Jackson Armstrong* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of ‘Frontier’ continues to thrive in historical scholarship generally, and frontiers remain an exciting field of study not least among medievalists. This chapter examines the concept applied to the realm of Scotland and its frontiers in the fifteenth century. Three principal Scottish frontiers are examined: that in the south of the kingdom, that in the west, and that in the north. In the south a landward frontier with its own name and legal framework existed but in the west and in the north islands and the sea presented a different context, and in all three the exercise of lordship had various peculiarities, and certain similarities. In each case we explore both the historical ideas and terminology in surviving sources and the relevance of ‘frontier’ as a concept in an effort to understand what and where the limits of the realm were to be found. To that end territorial sovereignty, lordship, law, and identity are harnessed to show how concepts gain meaning in relation to other concepts, and to argue that a useful creative tension is to be found in the gap between the analytical categories we select for examination and the relevant historical terms located in the sources we consult.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing Concepts in Medieval History
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on Britain and Ireland, 1100–1500
EditorsJackson Armstrong, Peter Crooks, Andrea Ruddick
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030772802
ISBN (Print)9783030772796
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Concepts
  • Frontiers
  • Borderlands
  • methods of historical research
  • historiography
  • Scotland
  • Fifteenth Century


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