Another 10 Morsels Of Trivia About Scotland
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Another 10 Morsels Of Trivia About Scotland

10 morsels of trivia about Scotland.

1. Because of William Shakespeare, the name of Macbeth is most popularly associated with murder and mayhem. Once upon a time though, somewhat ironically, the name of Macbeth was the collective term for a series of physicians to the early Scottish monarchs.

2. Farming and Scotland used to go hand in hand - in the 16th century the annual dissolution of Parliament always happened in time for the Commissioners to be on their farm in time for harvest - but in 1868 the harvest wasn't so good! In what became known as the 'year of the short corn', crops had not grown sufficiently enough to be cut with a scythe - instead the harvest was collected after cutting the crops with scissors!

3. The Central American jungles are known for their oppresive heat, so why, in the 17th Century, during the ill-fated 'Darien expedition', the Scottish explorers packed woolen stockings, tartan plaid and wigs beggars belief!

4. On one occassion, Sir Walter Scott was visiting an English county town and ran across the local doctor who he recognised as being an old blacksmith from the borders. Perplexed by this sudden change of career Sir Walter Scott asked if he had killed any patients yet. The 'doctor' replied that some of his patients had died but some haven't, before adding "Ony how, it will be lang afore it makes up for Flodden!"

5. In the late 16th century there was only two universities in the whole of England - Oxford & Cambridge - but the district of Aberdeen in Scotland alone was the home to three universities - Fraserburgh, King's and Marischal College!

6. Up until the mid 17th century in Scotland the punishment for being found guilty of theft was to die by drowning!

7. The 'Battle of Flodden' might not have happened if the Earl of Surrey wanted to fight. In 1513, James IV challeneged the Earl of Surrey to one-on-one combat to avoid a massive loss of life - if James IV won he wanted the return of Berwick to Scotland and a lucrative salmon trap set up on the River Esk. Alas, the Earl of Surrey refused the offer claiming that a commoner could not cross swords with a king!

8. The Shetland island may only have a population of around 25,000 people but it is also the home to approx. 140,000 guillemots, 300,000 fulmars, 30,000 gannets, 250,000 puffins and 350,000 sheep!

9. A Scottish soldier in the trenches during the Falklands War in 1982 received what could have been the most daft thing in the mail given the situation - it was a letter from the local authority back home demanding payment on an unpaid parking fine!

10. Although it is common nowadays to call the famous Scottish poet 'Rabbie' Burns, at the time the name 'Rabbie' was one given to someone who was a bit of a dunce. The poet himself preferred to be called Rob, Robin or Rab - or indeed his actual name, Robert!

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