Our President in 2020/21 was:

Sir Tom Devine

He proposed the Toast to Sir Walter at our 111th Annual Dinner on 2nd September 2021* at The New Club, Edinburgh (*rescheduled from the 6th May due to the ongoing pandemic)

Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine Kt OBE DLitt HonDLitt  HonDUniv FRHistS FSA(Scot) HonMRIA FRSE FBA.

Tom Devine is Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh,the world’s oldest and most prestigious Chair in the field of Scottish Historical Studies. He was previously Professor of Scottish History at Strathclyde, where he also became Deputy Principal, and then the Glucksman Research Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies and Founding Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen. During his career he has held several visiting appointments in Canada, France, New Zealand and the USA.

He is the author or editor of some forty books on Scottish history, Irish-Scottish studies, diaspora, empire and contemporary political and social issues. One of his books, The Scottish Nation, has sold 100,000 copies in the UK alone. His most recent volume, The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed 1600-1900, has been described as a historical masterpiece by reviewers.

Devine has received many awards, prizes and honorary degrees throughout his career. These include the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s supreme academic accolade; knighted by HM The Queen in 2015 ‘for services to the study of Scottish history', the first scholar to be so honoured for that reason; and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the All Party Group on History and Archives (Commons and Lords) of the UK Parliament for his distinguished contributions to historical research.

The Times stated that Tom Devine ‘is as close to a national bard as the nation has’, while Scottish Field described him as ‘the rock star of Caledonian historians’. This last was greeted by Lady Devine, his four children and nine grand children with unbridled amusement.

Image provided by Sir Tom Devine