Dr Alexander Murdoch (PhD)

Honorary Fellow


Formerly Co-director and resident researcher for the Scottish Records Program of the North Carolina Colonial Records Project (administered by the Division of Archives and History of the State of North Carolina), 1986-1990, later Principal Lecturer in History and American Studies at what is now the University of Northampton, appointed at the university in 1995 as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Scottish History. Honorary Fellow from 2014. Member of the American Historical Association and the Stair Society.Past external posts and offices in learned societies include external examiner for Scottish History courses at the University of St Andrews, 2001-4; Book Review Editor, Scottish Historical Review, 1998-2002; Trustee, Scottish Historical Review Trust, 1997-1999; Member of Council, Economic & Social History Society of Scotland, 1997-2001; Member of Council, Scottish Church History Society, 1996-2013; Member of Council, Scottish History Society, 1996-1999. Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 1992-2014.  External Examiner for postgraduate dissertations submitted to the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Useful Links

Research in a Nut shell video

The Historical Association - Podcast - 'The Acts of Union 1707' - http://www.history.org.uk/resources/secondary_resource_6815_123.html

Contributor to 'Britishness: In Search of a National Identity: 1. Fragile Beginnings'  A film by Stefan Piotrowski published on You Tube by Against the Current Productions on 14 September 2014. http://youtu.be/dG4nKB_I-NY

How Glasgow Flourished: The Ramsay Portrait of the third Duke of Argyll

Responsibilities & affiliations

Edinburgh Centre for Global History

Undergraduate teaching

I no longer offer courses for undergraduates or taught postgraduates but am available as a secondary supervisor for research students.

Postgraduate teaching

I no longer offer courses for undergraduates or taught postgraduates but am available as a secondary supervisor for research students.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

Early Modern Scotland 1650-1763; emigration from Scotland in the eighteenth century; Scottish government in the eighteenth century.


  • Britain & Ireland
  • North America
  • Scotland


  • Imperialism
  • Migration
  • Politics


  • Early Modern
  • Eighteenth Century

Project activity

Making the Union Work: Scotland 1650-1763

This returns to the subject of my doctoral research on the government of Scotland after the Act of Union by analysing pre and post union Scottish economic and political unionism.

Watch a short video of Dr Murdoch speaking about his research interests - Media Hopper


 Alexander Murdoch, Scotland and America, c.1600-c.1800  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Alexander Murdoch, British Emigration, 1603-1914 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

Alexander Murdoch, British History, 1660-1832: National Identity and Local Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 1998)

Alexander Murdoch, The People Above: Politics and Administration in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Edinburgh, 1980, reissued 2003)

Edited books

Alexander Murdoch, Editor, The Scottish Nation: Identity and History.  Essays in Honour of William Ferguson (2007)

Alexander Murdoch, Co-editor (with John Dwyer and Roger A. Mason) of New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1982)


Articles and book chapters

Alexander Murdoch, 'Two Scottish Documents Concerning Emigration to North Carolina in 1754', North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. XCIII, no. 4, pp. 361-385 (2016)

Alexander Murdoch,  'Hector McAllister in North Carolina, Argyll and Arran: Family and Memory in Return Migration to Scotland in the Eighteenth Century', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, Vol 33, no. 1, pp. 1-19.(2013)

Alexander Murdoch, Andrew Fletcher, Scotland, and London in the eighteenth century, 2013 [PDF available]

Alexander Murdoch, 'Local History Societies' in Alexander Fenton and Margaret A. Mackay, eds., An Introduction to Scottish Ethnology (Volume 1 of Alexander Fenton, General Editor, Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology) (2013)

Alexander Murdoch, 'Literacy' in Stephen W. Brown and Warren McDougall, eds., The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Volume 2 Enlightenment and Expansion 1707-1800 (2012)

Alexander Murdoch, 'The Scottish Invention of the USA' in History Teaching Review Year Book, Vol 24, ed. , (Scottish Association of Teachers of History, 2010)

Alexander Murdoch, 'Local History Societies and Scottish Life and Society, Vol 1 of the Compendium of Scottish Ethnology,' Scottish Local History 74 (2008) 

Alexander Murdoch, 'The Legacy of Unionism in Eighteenth-Century Scotland' in T.M. Devine (ed.) Scotland and the Union 1707-2007 (2008)

Alexander Murdoch, 'The Legacy of the Revolution in Scotland' in Alexander J Murdoch (ed.) The Scottish Nation: Identity and History. Essays in Honour of William Ferguson (John Donald, an imprint of Birlinn Ltd, 2007)

Alexander Murdoch, 'The Creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707'; The Historian (the magazine of The Historical Association), 97 (Summer 2007).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Henry Dundas, Scotland and the Union with Ireland, 1792-1801', in Bob Harris' (ed), Scotland in the Age of the French Revolution (Edinburgh 2005)

Alexander Murdoch, Archibald Campbell, third duke of Argyll’, ‘John Campbell, second duke of Argyll’, ‘George Drummnond’, ‘Henry Scott, third duke of Buccleuch’, ‘Alexander Wedderburn, first earl of Rosslyn’ and ‘Corbyn Morris’ in the Oxford DNB published 2004, ‘The Squadrone’, 'The Argathelians', and England, Scotland and the Acts of Union (1707) have been published as group and feature theme articles in the online edition of the Oxford DNB since 2005.

Alexander Murdoch, 'A Crucible for Change: Enlightenment in Britain' in Martin Fitzpatrick et al, eds., The Enlightenment World (London, 2004, prbk edn 2006)

Alexander Murdoch, 'James Glen and the Indians' in A. Mackillop and Steve Murdoch, eds., Military Governors and Imperial Frontiers c. 1600-1800: A Study of Scotland and Empires (Leiden, 2003)

Alexander Murdoch, 'Government and Administration: The Age of Management', 'Scottish Links: Rest of World: USA', 'Political System: 1707-1832', 'Political Events and Issues: Age of the French Revolution', all in Michael Lynch, ed., The Oxford Companion to Scottish History (Oxford, 2001, prbk edn 2007).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Scottish Sovereignty in the Eighteenth Century', in H.T. Dickinson and Michael Lynch, eds., The Challenge to Westminster (East Linton, 2000).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Scotland and the idea of Britain in the eighteenth century', in Tom M. Devine and John R. Young (eds.), Eighteenth-Century Scotland: New Perspectives (East Linton, 1999).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Emigration from the Scottish Highlands to America in the eighteenth century', British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 21 (1998).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Politics and the people in the burgh of Dumfries, 1758-1760', Scottish Historical Review, 70 (1991).

Alexander Murdoch, 'A Scottish document concerning emigration to North Carolina in 1772', North Carolina Historical Review, 67 (1990).

Alexander Murdoch, 'Lord Bute, James Stuart Mackenzie and the government of Scotland, 1750-1800', in Karl W. Schweizer (ed.), Lord Bute: Essays in Re-interpretation (Leicester, 1988).

Alexander Murdoch, 'The importance of being Edinburgh: management and opposition in Edinburgh politics, 1746-1784', Scottish Historical Review, 62 (1983). 



How Glasgow Flourised: The Ramsay Portrait of the third Duke of Argyll [Podcast]