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 …