‘The Helix Park Thirty Metre High Horse Head Sculptures ‘

#AceBritshHistoryNews – SCOTLAND (Grangemouth) – June 30 – The Helix is an exciting new parkland providing activities such as cycling, walking, water-sports and much more. The Helix is also home to The Kelpies, two 30-metre-high horse head sculptures which are a true feat of engineering.

The Helix is a new attraction located between Falkirk and Grangemouth. Described as ‘A place for everyone’ there is so much to discover.

There are currently 500km of connected cycle paths which provide the ideal way to explore the parkland and surrounding area. Discover one of many routes including the 16-mile core route, Helix Around Town Tour (HArTT) starting at The Helix and heading to The Falkirk Wheel, Callendar Park and back to The Helix using cycle ways, towpaths and parkland. The paths are multi-use if you prefer to explore by foot. The Helix is linked by two National Cycle Routes as well as the new John Muir Trail making it incredibly accessible and the ideal base to explore from.

Read More : The Helix 

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` History of Women’s Right to Work Act ‘

A Woman's Work

A Woman’s Work (Photo credit: jumpinjimmyjava)

#AceHistoryNews says following on from `International Woman’s Day‘ l thought this post about `Women’s Right to Work’ was apt.

Firstly this act changed the previous legal situation, in which all property automatically transferred to the control of a husband on marriage.

It granted some limited separate protection to a married woman’s property and also permitted women to retain up to £200 of their own wages or earnings.

Similar changes did not take effect in Scotland until 1877.

“PLEASE NOTE WELL SOME PARTS OF THIS ARTICLE AND POST ARE COPYRIGHTED AND ARE MARKED”

` Thank You Editor ‘ 

International Woman's Day :*Denomination: 60 F...

International Woman’s Day :*Denomination: 60 Filler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Families and households:

Because of high birth rates and improving life expectancy, Victorian families were generally large. The growth of residential domestic service, even low down the social scale, and the prevalence of lodgers, especially in towns, meant that many households were further swollen in size and complex in formation.

Although households consisting of more than two generations or containing more than one husband/wife partnership had never been common in Britain, there was a tendency, especially in textile districts, for grandparents to live in households containing young children, particularly where mothers were working outside the home.

…many households were dependent upon female earnings, especially those households run by widows.

Many young people, especially young women, migrated to towns and cities in search of work as the possibilities of agricultural employment declined. Migration was facilitated by family and other connections: communities were recreated in towns and cities through local concentrations of settlement of particular ethnic, religious, regional or familial groups and by the possibility of finding accommodation through lodging or domestic service in the homes of contacts of this kind.

Most households necessarily drew income from a number of sources, with many women and juveniles adding to wage earning even if their employment was usually more intermittent and low-paid than that of adult males. Although the male breadwinner wage was increasingly regarded as the ideal and even the norm, in practice many households were dependent upon female earnings, especially those households run by widows.

As the mid-Victorian boom got under-way the demand for female and juvenile labour expanded, particularly where new technologies or patterns of work were resented by skilled men. Cheap female and immigrant labour was often used to undercut male workers. Urbanisation created manifold opportunities for female employment despite the regulation of hours and conditions of work for women and juveniles in certain sectors, and the coming of compulsory education after 1871. Thus most women in Victorian society, in the two-thirds of the population below the upper and middle classes, worked for wages. But in what occupations and how much?

The evidence of women’s work:

Two Victorian woman at work in a hat factoryWorkers in a hat factory  ©One of the greatest problems facing the historian of women’s work is the absence of reliable information. The census enumerators’ books are the most obvious source, especially for the period after 1841 when occupations were included; but in practice such information is vastly more accurate for men than for women for several reasons. Firstly, contradictory and inconsistent instructions were given about how to classify women’s work, particularly where this involved home-working or consisted of helping in a family run business (such work was sometimes deliberately excluded from the record). Furthermore, women’s work was often part-time, casual, and not regarded as important enough to declare.

Women may have also have preferred to keep their income-earning a secret from their husband.

Sometimes it was illegal (as with prostitution) or performed in unregulated sweatshops (a further reason for failure to record). Women may have also have preferred to keep their income-earning a secret from their husband. An occupational designation, for whatever reason, meant something very different for men than for women.
With the emphasis primarily upon their role as wives and mothers, women workers did not usually see their occupation as a centrally defining characteristic of their lives, and therefore frequently failed to declare it.

Business records can be used to supplement the census and to give an indication of the gender-specific nature of employment and wage earning in certain firms and regions. But the survival of wage books is generally poor and biased in favour of larger firms in the regulated sector – for example factory textile employment, where wages and employment levels were generally much higher than the norm.

Trade directories are another useful source but suffer from the fact that they were published irregularly, and record not employment but the names of business proprietorships. Household budgets have recently been used for research on women’s work. They have the advantage that they generally record all incomes, including poor relief and self-provisioning, allowing one to assess the contribution of women and juveniles to the family economy. Their disadvantage is that they have patchy survival over time and region, and they have varying levels of detail, accuracy and comparability because they were compiled for differing purposes.

The varieties of women’s work:

Two Victorian woman working on the stitch work of a womans dressWorking in the rag trade  ©What do we know from the difficult evidence about patterns of women’s work over time and in different regions and sectors of the economy? The most obvious feature of women’s work was its importance to most families, its variability across time and space and its persistent association with certain trades and sectors.

Female employment in the 1850s, 60s and 70s appears to have been higher than any recorded again until after World War II. Family budget evidence suggests that around 30-40 per cent of women from working class families contributed significantly to household incomes in the mid-Victorian years. This might have been even higher during the industrial revolution decades, before the rise of State and trade union policies regulating female labour and promoting the male breadwinner ideal.

Domestic service of all kinds was the single largest employer of women ...

As in earlier centuries, the bulk of waged work for women appears to have been found in trades associated with female skills or proclivities, particularly where these were also casual and low paid.
Domestic service of all kinds was the single largest employer of women (40 per cent of female occupations stated in the census of 1851 in provincial cities and 50 per cent in London). The textile and clothing sectors came a close second. Women were also found in large numbers in metal wares and pottery and in a variety of petty trades, especially in towns: confectionery, brewing and other provisioning, seam-stressing, laundry work, cleaning and retailing. Because many sectors which employed large numbers of women were concentrated in certain regions of the country (as with the cotton and woollen industries of south Lancashire and west Yorkshire), the statistics of female labour force participation varied across the country.
Women and the family firm:

Outside the working classes the traditional view of Victorian women is that they were little involved in business or enterprise and that their lives were largely devoted to the private sphere of domestic and family life. Certainly the cultural and evangelical ideals of the period placed women on a pedestal of moral probity, motherhood and domestic orderliness. There is some evidence that middle class women in some sectors of the economy did increasingly withdraw from direct involvement in family firms in the mid-Victorian period, whilst the legal status of married women and their limited property rights made it difficult for them to operate in business on their own account at least before the 1880s.

…the stereotype of the middle-class woman as the angel in the house can easily be overplayed.

 However, the stereotype of the middle class woman as the angel in the house can easily be overplayed. Widows and spinsters were rarely in a position to rest on their laurels or be ladies of leisure. Many of the former carried on family businesses after the death of their husbands, whilst the significant surplus of spinsters in Victorian society found work as governesses or in trades which were regarded as suitable for women such as millinery and inn-keeping, grocery retailing and other victualling.
Both widows and spinsters were prominent in property ownership and in financing businesses as sleeping partners. The typical firm in the 19th century was a small family partnership. Because of this many opportunities existed for wives and daughters to be closely involved. There is evidence of their important roles, especially behind the scenes: in retailing, book-keeping, correspondence, dealing with clients, arranging deals.
Women’s work, industrialisation and gender:

A photograph showing a Victorian woman working on making hat boxesMaking hat boxes  ©The nature of industrialisation was much influenced by the prevalence of women’s work and by the wider role of women in Victorian society. Women were prominent in many sectors which underwent considerable technological and organisational change partly because employers at first found it easier to recruit women and juveniles to new practices in the face of opposition from established, unionised or skilled adult male workers. Women provided a flexible, cheap and adaptive workforce for factories and sweatshops, and had feminine skills associated with some of the most rapidly expanding consumer goods industries at the forefront of industrialisation such as textiles, pottery, clothing and victualling. Some new technologies were adapted and modified with young female workers in mind, while the cheap labour of women and children could also hold back mechanisation in favour of traditional labour intensive methods.

Women provided a flexible, cheap and adaptive workforce…

Regional and sectoral variations in the extent to which women were involved in waged work had a major impact upon regional differences in gender relations within families and communities, and upon the complexion of local politics and trade unionism. Women’s wage-earning ability often gave them more influence over wider familial and community decision-making. This included decisions about consumption, and has been held partly responsible for the increasing independence and fashion consciousness of young women, and the rise in mass spending on household goods, clothing, furniture, curtains and foodstuffs. The more women worked for wages the less time they had to produce their own goods for the home.
A double burden:

A Victorian wife keeps house for her on looking husbandVictorian working women bore the brunt of household duties (Punch cartoon, 1894)  ©In areas where many women, including married women, worked full-time for wages (for example in some of the cotton textile towns of the north-west such as Preston) there may have developed greater sharing of housework between men and women, and a more prominent role for women in local politics. However, there are more examples where working women shouldered the double burden of waged work and the bulk of household responsibilities, and where their role in politics remained marginal.

…working women shouldered the double burden of waged work and the bulk of household responsibilities…

As the 19th century progressed, there was a greater prevalence of gender-specific employment which was often used to enhance control and discipline in the workplace.
Supervisory roles were almost exclusively taken by men, and men also came to operate the most expensive and sophisticated machinery and to monopolise the high status and higher paid jobs even in textiles.
The expansion of heavy industries such as iron, steel, mining, engineering and ship building in the later century also created sectors which employed almost exclusively male labour, which were associated solely with male attributes and which endorsed the male breadwinner ideal. Thus a hardening of gender assumptions in the nineteenth century was closely associated with corresponding changes in the workplace.
Find out more:

Books

Women’s History in Britain, 1850-1945 ed. June Purvis (London UCL Press 1995) A collection of essays covering a range of topics from women’s work and the family to education, health, sexuality and politics.

Women, Gender and Industrialisation in England, 1700-1870 by Katrina Honeyman (Basingstoke Macmillan, 2000) A concise volume good on gender, class and industrialisation.

The First Industrial Woman by Deborah Valenze (Oxford OUP, 1995) Good on the implications of shifting employment patterns, agricultural work and domestic service.

A History of European Women’s Work, 1700 to the present by Deborah Simonton, (New York Routledge, 1998) Good for the longer time perspective and for European similarities and contrasts.

Links:

The Womens’ Library An organisation of historians of women in Britain promoting research and writing on women’s history. This website also contains a number of very useful links to other websites associated with the history of women.

Spartacus Schoolnet A website directed at schools containing biographies of key women in the history of the British women’s movement.

Places to visit:

There a several museums which help to recapture the nature of Victorian society and the place of women within it, most obviously the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which has wonderful collections of art and artefacts reflecting the nature of the middle and upper-class Victorian home. Smaller museums yield information and evidence of women’s work and their patterns of dress and consumption. Most notably Quarry Bank Mill at Style, Cheshire; the textile museum in the Halifax Piece Hall; and Platt Hall Museum, Manchester.

The new industrial and commercial middle classes of the Victorian era were great patrons of the arts, and some British provincial art galleries contain major collections of the sorts of works which they commissioned as well as work depicting domestic interiors and women. Amongst the best of these art galleries are the Birmingham City Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Consult some primary sourcesT detailing the nature of women’s work and household activities such as business records, census enumerator’s books, trade directories, household budgets and private diaries. Details of business records relating to women in the West Yorkshire textile industries can be found in The West Riding Wool Textile Industry: a catalogue of business records by Pat Hudson, (Edington, Pasold, 1976). Other guides to archive holdings can be found on the websites of most major repositories. Many collections of working class autobiographies have been published and include several written by women. For a guide see for example, The Autobiography of the Working Class: an annotated critical bibliography vols 1-3 ed. by J. Burnett, D. Vincent and J. Mayall, (Hassocks Harvester 1984, 1987, 1989).

Examining surviving Victorian housing from outside and from within can be very revealing particularly if these can be matched to information from Census returns. It is possible to reconstruct Victorian households at each census point and to imagine where each household member resided within the house. In many major cities there are now organised walks which are helpful in tracing Victorian history and women’s history trails. Details of these can usually be obtained from local history libraries.

About the author:

Pat Hudson is Professor of History in the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff University. She specialises in the impact of economic and social change within different local and regional, economic, social and cultural settings. Her books include The Industrial Revolution (London, 1992).

 

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Snapshot of History: The Kingdom of D`al Riata Circa 574 – 609

#AceHistoryNews says Áedán mac Gabráin was a king of Dál Riata from circa 574 until circa 609. The kingdom of Dál Riata was situated in modern Argyll and Bute, Scotland, and parts of County Antrim, Ireland. Genealogies record that Áedán was a son of Gabrán mac Domangairt. He was a contemporary of Saint Columba, and much that is recorded of his life comes from hagiography such as Adomnán of Iona’s Life of Saint Columba.

A manuscript of Bede's, Historia Ecclesiastica...

A manuscript of Bede’s, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other sources include Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and Irish annals; none of the sources are contemporary. Áedán appears as a
character in Old Irish and Middle Irish language works of prose and verse, some now lost. Áedán also appears in some Welsh sources, making
him one of the few non-Britons to figure in Welsh tradition. The Irish annals record his campaigns against his neighbours, in Ireland, and in
northern Britain, including expeditions to the Orkney Islands, the Isle of Man, and the east coast of Scotland. As recorded by Bede, Áedán was
decisively defeated by Æthelfrith of Bernicia at the Battle of Degsastan. Áedán may have been deposed, or have abdicated, following
this defeat, and the annals report nothing of him until his death around six years later.

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Trick or Treating in the UK

Almost all pre-1940 uses of the term “trick-or-treat” are from the western United States and Canada. Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947. 

Magazine advertisement in 1962

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children’s magazines Jack and Jill and Children’s Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. Trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip in 1951. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, and Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show. In 1953 UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating

Despite the concept of trick or treating originating in Scotland in the form of guising, the use of the term ‘trick or treat’ at the doors of home owners was not common until the 1980’s. Guising is devoid of any jocular threat, and according to one BBC journalist, in the 1980’s it was still often viewed as an exotic and not particularly welcome import, with the BBC referring to it as “the Japanese knot-weed of festivals” and “making demands with menaces”.  In Ireland before the phrase “trick or treat” became common, children would say “Help the Halloween Party”. Very often, the phrase “trick or treat” is simply said and the revellers are given sweets, with the choice of a trick or a treat having been discarded.

English: A typical Halloween "trick or tr...

English: A typical Halloween “trick or treat” party in Dublin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 GUISING

In Scotland and Ireland, “guising” — children going from door to door in disguise — is traditional, and a gift in the form of food, coins or “apples or nuts for the Halloween party” (in more recent times chocolate) is given out to the children dressed up in various costumes. The tradition is called “guising” because of the disguises or costumes worn by the children. In the West Mid Scots dialect, guising is known as “galoshans”.  Among the earliest record of guising at Halloween in Scotland is in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. Guising also involved going to wealthy homes, and in the 1920s, boys went guising at Halloween up to the affluent Thornton Hall ,South Lanarkshire.  An account of guising in the 1950s in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, records a child receiving 12 shillings and sixpence having knocked on doors throughout the neighbour-hood and performed. There is a significant difference from the way the practice has developed in North America with the jocular threat. In Scotland and Ireland, the children are only supposed to receive treats if they perform for the households they go to. This normally takes the form of singing a song or reciting a joke or a funny poem which the child has memorized before setting out. Occasionally a more talented child may do card tricks, play the mouth organ, or something even more impressive, but most children will earn plenty of treats even with something very simple. Often they won’t even need to perform. While going from door to door in disguise has remained popular among Scots and Irish at Halloween, the North American saying “trick-or-treat” has become common.

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Scotlands Tapestry Longest in the World Even Longer than the Bayeaux Tapestry

The making of the Great Tapestry of Scotland

By Emma Ailes BBC Scotland

It’s called The Great Tapestry of Scotland – and no wonder – it’s the world’s longest

It’s taken 1,000 volunteer stitcher’s more than 50,000 hours – and enough yarn to scale Ben Nevis 74 times.

After a year in the making, The Great Tapestry of Scotland has been unveiled.

It breaks the record for the longest embroidered tapestry in the world – at 143m, it is 70m longer than the famous Bayeaux Tapestry in Normandy.

From the Battle of Bannock-burn to the re-convening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, it tells the “story of Scotland” in 160 intricate panels.

But how do you squeeze 12,000 years of Scottish history into one tapestry?

Through a “glorious process of ruthless editing”, says historian Alastair Moffat.

tapestry From the Battle of Bannock-burn to Dolly the Sheep, the tapestry chronicles 12,000 years of Scottish history

“Pitfalls open on every side. One of the deepest is the military option, our history as a series of invasions, wars and battles, many of them grey defeats.

“Most important have been our efforts to make a tapestry that distils Scotland’s unique sense of herself, to tell a story only of this place, and without bombast, pomp or ceremony, to ask the heart-swelling rhetorical question: What’s like us?”

 

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First War of Scottish Independence -1297 – 1326

English: Battle of Stirling Bridge Stone A sto...

English: Battle of Stirling Bridge Stone A stone laid in the ground in the shadow of the old bridge of Stirling to commemorate the battle in 1297 when the Scots army led by (Sir) William Wallace and Sir Andrew Moray defeated a much larger English army. 

On 11 September 1297, the Scottish forces, under the joint command of Moray and Wallace, met those of the king of England, commanded by John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The Scottish army deployed to the north-east of the bridge, and let the vanguard of Surrey’s army cross before attacking it. The English cavalry proved ineffective on the boggy ground around the bridge, and many were killed. The bridge collapsed as reinforcements tried to cross and the English on the opposite side of the river then fled the battlefield. The Scots suffered relatively light casualties, but the death from wounds of Andrew Moray dealt a profound blow to the Scottish cause. Stirling Bridge was the first key victory for the Scots.

After clearing the English out of Scotland, Wallace turned his mind to the administration of the country. One of his early intentions was to re-establish commercial and diplomatic ties with Europe and win back the overseas trade which Scotland had enjoyed under Alexander III. Any evidence of his administrative acumen was probably destroyed by Edward’s officials after his execution. There is, however, one Latin document in the archives of the Hanseatic town of Lübeck, which was sent on 11 October 1297 by “Andrew de Moray and William Wallace, leaders of the kingdom of Scotland and the community of the realm.” It told the merchants of Lübeck and Hamburg that they now had free access to all parts of the kingdom of Scotland, which had, by favour of God, been recovered by war from the English.

Only one week after this document was signed, Wallace picked up the sword to mount an invasion of England. Crossing into Northumberland, the Scots followed the English army fleeing south in disarray. Caught between two armies, hundreds of refugees fled to safety behind the walls of Newcastle. The Scots laid waste a swathe of countryside before wheeling west into Cumberland and pillaging all the way toCockermouth, before Wallace led his men back into Northumberland and fired 700 villages. On his return from England, laden with booty, Wallace found himself at the pinnacle of his power

In March 1298, Wallace was knighted, reputedly by one of the leading nobles of Scotland, and was appointed Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland in the name of the exiled King John Balliol. Although the Scottish nobles appeared to have accepted Wallace’s leadership after the Battle of Stirling Bridge and his English expedition, he had little faith in their support and set about dismantling the system of feudal vassalage and replacing it with a proper militia which would owe allegiance to Scotland rather than to each chief. He also began preparations for what must surely follow: a confrontation with Edward.

In January 1298, Philip IV of France had signed a truce with Edward that did not include Scotland, thereby deserting his Scots allies. Edward returned to England from campaigning in France in March and called for his army to assemble. He moved the seat of government to York and on 3 July he invaded Scotland, intending to crush Wallace and all those daring to assert Scotland’s independence. On 22 July, Edward’s army attacked a much smaller Scottish force led by Wallace nearFalkirk. The English army had a technological advantage. Its longbowmen decimated Wallace’s spearmen and cavalry by firing scores of arrows over great distances. Many Scots were killed at the Battle of Falkirk, although it is impossible to give a precise number. Although Edward failed to subdue Scotland completely before returning to England, Wallace’s military reputation was ruined. He retreated to the thick woods nearby and resigned his guardianship in December.

English: Wallace Monument In memory of William...

English: Wallace Monument In memory of William Wallace, one of the leaders of the Scots army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Wallace was sent to Europe to try to gain further support for the Scottish cause. Wallace went to France to seek the aid of Philip IV, and he possibly went on to Rome. William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews, was appointed as a third, neutral Guardian to try to maintain order between Bruce and Comyn. The Scots also recaptured Stirling Castle.

In May 1300, Edward I led a campaign into Annandale and Galloway. With the success of the English at Falkirk, Edward must have felt in a position to bring Scotland under full control permanently. To do this required further campaigning to follow-up on the success of 1298, eliminating the last opposition and securing the castles providing the focus for further resistance. The English took control of Caerlaverock Castle, but apart from some small skirmishes, there was no action. In August, the Pope sent a letter demanding that Edward withdraw from Scotland. Due to the lack of success, Edward arranged a truce with the Scots on 30 October and returned to England.[1][2]

That year, Robert Bruce finally resigned as joint guardian and was replaced by Sir Ingram de Umfraville. In May 1301, de Umfraville, John Comyn and William Lamberton resigned as joint guardians and were replaced by Sir John de Soulis as sole guardian. Soulis was appointed largely because he was not part of either the Bruce or the Comyn camps, and was a patriot. He was an active guardian, and made renewed efforts to have John Balliol returned to the Scottish throne.

In July 1301, Edward launched his sixth campaign into Scotland, aiming to conquer Scotland in a two-pronged attack, with one army commanded by his son, Edward, Prince of Wales, the other and larger under his own command. The prince was to take the southwestern lands and the greater glory, so his father hoped. But, while the prince held cautiously to the Solway coast, the Scots, commanded by de Soulis and de Umfraville, attacked Lochmaben in early September and threatened the king’s forces at Bothwell, all the while maintaining an awareness of the prince’s whereabouts. Though Edward captured Bothwell in September, and the prince had earlier helped in capturing Robert the Bruce’s Turnberry Castle, Edward I and his son met to winter at Linlithgow without having damaged the Scots’ fighting ability. In January 1302, Edward agreed to a nine-month truce.

It was around this time that Robert the Bruce submitted to Edward I, along with other nobles, even though he had been on the side of the patriots until then. There are many reasons which may have prompted his turning, not the least of which was that Bruce may have found it loathsome to continue sacrificing his followers, family and inheritance for John Balliol. There were rumours that Balliol would return with a French army and regain the Scottish throne. Soulis supported the return of Balliol as did many other nobles, but the return of John as king would lead to the Bruces losing any chance of ever gaining the throne themselves. Also, Robert’s father was old and ill, and may have wished his son to seek peace with Edward, who, he was convinced, would be victorious over the Scots. The elder Bruce would have seen that, if the rebellion failed and his son were against Edward, he would lose everything; titles, lands, and probably his life. Edward also came to see that he needed a Scottish noble like Bruce as a friend, rather than as an enemy at this time; he was facing both excommunication by the Pope for his actions and a possible invasion by the French.

However, though recently pledged to support Edward, it is interesting to note that Robert the Bruce sent a letter to the monks at Melrose Abbey in March 1302 which effectively weakened his usefulness to the English king. Apologizing for having called the monks to service in his army when there had been no national call up, Bruce pledged that, from now on, he would “never again” require the monks to serve unless it was to “the common army of the realm,” for national defence.

More serious to the Scottish patriots than the apparent defection of Bruce was the loss of support from Philip IV of France and subsequently, the Pope. Philip faced revolt at home and became too involved in his own difficulties to care about the Scots. He had also created a schism with the Pope, whose support for the Scots faded without Philip’s influence. It seemed that Philip had such difficulties that he was willing to sign a peace treaty with Edward excluding the Scots, an act that the Scots knew would spell their doom. A powerful Scottish delegation, led by Soulis, went to Paris that autumn to try to head off such an event. In his absence, Comyn was appointed as Guardian.

Meantime, while Robert Bruce outwardly maintained his loyalty to Edward, he was secretly advancing his own ambition and, while assisting Edward in the settlement of the Scottish government, on 11 June 1304, with both having witnessed the efforts of their countrymen at Stirling, Bruce and William Lamberton made a pact that bound them, each to the other, in “friendship and alliance against all men.” If one should break the secret pact, he would forfeit to the other the sum of ten thousand pounds. Though both had already surrendered to the English, the pact signaled their commitment to their future perseverance for the Scots and their freedom. They now intended to bide their time until the death of the elderly king of England.

Scotland lay defenceless and Edward set about amalgamating her into England. Homage was again paid to Edward by the nobles, and a parliament was held in May 1305 to elect those who would meet later in the year with the English parliament to establish rules for the governance of Scotland by the English. The Earl of Richmond, Edward’s nephew, was to head the subordinate government of Scotland and control the castles of Roxburgh and Jedburgh. Justices were to be appointed in pairs, one Englishman and one Scot. Militarily strategic localities were to be controlled by English sheriffs and constables, but most others by Scots. A council was formed to advise the Earl of Richmond, including Bruce, Comyn and Lamberton. For all the apparent participation by Scots in the government, however, the English held the real power.

While all this took place, William Wallace was finally captured at Robroyston near Glasgow on 3 August 1305. He was delivered to the English by retainers in the service of Sir John Menteith. Wallace had been easily the most hunted man in Scotland for years, but especially for the past eighteen months.

He was quickly taken through the Scottish countryside, his legs bound beneath his horse, towards London, where, after a show trial, the English authorities had him executed on 23 August 1305, at the Elms of Smithfield in the traditional manner for a traitor. He was hanged, then drawn and quartered, and his head placed on a spike on London Bridge. The English government displayed his limbs separately in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling, and Perth.

The King Of Scotland after the independence of 1297-1326 was gained.

The King Of Scotland after the independence of 1297-1326 was gained.

ROBERT THE BRUCE KING OF THE SCOTS: Bruce arrived in Dumfries and found Comyn there. At a private meeting with Comyn on 6 February 1306 at the Greyfriars Church, Bruce reproached Comyn for his treachery, which Comyn denied. Furious, Bruce drew his dagger and stabbed, though not mortally, his betrayer. As Bruce ran from the church, his attendants, Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, entered and, finding Comyn still alive, killed him. Bruce and his followers then forced the local English judges to surrender their castle. Bruce realised that the die had been cast and that he had no alternative except to become either a king or a fugitive. The murder of Comyn was an act of sacrilege, and he faced a future as an excommunicate and an outlaw. However his pact with Lamberton and the support of the Scottish church, who were ready to take his side in defiance of Rome, proved to be of great importance at this key moment when Bruce asserted his claim to the Scottish throne.

Coronation He went to Glasgow and met with the Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart. Rather than excommunicate Bruce, Wishart absolved him and urged people to rise in his support. They both then travelled to Scone, where they were met by Lamberton and other prominent churchmen and nobles. Less than seven weeks after the killing in Dumfries, at Scone Abbey on 25 March 1306, Robert Bruce was crowned as King Robert I of Scotland.

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One Mans Contribution To Kenilworth

A legend in his own lifetime!

A legend in his own lifetime!

Kenilworth‘s only family run chemists have been sold to a pharmacy chain in a deal worth millions.

Dudley Taylor’s three town shops are among 59 in the UK which have been acquired by Moss Pharmacies, a subsidiary of Alliance UniChem. The shops – located in the Square, Bertie Road and Station Road – changed hands on Tuesday and staff jobs were said to be safe.

The deal will give Moss 776 pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales. Two of Dudley Taylor’s seven children, Michael and Christopher, will continue to run the remaining 20 shops in the group.

Mr Taylor, 84, decided to sell up on his retirement after more than 50 year in the business. Explaining his reasons for the sale, he said: “Unfortunately it has proved impossible to keep the business with such a large family and the only equitable solution was to sell the majority of the shops to Moss Pharmacies.

“Lynne French, Richard Poynter and Jenny McVicker will continue to work as managers for Moss. “It’s a sad day. Kenilworth has been my life and I would like to thank those staff, customers and friends who have made my life so enjoyable.”

He praised former managers Fred Holt and Derek Coulson, who ran the businesses always with “the welfare of the customer in mind.” Mr Taylor, a Cornish-man, purchased his first pharmacy in Kenilworth in 1948 after leaving the RAF where he reached the rank of flying officer.

He recalled: “I was penniless at the time and took a gamble. Although I was only dispensing about 600 items, it began to pay off. “When the NHS was created chemists only opened until 5.30pm but I decided to keep mine open until 7pm. I also opened on Christmas Day and Boxing Day every year for an hour.

“Over the years the business grew and I acquired more customers and shops.” He said he had not sold up because of competition from the large multiples. “In the last 10 years we have increased turnover.

Quote from the man himself!

“You are not a very good pharmacist if you can’t compete with the big multiples”

Rest In Peace

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