• August 31, 2010



“A member of the Alba Branch has contacted the Canadian Embassy in London in an attempt to discover why a city named after its Scottish novelist has been changed in recent history.

Iain Ramsay, who was the previous Alba/Scotland branch secretary, first contacted the Honary Consul for Canada in Scotland, before being referred to the Canadian Embassy in London to find out more. However, the Canadian Embassy was not able to provide sufficient detail as to why the name of the city of Galt was replaced by `Cambridge’ – a name, which according to Mr Ramsay, is an `irrelevant Anglicisation’.

The General Secretary (GS) of the League has written to the Mayor of Cambridge, Doug Craig, to ask why the name of Galt was replaced and whether Cambridge City Council or the Provincial government would consider reverting back to Galt.

Dear Doug Craig

City of Galt

I am writing to you following a request made by our previous Alba/Scotland branch secretary, Iain Ramsay, who would like to know what the reasoning was behind adopting the name `Cambridge’ for your city. Mr Ramsay has previously written to the Honary Consul for Canada in Scotland and the Canadian Embassy in London, but has not received an adequate response to his enquiries.

We are aware that Cambridge was an amalgamation of the city of Galt, the towns of Preston and Hespeler and the hamlet of Blair in 1972, but we are unclear as to why the name Cambridge was chosen. We believe that the previous city of Galt covers the largest portion of what is now Cambridge and consequently would have thought that the name of Galt would have endured. We believe that there was considerable resistance to the amalgamation among the inhabitants at the time and we would like to know if there is or has been any interest in replacing the current name of Cambridge with the name Galt.

We are interested in this matter because we are aware that Galt was named after the Scottish novelist John Galt in the early part of the nineteenth century and that he is now buried in Greenock, Scotland. Our previous Alba/Scotland branch secretary is from Greenock and has related to me that the memory of John Galt in the area is closely associated with his work in Canada. Moreover, it is felt that the name `Cambridge’ does not adequately reflect the Scottish connections that the city has.

Many thanks in taking the time to consider this matter and we look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League


Gary Goodyear MP
Gerry Martiniuk MPP”

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:


About Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Celtic League
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x