my in-depth analysis of the u.k. elections

heh. no, not really, but…right…here’s what i’ve got. u.k. electoral map on the left taken from here, via anatoly — genetic ancestry map on the right which appeared in this previous post. [click on image for LARGER view.]:


any patterns that match?

well, obviously, there’s the english vs. scottish divide — the two groups are genetically distinct-ish, and now they’re electorally very distinct. up in scotland, it’s funny that the orkney islanders didn’t follow the lead of most of the rest of scotland — they stuck to the lib dems rather than go with the scottish national party — and they are genetically their own little unique viking group. and they’ve been sticking to liberals or liberal democrats since 1950, thank you very much.

there’s also the english vs. welsh divide — the farther west you go in wales, where the population is more genetically welsh, the less they went for conservatives (like the english in england did). until you get to pembrokeshire, that is, where the population of “little england beyond wales” — which is genetically distinct-ish from the rest of the population in wales (see the upside-down yellow triangles labeled “s. pembrokeshire”) — voted conservative like the rest of the english.

northern ireland? northern ireland is its own story, which i hope you can figure out on your own.

ignoring london (’cause all sorts of people/s have moved to london, from all over the u.k. and the world), i find it very tempting to match the pattern of the labour regions — up in the northeast and northwest and in yorkshire and even southern wales — with the northumbrians, cumbrians, w yorkshire, and s pembrokeshire/welsh border populations on the genetic ancestry map. to be honest, though, the labour regions really match up much better with the former coal-mining/industrial regions of britain (as well as with several large contemporary urban areas, obviously — manchester, liverpool, newcastle, etc.):


this coal-mining-labour pattern is even more pronounced if you look at the election results from 2010 and see the regions of scotland which voted in labour mps back then. the only outlier, really, is anglesey. dunno why they like labour so much. mind you, even though they won in anglesey, labour did get only 31% of the vote there this time ’round. plaid cymru (the welsh nationalist party) got 30%.

so, regional labour party voters = the descendants of miners/industrial workers? the ones that didn’t leave for greener pastures? maybe. and/or this pattern reflects the highland-lowland/tees-exe line divide in britain, and what we’re seeing is a divide between the more manorialized english of the lowlands versus the not-very-manorialized subpopulations of the highlands — and the fact that there was coal in the highland regions is just a coincidence. dunno!

from the bbc, the share of the vote won by the conservatives in each constituency:

uk-electoral-map-2015-conservatives 02

rural areas voted for the conservative party more than urban areas in england. in fact, the spread is fairly even right across the country, just like the even spread of the ethnic english on the genetic ancestry map above. this isn’t the case in either wales or scotland — or northern ireland for that matter. there’s more support for the conservatives in the welsh border regions, where greater numbers of english (including normans, of course) settled. in scotland, there’s greater support for the conservatives in the lowlands rather than in the highlands.


uk-electoral-map-2015-labour 02

again, most support in those former mining/industrial urbanized regions. plus london. (also: this. (~_^) )


uk-electoral-map-2015-ukip 02

a fair amount of support quite evenly spread across england, wales, and even northern ireland. what’d they get? thirteen percent of the vote? less overall support in scotland. and not so much in london, of course. they only got one seat in parliament, though — an mp from clacton — ukip got 44% of the vote there. i dunno anything about clacton-on-sea, so you tell me why there. the party got 30% of the vote in rotherham, which makes plenty of sense. there’s a hotspot of ukip support up there judging by the map. there’s another hotspot to the east there — 34% of the vote went to ukip in the boston & skegness constituency. lot of eastern european immigrants in that area of the country. lot of locales along the thames estuary also with rather high support for ukip. just outside london (where there’s a lot of immigrants).

lib dems:

uk-electoral-map-2015-libdem 02

the orkney islanders, again. and quite a lot of support from the scottish highlanders! that was a surprise to me. and the northern lowlanders. is this some viking trend? and where is that in cumbria? westmorland and lonsdale? i dunno anything about that area of the country, except i hear they got a lot of lakes.



quite a lot of support across the board in scotland. over 40% of the vote almost everywhere (38% in the orkneys & shetland). lower support in some of the border regions toward northumbria.

green party:

uk-electoral-map-2015-green party

generally low support everywhere, but fairly evenly spread (low) support. the people of dál riata aren’t interested, though. (~_^) more support in the south of england? maybe?

plaid cymru:

plaid cymru

again, more support for the welsh national party in the west where people are more welsh — except for in pembrokeshire where they’re not so welsh.

any other patterns?

previously: free cornwall now! and random notes: 07/30/13

(note: comments do not require an email. dunno how the monster raving loony party did….)


on the topographical origins of the quakers

so we’ve seen that the earliest quakers were from the north of england, mostly from the geographical highland zone of england, but there were also quite a few from the intermediate zone. this distribution doesn’t seem to have changed all that much over time — from Albion’s Seed [AS – kindle locations 7308-7310]:

This was the region [the six counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, east Cheshire, west Yorkshire and southern Westmorland] where the Quakers first appeared. It long remained their strongest base. The founder, George Fox (1624-91), was a Leicestershire weaver’s son who developed his doctrine of the Inner Light by 1646 and made his early converts mostly in the North Midlands. By the year 1654, 85 percent of Quaker meetings were in the northern counties of England.7

footnote 7 [kindle locations 24244-24247]:

“Pratt, ‘English Quakers and the First Industrial Revolution,’ 53-65; especially helpful is chap. 3, ‘The Geography of Nonconformity,’ which concludes that ‘the Quakers had always been a northern religion.’ By the end of the 17th century, there were Quakers in every English county and city. In the 18th century, many Quakers moved south to London and Birmingham. But the largest number remained north and west of the River Trent.”

andrew mentioned a couple of weeks ago (thanks, andrew!) that hackett-fischer and other researchers have pointed out that this region of england saw a lot of viking settlement. from AS [kindle locations 7285-7290]:

“This region shared a common cultural condition, and also a common history. The North Midlands, more than any other part of England, had been colonized by Viking invaders. Historian Hugh Barbour writes, ‘…in the central region of the North, the Pennine moorland, where Quakerism was strongest, the villages were mainly Norse in origin and name, and Norse had been spoken there in the Middle Ages. From the Norsemen came the custom of moots, or assemblies in the open at a standing-stone or hilltop grave, which may have influenced the Quakers’ love for such meeting places. The Norse custom was individual ownership of houses and fields: the Norman system of feudal manors imposed in the twelfth century was always resented.’3

naturally! (~_^)

the locations of scandinavian place-names in england are certainly awfully suspicious (see also maps on this page):

scandinavian place-names in england

and the genetics backs this up as well (see also oppenheimer).

taking a look again at the map of the distribution of early quakers in england, a viking-quaker connection could explain the absence of quakers in northumberland — doesn’t look like too many vikings settled in that region.

but why no quakers in lincolnshire? or what looks like the southern parts of lancashire? or not really south of the severn-trent line either?

i’m going to go with topography (map adapted from this one):

england topography - quakers

quakerism seems to have developed, and been the most successful … yes … in areas of viking settlement in england, but more specifically in upland areas having had viking settlement. and uplanders (and other populations livining in remote, marginal environments) appear to have a tendency towards close matings.

here’s more from AS on how the quakers were uplanders [kindle locations 7311-7326]:

The Quakers were most numerous in the poorest districts of this impoverished region. In Cheshire, for example, Quaker emigrants to Pennsylvania came not from the rich and fertile plains in the center and southwest of the county, but mostly from the high ridges and deep valleys on the eastern fringe of the county. This was rough country, with settlements that bore names such as Bosely Cloud and Wildboarclough. In the seventeenth century, much of this region was still densely wooded, the ‘last refuge in England of the wolf and the boar.’ The climate was more severe than in the lowlands — with bitter ‘close mists’ that settled in the valleys, and the dreaded ‘wireglass’ that glazed the ridges and killed many an unwary traveler. The sense of desolation was deepened by the forbidding appearance of small isolated farmhouses, constructed of a harsh gray-black millstone. On the steep slopes of eastern Cheshire, they may still be seen to this day.8

In Nottinghamshire, the Quakers came not from the rich alluvial lands of the Trent Valley, but from the craggy uplands. The men of the Monyash monthly meeting once wrote, ‘…we are a poor, unworthy and despised people, scattered amongst the rocky mountains and dern valleys of the high peak country.’9 In Derbyshire, the pattern was also much the same. Here the Quakers lived mostly in the ‘coal measures’ on the east side of the county, and also in the Peak District. Comparatively few came from South Derbyshire.10

In the West Riding of Yorkshire, Quakers tended to be poor dalesmen who lived in places such as Lotherdale, a secluded valley on the border between Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the seventeenth century this area was described as ‘perfectly inaccessible by road.’ Remoteness was indeed one of its attractions. Some Quakers fled there to escape their persecutors.11

what’s the history of the mating patterns in these regions? not sure.

the area would’ve been part of the anglo-saxon kingdoms of northumbria and mercia — and, later, the danelaw obviously. were there any discouragements against cousin marriage in those centuries? no idea.

had the vikings — who came from both norway (mostly to the west coast of england) and denmark (mostly to the east coast) — been marrying close cousins? don’t know. they were certainly at least somewhat clannish having feuding and wergeld systems and all that — but did they have strong clans like the irish and the scots? or did they have looser kindreds more like the other germanic populations? dunno, but i intend to find out!

fast-forward a bit to mid-1500s-1600s cumbria — which definitely had quakers in the 1650s — and folks in that part of the world did have a tendency to marry closely, although i don’t know if we’re talking first and/or second cousins here. from AS [kindle location 10809]:

“In many cases the husband and wife both came from the same clan. In the Cumbrian parish of Hawkshead, for example, both the bride and groom bore the same last names in 25 percent of all marriages from 1568 to 1704.”

hmmmm. was the rest of the region where quakers appeared like that? don’t know.

further to the south in myddle in shropshire — a town which supplied some later quakers to the new world and a county which appears to be mostly in the geographic intermediate zone — barry levy says that young people of the 1600s often defied their parents in deciding whom they would marry [Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley – kindle locations 555-557]:

“When Richard Gough’s gossip about courtship in seventeenth-century Myddle is systematized, it suggests that love-matches were common; that the children of poorer tenant farmers were more likely than the children of gentry to both initiate their own marriages and to rebel if necessary against parents or kin; and that they were less likely to be placed into marriages by parents and relatives.”

that, to me, sounds as though perhaps cousin marriage was not common in this region of england, since cousin marriage and arranged marriages often go hand-in-hand. was this pattern typical of the areas that quakers came from? or was the cumbria pattern more typical? cumbria’s a much more upland region, so perhaps the answer is that it varied. again, dunno.

one thing’s for certain, though — in the new world, quakers banned first cousin marriage — and frowned upon second cousin marriage [AS – kindle locations 7904-7907]:

“Quakers also condemned dynastic marriages which were made for material gain. They forbade first-cousin marriages which were commonplace in Virginia. During the eighteenth century, many Quaker meetings even discouraged unions between second cousins — a major restriction in small rural communities, and an exceptionally difficult problem for the Delaware elite.6

was this a continuation of how they had done things back in england? it’s likely, yes, but the important question is: for how long had these northern english populations been avoiding cousin marriage?

previously: geographical origin of the quakers and the myddle people and the radical reformation and random notes: 07/30/13 and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people and consanguinity in england – north vs. south

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geographical origin of the quakers

*update below*

here’s a map — taken from here — of where quaker communities were located in england in the mid-1600s:


so, early quakers = northerners.

and — pardon my scrawl (don’t expect these borders to be precise — please look back at the original map yourselves) — here is the same map with the highland, lowland, and intermediate zones indicated:

map1654 + highlands lowlands intermediate zone

so, early quakers = highlanders + a few intermediate zone dwellers — all beyond the tees-exe line the severn-trent line [see comments – thnx martin!].

update 08/20: see also this comment.

previously: the myddle people and the radical reformation and random notes: 07/30/13 and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people

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the myddle people

for those of you out there who are interested in the origins of the quakers (i know you’re out there! (^_^) ), i can’t recommend highly enough barry levy’s Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley. i haven’t quite finished it yet, but the overall impression that i’ve got so far is that the quakers of nw england (cheshire) and northern wales of the 1600s were juuust on a cusp of a transition from clannishness to non-clannishness (or less clannishness anyway). the population of the region was, and presumably had been for a very long time, based on extended families, feuds, and kin connections. the quakers made a conscious choice to break with that and focus on the nuclear family, but they were still clannish in many ways. imo, the seventeenth century quakers of nw england/ne wales were some of my “in-betweeners” — not extremely clannish anymore, but not fully individualistic/universalistic by that point, either — somewhere in the middle. (see also jayman’s A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers.”)

i’ll work up a post on the quakers outlining more completely the history of their mating patterns and family structures (as far as i know them) hopefully within the next week. until then, below is an excerpt from levy related to the clannish behaviors of the non-quaker, base population in this nw region of england — specifically in myddle which is in shropshire (which lies beyond the tees-exe line). levy’s source on these obviously clannish folks from myddle is one richard gough who, in 1700, wrote Human Nature Displayed in the History of Myddle. i’m almost certainly going to have to read that!

but for now, from Quakers and the American Family, some bits about the tyler “clan” [kindle locations 586-600]:

“Though being routinely and often happily subverted by middling love, Myddle’s regime of honor and shame was occasionally and less attractively tarnished by clan bullying, as the story of the Tyler clan shows. Richard Gough rightly believed William Tyler ‘of the most debauched morals of any in this parish.’ Tyler had fornicated with the estranged wife of Richard Hussey. He had a child by her. Tyler took this child, Nell Hussey, as his house-maid and he committed incest with her, producing a second ‘bastard’. Tyler also stole sheep and assaulted people. Some of his daughters were ‘lewd’ women. However, the Tyler clan sat relatively undisturbed in their pews in Myddle Church and kept their honor unblemished.

“Tyler and his clan simply stopped people from humiliating them publicly. When Tyler’s nephew, Richard Challoner, ‘was bound over to appear at the Assizes for stealing a cow,’ William Tyler prevented the shameful hanging by telling the prosecutor ‘that this Challoner was his kinsman, and it would be a disgrace to me as well as to the rest of his friends to have him hanged, and that his friends would raise £5 among them to pay for the cow in case he would forbear the prosecution.’ Sympathizing with Tyler’s interest, the prosecutor accepted the bribe and Challoner was freed. The Tyler clan defended their honor violently, if necessary. Hoping to jail Tyler for debt, Mr. Thomas Braddock ’employed Rees Wenlock to serve William Tyler with a writ.’ Tyler persuaded Wenlock to stop on the way to court at Tyler’s sister’s house where Tyler’s kin assaulted Wenlock and freed Tyler. Mr. Braddock then got a more muscular group of tenants to serve Tyler in church. Again, ‘many of Tyler’s companions, and some women of his relations came to rescue Tyler.” After a fight, “Tyler was set on horseback, and … went toward the gaol.’ The Tyler clan was inconsolable, although they faced, particularly in relation to their greater sins, a relatively minor public humiliation, a temporary jailing for debt. ‘The consternation and lamentation of Tyler’s friends,’ noted Gough, ‘especially the women, was such as I cannot easily demonstrate.’

“Because of their ethical priorities, even unrelated local people helped unwittingly to keep the sinister Tyler clan’s banner riding high. Tyler in old age finally faced the gallows for stealing some sheep. Tyler’s virtuous grandson, Thomas Tyler, was the chief witness against him. The jury refused to believe the youth, however. As Gough noted, ‘the jury conceived it malicious and blamed him for offering to hang his grandfather, and soe old Tyler was acquitted.’ The northwestern jury raised kinship loyalty above property rights and above the choice to witness justly against a brutish life.”

and here’s a little bit about notions of honor in seventeenth century myddle [kindle location 521]:

“Though placed toward the back of the church, tenant farmers, particularly those who boasted generations of ancestors in the parish, held much honor. They lost this honor, however, if they suffered rituals of public humiliation. So while often ignoring private vices, tenant farmers always made an effort to prevent overt mortifications. Worried middling parents sent their juvenile delinquents far from the surrounding countryside, not to rehabilitate them spiritually or even to save their skins, but to remove their likely and shameful jailings and hangings from the sight and recording of neighbors. A Myddle tavern-keeper, Thomas Jukes, exiled a larcenous son by placing him into apprenticeship with a roving juggler who happened to pass through the village.” Michael Brame, of a long-standing Myddle family, came to Myddle following the death of his brother and brother’s wife in order to preserve the family’s leasehold and also to raise his brother’s son William. William robbed meat from several neighbors’ houses. The Braine clan took the only possible action: ‘at last he was sent away,’ noted Gough, ‘I know not whither.'”

edit: i meant to say and i forgot — getting rid of dishonorable children in this clannish society is (was), of course, a parallel to the killing of dishonorable children in much more clannish/tribal societies, just with less homicide. /edit

and, then, on notions of honor amongst the quaker settlers in pennsylvania [kindle locations 649-651]:

“The Quaker settlers were also as fascinated by honor, though they replaced clan honor with the Deity’s honor as revealed in their lives — ‘the honor of Truth.’ Their meetings would try to erase considerations of honor within households by insisting that such households uphold the honor of God’s revelations. The settlers were as pugnacious, though they replaced violent clan feuds and lawsuits with a spiritual feud against the ‘world’ — the ‘Lamb’s War.'”

(note: comments do not require an email. myddle!)

random notes: 07/30/13

from A Brief History of Great Britain (2010) [pages xiv-xvi]:

“Britain is marked by pronounced regional differences. The most basic division is that between highland areas and lowland areas. The ‘highland zone’ is defined by being over 200 meters (656 feet) above sea level. Highland zones are found in Wales, much of Scotland, northern England, and parts of southwestern England, although lowland pockets exist in highland territories. The British highland zone is not really mountainous, as the highest mountains reach the mode height of roughly 4000 feet (1,129 meters). There is a much higher proportion of highland land in Scotland than in England, and the difference between the highlands and the lowlands and their inhabitants plays a central role in Scottish history and culture.

The highlands are marked by a greater emphasis on pastoralism, as they have mostly chalky soil and are too wet and cold for successful agriculture. The highlands are also much less densely populated than the lowlands, as it requires much more land to support a human being through pastoralism than through agriculture. Lowland areas are usually more fertile. The most fertile lowlands are in the south and southeast of Britain, where there is rich, heavy soil more suited to agriculture. Lowlanders can engage in raising either grains or livestock, depending on circumstances. In the Middle Ages much of the lowlands was truned over to the highly profitable production of wool. Lowlanders tended to live in villages, highlanders in small hamlets or isolated farmsteads, or to be nomadic.

“Invasions of Britain had much less effect on the highlands than on the lowlands, which constituted the really valuable prize due to their greater agricultural productivity. Those regimes exercising power throughout Britain or the British Isles were usually based in lowland England, the only place capable of supporting tehm. The extension of power from the lowlands to the highlands was a difficult challenge due to the difficulty of the terrain. Mountainous Wales preserved its independence for centuries despite its poverty and its inability to unite politically. The only invaders to subdue Wales before the 13th century were the well-organized and disciplined Roman legions, and it took them years after the conquest of England. The less-organized Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans had a much harder time, and Wales was only permanently annexed to England in 1284.

“The greater poverty of the highlands meant that highlanders often raided lowlanders, creating hostility between the two. The highlands were also more culturally and linguistically conservative. Cultural innovations usually originated in the lowlands and spread to the highlands. The highlands were where the Celtic languages lasted the longest, as English and its offshoots, originally the language of Anglo-Saxon invaders, became the dominant tongue of the lowlands in the early Middle Ages. This cultural division further added to the hostility between highland and lowland peoples.”

from The Environment of Early Man in the British Isles (1975) [pgs. 147-149]:

“The Highland Zone/Lowland Zone division

“It is from this time [late bronze/early iron age] onwards that the division of the British Isles into Highland and Lowland Zones becomes relevant. The division has been used by geographers to explain differences in settlement patterns, farming practices and the quality of material culture between the two zones, and Cyril Fox exploited it to a considerable extent in ‘The Personality of Britain’.

“In brief, the Highland Zone (Fig. 62) is that part of the British Isles which is made up of the most ancient group of rocks, those formed in the Paleozoic Era. They lie in the north and west and the division with the later Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks of the Lowland Zone falls roughly on a line from the mouth of the Tees to the mouth of the Exe. The Palaeozoic rocks are generally hard, forming mountainous regions, with continuous streches over 300 metres above sea level. Plains and vales are not extensive. There are steep slopes and crags making cultivation difficult or impossible, and soils are often thin, stony and impoverished. Rainfall is high and there is a strong correspondence between the chief moorland areas and mean annual rainfall.

“Lowland Britain, on the other hand, is made up of geologically younger rocks which are softer, and which have given rise to a series of low-lying, rolling hills and intervening extensive vales and plains. Slopes are gentle, crags few and almost all the land is available for tillage, pasture or settlement. Soils are generally fertile and there is little evidence of erosion. Rainfall is light and there is little waste ground.

“But there are many topographical exceptions, in particular various lowland areas within the Highland Zone. Some of these are relatively small — the Vale of Glamorgan, the Hebridean machair and certain fertile river valleys such as Strath Tay. Others are of much greater extent, including the Central Scottish Lowlands, East Banff and Aberdeen, and the Orkney Islands. Ireland can be divided topographically into its own Highland and Lowland Zoens, and presents an anomaly in that approximately half the country is essentially lowland but situated in a high rainfall area….

“Indeed, the key distinction between the Highland and Lowland Zones is not so much elevation and topography as rainfall which is greatest in the west (Fig. 62) since this is the direction from which the main rain-bearing winds blow….

britain - lowland-highland zones

“[F]or a variety of economic and environmental reasons, the first millennium bc represents a period of significant change in the Highland Zone. Fields were abandoned and either reverted to pasture or waste ground, or became covered by peat. In low-lying areas communications became difficult because of mire formation or flooding. The importance of stone and Highland Zone metal deposits dwindled. And there was no great exploitation of timber for iron smelting as occurred in the Lowland Zone. Indeed, it is from the beginning of the Iron Age that the Highland Zone as a whole assumes the pastoral character which it has retained ever since.

“‘It is generally understood that…the remains of the monuments and material costructed or used throughout Britain reveal no noticeable differences in quality between the lowland and highland areas until well into the first millennium bc, but that thereafter a contrast developed between the two areas, comprising a falling-off of the material culture of the highland in comparison with that of the lowland — a contrast which has lasted to the present day.'”

look! another line – the tees-exe line (the red one):

tees-exe line

from The British Isles: A History of Four Nations (1989, 2006) [pgs. 18-19]:

“To draw attention to this fact [i.e. that much of the pre-roman british isles was a part of a broader european celtic culture] is not to say that there was political and social uniformity throughout the area. The existence of tribal groupings in both Britain and Ireland is an indication of political differences at the local level. The Romans, to whom we are indebted for Latin versions of tribal names in the absence of their original Celtic forms, distinguished over twenty tribes in Britain south of the Forth. In Ireland, where politcal aggregation had not gone as far as it had elsewhere, the number of tribes seems to have been much larger.

“One powerful cause of variety was geography, in particular the contrast between Highland and Lowland Zones. It was Sir Cyril Fox who argued in his book ‘The Personality of Britain’ (1932) that the Lowlands would usually be exposed to forces of change before the Highlands. The Highland/Lowland contrast certainly makes good sense when applied to Britain, where north and west form a distinctive geographical area, including a good deal of land over 400 metres above sea-level. Poorer soil and climatic conditions made agriculture more of a challenge in the Highland Zone than it was in the south and east. In a British Isles context, however, the Highland/Lowland contrast is not quite so clear. Ireland, which has been compared to a saucer in which the rim represents the hills and the flat base the central plain, is not, geologically speaking, a Highland Zone. There is no doubt, however, that the narrow seas between north-west Ireland and south-west Scotland linked rather than divided them. At this particular period, however, it may be seen as forming part of a ‘cultural Highland Zone’, cut off, for better or worse, from the influence of the rising military power of Rome.

“Geographical determinism should not be pressed too far, however. It can also be argued that, under certain conditions, the Irish Sea provided a channel of communication…. It also seems to have been the case during the fifth and sixth centuries AD when Christian communities on both sides of the Irish Sea retained their links with Christian Europe at a time when the eastern half of Britain was being overrun by Germanic settlers. The Irish presence in Scotland in the sixth century AD and in parts of Wales illustrates the same point….

Another contrast between the Highland and Lowland Zones was almost certainly demographic. No firm statistical evidence exists but several strong indicators suggest that there was a considerable increase of population in the Lowlands from the fifth century onwards, well before the Belgic invasions. A good deal of internal colonisation seems to have taken place during this period….”

from The Culture of the English People: Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (1994) [pgs. 5-7]:

“Some fifty years ago Sir Cyril Fox published one of the most seminal books in the history of British archaeology and culture, ‘The Personality of Britain’. In it he distinguished two parts of these islands, a ‘highland’ zone and a ‘lowland’ zone, with a boundary between them which ran from County Durham to Lyme Bay on the south coast (Fig. 1.1). This line separated a predominantly hilly region of Paleozoic rocks from a gentler region of Secondary and later rocks. These two regions, he argued, corresponded with two differing modes of cultural evolution. Simply expressed, his argument was that the bearers of outside cultural influences reached the Highland Zone often by sea and almost always in small numbers. Their impact was never sufficient to blanket or submerge the indigenous cultures. Instead they became assimilated. Elements of older cultures are today not only present, but conspicuously so in Highland Britain. Lowland Britain, by contrast, lay at the receiving end of a long series of invasions, from those who walked across the landbridge which once existed with Europe to the more recent invasions of Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Each wave was powerful enough to impress its own culture, and thus to mask or to destroy pre-existing cultures. Fox commented on the relative ease with which new civilizations are established in the Lowland Zone, repressing without necessarily obliterating those which had prevailed before. ‘There is [thus] greater unity of culture in the Lowland Zone, but greater continuity in the Highland Zone.’

“The Fox model has not been without its critics. Some, including the present writer, would interpose a third zone covering the basically claylands of the English Midlands, between the Highland and the Lowland, with its own distinctive cultural history. But, however modified, the Fox model has been of incalculable imortance to a cultural history of these islands. It gives a rational explanation for a phenomenon which will recur in the pages of this book, namely the persistence of early cultural traits in the Celtic west and north, and the greater degree of cultural traits in the Celtic west and north, and the greater degree of cultural homogeneity in the lowlands of the south and east.”

england - lowland-midland-highland zones

previously: this one’s for g.w. and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people

(note: comments do not require an email. lemur alert!)