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The Battle of Flodden

6th September 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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One of the worst military disasters in Scotland’s history

On the 9th of September 1513, an invading Scottish army under King James IV fought an English army under Catherine of Aragon, fighting on behalf of her husband King Henry VIII of England. 

The two sides met at Flodden Hill, Northumberland.  The defeat was catastrophic for Scotland’s leadership, claiming the lives of the King as well as many leading nobles.

In 1513 the relationships between England and Scotland were fractious. James IV, King of Scots, was an ambitious, determined and powerful figure in his kingdom, and keen to make Scotland a player in the European theatre of politics. Henry VIII, King of England, had been ruling his kingdom for some four years, and similarly had grand ambitions, claiming overlordship of both Scotland and large parts of France.

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James IV of Scotland

 

A chance for James IV to assert his position in Europe emerged when rivalries between city-states (including the Papal States) in Italy came to a head, spilling into a wider European conflict. England had sided with Pope Julius II in a war against France, using the pretence of loyalty to the Pope in order to expand English control in France. James IV, though technically at peace with England, had been angered by Henry VIII’s claims in Scotland. The ‘Auld Alliance’ between Scotland and France had been dormant for some years, but Henry VIII’s departure for France in April of 1513 presented the opportunity James IV desired, to revive the alliance with France and attack England.

 

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Henry VIII (1491-1547)

Setting off in mid-August, James IV brought his army of 30,000, as well as artillery including the Mons Meg cannon, to the river Tweed, which he crossed on the 24th of August. Besieging and destroying several castles in England, James IV made progress south. In keeping with the tradition of chivalry, James IV had notified Queen Catherine of his intention to invade a full month before the invasion took place. As a result, the English managed to prepare an army and supplies ahead of James’ arrival.

Meeting at Flodden

The two armies met at Branxton village in Northumberland. The Scottish army had been stationed at Flodden hill, but under threat of a flanking manoeuvre by the English, moved to another hill near the village. In this movement, the Scottish army was not able to properly set up its artillery; the English army, however, was able to begin an extensive and destructive bombardment of the Scottish infantry on the hill from their position lower down.

Unwilling to sustain any more losses, the Scottish infantry moved at pace down the hill towards the English line. Initially maintaining the compact ‘sheltron’ formation with long spears, the Scottish infantry began to lose its shape as the ground was uneven and muddy. Upon reaching the English, the infantry were unable to reform. In the face of the shorter, more flexible English weapons (the ‘bill’, a spear with hooks), the Scottish army was massacred. Among the casualties were King James IV himself, along with dozens of Scottish nobles and leading Churchmen.

The Aftermath & Legacy of the Battle

After the battle, the English army pressed north into Scotland. The state of chaos following King James’ death meant that no formal defence was organised. In this of this, towns in the Borders region of Scotland took to creating their own militia to defend themselves from the English pillagers; these groups of armed townsmen with no formal military training were called Common Riding. Though existing before the battle of Flodden, these organisations are recognised today for the role they played in the aftermath of the defeat.

Several towns in southern Scotland also hastily constructed walls around their urban settlements to allow for improved defence against English pillagers. The Flodden Wall in Edinburgh is one such example, though this fulfilled an economic as well as military function, allowing for more control over the entrances to the medieval burgh.

Image & Audio © National Museums Scotland, University of Glasgow / Francis James Child, National Galleries of Scotland, Lennoxlove House LtdLicensor Scran

The Glorious Twelfth

11th August 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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The Glorious 12th refers to the date – 12 August – when the grouse shooting season begins in Scotland. There is usually substantial competition to get the first birds to the tables of expensive restaurants in London and other major cities in the United Kingdom

The grouse is perhaps the game bird most associated with rural Scotland. The red grouse – the one that is usually hunted – is medium-sized with a plump body and a short tail. There are four related grouse: the capercaillie, a rarely seen large black bird; the black grouse; the red grouse and the ptarmigan.

Environment

The red grouse thrives in heather moorlands and although populations fluctuate from year to year, there is some stability for hunting as much grouse shooting occurs on managed estates where grouse are reared for this purpose. The heather is usually burned in a rota to manage the grouse moors. Birds prefer to eat young heather shoots and burning the heather encourages new growth. A well managed grouse moor has, therefore, short heather, sufficient to provide both cover and food for the birds. Newly hatched grouse, on managed estates, may be reared in boxes.

Heyday

00440388 (1)The heyday of shooting parties at lodges was in Victorian times. Shooting grouse has been a popular sport among the upper class since the 1820s. Hunting, especially grouse shooting and deer stalking became very fashionable from 1852 influenced by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria’s trips north which caused a craze for all things Highland.

The Balmoral estate was bought in 1852 by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria at their own expense as a Highland retreat from the stresses of London life. Prince Albert initiated many improvements, including the building of a new holiday home, Balmoral Castle, in 1853-5. Prince Albert’s passion was deer stalking, and during his stay at Balmoral Castle, he hunted every morning.09140042

Many Highland landowners took advantage of the trend and used their vast tracts of land to attract the attention of wealthy English visitors. The Highlands were covered in large shooting lodges which were used for shooting parties. Many of them now lie unused and in ruins. However, grouse-shooting remains a popular sport in many areas of Scotland and is enjoyed by locals and visitors who can take part in organised shooting parties.

Organisation

06710064Organising grouse shooting requires a fair amount of people. During the year, the gamekeepers manage the estate and undertake the rearing of the grouse. In addition, there are ghillies, beaters, picker-ups and kennelmen.

The gamekeeper organises the shoot and looks after the guns. The beaters beat the grouse out of the heather towards the guns. Huntsmen are often arranged in groups at grouse butts which are made from timber or stones with turf camouflage. Such hides are used by the huntsmen who lie in wait to shoot wild grouse. Picker-ups have highly trained gun dogs that retrieve the birds when they plummet to the ground. The gun dogs are usually labradors or retrievers, but springer spaniels, cocker spaniels, German pointers and vizslas were also used. The dogs are trained to hold the birds in their mouths without damaging them and to release the birds to the handler or gamekeeper.

Hanging

09232051 (1)Traditionally wild birds are hung before plucking, drawing and cleaning ie innards still intact. They are suspended by the neck in a cool, airy place, to tenderise the meat and develop flavour as the deterioration process begins. Opinions vary on how long to hang a bird or whether to hang game at all but 3-5 days appears typical. Today, for hygiene reasons, game birds damaged by shot are often prepared quickly.

Competitive Delivery

08939966An example of the often outrageous methods employed to get the first grouse to restaurants is shown at right. Tom Dickson parachuted into the grounds of the Gleneagles Hotel in 1973 with the first brace of grouse, shot on the Glorious 12th.

 

 

 

 

Image © University of Dundee Archive Services, Hulton Getty, National Trust for Scotland,  National Museums of Scotland – Scottish Life Archive, The Scotsman  Licensor Scran

Robert Owen – a social conscience & a new society

10th May 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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Original Daguerreotype © New Lanark Trust

When we think of 18th century model villages and social reform, the mills of New Lanark feature large. The people linked with New Lanark are the founder David Dale and his successor manager Robert Owen. Born on 14 May 1771, the son of a saddler of Newtown in Montgomeryshire, Wales. He learned the textile trade in England, firstly in Lincolnshire and later in Manchester.

There, Owen developed the ideals which were to gain him renown. A member of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society, he was influenced by his reading of social and economic ideas expressed by Enlightenment writers. By 1800, he had built up business associations in the West of Scotland, made the acquaintance of the reformist entrepreneur, David Dale, and married his daughter, Caroline Dale.

Managing New Lanark

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Late 19th century view of store © Historic Environment Scotland

When Dale sold out the mills at New Lanark to a group of English manufacturers, Owen was one of these and personally took on the management of the 2000 person labour force there. They enjoyed conditions generally considered to be of model standard, but Owen apparently still considered these to be ‘wretched‘. He began a programme of rebuilding to ensure that every family had at least two rooms. He was unhappy with Dale’s policy of employing pauper children and sought to replace them with families. Social ills, such as drunkenness and licentiousness were tackled by fines which were in turn devoted to improvements in education and medical care. A levy of wages and increased profits were siphoned into Owen’s particular brainchild, the ‘Institute for the Formation of Character‘. He firmly believed in education as a civilising force for the improvement of society in general, but he also mixed classes in basic reading and writing skills, mathematics, history and geography, with physical recreation and dance.

Rationale

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New Lanark Mills © Historic Environment Scotland

The rationale behind Owen’s measures is illustrated to an extent by his temporary partnership in the New Lanark Company from 1813 with Jeremy Bentham, one of the founders, and John Stuart Mill, of the Utilitarian school of philosophy which propounded the ‘greatest happiness principle‘. He himself became frustrated that his ideals were not more widely copied and came to be more closely involved with movements in support of factory reform and Poor Law amendment.

Address to New Lanark Inhabitants 1816

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Sampler by Jane Dale Owen 1811 © New Lanark Trust

“What ideas individuals attach to the term “Millennium” I know not; but I know that society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with health greatly improved, with little if any misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold”.

Split with New Lanark

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Memorial Plaque, Indianapolis © New Lanark Trust

Disillusioned and in disagreement with his partners, Owen had by 1825 resigned as manager at New Lanark. He did not, however, cease to believe in the ideal of the importance of the social environment and founded communities at Ormiston in Lanarkshire, in Devon, in Ireland, and in New Harmony in Indiana in the United States. This was a settlement where Owen went with his sons in 1825, and where he attempted to establish a Utopian community. His sons Robert Dale, David Dale and Richard Dale, and his one surviving daughter Jane, became American citizens. He became closely associated with the Chartist movement. If his projects themselves failed to be long lasting, many of Owen’s principles were taken up by the ‘Owenite’ movement which grasped his ideas of workers’ cooperatives and trade unions. His vision led to him being dubbed the ‘Social Father’. He wrote much of what he believed in ‘A New View of Society’ (1813), ‘Two Memorials on behalf of the Working Class’ (1818), ‘Report on the County of Lanark’ (1821), and ‘Revolution in Mind and Practice’ (1849). He returned to Newtown to die at the age of 87 in 1858, and was buried there near his parents in the old St Mary’s churchyard.

Image © New Lanark Trust, Historic Environment Scotland Licensor Scran

 

John Muir – Conservation’s Father

21st April 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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Scottish-born American naturalist, explorer & writer c.1900

John Muir is possibly better known in North America, where he is recognised as the ‘father of the National Parks’ of the United States. He was the first person to call for practical action to cherish the world’s wild places. He became a founding father of the world conservation movement, and devoted his life to safeguarding the world’s landscapes for future generations. His birthday, April 21, is celebrated as ‘John Muir Day’ across the U.S.

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John Muir lookalikes celebrate, Dunbar 2014

Born in 1838 in Dunbar, he was the third of eight children of Daniel Muir, a ‘corn dealer’. In 1849, his father who had become a convert to a religious sect called the ‘Disciples of Christ’, made the decision to emigrate. The Muir family arrived at the time of the Gold Rush and set up home at Kingston in Columbia County, Wisconsin. Life was harsh, with land to be cleared for the planting of crops. In 1861, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin and picked his way through subjects haphazardly. It was a fellow student, Milton Griswold who introduced him to Botany and, in doing so, shaped Muir’s future and that of the landscape of the United States.

To Canada & the Travels Begin

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‘Protector of the Wilds’

In 1863, Muir fled to Canada to escape being drafted into the American Civil War. From there his travels began, including in 1867 his famous ‘Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico’, the expedition that changed his life. With him, Muir, characteristically, took a New Testament and a copy of the poems of Robert Burns. From the Gulf, he moved on to Yosemite and viewed the Sierra Nevada mountain range and was committed to a life of exploration, writing and campaigning for conservation. His travels enjoyed none of the “luxuries” of modern day explorers. He travelled lightly in every day clothes and he did not carry a tent or a coat. In icy conditions, he simply hammered nails through his boots. It is unsurprising that he became a hero of the American West. He wrote and published, ‘My First Summer in the Sierra’ which propounded theories on the formation of the range in ‘New York Tribune’ articles and by 1871 was visited by the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who was a lifelong influence on him.

The First National Park

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Cathedral Rocks tower above Yosemite Valley, California

Marriage in 1880, to Louie Strentzel, did not keep him at home. He travelled by ship to Alaska where he was adopted, with the name of ‘Great Ice Chief’ by a native American tribe. His interest in California also continued and, in 1889, he proposed the establishment of Yosemite Valley as a National Park. Congress ratified this and in 1890 the first National Park was created, followed quickly by the first forest reserves. In 1892 Muir was instrumental in setting up what was arguably, his most famous creation of all, the ‘Sierra Club’. Muir knew that attitudes rather than laws were most important in protecting Nature. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt camped with Muir in Yosemite and became an admirer and ally of the Scot. During Roosevelt’s term, National Forest land in the United States increased to almost 150 million acres. Included in this area were the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees and the Grand Canyon.

Lasting Testament

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John Muir Country Park coastal landscape

Muir died in 1914 from pneumonia, but the unified control which he believed necessary was achieved in 1916 when United States Congress passed a bill to create a National Parks Service, a model for this field throughout the world. The Sierra Club still exists as one of the major preservation organisations across the world. In Britain, the ‘John Muir Trust’ has, since its inception in 1983, adopted a policy of acquiring and managing wild land according to his ideals. In Dunbar, John Muir’s Birthplace has become a museum and the John Muir Country Park encompasses a variety of coastal habitats in East Lothian.

3659_24759_005-000-012-375-R_2014-05-06_15-35-05In 2014 Scotland’s then First Minister, Alex Salmond, opened the coast to coast pathway in Muir’s hometown of Dunbar on 21 April. Crowds enjoyed celebratory art, music and performance. John Muir lookalikes provided entertainment and thought-provoking quotes from his writings. Walkers, runners and cyclists participated by carrying flags, designed by local children, along the route. This was the first leg of a relay, ‘A Flag For John Muir’. On 26 April, the flags reached the other end of the John Muir Way, in Helensburgh. This is where the 11 year old John Muir and his family set sail for their new life in America, 1849.

Images © Hulton Getty, Abingdon Press, James Gardiner,
East Lothian Museums
 | Licensor Scran

Battle of Culloden

12th April 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

10100018The battle at Culloden was fought on the 16th April 1746 and was the last major battle to be fought on British soil. It is commonly believed to have been a battle between the Scottish and the English, but in reality Scottish and English fought on both sides.

Background

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Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1720-1788

King James the VII of Scotland and II of England, a Stuart King, fled Britain for France in 1648. The Scottish and English Parliaments asked William of Orange to rule Britain. He accepted, which led to the Hanover family ruling Britain. James VII’s son tried to win the throne back and failed and his son Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie was determined that he would succeed where his father had failed. Living in France he stirred up French support and headed back to Scotland to rally the Stuart supporters. These supporters gave themselves a collective name ‘Jacobites’ from Jacobus, the Latin for James.

While the Stuarts were in France, the Scottish and English parliaments had joined. They ruled Britain closely with the King, George II, and were opposed to the Stuarts regaining the throne. Bonnie Prince Charlie found many supporters both in the Highlands and among English Catholics. But their numbers did not amount to the scale of the army that the Jacobites needed. The Jacobites fought several battles. Culloden proved to be the last.

The Night Before

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Redcoats arrive on Culloden moor

The Duke of Northumberland commanded the Government troops. They arrived in Nairn on April 15th 1746, the Duke’s 25th Birthday. To celebrate the men were all given brandy. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army at Culloden decided to use an old trick and sneak up on the Government forces and attack at night. This would give them a huge advantage over the sleepy and hung-over Government men. This should have proved to be a winning move, but moving large amounts of men across dark, marshy moorland was problematic. Dawn was rising before the Jacobites had reached their enemies and, as the element of surprise would be lost in daylight, they turned back. On arrival back at Culloden the men were exhausted and hungry, but rest was not an option as enemy forces were already approaching.

The Battle

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Clan mass grave on Culloden Battlefield

The Jacobite army was around 7,000 strong. It was outnumbered by the Government troops whose numbers were around 8,000. The Jacobites were already disadvantaged: not only were they exhausted and hungry but they lacked training and their weaponry was far inferior to the Government’s artillery. The battleground was marshy and uneven with thick grasses growing underfoot.

The armies faced each other and the Jacobites slowly advanced, waiting to be given the order to break into the infamous Highland Charge. Some of the Government troops separated and headed for the Jacobites’ right flank. While a small part of the Jacobite army broke off to protect its right flank the rest continued their advance towards the enemy. This strategy relied on the Jacobites advancing in line formation, but the uneven ground meant the flanks to the far right moved faster than the rest and lines were broken up.

The order for the Highland Charge to begin was given far too late. The right flankers were almost on top of the Government troops. The Jacobites didn’t stand a chance. Government troops simply fired into the massed Jacobites. Many were dead before they even charged. Others fled the battlefield and those who stayed to fight were easily cut-down. Around 1,500 Jacobites were killed that day. The Jacobites themselves only killed 50 of the Government’s men. The entire battle lasted less than an hour.

After the Battle008736

The defeat of the Jacobites was a bitter blow for Bonnie Prince Charlie. His supporters were willing to fight for him again and gathered to plan their next move. But the Prince ordered them to disperse. He went into hiding and fled to France. The Government wanted to punish anyone who had supported the Stuart claim to the throne. Many of the Jacobites were from Highland Clans. The Government stripped clan chiefs of their power, weapons were taken from their owners and the kilt and tartan were banned.

Culloden Today

02750076Today there is a visitor centre at Culloden Moor. Visitors can learn about the Jacobite cause, the battle and the people and weapons involved. There is also an immersive, film projected onto four walls, which creates an illusion for visitors that they are actually on the battlefield during the action of the battle. The battlefield itself is maintained and protected and visitors can walk around it with an interactive guide.

 

Image © National Trust for Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland & Historic Environment Scotland | Licensor Scran 

A Day Trip to Dunoon

21st March 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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1950s booklet © Argyll & Bute Library Service

Scran paid a visit to Dunoon & it was a grand day out!

The purpsose of our visit was to meet the team of volunteers working with Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust as part of their Pop Up Programme. The Trust is in the midst of an exciting project to reclaim what is one of the town’s most important civic buildings. The 1873 Hall, listed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland,  is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and restoration programme. If you are curious to see the before pictures, there are 99 images available via Historic Environment Scotland on Canmore.

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Zoomorphic figure at main entrance © Crown Copyright: HES

Meanwhile the volunteers are not letting the dust settle – they are investigating local heritage and all things relating to the history of this seaside town & the wider Dunoon community. During our visit we were able to show everyone how to access Scran, free of charge using their Argyll & Bute library cards. Together we looked at and discussed a host of collections material, including the day the Waverley ran aground – seen below in 1977. Some of the volunteers remembered it clearly & memories were exchanged. There were other reminiscences too, relating to more controversial events in 1984 when different peace demonstrations took place in Dunoon.

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The Waverley 1977 © The Scotsman

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Pop Up Scran! 2016 © Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust

Of course the relationship between Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust & Scran pre-dates this visit. The Trust previously contributed film footage from Holy Loch Heritage – the American Presence a project which aimed to bring to life the 30 year period when the American Naval Base was sited at nearby Holy Loch. We are delighted to say our partnership is set to extend into 2016, when we look forward to sharing more Dunoon ephemera surfacing from the restoration works. To see what’s been lurking under their floorboards, watch this space.

Images © Argyll & Bute Library Information Service, Historic Environment Scotland, The Scotsman, Dunoon Burgh Hall TrustLicensor Scran 

The Christmas Card Phenomenon

9th December 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

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Christmas greetings cards have become a regular feature of the traditional British Christmas with billions changing hands within the UK each year, but where did this tradition begin and why did it continue to thrive?

Humble Beginnings?

The first Christmas card is thought to have been designed by British artist John Calcott Horsley in 1840. With the invention of the telephone still over 30 years away, sending hand-written letters by mail was the primary means of communication. Faced with the tedious task of writing to all his friends and family members with Christmas greetings, a friend of Horsley, civil servant Henry Cole, conceived the idea of a printed card bearing a suitable message which could be signed and sent to one and all. Horsley embraced the idea and produced a design which was published in 1843. Cole had 1000 of the cards printed and placed on sale at the rather princely sum of 1 shilling each. Little did he realise just how popular his idea would become!

National Mania

09230757Times have changed since Henry Cole’s moment of inspired laziness: mail is no longer the mainstay of communication. The telephone network has joined up the remotest corners of the world and the cheap, paperless, instantaneous communication afforded by e-mail has threatened to make ‘snail mail’ altogether obsolete. The Christmas card, however, goes marching on, and in no small way.

We are still crazy enough about Christmas cards to cause enormous disruption to the postal system every December. This year, postboxes will be stuffed with an estimated 2 billion cards and on the busiest day the national mailbag will contain almost double its usual 84 million items. Such is the congestion that Royal Mail recommend posting second class seasonal dispatches 8 days in advance to guarantee arrival in time for the big day.

Conscientious Choice

06712561Two billion cards amounts to a lot of paper and a lot of spending. Many consumers are now looking for more conscientious ways to enjoy the tradition. Each year, around a quarter of shoppers will choose charity cards in the hope that good causes can benefit from their seasonal spending. However, the percentage of proceeds finding their way to good causes varies widely. Research by the Charities Advisory Trust suggests that some charity cards are just not all that charitable after all: the most miserly example they uncovered passed only 0.3% of proceeds to the named good cause. Others will aim for a more ethical celebration by boycotting Christmas cards altogether, feeling that their seasonal goodwill is better expressed by not contributing to the tonnes of paper waste generated from cards each year.

‘Tis the Season to Recycle?

  • 06710368An estimated 1 billion Christmas cards and 83 sq km of wrapping paper will end up in our bins this year
  • We bought around 7.5 million Christmas trees in 2001: at least 1.1 million were recycled
  • 20 – 30% more glass and cans will be collected for recycling over the festive period

Christianity back into Christmas?

Horsley’s original card had its opponents too, but for different reasons. It bore an image of a family raising their glasses to Christmas which incited fury amongst Puritans of the time. In what was still very much a Christian state the uproar was caused by the association of the evils of alcohol with the sanctity of the feast of Christmas. It is interesting to note that, while scenes of the Nativity and other connected imagery went on to become regular features in the design of Christmas cards, the genuine article was quite secular in its design.

Controversy about the presence or absence of Christianity in Christmas traditions rages in Britain to this day with many Christians bemoaning the seeming transformation of the feast from a religious event into an orgy of consumerism. Others would praise the fact that in our modern British society, one characterized by a far more diverse range of religion and cultural traditions than the Victorians would have recognised, the goodwill of Christmas is now often shared across faiths and cultures. The disagreement reaches beyond the UK too. In 2005 the president of the USA received angry feedback about the official White House Christmas card: the secular design of the card horrified some recipients (it featured two of the head of state’s pet dogs frolicking in the snow on the White House Lawn).

Question of Taste

The official White House card illustrates how the sending of Christmas cards has become protocol in the USA. The same is true in Britain: businesses are careful not forget their customers, and refuse collectors all over the country will receive cards from perfect strangers during the season. Is a Christmas card from the paperboy evidence of lasting Christmas spirit or just a hint that a tip might be in order?

A wide variety of designs have evolved to suit these myriad purposes. Horsley’s original design showed a scene of Christmas cheer. Cards like this are still popular, alongside Nativity scenes and informal cartoons. When the Christmas card was still a relatively new idea the Victorians became very fond of elaborately engineered pop-up and trick cards. Nowadays, hand-making cards is a popular hobby and parents everywhere are still best pleased with the lovingly prepared designs in glitter and glue brought home by their sticky-fingered schoolchildren.

What makes a good Christmas card? Can a piece of stationery really embody the Christmas spirit? Why not try making a Scran card to find out? Search for an image and click Create to make a greetings card in a few easy steps and see if you can make someone’s Christmas!

Images © Scottish Life Archive, The Scotsman Publications Ltd | Licensor Scran

Democracy, Migration & Nationalism

2nd September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

It’s all happening in Highland this week at Culloden Academy.  Scran has been invited to work with senior pupils studying the SQA Higher History syllabus. The focus will 'SS Marloch' setting sail for Canada 1924 be on accessing resources and records related to the three main topics for the year;

  • Migration & Empire 1830-1939
  • Growth of Democracy 1850-1950    inc. the Suffragettes 
  • Growth of Nationalism, Germany 1815-1939

Besides learning how to use Scran as a research tool, the Culloden students will also be thinking about digital assets, copyright how to attribute their sources appropriately.

This “Good Luck” image is a firm favourite in the Scran office and you can find it amongst our records on emigration. It shows five well-dressed ladies posing with the Captain on board ‘SS Marloch’, before setting sail for Canada in 1924.

After school, the Social Subjects & RMPS staff will have to knuckle down too. The twilight session is part of our ongoing schools CPD and CLPL offer.

Image © Newsquest (Herald & Times), Setting Sail for Canada, 1924.  Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

From Dunbar to Durham

2nd September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

With the recent archaeological discoveries in Durham of Scottish soldiers in a mass grave, you might be curious to learn more about what happened at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.

Today Dunbar is affectionately known as Sunny Dunny by locals, however it has a much bloodier past. Cromwell invaded Scotland in July 1650, after the Scots had ignored his appeal for support and had proclaimed Charles II King. Cromwell crossed the border and attempted to meet up with his fleet at Leith and again at Queensferry, but without success.

He retreated to Dunbar where, in September of 1650, he was faced with a Covenanting army of over 20,000, led by David Leslie. To find out more see our dedicated Pathfinder: The Battle of Dunbar, it includes this medal, re-enactment imagery and an illustrated map of the event too.

Image © The Trustees of the British Museum, Military Award for the Battle of Dunbar, featuring Cromwell.  Licensor www.scran.ac.uk