The Schooner Elbe
The Schooner Elbe ready for loading – 1870s, Johnston Collection

Introduction

During the long 19th century, the production and export of cured herring from Scotland to the Continent developed into a thriving industry which had a dominant place in the market. Until now, historical accounts have focused on national aspects of the industry, but it would not have succeeded without a customer base and an extensive distribution network on the Continent. This website shows how commercial co-operation across national boundaries helped to slow the decline in the population of the Highlands of Scotland and contributed substantially to the feeding of Europe’s growing working classes.