Friday, December 19, 2008

Jacobite Symbolism

I think the Jacobites could have done with a strategic marketing consultant. Brand confusion? Tell me about it!
WAY too many logos...

The white cockade, the white rose, rosebuds, blue bonnet, oak tree, acorns, oak sapling, star, thistle, birds, compasses, sunflower, moth, butterfly, JR VIII and 'Amen'.

(Of course it is more difficult to get your marketing message across when you are a proscribed organisation.)

Did you know that ...?
  • 'Amen glasses' (right) are so called as they were inscribed with the Jacobite version of the National Anthem which ends, 'Amen'. 'Amen glasses' are on display at Traquair and at Culloden Battlefield.
  • Jacobites would toast the king at official dinners whilst passing their wine glass over water bowls to signify the Stuart king in exile, "over the water." This is why water bowls were banned at royal banquets until 1903.
And now a musical expert believes that "O Come All ye Faithful" is actually a Jacobite call to arms...

"Fideles is Faithful Catholic Jacobites. Bethlehem is a common Jacobite cipher for England, and Regem Angelorum is a well-known pun on Angelorum (angels) and Anglorum (English). So 'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of Angels' really means, 'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of the English' - Bonnie Prince Charlie!"

So if you raise a festive glass this Christmas or sing a much loved carol, beware of being tacitly treasonable. They're watching, you know.

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Bedrock of Scottish Civil Life dies after 313 Years

I wrote on Thursday about the attempted castration of Scotland by Edward I of England. Well, some here feel that a combination of greed and arrogance both in Scotland and in the USA have now more or less done the job. It happened yesterday in Birmingham where shareholders voted to approve the merger of the Bank of Scotland with Lloyds TSB.

Just three years after the Massacre of Glencoe subscription books, bound in red leather, were opened in Edinburgh and London. In time, 172 shareholders emerged and gathered together a working capital of some £100,000 sterling. The following year The Bank of Scotland was the first in Europe to issue paper currency; seen here is a twelve pound note dated 24 June 1723 .

When Prince Charles Edward took Edinburgh in the 1745 Rising, all the bank's papers and valuables were safely stored in Edinburgh Castle which never fell to the Jacobites. And in the 1800's when many other banks failed, the Bank of Scotland soldiered on. Until yesterday.

The history of the bank is given here and the page's title is
'Bank of Scotland (1695 - )'.

Well now they can fill that bit in!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Significant Escape

On this day, 11 December, in 1282 the last native prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, was killed by Edward I of England's soldiers. Edward then announced that the new Prince of Wales would be "a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of Welsh" and produced his infant son, later Edward II, born at Caernavon Castle when his father was campaigning in the area.

And so it is that to this day the male heir to the British throne automatically becomes 'Prince of Wales'.

Which makes me ponder on the lucky escape we had in Scotland. Edward was good at castrating the countries that he aimed to control. After Wales he moved on to Scotland and removed the ceremonial Stone of Scone upon which Scottish kings were crowned. How fortunate we were to have William Wallace to lead the resistance to Edward's 'overlordship' until the English king was overcome by a surfeit of campaigning, and King Robert I to defeat Edward II in battle at Bannockburn (above).

R.I.P. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.