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

in Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques
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  • 1 University of Aberdeen, UK
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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.

Contributor Notes

Eloise Grey received her PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2020 with a thesis titled “Emotions, Family and Empire: The Ogilvie-Forbes of Boyndlie Papers, 1740–1840.” Her work considers the interactions of families, sojourning Scots, and colonial others. She considers how emotions work to sustain normative frameworks of race, class, and gender within imperial worlds and how imperial encounters constitute metropolitan emotions. Email: