Scottish immigration to the mainland and islands of Southern Europe was small in comparison to the exodus for Ulster, the West Indies, and North America, and at the outset it was limited primarily to Scottish Catholics. Those Scots who did relocate to Spain and Italy in the 17th century, for instance, did so to attend colleges there and ultimately join the priesthood. The failure of the Jacobite Rebellions in 1715 and 1745 resulted in a number of Roman Catholics (as well as Episcopalians) taking refuge in locations within Catholic Europe, especially Italy where the Court of King James Stuart was based. A few other Jacobite refugees became merchants in locations such as Madeira and Lisbon. By the 18th century aristocratic families sent their sons on the Grand Tour of Europe, especially to Italy and Greece, and some Scottish artists and scholars settled there. Later, Scottish soldiers and sailors served in places like Gibraltar and Malta, and the Iberian campaign of the Napoleonic Wars brought many Scots soldiers and sailors to Spain and Portugal, mostly in British but some in Portuguese service.
The work at hand identifies over 1,500 Scots who variously settled in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Madeira, Malta, Gibraltar, the Balearic Islands, the Azores, or the Canary Islands. For each emigrant we are given a name, place of residence, date, and a citation. Many of the entries also convey the identities of a parent, spouse, or other relation; occupation (student, soldier, merchant, professor, etc.); vessel traveled on; and so on. The author supports his list of travelers with a list of Scottish vessels, their captains, and the date and destination of at least one sailing to Southern Europe.