Surveying the nation
The ‘Statistical Account of Scotland’ was intended as a complete survey of Scotland. It was organised by Sir John Sinclair, who hoped that, by surveying the nation, the account would reveal the ‘quantum of happiness’ of its people.
The ‘Statistical Account of Scotland’ was published between 1791and 1799 in 21 volumes. It includes information about the geography, history, economy, and agriculture of most parishes in Scotland. A second survey, the so-called ‘New Statistical Account of Scotland’, was compiled between 1832 and 1845.
A useful tool for historians
Today the surveys are a useful source of information about Scotland in the period of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.
To historians, for example, they reveal information about agricultural improvements in the 18th century.