The Scots Society of Norwich

norwichIn Scotland’s near diaspora regional centres were especially important in the development of Scottish associational culture, including, for instance, Norwich. A Scots Society was established there in 1775, and eventually was given the name of the Society of Universal Good-Will, under which it began to operate from the early 1780s—though the Scots Society name was largely maintained. It was at a celebration of Scotland’s patron saint that the decision was made to combine sociability with philanthropy when ‘an overplus of three shillings and sixpence’, to which ‘ten shillings were added, to relieve any poor Scotchman who might come to Norwich … Read more

Diaspora Aiding Home

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 21.23.08In 1812 William Kinloch, a Calcutta-based Scottish merchant, died, leaving the residue of his estate to the Scottish Corporation (also referred to as Scottish Hospital) in London. As Kinloch had detailed in his will:

The residue of my estate … I will and bequeath may be lodged in the British funds at interest, under the management of the Governor and Managers of the fund instituted in London, for the relief of poor and indigent Scotchmen; and that the interest of this residue of my estate, may be received annually … [to] be paid annually to poor and disabled Scotchmen in

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Kinship Networks among the Scots in Asia

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 21.53.09Of great importance for the facilitation of trade and Scottish enterprise beyond the shores of the Indian subcontinent was the development of shipping interests. One name that stands out in this respect is that of Sir William Mackinnon. Born in Campbeltown, Argyll, in 1823, Mackinnon proceeded to work for a merchant in Glasgow who traded with the East before embarking to India himself in 1846.Of great importance for the facilitation of trade and Scottish enterprise beyond the shores of the Indian subcontinent was the development of shipping interests. One name that stands out in this respect is that of Sir … Read more

The Forgotten Scot: William Farquhar

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 20.13.13William Farquhar was born in 1774 at Newhall near Aberdeen. Like quite a few other young Scots, he looked abroad for opportunities, joining the military service of the British East India Company aged only 17. He thus made his way to Asia, first arriving in Madras in 1791. He was soon promoted to a low-rank commissioned officer of the Madras Engineers, being made a Lieutenant in the summer of 1793. [For more on the Scots in India, click here]

It was not, however, in Madras, but in Malacca where Farquhar first made his name: he was Chief Engineer in the … Read more

New Book: Clubbing Together

clubbingI am delighted to announce that my new book, Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility and Formal Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930, has been published by Liverpool University Press. I have accumulated a host of debts throughout the preparation and writing of this book, so I’d like to take the opportunity and thank a few people and organizations here.

A few ‘thank yous’:

First, I’d like to acknowledge the British Academy for the support I have received through the Small Research Grant scheme (SG100441). I am also grateful to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, which has funded some … Read more

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