The growing Scottish Highland presence in the Caribbean after 1750 was indicative of two things. On the one hand there was a British imperial agenda intent on promoting economic development and security in the Caribbean. On the other there was a domestic agenda, with a focus on introducing the sweeping changes to Highland society that would complete the process of Highland pacification. There was also, however, a deep concern for the socio-economic and cultural survival of the Highlands which encouraged countless Highlanders to engage in myriad imperial pursuits. This article links the global with the local by considering the rise of charitable enterprise in the Scottish Highlands, one of Britain's most vulnerable regions. In considering the establishment of the region's first hospital, the Northern Infirmary at Inverness, and three academies at Fortrose, Tain and Inverness, it establishes the Scottish Highlands’ intrinsic link with the Caribbean's plantation economy.
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