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Scots in Eastern and Western Prussia
Preface and Introduction


To a conscientious author the writing of a Preface never will be an agreeable task. Now that the work is finished, and no change of style or any additional subject matter can be introduced, all the shortcomings of his book arise before him enlarged and made painfully visible to the critical reader as if through Röntgen rays.

Whilst this is an experience common to all authors in a world where everything goes by approximation only, my present case is worse. I have not only to acknowledge the general human frailty, but to begin with special apologies. First, concerning the title. I am aware that the title of this volume is too narrow, but it could not very well be made longer, knowing that long titles, once essential to a book, are now a fatal dowry on its way. I have therefore availed myself of the very modern and highly diplomatic method of making excursions into the "Hinterland," that is, to Poland proper, to Pomerania and Mecklenburg. A second apology is due to the reader on account of the portraits, which, with one or two exceptions, ought to have had their places in the Scots in Germany. The difficulty of procuring them, and the fact that both my volumes are really one, may serve as an excuse.

A much more grateful task remains: that of placing on record the very kind help received in Germany and elsewhere during the time of collecting materials for this volume. My best thanks are due to the Rev. F. Milne, M.A., minister of Newlands Parish, Peeblesshire, who not only granted me the free use of his excellent polyglot library, but also looked over my proofs; to Archivrath Dr Joachim and staff at the Royal Archives, Königsberg, in Prussia; to Archivrath Dr Bar and staff at the Royal Archives, Danzig; to the Director of the Episcopal Archives at Frauenburg; to Archivrath Dr Warschauer at Posen; to Geheimrath John Gibsone, and the elders the Presbyterian Church at Danzig; to the Rev. Ladislas Sarna, Szebnie near Moderowka in Galicia;—for the kind assistance given me in my researches; to the Director of the Hohenzollern Museum at Berlin, to the Provost and Bailies of Stonehaven, to the Historical Society at Wurzburg, to the Lord Abbot of Fort Augustus, to the Directors of the Picture Gallery at Danzig, and of the Royal Bavarian Observatory at Bogenhausen near Munich;—for their permission to reproduce paintings or sketches in their possession.

The original of Field-marshal Keith, painted by Ramsay, adorns the walls of Town-hall at Stonehaven; the small sketch of his aged brother, the last Earl Marischal, is taken from the original in possession of Prince Eulenburg at Berlin. Abbot Arbuthnot’s portrait is in the library of the Abbey at Fort Augustus, Abbot Asloan’s in Wurzburg. The portraits of the two Danzig celebrities are gratefully preserved in the museum of their adopted home, whilst the Observatory at Bogenhausen harbours the original likeness of its famous astronomer Lamont.

I have also to thank Herrn Eugen Jantzen at Stettin, who has made most diligent researches into the genealogy of the families of foreign settlers at Danzig, for the permission of using his sketches of Scottish coats-of-arms.

The map, I hope, will be useful not only as proving the decreasing density of Scottish emigration as it advanced towards the West, but also as a companion and guide for those Scottish travellers who may wish to visit these far-off scenes of the labours and sufferings of their countrymen.

EDINBURGH, April 21, 1903.



DANZIG, now the Capital of the Province of Western Prussia, was, in the years 1200-1310 capital of Pomerellen. During 1310-1454 it was ruled by the Teutonic Order of Knights; Since 1360 it joined the Hanseatic League. From 1454-1793 it belonged to Poland, though retaining many privileges. In 1793 it ceded to Prussia. 1807-1814 French Government. 1814 Finally ceded to Prussia.

Danzig’s internal affairs were ruled over by the so-called three Orders besides the "Burggraf" as representative of the King of Poland; four burgomasters and councillors; bailles elected by the council from the citizens; and the so-called "Hundertmannen" = hundred men, representing the trades.

Konigsberg, now the capital of Eastern Prussia, consists of the three old towns of Altstadt, Kneiphof and Löbenicht. It owes its existence to the Teutonic Order. This famous and valiant body of knights erected a castle on the river Pregel in 1255, which was called in honour perhaps of Ottokar II., King of Bohemia, who had supported the cause of the knights in one of their crusades, Königsburg or -berg. Soon after the Altstadt arose round the castle (1256). The so-called Lobenicht, or New Town, was founded as a separate township about 1300, and the town of Kneiphof on an island of the river Pregel about the same time. Hence the denomination of the "three towned" Königsberg. After the fall of the Marienburg, the old residence of the Hochmeister of the Teutonic Knights during a disastrous war with Poland in 1457, Königsberg became the seat of the Grand Master of the Order. The last of them was Markgraf Albrecht of Brandenburg, a scion of the House of Hohenzollern, who resided here as Duke of Prussia. He converted the possessions of the Order into a hereditary secular Protestant Duchy. After the demise of the ducal line, the Duchy passed to the Kurbrandenburg line of Hohenzollern, and the famous "Great Elector" received homage at the Castle of Königsberg as Sovereign Duke of Prussia in 1663. Here also Frederick III., Elector of Brandenburg, crowned himself with the royal crown, and raised Brandenburg-Prussia to a kingdom (1701). During the Napoleonic tyranny, King Frederick William III. and his Queen Luise resided in Königsberg in 1807-8. Konigsberg has a university. It is the native place of the great philosopher Kant, whose grandfather was of humble Scotch origin. [See Scots in Germany, pp. 231 ff., 317.]

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