In terms of prices that chapmen charged for reading material, we have limited evidence from Scotland, but have enough to do some basic comparisons.
Of course inventories, even the most detailed ones, may have missed some of the stock chapmen carried to sell, including reading material.
Whatever the case, it is likely that chapmen knew what would sell on their travels, and carried goods accordingly, including their choice of reading material.
Fortunately we have another particularly useful record, albeit only for one county, but indicating the numbers of chapmen active at a local level in Scotland at this time.
The Fife Chapman Society kept a register of chapmen admitted as members in the late eighteenth century.
Indeed, some of the addresses recorded for chapmen in the register are so localised that it can be hard for anyone outside the district, especially at this distance in time, to know where they are.
Many chapmen travelled as part of their business, some travelling more widely than others, and catered for a wide range of customers, both urban-dwelling and rural.
Although the Fife records cover just one county, we can use them to make a tentative approximate estimate of the total number of chapmen active throughout Scotland in the late eighteenth century.
This is appealing if the number of chapmen related to population is fairly stable.
How does this rough estimate for Scottish chapmen compare with elsewhere?
CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS OF SCOTTISH CHAPMEN AND THEIR CUSTOMERS