The last national famine in Scotland occurred during King William's reign in the late 1690s. Investigation into this event has hitherto been fairly limited. Generally, historians have dismissed suggestions that it was a very serious or long-lasting crisis. The work of Robert Tyson on Aberdeenshire marked a departure from this. He identified high levels of suffering and mortality in that county which contributed to a crisis much more severe than previously suggested, other than in the Highlands. Tayside, to the south, constituting the counties of Angus and Perthshire, was thought to have largely escaped the worst effects. This article challenges that viewpoint. It argues that the crisis spanned several years, and while its impact differed in important respects from the experience in Aberdeenshire, it nevertheless had profound economic, social and demographic consequences.
Cullen, K. J., Whatley, C. A., & Young, M. (2006). King William's Ill Years: New Evidence on the Impact of Scarcity and Harvest Failure During the Crisis of the 1690s on Tayside. Scottish Historical Review, 85(2), 250-276. https://doi.org/10.3366/shr.2007.0005