JJ (justjayj) wrote in little_details,

Scottish Languages, 1850s, and Scottish Schooling, 1840s

I actually am more in need of confirmation than information on this first question, but I wanted to be sure of myself.

In the 1850s, the residents of Skye (that is, the crofters, not the Anglicized gentry) would have spoken Gaelic, not Scots or English, correct? My understanding is that Scots is a Lowland language, and that Skye culture was closer to that of the Highlands. (From what I know of the period in general, there were not yet state-sponsored primary schools to pound English into the working-class children either, right?)

I wanted to confirm this because my research also indicates that the residents of Skye were Church of Scotland, while the Highlands were still predominantly a Catholic region, so I wanted to make sure there weren't other differences between Skye and the mainland Highlands.

In contrast, would a lifelong resident of Glasgow or Edinburgh have spoken a Scottish dialect of English (as distinct from Scots)? My character here is...well, at the moment her social status is rather amorphous. I think I will need her family to be "in trade," rather than working-class.

The other question pertains to the schooling of young gentlemen in that period. The character is the eldest son of an earl. In order to create necessary tension between him and his father, I wanted to portray him as a hellion in his pre-teens, so that his father shipped him off to boarding school. On top of that, I'd love it if he came back on school breaks a flaming Jacobite--just to stick it to his royalist dad.

EDIT: LadyAmber just pointed out to me that I'd been unclear on this point. I know when Culloden happened and all. I meant that the kid would be deliberately provocative toward his father on matters of politics and history. I've given them a clan name that stuck to the royalist side in '45, and thus the kid would be insulting his father and many generations before him by calling them traitors to their country. For a modern equivilant, think of a conservative Republican father hearing his son declare, "I'm a socialist. Oh. AND GAY."

Did such a school exist in Scotland in the 1840s? I know I could ship him off to Eaton or Harrow or something, but I'd prefer if it were within Scotland. My google-fu is weak on this one. Please help!

EDIT: Actually, it's looking like the Edinburgh Academy will do for the second question. (Amazing what caffeine does for one's Wikipedia skillz.)

Still looking for more definite answers--or even just leads on linguistics sources--for the first question.

Thanks very much!
Tags: 1840-1849, 1850-1859, uk: education, uk: scotland: history

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