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The Scottish Diaspora ~ The Global Scots

In the English Parliament of 1606, when a union between England and the inhabitants of Scotland was proposed it was met with indignant opposition.

"If we admit them into our liberties, we shall be overrun with them, as cattle (naturally) pent up by a slight hedg will (spill) over
it into a better soyl, and a tree taken from a barren place will thrive to excessive and exuberant branches in a better (place). "

That one, simple, 400 year old paragraph admirably sums up the amazing phenomenon of the Global Scots. That great family that has spread out into every corner of the world as mercenaries, traders, missionaries, engineers, doctors, teachers, naturalists, adventurers and every trade and profession known to Man.

We make no attempt to explain it but rejoice that from this often cold and tiny island on the northern fringe of mainland Europe, have come so many high achievers who have altered the course of history in so many nations and contributed so much to the well-being of the world that we know today.

Just how many Global Scots are there? Figures of 40 to 60 million are often bandied about - 8 to 12 times the population of modern Scotland!

In this corner of the web site we've laid out the welcome mat for those of Scottish descent now enjoying the citizenship of the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand . . . . and there's plenty room for more - Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil . . . wherever there are significant numbers of Scots descendants who want to pull their chair up to the home fire now and again . . . there's a welcome and the promise of a good bit of 'crac'

We're actively seeking a representative from each country featured (or to be featured) who would take it upon themselves to keep us abreast of what's happening in the Scottish world where they live. Perhaps provide us with a list of Scottish/Celtic events and organisations, stories of early Scottish pioneers and settlers. . . . The sky's the limit? If that appeals to you - drop us a line!

The diaspora is not just limited to the Commonwealth. In RussiaGeneral Patrick Gordon expanded the empire of Peter the Great, andField Marshall Barclay de Toly saw off the military threat of Napoleon.In Japan, Thomas Blake Glover from Fraserburgh helped turn the countryinto an industrial giant by bringing young samurai to Scottishcolleges, by starting the imperial navy, and by founding the companywhich later was to become Mitsubishi. In China, France, Hungary, India,Italy, Poland and other countries there are monuments and statues inhonour of Scots who contributed to their new homeland.

Not all the emigrants became the stuff of legend, of course. The menand women who struggled through the wastelands from Hudson's Bay tofound Winnipeg are not known today individually. The 30,000 Scots whosettled in Poland in the late Middle Ages have largely merged with thelocal population, though their placenames remain. The descendants ofmissionaries planted in "Little Scotland" in the Caucasus by the FreeChurch may have ended up as keepers of the Botanic Gardens in StPetersburg, but the family Bible from home is still there.

Dressed to Kilt photos Lloyd Bishop

 

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