Richard Pococke was born in Southampton in 1704, attained an LL.D. degree in 1733, founded a weaving school that would become known as The Pococke College, and died in 1765 as the Bishop of Meath. He had traveled through England as well as Egypt and the East before 1747, when he made his first of three visits to Scotland. The visit in 1747 was a short one, lasting just under one month. A similarly brief tour of the Scottish borderlands occurred in 1750.
The bulk of this book is made up of the third journey, taken in 1760, in which Pococke traveled around Scotland to the Orkneys. He is a keen observer and recorder of what he sees and experiences on his trip. Subjects include towns and castles; abbeys, monasteries, nunneries, and other church-related items; domestic and wild animals; occupations such as fishing, mining, carpet manufacture, and linen-weaving; trees and gardens; Romans and Picts; stone circles and barrows; and much more. Numerous people are mentioned. The illustrations are most frequently of church-related architecture but also include castles, inscriptions, standing stones, and other more esoteric items.
Dr. Pocockes travel accounts provide an interesting contribution to our knowledge of eighteenth-century Scotland. Mr. Kemps lengthy biography of the author provides insight into Pococke and his life, and his annotations further develop the people and places mentioned by the author. Originally published as Volume 1 of the Publications of the Scottish History Society. (1887) reprint, illus., original index, paper, 375 pp.