Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Chapters from Single-Author Monographs
Title: A new look at an old tub: the historiography of the dabhach
Author(s): Ross, Alasdair
Contact Email:
Citation: Ross A (2015) A new look at an old tub: the historiography of the dabhach. In: Land Assessment and Lordship in Medieval Northern Scotland. The Medieval Countryside, 14. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols.
Issue Date: 2015
Date Deposited: 19-Jan-2016
Publisher: Brepols
Series/Report no.: The Medieval Countryside, 14
Abstract: First paragraph: The dabhach has been a source of debate among estate factors, antiquarians and historians since the eighteenth century. The first people in the historical record to ask the question, “How did dabhach taxes and in-kind assessments work?” were some Scottish estate managers of the 1730s who had been instructed by their employers to reinstate an older system of taxation, whereby their tenants and sub-tenants rendered goods and services in kind (common burdens) in payment of rent rather than coin. In such instances, while these goods and services had been abandoned in favour of hard cash only a generation previously, a period of climatic and associated economic downturn from the 1720s effectively meant that farmers were unable to generate enough cash to cover the whole of their rents. Panicking landlords, many of whom by now had purchased residences in London and had an associated new lifestyle to pay for, wherever possible insisted upon a return to the previous norm, for a short while at least until a new major phase of estate improvement was initiated in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Clearly, before the 1760s, to some people the dabhach and it’s associated systems of tax assessment in goods and common burdens were a tried and trusted method of land management that could be relied upon to produce some kind of income. Typically, north of the Cairngorm mountains (see Map 2) such surviving Highland estate accounts are packed full of references to dabhaichean, their extent, the townships they contain, and to the natural resources available to those people who resided within each unit.
Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Land Assessment and Lordship in Medieval Northern Scotland by Brepols:
Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Affiliation: History

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Ross chapter 1 2015.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version464.76 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.