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The Legal Language of Scottish BurghsStandardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560)$
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Joanna Kopaczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001

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Burghs in Scottish History

Burghs in Scottish History

5 Burghs in Scottish History
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

This chapter opens the second part of the book, devoted to the historical and social background of legal discourse in medieval and early modern Scotland. Early urban centres—the burghs—provide context for the production of legal records and administrative documents, easily localizable on a dialectal map of Scotland. The beginnings and development of Scottish burghs are approached from the perspective of their importance for trade, local administration, and political stability of the realm. The chapter also includes short characteristics of Scottish rulers of the period and their mutual contacts with the burghs, with focus on privileges, parliamentary prerogatives, and legal activities. Since the burghs grew mostly in the Scottish Lowlands, the discussion addresses the uneasy relationship of this part of the country with the Highlands, also in the context of Scottish identity, carried through language and law.

Keywords:   Scotland, urbanization, burghs, feudalism, Stewarts, identity, legal history

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