Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups

Scottish-Indians are Indian citizens of mixed Indian and Scots ancestry or people of Scottish descent born or living in India. Like Irish Indians, a Scottish-Indian can be categorized as an Anglo-Indian.


18th Century

Scottish immigration to India began with the union of Scotland with England in 1707 to create the United Kingdom.[1] Under the deal, Scotland's landed families gained access to the East India Company, and gradually become its dominant force. Scots came into India as writers, traders, engineers, missionaries, tea and indigo planters, jute traders and teachers. By 1771 almost half of the East India Company's writers were Scots.

The Scottish presence was also strongly evident in India.[2] The first three Governor-Generals of India were Scots. When Henry Dundas became President of the Board of Control in 1784 he ‘Scoticised’ India and through his agencies Scots came to dominate the activities of the East India Company (EIC). By 1792, Scots made up one in nine EIC civil servants, six in eleven common soldiers and one in three officers.

19th Century

By 1813, 19 of Calcutta's private merchant houses were dominated by Scots. From 1830 onwards, Scots became involved as general merchants with Indian interests.[3] They began to export jute, tea, timber, coal, sugar and indigo as well as cotton. By 1880, with the help of Scottish entrepreneurs, India overtook China as leaders of tea distribution.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw Scots found some of the first modern colleges in India, which acted as a 'cultural conduit' through which Enlightenment values came to permeate Indian society.[4]

20th Century

The Calcutta Scottish was a regiment of volunteers of Scottish descent raised in 1914 as an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment formed part of the army reserves in Auxiliary Force, India (AFI). The regiment was disbanded following India's independence in 1947.


List of Scottish schools in India:

Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta

The Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta was established in 1820 catering to the specific needs of the large Scottish population in the Kolkata area. The cemetery was utilised until the 1940s but was abandoned in the 1950s and neglected following India's independence. Well over 90% of those buried bear recognizably Scots names such as Reid, McGregor, Campbell and Ross. Around 10% are Bengali.

The cemetery was recently restored by the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust (KSHT) in 2008.

Notable Individuals


  1. "India's Scottish heritage remembered in renovation of Calcutta's Raj architecture", The Telegraph, 9 November 2009.
  2. "The Scottish influence", Education Scotland.
  3. "Scots abroad", Education Scotland.
  4. "Scots "shaped modern India"", British Council, 19 July 2011.
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