Category Archives: MODERN HISTORY

Clan tartans are not an ancient Scottish tradition

Clan tartans are not an ancient Scottish tradition


While plaids are certainly an ancient Scottish tradition,the idea of clans having their own tartan is surprisingly modern.  In 1829 John and Charles Allen, fraudsters who claimed to be descendants of Bonnie Prince Charlie, approached the Scottish antiquary Sir Thomas Dick Lauder saying they were in possession of a late 15th century manuscript known as the Vestiarium Scoticum, which detailed all the various identifying tartans of the Highland and lowland clans.

Love and life in the court of King James IV of Scotland

Love and life in the court of King James IV of Scotland

James IV‘s love life was no secret to his people. Marion Boyd had borne him a son in 1493. Margaret Drummond had been his mistress from 1496, but she died suddenly and rather suspiciously with her two sisters, after a breakfast in 1502, coveniently one year before the king was to celebtate his grand dynastic marriage to Margaret Tudor.

Infanticide in Victorian Ireland

Infanticide in Victorian Ireland

New research is revealing for the first time the degree to which poverty, famine and shame drove thousands of Irish women to commit infanticide in the 19th century. Irish historian Elaine Farrel has identified over 4,600 cases of suspected infanticide between 1850 and 1900. Farrell’s findings are significant because they correct widely held views – originating in the 19th century but reinforced by historians as late as 1970s – the infanticide was either non-existent or extremely rare in Victorian Ireland.

Wives and mothers in Tudor age

Wives and mothers in Tudor age

A Tudor marriage was usually a carefully orchestrated affair, be it for monarch or commoner – a business arrangement to safeguard family fortunes, enhance wealth and property and advance social status. The bride was expected to provide an appropriately large dowry. Love matches and Romeo and Juliet scenarios were strictly for the stage.

Sand Creek massacre victims given permanent resting place

Sand Creek massacre victims given permanent resting place

The Sand Creek Massacre took place on November 29, 1864. That morning 650 Colorado volunteers attacked a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Dawn was broken by the clanging of muskets, artillery, and the booming voice of John Chivington – the Fighting Parson’s final harangue to his troops.