A King's College graduate abroad

A King's College graduate abroad

This is a past event

This talk explores the fascinating British and Irish networks in central Europe as recorded in the Triennial Travels of James Fraser of Kirkhill (1634-1709). The events is presented as part of the current exhibition at the Sir Duncan Rice Library, Wanderlust: Travel Journals and Explorers' Notes.The exhibition features vivid writing contained in some of the travel journals and explorers' notebooks held with the University's Special Collections.

James Fraser of Kirkhill’s Triennial Travels is, from any perspective, a highlight from Special Collections. That section of this vast, three-volume manuscript covering Fraser’s 1659 travels east of the River Rhine, is also exceptionally detailed and vivid. In particular, the fifty-four folios in question shed a broad and quite dazzling spectrum of light on a British and Irish network in central Europe. The purpose of this talk is to assess the interactions of Fraser - a Gaelic-speaking Highlander and graduate of King’s College - with the body of expatriates from the Stuart kingdoms he found there, a group he identified collectively as his ‘countrymen’. The circle within which he recorded having become a part was relatively inclusive, being confessionally diverse and based both on a loose affiliation to the cause of the then-exiled monarchy as well as, it appears, flexibility and adaptability with respect to language use. Three cities in the region that are commented on in depth in the account will be selected – Regensburg, Vienna and Prague – and Fraser’s remarks in relation to each of them analysed. This will allow for wider conclusions focusing on the nature of travel in early modern northern Scotland and also the development of that linguistic and political patchwork which could link expatriates from throughout the Stuart monarchy.

Prof David Worthington, Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands
Hosted by
Special Collections Centre
Special Collections Centre Seminar Room, The Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen, Bedford Road, Aberdeen, AB24 3AA

Free entry, booking advised.
scc.events@abdn.ac.uk or 01224 273049