There Arose a Dearth – The Grain Market in Crisis

Karen J. Cullen

in Famine in Scotland - the 'Ill Years' of the 1690s

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780748638871
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653508 | DOI:
There Arose a Dearth – The Grain Market in Crisis

Show Summary Details


This chapter focuses on the ways in which adverse weather conditions impacted upon the supply and price of grain. The famine was described by Smout as ‘a terrible instance of the vulnerability of a primitive economy to bad weather’, and some of the ways in which the economy, and particularly the grain market, responded to these adverse conditions and grain shortage are explored. The central government's ability to implement adequate famine relief measures, particularly during this period of economic difficulty, is a further determinant of the severity of the famine. The wider impact of the other ‘disasters’ of the 1690s clearly not only limited the government's ability to provide financial relief, but also town councils, kirk sessions and some landowners may have found their income reduced due to the convergence of a number of economic crises which further limited the amount of specie circulating in the country. The chapter considers some of the influences of foreign markets upon the Scottish economy.

Keywords: adverse weather; famine; grain shortage; government response; famine relief; foreign markets

Chapter.  19465 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.