Scottish Mystery. (Doorstep)

The Doorstep Murder, 2004.

Bank manager Alistair Wilson was shot dead on the doorstep of his home in Nairn on 28 November 2004 by a stocky man wearing a baseball cap. The police inquiry into the shooting has focused on a Haenel Suhl Model 1 Schmeisser’s patent handgun, made in Germany between 1920 and 1945, which was found down a street drain in the town. The ammunition used in the shooting was made by Sellier and Bellot in the Czech Republic between 1983 and 1993. Despite intense efforts, the police have yet to find the killer.

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Famous Scots Charles Kennedy.

Charles Peter Kennedy (25 November 1959 – 1 June 2015) was a British Liberal Democrat politician who was Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006, and a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2015.

Kennedy was elected to the House of Commons in 1983, and after the Alliance parties merged, became President of the Liberal Democrats and, following the resignation of Paddy Ashdown, Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He led the party through two general elections, increasing its number of seats in the House of Commons to their highest level since 1923, and led his party’s opposition to the Iraq War. A charismatic and affable speaker in public, he appeared extensively on television during his leadership.

During the latter stages of Kennedy’s leadership, there was concern about both his leadership and his health. From December 2005, some within the party were openly questioning his position and calling for a leadership election. On 5 January 2006, he was informed that ITN would be reporting that he had received treatment for alcoholism; he pre-empted the broadcast by admitting that he had had treatment, and called a leadership election in which he intended to stand. After Menzies Campbell succeeded him as leader, Kennedy remained in office as a backbench MP, where he voted against the formation of the Cameron–Clegg coalition, before his death less than a month after being unseated from the House of Commons in 2015.

Early life

Fort William, Highland

Kennedy was born on 25 November 1959 in the Scottish Highlands town of Inverness, the son of Mary and Ian Kennedy.  He had a Roman Catholic upbringing, and was educated at Lochaber High School in Fort William. He went on to study for a Master of Arts degree in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Kennedy first became politically active at university, where he joined the SDP as well as the Dialectic Society.[3] Between 1980 and 1981, Kennedy was President of the Glasgow University Union. He won the Observer Mace debating competition in 1982, speaking with Clark McGinn.

Upon graduation in 1982, Kennedy went to work for BBC Scotland as a journalist.  He later received a Fulbright Fellowship which allowed him to carry out research at Indiana University in the United States.

Early political career.

At the age of 15 he joined the Labour Party,  followed in 1981 by the newly formed Social Democratic Party. Two years later, Kennedy received the SDP nomination to stand for the Scottish seat of Ross, Cromarty and Skye—then held by the Conservative Hamish Gray—at the 1983 general election.[8] Kennedy won the seat with 13,528 votes (38.5%) and a majority of 1,704, unseating the incumbent Gray.  He was, at the age of 23, the youngest sitting Member of Parliament at the time he was elected to the House of Commons. He served on the Social Services select committee from 1985 to 1987, retained his seat at the 1987 general election, and served on the Televising of Proceedings of the House select committee from 1987 to 1989.

He was the first of the five SDP MPs to support its merger with the Liberal Party (with which the SDP was co-operating in the SDP–Liberal Alliance) because of pressure from Liberal activists in his constituency. The parties merged in 1988, forming the Social and Liberal Democratic Party, later renamed the Liberal Democrats; Kennedy was a proponent of the merge.

Kennedy moved into frontbench politics in 1989, becoming the party’s spokesperson for Health. After retaining his seat in the 1992 general election he served as the spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs during the 1992–97 parliament. He retained his seat in the 1997 general election and served on the Standards and Privileges select committee from 1997 to 1999.

He was Liberal Democrat Party President from 1990 to 1994, and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the office of the Leader of the House of Commons from 1997 to 1999.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Kennedy was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats on 9 August 1999, after the retirement of Paddy Ashdown. He won 57% of the transferred vote under the Alternative Vote system, beating the runner-up Simon Hughes (43% of the transferred vote), Malcolm Bruce, Jackie Ballard and David Rendel. In October of the same year he was sworn in as a Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

Kennedy’s style of leadership was regarded as “conversational and companionable”. He was labelled “Chatshow Charlie” by some observers as a result of his appearances on the satirical panel game Have I Got News for You.

In Kennedy’s first campaign as Leader, the 2001 general election, the Liberal Democrats won 52 seats with an 18.3% share of the vote; this was a 1.5% improvement in vote share (and an improvement of six seats) over the 1997 election, but smaller than the 25.4% vote share the SDP/Liberal Alliance had achieved in 1983, which won it 23 seats. Kennedy led his party’s opposition to the Iraq War, with all Liberal Democrats voting against or abstaining in the vote for the invasion of Iraq—the largest British party to do so.

Health concerns

In July 2002, Jeremy Paxman publicly apologised after asking Kennedy about his drinking in a television interview. Reports emerged of Kennedy’s ill-health in 2003 at the time of crucial debates on the Iraq War and after the 2004 Budget along with linked rumours of a drinking problem which were strenuously denied at the time by both Kennedy and his party. The Times published an apology over a report it had made stating Kennedy had not taken part in that year’s Budget debate because of excessive drinking.

In April 2005, the launch of his party’s manifesto for the 2005 general election was delayed because of the birth of his first child, with Menzies Campbell taking temporary charge as acting leader and covering Kennedy’s campaign duties. At the manifesto launch, on his first day back on the campaign trail after the birth, Kennedy struggled to remember the details of a key policy (replacing the council tax with a local income tax) at an early morning press conference, which he later blamed on a lack of sleep due to his new child.

2005 general election

Kennedy during the 2005 election campaign

In his last general election as leader, in May 2005, he extended his strategy from the 2001 election of targeting the seats held by the most senior and/or highly regarded Conservative MPs, dubbed a “decapitation” strategy. The Liberal Democrats also hoped to capture marginal Labour seats, attracting (particularly Muslim) Labour voters who were dissatisfied because of the invasion of Iraq, which Kennedy’s party had opposed.

Just before the election, it had been anticipated by the media and opinion polls that the Liberal Democrats could win up to 100 seats and place themselves close to the Conservatives in terms of seats as well as votes. They won 62 seats and 22.1% of the vote, their greatest number of seats since their Liberal Party predecessor won 158 seats in 1923.

The Liberal Democrats made a net loss of five seats to the Conservatives, only managing to win three seats from them. While they were able to unseat Shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins, they failed to unseat leading Conservatives such as the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Oliver Letwin, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, Shadow Secretary of State for the Family (later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) Theresa May and the Leader of the Opposition Michael Howard. The “decapitation” strategy was widely seen to have failed.  They won twelve seats from Labour, but lost Leicester South.  They succeeded in regaining the seat of Ceredigion, their first gain from the Welsh party Plaid Cymru.

Kennedy heralded the Liberal Democrats, who now had a total of 62 seats, as the “national party of the future”, but in the wake of the general election, Kennedy’s leadership came under increased criticism from those who felt that the Liberal Democrats could have surged forward, with the official opposition Conservative Party having been relatively weak. Many pointed the finger of blame at Kennedy for failing to widen the party’s appeal. Others, like the former Deputy Chairman of the Federal Liberal Democrat Party, Donnachadh McCarthy, resigned, citing the party’s shift to the right of the political spectrum under Kennedy in pursuit of Conservative votes.

Leadership concerns.

After the election of David Cameron as Leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005, it was widely reported that senior members of the Liberal Democrats had told Kennedy that he must either “raise his game” or resign.  Speculation surrounding the leadership of the Liberal Democrats was widespread in late 2005, with the journalist Andrew Neil claiming to speak “on good authority” that Kennedy would announce his resignation at the 2006 spring conference of the Liberal Democrats. Kennedy’s spokeswoman denied the report and complained against the BBC, which had broadcast it.

A “Kennedy Must Go” petition was started by The Liberal magazine (a publication with no affiliation to the Liberal Democrats); this allegedly had been signed by over 3,300 party members including 386 local councillors and two MPs by the end of 2005. A round-robin letter signed by Liberal Democrat MPs rejecting his leadership received 23 signatures.


Kennedy in October 2007.

On 6 January 2006, Kennedy was informed that ITN would be reporting that he had received treatment for a drinking problem. He decided to pre-empt the broadcast, called a sudden news conference, and made a personal statement that over the past eighteen months he had been coming to terms with a drinking problem, but had sought professional help. He told reporters that recent questions among his colleagues about his suitability as a leader were partly as a result of the drinking problem but stated that he had been dry for the past two months and would be calling a leadership contest, in which he would stand, to resolve the issues surrounding his authority once and for all. It was later claimed that the source for ITN’s story was his former press secretary turned ITV News correspondent, Daisy McAndrew.

The admission of a drinking problem seriously damaged his standing, and 25 MPs signed a statement urging him to resign immediately. It was later claimed in a biography of Kennedy by the journalist Greg Hurst that senior Liberal Democrats had known about Kennedy’s drinking problem when he was elected as leader in 1999 and had subsequently kept it hidden from the public.

On 7 January 2006, Kennedy called another press conference, at which he announced that while he was buoyed by the supportive messages he had received from grass root members, he felt that he could not continue as a leader because of the lack of confidence from the parliamentary party. He said he would not be a candidate in the leadership election and was standing down as leader “with immediate effect”, with Menzies Campbell to act as interim leader until a new leader was elected. He also confirmed in his resignation statement that he did not expect to remain on the Liberal Democrat Frontbench Team. He pledged his loyalty to a new leader as a backbencher and said he wished to remain active in the party and in politics. Campbell went on to win the resulting leadership election, and Kennedy subsequently gave his successor full public support. His leadership had lasted slightly less than six years and five months.

Later political career


Charles Kennedy attending a debate at the Glasgow University Union on 10 February 2009

After resigning as party leader, Kennedy remained in office as a backbench MP. His first major political activity was to campaign in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, which the Liberal Democrats went on to win, taking the seat from Labour.

On 22 June 2006, Kennedy made his first appearance in the national media after stepping down as party leader when he appeared on the BBC’s Question Time. One of the questions on the show was about his possible return as leader, which he declined to rule out.

On 4 August 2006, he hosted a documentary on Channel 4 about what he saw as the increasing disenchantment felt by voters towards the main parties in British politics because of their hesitation to discuss the big issues, especially at election time, and the ruthless targeting of swing-voters in key constituencies at the expense of the majority. He also contributed an article covering the same issues to The Guardian‘s Comment Is Free section.

After Campbell resigned as Liberal Democrat leader on 15 October 2007, Kennedy said that it was “highly unlikely” that he would try to return as party leader, but he did not rule it out completely.

Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition (2010–2015)

At the 2010 general election, Kennedy was re-elected to parliament with a majority of 13,070.

Kennedy voted against the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in May 2010, explaining in an article for The Observer that he “did not subscribe to the view that remaining in opposition ourselves, while extending responsible ‘Confidence and supply’ requirements to a minority Conservative administration, was tantamount to a ‘do nothing’ response”. Finally, Kennedy warned of the risks of “subsequent assimilation within the Conservative fold”, adding: “David Cameron has been here often before: from the early days of his leadership he was happy to describe himself as a ‘liberal Conservative’. And we know he dislikes the term Tory. These ongoing efforts at appropriation are going to have to be watched”.

The media reported on 21 August 2010 that Kennedy was about to defect from the Liberal Democrats to Labour in protest against his party’s role in the coalition government’s public spending cuts, but the Liberal Democrats were swift to deny these reports.

Kennedy played a role in the cross-party Better Together campaign, which was the pro-union campaign for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. In March 2014, the Sunday Post reported that Kennedy had criticised Labour’s strategy in the referendum campaign and said that Better Together needed to consider its legacy.

Rector of University of Glasgow

In February 2008, Kennedy was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow and was officially installed, succeeding Mordechai Vanunu, on 10 April 2008. He won the election with a 46% share of the vote, supported by not only his own Glasgow University Union but also the Queen Margaret Union and Glasgow University Sports Association. He was re-elected in February 2011, defeating one other candidate, the writer A. L. Kennedy, by a clear margin. He served six years as rector until Edward Snowden was elected in February 2014.


Kennedy lost his seat at the 2015 United Kingdom general election to Ian Blackford of the Scottish National Party,  amid a nationwide loss of forty-nine seats for the Liberal Democrats.  Kennedy died on the evening of 1 June 2015 at his home in Fort William at the age of 55.  Kennedy’s death was announced in the early hours of the following day.  The police described his death as “sudden and non-suspicious”. Following a post-mortem, his family announced that Kennedy had died of a major haemorrhage linked to his alcoholism.

A funeral mass was held on 12 June at his parish church, St John’s Roman Catholic Church, in Caol near Fort William, and his body was buried at his family’s cemetery at Clunes. A service of thanksgiving was held at the University of Glasgow on 18 June and it was announced that the university would be fund-raising to name a teaching area in memory of him. A memorial service was held in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, London, on 3 November.

Personal life

In July 2002, Kennedy married Sarah Gurling, the sister of his friend James Gurling. They had a son, Donald, who was born in 2005. On 9 August 2010, it was announced that Kennedy and his wife were to separate, and their divorce was granted on 9 December 2010.

In July 2007, Kennedy was informally spoken to by the British Transport Police after he breached the English smoking ban on a train a few days after it came into force.

Kennedy’s father Ian, to whom he was close, died in April 2015; just two months before his son’s death. He had been a brewery worker but a lifelong teetotaller. Kennedy had chosen a recording of his father’s fiddle playing when he appeared on Desert Island Discs.

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Infamous Scots. James Morrison.

James Morrison (1760–1807) was a British seaman and mutineer who took part in the Mutiny on the Bounty.

Early career

James Morrison was a native of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland where his father was a merchant and land entrepreneur. He joined the navy at 18, serving as clerk in the Suffolk, midshipman in the Termagant, and acting gunner in the Hind. In 1783, he passed his master gunner’s examination.

The Bounty

James Morrison was the boatswain’s mate on board the Bounty. The master gunner’s position having been filled two days prior to his application, he may have taken the lesser post because of his eagerness to go along on the ‘scientific expedition.’

After the mutiny, Morrison was one of 16 mutineers who returned to Tahiti after the failed attempt to build a colony on Tubuai, while Fletcher Christian and 8 others sailed the Bounty on to Pitcairn Island.

Along with the others who then lived as ‘beachcombers’ in Tahiti, he was captured here by Captain Edward Edwards of HMS Pandora on 29 March 1791, and brought back to England for court martial.

While on Tahiti, he led an eight-month effort to build a schooner from local timber with which he secretly hoped to get to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies and from there return to England. He kept this to himself until the project was nearing completion, when he took a few others into his confidence. The schooner completed and christened Resolution, they spent many days boiling seawater to get salt sufficient to cure hundreds of pounds of pork for which they in turn had to build casks. They departed from Tahiti the day before the Pandora dropped anchor in Matavai Bay; but in the end the voyage was given up as impracticable owing to their lack of navigation instruments, problems with the schooner’s rigging and their inability to carry sufficient water. Captain Edward Edwards confiscated the schooner, ordered her re-rigged with canvas and rope from Pandora’s stores and renamed her MatavaiPandora departed with the mutineers locked up in “Pandora’s Box”, and the schooner, manned by some of the Pandoras, was taken along as a tender. Six weeks later Pandora and Matavai became separated, and after waiting for her for several weeks at the agreed rendez-vous Anamooka, Edwards, giving her and her crew up for lost, sailed on. The Pandora was later wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef, and the surviving crew and prisoners, 99 men in all, had to use the ship’s boats to continue on. When they reached Samarang, Java, the Matavai and her crew were there. Having arrived in Surabaya five weeks earlier, they were making their way to Batavia (Jakarta) under a military escort, the Dutch governor suspecting them of being pirates from the Bounty. Pleased to see their ‘lost’ shipmates again, they had a happy reunion. The schooner was eventually sold to a local merchant in Batavia.


At the court-martial judgment, delivered on 18 September 1792, Morrison was sentenced to be hanged. However the court recommended mercy to the King, and, perhaps aided by a letter testifying to his good character from Captain Stirling of the Termagant, he and Peter Heywood were pardoned on 26 October 1792. While incarcerated, Morrison wrote an account describing the Bounty’s journey and the island and customs of Tahiti. He was very critical of Bligh’s behavior toward his officers. He was even more critical of the officers at the time of the mutiny, writing “The behaviour of the Officers on this Occasion was dastardly beyond description none of them ever making the least attempt to rescue the ship…”

Following his pardon, Morrison returned to naval service. He reached the rank of master gunner, and saw action in the Mediterranean. After serving as a gunnery instructor in Plymouth, he joined Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge in his flagship HMS Blenheim, in which he had served as a young gunner’s mate before his Bounty experience. Blenheim sank sometime in February 1807 in a tropical cyclone off Madagascar with the loss of all on board.

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Infamous Scots. William Beggs.

Warning. contains some sensitive information.

A.K.A.: “Limbs-in-loch murderer”

Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape – Dismemberment
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1987 / 1999
Date of arrest: December 28, 1999 (in Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Date of birth: 1961
Victims profile: Barry Oldham, 28 / Barry Wallace, 18
Method of murder: Slashing their throats
Location: Kilmarnock, Avrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in 1987. Conviction overturned on appeal. Released in 1994. Sentenced to life in prison on October 12, 2001

about Beggs.

Life for limbs-in-loch murderer

October 12, 2001

Police have described a man jailed for life for murdering a teenager and then dismembering his body as a “serial killer in the making”.

William Beggs was convicted – at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday – of murdering 18-year-old Barry Wallace after a Christmas night out in 1999.

Beggs, 38 and originally from Northern Ireland, picked up the teenager in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, took him back to his flat, also in Kilmarnock, and sexually assaulted him.

Barry Wallace, who worked in a supermarket, was then murdered by Beggs who dismembered his body, leaving the parts in Loch Lomond and throwing his head into the sea off Troon.

After the High Court jury delivered their majority verdict it was revealed Beggs was once cleared of a similar murder by appeal court judges on a technicality.

Beggs was jailed in 1987 at Teeside Crown Court for murdering a barman he met in a gay nightclub by slashing his throat, only to have the conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The Edinburgh court, on Friday, also learned that at the same trial, Beggs was convicted of two charges of wounding and sentenced to four months for each.

He was also jailed for six years in 1991 for slashing the leg of a man who escaped by jumping through a glass window.

Trial judge Lord Osborne said: “Having regard to the circumstances of the case, in particular the seriousness of the appalling offences involved and having regard to your previous convictions, the part of your sentence which must be specified is 20 years.”

Beggs was also placed on the sex offenders’ register after the jury ruled that he had sexually assaulted Mr Wallace after handcuffing him by the arms and legs.

Prior to sentencing advocate depute Alan Turnbull QC described the slashing incident at Beggs’ flat – the same flat Barry Wallace was murdered in.

He said: “He (Beggs) assaulted a young man, repeatedly cut him on the leg with a knife, caused him fear and alarm such as to cause him to jump through a glass window of the first floor at the house.”

Mr Turnbull also said that Beggs’ went through an extradition process after he fled to Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He eventually appeared in a Scottish court on 10 January 2001.

At the 1987 trial, Beggs insisted the killing of Barry Oldham was self-defence.

The Crown applied to try him on a number of wounding charges involving other men alongside the murder charge.

The judge at his trial, at Teesside Crown Court in December 1987, allowed the application – but the Court of Appeal said he was wrong to have done so.

At the appeal hearing in June 1989, the judges said: “The prejudicial effect of these facts (on the charge of murder) must have been enormous.”

However the man who led that inquiry had no doubt Beggs would strike again.

Retired detective chief superintendent Tony Fitzgerald, the former head of North Yorkshire CID, said: “When we caught Beggs all those years ago, we seriously thought we had caught a serial killer in the making.

“We thought we were lucky because we had managed to catch him after his first killing.”

He was shocked when the conviction was overturned.

Mr Fitzgerald said: “When his conviction was overturned on appeal, I remember I was quite aghast at what had happened in the light of what we knew about this man.”

Outside the courtroom today, friends and colleagues of Mr Wallace, who had worked at the Tesco supermarket in Kilmarnock, sobbed and hugged each other.

His parents, Ian, 51, Christine, 50, and brother Colin, 23, remained composed as the verdict was returned and throughout the sentencing.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay QC said Beggs, who showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down, was “not unmoved or unaffected” by the events that led to his murder conviction.

He said: “It should not be thought that Mr Beggs is unmoved or unaffected by the events that occurred in December 1999, but to convey that, either to the court or indeed to anyone else, places one in the danger of saying something that may seem to be trite.”

Mr Findlay added that Beggs’ conviction for wounding Mr McQuillan in 1991 was currently being considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Beggs’ catalogue of violent crime

BBC News

Friday, 12 October, 2001

The darker details of William Beggs’ past have been largely obscured by the macabre nature of the evidence which emerged during his trial for the murder of Kilmarnock teenager Barry Wallace.

When this is considered alongside other episodes in Beggs’ life over the past 12 years, a picture emerges of a violent man with a penchant for preying on young men.

In the late 80s and early 90s Beggs spent time in prison for one violent knife attack and a murder conviction which was later quashed on appeal.

Chillingly, the murder involved an attempt to dismember the body.

William Frederick Ian Beggs, 38, is originally from Moira, County Down, Northern Ireland.

The first indications of his violent disposition emerged in 1987 he was convicted of murdering Barry Oldham.

During the trial, the court was told that Beggs picked up the 28-year-old student in a Newcastle nightclub.

He was then said to have killed Mr Oldham in his flat after having sex.

In circumstances that would later be echoed in the tragic murder of Barry Wallace, Beggs was said to have tried to cut off Mr Oldham’s head and legs before dumping his body on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Beggs was given a life sentence for the murder but he served less than two years.

In 1989 his conviction was quashed after appeal judges criticised evidence led by the prosecution.

But he was back in prison two years later after being convicted of slashing a gay man at his flat.

Beggs was released early from his six-year sentence in 1994 for good behaviour and moved to Scotland some time later.

He worked as a computer consultant while studying for a PhD at Paisley University and undertook some tutoring work.

It was during this time that Beggs’ appetite for violence surfaced again.

Several men told police that they suffered terrifying ordeals during encounters with Beggs’ during the late 90s but he managed to avoid another conviction.

Beggs’ catalogue of violent sex-related crime finally came to an end on 12 October 2001 when he was convicted of murdering Barry Wallace.

The life sentence handed down by Lord Osborne means that he is unlikely to be free again unless any future appeals overturn the conviction.

Slashing victim ‘expected to die’

BBC News

Friday, 12 October, 2001

A man has told how he thought he was leaping to his death as he jumped naked from the window of limbs-in-the-loch murderer William Beggs’ flat.

The attack on Brian McQuillan took place a decade ago at Beggs’ home in Kilmarnock – the same flat where teenager Barry Wallace was murdered in 1999.

He was left with a number of slash wounds – and told BBC Scotland’s Frontline programme that he did not think he would get out alive.

Beggs – who was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday for the murder of Mr Wallace – was jailed for six years for the earlier attack.

Mr McQuillan said he woke up to find that he was being slashed by Beggs, who he had met at a gay nightclub in Glasgow.

“The pain that I felt was something that I had never experienced before,” he recalled.

Mr McQuillan said that he leapt from the bed and grabbed Beggs by the wrists.

“He (Beggs) was completely calm. He was a completely different person from when I met him earlier,” he said.

“His eyes were vacant. There was nothing there.

“All he kept saying was, ‘Come back to bed. Everything will be okay. Things will be over soon. You have made me do this’.

“At that point I knew there was no way that I was getting out of there alive.”

He said that when he jumped through the window he thought he was jumping to his death.

“I never expected that I would survive it,” he added.

“It was not a concern to me, it was almost an acceptance, this is the end but at least if I go this way then people will know and this man will be caught.”

Beggs was convicted on Friday of murdering Mr Wallace after sexually assaulting him at his flat.

Beggs then dismembered his body, leaving the parts in Loch Lomond and throwing his head into the sea off Troon.

After the verdict it was revealed that Beggs had been cleared of murder by the appeal court on a technicality.

He was convicted in 1987 of murdering barman Barry Oldham, 28, slashing his throat and mutilating his body.

However, he was freed by appeal court judges who ruled that the trial judge had allowed the jury to hear evidence which should not have been put to it.

Directed jury

The original trial judge, Sir Christopher Staughton, told Frontline that he felt the Court of Appeal was wrong to overturn his conviction.

“I would say that the way I directed the jury was right.

“The Court of Appeal thought it was wrong and of course what they say goes, but I think if one looks at the law as it now is since the House of Lords decision, it is possible that I was right after all.

“Killing is always deplorable and if people are let out and turn out afterwards to have killed again then it is doubly deplorable,” he said.

A woman also told the BBC how Beggs had threatened to kill her after Mr Oldham’s death.

Former friend Carole Smith said that Beggs had told her that he was suspected of murdering the barman.

“I just looked at him and said ‘Did you?’ It was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever said.

“He said ‘Yes, and you’re next’,” she recalled.

Beggs trial: Timeline

BBC News

Friday, 12 October, 2001

William Beggs has been sentenced to life in prison at the High Court in Edinburgh for the murder of Kilmarnock teenager Barry Wallace in December 1999.

BBC News Online Scotland traces the two-year route to trial and conviction.

5 December 1999: Barry Wallace fails to return home after a works night out in Kilmarnock.

6 December 1999: Police divers on a training course find human limbs in Loch Lomond, north of Glasgow. A full scale search recovers more body parts in the days ahead.

15 December 1999: A human head is found on Barassie Beach, near Troon, by a woman walking her dog.

21 December 1999: Police are granted a warrant for the arrest of William Beggs.

23 December 1999 In a rare legal move the Crown Office allows Strathclyde Police to issue a picture of William Beggs.

28 December 1999: William Beggs is arrested in the Netherlands after he walks into an Amsterdam Police station with a lawyer.

30 December 1999: A Dutch lawyer representing William Beggs says his client will fight extradition proceedings from the Netherlands to Scotland.

9 January 2000: Police divers recover more body parts, belonging to Barry Wallace, from Loch Lomond.

14 January 2000: The Crown Office confirms that it has made a formal request to the Dutch authorities for the extradition of William Beggs.

29 February 2000: Barry Wallace is laid to rest at Grasards Cemetery in Kilmarnock – 87 days after he was last seen alive.

28 March 2000: William Beggs’ extradition hearing opens in Amsterdam District Court of Justice.

11 April 2000: The Dutch court grants the extradition of William Beggs to Scotland.

25 April 2000: Dutch lawyers acting for William Beggs lodge an appeal, to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, against his extradition.

26 September 2000: The Dutch Supreme Court rules that Beggs should be extradited but the decision is referred to the country’s justice minister.

15 November 2000: Dutch Justice Minister Benk Korthals upholds the decision to extradite Beggs to Scotland.

22 November 2000: Beggs’ legal team launch a last ditch challenge to the extradition order in the Dutch Civil Courts. They argue that media coverage in Scotland has jeopardised his chance of a fair trial.

5 January 2001: The Dutch Court of Justice in the Hague rules that Beggs must be extradited to Scotland to face trial for the murder of Barry Wallace.

9 January 2001: Beggs is extradited to Scotland. He arrives at Edinburgh Airport under police escort.

11 January 2001: Beggs appears in private at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court. He makes no plea or declaration.

18 September 2001: Beggs goes on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh for the murder of Barry Wallace.

12 October 2001: Beggs is convicted of handcuffing, injuring, sexually assaulting and murdering Barry Wallace before dismembering his body.

Gay Serial Killer Denied Bid For Freedom

April 6, 2006

(London) A 42 year old man appealing his conviction for the killing and dismemberment of a gay Scottish teen has been denied release while the appeal is being heard.

William Beggs was sentenced to serve at least 20 years in prison for the killing of Barry Wallace. His lawyers have cited nine grounds for appeal, including sensational news coverage of the murder that the attorney’s say tainted the trial.

But at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Lord Eassie refused to release Beggs on bail.

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My Poetry. What will be!

When man is hungry, he forages for food
searching until he becomes sustained
when an animal fears for his life by day
he will cower until he is strained.
When the sun omits heat every day
eventually it will go down and there will be cool
when a clown performs a show to make us laugh
he won’t be happy until he acts like a fool.
When the water dries up in a natural lake
it may rain, to be filled up again
when a mother gives birth to a new born child
until he is safe, she will always remain.
When a bird sings sweetly on a leafless tree
we know the leaves will bud in spring
when the moon shines bright in the hue-built sky
the wolves will howl and sing.
When Earth is put under tremendous strain
Mother nature will take her course
as the ozone layer burns away in time
other fuels we must burn at source.
When animals are threatened in their natural habitat
we must try to save them from man
when humankind is loveless uncaring or evil
show love towards them if you can.
When someone is drowning, we try to save them
it’s all we can do to be kind
so remember when your neighbour is cold and hungry
spare some food, or all you can find.
There are still some people whom we can depend
in a World so selfish and cruel
people who love their fellow man
are humane and will always be cool.
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Infamous Scots Robert Stewart.

Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany lived from 1340 to 3 September 1420. He was an illegitimate son of the future King Robert II of Scotland and of Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, but became legitimated in 1349 upon his parents’ marriage. Robert, who also at different times carried the titles of Earl of Mentieth, Earl of Fife, Earl of Buchan and Earl of Atholl, is one of the darkest figures in Scottish history (a close rival for the title of the darkest being his younger brother Alexander, the Wolf of Badenoch). He was a man whose cunning and ruthlessness enabled him to wield great power during the reign of three Scottish kings; who murdered his nephew, the rightful heir to the throne; and who very nearly subverted the succession in favour of his own son. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.

Robert Stewart was the third son of Robert II, who acceded to the throne on 22 February 1371. His eldest brother, and heir to the throne, was John, Earl of Carrick. In November 1384, Robert II – by now ill – was sidelined (in effect, deposed) in favour of John, Earl of Carrick, who became Guardian of the Kingdom. However, John was seriously injured by being kicked by a horse in 1388, something he never recovered from. Robert II took advantage of John’s injury to appoint the younger Robert Stewart as Guardian of the Kingdom in place of John.

On 19 April 1390, Robert II died and was succeeded by John, Earl of Carrick. Because of the bad press associated with the only King John that Scotland had ever had, John Balliol, becoming “John II” was thought politically undesirable, so the Earl of Carrick became Robert III of Scotland instead. This is unlikely to have endeared him to his younger brother Robert Stewart, who had probably seen himself succeeding to the crown with that title.

It is unlikely that Robert Stewart ever really released the reigns of power to his older brother Robert III, and for part of his early reign still retained the title Guardian of Scotland. By 1398 Robert III’s health was restricting him so much that the Scottish Parliament appointed his oldest son, David Stewart, 1st Duke of Rothesay to be Lieutenant of the Kingdom and rule in his father’s place: at the same time they made Robert, until then usually referred to as Earl of Fife, the Duke of Albany.

David provoked an English invasion by an ill-judged and arguably bigamous marriage, then failed to prevent the English capturing Edinburgh before they retired. He then went on to make a number of other decisions that made him increasingly unpopular. Robert took advantage by arranging for David to be arrested and imprisoned in St Andrews Castle, before moving him to Falkland Palace. David died during his captivity at Falkland Palace, aged just 24, in March 1402. The General council of Scotland, largely under the control of Robert, concluded that David had died “by divine providence and not otherwise”. The truth seems to be that David was starved to death at the command of his uncle.

Robert III, now largely sidelined in his own kingdom by Robert, Duke of Albany, sought to protect his remaining son James Stewart by rallying support for him, making him Earl of Carrick, and making Stewart lands in the south west of Scotland into a separate principality for him. In early 1406 James’ supporters were beaten in battle by the forces of Robert, Duke of Albany near Edinburgh. James went into hiding, first at Dirleton Castle in East Lothian, then on Bass Rock. He was eventually rescued by a merchant ship from Danzig. However, this was intercepted by pirates off Flamborough Head and James was captured, before being handed over to Henry IV of England. On hearing the news Robert III died on 4 April 1406. Accounts differ about whether Robert, Duke of Albany had any hand in the capture of James Stewart, who became James I on the death of his father.

With James I a captive of the English, the Scottish Parliament appointed Robert, Duke of Albany, as Governor and Regent of Scotland. Amongst his duties was negotiating with the English for the return to Scotland of James I to take control of the country Robert was happily running himself. Unsurprisingly, progress was very slow indeed, leaving Robert a free hand to rule as if he were king: and James in English captivity.

And it has to be said that when set alongside the more legitimate occupants of the throne of Scotland across the centuries, Robert, Duke of Albany did a pretty good job of running the country. His most enduring architectural relic is at Doune Castle, while the most significant event during his rule was the Battle of Harlaw on 24 July 1411 near Inverurie. This was possibly the most bloody battle ever fought in northern Scotland, and was a fight for the Earldom of Ross (and effective control of the Highlands) between Alexander, Earl of Mar, and Donald, 2nd Lord of the Isles.

The battle was inconclusive, allowing Robert, Duke of Albany to step in and take control of the Earldom of Ross. Robert continued in power until his death in 1420, at the age of 80, and after effectively ruling Scotland for 32 years. He was succeeded as Governor of Scotland by his son Murdoch, 2nd Duke of Albany. All that Murdoch really inherited, however, was the wrath of James I who had Murdoch executed as one of his first acts when he eventually returned to take up his long-delayed reign in Scotland.

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Scottish Battles. Halidon Hill. 1333.

In the fragile relationship that existed between England and Scotland in the early 14th century, the young King Edward III of England had recognised Edward Balliol’s claim to the Scottish throne in preference to that of the 5-year-old King David II. And so, in the spring of 1333 King Edward and Balliol headed north with an 8,000 strong army to lay siege to the Scottish held town of Berwick.

On the 19th July a Scottish force of around 15,000 men under the Regent, Sir Archibald Douglas arrived in an attempt to break the siege and relieve the town.

Just after midday the Scots advanced across boggy ground to meet the English, who were positioned on Halidon Hill, a few miles north of Berwick.

The Scots had barely reached the foot of the hill when they were greeted by cloud after cloud of arrows released by the English archers.

The tightly packed advancing Scottish ranks were decimated: even so, fierce fighting continued throughout the day. In particular, the Earl of Ross and his Highlanders fought bravely to the death in a gallant rearguard action.

English losses were light; the Scots though had fallen in their thousands, including the Guardian and several other nobles.

The 20-year-old English King Edward III had survived his first battle and had learned a valuable lesson in tactics which he would put to great effect again against the French at Crécy and Poitiers.

Key Facts:

Date: 19th July, 1333

War: Second War of Scottish Independence

Location: Near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Belligerents: Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Scotland

Victors: Kingdom of England

Numbers: England around 8,000, Scotland around 15,000

Casualties: England negligible, Scotland high although numbers uncertain.

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Blog/Web Promotions. Shaunak Hub.

his photographs are amazing, kinda cheers you up each day you visit and see his lovely snaps. Today I would like to introduce you to Shaunaks Hub.

Here is a sample of his work, please pay him a visit and show him some support.


This is Shaunak Basu. I am an ordinary citizen of India. Born in a small town of Uttar Pradesh, got my education in a town called Barddhaman in West Bengal and has spent most of my life in Kolkata, India.
Here I publish my thoughts on different topics that concern me or touch me in various ways. I also share my different experiences.



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Scottish Battles. Alnwick.

The Battle of Alnwick is one of two battles fought near the town of Alnwick in Northumberland, England. In the battle, which occurred on 13 November 1093, Malcolm III of Scotland, later known as Malcolm Canmore, was killed together with his son Edward by an army of knights led by Robert de Mowbray.


At the time that William II of England, known as William Rufus, came to power, the control of northern Northumbria was still an open question. William set about rectifying this by appointing strong barons who would control the border and prevent Scottish incursions. It appears that Malcolm Canmore had ambitions regarding both Cumbria and Northumbria, and in May 1091 he invaded Northumbria and besieged Durham. William Rufus was forced to lead a large army north to meet this threat. He advanced into Scotland with Malcolm retreating in front of his army. Eventually a truce was negotiated and William withdrew.

The following year William strengthened his position in Cumbria to prevent the possibility of a Scottish invasion there.

The events leading up to the next invasion are unclear, but in November 1093, Malcolm led an army into Northumbria and began to besiege Alnwick.

The battle

‘Malcolm’s Cross’ is said to mark the spot where Malcolm III of Scotland was killed while attacking Alnwick Castle in 1093.

At that time Robert de Mowbray was Earl of Northumbria, having been pardoned following his part in the Rebellion of 1088 against William II. He was also governor of Bamburgh Castle, a stronghold on the Northumbrian coast. Mowbray did not have a sufficient force at his command to oppose the Scottish army in open battle. However he set out to try to relieve Alnwick. He arrived there with his forces on 13 November (known as St Brice’s Day) and catching the Scottish army by surprise, the English knights attacked them before the ramparts of Alnwick.

Both Malcolm Canmore and his son Edward were killed in the fighting. The spring near which they died subsequently became known as “Malcolm’s Spring” or “Malcolm’s Well”. With Malcolm’s death the Scottish army found itself leaderless, and so headed back to Scotland. The body of Malcolm and his son were interred at Tynemouth Priory. There is uncertainty as to whether Malcolm’s body was re-interred in Dunfermline Abbey.

The aftermath.

Malcolm’s death was soon followed by that of his queen, Margaret. The death of Malcolm and his heir meant that there was a dispute over the succession between Malcolm’s surviving sons and his younger brother Donald Bane. Donald became king but a civil war began with Malcolm’s sons trying to displace him. The lack of a strong, undisputed king in Scotland suited William Rufus well.

Robert de Mowbray, who defeated Malcolm, subsequently joined a baronial conspiracy against William Rufus in 1095, and, as a result, was dispossessed and imprisoned for life.

A rough stone memorial was placed to mark the place of the battle, north of Alnwick. This was replaced in 1774 by a more sophisticated one, Malcolm’s Cross, erected by the Duchess of Northumberland.

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Scottish Architecture. The Lighthouse.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a young draughtsman in the architectural practise of Honeyman and Keppie when he designed the Mitchell Street building, which now houses The Lighthouse. The Herald Building was Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first public commission.

The building, designed in 1895, was a warehouse at the back of the printing office of the Glasgow Herald. Mackintosh designed the tower – a prominent feature of the building – to contain an 8,000-gallon water tank. It was to protect the building and all its contents from the risk of fire.

The former Glasgow Herald building was renovated and launched as The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, a project suggested by the 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design bid committee. It took its new role after 15 years of silence, having stood unused since the Herald moved to new offices in the early eighties.

Glasgow firm Page & Park Architects were the principal consultancy responsible for the conversion and extension of the former Glasgow Herald building in Mitchell Street to accommodate a new centre for architecture and design.

The Lighthouse remains a successful visitor attraction and venue attracting people from all over the world. In 2012, The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture continues to re-emerge as a Design Centre and hub for the creative industries in Scotland.

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Famous Scots Tom Weir.

Tom Weir was born in Glasgow in 1914. He served in the Royal Artillery during World War 2, followed by work for the Ordnance Survey. Tom’s love of Scotland – in particular, its outdoors, led to a career as a climber, writer, photographer and broadcaster.

Weir’s Way began in 1976 on Scottish Television (now stv) and Tom travelled the country meeting the Scottish people and exploring the landscape and natural history of Scotland. In 1978, Tom won the Scottish Television Personality of the Year Award for his work on the Weir’s Way series. Tom was also a keen environmentalist, which can be seen throughout his programmes.

Tom Weir lived to the age of 91 and is buried in Kilmaronock Parish Church graveyard, West Dunbartonshire.

A special interview with one of Scotland’s leading TV personalities, Tom Weir, to celebrate 10 years of Weir’s Way and his 70th birthday. Now a leading author, President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, he has an MBE and was Scottish TV Personality of the year 1978. This intimate interview reveals the real Weir and what brought a wee boy from the Springburn tenements to have such a passion for the mountains and beautiful scenery of Scotland.

With over 50 years of travel around Scotland, Weir shows us some of his favourite parts of the country looking at their best. These selections take us from the North East to South East as he guides us through the beautiful landscapes rich in history and culture and talks to the local people about how these areas have changed. Starting in the stunning Glen Affric, moving to Moidart, the Ballochbuie forest, the island of Mingulay and Loch Tayside amongst others.

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Scottish Bands- Music. Donovan.

Donovan Phillips Leitch (born 10 May 1946) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist. He developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelic rock, and world music (notably calypso). He has lived in Scotland, Hertfordshire (England), London, California, and since at least 2008 in County Cork, Ireland, with his family. Emerging from the British folk scene, Donovan reached fame in the United Kingdom in early 1965 with live performances on the pop TV series Ready Steady Go!.


Having signed with Pye Records in 1965, he recorded singles and two albums in the folk vein for Hickory Records (US company), after which he signed to CBS/Epic Records in the US – the first signing by the company’s new vice-president Clive Davis – and became more successful internationally. He began a long and successful collaboration with leading British independent record producer Mickie Most, scoring multiple hit singles and albums in the UK, US, and other countries.

His most successful singles were the early UK hits “Catch the Wind”, “Colours” and “Universal Soldier” in 1965, the last written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. In September 1966 “Sunshine Superman” topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week and went to number two in Britain, followed by “Mellow Yellow” at US No. 2 in December 1966, then 1968’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in the Top 5 in both countries, then “Atlantis”, which reached US No. 7 in May 1969.

He became a friend of pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones and the Beatles. He taught John Lennon a finger-picking guitar style in 1968 that Lennon employed in “Dear Prudence”, “Julia”, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and other songs. Donovan’s commercial fortunes waned after parting with Most in 1969, and he left the industry for a time.

Early life

Donovan was born on 10 May 1946, in Maryhill, Glasgow, to Donald and Winifred (née Phillips) Leitch. His grandmothers were Irish. He contracted polio as a child. The disease and treatment left him with a limp. His family moved to the new town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. Influenced by his family’s love of folk music, he began playing the guitar at 14. He enrolled in art school but soon dropped out, to live out his beatnik aspirations by going on the road.

Donovan continued to perform and record sporadically in the 1970s and 1980s. His musical style and hippie image were scorned by critics, especially after punk rock. His performing and recording became sporadic until a revival in the 1990s with the emergence of Britain’s rave scene. He recorded the 1996 album Sutras with producer Rick Rubin and in 2004 made a new album, Beat Cafe. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014.

Music career
1964–65: Rise to fame

Donovan (1965)

Returning to Hatfield, Donovan spent several months playing in local clubs, absorbing the folk scene around his home in St Albans, learning the crosspicking guitar technique from local players such as Mac MacLeod and Mick Softley and writing his first songs. In 1964, he travelled to Manchester with Gypsy Dave, then spent the summer in Torquay, Devon. In Torquay he stayed with Mac MacLeod and took up busking, studying the guitar, and learning traditional folk and blues.

In late 1964, Donovan was offered a management and publishing contract by Peter Eden and Geoff Stephens of Pye Records in London, for which he recorded a 10-track demo tape (later released on iTunes), which included the original of his first single, “Catch the Wind”, and “Josie”. The first song revealed the influence of Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who had also influenced Bob Dylan. Dylan comparisons followed for some time. In an interview with KFOK radio in the US on 14 June 2005, MacLeod said: “The press were fond of calling Donovan a Dylan clone as they had both been influenced by the same sources: Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Jesse Fuller, Woody Guthrie, and many more.”

While recording the demo, Donovan befriended Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, who was recording nearby. He had recently met Jones’ ex-girlfriend, Linda Lawrence, who is the mother of Jones’ son, Julian Brian (Jones) Leitch. The on-off romantic relationship that developed over five years was a force in Donovan’s career. She influenced Donovan’s music but refused to marry him and she moved to the United States for several years in the late 1960s. They met by chance in 1970 and married soon after. Donovan had other relationships – one of which resulted in the birth of his first two children, Donovan Leitch and Ione Skye, both of whom became actors.

Donovan and Dylan.

During Bob Dylan’s trip to the UK in the spring of 1965, the British music press were making comparisons of the two singer-songwriters and going so far as to stir up allegations of a rivalry, and other luminaries of the pop scene were chiming in. The Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones said,

We’ve been watching Donovan too. He isn’t too bad a singer but his stuff sounds like Dylan’s. His ‘Catch The Wind’ sounds like ‘Chimes of Freedom’. He’s got a song, ‘Hey Tangerine Eyes’ and it sounds like Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’.

Donovan is the undercurrent In D. A. Pennebaker’s film Dont Look Back documenting Dylan’s tour. Near the start of the film, Dylan opens a newspaper and exclaims, “Donovan? Who is this Donovan?” and his associates spur the rivalry on by telling Dylan that Donovan is a better guitar player, but that he had only been around for three months. Throughout the film Donovan’s name is seen next to Dylan’s on newspaper headlines and on posters in the background, and Dylan and his friends refer to him consistently.

Donovan finally appears in the second half of the film, along with Derroll Adams, in Dylan’s suite at the Savoy Hotel despite Donovan’s management refusing to allow journalists to be present, saying they did not want “any stunt on the lines of the disciple meeting the messiah”. According to Pennebaker, Dylan told him not to film the encounter, and Donovan played a song that sounded just like “Mr. Tambourine Man” but with different words. When confronted with lifting his tune, Donovan said that he thought it was an old folk song. Once the camera rolled, Donovan plays his song, “To Sing For You”, and then asks Dylan to play “Baby Blue”. Dylan later told Melody Maker: “He played some songs to me. … I like him. … He’s a nice guy.” Melody Maker noted that Dylan had mentioned Donovan in his song “Talking World War Three Blues” and that the crowd had jeered, to which Dylan had responded backstage: “I didn’t mean to put the guy down in my songs. I just did it for a joke, that’s all.”

In an interview for the BBC in 2001 to mark Dylan’s 60th birthday, Donovan acknowledged Dylan as an influence early in his career while distancing himself from “Dylan clone” allegations:

The one who really taught us to play and learn all the traditional songs was Martin Carthy – who incidentally was contacted by Dylan when Bob first came to the UK. Bob was influenced, as all American folk artists are, by the Celtic music of Ireland, Scotland and England. But in 1962 we folk Brits were also being influenced by some folk Blues and the American folk-exponents of our Celtic Heritage … Dylan appeared after Woody [Guthrie], Pete [Seeger] and Joanie [Baez] had conquered our hearts, and he sounded like a cowboy at first but I knew where he got his stuff – it was Woody at first, then it was Jack Kerouac and the stream-of-consciousness poetry which moved him along. But when I heard ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ it was the clarion call to the new generation – and we artists were encouraged to be as brave in writing our thoughts in music … We were not captured by his influence, we were encouraged to mimic him – and remember every British band from the Stones to the Beatles were copying note for note, lick for lick, all the American pop and blues artists – this is the way young artists learn. There’s no shame in mimicking a hero or two – it flexes the creative muscles and tones the quality of our composition and technique. It was not only Dylan who influenced us – for me he was a spearhead into protest, and we all had a go at his style. I sounded like him for five minutes – others made a career of his sound. Like troubadours, Bob and I can write about any facet of the human condition. To be compared was natural, but I am not a copyist.

Collaboration with Mickie Most.

In late 1965, Donovan split with his original management and signed with Ashley Kozak, who was working for Brian Epstein’s NEMS Enterprises. Kozak introduced Donovan to American businessman Allen Klein (later manager of the Rolling Stones and in their final waning months, the Beatles). Klein in turn introduced Donovan to producer Mickie Most, who had chart-topping productions with the Animals, Lulu, and Herman’s Hermits. Most produced all Donovan’s recordings during this period, although Donovan said in his autobiography that some recordings were self-produced, with little input from Most. Their collaboration produced successful singles and albums, recorded with London session players including Big Jim Sullivan, Jack Bruce, Danny Thompson, and future Led Zeppelin members John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page.

Many of Donovan’s late 1960s recordings featured musicians including his key musical collaborator John Cameron on piano, Danny Thompson (from Pentangle) or Spike Heatley on upright bass, Tony Carr on drums and congas and Harold McNair on saxophone and flute. Carr’s conga style and McNair’s flute playing are a feature of many recordings. Cameron, McNair and Carr also accompanied Donovan on several concert tours and can be heard on his 1968 live album Donovan in Concert.

Sunshine Superman

By 1966, Donovan had shed the Dylan/Guthrie influences and become one of the first British pop musicians to adopt flower power. He immersed himself in jazz, blues, Eastern music, and the new generation of counterculture-era US West Coast bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. He was entering his most creative phase as a songwriter and recording artist, working with Mickie Most and with arranger, musician, and jazz fan John Cameron. Their first collaboration was “Sunshine Superman”, one of the first psychedelic pop records.

Donovan’s rise stalled in December 1965 when Billboard broke news of the impending production deal between Klein, Most, and Donovan, and then reported that Donovan was to sign with Epic Records in the US. Despite Kozak’s denials, Pye Records dropped the single and a contract dispute ensued, because Pye had a US licensing arrangement with Warner Bros. Records. As a result, the UK release of the Sunshine Superman LP was delayed for months, robbing it of the impact it would have had. Another outcome was that the UK and US versions of this and later albums differed – three of his Epic LPs were not released in the UK, and Sunshine Superman was issued in a different form in each country. Several tracks on his late 1960s Epic (US) LPs were not released in the UK for many years. The legal dispute continued into early 1966. During the hiatus, Donovan holidayed in Greece, where he wrote “Writer in the Sun”, inspired by rumours that his recording career was over. He toured the US and appeared on episode 23 of Pete Seeger’s television show Rainbow Quest in 1966 with Shawn Phillips and Rev. Gary Davis. After his return to London, he developed his friendship with Paul McCartney and contributed the line “sky of blue and sea of green” to “Yellow Submarine”.

By spring 1966, the American contract problems had been resolved, and Donovan signed a $100,000 deal with Epic Records. Donovan and Most went to CBS Studios in Los Angeles, where they recorded tracks for an LP, much composed during the preceding year. Although folk elements were prominent, the album showed increasing influence of jazz, American west coast psychedelia and folk rock – especially the Byrds. The LP sessions were completed in May, and “Sunshine Superman” was released in the US as a single in June. It was a success, selling 800,000 in six weeks and reaching No. 1. It went on to sell over one million, and was awarded a gold disc. The LP followed in August, preceded by orders of 250,000 copies, reached No. 11 on the US album chart and sold over half a million.

The US version of the Sunshine Superman album is in chamber-style folk-jazz arrangements, and features instruments including acoustic bass, sitar, saxophone, tablas and congas, harpsichord, strings and oboe. Highlights include the swinging “The Fat Angel”, which Donovan’s book confirms was written for Cass Elliot of the Mamas & the Papas. The song is notable for naming the Jefferson Airplane before they became known internationally and before Grace Slick joined. Other tracks include “Bert’s Blues” (a tribute to Bert Jansch), “Guinevere”, and “Legend of a Girl Child Linda”, a track featuring voice, acoustic guitar and a small orchestra for over six minutes.

The album also features the sitar, which was played by American folk-rock singer Shawn Phillips. Donovan met Phillips in London in 1965, and he became a friend and early collaborator, playing acoustic guitar and sitar on recordings including Sunshine Superman as well as accompanying Donovan at concerts and on Pete Seeger’s TV show. Creatively, Phillips served as a silent partner in the gestation of many of Donovan’s songs from the era, with the singer later acknowledging that Phillips primarily composed “Season of the Witch”. Several songs including the title track had a harder edge. The driving, jazzy “The Trip”, named after a Los Angeles club name, chronicled an LSD trip during his time in L.A. and is loaded with references to his sojourn on the West Coast, and names Dylan and Baez. The third “heavy” song was “Season of the Witch”.[citation needed] Recorded with American and British session players, it features Donovan’s first recorded performance on electric guitar. The song was covered by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity on their first LP in 1967, and Al Kooper and Stephen Stills recorded an 11-minute version on the 1968 album, Super Session. Donovan’s version is also in the closing sequence of the Gus Van Sant film, To Die For.

Because of earlier contractual problems, the UK version of Sunshine Superman LP was not released for another nine months. This was a compilation of tracks from the US albums Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow. Donovan did not choose the tracks.

Mellow Yellow

Royal Albert Hall

On 24 October 1966, Epic released the single “Mellow Yellow”, arranged by John Paul Jones and purportedly featuring Paul McCartney on backing vocals, but not in the chorus. In his autobiography Donovan explained “electrical banana” was a reference to a “yellow-coloured vibrator”. The song became Donovan’s signature tune in the US and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Cash Box chart, and earned a gold record award for sales of more than one million in the US.

Through the first half of 1967, Donovan worked on a double-album studio project, which he produced. In January he gave a concert at the Royal Albert Hall accompanied by a ballerina who danced during a 12-minute performance of “Golden Apples”. On 14 January, New Musical Express reported he was to write incidental music for a National Theatre production of As You Like It, but this did not come to fruition. His version of “Under the Greenwood Tree” did appear on “A Gift from a Flower to a Garden”.

In March Epic released the Mellow Yellow LP (not released in the UK), which reached No. 14 in the US album charts, plus a non-album single, “Epistle to Dippy”, a Top 20 hit in the US. Written as an open letter to a school friend, the song had a pacifist message as well as psychedelic imagery. The real “Dippy” was in the British Army in Malaysia. According to Brian Hogg, who wrote the liner notes for the Donovan boxed set Troubadour, Dippy heard the song, contacted Donovan and left the army. On 9 February 1967, Donovan was among guests invited by the Beatles to Abbey Road Studios for the orchestral overdub for “A Day in the Life”, the finale to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.


In mid-1966, Donovan became the first high-profile British pop star to be arrested for possession of cannabis. Donovan’s drug use was mostly restricted to cannabis, with occasional use of LSD and mescaline.[citation needed] His LSD use is thought to be referenced indirectly in some of his lyrics. Public attention was drawn to his marijuana use by the TV documentary A Boy Called Donovan in early 1966, which showed the singer and friends smoking cannabis at a party thrown by the film crew. Donovan’s arrest proved to be the first in a long series involving the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In early 1967, Donovan was subject of an exposé in the News of the World.

According to Donovan, the article was based on an interview by an ex-girlfriend of his friend Gypsy Dave. The article was the first in a three-part series, Drugs & Pop Stars – Facts That Will Shock You. It was quickly shown some claims were false. A News of the World reporter claimed to have spent an evening with Mick Jagger, who allegedly discussed his drug use and offered drugs to companions. He had mistaken Brian Jones for Jagger, and Jagger sued the newspaper for libel. Among other supposed revelations were claims that Donovan and stars including members of the Who, Cream, Rolling Stones and the Moody Blues regularly smoked marijuana, used other drugs, and held parties where the recently banned hallucinogen LSD was used, specifically naming the Who’s Pete Townshend and Cream’s Ginger Baker.

It emerged later that the News of the World reporters were passing information to the police. In the late 1990s, The Guardian said News of the World reporters had alerted police to the party at Keith Richards’s home, which was raided on 12 February 1967. Although Donovan’s was not as sensational as the later arrests of Jagger and Richards, he was refused entry to the US until late 1967. He could not appear at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June that year.

1967–69: International success

In July 1967, Epic released “There Is a Mountain”, which just missed the US top ten and was later used as the basis for the Allman Brothers Band’s “Mountain Jam”. In September, Donovan toured the US, backed by a jazz group and accompanied by his father, who introduced the show. Later that month, Epic released Donovan’s fifth album, a set entitled, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, the first rock music box set and only the third pop-rock double album released. It was split into halves. The first, “Wear Your Love Like Heaven”, was for people of his generation who would one day be parents; the second, “For Little Ones”, was songs Donovan had written for coming generations. Worried it might be a poor seller, Epic boss Clive Davis also insisted the albums be split and sold separately in the US (the “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” album cover was photographed at Bodiam Castle), but his fears were unfounded – although it took time, the original boxed set sold steadily, eventually peaking at 19 in the US album chart and achieving gold record status in the US in early 1970.

The psychedelic and mystical overtones were unmistakable – the front cover featured an infra-red photograph by Karl Ferris showing Donovan in a robe holding flowers and peacock feathers, while the back photo showed him holding hands with Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The liner notes included an appeal for young people to give up drugs. His disavowal of drugs came after his time with the Maharishi in Rishikesh, a topic discussed in a two-part interview for the first two issues of Rolling Stone.

In late 1967 Donovan contributed two songs to the Ken Loach film Poor Cow. “Be Not Too Hard” was a musical setting of Christopher Logue’s poem September Song, and was later recorded by such artists as Joan Baez and Shusha Guppy. The title track, originally entitled “Poor Love”, was the B-side of his next single, “Jennifer Juniper”, which was inspired by Jenny Boyd, sister of George Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd and was another top 40 hit in the US. Donovan developed interest in eastern mysticism and claims to have interested the Beatles in transcendental meditation.

In early 1968 he was part of the group that traveled to the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh. The visit gained worldwide attention thanks to the presence of all four Beatles as well as Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love, as well as actress Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence (who inspired Lennon to write “Dear Prudence”). According to a 1968 Paul McCartney interview with Radio Luxembourg, it was during this time that Donovan taught Lennon and McCartney finger-picking guitar styles including the clawhammer, which he had learned from Mac MacLeod. Lennon used this technique on songs including “Dear Prudence”, “Julia”, “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and “Look at Me”, and McCartney with “Blackbird” and “Mother Nature’s Son”. Donovan’s next single, in May 1968, was the psychedelic “Hurdy Gurdy Man”. The liner notes from EMI’s reissues say the song was intended for Mac MacLeod, who had a heavy rock band called Hurdy Gurdy. After hearing MacLeod’s version, Donovan considered giving it to Jimi Hendrix, but when Most heard it, he convinced Donovan to record it himself. Donovan tried to get Hendrix to play, but he was on tour. Jimmy Page played electric guitar in some studio sessions and is credited with playing on the song. Alternatively, it is credited to Alan Parker.

Donovan credits Page and “Allen Hollsworth” (a misspelling of Allan Holdsworth) as the “guitar wizards” for the song, saying they created “a new kind of metal folk”.

Since John Bonham and John Paul Jones also played, Donovan said perhaps the session inspired the formation of Led Zeppelin. The heavier sound of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” was an attempt by Most and Donovan to reach a wider audience in the US, where hard-rock groups like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were having an impact. The song became one of Donovan’s biggest hits, making the Top 5 in the UK and the US, and the Top 10 in Australia.

In July 1968, Epic released Donovan in Concert, the recording of his Anaheim concert in September 1967. The cover featured only a painting by Fleur Cowles (with neither the artist’s name nor the title). The album contained two of his big hits and songs which would have been new to the audience. The expanded double CD from 2006 contained “Epistle To Derroll”, a tribute to one of his formative influences, Derroll Adams. The album also includes extended group arrangements of “Young Girl Blues” and “The Pebble and the Man”, a song later reworked and retitled as “Happiness Runs”. In the summer of 1968, Donovan worked on a second LP of children’s songs, released in 1971 as the double album, HMS Donovan. In September, Epic released a single, “Laléna”, a subdued acoustic ballad which reached the low 30s in the US. The album The Hurdy Gurdy Man followed (not released in the UK), continuing the style of the Mellow Yellow LP and reached 20 in the US, despite containing two earlier hits, the title track and “Jennifer Juniper”.

After another US tour in the autumn he collaborated with Paul McCartney, who was producing Postcard, the debut LP by Welsh singer Mary Hopkin. Hopkin covered three Donovan songs: “Lord Of The Reedy River”, “Happiness Runs” and “Voyage of the Moon”. McCartney returned the favour by playing tambourine and singing backing vocals on Donovan’s next single, “Atlantis”, which was released in the UK (with “I Love My Shirt” as the B-side) in late November and reached 23.

Early in 1969, the comedy film If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium featured music by Donovan; the title tune was written by him and sung by J. P. Rags, and he also performed “Lord of the Reedy River” in the film as a singer at a youth hostel. On 20 January, Epic released the single, “To Susan on the West Coast Waiting”, with “Atlantis” as the B-side. The A-side, a gentle calypso-styled song, contained another anti-war message, and became a moderate Top 40 US hit. However, when DJs in America and Australia flipped it and began playing “Atlantis”, that became a hit. The gentle “Atlantis” formed the backdrop to a violent scene in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas. “Atlantis” was revived in 2000 for an episode of Futurama titled “The Deep South” (2ACV12) which aired on 16 April that year. For this episode Donovan recorded a satirical version of the song describing the Lost City of Atlanta which featured in the episode.

In March 1969 (too soon to include “Atlantis”), Epic and Pye released Donovan’s Greatest Hits, which included four previous singles – “Epistle To Dippy”, “There is a Mountain”, “Jennifer Juniper” and “Laléna”, as well as rerecorded versions of “Colours” and “Catch The Wind” (which had been unavailable to Epic because of Donovan’s contractual problems) and stereo versions of “Sunshine Superman” (previously unissued full length version) and “Season of the Witch”. It became the most successful album of his career; it reached 4 in the US, became a million-selling gold record, and stayed on the Billboard album chart for more than a year. On 26 June 1969 the track “Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” (recorded May 1969), which gained him a following on the rave scene decades later, was released, reaching 12 in the UK but charting less strongly in the US. This time he was backed by the original Jeff Beck Group, featuring Beck on lead guitar, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Micky Waller on drums. The Beck group was under contract to Most and it was Most’s idea to team them with Donovan to bring a heavier sound to Donovan’s work, while introducing a lyrical edge to Beck’s.

On 7 July 1969, Donovan performed at the first show in the second season of free rock concerts in Hyde Park, London, which also featured Blind Faith, Richie Havens, the Edgar Broughton Band and the Third Ear Band. In September 1969, the “Barabajagal” album reached 23 in the US. Only the recent “Barabajagal”/”Trudi” single and “Superlungs My Supergirl” were 1969 recordings, the remaining tracks[clarification needed] were from sessions in London in May 1968 and in Los Angeles in November 1968.

In the late 60s to the early 70s he lived at Stein, on the Isle of Skye, where he and a group of followers formed a commune and where he was visited by George Harrison. He named his daughter, born 1970, Ione Skye.

1970s: Changes

In late 1969, the relationship with Most ended after an argument over an unidentified recording session in Los Angeles. In the 1995 BBC Radio 2 The Donovan Story, Most recounted:

The only time we ever fell out was in Los Angeles when there was all these, I suppose, big stars of their day, the Stephen Stills-es and the Mama Cass-es, all at the session and nothing was actually being played. Somebody brought some dope into the session and I stopped the session and slung them out. You know you need someone to say it’s my session, I’m paying for it. We fell out over that.

Open Road band

Donovan said he wanted to record with someone else, and he and Most did not work together again until Cosmic Wheels (1973). After the rift, Donovan spent two months writing and recording the album Open Road as a member of the rock trio Open Road. Stripping the sound of Most’s heavy studio productions down to stuff that could be played by a live band, Donovan dubbed the sound, “Celtic Rock”. The album peaked at No. 16 in the US, the third highest of any of his full-length releases to date, but as his concert appearances became less frequent and new artists and styles of popular music began to emerge, his commercial success began to decline. Donovan said:

I was exhausted and looking for roots and new directions. I checked into Morgan Studios in London and stayed a long while creating Open Road and the HMS Donovan sessions. Downstairs was McCartney, doing his solo album. I had left Mickie after great years together. The new decade dawned and I had accomplished everything any young singer songwriter could achieve. What else was there to do but to experiment beyond the fame and into the new life, regardless of the result?

Donovan’s plan for Open Road was to tour the world for a year, beginning with a boat voyage around the Aegean Sea, documented in the 1970 film, There is an Ocean. This was partially on the advice from his management to go into tax exile, during which he was not to set foot in the UK until April 1971, but after touring to France, Italy, Russia, and Japan, he cut the tour short:

I travelled to Japan and was set to stay out of the UK for a year and earn the largest fees yet for a solo performer, and all tax-free. At the time the UK tax for us was 98%. During that Japanese tour I had a gentle breakdown, which made me decide to break the tax exile. Millions were at stake. My father, my agent they pleaded for me not to step onto the BOAC jet bound for London. I did and went back to my little cottage in the woods. Two days later a young woman came seeking a cottage to rent. It was Linda.

Reunions with Linda Lawrence and Mickie Most.

After this reunion, Donovan and Linda married on 2 October 1970 at Windsor register office and honeymooned in the Caribbean. Donovan dropped out of the round of tour promotion and concentrated on writing, recording and his family. The largely self-produced children’s album HMS Donovan in 1971, went unreleased in the US and did not gain a wide audience. During an 18-month tax exile in Ireland (1971–72), he wrote for the 1972 film The Pied Piper in the title role, and for Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972). The title song from the Zeffirelli film provided Donovan with a publishing windfall in 1974 when it was covered as the B-side of the million-selling US top 5 hit “The Lord’s Prayer”, by Australia’s singing nun, Sister Janet Mead.

After a new deal with Epic, Donovan reunited with Mickie Most in early 1973, resulting in the LP Cosmic Wheels, which featured arrangements by Chris Spedding. It was his last chart success, reaching the top 40 in America and Britain. Late in the year he released Essence To Essence, produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, and a live album recorded in Japan and only released in Japan, which featured an extended version of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” which included an additional verse written by George Harrison in Rishikesh. While recording the album, Alice Cooper invited Donovan to share lead vocals on his song “Billion Dollar Babies”.[citation needed]

Cosmic Wheels was followed up by two albums that same year: his second concert album, Live in Japan: Spring Tour 1973, and the more introspective Essence to Essence. His last two albums for Epic Records were 7-Tease (1974) and Slow Down World (1976). In 1977, he opened for Yes on their six-month tour of North America and Europe following the release of Going for the One (1977). The 1978 LP, Donovan was on Most’s RAK Records in the UK and on Clive Davis’ new Arista Records in the US; it reunited him for the last time with Most and Cameron, but was not well received at the height of the new wave and did not chart.

1980s: occasional appearances

The punk era (1976–1980) provoked a backlash in Britain against the optimism and whimsy of the hippie era, of which Donovan was a prime example. The word “hippie” became pejorative, and Donovan’s fortunes suffered.[citation needed] In this period he released the albums Neutronica (1980), Love Is Only Feeling (1981), and Lady of the Stars (1984), and guest-starred on Stars on Ice, a half-hour variety show on ice produced by CTV in Toronto. There was a respite when he appeared alongside Sting, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in the Amnesty International benefit show The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball. Accompanied by Danny Thompson, Donovan performed several hits including “Sunshine Superman”, “Mellow Yellow”, “Colours”, “Universal Soldier” and “Catch the Wind”. He was also in the performance of Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” for the show’s finale. Donovan also appeared at the Glastonbury Festival on 18 June 1989 with the band Ozric Tentacles accompanying him onstage.

1990s: a retrospective decade

In 1990 Donovan released a live album featuring new performances of his classic songs. A tribute album to Donovan, Island of Circles, was released by Nettwerk in 1991. Sony’s 2-CD boxed set Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964–1976 (1992) continued the restoration of his reputation, and was followed by the 1994 release of Four Donovan Originals, which saw his four classic Epic LPs on CD in their original form for the first time in the UK. He found an ally in rap producer and Def Jam label owner Rick Rubin and recorded an album called Sutras for Rubin’s American Recordings label.


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Donovan before a show in Washington, D.C., on 10 August 2007.

In 2000, Donovan narrated and played himself in the Futurama episode “The Deep South” on 16 April with a parody of the song “Atlantis”

A new album, Beat Cafe, on Appleseed Records in 2004, marked a return to the jazzy sound of his 1960s recordings and featured bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Jim Keltner, with production by John Chelew (Blind Boys of Alabama). At a series of Beat Cafe performances in New York, Richard Barone (The Bongos) joined Donovan to sing and read passages from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.

In May 2004, Donovan played “Sunshine Superman” at the wedding concert for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark. He released his early demo tapes, Sixty Four, and a re-recording of the Brother Sun, Sister Moon soundtrack on iTunes. A set of his Mickie Most albums was released on 9 May 2005. This EMI set has extra tracks including another song recorded with the Jeff Beck Group. In 2005, his autobiography The Hurdy Gurdy Man was published. In May/June 2005, Donovan toured the UK (Beat Cafe Tour) and Europe with Tom Mansi on double bass, former Damned drummer Rat Scabies and Flipron keyboard player, Joe Atkinson.

In spring/summer 2006, Donovan played British festivals and two dates at Camden’s The Jazz Café, London.

In January 2007, Donovan played at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, DC, at Alice Tully Hall, in New York City, and at the Kodak Theatre, in Los Angeles, in conjunction with a presentation by film maker David Lynch supporting the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and world peace. The concert at the Kodak Theatre was filmed by Raven Productions and broadcast on Public television as a pledge drive. Donovan’s partnership with the David Lynch Foundation saw him performing concerts through October 2007, as well as giving presentations about Transcendental meditation. He appeared at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, in May 2007, and toured the UK with David Lynch in October 2007.

In March 2007, Donovan played two shows at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. He had planned a spring 2007 release of an album, along with a UK tour. However, he announced the tour was cancelled and the album delayed. He said was in good health but gave no reason for the cancellation.

In April 2007, Donovan presented a three-part series on Ravi Shankar for BBC Radio 2. In October 2007 Donovan announced plans for the “Invincible Donovan University” focusing on Transcendental Meditation. It will be near Glasgow or Edinburgh. In October 2007 the DVD, The Donovan Concert—Live in LA, filmed at the Kodak Theatre Los Angeles earlier in the year, was released in the UK. On 6 October 2009, Donovan was honoured as a BMI Icon at the 2009 annual BMI London Awards. The Icon designation is given to BMI songwriters who have had “a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers”.

In October 2010, Donovan’s double CD set Ritual Groove was made available through his website. Prior to the release, he had described it as a multi-media album waiting for videos to be applied.

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Infamous Scots. Gregor Macgregor.

General “Sir” Gregor MacGregor, Prince of the Principality of Poyais, lived from 24 December 1786 to 3 December 1845. He was a conman who persuaded many British and, later, French to invest in, and in many cases emigrate to, a non-existent colony called Poyais on the Bay of Honduras in Central America. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.

Gregor MacGregor was born in Edinburgh, the son of Captain Daniel MacGregor and Ann Austin. He joined the Royal Navy in 1803 and then, apparently, served in both the Spanish and Portuguese armies. He was next heard of as a Colonel serving in the army of the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1811, fighting for independence from Spain. In 1817, MacGregor, by now apparently a General, led a small force that captured San Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida from the Spanish.

MacGregor and his Spanish-American wife Josefa arrived in London in 1820, claiming to be the Cazique, or Prince, of the Principality of Poyais, an independent nation on the Bay of Honduras occupying 12,500 square miles given to him by the local native chief. He had established the infrastructure, but his new nation needed settlers and investment and he wanted to give residents of London, Glasgow and Edinburgh a first chance to benefit from the opportunity. MacGregor began selling shares in his new country, and in October 1822 raised a loan of £200,000. In the same year he published a 350 page guidebook to Poyais, claiming it to be an ideal place to settle, very pro-British and, amazingly, free of tropical diseases.

Gregor Macgregor Scaled 1

Meanwhile he had appointed a Legate of Poyais, who recruited 70 colonists to sail from London on 10 September 1822 aboard the Honduras Packet, including doctors, lawyers and a banker. Before sailing many changed their Sterling into “Poyais Dollars” printed by MacGregor. On 22 January 1823 the Kennersley Castle, sailed from Leith bound for Poyais with 200 more settlers. When the Kennersley Castle arrived in the Bay of Honduras on 20 March they found nothing but virgin jungle, some natives, and some of the settlers landed by the Honduras Packet.

The settlers tried to establish themselves, but were already in a poor state when a ship from British Honduras found them the following month. The survivors were evacuated to British Honduras, some settling there or elsewhere in the Americas. The other 50 returned to London in October 1823, and within a day the newspapers were full of the story of Poyais. In the aftermath, Gregor MacGregor disappeared.

He had not gone far. During 1824 he established the “Compagnie de la Nouvelle Neustrie” to promote the colonisation of Poyais in France. In effect, he ran a repeat of the scam he had already run on the other side of the Channel. In August 1825 he raised a £300,000 loan, and sold shares in the new colony to enthusiastic French investors and would-be colonists. The French authorities took an interest when they realised that a ship full of its citizens was about to set sail for a non-existent country, and seized the ship. The scheme collapsed and many of those involved were arrested including, briefly, MacGregor.

MacGregor returned to London in 1826 and went on to try to raise an £800,000 loan for Poyais. But by now potential investors were wary and, besides, other conmen had moved in on his non-existent country: MacGregor found himself in competition with others trying to sell Poyais by the acre. He was still trying to sell Poyais land certificates in Edinburgh as late as 1837. He apparently gave up not long afterwards, returning to Venezuela in 1839. Here he was awarded the pension of an army general for his service during the war for independence. He died in December 1845.

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Scottish Architecture. Glasgow Cathedral.

Glasgow Cathedral, also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern’s or St Mungo’s Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland and is the oldest building in Glasgow. Since the Reformation the cathedral continues in public ownership, within the responsibility of Historic Environment Scotland. The congregation is part of the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery of Glasgow and its services and associations are open to all.The cathedral and its kirkyard are at the top of High Street, at Cathedral Street. Immediately neighbouring it are Glasgow Royal Infirmary, opened in 1794, and the elevated Glasgow Necropolis, opened in 1833. Nearby are the Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house and its herbal medical gardens, the Barony Hall (Barony Church), University of Strathclyde, Cathedral Square, Glasgow Evangelical Church (North Barony Church), and St Mungo Museum.



The history of the cathedral is linked with that of the city and is allegedly located where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his church. The tomb of the saint is in the lower crypt. Walter Scott’s novel Rob Roy gives an account of the kirk.

Built before the Reformation from the late 12th century onwards and serving as the seat of the Bishop and later the Archbishop of Glasgow, the building is a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture.It is also one of the few Scottish medieval churches (and the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland) to have survived the Reformation not unroofed.

James IV ratified the treaty of Perpetual Peace with England at the high altar on 10 December 1502. The cathedral and the nearby castle played a part in the battles of Glasgow in 1544 and 1560.Twenty years after the Reformation, on 22 April 1581 James VI granted the income from a number of lands to Glasgow town for the kirk’s upkeep. He traced the ownership of these lands to money left by Archbishop Gavin Dunbar as a legacy for repairing the cathedral. The town council agreed on 27 February 1583 to take responsibility for repairing the kirk, while recording they had no obligation to do so. The church survives because of this resolution. Inside, the rood screen is also a very rare survivor in Scottish churches.

The cathedral has been host to number of congregations and continues as a place of active Christian worship, hosting a Church of Scotland congregation. The current minister (since April 2019) is the Rev Mark E. Johnstone DL MA BD, who was previously minister at St. Mary’s Church, Kirkintilloch. The building itself is in the ownership of The Crown, is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is a popular destination for tourists.

University of Glasgow

Main article: University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow originated in classes held within the precinct of the Cathedral. William Turnbull, Bishop of Glasgow was primarily responsible for the foundation of the University around the year 1451. In 1460, the University moved out of the Cathedral to an adjacent site on the east side of the High Street, known locally as The College, and moved to its current home on Gilmorehill in 1870.

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Scottish foods-Drinks. (Lorne Sausage.)

The Lorne sausage, also known as square sausageslice or flat, is a traditional Scottish sausage, but isn’t actually a sausage since it isn’t incased in a skin or is cylindrical. Usually made from minced meat, rusk and spices. It is commonplace in traditional Scottish breakfasts.


It is thought that the sausage is named after the region of Lorne in Argyll; advertisements for ‘Lorne Sausage’ have been found in newspapers as early as 1896. This was long before comedian Tommy Lorne, after whom the sausage has been said to be named, became well-known.

Image 53


The exact origins of the Lorne sausage remain unclear. It is often eaten in the Scottish variant of the full breakfast or in a breakfast roll. The sausage is also an appropriate size to make a sandwich using a slice from a plain loaf of bread cut in half.


Sausage meat, in this case a mixture of pork and beef, is minced with rusk and spices, packed into a rectangular tin with a cross-section of about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) square, and sliced about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) thick before cooking. Square sausage has no casing, unlike traditional sausages, and must be tightly packed into the mould to hold it together; slices are often not truly square.

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Scottish Bands-Music.(biffy)

Biffy Clyro are a Scottish rock band that formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, composed of Simon Neil (guitar, lead vocals), James Johnston (bass, vocals), and Ben Johnston (drums, vocals). Currently signed to 14th Floor Records, they have released nine studio albums, five of which (PuzzleOnly RevolutionsOpposites, Ellipsis and A Celebration of Endings) reached the top five in the UK Albums Chart, with their sixth studio album, Opposites claiming their first UK No. 1 album. The latest three consecutive studio albums have all peaked at number one in the UK official albums chart. After their first three albums, the band expanded their following significantly in 2007 with the release of their fourth album, Puzzle, creating more mainstream songs with simpler rhythms and distancing themselves from the more unusual dissonant style present in their previous three albums. Puzzle peaked at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart on 16 June 2007. The album went platinum in the UK in 2012, having sold over 300,000 copies.

The band released Only Revolutions in 2009 which reached No. 3 in the UK chart and went gold within days of its release in 2009, going platinum later in 2010 (achieving double-platinum status in August 2011) and receiving a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Only Revolutions included the UK hit singles “Mountains”, “That Golden Rule”, and “Many of Horror”, all of which reached the UK Top Ten. The latter reached No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart after The X Factor 2010 winner, Matt Cardle covered the song, and became the UK number one Christmas single for the year 2010. In 2011, the band was nominated for the Brit Awards for Best British Group. At the 2013 NME Awards, they received the award for Best British Band. On 25 August 2013 Biffy Clyro headlined the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festival. Their sixth studio album, the double album Opposites was released in 2013, and was their first No. 1 album. Their seventh studio album, Ellipsis also reached number one upon release in 2016. Based on their album and single certifications, the band have sold in excess of 1,240,000 albums and 400,000 singles in the UK alone. A Celebration of Endings was released on 14 August 2020, and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart on 21 August 2020.

As of 2021, in total, the band have spent 165 weeks in the top seventy-five of the UK Album Charts, with three of those weeks being at the top position at number one and 76 weeks within the main top forty of the albums charts. The band’s singles have spent a total of 79 weeks in the UK Singles Charts, with six weeks in the top ten and 42 in the top forty.

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Scottish places of Interest. Skye.

The Isle of Skye, or simply Skye (/skaɪ/; Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach or Eilean a’ Cheò; Scots: Isle o Skye), is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island’s peninsulas radiate from a mountainous hub dominated by the Cuillin, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country.  Although Sgitheanach has been suggested to describe a winged shape, no definitive agreement exists as to the name’s origins.

The island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period, and over its history has been occupied at various times by Celtic tribes including the Picts and the Gaels, Scandinavian Vikings, and most notably the powerful integrated Norse-Gaels clans of MacLeod and MacDonald. The island was considered to be under Norwegian suzerainty until the 1266 Treaty of Perth, which transferred control over to Scotland. The 18th-century Jacobite risings led to the breaking-up of the clan system and later clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which involved forced emigrations to distant lands. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century. Skye’s population increased by 4% between 1991 and 2001. About a third of the residents were Gaelic speakers in 2001, and although their numbers are in decline, this aspect of island culture remains important.

The main industries are tourism, agriculture, fishing, and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area. The island’s largest settlement is Portree, which is also its capital, known for its picturesque harbour. Links to various nearby islands by ferry are available, and since 1995, to the mainland by a road bridge. The climate is mild, wet, and windy. The abundant wildlife includes the golden eagle, red deer, and Atlantic salmon. The local flora is dominated by heather moor, and nationally important invertebrate populations live on the surrounding sea bed. Skye has provided the locations for various novels and feature films, and is celebrated in poetry and song.


Main article: Etymology of Skye

The first written references to the island are Roman sources such as the Ravenna Cosmography, which refers to Scitis and Scetis, which can be found on a map by Ptolemy. One possible derivation comes from skitis, an early Celtic word for “winged”, which may describe how the island’s peninsulas radiate out from a mountainous centre. Subsequent Gaelic-, Norse- and English-speaking peoples have influenced the history of Skye; the relationships between their names for the island are not straightforward. Various etymologies have been proposed, such as the “winged isle” or “the notched isle”, but no definitive solution has been found to date; the place name may be from an earlier, non-Gaelic language.

In the Norse sagas, Skye is called Skíð, for example in the Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar and a skaldic poem in the Heimskringla from around 1230 contains a line that translates as “the hunger battle-birds were filled in Skye with blood of foemen killed”. The island was also referred to by the Norse as Skuy (misty isle), Skýey or Skuyö (isle of cloud). The traditional Gaelic name is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach (the island of Skye), An t-Eilean Sgiathanach being a more recent and less common spelling. In 1549, Donald Munro, High Dean of the Isles, wrote of “Sky”: “This Ile is callit Ellan Skiannach in Irish, that is to say in Inglish the wyngit Ile, be reason it has mony wyngis and pointis lyand furth fra it, throw the dividing of thir foirsaid Lochis.” but the meaning of this Gaelic name is unclear

Eilean a’ Cheò, which means “island of the mist” (a translation of the Norse name), is a poetic Gaelic name for the island.


Further information: Geology of the Isle of Skye

Skye and the surrounding islands

Bla Bheinn from Loch Slapin.

Waterfall on the River Rha between Staffin and Uig.

The vertical west face of the Bastier Tooth (a top next to Am Basteir) in the Cuillin, with Sgùrr nan Gillean in the background.

At 1,656 km2 (639 sq mi), Skye is the second-largest island in Scotland after Lewis and Harris. The coastline of Skye is a series of peninsulas and bays radiating out from a centre dominated by the Cuillin hills (Gaelic: An Cuiltheann). Malcolm Slesser suggested that its shape “sticks out of the west coast of northern Scotland like a lobster’s claw ready to snap at the fish bone of Harris and Lewis” and W. H. Murray, commenting on its irregular coastline, stated, “Skye is 60 miles [100 km] long, but what might be its breadth is beyond the ingenuity of man to state”. Martin Martin, a native of the island, reported on it at length in a 1703 publication. His geological observations included a note that:

There are marcasites black and white, resembling silver ore, near the village Sartle: there are likewise in the same place several stones, which in bigness, shape, &c., resemble nutmegs, and many rivulets here afford variegated stones of all colours. The Applesglen near Loch-Fallart has agate growing in it of different sizes and colours; some are green on the outside, some are of a pale sky colour, and they all strike fire as well as flint: I have one of them by me, which for shape and bigness is proper for a sword handle. Stones of a purple colour flow down the rivulets here after great rains.

— Martin Martin, A Description of The Western Islands of Scotland.

The Black Cuillin, which are mainly composed of basalt and gabbro, include 12 Munros and provide some of the most dramatic and challenging mountain terrain in Scotland. The ascent of Sgùrr a’ Ghreadaidh is one of the longest rock climbs in Britain and the Inaccessible Pinnacle is the only peak in Scotland that requires technical climbing skills to reach the summit. Nearby Sgùrr Alasdair, meanwhile, is the tallest mountain on any Scottish island. These hills make demands of the hill walker that exceed any others found in Scotland and a full traverse of the Cuillin ridge may take 15–20 hours. The Red Hills (Gaelic: Am Binnean Dearg) to the east are also known as the Red Cuillin. They are mainly composed of granite that has weathered into more rounded hills with many long scree slopes on their flanks. The highest point of these hills is Glamaig, one of only two Corbetts on Skye.

The northern peninsula of Trotternish is underlain by basalt, which provides relatively rich soils and a variety of unusual rock features. The Kilt Rock is named after the columnar structure of the 105-metre (344 ft) cliffs, said to resemble the pleats in a kilt. The Quiraing is a spectacular series of rock pinnacles on the eastern side of the main spine of the peninsula and further south is the rock pillar of the Old Man of Storr. The view of the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr is one of the most iconic in all of Scotland, and is frequently used on calendars and tourism guides and brochures.

Beyond Loch Snizort to the west of Trotternish is the Waternish peninsula, which ends in Ardmore Point’s double rock arch. Duirinish peninsula is separated from Waternish by Loch Dunvegan, which contains the island of Isay. It is ringed by sea cliffs that reach 296 metres (971 feet) on the west at Waterstein Head and on the northwest at Biod an Athair where, a metre from the summit trig pillar, the cliffs drop 1,029 feet (314 metres) to the ocean. Oolitic loam provides good arable land in the main valley. Lochs Bracadale and Harport and the island of Wiay lie between Duirinish and Minginish, which includes the narrower defiles of Talisker and Glen Brittle and whose beaches are formed from black basaltic sands. Strathaird is a relatively small peninsula close to the Cuillin hills with only a few crofting communities, the island of Soay lies offshore. The bedrock of Sleat in the south is Torridonian sandstone, which produces poor soils and boggy ground, although its lower elevations and relatively sheltered eastern shores enable a lush growth of hedgerows and crops. The islands of Raasay, Rona, Scalpay and Pabay all lie to the north and east between Skye and the mainland.

Towns and villages

Portree, Skye’s largest settlement.

Portree in the north at the base of Trotternish is the largest settlement (estimated population 2,264 in 2011) and is the main service centre on the island. A December 2018 report recommended the village as “Skye’s best home base” for visitors”, since it has “a few hotels, hostels and bed-and-breakfasts in town, while more B&Bs line the roads into and out of town”. The village also has “banks, churches, cafes and restaurants, a cinema at the Aros Centre, a swimming pool and library … fuel filling stations and supermarkets”.

Broadford, the location of the island’s only airstrip, is on the east side of the island and Dunvegan in the north-west is well known for its castle and the nearby Three Chimneys restaurant. The 18th-century Stein Inn on the Waternish coast is the oldest pub on Skye. Kyleakin is linked to Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland by the Skye Bridge, which spans the narrows of Loch Alsh. Uig, the port for ferries to the Outer Hebrides, is on the west of the Trotternish peninsula and Edinbane is between Dunvegan and Portree. Much of the rest of the population lives in crofting townships scattered around the coastline.

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Scottish Battles. Carham.

The Battle of Carham (c. 1018) was fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Northumbrians at Carham on Tweed. Uhtred, son of Waltheof of Bamburgh, fought the combined forces of Malcolm II of Scotland and Owen the Bald (King of Strathclyde). Their combined forces defeated Earl Uhtred’s forces, determining the eastern border of Scotland at the River Tweed.

Written records of the battle.

Sources for the battle are scarce. Those that do mention the battle often include it in a survey of other events. The English sources only briefly discuss the battle. Three of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscripts (C, D, and E) record the events leading to the conflict:

“Then [Atheling Edmund and Earl Uhtred] led an army into Staffordshire and into Shropshire and to Chester, and they ravaged on their side and Cnut on his side. He then went out through Buckinghamshire into Bedfordshire, from there to Huntingdonshire, and so into Northamptionshire, along the fen to Stamford, and then into Lincolnshire; then from there to Nottinghamshire and so into Northumbria towards York.”

King Malcolm and Owen grouped together “near Caddonlea (Selkirkshire) […] where the Wedale road from Alba met the Tweeddale road from Strathclyde, lay at the northern edge of Ettrick Forest (roughly corresponding to Selkirkshire in extent) which formed a march between Cumbria and Northumbria.” Uhtred’s forces intercepted them before they crossed Cheviot. This interception meant that he did not have enough time to gather enough troops. Another source, De obsessione Dunelmi (“On the Siege of Durham”), places the battle under the 1018 annal listing Uhtred as the Northumbrian army.

Dating controversy.

Symeon of Durham (12th Century), using dependable Northumbrian materials, located the year of the battle in 1018 (“without mention of Uhtred”) in the Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesie. His record of a comet’s visibility 30 days before the battle correlates with astronomical evidence from August 1018. Stenton mentions the comet but dismisses it on the grounds that the death of Earl Uhtred in 1016 voids the argument for 1018. Three versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (C, D, and E) reference the death of Uhtred in the 1016 annal:

“When Uhtred learned this, he left his ravaging and hastened north-wards, and submitted then out of necessity, and with him all the Northumbrians and he gave hostages; and nevertheless he was killed with him Thurketel, Nafena’s son; and then after that the king (Cnut) appointed Eric for the Northumbrians, as their earl, just as Uhtred had been; and then turned him southward by another route keeping to the west and the whole army then reached the ships before Easter.”

Stenton and C. Plummer argue that the earlier date of the battle used the 1016 annal’s inclusion of Uhtred’s death. Duncan argues and Woolf supports that the mention is an aside from the scribe recording in 1018 or 1019. De Obsessione Dunelmi (c. 1165) supports Duncan’s theory that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle scribe is discussing the more recent death of Uhtred as it places his death following the events outlined in the English source under the 1018 annal.


The battle’s significance is a matter of controversy, especially in regard to the region of Lothian. Scottish historians claim Lothian was won for Scotland at Carham and that Scotland’s borders were expanded as a result; Marjorie O. Anderson argues that the English king Edgar the Peaceful granted Lothian to Kenneth II of Scotland, King of Scots, in 973. In English sources, the Battle of Carham is not given any special significance. Still others, such as G.W.S. Barrow hold, that “What English annalists recorded as the ‘cession’ of Lothian was… the recognition by a powerful but extremely remote south-country king of a long-standing fait accompli.”

The Scots’ possession of what now constitutes the south-east of Scotland seems to have been recognized by kings of England, even when kings such as Cnut and William the Conqueror invaded, as they did not seek permanent control of the area.


After the battle of Carham, much of present-day Scotland was under the control of the King of Scots, although Norsemen still held sway in Ross, Caithness, Sutherland, and The Isles. The Lords of Galloway remained semi-independent. Scotland or Scotia referred to what constitutes present-day Scotland north of the Forth and Clyde; it was not until the time of King David I of Scotland, citizens in the south-east of the kingdom began to think of themselves as Scots. In his own charters (e.g. to St Cuthbert’s in Edinburgh), he continued to refer to the men of Lothian as English. Woolf asserts that “the likelihood is that these are under representative glimpses of a much longer conflict which escaped the detailed gaze of our chroniclers because far more interesting things were happening in Southumbria and Ireland at the time.”

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Scottish Places of Interest. (Loch Ness).

Loch Ness (/ˌlɒx ˈnɛs/; Scottish Gaelic: Loch Nis [l̪ˠɔx ˈniʃ]) is a large freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands extending for approximately 37 kilometres (23 miles) southwest of Inverness. It takes its name from the River Ness, which flows from the northern end. Loch Ness is best known for alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, also known affectionately as “Nessie” (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag). It is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to a high peat content in the surrounding soil. The southern end connects to Loch Oich by the River Oich and a section of the Caledonian Canal. The northern end connects to Loch Dochfour via the River Ness, which then ultimately leads to the North Sea via the Moray Firth.

Loch Ness is the second-largest Scottish loch by surface area after Loch Lomond at 56 km2 (22 sq mi), but due to its great depth it is the largest by volume in the British Isles. Its deepest point is 230 metres (126 fathoms; 755 feet), making it the second deepest loch in Scotland after Loch Morar. It contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water in the Great Glen, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. Its surface is 16 metres (52 feet) above sea level. It contains a single, artificial island named Cherry Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Muireach) at the southwestern end. There are nine villages around the loch, as well as Urquhart Castle; the village of Drumnadrochit contains a “Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition”.

Map of Loch Ness

Loch Ness is an elongated freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands southwest of Inverness, extending for approximately 37 kilometres (23 miles) and flowing from southwest to northeast. At 56 km2 (22 sq mi), it is the second-largest Scottish loch by surface area after Loch Lomond, but due to its great depth it is the largest by volume in the British Isles. Its deepest point is 230 metres (126 fathoms; 755 feet), making it the second deepest loch in Scotland after Loch Morar. A 2016 survey claimed to have discovered a crevice extending to a depth of 271 m (889 ft), but further research determined this to be a sonar anomaly. Its surface is 16 metres (52 feet) above sea level. It contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water in the Great Glen, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. Loch Ness lies along the Great Glen Fault, which forms a line of weakness in the rocks which has been excavated by glacial erosion, forming the Great Glen and the basins of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness.

Loch Ness has one small island, Cherry Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Muireach, meaning Murdoch’s Island), at the southwestern end of the loch. It is an artificial island, known as a crannog, and was likely constructed during the Iron Age. The island was originally 160 feet (49 m) by 168 feet (51 m) across, but is now smaller as the water level was raised during the construction of the Caledonian Canal in the early nineteenth century. There was formerly a second, natural island nearby named Dog Island (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Nan Con), but it was submerged when the water level rose. A castle stood on Cherry Island during the 15th century; this was constructed of stone and oak wood and was likely used as a fortified refuge. It has been suggested that Eilean Muireach may have been a hunting lodge, with Eilean Nan Con the home for the hunting dogs.

The loch is one of a series of interconnected, murky bodies of water in Scotland; its water visibility is exceptionally low due to a high peat content in the surrounding soil. The southern end is fed by the River Oich, which runs from Loch Oich. The northern end flows out through the Bona Narrows into Loch Dochfour; the Bathymetrical survey of the Scottish fresh-water lochs considered Loch Dochfour to be distinct from Loch Ness proper, but capable of being regarded as forming part of Loch Ness. Dochgarroch weir at the downstream end of Loch Dochfour delineates the start of the River Ness, which connects to the nearby and ultimately leads through Inverness to the North Sea via the Moray Firth. Loch Ness forms part of the Caledonian Canal, which comprises 60 miles (100 kilometres) of waterways connecting the east coast of Scotland at Inverness with the west coast at Corpachthe near Fort William. Only one-third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy, with the man-made canals running parallel with rivers such as the River Oich.

Villages and places.

Places on Loch Ness

WesternAbriachanDrumnadrochitUrquhart CastleInvermoriston
SouthernFort Augustus

At Drumnadrochit is the “Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition” which examines the natural history and legend of Loch Ness. Boat cruises operate from various locations on the loch shore, giving visitors the chance to look for the “monster”.

Urquhart Castle is located on the western shore, 2 kilometres (1


14 miles) east of Drumnadrochit.

Lighthouses are located at the northern and southern ends at Lochend (Bona Lighthouse) and Fort Augustus. There is an RNLI lifeboat station on the northern shore near Drumnadrochit, which has been operational since 2008 and was the first non-coastal RNLI station. It is staffed by a volunteer crew and equipped with an inshore lifeboat (ILB).



Loch Ness takes its name from the River Ness which flows from the loch’s northern end. The river’s name probably derives from an old Celtic word meaning “roaring one”. William Mackay in his 1893 book Urquhart and Glenmoriston: Olden times in a highland parish recounts two Scottish legends that have been reported as the source of the name. In the first, a spring in a valley had been enchanted by Daly the Druid for purity, with the admonition that the well opening must be covered by a stone whenever not in use, or else “desolation will overtake the land”. One day a woman left the well uncovered when rushing to save her baby from a fire, and it overflowed and filled the vale, forming the loch. The inhabitants cried out “Tha loch ‘nis ann, tha loch ‘nis ann!” (“There’s a loch now, there’s a loch now!”), and so it was named “Loch Nis”. A second legend, named “The Tales of the Sons of Uisneach” by Mackay and now considered part of the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, recounts the Irish woman Deirdre or Dearduil, “the most beautiful woman of her age”, who was courted by the king of Ulster, Conachar MacNessa; she fell in love instead with his cousin Noais, son of Uisneach. They fled to Scotland and were married on the banks of the loch, but Noais was slain by MacNessa, and the Loch Naois, River Naois, and Iverness were named after him. Mackay claims that while these legends are not the “true” origin of the name, that many places in the district have names associated with “The Tales of the Sons of Uisneach”, and that the same tales have Conachar MacNessa’s mother as the river goddess Ness. He argued instead that the etymology of the Celtic “Ness” derived from earlier words for “river”.

Loch Ness Monster.

Main article: Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness is known as the home of the Loch Ness Monster (also known as “Nessie”), a cryptid, reputedly a large unknown animal. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next. Popular interest and belief in the animal’s existence have varied since it was first brought to the world’s attention in 1933.

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Famous Scots. Andrew. Bonar-Law

“If I am a great man, then a good many great men of history are frauds.”

Andrew Bonar Law was the Canadian-born son of a Scottish clergyman. He worked as a boy on his father’s smallholding and then, at age 12, he went to live with his late mother’s cousins, who were rich Glaswegian merchant bankers in Scotland.

He later worked for the family bank while attending university night classes, which gave him an interest in politics and debating. At 27 he was making his fortune as an iron merchant but did not live extravagantly, having simple tastes.

With an inheritance that gave him financial independence, Bonar Law entered politics. In 1900 he was elected Conservative MP for Glasgow Blackfriars. He had a reputation for honesty and fearlessness, and was well regarded as an effective speaker. These qualities promoted him to Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in 1902.

He lost his seat in the 1906 Liberal landslide General Election, but he returned to represent Dulwich following a by-election later in the same year. Though hit hard by the death of his wife, he continued his political career and won the Conservative party leadership in 1911 as a compromise candidate.

At the outbreak of war, he offered the government the support of the Conservatives in the coalition. Working closely with the Liberals caused Bonar Law to admire David Lloyd George to such a degree that he even declined the premiership in favour of Lloyd George’s appointment.

He was given senior positions in Lloyd George’s new war cabinet. His promotion reflected the great mutual trust between both leaders and made for a well-coordinated political partnership. Their coalition was re-elected by a landslide following the Armistice.

Bonar Law had lost his 2 eldest sons in the war and his health deteriorated. To recover he resigned as Leader of the House and leader of his party. At the time many leading Conservatives were so charmed by Lloyd George that they were considering leaving the Conservatives to join a new party Lloyd George was planning. Law made a decisive and stimulating speech at the Conservative Carlton Club which changed their minds and saved the Conservative party. He persuaded the Conservatives to end the coalition and work as an independent party.

Conservative withdrawal forced Lloyd George to resign and the King then invited Bonar Law to form a new administration in 1922.

Law’s ‘Tranquility Manifesto’ was an attempt to allow Britain to recover from war damage. Though elected, he lasted just 209 days in office. He resigned in May 1923 due to ill health and died of throat cancer 6 months later.

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Scottish Foods-Drinks. (Scotch Broth).

Scotch broth is a filling soup, originating in Scotland but now obtainable worldwide. The principal ingredients are usually barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb, mutton or beef, root vegetables (such as carrots, swedes, or sometimes turnips), and dried pulses (most often split peas and red lentils). Cabbage and leeks are often added shortly before serving to preserve their texture, colour and flavours. The proportions and ingredients vary according to the recipe or availability. Scotch broth has been sold ready-prepared in tins for many years.

C3e5d Lunch At Inveraray Castle Scotch Broth 14342541740


In the early 19th-century cookery book A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell “Scotch Mutton Broth” is made with mutton neck, skimmed and simmered around an hour before good quality cuts of bone-in mutton are trimmed of their fat and added to the soup. After several hours soup vegetables are added, turnips, carrots and onion, and simmered until just tender, and finally pre-soaked Scotch barley. The soup is served with a garnish of fresh parsley.

According to Christian Isobel Johnstone, the mutton could be served on the side as a bouilli with caper sauce, parsley and butter, pickled cucumbers, or nasturiums (edible flowers) with mustard and vinegar.


The main ingredients are barley, stewing lamb or mutton, and root vegetables like swedes, potatoes, turnip and carrot. Dried beans are another common addition, as are cabbage and leeks, which can be added in later stages of cooking.

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Infamous Scots. David Haggart.

David Haggart (24 June 1801 – 18 July 1821) was a Scottish thief and rogue.

Early life

Haggart was born at Golden Acre, near Edinburgh, 24 June 1801. A gamekeeper’s son, he was taken twice as a gillie to the highlands, received a good plain education, but had already begun to commit petty thefts when, in July 1813, he enlisted as a drummer in the Norfolk Militia, then stationed at Edinburgh Castle. George Borrow, who probably saw him in Edinburgh, gave a very fanciful sketch of him in Lavengro. Borrow’s “wild, red-headed lad of some fifteen years, his frame lithy as an antelope’s, but with prodigious breadth of chest”, was then only twelve years old. Next year, when the regiment left for England, Haggart was discharged, and after nine months’ more schooling he began an apprenticeship as a millwright.

Criminal career.

The firm went bankrupt in April 1817, and the unemployed Haggart soon became a regular pickpocket, burglar and, sometimes, shoplifter haunting every fair and racecourse between Durham and Aberdeen. His luck varied, but was never better than during the first four months, when he and an Irish comrade shared more than three hundred guineas. He was imprisoned six times and escaped four times; and on 10 October 1820, in his escape from Dumfries tolbooth, he knocked out the turnkey with a stone and killed him. He escaped to Ireland, and was sailing at one time for America, at another for France, but in March 1821 was arrested for theft at Clough market. He was recognised, and brought, heavily ironed, from Kilmainham to Dumfries, and thence to Edinburgh. There he was tried on 11 June 1821, and hanged on 18 July.

The Life of David Haggart.

Twelve days before the trial he was visited in prison by George Combe, the phrenologist, and between the trial and his execution he partly wrote, partly dictated, an autobiography, which was published by his agent, with Combe’s phrenological notes as an appendix, and Haggart’s own comments. It is a curious picture of criminal life, the best, and seemingly the most faithful, of its kind, and possesses also some linguistic value, as being mainly written in the Scottish thieves’ cant, which contains a good many genuine Romany words. Lord Cockburn, writing from recollection in 1848, declares the whole book to be “a tissue of absolute lies, not of mistakes, or of exaggerations, or of fancies, but of sheer and intended lies. And they all had one object, to make him appear a greater villain than he really was”. On the other hand, the contemporaneous account of the trial, so far as it goes, bears out Haggart’s narrative ; Cockburn is certainly wrong in describing Haggart as “about twenty-five”, and in stating that the portrait prefixed professed to be “by his own hand”. This autobiography later served as the inspiration for the 1969 movie Sinful Davey. It is available in several reprint formats, but no new edition has ever been issued.

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Scottish Battles. Dupplin Moor.

The Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of King David II of Scotland, the son of King Robert Bruce, and English-backed invaders supporting Edward Balliol, son of King John I of Scotland, on 11 August 1332. It took place a little to the south west of Perth, Scotland, when a Scottish force commanded by Donald, Earl of Mar, estimated to have been stronger than 15,000 and possibly as many as 40,000 men, attacked a largely English force of 1,500 commanded by Balliol and Henry Beaumont, Earl of Buchan. This was the first major battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence.

The First War of Scottish Independence between England and Scotland ended in 1328 with the Treaty of Northampton, recognising Bruce as king of Scotland, but the treaty was widely resented in England. King Edward III of England was happy to cause trouble for his northern neighbour and tacitly supported an attempt to place Balliol on the Scottish throne. Balliol and a small force landed in Fife and marched on Perth, the Scottish capital. A Scottish army at least ten times stronger occupied a defensive position on the far side of the River Earn. The invaders crossed the river at night via an unguarded ford and took up a strong defensive position.

In the morning the Scots raced to attack the English, disorganising their own formations. Unable to break the line of English men-at-arms, the Scots became trapped in a valley with fresh forces arriving from the rear pressing them forward and giving them no room to manoeuvre, or even to use their weapons. English longbowmen fired into both Scottish flanks. Many Scots died of suffocation or were trampled underfoot. Eventually they broke and the English men-at-arms mounted and pursued the fugitives until nightfall. Perth fell, the remaining Scottish forces dispersed and Balliol was crowned King of Scotland. By the end of 1332 he had lost control of most of Scotland, but regained it in 1333 with Edward III’s open support. He was deposed again in 1334, restored again in 1335 and finally deposed in 1336, by those loyal to David II.

The First War of Scottish Independence between England and Scotland began in March 1296, when Edward I of England (r. 1272–1307) stormed and sacked the Scottish border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed as a prelude to his invasion of Scotland. After the 30 years of warfare which followed, the newly crowned 14-year-old King Edward III was nearly captured in the English disaster at Stanhope Park. This brought his regents, Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer, to the negotiating table. They agreed to the Treaty of Northampton with Robert Bruce (r. 1306–1329) in 1328, recognising Bruce as king of Scotland. The treaty was widely resented in England and commonly known as the turpis pax, “the cowards’ peace”. Some Scottish nobles, refusing to swear fealty to Bruce, were disinherited and left Scotland to join forces with Edward Balliol, son of King John I of Scotland (r. 1292–1296), who had been captured by the English in 1296 and abdicated.

Robert Bruce died in 1329 and his heir was 5-year-old David II (r. 1329–1371). In 1331, under the leadership of Edward Balliol and Henry Beaumont, Earl of Buchan, the disinherited Scottish nobles gathered in Yorkshire and plotted an invasion of Scotland. Edward III was aware of the scheme and officially forbade it, in March 1332 writing to his northern officials that anyone planning an invasion of Scotland was to be arrested. The reality was different, and Edward III was happy to cause trouble for his northern neighbour. He insisted Balliol not invade Scotland overland from England but turned a blind eye to his forces sailing for Scotland from Yorkshire ports on 31 July 1332. The Scots were aware of the situation and were waiting for Balliol. David II’s regent was an experienced old soldier, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, who was appointed to the role of guardian of Scotland. He had prepared for Balliol and Beaumont, but he died ten days before they sailed.

A monochromatic impression of Balliol’s royal seal.

Balliol’s force was small, only 1,500 men: 500 men-at-arms and 1,000 infantry, the latter mostly longbowmen. He anticipated being joined by many Scots once he had landed. While they were underway, the Scots selected Donald, Earl of Mar, as the new guardian. Mar was an experienced campaigner and a close blood relative to David. He divided the large Scottish army: Mar commanded the part north of the Firth of Forth, while Patrick, Earl of March, commanded those to the south. Balliol had been in communication with Mar and hoped he would come over to his side with many of his troops. Knowing Mar to be commanding the troops on the northern shore of the firth, Balliol landed there, at Wester Kinghorn (present day Burntisland), on 6 August 1332.

While the invaders were still disembarking they were confronted by a large Scottish force[note 1] commanded by Duncan, Earl of Fife, and Robert Bruce (an illegitimate son of King Robert the Bruce). The Scots attacked the part of the English force on the beach, but were driven off after a hard-pressed assault by the fire of the English longbowmen and by their supporting infantry before Balliol and Beaumont’s men-at-arms could get ashore.

Scottish accounts of the time dismiss their losses as trivial, while one English source gives 90 Scots killed, two give 900, and a fourth 1,000. One chronicle, the Brut, reports that Fife was “full of shame” at being defeated by such a small force. There is no record of the casualties suffered by Balliol’s men. Mar withdrew his main force to the capital, Perth, amalgamated the survivors of Kinghorn and sent out a general call for reinforcements. Buoyed by their victory, Balliol and Beaumont’s force completed their disembarkation and marched to Dunfermline, where they foraged, looted a Scottish armoury and then headed for Perth.


English approach
The Scottish army under Mar took up a position on the north bank of the River Earn, 2 miles (3 km) south of Perth, and broke down the bridge. The Scots were enormously stronger than the English. Chronicles of the time give strengths of 20,000, 30,000 or – in seven cases – 40,000. The historian Clifford Rogers guesses they numbered something more than 15,000. Nearly all of the Scots were infantry. The English arrived on the south bank of the Earn on 10 August. They were in a difficult position: in enemy territory, facing an army of more than ten times their number in a good defensive position across a river and aware that the second Scottish army, under March, was moving towards them. The Scots were content to rest in their defensive positions, while planning to send a portion of their army on a wide outflanking manoeuvre the next day. Any attempt by the English to force the river would clearly have been foredoomed. The English may have been hoping Mar would desert to their cause, but he gave no indication of doing so. The two forces faced each other across the river for the rest of the day.

The Scots were so confident of victory that some started their celebrations that evening, according to a contemporary source “playing, drinking and making merry” late into the night. A guard was set by the broken bridge, but otherwise no precautions were taken against any action by the English. Realising they had no hope if they either retreated or remained where they were, the entire English force forded the river at an unguarded spot. Advancing in the dark, at about midnight they stumbled upon a Scottish camp and attacked it. Those Scots who were not killed or captured fled. The English believed they had overcome the main Scottish force, but were disabused at dawn when they saw the Scots advancing against them in two large bodies. This revelation demoralised the English, but according to the chronicles they were given heart by a stirring speech from one of their leaders.[note 2]

The English arrayed themselves for battle on foot, except for 40 German mercenary knights who fought mounted. The other men-at-arms formed up in three tightly packed ranks with a fourth rank of pike-equipped ordinary infantry. The longbowmen were divided and assigned to each side of this central group. They were positioned where a valley narrowed as it entered hilly terrain. The infantry occupied the centre of this valley where it was about 600 feet (180 m) wide with the archers on higher and rougher terrain on each side. The horses of the men-at-arms were kept to the rear.

Scottish attack.

Infantry in late-medieval armour fighting and dying.

A 19th-century representation of a Scottish schiltron advancing
The Scots were still supremely confident and formed up in two large groups or battles – also referred to as schiltrons. These were tightly packed, deep, pike-armed formations. Mar suggested that the English be given the opportunity to surrender, so that they could have been ransomed – which would have raised a large sum. On seeing the English across the Earne, Bruce, who was in command of the leading schiltron, and who was aware, at least in part, of Mar’s correspondence with Balliol, publicly claimed that this unopposed crossing was due to treachery by Mar. Mar denounced this as a lie and declared he would prove his loyalty by being the first to strike a blow against the English. Bruce claimed this honour for himself and the two Scottish schiltrons proceeded to race each other to come to grips with the English.

Bruce’s schiltron, being already in the lead, won the race. But its headlong charge disorganised it and left the slower men behind. When it contacted the English only 800 men were still with Bruce, but they struck with such force that they drove the infantry in the English centre back nearly 10 yards (9 m). The English did not break, but turned their shoulders to the Scots, braced themselves and halted the Scottish onrush. The Scots in their haste had allowed themselves to be channelled by the terrain and all of them attacked the English men-at-arms in the centre, ignoring the longbowmen on the valley sides. Pushing back the English centre had the paradoxical effect of exposing their flanks to these bowmen. The rest of Bruce’s schiltron followed him into the valley, pressing their comrades in front of them forward against the English so strongly that the front ranks of neither force were able to use their weapons.

The Scots were either largely without helmets, or wore helmets without visors (face guards), for contemporaries noted that the English archers “blinded and wounded the faces” of those in the leading schiltron. Harassed by this fire, the Scots on the flanks pressed closer to their main body, further compressing it and hampering the freedom of movement of its members. Mar’s schiltron, which was also rushing towards the English, became disorganised due to its haste and was similarly channelled by the steep valley sides. They charged into the rear of Bruce’s formation, causing chaos. The struggle continued from a little past dawn until after noon. In the centre of the Scottish mass the result was literally suffocating; men were pressed too tightly together to be able to breathe and any who lost their footing were trampled to death. Contemporary accounts speak of more than a thousand Scots being smothered without coming into contact with the English. One claimed that “more were slain by the Scots themselves than by the English. For … every one fallen there fell a second, and then a third fell, and those who were behind pressing forward and hastening to the fight, the whole army became a heap of the slain.”

The English, being in a looser and less deep formation, had room to use their weapons more effectively, once they had withstood the initial onslaught. The survivors of Bruce’s schiltron attempted to extricate themselves, adding to the confusion and making easy targets for the English men-at-arms. The chronicles record the English infantry having to climb over heaps of dead Scots to be able to strike at those still living. All the while the longbowmen maintained their fire into the Scottish flanks. Eventually the Scottish resistance collapsed and they routed. Several of the surviving Scottish nobles made their escape on horseback; the rest of the Scots fled on foot. The English men-at-arms mounted their own horses and pursued the Scots, hacking them down until sunset. The English then occupied Perth and set to work on improving its fortifications, against the anticipated arrival of March’s army.


A photograph of an iron arrowhead.

A modern replica of a bodkin point arrowhead used by English longbows to penetrate armour
Precise figures for the English dead are available: they lost 35 men-at-arms: 2 knights and 33 squires. Several accounts stress that not a single English archer was killed. The losses among the Scots are less certain, but all accounts agree they were very heavy. Mar and Bruce died on the field; as did 2 other earls, 14 barons, 160 knights and many less notable men. Of the contemporary accounts which estimate the number of Scottish dead, two English chronicles give more than 15,000. Two Scottish accounts record 2,000 or 3,000 dead, while a third specifies 3,000 “nobles” and “of other men an untold number”. Most accounts refer to the Scottish dead lying in great heaps, some taller than a spear’s length. The only high-ranking Scottish survivor was the Earl of Fife, who was captured and changed sides.


A week after the battle, March arrived outside Perth, having added the remnants of Mar’s army to his own force. There was little he could do. Given that Balliol had defeated Mar in open battle, it would have been folly for March to assault him in a fortified town. Balliol had captured plentiful supplies of food in Perth and the ships which had landed his army defeated the Scottish navy, enabling food and reinforcements to be shipped in. In any event, before long the Scottish host had exhausted its own supplies, stripped the surrounding countryside of food and disbursed.

Balliol was crowned King of Scotland at Scone – the traditional place of coronation for Scottish monarchs – on 24 September 1332. Within two months Balliol granted Edward III Scottish estates to a value of £2,000, which included “the town, castle and county of Berwick”. Balliol’s support within Scotland was limited and within six months it had collapsed. He was ambushed by supporters of David II at the Battle of Annan on 17 December. Balliol fled to England half-dressed and riding bareback. He appealed to Edward III for assistance. Edward III dropped all pretence of neutrality, recognised Balliol as king of Scotland and made ready for war. After the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Halidon Hill in July 1333 by the English Balliol was reinstated on the Scottish throne. He was deposed again in 1334, restored again in 1335 and finally deposed in 1336, by those loyal to David II. The Second War of Scottish Independence which had started with Balliol’s invasion finally ended in 1357. The modern historian Ranald Nicholson states that Edward III copied the tactics used at Dupplin Moor – “all the men-at-arms dismounted, while archers were posted on either flank” – in the English victories at Halidon Hill and Crécy.


Historic Environment Scotland has identified a site on Gaskmoor, which it suggests corresponds with the accounts in the chronicles. This is on the Dupplin plateau, south east of Dupplin Loch, and 5 miles (8 km) south west of Perth. It points out that if correct
The sides of the valley, and the narrowing of the valley, would have pushed the wings of the schiltrons into the centre, bunching the Scots and creating the deadly crush that appears to have been the main cause of the disaster. The steep slopes would have given a great deal of protection to the [English] from any flanking moves. The width of the valley would accommodate 500 or so dismounted men-at-arms, while the western end of the valley opens out; this is where the Scots would have started, and it would not have been immediately obvious that the topography was a funnel for them.

and concludes that this choice of terrain “is evidence of the tactical brilliance of the [English], who were battle-hardened veterans.” Historic Environment Scotland added the battlefield to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland on 21 March 2011.

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Scottish Towns-Cities. Kirkcaldy.

Kirkcaldy (/kɜːrˈkɔːdi/ (listen) kur-KAW-dee; Scots: Kirkcaldy; Scottish Gaelic: Cair Chaladain) is a town and former royal burgh in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It is about 11.6 miles (19 km) north of Edinburgh and 27.6 miles (44 km) south-southwest of Dundee. The town had a recorded population of 49,460 in 2011, making it Fife’s second-largest settlement and the 12th most populous settlement in Scotland.

Kirkcaldy has long been nicknamed the Lang Toun (pronunciation; Scots for “long town”) in reference to the early town’s 0.9-mile (1.4 km) main street, as indicated on maps from the 16th and 17th centuries. The street would finally reach a length of nearly 4 miles (6.4 km), connecting the burgh to the neighbouring settlements of Linktown, Pathhead, Sinclairtown and Gallatown, which became part of the town in 1876. The formerly separate burgh of Dysart was also later absorbed into Kirkcaldy in 1930 under an act of Parliament.

The area around Kirkcaldy has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. The first document to refer to the town is from 1075, when Malcolm III granted the settlement to the church of Dunfermline. David I later gave the burgh to Dunfermline Abbey, which had succeeded the church: a status which was officially recognised by Robert I in 1327. The town only gained its independence from Abbey rule when it was created a royal burgh by Charles I in 1644.

From the early 16th century, the establishment of a harbour at the East Burn confirmed the town’s early role as an important trading port. The town also began to develop around the salt, coal mining and nail making industries. The production of linen which followed in 1672 was later instrumental in the introduction of floorcloth in 1847 by linen manufacturer, Michael Nairn. In 1877 this, in turn, contributed to linoleum, which became the town’s most successful industry: Kirkcaldy was a world producer until well into the mid-1960s. The town expanded considerably in the 1950s and 1960s, though the decline of the linoleum industry and other manufacturing restricted its growth thereafter.

Today, the town is a major service centre for the central Fife area. Public facilities include a main leisure centre, theatre, museum and art gallery, three public parks and an ice rink. Kirkcaldy is also known as the birthplace of social philosopher and economist Adam Smith who wrote his magnum opus The Wealth of Nations in the town. In the early 21st century, employment is dominated by the service sector: the biggest employer in the town is PayWizard, formerly known as MGT plc (call centre). Other main employers include NHS Fife, Forbo (linoleum and vinyl floor coverings), Fife College, Whitworths (flour millers) and Smith Anderson (paper making).

The name Kirkcaldy means “place of the hard fort” or “place of Caled’s fort”. It is derived from the Pictish *caer meaning “fort”, *caled, which is Pictish “hard” or a personal name, and -in, a suffix meaning “place of”. Caled may describe the fort itself or be an epithet for a local “hard” ruler. An interpretation of the last element as din (again meaning “fort”) rather than -in is incorrect. The Old Statistical Account gives a derivation from culdee, which has been repeated in later publications, but this is also incorrect.


The discovery of 11 Bronze Age cist burials which date from 2500 BC and 500 BC suggests that this is the most ancient funerary site in the area. What probably made this location ideal was its natural terraces stretching away from the sand bay, and the close proximity of the East Burn to the north and the West (Tiel) Burn to the south. Four Bronze Age burials dating from around 4000 BC have also been found around the site of the unmarked Bogely or Dysart Standing Stone to the east of the present A92 road. Although there are few Roman sites in Fife, a Roman camp was known to exist at Carberry Farm on the town’s outskirts.

The Battle of Raith in AD 596 was once believed to have taken place to the west of the town’s site but the theory no longer holds support. The battle was said to have been fought between the Angles and an alliance, led by King Áedán mac Gabráin of Dál Riata, of Scots, Picts and Britons.


Ravenscraig Castle was begun in 1460.

The first document to recognise the town was issued in 1075, when the King of Scots, Malcolm III (reigned 1058–93) granted the shire of Kirkcaladunt, among other gifts, to the church at Dunfermline. The residents were expected to pay dues and taxes for the church’s general upkeep. Two charters, later confirmed by Malcolm’s son David I in 1128 and 1130, refer to Kircalethin and Kirkcaladunit respectively but do not indicate their locations.

In 1304, a weekly market and annual fair for Kirkcaldy was proposed by the Abbot of Dunfermline to King Edward I, during a period of English rule in Scotland from 1296 to 1306.During these discussions, the town may have been referred to as “one of the most ancient of burghs”. This status as a burgh dependent on Dunfermline Abbey was later confirmed in 1327 by Robert I, King of Scots.

A charter granted in 1363 by David II, King of Scots (reigned 1329–71), awarded the burgh the right to trade across the regality of Dunfermline. This charter allowed the burgesses of Kirkcaldy to purchase and sell goods to the burgesses of the three other regality burghs — Queensferry, Dunfermline and Musselburgh — that belonged to the Abbey. By 1451, Kirkcaldy was awarded feu-ferme status. Under the status, responsibility would now lie with the bailies and council to deal with the routine administration of the town and its fiscal policies; conditional on an annual payment of two and a half marks (33s 4d) to the Abbot of Dunfermline.

16th to 18th centuries

At the beginning of the 16th century, the town became an important trading port. The town took advantage of its east coast location, which facilitated trading contacts with the Low Countries, the Baltic region, England, and Northern France. The feu-ferme charter of 1451 between the Abbot of Dunfermline and the burgesses of Kirkcaldy mentioned a small but functioning harbour; it is not known when this harbour was established, or whether it was always located at the mouth of the East Burn.[5][9][12] According to treasurers’ accounts of the early 16th century, timber imported via the harbour—possibly from the Baltic countries—was used at Falkland Palace and Edinburgh Castle, as well as in shipbuilding. Raw materials such as hides, wool, skins, herring, salmon, coal and salt were exported from the town until well into the 17th century.

A charter issued by Charles I granting royal burgh status in 1644 resulted in the end of the Abbey’s jurisdiction over the town. As a gesture, the king bequeathed 8.12 acres (3.29 ha) of common muir suitable for “bleaching of linen, drying of clothes, recreation and perpetuity”. In 1638, under the reign of Charles I, the town subscribed to the National Covenant, which opposed the introduction of episcopacy and patronage in the Presbyterian church. Support for the Covenanting cause cost the town over 250 men at the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645. The continuing civil wars killed at least another 480 men and led to the loss of many of the harbour’s trading vessels. By 1660, this left the town with only twelve registered ships, down from 100 it is claimed were recorded between 1640 and 1644.

Towards the end of the 17th century, the economy recovered, with growth in manufacturing. During this period, Daniel Defoe described Kirkcaldy as a “larger, more populous, and better-built town than … any on this coast”. A shipbuilding revival produced 38 vessels between 1778 and 1793. In the mid-19th century, whaling became important to the town for a short time.[18] In 1813, the first Kirkcaldy whaling ship, The Earl Percy, sailed north to the Davis Strait; the town’s last whaler, The Brilliant, was sold in 1866 to Peterhead, bringing an end to the industry. Construction of a new turnpike from Pettycur to Newport-on-Tay via Cupar in 1790, while improving only one section of Fife’s isolated road system, brought a huge increase in traffic along Kirkcaldy’s High Street, and helped to strengthen the town’s position.

Royal Burgh of Kirkcaldy, 1824


For most of the 19th century, the main industries in the town were flax spinning and linen weaving. To cope with increasing imports of flax, timber and hemp, and exports of coal, salt and linen, between 1843 and 1846 a new wet dock and pier was built at the harbour. In 1847 a canvas manufacturer, Michael Nairn, took out a licence on Frederick Walton’s patent for the production of floorcloth and opened a factory in nearby Pathhead. When the patent expired in 1876, Nairn and other floorcloth manufacturers began the manufacture of linoleum. Production of both floorcloth and linoleum occupied seven factories in the town by 1883, employing 1,300. A further expansion of the harbour was completed between 1906 and 1908, for another increase in linoleum and coal.

The expansion of the town led in 1876 to the extension of the royal burgh’s boundaries. The town absorbed its neighbouring settlements of Linktown, in the parish of Abbotshall; Invertiel in the parish of Kinghorn; and Pathhead, Sinclairtown and Gallatown in the parish of Dysart. These formerly separate settlements had once been forbidden by the old guild rights to sell their goods in Kirkcaldy. In 1922–1923 a seawall and esplanade were constructed, funded by the Unemployment Grants Commission and built by unemployed residents. In 1930, the town would further expand to include the former royal burgh of Dysart under an act of Parliament when its own town council became bankrupt.

During the 1950s and 1960s, new housing estates were built northwest of the town. This was followed by the redevelopment of the town centre in the 1960s and 1970s, which destroyed much of the old high street. There was speculation that the town’s population could increase to around 55–60,000 by 1970. This did not happen: a decline in the linoleum industry in the mid-1960s led to a decrease in population, from a peak of 53,750 in 1961 to 47,962 in 1981.

In the 21st century, Kirkcaldy remains an important centre for the surrounding areas, with a Museum and Art Gallery, three public parks and shopping facilities. The town also hosts the annual Links Market, commonly known as Europe’s longest street fair. The production of linoleum continues, though on a greatly reduced scale, under Swiss ownership (Forbo Holding AG). Kirkcaldy Harbour, which closed in 1992, re-opened in October 2011 to cargo ships. A project between Carr’s Flour Mills, the parent of Hutchison’s, Forth Ports (owners of the harbour) and Transport Scotland, will allow Carr’s to bring in wheat via the harbour and remove a quarter of its lorries from the roads every year.

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Scottish foods-Drinks. (White Pudding.)

White puddingoatmeal pudding or (in Scotland) mealy pudding is a meat dish popular in Scotland, Ireland, Northumberland, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

White pudding is broadly similar to black pudding, but does not include blood. Modern recipes consist of suet or fat, oatmeal or barley, breadcrumbs and in some cases pork and pork liver, filled into a natural or cellulose sausage casing. Recipes in previous centuries included a wider range of ingredients.

History and recipes.

White pudding is often thought of as a very old dish that, like black pudding, was a traditional way of making use of offal following the annual slaughter of livestock. Whereas black pudding-type recipes appear in Roman sources, white pudding likely has specifically medieval origins, possibly as a culinary descendant of medieval sweetened blancmange-type recipes combining shredded chicken, rice and almonds, or as a way of lightening up offal with the addition of cream, eggs and breadcrumbs. Meatless versions were common, as they could be eaten during the Lenten period of abstinence. Many older recipes are sweetened: a 15th century British pudding combined pork liver, cream, eggs, breadcrumbs, raisins and dates, while a 1588 recipe collection featured a white pudding made of beef suet, breadcrumbs, egg yolk and currants, flavoured with nutmeg, sugar and cinnamon. A similar recipe given in Woolley’s 1670 book The Queen-Like Closet used hog’s lights and was filled into intestine sausage-skins. By the mid-18th century, Elizabeth Raffald’s white pudding recipe, “White Puddings in Skins”, combined rice, lard, ground almonds, currants and egg, using sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and mace as flavourings; by this period the inclusion of offal such as liver or lights, as well as sweet flavourings, was becoming rarer.

An oatmeal pudding recipe found in the 18th century Compleat Housewife is made with beef suet and cream, thickened with oatmeal and mixed up with egg yolks, then baked in a dish with marrow.

Alongside these more refined and elaborate recipes, a simpler form of white pudding was popular in Ireland, Scotland, and some parts of Northern England, combining suet, oatmeal (or barley in Northumberland), seasoning and onions, in sheep’s or cow’s intestines. In Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland and Ireland they were referred to by the names marag gheal or putóg bhán. These oatmeal-based puddings survived into modern Irish and Scottish cuisine, although with significant regional differences. Modern commercially made Scottish white puddings are generally based on oatmeal, onions, and beef suet; the same mixture simply fried in a pan is known as skirlie. In Ireland, white puddings also include a substantial proportion of pork or pork liver and pork fat. Most modern white puddings are filled into a synthetic cellulose casing and boiled or steamed; typical spices used include white pepper, nutmeg, and sage.


White pudding may be cooked whole, or cut into slices and fried or grilled. Irish white pudding is an important feature of the traditional Irish breakfast. Scottish white pudding is often served, like skirlie, with minced beef and potatoes, or is available deep fried in many chip shops.

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Scottish Bands- Music. Emile Sande.

Adele Emily Sandé, MBE (/ˈsændeɪ/ SAN-day; born 10 March 1987), known professionally as Emeli Sandé, is a Scottish singer and songwriter. Born in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear and raised in Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, by an English mother and Zambian father, Sandé rose to prominence after being a featured artist on the 2009 Chipmunk track “Diamond Rings”. It was their first top 10 single on the UK Singles Chart. In 2010, she was featured on “Never Be Your Woman” by the rapper Wiley, which was another top ten hit. In 2012, she received the Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice Award.

Sandé released her first solo single “Heaven” in August 2011. She has two number-one singles across the UK and Ireland with “Read All About It” with Professor Green and “Beneath Your Beautiful”, a collaboration with Labrinth. Her album Our Version of Events spent ten non-consecutive weeks at number one and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1 million sales. In 2012, she performed in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. In 2013, at the Brit Awards 2013 ceremony, she won two awards: Best British Female Solo Artist, and British Album of the Year.

In 2016, she released her second studio album Long Live the Angels, which debuted at number 2 on the UK album chart. In 2017, she won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist, becoming her fourth win in total. Sandé was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for her services to music.

Early life

Adele Emily Sandé was born in Sunderland, to a Zambian father, Joel Sandé, and an English mother, Diane Sandé-Wood, on 10 March 1987. Her father, having moved from Zambia, met her mother while they were both at the polytechnic in Sunderland. The family moved to Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, when she was four.

Sandé wrote her first song at the age of 11, for her primary-school talent show. She remembers that that, “was the first time I thought I might be a songwriter. I always knew I wanted to be a musician and I knew I wanted to write because the people I was listening to all wrote. I never thought it was an option to sing anyone else’s songs.” The first song she wrote was called “Tomorrow Starts Again” – the song had proper structure and even a middle eight.

Sandé attended school at Alford Academy, where her father was a teacher. She said, “I hated to be ill and to miss a day because I was so hungry to learn. I was very shy, nerdy and extremely well-behaved. Inevitably, throughout secondary school, it was part and parcel of my identity that I was Mr. Sandé’s daughter. No way could I muck about or get into trouble, because it would’ve got back to him within minutes. And Dad was strict, let me tell you.” Choice FM invited the 15-year-old Sandé to London to take part in their “Rapology” competition. Richard Blackwood also had her down to MTV’s Camden studios to sing gospel. It was the first London appearance of her career.  By the time she reached the age of 16, she had a record deal with Telstar within reach. However, understanding the opportunity that university could also offer her, she turned down the deal. She studied medicine, in the five-year MBChB course at the University of Glasgow, but left after obtaining a degree in clinical medicine, specializing in neuroscience. She has stated that education was important to her, because, if her music career failed, she would have something to fall back on. Her manager Adrian Sykes, she said, had waited patiently from when she was 16: “Adrian really respects that I want to get an education behind me. He also knows my parents are keen that I finish university”.

There have been many who have inspired Sandé throughout her life. One important influence was Frida Kahlo, so important that she has a tattoo of the artist’s portrait on her forearm. Just after leaving medical school, she made the decision to get the tattoo, which, for her, represented strength and bravery. Kahlo was inspirational for Sandé due to the unique story of her battle with polio at a very young age that went on to inspire her artwork. She knew that her decision to pursue music and quit school would require a sense of fearlessness that she gained through Kahlo’s expression of art.


2008–2010: Career beginnings.

Sandé’s sister made a video of her playing the piano and singing to one of her favourite songs, “Nasty Little Lady”. They sent the clip to Trevor Nelson’s BBC Urban music competition. Sandé won the show and was offered a record deal, but the management that she met via the competition decided against the deal. Emeli had become involved in the Urban Scot collective who helped and encouraged her career by promoting her in Scotland, and – according to Emeli Sandé: The Biography by David Nolan (2013) – also released an album of songs called Have You Heard? on Glasgow’s Souljawn Records, which was sold at gigs. Several tracks were also made available to download.

Her parents also sent BBC Radio 1Xtra a CD of her songs. Ras Kwame played her on his “Homegrown Sessions”, and four artists that year were asked to do a show in Soho. She met with Watford-born music producer/writer Shahid Khan aka Naughty Boy, who had previously worked with Ms Dynamite and Bashy, and they began writing tracks for artists such as Alesha Dixon, Chipmunk, Professor Green, Devlin, Preeya Kalidas, Cheryl Cole, and Tinie Tempah. Sandé soon signed a record deal with Virgin Records and EMI Records.

In an interview, she said “I was doing a show in London for 1Xtra and I met this guy called Naughty Boy. We got in the studio and we clicked work wise. We just started writing, not necessarily for me, we just thought ‘let’s write a pop tune’ and experiment. And we wrote the Chipmunk track, and I thought nothing of it. Naughty Boy sent it off to Chipmunk who really liked it and wrote his stuff around it.” She signed a record deal with Virgin Records in 2010. She later signed another deal with EMI Records in early 2011. Sandé made her singing career debut in 2009 after appearing on the track she wrote for Chipmunk’s debut single, “Diamond Rings”. The single charted at No. 6 on the UK Singles Charts, making it Chipmunk and Sandé’s first-ever Top 10 Hit.

She later appeared on another single singing guest vocals, after collaborating with Wiley on his comeback single “Never Be Your Woman”, the single charted at number-eight on the UK Singles Charts becoming Sandé’s second consecutive Top 10 Single. Sandé decided against using the name Adele Sandé, due to Adele’s growing success, so used her middle name instead. She revealed: “I changed it as soon as Adele came out. I just thought, ‘You’ve kind of taken the [name] now’, so I went with my middle name. She was just getting bigger and bigger, so I thought I just really need it.

2011–2013: Our Version of Events and breakthrough

Sandé at the 2013 Gibraltar Music Festival

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Sandé revealed her first solo single would be released in early 2011. There was some speculation surrounding which track she would release, after many newspapers stated that it would be “Daddy”. The first official single from her upcoming debut album was “Heaven”, released on 14 August 2011. The song received positive reviews from blogs such as This Must Be Pop and Robot Pigeon. She confirmed that “Daddy” would be the second official single released from Our Version of Events. Sandé achieved her first number-one single on the UK Singles Chart after “Read All About It” entered at number-one.

On 26 November, Sandé performed at the LG ARENA in Birmingham for BRMB 2011. On 15 December 2011, she was named as the Brit Awards Critics’ Choice for 2012. Her album Our Version of Events reached number one in the UK after its release in February 2012. Sandé’s debut album includes songs written by her and has been reviewed as having “richly melodic, classically powerful, retro-futurist soul-pop songs”.

It was announced that she was up for another BRIT Award in 2012, for British Breakthrough Act. Sandé went on to write material for the original line-up of Sugababes. On 24 January 2012, Sandé performed a one-off gig for Q Magazine at XOYO, London. She was supported by British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka. She recorded a version of David Guetta’s “Titanium” and the pair performed the song at NRJ Music Awards in France.  Sandé has penned a track for Naughty Boy’s upcoming LP entitled “Hollywood” which features soul singer Gabrielle. It is about fame coming and going and will be released in November.

On 27 July 2012, Sandé sang “Abide with Me” at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and her song “Heaven” was used to accompany the section with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Both appear on the Isles of Wonder CD of the opening ceremony’s music. NBC also used her song “Wonder” during the credits roll at the end of the tape-delayed ceremony broadcast in the United States. On 12 August 2012, Sandé sang “Read All About It (Part III)” at the closing ceremony, while a video montage of emotional scenes from the games was shown. She also covered a version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” exclusively for the BBC, who used it for their end credits montage at the conclusion of their Olympics coverage. Sandé is a winner of the 2013 European Border Breakers Awards. The European Border Breakers Awards honour the best new music acts in Europe. The award ceremony takes place at the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival in Groningen (NL). She won two BRIT 2013 awards for Best British female and Best British Album. In January 2013 it was revealed that Ella Henderson has anticipated work with Sandé on her debut album. The song “Next to Me” won two Ivor Novello Awards for “Best Song Musically and Lyrically” and “PRS for Music Most Performed Work” in 2013.

2013–2017: Long Live the Angels and community presence.

In May 2013, she performed at the White House in Washington, D.C., as one of the featured artists at the award ceremony when President Obama presented Carole King with the Library of Congress Gershwin Medal. In June 2013, Sandé started writing her second upcoming studio album, which was released in 2016. She had already written several songs, including “Pluto” with Naughty Boy, “Enough”, “Call Me What You Like”, “You and Me” and “This Much Is True”, which was written for her former husband, Adam. During U.S. Summer Tour in July 2013, Sandé performed “Free” from Rudimental’s album Home, “Lifted” from Naughty Boy’s album Hotel Cabana.

With her speedy success worldwide and especially between the UK and the US, Sandé has been a presence in many important campaigns, aside from her powerful stance on social justice through her songwriting. Whether through performances at fundraising concerts or campaigns of her own, she backs up her lyrics of social change and equality with action. With the honour of performing at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Event in 2013, she has shown her support in raising money and awareness for the HIV/AIDS problem in the world. More specifically, she understands the seriousness of HIV/AIDS in her father’s home origin of Zambia which provides a deeper passion to support the cause. She is also one face of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in the effort to also create awareness and funding for the fight against breast cancer. More recently, Sandé has helped launch a programme of her own called “Community Clavinova”, a nationwide opportunity for organizations of many kinds to receive free Clavinovas through the partnership of Sandé and Yamaha UK. As a passionate musician, she understands the importance of having resources and is excited to help provide groups with the opportunity to receive such a great contribution their organizations.

In 2013, Sandé revealed that she has been working on her second studio album, slated to be released in 2016. On 15 November 2014, Sandé joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa.

On 25 August 2016, Sandé shared a preview of a song from her upcoming album entitled ‘Intermission’ on her social media accounts, with the caption “Inhale, exhale, release and let yourself receive forgiveness.” Following a number of teasers, it was announced that “Hurts” would be released on 16 September as the lead single. Describing the song, she said: “I wanted to release ‘Hurts’ first because it felt like everything I’ve avoided saying for so long. It’s a real explosion. It’s everything I wish I’d said years and years ago. I didn’t want to hold anything back anymore.”  On 15 September, Sandé announced on her social media accounts that her new album would be called ‘Long Live The Angels’ and that it would be released on 11 November 2016. Her song Hurts from the album Long Live the Angels was published on 5 October. The album was released on the proposed date. The album debuted at number 2 on the UK album chart. The following year, Sandé gave her Long Live the Angels Tour, which is her first to include Arena dates.

In 2017, she received the Brit Awards’ Best British Female Solo Artist award, becoming her fourth win in total. On 2 October 2017, Sandé was also awarded with a BASCA Gold Badge award in recognition of her unique contribution to music.

2019–present: Real Life and new music.

On 12 April 2019, Emeli Sandé announced her third album, Real Life, out 7 June on Virgin/EMI/Universal Music. It was recorded following an intense personal journey of self-doubt and self-discovery.

On 23 May 2019, the track “Extraordinary Being” from the upcoming album was released as the soundtrack for the film X-Men – Dark Phoenix.

On 13 September 2019, Sandé released Real Life, her third studio album. On 16th September 2021, she released the video of her new single “Family”.

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Infamous Scots. Colin Norris.

Colin Norris (born 12 February 1976) is a former nurse and serial killer from the Milton area of Glasgow, Scotland who was convicted of murdering four elderly patients in a hospital in Leeds, England in 2002. He was sentenced in 2008 to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison. Doubts have since been raised about his conviction by, among others, retired Professor Vincent Marks, an expert on insulin poisoning.

Norris originally worked as a travel agent after leaving college, but after a few years in this role decided to retrain as a nurse. His academic record was average, but he became well-known for being quick to anger and for aggressive confrontations with tutors and, later, employers. After qualifying, he began working as a nurse in Leeds, but quickly fell out with authority figures and experienced staff. Norris admitted that he was disgusted by elderly patients, later saying he “couldn’t get used to the smells”, and said he initially found it difficult to wash elderly female patients who couldn’t bathe themselves.


At the time of the crimes, Norris worked at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. Suspicions were raised when Norris predicted the death of one patient, Ethel Hall, saying to a fellow nurse hours before: “I predict 5:15 am as being the time Ethel Hall will become unwell”. Hall’s condition then worsened badly that morning around 5 am and she died some weeks later. After Hall had become unwell nurses including Norris came to tend to her, at which point Norris tapped his watch and said to the nurse he had predicted Hall’s illness to earlier “I told you”. He had also complained earlier, before she became unwell, that he would have to fill out the paperwork for her death. Norris also stated at the time: “it is always in the morning when things go wrong” and “someone always dies when I do nights”. When questioned by police about this and three other patients who had died while he was on duty, he said “he seemed to have been unlucky over the last 12 months”. The four patients were 79, 80, 86 and 88 years old. The police investigated 72 cases in total.

Police evidence

Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg said that Norris’s accurate prediction of Hall’s death showed that it wasn’t a spontaneous case and demonstrated that it was a premeditated murder, revealing that he had been planning for hours before to kill Hall. During interviews with Norris, police observed he was “cocky” and “showing off”. Criminal psychologists stated that, despite Norris’s prediction, it was unlikely that he wanted to get caught, rather that he merely wanted to demonstrate a sense of superior knowledge. Police noted that Norris showed no empathy in interviews for the women who had died or for their families.

Investigations into the deaths of 72 people who had died on the ward while Norris was working showed that four elderly women had been killed by lethal injections of insulin, and that another had managed to survive a massive injected overdose. None of these women were diabetic. A blood sample was taken from Ethel Hall posthumously after a doctor raised concerns and ordered blood tests, and her blood was found to contain an inexplicably massive amount of insulin – 1000 units in just one sample – and this became the main hard evidence in the police case. The amount of insulin in Hall’s blood was about 12 times the normal level. Hall had only been in hospital to recover from a hip operation at the time. The only nurse that had cared for all five of the patients and had been there in the hours before they came catastrophically ill was Norris. It was discovered after Hall’s death that insulin had also been taken from the storage fridge, and Norris later admitted that he was the last person to have accessed this fridge before Hall had been injected with insulin. The police were also dismissive of Norris’s denials, believing that the suggestion that someone had come on to the ward during the nightshift and gone onto a bay to inject a lady before sneaking away without anybody realising was highly implausible. Investigators stated that Norris did not seem to be explicitly denying the murders, but insisting that they could not be proved.

Police also discovered that Norris had mistreated other elderly patients in the past. In one instance, an elderly man had requested Norris to empty his catheter bag, only for Norris to flatly refuse and insist he did it in the bathroom himself, before going off duty. The elderly man then collapsed after trying to reach the bathroom himself. Other patients stated that Norris had treated them in an offhand and callous manner, and that Norris had an apparent dislike of old people.


The trial, at Newcastle Crown Court, took 19 weeks and the jury deliberated for four days. Norris was convicted, by a majority verdict, on 3 March 2008, of the murder of four women, and the attempted murder of a fifth aged 90. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and ordered to serve a minimum term of 30 years in prison the following day. Judge Mr Justice Griffith rejected any possibility that Norris was practising euthanasia because none of the victims was terminally ill. He told Norris when sentencing:

“You are, I have absolutely no doubt, a thoroughly evil and dangerous man. You are an arrogant and manipulative man with a real dislike of elderly patients. The most telling evidence was that observation of one of your patients, Bridget Tarpey, who said ‘he did not like us old women’.”

Referred to in the British press as the “Angel of Death”, Norris was convicted of killing his victims by injecting them with high levels of insulin.

After the verdict was announced, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust apologised to the victims’ families for Norris’s “disturbing” crimes, subsequently describing him as an “extremely dangerous criminal”.

Jessie McTavish, a nurse convicted and then cleared in 1974 for the murder of an 80-year-old patient with insulin, has been identified as a possible inspiration for Norris.[citation needed] He once attended a lecture on her case while studying at university.

Concerns over the conviction

On 4 October 2011 new concerns were raised about the safety of Norris’ conviction. Retired Professor Vincent Marks – a leading expert on insulin poisoning – said the jury at Norris’ trial was led to believe by experts that a cluster of hypoglycaemic episodes, among people who were not diabetic, was sinister. The professor said international medical studies carried out in the years since the 35-year-old Glaswegian was convicted told a different story. “Looking at all the evidence, all I can say is I think Colin Norris’ conviction is unsafe,” he said.

Prof Marks says the four patients picked out by the experts after Mrs Hall’s death “were all at very high risk of developing spontaneous hypoglycaemia” because they had risk factors such as malnutrition, infection and multi-organ failure.

Legal observers have noted that, if the medical evidence is discredited, then the case against Norris collapses, there being little motive and no forensic evidence linking him to the crimes.

In 2011 former Rough Justice producer Louise Shorter and journalist Mark Daly produced the documentary A Jury in the Dark, arguing that there were logical, non-criminal explanations for all the deaths. During research for the film, Daly states he discovered an additional death at Leeds General Infirmary which police had initially been investigating as a potential murder carried out by a male nurse, however; the death “went from suspicious to non-suspicious”, when police learned that Norris was not on duty at the time.

In May 2013 the Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed it was re-examining the case in the light of new medical and scientific evidence contradictory to that submitted to the jury during the original trial.

In January 2015 the foreman of the jury that convicted Norris told the BBC that he now believes him to be innocent; apparently the second member of the jury to do so.

Similar cases

In the aftermath of Norris’ conviction, the British media drew comparisons with Harold Shipman, Britain’s most prolific serial killer who killed more than 250 patients by lethal injections. Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg, who worked on the Shipman case and led the Norris investigation, was convinced that Colin Norris would have gone on to kill considerably more people if he had not been stopped in his tracks.

In 2006 Benjamin Geen, a nurse at a hospital in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was given 17 life sentences for murdering two of his patients and attacking 15 others. He allegedly used a variety of injections which often included insulin, but his case is also controversial.

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Scottish Architecture . (Fingals cave.)

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics. The National Trust for Scotland owns the cave as part of a national nature reserve. It became known as Fingal’s Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson.

View from the depths of the cave with the island of Iona visible in the background, 2008.

St Orans Chapel Iona Interior

Basalt columns inside Fingal’s Cave.


Fingal’s Cave is formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, similar in structure to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and those of nearby Ulva.

In all these cases, cooling on the upper and lower surfaces of the solidified lava resulted in contraction and fracturing, starting in a blocky tetragonal pattern and transitioning to a regular hexagonal fracture pattern with fractures perpendicular to the cooling surfaces. As cooling continued these cracks gradually extended toward the centre of the flow, forming the long hexagonal columns we see in the wave-eroded cross-section today. Similar hexagonal fracture patterns are found in desiccation cracks in mud where contraction is due to loss of water instead of cooling.


Part of the Ulva estate of the Clan MacQuarrie from an early date until 1777, the cave was brought to the attention of the English-speaking world by 18th-century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772.

It became known as Fingal’s Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. It formed part of his Ossian cycle of poems claimed to have been based on old Scottish Gaelic poems. In Irish mythology, the hero Fingal is known as Fionn mac Cumhaill, and it is suggested that Macpherson rendered the name as Fingal (meaning “white stranger”) through a misapprehension of the name which in old Gaelic would appear as Finn. The legend of the Giant’s Causeway has Fionn or Finn building the causeway between Ireland and Scotland.


The cave has a large arched entrance and is filled by the sea. Several sightseeing cruises organised from April to September by local companies pass the entrance to the cave. In calm conditions, one can land at the island’s landing place (as some of these cruises permit) and walk the short distance to the cave, where a row of fractured columns forms a walkway just above high-water level permitting exploration on foot. From the inside, the entrance seems to frame the island of Iona across the water.

In art and literature

Engraving of Fingal’s Cave by James Fittler in Scotia Depicta, 1804..

Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 and wrote an overture, The Hebrides, Op. 26, (also known as Fingal’s Cave overture), inspired by the weird echoes in the cave. Mendelssohn’s overture popularized the cave as a tourist destination. Other famous 19th-century visitors included author Jules Verne, who used it in his book Le Rayon Vert (The Green Ray), and mentions it in the novels Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mysterious Island; poets William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson; and Romantic artist J. M. W. Turner, who painted Staffa, Fingal’s Cave in 1832. Queen Victoria also made the trip.

The 19th century Austro-Hungarian guitarist and composer Johann Kaspar Mertz included a piece entitled Fingals-Höhle in his set of character pieces for guitar Bardenklänge.

The playwright August Strindberg also set scenes from his play A Dream Play in a place called “Fingal’s Grotta”. Scots novelist Sir Walter Scott described Fingal’s Cave as “one of the most extraordinary places I ever beheld. It exceeded, in my mind, every description I had heard of it… composed entirely of basaltic pillars as high as the roof of a cathedral, and running deep into the rock, eternally swept by a deep and swelling sea, and paved, as it were, with ruddy marble, [it] baffles all description.”

Artist Matthew Barney used the cave along with the Giant’s Causeway for the opening and closing scenes of his art film, Cremaster 3. In 2008, the video artist Richard Ashrowan spent several days recording the interior of Fingal’s Cave for an exhibition at the Foksal Gallery in Poland.

One of Pink Floyd’s early songs bears this location’s name. This instrumental was written for the film Zabriskie Point, but not used.

Lloyd House at Caltech has a mural representing Fingal’s Cave.

The Alistair MacLean novel-based movie, When Eight Bells Toll, starring Anthony Hopkins, was filmed there.

It is possible that the township of Fingal, Tasmania was named after the cave in MacPherson’s honour.

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My Poetry. Making a Difference!

Waves batter shoreline stones  
polished to a high degree 
No man made power needed for this task 
Just Mother Nature and her sea.  
The power is magnificent within Earth itself 
more gigantic than man or his Kings 
We cannot control the force of our planet  
Nor control how a bird flys or sings. 
From ancient times man tried to control
The way our Earth reacted
But even in this new millennium 
we could only watch close and interacted. 
The Egyptians were the most advanced
Far ahead of their time and education
Their greatest of buildings still stand today
with no asbestos or harmful radiation. 
what have we learned from millions of years?
When man did not dominate the Planet
Animals ruled in fierce competition
territories were bare and volcanic.
As we grow to a very old age
We wonder what will happen to us next
Will we survive as this planet deteriorates?
Or will get even more complex?
Many scriptures tried to seal our fate
Predictions were almost turned true
But who can make a difference to our future?
We all know the answer is YOU....  

Look after yourselves and our Planet.

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Scottish Foods-Drinks. A full Scottish.

A full Scottish breakfast is just like a full English breakfast, except it comes with black pudding, lorne sausage, and tattie scones. Haggis is sometimes included, as is white pudding (similar to black pudding but with the blood substituted for fat). Tattie scones may be bland to some, but serve them with lashings of butter and you’re good to go. Expect to leave the table feeling full and content. Late night? Most places in Scotland serve this hearty breakfast all day long.

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Famous Scots. John Boyd Dunlop.

John Boyd Dunlop (born Feb. 5 1840, Dreghorn, Ayrshire, Scot.—died Oct. 23 1921, Dublin), inventor who developed the pneumatic rubber tire. In 1867 he settled in Belfast as a veterinary surgeon. In 1887 he constructed there a pneumatic tire for his son’s tricycle. Patented the following year, the tire went into commercial production in 1890, with Dunlop holding 1,500 shares of the Belfast manufacturing company that developed into the Dunlop Company.

It was later discovered that the principle of the pneumatic tire had already been patented in 1846. The company held various accessory patents, however, that enabled it to establish its position.

Though invented as an improvement on the bicycle, the pneumatic tire arrived on the scene just in time to contribute to the success of the automobile.

Dunlop Holdings PLC, subsidiary company of BTR PLC, and the major British manufacturer of tires and other rubber products. It is headquartered in London.

The company has been involved in rubber-tire manufacture since the late 19th century. Dunlop’s founder, John Boyd Dunlop (1840–1921), who had constructed the first pneumatic (air-filled) tire, received a patent for the tire in 1888. The following year he formed a company to manufacture pneumatic bicycle tires. In 1896 Dunlop registered the company in Great Britain as Byrne Brothers India Rubber Company, Ltd. The name was changed to Dunlop Rubber Company, Ltd., in 1900, and the company began making automobile tires six years later. To ensure that the company would have an uninterrupted supply of raw rubber, Dunlop started buying rubber plantations on the Malay Peninsula, and by 1926 the company held the largest acreage under one ownership anywhere in the British Empire. In 1981, however, the company sold its holdings there to Malaysian investors. That same year the company converted to a public limited company and assumed its current name.

In 1982 Dunlop sold a large portion of its European tire operations to Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Inc., of Japan—an associate company and former Dunlop subsidiary. BTR PLC, an industrial holding company, acquired Dunlop in 1985, selling off Dunlop’s American tire company.

Types of tires.

There are two main types of tires, those made of metal and those made of rubber. Railroad cars, which run on smooth steel rails, use iron or steel tires for low rolling resistance. The metal tire is basically a flat hoop fitted tightly over the exterior of the wheel. Besides low rolling resistance, its other attributes are strength, durability, and resistance to wear.

Free-moving vehicles such as automobiles, trucks, buses, bicycles, and airplanes need more friction to turn, climb, accelerate, and brake, so these vehicles use rubber tires, which provide both high friction and some cushioning ability. Rubber tires are of two types: (1) solid, or cushion, tires, in which the rubber portion functions to carry the load, absorb shocks, and resist cutting and abrasion; and (2) pneumatic tires, in which the load is carried and the shocks are absorbed mainly by the compressed air that fills the tire. Pneumatic tires are now used for almost all free-moving vehicles because of their greater cushioning ability and other advantages. Solid rubber tires are now used only on industrial and farm carts and on military vehicles, applications where tires are liable to be cut or pierced.

Solid tires

Solid rubber tires were introduced in 1881 on the wheels of hansom cabs in London. They were formerly used for many types of road vehicles, but they have now disappeared from highways owing to legislation that discouraged their use because they were hard on roads. The large sizes were supplanted by large pneumatic tires (truck and bus casings), but small solid tires came to be used extensively on industrial trucks and tractors and on carts. Solid tires are often adhered directly to the wheel or to a metal band applied to the periphery of the wheel.

Pneumatic tires

The pneumatic tire is designed to provide a flexible cover with an impermeable lining to contain and restrain the compressed air. This cover is provided with a rubber tread portion that is designed to withstand the cutting and abrasive wear of road contact and to protect the tire against puncture and loss of air. Such a structure has, as distinct from a solid rubber or cushion tire, no capacity in itself either to carry load or absorb shocks. It is entirely dependent on the contained compressed air to enable it to function.

The first patent for a pneumatic tire was issued to Robert William Thomson in England in 1845 for a hollow leather tire filled with air. Although a set of Thomson’s “Aerial Wheels” ran for 1,200 miles on an English brougham, the same inventor’s solid-rubber tires were more popular; and thus, for almost half a century, air-filled tires were forgotten. The growing popularity of the bicycle in the late 19th century revived interest in tire design, and in 1888 John Boyd Dunlop, a veterinary surgeon of Belfast, obtained patents on a pneumatic tire for bicycles. Pneumatic tires were first applied to motor vehicles by the French rubber manufacturer Michelin & Cie. For more than 60 years, pneumatic tires had inner tubes to contain the compressed air and outer casings to protect the inner tubes and provide traction. In the 1950s, however, tubeless tires reinforced by alternating plies, or layers, of cord became standard equipment on new automobiles. In that decade Michelin introduced the radial-ply tire, which is now standard for all automobiles in developed countries.

Pneumatic tires are usually retained on the wheel through the use of beads (hoops of wire) that are molded into the tire edges. The tire edges are placed in a shaped channel on the wheel rim’s circumference and are held firmly against the channel’s edges by the pressure exerted once the tire is inflated with air. Pressures range from about 30 pounds per square inch (200 kilopascals) for large, soft tires to approximately 100 pounds per square inch (700 kilopascals) for high-pressure, high-load applications. The pressure is carried by layers of cords embedded in a rubber cover that in turn serves to contain the air, protect the cords, and give high friction with the ground. This felicitous combination is the reason why pneumatic tires are so widely used for transportation. More than 200 million of them are manufactured for motor vehicles alone each year, 90 percent for automobiles and 10 percent for trucks.

Pneumatic tires are designed to meet five main goals: low rolling resistance, low vertical stiffness (to cushion the ride), high sliding friction in both wet and dry conditions, high longitudinal and lateral stiffness (to minimize sliding motions in the “contact patch” where the tread meets the road), and resistance to wear and damage such as cutting, puncturing, and abrasion. In order to achieve these goals, tire designers must choose appropriate combinations of materials and structures, such as those described below.

Tire materials

A pneumatic tire is reinforced by layers of relatively inextensible cords that hold the air pressure and restrict deformation and growth of the tire during use. To this end cord materials must have high stiffness, resistance to repeated flexing, high strength-to-weight ratio, and good adhesion to rubber. Tire cords have been made of cotton, rayon, nylon, polyester, and glass, but steel and polyaramid (an extremely hard and stiff synthetic fibre) are currently the dominant materials in use.

Various rubber compounds are used in different parts of the tire. The liner, which is intended to minimize the loss of air, is usually made of butyl rubber because that material has a low permeability to gas. Sidewalls, on the other hand, must resist scraping, flexing, and attack by ozone in the air. A typical formulation for sidewalls (measured in parts by weight of each ingredient) would be 50 parts natural rubber (for resistance to heat buildup), 50 parts butadiene rubber (for abrasion resistance), and 50 parts carbon black (for reinforcement), along with small amounts of processing oil, antioxidant, and protective wax. A tire’s treads must be especially resistant to abrasion. A tread compound might have no natural rubber at all but rather 65 parts styrene-butadiene rubber (for hardness and abrasion resistance), 35 parts butadiene rubber, and as much as 65 parts carbon black.

Tire specifications

Tires made to North American and European standards carry a code that shows their size and expected performance. In the American “P-metric” system, tire size is indicated, for example, by the code P215/70R15, where the letter P denotes a passenger-vehicle tire; 215 denotes the tire width in millimetres; 70 denotes the aspect ratio, i.e., the ratio of the tire’s height from rim to tread, relative to its width; R denotes radial construction; and 15 is the wheel rim diameter in inches. In addition to size, a speed rating is given using a letter code: S for a maximum speed of 112 miles per hour (180 km/h); T for 118 mph; H for 130 mph; V for 149 mph; and Z for more than 149 mph. A tread wear rating is given for expected tread life as a percentage of that for a standard tire. For example, a rating of 300 would imply a tread life three times as long as that of the reference tire.

Snow tires

Snow tires have an extra-deep tread for better traction on snow and ice. They are reputed to have 50 percent more pulling ability than regular tires on loosely packed snow and nearly 30 percent more on glare ice. In stopping on glare ice, however, snow tires have no advantage over regular tires; tire chains or studded tires are best for ice surfaces. Studded tires usually have about 100 studs tipped with tungsten carbide which contact the road as the tire rotates. Because of the damage they are said to cause road surfaces, they are prohibited in certain localities.

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Infamous Scots. Andrew Walker.

Andrew Walker was a corporal in the Royal Scots who killed three Army colleagues in a payroll robbery in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh, in January 1985. He was ultimately sentenced in to 27 years in prison.


On 17 January 1985, retired Major David Cunningham, 56, Staff Sergeant Terence Hosker, 39, Royal Army Pay Corps and Private John Thomson, 25, of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers picked up a £19,000 payroll from a Penicuik bank to take to the Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik, Midlothian where all were stationed.

According to the prosecution at his trial, Corporal Andrew Walker, age 30, armed with a sub-machine gun that he had signed out from the armoury, forced the trio to drive away from the bank. He shot Sgt. Hosker in the chest when he was tackled. Telling Private Thomson to drive along a quiet track to a reservoir, he shot Major Cunningham through the head. Thomson was then forced to unload the bodies of his colleagues before being shot himself in the head and abdomen. The money was never recovered and is thought to be buried in the hills. Walker left several clues in the deep snow and was arrested after a three-day manhunt.


While on remand for the murders, Walker shared a cell with 18-year-old Andrew Lowden, also on remand. Lowden claimed that Walker was physically violent towards him and threatened to kill Lowden’s father and girlfriend, and that Walker had confessed to the murders in lurid detail on the eve of the trial. When Lowden was released, Walker blackmailed Lowden into taking a letter out of the prison, placing the blame for the murders on the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The letter was confiscated by the guards, and Lowden was later called as a prosecution witness at Walker’s trial.

As a defense, Walker claimed he was driving elsewhere during the murders and that they were the actions of a terrorist organization. He claimed that the shells linking him to the murder weapon were planted.

Walker was found guilty of murder, the theft of the money, and attempting to pervert the course of justice for trying to smuggle the letter out of prison.

The judge, Lord Grieve, jailed Walker for life and recommended that Walker should serve at least 30 years. Lord Grieve noted “This was a calculated crime. The accused, if he was to achieve his purpose, had to kill. I am quite satisfied that the crime was carefully planned, and I am also quite sure that the substance of the evidence given by Walker was a tissue of lies.” He called the crimes “callous, brutal and calculated”.

Walker’s conviction was upheld on appeal, but the sentence was shortened to 27 years as Walker successfully argued in 2002 that he should not have been treated more harshly than other murderers.

Background and motive.

Walker was in debt at the time of the murders. He owed £2,000 on a car bill and was about to take delivery of a car worth £8,500. His army colleagues reported that he was a liar and braggart, and generally unpopular. After an initially successful career in the army, with three tours to Northern Ireland and a mention in dispatches, he had been having disciplinary issues in the months before the robbery and murders. A commanding officer, Lt Col Fairweather, had disciplined him and said: “Unless you get a grip of yourself, I can see you wearing a blue suit and eating porridge”.


In 2009, Walker suffered a stroke which left him severely disabled; in December 2011, he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

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Scottish Architecture. Linlithgow Palace.

Once a majestic royal residence of the Stewarts, Linlithgow Palace today lies roofless and ruined. Yet entering the palace gates still inspires awe in visitors.

James I ordered work on a palace to begin in 1424, following a fire that severely damaged the earlier residence. The elegant, new ‘pleasure palace’ became a welcome rest stop for royals on the busy road between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling castle

The Stewart queens especially liked the peace and fresh air, and Linlithgow Palace served as the royal nursery for:

  • James V – born 1512
  • Mary Queen of Scots – born 1542
  • Princess Elizabeth – born 1596

But the palace fell quickly into decline when James VI moved the royal court to London in 1603, following his coronation as James I of England.

The palace’s north quarter, which probably housed the queen’s apartment where Mary was born, fell to the ground in 1607. It was rebuilt around 1620, on the orders of James VI. The end came in 1746, when a great fire swept through the palace.

An ancient site

Linlithgow Palace stands on a low hill above a small inland loch. The name Linlithgow means ‘the loch in the damp hollow’.

The site was first occupied as far back as Roman times 2,000 years ago. There has been a royal residence here since at least the reign of David I (1124–53). He also founded the town that grew up around the royal residence.

Peace in Linlithgow was shattered in 1296, when Edward I of England invaded Scotland. The ‘Hammer of the Scots’ had a formidable defence built around the royal residence in 1302. He called it his ‘pele’ (from the Old French ‘pel’, meaning ‘stake’).

No visible features of the original Linlithgow Peel survive. The name is now used for the attractive parkland that surrounds the remains of the later Stewart palace.

A longstanding Stewart project.

James I had begun work on the new palace shortly after his return from captivity in England. Over the course of the next century and more, his heirs completed the great task.

Palace highlights include the:

  • Great Hall built for James I
  • royal apartments added by James IV (1488–1513)
  • three-tiered courtyard fountain added by James V in 1538
  • north quarter rebuilt for James VI (1567–1625)

The end result was a hugely impressive quadrangular palace, its four ranges grouped around a central courtyard.

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Scottish Football Teams. (Hibernian FC)

Hibernian Football Club (/hɪˈbɜːrniən/), commonly known as Hibs, is a professional football club based in the Leith area of Edinburgh, Scotland. The club plays in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). The club was founded in 1875 by members of Edinburgh’s Irish community, and named after the Roman word for Ireland. Nowadays, while the Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected in the name, colours and badge, support for the club is now based more on geography than ethnicity or religion. Their local rivals are Heart of Midlothian, with whom they contest the Edinburgh derby.

Home matches are played at Easter Road, which has been in use since 1893, when the club joined the Scottish Football League. The name of the club is regularly shortened to Hibs, with the team also being known as The Hibees (pronounced /ˈhaɪbiːz/) and supporters known as Hibbies. Another nickname is The Cabbage, derived from the shortened rhyming slang for Hibs (“Cabbage and Ribs”).

Hibernian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1952. Three of those four championships were won between 1948 and 1952, when the club had the services of The Famous Five, a notable forward line. The club have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1887, 1902, and 2016, with the latter victory ending a notorious drought. Hibs have also won the Scottish League Cup three times, in 1972, 1991, and 2007. Hibernian reached the semi-final of the first ever European Cup in 1955–56, becoming the first British side to participate in European competition; they reached the same stage of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960–61.


Main article: History of Hibernian F.C.

See also: List of Hibernian F.C. seasons

Foundation and early history (1875–1939).

The Cowgate, where Hibs were formed in 1875.

The club was founded in 1875 by Irishmen living in the Cowgate area of Edinburgh. The name Hibernian (deriving from Hibernia, an ancient name for Ireland), the colour green, the Gaelic harp and the Irish language phrase Erin Go Bragh (meaning Ireland Forever) were adopted as symbols early on.Founder Fr. Edward Joseph Hannan was the first president of the club and Michael Whelahan its first team captain. James Connolly, the famous socialist and Irish Republican leader, was a Hibs fan, while the club were “closely identified” with the Irish Home Rule Movement during the 1880s. There was some sectarian resistance initially to an Irish club participating in Scottish football, but Hibs established themselves as a force in Scottish football in the 1880s. Hibs were the first club from the east coast of Scotland to win a major trophy, the 1887 Scottish Cup. They went on to defeat Preston North End, who had reached the semi-finals of the 1887 FA Cup, in a friendly match described as the Association Football Championship of the World Decider.

Mismanagement over the next few years led to Hibs becoming homeless and the club temporarily ceased operating in 1891. A lease on the Easter Road site was acquired in late 1892 and Hibs played its first match at Easter Road on 4 February 1893. Despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup. The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1893, although they had to win the Second Division twice before being elected into the First Division in 1895.

A significant change at this time was that players were no longer required to be members of the Catholic Young Men’s Society. Hibs are not seen today as being an Irish or Roman Catholic institution, as it was in the early years of its history. For instance, the Irish harp was only re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000. This design reflects the three pillars of the club’s identity: Ireland, Edinburgh (the castle) and Leith (the ship). Geography rather than ethnicity or religion is now seen as the primary reason for supporting Hibs, who draw most of their support from the north and east of Edinburgh.

Hibs had some success after being reformed, winning the 1902 Scottish Cup and their first league championship a year later. After this, however, the club endured a long barren spell. The club lost its placing in the league, and were relegated for the first time in 1931, although they were promoted back to the top division two years later. The notorious Scottish Cup drought began as they reached three cup finals, two in consecutive years, but lost each of them.

The Famous Five (1939–1959).

Picture depicting the Famous Five at Easter Road stadium.

Hibs’ most successful era was in the decade following the end of the Second World War, when it was “among the foremost clubs in Britain”. The forward line of Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond, collectively known as the Famous Five, was “regarded as the finest ever seen in Scottish football”. Each of the Famous Five scored more than 100 goals for Hibs.[11] The north stand at Easter Road is now named in their honour. Smith was signed by Hibs in 1941, while Ormond, Turnbull, Reilly and Johnstone were all signed during 1946. Of the five, only Ormond cost Hibs a transfer fee, £1200 from Stenhousemuir. Reilly, Johnstone, Smith and Turnbull were all signed from youth or junior leagues.

In the first season of competitive football after the Second World War, Hibs reached the 1947 Scottish Cup Final. They took an early lead in the match, but went on to lose 2–1 to Aberdeen. With Reilly added to the first team in 1947–48, Hibs won the Scottish league championship for the first time since 1903. This was achieved despite the death of team manager Willie McCartney in January 1948. McCartney was succeeded by Hugh Shaw, who added Johnstone to the first team during 1948. Hibs finished third in the league in 1948–49. In a friendly match against Nithsdale Wanderers on 21 April 1949, Hibs included all of the famous five players in the same team for the first time. They then made their collective competitive debut on 15 October 1949, in a 2–0 win against Queen of the South. They improved on their season from the year before, by finishing second in the league to Rangers by one point.

1950–51 was the high point of the Famous Five era. With other internationalists such as Tommy Younger and Bobby Combe, Hibs won the league by 10 points (when two points were awarded for each win). They reached the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final. Turnbull had scored a hattrick in the semi-final but was unavailable for the final. Jimmy Bradley started at left wing with Ormond moved to inside left. Motherwell beat them 3–0. Hibs retained the league championship in 1951–52, this time winning by four points. Hibs were narrowly denied a third consecutive title in 1952–53 on the last day of the season. A late Rangers equaliser against Queen of the South took the title to Ibrox on goal average. The Famous Five forward line remained in place until March 1955, when Johnstone was sold to Manchester City.

See also: Hibernian F.C. in European football and 1955–56 European Cup

Despite only finishing fifth in the Scottish League in 1955, Hibs were invited to participate in the first season of the European Cup, which was not strictly based on league positions at that time. Eighteen clubs who were thought would generate interest across Europe and who also had the floodlights necessary to play games at night, were invited to participate. Floodlights had been used at Easter Road for the first time in a friendly match against Hearts on 18 October 1954. Hibs became the first British club in Europe because the Football League secretary Alan Hardaker persuaded Chelsea, the English champions, not to enter.

Hibs played their first tie against Rot-Weiss Essen, winning 4–0 in the Georg-Melches-Stadion and drawing 1–1 at Easter Road. They defeated Djurgårdens IF to reach the semi-final, but in that tie they were defeated 3–0 on aggregate by Stade Reims, who had the famous France international player Raymond Kopa in their side. Reims lost 4–3 to Real Madrid in the final.

Turnbull’s Tornadoes (1960–1989).

Hibs frequently participated in the Fairs Cup during the 1960s, winning ties against Barcelona and Napoli. However, the club achieved little domestically until former player Eddie Turnbull was persuaded to return to Easter Road as manager in 1971. The team, popularly known as Turnbull’s Tornadoes, finished second in the league in 1974 and 1975, and won the League Cup in 1972. The club also won the Drybrough Cup in 1972 and 1973, and recorded a 7–0 win over Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts at Tynecastle on 1 January 1973.

Performances went into decline after the mid-1970s, as Hibs were replaced by the New Firm of Aberdeen and Dundee United as the main challengers to the Old Firm. Turnbull resigned as manager and Hibs were relegated, for the second time in their history, in 1980. They were immediately promoted back to the Scottish Premier Division in 1981, but the club struggled during the 1980s, failing to qualify for European competition until 1989.

1990s: Attempted takeover by Hearts.

After mismanagement during the late 1980s, Hibs were on the brink of financial ruin in 1990. Wallace Mercer, the chairman of Hearts, proposed a merger of the two clubs, but the Hibs fans believed that the proposal was more like a hostile takeover. They formed the Hands off Hibs group to campaign for the continued existence of the club. This succeeded when a prominent local businessman, Kwik-Fit owner Sir Tom Farmer, acquired a controlling interest in Hibs. The fans were able to persuade Farmer to take control despite the fact that he had no great interest in football. Farmer was persuaded in part by the fact that a relative of his had been involved in the rescue of Hibs from financial ruin in the early 1890s. After the attempted takeover by Mercer, Hibs had a few good years in the early 1990s, winning the 1991 Scottish League Cup Final and finishing in the top five in the league in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Soon after Alex McLeish was appointed as manager in 1998, Hibs were relegated to the First Division, but immediately won promotion back to the SPL in 1999.

Recent history (2000–present).

Hibs enjoyed a good season in 2000–01 as they finished third in the league and reached the 2001 Scottish Cup Final, which was lost 3–0 to Celtic. Manager Alex McLeish departed for Rangers in December 2001; team captain Franck Sauzée was appointed as the new manager, despite the fact that he had no previous coaching experience. A terrible run of form followed and Sauzée was fired after being in charge for 69 days.

Kilmarnock manager Bobby Williamson was then hired, but he proved to be unpopular with Hibs supporters. However, a string of exciting young players emerged, including Garry O’Connor, Derek Riordan, Kevin Thomson and Scott Brown. These players featured heavily as Hibs eliminated both halves of the Old Firm to reach the 2004 Scottish League Cup Final, only to lose 2–0 to Livingston. Williamson departed near the end of that season to manage Plymouth Argyle and was replaced by Tony Mowbray. Mowbray promised fast-flowing, passing football, with which Hibs finished third in his first season as manager, while Mowbray won the SFWA Manager of the Year award.

The Scottish League Cup is paraded in March 2007.

Mowbray left Hibs in October 2006 to manage West Bromwich Albion, and was replaced by former player John Collins. The team won the 2007 Scottish League Cup Final under his management, but the club sold Kevin Thomson, Scott Brown and Steven Whittaker for fees totalling more than £8 million. Collins resigned later that year, frustrated by the lack of funds provided to sign new players. Former Hibs player Mixu Paatelainen was hired to replace Collins, but he left after the end of his first full season.

Another former Hibernian player, John Hughes, was soon appointed in place of Paatelainen.Hughes, who made high-profile signings such as Anthony Stokes and Liam Miller, led Hibs to a good start to the 2009–10 season. Hibs finished fourth and qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League. A poor start to the following season, including first round exits in Europe and the League Cup, led to Hughes leaving the club by mutual consent. Hughes was replaced by Colin Calderwood, who was himself sacked on 6 November 2011.

Pat Fenlon was appointed to replace Calderwood.[62] The club avoided relegation in 2011–12 and reached the 2012 Scottish Cup Final, but this was lost 5–1 to Hearts.[63] Fenlon largely rebuilt the team after this defeat.[62] This resulted in an improved league position in 2012–13 and the team reaching the 2013 Scottish Cup Final, which was lost 3–0 to league champions Celtic.[64] Hibs qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, but they suffered a Scottish record defeat in European competition (9–0 on aggregate against Malmö).[65] Fenlon resigned on 1 November and was replaced by Terry Butcher.[66] A run of 13 games without a win to finish the 2013–14 Scottish Premiership season meant that Hibs fell into a relegation play-off,[67] which was lost after a penalty shootout against Hamilton Academical.[68]

Butcher was sacked in June[69] and was replaced by Alan Stubbs. He was unable to lead the team to promotion, but the 2015–16 season saw considerable cup success. The team reached the League Cup final, which was lost to Ross County.[70] This was followed by victory in the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1902, culminating in a cup final win against Rangers.[71] Soon after the cup win, Stubbs resigned as Hibs manager to take charge at Rotherham United[72] and was replaced by Neil Lennon, who led the team to promotion by winning the 2016–17 Scottish Championship.[73] In their first season back in the top flight, Hibs finished fourth in the Premiership and qualified for the Europa League.[74] Lennon left the club in January 2019[75] and was replaced by Paul Heckingbottom.[76]

Heckingbottom was sacked in November 2019 and replaced by Jack Ross.[77] Hibs finished seventh in a 2019–20 league season that was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the following season they finished third in the league and reached the 2021 Scottish Cup Final, but this was lost 1–0 to St Johnstone.[78] Ross guided Hibs to the League Cup final later that year, but was sacked 10 days before the final after a run of seven defeats in nine league games.[79]

Colours and badge.


The predominant club colours are green and white, which have been used since the formation of the club in 1875.[80] The strip typically has a green body, white sleeves, and a white collar.[80] The shorts are normally white, although green has been used in recent seasons.[80] The socks are green, usually with some white detail.[80] Hibs have used yellow, purple, black, white, and a dark green in recent seasons for their alternate kits.[81] In 1977, Hibs became the first club in Scotland to bear sponsorship on their shirts.[82] This arrangement prompted television companies to threaten a boycott of Hibs games if they used the sponsored kit, which resulted in the club using an alternate kit for the first time.[80][83]

Hibs wore green and white hooped shirts during the 1870s,[80] which was the inspiration for the style later adopted by Celtic.[84] Hibs then wore all-green shirts from 1879 until 1938, when white sleeves were added to the shirts.[80] This was similar in style to Arsenal, who had added white sleeves to their red shirts earlier in the 1930s.[85] The colour of the shorts was changed to a green which matched the shirts in 2004, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of a friendly win in October 1964 against Real Madrid.[86] Green shorts were used in that match to avoid a colour clash with the all-white colours of Real Madrid. Hibs also used green shorts in the 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons.[80] For the 2012–13 season, Hibs changed the primary colour of the shirts to a darker “bottle” green, instead of the normal emerald green.[87] A darker green had been used until the 1930s.[87] For the 2014–15 season, Hibs removed the traditional white sleeves from their home kit, as they changed to a darker green shirt in commemoration of the Famous Five forward line.[88]

The badge used to identify the club has changed frequently over the years, which has reflected an ongoing debate about its identity. This debate has centred on whether its Irish heritage should be proudly displayed, or ignored for fear of being accused of sectarianism.[16] The Irish harp was first removed in the 1950s, then re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000.[16] Scottish Football Museum director Ged O’Brien said in 2001, that the current design shows that Hibs “are comfortable with all the strands of their tradition – it has Leith, Edinburgh and Ireland in it.”[16] As well as the harp representing Ireland, the present badge includes a ship (for the port of Leith) and a castle (as in Edinburgh Castle).[16]


Main articles: Easter Road and Hibernian Park

Easter Road in 2010.

Hibs played on The Meadows for the first two years of their history, before moving to grounds in Newington (Mayfield Park) and Bonnington Road, Leith (Powderhall), in different spells between 1877 and 1879. After the lease on Mayfield Park expired, Hibs moved to a ground known as Hibernian Park, on what is now Bothwell Street in Leith. Hibs failed to secure the ground lease and a builder started constructing houses on the site in 1890.[92] Hibs obtained a lease on a site that is now known as Easter Road in 1892 and have played their home matches there since February 1893.

Before the Taylor Report demanded that the stadium be all-seated, Easter Road had vast banks of terracing on three sides, which meant that it could hold crowds in excess of 60,000. The record attendance of 65,860, which is also a record for a football match played in Edinburgh, was set by an Edinburgh derby played on 2 January 1950. Such vast crowds were drawn by the success of the Famous Five.

The pitch was noted for its pronounced slope, but this was removed in 2000. The ground is currently all-seated and has a capacity of 20,421. Easter Road is a modern stadium, with all four of its stands having been built since 1995. The most recent redevelopment was the construction of a new East Stand in 2010.

Scotland have played seven of their home matches at Easter Road, between 1998 and 2017. Scotland women played their first match at Easter Road in August 2019, a Euro 2021 qualifying match against Cyprus. The ground has hosted one international not involving the Scotland teams, a friendly played between Ghana and South Korea preceding the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Easter Road has also sometimes been used as a neutral venue for Scottish League Cup semi-final matches and once hosted a Scottish Challenge Cup final.


Rob Jones scores a goal for Hibs against Hearts in 2006.

Main article: Edinburgh derby

See also: East of Scotland Shield, Festival Cup, Rosebery Charity Cup, and Wilson Cup (football)

Hibs have a traditional local rivalry in Edinburgh with Hearts; the derby match between the two clubs is one of the oldest rivalries in world football. Graham Spiers has described it as “one of the jewels of the Scottish game”. The clubs first met on Christmas Day 1875, when Hearts won 1–0 in the first match ever contested by Hibs. The two clubs became distinguished in Edinburgh after a five-game struggle for the Edinburgh Football Association Cup in 1878, which Hearts finally won with a 3–2 victory after four successive draws. The clubs have met each other in two Scottish Cup finals, in 1896 and 2012, both of which were won by Hearts. The 1896 match is also notable for being the only Scottish Cup Final to be played outside Glasgow.

Both clubs have been champions of Scotland four times, although Hearts have the better record in derby matches. Hibs recorded the biggest derby win in a competitive match when they won 7–0 at Tynecastle on New Year’s Day 1973. While it has been noted that religious background lies behind the rivalry, that aspect is “muted” and is a “pale reflection” of the sectarianism in Glasgow. Although the clubs are inescapable rivals, the rivalry is mainly “good-natured” and has had beneficial effects.[115]

Supporters and culture.

View of Easter Road with Leith in the distance.

Hibernian are one of only two full-time professional football clubs in Edinburgh, which is the capital of and second largest city in Scotland. The club had the fourth largest average attendance in the Scottish leagues during the 2019–20 season (16,728). In the period after the Second World War, Hibs attracted average attendances in excess of 20,000, peaking at 31,567 in the 1951–52 season. Since Easter Road was redeveloped into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s, average attendance has varied between a high of 18,124 in 2017–18 and a low of 9,150 in 2003–04. There has been a significant increase in recent seasons, inspired by the Scottish Cup victory in 2016 and promotion in 2017. In the 1980s and 1990s, a minority of the club’s supporters had a reputation as one of Britain’s most prominent casuals groups, known as the Capital City Service.

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Scottish Architecture. Red Road Flats. Glasgow.

From slum clearance to high-rise demolition: why Glasgow’s Red Road flats could never live up to expectations.

Intended to be the solution to Glasgow‘s 20th-century slum crisis, the Red Road flats instead came to represent the failings of modern high-rise housing.

Red Road Flats Glasgow

While some former residents have fond memories of the community that grew up around Red Road, others remember the poor living conditions and rapid decline of the development.

An iconic part of the Glasgow skyline for many years, the troubled Red Road flats were finally condemned in 2008.

Slum clearance

By the mid-20th century, much of central Glasgow had become overcrowded, and traditional tenements had turned into unsanitary and unsafe slums.

As part of the post-war Bruce Report (drawn up by the Glasgow Corporation in 1946), certain inner-city districts were named as Comprehensive Development Areas.

The Gorbals slum

Essentially, this meant that the council believed areas like the Gorbals, Townhead and Anderston were beyond saving – residents would be moved elsewhere and the slums would be flattened.

Areas on the outskirts of the city were earmarked for new developments, which would provide modern, safe and spacious living conditions for those leaving the urban slums.

A new beginning

The Red Road flats are arguably the most famous of these new developments.

Construction on the green belt area at Barlornock started in 1964, and the first residents had moved in by 1966.

At the time they were built, the eight Red Road tower blocks were the tallest residential high-rises in Europe, at 28 and 31 storeys.

red road flats glasgow

The flats cost an estimated £6 million to build and were intended to house 4,700 people to ease overcrowding in the inner-city.

On top of brand new housing, improved living conditions, and high levels of community spirit, residents could also enjoy spectacular views of Glasgow and the surrounding countryside, even being able to see as far as the Isle of Arran on a clear day.

Plagued with problems

Despite the promising start, the Red Road flats soon came under criticism.

Built with a steel frame (rather than pre-fabricated concrete panels like other tower blocks in the city), the flats had to be fire-proofed with asbestos.

The architects responsible for the project argued that using asbestos was the safest way to ensure the flats were fire-proof, but by the 1980s it was widely known that asbestos could cause severe illness and even death.

red road flats glasgow

Some asbestos was removed in the early 1980s, but the majority of it remained until the Red Road flats were eventually demolished.

The tower blocks soon began to deteriorate. Lifts frequently broke down, leaks were common, and the flats even swayed in high winds.

Crime, drugs, and social issues.

It wasn’t just structural problems that affected the Red Road flats.

They quickly gained a reputation for anti-social behavior and crime, ranging from youth gangs causing mischief to burglaries, assaults, and drug dealing.

One of the most infamous incidents happened in 1977 when vandals started a fire in an empty flat.

The blaze caused serious structural damage and also resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy.

After residents were evacuated, many refused to return to their homes because of safety issues.

red road flats glasgow

Shortly after, in 1980, authorities declared two of the blocks as unfit for family accommodation and were instead let to students and the YMCA.

Around this time, measures were also introduced to reduce crime in the Red Road flats.

Access to communal spaces was made more secure with the installation of intercoms and electronic keys, and 24-hour concierge facilities were also added.

Crime did drop significantly following these measures, but Red Road’s reputation would never recover.

It was seen (especially by outsiders) as a grim and desolate place. As some of Glasgow’s tallest buildings, the complex also became a hotspot for suicides.

The end of the Red Road.

By the beginning of the 21st century, repairs were costing more than rent, and by 2008 the decision had been made to demolish the Red Road flats.

Phased demolition was planned to begin in 2010, despite the fact that asylum seekers were still living in the flats.

The first block was demolished in June 2012 and took just six seconds to fall after a series of controlled explosions. The second one followed in May 2013.

A controversial plan was then announced which would see five of the remaining blocks demolished as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

red road flats glasgow

Those who opposed the plan said it would be insensitive to demolish the flats as a form of entertainment. They felt the demolition should instead be done with dignity, as a mark of respect to the people who had called Red Road home.

There were also safety concerns, as the sixth block (not yet planned for demolition) was still inhabited by a large number of asylum seekers.

The Commonwealth Games ‘spectacle’ was called off, but the flats were demolished anyway during the following year.

Since the demolition, Glasgow Life and Glasgow Housing Association have partnered up to create the Red Road: Past, Present, and Future project, which collects stories, photos, and recollections from those who lived in the flats.

Just like the slums, they were built to replace, the Red Road flats have now disappeared from Glasgow’s landscape.

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Famous Scots. Sir Ralph Cochrane.

Air chief marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) GBE, KCB, AFC (24 February 1895 – 17 December 1977) was a British aviator and Royal Air Force officer, perhaps best known for his role in Operation Chastise, the famous “Dambusters” raid.

Early RAF career.

Ralph Cochrane was born on 24 February 1895, the youngest son of Thomas Cochrane, 1st Baron Cochrane of Cults, in the Scottish village of Springfield, Fife. To qualify as a naval officer, he must have joined the Royal Naval College, Osborne, in 1908, and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, two years later. On 15 September 1912, he was commissioned into the Royal Navy as a midshipman.

During the First World War, Cochrane served in the Royal Naval Air Service piloting airships. He also completed a tour as a staff officer in the Admiralty’s Airship Department.

In January 1920, he was removed from the Navy List and granted a commission in the Royal Air Force. Between the wars, Cochrane served in various staff positions and commanded No. 3 Squadron from 1924 before attending the RAF Staff College and commanding No. 8 Squadron from 1929. He attended the Imperial Defence College in 1935.

At the request of Group Captain T. M. Wilkes, New Zealand Director of Air Services, in 1936 Cochrane was sent to New Zealand to assist with the establishment of the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an independent service from the army. On 1 April 1937, Cochrane was appointed Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Air Vice-Marshal Ralph Cochrane, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, King George VI and Group Captain John Whitworth discussing the Dambusters Raid in May 1943.

Second World War and the post-war years.

During the Second World War, Cochrane commanded No. 7 Group from July 1940, No. 3 Group from September 1942 and No. 5 Group from February 1943; all these Groups were in RAF Bomber Command. 5 Group became the most efficient and elite Main Force bomber group undertaking spectacular raids. Cochrane commanded the Dam-Busters raid. There was intense, sometimes openly hostile, rivalry between Cochrane and Air Vice Marshal Don Bennett, who saw Cochrane’s experimentation with low-level target marking through 617 Squadron in 1944 as a direct threat to his own specialist squadrons’ reputation.

In February 1945, Cochrane became Air Officer Commanding at RAF Transport Command, a position he held until 1947 when he became Air Officer Commanding at RAF Flying Training Command. During this time he managed the Berlin Airlift. In 1950 Cochrane was appointed Vice-Chief of the Air Staff. Ralph Cochrane retired from the service in 1952. Following his retirement, Cochrane entered the business world notably as director of Rolls-Royce. He was also chairman of RJM exports which manufactured scientific models and is now known as Cochranes of Oxford.

Honours and awards.

In the 1939 New Year Honours, Cochrane was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (Military Division). In the New Year Honours 1943 Cochrane was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (Military Division). In the 1945 New Years Honour list he was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In the 1948 King’s Birthday Honours he was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. In the 1950 King’s Birthday Honours, he was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.

Dates of rank.

Wing commander1933

Acting group captain1937On secondment to RNZAF
Group captain1938

Air commodore (temporary)1940

Air marshal (acting)1945

Air marshal1946

Air chief marshal1949

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Scottish Mysteries. (Iona)

The Missing Library Of Iona

In A.D. 563, missionary St. Columba and his followers landed on the Scottish island of Iona. It was there that he founded a monastery, which became a capital of knowledge during the Dark Ages. Kings were buried there, and people made pilgrimages to benefit from the wisdom of the monks. The monastery there was filled with the best writings of the age—most of which have vanished.

The only known survivor is The Book of Kells, which is preserved at Trinity College in Dublin. Many believe the rest were destroyed by Viking raiders who attacked in the ninth century, but some historians believe the books may have survived. They suggest that the books may have been taken to Ireland or buried nearby to keep them safe.

While archaeological digs on nearby islands in the 1950s proved fruitless, there’s a chance that the missing knowledge could still be nearby. After all, the Dead Sea Scrolls are centuries older, and a shepherd simply stumbled upon them in a cave. An immense written record may exist from a time period that gets its name from the lack of such a thing, but we simply don’t know where it is.

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My Poetry. Can you see?

Can you see our world?
From a different light
When its war enticed
And doesn’t look bright.
Is the good Lord above?
Watching our foes
Choosing our enemies
to see how it goes?
Were we ever designed?
To be battle ready
Lifting our hands
Becoming unsteady?
Are we destined to be?
Hungry and cold
When some are rich
With means untold?
Does the moon ever fade?
Tarnish or die
Is the sun gonna shine
In a bright clear sky?
Are butterflies colours?
Black and white
Are oceans bottomless?
Avast of delight.
Is love just a word
Meaningless and dull
Is a bond not your word?
Carved in your skull.
Do you help your neighbour
when he is in plight?
can you sit around watching
while others fight?
Would you ignore your brother
if his skin was brown
can you stand and watch
another human drown?
Could you ignore a person
who cannot communicate?
having learning difficulties
that they did not create?
These are questions
I cannot answer
but we live in hope
like a cure for cancer!!
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