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126 MIN READ TIME

Arbroath’s mariners, shipbuilders, merchants and manufacturers

The barque Randolph painted by Richard Ball Spencer. She was launched on 24 February 1864

A rbroath is today probably best known for its abbey, the declaration of Arbroath and the Arbroath smokie. What is perhaps less well known is that Arbroath was once an important maritime, textile and engineering centre. Mariners, shipbuilders, merchants and manufacturers in Arbroath interacted in creating wealth, employment and prosperity.

A particular illustration of such interaction can be seen in the lives of two Arbroath families linked by marriage. The founders of both families were incomers to Arbroath, the Whannel family most probably arriving from Perthshire. The Keith family came, via Dundee, from Aberdeenshire. The Whannel family produced a son, James, who became a master mariner and ship-owner and a daughter, Hannah, who married George Keith, a successful plumber, businessman and provost of Arbroath. George and Hannah in turn had a son, James, who became a famous engineer and industrialist based in London. The interactions of these families – explored in the textbox on page 38 – illustrate the wider social and economic dynamics of the Angus town in which they lived

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About History Scotland

Don't miss Sep/Oct History Scotland and the launch of our Insider BONUS CONTENT! Highlights of this packed issue include: · The Sobieski Stuarts – new research on the remarkable brothers who popularised tartan and fooled a generation with their book Vestiarium Scoticum · New findings relating to the Traprain Law hoard – discovered in East Lothian 100 years ago this year · The Aberdeen Doctors – six men who dared to oppose the National Covenant · Lords of the Isles: a striking reconstruction of a medieval Islay power base * HISTORY SCOTLAND INSIDER: Exclusive interview, new video on the north east slavery legacy, exclusive discounts from heritage partners.​

Other Articles in this Issue


History Scotland
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NEWS
A newly-discovered warder attributed to the Lewis Chessmen workshop has sold at Sotheby’s London to an anonymous buyer for £735,000, a record for a medieval chess piece at auction
Since the article on Treaty of Versailles Delegate
The City of Literature Trust has unveiled a proposal for John Knox House on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to become the Literature House for Scotland, as part of an expanded ‘literary quarter’ in the Netherbow area of the historic thoroughfare
A letter written 100 years ago and dropped over Nova Scotia from the R.34 airship during its recordbreaking double transatlantic crossing is now on display at the National Museum of Flight to mark the centenary of the R.34’s departure from its East Fortune base
our brand new newsletter, exclusively for History Scotland
The lost medieval home of the lords of the isles has been reconstructed virtually by experts at the University of St Andrews, showing the isle of Islay settlement when it was the administrative and ceremonial centre of the lordship of the isles
FEATURES
Julie Holder provides a new assessment of the celebrity brothers John and Charles Edward Sobieski Stuart, whose assertion of descent from Prince Charles Edward Stuart has tended to overshadow their important work in the study of tartan and the history of Gaelic culture
Dr Fraser Hunter provides a timely reassessment of the Traprain Treasure with the results of a ten-year research project that invites us to reassess why this treasure was ‘hacked’ and what this can tell us about Roman links to Scotland
Duncan B Campbell investigates an old legend that a Roman legion was destroyed by the ancestors of the Scots – and discovers a strange tale that has its roots in 19th-century excavations in Silchester
Dr Darren Swanson presents his research on an Aberdour businessman who forged a successful career in Japan, integrating into what was, at the time, a closed and secretive society
The Italian chapel in Orkney, one of the greatest symbols of peace to emerge from the second world war, celebrates its 75th anniversary this summer. Philip Paris refl ects on how the building brought former enemies together and how it still reaches out to us today with messages of hope and love
ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS
Diana Sproat presents the results of recent excavations on the Water of Leith, where the remains of an 18th-century paper mill were uncovered, allowing the mill buildings to give up their secrets
GUARD archaeologists have discovered a hitherto unknown Roman marching camp that was constructed during the Roman conquest of Scotland, alongside a west coast route from which Ireland can be glimpsed
IN-DEPTH FEATURES
A view into Scotland’s medieval environment
Karie Schultz recounts the story of the six ministers and scholars of Aberdeen who publicly opposed the national covenant of 1638, suggesting that they should be understood as symbols of a much more fractious theological landscape than the traditional picture of a monolithic covenanting movement tends to allow
Dr D.C. McWhannell explores the economic fortunes of modern Arbroath, discovering that the effects of Scotland’s mercantile and industrial expansion since the mid-18th century made themselves felt even in this small Angus town
Understanding Scottish emigration in a post-war, post-imperial context (part 2)
REGULARS…
History Scotland’s consultant editor, Dr Allan Kennedy, explores the infamous murder of the young earl of Douglas during a dinner at Edinburgh castle
Neil McLennan explores Ayrshire history and how multiple perspectives of our past have common themes: improvement, innovation and inspiration
Nicola Martin explores a celebration of the legacy of Scottish military mapping, and how the maps produced in this volume tell the story of Scotland’s uniquely important military history
The coming weeks see three exhibitions on the Jacobites and their struggle for the throne
Archivist Veronica Schreuder shares unique eyewitness accounts from the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet, as seen through the eyes of a teenage midshipman writing home to his family
In this David Allan painting, Sir John Halkett and his second wife Mary are shown with his daughter by his first wife, and his thirteen younger children, in the grounds of their Fifeshire estate
Strathglass Heritage Association
In his regular column, Ken Nisbet demonstrates how to research an ancestor who was lost at sea during one of the two world wars
Dr Annie Tindley showcases a travel writing volume that presents Scotland as seen through the eyes of 17th- and 18th-century tourists
Pauline Cairns Speitel, Senior Editor, Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD), talks to History Scotland about SLD’s role in monitoring and documenting the Scots language for all