March 07, 2014

More Scottish went to Poland than to Ulster

Dr. William Roulston
In 'Tim McGarry's Ulster Scots Journey' broadcast on BBC Dr William Roulston explained to Tim McGarry that more Scots went to Poland and Scandanavia than to Ulster:
"We often think of the Ulster plantation and the movement of Scots across the north channel and to our own province as being the most significant event in Scottish history of that era. The reality is that more Scots went to Poland in the early 17th Century than came to Ulster. In fact more Scots went to Scandinavia in the early 17th Century than came to Ulster."
On Wikipedia it says on the out-movement of Scots to Poland:
"From as far back as the mid-15th century there were Scots trading and settling in Poland. A "Scotch Pedlar's Pack in Poland" became a proverbial expression. It usually consisted of cloths, woollen goods and linen kerchiefs (head coverings). Itinerants also sold tin utensils and ironware such as scissors and knives. Along with the protection offered by King Stephen in the Royal Grant of 1576 a district in Kraków was assigned to Scots immigrants. 
Records from 1592 reveal Scots settlers, giving their employment as trader or merchant, being granted citizenship of Kraków. Payment for being granted citizenship ranged from 12 Polish florins to a musket and gunpowder, or an undertaking to marry within a year and a day of acquiring a holding. 
By the 17th century, there were an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Scots living in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Many came from Dundee and Aberdeen and could be found in Polish towns on the banks of the Vistula as far south as Kraków."
On the religious denomination of the Scottish settlers:
"Settlers from Aberdeenshire were mainly Episcopalians or Catholics, but there were also large numbers of Calvinists. As well as Scottish traders, there were also many Scottish soldiers in Poland. In 1656 a number of Scottish Highlanders who were disenchanted with Oliver Cromwell's rule went to Poland in the service of the King of Sweden.
The Scots integrated well and many acquired great wealth. They contributed to many charitable institutions in the host country, but did not forget their homeland; for example, in 1701 when collections were made for the restoration fund of the Marischal College, Aberdeen, the Scottish settlers in Poland gave generously. 
Many Royal grants and privileges were granted to Scottish merchants until the 18th century, at which time the settlers began to merge more and more into the native population. "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was half Polish, being the son of James Stuart, the "Old Pretender", and Clementina Sobieska, granddaughter of Jan Sobieski, King of Poland. In 1691, the City of Warsawelected the Scottish immigrant Aleksander Czamer (Alexander Chalmers) as its mayor."

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