David Taylor PhD


A society in transition: Badenoch 1750-1800

Supervised by Professor James Hunter, Professor Marjory Harper and Dr Elizabeth Ritchie

Having retired in the summer of 2009, David decided to undertake a PhD with the Centre for History, starting in October 2009. He graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Scottish Historical Studies in 1972, and then embarked on a career as a history teacher, spending the last 30 years as Principal Teacher of History and Modern Studies in Kingussie High School.

The theme of David’s PhD was social and economic change in Badenoch, 1750-1800. This ranged widely over such issues as landownership, estate management, tacksmen, agriculture, sheep-farming, sport, economic problems, famine and migration. David’s research focused on Badenoch because he had become fascinated by the deserted and largely forgotten settlements which litter the hillsides in the area, and also because it is one of the relatively untouched areas of Highland history.

Apart from history, David has a keen interest in the traditional music scene in the Highlands, and has been involved with the teaching of folk music and piping over many years.

David's research has recently been published by Birlinn as the book The Wild Black Region (2016), which was short-listed for the Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year category.

You can read more about David’s latest research project in this History Scotland article.