Scottish Mysteries.(Fairy Tales)


The Ghillie Dhu is a male faerie who lives alone in the forest and camouflages himself using leaves and moss. It’s believed that he lives around Gairloch in the Highlands – also home to a prehistoric vitrified fort, medieval island stronghold and “Creag an Fhomhair” (“the Giant’s Rock”).

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OOR WULLIE. (sailors).

Another adventure from oor Wullie.

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Scottish Places of Interest.(orkney)

The Orkney Islands drift just off the north coast of Scotland, and their miles of rocky coastline are teeming with wildlife, home to puffin and sea colonies, giant Arctic seabirds and dolphins. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed islands are also famous for their fascinating array of Neolithic monuments, stone circles and tombs, including the Standing Stones of Stennes, four giant megaliths that may be the oldest henge site in the British Isles, believed to be part of an original ring of 12 that date from the third millennium BC. Orkney’s most famous landmark, the Old Man of Hoy, is an imposing 450-foot sea stack on the island of Hoy carved from layer upon layer of Old Red Sandstone. Its shaping can be traced back through the centuries through maps and paintings – in 1750, it was depicted as a headland, but just 70 years later the stormy seas had carved the rock into a stack and arch, with the two legs giving it the name of Old Man.

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Scottish Mysteries.(Selkies)


In Scottish mythology, selkies can change from seal to human form by shedding their skin. At 6,000-year-old midden sites (refuse heaps) on Oronsay, archaeologists have found bones from human hands buried alongside those from seal flippers. We know relatively little of how the first people who hunted, fished and gathered plants in Mesolithic Scotland saw the world; it’s tempting to see a prehistoric precursor to this story existing thousands of years ago.

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Scottish Architecture… Balmoral Castle.

A beautiful history of Balmoral Castle. Scotland. Home of the late Queen Elizabeth the 2nd.

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Scottish Battles. Battle of Ronaldsway.

The Battle of Ronaldsway took place in 1275 at Ronaldsway in the southern part of the Isle of Man between a Scottish army and the Manx. The battle crushed the final attempt by the Manx to re-establish the Norse Sudreyar dynasty. As the battle resulted in the death of the last Norse King of MannGuðrøðr Magnússon, and the emigration to Norway of the remaining members of the Manx royal family, it also led to the firm establishment of Scottish rule on the Isle of Man.


Although the Isle of Man was formally ceded to Alexander III of Scotland in 1266, Scottish rule did not go unchallenged and in 1267 Alexander was forced to send an expedition against “the rebels of Man”.

Between this expedition and the 1275 uprising all that is known is that Alexander III appointed bailiffs to the Isle of Man.

Manx rebellion

Main article: Manx revolt of 1275

In response to the open uprising of the Manxmen under Guðrøðr, Alexander III dispatched a fleet to the island led by John de Vesci of Alnwick and many nobles. The Scots landed on St Michael’s Isle on 7 October 1275 and sent a message to the rebels with terms of peace, “offering them the peace of God and of the King of Scotland on condition of their laying aside their absurd presumption, and of giving themselves up to the King and his nobles.”


Guðrøðr and the Manxmen having rejected the terms offered, battle was joined before sunrise the following day, 8 October. The Manxmen were routed and suffered heavy casualties. Guðrøðr was probably among the dead, ending the male line of the Manx Norse dynasty, although some theorise that he might have survived and fled to Wales.


With the death of Guðrøðr, the Isle of Man came under Scottish rule. This lasted at least until the death of Alexander III in 1285, as the island was listed among Alexander’s heir Margaret, Maid of Norway‘s future possessions in 1284. The island did not, however, remain in Scottish hands beyond September 1290, when Edward I of England issued decrees to the Manxmen as their ruler. Thereafter England and Scotland struggled for control of the island until 1333, when Edward III of England renounced all English claims over the Isle of Man and recognised William Montacute, 1st Earl of Salisbury as King of Mann. Reasons of state, however, made the Isle of Man a shuttlecock to be passed over once more to Scotland with Edward Balliol, to whom Edward was giving his support in David’s minority. After this, again the Scots had to be turned out, but this finally[clarification needed], when in 1343, ships being provided by the King, William de Montacute captured the island, and was crowned there.

English rule was reinstituted in 1399. The title of King of Mann changed to Lord of Mann in 1504, and from 1765 the title was purchased by the Crown of Great Britain.

1936 archaeological excavations

During the eastward expansion of Ronaldsway Aerodrome in 1936 a number of small rises near the airfield were dug into to provide soil for the levelling of the ground to the east. When workers began digging into one rise on the south side of the airfield they came upon numerous ancient graves. To the northeast of the main area of graves a large number of skeletons were found thrown together in a disorderly manner. Seeing as the ancient burial mound, dating back to at least the 8th or 9th centuries AD, had been a dominating strong point in the area, it was believed the collection of skeletons might be a mass grave of soldiers who fell at the Battle of Ronaldsway.

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Scottish Mysteries.(Eagle stone)


Clach an Tiompain (‘The Eagle Stone’) is a 1,300-year-old Pictish symbol stone in the Highlands. In the 17th century, a seer reportedly predicted that should it fall three times, ships would anchor on the spot. Since it has supposedly fallen twice already, it’s now set in concrete.

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Scottish places of Interest.(pulpit)

Sometimes referred to as the “Devil’s Pulpit,” Finnich Glen is a breathtaking natural gorge with a very interesting history. The 70-feet-deep gorge located near Craighat Wood can be found under the small stone bridge that you’ll cross before entering the picturesque village of Croftamie. It’s said to have been used for Druid rituals and secret meetings by clandestine Covenanters. It’s easy to see why they were drawn to this stunning deep crevice, with its towering cliffs and hidden alleyways. The brilliant green moss covering the walls provides an otherworldly backdrop, while the water flowing through the red sandstone sometimes resembles a river of blood. If you’re a fan of the show “Outlander,” this may look familiar to you as it was this spot that was said to possess truth-telling powers in the series.

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Scottish Architecture.(st columbas)

Burntisland Parish Church (also known as St Columba’s, Burntisland) is a church building in the Fife burgh of Burntisland, constructed for the Church of Scotland in 1592. It is historically important as one of the first churches built in Scotland after the Reformation, with a highly distinctive and apparently original square plan. It is Category A listed for its architectural and historical importance.

In 1601 the church was the location of a meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which proposed to King James VI of Scotland that they work on a new Bible translation. When James became King James I of England he was able to devote resources to the production of what would ultimately become the King James Version.


The port of Burntisland had grown during the 16th century and was made a royal burgh in 1568; due to this growth and increased sense of civic pride, the townspeople decided to build a new church. This replaced an earlier building at Kirkton, a mile to the north of Burntisland.


St. Columbas Rc Church On Old Edinburgh Road Viewpark .uk 107063

The building is notable for its square design: the interior is 18m square with four arched piers reaching in diagonally from the corners to form a 6m square in the centre. Various models for it have been suggested, mainly in the Low Countries, but no candidate has been found to predate it, and it is therefore probably an original Scottish design.

It incorporates a gallery with a separate exit, for sailors to leave the service when the timing of the tide dictated that it was time to sail.

The tower was rebuilt by Samuel Neilson in 1748. Significant renovations were carried out by David Vertue in 1822; he enlarged the windows and removed many of the old pews.

The architect Malcolm Fraser described its distinctive design as “a radical representation of democracy and the freedom of man to communicate directly with God.” Henry Kerr suggests symbolism in its structure: the church is built high up on a rock, and its four walls lean in on the tower, which represents the “strength and safety” of the Church.

Interior decoration

It is decorated inside with carved wooden panels, many of which relate to the town’s maritime history, depicting ships, shipowners, and nautical trades. As well as sailors, there were also areas for the guilds of schoolmasters, tailors, hammermen, maltsters, and bakers. A painted panel in the west gallery from 1930 commemorates the 800th anniversary of the old church at Kirkton.

The 1606 Magistrate’s Pew (formerly known as the Burntisland Castle Pew) in the northeast corner was built for Robert Melville of Rossend. In 1907 Robert Rowand Anderson supervised renovation of this and other parts of the interior. The bell was cast by Isobel Meikle in 1708. The organ was paid for by Fife-born industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The church was extensively renovated in the 1990s.

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Pubs in Scotland.(hectors).

Located on the corner of Deanhaugh Street in Stockbridge, Hector’s is a classic British pub within a friendly Edinburgh suburb.  

With a stylish blend of traditional and contemporary interiors, this inviting pub is the perfect spot for a light lunch, evening meal or drinks with friends, and there is also a regular quiz and a bookable space for events or special occasions. 


Behind the bar there’s a great selection of top-drawer drinks, including premium draught lagers and ciders, unique craft beers, and a good choice of wines and artisan spirits, while on the menu, you’ll find classic British mains, sociable sharing platters and delicious Sunday roasts.

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Scottish Antiques-collectables.(Quaich)

This is a smart, small Vintage Scottish Sterling Silver Quaich from the 1960s. The quaich is of classic form with a deep bowl and two flat handles going horizontally from the top rim. It is an ideal size for a measure of whisky.

The quaich is made by J.B. Chatterley & Sons Ltd and assayed in Edinburgh in 1965. The firm was founded in Birmingham in the 1890s and made a wide range of items. Items intended for the Scottish market were assayed in Edinburgh between 1960 and 1980. The firm ceased trading in the late 1990s.

Condition is very good, with just one tiny ding in the rim and the superficial surface wear that you would expect with the passage of time. Please make sure to view all the photographs.

The quaich measures 9cm / 3.5ins from handle to handle, 6.5cm / 2.5ins in diameter and stands 2.5cm / 0.98ins high. It weighs a very respectable 51.5g / 1.8oz of solid Sterling Silver.

The hallmarks are on the upper side of the body just below the rim. The makers’ mark is somewhat rubbed but the others are all nice and clear. The show the thistle for Scottish Sterling Silver, the three towered castle assay mark for Edinburgh, the date letter K for 1965 and the JBC &S Ld in a shield makers’ mark for J.B.Chatterley & Sons Ltd.

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The Broons.(blush)

Another adventure from the Broons Family.

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OOR WULLIE.(binman)

Another adventure from the Scottish lad.

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Famous Scots. Erik William Chisholm.

Erik William Chisholm (4 January 1904 – 8 June 1965) pianist, organist and conductor sometimes known as “Scotland’s forgotten composer”. According to his biographer, Chisholm “was the first composer to absorb Celtic idioms into his music in form as well as content, his achievement paralleling that of Bartók in its depth of understanding and its daring”, which led some to give him the nickname “MacBartók”. As composer, performer and impresario, he played an important role in the musical life of Glasgow between the two World Wars and was a founder of the Celtic Ballet and, together with Margaret Morris, created the first full-length Scottish ballet, The Forsaken Mermaid. After World War II he was Professor and Head of the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town for 19 years until his death. Chisholm founded the South African College of Music opera company in Cape Town and was a vital force in bringing new operas to Scotland, England and South Africa. By the time of his death in 1965, he had composed over a hundred works.

Early life and education

Erik Chisholm was the son of John Chisholm, master house painter, and his wife, Elizabeth McGeachy Macleod. He left Queen’s Park School, Glasgow, at the early age of 13 due to ill-health but showed a talent for music composition and some of his pieces were published during his childhood. He had piano lessons with Philip Halstead at Glasgow’s Athenaeum School of Music, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and later studied the organ under Herbert Walton, the organist at Glasgow Cathedral. By the time he was 12 he was giving organ recitals including an important one in Kingston upon Hull. The pianist Leff Pouishnoff then became his principal teacher and mentor. In 1927 he travelled to Nova Scotia, Canada, where he was appointed the organist and choirmaster at the Westminster Presbyterian ChurchNew Glasgow, and director of music at Pictou Academy.

A year later he returned to Scotland and from 1928 to 1933 he was organist at St Matthew’s Church, Bath Street, Glasgow, later renamed Renfield St Stephen’s and now St Andrew’s West. In 1933 he was appointed organist at Glasgow’s Barony Church; however, as he had no School Leaving Certificate, he could not study at a university. Due to the influence of his future wife, Diana Brodie, he approached several influential music friends for letters of support for an exemption to enter university. In 1928, he was accepted to study music at the University of Edinburgh, under his friend and mentor, the renowned musicologist Sir Donald Tovey. Chisholm graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1931 and as Doctor of Music in 1934. While at university, he had formed the Scottish Ballet Society in 1928 and the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music in 1929 with fellow composer Francis George Scott and Chisholm’s friend Pat Shannon. From 1930 to 1934 Chisholm also worked as a music critic for the Glasgow Weekly Herald and the Scottish Daily Express.

Scottish career and World War II.

After his education, Chisholm’s work was described as “daring and original”, according to Sir Hugh Roberton, while also displaying a strong Scottish character in works such as his Piano Concerto No. 1, subtitled Piobaireachd (1930), the Straloch Suite (1933) and the Sonata An Riobhan Dearg (1939). In 1933 he was the soloist at the première of his Dance Suite for Orchestra and Piano with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at an International Society for Contemporary Music festival in Amsterdam. He also played the Scottish premieres of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No. 3. From 1930 he was the musical director of the Glasgow Grand Opera Society which performed in the city’s Theatre Royal, conducting the British premières of Mozart’s Idomeneo in 1934 and Berlioz’s Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict in 1935 and 1936, respectively. He was also the founding conductor of both the Barony Opera Society, the Scottish Ballet Society, the Professional Organists’ Association, and in 1938 he was appointed music director of the Celtic Ballet. As director he composed four works in collaboration with Margaret Morris, the most famous being The Forsaken Mermaid; the first full-length Scottish ballet. Chisholm had many friends in the music world, including composers like Béla BartókBaxAlan BushDeliusHindemithIrelandMedtnerKaikhosru SorabjiSzymanowski and Walton, and invited many of them to Glasgow to perform their works under the auspices of the Active Society.

At the outbreak of World War II, Chisholm, a conscientious objector, was declared unfit for military service on the basis of poor eyesight and a crooked arm. During the war he conducted performances with the Carl Rosa Opera Company in 1940, and later joined the Entertainments National Service Association as a colonel touring Italy with the Anglo-Polish Ballet in 1943 and served as musical director to the South East Asia Command between 1943 and 1945. He first formed a multi-racial orchestra in India, but after arguments with his superior, Col. Jack Hawkins, he was removed to Singapore. Here in 1945 he founded the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Many of the musicians were ex-prisoners of War, and from them Chisholm recruited Szymon Goldberg as leader. Goldberg had successfully hidden his Stradivarius violin up a chimney in the prison camp for three and a half years. Chisholm created a truly cosmopolitan orchestra of fifteen nationalities from East and West, which gave 50 concerts in Malaya within six months. After returning to Scotland, Chisholm married his second wife, singer and poet Lillias Scott (1913-2018), the daughter of Scottish composer Francis George Scott. In 1946 he was appointed professor of music at the University of Cape Town and director of the South African College of Music.

South African career

Strubenholm, the home of the SA College of Music.

Chisholm’s obituary in The Edinburgh Tatler recalled that “the three highlights of his life were in hearing at age seven Beethoven‘s Moonlight Sonata played by Frederic Lamond on a piano roll; becoming acquainted with the music of India and lastly being offered the chair of music at Cape Town University in 1947.”

That year, Chisholm revived the South African College of Music where he eventually would teach composer Stefans Grové and singer Désirée Talbot. Using Edinburgh University as his model, Chisholm appointed new staff, extended the number of courses, and introduced new degrees and diplomas. In order to encourage budding South African musicians he founded the South African National Music Press in 1948. With the assistance of the Italian baritone Gregorio Fiasconaro, Chisholm also established the college’s opera company in 1951 and opera school in 1954. In addition, Chisholm founded the South African section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) in 1948, assisted in the founding of the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre on 1 December 1950, and pursued an international conducting career.

The South African College of Music’s opera company became a national success and toured Zambia and the United Kingdom. In the winter of 1956, Chisholm’s ambitious festival of South African Music and Musicians achieved popular success in London with a programme of Wigmore Hall concerts and the London première at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre of Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle. The company also performed Menotti’s The Consul as well as Chisholm’s own opera The Inland Woman, based on a drama by Irish author Mary Lavin. In 1952 Szymon Goldberg premièred his violin concerto at the Van Riebeeck Music Festival in Cape Town. His opera trilogy Murder in Three Keys enjoyed a six-week season in New York City in 1954, and two years later he was invited to Moscow to conduct the Moscow State Orchestra in his second piano concerto The Hindustani. In 1961, his company premièred South African composer John Joubert‘s first opera, Silas Marner.

Chisholm did not support the South African policy of apartheid and had socialist leanings. Chisholm convinced Ronald Stevenson, a fellow Scot, to perform at the University of Cape Town. During a performance of Stevenson’s Passacaglia, the programme made references to Lenin’s slogan of peace, bread and land and also in salute of the “emergent Africa”. The following day, South African police searched Chisholm’s study in a failed attempt to link him with working for the USSR.

Later years and legacy

Composing at his Petrof piano with Towser, his concert-going Spaniel, at his feet.

Sir Arnold Bax called Erik Chisholm “the most progressive composer that Scotland has ever produced.” After 19 years at the South African College of Music, Dr. Chisholm composed an additional twelve operas drawing inspiration from “sources as varied as Hindustan, the Outer Hebrides, the neo-classical and baroque, pibroch, astrology and literature”.

Chisholm died of a heart attack at age 61 and left all his music to the University of Cape Town. Although he composed over 100 works, only 17 were published in his lifetime, of which 14 were issued in printed score. After his death performances of his music, especially in Britain, fell into neglect but admirers have continued to press for his music to be heard more regularly. His style was called varied, eclectic, and challenging, and his modernism was sometimes considered difficult for audiences. However, in recent years through the efforts of the Erik Chisholm Trust, founded by Chisholm’s daughter Morag, there has been a revival of interest in his music and several works, including orchestral, piano and vocal pieces, have been revived and recorded. Also, many of his unpublished works, formerly in manuscript, have been typeset and are available through the Erik Chisholm Trust.

He had a lifelong interest in Scottish music and published a collection of Celtic folk-songs in 1964. He was also interested in Czech music, and completed his book The Operas of Leoš Janáček shortly before his death. His services to Czech music were formally recognized in 1956, when he became one of the few non-Czech musicians to be awarded the Dvořák medal. The Manuscripts and Archives Library at the University of Cape Town holds the Chisholm collection of papers and manuscripts; his published scores are in the College of Music library and many copies are in the Scottish Music Centre in Glasgow. In addition, an important collection of manuscripts, letters and other memorabilia left to Chisholm’s daughter Morag (including his extensive correspondence with Sorabji) is now housed in the Archive of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. In his memory, the South African College of Music offers a memorial scholarship in his name and the Scottish International Piano Competition awards an Erik Chisholm Memorial Prize.

The biography of Erik Chisholm, written by John Purser with the foreword by Sir Charles MackerrasChasing A Restless Muse: Erik Chisholm, Scottish Modernist (1904–1965), was published on 19 June 2009. An official launch was held at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, part of Birmingham City University on 22 October 2009 which was attended by his widow, his daughter Morag, two of his granddaughters and great-grandsons. His widow, Lillias, married the clarinettist John Forbes.


See also: List of compositions by Erik Chisholm

Erik Chisholm wrote well over 100 works, including 35 orchestral works, 7 concertante works (including a violin concerto and two piano concertos), 7 works for orchestra and voice or chorus, 54 piano works, 3 organ works, 43 songs, 8 choral part-songs, 7 ballets, and 9 operas including one on Robert Burns. He also made several interesting arrangements by composers such as Handel and Mozart. He arranged a string orchestra version of the Symphony for Solo Piano, Op. 39 Nos. 4–7 by Charles-Valentin Alkan, a composer still largely unknown at that time, the original of which has been said to surpass even the Transcendental Études of Franz Liszt in scale and difficulty.

Pianist Murray McLachlan divided Chisholm’s works into four periods: the Early Period, the “Scottish” Period, the Neoclassical Period and the “Hindustani” Period. The “Early Period” is extremely large, beginning with teenage efforts including a Sonatina in G minor, written at 18, and clearly showing something of the influence of John Blackwood McEwen.

The “Scottish” Period began in the early 1930s where his works were tinged with a distinct Scottish colouring influenced by folk music, indicating most persuasively the ambitions of composers like Chisholm’s contemporary Béla Bartók, to create a style based on the music of his ancestors and countrymen. Chisholm’s Sonatine Ecossaise, 4 Elegies, Scottish Airs, Piano Concerto no. 1 “Piobaireachd” and Dance Suite display a percussive bite and energy influenced by Bartók and Prokofiev with much use of dissonances and note clusters along with material derived from Scottish folksong, bagpipe music and dance figurations. The folk elements are so deeply integrated in this style that some have referred to Chisholm as “MacBartók”.

Chisholm’s Neoclassical Period refers to several of his works which were inspired by ancient and obscure motifs from the pre-Classical era. His Sonatina no. 3, evidently based on several ricercare motifs originally written by Dalza, fuses Brittenesque harmonies and gentle dissonances in quintessentially pianistic textures.

The music of his “Hindustani” period in the late 1940s and early 1950s reflects Chisholm’s wartime travels in the East, his interest in the occult and perhaps his friendship with Sorabji. Important examples of this period are his 2nd “Hindustani” Piano Concerto, the Violin Concerto, the one-act opera Simoon and the Six Nocturnes, Night Song of the Bards. These compositions display luscious textures, transcendental technical demands and intensity that are comparable to works by Szymanowski and Sorabji and to some extent an atonality reminiscent of Alban Berg.

Chisholm’s complete piano music has been recorded on 7 CDs on the Divine Art label by Murray McLachlan. His two piano concertos and his Dance Suite were recorded by Danny Driver, and the Violin Concerto by Matthew Trusler, all on Hyperion Records. The live premiere (2015) of the full score of his opera Simoon was recorded by Delphian Records, and a video produced by Music Co-operative Scotland was due to be premiered on 8 July 2020.

Chisholm’s interest in Scottish song stemmed from a gift he received, aged 10, of Patrick MacDonald’s A Collection of Scottish Airs, published in 1784. His songs include the Seven Poems of Love (setting words by his wife Lillias Scott) and settings of William Soutar, including A Dirge for Summer.

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Infamous Scots. Thomas Aikenhead.

Thomas Aikenhead (bapt. 28 March 1676 – 8 January 1697) was a Scottish student from Edinburgh, who was prosecuted and executed at the age of 20 on a charge of blasphemy under the Act against Blasphemy 1661 and Act against Blasphemy 1695. He was the last person in Great Britain to be executed for blasphemy. His execution occurred 85 years after the death of Edward Wightman (1612), the last person to be burned at the stake for heresy in England.

Early life.

Thomas Aikenhead was the son of James Aikenhead and Helen Ramsey. His father was a burgess of Edinburgh, as was his paternal grandfather (also named Thomas Aikenhead). His maternal grandfather was a clergyman. He was baptized on 28 March 1676, the fourth child and first son of the family. Of his three older sisters (Jonet, Katherine, and Margaret), at least one and possibly two died before he was born.


During his studies at the University of Edinburgh, he engaged in discussions regarding religion with his friends and accounts from at least five of those friends formed the basis of indictment.

Aikenhead was indicted in December 1696. The indictment read:

That … the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras: That he ridiculed the holy scriptures, calling the Old Testament Ezra’s fables, in profane allusion to Esop’s Fables; That he railed on Christ, saying, he had learned magick in Egypt, which enabled him to perform those pranks which were called miracles: That he called the New Testament the history of the imposter Christ; That he said Moses was the better artist and the better politician; and he preferred Muhammad to Christ: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ.

Trial and sentence

The case was prosecuted by the Lord AdvocateSir James Stewart, who demanded the death penalty in order to set an example to others who might otherwise express such opinions. On 24 December 1696, the jury found Aikenhead guilty of cursing and railing against God, denying the incarnation and the Trinity, and scoffing at the Scriptures.

He was sentenced to death by hanging. This was an extraordinary penalty, as the statute called for execution only upon the third conviction for this offence; first-time offenders were to be sack-clothed and imprisoned.

According to Aikenhead’s entry in the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography (written by Andrew Hill):

Aikenhead petitioned the Privy Council to consider his “deplorable circumstances and tender years”. Also, he had forgotten to mention that he was also a first time offender. Two ministers and two Privy Councillors pleaded on his behalf, but to no avail. On 7 January, after another petition, the Privy Council ruled that they would not grant a reprieve unless the church interceded for him. The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, sitting in Edinburgh at the time, urged “vigorous execution” to curb “the abounding of impiety and profanity in this land”. Thus Aikenhead’s sentence was confirmed.


On the morning of 8 January 1697, Aikenhead wrote to his friends that “it is a principle innate and co-natural to every man to have an insatiable inclination to the truth, and to seek for it as for hid treasure. . . So I proceeded until the more I thought thereon, the further I was from finding the verity I desired. . .” Aikenhead may have read this letter outside the Tolbooth, before making the long walk, under guard, to the gallows on the road between Edinburgh and Leith. He was said to have died Bible in hand, “with all the Marks of a true Penitent”.

Thomas Babington Macaulay said of Aikenhead’s death that “the preachers who were the poor boy’s murderers crowded round him at the gallows, and… insulted heaven with prayers more blasphemous than anything he had uttered.” Professor David S. Nash said that Aikenhead’s execution was “a Calvinist providential moment”.

Aikenhead was the last person hanged for blasphemy in Great Britain, although it remained a capital offence in Scotland until 1825.

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Scottish Architecture.(papa)

Papa Westray (/pæpə ˈwɛstriː/) (ScotsPapa Westree), also known as Papay, is one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, United Kingdom. The fertile soil has long been a draw to the island.

Attractions on the island include Holland House with an associated folk museum and the Knap of Howar Neolithic farmstead run by Historic Scotland.

It is the ninth largest of the Orkney Islands with an area of 918 hectares (2,270 acres). The island’s population was 90 as recorded by the 2011 census, an increase of over 35% since 2001 when there were only 65 usual residents. During the same period, Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702.


Orkney Ferries sail MV Golden Mariana from Papa Westray to Pierowall‘s Gill Pier. Twice a week – on Tuesday and Friday – the MV Earl Sigurd or MV Earl Thorfinn provides a direct service to and from Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland, also serving either Rapness on Westray, or North Ronaldsay. There are also occasional summer Sunday excursions. Britten-Norman Islander aircraft operated by Loganair fly from Papa Westray Airport to Westray, North Ronaldsay, and Kirkwall; the hop from Papa Westray to Westray is the world’s shortest scheduled flight, at approximately 2 minutes.


At the northern tip of the island lies North Hill. At 49 metres (161 ft), it is the island’s highest point and an RSPB nature reserve. Many seabirds breed on the island, including Arctic terns and Arctic skuas. It was one of the last places where the great auk was found; the last individual was killed in 1813. The reserve is also home to the rare and tiny purple-flowered Scottish primrose Primula scotica.

The sea around most of the island is a Nature Conservation Marine Protection Area, in place to protect the feeding grounds of the island population of black guillemot. More than 500 breeding birds visit these seas each year, with many nesting on the offshore islet of the Holm of Papa.


The Knap of Howar Neolithic farmstead (Historic Scotland; accessible at all times) is the oldest preserved house in northern Europe, dating from around 3500 BC. The homestead, which consists of two roughly rectangular stone rooms side by side, linked by an internal door, and with doors to the outside at the west end, is partially subterranean, and virtually complete to roof height. Examples of the round-bottomed Unstan ware have been found here, and provided the key to dating the settlement.

St Boniface Kirk.

According to tradition, in the 8th century AD, the Pictish King Nechtan attempted to seduce a young woman from the island named Triduana, who in response gouged her own eyes out. She later became abbess of a nunnery at Restalrig, now part of Edinburgh, and was in due course canonised as St Tredwell. A chapel was consecrated to her on Papa Westray and became a place of pilgrimage for people with eye complaints.

The island is one of the ‘Papeys’ or ‘islands of the papar. Joseph Anderson noted that:

The two Papeys, the great and the little (anciently Papey Meiri and Papey Minni), [are] now Papa Westray and Papa Stronsay … Fordun in his enumeration of the islands, has a ‘Papeay tertia’ [third Papey], which is not now known. There are three islands in Shetland called Papey, and both in Orkney and in Shetland, there are several districts named Paplay or Papplay, doubtless the same as Papyli of Iceland.

Also on the island is the 12th-century parish church of St Boniface (recently restored; open in summer) with a carved Norse “hogback” gravestone (probably also 12th century) in the churchyard. This stands on a substantial and largely unexcavated 9th century, or earlier, Pictish religious site – possibly including a bishop’s residence. Remains of a heavily eroded broch can be seen on the shore. Early Christian carved stones, which may date from as early as the 7th century AD, found at this site are on display in Orkney Museum in the Tankerness House, Kirkwall and the National Museum of ScotlandEdinburgh. These may be the earliest evidence for Christianity to survive in the Northern Isles.

Another ancient monument that can be visited is a well-preserved Neolithic chambered cairn on the small island of Holm of Papa Westray, a little east of Papay itself (and readily visible from the larger island). The long, stalled cairn, built of local stone, was once a communal burial place for the bones of an ancient community. It is protected by a modern roof and entered by a man-hole from above. This can be seen at any time of day, but visitors must arrange privately for a boat through the local co-op.

Papa Westray is the birthplace of the Orcadian educator and man of letters, John D. Mackay.

St Tredwell’s Chapel

St Tredwell’s Chapel, Papa Westray

The remains of St Tredwell’s Chapel stand on a conical mound on a small peninsula (about 4.5 m (15 ft) high and 35 m (110 ft) across in St Tredwell’s Loch. The remains of the late medieval walls can be seen, built over Iron Age remains, including a tunnel leading to a circular building or broch. The thick walls of the chapel and records of tracery work indicate an important and well-founded establishment.

The chapel was surveyed by Sir H. Dryden in 1870 when its walls, of variable thickness, were still up to 6 feet high and the interior measured 20 ft 3in by 13 ft 10ins. The chapel was cleared of rubble by William Traill around 1880. He found 30 copper coins dating between the reigns of Charles II and George III under the chapel floor, along with a female skeleton.

In The Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Papa Westray and Westray, R.G. Lamb (1983:19) notes:

Immediately outside the W wall Traill broke into a subterranean passage which he followed N then NW for some 10m, passing several sets of door-checks and a side-chamber and entering a ‘circular building’. Finds from this structure, including a stone ball, are in NMAS (…); others are in Tankerness House Museum (…). The opening into the passage is now blocked by rubble; it is likely that this was part of a complex of late Iron Age buildings, on the wreckage of which the chapel was built. It is possible that that a broch lies at the core of the mound, on the lower SE slope of which a revetment-wall, 1.9m high and traceable for 11m, may be part of an outer wall or ringwork. A few metres to the N of the chapel are the footings of two small subrectangular buildings of indeterminate date. A cross-slab is said to have been seen some years ago in the deep water besides the islet, but an attempted recovery was unsuccessful

Miraculous cures are associated with St Tredwell, particularly in those suffering from eye afflictions. Pilgrims travelled to Papay from all of Orkney and the north seeking a cure. Marwick, in a paper written in 1925, cites John Brand in his Brief Description of Orkney (1700) as having much to say of the chapel:

People used to come to it from other isles; before the chapel door was a heap of small stones, “into which the Superstituous People when they come, do cast a small stone or two for their offering, and some will cast in Money”; the loch is “held by the People as Medicinal”; “a Gentleman in the Countrey, who was much distressed with sore Eyes, went to this Loch and Washing there became sound and whole…with both which persons he who was Minister of the place for many years was well acquainted and told us that he saw them both before and after the Cure: The present minister of Westra told me that such as are able to walk use to go so many times about the Loch, as they think will perfect the cure before they make any use of the water, and that without speaking to any… not long since, he went to this Loch and found six so making their circuit…” “As for this Loch’s appearing like Blood, before any disaster befal the Royal Family, as some do report, we could find no ground to believe any such thing.

In the 19th century the Minister of Westray, John Armit, noted that:

Such was the veneration entertained by the inhabitants for this ancient saint, that it was with difficulty that the first Presbyterian minister of the parish could restrain them, of a Sunday morning, from paying their devotions at this ruin, previous to their attendance on public worship in the reformed church. Wonders, in the way of cure of bodily disease, are said to have been wrought by this saint, whose fame is now passed away and name almost forgotten.

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Scottish Architecture.(huntly)

9. Huntly House, Canongate.

Similar to John Knox House and Moubray House further up the Royal Mile, Huntly House features overhanging gables. It was built around 1570 and has still managed to maintain its historic character. It is thought to have been named in the 17th century after the Marquis of Huntly, who stayed here for a time. The house is sometimes referred to as the ‘speaking house’ on account of Latin inscriptions displayed on its facade. Several inscriptions have been added over the centuries. Huntly House is now home to the Museum of Edinburgh.

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Scottish Football Teams. Dundee United.

Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. The club name is usually abbreviated to Dundee United. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian the club changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs.

The club have played in tangerine kits since August 1969, and have played at Tannadice Park since the club’s foundation in 1909. United was a founding member of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) in 1998, and was ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure. United was relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the SPFL, before being promoted back to the Scottish Premiership in 2020.

Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion (1982–83), the Scottish Cup twice (1994 and 2010) and the Scottish League Cup twice (1979 and 1980). United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1983–84 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987.

The club contest the Dundee derby with local rivals Dundee F.C.; this is the geographically closest derby in Britain, for Dens Park stadium is located virtually next door to Tannadice Park. Dundee United have won the local derby 81 times, Dundee F.C. have won it 49 times, and there have been 44 draws between the close rivals.


Main article: History of Dundee United F.C.

Chart of historic performance of Dundee United in the League.

Beginning (1909–1959)

Manager Peter Houston celebrating Dundee United’s 2010 Scottish Cup Final win.

The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park (previously known as Clepington Park), named after the street it’s located on – Tannadice Street. They were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, the club changed their name to Dundee United in order to widen their appeal. Between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and relegated between the first and second tier three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929.

Promotion to the Top Flight (1959–1971)

The club took significant strides forward when Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerr’s team won promotion in his first season in charge and became an established team in the top flight, where they remained until 1995.

A key characteristic of Kerr’s reign was the strengthening of the playing squad with Scandinavian imports, most notably with the signings of Lennart WingFinn DossingMogens BergFinn Seemann and Orjan Persson.

It was during this period that United qualified for European competition for the first time, eliminating Inter-Cities Fairs Cup holders Barcelona on their European debut in 1966.

Jim McLean era (1971–1993)

Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and under his management the club enjoyed the most successful era in its history. McLean’s era became known for his youth policy and the offering of long-term contracts that would see future Scotland international players such as Dave NareyPaul SturrockPaul HegartyDavie DoddsEamonn Bannon and Maurice Malpas spend the majority of their careers at the club.

United won their first major honour under McLean, capturing the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and again in 1980.[10] They were crowned Premier Division champions in 1982–83.

The club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup Final in 1987, the latter campaign involving another elimination of Barcelona during the earlier rounds (maintaining a 100% record over the Spaniards in competitive European ties). Despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club was awarded a FIFA Fair Play Award.

McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman.

Scottish Cup wins and relegation (1993–2016)

United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLean’s successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, before returning to the Premier Division a year later.

Following a number of board changes, the club was purchased from McLean in 2002 by former Morning Noon and Night co-founder and chief executive Eddie Thompson. A lifelong United fan, Thompson invested heavily in the team in a bid to compete with significant spending which had developed following the formation of the Scottish Premier League, however little progress was made until Craig Levein became manager in 2006. Levein established United as a top six club, regularly achieving European qualification before he left the club to take the post as Scotland men’s national team manager in 2009.

With the foundations of the side in place, United won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston.

After several relatively successful seasons, a series of poor results in the Premiership led to United being relegated in 2016.

Scottish Championship and promotion battles (2016–2020)

Dundee United’s first season in the Championship was under the management of Ray McKinnon. United won the Challenge Cup by beating St Mirren 2–1 in the final and they reached the play-off final for the Premiership. However they lost narrowly 1–0 to Hamilton. The second season in the second tier was less successful, as manager McKinnon was sacked and replaced with Csaba László; after a very disappointing season, United lost in the play-off semi-final to eventual promotion winners Livingston. After a poor start to the 2018–19 season the manager was once again sacked and replaced with Robbie Neilson. The team finished second in the Championship but lost in the play-offs to St Mirren, missing four penalty kicks in the process. United started the 2019–20 season in title winning form, maintaining the top spot since the opening weekend, but the season was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic on 13 March 2020. On 15 April 2020, the SPFL plan proposing an end to the season was approved. A 14-point lead over second place Inverness CT saw United crowned champions and subsequently promoted back to the Premiership. On 21 June 2020, the club announced that they were parting ways with manager Robbie Neilson, who agreed a deal to return to newly relegated side Heart of Midlothian.

Scottish Premiership return (2020 – present)

Prior to the start of the Premiership season, Dundee United hired Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon to replace Neilson, and began their campaign at home to Tayside rivals St Johnstone, drawing 1–1. In their first season back in the top flight United finished in 9th place, whilst also making a Scottish Cup semi final appearance, losing to Hibernian.

In May 2021 Mellon departed the club, being replaced on 7 June by Tam Courts. Courts first season as Dundee United manager saw the team finish 4th, their highest position since 2014, and qualify to play in the third qualification round of the 2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League.

United were eliminated in the third qualification round by AZ Alkmaar after a 7–1 aggregate defeat, losing 7–0 away from home, equaling the record defeat for a Scottish club in European competition. They started the league season equally poorly, and were beaten 9–0 at home by Celtic on 28 August 2022.

Colours and badge

Pre-1993 lion rampant club badge

1993–2022 club badge

United’s playing kit consists of tangerine shirts and black shorts, first used when the team played under the Dallas Tornado moniker in the United Soccer Association competition of 1967, which they were invited to participate in after their first European excursion had created many headlines in the football world. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the club’s own in 1969 to give the club a brighter, more modern image. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a pre-season friendly against Everton in August.

When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of other clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts and white shorts. By the time the club became Dundee United in 1923, the colours had been changed to white shirts and black shorts as they sought to appeal to a wider cross-section of the community. These colours persisted in various forms up until 1969, sometimes using plain shirts, but also at various times including Celtic-style broad hoops, Queen’s Park-style narrow hoops and an Airdrie-style “V” motif.

PeriodKit manufacturerShirt sponsor
1998–2000Olympic Sports
2000–2003TFG Sports
2003–2006Morning, Noon and Night
2006–2008HummelAnglian Home Improvements
2008–2009Carbrini Sportswear
2016–2018McEwan Fraser Legal
2021–Eden Mill

The present club badge was introduced in 2022, and saw the previous lion rampant design updated in a new logo incorporating the club colours. To mark the club’s centenary in 2009, a special version of the badge with an added “1909 2009 Centenary” logo was introduced for the duration of the 2009–10 season, along with additional green trim on the badge, representing Dundee Hibernian’s colours.

Previously, the lion had been represented on a simpler shield design. Although this “classic” version had been used as the club crest on the cover of the matchday programme as early as 1956, it had never appeared on the players’ strip prior to 1983. Since 1959, various other designs had been worn on the shirts, incorporating either the lion rampant or the letters DUFC, often on a circular badge.

The club first introduced shirt sponsorship in the 1985–86 season when future chairman Eddie Thompson‘s VG chain sponsored the club in the first of a two-year deal. A six-year association with Belhaven then ensued with a sponsorless 1993–94 seasonRover began a two-year deal early in time for the 1994 Scottish Cup final, sponsoring the club until the end of the 1995–96 seasonTelewest took over sponsorship from 1996 for six years until Eddie Thompson’s Morning, Noon and Night started sponsoring the club in 2002. This association continued until 2006 when Anglian Home Improvements began a two-year deal with an optional third year. At the same time, Ole International became the first shorts sponsors. JD Sports‘ Carbrini Sportswear brand sponsored the club in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. United’s shirt sponsor from the 2016–17 season was McEwan Fraser Legal, before Utilita took over the sponsorship from 2018 until 2021. United’s current shirt sponsors are Eden Mill, who took over before the 2021-22 season.

United have had a number of official kit suppliers, including AdidasHummelNike and most recently Macron.

Historical home kits

c. 1909c.1929–301986–871990–911993–941994–952006–072008–09




Dundee United’s home ground throughout their history has been Tannadice Park, located on Tannadice Street in the Coldside area of the city. It is situated a mere 170 yards (160 m) away from Dens Park, home of rivals Dundee; The club has only ever played one home fixture at another venue. This was a League Cup tie against Rangers in March 1947, when despite snow rendering Tannadice Park unplayable, the match was able to go ahead across the road at Dens Park.

Tannadice is currently an all-seater with a capacity of 14,223. The Main Stand, built in 1962, was the first cantilever to be constructed at a Scottish football ground. For long periods of its history, only a small proportion of the ground contained seated accommodation. In the late 1980s the ground had 2,252 seats out of a total capacity of 22,310.

Tannadice Park is situated just 300 metres from Dens Park, home of neighbours Dundee

The comparative age and proximity of their stadiums has led to various discussions about the possibility of both Dundee clubs moving to a new, purpose-built shared stadium. The most recent proposal was put forward as part of Scotland’s bid to jointly host the UEFA Euro 2008 championship, with several clubs seeking to benefit from a new stadium. With planning permission given to a proposed site at Caird Park, special dispensation was requested to proceed with the proposal, as rules at the time forbade SPL teams from groundsharing. Following Scotland’s failed bid to host the tournament, the scheme was shelved, although it was resurrected in June 2008, following doubts about joint-host Ukraine‘s ability to stage Euro 2012, and the SFA‘s keenness to act as an alternative host.

League Attendance

The table below displays Dundee United’s league attendances over the past decade.

The highest attendance in that period came on 30 August 2019 when United beat their city rivals Dundee 6-2 in front a 14,108 crowd, their largest league attendance since 1998. In the same season United also set their highest average attendance and highest low attendance of the decade, these records being set despite the club residing in the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League at the time. The lowest attendance of the 2019–20 season was larger than the highest attendance of the previous year, likely due to United’s strong performance.

Due to United’s failure to gain promotion back to the Scottish Premiership over the previous seasons and growing mistrust of the club chairman and owner, 2018–19 saw the lowest average attendance of the decade. The lowest attendance was set the season before.

The table does not include playoff attendances.

SeasonDivisionTierPlaceLowest AttendanceHighest AttendanceAverage Attendance
2019–20Scottish Championship21st6,92914,1088,496
2018–19Scottish Championship22nd4,2016,5325,079
2017–18Scottish Championship23rd3,6206,9365,505
2016–17Scottish Championship24th4,66110,9256,584
2015–16Scottish Premiership112th4,68911,8357,969
2014–15Scottish Premiership15th5,24312,9648,114
2013–14Scottish Premiership14th5,78412,6017,548
2012–13Scottish Premier League16th5,11713,5387,547
2011–12Scottish Premier League14th5,23211,7417,496
2010–11Scottish Premier League14th4,91811,7907,389



Dundee United’s first trophy came in 1925, when they won the 1924–25 Division Two championship. After two seasons in the top tier, they were relegated, but they won the Division Two title for a second time in 1928–29. Immediate relegation followed and the club finished runners-up in 1931–32. Another runners-up spot was claimed in 1959–60, in manager Jerry Kerr‘s first season, and from then club remained in the top division for the next 35-years. Under Jim McLean‘s management, the club won the Premier Division title for the only time, in 1982–83, resulting in European Cup football the following season. The title win was United’s last major league success, although they finished runners-up in the First Division in 1995–96, after nearly avoiding relegation the previous season, and in third place in their first season back in the Premier Division. A third lower league title was added in 2019–20, after the curtailment of the campaign with United clear in 1st place.


The club had to wait several decades before their first realistic chance at cup silverware, when they began the first of a six-game losing streak of Scottish Cup Final appearances in 1974, losing 3–0 to Celtic. Towards the end of the 1970s, things began to change, with three successive appearances in the League Cup Final. United won their first major trophy with a 3–0 replay victory over Aberdeen in the 1979–80 Scottish League Cup Final. The club reached both cup finals in the following season; while they retained the League Cup by winning 3–0 against rivals Dundee, United lost out again in the Scottish Cup with a replay defeat to Rangers. United reached a third consecutive League Cup Final in 1981–82, but failed to make it a hat-trick of wins as they lost 2–1 to Rangers.

United (in red) versus Kilmarnock at Tannadice in the 2013–14 Scottish Cup.

United suffered the agony of reaching three out of four Scottish Cup finals in the mid-1980s, only to lose them all by a single goal. First came a 2–1 defeat to Celtic in 1984–85, compounded by a 1–0 League Cup final loss to Rangers in the same season; then a 1–0 defeat in extra time to St Mirren in 1986–87; and finally, a last-minute 2–1 loss against Celtic the following year, despite being a goal ahead. A three-year gap ensued before the 1990–91 Scottish Cup final, which pitted Jim McLean against his brother Tommy, at Motherwell. The final was won 4–3 by ‘Well, with United again losing in extra time. The sixth Cup Final loss was also the club’s fifth final appearance in eleven years.

These defeats in cup finals at Hampden Park led to the Scottish football media claiming that United suffered from a Hampden hoodoo, as they had failed to win ten cup finals played at the ground between 1974 and 1991. When the club reached the 1994 Scottish Cup Final, manager Ivan Golac dismissed talk of the hoodoo, even though opponents Rangers were strong favourites to complete a domestic treble in the 1993–94 season. United broke the supposed hoodoo and won the Scottish Cup for the first time when Craig Brewster‘s goal gave them a 1–0 win.

Eleven years passed until the next Scottish Cup final appearance, when United lost 1–0 to Celtic in 2005. Sandwiched in the middle of these appearances was a defeat on penalties to Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Challenge Cup (when United failed to concede a goal in the whole competition) and a 3–0 defeat to Celtic in the 1997 Scottish League Cup Final. United then lost the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final on penalties to Rangers after the match had finished 2–2 after extra time. Dundee United won their next major trophy in 2010, under the guidance of manager Peter Houston, when First Division side Ross County were defeated 3–0 in the 2010 Scottish Cup FinalDavid Goodwillie scored the first goal and Craig Conway scored the second and third goals in front of 28,000 Dundee United fans at Hampden Park.

United’s 10th appearance in the Scottish Cup final came in 2014, but the team lost 2–0 to St Johnstone at Celtic Park. The Tangerines reached the League Cup final the following year, but lost to Celtic in the final.

Two years later, after the club’s relegation from the Scottish Premiership, they faced St Mirren in the 2017 Scottish Challenge Cup Final. United won the game 2–1, marking the club’s first silverware since 2010.


Main article: Dundee United F.C. in European football

The club’s first experience of Europe came in 1966–67 season when, helped by a clutch of Scandinavian players, United defeated Inter-Cities Fairs Cup holders FC Barcelona both home and away. Although Juventus proved too strong in the next round with a 3–1 aggregate victory, United made headlines and were asked to compete as Dallas Tornado in the United Soccer Association league in North America during the summer of 1967.

In 1981–82 they began a period in which they were competitive in European competition. In a six-year spell they reached one UEFA final, another semi-final and two quarter finals. After their only Premier Division win in 1983, the team reached the resulting semi-final of the European Cup in 1984, losing 3–2 on aggregate to Roma. In 1987, the club went one better, reaching the final of the UEFA Cup beating FC Barcelona in both the home and away fixtures en route to the final. Despite the 2–1 aggregate loss to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won the first-ever FIFA Fair Play Award for their supporters’ sporting behaviour after the final defeat.

Dundee United are famous for having a 100% record against FC Barcelona in European fixtures (4 wins out of 4 matches), and remain the only British team to have achieved this feat.

The team entered the 2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League at the third qualifying round, culminating in a 7–1 aggregate loss to AZ Alkmaar, the 7–0 second leg defeat matching the record greatest loss inflicted on a Scottish club in European competition.


Dundee United faced rivals St Johnstone in the 2014 Scottish Cup Final

Dundee United’s traditional rivals are Dundee, with whom they compete in the Dundee derby. The fixture was lacking a competitive element for a number of years until Dundee’s return to the top flight of the Scottish game. A unique element of the rivalry lies in the fact that the clubs’ stadiums are located within 100 yards of one another.

In spite of their rivalry, the two sides previously contemplated ground-sharing as part of the SFA‘s unsuccessful bid to host Euro 2008. Perhaps the most notable meeting was the final game of the 1982–83 Premier Division season, where if United were victors at Dens Park, they would clinch the top flight title; United were victorious thanks to an Eamonn Bannon winner.

Another intense fixture is that of the New Firm derby between United and North-East rivals Aberdeen. The match itself became one of fierce competition due to the domestic and European success the two sides achieved in the late 1970s and 1980s under the stewardship of United’s Jim McLean and Aberdeen’s Alex Ferguson.

St Johnstone also claim a rivalry due to the relatively close proximity of Dundee and Perth, known as the Tayside derby. The most notable meeting between the two sides was in the 2014 Scottish Cup Final, when St Johnstone won 2–0 at Celtic Park in United’s tenth final appearance.

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Scottish Places of Interest.(1938)

One of Scotland’s most visited attractions, the free Riverside Museum in Glasgow gathers together the history of transportation by land and water in an eye-catching new venue. During the course of a visit, you’ll see trams, locomotives, buses, horse-drawn carriages, and vintage cars, along with ships and other models.

A highlight is the authentic reconstruction of 1938 Glasgow streets, with shops you can enter, and platforms leading up to all the locomotives on display. In all, more than 20 interactive displays and 90 large touch screens add images, recollections, and films that bring added meaning to the collections.

Outside on the River Clyde, you can board the S. S. Glenlee, a tall ship built in 1896. It has the distinction of being the only Clyde-built ship still sailing in Britain.

Address: 100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow

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Scottish Architecture.(moubray)

10. Moubray House 1500s, High Street.

Sharing the same nook of the High Street as John Knox House is an equally-ancient residence, Moubray House. It was built back in 1477 for a Mr Robert Moubray and was later used as a tavern and a bookshop. The esteemed writer Daniel Defoe resided here for a spell while he was editor of the Edinburgh Courant newspaper. The facade of Moubray House was rebuilt in the early 17th century, though parts of the interior are very much original.

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Scottish Antiques-Collectables.(Table)

Fine quality Georgian style mahogany tripod supper table by the high end Scottish cabinet makers Wylie & Lochhead of Glasgow c.1920. 33½” diameter single piece solid mahogany table top with a lovely carved and shaped ‘pie crust’ edge. On a turned and moulded column pedestal raised on tripod legs carved with floral detail and excellent ball and claw feet. Top can be tipped to vertical when not in use, locking into place with the original brass catch. Original maker’s label to the underside. Very good condition, simply cleaned and waxed in our workshops.
Dimensions: Height 28″ Diameter 33½”.

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Scottish Battles. The sieges of Haddington.

The sieges of Haddington were a series of sieges staged at the Royal Burgh of Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland, as part of the War of the Rough Wooing, one of the last Anglo-Scottish Wars. Following Regent Arran‘s defeat at the battle of Pinkie Cleugh on Saturday 10 September 1547, he took Haddington, with 5000 troops including French mercenaries and troops sent by Henry II of France to bolster the Auld Alliance. Afterwards, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury took it with nearly 15,000. The English forces built artillery fortifications and were able to withstand an assault by the besieging French and Scots troops supported by heavy cannon in July 1548. Although the siege was scaled down after this unsuccessful attempt, the English garrison abandoned the town on 19 September 1549, after attrition by Scottish raids at night, sickness, and changing political circumstance.

The English dig in

The English commander, Grey of Wilton, captured and garrisoned Haddington and outlying villages by 23 February 1548. The garrison included 200 Albanian Stratioti who had previously fought in the French army. At the end of February 1548, Regent Arran brought four cannon to besiege and take the East Lothian houses of OrmistonBrunstane, and Saltoun which John Cockburn of Ormiston and Alexander Crichton of Brunstane held for England, and summoned the men of StirlingMenteith, and Strathearn to the field.

Grey and Thomas Palmer began to fortify the town in earnest after 24 April 1548. Wilton described how he viewed the town with Palmer, envisaging a fortification that would enclose all the “fair houses” of the town. He had cleared the ground and was entrenched against the enemy. Regent Arran brought 5,000 men to Musselburgh at the end of the month. An inventory of food stored in Haddington at this time includes “oxen alive”, bacon, cereal and peas, claret wine, sack, and Malmsey.

The English strategy was for the siege of Haddington to consume Scottish and French resources. The soldiers built the fortifications alongside labourers from England who were called ‘pioneers.’ Timber was brought from the woods of Broun of Colstoun. Although the site had obvious drawbacks, overlooked by the ridge of the nearby Garleton Hills and four miles from the sea, the finished ramparts were much admired.

Local landowners unwilling to collaborate had to relocate. George Seton, 6th Lord Seton and his French wife Marie Pieris moved from their home at Seton Palace to Culross Abbey.

The French ambassador in London, Odet de Selve, heard from a French mercenary serving on the English side that it was almost as impregnable as TurinSomerset even showed Odet de Selve the plan, and said it was better than Calais. The design include four corner bastions, called BowesWyndham, Taylor, and Tiberio, after the commanders. Francisco Tiberio was the leader of a company of Italian mercenaries. The French ambassador was told that the tollbooth, a tall and solid stone structure, had been filled with earth to form a gun platform called a cavalier. English pioneers digging the town ditch found curious ancient coins on 7 June which Grey of Wilton sent to Somerset for their strangeness. Grey of Wilton sent 100 Spanish soldiers with their commander Pero Negro to join the garrison at the end of June 1548, but they encountered the enemy and rode to Berwick instead.


Sir James Wilsford

Nungate bridge: Haddington is bounded by the River Tyne to the south and west

French and Scottish troops began to seriously besiege the town in July 1548. It was defended by Sir James Wilford. The Master of the Scottish Artillery, Lord Methven, organised guns to be brought from the siege of Broughty Castle in June. These guns were shipped to Aberlady, the nearest haven on the Forth. The great Scottish gun ‘thrawinmouth’ from Dunbar Castle was also deployed. and the cannons from Broughty were placed on 3 July 1548. On 5 July Methven gave Mary of Guise an optimistic report of the damage caused to the English defences by his guns. His fire had demolished the Tollbooth within the town, and he had advanced trenches towards the ramparts.

English chronicles report the efforts of the English commander, Sir James Wilford or Wilsford, who evey night repaired the damage caused by the artillery in the day, despite the large number of casualties. When Wilsford made a trip to London, Thomas Gower served in his place.

On 5 July 1548 Mary of Guise held a council at nearby Elvingston or “Herdmandston”, and the next day went to Clerkington, where the French and Italians were making a fortified camp and had demolished a bridge over the River Tyne. The French troops prepared ladders for an assault on the town. The English army outside the town made plans to get supplies to the defenders. An English soldier Thomas Holcroft reported that on 8 July, Pedro de Gamboa’s mounted arquebusiers, commanded by another Spanish captain, Pedro de Negro, and other soldiers rode through French lines from Linton bridge to relieve the siege. Negro’s exploit was described in a Spanish chronicle now known as the Chronicle of Henry VIII. The chronicle relates that the Spanish and English cavalrymen rode into Haddington carrying bags of gunpowder. Rather than return to Linton through enemy lines, they slaughtered their own horses outside the town gates, and after the French and Scottish had withdrawn, Pedro de Negro buried them in three pits.

Mary of Guise came to view the siege on 9 July and swooned in a faint when a cannon shot landed near her and injured some of her companions. On the other side of the country, Mary, Queen of Scots embarked with Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon at Dumbarton Castle for France.

At this time the English inside Haddington were countermining against the French and Scottish siegeworks. A Scots force joined the French troops on 16 July to storm the town but were driven away by cannon fire. Following this set-back, the French officer d’Essé ordered the heavy guns to be withdrawn on 17 July. With rumours of English reinforcement, Methven took the Scottish and French guns to Edinburgh and Leith, while d’Essé kept the camp. D’Essé made his feelings known to Arran; that an earlier decisive assault before the English had time to entrench would have been the best action. The English military engineer, Thomas Pettit, Surveyor of Calais, was captured and taken to Edinburgh to be held for ransom by André de Montalembert.

In August 1548 the Scots and French made a base at Clerkington, defended by ditches 14 feet across. Shrewsbury arrived on 23 August with an army close in size to the English army at Pinkie. He camped for a few days Spittal Hill near Aberlady. The French and Scots abandoned their siege of Haddington and retired to Edinburgh and Leith. Edward VI was told that some of the departing besiegers had spoken to Captain Tiberio. They had pointed out the inadequacies of the fortifications and said all honour was due to the defenders and none to themselves. Edward also recorded a subsequent large but unsuccessful night raid against Haddington.

The French troops in Edinburgh started a fight in Edinburgh in October 1548 over a culverin sent for repair and several Scots were killed on the Royal Mile. D’Essé organised a night raid on Haddington to increase their popularity among their potential Scottish supporters. The raid was repulsed after the English watch shouted, “Bows and Bills”, which according to John Knox was the usual alarm of the time. While the French were away from Edinburgh the townsfolk killed some of their wounded. On 1 November 1548, Wilford wrote to Somerset describing the state of Haddington, with a garrison stricken by plague:

“The state of this town pities me both to see and to write it; but I hope for relief. Many are sick and a great number dead, most of the plague. On my faith there are not here this day of horse, foot, and Italians, 1000 able to go to the walls, and more like to be sick, than the sick to mend, who watch the walls every 5th night, yet the walls are un-manned.”

English withdraw

Maréchal Paul de Thermes, after François Clouet, 1554.

The English withdrew because they were out of supplies, many of their men had died from disease or during the Scottish night raids, and more French re-inforcements had arrived under Paul de Thermes. The English (and their mercenary forces, which included German and Spanish professional soldiers) evacuated Haddington on 19 September 1549, travelling overland to Berwick upon Tweed. Mary of Guise was triumphant.

Ulpian Fulwell

The English writer Ulpian Fulwell included some stories that he heard from Haddington veterans including Captain Dethick in his Flower of Fame. He describes a siege at Yester Castle which was garrisoned by a Scottish and Spanish force. When they surrendered they were all pardoned, except a soldier who had cursed the English leaders from the battlements. It was unclear if this man was one Newton, or a man called Hamilton, and Lord Grey of Wilton made these suspects fight a duel in the market place of Haddington. Newton won the duel, killing Hamilton, and was freed, even though the English soldiers recognised his voice. Fulwell describes various events of the siege of Haddington, and says that the cannnon that nearly injured Mary of Guise at the nunnery was called “roaring meg”. Fulwell composed a verse naming the English captains.

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Kings-Queens of Scotland. Margaret.

Margaret (NorwegianMargreteScottish GaelicMaighread; March or April 1283 – September 1290), known as the Maid of Norway, was the queen-designate of Scotland from 1286 until her death. As she was never inaugurated, her status as monarch is uncertain and has been debated by historians.

Margaret was the daughter of King Eric II of Norway and Margaret of Scotland. By the end of the reign of her maternal grandfather, King Alexander III of Scotland, she was his only surviving descendant and recognized heir presumptive. Alexander III died in 1286, his posthumous child was stillborn, and Margaret inherited the crown. Owing to her young age, she remained in Norway rather than going to Scotland. Her father and the Scottish leaders negotiated her marriage to Edward of Caernarfon, son of King Edward I of England. She was finally sent to Great Britain in September 1290, but died in Orkney, sparking off the succession dispute between thirteen competitors for the crown of Scotland.


Margaret, Maid of Norway, was the only child of King Eric II of Norway and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of King Alexander III of Scotland. She was born in Tønsberg, a coastal town in southeastern Norway, between March and 9 April 1283, when her mother died, apparently from the complications of childbirth. Aged fifteen and possessing little royal authority, King Eric did not have much say about his daughter’s future. The infant Margaret was instead in the custody of the leading Norwegian magnate, NarveBishop of Bergen. Margaret’s upbringing in the city of Bergen shows that her future marriage was expected to be important to the kingdom’s foreign policy. The 1281 treaty arranging the marriage of Eric of Norway and Margaret of Scotland specified that the Scottish princess and her children would succeed to the throne of Scotland if King Alexander died leaving no legitimate sons and if no legitimate son of King Alexander left legitimate children. It also stated that the couple’s daughters could inherit the Norwegian throne “if it is the custom”. The Scottish party seems to have been deceived because the succession law of Norway, codified in 1280, provided only for succession by males, meaning that the Maid could not have succeeded to her father’s kingdom.

Alexander, brother of Margaret’s mother and the last surviving child of the King of Scotland, died on 28 January 1284. The Maid was left as the only living descendant of Alexander III. The King did not wait to discover whether his son’s widow, Margaret of Flanders, was pregnant. Already on 5 February he had all thirteen earls, twenty-four barons, and three clan chiefs come to Scone and swear to recognize his granddaughter as his successor if he died leaving neither son nor daughter and if no posthumous child was born to his son By April it had presumably become clear that the young Alexander’s widow was not expecting a child and that Margaret was the heir presumptive.

Alexander III’s wife, another Margaret, sister of King Edward I of England, had died in 1275, and the oath he exacted strongly implied that he now intended to remarry. When Edward expressed his condolence to Alexander III that month for the death of his son, the latter responded that “much good may come to pass yet through your kinswoman, the daughter of your niece … who is now our heir”, suggesting that the two kings may have already been discussing a suitable marriage for Margaret. Alexander and his magnates may have hoped for an English match. The King took a new wife, Yolanda of Dreux, on 14 October 1285, hoping to father another child. On the evening of 18 March 1286, he set out to meet with Queen Yolanda, only to be found dead with a broken neck the next day.

Lady and queen

Following the unexpected death of King Alexander, Scottish magnates gathered to discuss the future of the kingdom. They swore to preserve the throne for the right heir and chose six regents, known as guardians of Scotland, to govern the country. Although the succession had been laid out by the time King Alexander III died, Margaret’s accession was not yet assured: Her stepgrandmother, Queen Yolanda, was pregnant and the child was expected to succeed to the throne. There was a dispute in parliament in April involving Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale, and John BalliolLord of Galloway. Bruce may have opposed the Maid’s succession, or the two men may have both claimed to be next in line to the throne after Yolanda’s child and Margaret. Queen Yolanda delivered a stillborn child in November, and within a few months King Eric’s most prominent councilor, Bjarne Erlingsson, arrived in Scotland to claim the kingdom for Margaret. Bruce raised a rebellion with his son, Robert, Earl of Carrick, but was defeated in early 1287. The precariousness of the situation made King Eric reluctant to see his three-year-old daughter leave Norway for Scotland.

The Great Seal of Scotland used by the government of the realm after the death of King Alexander III

In May 1289, Eric II sent envoys to Edward I as part of the kings’ unfolding discussion about the future of Margaret, whom they called “lady and queen”. As Margaret was still with her father, the Scots could only observe the negotiations between the two kings. Eric was indebted to Edward, and Edward was determined to make the most of the situation. The guardians, accompanied by Bruce, finally met with English and Norwegian envoys at Salisbury in October. The Treaty of Salisbury was drawn up on 6 November 1289, stating that Eric and Margaret, “queen and heir of the kingdom”, asked Edward to intervene on behalf of his grandniece so “that she could ordain and enjoy therein as other kings do in their kingdoms”. Margaret was to be sent, by 1 November 1290, to England directly or via Scotland. Once the Scots could assure Edward that Scotland was peaceful and safe, he would send her to them. Edward was allowed to choose her husband, though her father retained the right to veto the choice. At Edward’s request, a papal dispensation permitting Margaret to marry her granduncle’s son, Edward of Caernarfon, was issued on 16 November 1289. The guardians and other prelates and magnates wrote that they were firmly in favour of the English match for “the lady Margaret queen of Scotland, our lady”. It was strongly implied that Margaret’s husband would be king, and Edward insisted on referring to Margaret as queen in order to speed up the accession of his own son, though the Scots themselves normally described her only as their lady.

Negotiations about Margaret’s marriage, dower, succession, and the nature of the intended personal union between England and Scotland continued into 1290. A lavishly provisioned ship failed to fetch the Maid in May because of diplomatic difficulties. The Treaty of Birgham, agreed on 18 July, provided that Scotland was to remain fully independent despite the personal union and that Margaret alone would be inaugurated as monarch at Scone. By late August 1290, Margaret was preparing to sail from Bergen to the island of Great Britain or was already at sea. The ship was her father’s but he did not accompany her; the most prominent men in her entourage were Bishop Narve and Baron Tore Haakonsson. She must have embarked in good health, but became ill during her journey. The ship landed in Orkney, a Norwegian archipelago off the coast of Scotland, on about 23 September. Having suffered there for up to a week from either food poisoning or, less likely, motion sickness, Margaret died between 26 and 29 September 1290 in the arms of Bishop Narve. The Scottish magnates, who had assembled at Scone for the child queen’s inauguration, learned about her death in October. Her body was returned to Bergen, where King Eric insisted on having the coffin opened to confirm his daughter’s identity. He then had it buried in the north wall of the chancel of Christ Church, now destroyed.


Lerwick Town Hall stained glass window depicting “Margaret, queen of Scotland and daughter of Norway”

Margaret was the last legitimate scion of the line of King William the LionThirteen men laid claim to succession, most notably Bruce and Balliol. King Eric half-heartedly claimed the Scottish crown as well, and died in 1299. In 1301 she was impersonated by a German woman, False Margaret, who was burned at the stake.

Historians debate whether Margaret should be considered a queen and included in the list of Scottish monarchs. She was never inaugurated, and her contemporaries in Scotland described her as queen very rarely, referring to her instead as their “lady”. She was called Scotland’s “lady”, “heir”, or “lady and heir” during the deliberations of the Great Cause after her death. On the other hand, documents issued from late 1286 no longer refer to the “king whosoever he may be”, indicating that the throne may have been regarded as already occupied by Margaret. Pope Nicholas IV considered Margaret to be the monarch of Scotland and treated her as such, sending to her a bull regarding the episcopal election of Matthew the Scot. In modern historiography she is nearly unanimously called “queen”, and reference books give 19 March 1286, the date of Alexander III’s death, as the start of her reign.

Family tree

Margaret’s family ties resulted from the marital diplomacy that sought to ensure peace among the three kingdoms on the North Sea – Norway, Scotland, and England, and placed her at the centre of the Scottish succession intrigues.

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Scottish Towns-Cities.(portree)

Portree (/pɔːrˈtriː/Scottish GaelicPort Rìghpronounced [pʰɔrˠʃt̪ˈɾiː]) is the largest town on, and capital of, the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is the location for the only secondary school on the island, Portree High SchoolPublic transport services are limited to buses. Portree has a harbour, fringed by cliffs, with a pier designed by Thomas Telford.

Attractions in the town include the Aros centre which celebrates the island’s Gaelic heritage. Further arts provision is made through arts organisation ATLAS Arts, a Creative Scotland regularly-funded organisation. The town also serves as a centre for tourists exploring the island.

Around 939 people (37.72% of the population) can speak Scottish Gaelic.

The A855 road leads north out of the town, passing through villages such as AchachorkStaffin and passes the rocky landscape of the Storr before reaching the landslip of the Quiraing.


The current name, Port Rìgh translates as ‘king’s port’, possibly from a visit by King James V of Scotland in 1540. However this etymology has been contested, since James did not arrive in peaceful times. The older name appears to have been Port Ruighe(adh), meaning ‘slope harbour’.

Prior to the 16th century the settlement’s name was Kiltaraglen (‘the church of St. Talarican‘) from Gaelic Cill Targhlain.

Prehistory and archaeology

Archaeological investigations in advance of construction of a housing development in 2006–2007, by CFA Archaeology, uncovered evidence of occupation of Portree from the Early Bronze Age to the Medieval period (the earliest radiocarbon date was 2570BC and the latest was AD 1400). They also found stone tools that indicated people were in the area in the Early to Mid Neolithic, possibly as far back as the Late Mesolithic.

The archaeologists discovered the remains of timber roundhouses, a circular ditch-defined enclosure, miniature souterrains, probable standing stone sockets and an assortment of pits. While not many artefacts were recovered there was an assemblage of Beaker pottery. This was the first discovery of a site dating from the Later Bronze Age on the Isle of Skye.

The archaeologists also found evidence of the shooting range that was created in the 1800s with the formation of the Rifle Volunteer movement, (set up in 1859 to defend the country against a potential French invasion). The first official unit in Portree was the 8th Inverness-shire Rifle Volunteer Corps, formed in July 1867.


In the 1700s, the town was a popular point of departure for Scots sailing to America to escape poverty. This form of use repeated during the famine in the 1840s. Both times, the town was saved by an influx of boats, often going between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides, who used Portree’s pier as a rest point. The town also began exporting fish at this time, which contributed greatly to the local economy.

The Royal Hotel is the site of MacNab’s Inn, the last meeting place of Flora MacDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746.

The town had the last manual telephone exchange in the UK, which closed in 1976.


Portree (2018)

Portree is considered to be among the “20 most beautiful villages in the UK and Ireland” according to Condé Nast Traveler and is visited by many tourists each year.

A report published in mid 2020 indicated that visitors added £211 million in a single year to the Isle of Skye’s economy, prior to travel restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was expected to decline substantially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Skye is highly vulnerable to the downturn in international visitors that will continue for much of 2020 and beyond”, Professor John Lennon of Glasgow Caledonian University told a reporter in July 2020.

In 2016, over 150,000 people stopped at the VisitScotland centre in Portree, a 5% increase over 2015. Overcrowding during peak season was a problem, however, before the pandemic, since it is “the busiest place on the island”. One news item recommended that some tourists might prefer accommodations in quieter areas such as Dunvegan, Kyleakin and the Broadford and Breakish area.

The 2020 reports did not cover tourism in Portree specifically but a December 2018 report by well-known travel writer Rick Steves had recommended the village as “Skye’s best home base” for visitors. He indicated that Portree “provided a few hotels, hostels and bed-and-breakfasts in town, while more B&Bs line the roads into and out of town”. The tourism bureau added that visitors would appreciate the “banks, churches, cafes and restaurants, a cinema at the Aros Centre, a swimming pool and library, (…) petrol filling stations and supermarkets”.


The town plays host to the Isle of Skye’s shinty club, Skye Camanachd. They play at Pairc nan Laoch above the town on the road to Struan.

Portree is home to two football clubs that play in the Skye and Lochalsh amateur football league called Portree and Portree Juniors.

Portree is now home to a new youth football club, Skye Young Boys.

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Scottish Architecture.(tolbooth)

4. Canongate Tolbooth, Canongate.

One of Edinburgh’s most photographed old buildings is the Canongate Tolbooth. It was built in 1591 at a time when the Canongate burgh was still separate from Edinburgh, and served as the district tolbooth, comprising a courthouse, jail and public meeting place. The Tolbooth has undergone a number of alterations over the centuries, the most notable being City Architect Robert Morham’s remodelling in 1875, which added its distinctive clock. The building now houses The People’s Story Museum and boasts a Category A listing.

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OOR WULLIE. (blairs)

Another adventure from the Scottish lad.

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The Broons.(ower)

Another adventure from the Broons Family.

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Scottish Architecture.(cowgate)

3. The Magdalen Chapel, Cowgate.

Just to the east of the Grassmarket at the start of the Cowgate stands the quaint Magdalen Chapel. The chapel was built between 1541 and 1544 at the bequest of one Michael MacQueen who was interred here shortly after its completion. Magdalen Chapel is notable as being the last Roman Catholic church to have been constructed in Edinburgh prior the Reformation and provides us with the only remaining example of pre-Reformation stained glass in Scotland. This is particularly astonishing when you consider that the chapel is considered the ‘cradle of Presbyterianism’, having held the first ever assembly of the new Church of Scotland in 1560. John Knox was one of the 42 ministers present. The chapel is now the headquarters of the Scottish Reformation Society.

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Famous Scots. Thomas Reid.

Thomas Reid FRSE (/riːd/; 7 May (O.S. 26 April) 1710 – 7 October 1796) was a religiously trained Scottish philosopher. He was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. In 1783 he was a joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. A contemporary of David Hume, Reid was also “Hume’s earliest and fiercest critic”.


Reid was born in the manse at Strachan, Aberdeenshire, on 26 April 1710 O.S., the son of Lewis Reid (1676–1762) and his wife Margaret Gregory, first cousin to James Gregory. He was educated at Kincardine Parish School then the O’Neil Grammar School in Kincardine.

He went to the University of Aberdeen in 1723 and graduated MA in 1726. He was licensed to preach by the Church of Scotland in 1731 when he came of age. He began his career as a minister of the Church of Scotland but ceased to be a minister when he was given a professorship at King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1752. He obtained his doctorate and wrote An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (published in 1764). He and his colleagues founded the ‘Aberdeen Philosophical Society, popularly known as the ‘Wise Club’ (a literary-philosophical association). Shortly after the publication of his first book, he was given the prestigious Professorship of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow when he was called to replace Adam Smith. He resigned from this position in 1781, after which he prepared his university lectures for publication in two books: Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind (1788). However, in 1787 he is still listed as “Professor of Moral Philosophy” at the university, but his classes were being taught by Archibald Arthur.

In 1740 Thomas Reid married his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of the London physician George Reid. His wife and “numerous” children predeceased him, except for a daughter who married Patrick Carmichael. Reid died of palsy, in Glasgow. He was buried at Blackfriars Church in the grounds of Glasgow College and when the university moved to Gilmorehill in the west of Glasgow, his tombstone was inserted in the main building.

Philosophical work


Reid believed that common sense (in a special philosophical sense of sensus communis) is, or at least should be, at the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He disagreed with Hume, who asserted that we can never know what an external world consists of as our knowledge is limited to the ideas in the mind, and George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world is merely ideas in the mind. By contrast, Reid claimed that the foundations upon which our sensus communis are built justify our belief that there is an external world.

In his day and for some years into the 19th century, he was regarded as more important than Hume. He advocated direct realism, or common sense realism, and argued strongly against the Theory of Ideas advocated by John LockeRené Descartes, and (in varying forms) nearly all Early Modern philosophers who came after them. He had a great admiration for Hume and had a mutual friend send Hume an early manuscript of Reid’s Inquiry. Hume responded that the work “is wrote in a lively entertaining manner,” although he found “there seems to be some Defect in Method”, and he criticized Reid’s doctrine for implying the presence of innate ideas. (pp. 256–257)

Thomas Reid’s theory of common sense

Reid’s theory of knowledge had a strong influence on his theory of morals. He thought epistemology was an introductory part to practical ethics: When we are confirmed in our common beliefs by philosophy, all we have to do is to act according to them, because we know what is right. His moral philosophy is reminiscent of Roman stoicism in its emphasis on the agency of the subject and self-control. He often quotes Cicero, from whom he adopted the term “sensus communis”. Reid’s answer to Hume’s sceptical and naturalist arguments was to enumerate a set of principles of common sense (sensus communis) which constitute the foundations of rational thought. Anyone who undertakes a philosophical argument, for example, must implicitly presuppose certain beliefs like, “I am talking to a real person,” and “There is an external world whose laws do not change,” among many other positive, substantive claims. For Reid, the belief in the truth of these principles is not rational; rather, reason itself demands these principles as prerequisites, as does the innate “constitution” of the human mind. It is for this reason (and possibly a mocking attitude toward Hume and Berkeley) that Reid sees belief in the principles of common sense as a litmus test for sanity. For example, in The Intellectual Powers of Man he states, “For, before men can reason together, they must agree in first principles; and it is impossible to reason with a man who has no principles in common with you.” One of the first principles he goes on to list is that “qualities must necessarily be in something that is figured, coloured, hard or soft, that moves or resists. It is not to these qualities, but to that which is the subject of them, that we give the name body. If any man should think fit to deny that these things are qualities, or that they require any subject, I leave him to enjoy his opinion as a man who denies first principles, and is not fit to be reasoned with.”

Reid also made positive arguments based in phenomenological insight to put forth a novel mixture of direct realism and ordinary language philosophy. In a typical passage in The Intellectual Powers of Man he asserts that when he has a conception of a centaur, the thing he conceives is an animal, and no idea is an animal; therefore, the thing he conceives is not an idea, but a centaur. This point relies both on an account of the subjective experience of conceiving an object and also on an account of what we mean when we use words. Because Reid saw his philosophy as publicly accessible knowledge, available both through introspection and through the proper understanding of how language is used, he saw it as the philosophy of common sense.

Exploring sense and language

Reid started out with a ‘common sense’ based on a direct experience of an external reality but then proceeded to explore in two directions—external to the senses, and internal to human language—to account more effectively for the role of rationality.

Reid saw language as based on an innate capacity pre-dating human consciousness, and acting as an instrument for that consciousness. (In Reid’s terms: it is an ‘artificial’ instrument based on a ‘natural’ capacity.) On this view, language becomes a means of examining the original form of human cognition. Reid notes that current human language contains two distinct elements: first, the acoustic element, the sounds; and secondly the meanings—which seem to have nothing to do with the sounds as such. This state of the language, which he calls ‘artificial’, cannot be the primeval one, which he terms ‘natural’, wherein sound was not an abstract sign, but a concrete gesture or natural sign. Reid looks to the way a child learns language, by imitating sounds, becoming aware of them long before it understands the meaning accorded to the various groups of sounds in the artificial state of contemporary adult speech. If, says Reid, the child needed to understand immediately the conceptual content of the words it hears, it would never learn to speak at all. Here Reid distinguishes between natural and artificial signs:”It is by natural signs chiefly that we give force and energy to language; and the less language has of them, it is the less expressive and persuasive. … Artificial signs signify, but they do not express; they speak to the intellect, as algebraic characters may do, but the passions and the affections and the will hear them not: these continue dormant and inactive, till we speak to them in the language of nature, to which they are all attention and obedience.” (p. 52)[13]

His external exploration, regarding the senses, led Reid to his critical distinction between ‘sensation‘ and ‘perception‘. While we become aware of an object through the senses, the content of that perception is not identical with the sum total of the sensations caused in our consciousness. Thus, while we tend to focus on the object perceived, we pay no attention to the process leading from sensation to perception, which contains the knowledge of the thing as real. How, then, do we receive the conviction of the latter’s existence? Reid’s answer is, by entering into an immediate intuitive relationship with it, as a child does. In the case of the adult, the focus is on perceiving, but with the child, it is on receiving of the sensations in their living nature. For Reid, the perception of the child is different from the adult, and he states that man must become like a child to get past the artificial perception of the adult, which leads to Hume’s view that what we perceive is an illusion. Also, the artist provides a key to the true content of sense experience, as he engages the ‘language of nature’:”It were easy to show, that the fine arts of the musician, the painter, the actor, and the orator, so far as they are expressive .. are nothing else but the language of nature, which we brought into the world with us, but have unlearned by disuse and so find the greatest difficulty in recovering it.” (p. 53)”That without a natural knowledge of the connection between these [natural] signs and the things signified by them, the language could never have been invented and established among men; and, That the fine arts are all founded upon this connection, which we may call the natural language of mankind.” (p. 59)

Thus, for Reid, common sense was based on the innate capacity of man in an earlier epoch to directly participate in nature, and one we find to some extent in the child and artist, but one that from a philosophical and scientific perspective, we must re-awaken at a higher level in the human mind above nature. Why does Reid believe that perception is the way to recognize? Well, to him “an experience is purely subjective and purely negative. It supports the validity of a proposition, only on the fact that I find that it is impossible for me not to hold it for true, to suppose it therefore not true” (Reid, 753). To understand this better, it is important to know that Reid divides his definition of perception into two categories: conception, and belief. “Conception is Reid’s way of saying to visualize an object, so then we can affirm or deny qualities about that thing. Reid believes that beliefs are our direct thoughts of an object, and what that object is” (Buras, The Functions of Sensations to Reid). So, to Reid, what we see, what we visualize, what we believe of an object, is that object’s true reality. Reid believes in direct objectivity, our senses guide us to what is right since we cannot trust our own thoughts. “The worlds of common sense and of philosophy are reciprocally the converse of each other” (Reid, 841). Reid believes that Philosophy overcomplicates the question of what is real. So, what does Common Sense actually mean then? Well, “common sense is the senses being pulled all together to form one idea” (Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid, 164). Common sense (all the senses combined) is how we truly identify the reality of an object; since all that can be perceived about an object, are all pulled into one perception. How do people reach the point of accessing common sense? That’s the trick, everyone is born with the ability to access common sense, that is why it is called common sense. “The principles of common sense are common to all of humanity,” (Nichols, Ryan, Yaffe, and Gideon, Thomas Reid).

Common sense works as such: If all men observe an item and believe the same qualities about that item, then the knowledge of that item is universally true. It is common knowledge, which without explanation is held true by other people; so, what is universally seen is universally believed. “The real, then, is that which, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you. Thus, the very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a community, without definite limits, and capable of a definite increase of knowledge,” (Reid, 155). The combination of the same ideas, of a thing, by multiple people, is what confirms the reality of an object. Reid also believes that the philosophers of his time exaggerated what is truly real. Where most philosophers believe that what we see is not fully what that thing is, for example, Descartes, Reid counters this argument simply by stating that “such a hypothesis is no more likely to be true than the common-sensical belief that the world is much the way we perceive it to be,” (Nichols, Ryan, Yaffe, and Gideon, Thomas Reid). Reality is what we make it out to be, nothing more.

Reid also claimed that this discovery of the link between the natural sign and the thing signified was the basis of natural philosophy and science, as proposed by Bacon in his radical method of discovery of the innate laws of nature:The great Lord Verulam had a perfect comprehension of this, when he called it an interpretation of nature. No man ever more distinctly understood, or happily expressed the nature and foundation of the philosophic art. What is all we know of mechanics, astronomy, and optics, but connections established by nature and discovered by experience or observation, and consequences deduced from them? (..) What we commonly call natural causes might, with more propriety, be called natural signs, and what we call effects, the things signified. The causes have no proper efficiency or causality, as far as we know; and all we can certainly affirm, is, that nature hath established a constant conjunction between them and the things called their effects; (..). (p. 59)


It has been claimed that Reid’s reputation waned after attacks on the Scottish School of Common Sense by Immanuel Kant (although Kant, only 14 years Reid’s junior, also bestowed much praise on Scottish philosophy—Kant attacked the work of Reid, but admitted he had never actually read his works) and by John Stuart Mill. But Reid’s was the philosophy taught in the colleges of North America during the 19th century and was championed by Victor Cousin, a French philosopher. Justus Buchler has shown that Reid was an important influence on the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, who shared Reid’s concern to revalue common sense and whose work links Reid to pragmatism. To Peirce, conceptions of truth and the real involve the notion of a community without definite limits (and thus potentially self-correcting as far as needed), and capable of a definite increase of knowledge. Common sense is socially evolved, open to verification much like scientific method, and constantly evolving, as evidence, perception, and practice warrant, albeit with a slowness that Peirce came only in later years to see, at which point he owned his “adhesion, under inevitable modification, to the opinion of…Thomas Reid, in the matter of Common Sense”.[15] (Peirce called his version “critical common-sensism”). By contrast, on Reid’s concept, the sensus communis is not a social evolutionary product but rather a precondition of the possibility that humans could reason with each other. The work of Thomas Reid influenced the work of Noah Porter and James McCosh in the 19th century United States and is based upon the claim of universal principles of objective truth. Pragmatism is not the development of the work of the Scottish “Common Sense” School—it is the negation of it. There are clear links between the work of the Scottish Common Sense School and the work of the Oxford Realist philosophers Harold Prichard and Sir William David Ross in the 20th century.

Reid’s reputation has revived in the wake of the advocacy of common sense as a philosophical method or criterion by G. E. Moore early in the 20th century, and more recently because of the attention given to Reid by contemporary philosophers, in particular philosophers of religion in the school of Reformed epistemology such as William AlstonAlvin Plantinga, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, seeking to rebut charges that theistic belief is irrational where it has no doxastic foundations (that is, where that belief is not inferred from other adequately grounded beliefs).

He wrote a number of important philosophical works, including Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (1764, Glasgow & London), Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of Man (1788). In 1844, Schopenhauer praised Reid for explaining that the perception of external objects does not result from the raw data that is received through the five senses:

Thomas Reid’s excellent book, Inquiry into the Human Mind… affords us a very thorough conviction of the inadequacy of the senses for producing the objective perception of things, and also of the non-empirical origin of the intuition of space and time. Reid refutes Locke’s teaching that perception is a product of the senses. This he does by a thorough and acute demonstration that the collective sensations of the senses do not bear the least resemblance to the world known through perception, and in particular by showing that Locke’s five primary qualities (extension, figure, solidity, movement, number) cannot possibly be supplied to us by any sensation of the senses…

— The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. 2

Other philosophical positions

Though known mainly for his epistemology, Reid is also noted for his views in the theory of action and the metaphysics of personal identity. Reid held an incompatibilist or libertarian notion of freedom, holding that we are capable of free actions of which we are the cause, and for which we are morally appraisable. Regarding personal identity, he rejected Locke’s account that self-consciousness in the form of memory of one’s experiences was the basis of a person’s being identical with their self over time. Reid held that continuity of memory was neither necessary nor sufficient to make one numerically the same person at different times. Reid also argued that the operation of our mind connecting sensations with belief in an external world is accounted for only by an intentional Creator. In his natural religion lectures, Reid provides five arguments for the existence of God, focusing on two mainly, the cosmological and design. Reid loves and frequently uses Samuel Clarke’s cosmological argument, which says, in short that the universe either has always been, or began to exist, so there must be a cause (or first principle) for both (Cuneo and Woudenberg 242). As everything is either necessary or contingent, an Independent being is required for contingency (Cuneo and Woudenberg 242). Reid spends even more time on his design argument, but is unclear exactly what he wanted his argument to be, as his lectures only went as far as his students needed. Though there is no perfect interpretation, Reid states that “there are in fact the clearest marks of design and wisdom in the works of nature” (Cuneo and Woudenberg 291) If something carries marks of design (regularity or variety of structure), there must be an intelligent being behind it (Reid EIP 66). This can’t be known by experience, fitting with the casual excellence principle, but the cause can be seen in works of nature (Cuneo and Woudenberg 241).

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Infamous Scots. Thomas Watt Hamilton.


The Dunblane massacre took place at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, on 13 March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 pupils and one teacher, and injured 15 others, before killing himself. It remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history.

Following the killings, public debate centred on gun control laws, including public petitions for a ban on private ownership of handguns and an official inquiry, which produced the 1996 Cullen Report.

The incident led to a public campaign, known as the Snowdrop Petition, which helped bring about legislation, specifically two new Firearms Acts, which outlawed the private ownership of most handguns within Great Britain, with few exceptions. The UK Government instituted a temporary gun buyback programme, which provided some compensation to lawful handgun owners.

Since the massacre, and tighter firearm restrictions, incidents with shotguns and rifles—such as the 2010 Cumbria shootings or the 2021 Plymouth shooting—have taken place; however, as has been consistently the case since the introduction of the Firearms Act 1968, incidents involving lawfully owned firearms in the UK remain extremely rare.


At about 8:15 a.m. on 13 March 1996, Thomas Hamilton, aged 43, was seen scraping ice off his van outside his home at Kent Road in Stirling. He left soon afterwards and drove about 5 miles (8 km) north to Dunblane. Hamilton arrived on the grounds of Dunblane Primary School at around 9:30 a.m. and parked his van near a telegraph pole in the car park of the school. He cut the cables at the bottom of the telegraph pole, which served nearby houses, with a pair of pliers before making his way across the car park towards the school buildings.

Hamilton headed towards the north-west side of the school to a door near the toilets and the school gymnasium. After entering, he made his way to the gymnasium armed with four legally-held handguns—two 9mm Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolvers. Hamilton was also carrying 743 ammunition cartridges. In the gym was a class of 28 Primary 1 pupils preparing for a P.E. lesson in the presence of three adult members of staff.

Before entering the gymnasium, it is believed Hamilton fired two shots into the stage of the assembly hall and the girls’ toilet.

Hamilton started shooting rapidly and randomly. He shot P.E. teacher Eileen Harrild, who was injured in her arms and chest as she attempted to protect herself, and continued shooting into the gym. Harrild stumbled into the open-plan store cupboard at the side of the gym along with several injured children. Gwen Mayor, the teacher of the Primary 1 class, was shot and killed instantly. The other adult present, Mary Blake, a supervisory assistant, was shot in the head and both legs but also managed to make her way to the store cupboard with several of the children in front of her.

From entering the gymnasium and walking a few steps, Hamilton had fired 29 shots with one of the pistols, killed one child, and injured several others. Four injured children had taken shelter in the store cupboard along with the injured Harrild and Blake. Hamilton then moved up the east side of the gym, firing six shots as he walked, and then fired eight shots towards the opposite end of the gym. He then went towards the centre of the gym, firing 16 shots at point-blank range at a group of children who had been incapacitated by his earlier shots.

A Primary 7 pupil who was walking along the west side of the gymnasium exterior at the time heard loud bangs and screams and looked inside. Hamilton shot in his direction and the pupil was injured by flying glass before running away. From this position, Hamilton fired 24 shots in various directions. He fired shots towards a window next to the fire exit at the south-east end of the gym, possibly at an adult who was walking across the playground, and then fired four more shots in the same direction after opening the fire exit door. Hamilton then exited the gym briefly through the fire exit, firing another four shots towards the cloakroom of the library, striking and injuring Grace Tweddle, another member of staff at the school.

In the mobile classroom closest to the fire exit where Hamilton was standing, Catherine Gordon saw him firing shots and instructed her Primary 7 class to get down onto the floor before Hamilton fired nine bullets into the classroom, striking books and equipment. One bullet passed through a chair where a child had been sitting seconds before. Hamilton then re-entered the gym, dropped the pistol he was using, and took out one of the two revolvers.

He put the barrel of the gun in his mouth, pointed it upwards, and pulled the trigger, killing himself. A total of 32 people sustained gunshot wounds inflicted by Hamilton over a 3–4 minute period, 16 of whom were fatally wounded in the gymnasium, including Gwen Mayor, the Primary 1 teacher, and 15 of her pupils. One other child died en route to hospital.

The first call to the police was made at 9:41 a.m. by the headmaster of the school, Ronald Taylor, who had been alerted by assistant headmistress Agnes Awlson to the possibility of a gunman on the school premises. Awlson had told Taylor that she had heard screaming inside the gymnasium and had seen what she thought to be cartridges on the ground, and Taylor had been aware of loud noises which he assumed to have been from builders on site that he had not been informed of. As he was on his way to the gym, the shooting ended and when he saw what had happened he ran back to his office and told deputy headmistress Fiona Eadington to call for ambulances, a call which was made at 9:43 a.m.

The first ambulance arrived on the scene at 9:57 a.m. in response to the call made at 9:43 a.m. Another medical team from Dunblane Health Centre arrived at 10:04 a.m. which included doctors and a nurse, who were involved in the initial resuscitation of the injured. Medical teams from the health centres in Doune and Callander arrived shortly after. The accident and emergency department at Stirling Royal Infirmary had also been informed of a major incident involving multiple casualties at 9:48 a.m. and the first of several medical teams from the hospital arrived at 10:15 a.m. Another medical team from the Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary arrived at 10:35 a.m.

By about 11:10 a.m., all of the injured had been taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary for medical treatment; one child died en route to the hospital. Upon examination, several of the patients were transferred to the District Royal Infirmary in Falkirk and some to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow. Future tennis players Andy and Jamie Murray, both pupils at the school during the event, were not injured during the massacre.


Thomas Watt Hamilton was born on 10 May 1952 in Glasgow. As the head of several youth clubs, Hamilton had been subject to several complaints to police regarding inappropriate behaviour towards young boys, including claims that he had taken photographs of semi-naked boys without parental consent. He had briefly been a Scout leader – initially, in July 1973, he was appointed assistant leader with the 4th/6th Stirling of the Scout Association. Later that year, he was seconded as leader to the 24th Stirlingshire troop, which was being revived. Several complaints were made about Hamilton’s leadership, including complaints about Scouts being forced to sleep in close proximity with him inside his van during hill-walking expeditions. Within months, on 13 May 1974, Hamilton’s Scout Warrant was withdrawn, with the County Commissioner stating that he was “suspicious of his moral intentions towards boys”. He was blacklisted by the Association and thwarted in a later attempt he made to become a Scout leader in Clackmannanshire.

Hamilton claimed in letters that local rumours regarding his behaviour towards young boys had led to the failure of his business in 1993, and that, in the last months of his life, he had complained that his attempts to organise a boys’ club were subjected to persecution by local police and the scout movement. Among those he complained to were Queen Elizabeth II and his local Member of Parliament (MP), Michael Forsyth (Conservative). In the 1980s, another MP, George Robertson (Labour), who lived in Dunblane, had complained to Forsyth about Hamilton’s local boys’ club, which his son had attended. On the day following the massacre, Robertson spoke of having previously argued with Hamilton “in my own home”.

On 19 March 1996, six days after the massacre, Hamilton’s body was cremated. According to a police spokesman, this service was conducted “far away from Dunblane”.

Subsequent legislation

The Cullen Reports, the result of the inquiry into the Dunblane massacre, recommended that the Government of the United Kingdom introduce tighter controls on handgun ownership and consider whether an outright ban on private ownership would be in the public interest in the alternative (though club ownership would be maintained). The report also recommended changes in school security and vetting of people working with children under 18. The Home Affairs Select Committee agreed with the need for restrictions on gun ownership but stated that a handgun ban was not appropriate.

An advocacy group, the Gun Control Network, was founded in the aftermath of the massacre and was supported by some parents of the victims of the Dunblane and Hungerford massacres shootings. Bereaved families and others also campaigned for a ban on private gun ownership.

In response to public debate, the Conservative government of Prime Minister John Major introduced the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, which banned all cartridge ammunition handguns with the exception of .22 calibre rimfire in England, Scotland and Wales. Following the 1997 United Kingdom general election, the Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, banning the remaining .22 cartridge handguns as well This left only muzzle-loading and historic handguns legal, as well as certain sporting handguns (e.g. “Long-Arms”) and long-barrelled handguns that fall outside the minimum barrel and overall length dimensions in the Firearms Act 1968, as amended.

Despite the general perception that handguns are now ‘banned in the UK’, the ban did not and does not affect Northern Ireland, where it remains perfectly legal for ordinary citizens to own handguns for target shooting (subject to holding a firearms licence) and, in certain circumstance, also self-defence. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where handguns can be carried for the purposes of self-defence, and this is subject to the owner holding a personal protection weapon permit. Almost 3000 such permits were on issue as of 2012.

Evidence of previous police interaction with Hamilton was presented to the Cullen Inquiry but was later sealed under a closure order to prevent publication for 100 years. The official reason for sealing the documents was to protect the identities of children, but this led to accusations of a coverup intended to protect the reputations of officials. Following a review of the closure order by the Lord AdvocateColin Boyd, edited versions of some of the documents were released to the public in October 2005. Four files containing post-mortems, medical records and profiles on the victims, as well as Hamilton’s post-mortem, remained sealed under the 100-year order to avoid distressing the relatives and survivors.

The released documents revealed that in 1991, complaints against Hamilton were made to the Central Scotland Police and were investigated by the Child Protection Unit. He was reported to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of ten charges, including assault, obstructing police and contravention of the Children and Young Persons Act 1937. No action was taken and he retained his firearms certificate, despite these charges and accusations being lawful reasons for the police to have revoked his firearms certificate prior to the Dunblane tragedy.

Media coverage

Two books – Dunblane: Our Year of Tears by Peter Samson and Alan Crow and Dunblane: Never Forget by Mick North – both give accounts of the massacre from the perspective of those most directly affected. In 2009, the Sunday Express was criticised for an inappropriate article about the survivors of the massacre, thirteen years after the event.

On the Sunday following the shootings the morning service from Dunblane Cathedral, conducted by Colin MacIntosh, was broadcast live by the BBC. The BBC also had live transmission of the memorial service on 9 October 1996, also held at Dunblane Cathedral. A documentary series, Crimes That Shook Britain, discussed the massacre. The documentary Dunblane: Remembering our Children, which featured many of the parents of the children who had been killed, was broadcast by STV and ITV at the time of the first anniversary. At the time of the tenth anniversary in March 2006 two documentaries were broadcast: Channel 5 screened Dunblane — A Decade On and BBC Scotland showed Remembering Dunblane. On 9 March 2016 relatives of the victims spoke in a BBC Scotland documentary entitled Dunblane: Our Story to mark the twentieth anniversary. A 2018 Netflix documentaryLessons from a School Shooting: Notes from Dunblane, directed by Kim A. Snyder, drew comparison with the Sandy Hook massacre in the US by exploring the grief and friendship between the two priests serving the affected communities at the times of the respective shootings. On 11 March 2021, ITV aired a special documentary to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary: Return to Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly in which the presenter revisited the town, speaking with the victims’ families and emergency aid workers.

Memorials and tributes

Numerous memorial services have been held at Dunblane Cathedral

Two days after the shooting, a vigil and prayer session was held at Dunblane Cathedral which was attended by people of all faiths. On Mothering Sunday, on 17 March, Queen Elizabeth II and her daughter Anne, Princess Royal, attended a memorial service at Dunblane Cathedral.

Seven months after the massacre, in October 1996, the families of the victims organised their own memorial service at Dunblane Cathedral, which more than 600 people attended, including Prince Charles. The service was broadcast live on BBC1 and conducted by James Whyte, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Television presenter Lorraine Kelly, who had befriended some of the victims’ families whilst reporting on the massacre for GMTV, was a guest speaker at the service.

In August 1997, two varieties of rose were unveiled and planted as the centrepiece for a roundabout in Dunblane. The two roses were developed by Cockers Roses of Aberdeen; the ‘Gwen Mayor’ rose and ‘Innocence’ rose, in memory of the children killed. A snowdrop cultivar, originally found in a Dunblane garden in the 1970s, was renamed ‘Sophie North’ in memory of one of the victims of the massacre.

The gymnasium at the school was demolished on 11 April 1996 and replaced by a memorial garden. Two years after the massacre, on 14 March 1998, a memorial garden was opened at Dunblane Cemetery, where Mayor and twelve of the slain children are buried. The garden features a fountain with a plaque of the names of those killed. Stained glass windows in memory of the victims were placed in three local churches, St Blane’s and the Church of the Holy Family in Dunblane and the nearby Lecropt Kirk as well as at the Dunblane Youth and Community Centre.

Newton Primary School awards The Gwen Mayor Rosebowl to a pupil every year.[citation needed] A charity, the Gwen Mayor Trust, was set up by the Educational Institute of Scotland to provide funding for projects in Scottish primary schools.

The National Association of Primary Education commissioned a sculpture, “Flame for Dunblane”, created by Walter Bailey from a single yew tree, which was placed in the National Forest, near MoiraLeicestershire.

The nave of Dunblane Cathedral has a standing stone by the monumental sculptor Richard Kindersley. It was commissioned by the Kirk Session as the cathedral’s commemoration and dedicated at a service on 12 March 2001. It is a Clashach stone two metres high on a Caithness flagstone base. The quotations on the stone are by E. V. Rieu (“He called a little child to him…”), Richard Henry Stoddard (“…the spirit of a little child”), Bayard Taylor (“But still I dream that somewhere there must be The spirit of a child that waits for me”) and W. H. Auden (“We are linked as children in a circle dancing”).

With the consent of Bob Dylan, the musician Ted Christopher wrote a new verse for “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” in memory of the Dunblane school children and their teacher. The recording of the revised version of the song, which included brothers and sisters of the victims singing the chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar, was released on 9 December 1996 in the UK, and reached number 1. The proceeds went to charities for children.

Pipe Major Robert Mathieson of the Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band composed a pipe tune in tribute, “The Bells of Dunblane”.

Scottish composer James MacMillan created a choral work, A child’s prayer, as a tribute to the dead at Dunblane.

English punk rock band U.K. Subs released a song called “Dunblane” on their 1997 album “Quintessentials”, with the chorus “After Dunblane how can you hold a gun and say you’re innocent?

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Scottish Antiques-Collectables. (vase)

Large size Scottish Wemyss “Lady Eva” pattern flower vase in the famous cabbage roses design. This is a lovely vase and is very nicely painted all round with the cabbage roses design. The vase has the early impressed Wemyss mark to the base plus the yellow Wemyss painted signature for Joe Nekola. The vase is basically in very good condition with no cracks but has had very minor professional restoration to the rim.

SIZE 7″ diameter by 8″ high

CIRCA 1900

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Scottish Architecture.(chapel)

8. St Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh Castle.

Thought to have been completed in 1130 by King David in honour of his mother, Queen Margaret, St Margaret’s Chapel has seen a fair few changes in Edinburgh. In fact, as the oldest building in the entire city, it’s seen all the changes. The chapel is situated within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, which may sound like a safe place to be until you consider that the castle has historically been the most besieged location in the whole of Britain. Once you factor in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s and the fact that the chapel lay disused for centuries afterwards – save for a spell as a storage room for gunpowder – it’s actually quite incredible that it’s still standing. Today’s chapel has since been tastefully restored, first by Queen Victoria in the 1850s, who made it usable once more and reintroduced stained glass to its five windows, and again in 1922. Despite the rather compact little chapel only being able to hold around 20 people, modern weddings and baptisms are a regular occurrence at the 900-year-old place of worship.

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Scottish bands-Music. Paolo Nutini.

Paolo Giovanni Nutini (born 9 January 1987) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and musician from Paisley. Nutini’s debut album, These Streets (2006), peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. Its follow-up, Sunny Side Up (2009), debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. Both albums have been certified quintuple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. Five years later, Nutini released his third studio album, Caustic Love, in April 2014. The album received positive reviews from music critics. Caustic Love debuted at number one on the UK Album Charts and was certified platinum by the BPI in June 2014. While Nutini has not formally addressed it, he was on a hiatus from 2017 to May 2022, when he announced his fourth album, Last Night in the Bittersweet.

Among other accolades, Nutini has received three BRIT Award nominations and an Ivor Novello Award nomination for songwriting. In July 2014, he was referred to by the BBC as “arguably Scotland’s biggest musician right now.”

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Scottish foods-drinks.(mince)

Mince and Tatties.

Mince is the British name for ground meat, and it usually refers to beef.

If you’ve ever been to England or Scotland, you may have seen simply “mince and potatoes” on pub menus. 

It’s cheap to make and very filling. When you break this recipe down, it’s sort of like a deconstructed cottage pie. 

Mince And Tatties Recipe 49 735x490 1

The filling is ground beef with veggies and a nice dark gravy, and it’s served with yummy mashed potatoes.

The only real difference is that they’re made and plated separately rather than baked in layers. 

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Scottish Towns-Cities. (Armadale.)

Armadale in West Lothian developed in the 19th century as a mining town with coal and ironstone and quarrying of limestone and brick clay. The town was developed by Lord Armadale from Sutherland. Steel and bricks were manufactured. It remains an industrial town although many current residents are commuters.


This type of large town is extremely mixed in terms of demographics. There is a particularly wide range of people, housing and activities. The number of older couples with no children is higher than average. There is a mix of professional and non-professional jobs, and part-time and self-employment are both important for a significant proportion of residents. Socioeconomic status is higher than in other kinds of town and there is a mix of professionals and nonprofessionals, those with higher and lower educational attainment. 

Armadale is an interdependent town. 

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