Kennedy, Allan

Dr, Dr


Research output per year

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Personal profile


I joined the University of Dundee in August 2017, having previously worked as Research Associate in British/Scottish History at the University of Manchester.  Before that, I was a distance-learning tutor for the Open University and a teaching assistant at the University of Stirling, this latter institution being the one from where I gained my PhD in 2012.


My research focuses on the political and social history of early modern Scotland, particularly the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries.  My initial work was on the Highlands, and analysed the relationship between Highlanders and the Scottish state.  This produced many of my early publications, including my prize-winning first book, Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highlands and the Restoration State, 1660-1688 (Leiden, 2014).  Having become interested in the experience of the ‘other’ or ‘outsider’ more generally, later research directions led me to explore Scottish migration to early modern England, as well as the history of criminality in Scotland.  Currently, I am working on a study of serious crime in Restoration Scotland (with a particular interest in Highland banditry), as well as managing a major Leverhulme-funded project on the Scottish Privy Council between 1691 and 1708.


I am also Consultant Editor of the popular magazine History Scotland.


My research focuses on the social and political history of early modern Scotland, with a particular focus on the later seventeenth century. My initial interests, informing my doctoral thesis, were in the linkages between Highland and Lowland Scotland during the reigns of Charles II and James VII, a problem I approached within the broader paradigms of centre/periphery interaction and ‘state formation’ in early modern Europe. My research, and resulting publications, has tended to downplay the distinctiveness of the Highland experience, attempting instead to demonstrate the deep linkages (political, social, economic, religious and cultural) between Highlanders and the Scottish state.


Although I retain a strong interest in Highland history, my research subsequently broadened out to incorporate the treatment of outsiders or ‘others’ in the early modern world. In particular, I have explored the experiences of Scots living in early modern England, assessing what this particular migratory movement can tell us about the emergence and nature of ‘Great Britain’ in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I have also looked into Scottish criminal justice, particularly in terms of asking how criminals were treated and what this can reveal about the ordering structures and assumptions of Scottish society. This interest, it is hoped, will shortly lead to a monograph on serious crime during the Restoration (1660-88).


I am also project manager on a major collaborative investigation into the Scottish Privy Council between 1691 and 1708. Led by Dr Alastair Mann (University of Stirling) as PI, the team hopes to make the Council's as-yet unpublished records available digitally, while also producing a wide range of scholarly and public-facing outputs. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this project is projected to run until 2023.


I contribute to the following modules:



  • HY11001: Human Futures
  • HY11005: Rise of the Atlantic Empires, 1500-1750
  • HY22006: Scotland and the Wider World (module convenor)
  • HY31041: Life at the Margins: Sinners, Deviants and Outcasts in Early Modern Scotland, c.1550-c.1750 (module convenor)
  • HY41001: Research Dissertation
  • HY41056: Scotland: Restoration, Revolution and Union, 1660-1707 (module convenor)



  • HY51045: Public History
  • HY51046: Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Scotland
  • HY52029: Documentary and History


External positions

Consultant Editor

Sep 2017 → …

Research Associate, University of Manchester

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Research Output

  • 26 Article
  • 2 Book/Film/Article review
  • 1 Book
  • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Cromwell's Highland Stronghold: The Sconce of Inverness

Kennedy, A., Jun 2020, In : Scottish Local History. Summer 2020, 106, p. 3-7 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

State Formation, Criminal Prosecution and the Privy Council in Restoration Scotland

Kennedy, A., 11 Mar 2020, In : English Historical Review. 135, 572, p. 29-62 34 p., ceaa004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Bandits of the 17th century: The Mackinstosh-MacGregor gang

    Kennedy, A., Nov 2019, In : History Scotland. 17, 6: November/December, p. 14-18 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Becoming English: The Monro Family and Scottish Assimilation in Early-Modern England

    Brown, K. & Kennedy, A., 2019, In : Cultural and Social History. 16, 2, p. 125-144 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 'Idly sauntering and lithering about’: The Scots in early modern England, part 2

    Kennedy, A. & Brown, K. M., 2019, History Scotland, 19, 1, p. 38-43.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


    Associate Fellow

    Kennedy, Allan (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Emile Lousse Prize

    Kennedy, Allan (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    Kennedy, Allan (Recipient), 2020

    Prize: Election to learned society


    Kennedy, Allan (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Frank Watson Book Prize

    Kennedy, Allan (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Press / Media

    6 deviant women from Scotland through time

    Allan Kennedy


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research

    Into the brazen world of the Highland bandit

    Allan Kennedy


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research