Citation Williams KJ (2015) The Network of James Garden of Aberdeen and North-Eastern Scottish Culture in the Seventeenth Century, Northern Studies, 47, pp. 102-130.
Abstract First paragraph: In April 1695 Hew Tod, the master of the Kirkwall grammar school, was writing about scurvy. “This season of the year”, he wrote, “could not but putt me in mind” of it for almost every “privat family or Tavern” in Orkney had its supply of ale fortified with herbs to prevent the disease. He described this and other local cures in a letter to James Garden, Professor of Divinity at King’s College, Aberdeen, who had been hounding him for almost a year for some account of his new home in the northern islands. Tod’s letter survives because Garden subsequently copied it into a letter which he wrote to the English antiquary and Fellow of the Royal Society John Aubrey in July 1695. Garden and Aubrey had been corresponding for several years and what had begun as a request from the Englishman for information on Scottish stone circles had become a rich exchange of antiquarian and natural philosophical material between the two scholars. In the process, Garden had mobilised a network of contacts which spread from Aberdeen to Tod’s Kirkwall schoolhouse, asking for information on everything from standing stones to second sight and from burial customs to scurvy cures.