Robert Porteous: Scottish Merchant, Benefactor and Resident of Krosno, Poland

Activity: KE and Outreach activitiesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition


Migration has been creating Scottish-Polish connections for more than half a millennium. Robert Porteous (d.1661) was a Scottish-born importer of Hungarian wine into Poland, and almost certainly, the wealthiest Scotsman in the Poland of his day. Today, an annual wine festival, a hotel, street name, and an array of conspicuous monuments and material culture in his adopted town of Krosno, south-east Poland, celebrate his story. The Portius Society in Krosno, Krosno State College, the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Centre for History, the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, and High Life Highland, collaborated to organise an exhibition on Porteous, which showed in the main foyer at the Highland Archive Centre, Bught Road, Inverness, from Wednesday 3 April – Tuesday 30 April 2019. On 3 May, it moved, with the support of the Polish Association Aberdeen, to the Aberdeen Arts Centre. On 23 January 2020, it moved to Edinburgh Central Library, for its final display in Scotland before returning to Krosno. As well as being advisor on the exhibition text, and helping arrange the exhibition hosting in all three locations, I gave the introductory talks at the opening of the exhibition in Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Period3 Apr 201923 Jan 2020
Degree of RecognitionInternational