Browsing by Author "Falconer, Robert"
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ItemCornering the Cheshire cat: reflections on the 'new British history' and studies in early modern British identities(2001) Connors, Richard; Falconer, RobertHistorians courageous enough to explore and begin to unravel the challenging subjects of "Britishness" and identifies should be congratulated for taking on the task. Yet, when considering these subjects -- the "New British history" and the Cheshire cat-like qualifies of national identifies -- one cannot but be reminded of Lewis Carroll's Alice who, by chance and choice, falls down the rabbit hole "never once considering how in the world she was to get out again." And like Alice, historians of "Britishness" and national identifies continue on down a similar ambiguous path, a path which "dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well." Nevertheless, the study of British identities has recently enjoyed considerable scholarly attention and an emerging and voluminous historiography reveals to even the casual observer that this is a busy historiographical building site, a building site which has drawn heavily on the materiel, labour and tools of related academic disciplines. While we have reservations about the edifice -- a Tower of Babel -- that is being constructed, there can be no doubt this "hard-hat area" has uncovered some important findings which need to be recognised and acknowledged by British historians as beneficial m helping us fulfil, in a slightly different context, Peter Laslett's goal of "understanding ourselves in time." ItemA crime of fashion: social mobility and the second hand clothing trade in early modern England(2019) Riehl, Abby; Falconer, RobertThrough exploring the ideologies behind the sumptuary laws, the development of the second-hand economy, and the method through which goods came into it, this essay will consider the idea of social mobility as attained through the buying and selling of luxury clothing. Looking primarily at the working poor, though also drawing from the expanding middling class, this essay will consider the realities of the opportunities offered by the existence of the second-hand economy, and whether or not any tangible form of social mobility was indeed attainable through them. Item'Mony utheris divars odious crymes': women, petty crime and power in later sixteenth century Aberdeen(2010) Falconer, RobertThis article examines the nature of petty crimes committed by sixteenth century Aberdonian women and the impact they had on burgh society. The evidence presented here challenges the notion that the burgh court charged women with a much more narrow range of criminal activities than men. Over a period of roughly 50 years (1541- 1591), the Aberdeen Council Register and Baillie Court Books record nearly 2,000 individual convictions for a variety of criminal acts that included statute breaking, property crimes, and acts of verbal and physical assault. This article looks at a specific section of this evidence to argue that women used the same methods to wrong their neighbours, challenge the authority of the magistrates and to push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Even if it was not the intended consequence of their actions, the petty crimes committed by Aberdonian women, not unlike those committed by their male counterparts, (re)shaped their social space. The evidence suggests that individuals used petty crimes to achieve specific goals and to establish dominance within their environment. In many cases, such crimes, and the responses to these acts, constituted a negotiation of social power. ItemSurveying Scotland's urban past: the pre-modern burgh(2011) Falconer, RobertSince the early 20th century, much of the urban history of medieval and early modern Scotland has focused on the purpose behind, and functionality of, the pre-modern burgh. As a result of contemporary urban concerns, in the 1970s scholars began to ask new questions of the surviving documentary sources and engage cartographic, geographical and archaeological evidence. As a result of newer interdisciplinary approaches to the field, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed a growing interest in pre-modern burghs as more than trade hubs and administrative centres; they were increasingly seen as places where individuals lived, worked and prayed. But while this 'urban aspect of local history' received attention from urban historians of Scotland, very little research has been undertaken in the areas of urbanization, urban networks and urban hierarchies since two important articles were published in 1989 and 1992. This article surveys the development of the field of pre-modern Scottish urban history and traces the impact made by other disciplines.