Introduction

Below you will find a timeline based upon the Scottish Enlightenment from 1707-1800, this was the period in 18th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century, Scotland had a network of parish schools in the Lowlands and five universities. The Enlightenment culture was based on close readings of new books, and intense discussions took place daily at such intellectual gathering places in Edinburgh as The Select Society and, later, The Poker Club as well as within Scotland’s ancient universities such as St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen/

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1707

The Act of Union...
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1716

Rural hardship gets worse and disabled people feature highly amongst the new homeless class of rural...
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1718

Paupers in Liverpool are made to wear a special badge so that the same person is not helped twice, w...
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1719

Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), one of the most successful women artists of any era, is commissioned t...
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1720-1745

Most of London’s most famous hospitals are founded during this period....
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1720

One of the earliest recorded workhouses, “the workhouse called Paul’s work”, is known to have ...
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1721

The birth of poet Thomas Blacklock (1721 – 1791)....
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1722

Janet Horne, targeted for giving birth to a disabled child, is the last witch to be burned in Scotla...
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1728

Birth of Robert Adam, Architect....
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1731

In this year was the birth of John Walker (1731–1803) Natural Historian, and The Town’s Hospital...
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1736

Birth of James Watt (1736 – 1819) Inventor and Mechanical Engineer...
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1739

A Foundling Hospital is set up in London following reports that “the unwanted children of the poor...
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1740

In this year was the birth of James Boswell, Lawyer, Biographer and Diarist. Also, a contract betwe...
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1741

Birth of the Poet, Lyricist and Muir ale house keeper, Isabel Pagan (c.1741 –1821). “A spirited ...
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1743

The Edinburgh Charity Workhouse in Port Bristo opens and is financed by voluntary subscriptions. Fun...
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1746

Birth of Hokiichi Hanawa, Son of a humble farmer, Hanawa loses his sight in early childhood but beco...
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1749

19 ‘lunatics’ are confined in the Edinburgh ‘Bedlam’....
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1750

Two significant births in this year, with the birth of Robert Fergusson (1750 – 1774) a poet, and ...
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1753

Birth of Dugald Stewart (1753 – 1828) Philosopher and Mathematician...
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1755

Samuel Heinicke establishes the first oral school for deaf children in the world in Germany, whilst ...
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1759

Birth of Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) Poet...
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1760

Teacher, Thomas Braidwood opens his ‘Academy for the Deaf and Dumb’ in Edinburgh....
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1761

Edinburgh’s West Kirk parish opens the Canongate Charity workhouse at the east side of Tollbooth W...
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1762

Land tenure reform leads to the Highland Clearances and massive emigration for several decades....
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1763

40 ‘lunatics’ confined in the Edinburgh ‘Bedlam’....
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1765

Birth of Thomas Muir of Huntershill (1765 -1799) Political Reformer...
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1766

The arrival of Europeans in the Americas has a major impact on countries like Brazil. In 1766, the f...
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1770

Birth of Ludwig Van Beethoven. Already deaf when he composes his 9th symphony, Beethoven relies on v...
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1771

Birth of Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) Historical Novelist, Playwright and Poet...
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1773

During his famous journey to the ‘Western Islands of Scotland’ Dr Samuel Johnson visits "a colle...
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1775

Catherine the Great issues a decree in Russia establishing social service committees and encouraging...
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1778

Birth of Thomas Brown, Philosopher...
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1781

The Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary is founded by Mrs. Susan Carnegie of Charleton...
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1783

Birth of John Claudius Loudon, botanist and landscape designer....
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1785

There is an expansion in private ‘lunatic asylums’ across Scotland. Mrs Stodart, near the foot o...
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1790

The Enclosure Acts in England ‘privatise’ common land and force impoverished rural labourers int...
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1792

Thomas Muir, lawyer and political activist, charged with sedition and sentenced to 14 years transpor...
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1793

The Edinburgh Asylum for the Relief of the Indigent and Industrious Blinde, is established by The Re...
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1794

Joseph Gerrald, Political Reformer, charged with sedition and sentenced to 14 years transportation t...
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1795

Birth of Frances Wright (1795 – 1852) lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, slavery abolitionis...
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1796

The Tuke family open a new asylum in York which challenges the orthodox and widespread treatment and...
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1796

In this year, the Smallpox vaccination is discovered by Edward Jenner, whilst there is an estimated ...
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1798

An infirmary opens in Dundee....
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