Returning Soldiers

returnsoldiersThere were many reasons why Scots did not permanently settle overseas. One group of returnees among which the Scots are disproportionately highly represented is that of military pensioners, especially in the early nineteenth century. Existing scholarship has largely focused on soldiers settling in the colonies at the end of their service, for instance in North America or South Africa—a pattern related to the provision of land grants in these locations. Soldiers were perceived as valuable settlers, securing frontiers and supplementing colonial populations in areas where … Read more

Guest Post: Scottish Covenant and expat Scots in Singapore

covenant2With just days to go before the 2014 Referendum, the campaign for Scotland’s future remains on a knife edge. Years of lobbying on both sides will very shortly come to an end and, as Scotland wakes on Friday, she will be met with a new chapter in her history. The figures of Alex Salmond and David Cameron have, rightly or wrongly, become synonymous with the opposing campaigns, yet, in the final days of this most important of weeks, it is worth remembering that Scotland’s search … Read more

Scottish Convicts in Nineteenth-Century Australia

convictsAustralia was first put on the Scottish diaspora map not as a migrant destination of choice, but as a convict settlement. The overall number of convict Scots was, however, low. Of the estimated total of nearly 155,000 convicts sent to the Australian mainland and Van Diemen’s land, only about 8,200 were Scots. A slightly larger proportion of Scots, possibly up to 700, were among the nearly 10,000 male convicts sent to Western Australia between 1850 and 1868. But even these numbers pale compared to those … Read more

A New Zealand Pacifist with Scottish Roots

BaxterArchibald McColl Learmond Baxter was born in the small settlement of Saddle Hill in the province of Otago, New Zealand, in mid-December 1881. His parents were both of Scottish descent, with Baxter’s maternal grandfather a pioneer settler who made it to New Zealand in 1859. Despite this early start in the colony the family never managed to make a particularly good living for themselves, a fact that contributed to Archibald having to leave school when he was only 12 years old, instead pursuing a whole … Read more

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

tap8__1407507750_86.160.218.231It was my great pleasure to visit the exhibition of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh yesterday. Having been involved with the project from the early days as a historical advisor, it was brilliant to finally see the panels stitched. While I had seen many a design beforehand, the actual stitching has really made the panels come to life: the level of detail is incredible. I love all of the panels, but particularly the ones on Scottish clubs and societies … Read more


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: