Discovering and sharing the history of Scotland’s island communities

From Hirta to Port Phillip

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The story of the ill-fated emigration from St Kilda to Australia in 1852

by Eric Richards

While the emotions and economic realities surrounding the evacuation of St Kilda in 1930 are well-known and still hotly debated, less is known of an equally traumatic earlier event in the history of the islands – the emigration of 36 islanders to Australia in 1852. Fewer than half of the St Kildans who set sail from Birkenhead in the ‘Priscilla’ survived the journey and its immediate aftermath. In this well-researched and beautifully illustrated booklet, Eric Richards, Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, and an expert on the Highland Clearances and emigration, looks at the intriguing background, story, and consequences of this ill-fated venture.


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