Scotland’s Near Diaspora

1896677206While characterized by a generally smaller migration flow than that to overseas destinations, the number of Scots who made their way to towns and cities within the British and Irish Isles is significant, reflecting the long tradition of Scottish mobility that began to extend beyond the borders of Scotland on a more significant level in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. England was the most obvious destination choice for the increasingly mobile Scots: with only a shared land border separating it from Scotland, the opportunities south of the border—which ranged from work and trade opportunities to the availability of potential partners for marriage—were ample. Ireland too, particularly the north of the country, offered similarly easily accessible avenues for those Scots seeking to relocate to a place in relatively …

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 in distress’. Regular subscriptions were taken from the end of 1777, which is also when objects were formalized. As is outlined in an account of the Society’s first years of …

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 of my research in Australia related to ethnic associations. The Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University also deserves my recognition for giving me the opportunity to be a …