Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland 1769
Thomas Pennant was born in 1726, into a family of Welsh landowners. His father, David, owned estates at Bychton and Downing in Flintshire. Thomas began his education at Wrexham Grammar School, but then in Fulham and at Oxford University. His passionate interest was natural history, and in 1766 he published the first part of his British Zoology. The Tour in Scotland was his first volume of travel writing, and he also wrote a Tour in Wales and the Journey from Chester to London. He died in December 1798. A Tour in Scotland in fact describes a complete journey starting and ending at Downing in North Wales, but much of its fascination lies in its detailed description of the Scottish Highlands relatively soon after the crushing of the Jacobite uprising in 1745-6. Pennant travelled right up to Sutherland and Caithness, and he provides a far more detailed description of the places he visited than did Boswell or Johnson. He also includes accounts by others as extensive appendices which are all included here (the appendices are numbered as in the book, but we have had to divide his continuous narrative of his own journey into "chapters" with titles we have given them). Although he was particularly interested in antiquities and natural history, he notes how even the Highlands were being transformed by the Industrial Revolution.