Gaelic societies in Scotland

Screen-Shot-2015-05-28-at-14.16.24Scots did not only settle in faraway climes or the near diaspora of England, Ireland and Wales. There was a significant internal movement
within Scotland. This movement was particularly common amongst members of what we might suitably term the internal Highland
diaspora, a diaspora comprised of Highland Scots who relocated further south.

As Scots who ventured further afield, these Scots often came together as a group, forming societies in several cities throughout Scotland. In Glasgow, for example, a Gaelic Society formalised transactions in 1887 (though there were earlier roots). As is outlined in its first transactions, published for Society members as a record of activities, given ‘the present transitionary state of the Gaelic race, it is of the utmost importance that the future generation should not lose touch with their …

The St Andrew’s Society of Adelaide and Scottish emigration to South Australia

Screen-Shot-2015-05-09-at-12.29.11The St Andrew’s Society of Adelaide was established in 1847. Though short-lived, the organization had a very immediate and wide impact in the community and beyond, revealing the degree to which Scottish ethnic associations could interact with local, national and international politics. The organization was set up at a meeting of ‘natives of Scotland’ at Stewart’s Hotel on 31 August 1847; the general role of the proposed society was discussed, as was the idea to advertise another meeting in the local press to invite all Scots resident in the area to attend. A report on the meeting outlines that the ‘objects of the Institution are chiefly to aid and encourage Scotch emigration, to collect authentic information, and to correspond with influential bodies in the mother-country, in order to induce the …

The St Andrew’s Home, Montreal

Screen-Shot-2015-03-13-at-11.07.59The St Andrew’s Society of Montreal offered accommodation for Scots in need from the late 1850s, catering for all Scottish immigrants and Scots without a permanent home who lived in or passed through Montreal. The idea for a home was ‘the result of an experiment made last Winter [1856]’. It was then that a house ‘was leased and managed by a Committee of Ladies, under the auspices of the Montreal Society. It proved of great benefit to several very destitute Scottish families, and 42 women and girls found a temporary home there. A committee was subsequently appointed to consider ‘the propriety and practicability of making the effort a permanent one’.

The first intake for the permanent home came a little earlier than planned, however, as an immediate result of the …

The Caledonian Society of Bristol

Screen-Shot-2015-05-28-at-14.43.15Bristol’s Caledonian Society was founded in the early nineteenth century ‘for the relief of unfortunate but deserving Scotchmen’, spending much of its time on the provision of aid akin to poor relief for Scots. By December 1822, the association had at least 40 members, a number of Englishmen among them, who were staunch supporters of the Society and its objectives. As the then Caledonian Society president observed, ‘to the English members he felt more than ordinarily indebted, because they had supplied the deficiency of many of our own opulent resident Scotchmen, who had hitherto resisted the call of the wants and necessities of their less fortunate countrymen.’ Ethnic associationalism was not something that every Scot would automatically adopt, nor be forced to join, but overt criticism of those who did …