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Conference: Scottish Society and the Parish

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Location: The Tolbooth, Stirling

The Scottish Records Association and the Economic & Social History Society of Scotland  

This conference marks the 450th anniversary of the Reformation in Scotland.  For much of this period, the Parish was the key civil and administrative unit across Scottish society.  Although civil parishes were abolished in 1929, they continued to be used as a unit for certain central and local government functions until 1975. The idea of ‘the parish’ and records relating to parishes are therefore key to historians of Scotland from the medieval to the modern era. 

Simon Taylor (University of St Andrews) - The Medieval Parish

Bess Rhodes (University of St Andrews) - Paper, Parchment and Protestants: reformers and the preservation of Catholic ecclesiastical documents in the parish of St Andrews, circa 1550-1580

Moses Jenkins (Historic Scotland) - The Parish and Popular Culture: 1560-1700

Harriet Cornell (University of Edinburgh) - Patriarchy and Status in the Early Modern Parish: East Lothian, 1610-1640.

Annmarie Hughes and Eleanor Gordon (University of Glasgow) - Working-class Family Structures in Scotland, circa 1881-1929

Jodi Campbell (University of Guelph) - Presbyteries of power: Presbyterian and Episcopalian relations from 1690-1720

John McCallum (University of St Andrews) - Poverty and Charity in the Post-Reformation Parish: the evidence from kirk session minutes


Nathan Gray (University of Glasgow) - Charity and the Parish, 1709-1715:  the early years of the SSPCK

Debbie Brunton (The Open University) - Public Health and the Parish: 1846-1875

Conference chairs: The Right Rev John Christie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Professor David Bebbington, University of Stirling

Full details and booking form will appear on the ESHSS website at shortly. Immediate enquiries can be directed to

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