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Thread: A more balanced view to some OLD politics?

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  1. #1

    Default A more balanced view to some OLD politics?

    I was listening to the corries today and found my self getting rather angry. Why? I hear you say. What's it got to do with polotics?

    Well it was the song. It seems that if a band wants to play up on it's scottishness then the thing they do is sing of the glories of the jacobites and bony prince charley.

    Now I am not a rangers fan, if you had to shoe horn me into a t-shirt it would be green (please don't) BUT my family were Williamites. Like many many other scottish families.

    Popular culture (not just music but TV too) tells me that this somehow makes me less scottish.

    The jacobite/williamite issue was not a catholic/protestant thing.

    It was no more and english/scottish thing than it was a scotish/irish thing. It was a dingdong between scots who decided there wern't enough claymores so they called on their allies. (england for william and ireland for James)

    And it was NOT a importing of german royalty. Mary was bony prince charlies sister (100% scottish) and William was his cousin (50% scottish) .

    What it WAS was a fight between two ideas. a divine right monarchy (jacobite) vs. a constitutional monarchy (williamite)

    It seems unfair that half of scotland doesn't get to celebrate their heritage and is left too feel less scottish because they fought for the idea of a constitutional monarchy.

    So how do we go about bringing a more balanced view of this very public part of our past?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I think one of the big problems with Williamites v Jacobites, is education. I don't know about you, but when I was at school there was very little Scottish history taught. It seemed to be based mainly on English history, with very little about Scotland. I think the Bruce was briefly mentioned 'hingin' aboot wae a wee spider in a cave', but that's about all he did. I knew all about the Battle of Hastings, the Tudor Kings and Queens and Oliver Cromwell right enough. Oh, and the Magna Carta.

    There were lots of things I didn't know about my own country and had to search it out for myself. There always seemed to be plenty mentioned about Jacobites, although not what they were really all about, but very little, if anything mentioned about the term 'Williamites'. So that may be where the main problem lies with this particular issue.

    Regarding what my family did back then, I haven't a clue. I can only trace most of my team back to about the 1750s, but by then there are so many of them, coming from all directions, I don't really know what they were up to, or what team they backed. I dare say there was probably a wee bit of each, and maybe some really naughty ones as well.

    I know there were strong opposing sides. Take John Graham of Claverhouse for example, who actually changed sides. To some he was Bonnie Dundee and others Bluidy Clavers. Reading about some of the things he did, he was a bloodthirsty piece of work, but then again most on both sides were in they days.

    Probably the best answer to your question is again education. If kids in the future are taught the true history of their own country, (as opposed to Neil Oliver's version) then maybe they will understand more about their past.

    That is why I get a bit angry at the UK establishment at the moment for pushing Union Flags and Britishness. ( British Whisky, British Shortbread and British Haggis anyone?) Every country on this island should be allowed to keep their own identity and history, and not be forced into a little British box.

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  3. #3


    I can only go back as far as 1720's (which is approximate as its based on the wedding banns of a younger sibling recorded in the 1750's, assuming average spacing between the births the eldest was born somewhere around 1720 ish... there are older grave stones but my last name is so popular for the area it'd be foolish to say i knew which were my family.)

    It's a great family tradition that we were Williamites ... what evidence my grandfather has for that I'm not sure but it's possible as we were one of the few families in the area not to be punished after the 1745. My other half can trace their family back to 12 something or other but that's because they were living on a Waird (a sort of croft thing where you didn't pay rent but were called up by the king/government to provide unpaid soldiers.) You had to have a man of fighting age living there at all times in order to keep it in the family. They clearly had trouble popping out boys as we have found a number of wills and sasains that go along the lines of "I leave the waird to my nephew and if he cannot manfill it then it shall go to my cousin") They would have had no choice about being Williamites.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that can't stand Neil Oliver.

    British Haggis!!!! If we tried to market Scottish Stilton there'd be a riot. I'm all for pushing Britishness BUT it needs to be done properly embracing the wonderful diversity that these isles have.

    And aye it came a bit of a shock to me when I went to uni and not one mention of Tudors it was all "late Stuart" (as it should be) but it boggled my mind for a while. I think I spent most of my first year relearning which monarch went where.

    What saddens me is that we have had education devolved to us now for 10 years and while the curriculum has had an overhall (at least at primary level - don't know about secondary.) they seem to have dropped history. Oh there was a couple of sessions on vikings but that was it. Which I found quite galling given they had just spent a term learning about china.

    I shall have to look up John Graham of Claverhouse - he sounds a character.

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