An examination of Edward Lhwyd’s journey to Scotland in 1699 with particular reference to folk culture and language

Shillaker, Jane C. (2021) An examination of Edward Lhwyd’s journey to Scotland in 1699 with particular reference to folk culture and language. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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This thesis examines the work of Edward Lhwyd, pioneer in the field of Celtic Studies, from the perspective of his journey to Scotland in 1699/1700. Lhwyd was at this time Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and his wide-ranging interests included natural history, botany, fossils, linguistics, antiquarianism and folklore. He visited Scotland as part of a tour of the Celtic nations to gain first-hand experience for his proposed publication Archaeologia Britannica. What he learned from his encounters there was supplemented by his development of a wide-ranging network of correspondents, whose knowledge and skills he used extensively alongside his own fieldwork in Glossography, the first and only volume of Archaeologia Britannica he was to publish. Drawing both on his published work and remaining source material (notebooks, drawings and above all correspondence) this dissertation assesses his methodology, output and contribution to Celtic studies, using his Scottish work as an exemplar. His own letters and those of his contacts are appraised in detail. This appraisal shows both how collaborative knowledge networks were established and used in this period and how Lhwyd stood out in having a distinctively empirical and unprejudiced perspective. Lhwyd’s travels are contextualized with reference to the political and cultural situation at this time and the experiences of Martin and Thomas Pennant, respectively a contemporary and a later traveller in Scotland. Finally, his contribution to Scottish Gaelic linguistics and his Scottish findings in the areas of antiquarianism, natural history and ethnography are reviewed and I suggest some areas where further work may be merited.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 09:47
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 09:47

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