The mineral-rich hot springs of Bath, Somerset, England still bubble away, as they did in Roman times. As they did in 1687 when Mary of Modena, wife of James II, visited there desperately hoping for a healthy child and nine months later James, father of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', was born. As they did when it was the most fashionable resort in Georgian times.
Unusually, I was in Bath over Hogmanay, attending a wedding in the wonderful 16th century abbey. Drawn back there next day my eye wandered over the 641 marble plaques on the walls and saw a remarkable number of Scots featured. I started to write down the details and whilst I certainly did not get them all, I noted 31; details are below (but 100% accuracy is not guaranteed).
I have half an answer. Many were ex-military or ex-Civil Service and having served all round the world, joined others in fashionable Bath, inhabiting those famous Georgian houses and hoping that the curing waters would prolong their lives. I can also vouch for the fact that it is a little warmer there in winter. But still, if Scots lay claim to 5% of all the plaques, was fashionable Bath really 5% Scottish in the 18th century?
The list of those remembered in Bath Abbey (chronological order).
George Gordon of Gight in Aberdeenshire, died 9 January 1779.
Sir Patrick Houston of Houston in North Britain, Baronet who died 24 March 1785 in the 43rd year of his age.
Duncan Grant of Mullochard, North Britain, died 1 January 1788, aged 59.
John Hay Balfour Esq of Leys, Perthshire, North Britain who died 28 February 1791.
Charles Lockhart of Muiravonside in the County of Stirling, died 3 February 1796, aged 55.
Adam Gordon of Lime Street London, 5th son of Charles Gordon Esq, of Abergeldie, in the county of Aberdeen, North Britain, died 28 May 1800, aged 42 years
Helen, Countess of Selkirk, relict of Dunbar Earl Selkirk, who died 29 November 1802, aged 65.
Alexander Ellice Esq, born Anchelys, Aberdeenshire June 15th 1743 and died at Bath, 28 September 1805. Anne, his widow, died at Bath April 30th 1847. Sacred also to the memory of Charles, son of Alexander and Anne Ellice. Born December 10th 1797, died March 10th 1799.
Mary Anne Leycester Sturt, youngest daughter of Thomas Lenox Napier Sturt & James, his wife. Died 19 February 1812, aged 2 years 5 months.
Alicia, Countess of Erroll, died 24 April 1812 in the 35th year of her age.
William Kennedy Lawrie of Red Castle, Galloway, late of St Thomas in East Jamaica, died 28 January 1811, aged 62.
John McDougall Vice Admiral of Red of His Majesty`s Fleet, died 21 November 1814, aged 66.
John Maclean Esq of Inverscardle, North Britain, died 27 April 1812, aged 72.
John White Melville of Bennochy and Strathkinnes in Fifeshire, Scotland, died 27 May, 1813, aged 59.
The Honourable Colonel Cosmo Gordon, brother of the late Earl of Aberdeen and Uncle to the present Duke of Gordon, died 27th February 1813 in his 76th year.
Colin Mackenzie, son of the late Sir Lewis Mackenzie of Scatewell, North Britain, died 3 February 1814, aged 66. Janet, relict of the above, died 19 July 1817 aged 57.
Lt General Elliot, late Commandant of Royal Marines, died 16th April 1820 in the 88th year of his age.
John Campbell, 1st Lord Cawdor who died 1st June 1821 in the 68th year of his age.
Hugh Campbell Esq of Mayfield in the County of Ayr, North Britain, late Captain in His Majesty's 85th Regt. Died 5 January 1824, aged 51.
John Ewart Christie, Royal Marines and late Lt Col of the Nithsdale Militia, died 27 July 1828, aged 74.
James Sholto Douglas Esq, died January 12 1830 Aged 72. Also of Anne Elizabeth his second daughter who died March 13th 1842.
William Murray Esq of Glencaird, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Died 14 April 1833, aged 83.
Anne, widow of the Hon George Mackay and mother of Eric, 7th Lord Reay, died 15 March 1833, aged 82.
David Monro Esq, formerly of Quebec, lower Canada. He died September 3rd 1834, aged 74 years.
Lt General Sir Thomas Dallas, GCB, died 12 August 1839. Anne, his widow, died 30 April 1847.
Col the Hon Aeneas Mackay, 3rd son of the 2nd Lord Reay who died in the service of the States General. His descendants settled in the Netherlands and to them the Scottish Barony descended in 1875.