The Jews and Scots were frequently grouped together as people to tax, and look down upon. The tone of their complaint to the Duke of Prussia is typical: the Scots skim the cream off the milk of the country, usurp the whole trade and are so bold and so smart withall, that nothing can happen in a nobleman's or a common citizen's house, be it even death, without the Scots being there at the very moment offering to supply his goods. Given what we know happened in later centuries to the Jews in the region, it is also chillingly familiar. These people have like a cancerous ulcer, grown and festered, they cling to each other, keep boarders, hire large houses, nay, sometimes oust honest citizens by offering a higher rent, furnish several stores, and this not because of their large capital - most of them are only commission merchants - but because 4 or 5 of them collude, so that if we were to admit 1 as a burgess publicly we should secretly create half a dozen of them who would prowl about the country towns from east to west and finally leave from the gate with a patched knapsack The first mention of Scots pedlars in the region appears as early as , but the numbers increased dramatically throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
By taking goods direct to the consumer, of course, they were undercutting the profits and the powers of the burgesses in the towns. So common were they that the words Schotte and Szot covered both pedlars and natives of Scotland - it was the same in parts of Sweden and Denmark too - while they appear in the native folklore as the bogeyman. In both the Kashubian dialect and in German, proverbial sayings used to frighten naughty children included Warte bis der Schotte kommt - Wait till the Scot comes and gets ye! In reality, there were few cases of Scots harming the locals, in fact the reverse was a lot more common.
Alone, and carrying goods and money on remote country paths, there are many cases of Scots boys being robbed and left for dead. If that was not hard enough to thole, eventually the wealthy Scots turned against them too. By the 's they were becoming too numerous and embarrassing, so they wrote to James V1 asking him to intervene and stop so many of them leaving from Scottish ports. The settled Scots also wrote to the local authorities distancing themselves from 'the disgrace to our nation when such people, lazy and unwilling to work as they are, crowd the streets'.
Katharine Pooley, a design inspired by a taste for far-flung travels and adventure
I hae this image in ma heid o puir, destitute sowels daein the 17th century equivalent o sellin the Big Issue on the brigs o Dansk! The puir pedlar image was extended to imply meanness, and the Polish language has disparaging expressions referring to the Scots and their meanness. Unlike the Jews, as Christians they could marry local girls and were gradually absorbed into German and Polish society.
After the lecture, I was interviewed for the Polish Scottish website Idorru who made it available on Youtube:. It is late in February of , and my friend Bill and I are arriving in the United States on an eventful flight which has taken us from the sticky heat of Thailand to airports in Osaka in Japan, Taipei in Taiwan and an overnight stay in the deepest mid winter of Seoul, South Korea. We have about two hundred dollars between us, and no onward ticket.
We badly need to find work in the States to replenish the funds, so that we can keep travelling. As we approach the line for U. Immigration, tired and anxious, we are aware that a visa allowing us to stay in the country for a decent length of time will make all the difference. As we approach the booths, we notice that one of the desks is staffed by a young attractive woman, as he has always been good at communicating with members of the opposite sex, Bill decides that is the queue for him. Meanwhile, I have noticed another desk presided over by a giant, burly, male official with the name tag R.
McLeod - this is definitely the queue for me! The man is awe struck, and awfie happy to hear echoes of his distant ancestral home here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. While a delighted Mr McLeod grants me a nine month visa and sends me skipping into the United States, Bill has ended up with even burlier male immigration officers who are strip searching him for drugs! Significant eye contact with the young woman resulted in her noticing his dilated pupils and with his protestations of being sleepless in Seoul waved aside, he ended up in the search room.
Bill was innocent, but they only granted him a three month visa. The moral of the story, my countrymen and women is this Others had played it before me. Off the street in Waikiki where I lived was Tusitala Street - Tusitala being the Hawaiian for Teller of Tales, the name given to Robert Louis Stevenson, celebrating his gift as a storyteller and writer who spread knowledge of Hawaii and Polynesia around the world.
When he arrived in the islands for a five month stay in , and returned for a few weeks in , he was invited to address a huge gathering at the Thistle Club of Honolulu, one of three Scottish organisations catering for a sizeable community of Caledonians who settled in Hawaii for very different reasons. Lahaina and Dundee were two of the world's major whaling ports in the second half of the 19th century. As the Arctic became over fished, the Antarctic attracted a number of expeditions, so you had Dundonian vessels as regular visitors to the port.
Quite a few Dundonian mariners came back to the islands and stayed There, the sugar plantaion area of Hamakua was known as the Scotch Coast. When I visited the island in , I met an old man who remembered leaving Cupar Angus on a horse and trap, bound for Hawaii. Like this Ayrshireman he could recite Tam o' Shanter from beginning to end, so we did a shared performance of it which pleased both of us greatly.
There was another strong Dundee connection. The remarkable wealth generated in the boom years of the jute industry from the 's onwards, led to the city's excess capital going west to finance American railroad expansion and land deals in Texas and Oregon. Due to such investment, due to the whaling connection, and due to the sugar industry in the islands, Dundee for many years had a Hawaiian Consul resident in the city!
The most remarkable Scottish Hawaiian connection though is one in which RLS became involved in during his time in the islands, and later on in his life in Samoa. Stevenson was intensely aware of the threat to indigenous cultures posed by imperialism, be it German and British in Samoa or American in Hawaii. The writer was always on the side of the native culture, and believed that it should have the support of an indigenous political structure as well. As a Scot, this was brought into sharp relief in Hawaii when he realised that the heiresss apparent to the Hawaiian throne was the an engaging 13 year old girl called Princess Ka'iulani.
Cleghorn, a former merchant and currently Collector General of Customs in the islands. RLS was befriended by the family during his stay on the islands in - and was invited to the royal palace to partake of a meal of 'guid Scotch kau-kau' - kau-kau being the Hawaiian word for food. He admired the beautiful Scots-Hawaiian princess, and at one point when she was due to travel to Scotland for her education, he dedicated a lovely poem to her which ends: But our Scots islands far away Shall glitter with unwonted day, And cast for once their tempests by To smile in Ka'iulani's eye.
Stevenson told the lassie tales of Scotland under the Banyan tree planted by her father in Waikiki, probably stories of Bruce and Bannockburn, stories of royal heroism and commitment to the people he served, models of behaviour for a future monarch who faced a similar struggle to preserve her own and her people's independence. Ka'iulani was not able to fulfil her destiny as the last Hawaiian queen - when RLS returned to Hawaii in the political situation had changed dramatically.
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Ka'iulani's aunt, Princess Lili'uokalani had been deposed in a bloodless coup by supporters of American annexation of the islands. They proclaimed the right to set up a Republic of Hawaii that led eventually to the establishment of America's 50th state. Ka'iulani died of pneumonia in Waikiki in March , in a Hawaii newly under the American flag.
When Stevenson returned to Hawaii from Samoa in , he had only just over a year left to live. When he rose to address the Scottish Thistle Club of Honolulu at their premises on Merchant Street on September 27, , despite the flamboyant red sash and the dashing corduroy suit his countrymen in the packed audience could see that he was emaciated and wearin awa tae the land o the leal. But that was forgotten as they were consumed by his brilliant eloquence and passion for Scotland and her history.
An unbelievably amazing book, so beautifully written by Kathryn. Words cannot begin to express how she brought to life her characters, the places they lived, and their ties to each other.
The emotions I felt, the tears I cried, both happy and sad, I was so involved in the story. I was and am in awe, and can't recommend this book enough. View 1 comment. This book was published originally in and is the first book in the Victorian Trilogy. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I really, really, really, wish they wrote books like this today. Yes, this is a tome, a nearly page saga that will carry us from the Scottish Highlands, to England to China to India and back again. The book is broken down into 4 parts. Part 1 This first part gives usAilsa's story.
Growing up in the Scottish Highlands, raised by her mother, Ailsa is nearly obsessed with uniting with her father, Charles Kittridge. She never knew her father and has lived with her mother's decision to stay in Scotland while Charles follows his wanderlust and experiences grand adventures. In order to hopefully meet her father and have some kind of relationship with him, she marries an Englishman named William despite the fact she has always loved Ian.
The call of far out lands and adventures and the chance to meet Charles pulls Ailsa away from her beloved highlands. England proves to be a difficult adjustment.
William's family is formal and the rules of society are far more complicated than in Scotland. William himself his far from the passionate lover Ailsa craves.
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His family is aghast at Ailsa's ways. Soon, Ailsa will become depressed as her husband is obviously spineless and she begins to miss her home in earnest. Was the marriage a mistake? Will she and William live in a cold uncomfortable and stilted world together or will they learn to understand each other in a way they never thought they could? Part 2 Canton, China Charles has been separated from his wife for some years now, but still holds her in his heart.
However, he succumbs to the seductions of a beautiful Chinese woman and together they have a daughter- Li-an. Li-an is raised in the traditions of China and her mother is very adamant about Li-an's future and who she will marry. So far, no one has impressed her mother enough to agree to a marriage.
With her father having moved on with his life of adventure Li-an is trapped by Chinese customs, but has a rebellious streak non the less. She has also harbored bitterness towards her white British father for skipping out on them when times got hard. When Li-an meets Chao he is a man that appeals to her rebellious nature.
However, Chao has principles and honor that could be his undoing. Then old rumors re-emerge regarding Li-an's mother and the possibility she could have certain objects others want. This will put Li-an in the direct line of fire. So, at just the right moment Li-an read the letter asking her to travel to the highlands to meet with her father who is in ill health.
Related The Journey (Far Flung Scots Book 2)
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