10 More Morsels Of Trivia About Scotland
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10 More Morsels Of Trivia About Scotland

10 more morsels of trivia about Scotland.

1. Dr Archie Cameron is thought to have returned from France to try and locate Bonnie Prince Charlie's gold, which was buried somewhere on the shore of Loch Arkaig. That wasn't his real claim to fame though, he later became the last man executed in Britain for Jacobitism!

2. Cambridge University is now the home of one of Scotland's most important historical documents, The Scotichronicon. The document, written in the early 15th century, may not have been in existence today had it not been for an Archbishop of Canterbury who rescued it from storage, where it was being nibbled on by rats!

3. The Duke of Rothesay was imprisoned in Falkland Palace in Fife and starved to death in 1402. Popular rumours at the time claimed that, because the warders would not bring him food, he ate his own hands but didn't like the taste, before starving to death!

4. According to legend, the health-giving properties of the water that sprung from St Corbet's Well near Stirling were taken away by a Saint because May-Day revellers arrived at the well and turned the annual pilgirmage in to a heavy boozing session!

5. In modern days the word Sassenach is one used by the Scots to refer to their 'cousins' across the border in England. Originally, the word simply meant anyone foreign to Scotland. Although that could indeed include the English, somewhat ironically it was first used by the Gaels to describe those from the Lowlands of Scotland!

6. Lord Robert Stewart was the head of a dynasty that ran Orkney as its own personal kingdom. The lord, who was the half-brother of Mary Queen of Scots, was so despotic that he would accuse dead men of old unsolved crimes and then confiscate the property of the dead man's family.

7. A real gold rush may have happened in Yukon, but in Scotland it was more of a 'fool's gold rush'. Hundreds of prospectors descended on the Lomond Hills in Fife in 1847 to search for gold after rumours had started saying there was gold aplenty in the hills. The only problem was that it wasn't gold and was nothing more than iron pyrites they were digging up!

8. Sir Walter Scott was a writer who wrote very romantically about what he knew. From hills and glens to freedom fighters, Sir Walter Scott knew how to wax lyrically. His writing had a dramatic effect in America, especially when Mark Twain blamed him for the outbreak of the American Civil War!

9. In days gone by, housewives of Caithness had an unusual, but effective, way of dealing with rats. They would fry small pieces of cork in grease and then leave them on the floor for the rats to eat. And eat they did, but when the rats then went and drank some water the cork inside their belly swelled and burst the rat wide open!

10. The marriage and baptism records up to 1649 from the parish of Castleton, Roxburghshire are no longer in existence. It was not age that destroyed them, alas, it was the Roundheads from Olver Cromwell's army that stole them in 1649 and used them to light their tobacco pipes!

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