Neil McIntyre

Neil McIntyre

I am a Knowledge Exchange Associate, Affiliate in Theology and Religious Studies, and former Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Glasgow.

Location Glasgow


  • The missing words:


    The final entry:

    The which day the Brethren thought fit to advise the
    Magistrats of Lanarke to dismisse Marion Hunter one
    of the suspected persones of the crime of witchcraft out
    of prison, and to goe home upon sufficient caution given
    to the said Magistrats of Lanarke that shee shall...

  • The samme day James Baird wes called upoun at the doore who
    not Compearing is ordanit to be wairned to ye nixt day

  • 23 of Ja[nua]ry 1638
    Margaret Law being delivered of ane child in our
    burt [burgh] desired the minister Mr James Duncan to
    baptise hir child and declaired that the child was
    ane Mr Andrew Law Scoolmaster at the Kirk
    of Mearns in the presbitrie of Dundie. Whilk being
    tryed, it was was so. and thereftir shee went bak to
    the said Kirk and gave satisfaction.

  • upon the 14th of March. 1689. Who accordingly
    haveing conveened and considered the severall Grievances
    -this Nation did labour under, both in Church by Bish=
    -opes, and in State by Evill Counsellours and Ministers
    imployed by the late king James, did on the 11th of
    Aprill. 1689. Abolish Episcopacy, and that manner of
    Church Government so grievous to this...

  • There having been ane Al=
    tera[tio]n of Government in this kingdome, both
    in Church and State, among Officers both Civill
    and Ecclesiastical, by the Comeing over of the Prince
    of Orange in November. 5th. 1688. to England, occa=
    -sioned through the fear of Popery and Slavery, under
    the former Governments, by reason of the Arbitrary pow=
    -er of the late...

  • 1689.
    The Overtures, Resolutiones, Acts
    and Conclusiones of the Session of Cra=
    -mond Church, Dureing Mr John Ha=
    -milton’s Ministry in Cramond haveing
    exercised his Ministry in Ireland from the
    year jajvict and seventy five, until this year
    jajvict and Eighty Nyn years) And part=
    -cularly from his Entry to this paroch of
    Cramond, as to the Exercise...

  • To the Deacons
    1 Do you orderly keep up the worship of God in your families morning and evening
    And Instruct your children and servants with all care that their conversation be
    2 Do ye diligently visite your Quarters and inquire into the state of the poor,
    they may be timeously represented for supply
    when the Elders & Deacons is removed the...

  • Questions to be asked of Elders & Deacons at the privy censures of Sessions
    agreed to by the Synod of Glasgow and Air october 1724 and to be recorded in each
    Session Register
    To Elders
    1 Do ye orderly keep up the worship of God in your familys morning & evening
    and Instruct your children and servants with all care that their conversation […]
    2 Do you...

  • You're quite right about the control of the kirk session, @MarshaH. But I would also say that the session had a more positive role in its provision of 'social services' - especially poor relief (see John McCallum's recent fantastic book on this subject). I would also note that, while the records are certainly evidence of the institutional reach of the Kirk and...

  • Thanks for your comment, @CaitlinDampier - examples to transcribe are coming in Week 3!

  • Looking forward to seeing your transcription efforts, @JamesMacnairBassi !

  • Hi @SisterBarbaraJeanBrown. These are wise words! Practise is key when it comes to palaeography and we wholeheartedly encourage you to watch the videos as often as you can!

  • Good point, @AnneElizabethMacnair - the demands of parish offices did not always make the positions attractive!

  • Another one for @JamieKelly!

  • Hi @JodyAllen. I discuss this in Week 2!

  • @JamieKelly

  • They were actually very different processes, @Ríobárd(Rob)StuartWilliams. For example, the English Reformation was 'magisterial' - it was led by the monarch - while in Scotland the Reformation was carried in defiance of the Crown.

  • Hi @JodyAllen. I'm afraid burgh records are not held in a central repository. You can search for them here:

    As for the records of crafts, a list of those held in the NRS can be found here:

  • Hi @FaithF - there is a glossary of terms in Week 2 and further guidance on the Scots tongue in Week 3!

  • Hi everyone. I will provide transcriptions of the documents at the end of the week. Good luck!

  • Hi everyone. Very well done for completing Week 2! You've covered a lot of ground thus far. Many thanks for your wonderful comments. Next week you will learn transcription techniques and have the opportunity to transcribe extracts from the kirk session records. We look forward to seeing you then!

  • Digital images of the kirk session records can be accessed at the National Records of Scotland and at selected archives across Scotland. See here for more details:

  • Hi @AliceScarlett. Do you mean the in-video text, or more generally? I will look into this.

  • Hi @LindaStreet-Ely. You've asked what was arguably the single-most vexed question in early modern Scottish history!

  • Hi @emmaB. Sorry, but I've double-checked the quiz answer and it is correct!

  • Another interesting question, @joed. The interaction between handwriting and print is a fascinating but under-researched topic. It certainly wasn't all one-way traffic (i.e. print leading to the standardising of handwriting).

  • Interesting question, @JaniceGibson. I would say the lack of standardisation doesn't necessarily mean there weren't certain expectations with regards to spelling. That said, I would also note that it is not uncommon (indeed, it is rather frequent) to see only one 'm' used by less professional writers!

  • @MarshaH In the interim, you could request access to John Scally's doctoral thesis on the third Marquess/first Duke (1606-1649)

  • Great question, @joed. You're quite right - there certainly can be limitations to our transcription. Palaeographers debate these issues frequently, and there is no uniform standard for academic history. Lionel covers some of this in Week 3.

  • Neil McIntyre made a comment

    Hello to all the new recruits! Don't worry if you're starting a little later, there is plenty of time to catch up. We hope you enjoy the first week!

  • Hi @JenniferShaw (and @StephenGarbett). Contractions can be frustrating, especially when there isn't consistency within a document. However, the more familiar you become with a particular writer, the more you will start to recognise patterns in the handwriting. Words and letters you've successfully transcribed can be used as a way of uncovering those you're...

  • Hi @LindaStreet-Ely. Digital images of the kirk session records can be viewed at the National Records of Scotland and at selected archives across Scotland. See here for more details:

  • Hi @RuthWyllie. The answer to this question is actually quite complicated, as historians do not agreement on the precise definition. They were a landholding class, but did not have an automatic right to sit in parliament as nobles did. Some could hold barony courts, others could not. In socio-economic terms, lairds varied significantly - some had sprawling...

  • Thanks, @AlanMacKenzie, I'm glad you found it useful. Your question is perfectly reasonable, and the answer straight-forward: the more context the palaeographer has at their disposal, the easier it is to decipher historical handwriting. This will become apparent in the forthcoming videos!

  • Hi @BobH. The recent work of Douglas Watt is a safe place to start. See e.g. The Price of Scotland (2007). You can also find documents relating to the venture here:

  • Hi Noki. Your idea is one we would love to support - I will give this some thought. In the interim, Twitter is a great place to post your palaeography puzzles! You can follow me here:

  • Hi @COrr. Lionel uses both English and Scottish examples because there was much crossover in our period, and English examples are useful for getting the basics down before progressing to the often trickier Scottish ones. Scottish sources are coming, I can assure you!

  • Hi @GillianLoose. The House of Hamilton was a major player in early modern Scottish politics. James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, had married the daughter of James II in 1474, so the family had close relations with the royal House of Stewart - and a claim to the throne! While not all Hamiltons were strictly related, they were bound by ties of fictive kinship,...

  • Very well done to you all for completing the first week! We're enjoying following your progress and greatly appreciate your comments and feedback. Onwards to Week 2!

  • Thanks for raising this, @SteveDenmark - I'll take a look and make any necessary adjustments for future iterations of the course.

  • Very well done, @BarbaraGurney - great to hear your skills are improving and useful to know that the contextual material is helpful.

  • I'll pass on your kind words to Lionel, @PennyW - his presentation is flawless!