Geographical mobility in Scotland, 1652-1811: the evidence of testimonials

R. Houston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Unital recently little was known of the patterns of population turnover in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Scotland. This paper uses evidence from testimonials, movement certificates issued by the Scottish church, to uncover features of geographical mobility. It shows that in much of north-western Europe before the Industrial Revolution mobility in rural areas was frequent, short-distance, associated with particular occupations and active at particular stages in the life cycle. The value and limitations of the source material are considered briefly. In conclusion the importance of geographical mobility for Scottish society in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is noted and further areas for research are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-394
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985


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