Filed under Scottish history

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda is one of the most isolated places in the British Isles, an archipelago in the Outer Hebrides whose final human inhabitants left in 1930. It is now home to 600,000 nesting birds each year. This is from the i paper of 29 December: A 250-year-old census has revealed that islanders on St Kilda… … Continue reading


Female Criminals

Women form a small component of today’s criminals, and their crimes are often linked to poverty. It seems things don’ change.The world was still small, and it seems that once you fell on hard times it was difficult – or impossible – to recover. This is from the Caledonian Mercury of December 1774: Anne Mackenzie … Continue reading

William Wallace’s Kirk Found?

This is from the latest Current Archaeology: The remains of a medieval church, recently discovered in Selkirk, may be the remains of the ‘Kirk of the Forest’ where William Wallace was made Guardian of Scotland following his victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, archaeologists suggest. Chris Bowles, Scottish Borders Council archaeologist, together … Continue reading

Proof against Scottishness

In Highways & Byways of the Borders, Newcastle was described as being the Bridle of the Scots, but border conflict reached further south, as York was the ancient military centre against the northern perils. This is from Highways & Byways in Yorkshire: How shall we, who look on Scots as our fellow countrymen, understand what … Continue reading

Riding of the Marches, Selkirk

This is a Scottish practice that is similar to the English Rogation ceremonies which annually confirm the parish boundaries. The custom claimed to have continued for something like 4 centuries – till early 20th century, so is post Reformation. Their treatment of sucides is harsher than the English. This is the final piece from Highways … Continue reading

Traquair House

Yet another lifting from the wonderful Highways & Byways on the Borders. This says much about Scottish history beyond that of the immediate family, and yet leaves so much unanswered. Why would a mob travel so far, and in the middle of winter from Edinburgh? Why did they turn on the local vicar? High Crosses … Continue reading

The Ancient Churches of Peebles

This is some more from Highways & Byways on The Borders: There are still to be seen wishing the burgh the ruins of the Cross Church and of the Church of St Andrew. The former got its name from the fact that in May 1261 “a magnificent and venerable cross was found at Peblis”, which … Continue reading

Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Bowed Davie’

Yet another snippet from Highways & Byways n the Border: Near the junction of the Tweed and Manor Water was a cottage made famous by Sir Walter Scott: Bowed Davie” [is] the original of Scott’s “Black Dwarf” of Mucklestane Muir. Sir Walter was staying at Hallyards, on Manor Water, in 1797 with his friend Adam … Continue reading

French PoWs in to Selkirk

This is some more from Highways & Byways on the Border. On a certain occasion they heard of of a great French success in Russia. Two prisoners concealed themselves and were locked up in the church one Sunday after evening service; about midnight these men admitted their comrades and together the roused sleeping Selkirk by … Continue reading

Selkirk’s French PoWs

This is some more from Highways & Byways on the border. I knew some Pows were kept in prisons, such as on Dartmoor, but officers were often let out on parole and some made lasting friendships with fellow educated folk in these islands, as they often came from good families. In their dealings with the … Continue reading