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Poser 400 – Letter by Michael Young to the Earl and Countess of Lothian, 1652

Our 400th poser concerns links between Scotland and the Netherlands. It is the second of two posers taken from a letter written in 1652 (National Records of Scotland, Lothian muniments, GD40/2/3/14).

The letter is from Michael Young to the Earl and Countess of Lothian, reporting on progress of a continental tour he undertook with Lord Kerr and Sir William Kerr, the sons of the Earl and Countess, between 1651 and 1657. At this point Michael Young and the Kerrs were studying languages and taking other classes at the University of Leiden.

In the 17th century Scotland's business and cultural links with the Netherlands were very strong and many Scots travelled to the Netherlands to study at university or to get a business education. Scottish handwriting and the Scots language were strongly influenced by the Netherlands at this time.

The handwriting in the extract is the typical 17th century mixture of hands: secretary hand, italic and cursive. If you are unfamiliar with this, a good place to start is our Dunlop letters tutorial, which features letters sent home from the Netherlands to Scotland.

Image of a letter by Michael Young to the Earl and Countess of Lothian, 1652 (National Records of Scotland, Lothian muniments, GD40/2/3/14).

Download a printable version of this week's poser, PDF, 217KB, new window

This week's question: what was the young men's favourite recreation and where did they want to spend their vacation?

Help:

For help with reading the poser, use our coaching manual. The following areas may be of particular assistance:

Letter h
Letter e
Letter s

Answer to this week's poser