St Andrew’s Day and the Scots in British East Africa

ScreenShot1Nairobi was founded by the British in 1899 to serve as a rail depot on the railway that connected Mombasa to Uganda. From this early settlement Nairobi grew quickly and, in 1907, became the capital of British East Africa. Despite this expansion it was not a principal destination of permanent settlement for Scots – though a significant number of Scots did make their way there nonetheless. In fact, it was Sir William Mckinnon’s Imperial British East Africa Company that facilitated, and effectively made possible, British control of Kenya and Uganda. Born on 13 March 1823 in Campbeltown, Argyllshire, one of Mckinnon’s main interests was shipping and that is where he first made his name, establishing one of the greatest shipping companies in the world by creating a large network around …