Pastures New: Scottish Emigration to Australia

It is common knowledge that Australia was originally treated as a penal colony by the British Empire. In May 1787 the first fleet of convict ships set sail from England and arrived in Botany Bay some 8 months later in January 1788. As a punishment for persistent offenders – most commonly crimes of housebreaking, theft … Continue reading Pastures New: Scottish Emigration to Australia

Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917

25 October - 1 December 2017 General Register House, Matheson Dome  Free Thieves, confidence tricksters, pickpockets and more… Our new exhibition of photographs and criminal records from the Victorian and Edwardian eras will bring you face-to-face with Scotland’s criminal past. National Records of Scotland will display previously unseen mug shot albums alongside official trial records … Continue reading Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917

Doors Open Day – General Register House and New Register House

Once again, that time of year is approaching when the National Records of Scotland throws open its doors and invites the public into the splendour of the General Register and New Register House, and offers a tantalising glimpse behind the scenes. General Register House Before records were officially stored in the archive, there was no … Continue reading Doors Open Day – General Register House and New Register House

Sir William Arrol (1839-1913) – The Engineer

A titan of engineering and construction, William Arrol established his company in the early 1870s, when Glasgow was developing as an industrial city and the revolutionary Siemens Martin process was enabling the mass production of cheap steel. Arrol made his name with the construction of the Forth Bridge (1890), and is also known for the … Continue reading Sir William Arrol (1839-1913) – The Engineer

Madeleine Hamilton Smith (1835-1928) – The Accused

  On 30 June 1857 the trial of Madeleine Smith began. A young woman from a prosperous Glasgow family, Smith was charged with, on three separate occasions, administering arsenic or other poison to Pierre Emile L’Angelier with intent to kill, twice in February and once in March 1857. It was this accusation and the subsequent … Continue reading Madeleine Hamilton Smith (1835-1928) – The Accused