Tag Archives: Scotland

Pictish society

Pictish society


The Romans classified some fifteen tribes in the north and loosely identified the territories they occupied. They also observed that tribal chiefs had a religious as well as a royal function. Women could have such a role, as was the case with Boudicca of the Iceni. The succession of leaders was matrilineal: it mattered more who their mother was than who their father was. Since it is possible that women may indeed have more than one husband, the matter of succession could be complex. later Romantics sometimes regarded this Pictish society as democratic, but it was in fact full of social differentiations.

Scotland and the Irish

Scotland and the Irish

In the 1840s and 1850s the population was swelled by a great influx of Irish from all the provinces of that country. This was the first great movement of people between the two countries, and it brought back to Scotland many of the descendants of the Plantation of the early 1600s. It also brought into Scotland substantial Catholic population, who were to have an impact on the political scene as well on the religious make up of the country.

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.

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.