Three Archipelagos: Perspectives on Early Modern Barra

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In a contribution to the ongoing reassessment of the history of early modern state 'peripheries', I offer an interpretation of the strategies framed and adopted by different factions within an under-researched Hebridean kindred during a transformative period defined by the gradual extension of Crown authority. I analyse the different and surprisingly extensive geographical matrices within which the clan operated, ranging from the local micro-archipelago, through the regional Hebridean meso-archipelago, to the international macro-archipelago of the North-East Atlantic Group, as well as how opposing blocs within the kindred responded both to contingent events and to wider structural constraints and opportunities. As a spur for further research, the article offers a 'vernacular vantage-point', a perspective complementary to conventional government-focused approaches in the history of early modern state-building.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCastles and Galleys
Subtitle of host publicationA Reassessment of the Historic Galley-Castles of the Norse-Gaelic Seaways
EditorsPaula Martin
Place of PublicationLaxay, Isle of Lewis
PublisherIslands Book Trust
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)978-1-907443-76-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • state-building
  • early modern history
  • Hebrides


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