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TITLE
Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Andrew Mackillop
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_07_ANDREW_MACKILLOP_Q_04
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Andrew Mackillop
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1495
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
humanaspect

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Andrew Mackillop answers the question:

'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?'

'Well, I suppose my specialist subject is, is Scots in Asia, India and China particularly, and I suppose if I've got one anecdote it is that, that most of the Scots that I study, that go out to India in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, go out and die there. They go out hoping they'll return but the vast majority don't, and I, I suppose the most interesting kind of human, or the way I was touched by this story, was of a Scot from, from Skye who dies in what is now present-day Mumbai, or Bombay, the great Indian city of Bombay, and when he - his will is a very touching kind of attempt for him to kind of - I don't know - get over the fact that he's eleven thousand miles away, and he, his will leaves all his money to his family back in Skye, but he also kind of leaves money for a kind of gravestone to be erected in Vatten, in Skye, where he's from, with his name, his date of birth, and his date of death, and the fact that he was a Presbyterian, and had stayed so through his entire life. And he wanted that put up in Vatten knowing, of course, that he would never be there, but he, but that sense of trying to tangibly connect back by having that stone make a marker, so he didn't disappear, but rather that he could be remembered in some sort of way in his own - despite the fact that he dies eleven thousand miles away.

That sort of desperate sense of trying to remain connected was probably true for thousands of Scots, and indeed any other people that went there, but that will kind of brought it home that there was some sort of - he did it voluntarily, but there was a dreadful sense of, 'I'm not going to make it back, and therefore I want some sort of tangible- And that was quite moving. You know, professional historians are not supposed to get emotionally involved in their stuff but the kind of sense of this Vatten man trying desperately to, to reconnect from India back to Vatten is, was probably the most human one I've come across.'


BIOGRAPHY

Dr Andrew Mackillop is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Aberdeen. Publications on Highland history include: 'More Fruitful than the Soil': Army, Empire and the Scottish Highlands, 1715-1815 (East Linton, 2000) and 'The Political Culture of the Scottish Highlands from Culloden to Waterloo', The Historical Journal, 46 (2003). His research interests currently centre upon the differing experiences of the Scots, Irish and Welsh in the Asian hemisphere of British imperialism during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

His most recent publication, 'A Union for Empire? Scotland, the English East India Company and the British Union', Scottish Historical Review, 87 (2008) will be followed at the end of this year by, "A Reticent People?': The Welsh in Asia, 1700-1815', in Huw Bowen (ed.), Wales and the British Empire (Manchester, 2009) and, as co-editor with Micheál O' Siochrú, Forging the State: European State Formation and the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707 (Dundee, 2009).

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Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Andrew Mackillop

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; humanaspect;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Andrew Mackillop answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?'<br /> <br /> 'Well, I suppose my specialist subject is, is Scots in Asia, India and China particularly, and I suppose if I've got one anecdote it is that, that most of the Scots that I study, that go out to India in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, go out and die there. They go out hoping they'll return but the vast majority don't, and I, I suppose the most interesting kind of human, or the way I was touched by this story, was of a Scot from, from Skye who dies in what is now present-day Mumbai, or Bombay, the great Indian city of Bombay, and when he - his will is a very touching kind of attempt for him to kind of - I don't know - get over the fact that he's eleven thousand miles away, and he, his will leaves all his money to his family back in Skye, but he also kind of leaves money for a kind of gravestone to be erected in Vatten, in Skye, where he's from, with his name, his date of birth, and his date of death, and the fact that he was a Presbyterian, and had stayed so through his entire life. And he wanted that put up in Vatten knowing, of course, that he would never be there, but he, but that sense of trying to tangibly connect back by having that stone make a marker, so he didn't disappear, but rather that he could be remembered in some sort of way in his own - despite the fact that he dies eleven thousand miles away. <br /> <br /> That sort of desperate sense of trying to remain connected was probably true for thousands of Scots, and indeed any other people that went there, but that will kind of brought it home that there was some sort of - he did it voluntarily, but there was a dreadful sense of, 'I'm not going to make it back, and therefore I want some sort of tangible- And that was quite moving. You know, professional historians are not supposed to get emotionally involved in their stuff but the kind of sense of this Vatten man trying desperately to, to reconnect from India back to Vatten is, was probably the most human one I've come across.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Dr Andrew Mackillop is a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Aberdeen. Publications on Highland history include: 'More Fruitful than the Soil': Army, Empire and the Scottish Highlands, 1715-1815 (East Linton, 2000) and 'The Political Culture of the Scottish Highlands from Culloden to Waterloo', The Historical Journal, 46 (2003). His research interests currently centre upon the differing experiences of the Scots, Irish and Welsh in the Asian hemisphere of British imperialism during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. <br /> <br /> His most recent publication, 'A Union for Empire? Scotland, the English East India Company and the British Union', Scottish Historical Review, 87 (2008) will be followed at the end of this year by, "A Reticent People?': The Welsh in Asia, 1700-1815', in Huw Bowen (ed.), Wales and the British Empire (Manchester, 2009) and, as co-editor with Micheál O' Siochrú, Forging the State: European State Formation and the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707 (Dundee, 2009).