This book focuses on the leading figures in radical politics in Ireland and Scottish highlands and explores the links between them. It deals with topics that have been at the centre of recent discussions on the Highland land question, the politics of the Irish community in Scotland, and the development of the labour movement in Scotland. The author argues that the Irish activists in the Scottish Highlands and in urban Scotland should be seen as adherents to notions of social and economic reform, such as land nationalisation, and not as Irish nationalists or Home Rulers. This leads him to make radical reassessments of the contributions of individuals such as John Ferguson, Michael Davitt and Edward McHugh. Andrew Newby looks closely at the political activities and ambitions of the Crofter MPs showing them to be a widely influential but diverse group: he reveals, for example, the extensive links between Angus Sutherland, the most radical of the Highland MPs, and John Ferguson's groupings of Irish political activists of urban Scotland. This is a balanced and vivid account of a turbulent period of modern Scottish history.
Andrew Newby is a Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. He is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, where he took a degree in History and completed a Master's dissertation on the Highland Clearances from the Hebridean Island of Barra. His 2001 University of Edinburgh PhD, on which this book is based, examined the Irish impact on the Highland Land Wars of the 1880s. Between 1999 to 2004 he lectured at the University of Helsinki on Scottish and Irish History and contemporary British and Irish politics. In 2004 he returned to Edinburgh where he is a lecturer in Scottish history and responsible for the Scottish Studies MSc. Programme under the auspices of the Research Institute for the Culture, Historiography and Ethnology of Scotland. His book, The Life and Times of Edward McHugh (1853-1915), Land Reformer, Trade Unionist and Labour Activist was published by the Edwin Mellen Press in 2004.
1. INTRODUCTION: The Land Question in Nineteenth Century Scotland and Ireland.; 2. "A FENIAN CONCLAVE IN THE COUNTRY"? The development of a Scottish Land Agitation, c. 1860-1877.; 3. "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO EXPECT LITTLE, FOR THEY SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED" Alleged and Actual Irish involvement in the development of the 'Crofters' War'.; 4. "AN OBSCURE HALL IN EAST NILE STREET" Urban Radicalism and the; 'Crofters' War', 1881-1882.; 5. "A VORTEX OF ALL-SWALLOWING SOCIALISM" Strands of land and social reform in Ireland and the Highlands.; 6. "A SCOTCH PARNELLITE PARTY" Land, Home Rule and the Third Reform Act.; 7. "TWO TRIBES WHICH SPRANG FROM THE SAME STOCK" Celtic Solidarity and Political Realignment in the Highlands, 1885-1895.; 8. "THE HIGHLANDS HAVE REAPED WHAT MICHAEL DAVITT HAS SOWN" - Legislation and Agitation to the Great War.; 9. CONCLUSION.