The Baillies of Mellerstain : the household economy in an eighteenth-century elite household
MacDonald, Jasmine Elizabeth
Account books of household expenses provide details of people's social and economic life. For Scotland during the seventeenth and eighteenth century few, if any, account books are as detailed as those of Lady Grisell Baillie of Jerviswood who lived from 1665-1746. Lady Baillie (nee Hume) is a well-known upper class woman in Scottish history, both in her own right and in relation to the tumultuous political careers of her father (Patrick Hume) and husband (George Baillie). A scholarly edition of the accounts, augmented by an 1822 biography written by her daughter, can provide insight into women's social history in eighteenth-century Scotland. The household accounts, in particular, provide the opportunity to examine what the everyday lifestyles were like for upper-class families in Scotland. These accounts include the expenses of raising and educating children, feeding a large household of family and servants and the extravagant costs involved in overseas travel. What makes Lady Grisell's accounts unique is their level of detail and organization spanning over forty years, from 1692 to 1746. In addition to the accounts the biography, written in the style of times, provides valuable information about the Baillies' marriage, family life and the Baillie girls' upbringing. These sources add to the understanding of the household and marital economy in Scotland during the long eighteenth century.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeSmith, Lisa; James-Cavan, Kathleen; Deutscher, Tom; Dyck, Erika
Copyright DateDecember 2010