White Slavery: The Scottish Slaves of England and Americas

There were hundreds of thousands of Scots sold into slavery during Colonial America. White slavery to the American Colonies occurred as early as 1630 in Scotland.

According to the Egerton manuscript, British Museum, the enactment of 1652: it may be lawful for two or more justices of peace within any county, citty or towne, corporate belonging to the commonwealth to from tyme to tyme by warrant cause to be apprehended, seized on and detained all and every person or persons that shall be found begging and vagrant.. in any towne, parish or place to be conveyed into the Port of London, or unto any other port from where such person or persons may be shipped into a forraign collonie or plantation.

The judges of Edinburgh Scotland during the years 1662-1665 ordered the enslavement and shipment to the colonies a large number of rogues and others who made life unpleasant for the British upper class. (Register for the Privy Council of Scotland, third series, vol. 1, p 181, vol. 2, p 101).

The above accounting sounds horrific but slavery was what the Scots have survived for a thousand years. The early ancestors of the Scots, Alba and Pics were enslaved as early as the first century BC. Varro, a Roman philosopher stated in his agricultural manuscripts that white slaves were only things with a voice or instrumenti vocali. Julius Caesar enslaves as many as one million whites from Gaul. (William D Phillips, Jr. SLAVERY FROM ROMAN TIMES TO EARLY TRANSATLANTIC TRADE, p. 18).

Pope Gregory in the sixth century first witnessed blonde hair, blue eyed boys awaiting sale in a Roman slave market. The Romans enslaved thousands of white inhabitants of Great Britain, who were also known as Angles. Pope Gregory was very interested in the looks of these boys therefore asking their origin. He was told they were Angles from Briton. Gregory stated, “Non Angli, sed Angeli.” (Not Angles but Angels).

The eighth to the eleventh centuries proved to be very profitable for Rouen France. Rouen was the transfer point of Irish and Flemish slaves to the Arabian nations. The early centuries AD the Scottish were known as Irish. William Phillips on page 63 states that the major component of slave trade in the eleventh century were the Vikings. They spirited many ‘Irish’ to Spain, Scandinavia and Russia. Legends have it; some ‘Irish’ may have been taken as far as Constantinople.

Ruth Mazo Karras wrote in her book, “SLAVERY AND SOCIETY IN MEDEIVEL SCANDINAVIA” pg. 49; Norwegian Vikings made slave raids not only against the Irish and Scots (who were often called Irish in Norse sources) but also against Norse settlers in Ireland or Scottish Isles or even in Norway itself…slave trading was a major commercial activity of the Viking Age. The children of the White slaves in Iceland were routinely murdered en masse. (Karras pg 52)

According to these resources as well as many more, the Scots-Irish have been enslaved longer than any other race in the world’s history. Most governments do not teach White Slavery in their World History classes. Children of modern times are only taught about the African slave trade.


Read more @: http://www.fsos.com/Hist%20PDFS/whiteslave.pdf

43 thoughts on “White Slavery: The Scottish Slaves of England and Americas”

  1. Now I understand why my “English” anscestors were upset when some married “Irish.” I always thought it was just the religious differences. I had heard of Irish slavery from my mother, who’s descendents were Irish, but never saw anything in writing before. I really appreciate this. I am all for knowledge, and have compassion for the African slaves, but wish this info was made widely available, so all people could see that skin colour and station in life are not related. So often I am embarrassed to BE white; I want to say “I would never treat anyone better or worse based on skin colour” but it’s a slow process.

    1. I have compassion for slaves of any race as well but I have a problem with the constant repetition of African slavery/suffering in the media, with little or no mention of the many Irish/Scottish/White slaves who suffered even higher mortality rates.
      Don’t blame blacks for it though, it’s not like they dominate the media or anything.

    2. What’s problematic with you white guys is this need to be a victim. There were never any white “slaves”. That’s the lie you want told. The truth is you were indentured servants. Contract signed and honored.

      End of story.

      What you’re doing is positioning yourselves in case Black Americans manage to negotiate reparations.

      Greed. That is your game.

      1. Deny what you will Rhondayes, but; facts are facts. My family are Scottish and I now live in America. I seek nothing from no man that I, myself, have not earned by the sweat of my brow and the determination of my mind. I will never relinquish, to any woman or man, that which I have earned. I never owned a slave of any color. My ancestors have never owned slaves but have, themselves, been slaves and I seek nothing from anyone because, this was not the fault of anyone who lives and walks this world today. You blame Whites for greed and you ignore history. You hold out your hand for Reparations in hopes that you can profit from the dogged labor and maltreatment of your ancestors and you have the audacity to call anyone greedy??? Look into your mirror. See there the one who seeks blood money. You have earned nothing. Indentured servants? Do you honestly believe that the British elite would have a street vagrant, a beggar serving their guests? Responding with a thick Scottish or Irish brogue? You are a racist. I am certain you call yourself a Christian, but; not on this day nor til that day when you find forgiveness in your heart. After-all, that is the only way to true salvation. I have forgiven all who mistreated my ancestors because I how am I to carry this burden of ignorance to their identity? There is evil and good in all. Deliver that which you hope to receive. Blessed day upon thee.

  2. This is definitely an eye opener. We are all aware of the atrocities of the the Black Slave Trade and the effects are still seen today. But very few are are aware of the European slave trade. As an African-American, I think it’s high time we as all people start learning the full truth. We have been lied to and deceived on a monumental level. We are all connected and share a common thread (which explains why my paternal grandmother (PBUH) had a Scottish and Ancestry). I am always seeking the truth and I hope this important piece of history is spread and to told to the masses. The The Elite have been using the ‘Divide and Conquer’ scheme for far too long. The more we learn, the more we should use this as a tool to stop the madness, separation, violence and ill will towards each other. Knowledge is truly key and crucial if we are to break the bonds of ignorance, stupidity and bigotry.

    1. i have for years been looking to find how my scottish and irish family ended up in jamaica, is a list of people passengers available for that time thank you

      1. We find that we too have connections in Jamaica. One distant relative was evidently involved in the abduction of ‘slaves’ from Scotland. another Alexander Forbes has a Jamaican address – died pre 1821 – no known birthdate. His address is given as Salt Pond Hut Jamaica.
        Any thing you have would be welcome.

        1. My family is Jamaican the most I know is that I had a Scottish slavemaster and possible crossbreeding took place. Genetic or DNA testing may help find my roots

    2. Stop being a dupe. Trying to fit in will always leave you behind.


      “What’s problematic with you white guys is this need to be a victim. There were never any white “slaves”. That’s the lie you want told. The truth is you were indentured servants. Contract signed and honored.

      End of story.

      What you’re doing is positioning yourselves in case Black Americans manage to negotiate reparations.

      Greed. That is your game.”

  3. This would explain a lot about my mother’s side (Scot-Irish). Noone has ever found out how they got here. They just seem to always have been. Reading this makes me wonder.

    1. Indentured servants with a contract. Or, the ones dumped from Britain’s most notorious jails and Insane Asylums. Britain dumped all of the criminals and prostitutes from their wharves and sent them all to America and New Zealand. This is how we’ve ended up with so many undercover thieves, rapists, serial killers, and home murderers. America received Britain’s worst. America’s link to Britain’s royal past makes sure to keep themselves away from the sharecropper’s descendants.

      1. No one was sent to New Zealand. I think you are mixing this up with Australia. There were NO penal colonies in New Zealand.

  4. My ancestor was brought to this country and sold into slavery along with his three brothers. They came over in chains along with others Scots aboard the John and Sarah and sold at auction. They were part of the 10,000 Scots who surrendered at the Battle of Worcestor England in 1651. Cromwell sold all 10,000 into slavery in the Americas and the Barbados. Many of these Scots were bought by highlanders here and freed. Others ran away to the American frontier, and some even made it back to Scotland.The unlucky ones endured the same treatment as other American slaves. I have two degrees in history as well as other degrees in education. I always tell my students that if they take anything away with them from my class it should be that history lies. All history is politicaly based. To find the truth takes work and time. Oh so much time. The truth is different to different peoples. Being good or bad is not contained in one country, race, religion, or ethnic group. Good is everywhere as is being bad. America tries to be good and we are. America can and has been bad. We are not perfect nor should we expect perfection. Our worth however will be judged in how vigourous we seek perfection even though it s attainment is beyond our grasp.

    1. Except, Henry Magoon, Magoune, Magoone, was brought here after the battle of Dunbar – Sept. 1650, on a separate ship from Alexander Gordon, Goden. He was already at the Iron Works when the shipment of Scots, arrived on the John and Sarah, after the Battle of Worchester – Sept. 1651.

      1. My ancestor, Col Ninian Beall was captured by Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar, Scotland in 1650 at age 24. all those captured were marched to London, many of the survivors were made indentured slaves and sent to Barbados. My ancestor was sent to Maryland in 1652 as an indentured slave to a planter. When his servitude completed, he was able to obtain land grants of which he had many with time, some in DC where the WH sits today, he also became a prominent figure in the history of MD. He was able to bring many scotsmen over from Scotland.

    2. Stop lying to yourself by elevating your hardscrabble ancestors to slavery. There was never any white slaves in America. Lie to yourself. You just embarrassing.

  5. I was only made aware of the many atrocities commited against both the Irish and Scottish peoples when I started my own geneological research (I’m mostly Scottish/Irish). I live in Canada, where the English empire perpetrated many attrocities and a physical and cultural genocide on the Native American people already here. I have seen how these actions have had consequences to this very day. Many Native people see all Europeans as “white” people who orchestrated all of their misery. What they do not realize, there is segments of the white population that experienced virtually the same types of oppression that they and African Amercian people have in the past. The English perfected their methods on the Scottish and Irish populations.

    This may be a bad person to use as an example, but Idi Amin said that “The Scottish people are the least racist people he’s ever met.” He was a soldier in the English Imperial Army in Ughanda. His higher officers were English and his seargents were primarily Scots. He said, “An Englishman treats and African like a dog and a Scotsman will invite him to dinner.” These quotes are not exact, but that is the gist of what he said.

  6. As a Canadian of Scottish descent I have long been aware there were many white slaves in America. My father’s father never spoke of how his ancestors got to North America but I do know they originated from the infamous slave port of Inverness. Also, my mother (who was English) told me many times that her grandfather was “black”. I saw a photo of him once but it was indistinct. Friends of African descent laugh at me since I am sooo white, lol.

    Thanks for this site. It’s very encouraging to see this topic discussed instead of covered up as if it is a disgrace. Personally, I am proud to tell people that my ancestors were very likely slaves, some white and perhaps black as well.

  7. Rasta — ya cyant tell meh nuttin’!! Yes, the Irishman — and the original African — were brought to what would become the U.S. as indentured servants. However, I DO NOT RECALL WHITENESS AS BEING USED AS THE STANDARD FOR PURPETUAL ENSLAVEMENT.. I also, do not recall, white folks ever being sold by “rival ethnicities” into enslavement. I am an “African American” (for lack of a more appropriate term), of Native and Irish descent, who is familiar with Rasta culture and “Rasta-speak”. I am also a Southerner, raised in the region shortly after the “civil rights movement”. The Irish — employed as overseers/mid management by the Scottish land holders/slave owners in the South, might have been treated poorly, but were in a position where the bootstrap theory was still a possibility. That being the case, that population was very willing to take advantage of race based opportunities.. That being the case, they had no problem with accepting the notion that the enslavement of African people in the west was just the “natural order of things”. They never questioned the set up because it was to their advantage, much in the same way that Pan-African people from areas outside of the U.S. have no problem using/disrespecting the very people who were “sacrificed” (mind you, I didn’t say made the sacrifice, I said they were sacrificed) for the “rights” that third world pan-Afrikan peoples “enjoy” when they come to the U.S.

    1. This article doesnt talk about the trade of European slaves in Africa that goes much further back into history. Arabian pirates would go up and raid the northern European coast and bring slaves back down to sell in Africa. Just an example of an outside ethnicity… Also, in victorian era art, Irish were depicted as monkeys. So propaganda today may just call them all “white people,” but to the people doing the enslaving back then, they were very much an outside ethnicity.
      We get trapped in corners though, when we talk about race, or ethnicity, because they are artificial concepts; they aren’t real, and they don’t correspond to the nature or intentions of an individual. Those variables are mediated by culture, and are independant of race/ethnicity. Generalizing is foolish in general, because, of course, there were African slave owners in the New World as well.
      It’s about cultural genocide. The European people suffered the genocide of their ancestral culture at the hands of the Beast just like the Africans and Australians and Asians and Native Americans suffered the genocide of their ancestral cultures at the hands of that same Beast. The Beast is not itself racist. The Beast uses racism as a tool to homogenize and divide. It will use racism so long as it is useful as a tool, and then discard it.
      Our ancestral cultures were centered around the appreciation and respect of nature. They passed down intricately woven cosmic metaphors that taught self-realization through an intimate relationship with the archetypal forces of the universe. Sound familiar? Sounds like every ancestral culture on the planet.
      The Beast destroyed these cultures and replaced them with religions that promote homogeny, fear, guilt, paranoia, and disconnection. They appropriated the symbols of the cultures they were subjugating, but changed all the meanings.
      In ancient times when somebody would travel far away and meet someone who looks different than them, they would not think of them as different, because their culture is so similar: they love nature, they fish, hunt, dance, make tools and boats and art, they have psychedelic plants, just like my own people. Instead of fighting they would mate, and share ideas. The ancient peoples were much more mobile than propaganda history wants us to know.

      And that’s why Jamaicans have such nice dreads, cuz they’re part European 😉

  8. Did the Romans really enslave the Angles. I thought the Angles were a post Roman people who conquered eastern and Southern Britain creating England (Angleland)
    Looking at th east of England now (and East of Scotland) for that matter it does seem to be more Germanic, from Anglo-saxon and later Viking settlements than the rest of the Country

  9. I do enjoy visiting Anglophobic websites though. If the Scots do vote for Independence from the bloodthirsty Nazi terrorist Devil English in 2014 please emaill me and I’ll send Howard brass a bottle of Scotch, I promise.

  10. John

    Get the history and learn whats been hidden from you and your kids.

    Then find out why its been hidden – not taught in skool.

    Other wise ” anglophobic means” nothing here becoz nothing here is “sexed up” ….what ever blair meant!

    1. I am African American, but in search of truth, wanting to know who I am, and want to know whats been hidden from me and my kids. Want to know my true history, and I have a strong feeling I already know exactly bibilcally who I am. Believe that Yashua is sending the truth in this time so we will know the real truth, that has never been told. This is the appointed time. Hebrew Israelite a great nation, people:

      1. The fine linens,( King Tuts body was preserved in linen cloth.)that’s why we call it a linen closet. Linen outlasts cotton in clothing and for our bed sheets. The Aloe for the skin and hair ” natural” and less expensive that grows in the dessert. The spices at the markets used for many household treasures. The essential oils, not synthetics cosmetics; used from head to toe and in the house. The Almonds to eat and make mylk. More calcium than a cow, because you can digest it better. Yes biblically royalty is what you see in the mirror. Being melanin enriched from THE RICHEST continent in the world. So dam rich, the Caucasians were literally stealing the people; the gold, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, and then the British monarchs were stealing the African history. Staph, Cape, Head crowns, and the Afican Hebrew history made into Old English a white man named James who said he was a king. King of what ? No rubies in England. They must have been stolen! Ok borrowed.

  11. Muwanga, I don’t know what you mean

    Anyway Scotland was an Independent country with its own parliament up until 1707 so it was the Scots who exported their people to America as slaves. However white slavery im America did not last as we all know it became a racist thing, Blacks were easily identifiable, if you were a black, you were a slave.

  12. no only in the north mostly for marranoes/jews , in the south curly haired albions were slaves,,study the tragic mulatto an the post at rasta livewire with albion slaves after their release in 1865 from southern slavery ,the people who falsely call them self white because of red rudy skin were the bleac people in middle english you replace an erase what was in its proper place with the fake white aryan race an dont regret that u forget they day to us u were no threat an we raised mankind as men not pets ,mankind steals land an gives us their debts


    All the comments on the truth about slavery are wonderful and long overdue. The one important thing that we’re missing is the fact that slavery was perpetrated by the wealthy and powerful few against the many, regardless of race or country. These same people had the power to shape and control the rules, guidelines and laws by which the slave traded was conducted. And everybody involved in the slave trade got rich. The wealthiest even had enough money and power to influence the politics and religion of the time—both of which helped keep everybody else in bondage. And you were either wealthy or poor. There was no so-called middle class.

    In modern-day America, a few super rich and powerful (multi-billionaires and multi-millionaires) now call themselves donors and they represent and finance the group known as the super PAC (Political Action Committee). The Supreme Court recently ruled that the super PACs can raise as much money from anywhere or anybody they choose–legal, illegal or foreign and, they don’t have to tell anybody where or whom they got all this money from. We see the same dynamic as in past times. In modern-day America you are either rich or broke and there is, in reality, no middle class. That’s a class separation and a divisive method used by the rich and powerful few to control the many and pit one group against another.

    Karl Rove who was working as a super PAC leader for the Republican Party to raise unlimited money for the election of Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election raised almost 400 million dollars from these multi-billionaires and multi-millionaires and even from the Canadian government. Talk about slavery!! All this money was pooled together by a few super rich and powerful people to shape the way the American voter felt about the candidates and to influence and control the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election. Their money controlled everything from the Presidential Debates, the media such as Fox News, right down to Beyonce’s lip-synched performance.

    But the real unseen motive by these super PACs is not who the President is, because the super PACs, as the highly financed powerful group they represent, wins either way. Slavery has a new face and its name is the Super PAC. They have raised their sights to the office of the President of the United States and we the working class Americans will once again be the prize and the slaves no matter what our race!! So I ask all of you seekers of truth and justice and enlightenment: Pay close attention. Who is running the country—the President or the super PACs???

    1. You are absolutely correct, I find it funny how people always blame the President for everything, and unfortunately the American people are clueless to the fact that Congress runs the country,and Congress is controlled by the super PAC, this is why I have been trying to get people to insist on term limits for Congress,they do whatever the PAC Tell’s them, it’s not a cure but it’s a start?

  14. Its good to see this being discussed for a change. I’m Scottish and it annoys me that this is so unheard of and ignored. Even in our Scottish academys and schools its not discussed or mentioned at all in classes or our studies. Infact if I ever mention It to people they often don’t believe me or they had no knowledge of it.

    1. We should really learn about the role former white slaves played in the degradation of blacks as a whole. The end of the Civil War, Fort Pickering – Memphis massacre of 1866, was a planned Irish Police and Fire Department affair. The media was controlled by the Klan. This was the beginning of Black Codes in the south. It was documented by Congress but there was no legal or punitive follow through.

      1. The clan did not exist back then, the clan actually didn’t exist until after WW1, I know this because my grandfather told me that he joined it,after the war,it was the beginning of the American legion, then some how it changed into a hate group towards Black’s? That’s when he decided to quit, because he wanted no part of it !

  15. Thanks for posting this valuable and relatively unknown information about Colonial slavery. On a another topic. I did some research for a human trafficking committee I was involved in last year. I was very surprised that there was a fairly split between races in the united states. Those who enslave don’t care what color you are, they only care if you are vulnerable and abused and then sadistically use these children who more than often end up in prison instead of getting the care and counseling they need.

  16. “Anyway Scotland was an Independent country with its own parliament up until 1707”

    John, you sadly lack knowledge of Scottish history.

    During the English Civil War, Cromwell’s forces defeated Bonnie Price Charlie’s forces. The Scots had sided with Charlie. He was the rightful heir to the English throne.
    Cromwell sold the Scots into slavery.

    Scotland was under the English thumb for many years before 1707.

  17. You’re all so pathetic. Trying to make your ancestors noble, when all they were was poor, criminal, or insane. There’s plenty of data. However, you don’t want to accept what was true by romanticizing the dirty truth.

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