Travellers in Scotland Edited by Hume Brown (1891)
This is an
interesting book and it does reveal some interesting information
about Scotland. Here are a couple of examples...
THE SCOTS ON THEIR MILITARY
(Froissart, Chronicles, vol. i. chap. 17).
THE Scots are bold, hardy, and much
inured to war. When they make their invasions into England, they
march from twenty to four-and-twenty leagues without halting, as
well by night as day; for they are all on horseback, except the
camp-followers, who are on foot. The knights and esquires are
well mounted on large bay horses, the common people on little
galloways. They bring no carriages with them, on account of the
mountains they have to pass in Northumberland ; neither do they
carry with them any provisions of bread or wine; for their
habits of sobriety are such, in time of war, that they will live
for a long time on flesh half sodden, without bread, and drink
the river water without wine. They have, therefore, no occasion
for pots or pans; for they dress the flesh of their cattle in
the skins, after they have taken them off; and, being sure to
find plenty of them in the country which they invade, they carry
none with them. Under the Haps of his saddle, each man carries a
broad plate of metal ; behind the saddle, a little bag of
oatmeal: when they have eaten too much of the sodden flesh, and
their stomach appears weak and empty, they place this plate over
the fire, mix with water their oatmeal, and when the plate is
heated, they put a little of the paste upon it, and make a thin
cake, like a cracknel or biscuit, which they eat to warm their
stomachs: it is therefore no wonder, that they perform a longer
day's march than other soldiers.
A FRENCH ARMY IN SCOTLAND THE FRENCH
THE SCOTS (1385) (vol. ii. chaps. 2 and 3).
News was soon spread through
Scotland that a large body of men-at-arms from France were
arrived in the country. Some began to murmur and say, "What
devil has brought them here? or who has sent for them? Cannot we
carry on our wars with England without their assistance? We
shall never do any effectual good as long as they are with us.
Let them be told to return again, for we are sufficiently
numerous in Scotland to fight our own quarrels, and do not want
their company. We neither understand their language nor they
ours, and we cannot converse together. They will very soon eat
up and destroy all we have in this country, and will do us more
harm, if we allow them to remain amongst us, than the English
could in battle. If the English do burn our houses, what
consequence is it to us? We can rebuild them cheap enough, for
we only require three days to do so, provided we have five or
six poles and boughs to cover them."
And so in the
first example you learn how the Scots went to battle and in the
second you get a sense of how they survived the many wars that
went on in Scotland.
There are many
wee accounts throughout this book which give us valuable insight
into Scotland in the old days.
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