Scottish Places of Interest. Kelvingrove.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a museum and art gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions. The museum has 22 galleries, housing a range of exhibits, including Renaissance art, taxidermy, and artifacts from ancient Egypt.


Rear elevation looking westwards from Argyle Street, Glasgow.

The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style in the 1920s, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

Original museum

The original Kelvingrove Museum opened in the latter half of the 19th century. It was housed in an enlarged 18th-century mansion called Kelvingrove House, to the east of the current site, that was originally the home of Lord Provost Patrick Colquhoun.

Creation (1888–1901)

The Centre Hall, looking towards the Pipe Organ flanked by original electroliers, with Dippy the Diplodocus on tour January–May 2019.

The construction of Kelvingrove was partly financed by the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park. The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen, and opened in 1901 as the Palace of Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held in that year. It is built in a Spanish Baroque style, follows the Glaswegian tradition of using Locharbriggs red sandstone, and includes an entire program of architectural sculpture by George FramptonWilliam ShirreffsFrancis Derwent Wood and other sculptors.

The centrepiece of the Centre Hall is a concert pipe organ constructed and installed by Lewis & Co. The organ was originally commissioned as part of the Glasgow International Exhibition, held in Kelvingrove Park in 1901. The organ was installed in the concert hall of the exhibition, which was capable of seating 3,000 people. The Centre Hall of the then newly completed Art Gallery and Museum was intended from the beginning to be a space in which to hold concerts. When the 1901 exhibition ended, a Councillor urged the Glasgow Corporation (now Glasgow Council) to purchase the organ, stating that without it, “the art gallery would be a body without a soul”. Purchase price and installation costs were met from the surplus exhibition proceeds, and the organ was installed in the Centre Hall by Lewis and Co. The present case front in walnut with non-functional display pipes was commissioned at this time from John W. Simpson. Simpson was the senior partner of Simpson & Milner Allen, architects of the gallery building.

There is an urban myth in Glasgow that the building was accidentally built back-to-front, and the architect jumped from one of the towers in despair upon realising his mistake. In reality, the grand entrance was always intended to face into Kelvingrove Park.

Refurbishment (2003–06)

West Court; animals on display below a preserved Spitfire Mark 21 which served from 1947–1949 with 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

General view of one of the halls.

Kelvingrove was reopened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 11 July 2006 after a three-year closure for major refurbishment and restoration. The work, which cost around £35 million, was one third funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and one third by public donations to the appeal, and included a new restaurant and a large basement extension to its display space to accommodate the 8,000 exhibits now on display. A new layout and wayfinding scheme was introduced to make the building more visitor-friendly, which was designed and executed by London-based museum design company, Event Communications. Immediately after its 2003–06 refurbishment, the museum was the most popular free-to-enter visitor attraction in Scotland, recording 2.23 million visitors in 2007. These numbers made it the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London that year. From 2006 to 2009 the museum had 5 million visitors.


The museum’s collections came mainly from the original Kelvingrove Museum and the McLellan Galleries. It has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and a vast natural history collection. The art collection includes many outstanding European artworks, including works by the Old Masters (Vecellio’s Madonna and Child with Saint Jerome and Saint DorothyRembrandt van RijnGerard de Lairesse, and Jozef Israëls), French Impressionists (such as Claude MonetPierre-Auguste RenoirCamille PissarroVincent van Gogh and Mary Cassatt), Dutch RenaissanceScottish Colourists and exponents of the Glasgow School.

The museum houses Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí. The copyright of this painting was bought by the curator at the time after a meeting with Dalí himself. For a period between 1993 and 2006, the painting was moved to the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

The museum also contains a large gift of the decorative arts from Anne Hull Grundy, an art collector and philanthropist, covering the history of European jewellery in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Famous Scots. William Murdoch.

William Murdoch (sometimes spelled Murdock) (21 August 1754 – 15 November 1839) was a Scottish engineer and inventor.

Murdoch was employed by the firm of Boulton & Watt and worked for them in Cornwall, as a steam engine erector for ten years, spending most of the rest of his life in Birmingham, England.

Murdoch was the inventor of the oscillating cylinder steam engine, and gas lighting is attributed to him in the early 1790s, also the term “gasometer”. However, Archibald Cochrane, ninth Earl of Dundonald, had already in 1789 used gas for lighting his family estate.  Murdoch also made innovations to the steam engine, including the sun and planet gear and D slide valve. He invented the steam gun and the pneumatic tube message system, and worked on one of the first British paddle steamers to cross the English Channel. Murdoch built a prototype steam locomotive in 1784 and made a number of discoveries in chemistry.

Murdoch remained an employee and later a partner of Boulton & Watt until the 1830s, and his reputation as an inventor has been obscured by the reputations of Matthew Boulton and James Watt and the firm they founded.

Early life

William Murdoch was born in Lugar near Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, the third of seven children and the first son to survive beyond infancy. A son of John Murdoch, a former Hanoverian artillery gunner and a Millwright and tenant of Bello Mill on the estate of James Boswell in Auchinleck, he was educated until the age of ten at the Old Cumnock Kirk School before attending Auchinleck school under William Halbert, author of a highly regarded arithmetic textbook. Murdoch excelled in mathematics. Murdoch also learned the principles of mechanics, practical experimentation and working in metal and wood by assisting in his father’s work. Together with his father, he built a “wooden horse” about 1763. His “Wooden Horse on Wheels” was a tricycle propelled by hand cranks. There are reports that in his youth Murdoch was responsible for the construction of one of the bridges over the River Nith; this possibly derives from his father’s work in building the Craikston Bridge over Lugar Water in 1774, which William would have been involved in. He is also said to have carried out experiments in coal gas, using coal heated in a copper kettle in a small cave near his father’s mill. However, there is no contemporary documentation.


In 1777, at age 23, Murdoch walked to Birmingham, a distance of over 300 miles (480 km), to ask for a job with James Watt, the steam engine manufacturer. Both Watt and Murdoch were probably aware of each other because of their connections with James Boswell, who had made several visits to Watt’s workshop at Soho. Watt’s partner Matthew Boulton was so impressed by Murdoch’s wooden hat, made on a lathe of his own design, that he hired him. Murdoch began his career with Boulton and Watt in the pattern workshop of their Soho Foundry, making patterns for the casting of machine parts. By 1778 Watt wrote:

if William Murdoch is not at home he should be sent for immediately as he understands the patterns and care must be taken to avoid mistakes of which our engine shop has been too guilty.

He Anglicised his name to “Murdock” when he settled in England. Murdoch progressed to work in fitting and erecting steam engines and was often sent from Soho for this purpose.

By 1779 Boulton was writing to Watt:

I think Wm. Murdock a valuable man and deserves every civility and encouragement.

On his first solo job erecting an engine at Wanlockhead Mine, Murdoch made the first of many improvements to the standard Boulton and Watt engine by rearranging the gears to enable the steam valve to be worked automatically by the action of the exhaust shaft.


In September 1779 Murdoch was sent to Redruth in Cornwall as a senior engine erector, responsible for the erection, maintenance & repair of Boulton & Watt engines. These were used for pumping water out of the Cornish Tin mines, and therefore the efficiency and efficacy of the engines was an important factor in the amount of tin, and money, which could be extracted from a mine. At that time steam engines were not simply sold to customers but operated, and maintained by the builders for groups or individuals known as ‘adventurers’ (shareholders). The engine manufacturers were paid not for a completed engine but through a complex formula calculated on the basis of that engine’s performance, as Watt described:

Our profits arise not from making the engine, but from a certain proportion of the savings in fuel which we make over any common engine, that raises the same quantity of water to the same height.

Therefore, Murdoch’s skill in getting the most out of his engines directly impacted upon Boulton and Watts profits. This he did so successfully that by 1782 Boulton was writing:

We want more Murdocks, for of all others he is the most active man and best engine erector I ever saw…When I look at the work done it astonishes me & is entirely owing to the spirit and activity of Murdoch who hath not gone to bed 3 of the nights.

Due to the frequent problems which could occur with steam engines Murdoch was kept busy travelling around the area repairing and attempting to improve the performance of the engines under his care.

Industrial espionage

In Cornwall at that time there were a number of engine erectors competing with each other, each with different technical methods of achieving the same ends. As a result, a great deal of copying of mechanical innovations and violation of patents went on, often through the reporting of casual conversations between engineers and practical observations of engine modifications. The risk of his patents being infringed was something which particularly exercised Watt, and so Murdoch was, in addition to his other activities, called upon to make reports and swear out affidavits for legal actions against Boulton & Watt’s competitors. In the close knit and clannish Cornwall of the time this was sometimes at his own risk. As one of his colleagues stated to Watt:

If he makes an Affidavit against Carpenter or Penandrea, there will be no safety for him in Redruth.

This early industrial espionage did not operate all in one direction and Murdoch was often required to undertake inspections of competitors’ engines, either to determine whether patents had been infringed or to assess the effectiveness of those engines.

Mechanical improvements and inventions

While based in Cornwall, Murdoch had to deal with a wide range of mechanical problems related to steam engines, and this led him to make practical improvements to the basic steam engine designs used by Boulton and Watt. From 1782 there is evidence that Murdoch was discussing and collaborating with Watt on a number of inventions and improvements. There is, however, a dearth of letters from Murdoch to Watt from 1780 until 1797 in the Watt archive, possibly, as argued by John Griffiths, due to an attempt by Watt’s son, James Watt Junior, to uphold his father’s reputation by removing any evidence of the origin of some of the inventions he patented. It is almost certain that Murdoch’s contract of employment, in common with those for other employees of Boulton and Watt, specified that anything he invented would be the intellectual property of his employers, and frequently it was they who filed, and benefited from, patents on these inventions.

One of Murdoch’s most significant inventions, for which evidence exists to attribute it to him, was the sun and planet gear which allowed steam power to be used to “produce a continued Rotative or Circular Motion round an Axis or Centre, and thereby to give Motion to the Wheels of Mills or other Machines”. This gear converted the vertical motion of a beam, driven by a steam engine, into circular motion using a ‘planet’, a cogwheel fixed at the end of a rod connected to the beam of the engine. With the motion of the beam this revolved around, and turned, the ‘sun’ a second rotating cog fixed to and which turned the drive shaft. This system of achieving rotary motion was patented in his own name by James Watt in October 1781 although Samuel Smiles, biographer of Boulton and Watt, attributes this to Murdoch and there also exists a drawing of the sun and planet system in Murdoch’s hand dated August 1781. Other evidence attributing this invention to William Murdoch takes the form of a letter from Boulton to a colleague concerning Watt’s forthcoming October patents in which he writes:

He has another rotative scheme to add, which I could have told him of long ago when first invented by William Murdock but I do not think it a matter of much consequence.

Another innovation of Murdoch’s was his 1799 invention of a much simplified and more efficient steam wheel than those in use at the time. A precursor of the steam turbine, the steam wheel allowed the wheel to be directly turned by the pressure of the steam moving through it. By this time Murdoch’s contract had been amended and he was able to patent this device in his own name.

Murdoch also carried out a number of experiments with compressed air and developed the first pneumatic message system which worked by using compressed air to propel a message in a cylinder through a tube to its intended destination. This system was developed by the London Pneumatic Despatch Company and became widely used; Harrods in particular used this system until at least the 1960s. Murdoch also used compressed air to ring a bell at his home to announce visitors.

Some of Murdoch’s other minor inventions and experiments were: a machine developed in 1784 or 1785 in Cornwall for drilling wooden pipes, (in 1810 this was further developed and patented for stone pipes), a steam cannon which he attempted to use in 1803 to knock down a wall at Soho, a steam gun in the same year which fired 3 cm lead bullets, and machinery to grind and compress peat moss under great pressure to produce a material with “the appearance of the finest Jet”.

Steam powered locomotion

Murdoch’s model steam carriage.

An important invention for which William Murdoch’s name is little known is Britain’s first working model of a steam carriage, or road locomotive, in 1784. French engineer Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot had already demonstrated the utility of such a device by building (from 1769) two full-sized working steam vehicles, one of which was designed to carry 4–5 tonnes. All that was needed was a more effective design.

The earliest mention of Murdoch’s thoughts and plans for this method of transport was in March 1784 when his colleague in Cornwall, Thomas Wilson, wrote to Watt on Murdoch’s “new scheme”:

It is no less than drawing carriages upon the road with steam engines…he says that what he proposes, is different from anything you ever thought of, and that he is positively certain of its answering and that there is a great deal of money to be made by it.

Replies from Watt made it clear that he thought there was no future in such an idea and, fearful of losing Murdoch’s services in Cornwall, attempted to dissuade him from the scheme.

A later letter from Boulton disclosed more details of Murdoch’s ideas:

He proposes to catch most of the condensed Steam by making it strike against broad Copper plates & the condensed part trickling down may be caught and returned into its Boiler or other reservoir. This may do some good in rain or frosty weather & he proposes to have different sized revolvers to apply at every hill & every vale according to their angle with ye Horizon… I verely believe he would sooner give up all his cornish business & interest than be deprived of carrying the thing into execution.

In the same letter Boulton also secretly urged Watt to include a scheme for a steam-powered carriage in his patent application, which Watt did shortly thereafter.

I have given such descriptions of engines for wheel carriages as I could do in the time and space I could allow myself; but it is very defective and can only serve to keep other people from similar patents.

Murdoch’s steam locomotive model.

By this time Murdoch had already built a working model of his steam carriage (now in Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum); accounts exist from witnesses who “saw the model steam carriage run around Murdoch’s living room in Redruth in 1784”. This is the first recorded example in Great Britain of a man-made machine moving around completely under its own power.

Murdoch’s working model was a three-wheeled vehicle about a foot in height with the engine and boiler placed between the two larger back wheels with a spirit lamp underneath to heat the water and a tiller at the front turning the smaller front wheel. The mechanics of the model locomotive incorporated a number of innovations, such as a boiler safety valve, having the cylinder partly immersed in the boiler and using a new valve system on the lines of the D-slide valve.

This model was not the only one made by Murdoch as he continued experimenting with the design and by August 1786 had made at least one other model, of a different size, which we know of. Apart from this Murdoch does not appear to have worked much on his ideas from 1784 to 1786, because of the continuing high volume of work for Boulton and Watt, his marriage in 1785, and the birth of his and his wife’s twins in the same year. Shortly after this birth, and with a second model already built, Murdoch took steps to patent his steam locomotive. However, at Exeter on the way to London he was met by Boulton who persuaded him to return to Cornwall without registering the patent. As Boulton wrote to Watt on 2 September 1795:

He said He was going to London to get Men but I soon found he was going there with his Steam Carg to shew it & to take out a patent. He having been told by Mr W. Wilkn what Sadler had said & he had likewise read in the news paper Simmingtons puff which had rekindled all Wms fire & impations to make Steam Carriages. However, I prevailed upon him readily to return to Cornwall by the next days diligence & he accordingly arivd here this day at noon, since which he hath unpacked his Carg & made Travil a Mile or two in Rivers’s great room in a Circle making it carry the fire Shovel, poker & tongs.

This demonstration of his steam carriage in Rivers Great Room, at the King’s Head hotel, Truro, was the first public demonstration in Britain given of steam locomotion in action.

Although after 1786 there is no further mention of Murdoch’s work on Steam Carriages in Watt’s or Boulton’s correspondence, a volume of evidence exists that he continued to work on it without his employers’ support, and some argue that a full size version was built.

One story often told, both in respect of a full size carriage and one of his models, is that one night Murdoch decided to test his carriage outside on the open road and it soon outpaced him, leaving him to chase after it. Whilst chasing it he encountered a local clergyman in a state of considerable distress who had mistaken his carriage, with its billowing smoke and fire burning under the boiler, for the devil. This story may be accurate; however, is more likely to relate to a model than to a full-size steam carriage.

Another story often told, this one almost certainly apocryphal, is of Murdoch travelling from “mine to mine in a steam chaise lit by gas”. Given the state of the roads at that time this can be discounted. However, it is argued by John Griffiths that Murdoch may have built a full-size steam carriage some time in the 1790s, which could be the source of this story.

A fact important to the later development of the steam locomotive by others was that, in 1797 and 1798, Richard Trevithick came to live in Redruth next door to the house where William Murdoch lived (1782 to 1798). Trevithick would have seen and been influenced by Murdoch’s experiments, and would certainly have been aware of his work in this area. There is also a story told by Murdoch’s son John of a visit by Trevithick and Andrew Vivian to see a model engine in 1794:

The model of the wheel carriage engine was made in the summer of 1792 and was then shown to many of the inhabitants of Redruth – about two years after Trevithick and A. Vivian called at my father’s house in Redruth… My father mentions that… on that day they asked him to show his model of the wheel carriage engine which worked with strong steam and no vacuum. This was immediately shown to them in a working state.

In any event without the support of Boulton and Watt, who appear to have opposed Murdoch’s work due to the need to use high pressure steam which Watt distrusted, Murdoch was unable to develop or gain publicity for his invention and it was left to Trevithick and others to develop it commercially later.

Chemistry discoveries

In addition to his mechanical work Murdoch also experimented in the field of chemistry and made a number of discoveries. One such was the discovery, first recorded in 1784, of iron cement made from sal ammoniac, or ammonium chloride and iron filings, apparently discovered when Murdoch observed that these two components had accidentally mixed in his tool bag and formed a solid mass. This iron cement was used to fix and harden the joints of steam engines, thus creating a hard durable seal.

Another discovery, and the first for which Murdoch took out a patent, was that of

The art or method of making from the same materials and by the same processes entirely new copperas, vitriol, and different sorts of dye or dying stuff, paints and colours, and also a composition for preserving the bottoms of all kinds of vessels and all wood required to be immersed in water, from worms, weeds, barnacles, and every other foulness which usually does or may adhere thereto.

This patent was filed in 1791 and although it was not developed at the time this can be seen as the first step in the development of aniline dyes and coatings.

British isinglass

In 1795 Murdoch developed a replacement for isinglass, a precipitate made from sturgeon used in the clarifying of beer to remove impurities, which had to be imported from Russia at great expense. Murdoch’s replacement was made from dried Cod and was much cheaper than the 25 shillings a pound which isinglass cost. This cost saving was so attractive that the Committee of London Brewers paid £2000 for the right to use his invention.

Murdoch’s isinglass replacement was so effective that in a court case brought by the British Customs and Excise Authorities, the noted chemist, Sir Humphry Davy in answer to a question on whether it was “proper to be used for the purpose of fineing beer” testified that:

I believe it is if properly prepared – it is the same substance as Isinglass.

Use of Murdoch’s “Isinglass made of British fish” continued and played an important role in reducing British brewers’ reliance on imported raw materials.

Gas lighting

The key invention for which Murdoch is best known is the application of gas lighting as a replacement for oil and tallow produced light. It was in 1792 that he first began experimenting with the use of gas, derived from the heating of coal and other materials, for lighting. Many believe this experimenting took place in a cave. There is some uncertainty as to when he first demonstrated this process in practice; however, most sources identify this as between 1792 and 1794.

To use gas for practical purposes it was first necessary to develop a working method for the production and capture of the gas. There is considerable doubt as to the date by which this process was perfected. However, numerous accounts exist that by 1794 Murdoch was producing coal gas from a small retort containing heated coals with a three or four-foot iron tube attached, through which he piped the gas before sending it through an old gun barrel and igniting it to produce light.

Close up of plaque on wall of Murdoch House.

Murdoch House in Redruth.

Murdoch’s house at Redruth was the first domestic residence to be lit by gas.

Over the next few years Murdoch performed “a series of experiments upon the quantity and quality of the gasses contained in different substances” and upon the best way of transporting, storing, purifying and lighting these. It is known, by the account of William Fairbairn that Murdoch occasionally used his gas as a portable lantern:

“It was a dark winter’s night and how to reach the house over such bad roads was a question not easily solved. Mr Murdoch, however, fruitful in resource, went to the gasworks where he filled a bladder which he had with him, and, placing it under his arm like a bagpipe, he discharged through the stem of an old tobacco pipe a stream of gas which enabled us to walk in safety to Medlock Bank.”

In 1798 Murdoch returned to Birmingham to work in the Soho foundry and continued his experiments with gas, as part of which he lit the interior of the Soho main building, although it is likely that it was lit only in part and not (at this time) permanently. In 1802 as part of the public celebrations of the Peace of Amiens he made a public exhibition of his lighting by illuminating the exterior of the Soho Foundry. The first industrial factory to be illuminated by gas was the Philips and Lee cotton mill in Manchester which was fully lit by Murdoch in 1805, four years after the idea was first broached. Initially this mill contained 50 gas lights, although this soon grew to 904. The length of time taken to complete this project was partly due to experimentations and improvements in the process developed by Murdoch to make the lighting of a large factory by gas practicable and cost effective – such as purifying the gas with lime to remove the smell and determining the best temperature to heat coal to obtain the maximum quantity of gas – although Murdoch continued to be involved in other engine work for Boulton and Watt, which took up much of his time.

Despite his pioneering work with gas Murdoch never made any money from this invention due to his failure to obtain a patent. This may have been partly a result of the advice of James Watt, Junior, that the discovery was not patentable, and partly a result of the commercial failure of his earlier patent of 1791 for an early form of aniline dye. This failure to apply for a patent, despite the commercial participation of Boulton and Watt in this field, left the fledgling industry of gas production and lighting open for exploitation by other commercial interests, such as his former assistant Samuel Clegg and Frederick Albert Winsor. In large part this was due to the failure of Boulton and Watt to make sufficient effort to expand from the factory and mill lighting market which they dominated by 1809 into the street and domestic lighting market. This reason for this lassitude is unknown but can be attributed to lack of interest, a failure to appreciate the size of the potential market, and a lack of desire to be involved in smaller, less prestigious projects. By May 1809 Boulton and Watt faced little competition in any gas market due to their success in lobbying Parliament to block the granting of a charter for the National Heat and Light Company, their only real competitor in this field. However, despite blocking the charter until 1812 this advantage was squandered as Boulton and Watt did not develop the gas market, or technology, and in 1814 abandoned the gas business. A few decades later most towns in Britain were lit by gas and most had their own gasworks.

Apart from the benefits of gas lighting and heating, the process for producing coal gas yielded a number of other substances which were subsequently successfully exploited. Among these were coke; ammonia; phenol (carbolic acid), a disinfectant and one of the components of bakelite, the first synthetic plastic invented in 1910; and coal tar, which contained a number of organic chemicals. Coal tar was subsequently used to produce the first synthetic dye, mauve, by William Henry Perkin in 1856 and in 1853 was found, by Charles Gerhardt to contain the chemical acetylsalicylic acid, now known as aspirin.

The Caledonia paddle steamer

Boulton and Watt had been involved in a minor way with attempts to apply steam power to boats, providing in 1807 for Robert Fulton the engine for North River Steamboat, the first steamboat to run on the Hudson River, (the boat later referred to as the Clermont). Murdoch was primarily responsible for designing and building this engine and for agreeing technical details and designs with Fulton, who also worked on the design of the engine. Boulton and Watt also provided engines for a number of other marine vessels. However, it was not until the purchase of The Caledonia by James Watt Jr. in 1817 that they became seriously involved in the marine engineering business. The task of refitting The Caledonia, building and installing new engines and boilers and making her seaworthy and efficient in fuel consumption was a difficult process and Murdoch, although frequently suffering from fever and rheumatism, directed this. By August the vessel was able to be tested on its intended route, from Surrey Commercial Docks, London to Gravesend and at first made 8 miles per hour (mph). During its sea trials Murdoch carried out experiments on The Caledonia to measure the effect on fuel consumption and speed of changes in the depth of the paddles and whether one or both engines were used. This resulted in an increase of speed to 12 mph (19 km/h).

While carrying out trials The Caledonia was challenged to a race by their competitors for the London to Gravesend route, the Sons of Commerce. Actually there were two races to Gravesend, both of which were won by the Boulton and Watt vessel, by a greater margin on the second attempt. The result was that the proprietors of the Sons of Commerce placed an order with Boulton and Watt for a new steamboat engine. There were also a number of other orders for steamboat engines, both for commercial customers and the Royal Navy, and Murdoch was in effect the head of this branch of the business, being referred to and deferred to on all aspects of their marine business. It is estimated that from 1813 until 1825, marine engines of over 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) were made by Boulton and Watt, and used in some 40 to 60 vessels.

Shortly after the trials were completed The Caledonia carried out a crossing of the English Channel when Watt Jr. took it to Rotterdam and up the Rhine to Koblenz.

Later years.

Murdoch wrote a paper, “Account of the Application of Gas from Coal to Economical Purposes” which was presented to the Royal Society in 1808. In that year he was awarded their Rumford Gold Medal for “both the first idea of applying, and the first actual application of gas to economical purposes”.

In 1817 Murdoch moved into a large new house he had built outside Birmingham. The house incorporated a number of curiosities and innovations he has designed including gas lighting, a doorbell worked by compressed air and an air conditioning system: described by Joshua Field as “He has a good stove for heating the rooms with hot air which enters the rooms and staircases at convenient places.”

In 1815 he designed and installed the first gravity-fed, piped hot water system since classical times at the Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa.

In September 1830, in declining health at age 76, Murdoch’s partnership with Boulton & Watt which began in 1810 came to an end, at which point he was receiving £1,000 per year. The reasons for this appear to be both the increasing unprofitability of Boulton and Watt and Murdoch’s increasing ill health.

Murdoch died in 1839, aged 85. He was buried at St. Mary’s Church, Handsworth.

Honours and awards

At the celebration of the centenary of gas lighting in 1892, a bust of Murdoch was unveiled by Lord Kelvin in the Wallace Monument, Stirling, and there is also a bust of him by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey at St. Mary’s Church.

His life and works are commemorated by the Moonstones; a statue of him, Boulton and Watt, by William Bloye; and Murdock Road, all in Birmingham. There is also a Murdoch House in Rotherhithe, London and “Murdoch, Watt, Martineu and Sturge Residencies” as student accommodation.

The town of Redruth has an Annual Murdoch Day in June. The 2007 event included a parade of schoolchildren with banners on the theme “Earth, Wind, Fire and Water” and the first public journey of a full-size, working reproduction of Murdoch’s Steam Carriage.

In 2019, he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

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Infamous Scots. Francis Charteris.

Colonel Francis Charteris (baptised 4 April 1675 – 24 February 1732), nicknamed “The Rape-Master General”, was a Scottish soldier and adventurer who earned a substantial sum of money through gambling and the South Sea Bubble. He was convicted of raping a servant in 1730 and sentenced to death, but was subsequently pardoned, before dying of natural causes shortly afterwards.

Early life

Charteris was born at Edinburgh in about 1675, the son of John Charteris (died 1691 dead by 1702), a magistrate, and his wife, Mary, who was possibly the daughter of Sir Francis Kinloch, 1st Baronet. His family were land-holders and owned property in Amisfield, near Dumfries. Even before his conviction, he was notorious and despised by many in London as an archetypal rake. He had a serial military career, being dismissed from service four times; the third time in the Southern Netherlands by the Duke of Marlborough, for cheating at cards, and the fourth time by Parliament for accepting bribes. Despite his military dismissals, he amassed a considerable fortune.

Personal life

Charteris married Helen Swinton, the daughter of Alexander Swinton, Lord Mersington; their daughter Janet married James Wemyss, 5th Earl of Wemyss, in 1720, and his grandson, Francis Wemyss Charteris, 7th Earl of Wemyss, adopted his mother’s maiden name in 1732 when he inherited his grandfather’s estates.

Charteris’ mistress, prostitute Sally Salisbury

Rape of Anne Bond

Charteris would send his servants out through the countryside to recruit women for him to have sex with. The methods and enticements he used made him disliked by the poor in some parts of England. His reputation preceded his trial for raping a servant named Anne Bond. When Bond was hired, on 24 October 1729, she was informed that her employer was “Colonel Harvey” for fear that his reputation would put off his prospective employee. Charteris had a number of contacts who regularly hired women to work as servants, who would then be trapped in the house and repeatedly “urged” to have sex with him. When Bond began to work, she was immediately besieged by “Harvey’s” advances, along with offers of money; but she refused. On her third day of employment, Anne realised that Harvey was in fact Colonel Francis Charteris and requested to leave. This request was refused, and staff were positioned to prevent her from escaping.

The next morning, 10 November, Charteris attacked and raped Bond. There were no witnesses, and Charteris’ servants in the next room later testified that they heard nothing. When Bond told Charteris she was going to the authorities over the crime, he ordered servants to whip her and take her belongings and throw her out the door, telling them that she had stolen money from him. With assistance from Mary Parsons, perhaps a former employer, Bond brought a complaint for the misdemeanour of “assault with intent to commit rape.” The Middlesex grand jury originally found grounds to proceed with this charge but later upgraded the charge to the capital felony of rape.

On 27 February 1730, Charteris was tried for rape at the Old Bailey. The trial was a media sensation. The defence attacked the virtue and motives of the complainant, accusing her of compliance, prostitution, theft, and extortion. Many of Charteris’ witnesses and documents were shown to be false, and the jury quickly found him guilty. On 2 March, he was sentenced to death and held in Newgate Prison.

The Earl of Egmont wrote in his diary ‘All the world agree he deserved to be hanged long ago, but they differ whether on this occasion;’ while Fog’s Weekly Journal of 14 March 1730 reported ‘We hear no Rapes have been committed for three Weeks past. Colonel Francis Charteris is still in Newgate.’ On 10 April 1730, George II granted him a royal pardon after a campaign that included the Scottish Lord Advocate Duncan Forbes, who rented a house from Charteris in Edinburgh, and Anne Bond herself, possibly prompted by the promise of an annuity.

As a convicted felon, his property should have been forfeit under the doctrine of attainder, but he petitioned the King for its return. In composition (fine) for his offence, he paid substantial sums to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex. He was also suspected of having given substantial gifts to various important individuals. Jonathan Swift commented on Charteris in several poems. In Lines on the Death of Dr. Swift (1731), he explains “Chartres” as, “a most infamous, vile scoundrel, grown from a foot-boy, or worse, to a prodigious fortune both in England and Scotland: he had a way of insinuating himself into all Ministers under every change, either as pimp, flatterer, or informer. He was tried at seventy for a rape, and came off by sacrificing a great part of his fortune” (note to l. 189).


In 1732, he died from natural causes in Edinburgh, possibly from a condition caused by his stay in Newgate Prison. Shortly before he died, he was said to have stated that he would pay £150,000 to anybody who could prove to him that there was no hell. He was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard; his coffin was attacked on its way to the graveyard, and it is said that dead cats were thrown into his grave. Upon his death, John Arbuthnot published “Epitaph on Don Francisco” in The London Magazine (April 1732). In it, he wrote that Charteris was a man,…who, having done, every Day of his Life,Something worthy of a Gibbet,Was once condemned to oneFor what he had not done.

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Public Poetry. Shel Silverstein.

Dirty Face.

Where did you get such a dirty face,

My darling dirty-faced child?

I got it from crawling along in the dirt

And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.

I got it from chewing the roots of a rose

And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.

I got it from peeking into a dark cave

And painting myself like a Navajo brave.

I got it from playing with coal in the bin

And signing my name in cement with my chin.

I got it from rolling around on the rug

And giving the horrible dog a big hug.

I got it from finding a lost silver mine

And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.

I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears

And from having more fun than you’ve had in years.

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Blog/Web Promotions.(Mariana Gouveia)

Hi folks, Introducing a friend of mine who has a wonderful Blog. Please visit her and show some Love.

A sample of Her work.

Translated in English.

I was Fish.

Life was you, in all articles perfect
in past tense and sea thirst. Maybe that's why
the smell of the sea brings me your body
tastes like salt, the marine dialect in my body
the sweetness of the soul

I give you the heartbreak of lack
This absence that you tattooed under the water
where I was just a silent and absolute letter
Symphony muffled in the waves of the sea.
you were bait

I was a fish.


Please visit Mariana here.

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My Poetry. Dont Pretend!

 You try to be someone you’re not 
 At times this can be fine 
 But sometimes it isn't suitable 
 when the idea isn't mine. 
 Being who you are is important 
 Everyone will respect the normal you 
 When you’re happy people will notice 
 don't worry if your feeling blue.  
 Wearing two hats can be difficult
 Especially when your forced to pretend
 Your head can only fit one hat snugly
 Don’t force it to fit or to bend.
 In this world you are noted for your honesty
 So be true to yourself and to others
 For everyone will notice the difference
 Especially your sisters and brothers.
 You will be respected by who you are
 Friends will never desert you
 Everyone will be happy to help
 and more friends you will accrue.
 There are many pretentious people
 Acting the clown and playing the part
 But deep down they really love you
 you are always in their heart. 
 No matter what you look like
 If your skin is black or white
 we are all the same together
 just as we have day or night.
 People may make fun of you
 Because you may not be the "norm"
 ignore the ignorance around you
 settle in and weather the storm.
 Jealousy is a human trait
 Everyone wants to be number one
 But that may not be possible these days
 Second or third can be fun. 
 Take a look at yourself in the mirror
 Realize you are what you are
 Don’t try to imitate anyone
 your a precious individual by far.
 when you are naturally growing old
 Don’t try to go under the knife
 Your body is how it’s meant to be
 just try and live out your life.
 Until there is a drug
 That can turn your life around
 Be who you are, respect yourself
 You will benefit from it, and be sound. 

Be who you are, Do not pretend to be something you are not.

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The Broons.(boyfriend)

Another Adventure from the hapless family in comic form.

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Another adventure from the Scottish lad in comic form.

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Scottish Mysteries. Glamis Castle.

Glamis Castle was once the talk of the courts around Europe due to its supposed dark and terrible secret.

The childhood home of the Queen Mother was also once said to be home to a ‘monster’.

At the turn of the 20th century, the rumours of a secret chamber and a monstrous heir were so strong that many accounts were written of the Monster of Glamis.

Said to be the deformed son and heir of the 12th Earl of Strathmore, the unnamed Bowes-Lyon child is was recorded as having died on the day of his birth but many believed he actually survived to become a “barrel-chested” monster with “toy-like” arms and legs.

The mystery left a dark and terrible stain on not only the reputation of the family but also put an immense strain on them.

The grandfather of the Queen Mother, Claude Bowes-Lyon and the 13th Earl of Strathmore once reportedly said: “If you could even guess the nature of this castle’s secret, you would get down on your knees and thank God it was not yours.”

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Scottish Antiques-Collectables. (Sporran)

The Sporran

Original sporrans dating from the fourteenth century and onwards can be viewed at many Scottish museums. The history and evolution of the sporran can also be traced through early British military paintings and portraits of Highland soldiers; these later sporrans start to show more elaborate decoration.

From the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century sporrans were generally fitted with metal clasps, usually made from brass, or for clan chiefs, occasionally silver. The elaborate metal workings of some of these clasps are indeed miniature works of art. The goat-haired, sporran molach or hairy sporran was introduced by the military in the eighteenth century. These sporrans often had flap-tops and large tassels and featured a variety of furs and hair such as fox and horse, or occasionally sealskin, all set off with a badger’s head.

But what is it that a Scotsman actually keeps in his sporran? Well, one sporran on display at the National Museum in Edinburgh features a clasp of brass and steel with four concealed pistols inside, the contraption being designed to be discharged should anybody attempt to open the locked purse, thus either killing or maiming the thief.

The modern sporran, or sporan – Gaelic, has evolved a long way from the doeskin bag containing ammunition or daily rations and many now feature stainless steel and even plastics! Despite modern enhancements however, sporrans retain their basic design principles and carry everything from car keys to mobile phones.

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Scottish Foods-Drinks.(oatcakes)


Oats are one of the few crops that can grow in northern Scotland, and they were the staple grain until the 20th century. So don’t be surprised by how often it is included in Scottish dishes.

This breakfast option is also popular in Nova Scotia. However, Nova Scotia’s oatcakes are square or rectangular-shaped, while those in Scotland are circular. Oatcakes made in Nova Scotia are sweet and use rolled oats, while Scottish ones are less sweet and have steel-cut oats.


Oatcakes are full of slow-digesting, low-GI carbohydrates that will keep you full for many hours. Plus, they are healthier than bread. You can have oatcakes as a simple breakfast on the go or serve them with your favorite dips and cheese as a delightful afternoon snack.

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Scottish Towns-Cities. Angus.

Angus (ScotsAngusScottish GaelicAonghas) is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders AberdeenshireDundee City and Perth and Kinross. Main industries include agriculture and fishing. Global pharmaceuticals company GSK has a significant presence in Montrose in the north of the county.

Angus was historically a province, and later a sheriffdom and county (known officially as Forfarshire from the 18th century until 1928), bordering Kincardineshire to the north-east, Aberdeenshire to the north and Perthshire to the west; southwards it faced Fife across the Firth of Tay; these remain the borders of Angus, minus Dundee which now forms its own small separate council area). Angus remains a registration county and a lieutenancy area. In 1975 some of its administrative functions were transferred to the council district of the Tayside Region, and in 1995 further reform resulted in the establishment of the unitary Angus Council.


The name “Angus” indicates the territory of the eighth-century Pictish king of that name.


The area that now comprises Angus has been occupied since at least the Neolithic period. Material taken from postholes from an enclosure at Douglasmuir, near Friockheim, about five miles north of Arbroath has been radiocarbon dated to around 3500 BC. The function of the enclosure is unknown, but may have been for agriculture or for ceremonial purposes.

Bronze Age archaeology is to be found in abundance in the area. Examples include the short-cist burials found near West Newbigging, about a mile to the North of the town. These burials included pottery urns, a pair of silver discs and a gold armlet. Iron Age archaeology is also well represented, for example in the souterrain nearby Warddykes cemetery and at West Grange of Conan, as well as the better-known examples at Carlungie and Ardestie.

Medieval history

The county is traditionally associated with the Pictish territory of Circin, which is thought to have encompassed Angus and the Mearns. Bordering it were the kingdoms of  (Mar and Buchan) to the North, Fotla (Atholl) to the West, and Fib (Fife) to the South. The most visible remnants of the Pictish age are the numerous sculptured stones that can be found throughout Angus. Of particular note are the collections found at AberlemnoSt VigeansKirriemuir and Monifieth.

Angus is first recorded as one of the provinces of Scotland in 937, when Dubacan, the Mormaer of Angus, is recorded in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba as having died at the Battle of Brunanburh.[6]

Angus is marketed as the birthplace of Scotland. The signing of the Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath Abbey in 1320 marked Scotland’s establishment as an independent nation. It is an area of rich history from Pictish times onwards. Notable historic sites in addition to Arbroath Abbey include Glamis Castle, Arbroath Signal Tower museum and the Bell Rock Light House.


Craigowl Hill, highest of the Sidlaws, in southern Angus.

Angus can be split into three geographic areas. To the north and west, the topography is mountainous. This is the area of the Grampian MountainsMounth hills and Five Glens of Angus, which is sparsely populated and where the main industry is hill farmingGlas Maol – the highest point in Angus at 1,068 m (3,504 ft) – can be found here, on the tripoint boundary with Perthshire and Aberdeenshire. To the south and east the topography consists of rolling hills (such as the Sidlaws) bordering the sea; this area is well populated, with the larger towns. In between lies Strathmore (the Great Valley), which is a fertile agricultural area noted for the growing of potatoes, soft fruit and the raising of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

Montrose in the north east of the county is notable for its tidal basin and wildlife. Angus’s coast is fairly regular, the most prominent features being the headlands of Scurdie Ness and Buddon Ness. The main bodies of water in the county are Loch LeeLoch BrandyCarlochyLoch WharralDen of Ogil ReservoirLoch of ForfarLoch FithieRescobie LochBalgavies LochCrombie ReservoirMonikie ReservoirsLong LochLundie LochLoch of KinnordyLoch of LintrathenBackwater ReservoirAuchintaple LochLoch Shandra, and Loch Esk.


Population structure


In the 2001 census, the population of Angus was recorded as 108,400. 20.14% were under the age of 16, 63.15% were between 16 and 65 and 18.05% were aged 65 or above.

Of the 16 to 74 age group, 32.84% had no formal qualifications, 27.08% were educated to ‘O’ Grade/Standard Grade level, 14.38% to Higher level, 7.64% to HND or equivalent level and 18.06% to degree level.

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Kings-Queens of Scotland. James III.

James III (10 July 1451/May 1452 – 11 June 1488) was King of Scots from 1460 until his death at the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488. He inherited the throne as a child following the death of his father, King James II, at the siege of Roxburgh Castle. James III’s reign began with a minority that lasted almost a decade, during which Scotland was governed by a series of regents and factions who struggled for possession of the young king, before his personal rule began in 1469.


James III was an unpopular and ineffective king, and was confronted with two major rebellions during his reign. He was much criticised by contemporaries and later chroniclers for his promotion of unrealistic schemes to invade or take possession of BrittanyGuelders and Saintonge at the expense of his regular duties as king. While his reign saw Scotland reach its greatest territorial extent with the acquisition of Orkney and Shetland through his marriage to Margaret of Denmark, James was accused of debasing the coinage, hoarding money, failing to resolve feuds and enforce criminal justice, and pursuing an unpopular policy of alliance with England. His preference for his own “low-born” favourites at court and in government alienated many of his bishops and nobles, as well as members of his own family, leading to tense relationships with his brothers, his wife, and his heir. In 1482, James’s brother, Alexander, Duke of Albany, attempted to usurp the throne with the aid of an invading English army, which led to the loss of Berwick-upon-Tweed and a coup by a group of nobles which saw the king imprisoned for a time, before being restored to power.

James’s reputation as Scotland’s first Renaissance monarch has sometimes been exaggerated. The artistic legacy of his reign was slight when compared to that of his two immediate successors, and consists of the patronage of painters and musicians, coins that display realistic portraits of the king, the Trinity Altarpiece, and the King’s Chapel at Restalrig. James III was killed at the Battle of Sauchieburn, following a rebellion in which his heir was the figurehead of the rebels, and succeeded him as James IV.

Early life

St Andrews Castle, James III’s probable birthplace.

James was the first surviving son born to King James II and his wife, Mary of Guelders, the daughter of Arnold, Duke of Guelders, and a great-niece of Philip the GoodDuke of Burgundy. The exact date and place of James’s birth have been a matter of debate. Claims have been made that he was born in May 1452, or on 10 or 20 July 1451. The place of birth was either Stirling Castle, or St Andrews Castle (the seat of the Bishop of St Andrews), depending on the year. His most recent biographer, Norman Macdougall, argued strongly for late May 1452 at St Andrews. The infant Duke of Rothesay was born during the crisis which had seen his father stab William, Earl of Douglas to death in Stirling Castle. This murder did not end the power of the Douglases, but created a state of intermittent civil war until James struck a decisive blow against the Douglases in 1455 at the Battle of Arkinholm and Parliament declared the extensive Douglas lands forfeit and permanently annexed them to the Crown. James III ascended the throne following the death of his father at the siege of Roxburgh Castle on 3 August 1460, and the new king was brought to Kelso from Edinburgh with his mother. It was not considered possible to have the king journey to Perthshire for a coronation at Scone Abbey, so James III was crowned at Kelso Abbey, a week after James II’s death, and two days after the fall of Roxburgh.

Early reign

The Queen Regent

During the early years of James III’s reign, the government was led by the queen mother, Mary of Guelders, as regent, while James was educated by Archibald Whitelaw, the Secretary of State and a classical scholar who had taught at St Andrews and Cologne. In March 1461 the first parliament of the reign appointed a council of regency consisting of the Bishop of St Andrews, the Bishop of Glasgow, and the earls of AngusHuntlyArgyll, and Orkney. Mary of Guelders emerged as an astute and capable ruler, pursuing a pragmatic foreign policy during the Wars of the Roses taking place in England. Following the defeat of the Lancastrians by the Yorkists at the Battle of Towton in March 1461, Henry VI of EnglandMargaret of Anjou, and Edward, Prince of Wales fled north across the border seeking refuge. They were received by Mary of Guelders and lodged at Linlithgow Palace and the Dominican friary in Edinburgh. The Lancastrians expected Mary to provide them with Scottish troops to help Henry VI recover the throne, but she had no intention of becoming involved in a war on their behalf. Mary sought to gain as much as she could from the Lancastrian fugitives, while opening negotiations with the victorious Yorkists to explore the possibility of a truce. In return for the loans and a year’s refuge in Scotland that Mary of Guelders granted them, in April 1461 the Lancastrians surrendered Berwick to the Scots. This period also saw disputes between Mary and James KennedyBishop of St Andrews over who had control over the person of James III, and over foreign policy, with the bishop favouring an alliance with the Lancastrians, while Mary initially wanted to continue playing off the warring parties in England against each other, before eventually supporting the Yorkists. Although the sources for the period are vague, it is believed that Kennedy and his supporters mounted a coup in the autumn of 1462 by taking possession of the 10-year-old James III following an armed confrontation with Mary’s supporters in Edinburgh. Mary of Guelders died in December 1463, leaving Bishop Kennedy in undisputed control of government.

Kennedys and Boyds.

Bishop Kennedy died at St Andrews in May 1465, and his elder brother, Gilbert Kennedy, Lord Kennedy, assumed custody of James III. Lord Kennedy’s guardianship lacked the sanction of Parliament, and his advancement of the Kennedy kin, such as the appointment of his half-brother, Patrick Graham, as the new bishop of St Andrews, made his regime increasingly unpopular. In July 1466, James III was seized while hunting at Linlithgow Palace by a large armed group led by Robert, Lord Boyd and his son, Thomas, and was taken to Edinburgh Castle as the Boyds and their supporters mounted a coup to seize control of the government by gaining possession of the king during his minority. Gilbert, Lord Kennedy was then imprisoned in Stirling Castle for a period. The 14-year-old king was forced to declare before Parliament in October that he had not been offended by being taken from Linlithgow, and that it was his intention to appoint Lord Boyd as his governor, to serve until his twenty-first year. The Boyd faction made itself unpopular, especially with the king, through self-aggrandizement such as the creation of Lord Boyd’s son, Thomas, as earl of Arran, and Arran’s marriage to the king’s 13-year-old sister, Mary in 1467, which antagonised the king and considerable sections of the three estates.

The Boyds sought to maintain power by gaining a diplomatic success, and in August 1468 an embassy was sent to Denmark to secure a royal marriage. The ambassadors’ negotiations resulted in a treaty which provided for an alliance between Scotland and Denmark, and James III’s marriage to Margaret, the only daughter of King Christian I of Denmark and Norway. Margaret’s dowry was 60,000 Rhenish guilders, 10,000 of which were to be paid before the Scottish embassy left Denmark. However, Christian I was unable to raise more than 2,000 of the promised 10,000 guilders, and in May 1469, Orkney and Shetland were pledged by him, as king of Norway, to James III as security until the outstanding amount of Margaret’s dowry. However, James had no intention of allowing the Danes to redeem their rights in Orkney and Shetland, and would quickly acquire full sovereignty over the islands. The Boyds’ misuse of power to enrich themselves with lands and offices had made them many enemies, and in April 1468 there was an attempt by the king’s half-uncles, the Earl of Atholl and James Stewart of Auchterhouse, and his younger brother, the Duke of Albany, to seize Edinburgh Castle and free the king from the Boyds. The impending marriage of the now seventeen-year-old James III signalled an appropriate moment for him to bring his minority to an end, and the king began to plot his revenge against the Boyds in the summer of 1469, while Lord Boyd was on an embassy to the English court, and the earl of Arran was one of the ambassadors in Denmark.

Personal rule.

When the fleet bearing Margaret of Denmark and the Scottish ambassadors arrived in Leith, the king’s sister, Mary, wife of the earl of Arran, informed her husband that the king was planning to have him arrested, and the couple fled together to Denmark by sea, and then to Bruges, where they were soon joined by Lord Boyd, who fled there from England. At a Parliament held in November, Lord Boyd, his brother, Sir Alexander, and the Earl of Arran, were all found guilty of treason and their peerages were forfeited. Sir Alexander was condemned to death and beheaded. James III married 13-year-old Margaret of Denmark in July 1469 at Holyrood AbbeyEdinburgh, in a service overseen by Archibald Crawford, the Abbot of Holyrood. The marriage produced three sons: James, Duke of RothesayJames, Duke of Ross, and John, Earl of Mar.

James III began his personal rule in 1469, yet his exercise of royal power was affected by the fact that he was one of the few Stewart monarchs who had to contend with the problem of an adult, legitimate brother. In 1469 James had two surviving younger brothers, Alexander, Duke of Albany and John, Earl of Mar, then aged fourteen and about twelve, and three Stewart half-uncles (the earls of Atholl and Buchan, and the Bishop of Moray), and each of them would complicate the politics of the reign. From the positive beginnings after his assumption of active control of government in 1469,James Ill’s relationship with Parliament would lead to opposition, criticism, and outright confrontation over his foreign and domestic policies. The failure of the king to listen to the grievances raised by the three estates, or to abide by the concessions he made to them, were significant causes of the two major rebellions in 1482-3 and 1488.

On 20 February 1472 Parliament annexed and united the earldom of Orkney and the lordship of Shetland to the Scottish Crown. Technically, Christian I of Denmark or his successors could still redeem the islands by paying the balance of Queen Margaret’s dowry; but in practice, with Christian’s financial difficulties and the strong control the Scottish Crown exercised over Orkney and Shetland, this was highly unlikely.

Foreign schemes and alliance with England.

James’s policies during the early 1470s revolved primarily around ambitious continental schemes to emphasize the prestige of the king and the Stewart dynasty, expand the territory under James’s rule, and agree to an alliance with England. The main business of the parliament James III called in 1471 was the granting of a tax to fund an embassy to the continent to allow him to act as arbitrator between Charles the BoldDuke of Burgundy, and Louis XI of France. The embassy would also seek a Burgundian or French marriage for the king’s sister, Margaret. In February 1472, James’s second continental scheme saw him ask Parliament to fund his plan to lead an army of 6,000 men to assert his tenuous claim to the Duchy of Brittany, which derived from his aunt, Isabella. Parliament granted a tax of £5,000 to fund the sending of this army to the continent as part of a Franco-Scottish invasion against Francis II, Duke of Brittany, though protests by the clergy about the king leading an army abroad while he had no issue to succeed him eventually led to James abandoning his plans for an invasion of Brittany. That same year James also acted as an intermediary in negotiations between Denmark and France.

In April 1473, the battle of succession for Guelders between James’s grandfather, Arnold, Duke of Guelders, and his son Adolf, provided the king with another continental scheme. The deposition of Arnold by his son in 1465, and his reinstatement at the hands of Charles the Bold in 1471, had left Arnold wishing to alter the succession to prevent the duchy falling to either his son or the Duke of Burgundy, and in 1472 he asked James or one of his brothers to travel to Guelders and take possession of the duchy. Duke Arnold died in February 1473, and with him any serious likelihood of putting his succession plans into effect, but James III was undaunted, and sent an ambassador to Charles the Bold to press his claim. James also sent ambassadors to France offering military aid to Louis XI against England in return for a pension of 60,000 crowns a year, and to reassert the claim James’s father had made to the French province of Saintonge, a claim which dated back to the Treaty of Perth-Chinon between James I of Scotland and Charles VII of France, when the province was offered to the Scottish king in return for an army of Scottish troops which were never sent. These unrealistic schemes resulted in parliamentary criticism, especially since the king was reluctant to deal with the more mundane business of administering justice at home. Parliament opposed James’s plans to leave the country and, in refusing to condone the king’s requests, also attempted to persuade the king to turn to the administration of justice. The king’s failure to take an active and personal role in the same, and his use of remissions and respites as a source of money, would prove one of the most frequently occurring themes in Parliament for the rest of the reign.

In October 1474, James III concluded a truce with Edward IV of England which was to last for forty-five years, and was to be accompanied by a marriage alliance between James’s heir, the infant Duke of Rothesay, and Edward’s daughter, Cecily of York, when both of them reached marriageable age. The prospective bride’s dowry was 20,000 marks sterling, which would be paid in advance in annual installments of 2,000 marks over a period of seventeen years.On 20 February 1472, Parliament brought the negotiations, which had begun with the Treaty of Copenhagen, to an end by annexing and uniting the earldom of Orkney and the lordship of Shetland to the Scottish Crown. In theory, Christian I of Denmark or his successors could still redeem the islands by paying the balance of Queen Margaret’s dowry; but in practice, with Christian’s continuing financial difficulties and the strong control the Scottish Crown exercised over Orkney and Shetland, this was highly unlikely. This Anglo-Scottish treaty, the first alliance between the two kingdoms in the fifteenth century, preserved the peace between Scotland and England and provided James III with a substantial financial gain. By 1479, he had amassed 8,000 marks in English dowry payments – roughly the equivalent of his annual income from regular sources. James would continue to press for English alliances for the rest of his reign, although he also sought a marriage alliance with Mary of Burgundy for his brother Albany in 1477, and renewed the Franco-Scottish alliance with Charles VIII of France in 1484. However, the peace policy was unpopular in Scotland, and went against the traditional enmity between the two kingdoms. Opposition was particularly associated with Albany, and was one of the causes of his estrangement from the king and James’s unpopularity by 1479.

Lord of the Isles.

James III turned to unfinished business from his father’s reign in 1475: the destruction of John MacDonaldLord of the Isles and Earl of Ross. The greatest lord in Gaelic Scotland, John ruled over sprawling territories in the Hebrides, the western Highlands and the north-east. In 1462 John had agreed to the Treaty of Westminster with Edward IV of England, a treaty which proposed that if Scotland was conquered by Edward, the kingdom would be partitioned, with the lands north of the Firth of Forth to be divided between the Lord of the Isles and the Earl of Douglas, and held from the English crown. The confrontation began in September 1475, when John was accused of a number of offences against the Crown, including treasonable dealings with England and the Earl of Douglas, and besieging Rothesay Castle. When John did not appear for trial before Parliament in December, he was declared forfeit. The earls of LennoxArgyllAtholl and Huntly were ordered to pursue John MacDonald and invade his territories. The Lord of the Isles appeared before the king in Edinburgh in July 1476 and the forfeiture was rescinded. The earldom of Ross was annexed to the Crown, KintyreKnapdale, and the offices of sheriff of Inverness and Nairn were lost, and the Lord of the Isles was reduced to a mere Lord of Parliament. On the day of the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles, James III had Parliament approve his act of revocation. The king stood at the height of his power, having removed the Boyds, annexed Orkney and Shetland, humbled the Archbishop of St Andrews, agreed to peace and an alliance with England, and forfeited the Lord of the Isles. His authority now extended from the Northern Isles to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and across the Lordship of the Isles.

Parliament, Mar and Albany.

James III’s pursuit of unpopular and arbitrary policies saw increasing opposition in Parliament, with the most criticism directed towards the king’s failure to go out on justice ayres, his making money from granting remissions for serious crimes, and his frequent recourse to taxation. Complaints from Parliament that royal justice was not being actively administered by the king in person occurred throughout his reign, partly due to his practice of delegating responsibility to appointed justices, and allowing ayres to be held without his presence. James III’s “low-born” favourites at court and in government began to alienate many of his bishops and nobles. The most high profile royal favourites was William Scheves, who began his career in royal service in 1471 as a court physician, before his rapid promotion as Archdeacon of St Andrewsdean of Dunkeld, and coadjutor of St Andrews, before being appointed as Archbishop of St Andrews. Other unpopular favourites included John Ramsay, 1st Lord Bothwell and Robert Cochrane. In 1479 conflict developed between the king and his two brothers John, Earl of Mar and Alexander, Duke of Albany. The Earl of Mar was imprisoned at Craigmillar Castle for unspecified reasons, and died there in mysterious circumstances. The reasons behind James III’s assault on Albany have been difficult to understand. Albany had helped James to power in 1469, and was an effective Warden of the Marches, having resisted an incursion by Richard, Duke of Gloucester in 1474. It has been suggested that the most likely causes of the rift between James and Albany were the latter’s opposition to the Anglo-Scottish alliance, his being responsible for serious violations of the truce, and his abuse of his position and challenge to royal authority by the ruthless enforcement of justice in the Marches. In May 1479, Albany was accused of treason for arming and provisioning Dunbar Castle against the king, assisting known rebels and deliberately causing trouble on the Anglo-Scottish border, in violation of the truce between Scotland and England. Albany fled by sea to Paris, where in September 1479 he was welcomed by King Louis XI, and received royal favour by his marriage to Anne de La Tour d’Auvergne.

War with England.

Since the treaty of October 1474, relations between Scotland and England had remained generally peaceful. Edward IV continued to pay the annual instalments of the dowry for his daughter’s future marriage to James III’s heir, and both kingdoms avoided any significant breaches of the truce. In 1478 James proposed strengthening the alliance with England still further by offering his sister Margaret as a bride for Edward IV’s brother-in-law, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers. Soon afterwards, however, the truce began to break down, with several instances of Scottish cross-border raiding and pillaging. In 1480 Edward IV sent an envoy to Edinburgh with what was essentially a declaration of war, informing James that the English king intended to wage war against the Scots unless his demands were met: that the Scots make reparations for breaches of the truce; that James return Berwick, Roxburgh and Coldingham to English dominion; and that James do homage to Edward for the Scottish Crown. However, Edward was prepared to maintain the peace if James would surrender Berwick and hand over his son and heir as a guarantee of his intention to carry through with the marriage of the Duke of Rothesay and Cecily of York. Richard, Duke of Gloucester was appointed lieutenant-general, and commissions for the defence of the border were issued in YorkshireCumberland, and Northumberland. But during the summer 0f 1480, the Earl of Angus carried out a large-scale raid into Northumberland, culminating in the burning of Bamburgh Castle. By October, James III had written to Louis XI of France asking for guns and artillerymen to repulse further attacks. The spring and autumn of 1481 saw English ships raid the Forth, attacking Blackness Castle and harassing shipping. There does not seem to have been a land-based invasion of Scotland, but there were three raids into England by a Scottish army in that year. Edward IV had made invasion preparations and began to travel north, but went no further than Nottingham. In 1482, Edward IV launched a full-scale invasion led by the Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III. James’s brother Alexander, styled “Alexander IV”, was included as part of the invasion party. James, in attempting to lead his subjects against the invasion, was arrested by a group of disaffected nobles at Lauder Bridge in July 1482. It has been suggested that the nobles were already in league with Alexander. The king was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and a new regime, led by “lieutenant-general” Alexander, became established during the autumn of 1482. Meanwhile, the English army, unable to take Edinburgh Castle, ran out of money and returned to England, having taken Berwick-upon-Tweed for the last time.

Restoration to power.

Whilst imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, James was politically sidelined during the years 1482–83, and his two half-uncles (including Andrew Stewart) managed to form a replacement government with his brother Alexander, Duke of Albany, in place as acting lieutenant-general of the realm. He was eventually freed by late September 1482. After having been freed, James was able to regain power by buying off members of Albany’s government, such that by December 1482, Albany’s government was collapsing. From 1483, he was able to “steadily reduce any remaining support for Albany”. In particular, his attempt to claim the vacant earldom of Mar led to the intervention of the powerful George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, on the king’s side.

In January 1483, Albany fled to his estates at Dunbar. The death of his patron, Edward IV, on 9 Apri left Albany in a weak position. Following the Battle of Lochmaben Fair, he was forced to flee back to England, where he was condemned, and he never engaged James III again. Following this, he returned to Scotland, but was caught and imprisoned in the same castle where James had been incarcerated. He managed to escape from the castle after killing his guard and moving down by using a rope made of bedsheets. In 1483, he sailed back for France. In August 1484 James III proposed a truce and alliance with Richard III and a marriage between the Duke of Rothesay and Anne de la Pole, Richard’s niece.

On Laetare Sunday, 5 March 1486, Pope Innocent VIII blessed a Golden Rose and sent it to James III. It was an annual custom to send the rose to a deserving prince. Giacomo Passarelli, Bishop of Imola, brought the rose to Scotland and returned to London to complete the dispensation for the marriage of Henry VII of England. In 1486 and 1487 James proposed a truce with England and the marriage of his second son, James, Marquess of Ormond, to Catherine of York, the sister-in-law of Henry VII of England. In April 1487 the Pope granted James III an indult which strengthened the power of the Scottish Crown over ecclesiastical appointments, allowing the king and his successors to effectively appoint their own candidates when vacancies occurred in cathedrals and monasteries.

Despite a lucky escape in 1482, when he easily could have been murdered or executed in an attempt to bring his son to the throne, James did not reform his behaviour during the 1480s. Obsessive attempts to secure alliance with England continued, although they made little sense given the prevailing politics. He continued to favour a group of “familiars” unpopular with the more powerful magnates. He refused to travel for the implementation of justice and remained invariably resident in Edinburgh. He was also estranged from his wife, Margaret of Denmark, who lived at Stirling Castle with her sons.

Rebellion and death at Sauchieburn.

Main article: Battle of Sauchieburn

The tomb of King James III and Queen Margaret, Cambuskenneth Abbey

In January 1488, James III used a meeting of Parliament to publicly reward those who had been loyal to him in the past, and tried to gain supporters by creating four new Lords of Parliament. He also raised his second son, James, Marquess of Ormond, to the dignity of Duke of Ross. Coming after the king’s negotiations in 1486 and 1487 for a marriage alliance for his second son, it was clearly designed to enhance his status and make him a more attractive prospect as a bridegroom, and only furthered the perception amongst the king’s opponents that he was favouring his second son at the expense of the heir to the throne. But opposition to James was led by the Earls of Angus and Argyll, and the Home and Hepburn families. James’s heir, the fifteen-year-old James, Duke of Rothesay, left Stirling Castle without his father’s knowledge on 2 February 1488, marking the beginning of a four-month rebellion against James III. Prince James became, perhaps reluctantly, the figurehead of the rebels, whose aim seems to have been the establishment of a council of regency, with the Prince as its figurehead and the king in protective custody. The rebels claimed that they had removed Prince James from Stirling to protect him from his vindictive father, who had surrounded himself with wicked Anglophile counsellors. Like the Prince, many of the rebels also feared for their safety if James III continued to rule. The king made more enemies among his nobles by dismissing the Earl of Argyll from the Chancellorship, for reasons which remain a mystery, and replacing him with William Elphinstone, the Bishop of Aberdeen.

James III sought armed assistance from Henry VII of England and moved north from Edinburgh to Aberdeen in March, probably realising that his position in Edinburgh was becoming precarious, with the Duke of Rothesay and the rebel army nearby, either at Linlithgow or Stirling. The king failed to raise support for the royal cause in the north-east, and then made the mistake of agreeing to negotiate a settlement with the rebels, before promptly breaking his word and, on the advice of his half-uncle the Earl of Buchan, marching south from Aberdeen to settle the rebellion by force, which lost him the support of several more nobles.Following an inconclusive skirmish between the royal and rebel forces at Blackness Castle, James III retreated to the safety of Edinburgh Castle, where he rewarded his supporters and attempted to gain new ones by distributing cash, jewels and land. Matters came to a head in June 1488 when James III left Edinburgh Castle and led his army towards Stirling. The royal and rebel armies joined battle south of Stirling on 11 June 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn, on what contemporaries described as the ‘field of Stirling’.

James III was killed at some stage during the course of the battle, although the circumstances of the king’s death are unclear, and it took some time to establish with certainty that the king had been killed. The 16th-century chroniclers Adam Abell and John Lesley alleged that James III was slain in Milton mill on the Bannock BurnRobert Lindsay of Pitscottie, writing in 1576, states that the king fled to Stirling, but was thrown from his horse and fainted near Milton mill, where he was cared for by the miller and his wife. As the retreat of the royal forces to Stirling was taking place, the king came to and called for a priest to make his confession. A priest (possibly a servant of Lord Gray, one of the rebel lords) who was passing by asked where the king was and, on being led to the king, stabbed him to death. There is no evidence available to corroborate this story, but it has been generally accepted as at least an approximation of the truth. George Buchanan says that James fell from his horse whilst fleeing to one of his ships, stationed in the Forth, rather than to Stirling. He took refuge in some mills but being overtaken, he was slain there, with a few attendants. However, his most recent biography concludes that he was simply killed in the battle.

James III was buried beside his queen in front of the high altar of Cambuskenneth Abbey. His son and successor, James IV, attended the ceremony and in atonement for his involvement in his father’s death, from 1496 appointed a chaplain to sing for the salvation of their souls; records of this continued until the Scottish Reformation. The remains of James and Margaret were re-interred under a new stone monument at Queen Victoria‘s expense in 1865.

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Scottish Battles. (Clitheroe)

The Battle of Clitheroe was a battle between a force of Scots and English knights and men at arms which took place on 10 June 1138 during the period of The Anarchy. The battle was fought on the southern edge of the Bowland Fells, at ClitheroeLancashire.


During the civil war in England known as The AnarchyKing David I of Scotland chose to fight for his niece, Matilda. At this time, David was also known to be attempting to absorb Northumberland into Scotland. To these ends David led a Scottish army into Northumberland in early 1138, carefully avoiding battle with the forces led by King Stephen of England, until King Stephen was forced to retire south. This left David free to resume his invasion, which he did, crossing into Northumberland on 15 April and laying siege to Norham Castle.

It was around the time of the siege of Norham castle that William fitz Duncan, the Mormaer of Moray, was placed in command of a part of the Scottish forces, including a contingent of Galwegians, and was sent to raid into the lands of Craven and Clitheroe.

The battle

Not much is known about the battle itself. What is known is that the Scottish forces led by William fitz Duncan encountered a heavily armoured English army in chainmail and helmets near the river Ribble on 10 June. It is also said that the men of Galloway played a large part in the battle for the Scottish army. These men were known to be lightly armed and armoured, and renowned for their ferocious charges at the enemy.

The battle resulted in a victory for the Scottish army, with English sources saying the river Ribble ran red with blood.


After the battle of Clitheroe the Scottish army rampaged around the land, killing many and enslaving others.

Later, William fitz Duncan and his men rejoined the main Scottish army in time for the Battle of the Standard, near Northallerton, on 22 August, which was a victory for the English army.

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Scottish Bands -Music. (LC)

Lewis Marc Capaldi (born 7 October 1996) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. He was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2019 Brit Awards. In March 2019, his single “Someone You Loved” topped the UK Singles Chart where it remained for seven weeks, and in November 2019, it reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100; it was nominated at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and won the 2020 Brit Award for Song of the Year. Capaldi also won the 2020 Brit Award for Best New Artist.

On 17 May 2019, he released his debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, which remained at the top of the UK Albums Chart for six weeks. It later went on to become the best selling album of 2019 and 2020 in the UK, and “Someone You Loved” was the best selling single of 2019 in the UK. In May 2020, it was announced that Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved” had become the longest-running top 10 UK single of all time by a British artist.

Early life

Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lived there until he was four years old. He is the youngest of four children. His mother is a nurse and his father is a fishmonger. Capaldi went to school at St. Kentigern’s Academy, Blackburn in West Lothian. In 2016, he graduated with a HND in Music from New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell. Capaldi learned to play drums and guitar when he was two, and began his musical career singing in pubs aged 9. By 17 he had committed to a career in music.


2014–2017: Beginnings and Bloom EP

In 2014 Capaldi took part in a three-date tour as part of the ‘Hit the Road’ project run by The Scottish Music Centre. He played in Dumfries, Edinburgh and Fort William alongside Jacob and Rory Green and Zoë Bestel. Aged 18, he was discovered by his manager Ryan Walter through an iPhone recording Capaldi recorded in his bedroom and had uploaded to his SoundCloud account. The day after first contacting Capaldi, Walter flew from America to Britain to hear Capaldi play live.

He released his debut extended play recording Bloom EP on 20 October 2017, on which he worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Malay, a long-time collaborator of Frank Ocean. He later released his first track “Bruises” on 31 March 2017. The song quickly amassed close to 28 million plays on Spotify worldwide, making him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on the platform. Shortly afterwards, he was signed to the German branch of Universal Music Group, and was assigned to Vertigo Berlin division. His releases are distributed in UK by Virgin EMI Records and in North America by Capitol Records.

2017–2018: Increased recognition and European tour

In late 2017, Capaldi was named as one of Vevo dscvr ‘Artists to Watch 2018’ and he won Best Acoustic at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. Capaldi was also long-listed for BBC Music’s Sound of 2018.

He supported Rag’n’Bone Man on his European tour in November 2017, and Milky Chance on their North American leg of the Blossom tour in January 2018. He attracted attention from celebrities including Chloë Grace Moretz, Kygo, James Bay, Ellie Goulding and Niall Horan. Subsequently, Horan invited Capaldi to support him on two dates on his Flicker World Tour at the Glasgow SEC Armadillo in March 2018. In May 2018 Capaldi joined Sam Smith on their The Thrill of It All European Tour, opening for Smith over 19 dates. He followed this by announcing a fourth headline UK and European tour, this time playing 2000 capacity venues across the UK and Europe, including two nights at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, with both shows selling out.

On 13 July 2018 Capaldi was named as one of two acts in BBC Radio 1’s ‘Brit List’, guaranteeing him three successive incremental Radio 1 playlist places. In August 2018, Irish Indie rock band Kodaline invited Capaldi to open for them at a concert in Belfast. In addition to this, Capaldi was included in the line-ups for many festivals during the summer of 2018, including: Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Mountain Jam, Osheaga, Reading & Leeds Festival, Rize and TRNSMT. Capaldi’s second extended play Breach was released on 8 November 2018, which included previously released singles “Tough” and “Grace”, along with new songs “Someone You Loved” and a demo of “Something Borrowed”. Zane Lowe premiered “Someone You Loved” on Apple’s Beats 1 radio on the day of release. On 14 November 2018 Capaldi performed a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born live on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

2019–2020: Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent

Capaldi opened 2019 with his breakthrough single “Someone You Loved” charting in 29 countries. The song spent seven weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart. His debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent followed in May which became the best selling album in the UK in five years, spending five weeks at number one in its first six weeks of release. The album also achieved gold status in the UK only two weeks after release. At the 2019 Brit Awards, Capaldi was nominated for the Brit Critics’ Choice Award, but lost to Sam Fender.

Capaldi also made history by becoming the first artist to sell out an arena tour before the release of an album. The shows sold out in one second upon tickets becoming available and will see Capaldi play to over a quarter of a million people in March 2020.

In August 2019, Capaldi supported Ed Sheeran at the end of his Divide world tour, playing five gigs with him in Ipswich and Leeds.

At the end of October 2019, “Someone You Loved” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first Scottish solo artist to top the US charts since Sheena Easton in 1981. On 30 October, Capaldi was announced as an opening act for Niall Horan’s Nice to Meet Ya Tour, set to begin in 2020. “Someone You Loved” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2020 Grammys, and Capaldi received three nominations at the 2020 Brit Awards, winning two awards. His single “Before You Go” from the extended edition of Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent became his second UK singles chart topper on 31 January 2020.

In September 2020, Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent passed one million UK chart sales.[34] In December 2020 he performed “Someone You Loved” and “Before You Go” along with a cover of Wham’s “Last Christmas” at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.

2021–present: Upcoming second studio album

Since 2020, Capaldi has been in writing and recording sessions for his forthcoming second studio album which is expected to be released at some stage during 2022. He announced at the end of December 2020 that he’d be taking a break from social media to focus on work for the album.

Personal life

Capaldi is of Scottish, Irish and Italian ancestry. On his father’s side, Capaldi’s second cousin once removed is the actor Peter Capaldi, who appeared in his music video for “Someone You Loved” and was the lead singer and guitarist in a punk rock band called the Dreamboys. He is also a distant relative of Barrhead-born nuclear physicist Joseph Capaldi. Capaldi is known for his social media presence, particularly his humorous, foul-mouthed videos.

In February 2020, Capaldi was reportedly living with his parents in Bathgate. In September 2020, Capaldi bought Castlehill farmhouse in East Renfrewshire. He is a football fan and supports Celtic F.C.

Capaldi has described “Before You Go” as “by far the most personal tune” he’s ever written. Capaldi has said that his aunt took her own life when he was “five or six”, and the song deals with the emotional aftermath of suicide.

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Scottish Architecture. New Town.

Edinburgh Architecture | The scottish capital in streetscape panoramas

Edinburgh is best known for its built heritage which earned the city UNESCO world heritage status in 1995. This applies to the two most central areas of the city, the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile as well as the planned Georgian New Town north of it. The old town is the area running up castle hill from the Holyrood Palace at its foot to Edinburgh Castle on top. This complete route is now the famous Royal Mile (actually four consecutive streets), with numerous very small alleys, so called Closes, on either side of it. Being built solely on the stretching hill, the city soon became crowded and so some of the old stone buildings became very early high rises with up to ten and even more storeys.

The New Town was planned in the 18th century to find a solution for the over-crowded city. A 27 year old architect, James Craig, won the competition for the New Town and designed an ordered grid with three main streets running parallel to the Old Town, several crossroads and two main squares. The New Town is very consistent with its Georgian style buildings, only the southern main street, Princes Street, has changed its look radically, becoming Edinburgh’s main shopping street with several newer buildings.

During our visit to the scottish capital we documented numerous streets within the Old Town and New Town as well as some streetscapes from the West End and Leith areas. Here you’ll find the completed and published streetlines:

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Scotland and its History. James VII.

The deposition of James VII

Main article: Glorious Revolution in Scotland

James VII of Scotland (and II of England), who fled the throne in 1688.

James put Catholics in key positions in the government and attendance at conventicles was made punishable by death. He disregarded parliament, purged the council and forced through religious toleration to Roman Catholics, alienating his Protestant subjects. It was believed that the king would be succeeded by his daughter Mary, a Protestant and the wife of William of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands, but when in 1688, James produced a male heir, James Francis Edward Stuart, it was clear that his policies would outlive him. An invitation by seven leading Englishmen led William to land in England with 40,000 men, and James fled, leading to the almost bloodless “Glorious Revolution”. The Estates issued a Claim of Right that suggested that James had forfeited the crown by his actions (in contrast to England, which relied on the legal fiction of an abdication) and offered it to William and Mary, which William accepted, along with limitations on royal power. The final settlement restored Presbyterianism and abolished the bishops who had generally supported James. However, William, who was more tolerant than the Kirk tended to be, passed acts restoring the Episcopalian clergy excluded after the Revolution.

Although William’s supporters dominated the government, there remained a significant following for James, particularly in the Highlands. His cause, which became known as Jacobitism, from the Latin (Jacobus) for James, led to a series of risings. An initial Jacobite military attempt was led by John Graham, Viscount Dundee. His forces, almost all Highlanders, defeated William’s forces at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, but they took heavy losses and Dundee was slain in the fighting. Without his leadership the Jacobite army was soon defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld. In the aftermath of the Jacobite defeat on 13 February 1692, in an incident since known as the Massacre of Glencoe, 38 members of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by members of the Earl of Argyll’s Regiment of Foot, on the grounds that they had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs.

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Scottish Places of Interest. Stirling.

The historic town of Stirling is one of the best places in Scotland to serve as a base from which to explore the country. Situated almost half way between Glasgow and Edinburgh, it makes for a great day trip and boasts plenty of rewarding things to see and do.

Topping the list is stunning Stirling Castle, famous for once having been a royal palace (Mary Queen of Scots spent her childhood here), as well as its role in the centuries-long struggle between Scotland and England. A visit to this mini-Edinburgh Castle includes a chance to explore the well-preserved medieval structure’s grand halls and rooms, either on your own or as part of a guided tour.

On the outskirts of town is the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, which offers a fascinating retelling of the Battle of Bannockburn. It was here that Scottish king Robert the Bruce sent the English army packing, and the site commemorates this historic victory with excellent displays and interactive exhibits.

If you can squeeze a little more into your Stirling itinerary, include a visit to the neighboring village of Bridge of Allan, home to the Wallace Monument. This amazing tower dominates the skyline here, offering a little history about the legendary William Wallace, as well as amazing views over Stirling and the surrounding countryside.

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Infamous Scots. Jimmy Boyle.

James Boyle (born 17 May 1944) is a Scottish former gangster and convicted murderer who became a sculptor and novelist after his release from prison.


In 1967, Boyle was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of another gangland figure, William “Babs” Rooney. He served fourteen years before his release in 1980. Boyle has always denied killing Rooney but has acknowledged having been a violent and sometimes ruthless moneylender from the Gorbals, one of the roughest and most deprived areas of Glasgow. During his incarceration in the special unit of Barlinnie Prison, he turned to art and wrote an autobiography, A Sense of Freedom (1977), which was later turned into a film of the same name. In 1979, whilst still a prisoner at Barlinnie, he was commissioned to produce a memorial statue of poet William McGonagall. Various difficulties associated with the project meant that the work was never completed.

In 1980, while still in prison, Boyle married psychiatrist Sara Trevelyan. In 2017, Trevelyan wrote Freedom Found, a book about her twenty year marriage to Boyle. In an interview after her book’s publication, she stated that she had never felt unsafe with him. 

Upon his release from prison on 26 October 1981, he moved to Edinburgh to continue his artistic career. He designed the largest concrete sculpture in Europe called “Gulliver” for the Craigmillar Festival Society in 1976.

In 1983, Boyle set up the Gateway Exchange with his wife Sarah and artist Evlynn Smith; a charitable organisation offering art therapy workshops to recovering drug addicts and ex-convicts. Though the project secured funding from private sources (including actor Sir Sean Connery, comedian Sir Billy Connolly and John Paul Getty) it lasted only a few years.

In 1994, his son James, a drug addict, was murdered in the Oatlands neighbourhood of Glasgow.

Boyle has published Pain of Confinement: Prison Diaries (1984), and a novel, Hero of the Underworld (1999). The latter was adapted for a French film, La Rage et le Rêve des Condamnés (The Anger and Dreams of the Condemned), and won the best documentary prize at the Fifa Montreal awards in 2002. He also wrote a novel, A Stolen Smile, which is about the theft of the Mona Lisa and how it ends up hidden on a Scottish housing scheme. It was rumoured that Disney bought the film rights, but Boyle has denied this.

In 1998, he was named as a financial donor of the Labour Party.

The character Nicky Dryden in the 1999 film The Debt Collector is reportedly loosely based on Boyle.

He divides his time between France and Morocco with his second wife, Kate Fenwick, a British actress. They married at a ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco on 27 October 2007.

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My Poetry. Promises.

How many times do we hear that Phrase?
Which can sound so false and empty of grace,
Promises kept in this uncertain age,
With Hatred, fighting, and feelings of rage,
Forgetting to love, embracing the time,
When man, woman, child, fear the sublime,
I wonder when someone will tell this old tale?
When chivalry was meaningful, not for sale,
Protection of others, no fear for their life
a World of freedom from animosity and strife
The future of happiness, promises of love,
Try Lending a hand, love the man "above",
Show your emotions learn to forgive,
Even your enemies you don’t want to live,
Spare a thought for the dying and lame,
Don’t let humanity. Die of its shame,
Promise to think loudly,  and clear,
those around you may not always be near.
I promise you? will you promise me?
The word is branded around and used without ever
thinking of the implications.  
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Scotland and its History. (The Stuarts)

The Stuarts.

Main article: House of Stuart

Highlands in 1482.

After David II’s death, Robert II, the first of the Stewart kings, came to the throne in 1371. He was followed in 1390 by his ailing son John, who took the regnal name Robert III. During Robert III’s reign (1390–1406), actual power rested largely in the hands of his brother, Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. After the suspicious death (possibly on the orders of the Duke of Albany) of his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay in 1402, Robert, fearful for the safety of his younger son, the future James I, sent him to France in 1406. However, the English captured him en route and he spent the next 18 years as a prisoner held for ransom. As a result, after the death of Robert III, regents ruled Scotland: first, the Duke of Albany; and later his son Murdoch. When Scotland finally paid the ransom in 1424, James, aged 32, returned with his English bride determined to assert his authority. Several of the Albany family were executed; but he succeeded in centralising control in the hands of the crown, at the cost of increasing unpopularity, and was assassinated in 1437. His son James II (reigned 1437–1460), when he came of age in 1449, continued his father’s policy of weakening the great noble families, most notably taking on the powerful Black Douglas family that had come to prominence at the time of the Bruce.

In 1468, the last significant acquisition of Scottish territory occurred when James III was engaged to Margaret of Denmark, receiving the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands in payment of her dowry. Berwick upon Tweed was captured by England in 1482. With the death of James III in 1488 at the Battle of Sauchieburn, his successor James IV successfully ended the quasi-independent rule of the Lord of the Isles, bringing the Western Isles under effective Royal control for the first time. In 1503, he married Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, thus laying the foundation for the 17th-century Union of the Crowns.

Scotland advanced markedly in educational terms during the 15th century with the founding of the University of St Andrews in 1413, the University of Glasgow in 1450 and the University of Aberdeen in 1495, and with the passing of the Education Act 1496, which decreed that all sons of barons and freeholders of substance should attend grammar schools. James IV’s reign is often considered to have seen a flowering of Scottish culture under the influence of the European Renaissance.

View from the royal apartments of the Stewart monarchs, Edinburgh Castle.

In 1512, the Auld Alliance was renewed and under its terms, when the French were attacked by the English under Henry VIII, James IV invaded England in support. The invasion was stopped decisively at the Battle of Flodden Field during which the King, many of his nobles, and a large number of ordinary troops were killed, commemorated by the song Flowers of the Forest. Once again Scotland’s government lay in the hands of regents in the name of the infant James V.

Heraldic depiction of the King of Scots from a 15th-century French armorial

James V finally managed to escape from the custody of the regents in 1528. He continued his father’s policy of subduing the rebellious Highlands, Western and Northern isles and the troublesome borders. He also continued the French alliance, marrying first the French noblewoman Madeleine of Valois and then after her death Marie of Guise. James V’s domestic and foreign policy successes were overshadowed by another disastrous campaign against England that led to defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss (1542). James died a short time later, a demise blamed by contemporaries on “a broken heart”. The day before his death, he was brought news of the birth of an heir: a daughter, who would become Mary, Queen of Scots.

Once again, Scotland was in the hands of a regent. Within two years, the Rough Wooing began, Henry VIII’s military attempt to force a marriage between Mary and his son, Edward. This took the form of border skirmishing and several English campaigns into Scotland. In 1547, after the death of Henry VIII, forces under the English regent Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset were victorious at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the climax of the Rough Wooing, and followed up by the occupation of Haddington. Mary was then sent to France at the age of five, as the intended bride of the heir to the French throne. Her mother, Marie de Guise, stayed in Scotland to look after the interests of Mary – and of France – although the Earl of Arran acted officially as regent. Guise responded by calling on French troops, who helped stiffen resistance to the English occupation. By 1550, after a change of regent in England, the English withdrew from Scotland completely.

From 1554 on, Marie de Guise took over the regency and continued to advance French interests in Scotland. French cultural influence resulted in a large influx of French vocabulary into Scots. But anti-French sentiment also grew, particularly among Protestants, who saw the English as their natural allies. This led to armed conflict at the siege of Leith. Marie de Guise died in June 1560, and soon after the Auld Alliance also ended, with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh, which provided for the removal of French and English troops from Scotland. The Scottish Reformation took place only days later when the Scottish Parliament abolished the Roman Catholic religion and outlawed the Mass.

Depiction of David Rizzio’s murder in 1566.

Meanwhile, Queen Mary had been raised as a Catholic in France, and married to the Dauphin, who became king as Francis II in 1559, making her queen consort of France. When Francis died in 1560, Mary, now 19, returned to Scotland to take up the government. Despite her private religion, she did not attempt to re-impose Catholicism on her largely Protestant subjects, thus angering the chief Catholic nobles. Her six-year personal reign was marred by a series of crises, largely caused by the intrigues and rivalries of the leading nobles. The murder of her secretary, David Riccio, was followed by that of her unpopular second husband Lord Darnley, and her abduction by and marriage to the Earl of Bothwell, who was implicated in Darnley’s murder. Mary and Bothwell confronted the lords at Carberry Hill and after their forces melted away, he fled and she was captured by Bothwell’s rivals. Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, and in July 1567, was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James VI. Mary eventually escaped and attempted to regain the throne by force. After her defeat at the Battle of Langside in 1568, she took refuge in England, leaving her young son in the hands of regents. In Scotland the regents fought a civil war on behalf of James VI against his mother’s supporters. In England, Mary became a focal point for Catholic conspirators and was eventually tried for treason and executed on the orders of her kinswoman Elizabeth I.

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Scottish Places of Interest. RBGE.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland—Edinburgh, Dawyck, Logan and Benmore—each with its own specialist collection. The RBGE’s living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species (34,422 accessions), whilst the herbarium contains in excess of 3 million preserved specimens.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is an executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. The Edinburgh site is the main garden and the headquarters of the public body, which is led by Regius Keeper Simon Milne.


The Edinburgh botanic garden was founded in 1670 at St. Anne’s Yard, near Holyrood Palace, by Dr. Robert Sibbald and Dr. Andrew Balfour. It is the second oldest botanic garden in the UK after Oxford’s. The plant collection used as the basis of the garden was the private collection of Sir Patrick Murray, 2nd Lord Elibank, moved from his home at Livingston Peel in 1672 following his death in September 1671. The original site was “obtained of John Brown, gardener of the North Yardes in the Holyrood Abby, an inclosure of some 40 foot of measure every way. By what we procured from Levingstone and other gardens, we made a collection of eight or nine hundred plants yr.”This site proved too small, and in 1676 grounds belonging to Trinity Hospital were leased by Balfour from the City Council: this second garden was sited just to the east of the Nor Loch, down from the High Street. John Ainslie’s 1804 map shows it as the “Old Physick Garden” to the east of the North Bridge. The site was subsequently occupied by tracks of the North British Railway, and a plaque at platform 11 of the Waverley railway station marks its location.

In 1763, the garden’s collections were moved away from the city’s pollution to a larger (five acre) “Physick Garden” on the west side of Leith Walk, covering the area now called Bellevue, all under the control of Prof John Hope. This site is shown in Ainslie’s 1804 map. The site is today known as Hopetoun Crescent Gardens and is one of the collection of New Town Gardens.

Some time prior to Hope’s death (1786) he was brought Turkish rhubarb seeds by Bruce of Kinnaird and this was the first rhubarb grown in Great Britain. As this proved successful over 3000 plants were grown as rhubarb was previously an expensive import (used as a medicine).

A cottage from the garden’s original site remained on Leith Walk for over one hundred years. In 2008, the building was moved brick by brick to a site within the current gardens. The project was completed in 2016. The garden was a popular destination for botanists and supplied plants to other gardens such as Kew. Hope erected a monument to Carl Linnaeus on the site in 1778.

In the early 1820s under the direction of the Curator, William McNab, the garden moved west to its present location (adjacent to Inverleith Row), and the Leith Walk site was built over between Hopetoun Crescent and Haddington Place. The Temperate Palm House, which remains the tallest in Scotland, was built in 1858.

In 1877, the city acquired Inverleith House from the estate of Cosmo Innes and added it to the existing gardens, opening the remodelled grounds to the public in 1881.

The botanic garden at Benmore became the first Regional Garden of the RBGE in 1929. It was followed by the gardens at Logan and Dawyck in 1969 and 1978.

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Infamous Scots. Elliot Castro.

Elliot Castro (born 1983 or 1984) is a Scottish fraud prevention consultant and ex-fraudster from Glasgow who claims he swindled approximately $2.8 million through various financial crimes when he was a teenager.


Castro claims that his first brush with criminality was when he, as a teenager, found a credit card on a train platform and used it for his train fare but was caught when the police boarded the train.

Castro claims that this criminal behaviour was ramped up when at 16 years old he lied about his age on a job application for a mobile phone company, stating he was 18. He was soon hired and began stealing personal information from clients, using information held by the company to defraud clients by tricking their banks to send new bank cards to different addresses where he would receive them and use them for his own gains.

At first, he would buy CDs, haircuts and clothes before realizing the potential of what he could do. He began spending lavishly as his crimes escalated. He purchased cars, a $12,000 Rolex, spent upwards of $15,000 at nightclubs and traveled the world. Castro claims to have travelled to every country in Europe with the money from his victims. He was briefly jailed in Canada and stole the credit card of the Canadian Immigration Office to book a flight back to Glasgow.

After returning to England at the age of 22, he was jailed for two years. After prison, he stopped defrauding people and began working legitimately as fraud prevention consultant for several firms.

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Kings-Queens of Scotland. Malcolm III.

Malcolm III Canmore, (born c. 1031—died November 13, 1093, near Alnwick, Northumberland, England), king of Scotland from 1058 to 1093, founder of the dynasty that consolidated royal power in the Scottish kingdom.

The son of King Duncan I (reigned 1034–40), Malcolm lived in exile in England during part of the reign of his father’s murderer, Macbeth (reigned 1040–57). Malcolm killed Macbeth in battle in 1057 and then ascended the throne. After the conquest of England by William of Normandy in 1066, Malcolm gave refuge to the Anglo-Saxon prince Edgar the Aetheling and his sisters, one of whom, Margaret (later St. Margaret of Scotland), became Malcolm’s second wife.

Malcolm acknowledged the overlordship of William in 1072 but nevertheless soon violated his feudal obligations and made five raids into England. During the last of these invasions he was killed by the forces of King William II Rufus (reigned 1087–1100). Except for a brief interval after Malcolm’s death, the Scottish throne remained in his family until the death of Queen Margaret, the Maid of Norway, in 1290. Of Malcolm’s six sons by Margaret of Scotland, three succeeded to the throne: Edgar (reigned 1097–1107), Alexander I (1107–24), and David I (1124–53).

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The Broons.(hooray)

Another adventure from the Scottish Family in comic form.

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Famous Scots. Albert Armitage.

Albert Borlase Armitage (2 July 1864 – 31 October 1943) was a Scottish polar explorer and officer in the Merchant Navy.

Early life.

Armitage was born in Balquhidder, near Loch Lubnaig in Perthshire on 2 July 1864. He was one of eight children to Samuel Harris Tatham Armitage, a Yorkshire doctor, and Alice (Lees) Armitage.

In 1878 Armitage enlisted as a cadet aboard the Royal Navy’s training ship, HMS Worcester, which was moored at the time in the River Thames near Greenhithe. At the conclusion of basic training he attempted to resign from the Navy and seek a position with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), but was prevented from doing so by his father. Instead, Armitage was signed on as an apprentice aboard the former Indian Navy frigate Punjaub, now owned by the East India Company. He sailed with Punjaub to Calcutta, where he transferred to another Company vessel, the Lucknow, as Third Mate

After seven years as a Company sailor, Armitage again sought parental consent to join P&O. Approval was received and in 1886 Armitage was appointed Fifth Officer aboard the P&O passenger ship Bokhara.

Polar exploration.

Between 1884 and 1897, he was second-in-command, of the Jackson–Harmsworth expedition to Franz Josef Land, and was involved in the 1895 rescue of explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his men.

Armitage was then Robert Falcon Scott’s navigator and second-in-command on the Discovery Expedition to Antarctica. The other members were Ernest Shackleton, George Mulock, Edward Adrian Wilson, Charles Royds, Frank Wild, Koettlitz, Skelton, Heald, Barne, Plumley, Quartley, Weller, Hare, Allen, Evans, Ferrar, Hodgson, Louis Bernacchi, Vince. On this expedition, he became the first person to walk on the polar plateau

Armitage got on very well with Scott during the preparations for the voyage and his RNR rank of lieutenant ensured that he was made second in command of the Discovery expedition. However, he later fell out with Scott and claimed that he and Markham failed to honour a number of promises they had made and on his return to Britain Armitage was paid off by the expedition and it took him nearly nine months to find an appointment with P & O.

Post Antarctic

On his return to the UK he filled in his time by writing “Two Years in the Antarctic” (Edward Arnold, 1905). A row followed with Scott’s publishers because Scott’s “Discovery Expedition” didn’t come out until after Armitage’s book. However, according to Armitage, he was at sea when this happened and he and Scott later met up for lunch “and all was sunshine.” They never met again.

Eventually he was given his own command, the Royal Mail Steamer “Isis”, carrying mails between Brindisi and Port Said. This was the story of his life until retirement, carrying passengers and mails on “little ferry boats” across the Mediterranean and later, in command of the “Salsette” between Bombay and Aden, living for many years away from England with his family in Brindisi and Malta. Toward the end of the First World War the “Salsette” was torpedoed in the English Channel with a loss of 14 crew. Armitage was then given command of the “Karmala” which was used to transporting cargo and U.S and Canadian troops across the Atlantic and, later, for repatriating Australian soldiers.

His last command was the 11,000 ton mail steamer the “Mantua” on the Bombay to China run. After over 40 years at sea he was appointed Commodore of P & O and, by the company rules, required to retire at the age of 60 years, just one year later. In 1928 he published “Cadet To Commodore” (Cassell & Co 1928) – an autobiography with only a few passing references to the Scott Expedition.

Armitage was married with a single daughter who married a naval lieutenant. His wife died, possibly in Malta, before World War I after a period of ill-health. He died in Surrey on 31st October 1943 aged 79.

Armitage’s diaries of his time in the Antarctic were sold at auction for £36,000 in 2004 in two lots to a single buyer.

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Public Poetry. Charles Bukowski.

About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter


he lives in a house with a swimming pool

and says the job is

killing him.

he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to

get rid of

him. his novels keep coming

back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams

“go to New York and pump the hands of the


“no,” I tell him, “but quit your job, go into a

small room and do the


“but I need ASSURANCE, I need something to

go by, some word, some sign!”

“some men did not think that way:

Van Gogh, Wagner—”

“oh hell, Van Gogh had a brother who gave him

paints whenever he

needed them!”

“look,” he said, “I’m over at this broad’s house today and

this guy walks in. a salesman. you know

how they talk. drove up in this new

car. talked about his vacation. said he went to

Frisco—saw Fidelio up there but forgot who

wrote it. now this guy is 54 years

old. so I told him: ‘Fidelio is Beethoven’s only

opera.’ and then I told

him: ‘you’re a jerk!’ ‘whatcha mean?’ he

asked. ‘I mean, you’re a jerk, you’re 54 years old and

you don’t know anything!’”

“what happened


“I walked out.”

“you mean you left him there with



“I can’t quit my job,” he said. “I always have trouble getting a

job. I walk in, they look at me, listen to me talk and

they think right away, ah ha! he’s too intelligent for

this job, he won’t stay

so there’s really no sense in hiring


now, YOU walk into a place and you don’t have any trouble:

you look like an old wino, you look like a guy who needs a

job and they look at you and they think:

ah ha!: now here’s a guy who really needs work! if we hire

him he’ll stay a long time and work


“do any of those people,” he asks “know you are a

writer, that you write poetry?”


“you never talk about

it. not even to

me! if I hadn’t seen you in that magazine I’d

have never known.”

“that’s right.”

“still, I’d like to tell these people that you are a


“I’d still like to

tell them.”


“well, they talk about you. they think you are just a

horseplayer and a drunk.”

“I am both of those.”

“well, they talk about you. you have odd ways. you travel alone.

I’m the only friend you



“they talk you down. I’d like to defend you. I’d like to tell

them you write


“leave it alone. I work here like they

do. we’re all the same.”

“well, I’d like to do it for myself then. I want them to know why

I travel with

you. I speak 7 languages, I know my music—”

“forget it.”

“all right, I’ll respect your

wishes. but there’s something else—”


“I’ve been thinking about getting a

piano. but then I’ve been thinking about getting a

violin too but I can’t make up my


“buy a piano.”

“you think



he walks away

thinking about


I was thinking about it

too: I figure he can always come over with his

violin and more

sad music.

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Infamous Scots. Thomas Neil Cream.

Dr Thomas Neill Cream (27 May 1850 – 15 November 1892), also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, was a Scottish-Canadian medical doctor and serial killer, who claimed his first proven victims in the United States and the rest in Great Britain, and possibly others in Canada. Cream, who poisoned his victims, was executed after his attempts to frame others for his crimes brought him to the attention of London police.

Unsubstantiated rumours claimed his last words as he was being hanged were a confession that he was Jack the Ripper—even though official records state he was in prison in Illinois at the time of the Ripper murders.

Early life.

Born in Glasgow, Cream was raised outside Quebec City, after his family moved there in 1854. He attended McGill University in Montreal and graduated with an MDCM degree in 1876 (his thesis topic was chloroform). He then went for post-graduate training at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School in London, and in 1878 obtained additional qualifications as a physician and surgeon in Edinburgh. He then returned to Canada to practise in London, Ontario.

In 1876, Cream married Flora Brooks, whom he had impregnated and almost killed while aborting the baby. Flora died, apparently of consumption, in 1877, a death for which Cream would later be blamed.

In August 1879, Kate Gardener, a woman with whom he was alleged to have had an affair, was found dead in an alleyway behind Cream’s office, pregnant and poisoned by chloroform. Cream claimed that she had been made pregnant by a prominent local businessman, but after being accused of both murder and blackmail, Cream fled to the United States.


Cream established a medical practice not far from the red-light district in Chicago, offering illegal abortions to prostitutes. He was investigated in August 1880 after the death of Mary Anne Faulkner, a woman on whom he had allegedly operated, but he escaped prosecution due to lack of evidence.

In December 1880 another patient, Miss Stack, died after treatment by Cream, and he subsequently attempted to blackmail a pharmacist who had filled the actual prescription.

In April 1881, a woman named Alice Montgomery died of strychnine poisoning following an abortion, in a rooming house barely a block from Cream’s office. The case was ruled a murder but never solved. The location, time period, and method make Cream a likely suspect.[5]

On 14 July 1881, Daniel Stott died of strychnine poisoning at his home in Boone County, Illinois, after Cream supplied him with an alleged remedy for epilepsy. The death was attributed to natural causes, but Cream wrote to the coroner blaming the pharmacist for the death after again attempting blackmail. This time, Cream was arrested, along with Mrs Julia A. (Abbey) Stott, who had become Cream’s mistress and procured poison from Cream to do away with her husband. She turned state’s evidence to avoid jail, laying the blame on Cream, which left him to face a murder conviction on his own. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Joliet Prison.

One night unknown persons erected a tombstone at Mr Stott’s grave which read,

Daniel Stott Died June 12, 1881 Aged 61 Years, poisoned by his wife and Dr Cream.

Cream was released in July 1891. Governor Joseph W. Fifer had commuted his sentence after Cream’s brother pleaded for leniency and allegedly bribed the authorities.


Using money inherited from his father, who had died in 1887, Cream sailed for England, arriving in Liverpool on 1 October 1891. (This was after the Jack the Ripper killings had been committed.) He went to London and took lodgings at 103 Lambeth Palace Road. At the time, Lambeth was riddled with poverty, petty crime, and prostitution.

On 13 October 1891, Ellen “Nellie” Donworth, a 19-year-old prostitute, accepted a drink from Cream. She was severely ill the next day and died on 16 October from strychnine poisoning. During her inquest, Cream wrote to the coroner offering to name the murderer in return for a £300,000 reward. He also wrote to W. F. D. Smith, owner of the W H Smith bookstalls, accusing him of the murder and demanding money for his silence.

On 20 October, Cream met with a 27-year-old prostitute named Matilda Clover. She became ill and died the next morning; her death was at first attributed to her alcoholism. Cream wrote a note to the prominent physician Dr William Broadbent accusing him of poisoning Matilda Clover and demanding cash. Broadbent sent his letter to Scotland Yard.

On 2 April 1892, after a vacation in Canada, Cream was back in London where he attempted to poison Lou (Louise) Harvey (née Harris) who, being suspicious of him, pretended to swallow the pills he had given her. She secretly disposed of them by throwing them from a bridge into the River Thames.

On 11 April, Cream met two prostitutes, Alice Marsh, 21, and Emma Shrivell, 18, and talked his way into their flat where he offered them bottles of Guinness. Cream left before the strychnine he had added to the drinks took effect. Both women died in agony.


Through his accusatory letters, Cream succeeded in drawing close attention to himself. Not only did the police quickly determine the innocence of those accused, but they noticed something telling in the accusations made by the anonymous letter-writer: he had referred to the murder of Matilda Clover. In fact, Clover’s death had been registered under natural causes, related to her drinking. The police quickly realised that the false accuser who had written the letter was the serial killer now referred to in the newspapers as the ‘Lambeth Poisoner’.

Not long afterward, Cream met a policeman from New York City who was visiting London. The policeman had heard of the Lambeth Poisoner, and Cream gave him a brief tour of where the various victims had lived. The American happened to mention it to a British policeman who found Cream’s detailed knowledge of the case suspicious.

The police at Scotland Yard put Cream under surveillance and soon discovered his habit of visiting prostitutes. They also contacted police in the United States and learned of their suspect’s conviction for a murder by poison in 1881.

At the inquest held by Athelstan Braxton Hicks in July 1892, he read out a letter purporting to be from Jack the Ripper declaring “Dr Neill” innocent, which produced laughter, including from “Neill”. The jury returned the verdict that Matilda Clover died from strychnine poisoning administered by “Thomas Neill”.

On 3 June 1892, Cream was arrested for the murder of Matilda Clover, and on 13 July he was formally charged with the murders of Clover, Donworth, Marsh, and Shrivell, the attempted murder of Harvey, and extortion. From the start he insisted he was only “Dr Thomas Neill”, not Dr Thomas Neill Cream, and the newspapers usually referred to him as “Dr Neill” in their coverage of the proceedings.

Trial and execution.

His trial lasted from 17 to 21 October 1892. After a deliberation lasting only 12 minutes, the jury found him guilty of all counts, and Justice Henry Hawkins sentenced him to death.

Less than a month after his conviction, on 15 November, Cream was hanged on the gallows at Newgate Prison by James Billington. As was customary with all executed criminals, his body was buried the same day in an unmarked grave within the prison walls.


His name does not appear in later McGill graduate directories.

“I am Jack The…”

Further information: Jack the Ripper suspects

Billington claimed that Cream’s last words on the scaffold were “I am Jack The…” Billington promoted this alleged incident as proof that he was responsible for executing the notorious Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper.

These claims are unsubstantiated, as police officials and others who attended the execution made no mention of any such event. Moreover, records show Cream was in prison at the time of the Ripper murders in 1888, so if this is true it would have been impossible for him to be Jack the Ripper.

Ripperologist Donald Bell speculated that Cream had bribed officials and been let out of prison before his official release, and Sir Edward Marshall-Hall suspected that Cream’s prison term had been served by a look-alike in his place. Such notions are extremely unlikely and contradict all known evidence given by the Illinois authorities, newspapers of the time, Cream’s solicitors, Cream’s family, and Cream himself.

One of Cream’s biographers suggested that Cream, on the scaffold and about to be hanged, was so frightened that he lost control of his bodily functions and stammered “I am ejaculating”, which could have been mistaken for “I am Jack”.

English-Canadian writer Chris Scott won an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 1989 for Jack, a novel based on the premise that Cream was Jack the Ripper.


The motivation for the series of poisonings has never been settled. It has generally been assumed that Cream was a sadist who enjoyed the thought of the agonies of his victims (even if he was not physically present to witness these). However, Cream was also interested in money, as evidenced by his attempts at extortion in almost all of his crimes, so it remains a possibility that he committed the murders under the pretense of ill-planned attempts to profit from them. From the start of the series of crimes Cream wrote blackmail notes to prominent people; and the poisoning of his one known male victim, Daniel Stott, was committed with the hope that Stott’s wealthy widow would share the deceased’s estate with Cream.

In addition to the five poisonings Cream was convicted for, he is suspected in the murder of his wife Flora Brooks in 1877, and at least four other women who died in his care while undergoing abortions.

Representations in popular culture.

On April 12, 1959 in season 4 episode 27 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in a story titled ‘The Waxwork’, Neill Cream’s name prominently appears on a sheet of paper viewed by the protagonist.

In her mystery novel Cat Among the Pigeons (first published in 1959), Agatha Christie – through in the voice of a minor character – lists Jack the Ripper and Neill Cream as examples of people “who went about killing an unfortunate type of woman”.

In the Friday the 13th: The Series episode “Better Off Dead”, the antique cursed syringe is said to have come from Cream’s collection.

In the first episode (in 2000) of Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes, the young Conan Doyle and Dr Bell pursue a murder case that involves a Thomas Neill, played by the actor Alec Newman. At the end, a postscript further identifies him as Dr Thomas Neill Cream, who attended medical school alongside the real Arthur Conan Doyle.

In the 2015 BBC One television series River, Cream appears frequently to and converses with D.I. John River as a “manifest”.

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Blog/Web.Promotions. Raffaello. Palandri.

Hi folks Today I would like to spotlight a great Blog, well one of many, Raffaello has several Blogs but this one is my favourite. Here is a sample of his work from this particular Blog.

Even when I’m on a business trip (in RÜSSELSHEIM AM MAIN, this time) I have to take a photo when I see such a gorgeous sky.

Please visit his Blog here. RAFFAELLO PALADRINI

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Another adventure of the Scottish lad in comic form.

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Scottish Foods-Drinks. Cullen Skink.

Another traditional Scottish dish you may not have heard of. Cullen Skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, and is a local specialty at the Rockpool Café from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the northeast coast. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

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Famous Scots. William Cunninghame.

William Cunninghame of Lainshaw (1731–1799) was a leading Tobacco Lord who headed one of the major Glasgow syndicates that came to dominate the transatlantic tobacco trade.  Most of the tobacco shipped from American slave plantations was sold to France. He later also made a further fortune stockpiling tobacco bought at keen prices shortly before the American Revolution, assuming that Great Britain would not be able to retain control over her rebellious colonies, and then selling at high prices. Cunninghame’s (much altered and expanded) neo-classical house on Glasgow’s Queen Street today houses the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art.

Early life.

Cunninghame was born in 1715  in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, into a prosperous merchant family. He was a blood relative of Andrew Cochrane of Brighouse (1693–1777), who was one of Glasgow’s most respected Lord Provosts. Family ties were of great importance in helping to build Cunninghame’s growing fortune.


William Cunninghame’s neo-classical mansion on Queens St, Glasgow, built in 1780 at a cost of £10,000

Cunninghame first sailed to America in 1746 as a young apprentice in the firm of Cochrane, Murdoch & Company. After four years of training he was promoted to become a manager and in 1752 he came to oversee all the company business in Virginia.

In 1762 he returned to Scotland, where he became the principal partner in the firm of Cochrane, Murdoch & Co. By the early 1770s he changed the company name to William Cunninghame & Company, and it grew to become one of the city’s five largest importers.

Twice a year his flagship – named The Cunninghame – arrived in the Chesapeake Bay, loaded with European luxury goods such as silverware and furniture, and ready to collect Tobacco for export back to Europe. Cunninghame, like the other Glasgow merchants, extended credit to the growers enabling them to buy goods from the company store before their tobacco was sold at market. However, many growers found themselves deeply in debt and thereby forced to accept low prices for their crop. Cunninghame was known to offer prices as much as 10% below market value to distressed growers.

American Revolution.

Cunninghame made an even greater fortune from the tobacco scarcity caused by the American War of Independence. On the outbreak of war, Cunningham’s business partners found themselves in possession of substantial stocks of tobacco which they had purchased for around three pence per pound. As war began to disrupt the trade the price rose, and Cunningham’s partners, confident that the rebellious colonists would soon be defeated, sold out their stock at sixpence per pound. Cunningham took the opposite view and he personally purchased their entire stock. Eventually, as the long war disrupted supplies, the price of tobacco rose to a staggering 3 shillings and sixpence, making a huge fortune for Cunninghame.

Like many wealthy Glasgow merchants, Cunninghame used some of his profits to buy a country estate. In 1778 he purchased for £26,200 for the estate of Lainshaw, in Ayrshire. He also purchased a property in the Cow Loan in Glasgow, which he renamed Queen Street after the wife of George III, and in 1780 he built there a large mansion in the neo-classical style at a cost of £10,000, an immense sum at the time.

In 1779 he completed his rise to the wealthy landed gentry by registering his family coat-of-arms at the office of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. In 1780 Cunninghame retired from the tobacco business, although he was not yet fifty years old.

Family life.

Cunninghame married three times and had fourteen children. He disinherited his eldest sons Thomas and Alexander and it was his third son William Cunninghame who eventually inherited the estate in 1799.


Today Cunninghame’s neo classical palace on Glasgow’s Queen Street houses the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art.

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Infamous Scots. Lord Lovat.

Lord Lovat (Scottish Gaelic: Mac Shimidh) is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1458 for Hugh Fraser. The holder is also the Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat.

The first Lord Lovat was one of the hostages for James I on his return to Scotland in 1424, and in 1431 he was appointed high sheriff of the county of Inverness. The second Lord Lovat, Thomas, held the office of justiciary of the north in the reign of James IV, and died 21 October 1524.

The title descended in a direct line for nine sequential generations from 1458 until the death of the ninth Lord in 1696. He was succeeded by his great-uncle, the tenth Lord. In 1697 the latter’s son, Simon Fraser, known as Simon “the Fox”, kidnapped and forcibly married the late ninth Lord’s widow, the former Lady Amelia Murray, only daughter of John Murray, 1st Marquess of Atholl. However, Lady Lovat’s powerful family, the Murrays, were angered, and prosecuted Fraser, who fled the country. Fraser was convicted in absentia, attainted, and sentenced to death. In 1715, however, Fraser supported the Government against the Jacobite uprising and was rewarded by being pardoned for his crimes. In 1730, he won litigation seeking to confirm his title of Lord Lovat. In 1745, however, Lord Lovat participated in The ’45 against the Crown and was therefore sentenced to death. He was beheaded on 9 April 1747, aged 80, on Tower Hill in London, becoming the last man to die in this manner. His titles, furthermore, were forfeit. (Fraser was also created Duke of Fraser, Marquess of Beaufort, Earl of Stratherrick and Upper Tarf, Viscount of the Aird and Strathglass and Lord Lovat and Beaulieu in the Jacobite Peerage of Scotland by James Francis Edward Stuart (titular King James III of England and VIII of Scotland) in 1740.)

His eldest son and namesake Simon Fraser became a General in the British Army. He obtained a full pardon but was not restored to the title. His younger brother Archibald Campbell Fraser was a Colonel in the Army and would have succeeded but for the attainder. On his death in 1815 the title was claimed by his kinsman Thomas Fraser, a descendant of Thomas Fraser, second son of the fourth Lord. In 1837 he was created Baron Lovat, of Lovat in the County of Inverness, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. However, it was not until 1854 that the attainder of the eleventh Lord was reversed, and Thomas Fraser became the twelfth Lord Lovat. He was succeeded by his son, the thirteenth Lord, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Inverness. His eldest son, the fourteenth Baron, was a soldier and politician and notably held office as Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1926 to 1927. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifteenth Lord. He was a prominent soldier and distinguished himself during the Second World War. As of 2017 the titles are held by his grandson, the sixteenth Lord, who succeeded in 1994.

The Conservative politician Sir Hugh Fraser was the younger son of the fourteenth Lord. Another member of the family was Sir Ian Fraser, Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motors. He was the son of Hon. Alastair Thomas Joseph Fraser, younger son of the thirteenth Lord.

The family seats now are Beaufort Lodge and Balblair House, near Beauly, Inverness-shire.

Clan Fraser.

The Lordship of Lovat has for some time been linked to the Chiefship of Clan Fraser. The former family seat was Beaufort Castle in northern Scotland. The numbering of the Scottish Lordship used by Clan Fraser differs from the legal numbering in that it ignores the attainder of 1747–1854, with the result that the 16th Lord is termed by them “18th Lord Lovat”.

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Scottish Towns-Cities. Cambuslang.

Cambuslang /ˈkæmbəsˈlæŋ/ (

listen) (Scots: Cammuslang, from Scottish Gaelic: Camas Lang) is a town on the south-eastern outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. With approximately 30,000 residents, it is the 27th largest town in Scotland by population, although, never having had a town hall, it may also be considered the largest village in Scotland. It is within the local authority area of South Lanarkshire and directly borders the town of Rutherglen to the west. Historically, it was a large civil parish incorporating the nearby hamlets of Newton, Flemington, Westburn and Halfway.


Cambuslang is located just south of the River Clyde and about six miles (ten kilometres) southeast of the centre of Glasgow. It has a long history of coal mining, from at least 1490, iron and steel making, and ancillary engineering works, most recently The Hoover Company (in the town from 1946 to 2005). The Clydebridge Steelworks and other smaller manufacturing businesses continue but most employment in the area comes from the distribution or service industries. The headquarters of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is in Cambuslang.

The local geography of Cambuslang explains a great deal of its history. It has been very prosperous over time, depending first upon its agricultural land, (supplying food, then wool, then linen), then the mineral resources under its soil (limestone and coal, and, to some extent, iron).These were jealously guarded by the medieval Church, and later by the local aristocracy, particularly the Duke of Hamilton (previously Barons of Cadzow and Earls of Arran).

Because of its relative prosperity, Cambuslang has been intimately concerned in the politics of the country (through the Hamilton connection) and of the local Church. Bishop John Cameron of Glasgow, and Cardinal Beaton, were both Rectors of Cambuslang. This importance continued following the Protestant Reformation. From then until the Glorious Revolution a stream of Ministers of Cambuslang came, were expelled, or were re-instated, according to whether supporters of the King, Covenanters, or Oliver Cromwell were in power. The religious movements of the 18th century, including the Cambuslang Wark, were directly linked to similar movements in North America. The Scottish Enlightenment was well represented in the person of Rev Dr James Meek, the Minister. His troubles with his parishioners foreshadowed the split in the Church of Scotland during the 19th century.

The manufacturing industries that grew up from the agricultural and mineral resources attracted immigrants from all over Scotland and Ireland and other European countries. Cambuslang benefited at all times from its closeness to the burgeoning city of Glasgow, brought closer in the 18th century by a turnpike road then, in the 19th century, by a railway. In the 21st century, it continues to derive benefit from its proximity to Glasgow and to wider communication networks, particularly via the M74 motorway system. Its increasing (and increasingly diverse) population posed problems, over the centuries, of employment and housing as well as of schooling and health, not all of which have been solved;  in this regard, it is fairly typical of most Scottish towns.

In sport, Cambuslang F.C. were founder members of the Scottish Football League whose most notable achievement was being the runners-up in the 1887–88 Scottish Cup. They folded by the early 20th century, as did Scottish Junior Cup winners Cambuslang Hibernian, but a new team Cambuslang Rangers F.C. was established and continues to this day – they enjoyed great success in the 1970s.

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Scottish Architecture. Vernacular.

Scottish Vernacular Architecture refers to the smaller, traditional buildings which were built to accommodate the local needs and circumstances of their inhabitants. Their form was dictated not only by the availability of building materials but also by the traditional construction techniques that developed in response to the topography of the area, the climate, and cultural and economic factors. First and foremost, these buildings were functional—shaped for purpose. They grew out of the environment, rather than adapting the environment to provide the status and show of later “polite” architecture created by the fledgling profession of architects.

The single-storey cottage that comes to mind when you think of the wide-open, rural spaces of Scotland might be considered as the starting point from which other vernacular buildings developed. On Orkney, excavations at Knap of Howar have exposed two buildings dating as far back as 3,500-3,100 BC which demonstrate the specialised  building techniques adopted for houses built in cold and exposed settings. Their walls are several feet thick and consist of two skins of stone separated by an inner core. At Orkney this cavity is packed with midden (garbage) to insulate and consolidate them, but in the Black Houses, common in the Highlands and Hebrides, dry earth or sand mixed with stone serves the same purpose. This double core construction also aided waterproofing, as water was able to penetrate the first wall but not the second. 

Castle Combe Cotswolds E1627569291417

Openings were limited in exposed climates, and windows, where they did exist, were small and deeply recessed in the thick walls. Roofs tended to be steep in areas with high snow or rainfall to encourage water to drain off but were low pitched in windy areas to prevent them being blown off, weighted down by ropes or old fishing nets in coastal areas. In windy settings, houses were often built into the slopes of hillsides and corners were rounded, as in the Knap of Howar buildings and the Brochs of the Iron Age, offering further protection from the wind.

Another characteristic of Scottish vernacular architecture, still in use today, is a thick coat of harl on the exterior walls to provide protection against frost penetration.  Usually this consisted of a mixture of lime, grit, and water; but in coastal areas, sea sand and seashells were incorporated, giving it a white colour. In Cramond, outside Edinburgh, the sand was mixed with oil from the seashore giving a black harl, while in Portsoy on the north-east coast, the local sandstone was powdered and added to the harl turning it a red colour. In later centuries pigments were added to form distinctive colours, the most famous being the Royal Gold on display at Culross Palace and the Great Hall of Stirling Castle.

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My Poetry. The Memory.

An old man rested on the vandalised bench, 
His mind wandering back to his time in the trench, 
Battering, pounding, screaming and death, 
Was all he could hear in a moment’s breath? 
Blood curdling sounds from all different angles
bombs from machines contorted and mangled,
Never a moment of peace in this hell on Earth,
Just voices in his head, tossing in his berth
When will all this fighting end?
Will my life be like this forever? obliged to defend?
Can I survive this ordeal, to one day be free,
Listen to the birds singing in the tree,
Explosions so near, frightened to sleep,
Praying to the lord my soul to keep,
The old man wakened sweating and scared,
From a nightmare so vivid of none he compared,
When he looked around this saddened place, 
Did he fight for his freedom? Or this pity of disgrace?  
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Infamous Scots. Roderick-Edward-Maclean.

Roderick Edward Maclean (c. 1854 – 8 June 1921) was a Scotsman who attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria on 2 March 1882, at Windsor, England, with a pistol. This was the last of eight attempts by separate people to kill or assault Victoria over a period of four decades. Maclean’s motive was purportedly a curt reply to some poetry that he had mailed to the Queen.

The attempted murder followed the arrival of the Royal train, conveying the Queen, Princess Beatrice and the Court from Windsor. Queen Victoria had just walked across the platform of Windsor station to a carriage in waiting when Maclean, who was standing at the entrance of the station yard among a number of spectators, deliberately fired a revolver at her. The shot missed, and Maclean was seized by Chief Superintendent Hayes, of the Borough Police, and the weapon wrenched from his grasp by someone in the crowd. – Birmingham Daily Gazette, 1921.

Other accounts state that the revolver was a toy and that his aim was disrupted by an Eton schoolboy:

The weapon was a mere toy, and the life the beloved monarch was not seriously endangered. A number of Eton boys were round the station at the time, and one of them rushed forward and struck Maclean with his umbrella, disconcerting his aim — which was unlikely enough, in any case, to have been accurate. The boy in question, Gordon Wilson, was called to the Castle by her Majesty and thanked for his promptitude. He was the son of Sir Samuel Wilson, the Australian wool magnate, who introduced salmon into the Australian rivers and afterwards sat in Parliament for a short time for Portsmouth. Gordon Wilson married Lady Sarah Spencer-Churchill, a sister of Lord Randolph and Lady Wimborne. He was killed in the early days of the war. The wretched lunatic, therefore, survived all the other chief actors in his poor little drama, paying dearly for his brief notoriety. He had, however, the distinction of undergoing trial for high treason. – Lichfield Mercury, 1921.

At his trial, Dr. Charles Vernon Hitchins testified that MacLean had been certified insane in June 1880, two years before the attempted assassination, and he had been sent to Somerset Lunatic Asylum. He was living at 14 Wadham Street in Weston-super-Mare. Dr. Hitchins stated that Maclean was complaining of headaches and believed that all the people in England are against him, and he felt he must injure someone because they are conspiring to deceive him. He had also sent letters to his sister in 1880, Caroline Maclean, stating that, “If I cannot commit a murder one way, I will another way, and all can add is, if there is more difficulty, there may be more victims.” Multiple doctors also testified that Maclean was insane and “did not believe he was capable of appreciating the nature or quality of any act which he might commit.”

Tried for high treason on 20 April, the Scotsman was found “not guilty, but insane” by a jury after five minutes’ deliberation, overseen by Lord Chief Justice Coleridge. and he lived out his remaining days in Broadmoor Asylum. The verdict prompted the Queen to ask for a change in English law so that those implicated in cases with similar outcomes would be considered as “guilty, but insane”; this led to the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883.

A poem was later written about Maclean’s attempt on the Queen’s life by William Topaz McGonagall.

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Scottish Architecture. New Lanark.

New Lanark is a village on the River Clyde, approximately 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometres) from Lanark, in Lanarkshire, and some 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Glasgow, Scotland. It was founded in 1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills and housing for the mill workers. Dale built the mills there in a brief partnership with the English inventor and entrepreneur Richard Arkwright to take advantage of the water power provided by the only waterfalls on the River Clyde. Under the ownership of a partnership that included Dale’s son-in-law, Robert Owen, a Welsh philanthropist and social reformer, New Lanark became a successful business and an early example of a planned settlement and so an important milestone in the historical development of urban planning.

The New Lanark mills operated until 1968. After a period of decline, the New Lanark Conservation Trust (NLCT) was founded in 1974 (now known as the New Lanark Trust (NLT)) to prevent demolition of the village. By 2006 most of the buildings have been restored and the village has become a major tourist attraction. It is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland and an Anchor Point of ERIH – the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The New Lanark mills depended upon water power. A dam was constructed on the Clyde above New Lanark and water was drawn off the river to power the mill machinery. The water first travelled through a tunnel, then through an open channel called the lade. It then went to a number of water wheels in each mill building. It was not until 1929 that the last waterwheel was replaced by a water turbine. Water power is still used in New Lanark. A new water turbine has been installed in Mill Number Three to provide electricity for the tourist areas of the village.

In Owen’s time some 2,500 people lived at New Lanark, many from the poorhouses of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Although not the grimmest of mills by far, Owen found the conditions unsatisfactory and resolved to improve the workers’ lot. He paid particular attention to the needs of the 500 or so children living in the village (one of the tenement blocks is named Nursery Buildings) and working at the mills, and opened the first infants’ school in Britain in 1817, although the previous year he had completed the Institute for the Formation of Character.

The mills thrived commercially, but Owen’s partners were unhappy at the extra expense incurred by his welfare programmes. Unwilling to allow the mills to revert to the old ways of operating, Owen bought out his partners. In 1813 the Board forced an auction, hoping to obtain the town and mills at a low price but Owen and a new board (including the economist Jeremy Bentham) that was sympathetic to his reforming ideas won out.

New Lanark became celebrated throughout Europe, with many statesmen, reformers and royalty visiting the mills. They were astonished to find a clean, healthy industrial environment with a content, vibrant workforce and a prosperous, viable business venture all rolled into one. Owen’s philosophy was contrary to contemporary thinking, but he was able to demonstrate that it was not necessary for an industrial enterprise to treat its workers badly to be profitable. Owen was able to show visitors the village’s excellent housing and amenities, and the accounts showing the profitability of the mills.

As well as the mills’ connections with reform, socialism and welfare, they are also representative of the Industrial Revolution that occurred in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries and which fundamentally altered the shape of the world. The planning of employment in the mills alongside housing for the workers and services such as a school also makes the settlement iconic in the development of urban planning in the UK.

In 1825, control of New Lanark passed to the Walker family when Owen left Britain to start settlement of New Harmony in the US. The Walkers managed the village until 1881, when it was sold to Birkmyre and Sommerville and the Gourock Ropeworks (although they tried unsuccessfully to sell the mills and the town in 1851). They and their successor companies remained in control until the mills closed in 1968.

The town and the industrial activity had been in decline before then, but after the mills closed migration away from the village accelerated, and the buildings began to deteriorate. The top two floors of Mill Number 1 were removed in 1945 but the building has since been restored and is now the New Lanark Mill Hotel. In 1963 the New Lanark Association (NLA) was formed as a housing association and commenced the restoration of Caithness Row and Nursery Buildings. In 1970 the mills, other industrial buildings and the houses used by Dale and Owen were sold to Metal Extractions Limited, a scrap metal company. In 1974 the NLCT (now the NLT) was founded to prevent demolition of the village. A compulsory purchase order was used in 1983 to recover the mills and other buildings from Metal Extractions after a repairs notice had been served in 1979. This was because of the state of repair of the buildings despite their listing as historic buildings that required their legal preservation in 1971. They are now controlled by the NLT, either directly through the Trust or through wholly owned companies (New Lanark Trading Ltd, New Lanark Hotel Ltd and New Lanark Homes). By 2005 most of the buildings had been restored and the village has become a major tourist attraction.

Living conditions.

In the mid 19th century, an entire family would have been housed in a single room. Some sense of such living conditions can be obtained by visiting the reconstructed Millworkers House at New Lanark World Heritage Site or the David Livingstone Centre at Blantyre.

David Dale, who founded New Lanark, was also involved in the mills at Blantyre. Only one tenement row has survived in Blantyre, and that building is now a museum. This is mostly devoted to David Livingstone, who was born there in 1813, both examples include re-creations of the single-room living conditions of the time at New Lanark, featuring trundle beds for children such as Livingstone would have used. The David Livingstone Centre is 18 miles by road from New Lanark, between Glasgow and Hamilton.

The living conditions in the village gradually improved, and by the early 20th century families would have had the use of several rooms. It was not until 1933 that the houses had interior cold water taps for sinks and the communal outside toilets were replaced by inside facilities.

From 1938 the village proprietors provided free electricity to all the homes in New Lanark, but only enough power was available for one dim bulb in each room. The power was switched off at 10 pm Sunday-Friday, 11 pm Saturday. In 1955 New Lanark was connected to the National Grid.

Dereliction in New Lanark in 1983.

New Lanark today

It has been estimated that over 400,000 people visit the village each year. The importance of New Lanark has been recognised by UNESCO as one of Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites, the others being Edinburgh Old and New Towns, Heart of Neolithic Orkney, St Kilda, the Antonine Wall and the Forth Bridge. The mills and town were listed in 2001 after an unsuccessful application for World Heritage listing in 1986.

About 130 people live in New Lanark. Of the residential buildings, only Mantilla Row has not been restored. Some of the restoration work was undertaken by the NLA and the NLCT. Braxfield Row and most of Long Row were restored by private individuals who bought the houses as derelict shells and restored them as private houses. Seven houses in Double Row have been externally restored by the NLCT and are being sold for private ownership. In addition to the 21 owner-occupied properties in the village there are 45 rented properties which were let by the NLA, which was a registered housing association. The NLA also owned other buildings in the village. In 2009 the NLA was wound up as being financially and administratively unviable, and responsibility for the village’s tenanted properties passed to the NLCT.

In 2009 Clydesdale Bank released a new series of Scottish banknotes, of which the 20-pound note features New Lanark on its reverse.

Considerable attention has been given to maintaining the historical authenticity of the village. No television aerials or satellite dishes are allowed in the village, and services such as telephone, television and electricity are delivered though buried cables. To provide a consistent appearance all external woodwork is painted white, and doors and windows follow a consistent design. Householders used to be banned from owning dogs, but this rule is no longer enforced.

Some features introduced by the NLT, such as commercial signage and a glass bridge connecting the Engine House and Mill Number Three, have been criticised. The retention of a 1924-pattern red telephone box in the village square has also been seen as inappropriate.

The mills, the hotel and most of the non-residential buildings in the village are owned and operated by the NLT through wholly owned companies.

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Famous Scots. Robert Aitken.

Robert Aitken (1734–1802) was a Philadelphia printer and the first to publish an English language Bible in the newly formed United States. He was born in Dalkeith, Scotland.

He emigrated to Philadelphia in 1769, where he published the Pennsylvania Magazine, or American Monthly Museum in 1775–76.

Starting in Philadelphia as a bookseller in 1769 and 1771, Aitken started publication of The Pennsylvania Magazine in 1775, continuing through 1776. He also printed copies of the New Testament in 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1781. He died in Philadelphia in 1802.

The Aitken Bible of 1782 was reviewed, approved and authorised by the Congress of the Confederation. The Bible was reviewed first for accuracy by the Congressional Chaplains White and Duffield and they reported on its accuracy. Then the Journals of Congress for September 1782 records on page 469, “Resolved. That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitkin, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an influence of the progress of arts in this country and being satisfied from the above report (by the congressional chaplains), they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorise him to publish this recommendation.” (Spelling has been modernised).

In 1781 Aitken undertook to print the first complete English Bible produced in America and sought the official sanction of Congress for his edition. Congress passed a resolution officially authorising the edition in September 1782. Known as the “Aitken Bible,” this was the first and only edition of the Bible ever authorised by Congress. As Aitken reported to George Washington, the venture was a financial failure.

Background and the need for an American printed Bible
The war with Britain had cut off the supply of Bibles, and, on September 11, 1777, the Continental Congress reviewed a committee report, informing them that a locally produced Bible may not be a viable option, due to the risk and cost of procuring the materials necessary. The committee noted, “…the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great, that the committee refer the above to the consideration of Congress, and if Congress shall not think it expedient to order the importation of types and paper, your committee recommend that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the states in the Union.” Congress favored the idea of importing 20,000 Bibles, in order to address the short supply. Library of Congress

On Thursday, September 12, 1782, Congress reviewed a report dated September 1, 1782, from their Congressional committee, and signed by the committee Chairman, James Duane. The committee had been, “…referred a memorial of Robert Aitkin, dated January 21st, 1781, respecting an edition of the holy scriptures.” This committee had, from time to time, checked on the progress of Aitken’s work, and their report stated, “Our knowledge of your piety and public spirit leads us without apology to recommend to your particular attention the edition of the holy scriptures publishing by Mr. Aitkin.” Library of Congress Next Congress reviewed a report dated September 10, 1782, from the committee, and signed by the Chaplains of the United States in Congress assembled, William White and George Duffield. This report stated they had reviewed the printing and it was found to be, “…with as few grammatical and typographical errors as could be expected in an undertaking of such magnitude.” Library of Congress The outcome is listed as, “Resolved. That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitkin, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an influence of the progress of arts in this country and being satisfied from the above report (by the congressional chaplains), they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation.”

In 1783, after Aitken’s Bible had begun to be distributed, Dr. John Rodgers of the First Presbyterian Church of New York suggested to General George Washington that every discharged soldier be given a copy of Aitken’s Bible. Since the war was coming to a close and Congress had already ordered the discharge of two-thirds of the army, the suggestion came too late. However, Washington said, “It would have pleased me well, if Congress had been pleased to make such an important present to the brave fellows who have done so much for the security of their country’s rights and establishment.”

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The Broons.(creepy)

Another Adventure from the Scottish Family. in comic form.

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