I was going to put a photograph on of an ancient Scottish Castle perched on rocks close to the sea but now I can't find it...should think the dungeons were full of water at every high tide so I bet any hapless prisoners wouldn't have lasted long...
A couple of days ago what I knew of Scottish history could be written on the head of a pin...a small pin. But since finding the Scottish connection to the English side of the family I know a little bit more now...and we've a couple of Icelandic ladies who married into the Scots families as well....though I still don't know much about Iceland.
Most of the men appear to have been killed in various battles...it does rather beg the question of how they found the time to marry so often and how they managed to produce so many children when their lives were taken up with fighting each other.
The Scots of the 1100-1300's were endlessly doing battle with each other...it wasn't until later they began to defend Scotland against the English and battled with them instead...
And I didn't know that MacBeth was a real person either until today, when he murdered one of my vague ancestors in Argyllshire...put that all wrong...he didn't murder him today of course, that would be silly...I found out that he murdered him today is what I meant...
There was a good story behind Malcom 'Long Neck' and his wife Margaret...Malcom was killed in a battle at Alnwick Castle, which fans of Harry Potter will know well...on the 13th November 1093...and his wife was so distraught with grief she died nine days later. Malcom was buried in Dunfermline Abbey and when Margarets coffin was taken there for her burial, her coffin grew so heavy while the bearers were walking past Malcoms grave they had to put her down. It was decided this was because she wanted to lie next to her beloved husband instead of being buried much further away.
About fifty years after Margarets death, she was Canonised by the then Pope and remains Scotlands only Saint...whether it was the heavy coffin or for some other reason she was declared to be a Saint I don't know...
And Malcom was called Long Neck because he'd reigned for so long...not 'cos he had a long neck...
Then I found another traitor...and he was hung, drawn and quartered which was the favoured way of dealing with traitors of the upper classes...he was a remote ancestor as well. I'm including all the third cousins of the stepbrothers wifes 10th Great Uncle simply because they had such interesting lives and lived in terribly remote and isolated castles and went off to battle with everyone who crossed their path...or so it would seem.
They all had nicknames as well...Malcom the Gracious was one I liked. Duncan The Bold is another...the further back you go the more the actual given names become unpronouncable...Scots Gaelic I think, with a smattering of Norweigan and Icelandic thrown in for good measure.
Few people had surnames then so they were usually named for the places they'd been born in...for example Duncan of the Isles...meaning he'd been born on the islands off the coast of Scotland.
It's funny because John...Storm Lizard...described the history teacher he had while at school who always set the same lesson and then quietly dozed off...and my history teacher was also pretty useless...he'd set us to learning by rote the wives of Henry V11 without any information about them whatsoever and then we'd draw pictures of women of that period...and he'd sit behind his desk with his feet up on it and read the newspaper.
But supposing they'd taught us...with enthusiam...about those ancient castles perched on rocks beside the sea...of the people engaged in battles and what those battles were about and what they wore and ate and and their armour and their weapons...and of course I'd include all the centuries histories which followed. And I know we didn't even dream of having such a thing as a computor or the Internet...but there have always been books...we could have been given the books to read...
I'll track that picture I've saved of the old castle down for tomorrow...it's in this machine somewhere.