Natural Children, Country Wives, and Country Girls in Nineteenth-Century India and Northeast Scotland

Eloise Grey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article takes a history of emotions approach to Scottish illegitimacy in the context of imperial sojourning in the early nineteenth century. Using the archives of a lower-gentry family from Northeast Scotland, it examines the ways in which emotional regimes of the East India Company and Aberdeenshire gentry intersected with the sexual and domestic lives of native Indian women, Scottish farm servant women, and young Scottish bachelors in India. Children of these relationships, White and mixed-race, were the focus of these emotional regimes. The article shows that emotional regimes connected to illegitimacy are a way of looking at the Scottish history of empire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-58
Number of pages28
JournalHistorical Reflections
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Aberdeen University Library (hereafter AUL), The Ogilvie-Forbes of Boyndlie Papers, MS 2740/15 William Forbes, London, to Alexander Forbes, Jutland, 9 January 1809; William Duff, Edinburgh, to John Forbes, Haddo, 24 March 1808. My archival research for this article was supported by The Friends of Aberdeen University Library and is indebted to the Brose family for their kind permission to use the Ogilvie-Forbes of Boyndlie Papers.


  • East India Company
  • Emotions
  • Illegitimacy
  • India
  • Mixed-race children
  • Northeast Scotland
  • Scottish sojourning


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