Thomas Pennant (1726-1798)
A Tour in Scotland, 1769, first published 1771 and A Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, 1772, published in two parts (1772 and 1776).
"I beg to be considered not as a Topographer but as a curious traveller willing to collect all that a traveller may be supposed to do in his voyage; I am the first that attempted travels at home, therefore earnestly wish for accuracy."Thomas Pennant
Thomas Pennant was a naturalist, writer and antiquarian well known for his publications on natural history. His deep curiosity about the British past and present led him to undertake pioneering tours throughout the British Isles, including Scotland and Wales. He made two consecutive tours of Scotland: in 1769 he travelled on horseback with a single servant and in a more extensive tour in 1772, he navigated the Western Isles by boat accompanied by a team of experts. His two published Scottish Tours were the first to include a wide range of illustrations: the 1772 volume contains over 90 plates, mainly drawn from the work of the artist Moses Griffith. The Welshman initially worked on illustrations for Pennant’s scientific publications, but rapidly developed as an artist of landscapes and buildings. He accompanied the writer on his second tour of Scotland. Other travel companions included two trained botanists, one of them a native Gaelic speaker and scholar. Pennant's meticulous factual description of people and places, supplemented by information derived from local correspondents, influenced travel accounts of Scotland for nearly a century to come.