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The Irish Famine in a Scottish Perspective 1845-1851

La famine en Irlande du point de vue écossais 1845-1851
Géraldine VAUGHAN

Résumé

Cet article examine la Grande Famine irlandaise (1845-1851) dans une perspective écossaise. L’Ecosse fut elle aussi touchée au milieu des années 1840 par une famine dans les Highlands. Les parallèles et les différences entre les deux famines feront l’objet d’un examen. En outre, la Grande Famine irlandaise eut un impact sur la société écossaise puisque plus d’une centaine de milliers de migrants irlandais débarquèrent dans les Lowlands en l’espace de cinq années. Les conséquences religieuses et sociales de cette immigration (tant catholique que protestante), ainsi que le regard porté par les élites urbaines écossaises sur ces nouveaux migrants sont étudiés

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Introduction1

  • 1 This paper was given at the day conference in Bordeaux (MSH Aquitaine) on 5th December 2014 co-orga (...)
  • 2  The Glasgow Herald, 2 January 2013.

1In 2012, a Memorial Working Group was commissioned by the Glasgow City Council to reflect upon the building of a Memorial dedicated to the 100,000 Famine migrants who had come to Scotland’s industrial capital as well as victims from the Highland Potato Famine of the 1840s.2 This bears testimony to a major aspect of Scotland and Ireland’s shared destinies. The Highland Famine, although not as deadly or as devastating as its Irish counterpart, had a profound effect on Scottish society.

  • 3  Walker, Graham. ‘The Protestant Irish in Scotland’ in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.), Irish Immigrants an (...)

2The Irish Famine was an ‘extraordinary’ (in the words of Thomas Chalmers, the Scottish Free Kirk minister) and global event – with more than a million emigrants leaving the shores of Ireland to settle in far-off lands. A great number of Famine migrants also crossed the short distance over the North Channel to the Scottish ports of Greenock and Glasgow – in what might be seen at first as a temporary migration – and ended up establishing themselves in Scotia. By 1851, the Irish population reached its peak at 207,367, representing 7.2% of Scotland’s inhabitants. In the manufacturing towns and burghs of Western Scotland, the proportion of Irish-born and their families amounted to up to a third of city dwellers. The Western Lowlands were thus transformed by the incoming sons and daughters of Erin, who brought with them their religious issues and their own associational networks.3

3In the mid-1840s, Scotland had to deal with the consequences of its own potato Famine in the Highlands as well as with the influx of Irish and Highland migrants to the manufacturing districts of the Lowlands. How big an impact did the Irish Famine migrants have on Lowland society? What were the social, economic, religious and political consequences of the arrival of over 100,000 Irish in the course of half a decade? How did Scottish élites and working classes perceive Famine migrants? Examining the Irish Great Famine from a Scottish perspective helps researchers to form a picture of the type of migrants who came over to the Lowlands. It also enables historians to further examine connections in Irish and Scottish history during the late 1840s.

4In seeking to explore these Scoto-Irish connections, this article will firstly undertake a brief comparison of the Highland and Irish Potato Famines in the mid-1840s. Secondly, the influence of Irish migrants on the renaissance of the Roman Catholic Church as well as manifestations of Irish Catholic identities will be explored. Thirdly, the ‘invisibility’ of Irish Protestant immigrants shall be assessed. And fourthly, native reactions to this influx of Irish migrants in the second half of the 1840s will be examined.

Connected Histories4

  • 4  Many arguments in this section are taken from the only fully comprehensive account by Devine, Thom (...)
  • 5  Devine, Thomas M. ‘Highland Landowners and the Highland Potato Famine’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.) (...)
  • 6  Kinealy, Christine. ‘Potatoes, providence and philanthropy: the role of private charity during the (...)
  • 7  Bensimon, Fabrice and Colantonio, Laurent. La Grande Famine en Irlande, Paris, PUF, 2014, p. 119.

5The Highland Potato Famine of the late 1840s was never as catastrophic an event as was the Irish Great Famine, but nevertheless it had ‘fundamental effects on the living standards, emigration patterns and social structure of the region’.5 In public discourse, especially during the 1846-1847 period, the Irish and Scottish famines were associated. For instance, the charitable society formed in London in 1847 by wealthy businessmen was named the ‘British Association for the Relief of Distress in Ireland and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland’. Also, the January 1847 Queen Victoria Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York stated that an appeal should be read in each church calling parishioners to contribute to famine relief in both Ireland and Scotland.6 In the spring of 1847, the Jamestown conveyed food from Boston to destitutes both in Ireland and in Scotland.7

  • 8  Gray, Malcolm. ‘The Highland Potato Famine of the 1840s’, The Economic History Review, 7/3, 1955, (...)
  • 9  Devine, Thomas M. To the Ends of the Earth. Scotland’s Global Diaspora 1750-2010, Penguin, London, (...)
  • 10  Devine, Thomas M. ‘The Highland Clearances’, op. cit., p. 136.

6Taking a closer look at the way in which the potato famine impacted the Scottish Highlands allows the historian to shed a somewhat different light on Irish issues. Up to a certain extent, the West of Ireland shared some common features with the North-West Highlands and the Northern Isles.8 Rural society in the crofting areas resembled Irish agrarian structures. As was the case with Ireland’s poorer peasantry, Highland crofters had become more and more dependent on a potato-based diet since 1815. Also, the image of a backward rural society plagued by Roman Catholicism in certain remote areas was still vivid in the 1840s. Accordingly, Charles Trevelyan’s representation of the starving Highlanders was close to his vision of the poorest inhabitants of Erin – it encapsulated a then common perception stemming from a Teutonic/Anglo-Saxon prejudice against the Celtic Gael. This stereotype, as Tom Devine has written, had the Highland inhabitant ‘perceived as naturally indolent, his laziness encouraged by the liberal distribution of Lowland charity’.9 In terms of its population, the Highlands had also been affected by high rates of emigration since 1815. Thus the 1840s Clearances were reminiscent of Irish evictions during that same period. From 1845 to 1855, it has been estimated that around 16,000 crofters were ‘assisted’ to emigrate (either by their landlords or by charitable societies) to North America.10

  • 11  Devine, Thomas M. The Scottish Nation 1707-2000, London, 2000, p. 413.
  • 12 Even though they shared with their Irish counterparts a strong eviction policy. See for instance De (...)

7Nevertheless, the comparison cannot be taken much further – as the Highland Famine in Scotland never constituted the watershed it did in Ireland. In Scotland, the height of the crisis was limited to the years 1846-1847. At first, in the autumn of 1846, the potato blight destroyed nearly all crops in three-quarters of the crofting parishes.11 Yet by the summer of 1847, mortality levels had returned to their pre-1846 average levels. A number of factors accounted for the lesser social and economic impact of the potato blight in the Scottish Highlands –it has notably to be borne in mind that the 1841 Highland population was only around 290,000 (which was equivalent to that of Clare’s population at that time). In reality, the Highlands differed from the Irish case in that there were potential alleviating factors during peaks in the crisis: on the whole, the crofters’ diet was more diverse (with a higher per capita fish consumption); seasonal work was available in the Lowlands (whether in manufacturing or on farms); and the greater scattering and remoteness of crofting communities helped prevent the spread of famine-related diseases such as cholera and typhus. The newly constituted Free Church (1843 Disruption) was prompt in organising an efficient system of private charity across the Hebrides and on the Western seaboard. It cooperated with the Edinburgh and Glasgow Relief Committees – all three formed in early 1847 the Central Board of Management for Highland Relief (which was active until 1850). In contrast with Ireland, Scottish landlords, whose financial situation had been improving since 1815, were more active and collaborative than their Irish counterparts in providing relief for their tenants.12

The Impact of Catholic Migrants on Catholicism in Scotland

  • 13  The Roman Catholic hierarchy was restored in Scotland in 1878.

8Apart from some shared famine trends in the mid-1840s, Irish Famine migrants proved crucial to the phenomenal growth of the Roman Church in Scotia. When Bishop Scott (1772-1846), Vicar General in charge of the Western District of Scotland died, his obituary in the Catholic Directory read as follows:13

Persecuted and impoverished at home, many from the Sister Isle had begun to emigrate to Scottish shores in quest of employment…

  • 14  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1848, p. 100-106.

He [Scott] owed much, it is true, to Ireland. Powerfully backed by her generous sons and virtuous daughters, whose liberality towards the support of religion, notwithstanding their own poverty and sufferings, is still unrivalled.14

  • 15  Glasgow Courrier, 10 June 1824. 
  • 16  Walker, Graham. ‘The Protestant Irish in Scotland’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.), Irish Immigrants a (...)
  • 17  Handley, James E. The Irish in Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1964, p. 49.

9The emigration referred to in this quote preceded the Famine stream. Back in the 1820s, the Glasgow press eagerly criticised ‘the cheapness with which this Class of persons get over from Ireland to Scotland in the steam boats threaten[ing] to overwhelm the west of Scotland with the miserable beings in the lowest state of wretchedness and want’.15 In fact, from the 1800s, Irish rural migrants had settled in agricultural areas of the South West whereas industrial workers headed for Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Glascow, where weavers and navies were required.16 The Irishh-born represented 13 per cent of Lanarkshire’s population in 1841.17

  • 18  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1947, p. 24.
  • 19  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, op. cit., p. 25.

10The Famine migrants were in the majority the ‘poorest of all, who had neither relatives in the United States nor other inducements to go thither’.18 In January 1847, out of 783 vagrants arrested on the streets of Glasgow, 593 were Irish-born – amongst whom 130 were deported back to their native land.19 It nevertheless remains difficult to attempt any estimation of the total number of Irish migrants who arrived in Scotland during the 1845-1851 period – although James E. Handley’s computation estimated roughly 115,000 Irish incomers for those six years.

  • 20  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1851, p. 89.
  • 21  Glasgow Archdiocese Archives, MW1/1: A History of St Margaret’s, Airdrie, 1830-1926, p. 11.

11Three-quarters of the Irish incomers were Roman Catholics – and their arrival and installation contributed to a rebirth of Catholic institutions in Presbyterian Scotia. Throughout the Lowlands, new churches were built to accommodate the Irish – this contributed to the transformation of the urban landscape too. For example, in Airdrie, a mining burgh in the vicinity of Glasgow, the Catholic Church was equipped with ‘the largest [bell] in Airdrie’ in 1851.20 The town included 6,000 Roman Catholics and the collection for Famine victims which was undertaken by the Church in January 1847 allowed £26 to be forwarded to the Famine Fund.21

  • 22  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1848, p. 91.
  • 23  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1850, p. 82.
  • 24  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1850, p. 82.

12In order to minister to the souls of the newly arrived population, the immigration of Irish-trained priests was organized to the various vicariates of Scotland. This form of ‘professional’ Irish migration was encouraged by the founding in Dublin in 1842 of All Hallows Seminary whose aspirants served the parishioners of the Irish diaspora. Such was the case with Michael O’Keeffe, who was born in County Limerick in 1818, trained at All Hallows, was ordained in August 1845 and immediately appointed to Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow. He was transferred in July 1847 to the Coatbridge mission (in the Monklands, a few miles East of Glasgow). This followed the death of the previous Irish priest, William Welsh, who died aged 28 because he had caught typhus fever whilst attending the sick of his Irish flock.22 Father O’Keeffe was an energetic priest, who strove to have Saint Patrick’s Church built in Coatbridge (1848) at a time when the industrial town was ‘densely populated, chiefly by the humbler classes, almost all of whom [were] Irish emigrants, and the Catholic population [was] estimated at about 5,000’.23 O’Keeffe’s assistant priest in 1849 was Fr. John MacDonald, a Highlander born in South Uist who had been trained in Glasgow.24

  • 25  Glasgow City Archives, TD 729/51: Airdrie Hibernian Friendly Society 1844-1861 [Rules and Regulati (...)

13The influx of Irish Catholic migrants also led to the creation or in some cases to the revival of networks of local friendly societies. In Airdrie, the Saint Patrick Catholic Friendly Society which had been founded in 1836 by the local Catholic schoolmaster James McAuley, a native of Donegal, saw its numbers swell during the Famine period. From 48 registered members in 1846 to 91 in 1847, the number of members was still as high as 76 in 1850. Founded in 1844, the Airdrie Hibernian Friendly Society was intended to provide relief to local miners (in case of accidents, unemployment or death). Its rules stated that ‘[i]n the many public works around Airdrie great numbers of Irishmen are employed and many, with their families, are often plunged into a state of destitution from one or other of the above causes and thrown upon the world, amongst strangers, to pick up a precarious subsistence’.25

  • 26  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1869, p. 97. These societies included: The Living rosa (...)
  • 27  Glasgow City Archives, TD 729/51.

14Other societies were directly controlled by the Catholic Church, whose aim was to avoid Protestant contagion, preserve the faith and promote respectability. Thus temperance associations and confraternities were set up within the various parishes in the Western Vicariate.26 The liveliness of the Catholic associational network in Scotland also constituted a reaction to the fact that Roman Catholics were excluded from the local masonic lodges and friendly societies. As the Monklands Malleable Works Friendly Society, instituted in 1849, stated in its rules, ‘no person to be admitted not of the Protestant faith and not of good character and in good health’.27

  • 28  Glasgow Free Press, 22 March 1851.

15In terms of the manifestation of an Irish Catholic identity, two types of Saint Patrick celebrations emerged in the late 1840s: the ‘respectable’ evening organised under parochial supervision and the ‘unofficial’ version whereby some Irishmen ‘drown[ed] the shamrock in a drop of potheen’ in pubs and on the streets, to the great annoyance of Scottish local authorities. In March 1851, a gathering of the first type was organised in Greenock and reported in the local Catholic press (Glasgow Free Press). The organising committee had rented out the Mechanic’s Institute’s room and a number of addresses were delivered, including a special vote of thanks to two Irishmen, Patrick O’Neill and John McGuikan who were representatives on the Greenock Parochial Board.28

  • 29  Handley, James E. The Irish in Scotland, op. cit., p. 204; Aspinwall, Bernard. ‘Scots and Irish mi (...)
  • 30  Glasgow Archdiocese Archives, MW1/1: A History of St Margaret’s, Airdrie, 1830-1926, p. 16.

16Nevertheless, the rebirth of the Roman Catholic institution in Scotland did not go without internal tensions – especially between the newly arrived Irish flocks and the native Scots (often Highland) priesthood. There was certainly a confrontation between the Scottish devotional version, described as ‘reserved, unemotional, isolated in a Presbyterian environment, somewhat tinged with a suspicion of Jansenism’, and the Irish, who sought ‘more frequent communion, rosary, benediction and catechism’.29 Disputes could arise between the Scottish priests and their Irish parishioners – the growing tension between Father Duncan McNab (a native of Argyllshire who had studied at Blairs College, Scotland) in Saint Margaret’s Parish (appointed in 1848), Airdrie, and his Irish churchgoers led him to leave in 1867.30

The ‘Invisible’ Irish Protestants

  • 31  Foster, John, Houston, Muir, and Madigan, Chris. ‘Distinguishing Catholics and Protestants among I (...)
  • 32  Campbell, Alan B. The Lanarkshire Miners. A Social History of their Trade Unions, 1775-1874, Edinb (...)
  • 33  McFarland, Elaine. Protestants first: Orangeism in nineteenth century Scotland. Edinburgh, Edinbur (...)
  • 34  See Walker, Graham. ‘Irish Protestants’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed), Irish immigrants and Scottish (...)
  • 35  See the method used by Foster, John & al. ‘Distinguishing Catholics and Protestants among Irish Im (...)
  • 36  National Archives of Scotland, HH21/46/001.
  • 37  Callum Brown remarked that socially, it was not surprising that the proportion of Presbyterian dis (...)

17As Graham Walker has put it ‘our image of the Irish poor category in nineteenth century Glascow has neglected the Protestatnt element’31 In fact, Irish Protestant immigration was particularly strong in Scotland, as over 80 per cent of Irish emigrants came from one of the nine counties of Ulster.32 Thus not all Irish migrants were Catholics, and in the past two decades, researchers have striven to shed some light on the ‘invisible’ Protestant Irish.33 The 1851 Religious Census did not record people’s birthplaces – so other sources have had to be scrutinised to further explore the various affiliations amongst the Irish Protestants. Current estimates suggest that the Protestant Irish represented in Scotland around a quarter to a third of the total immigrant population.34 An alternative source consists in prison registers, as they recorded place of birth, religion and literacy. Also, it might be assumed that recorded prisoners were fairly representative of the Irish working-class in that the majority of offenders served negligible sentences for minor offenses.35 A sample of Irish inmates drawn from the 1848 Airdrie Prison Register showed that out of total of 113 Irish-born prisoners, 29% were Protestants. Taking a closer look at religions denominations, ten of those were recorded as ‘Protestant’, twenty as ‘Presbyterians’ (i.e. Church of Scotland in that case), two as ‘Free Church’ and one as ‘Episcopalian’.36 Thus the majority of Irish Protestant prisoners in Airdrie (62 per cent) belonged to the Established Church. This affiliation with the Church of Scotland (Kirk) did not necessarily help them blend into Airdrie’s religious landscape as there were only a fifth of the town’s Protestants who belonged to the Kirk.37 As regards occupations and literacy, the registers revealed an identical professional outline for Irish Catholics and Protestants, while the literacy figures (classified in three categories : literate, illiterate, literate and ‘semi-literate’ for those who could either read or write a little English) confirm the similarity of Irish profiles (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Literacy amongst Irish Protestant and Catholic prisoners, Airdrie Prison, 1848

  • 38  McFarland, Elaine. Protestants first,... op. cit., p. 70.
  • 39  See also Kaufman, Eric. ‘The Orange Order in Scotland since 1860: A social analysis’, in Mitchell, (...)
  • 40  Senior, Hereward. Orangeism in Ireland and Britain 1795-1836, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 19 (...)

18Another strong indicator of an Irish Protestant presence was the local growth of the Orange Order. The first Orange lodge had been set up in Scotland in Ayrshire in 1799 by militia men who had helped repress the ’98 rebellion. By the 1820s, several lodges had been founded across the West of Scotland.38 The Orange Order was committed ‘to the Defence of Protestantism and the British Crown’ and it became almost exclusively working class after Catholic Emancipation (1829).39 In Scotland, the records show that it was almost entirely Irish.40

Scottish Reactions to Irish Migrants

  • 41  See Akenson, Donald. Small Differences: Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, 1815-1922: an Inter (...)
  • 42  Vaughan, Geraldine. The Local Irish in the West of Scotland 1851-1921, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmi (...)

19The Famine years saw the arrival of both Highland and Irish newcomers to the Lowland industrial employment market. Did the native Scots react to these destitute migrants in the same way? Culloden (1746) was then a century away, yet some prejudices associated with roughness and barbarism still clung to the Lowland vision of the Northern Gaels. Were the backward Highlanders and the Paddies welcomed in the same manner? Can the same theory be applied in the case of Highlanders and Irish workers?41 In terms of pattern of employment, a sample taken from the 1851 Census for the manufacturing town of Greenock, shows that if 65% of the Irish-born were in semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, so were over 50% of the Highland-born. On the whole, the occupational profiles of Highland-born and Irish-born men in the West of Scotland were similar if compared to Lowland Scotch.42 As regards religious denomination, it seems likely that Catholic Highlanders suffered some degree of religious discrimination, as did their Irish Catholic counterparts.

  • 43  The “No Popery” movement in the 1850s with anti-Catholic lectures affected North America as well a (...)
  • 44  The Glasgow Free Press, 19 July 1851. See also: Scottish Catholic Archives, WD/5/1: p. 260
  • 45  The Glasgow Free Press, 7 June 1851.

20The restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in England in 1850 – although it was not re-established before 1878 in Scotia – made an impression on Scottish society. The ‘No Popery’ movement in Britain affected Scottish society faced with the incoming papist Irish. In Greenock, the July 1851 riots conducted by the ‘Angel Gabriel’ (John Sayers Orr) were directed against the Irish Catholics of Saint Mary’s parish.43 The church was stoned and some Catholic houses were ransacked. Ironically, a Highland regiment was stationed in the town to maintain public order.44 Other than street level fights, anti-popery was manifest in a great number of public sermons as well as petitions circulated by ministers and local magistrates.45

  • 46  The Glasgow Free Press, 29 March 1851.
  • 47  The Glasgow Free Press, 24 January 1852. On local authorities’ authorization of Orange lodges in E (...)

21Yet religious tensions were not solely expressed by native Scots against the sons and daughters of Erin – sectarianism was also largely an Irish import. Thus following a riot in Airdrie in 1834, ‘party demonstrations’ were regularly banned by local authorities until the late 1860s, to the great annoyance of Orangemen. Of course, instances of parading were not limited to the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne – for instance on the Saint Patrick’s Day in 1851, an Orange funeral march was conducted in the streets of Airdrie when the streets were crowded with Irish Catholics.46 On the whole, the ‘Orange and Green’ party fights were interpreted by Scottish middle class opinion as Irish clashes on Scottish soil. In an attempt to prevent street disorder, parading was banned in many Lanarkshire towns throughout the 1850s. However reactions to Orange demonstrations varied according to local circumstances. For example, the Greenock Town Council had an ambivalent attitude towards Orange demonstrators. In 1852, the municipal authorities allowed an Orange march with a band to take place because councillors felt that ‘they should encourage the Protestant people rather than keep them down’.47

  • 48  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, op. cit., p. 20-46.

22The historian Donald Akenson has evidenced the ‘small differences’ in the perception of Irish Catholic and Protestant migrants in North America. Similarly in Scotland, the urban ruling middle classes appeared not to have drawn a distinction between Catholic Irish and Protestant Irish in times of crisis. The Glasgow City Chamberlain in March 1849 blamed all Irish migrants for burdening the ratepayers: ‘In Glasgow, as well as in Edinburgh, there is of late a gradually increasing rate of mortality which may be fairly attributed to the increase of Irish immigration, with its concomitant misery, destitution and pauperism’. The Irish, Protestant and Catholic alike, were also deemed responsible for the spread of epidemic diseases (e.g. typhus and cholera) which infested highly populated areas in Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1847. In the Glasgow Hospitals during the course of 1847, out of 9,290 treated, 57% patients were Irish.48

Conclusion

  • 49  Devine, Thomas M., To The Ends of the Earth, op. cit., p. 119.

23In the post-Famine years, the Highlands of Scotland and Ireland continued to share a common history of strong ongoing emigration patterns. In the early 1850s, the Highland and Island Emigration Society was launched by the public official John McNeill, along with the Irish Famine administrator, Charles Trevelyan. Between 1851 and 1856, the society organized an exodus of around 5,000 people to Australia.49

24Irish immigration to Scotland was thus a persistent phenomenon in the post-Famine era. As well as the Famine generation who had now settled throughout the Lowlands, Irish newcomers established themselves alongside their forefathers. Negative stereotyping was not yet on the wane in mid-Victorian Scotland, as can be seen from this excerpt of the official report on the 1871 Census of the population:

  • 50  Parliamentary Papers: Eight Decennial Census of the Population of Scotland taken April 3d 1871 wit (...)

The Irish are the most numerous aliens in Scotland, amounting to 207,770 persons or 6.184 per cent of the total inhabitants. It must be remembered however, that the Irish as a race are much more numerous in the Population – probably amounting at the least to 400,000; for the numbers above only include those who were born in Ireland, and do not include the members of their families who have been born in Scotland. This very high proportion of the Irish race in Scotland has undoubtedly produced deleterious results, lowered greatly the moral tone of the lower classes, and greatly increased the necessity for the enforcement of sanitary and police precautions wherever they have settled in numbers...50

  • 51 The Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bathgate and Wishaw Advertiser, 18 July 1857. An Irish correspondent in 18 (...)

25The 1871 report qualified the Irish as being a separate, alien, group (although legally Ireland formed part of the United Kingdom) but there was no mention of any specific religious denomination. The non-sectarian aspect of anti-Irish prejudice which some members of Scottish urban middle classes manifested at times is striking. As was reported in a local Monklands newspaper in July 1857: ‘It appears that the number of Catholics about Coatbridge is great, and that many of them are not in a state of the highest civilisation, and that the number of Orangemen or Irish Protestants is also great, and that their civilisation is also at a low ebb’.51

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Bibliographie

Bibliography

Akenson, Donald, Small Differences: Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, 1815-1922: an International Perspective, Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988.

Bensimon, Fabrice and Colantonio, Laurent, La Grande Famine en Irlande, Paris, PUF, 2014.

Devine, Thomas M., The Great Highland Famine: Hunger, Emigration and the Scottish Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1988.

Devine, Thomas M., (ed), Irish Immigrants and Scottish Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1991.

Devine, Thomas M., (ed), Exploring the Scottish Past. Themes in the History of Scottish Society, East Lothian, Tuckwell Press, 1995.

Devine, Thomas M., To the Ends of the Earth. Scotland’s Global Diaspora 1750-2010, Penguin, London, 2011.

Foster, John, Houston, Muir, and Madigan, Chris. ‘Distinguishing Catholics and Protestants among Irish Immigrants to Clydeside: A New Approach to Immigration and Ethnicity in Victorian Britain’, Irish Studies Review, 10/2, 2002.

Handley, James E., The Irish in Modern Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1947.

Handley, James E., The Irish in Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1964.

MacRaild, Donald (ed.), The Great Famine and Beyond: Irish Migrants in Britain in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2000.

McFarland, Elaine, Protestants first: Orangeism in nineteenth century Scotland, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1990.

Mitchell, Martin (ed.), New Perspectives on the Irish in Scotland, Edinburgh, John Donald, 2008.

O’Sullivan, Patrick (ed.), The Irish World Wide. Vol. 6: The Meaning of the Famine, Leicester, Leicester University Press, 1997.

Vaughan, Geraldine, The Local Irish in the West of Scotland, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

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Notes

1 This paper was given at the day conference in Bordeaux (MSH Aquitaine) on 5th December 2014 co-organised by the Universities of Bordeaux-Montaigne, Poitiers and Toulouse 1, with the generous help of the French Association of Irish Studies (SOFEIR). Link to WebTV Montaigne recording.

2  The Glasgow Herald, 2 January 2013.

3  Walker, Graham. ‘The Protestant Irish in Scotland’ in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.), Irish Immigrants and Scottish Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1991, p. 45-46. Irish migration to Scotland was by no means a new phenomenon. Since the early modern era, Scotland had welcomed its share of Irish temporary migrants, from agricultural labourers to linen artisans and Presbyterian students attending Scottish universities.

4  Many arguments in this section are taken from the only fully comprehensive account by Devine, Thomas M. The Great Highland Famine: Hunger, Emigration and the Scottish Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1988.

5  Devine, Thomas M. ‘Highland Landowners and the Highland Potato Famine’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.), Exploring the Scottish Past. Themes in the History of Scottish Society, East Lothian, Tuckwell Press, 1995, p. 159.

6  Kinealy, Christine. ‘Potatoes, providence and philanthropy: the role of private charity during the Irish Famine’, in O’Sullivan, Patrick, The Irish World Wide. Vol 6: The Meaning of the Famine, Leicester, Leicester University Press, 1997, p. 140-171.

7  Bensimon, Fabrice and Colantonio, Laurent. La Grande Famine en Irlande, Paris, PUF, 2014, p. 119.

8  Gray, Malcolm. ‘The Highland Potato Famine of the 1840s’, The Economic History Review, 7/3, 1955, p. 357-368.

9  Devine, Thomas M. To the Ends of the Earth. Scotland’s Global Diaspora 1750-2010, Penguin, London, 2011, p. 117.

10  Devine, Thomas M. ‘The Highland Clearances’, op. cit., p. 136.

11  Devine, Thomas M. The Scottish Nation 1707-2000, London, 2000, p. 413.

12 Even though they shared with their Irish counterparts a strong eviction policy. See for instance Devine, Thomas M. ‘The Highland Clearances’, op.cit.

13  The Roman Catholic hierarchy was restored in Scotland in 1878.

14  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1848, p. 100-106.

15  Glasgow Courrier, 10 June 1824. 

16  Walker, Graham. ‘The Protestant Irish in Scotland’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed.), Irish Immigrants and Scottish Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries – Proceedings of the Scottish Historical Studies Seminar, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1991, p. 48.

17  Handley, James E. The Irish in Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1964, p. 49.

18  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, Cork, Cork University Press, 1947, p. 24.

19  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, op. cit., p. 25.

20  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1851, p. 89.

21  Glasgow Archdiocese Archives, MW1/1: A History of St Margaret’s, Airdrie, 1830-1926, p. 11.

22  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1848, p. 91.

23  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1850, p. 82.

24  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1850, p. 82.

25  Glasgow City Archives, TD 729/51: Airdrie Hibernian Friendly Society 1844-1861 [Rules and Regulations, 30 August 1844].

26  Catholic Directory for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1869, p. 97. These societies included: The Living rosary; The Children of Mary; the Truce; and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

27  Glasgow City Archives, TD 729/51.

28  Glasgow Free Press, 22 March 1851.

29  Handley, James E. The Irish in Scotland, op. cit., p. 204; Aspinwall, Bernard. ‘Scots and Irish ministering to immigrants, 1830-1878’, The Innes Review, 47, 1996, p. 51.

30  Glasgow Archdiocese Archives, MW1/1: A History of St Margaret’s, Airdrie, 1830-1926, p. 16.

31  Foster, John, Houston, Muir, and Madigan, Chris. ‘Distinguishing Catholics and Protestants among Irish Immigrants to Clydeside: A New Approach to Immigration and Ethnicity in Victorian Britain’, Irish Studies Review, 10/2, 2002, p. 56.

32  Campbell, Alan B. The Lanarkshire Miners. A Social History of their Trade Unions, 1775-1874, Edinburgh, John Donald, 1979, p. 182. See also Collins, Brenda. ‘The Origins of Irish Immigration’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed) Irish Immigration and Scottish Society, op. cit., p. 14. According to our 1851 Census sample, in the Coatdyke area (part of Coatbridge), 62 per cent of the 218 recorded Irish-born came from Ulster (counties Roscommon, Antrim, and Tyrone).

33  McFarland, Elaine. Protestants first: Orangeism in nineteenth century Scotland. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1990; Meredith, Ian. ‘Irish Migrants in the Episcopal Church in the Nineteenth Century’, in Mitchell, Martin (ed), New Perspectives on the Irish in Scotland, Edinburgh, John Donald, 2008, p. 44-64.

34  See Walker, Graham. ‘Irish Protestants’, in Devine, Thomas M. (ed), Irish immigrants and Scottish Society..., op. cit.

35  See the method used by Foster, John & al. ‘Distinguishing Catholics and Protestants among Irish Immigrants...’, art. cit.

36  National Archives of Scotland, HH21/46/001.

37  Callum Brown remarked that socially, it was not surprising that the proportion of Presbyterian dissidents should be weak amongst Irish Protestant working men given that, for instance, in the 1850s and the 1860s, in the Free and United Presbyterian Churches practices such as ‘fencing the table’ were applied to prevent people morally or socially suspicious from going to these churches.

38  McFarland, Elaine. Protestants first,... op. cit., p. 70.

39  See also Kaufman, Eric. ‘The Orange Order in Scotland since 1860: A social analysis’, in Mitchell, Martin J. (ed), New Perspectives…, op.cit., p. 159. On the scarcity of Orange lodge records, see MacRaild, Donald. Faith, Fraternity and Fighting. The Orange Order and Irish Migrants in Northern England, c. 1850-1920, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2005, p. 7-13.

40  Senior, Hereward. Orangeism in Ireland and Britain 1795-1836, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966, p. 274. The same pattern is also distinctive of Orangeism in North-East England (see MacRaild, Donald. Faith, Fraternity and Fighting…, op. cit.).

41  See Akenson, Donald. Small Differences: Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, 1815-1922: an International Perspective, Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988. See also Akenson, Donald H. ‘The historiography of the Irish in the United States’, in O’Sullivan, Patrick (ed), The Irish World Wide. Vol. II: The Irish in the New Communities, London, Leicester University Press, 1997, p. 99-127.

42  Vaughan, Geraldine. The Local Irish in the West of Scotland 1851-1921, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, p. 22-23.

43  The “No Popery” movement in the 1850s with anti-Catholic lectures affected North America as well as Britain. For instance the aforementioned John Sayers Orr enjoyed a career in America as well as in Scotland. He was reported to preach and rant before crowds of over 50,000 on steps of the city hall in the 1850s in New York. See MacRaild, Donald (ed). The Great Famine and Beyond: Irish Migrants in Britain in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2000, p. 53.

44  The Glasgow Free Press, 19 July 1851. See also: Scottish Catholic Archives, WD/5/1: p. 260

45  The Glasgow Free Press, 7 June 1851.

46  The Glasgow Free Press, 29 March 1851.

47  The Glasgow Free Press, 24 January 1852. On local authorities’ authorization of Orange lodges in England, see MacRaild, Donald M. Faith, Fraternity and Fighting…, op. cit., p. 177-78.

48  Handley, James E. The Irish in Modern Scotland, op. cit., p. 20-46.

49  Devine, Thomas M., To The Ends of the Earth, op. cit., p. 119.

50  Parliamentary Papers: Eight Decennial Census of the Population of Scotland taken April 3d 1871 with Report, p. XXXIV.

51 The Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bathgate and Wishaw Advertiser, 18 July 1857. An Irish correspondent in 1867 wrote a letter in which he declared: ‘Brought up in your locality, I well know the prejudice that exists against Irishmen – a prejudice, too, that differs only in degree and not in nature, whether it has reference to Protestants or to Roman Catholics’ (The Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bathgate and Wishaw Advertiser, 2 November 1867).

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Légende Figure 1: Literacy amongst Irish Protestant and Catholic prisoners, Airdrie Prison, 1848
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Géraldine VAUGHAN, « The Irish Famine in a Scottish Perspective 1845-1851 », Mémoire(s), identité(s), marginalité(s) dans le monde occidental contemporain [En ligne], 12 | 2015, mis en ligne le 16 avril 2015, consulté le 24 juin 2017. URL : http://mimmoc.revues.org/1763 ; DOI : 10.4000/mimmoc.1763

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Géraldine VAUGHAN

Géraldine Vaughan est maître de conférences en histoire et en civilisation britanniques à l’Université de Rouen, Laboratoire GRHIS. Elle a publié en 2013 un ouvrage sur la diaspora irlandaise en Ecosse : The ‘Local’ Irish in the West of Scotland, 1851-1921, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

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