Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

27/3/2013

‘Burning of the Montreal and loss of Three Hundred Scotch Emigrants’

This ballad is sung to the tune of ‘Flowers of the Forest’ and begins: ‘You people of Scotland I pray give attention, A sad dismal story I soon shall let you hear, Of the dreadful burning of the Steamship the Montreal For Montreal in Canada her course she did steer.’ A woodcut illustration is included at the top of this sheet.

The tragic fire aboard the paddle steamer, the ‘Montreal’, broke out on the 26th June 1857, en route from Quebec to Montreal. Among the passengers were 250 Scottish men, women and children who had just disembarked from the ‘John MacKenzie’, which had brought them from Scotland. Despite attempts to guide the boat into shallow waters, and the rescue efforts of another boat carrying emigrants, nearly 250 people lost their lives. With so many Scottish people involved in the disaster, it would have provoked a lot of interest and concern back home in Scotland. for more click here

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