Truckell Prize 2017
The 2017 Truckell Prize, awarded annually by the Society, was won by Alistair Livingston of Castle Douglas, the well-known local historian. Alistair came to the Society's lecture meeting in Castle Douglas Parish Church Hall on Saturday, 24 March 2018, to receive the award. The Society's President, Dr Jeremy Brock, presented Alistair with the award before the start of the meeting, which was attended by an audience of 50 members and guests.
The Truckell Prize was established in 2009 to commemorate the late Mr Alf Truckell and his outstanding contribution to local studies in Dumfries and Galloway region. It is awarded for the leading original research paper submitted to the Society on a human or natural history topic relating to the geographical area of Dumfries and Galloway. Entries are welcome from all, but must meet the editorial standards required by the Society's Transactions, which are published annually. The closing date for entries is the first of October each year. Please further details are available here.
Alistair won the award with a research paper entitled Reassessing the Galloway Levellers the scope of which he has summarised himself as:
On 21 April 1724, the Caledonian Mercury produced a 'first rough draft of history' when it reported that several hundred people in Galloway, roused to action by the oratory of a mountain preacher and 'big with that ancient Levelling Tenet' had demolished enclosures which were a grievance to them. The report appeared to capture the essence of their actions so well that the Galloway Levellers' opposition to enclosure has come to define their uprising. However, when examined more closely, the Levellers' dyke-breaking activities emerge as only part of a more complex and even contradictory series of actions which can best be understood as having an origin within political and economic changes rooted in the later seventeenth century.
The paper will be published in the Society’s Transactions next year and will be of particular interest to those interested in the local history of the Stewartry.