While I continue to research the ships of the ’45 and the theme of seafaring I am on the verge of publishing Bubbles in the Cauldron, the historical novel based on the last armed insurrection on mainland Britain, which took place in the Scotland. The novel concerns a deaf lad running from men with guns and the Highland drover he works for going to his rescue. It’s really about people escaping civil war, something we have became all too familiar with but which has been going on since the Boadicea and the Romans but within living memory we have had Syria, Serbia and Iraq and the ongoing Sudan and Ethiopia. I recall when researching the Middlesex Regiment in Korea a soldier quitun – and there was always the refugees. My special interest is the Stuart era and the first ‘refugees’ in that time were the hairdressers and odd job men who followed James V1 down to England to become James 1. In their own way there are Scottish economic refugees throughout the world, forced to seek employment far afield after the Highland Clearances, the wars of the Stuarts, the machines taking over cottage industry and the closure of pits and shipyards in more recent times. At its root is the migration of money, seeking better returns elsewhere. Scots money has always been attracted to London; it began with James V1 and has never stopped.
In James’s time, one pound sterling bought twelve pound Scots and when the Earl moved to London one can only imagine the effect keeping up with the Duke of Marlborough had on his Highland rents.
The picture is of workers returning home from the South African mines with goods they had purchased at the end of their work contract.
Refugee status