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In 1605, James VI was muched vexed by the inhabitants of Lewis, who apparently delighted in "blood, theft, reiffe and oppression". His councillors recognized that one of the principal causes of rebellion was the number of boats on the islands, which gave the rebels the facility for "both eschewing of apprehension when they are pursued as for mutual concurring and assisting one another against his Highness and his authority". From the resonant prose of the Privy Council Registers it is clear that Highland galleys were a thorn in the flesh of the Lowland government. For nearly a millennium, the west Highland galley was the vehicle for island life. A Gaelic adaption of a Norse design, the ships guaranteed the independence of the islands. Birlinns are known through poetry and metaphor, and can be seen in carvings and seals. This text assesses this craft, bringing out the importance of the galley in the economy of the Highlands as a means of transporting mercenaries to Ireland. With the Union of the Crowns, this source of employment and money dried up and the collapse of the Highland economy followed. The author shows how this surplus of manpower became a factor in the collapse of Scotland into civil war and the anarchy of the 1630s on. But they were also much more than that.
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Book Description Birlinn Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111841580139