A Memorial Concerning the Disorders of the Highlands:

James Kirkwood's plea for improvements in the Far North, 1703

I am showing here the text from a scarce Memorial published in 1703. It is a response to the perceived threat that was felt throughout Scotland by the Jacobite support. The author is James Kirkwood (c.1650 - 1708), who had witnessed the deprivation and poverty of the North when chaplain to John Campbell, first Earl of Breadalbane. His key to improving the situation there was education. His knowledge of the Highlands led him to understand that their native tongue was important to the population, and he was involved in the failed attempt to publish a Bible in Gaelic. He was also part of an attempt to open a school at Abertarff, but again the project failed for a number of reasons.

The Memorial shown below is an indication that there were bodies concerned for the welfare of the population of the far north of Scotland at the start of the 18th century, though they were few and far between.