A tale of monarchs and national anthems

Anyone who has watched a Scottish rugby or association football match will be familiar with the Corries’ folk song O Flower of Scotland, which is played before their matches. The second line of the chorus (“Proud Edward’s army”) refers to Edward II, defeated at Bannockburn so that he never actually ruled Scotland although he may… Continue reading A tale of monarchs and national anthems

The Rise of the Clans

Neil Oliver‘s latest history series has been shown through December on Monday evenings (BBC1 Scotland) and twenty-four hours later on BBC4. The first part, of three, showed how the power vacuum caused by the sudden deaths of Alexander III and his granddaughter was resolved through the clan system and John Balliol’s abdication so that alliances… Continue reading The Rise of the Clans

You only reign twice?

Edward of Caernarvon, who was born in 1284, was king of England for nearly twenty years from 1307 as Edward II. What of his childhood? In about October 1289, he was contracted to Margaret, known as the Maid of¬†Norway and Queen of Scotland since 1286 when her grandfather Alexander III died. She was a year… Continue reading You only reign twice?