Author Archives: John Cairns

Slavery and Imagery

One of the most successful books of the nineteenth century was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, first published in 1852. It is not a subtle work, and to modern tastes its sentimentality makes it rather unreadable. I suspect it is read nowadays … Continue reading

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New Honorary Professors

The Centre for Legal History is delighted to announce that the University of Edinburgh has appointed two of the United Kingdom’s leading legal historians as Honorary Professors in the School of Law with effect from 1 September, 2018. These are … Continue reading

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Loyal Dogs, and Dogs and Law

Dogs are proverbially loyal. Many traditional stories emphasise this. Odysseus’ dog Argos recognised his master after all his years away, after waiting for him to return to Ithaca. In Edinburgh, major tourist attractions are the statue and grave of Greyfriars … Continue reading

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Legitimacy of Mary Queen of Scots

It is interesting to see that today, 10 May 2018, The Scotsman (p. 3) has an astonishing scoop: James V was not the father of Mary Queen of Scots, but instead it was Murdo Mackenzie! Ilona Amos has written that … Continue reading

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VE Day

Today, 8 May, is VE Day, which seems to be being generally ignored in the British media. Of course the war against Japan continued. There is a major commemoration in Paris.

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Slavery in France and its Colonies

Slavery was abolished in the French colonies in 1848. This year, therefore is the 170th anniversary of this event. As citizens of a former colonial country, the French have been conscious in recent years of the history of slavery in … Continue reading

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Some curious Scottish Legal MSS

The Law Book Exchange is currently offering for sale two Scottish legal MSS. Both reveal something about the nineteenth-century lives of Scots from different social backgrounds The first consists of papers from H.M.A. v. Hunter & Mackie. These were papers … Continue reading

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What’s Happening in Black British History VIII

The Agenda has just been announced for “What’s Happening Black British History VIII”, to be held at the University of Huddersfield on Thursday 10th May, jointly organized by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the University. The agenda is as … Continue reading

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Some Court Houses of New South Wales

British colonisation of the interior of New South Wales required crossing the Blue Mountains from the Cumberland Plain on which much of the metropolitan area of Sydney lies. This was eventually achieved in 1813 by Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson during … Continue reading

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Two Scottish Books of Interest

Your blogger likes to torture himself by looking at catalogues of rare and antiquarian books. The catalogues often contain material of great interest, however, and have indeed resulted in a few blog entries about items and provenance. Your blogger has … Continue reading

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