In this section will be found much of the history of the Scottish free port in the Low Countries, situated form most of its time in the city of Campheir, now Veere in Zealand.
The largest part of the site consists of records extracted from the records of the Convention of Royal Burghs of Scotland. Dundee merchant William Goldman in 1612. The Goldman family were important Dundee merchants and it has recently come to light that there are two possible explanations for the name. One is that the name is indeed Goldman, which has Jewish connotations. Not necessarily unusual in itself, as there were a number of welcome Jewish families in the burgh the name could also be a corruption from the trading of a family who were known as ’Guildmen’, members of the Guildry who used that as their entry into doing business on the continent and the name, whatever it had been originally, was the adopted as Goldman. This was not uncommon in earlier times as the better known family name Scrimgeour testifies.
Veere was particularly important to both Scotland and the Low Countries allowing goods to be delivered at very low rates of duty. So important was it to the Low Countries that the allowed the ‘Conservation of the Scots Privileges in the Low Countries’ to sit in Court in judgement over Scots citizens giving Scots La\w precedence over their own laws. In addition they built ad maintained a Scots Kirk, warehouses, built a ‘consergerie house’ to house merchants when visiting and charging no duty on all food and drink consumed by them. At difficult times, when Scotland had no navy of its own and England was at war with a variety of Countries, they even supplied warships to escort convoys of merchant ships from the Moray Firth, to the Tay and on to the Forth before crossing over to Zealand.
This connection remained in force for several centuries until finally the link was deliberately broken by Napoleon who then controlled the area. However the connection was made once again in the 20th century when the Archivist of Veere, Peter Blom made contact with the authorities here and eventually the, by now, purely historical title “Honorary Conservator of the Scots Privileges” was made with the Parliament in Scotland. Many of the original buildings in Veere are still to be seen and are kept in good condition. The people of Veere are very proud of this link and it would be good for both countries of knowledge of this part of our history was much better known and appreciated.
For those interested in reading further of the cargoes carried and details of the ships and shipping concerned more information is available by looking into the Friends of Dundee City Archives web site whose address can be found in the contacts list.