The making of the Minch: French pirates, British herring, and vernacular knowledges at an eighteenth-century maritime crossroads

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Contemporary maps and charts all name the sea basin between the northern Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland opposite as the Minch. The hydronym, however, does not appear on record before the eighteenth century, either on printed maps or in indigenous Gaelic oral tradition. This article traces the creation of the Minch, from its apparent origins as a byname used by French privateers in the War of the Spanish Succession, through vicissitudes and variations at the hands of cartographers and hydrographers alike, to its re-creation in the later eighteenth century as an umbrella term designating a new maritime cultural landscape focused upon deep-sea fisheries. The Minch is a cultural crossroads, whose very name reflects its involvement in wider national and international political and economic frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Coastal History
Subtitle of host publicationCultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond
EditorsDavid Worthington
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages131-148
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319640907
ISBN (Print)9783319640891
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2017

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Keywords

  • Coastal History
  • Highland History
  • Minch
  • Early Modern History

Cite this

Stiubhart, D. U. (2017). The making of the Minch: French pirates, British herring, and vernacular knowledges at an eighteenth-century maritime crossroads. In D. Worthington (Ed.), The New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond (pp. 131-148). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64090-7