Category Archives: MODERN HISTORY

19th Century sport in Scotland

19th Century sport in Scotland


Communal games involving men and older boys ranged up and down the streets of many towns and can still be observed each New Year in Kirkwall’s Ba’ Game, between „Uppies“ and „Doonies“ on 1st January. The border towns kept their Common Ridings, and many others celebrated an annual beating of the bounds, in all cases accompanied by fairgrounds, music, dancing and the public consumption of a great deal of alcohol.

The Long Trip to Botany Bay

The Long Trip to Botany Bay

Diabolical conditions abroad the hulks, the floating prisons which took up the slack when transportation to America ended, forced Britain to rethink its penal policy. The consensus was that Britain urgently needed another colony. First under consideration was the island of Lemane in the Gambia, West Africa. Its advantage was isolation. No guards would be needed to watch over the felons. But it would have amounted to signing the death warrant of the desperate souls abandoned there. Happily the scheme was dropped.

Who was Alexander Selkirk?

Who was Alexander Selkirk?

Cast away on a desert island, surviving on what nature alone can provide, praying for rescue but fearing the sight of a boat on the horizon. These are the imaginative creations of Daniel Defoe in his famous novel Robinson Crusoe. Yet the story is believed to be based on the real-life experience of sailor Alexander Selkirk, marooned in 1704 on a small tropical island in the Pacific for more than four years, and now archaeological evidence has been found to support contemporary records of his existence on the island.