Tuesday, 6 December 2011

West to New England

In 1650, at the Battle of Dunbar, the English defeated the Scots. 10,000 Scots were captured and marched from Durham to Newcastle. They were given very little to eat. This was a true story of “survival of the fittest” with many prisoners dying on the way either from disease, or being killed due to disability or inability to keep up with the crowd.

The Scots who did survive, presented a problem for the English, just due to sheer numbers. It was too expensive to house and feed them, but too dangerous to set them free and perhaps allow an uprising.

One week after the battle, England's governing body, the Council of State, turned the prisoner’s over to Sir Arthur Hasenlrigge to be disposed of as he saw fit.  Several of the prisoners had petitioned to be transported overseas. As such, 150 of the fittest were sent down to London, led aboard the “Unity” and transported off to New Hampshire in America. Several weeks later, another 270 were led aboard the “John & Sara” and set sail for Boston.  

The ship’s list of the John & Sara has been transcribed and can be found at:

1 comment:

  1. That's very interesting - I didn't know that. I'm sure this will be of interest to American people seeking Scottish roots.

    I wonder what happened to the remaining prisoners... I suspect the transported ones were the better off.