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Death in Scotland

Chapters From the Twelfth Century to the Twenty-First


Peter C. Jupp and Hilary J. Grainger

For the past twenty years, Scottish death culture has emerged as a focus of scholars drawn from a wide variety of disciplines. Death comes to us all but too often we treat it as a private or personal matter. The former taboo about death is slowly lifting and contemporary research is playing an increasing part. Accordingly, the fifteen essays gathered in this book probe the multi-facetted role of death in Scottish history and culture. They explore personal fears of death, anxieties about Predestination, prayers for the dead and the appeal of Spiritualism. They analyse the public face of death in law, economics and medicine: changes in capital punishment, funeral poverty, the teaching of anatomy and prevention of stillbirths. Within the worlds of religion and ritual, they consider the making of saints, burial practice following the Scottish Reformation and the tradition of keening within the Gáidhealtachd. With an Introduction by Professor Jane Dawson, these essays by specialists in the field not only highlight the richness of the primary sources for studying death in Scotland but reveal how death studies identify key features of Scottish life and society across ten centuries.

CONTENTS: Claire Harrill: The Death of a Queen and the Birth of a Saint: The Memorialisation and Canonisation of St Margaret of Scotland - George Thomson: Advanced Statistical Methods Identify Cultural Differences in Gravemarker Design - Victoria Hodgson: «Ubi locum meum elegi» [where I chose my place]: Noble Burial at the Medieval Cistercian Abbey of Coupar Angus - Richard Fawcett: The Architectural Setting of Prayers for the Dead in Later Medieval Scottish Churches - Catherine McMillan: Negotiating Burial in Early Modern Scotland - Dòmhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart: Keening in the Scottish Gàidhealtachd - Cristina González-Longo: Robert Mylne and the First Baroque Mural Monument in Greyfriars Kirkyard, 1675 147 - Rachel Bennett: «I am resolved to avoid being made a public spectacle»: Suicide and the Scottish Criminal Body - Ian Campbell: Approaching the End: Hogg’s Confessions - Dee Hoole: Following Death: Pauper Bodies and the Medical Schools of Aberdeen, 1832–1914 - Rosemary Hannah: The Third Marquess of Bute and the Supernatural - Maelle Duchemin-Delletier: Deadbirth or Stillbirth? Medical and Legislative Implications in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries - Michelle Foot: A Portrayal of Life Beyond Death: Helen Duncan’s Spirit Guide and His Portrait - Glenys Caswell:  Local Authority Funerals in Early Twenty-first-century Scotland - Hilary J. Grainger: Private Sector, Collective Need: The Architecture and Design of Scottish Crematoria, 1973–2018.