THE TRAVELLING HISTORIAN -- SCOTLAND

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SCOTLAND

Alba
Land of the Scots

The Thistle
photo by
G. Wilson

Post-Roman Alba - Land of the Scots - was divided among four groups: the Picts, the Scots and the Britons who were of Celtic origin. The fourth group to settle in Lothian, the Angles, were part of the fifth-century Teutonic invasion.

The Scots came to Alba from Antrim in Northern Ireland to establish a colony in and around Argyllshire. They called the colony Dalriada after their mother country in Antrim.

The Clans
Frasers, MacDonalds and McIntoshes
Were As Wild as The Hills of Home
photo by
G. Wilson

Tide Out at Unapool
photo by
G. Wilson

Russian fishermen frequently beached their small boats in order to shop at this stop.

Isle of Skye
photo by
G. Wilson

The bagpipes are commonly associated with the Scottish clans, but the Celtic Harp or Clarsach was originally the distinctive Highland musical instrument.

Clarsach

Bagpipes

Clan, Not Fan, Dancers
photo by
G. Wilson

When William of Orange came to the throne in 1689, he demanded that all clan chiefs swear an oath of allegiance to him by 1 January 1692. Only two, MacDonnell of Glengarry and MacIan MacDonald of Glencoe, failed to swear by that date. Glencoe subsequently signed on 6 January. However, on the advice of his Secretary of State, William gave the powerful Glengarry another chance, but vowed to teach MacIan and his "sect of thieves" a lesson they would never forget.

Odious Order

An official order dated 12 February, 1692, was issued for the Massacre of Glencoe. Signed by Duncanson and sent to Robert Campbell to enforce, it read: "You are hereby ordered to fall upon the Rebels, the McDonalds of Glencoe and putt all to the sword under seventy, you are to have special care that the old fox and his sones doe upon no account escape your hands." The massacre was carried out with brutal thoroughness - even a six-year-old who begged Campbell for mercy was cut down. Of 200 MacDonalds, 40 were butchered. The houses and food of the others were burned and they left to die in the snow.

For dutifully carrying out the killing, Campbell was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

Glencoe MacDonald Land
photo by
G. Wilson

Land of Glencoe MacDonald
photo by
G. Wilson

Scotland's mountains and clans divided the sparse, proud people into passionate jealousies that gave no quarter in war, no security in peace. Rough as their terrain and as unrestrained as their torrents, the clans, when not defying the crown, were mainly preoccupied with gaining an advantage over each other, usually with bloody consequences. One such war involved the Lamonts and the Campbells with the latter retaliating for a raid by butchering two hundred Lamonts and hanging 36 on a tree.

Clan Lamont Marker
Designates the Site of the Slaughter

Bonnie Prince Charles's Croft (headquarters)
photo by
G. Wilson

Commanded by the Duke of Cumberland, George II's son, English and Scottish Lowland forces combined to rid Scotland of the riotous race of hillmen. Early on the morning of April 16, 1746, the clan system received its death blow when Cumberland's army faced and defeated the Jacobites on the boggy expanse of Culloden Moor near Inverness.

Clash at Culloden

Culloden Moor
Jacobites came from the left
Cumberland came from the right.
photo by
G. Wilson

Culloden Well ran red with Blood
photo by
G. Wilson

Prince Charlie and Chums
photo by
T. Cowan

Duke of Cumberland
A Couple of Culprits
photo by
T. Cowan

The action lasted for an hour before the rebels were routed. Young James Wolfe cut his military teeth at this savage battle and recorded his recollections the next day. "The cannon made them very uneasy and obliged them to move forward to attack our front line of Foot, which they did with more fury than prudence, throwing down their firearms and advancing with their drawn swords. They were repulsed and ran off, the Dragoons falling in amongst them completing the victory with much slaughter."

At Culloden the customary chase was conducted with unusual ruthlessness. As one eyewitness reported, several troops who were volunteers recruited heavily from amongst the butchers of Nottingham, "killed fifteen and sixteen apiece making great slaughter every way." British troopers took hundreds of Irish officers and men prisoners, but not one Scotsman.

A famous tale about Wolfe that occurred during this battle appeared in print in 1802. Cumberland was crossing the Culloden battlefield when he came upon a wounded Highlander, Charles Fraser of Inverallochie, who stared up at him. Outraged at the Scot's look of contempt and defiance, Cumberland ordered Wolfe to shoot the man. Wolfe replied, "My commission is at your Royal Highness's disposal, but I never can consent to become an executioner." From that day forward, Wolfe's future found no favour from Cumberland. Cumberland asked 'a common sogar' if his musket was loaded. When he replied it was, he ordered him to shoot Fraser and he did.

Following the clans' defeat by Cumberland's forces, clans were disarmed, highland dress was proscribed and the bagpipe was banned as an instrument of war.

Cameron Clan Marker - one of many clan markers on the site of the Battle of Culloden.
photo by
G. Wilson

Culloden Moor Memorial
photo by
J. Brown

When Dr. Samuel Johnson visited the Highlands in 1773, he commented on the consequences of that conquering conquest.
"The clans retain little now of their original character, their ferocity of temper is softened, their military ardour is extinguished, their dignity of independence is depressed, their contempt of goverment subdued, and the reverence for their chiefs abated. Of what they were before the late conquest of their country, there remain only their language and poverty."

Edinburgh Castle
photo by
G. Wilson

Edinburgh Castle
photo by
G. Wilson

Jessie at Edinburgh Castle
photo by
G. Wilson

The close connection of Edinburgh Castle with the history of the Scottish nation is long and illustrious. A visit to that great structure is a must for many visitors for it embodies much of that history. Its story starts with the rock on which it stands, the core of an extinct volcano. Guarding the Gatehouse are two of Scotland's great heroes: Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.

On Guard at the Gate
Left - Bruce
Right - Wallace

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie,

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour!
See appoach proud Edward's power -
Chains and slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland's King and law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw
Freeman stand or freeman fa'?
Let him follow me!

By oppression's woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud userpers low!
Tyrants fall with every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!
Let us do or die!
by Robert Burns

William Wallace
Guardian of Scotland
Glaring Across the Border Towards England
He might well be uttering Scotland's motto:
'"Wha daur meddle wi me?"'
"No one provokes me with impunity"
photo by
G. Wilson

Robert I (The Bruce) 1306-1329 sought to restore independence to Scotland and began to clear the English out of Scottish castles. In 1314 Edward II's 20,000 strong army was decisively defeated by Bruce's much smaller force at Bannockburn with bows, arrows and battle-axes. Bruce declared Scottish independence and this was acknowleded by Edward III who agreed to accept Bruce's heirs as Scottish kings. Shortly before his death from leprosy, Bruce asked his friend, Sir James Douglas, to fulfill his remaining ambition and bury his heart in Jerusalem. On his way to do so, Douglas was killed and Bruce's heart was returned to Scotland to be buried in Melrose Abbey.

Robert Louis Stevenson's childhood home.
photo by
B Wilson

Robert Lousi Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November 1850, to Thomas Stevenson (18181887), a leading lighthouse engineer, and his wife, the former Margaret Isabella Balfour (1829-1897).

Melrose Abbey
photo by
G. Wilson

Robert the Bruce Left his heart in Melrose Abbey
photo by
G. Wilson

Edinburgh castle was the favourite residence of Scotland's kings from at least the 11th century. It was here that St. Margaret, wife of Malcolm III, died shortly after hearing of Malcolm's death and that of his eldest son in 1093. The oldest surviving part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel.

St. Margaret's Chapel
photo by
G. Wilson

The Lion of Scotland
photo by
G. Wilson

View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle
photo by
G. Wilson

Home of John Knox
photo by
G. Wilson

John Knox

John Knox (c. 1510 24 November 1572) was one of history's powerful and influential figures. A Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation, Knox is considered to be the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. He promised to preach every day of the week, "if the wicked carcass would permit." In fact, this fanatical-natured individual preached two or three times a week for two or three hours at a time and congregations came back for more. The fiery fellow denounced the Roman Church as "the Synagogue of Satin" and adopted the Lutheran doctrine that man is saved "only by faith that the blood of Jesus Christ purges us from all sins." He was leary of lady leaders and directed a diatribe against European women rulers - Mary Tudor, Mary of Lorraine, Mary Stuart, and Catherine de Medicis - titled, First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.

Holyrood Castle
photo by
G. Wilson

Holyrood Palace dates from 1498 when it was built by James IV. It has been closely linked with royalty ever since. It is located on the site of Holyrood Abbey, an Augustine monastery dating from 1128. The Palace is closely associated with Mary Queen of Scots. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is now the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in Scotland in May and July each year.

Loch Lomond
photo by
G. Wilson

Royal Troon Golf Course
photo by
G. Wilson

Jessie's Home on 8 Dundonald
photo by
G. Wilson

Jessie's Wee School
photo by
T. Cowan

From the hills overlooking Troon and Arran Island
photo by
G. Wilson

Heather Hills - Grampian
photo by
G. Wilson

Oykell Bridge
No mortor was used in its construction.
photo by
G. Wilson

Sheep at the Border
photo by
G. Wilson

A wee Draft and a Rest before returning home
photo by
Scottie

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