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This article details connections between British India and Scotland.

Historical Background

Early Regimental Influence

A number of Scottish regiments were serving in India by the late eighteenth century – for example the 42nd , 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th and 78th Regiments of Foot were all Highland Regiments recorded as being in India well before 1800.

Religious Influence

The influence of the Scottish Church in India was felt in Bombay as early as 1820 and soon spread to other areas. Many churches and cemeteries in India evidence a strong Scottish presence. For example, Church of Scotland Burials in Assam.


Scotsmen formed the backbone of many industries and, in particular, those associated with planting – eg . Jute, Indigo and Tea. In fact, it was a Scotsman, Robert Bruce, who discovered the first tea in Assam in 1823.

Moreover, the climate of the hill station of Coorg, towards Bangalore has encouraged its nickname as the Scotland of India. This is a region also known for its tea and coffee plantations.

Useful Databases Online

If your ancestors went out to India from Scotland then there are many online resources to assist in tracing background. Some of these are mentioned below:-

Fibis Resources

  • The Scots Overseas a referenced list of men and women who emigrated or adventured to British India compiled by David Dobson.

India Related Links

The National Archives of Scotland is now part of the National Records of Scotland, see link below.

General Links

Recommended Reading

  • Records of Clan Campbell in the military service of the Honourable East India Company 1660-1858 by Sir Duncan Campbell, (London 1925)[1], available online, refer below.

External Links

Historical books online


  1. Recommended to FIBIS Research Co-ordinator by a FIBIS member – one copy located in Scottish National Library.