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Emigration from Scotland


north ayrshire
Between 1852 and 1857, the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society assisted almost 5000 individuals to leave western Scotland for Australia.

There were 8,200 Scottish convicts transported to Australia. A relatively large number of Scottish convicts were transported for larceny (burglary and break and entering) committed in or around Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The most remarkable feature of the emigration was its widespread nature. In the 1820s, south-east Scotland had supplied the bulk of the emigrants, who were chiefly drawn from the middle classes. In 1830s and 1840s the emigration was largely working-class in character, and was drawn from all over the country. Areas like the south-west (Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Wigtownshire, Renfrewshire), the north-east (Aberdeenshire, Kincardine, Banffshire, Moray, Nairn), the central and western Highlands (Inverness-shire, Ross, Sutherland, Perthshire, Argyll), and even Orkney and Shetland, which had all figured to only a slight extent in the emigration of 1815—33, were now well represented. The availability of free or assisted passages to Australia after 1832 was partly responsible, but the wholesale, widespread nature of the emigration can only be explained by the changes that were convulsing the country, breaking down the old pattern of town and rural life. This was a time when emigration generally, to North America as well as Australia, was increasing at a phenomenal rate.

Famous Scots in Australia
Other main countries Scots emigrated to were America, Canada.