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Historic Photographs
Amelia Morawiak
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Historic Photographs Details
In 17th century Poland, business was at its peak. At the time the country had the same population as Russia. The port town of Danzig - now known as Gdansk - was a worldwide trading centre to which many people migrated in order to make their riches.

It may be a shock to you, but in 1570 the number of Scottish immigrants in Poland was estimated to be 30,000. This is an immense number of immigrants when compared to the relatively small population of Scotland in the 16th century. One of these migrants was Robert Gordon (1668-1731), later to be the founder of Gordon's Hospital; which is now known as Robert Gordon's College and the Robert Gordon University.

Robert Gordon was a merchant trader during his time in Poland and he was successful from early on in his career. With a fortune of £10,000 amassed in Poland he invested in the rebuilding of Marischal College, lent money to estate owners and funded Robert Gordon's School for Boys.

In his Founder's Day oration of 1935, former Gordonian, Sir Alexander Roger, described presenting to the Polish government a photograph of the letter Robert Gordon wrote in 1700 from Warsaw to the people of Aberdeen, describing his plans to set-up up his hospital, and the reaction from the recipients:

"My Polish audience were more than ordinarily interested to learn what the writer of that letter, with a fortune strenuously acquired from Poland two hundred years ago, had been enabled to found a college in Scotland which today offered inestimable benefit balanced and liberal education to a thousands boys." Aberdeen Press and Journal, 27th April 1935

The image to the left is a reproduction of a painted portrait of Robert Gordon taken from The History of Robert Gordon's Hospital Aberdeen 1729 - 1881 (1896) by Robert Anderson.
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