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Table of Contents
Great Scots Born Overseas of Scots Parents or “Adopted” Scots
Six Fathers of modern Africa have had the benefit of a Scottish Education:
Jomo Kenyatta (1893 – 1978) of Kenya.
Hastings Banda (1902 – 1997) of Malawi.
Kwame Nkruma (1909 – 1972) of Ghana.
Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) of South Africa.
Kenneth Kaunda (1924 – ) of Zambia.
All attended Missionary Schools or Colleges, whilst
Julius Nyere (1921 – 1999) of Tanzania attended Edinburgh University. (Courtesy again of The Scottish Empire by Michael Fry).
a) William Henry Playfair (1789-1857) b. London
Son of James Playfair – architect and responsible for the Natural Monument and Observatory on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy, National Gallery of Scotland, Royal College of Surgeons and Royal Terrace, Carlton Terrace and Regent Terrace all in Edinburgh, also New College on the Mound and Donaldson’s School for the Deaf.
b) Sir Basil Spence (1907-76) b. India
Educated in Edinburgh and London, one of the foremost architects of the 20th century, and his finest examples include University Buildings in Cambridge, Sussex and Southampton, and housing estates in Berkshire. His master-work was the new Coventry Cathedral in 1951.
a) John Michael Wright (1617-94) b. London
Artisan – by 1636 he was in Edinburgh studying under George Jamesone, then portrait painter in Rome, which included Charles II, Sir William Bruce and Lord Mungo Murray (Scottish National Portrait Gallery).
4) Scots Influence in Australia
a) Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) b. Fitzroy, Victoria whose parents emigrated from Roy Bridge, Inverness-shire
Declared a saint by the Catholic Church for all her work in Australia, with a great emphasis on the education for the rural poor.
b) Cities & Towns
Cairns, Mackay, Port Macquarie, Robertson, Ayr, Port Douglas, Reid, Glenn Innes, Forbes, Port Pirie, Lithgow and Perth.
Murray, Jardine, Lachlan, Mitchell, Thomson and Ross.
Eyre, Mackay, Carnegie and Argyll.
Simpson and Gibson.
Hume, Burnett, Stuart, Stuart, Mitchell, Bruce, Buchanan and Eyre.
g) Mountain Ranges
McCarty, McPherson and MacDonnell.
5) Authors/Writers and Novelists
a) Sir Compton MacKenzie (Edward Montague) (1883-1974) b. W.Hartlepool
He added the name Mackenzie as a tribute to his Scottish heritage. In 1928 he settled in Barra. He helped found the Scottish National Party. His best known works include “Sinister Street ” (1913), “The 4 Winds of Love” (1937-45), “The Monarch of the Glen” (1941), and “Whisky Galore” (1947). In his later years he lived in Edinburgh.
b) Emma Tennant (1937-) b. London.
Novelist and descendant of Charles Tennant.
c) Alexander McCall Smith (1948-) b. S. Rhodesia
Novelist and short story teller.
6) Scots influence in Canada
In 1621,William Alexander, Ist Earl of Stirling, member of the Royal Court and tutor to the children of King James VI and I, was granted permission to establish a settlement, in what then was called just North America, and it was called Nova Scotia.
In 1622, the first wave of settlers arrived, and were welcomed by dense forest, so the start was really tough, and 30 of the original 70 settlers died before the arrival of their first spring. Life continued to be intolerable, not helped by French blockades, and further development of North America was put on hold for the next 100 years.
In 1773, a ship called the Hector, arrived with mainly Highlanders from Skye arriving at Pictou, Nova Scotia, grossly overcrowded with 170 Highlanders and 10 from Greenock, with most of them Gaelic speakers. The sea journey was 11 weeks long, and 18 children died. As in the previous century, their promised supplies never arrived, and they had to endure a horrendous winter, largely spent clearing forest. However they persevered, showing great courage and determination to start their new life here in Nova Scotia, and some of these folk lived to a 100. They expanded into Prince Edward Island and Quebec, with Gaelic becoming the third most common European language in this new land.
The flag of Nova Scotia is a combination of the flag of Scotland, the Lion Rampant and the Saltire.
Nova Scotians have maintained their Scottish roots, and industries such as boat building , fishing, farming and shipwrights traditions prevail. The Gaelic language and traditional music still flourish both here and in Cape Breton, and the Scots Celtic influence too can be traced further south in bluegrass and country music.
After the American War of Independance in 1775, and the formulation of the United States of America was born, what is today Canada was known as British North America, and so began the flow of many immigrants from Scotland prior to 1867, proving more popular than the United States, presumably because it was still very much part of the Empire.
From 1670 – 1820, most Scots that sailed to British North America came to work for the English formed Hudson’s Bay Company who dominated the fur trade, however a Scots formed company, the “North West Company” challenged the HBC, and it was the Scots – dominated members of the fur trade, that pushed Europeans West towards the Rockies.
The Canadian Federation was formed on the 1st July 1867.
Some of the famous Scots who did their part in evolving the new land of Canada included:
1. Alexander MacDonnell b.Glen Urquhart 1762 d Dumfries 1840:
He was the first Roman Catholic Bishop in Kingston, Upper Canada.He had served with the Glengarry Fencibles during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and his presence with the regiment insured that it “distinguished itself with its humanity”. When the regiment was demobbed, most of the soldiers found themselves unemployed and destitute, so he led them to Canada, where they received a grant of land for their service.
When he arrived in Upper Canada, he found 3 priests and 3 churches. Throughout his energy and perseverance, he brought about considerable immigration to the province, and on his death, left 48 churches attended by 30 priests, plus a seminary and a college.
2. Sir Alexander MacKenzie b Stornaway 1763 d Dunkeld 1820.
A Scottish Fur trader and Explorer, emigrated to Canada in 1779, and entered a Montreal Trading Company, which amalgamated with the North West Company. In what is now Alberta, he and his cousin set up a Trading port, Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabaska in 1788. This became the starting point of his expedition of 1789, which follows the Mackenzie river from the Great Slave Lake to the river’s delta on the Arctic Ocean.In 1793, he crossed the Rocky Mountains from Fort Chipewyan to the Pacific coast, which is now British Columbia.
These journeys were the first known Transcontinental crossing of America, north of Mexico.
He was knighted in 1802.
3. Simon Fraser b 1776 Mapletown, New York d 1862.
He was the 8th and youngest child of Captain Simon Fraser, of the 84th Highland Regiment, descended from a younger brother of the 10th Chief of the Frasers of Lovat.
At 14, he moved to Montreal for additional schooling, where 2 of his uncles were involved in the Fur trade, in which his other kinsman, Simon McTavish, was the undisputed leading figure.In 1790, he was apprenticed to the North West Company.
After Alexander Mackenzie’s efforts to find a navigable river route to the Pacific Ocean, Fraser was given the responsibility for entering operations west of the Rockies in 1805.
He established trading ports, present day Hudson’s Hope. Then Fort McLeod on present day McLeod Lake, which was the first permanent European settlement west of the Rockies.Fraser called this territory New Caledonia, in honour of his ancestral homeland.Together with James Macdougall, they discovered what is today Stuart Lake, where a Trading port was established in 1806.Then John Stuart was sent west to Fraser Lake, where another Trading port was formed named Fort Fraser.
Meanwhile Fraser had found out from the aboriginal people, that the Fraser River, the route Mackenzie had used, could be reached by descending the Stuart River. It had been Fraser’s plan to navigate the length of the river, which now bears his name, whilst others believe it was in fact the Columbia River, which had been discovered by Robert Gray in 1792.
During delays caused by a lack of men and supplies and local famine, he established another Trading port called Fort George, now known as Prince George, which would become the starting point for his trip downstream.
He developed generally good relations with the local tribes, who however were not always friendly, especially the nearer he got to Vancouver.
He finally settled in Ontario, was offered a knighthood, but rejected it due to limited wealth.
He was one of the last surviving partners of the North West Company.
4. Sir George Simpson b. Dingwall c 1792 d Montreal 1860.
A Scots Explorer and Colonial Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Co, during the period of its greatest power.From 1820 – 1860, he was in practice, if not in law, the British Viceroy for the whole of Rupert’s Land, an enormous stretch of northern North America.
In 1808, he was sent to London to join his Uncle’s sugar brokerage business, and from here in 1812, it was where he made contact with the Hudson’s Bay Company, so in 1818 he went out to Montreal, and started to learn the fur business at Fort Wedderburn on Lake Athabaska.
In 1821, The North West Co. and the Hudson’s Bay Co merged, and he was made Governor of the Northern Department and later the Southern Department.
His efficient administration of the West was a precondition for the Confederation of Western and Eastern Canada.He was noted for his grasp of administration detail and for his physical fitness in travelling through wilderness areas.He was the first person to have circumnavigated the world by land.
He was always immaculately dressed in top hat, with his personal piper(s), and known as “The Emperor of the Plains.”
5. Sir John Rae b.Orkney 1813 d.London 1893.
His family had strong ties with Clan Macrae.
He studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.In 1833, he went to work for the Hudson’s Bay Co.as a surgeon first of all in Ontario for 10 years. Then from 1846 – 1854 he led, or was second in command of 4 Arctic expeditions, travelling by boat and on foot for over 13,000 miles, averaging over 25 miles per day, and charted 1,700 miles of unknown coastline, between the Mackenzie River and Hudson’s Bay.
He explored the Gulf of Boothia, northwest of Hudson’s Bay, the Arctic coast and New Victoria Island, between 1848 – 1851.
He was noted for his physical stamina, hunting, boat handling, usage of native methods, and with the ability to track great distances with little equipment, and to live off the land.
For a man who discovered the Northwest Passage, he never received the acclaim that he deserved, and perhaps this was because of his reporting on the Franklin Expedition, which has disappeared earlier, on which he reported there had been some form of cannibalisation, which brought outrage to British society, including Charles Dickens, who wrote disparagingly of Rae.
However in more recent times he has been lauded in his native Orkney, and a plaque marks his house where he ended up living in Kensington.
6. Sir John A MacDonald b. Glasgow 1815 d. Ottawa 1891.
He became the first PM of Canada (1867 – 73 and 1878 – 91) and the dominant figure of the early Canadian Federation.
He emigrated to Ontario in 1820. He was called to the bar in 1836. After being elected to the Assembly of the Province of Canada as a Conservative for Ontario, he worked at promoting the British America League, designed to unify Canada and strengthen its ties with GB. He became PM in 1857.
In 1867, the British N.America Act was passed, creating the Dominion of Canada, and he became the country’s first leader. He was created a KCB in that year for his services to the British Empire.
Under his leadership, the Dominion expanded to include Manitoba (1870),British Columbia (1871) and Prince Edward Island (1873).
In 1873, he resigned due to accusations of bribery in regards to the Pacific Railway contract, but returned as PM in 1878, until his death in 1891.
During his final years, he had to deal with many challenges re Canadian unity, including a rebellion in the NW. His guiding principle was always loyalty to the British Empire and Independence from the US.He remained true to his declaration: “A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die.”
7. Donald Smith b.Forres 1820 d.London 1914.
First Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, he was a businessman, railroad financier and politician.
He became Commissioner,Governor and principle shareholder of the Hudson’s Bay Co.
He was President of the Bank of Montreal, and with his first cousin, Lord Mount Stephen, founded the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, and later represented Montreal in the House of Commons of Canada. He was Canadian High Commissioner to the UK from 1896 – 1914. He was the Chairman of the Burma Oil co. and the Anglo – Persian Oil co. He was Chancellor of McGill University from 1899 – 1910, and of Aberdeen University.
King Edward VII called him “Uncle Donald.”
A great philanthropist, he gave away cd 75 million, plus a further £1million to a variety of charitable causes in Canada, UK and the USA, and responsible for raising the Strathcona Horse, who saw their first action in the Boer War. He founded too the Leanuiso Hospital, and together with Lord Mount Stephen, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and at the McGill University, he started the donation programme for the purpose of providing higher education for Canadian women, and built the Royal Victorian College for that purpose.
8. Alexander MacKenzie b. Logierait, Perthshire 1822 d.Toronto 1892.
He became the country’s second PM in 1873 – 78.
He left school at 13 on the death of his father to help his mother, and trained as a stonemason.
He emigrated to Ontario, Canada when 19, and initially did very well as a mason, but went into politics and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1861, being elected to the new House of Commons of Canada for the Liberal Party. He became Leader in mid 1873, and succeeded John Macdonald on the latter’s resignation.He was popular for his humble background and liberal policies.
As PM, he continued the nation building programme of his predecessor. His government established the Supreme Court of Canada and the Royal Military College of Canada, whilst creating the District Keenwatin, to better administrate Canada’s newly acquired Western territories.
In 1878 he lost in a landslide back to John Macdonald’s Conservatives.
9. Sir Sandford Fleming b.Kirkcaldy 1827 d.Halifax 1915.
Emigrated to Canada aged 18. He promoted Worldwide Standard Time basis 24 hours.
He designed Canada’s first postage stamp, left a huge swathe of survey maps, engineered most of the Intercontinental Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway.
He was a Founder Member of the Royal Society of Canada, and founder of the Canadian Institute of Science in Toronto.
Scotland was just one of the countries that has contributed to the History and Development of Canada, but for such a small country, she has had a large input.
Scottish Geographical Place names in Canada.
Well there are just so many all over the country, it is impossible to name them all, but just to name a few:
Ontario – Iona.
Quebec – Stornaway
Saskatchewan – Cupar,Orkney,Biggar
Nova Scotia – Arisaig,Dunvegan,Glencoe
BC – Fraser River and the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Alberta – Banff, Calgary.
a) Captain James Cook (1728-79) b. Marton
Born in Yorkshire of a Scots farmworker.
b) James Clark Ross (1800-62) b. London
Discovered the North Magnetic Pole in 1831, which revolutionised navigation.
8) Film Directors
a) Alexander MacKendrick (1912-93) b. Boston USA
Films which included “Whisky Galore“, “Man in the White Suit” and “The Ladykillers”.
9) Hong Kong
The very heavens wept at the final fanfare for Empire, when Britain handed over Hong Kong to China on June 30,1997. The Colony had been a largely Scottish creation in 1842, and Scots had played a huge role in its economy and government. It was therefore fitting that the Empire should be played out by a Scottish Regiment, the Black Watch, on that day in 1997. (Courtesy of The Scottish Empire by Michael Fry).
“In 1831, India’s five biggest commercial groups were, in order of size, Tata, Andrew Yule, Inchcape, James Finlay and Burn and Co., the first Indian, the rest Scottish in origin. A majority even of the country’s top twenty groups had a similar Scottish origin. They owned four hundred subsidiaries dominating jute, tea, sugar, metals, coal, electricity, transport and general investment.
“Within a further twenty years, they had all but vanished. The global economy was undergoing a deep shift away from the system of the nineteenth century, and the era of free trade in staple commodities from exotic parts, dominated by British merchants, would soon be over.” (Extract from “The Scottish Empire” by Michael Fry.)
Time never stands still, and the world changes!!
a) Ronald Stevenson (1928 – 2015) b. Blackburn, Lancashire
Composer – his fertile output include many pieces that draw on aspects of traditional Scottish music, including pibroch and dance forms. His “Passalaglia on DSCH” is an 80 minute single movement work for piano. He spent most of his adult life in Scotland, and latterly in the Border town of West Linton.
b) Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-) b. Salford, Lancs
Composer who holds the honour of Master of the Queen’s Music. He made Orkney his home in the 1970’s. He often premières work at the St. Magnus Arts Festival in Orkney, which he founded.
c) Judith Weir (1954-) b. Cambridge
Her music has a wide range, much of it influenced by her interest in a worldwide folklore and theatre. Her operas include “A Night at the Chinese Opera” (1987), and has also composed song cycles and orchestral work such as “The Welcome Arrival of Rain” (2001).
British exploitation of NZ had started in the first half of the 19th century, with no great success, under the chartered New Zealand Company. By the 1840’s the directors were desperate for new ideas, and got one from George Rennie of Phantassie, a Scotsman sitting as Liberal MP for an English seat, and later Governor of the Falkland Islands.He had an associate, William Cargill, another man convinced that Presbyterians made the best emigrants.In 1842, the pair proposed the establishment on the company’s territories of a New Edinburgh.It also brought into play the institutional Free Church, at first in the person of the Rev.Thomas Burns of Portobello, a nephew of Robert Burns, who bore no character resemblance to his famous Uncle, in that he was a fanatic in the cause of Temperance, in the cause of the Free Church.
Indeed the Free Church took over all negotiations with the New Zealand Company, by which time the project lost Rennie, who felt all proceedings had turned “too – holier- then thou”.By 1845 the Assembly had approved their scheme, and designated Burns as the Minister of the new settlement.With Cargill as agent and himself, they led out a party which arrived in the spring of 1848 and founded Dunedin.
The settlement grew slowly, but including many non-Scots, who did not like at all the austerity of Burns’s.
A University was formed in 1869.
The state of Otago even looked Scottish, treeless, and when the Rev.James Begg of Edinburgh came on a tour in 1874, he remarked that ‘he never addressed more thoroughly Scottish congregations, I think, than in New Zealand…….I saw a great many people with what I would call Bothwell Brig faces – real true-blue, staunch, sterling Presbyterians.
Dunedin of course the old name for Edinburgh, and to this day names from Edinburgh’s capital abound,
In the meantime a group of Macleod Highlanders, arrived in 1853 at the other end of New Zealand, to the peninsular beyond Auckland on North Island, and chose for their colony a spot called Waipu.More Macleods followed from Nova Scotia, and by 1865, they virtually owned the whole district, and formed a settlement of frugal Scots farmers, living off the export of their produce.
Gaelic remained the language till the 1880’s, and it was understood till the 1920’s.
Whereas Waipu became a mini Scotland, a Donald Maclean from Tiree, learned the local language of the Maori, and compared them to the Highlanders of yore.He rose to Native Minister in 1877-80, and did much to furnish good relationships between incomers and local, but those that succeeded him did not uphold this, and relations soured.
Gordon, who had much previous experience in other Empire postings, became Governor of New Zealand in 1889, by which time the white colonials formed a clear majority in the country, and he found in office a Government blatantly hostile to them, with the result that relations were breaking down.In 1882 he resigned and stated to PM Gladstone, “I have been profoundly disgusted by the treatment of the Maoris.”Democracy, he declared, made a Governor’s job a waste of time.In fact, however,he alerted London to the injustices still being done to natives in both Australia and New Zealand, so to that extent his personal mission did not entirely fail.
Above extracts taken from Michael Fry’s The Scottish Empire.
a) John Crawfurd (1783-1868) b. Scotland
2nd British Governor of Singapore from 1823-26. Instrumental into implementing some of the key elements of Raffle’s vision for Singapore, and laying the foundations for the future economic growth of the Island. Crawfurd Street, Bridge and Park are all named after him.
b) Sir John Alexander MacDonald (1815-91) b. ?
First PM of Canada from 1867-73 and 1878-91. He promoted links with Britain and helped to develop the Pacific Railway.
A Scottish Physicist/Chemist, known for his discoveries of magnesium, latent heat, specific heat and carbon dioxide. Indeed his theory of latent heat was one of his most important scientific contributions, and the one he has the most fame for,
He was Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glasgow from 1756-1766, and then Professor of Medicine and Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh from 1766-1796.
He was the sixth of twelve children, whose mother was Margaret Gordon from Aberdeenshire and father John Black from Belfast, who worked as a factor in the wine trade.
During his time at Glasgow University, he wrote a doctorate thesis on the treatment of kidney stones with salt magnesium carbonate.
Whilst in Glasgow, he provided significant finances and other support to his friend James Watt in his early research info steam power.
Later at Edinburgh University, he became one of the principal figureheads, and there could have been no more popular Professor and teacher, and one of his major strengths was his clarity.
In 1783, he became one of the Founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and from 1788-1790, was President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
He was also King George 111’s principal physician in Scotland.
We was a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, and a close associate of David Hume, Adam Smith and James Hutton.
He never married and is buried in the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.
b) Sir David Bruce (1855-1931) b. Australia
Brought up and educated in Scotland – Microbiologist – having identified the tsetse fly as the source of sleeping sickness, and while serving in the Royal Army Medical Corp in World War 1, he rediscovered the bacteria Brucella, the cause of brucellosis in cattle and undulant fever in humans.
c) William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921) b. London
First scientist to explore Antarctica in the 1920’s, having studied at Edinburgh University.
15) South East Asia
The father of hydrography, and in his time of the early 18th century, became the most famous as the world’s greatest expert on the Pacific Ocean, and his strong views on the concept of a chain of emporiums would be later realised in the Straits Settlements, and his toehold in Borneo prefigured British control of it’s northern option. These two factors helped to form the modern Malaysia of today, straddling 400 miles of sea.
By the 19th century, the youngest, most burgeoning and soon most important of the Straits Settlements was Singapore. Its foundation on 6th February, 1819, is always credited to Sir Stamford Raffles, who stayed there just one night. His colleague, William Farquhar, to be succeeded by John Crawford. The first merchants to land there bore the Scots names of Hay, Johnston, Napier and Scott. By 1834, out of 17 partnerships formed in the Colony, 12 were Scots.
In 1824, Robert Hunter set up the sole foreign merchants in Bangkok.
In the Philippines, Smith, Bell and Co established themselves, whilst in the Dutch East Indies, three more in Maclaine and Co, McNeill and Co and Fraser Eaton and Co set themselves up. Scots continued continued whole new lines of trade all over Southern Asia and the islands: coffee, sugar, spices, vegetable oils, guttapercha, metals and minerals.
A flotilla of the Royal Navy under another Scot, Admiral Thomas Cochrane attacked and occupied Brunei in 1846. The next year, merchant princes from Glasgow, with their partners in Singapore, sent a trading mission there, and in charge they put one Robert Burns, an illegitimate grandson of the bard.
W.R. Paterson and Co of Glasgow and Singapore, transformed itself into the Borneo Co. in 1851. It built the port of Kuching, and a big exporting business. It remained under Scottish direction till the 1930’s.
Another Scot, one William Cowie made great strides in the Philippines.
Robert Tytler from Peterhead introduced cacao and coffee to Ceylon, and coffee became Ceylon’s major crop by the mid 19th century. In a clannish way others from the N.E. Scotland followed to the island: James Taylor in cinchona and tea, James and Graeme Elphinstone planted coconuts, and John Brown built a modern system of irrigation. By 1875, perhaps half the managers of Ceylonese plantations hailed from Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire. Thomas Lipton spent £75,000 in 1890, making himself the largest single proprietor on the island. The tea gardens of today’s Sri Lanka, still bear names, Balmoral, Blinkbonny being examples.
In Malaya, big strides were made in the introduction of rubber, among the investors the Lockhart family, who earned a fortune, and over 2,000 Scots made up of a good one third of the rubber planter class.
In 1896, the Guthrie Group now involved in banking, insurance, railways, steamships, docks and telegraphs went too into rubber.
During the economic depression of the 1920s and 30s, industry fell off badly.
However rubber did recover, and an Aberdonian George Hay formed a new Guthrie group in 1961 until his death in 1967 when Scots influence existed no more.
Imperialism did create the conjoint network, and here had been a maritime empire like of which Dalrymple had dreamed, not an empire of conquest and domination, but of peaceful exchange and mutual advantage, a Scottish Empire after all.
( adapted from the “Scottish Empire” by Michael Fry.)
a) Sir Ian McGeechan (1946-) b. Yorkshire
Rugby international for Scotland before becoming their manager/coach as well as for the British Lions.
b) Sandy Lyle (1958 -) b. Shrewsbury
Great Scots golfer and double Major winner of the US Masters and Open Championships.
c) David Sole (1962-) b. Aylesbury
Scottish International Rugby Player and captain of their famous Grand Slam side of 1991.
As a point of note, I have gleaned this information for this study from many sources, but I have to make mention of my major source of “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Scotland”, edited by Iseabail Macleod M.B.E.