Category: Research Story

Scottish associational culture in Africa in the early 20th century

In Africa, like elsehwere around the globe, Scottish clubs and societies were a common development soon after the first foot fall of Scots on the continent. Contrary to popular assumption, and while there was a strong concentration, such associations were not restricted to southern Africa. By the early twentieth century we find societies in Salisbury Read More

Tartan Day

‘We are the better Americans for the Scottish heritage.’ John Foord’s assessment in the foreword to Black’s exploration of the Scots’ role in making America is clearly celebratory in tone, but nonetheless has currency. At an official level, the importance of the Scottish contribution to the development of America was acknowledged in 1998, when a group of Scottish Americans, supported Read More

The St Andrew’s Society of New York

In North America St Andrew’s societies were at the heart of Scottish club culture. These societies were not simply set up, however, to offer migrants a means to interact socially, or to celebrate Scottish culture. At the core of the activities of St Andrew’s societies lay the provision of charity for fellow Scottish migrants in Read More

Scottish emigrant letters from New Zealand

George MacDonald’s mother started writing to her son, who had emigrated to New Zealand, in 1885. That, commented his sister Margaret, who was also communicating with her brother, was a complete novelty in itself since their mother had never sent a letter before. The mother’s desire to maintain communication with her son helped her overcome Read More

The monumental poet: Burns statues in New Zealand

Throughout this week and over the weekend many a Scot around the world will join in a toast to Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns. But Burns is not only remembered through these toasts, there are also a good number of visible reminders, with statues of the poet traceable all over the world, from Vancouver in Read More

The role of migrant networks

Networks served as risk minimisers and sources of comfort, two purposes that can already be traced in relation to the voyage out. George Sutherland, for instance, wrote positively about the presence of fellow Scots aboard his ship heeaded for New Zealand; he was especially pleased to learn of the ship’s six Scottish engineers: ‘none’, wrote Read More

Happy St Andrew’s Day 2015

St Andrew’s Ball’s have been celebrated around the world since the nineteenth century, with a few earlier examples pointing to the ball’s roots. I have written about these balls in detail – in fact, an image of a St Andrew’s Ball is on the cover of my last book. It was, therefore, a particular pleasure Read More

Inter-ethnic co-operation in New York

Some of the most enduring fruit of co-operation, and borne across ethnic groups, can be found, however, in New York. It was there that the local St Andrew’s and St George’s societies worked together closely—so closely, in fact, that they shared the same lodgings at 3 Broadway, as well as the same almoner, for a Read More

Out of the Box

In London, as in many other diaspora locations, the commemoration of Scotland’s patron saint on St Andrew’s Day preceded the official establishment of ethnic associations, but they soon grew out of the celebrations. The earliest Scottish society that formalized its activities in this way was an association initially known as the Scots Hospital or Corporation. Read More

James Keir Hardie in New Zealand

On this day in 1856, James Keir Hardie was born near Holytown, a small town close to Motherwell. He had a most interesting life, and even those with different political views would probably concede that his contributions in making the Labour Party were critical to British political life. What I want to focus on today, Read More

1 2 3 4 5 10