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The Third Duke of Buccleuch and Adam Smith

Estate Management and Improvement in Enlightenment Scotland

Brian Bonnyman

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Examines the career of Henry Scott, third Duke of Buccleuch (1746-1812), with particular focus on his relationship with his tutor and friend, the philosopher Adam Smith

Henry Scott, the third Duke of Buccleuch (1746-1812), presided over the management of one of the largest landed estates in Britain during a time of dramatic agrarian, social and political change. Tutored and advised by the philosopher Adam Smith, the Duke was also an important patron of the Scottish Enlightenment, lauded by the Edinburgh literati the as an exemplar of patriotic nobility and civic virtue, while his alliance with Henry Dundas dominated Scottish politics for almost forty years. Combining the approaches of intellectual, economic and landscape history, this book examines the life and career of the third Duke, focusing in particular on his relationship with Adam Smith and the improvement of his extensive Scottish estates.

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Glossary of terms
Chapter 1: Inheritance (1750-1766)
Chapter 2: Education (1746-1766)
Chapter 3: Majority (1767-1770)
Chapter 4: Improvement I: The Lowland Estates (1767-1800)
Chapter 5: Improvement II: The Upland Estates (1767-1812)
Chapter 6: Interest (1767-1812)

About the Author

Brian Bonnyman is Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.


‘A detailed and surprisingly gripping account of improvement in action… Bonnyman’s careful analysis of the Buccleuch archive provides a convincing account of the aristocratic contribution to Scotland’s agricultural improvement, and it will prove an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the subject.’

- Alexander Dick, University of British Columbia, Eighteenth-Century Scotland

'Bonnyman’s book shows us how to weave together intellectual, economic and political history in new exciting ways. This is a superb book that deserves to be widely read.'

- Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, The University of Chicago, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies

'Although much has been written on the intellectual history of the period, this book is the first attempt to examine the process by which the insights of contemporary political economy were applied to the management and improvement of a landed estate. As such it will be of great interest to readers concerned with agricultural and improvement history, landed elites and estate management, and Enlightenment thought and its application...This volume paints a complex picture with an admirably light touch; it deserves its place in a prestigious publishing series and makes a key addition to a wide range of historical and intellectual fields.'

- Annie Tindley, University of Dundee, Agricultural History Review

'Early on in this interesting and multi-faceted tale, the author reminds economic historians that improvement was not just about productivity as revealed by our crunching of numbers but also through changing moral, philosophic, and aesthetic values... Brian Bonnyman has fashioned an interesting and equally balanced approach to the life and times of a complex man in his complex time.'

- Michael Turner, University of Hull, Economic History Review, 68, 4

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