Monday, January 30, 2006

Some Scottish History

"Fight again at Bannockburn your battle-axe to wield
Fight by your grand sire on Floddin’s bloody field
Fight at Calouden the bonnie prince to shield
Fight by the Roses of Prince Charlie."
~ Roses of Prince Charlie (Ronnie Browne)

I went to the library on Sunday. I was looking for a book about the French and Indian war but the only book the local branch of the library had on that subject had apparently been stolen. So I picked out a book entitled simply "Scotland".

For those of you who don't know, I have within the last year learned that my last name is Scottish. So I have done some research into the history of my heritage.

As I read about the history of that great country, I was constantly reminded of the Scottish Folk songs that I love. So much of Scottish history is re-told in those wonderful songs. I have compiled quite a list of Gaelic folk songs, both Scottish and Irish, the lyrics of which I have posted in a separate blog entitled Scotsongs. I still don't understand how to post audio files in my blogs so only the lyrics are posted.

Here is a partial chronology of significant events in Scotland's history:

300 B.C. Celts begin settling in Scotland.

81 A.D. Agricola leads Roman troops on first invasion of Scotland, which they called Caledonia. Apparently, the natives proved to be far more trouble than the Romans thought were worth, so in
121 A.D. Romans begin building Hadrian's wall to serve as protection against invaders
from Scotland.

789 Vikings begin raids on Scotland, and eventually establish settlements in the far north and in the Western Isles.(I included this because I am descended from those Vikings)

1018 Malcolm II conquers the Angles and absorbs Lothian into the kingdom of Scotland.

1034 Duncan adds Strathclyde to the kingdom.(Duncan was the ill fated King of Shakespeare's "MacBeth" Yes, MacBeth really did exist.)

1071 William I of England invades Scotland.

1124-53 David I imposes English feudal system on southern Scotland.

1174 William I (of Scotland, not to be confused with William I of England) also known as "the Lion", is forced to sign the treaty of Falaise, making Scotland subject to England.

1189 Richard I "the Lionheart" of England restore Scottish independence.

1290 Edward I (immortalized in Mel Gibson's Film, "Braveheart" and referred therein as "Longshanks") places John Balliol on the Scottish throne.

1295 Edward I defeats Balliol at Dunbar.

1297 William Wallace leads Scottish rebellion against the English.

1306 Robert I "the Bruce" is crowned King.

1314 Robert I defeats Edward II of England at Bannockburn.

1320 Scots proclaim their independence in the Declaration of Abroath (an excerpt from this document can be found in my sidebar)

1513 English defeat Scots at the battle of Flodden; James IV is killed.

1692 Campbell troops massacre MacDonald clansmen at Glencoe

1715 Jacobites rebel and are defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

1746 Duke of Cumberland defeats Jacobite forces of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" at the Battle of Colloden.

1786 Robert Burns publishes "Poems, Chiefly in the Scots dialect".

1814 Sir Walter Scott publishes his first novel, "Waverly".

1888 James Kier Hardie founds the Scottish Labour Party.

1934 Scottish National Party is formed.

1997 Scots vote to restore Parliament.

1999 Queen Elizabeth II opens Scottish Parliament on July 1.

Here are some additional links to some of my favorite Scottish Folk songs:

Loch Lomond

Scots Wha Hae

Dawning of the Day

Flower of Scotland

The Queen's Maries


Etchen said...

Very interesting! Are you researching your Scottish geneology as well?

Mark said...

I would if i could afford it, Etchen.

Actually it was through a free trial geneaology search that I found out I was Scottish. I started with my paternal grandfather's name and traced my family name back to the 1600's in North Carolina, where I found out the family came over from Scotland.

I had always thought my name was Greek before that, but I have actually found my last name, spelled exactly the same as I spell it on lists of names associated with the Scottish clan of Gunn.

In fact. some of the officers of the Clan Gunn of North America, Eastern Region, have my last name.

KEvron said...

look for the tale of robert the bruce and the spider.

KEvron, clan campbell

Mark said...

I read that story in the book.

Campbell, eh? They are the ones that massacred the MacDonalds at Glencoe.

Centuries later and the Campbells are still jerks, I guess.

My insurance man is named Campbell and he's a great guy. Devoted Republican, too.

KEvron said...

o~ old macdonald had a farm.... o~

i know, i'm pushin' it!


FrenziedFeline said...

Have you not heard that the LDS church is THE place to go for genealogy? :)


Also, enter your info to find the nearest Family History Center near you. There's no charge except for minimal fees to cover costs of some things (like ordering a microfilm to browse.)

The church was very active in the British Isles from the beginning. I'd be very surprised if you didn't find a relative or two on the first try. Not to mention, the church collects records from all over the world, no connection to the church necessary. :)

KEvron said...

yep. the mormons. geneaology's a very important tradition to them. VAST resources.


Goat said...

Aye me Scots/Irish friend and for freedom we were born to fight. We have tracked the family crest to the days of Bruce and Wallace and we will continue the legacy in the fight to be free. I will beat my plowshare into a sword and fight for the freedom we have earned with the blood of our forefathers. I know I told you before, read James Webb's engrossing "Born To Fight". We may bang skulls when discussing the Bible though I would place my back to yours to defend our right to bang heads, that is what warriors do in a just cause. Oh and isn't it such grand fun to shoot at our jester's feet and watch him dance, he does a sprightly jig when pushed a wee bit.

Lone Ranger said...

I once started to research my heritage, but I stopped four generations back, because I was afraid I'd prove Darwin's Theory.

Poison Pero said...

Great post, Mark.

Proud to be a Scots-Irish......From the Clan Bruce.
If you really want some good reading on ancient Scotland, find something on the Picts.....Very interesting.

Goat said...

AHH, no wonder we fight so well together and bang skulls so gleefully amongst ourselves. We find old blood spilt and regained, Pero as I hearken from Wallace's tribes. I must wonder where the court jester hails from, France, perhaps or jolly old England.

Etchen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Etchen said...

oops that was me that just deleted a comment--fenziedfeline is right on track. The LDS have an incredible site, but it is hard to access sometimes b/c so many people are trying to get onto it. It is something with their religion that they feel that they have to write down everyone's names(can't remember why). The site is supposed to be just an amazing resource.

Mark said...

Pero, according to this book:

At the time of the Roman withdrawal, the strongest group in Scotland were the Picts, a mysterious people of uncertain origin who ruled everything north of the Firth of Forth. while they most likely had a Celtic ancestry, they spoke a completely different language from their neighbors and their carvongs suggest a Middle Eastern origin. Their name, meaning "painted ones", was coined by the Romans because their warriors were painted or tattooed. No one knows what they called themselves.

KEvron said...

"I will beat my plowshare into a sword"

just like the bible tells us! lol!


rich glasgow said...

All this Scots/Irish talk warms the cockles of my large Scots/Irish heart. And remember, "If it ain't Scottish, it's crrrrrrraaaaappp!"

There's an old Gaelic sobriety test that goes something like this, (spelling is phonetic, mind you) "It's a bravlick, moonlick, nicht tonicht, retyakin" (with all the properly trilled "r's." If you can say it after a night of drinking, then you're sober...or something like that....maybe I'm not!

Here's to James Webb, Goat, Mark and the rest of you fine Scots/Irishmen! Life is good. May we all meet one day!

Mike's America said...

Mark: Mixing messages here... I was carrying the Scottish flag symbolizing the rampant lion (red on yellow) up the Capitol steps a few years back after an event. I was told I was not permitted to display it.

I should have called the press and claimed my free speech rights were being violated.

Jody said...

If you know your family is from Scotland, don't bother with the LDS church go right to the source. The Scotttish gov't has set up a wonderful site though not free called Scotland's People. This part of the National Archives of Scotland and has all the OPR ( old parish reords prior to 1855 the parish kirk be it prebyterian or catholic (pre reformation) all the registered births/christening and marriages. deaths were not required to be registered until 1855. They also have the old will/testaments, census records and soon will have Kirk session records. I have been doing Scottish famiy research for 15 years and have gotten myfamily in the SW Scotland back to 1737. If your family came to the Us in the 1600's it is a good chance they were Covenanters forced out of Scotland or they were highlanders who also left because of religious perscusion ( ie Catholics) after the reformation. If you know they were in the Carolinas and the rough date, using the ship emigration records might lead you to where they left Scotland from and from there find where they might have been living through parish records. Good Luck, the fun is in the puzzle pieces you will find.