Wodrow's news: Correspondence and politics in early 18th-Century Scotland

Alasdair Raffe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the creation and consumption of scribal news by the early 18th-century Scottish Presbyterian minister Robert Wodrow (1679–1734). It argues that Scottish news culture depended on the interaction of printed newspapers, professionally produced newsletters from London, personal letters and oral communication. For Wodrow, at least, personal letters were the most important source. No widely circulated commercial newsletter was produced in Scotland, and personal letters were vital for communicating information about the Scottish parliament, the church courts and the Westminster parliament after the Anglo–Scottish Union. News provided as a gift, rather than a commodity, served social functions. The article explores two moments at which Wodrow paid particular attention to parliamentary news: the ratification of the Union in 1706–7, and the passage of the Episcopalian Toleration, Patronage and Yule Vacation Acts in 1712.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalParliamentary History
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • British parliament
  • Church of Scotland
  • letters
  • news
  • Robert Wodrow
  • Scottish parliament

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