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Scots in Russia ~ Book List

 Our correspondent in Moscow, Maria Koroleva has kindly supplied us with a recommended reading list dealing with Scots and Scottish influence in Russia from the 17th century onwards.

I doesn't claim to be definitive and there will be more books and references of which we know little or nothing - so . . . if you come across interesting sources, please do let us know and we'll investigate.

Click the links for any external references that we've found to the books listed.


Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia, to various parts of Asia ... 1763


John Bell, Scottish doctor and traveller, was born in 1691 at Antermony, near Milton of Campsie in Scotland.He studied medicine in Glasgow and in 1714 set out for St Petersburg, where, through the introduction of a fellow Scot, he was nominated medical attendant to Artemy Petrovich Volynsky, recently appointed to the Persian embassy, with whom he travelled from 1715 to 1718.

The next four years he spent in an embassy visit to China, passing through Siberia and the great Tatar deserts. He had scarcely rested from this last journey when he was summoned to attend Peter the Great in his expedition to Derbend and the Caspian Gates.

In 1738 he was sent by the Russian government on a mission to Constantinople, returning in May to St Petersburg. It appears that after this he was for several years established as a merchant at Constantinople, where he married Mary Peters, a Russian lady, and returned to Scotland in 1746, where he spent the latter part of his life on his estate, enjoying the society of his friends.

After a long life spent inactive beneficence and philanthropic exertions he died at Antermony on 1 July 1780, at the advanced age of eighty-nine. He is buried in Campsie Glen. His travels, published at Glasgow in 1763, were speedily translated into French, and widely circulated in Europe.

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Discussions about Shamans, Lamas, and Evangelicals: The English Missionaries in Siberia
by Charles R Bawden. London 1985.

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By the Banks of the Neva: Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia
by Anthony Cross
Cambridge University Press, 13 Nov 1996 - History - 490 pages

This attractively-illustrated book offers a unique and fascinating investigation into the lives and careers of the British in eighteenth-century Russia and, more specifically, into the development of a vibrant British community in St. Petersburg during the city's first century of existence. Based on an extremely wide use of primary sources from Britain and Russia, the book concentrates on the British within various fields such as commerce, the navy, the medical profession, science and technology, and the arts, and as curious travelers.
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The Scottish Kremlin Builder:
Christopher Galloway, Clockmaker, Architect and Engineer to Tsar Mikhail, the First Romanov
by Jeremy Howard, 1997
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 Survival against the odds: The story of Petty Officer Donald MacKinnon, Russian convoy survivor [Paperback]
Donald J Macleod
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Charles Cameron, architect to the court of Russia
Isobel Rae
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Scots in Russia 1661-1934: Eleven Scots who Visited Russia from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries
Jacqueline Cromarty
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Scottish influences in Russian history from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century:
Archibald Francis Steuart
Oriental Research Partners, 1972 - History - 141 pages
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The Caledonian Phalanx: Scots in Russia
National Library of Scotland, 1987 - History - 105 pages

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The Caledonian connection: Scotland-Russia ties : Middle Ages to early ...
 By Dmitry Fedosov, University of Aberdeen. Centre for Scottish Studies
The Caledonian Club was established in January 1995 with the aims of advancing and appreciating the age-old traditional ties between Russia and Scotland. The Club is based in Moscow, but has members and branches in St Petersburg and other cities of Russia and the former USSR. This preliminary biographical list has been assembled by Dr Dimitry Fedosov, Vice-President of Moscow's Caledonian Club, and includes 400 Scots in Russia, and around 60 Russians in Scotland!
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