequences of the crisis. A comprehensive study of agricultural, climatic, economic, social and demographic issues, the book seeks to establish answers to the fundamental question concerning the event. How serious was it? Using detailed statistical and qualitative analysis, it discusses the regional factors that defined the famine, the impact on the population, and the interconnected causes of this traumatic event.
Famine in Scotland - the 'Ill Years' of the 1690s
Edinburgh University Press