NQ Scottish History

The impact of Scots emigrants on the Empire

Liberal MP Sir Charles Dilke, writing in 1888, remarked that: ‘In British settlements, from Canada to Ceylon, from Dunedin to Bombay, for every Englishman that you meet who has worked himself up to wealth from small beginnings without external aid, you find ten Scotchmen’.

This was made possible by the Treaty of Union in 1707, which made Scotland a full partner in the largest free trade empire in the world. The Scots almost immediately took advantage of the situation and there were large outflows of men and women looking for a new life and a new beginning, mainly at this time in North America.