77

In 1606, people didn't have pantone guidelines to keep colours consistent - nor did it matter. Heraldry only has a limited number of colors. Variations on blue exist but are not standard, so any blue could be used. It just so happened that the English were already using a blue, in the Blue Ensign being used by English ships. Wikipedia even suggests its ...


50

Edinburgh Castle's tourist attraction, the One O'Clock Gun, originated as an audible version of the Nelson Monument time ball. The Nelson time ball has dropped at 1:00 pm ever since it was installed in 1853. Accordingly, the One O'Clock Gun also fired at 1:00 pm. Anything else would have been potentially confusing. Time balls were important for maritime ...


27

To answer this question, you first have to answer another complex question: Who are the English? This question turns out to be quite complex indeed because to this day scholars are unsure whether to subscribe to an invasionist/migrationist view or a diffusionist view in regards to the Britons, the Celtic people of Great Britain (excluding Scotland) which ...


23

England lies in the warmest, richest, and most fertile parts of the British Isles. These are modern population figures, but they are indicative of past relative strengths: England, 55 million; Ireland (counting northern Ireland), 6 million; Scotland, 5 million, Wales, 3 million. Frankly, I was surprised at the disparity between England, and all others (14 ...


21

The Colonel was of Scottish descent and served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in WW I (according to Wikipedia). The trouser pattern in question could well exhibit the unit's (mainly green-and-blue) tartan. Also, the cape he wears appears very similar to those exhibited at the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum's web site. And as for him ...


20

The first attempt at unification was sparked by succession disputes, after Margaret of Scotland died in 1290. This lead to a series of conflicts, spanning from 1296 to 1357, known today as the Wars of Scottish Independence. Scotland retained its status as an independent nation after the end of the wars. The claim of Mary, Queen of Scots to the English ...


18

The obvious reason for Scotland being "conquered" by England is that King James VI of Scotland was heir to the English throne, and upon the death of Elizabeth I of England (and Ireland) found himself ruling both kingdoms. The larger English population and stronger economy then led to the English language gradually pushing aside both Scottish Gaelic and ...


18

Weaving generally had been a fairly common occupation during the medieval period in Scotland. The skills were taught to apprentices, who may or may not have been related to the master weaver. This remained the normal way of teaching skilled trades right up to the industrial revolution. In 1587 the Scottish Parliament passed an Act intended to encourage ...


14

Like most battles, the results of those at Falkirk and Bannockburn depended on the fortunes and momentum of war. At Falkirk, for instance, the initial English cavalry charge didn't do much against the schiltrons (circles) of spearmen, but it slaughtered Scots archers placed wrongly between (instead of inside) the schiltrons. Thus, the Welch archers, which ...


13

I am fairly sure this is Mary's cipher (here are similar specimen). It's a fairly simple encryption scheme and was indeed broken by her contemporary enemies in the 16th century.


13

Scotland joining England and Wales: The Darien Disaster was an ill-fated attempt to build a roadway across Central America by the Scots. It was backed by most of the Scottish nobility, and its failure nearly bankrupted them. This in turn, nearly bankrupted the Scottish Treasury. This lead to the Union of the Parliaments between Scotland and England in 1707. ...


11

It is called a gorget. In certain military traditions it served as a mark of leadership. I cannot cite my source, but I recall reading a speculation that it may have evolved from the full cuirass that was worn by knights in antiquity. With the advent of gunpowder, such body armor was no longer of practical use, but the gorget served as a reminder of the old ...


10

To an extent the answer depends on what you mean by 'medieval times'. The answer in 800 is very different from 1400. However, I'll have a go for the later medieval period, post Normanisation around 1100 until 1500. The idea that Scotland in the late medieval period operated under some sort of 'clan system' is not true. 'Clan' is really just another name for ...


8

It seems most likely to me it would have been a local Sept leader, or at best a Earl or Laird, who got run out of his territories in the course of typical Scottish infighting. Over generations of retelling this guy could easily have been eventually promoted all the way to a "King", as it makes the family's origins sound more respectable. You would be ...


7

Not all Scots ran around in kilts - that is very much a Highland tradition. The KOSB being borderers and lowlanders in general did not see the kilt as part of their own tradition, and thus Tartan Trews were worn - and looked very sharp if I may say so. The pipers of the regiment did wear the Royal Stewart in a Kilt, bit other ranks wore Leslie Tartan Trews ...


7

Primarily, in Eastern England and Western Scotland. In particular, what you might be looking for is the Danelaw. Technically, it refers to the parts of England (roughly one-third) where Scandinavian (Danish) laws applied. In geographic terms, this is a huge swathe of Northern and Eastern England conquered by invading Vikings during the 9th century. England ...


7

Indian here means "Red Indian" or Native American. His readers would be aware that Indians used bows and arrows so the writer is mocking the duelists' choice of weapons by calling it "Indian artillery" (and of course mocking the primitiveness of Indians). It's just a joke.


7

The motivating factors that led to the Highland Clearances are manifold and complex. The roots of the clearances lay mainly in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion in which the highland levies formed the backbone of Charles Edward Stuart's army. That rebellion ended with the slaughter of the Jacobite army on Culloden moor. The clearances have ...


6

To answer the question here are some extracts from specified sources: Scottish Historical Documents, by Professor Gordon Donaldson (p. 266, ISBN 1-897784-41-4): England retaliated in 1705 with the Alien Act, which declared that, until Scotland accepted the Hanoverian succession, all Scots would be treated as aliens in England and the import of cattle, ...


6

The Library of Congress website has archived a great amount of letters, experimental notes, and general notebooks of Graham Bell. There, using the right search terms, I came up with a whole list of articles related to the tetrahedral kite. Other notes of Graham Bell are available as well, but I haven't researched those.


6

The confusion is due to the difference between the Links - the sandy, grassy areas unsuitable for crops or buildings near the coast - and the course - the actual arrangement of tees, holes and traps. While the Links at St. Andrews has been home to golf for longer, the actual course is newer - in the early 19th Century, the links had to accomodate rabbit ...


6

Personally, I would discard it as an unfounded rumour. It's right up there with the "Hitler’s granny came from Dundee" rumour that you can still hear repeated around the city. Dundee actually was hit by a Luftwaffe raid on 5 November 1940. The raid was probably intended to be an attack on the Tay Bridge, which would have been considered a high value target ...


5

Others South Sudan passed a similar referendum in 2008. South Sudan has a population of 8 million +, compared to Scotland's population of 5 million +. Algeria passed a similar referendum in 1962. The current population is about 38 million, I don't have the numbers for the 1962. Here is a list of independence referendums starting in 1848 with the former US ...


5

The Kingdom of Makuria (Nubian peoples, think south of Egypt) was a Christian kingdom and I would suggest that is the likely homeland for Black people who made it into medieval Europe. It's heavily neglected (crusaders and Christianity tends to be portrayed solely as 'white', but that is heavily incorrect as three Christian kingdoms existed to the south of ...


5

Ormond Castle was named after the hill it stood on, Ormond Hill. It is now impossible to trace how the name came about, but the Scottish antiquarian John Pinkerton says it was apparently an ancient moot-hill. Incidentally these were known in Scottish Gaelic as tom a' mhòid, which may provide a clue as to Ormond's etymology. [I]t appears that Ormond was a ...


5

Yes, that's roughly what he's saying. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to run a unified country, or even a unified armed resistance, between two entities separated by hostile territory. Here's a map from the beginning of the 7th Century that is politically coded, that might make this easier to see. The land in the hands of Celtic kings is shown in ...


4

Not so much evolved from the cuirass as it was a piece of medieval armour; the gorget-the piece of armour that protected the neck and came between the helmet and cuirass. As firearms became more prevalent on the battlefield; armour became less and less needed and various items of the medieval suit of armour were discarded, until by the seventeenth century, ...


4

The word 'Galldachd' for the lowlands arises from the Old Irish 'gall' for 'foreigner' which came in turn from the Latin word 'gallus' for a Gaul. http://www.wordsense.eu/Gall/#Old_Irish. The Gaels called (indeed call) their linguistically and culturally Gaelic part of Scotland the Gàidhealtachd, usually translated as 'Gaeldom'. This cultural way of ...


4

I've found these numbers for the total population counts at the beginning and end of this period. 1600 - 800,000 (some sources state up to 1,000,000) 1900 - 4,437,000 Now we need to factor in immigration and emigration to get the natural population change. This is very difficult because few records were kept until the turn of the nineteenth century. The ...


4

In the particular case of John Duns Scotus, we know relatively little about him apart from his work, and the fact that he was a friar. As a member of a religious order and an academic, he would probably have lived mainly in religious houses and so been protected from most overt hostility. More generally, there were a lot of people who could be described as "...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible