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Centre for History seminar

When Dec 03, 2014
from 05:15 PM to 07:15 PM
Where Ross House, North Highland College, Dornoch
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01847 889621
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Dr Linsey Hunter (UHI Centre for History) will give a talk entitled "Negotiating the border: landholding, legal culture and Scottish identity in south-east Scotland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries"

This paper assesses the reality and existence of a national border through the close examination of legal documents during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.  By assessing the language of charters, the legal document by which land or rights were transferred between parties, issued between the Humber and Forth, Dr Hunter will demonstrate a timeline for change within the border region.  Such a task requires close analysis of the language of the law, and Dr Hunter will relate key changes in vocabulary to wider issues such as royal reform of the legal system, the emergence of jurists and lawyers,  the role of monastic foundations and their networks and cross-border landholding arrangements.  She will present some short case studies which demonstrate the uptake of new language within the charters of southern Scotland, including the maintenance clause, pro anima language and female landholding rights, e.g. dower and dowry.  The paper will conclude by demonstrating that the charter evidence does demonstrate key lines of demarcation, chronological and geographical, which provide a different perspective on the conceptualisation and reality of the Scottish border.