Scots-French Links in Europe and America, 1550-1850


Author: Dobson, David
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: viii 108 pp.
ISBN: 9780806355283


Scotland has had military links with France since the medieval period. For example, during the Hundred Years War between England and France, many Scottish soldiers fought for France. A number of the Scottish survivors ultimately settled there, including Nicholas Chambers, who was granted the seigneury of Guerche in Touraine in 1444. Later, in 1627, 2,000 Scottish soldiers under William, 6th Earl of Morton, were dispatched to France to assist the Huguenots besieged in La Rochelle. Scottish Jacobites fled to France in the 18th century, and a number of them enrolled in French regiments.

Economic and cultural opportunities with France also came into play. France attracted Scottish merchants, who generally settled in ports such as Rouen, Dunkirk, Bordeaux, Dieppe, and Calais, or in Paris. Following the Reformation, Scottish scholars were lured by French universities, and Scottish Catholic universities often sent their sons to institutions like the Scots Colleges in Paris and Douai. Conversely, a smaller French immigration to Scotland, particularly among Huguenots, occurred in the 18th century. Scots could also be found in the French colonies in the Americas during the 17th and 18th centuries.

This work by David Dobson identifies about 1,200 emigrants and their family members who participated in this migration. Working from a number of archives, libraries, and secondary sources in Scotland, Dr. Dobson invariably gives the name of each emigrant, his/her occupation, a location or destination, and a source. On occasion, we also discover the name(s) and relationship of family members, vessel traveled on, and so forth, as in the case of the following:

Erskine, William, born 1688, son of William Erskine of Pittodrie and his wife Mary grant, a Jacobite in 1715, settled in Bordeaux by 1719, died in February 1774.

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