The Plenary Sessions at the Upcoming Conference

There will be four plenary sessions at the conference on Scotland and the Flemish People that will take place on 16 and 17 June at the Gateway in St Andrews. This posting is the last of a series that previews the various sessions in the conferenceNote that this will be the last blog posting until late summer when we will post a short summary of the findings of the conference. 

Plenary I: Prof. Jan Dumolyn (University of Ghent) 

Time:  Thursday 16 June, 10am

Topic:  ‘Flemish Immigration to Scotland and to Britain during the Middle Ages’ 

Bio sketch:  Professor Dumolyn, a native of Bruges, has spent most of his academic career at the University of Ghent. He has also held positions as Visiting Fellow/Scholar at a number of universities in the UK including St Andrews. He has written several books and numerous articles on topics concerning the history of Flanders. His research interests include the urban history of the Low Countries, medieval collective action and social groups and prosopography. He has an ongoing interest in landscape-based research in Environmental History. 

 

Plenary II: Prof. Richard Oram (University of Stirling)

Time:  Thursday 16 June, 4pm

Topic:  ‘Enterprise and Environment: Flemish Colonisation, Economic Development and Environmental Change in Medieval Scotland’

Bio sketch: Professor Oram is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Environmental and Medieval History at the University of Stirling. He has held a number of senior university positions as well as governmental advisory roles. He has wide research interests including the Norse/Scandinavian North Atlantic past, and the historical, archaeological and architectural development of the Scotland’s historic burghs. He is also involved in a study of the parish system in Scotland that is centered in St Andrews.

 

Plenary III: Dr David Ditchburn (Trinity College Dublin)

Time:  Friday 17 June, 9:30am

Topic:  ‘Scotland and the Low Countries in the Later Middle Ages: Doing Diplomacy and its Consequences’

Bio sketch:  Dr Ditchburn is Head of School and Associate Professor in Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin. Most of his research concerns later medieval Scotland and its links with other countries. He has explored commercial connections and migration, but also religious and cultural interactions, such as saintly cults and pilgrimages. He is currently writing a companion volume to his Scotland and Europe that will examine the political and diplomatic links across both the insular and continental worlds.

 

Plenary IV: Dr Katie Stevenson (University of St Andrews)

Time:  Friday 17 June, 3:30pm

Topic:  ‘Cultural Kindred: Sharing Tastes and Talents in Early Renaissance Scotland’ and Flanders’

Bio sketch:  Dr Stevenson is Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. A graduate of medieval history from the universities of Melbourne and Edinburgh, her main research interests centre on culture as a mode of communication in the exercise of power in the late Middle Ages. She is the author of Power and Propaganda: Scotland, 1306-1488 (2014) as well as a range of books and articles on late medieval Scottish chivalric culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flemish Settlement in Scotland: Prosopography and Networks

This is the eighth posting in the series that sets out the content of sessions at the conference on “Scotland and the Flemish People” that will be held in St Andrews on 16 and 17June. This session, with speaker Dr Matthew Hammond, deploys what historians call “prosopography” to gain an understanding of the pattern of relationships among Flemish settlers in the medieval period. Professor Dauvit Broun will chair the session and offer a response to Dr Hammond’s findings.

Session Overview

The relative dearth of narrative historical evidence for Scotland in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries makes the kingdom fertile ground for the prosopographical method (see definition in the box below). The People of Medieval Scotland database (www.poms.ac.uk), showing results on over 15,000 people and institutions drawn from over 6,000 charters and similar documents, provides a mine of information that can be used for the analysis.

In historical studies, prosopography is an investigation of the common characteristics of a historical group, whose individual biographies may be largely untraceable, by means of a collective study of their lives, in multiple career-line analysis. Prosopographical research has the goal of learning about patterns of relationships and activities through the study of collective biography; it collects and analyses statistically relevant quantities of biographical data about a well-defined group of individuals. This makes it a valuable technique for studying many pre-modern societies.

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopography

The database will be used to examine the patterns of settlement by the Flemish in Scotland, looking at the contexts for their arrival, the various social classes to which they belonged, their success and achievements, and the extent to which they may have maintained a distinct identity through, for example, their use of surnames and how far we can talk about a self-conscious Flemish community in Scotland. The session will finish with a discussion of the broader political and cultural links between Scotland and the Low Countries in this period.

Session Participants 

Dauvit Broun, chairman of the session, is Professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. He is an expert in medieval Scottish and Celtic studies and focuses mainly on early medieval Scotland. Among the themes that interest him are early Scottish king-lists, literacy, charter-writing, and national identity. He is Principal Investigator of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project ‘The Paradox of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1286’.

Matthew Hammond is currently a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow on the Leverhulme Trust-funded ‘Transformation of Gaelic Scotland in the 12th and 13th Centuries’ project. He has authored many articles and book chapters on the society and people of Scotland in the central middle ages, and is currently working on a monograph, Social Networks and Lay Society in Medieval Scotland, 1124-1286. He is a former lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and has worked on a number of funded research projects around the People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1314 database and web resource. His research interests include the charters, aristocracy, onomastics, identities, political assemblies and public ritual, and French literature.

 

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Material culture in Flanders and the influence of the Low Countries on Scottish Church Architecture

This is the seventh posting in the series that sets out the content of sessions at the conference to be held in St. Andrews on June 16th and 17th.   This session provides two perspectives on Flemish material culture, in other words the physical evidence of a culture in objects and architecture. Professor Wim De Clercq examines the material culture and domestic environment in Flanders at the time when numbers of Flemish people were migrating.  Professor Richard Fawcett, meanwhile, looks at Scottish ecclesiastical architecture to identify a Flemish – or, more broadly, Low Countries – influence. 

Session overview

“Home is where the hearth is” — Domestic worlds and material culture in late-Medieval Flanders

Professor Wim De Clercq

Many push-factors led Flemish people to migrate to Scotland (among other countries), leaving one specific material environment for another. Following a significant increase in archaeological research during the last decade, new light can now be shed upon the transformations in lifestyles and material culture in late-Medieval period Flanders.  This research has led to a reassessment of the material worlds and landscapes the Flemish shaped and lived in before some migrated. In this presentation particular attention will be paid to transformations in the rural and urban domestic environments and in particular to the development of the Bruges’ outer harbour system which has special relevance to the trading relationship with Scotland.  The presentation will also touch on the extensive role imported material culture played in shaping social and economic identities in late-Medieval Flanders.

The architectural relationships of Scotland’s late medieval Church with the Low Countries

Professor Richard Fawcett

In the late medieval period patrons of Scottish ecclesiastical architecture were looking beyond England for some of their ideas, following many decades of warfare with their southern neighbour.  England had previously been the principal source of fresh inspiration on church design.  These Scottish patrons were keen admirers and acquirers of Netherlandish church art and furnishings and so it became increasingly apparent that the Low Countries was becoming one of the areas to which they now chose to look for architectural inspiration. In this session an attempt will be made to identify some of those features in later medieval church design whose adoption is most convincingly explained by reference to buildings in the Low Countries that are likely to have become known to patrons through their commercial, cultural and ecclesiastical contacts.

Session Participants

Wim De Clercq lectures in Historical Archaeology at the University of Ghent. His research has a strong focus on the archaeology of the Roman and Medieval period in the territory of the former historic county of Flanders.  He has a particular interest in the social and economic context of transformations in material culture and rural house building traditions. Another focus of his work is the region of Bruges with the excavations and study of the late-Medieval castle and New Town of Middelburg-in-Flanders.  In that context he has led a landscape-archaeological project that examines the lost outer harbour towns of Bruges, located along the Zwin tidal inlet.

Richard Fawcett is an emeritus professor in the School of Art History of the University of St Andrews. He received his PhD for research on the 14th and 15th-century church architecture of East Anglia, after which most of his career was in the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments of Historic Scotland, where he dealt with the conservation, interpretation and presentation of architectural monuments and buildings.  His present research is largely focused on the medieval architecture of Scotland, and especially on the sources of the ideas behind the design of churches in the later middle ages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Societies of Antiquaries of London and Scotland, and was appointed OBE in 2008.

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Hints from the hinterland: place-name evidence for the nature of the Flemish presence

This is the sixth posting in the series that sets out the content of sessions at the conference to be held in St. Andrews on June 16th and 17th.  Considerable work has been done on place names in Scotland in recent years, much of it undertaken by Dr. Simon Taylor.  In this session Dr. Taylor, partnered by Dr. Peadar Morgan, will explore whether the work undertaken so far on place names sheds light on the Flemish presence in Scotland.

Session Overview

Fleming settlement in Scotland in the 12th and 13th century: the evidence of place-names.

Dr. Simon Taylor 

Place-names in Scotland are notoriously difficult to date: we know when a name is first recorded, but this can be many centuries after it was first coined. There is, however, one group of names that form a notable and valuable exception to this dating problem. These are place-names that contain personal names – so-called anthropotoponyms – whose eponyms can be identified and dated from other sources. In the course of a wider study of such names in Scotland it has emerged that there is a relatively large number of individuals amongst them who, with various degrees of certainty, have been identified as people of Flemish descent. These will be presented in the session within the wider context of names containing identifiable individuals throughout Scotland.  The distribution of place-names which certainly or probably contain Flemish names will be compared with those containing Fleming as an ethnonym, as will be discussed by my Peadar Morgan. Finally some older ideas relating to Flemish people and place-names in Scotland will also be revisited.

‘Fleming’ as an ethnonym

Dr. Peadar Morgan 

Fleming is one of the hardest ethnonyms – name of an ethnicity – to identify accurately in place-names, given the identical, similarly derived, surname. It’s significance once identified is hardly clearer, but hints appear when the distribution of the names, along with a few known tenurial links, are viewed as a whole. This part of the session, illustrating the use of place-name evidence, presents mapped conclusions dividing the surname from the ethnonym.  The implication of this is that Fleming was not, as might have been expected, used to name places colonised by Flemish people. However, it apparently became applied as an occasional marker in two patterns of Flemish involvement and settlement: links with wool production for a number of monastic institutions in Southern Scotland and in Cumbria, and for a small number of early weaving-related settlements.

Session participants

Dr. Alex Woolf is chairman of the session.  He is a senior lecturer in History at St Andrews.  He has written four books and numerous articles on themes in Scottish history.   He has a particular interest in place names and supervised the PhD studies of Paedar Morgan who will be speaking in this session. 

Simon Taylor is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow specialising in Scottish onomastics (name-studies), with special emphasis on toponymy (place-names). He has published extensively on the subject including five volumes of the place-names of Fife (2006-2012) and individual volumes on the place-names of Kinross-shire and Clackmannanshire (forthcoming). He helped found the Scottish Place-Name Society in 1996, and was its convener from 2006 to 2011. Since its inception in 2007 he has been an editor of the annual Journal of Scottish Name Studies, the first academic, peer-reviewed publication devoted to Scottish onomastics.

Dr Peadar Morgan completed a part-time PhD in 2013 with the School of History at the University of St Andrews. His thesis identified, and looked at the significance of the names of the many ethnicities appearing in the past and present place-names of Scotland and the Border counties of England.

 

 

 

 

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Scotland and the Flemish People Conference, 16-17 June

The purpose of this blog posting is to share with readers the draft programme for the  conference that will take place in St Andrews on 16 and 17 June 2016.  There may still be some changes to the programme but it is now substantially in place. The goal of the conference is to bring the results of recent research on issues surrounding Scotland and the Flemish People into the public arena for comment and discussion.We are opening up a range of new topics that have not hitherto been discussed in the blog or other fora. There are a wide range of such topics and so there should be sessions that will be of interest to those attending the conference whether they be family historians, genetic genealogists, academics or local historians. The Gateway venue is ideal for networking with others interested in the theme. 

Registration for the conference is via our website: www.eventsforce.net/scotflem  

You can also contact us at scotflem2016@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Conference Programme

Thursday 16 June

09.00-09.45       Registration

09.45-10.00       Welcome

10.00-11.00       Plenary I: Prof. Jan Dumolyn (University of Ghent)                         

‘Flemish Immigration to Scotland and to Britain during the Middle Ages’ 

11.00-11.30       Coffee

11.30-13.00       Parallel Sessions I

  1. When and How the Flemish came to Scotland

A panel discussion chaired by Dr Alex Fleming (project co-sponsor and researcher) will address a number of issues surrounding the migration of Flemish people to Scotland at various times.

Dr David Dobson (Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh), ‘Flemish Migration to Scotland: An Overview’.

Mr Charles Rigg (Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum), ‘Baldwin and the Twelfth-Century Incomers to Upper Clydesdale’.

Mr George English (genealogist and independent researcher), ‘Religious Persecution: The Flemish and Migration to Scotland’.

  1. Material Culture in Flanders and the Influence of the Low Countries on Scottish Church Architecture.

In the first part of this session Professor Wim De Clercq (University of Ghent) will give a talk titled: “Home is where the Hearth is” – Domestic Worlds and Material Culture in Late Medieval Flanders. He will assess the material worlds and landscapes in Flanders in the medieval period that the migrants to Scotland would have left behind.

In the second part of the session Professor Richard Fawcett (University of St Andrews) will discuss The Architectural Relationships of Scotland’s Late Medieval Church with the Low Countries.

13.00-14.00       Lunch

14.00-15.30       Parallel Sessions II

  1. What is DNA telling us about our Flemish Origins?

Alasdair MacDonald (University of Strathclyde) and Dr Maarten Larmuseau (University of Leuven) are leading experts on the use of DNA in genealogical research. Their session will explore the challenges of comparing Scottish DNA with that from Flanders drawing on the results of the study being undertaken as part of the Scotland and the Flemish People Project. Representatives of some of the main Scottish families, thought to have Flemish roots, will also talk briefly about the results of their family DNA analyses to date. Mr John M. Sutherland-Fisher, Ms Alexandrina Murray, and Mr Sven Vermaete will also discuss the results of specific family DNA analysis.

  1. Flemish Settlement in Scotland: Prosopography and Networks

Dr Matthew Hammond (University of Glasgow) has worked extensively on migration, settlement and social networks in 12th and 13th century Scotland. His talk will explore the movement of Flemings to Scotland during this period and the extent and nature of the networks that bound them together as a distinct group in the Scottish kingdom. Prof. Dauvit Broun (University of Glasgow) will chair the session and offer a response to Dr Hammond’s findings.

15.30-16.00       Coffee

16.00-17.00       Plenary II: Prof. Richard Oram (University of Stirling)

‘Enterprise and Environment: Flemish Colonisation, Economic Development and Environmental Change in Medieval Scotland’

18.30                   Wine reception

19.30                   Conference dinner

 

Friday 17 June 

09.30-10.30       Plenary III: Dr David Ditchburn (Trinity College Dublin)

‘Scotland and the Low Countries in the Later Middle Ages: Doing Diplomacy and its Consequences’

10.30-11.00       Coffee

11.00-12.30       Parallel Sessions III

  1. Hints from the Hinterland: Place-Name Evidence for the Nature of the Flemish Presence

Chaired by Dr Alex Woolf (University of St Andrews), this session will feature presentations from Dr Simon Taylor (University of Glasgow) and Dr Peadar Morgan (formerly University of St Andrews), two of the leading experts on place names in Scotland, on what these reveal about the nature and extent of Flemish settlement.

  1. Politics, Diplomacy, War and Commerce

This session will feature three papers on aspects of the commercial and political links between Scotland and Flanders in the Middle Ages.

Dr Alexander Stevenson (independent researcher), ‘Philip d’Alsace, Count of Flanders and the first Franco-Scottish Alliance’

Ms Amy Eberlin (University of St Andrews), ‘The Flemish Dimension of Fifteenth Century Scottish Politics’

Dr Lauran Toorians (independent researcher), ‘Jan Moffet and Scottish Traders in Bergen op Zoom in the Early Sixteenth Century’

12.30-13.30       Lunch

13.30-15.00       Parallel Sessions IV

  1. Leisure, Pleasure and Recreation

The three talks in this session will examine another aspect of the linkage between Scotland and Flanders, specifically the cultural and recreational links that materialised in the medieval and early modern periods.

Dr Christine McGladdery  (University of St Andrews)

‘”The sport of diplomacy”: the Scoto-Burgundian tournament of 1449’

Ms Morvern French (University of St Andrews)

‘”Ostentatious by Nature”: Flemish Material Culture at the Marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor’

Mr Robin Bargmann (independent researcher).

“Has there been a Flemish influence on early games in Scotland?”

  1. The Flemings of Biggar and Cumbernauld

The Fleming family was a significant player in the history of medieval Scotland. From their original lordship of Biggar, the family acquired property in many other parts of Scotland, most notably in Cumbernauld where their main castle was located.  Prof. Michel Brown and Dr Bess Rhodes (both University of St Andrews) will explore the family’s history and changes in fortune in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 

15.00 -15.30      Coffee                                                

15.30-16.30       Plenary IV: Dr Katie Stevenson (University of St Andrews)

‘Cultural Kindred: Sharing Tastes and Talents in Early Renaissance Scotland and Flanders’

16.30                   Closing remarks

 

 

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Leisure, pleasure and recreation

This posting is the fifth in the series on themes that will be addressed at a conference held in St. Andrews on June 16 and 17 this year. While much of the historical analysis of the relationship between Flanders and Scotland focuses on the more traditional commercial and political aspects there is another dimension – that of leisure, pleasure and recreation – that merits review.

Dr. Christine McGladdery examines a unique jousting tournament that took place in Scotland in 1449 with a Burgundian champion participating.  Continuing with the sporting theme Robin Bargmann looks at the case for a Flemish influence on early games in Scotland with a special emphasis on golf and curling. Finally Morvern French discusses the pleasure and standing that James IV derived from his importation of Flemish luxury goods. 

 

Session overview 

‘The sport of diplomacy’: the Scoto-Burgundian tournament of 1449

Dr Christine McGladdery

This paper will consider the tournament held in the presence of James II at Stirling in February 1449 from a number of perspectives. The detailed accounts that survive offer intriguing insights into perceptions of a chivalric encounter that appears to have been intended to showcase the skills of the Scottish challenger, James, Master of Douglas (brother and heir presumptive of William 8th earl of Douglas) against the great Burgundian champion of the period, Jacques de Lalain, but consideration will be given also to the extent to which such occasions could serve a diplomatic as well as sporting agenda.

Has there been a Flemish influence on early games in Scotland?

Robin Bargmann

The origins of golf and curling are two of the most hotly debated issues in the history of Scottish sport.  This paper will review the evidence for a Flemish influence on the development of these two games.  Regarding golf – or colf as the early version of the game was called – the establishment of the game in Fife and Lanarkshire in the medieval period, coinciding with the migration of Flemish craftsmen to Eastern Scotland, provides compelling circumstantial evidence for a Flemish influence.  There is similar evidence pointing to a possible Flemish origin for the game of curling.  The paper also touches on the origins of tennis especially in the light of the fact that the court at Falkland Palace is the oldest surviving tennis court in the world.  The game was originally known as caets spel in the Low Countries and caichpulle in Scotland (etymologically connected to caets spel).

‘Ostentatious by nature’: Flemish Material Culture at the Marriage of James IV and Margaret Tudor

Morvern French

This paper will look how James IV (1488-1513) employed material resources to convey his splendour, power, and lineage at his 1503 marriage to Margaret Tudor. Anglo-Scottish relations had, prior to the signing of the marriage treaty, been characterised by hostility and mistrust, with James supporting the pretender Perkin Warbeck in 1496-7. 1503 signalled a renewal of friendly relations, but it also prompted James to display his standing as a powerful European ruler through the use of material culture.

For this he looked primarily to Flanders, Scotland’s principal trading partner and the home of the Northern Renaissance, where luxury objects representative of the top level of design and quality were produced. The gold and silver plate, chairs of estate, tapestries, textiles, and a lavishly illuminated book of hours, imported from Flanders for the wedding, were a statement of James’s ability to command the finest material resources and of his equal standing with the king of England. As the pinnacle of late medieval luxury, Flemish material culture was used by James IV to assert his position as a Renaissance prince on an international stage.

 

Session participants 

Dr Christine McGladdery is a senior teaching fellow in Mediaeval Scottish History at the University of St Andrews, and has published the recently fully revised monograph, James II (Edinburgh, 2015). 

Robin Bargmann, a graduate of the University of Leiden, has an interest in the history of the early game of golf in the Low Countries and Scotland. He is the author of the book Serendipity of Early Golf and of numerous other articles and essays. He is member of the British Golf Collectors Society and the European Association of Golf Historians and Collectors. 

Morvern French is a third year PhD student at the University of St Andrews and a contributor to the Scotland and the Flemish People project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Politics, diplomacy and commerce

This posting is the fourth in the series on themes that will be addressed at a conference held in St. Andrews on June 16 and 17 this year.   The relationship between Scotland and Flanders in the medieval period had many dimensions: political, diplomatic and commercial. One important figure who helped shape this relationship was Philip d’Alsace. He was Count of Flanders in the second half of the 12th century and is the subject of a paper prepared by Alexander Stevenson.  The relationship was not always harmonious, however, as evidenced by Amy Eberlin’s account of shifts in Scotland’s staple port  between Bruges (in Flanders)  and Middelburg (in Zeeland) in the 15th century.  The role that individuals played in oiling the trading relationship between Scotland and Flanders is highlighted in Lauran Toorian’s research on Jan Moffet who was appointed Conservator of the Scottish Privileges— the Scottish government’s representative in the Netherlands—and who lived for part of his career in Bergen op Zoom near Antwerp.   

 Session overview 

Philip d’Alsace, Count of Flanders and the first Franco-Scottish Alliance

Count Philip d’Alsace, who ruled from 1157 to 1191, was the most powerful and influential ruler of Flanders before the county was absorbed by the Valois dukes of Burgundy in the late fourteenth century. His rule extended from across most of what is now the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands to within 25 miles of Paris. His policies transformed the county and greatly increased Flemish trade. He was also renowned for his martial prowess and diplomacy: admired and trusted by King Louis VII of France, King Henry II of England and his sons, and by Thomas Becket, all of whom turned to him at different times for support. Though almost unremarked by modern historians, his fame and influence were such that he was a driving force possibly the driving force behind a war in France and England that nearly dethroned King Henry II. Scotland was drawn into the war, with momentous consequences for all.  Alexander Stevenson. 

The Flemish dimension of fifteenth century Scottish politics

The 1347 general council act that expelled Flemings from Scotland gave an overly simplistic reason for its creation: a similar expulsion of Scots from Flanders. The true reasons for the implementation of an act exiling the merchants of a major trading partner were far more nuanced. The political context of 1346, particularly the English defeat of the French at the battle of Crécy and the Scots at the battle of Neville’s Cross, and capture of David II on the battlefield, was a significant factor in the creation of this economic protectionist policy. In 1425, James I instituted a similar economic policy, transferring the Scottish staple to Middelburg (in Zeeland) and threatening the forfeiture of any Scottish merchant who passed through Flanders. This paper will argue that James I made these economic moves as a result of the political environment of early fifteenth century Scotland and the precedent of the 1347 expulsion of Flemings from Scotland. In looking at a solely economic picture of these events, we underestimate the importance of politics, domestic and international, on the trade relationship between Scotland and Flanders in the fifteenth century. Amy Eberlin.

 Jan Moffet and Scottish traders in Bergen op Zoom in the early sixteenth century

Between 1365 and 1565 the city of Bergen op Zoom, north of Antwerp on the Scheldt River, had two large fairs every year, one around Easter and the other early in November. Traders from far and wide came to these fairs and among them were traders from Scotland as well. From the decades around 1500 the city archives allow a closer look at this group. A number of Scotsmen possessed houses just outside the city wall (and moat) and there also was an altar for St Trinian (or Ninian) in the parish church. In the mid-1530’s this group was led by Jan (or John) Moffet who for a while also acted as ‘conservator of the privileges of the nation of the realme [in Scotland] in Flanders’. This fact, that the conservator was once actually living in Bergen op Zoom, was until recently not well known. It highlights the role Bergen op Zoom played in the struggle between Flanders, Zeeland and Brabant to get the Scottish staple for the Low Countries. The better-known and slightly earlier conservator and trader Andrew Halyburton traded with Bergen op Zoom as well.

That Jan Moffet had Scottish roots is not certain, but we can guess his name refers to Moffat in Annandale (Dumfriesshire). Moffet himself was born in Abbeville at the mouth of the river Somme in Northern France. Since 1509 he was a burgher (with formal citizenship) of Bergen op Zoom and may have died around 1552. He held the office of conservator from 1528 onwards. Moffet had a house within the city walls and thus did not live with the other Scottish traders in the Scottish quarter just outside the walls. All this is intriguing because in this period the Scottish staple was in Veere (Campvere) and in the literature about the Scottish trade with the Low Countries Bergen op Zoom hardly plays a role.  During and after the Dutch Revolt (‘Eighty Years War’) the Scottish presence in Bergen op Zoom continued with Scottish regiments manning the garrison of the now fully fortified city. Lauran Toorians.

Session participants 

Alexander Stevenson is a retired senior civil servant. He is a historian by training and has a special interest in the Low Countries.  In 1982 he completed a PhD thesis on medieval Scottish links with the Low Countries, primarily Flanders, which he is currently reworking for publication.

Amy Eberlin is a final year PhD student at the University of St Andrews, Institute of Scottish Historical Research and is a member of Scotland and the Flemish People Project. Her research primarily focuses upon the Scots involved in trade and diplomacy between Scotland and Flanders in the late medieval period. 

Lauran Toorians studied medieval history and comparative linguistics at Leiden University, the latter with a heavy accent on the Celtic languages. He is currently an independent scholar, working in part as a journalist in the field of the arts and culture while simultaneously undertaking research in medieval history as well as Celtic languages and literature. He has a special interest in the historical relations between the Low Countries and the Celtic-speaking world.

 

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The Flemings of Biggar and Cumbernauld

This posting is the third in the series on themes that will be addressed at a conference held in St. Andrews on June 16 and 17 this year.  The Fleming family of Biggar and Cumbernauld became an important baronial family in late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland.  This session will revisit the Flemings in the light of recently discovered collection of their papers from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries which reveal the, sometimes dubious, actions and wide connections of this noble house.

Session Overview

The Fleming family was a significant player in the history of medieval Scotland as a number of blog postings over the past two years illustrate (see references below).  From their original lordship of Biggar, the family acquired property in many other parts of Scotland, most notably at Cumbernauld where their main castle was located.  Using a newly discovered collection of documents, this session will explore the family’s history and changes in fortune in the fourteenth and fifteenth century.

This collection of hitherto unknown charters was gifted to the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in 2014.  These have recently been made available to researchers at the University of St. Andrews and are helping to shed new light on the family and its relationships in medieval Scotland.  The parties to the charters vary widely. Almost all of the charters have, as one of the principal parties, a member of the Fleming family. The other parties are wide-ranging but include royalty such as David II, Robert III, James III, James IV, Charles II, and Mary, Queen of Scots. 

Session Participants

 Professor Michael Brown is professor of Medieval Scottish History at the University of St Andrews. His books include James I (Edinburgh, 1994), The Black Douglases (East Linton, 1998), The Wars of Scotland, 1214-1371 (Edinburgh, 2004) and Disunited Kingdoms: Peoples and Politics in the British Isles, 1280-1460 (Harlow, 2013). 

Dr. Bess Rhodes is a researcher at St. Andrews University who is focusing at present on “calendaring” the Fleming charters with a view to gaining a better understanding of the role played by the Fleming family in 14th and 15th century Scotland.

 

Blog postings on the Fleming family 

Baldwin and the 12th Century Incomers to Upper Clydesdale Revisited http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2014/03/24/baldwin-and-the-12th-century-incomers-to-upper-clydesdale-revisited/

The Flemings of Cumbernauld Castle

http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2014/05/19/the-flemings-of-cumbernauld-castle/

Mary Fleming and Mary Queen of Scots

http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2014/12/05/mary-fleming-and-mary-queen-of-scots/

John, 5th Lord Fleming

http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2014/12/12/john-5th-lord-fleming/

The Fleming Family Charter Collection

http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2015/03/13/the-fleming-family-charter-collection/

The Fleming Family Charter Collection and the Dark Side of Fifteenth-Century Family Life

http://flemish.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2015/05/07/the-fleming-family-charter-collection-and-the-dark-side-of-fifteenth-century-family-life/

 

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When and How the Flemish came to Scotland

This posting is the second in the blog series on themes that will be addressed at the June 2016 conference in St. Andrews.  One session, described below, will examine the movement to Scotland of the Flemish—the aristocratic Flemings as well as artisans and religiously persecuted—who arrived in the medieval and early modern periods 

Overview 

This session will examine when and how various groups of Flemish people came to Scotland in the medieval and early modern periods.  It will provide an overview of the factors that led to the migration at various times.

One of the major issues surrounding the arrival of the aristocratic Flemish in Scotland in the 12th century is what brought them north and where they (or their ancestors) were before that.  It is possible that the Fleming family, for instance, may have been previously in Wales where there were people with names identical to those later found in Upper Clydesdale.  Then there are questions as to the movement to Scotland of some other major Scottish families with possible Flemish origins—for instance the Murrays, Sutherlands, and Lindsays.

There are also issues surrounding the later Flemish migrants.  These include the question of when the Flemish weavers and other artisans arrived, where they came from (England or directly from Flanders) and where they settled.

Finally, there is a question surrounding the religiously persecuted Flemish who may have come to Scotland in the mid 16th to early 17th centuries.  At issue here is why and when these migrations to Britain took place, how many of them likely came to Scotland, and what routings they may have taken. 

Main Participants 

Dr. Alex Fleming will chair the session and is a co-sponsor of, and researcher in the Scotland and the Flemish People Project.  He is also editor of the blog attached to the project. Now retired, he is an international economist by training.

Charles Rigg is a Trustee and member of the Interpretive Design Team of Biggar and Upper Clydesale Museum. A centrepiece of the new museum, which opened in 2015, is the impact of the ancient Fleming family on the local area.  Before retiring Charles was a secondary school history teacher.

Dr. David Dobson is currently a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Research Fellow with the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews.  His research interests are focused mainly on the Scottish Diaspora as well as Scottish history in the Early Modern Period.

George English is a Director of the family history service Research Through People. He has undertaken extensive genealogical and historical research and published work in United Kingdom, United States and Europe. He has a special interest in the issue of religious persecution in the Low Countries.

 

 

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What is DNA telling us about our Flemish origins?

This posting is part of the blog series on themes that will be addressed at the June 2016 conference in St. Andrews. This posting looks at the content of the DNA session.

Overview

Genetic genealogical analysis has developed rapidly in recent years with new techniques being applied to an ever-increasing volume of data from samples of DNA taken from individuals, much of it pertaining to Y-DNA passed down through the male line. This session reports on the first results of the DNA component of The Scotland and the Flemish People Project that has been ongoing over the past three years. The goal of this work has been to help confirm through DNA analysis whether certain Scottish families have a Flemish ancestral root. A range of issues that have arisen in the course of the analysis will be broached during the session.

In comparing the DNA of Scottish families with that of a control group in Flanders a number of issues arise, not least the question of whether it is possible to define a Flanders DNA profile. This is the topic of the second part of the session.

The session ends with a panel session where representatives of some of the main Scottish families, thought to have Flemish roots, will talk briefly about the results of their family DNA analyses to date.

Biographical Information

Alasdair Macdonald is from the University of Strathclyde (Department of Genealogical Studies). He is a leading authority in Scotland on DNA issues.

Dr Maarten Larmuseau is a researcher at the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

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