Returning Soldiers

There were many reasons why Scots did not permanently settle overseas. One group of returnees among which the Scots are disproportionately highly represented is that of military pensioners, especially in the early nineteenth century. Existing scholarship has largely focused on soldiers settling in the colonies at the end of their service, for instance in North Read More

Guest Post: Scottish Covenant and expat Scots in Singapore

With just days to go before the 2014 Referendum, the campaign for Scotland’s future remains on a knife edge. Years of lobbying on both sides will very shortly come to an end and, as Scotland wakes on Friday, she will be met with a new chapter in her history. The figures of Alex Salmond and Read More

Scottish Convicts in Nineteenth-Century Australia

Australia was first put on the Scottish diaspora map not as a migrant destination of choice, but as a convict settlement. The overall number of convict Scots was, however, low. Of the estimated total of nearly 155,000 convicts sent to the Australian mainland and Van Diemen’s land, only about 8,200 were Scots. A slightly larger Read More

A New Zealand Pacifist with Scottish Roots

Archibald McColl Learmond Baxter was born in the small settlement of Saddle Hill in the province of Otago, New Zealand, in mid-December 1881. His parents were both of Scottish descent, with Baxter’s maternal grandfather a pioneer settler who made it to New Zealand in 1859. Despite this early start in the colony the family never Read More

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

It was my great pleasure to visit the exhibition of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh yesterday. Having been involved with the project from the early days as a historical advisor, it was brilliant to finally see the panels stitched. While I had seen many a design beforehand, the actual Read More

Scottish Missionaries in Africa and Education

While a significant number of Scots went to Africa with the London Missionary Society prior to the mid-nineteenth century, it was then that a notable change took place. This was triggered by the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. After its formation, the Free Church began to keenly promote foreign missions. This had Read More

Homecoming in the 1920s

It’s another year of Homecoming – a good opportunity to explore an earlier example of it in the early twentieth century. It was then that a growing number of organised group returns took place, with trip planning often facilitated by Scottish associations such as St Andrew’s and Caledonian societies. One such group return, that of Read More

Global Bannockburn: Historical Ties with the Scottish Diaspora

As the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is celebrated, let’s go on a tour of how the Scottish diaspora got involved, in 1914, for the 600th  anniversary. Let’s start with the British Empire’s remotest outpost, New Zealand. The most notable celebration in New Zealand took place in Dunedin – as you may know, Read More

Manitoba’s Young Hero

Alan Arnett McLeoad was born at the end of April 1899 in Stonewall, Manitoba, establishing his heroic credentials at an early age. As is noted in his biography, he was only nine years old when he ‘removed a trap from the foot of a stray dog, but did not seem to understand why others fussed Read More

The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1914

The  700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is imminent and many activities are taking place to celebrate and commemorate the anniversary. There is, for instance, the Battle of Bannockburn Project, a partnership between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Project seeks Read More

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