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End London Rule

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A Border

Every Nation has a border. The Romans helped define ours with the building of Hadrian’s Wall in the 2nd century AD. 80 miles of ditch, stone and earth rampart that marked the extreme Northern frontier of the then Empire. This so called wall still visible in many parts today would not have repelled a large invasion force but went a long way to controlling cross border immigration or un-wanted attacks by small bands from the North.
On disintegration of the Roman Empire and the subsequent invasions by the Germanic Angles we were to see the setting up of the Kingdom of Northumberland which controlled much of the east from the Forth to the Humber, thus crossing the border as we know it. Many battles fought by the Picts and even the Scots against Anglic domination and expansion kept the eastern Kingdom of Northumberland much the way it was following the initial spread of the Germanic tribes. Un-fortunately these Germanic tribes were to bring us the english language as we know it today. From the early 7th century the modern regions of East Lothian, Berwickshire, Northumberland and Durham was known as Bernicia. Some historians believe that the first Angles in the area were employed by the Romans as mercenaries on Hadrian’s Wall. By the 7th century though their domination of the Celtic locality was complete.
200 years after the unification of Pict and Scot and the formation of Alba a battle was fought at Carham just south of Coldstream in 1018. At this battle Malcolm II, King of Scots defeated the Angles of Northumbria and thus went a long way to giving us the modern day Scotland as we know it today from Tweed to Sark (or Esk in the debatable lands). Of course many battles were still to be fought in this border area including many in the modern day region of Northumberland North of the Roman Wall.
The River Tweed marks the modern day border of Scotland and england and at the town of Berwick the border takes a detour North away from the Tweed 2.5 miles! This allowed the english to claim Berwick as theirs and from 1482 has remained an english town. But what about before 1482? Berwick or South Berwick was a bustling border sea port. Part of the spoils of Carham it changed hands more than 13 times and was to play a part on many of the conflicts between Scotland and england in the medieval period. The most famous of these exchanges during the so called Wars of Independence when Berwick then controlled by the Scots was sacked by Edward 1st, Longshanks in 1296. At that time Berwick had become one of the largest and richest towns in Scotland. It traded throughout Northern Europe. Defended only by a ditch and timber palisade the english army of Longshanks swept easily in. Not much resistance apart from 30 or so Flemings who barricaded themselves in the Red Hall and fought to the last to be burnt to death when the building was set on fire. Not many of the burgesses, merchants or artisans escaped the wrath of the english King that day some say 15 to 30,000 were put to death.

Today Berwick remains in england only by the placing of a pen to map. If the border were to follow the Tweed then it could be part of a Free Scotland. No need for a pen to draw a line on a map the River Tweed does it for us………

Thanks to some fellow Patriots from the border area this it seems is what they should be seeing when they cross the Tweed at Berwick! I tend to agree with them.

Welcome to Scotland ; Failte gu Alba

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Political Advertising

I see recently whilst travelling through Edinburgh that the Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron has taken to advertising himself and his party. The slogan "Time for Change" is very relevant to the current Political system in Scotland. We can see only one change most suited that being "End London Rule" Only once Scotland has rid itself of the Westminster yoke of Cameron, Brown, Clegg and their lackies, Goldie, Gray and Scott will it prosper. By the look of these photos the people of our Capital City are in agreement......

A bit of history; Not many of you will have heard the term SPCK?

Following the eventual acceptance of the Estates of Scotland of the Dutch William and his Queen, Mary as monarchs. The Glencoe massacre of which we will speak later was just one of his better known provocations on the people of the Western Highlands and Islands. In 1696 the Education Act of 1646 was re-enacted. This imposed fixed english schools on the Highlands in an attack through education on the Highland language and Highland traditions to be financed out of Highland rents.

Opposition in the region was large no matter the religion. In 1709 a number of wealthy subscribers in Edinburgh and Southern Scotland were incorporated under the title of "The Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge" SPCK..... its aims to remedy any deficiencies of the 1696 Education Act in the Highlands and Islands and supported by private subscriptions. The schools set up were to be manned by schoolmasters of proven loyalty, to teach the english language, the Presbyterian Calvinist religion, church music and religion. It’s worth quoting here the policy of SPCK in its memorial.....
"Nothing can be more effectual for reducing these countries (i.e. the Highlands and Islands) to order and making them useful to the Commonwealth than teaching them their duty to God, their King and Countrey, and rooting out their Irish language, and this has been the care of the Society so far as they could, for all the scholars are taught in english, and none are allowed to be masters of the Societies Charitie Schools, but such as produce sufficient certificates of their piety, knowledge and loyalty"

If reading the minutes of the Committee and of the General Meetings of the SPCK the religious, political and social content provides a great history of The Highlands and Islands from the un-equal and incorporating Act of Union in 1707 to the crowing of George the 3rd in 1760. It’s little wonder that many from this region were to take up arms for the Jacobite cause. SPCK was a calculated, well financed attempt backed by constant political pressure to destroy a culture and language. The minutes of the SPCK were only placed in the National Register House in Edinburgh in 1933!!. Since then no Scottish historical society has had the courage to publish them........Oppression is a word most common in Scottish History and it continues.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Battle of Falkirk 1746

An anniversary you won’t find a reminder of in many areas of our media. On the 17th of January 1746 forces loyal to the Stewart cause in Scotland defeated a British army of some 9,000 men on Falkirk moor. That was only a few hundred years ago!

Yesterday on the nearest Saturday to the battle a commemoration takes place under the auspices of the Scottish Knights Templar at the battle site memorial. Despite cold and windy weather some 40 or 50 souls pay respects to those Scots who fell on that day. A minor sacrifice considering that given by those who fought for the rights of their land and in many cases for the end of the hated Union of 1707.

The British forces were commanded by the arrogant General Hawley who once boasted that two regiments of his english dragoons was all he needed to ride over the whole Highland Army. That was before they met Clan Donald. How wrong he was.

Unfortunately as in many of the Jacobite Risings the divide and conquer tactics of the British saw many Scots on the opposing side. The Argyllshire Militia just one of these fighting for the Hanoverians and in the rear a contingent of volunteers from Glasgow and Paisley. What made these people rise in arms for a German king? A story from the field tells of the Gaelic bard Duncan Ban MacIntyre (Donnacha Ban nan Oran) then only 21 was with the Argyllshire Militia as an unwilling substitute for Fletcher of Glenorchy whose sword he carried. At the start of the fighting, Duncan disgusted at having to fight his fellow countrymen, threw away the sword and retired from the field. If only they all did the same especially at the later Drumossie where the Argyll (Campbell) Militia unleashed a ferocious barrage against their fellow countrymen.

Give it further reading and heres to the next commemoration in a Free Scotland.........

The 1746 Battle of Falkirk Memorial

Wreaths laid in memory of those who fell that day

The field of battle on Falkirk Moor

Oh dear a captured standard. Wonder what became of that!!!

There is a lesson that we can take from those days and that is one of Unity. A Free Scotland needs a United Scotland. Division is something that for a few hundred years has been manipulated by the British state. Politcal Parties assist them in this. Think about it..........


Monday, 4 January 2010

2010 begins....

It is with the deepest regret that the first posting for 2010 is to mourn the loss of one of our finest modern day Patriots, David R Ross who sadly died on the 2nd of January. David was a true Patriot and inspiration in many ways to all who knew him. Our thoughts go to his family and friends at this time. His vision of a Free Scotland in his lifetime has passed but one thing we are sure of is that flame of his vision will never be extinguished.

The struggle goes on.
RIP, David R Ross, 1958-2010

Many would have the chance to take in some Hogmanay television viewing. How bad was the STV showing of Scotland's Always Had Talent? Michelle McManus on stage with a Butchers Apron and God Save the King. The media at the moment is relentless in its portrayal of all things british. From adverts displaying Union Jack cushions to Coop best of british foods. The brain washing continues.

An interesting use of our History by Tory MP Murdo Fraser saw a repeat of last years headline grabbing feature in The Press and Journal; December 27th. 2008" Call to repatriate Scottish patriot's Lubeck Letter to Germanic States. Almost a year to the date we are treated to the same headline " Call to honour Scottish hero, Moray should be same as Wallace" The Press and Journal December 26th 2009.

Needless to say this letter sent to the Press and Journal was not printed;

I noted with interest “Call to honour Scottish Hero”, Press and Journal, Saturday December 26th. Once again we are treated to Political posturing and headline grabbing by Conservative MP, Murdo Fraser. Almost a year to the date, Press and Journal, Saturday, December 27th, 2008 we were treated to a similar headline. “Call to repatriate Scottish Patriot’s Lubeck Letter to Germanic states”. Even utilising the same photograph of Mr Fraser. I must ask where we are with this before the use of another Scottish Hero by an MP of a political Party for headline grabbing? Groups such as the Andrew de Moray Project and the Society of William Wallace are constantly campaigning for the raising of memorials or the return of historical artefacts. They receive no headlines or support. Having been involved in projects such as these I know the dedication and effort it takes. So come on Mr. Fraser lets see some results or are we going to be treated to another Festive headline next year. “Call to raise statue to Prince Charles Edward Stewart in Hanover Street”?

Over to you Mr Fraser......

The Scotsman, Saturday 2nd of January featured an interesting article on its Opinion page; Platform by Irish economics editor Marc Coleman.

"Irish figures make a good cause for Scots Independence"

Quote" Colemans take on Calman is this: Scotland's geographic position and underperformance can only be corrected by fiscal autonomy. By liberating English taxpayers from permanently subsiding Scotland and by making Scotland the low-tax, viable, free enterprise dynamo that it should be, full fiscal independence will be a win win situation for all the people of these islands"

Well said Mr Coleman, pity the money spent on Calman could not see this.

A touch of History to finish. Many of you will be aware of the story of The Bruces heart and its trip on crusade to Spain with The Good Sir James Douglas and his band of Scots Knights. The Good Sir James died in battle fighting the Moors at Teba, Andulucia. There is a legend that both the body of The Good Sir James and the heart of The Bruce were brought back to Scotland by Sir William Keith. I had the pleasure of a visit to Keith Marischal in East Lothian recently. The old chapel still stands on the spot first raised in the time of David 1st. The grave stone of William Keith is reputed to be in the grounds. Unfortunately the snow beat us and we could not find it.

The castle of the Earls Marischal today

12th century chapel and burial ground

Founded by David 1st ;1124

Interesting carving still visible at the window heads

Chapel front facing east

Inside the chapel walls