Scottish Travellers Abroad 1660-1688

Matthew Glozier

Abstract


Diplomatic, political, educational and military connections existed between Scots, Scotland and the rest of Europe. This paper concentrates on the connections fostered between Scots and the European continent by travel. A great number of young gentlemen travellers left the British isles to travel abroad during the reigns of Charles II and James II. Young British gentlemen travelled for many and varied reasons. Many travelled for their education, often in company with a tutor. Rarely did a Briton travel in an area totally lacking in support networks of friends and social contacts; continental Europe was awash with members of Britain's ruling elite who travelled together or formed enclaves in almost every major town and city throughout western Europe. Much has been written on the subject of the British tourist abroad. By 'British' most scholars have meant 'English'. Where discussions of Scots have occurred these have usually been as an adjunct to, or an extension of, constructs associated with the English travel experience. Similarly, so great an emphasis has been placed upon the 'Grand Tour' of the eighteenth century that the travelling networks and experiences of the late seventeenth century have often been treated as a mere preamble to the better established routes of the following century.

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