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DundeeRenaissance to Enlightenment$
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Charles McKean, Bob Harris, and Christopher A. Whatley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781845860165

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860165.001.0001

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What Kind of Renaissance Town was Dundee?

What Kind of Renaissance Town was Dundee?

(p.xxxii) (p.1) Chapter 1 What Kind of Renaissance Town was Dundee?

Charles McKean

Edinburgh University Press

Dundee had been the second town of Scotland (judged by tax returns) since the fifteenth century, and its fiscal status was reflected in its high standing — second only to Edinburgh — in the government of the realm. This chapter assesses the burgh's character, ambition, and culture as revealed through its urban building and remodelling, and through the networks of the internationally trading merchants who paid for it. It shows that Dundee was unlike other Scots burghs; its nearest equivalent towns were the Baltic ports with which it traded, and its merchant venturers shared with them a reputation for independence and free thinking, a taste for enquiry and culture, and a fondness for conspicuous consumption. The seventy years following its reorganisation in the 1560s were probably Dundee's most prosperous decades, its port thronged with increasing numbers of vessels.

Keywords:   Dundee, Scotland, Renaissance, port, burgh, urban building, trading merchants

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