The Scots in Australia

I am proud to announce that The Scots in Australia 1788-1938 has been published by Boydell Press, with the support of the Scottish Historical Review Trust, in November 2017. The book is the result of nearly eight years of research and writing on Scottish migrants in Australia, is thematically broad, and covers the convict period up until the outbreak of the Second World War.

You can find ordering details at the publisher’s website here.  For a limited time, readers who enter ‘BB125’ at the checkout will receive a 25 per cent discount on the listed price. If you prefer, the book is also available for sale through the usual outlets, such as Amazon, Book Depository, Booktopia, Readings, and Angus & Robertson. I encourage you to ask your university and local library to order a copy for their collection, or perhaps even buy one for yourself!

The Scots in Australia 1788-1938 is about the many experiences of the Scots in Australia, from the first colonists in the late-eighteenth century until the hopeful arrivals of the interwar years. It is about how and why they migrated to Australia, and their experiences as convicts, colonists, farmers, families, workers, and weavers of culture and identity.

It explores their encounters with the Australian continent, whether in its cities or on the land, and their relationship with its first peoples. This book interrogates their connections to one another and with their own collective identities, and examines diversity and tension within the Scottish diaspora in Australia. It is also a book about the challenges of finding a place for oneself in a new land, and the difficulties of creating a sense of belonging in a settler colonial society. The key to understanding many of these experiences is, I argue, the British Empire.

The contents of the book are as follows:

1. From Scotland to Australia: Convicts, Free Settlers, and Encounters with Australia
2. Caledonia Australis: Imperial Commerce, Migrant Networks, and Australian Pastoralism
3. Scottish Migrants and Indigenous Australians
4. Imagining Home: Scottish Culture in Australia
5. Warriors of Empire: A Case Study of Popular Imperialism
6. The Empire Builders: Imperial Commerce and Migration Between the Wars
7. New Scots: Industry, Settlement, and Working-Class Migration
8. At the Edge of Scotland’s Diaspora: Diversity and Tension in the Twentieth Century
9. Conclusion: The Imperial Legacy




  1. Have been looking forward to this book Ben so will do as you suggest. Congratulations of course on your dedication and wish it receives due credit.

    • G’day. Seeing you are looking for something to do, why not have a go at biography? I think James Service could do with one and he ticks a couple of boxes for you as a Scot, successful immigrant the hard way, Chartist background. Also an important late 19thC political leader with some foresight. I reckon you’d do it well.
      Anyway, over to you.
      (thought this message better than telling the world on Twitter as fellow followers)
      Bob Clarke

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