Kinship Networks among the Scots in Asia

hkharbourOf 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 … 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, … Read more

New Book: Clubbing Together

Bueltmann cover design - draftI 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). … Read more

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


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