Scotland and Poland: A Historical Relationship

Edited by T. M. Devine and David Hesse.

I found this collection of essays very interesting – but mainly the first half, which covered the Scottish migration to Poland in the late 16th and 17th century. It seems there were very distinct communities formed and these existed until the late 17th after which they were assimilated into the general populous. Gdansk, as a centre with defined routes has neighbourhoods that are named in a Scottish fashion – from ‘Old Scots’ to ‘New Scots’. There are also other villages named Szkocja (Scotland) in other parts of Poland.  This migration has been largely forgotten and the editors do say that further research needs to be done. The story of William Bruce was also engaging, as a roving diplomatic agent in Poland in the 16th early 17th century, and there’s plenty scope for a movie script there. There would need to be a fair amount of literary licence as many details of his life are sketchy. I enjoyed these essays and wouldn’t mind reading a detailed study in future should it become available.




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