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The Scots in Germany

WHEN I several years ago commenced to write this book, voices were not wanting advising me to abandon the idea, chiefly on account of the vast area from which the material had to be gathered and the almost total want of preparatory inquiry into this particular branch of Scottish History.

When I nevertheless persevered in my task, though experiencing to the full the truth of those Cassandra voices, it was owing not only to an interest which warmed with the increasing difficulties, but to the very kind and active help that friends of historical research both in Scotland and in Germany have afforded me in supplying copies of records or other sources of information, or in reading proofs, or in acting as guides through the labyrinths of their libraries. It would be too long to mention their names; my thanks are due to them all, in particular to the librarians and keepers of records in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St Andrews, Fort Augustus, Dundee, and in half a hundred places in Sweden, Germany and Austria.

That notwithstanding this kind co-operation the present book is still far from complete, I am only too painfully aware.

There is more than enough of material to be found among the Records of Konigsberg and Danzig alone for a contemplated second volume, to be devoted to the Scottish settlements in Prussia only, of which we have given a sketch in the First Part of the present work. Such a volume ought to be written.

Perhaps some Society like the Scottish History Society or the Society of Antiquaries would think it worth its while to originate and stimulate research in this direction. So many old barrows have been ransacked, so many old Ogham stones been read, so many old Charter Chests been examined at their expense and instigation. Here then is a new field; quite as interesting to the Scottish historian, a field altogether neglected hitherto, but full of the promise of the most interesting and surprising results!

It must be left to the future with more or less confidence to point out and smooth the way towards the happy consummation of a task, towards which the present volume only forms a contribution.

I regret very much that my search for the portraits of Alesius and Dune has hitherto proved fruitless.

To the courtesy of Baron Johnston in Silesia, of the "Historische Verein" at Hanau, and of the Rev. King Hewison at Rothesay I am indebted for the three portraits reproduced.

In conclusion, let me say that I am still collecting the likenesses of famous Scots in Germany and that I shall be grateful for the direct communication of any criticisms or alterations concerning the form or the substance of the present, as well as for any suggestion or help towards the writing of the contemplated second volume.


EDINBURGH, February 1902.

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