Remember Bannockburn!

Well obviously I do. It comes with my ethnic origin.

In Easter 1314, Edward Bruce, brother of our King, the boy Robert, laid siege to Stirling Castle. Getting nowhere, he agreed a deal with the Governor, Sir Philip Mowbray, that the castle would be surrendered if the English did not relieve the siege by Midsummer Day.

This seriously hacked off Robert whose fighting style was of the flitting and elusive persuasion. He was a guerilla warrior who never wanted to be committed to a pitched battle. The tactic had served him well.

His opposition, the inept Edward II, was the son that Edward Longshanks must always have regretted having had. Nonetheless, he had enough time to raise an army and to march North to relieve Stirling. He could have got there in plenty of time but he dawdled and had to hurry up as the deadline loomed. In the circumstances, Robert decided to give battle, having prepared the ground.

We won. Home victory, to be fair, so obviously not as good as the Wembley Wizards gubbing England in 1928, 614 years after Bannockburn.

And there’s where I come from and where I stand. The Wembley result is a joy to me being an intramural victory against fellow countrymen of English origin. Bannockburn won freedom for my nation and we enjoyed that freedom for over 300 years until we chose to join said fellow countrymen in 1707. I realise that there are those who put that choice down to Darien Bay and to our grasping nature.

They are wrong, so far as I am concerned. For me, the Act of Union was an idea whose time had come. I do not believe that that time has passed.

Anyhow, back to Bannockburn. 700 years ago and major celebrations planned this year. Not quite going to plan:-

One problem that they are having is that the Bannockburn commemoration is being held on 28th June. Said date is also Armed Forces Day.

Would you like to guess where the British national celebration of Armed Forces Day is being held this year? It really works for me.

25 thoughts on “Remember Bannockburn!”

  1. Oh dearie me! Is this another of Salmond’s faux pas? Can he get anything right or has the piss-up in the distillery also been a shambles?

  2. Making arrangements to surrender a castle to besieging forces if not relieved was common practice, as I’m sure you know!

    Our inept Edward II is an excellent example of why primogeniture and absolute monarchy are not “Good Ideas’ But, then I also think that Edward II did (inadvertently) do England a huge favour in that he became a rather sad example of what could happen to monarchs if they upset their subjects (well the important and wealthy ones) a bit too much.

    In my humble opinion, not being a Scot, I find it rather distasteful that Salmond has chosen to use the anniversary of Bannockburn to further his own rather petty agenda. It’s a shame that the event is not being well supported, but maybe others, too, feel as I do.

  3. I would have thought the entrance fee was sufficient to put off most attendees! Over 20.00 per ticket!!!
    Total con considering re-enactments do it for fun not payments! the bunfight in Stirling will be free through the streets. Rather obvious which will get the crowds.
    I don’t actually think nationalism comes into it. More like checking the locks on the sporrans! and quite right too!

    On e wonders if the Armed forces display was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Bannockburn bunfest?

    Whilst we are at it, Edward II was never much of an adversary, far too busy flanneling round his boyfriends fighting between the sheets to get to any real fighting!
    Rumour has it Edward I flung one of his son’s lovers out of the window 4 storeys up at Harlech castle. A fatla defenestration.
    Isabella and Mortimer (A Welsh Marcher lord) ended up usurping the throne on behalf of Edward III and the apocryphal red hot poker story finished off the lamentable Edward II.
    I still drive regularly through Mortimer on the A40 between Carmarthen and Brum. One of the more elevating tales to while away the journey! Such a quiet pretty place for the ancestral home of such a man.
    Good pub.

    One really has to wonder if these attempts to instil nationalistic fervour in places such as the UK are a good idea? After 300 years of peace between the peoples of the UK it strikes me as somewhat meretricious to say the least. I don’t really think that the population wants to know. They have to live in the real world with bills and limited income, probably far more concerned about putting food on the table and gas in the car than who runs the country now or in the past. Lets face it, the ruling classes never did give a bugger for any of them except at elections and when they wanted gunfodder to fight their wars. I for one could think of better things to do with 80.00 for a family than waste it on one day of nationalistic fervour.

  4. LW Ah, but it was never proven beyond doubt! Mind you, having read of the wife nicknamed the ‘She Wolf of France’ I bet she would have liked to!!! can’t say I blame her.
    I wonder how many would pursue the ‘backdoor persuasion’ were that their just desserts these days? Round here it has virtually become mandatory!!!

    Perhaps the re-enactment at Bannockburn could be enlivened by judicious use of hot pokers on the field of battle? That would bring them flocking in! Worth 20 quid of anyone’s money!

  5. As a lad born and raised in a green corner of what eventually became a part of Wessex, regularly entertained by various relatives who still spoke the soft and graceful dialect of Sussex, I was naturally aware of the unfortunate circumstances whereby our venerable elder ÆlfrÇ£d (often lauded as “the Great”) inadvertently allowed a villager’s cakes to be spoilt, but I would love to learn why, hundreds of years later, Robert (or was it Edward?) Bruce copied our southern example by letting the bannock burn? 🙂

  6. Bearsy, I had to look up ‘bannock’ – allegedly “a flat bread made of oat or barley flour”. Let them eat cake, say I. 😉

  7. The way the Scottish Rugby team are playing at the moment, it seems they are using Culloden as their inspiration! 😦

  8. Bearsy, Janus: I knew bannock for some reason so I looked up “burn” One of its alternate (slang) meanings is “to make fun of another person”.

    So the origin is probably an ancient joke about the pitiable size and quality of a rival’s bannocks. 🙂

  9. PS Wasn’t Big Al lurking about down Glastonbury way after taking a beating from one of the many Cnut’s when he spoiled the widow’s dinner? Hard to get a fire going over that way right now I would think.

  10. Bearsy :

    ……. I would love to learn why, hundreds of years later, Robert (or was it Edward?) Bruce copied our southern example by letting the bannock burn? 🙂

    Bearsy good evening.

    In all honesty and quite embarrassingly, it had never occurred to me until tonight that the placename ‘Bannockburn’ had any connection with the foodstuff which I know as a ‘bannock’. It’s blindingly obvious when it’s pointed out.

    I never knew until I googled this evening that The Gaelic name for Bannockburn is Allt a’ Bhonnaich which is indeed the Stream of the bannocks/buns or scones..

    Thanks for that and major smiley thing.

  11. Four-eyed English Genius :

    The way the Scottish Rugby team are playing at the moment, it seems they are using Culloden as their inspiration! 😦

    Good evening FEEG.

    Could I just remind you that there were more Scots on the Hanoverian side than there were on the Jacobite side at Culloden and that it was a victory for us Britons? So, a bit more like the Lions if you’re going to drag rugby into it.

    I really wish you hadn’t dragged rugby into it, by the way. I still have trouble sleeping after the Six Nations. Things can only get better. Can’t they?

  12. G’day, Mr Mackie

    Indirectly, you have made my day, for your comment led me on a merry chase through various English dialects, and the French and Welsh tongues in a multilingual pun-hunt which ultimately rewarded me by revealing that my childhood term Welsh rabbit was in fact correct, and that the Welsh rarebit version with which my elders and betters had berated me in my teenage years was wrong, being a mere etymologizing alteration, or incorrect back-formation.

    Cwningen Cymraeg – caws pobi – rules!! 😀

  13. Draig goch Cymraeg here! Present and correct.

    Nasty business about 45 miles away to the South. I’m afraid that the coastal plain here is beset with pitfalls for the unwary. The whole area to the left of the Cascades are pretty unstable. They are either fluvioglacial outwash, ie moraines from the last ice age or sedimentary deposits from late quaternary seas. Either way the whole coastal plain is none too solid!

    Slopes/cliffs are a definite no no and are the very worst places to live. Unfortunately the geomorphology of the area is not taken into consideration when dishing out planning permission!!! People will live there as they often have nice views.

    We have literally hundreds of these slips every winter with waterlogged land, fortunately they rarely prove fatal so they don’t get into the International news. Generally take out the Seattle to Vancouver railway line with monotonous regularity. But houses are frequently crushed or just pushed off their bases and collapse
    without loss of life. Those that died here were very old and too slow to get out..

    Needless to say it took me months to find somewhere to live up here that I considered safe from such activities. Plus volcanic activity, lahars and the like, not to mention tsunami! Seriously I considered the lot and had a map where I refused to even view houses within certain areas. No point having specialist knowledge like mine and then not applying it!!

    I saw Aberfan after it happened and knew full well what and does occur all to easily. Equally I once rented a house in the Towy valley that flooded regularly, beautiful place and incredibly cheap, well it would be with 15″ of water on the floor wouldn’t it? Needless to say when I’m living anywhere and its my money at risk I exercise more than due diligence!! Plus up here made spousal unit buy earthquake insurance that is not included in ordinary property cover. American insurance companies are every bit as chiselling non payers as the UK ones! When it gets down to it absolutely bloody nothing is covered except the odd ingrowing toenail!

    Thank you for the kind thought sheona.

  14. Afterthought. caws pobi much safer than caws pobl!!!

    OK, I’ll save you the trouble, one letter makes it from baked cheese to cheese people! Ooops.

  15. Update. I’m afraid it has got even worse on that mudslide. 18 people are missing, a square mile of earth has moved and it is blocking the Stillaquamish river that is now proceeding to make a lake behind the slide.
    They cannot get in to either search for people or do anything about the river at the moment as the earth has taken on so much moisture and has taken on the properties of quicksand.
    What a nightmare.

  16. Four-eyed English Genius :

    Mr Mackie: One can only hope that things get better for the SRFU

    Brilliant FEEG.

    Our governing body is, of course, the Scottish Rugby Union or SRU. But SRFU is so much more appropriate, given the way they are ‘messing’ up Scottish rugby at the moment.

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