Italian Nationalist and Soldier of the Risorgimento
Wallace sheds as bright a glory upon his valorous nation as ever was
shed upon their country by the greatest men of Greece or Rome.
Macdonald Garry (1900-2000): Poet, Teacher and Broadcaster
Bennachie? As aals a man?’
Loon-like I wid spear, an leave ma bools
A boorach in the kypie at ma feet
An stan an stare oot ower the darknin laan
Ower parks an ferms, as far’s ma een could see
To the muckle hull aneth the seetin sun.
‘Aaler, laddie, aye, gin Man himself.
Naebody kens the age o Bennachie.’
marched by Don
Herriet the laich countrie;
But heich in their fort on the Mither Tap
The Picts fan sanctuary.
Patrick Geddes (1854-1932): Biologist, Sociologist and Town
This is a
green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all
dependent on the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange
ideas that they live by money. They think energy is generated by the
circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a vast leaf
colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral
mass: and we live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the
fullness of our harvests.
is not merely by and for the sake of thought, it is in a still higher
degree by and for the sake of action. Just as the man of science must
think and experiment alternately, so too must artist, author and scholar
alternate creation or study with participation in the life around them.
For it is only by thinking things out as one lives them, and living
things out as one thinks them, that a man or society can really be said
to think or even live at all.
many people think twice about a leaf? Yet the leaf is the chief
product and phenomenon of Life: this is a green world, with animals
comparatively few and small, and all dependent upon the leaves. By
leaves we live.
as Professor of Botany at Dundee 1919)
are hypnotized by money but have lost sight of economics – the real
functioning of life, in real and energetic health, creating real and
material wealth. Real wealth can only be created in a life-efficient
Geddes in India, published 1947)
Town-planning… to be successful must be folk-planning.
Alexander Geikie (1835-1924): Geologist and Author
anyone with an ordinary share of the observing faculty sail round the
west coast of Scotland and take note of the successive mountain groups
which pass before him and he will acknowledge that the voyage of a
couple of hundred miles has almost as instructive to him as if he had
scoured over half the globe… Nowhere in Europe does colour come more
notably forward in landscape than in the west of Scotland.
(Dissertation on Scottish Mountains, Scottish Mountaineering Club Dinner
Grassic Gibbon (born James Leslie Mitchell) (1901-1935): Journalist and
Scotland lived, she could never die, the land would outlast them all….
Glennie: Percussionist and Composer
Scotland has never ceased to amaze the world with its forward vision,
bold action and great educational institutions. Nothing makes me more
proud than to promote this wonderful land with all its richness and
diversity wherever I go.
Ross (Harry) Gordon, ‘The Laird o Invernecky’ (1893-1957): Comedian
ripple of laughter is worth an ocean of tears. To laugh is to be free of
Paul Gordon (1886-1997): Naturalist, Photographer, Piper and Author
It is a
fine thing for you to have a love of the hills, because on the hills you
find yourself near grand and beautiful things, and as you grow older you
will love them more and more.
(Letter to Dr Adam Watson [then a schoolboy] 1939)
(Al) Arnold Gore: American Politician, Vice President of the United
States of America (1993-2001)
Scotland is absolutely unique in its history, and the question
[whether the US government should push for an independent Scotland]
demands respect. Coming from a part-Scottish background, I’m all for
International Film Festival 28 August 2006)
Graham, 5th Earl and 1st Marquis of Montrose
He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That puts it not unto the touch
To win or lose them all.
(My Dear and Only Love 1642)
fought like men with a better cause.
defeated Campbells after the Battle of Inverlochy 1645)
Grant (1822-1887): Historian and Novelist
The world is neither Scottish,
English, nor Irish, neither French, Dutch, nor Chinese, but human.
(On founding the National
Association of Scottish Rights, 1852)
Artist and Author
Work as if
you live in the early days of a better nation.
Alexander Gray (1882-1968):
Economist and Poet
This is my
The land that begat me,
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who here toil
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh
And bone of my bone.
stude ower the ale-hoose byre
Whaur the stable gear was hingin’.
The owsen mooed, the bairnie grat,
The kings begoud their singin’,
(The Kings From the East)
Poet [Robert Burns] he is, by universal consent, if not among the
greatest of all time, at least not much below the highest; and his
peculiar “message”, if I may use a word I detest as applied to poets,
may make him the especial poet of a country where the democratic
instincts have always been so strong as in Scotland. For the “message”
of Burns is ultimately centred in the brotherhood of man, the glorious
privilege of being independent, and the virtue of suspending judgement
on our erring fellows. But he is more than a poet whose “message” has
made him acceptable. He is a national hero; and that is why we are right
in thinking of him along with Wallace and Bruce. For if these hammered
us into a nation, he revived us when we were in danger of fainting.
Immortal Memory, Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh 22 January 1944)
Mullen Gray: Footballer, Scottish Internationalist (20 caps) and Broadcaster
[Back, Lewis] was a massive change to Glasgow, but I loved it. In a lot
of ways it was a very strict and old-fashioned world. My grandparents
were very strict church-goers. On Sundays everything was religion. My
grandfather, who doubled as blacksmith and school caretaker, wouldn’t
tolerate any entertainment on the Sabbath and my grandmother was even
stricter. On Lewis the swings in the children’s playgrounds were
padlocked up on Sundays. We weren’t allowed to play, or even read books
except for the Bible. You could get out of bed and go for a walk and
that was about it. You certainly couldn’t listen to pop music and that
was a particular passion of mine at the time.
Matters - the autobiography 2004)
Gray: Broadcaster, Columnist and Writer
every Scot knows, a gallus besom is a cheeky bitch.
her interpretation of ‘gallus besom’ after an English television company
had translated it as a ‘lively lass’)
compromise beliefs – and I don’t suffer fools gladly.
John Richard Greene (1837-1883): English Historian
instinct of the Scotch people has guarded it aright in choosing Wallace
for its national hero. He was the first to sweep aside the
technicalities of feudal law and to assert freedom as a national
birthright. Amidst the despair of nobles and priests he called the
people itself to arms, and his discovery of the military value of the
stout peasant footman who had till then been scorned by baronage and
knighthood gave a deathblow to the system of feudalism and changed, in
the end, the face of Europe.
(A Short History of the English People)
Greig: Poet and Author
everyone loves a winner.’
‘Not in my country they don’t.’
Neil Miller Gunn (1891-1973):
Customs Officer and Author
things pertaining to his land that move the Scot to his marrow you
will observe this note of tragedy, the singing of lost causes, of
dead years, of death.
and Scotland 1935)
Sea-fishing and crofting were the only two occupations of the people [of
Dunbeath], and however the rewards of their labour varied season to
season, they were never greatly dissimilar over a whole year or over ten
years. Thus in the course of centuries there had developed a communal
feeling so genuine that the folk themselves never thought about it. They
rejoiced and quarrelled, loved and fought, on a basis of equality.
is compulsion and enforcement, it’s the bully that rules.
Marshal The Right Honorable Sir Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig,
Viscount Dawick, Baron Haig of Bemersyde
(1861-1928): Soldier; Commander of the British Expeditionary Force 1915-1918
Success in battle depends mainly on morale and determination.
must be taught to bear losses. No amount of skill on the part of the
highest commanders, no training, however good, on the part of the
officers and men, no superiority of arms and ammunition, however great,
will enable victories to be without the sacrifice of men’s lives. The
nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists.
(Written, June 1916, prior to the Battle of the Somme. The first day of the
Somme, 1 July 1916, saw almost 60,000 British casualties)
cannot be considered severe in view of the numbers engaged.
(Written opinion (2 July 1916) on the adjuntant-general setting the
casualty figure at 40,000 for the first day of the Battle of the Somme
(1 July 1916). The actual British casualties on the first day were
57,470, of which 6,655 Scots were killed in action.)
position must be held to the last man; there must be no retirement. With
our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each
one of us must fight to the end.
(Order of the
Day 12 April 1918)
Halliday: Political Activist, Historian and Author
Scottish church had been steadfastly nationalist all through the
years since 1286. Bishops Wishart and Lamberton were proven
patriots, but others too deserve to be remembered. Churchmen were
after all, the literate class in medieval society, and Scottish
churchmen had undertaken the task of expounding and justifying the
Scottish case for independence. In 1320, meeting at Arbroath Abbey,
the leaders of the community of Scotland put their seals to a
document prepared, almost certainly, by Bernard de Linton, abbot and
civil servant, which yet again, but more fully now than ever before,
spelled out Scotland’s claim to identity and independence.
Scotland, they reminded Pope John, to whom the Declaration was
addressed, had been a kingdom when England was big enough for seven
kings. They had endured attack from King Edward who had taken
advantage of their misfortunes and had worked to destroy their
freedom under guise of friendship. Fate had given them as a leader
and deliverer, King Robert. Yet – and this is the remarkable passage
– ‘if he should abandon our cause…. We should make every endeavour
to expel him as our enemy and the subverter of his rights and ours,
and choose another for our king’. There are those who look for the
origins of monarchy dependent upon popular will, in the writing of
seventeenth century English philosophers. Very clearly the Scots had
stumbled upon the concept of conditional monarchy several centuries
Finally, in case Pope John or his cardinals thought the Scottish
resistance to English ambitions was merely a passing fad, de Linton
offered to his countrymen for their approval a pledge of
determination free of all ambiguity. ‘For so long as a hundred of us
shall remain alive we shall never accept subjection to the
domination of the English. For we fight not for glory, or riches or
honour, but for freedom alone which no good man will consent to lose
but with his life.’
- A Concise History
But we have a
miraculously surviving national consciousness, which makes feasible
the preservation of our aspirations; and we have the capacity,
proven in many generations, to create a leadership from within the
community of Scotland. It is these qualities which entitle us
to cling to the hope that we in our generation will yet succeed in
handing on to the Scotland of our sons the unique inheritance which
was the Scotland of our fathers.
(Scotland the Separate
to Scotland, and many Scots themselves, often feel puzzled by the
hero-worship which so many bestow upon Robert Burns. The truth is that
if Burns had never lived, Scotland could hardly have avoided going the
way of ancient English-speaking kingdoms whose identity is long lost.
Merged within a greater whole. Scotland today would rank alongside
Mercia or Northumbria or Wessex, of interest as an antiquity, a
curiosity or an affectation. If Scotland is anything more in modern
times, it is because Burns, speaking as and for the ordinary man,
stemmed the tide of history, flowing strongly in the direction of
absorption and integration. His work meant that a sense of identity was
preserved at a time when the politically active classes in Scotland
showed little interest in such sense. Aristocracy is by its nature
international. It is ordinary people, involved with humbler local
community life, who have greater national awareness. These ordinary
people had no political power until more than a century had passed, but
when in due course these people for whom Burns spoke did gain the right
to political participation, Scotland was still there.
- A Concise History
The country from which they were evicted suffered
too. Scotland lost half her heritage, and the desolation which
then began has never found a remedy.
(On the Highland Clearances -
- A Concise History 1990)
August 1922, there appeared ‘The Scottish Chapbook’, in which the young
poet Christopher Murray Grieve demanded that Scots writers should begin
to ‘speak with our voice for our own times.’ They should engage in a
serious examination of profound themes seen through Scottish eyes.
Thanks to grieve – or ‘Hugh MacDiarmid’ as he called himself – and a
generation or more of men and women inspired by his example, Scottish
writing ceased to be provincial and trivial as it had become for some
fifty preceding years, becoming rather the source of a new national
intellectual reawakening, reminiscent of the days of the Enlightenment.
What followed might be unfamiliar by English standards, but in Europe
and Ireland a cultural revival followed by political action was a
(To Be or Not To Be –
Scotland: A Concise History 1990)
Highlanders who had followed him [Prince Charles Edward Stewart], the
suffering did not end with the deaths under the guns at Culloden, or at
the hands of the punishment squads of Cumberland the Butcher. The whole
Highland way of life was now to perish, as Parliament in London devised
laws which would ensure that the events of 1745-46 could never happen
again. A Disarming Act legally stripped the clans of their weapons, and
bagpipes and Highland dress were banned for good measure. The clansmen,
who had provided the chiefs with a military capacity were no longer
soldiers in waiting, or at least not on behalf of their chiefs. The
Tenures Abolition Act destroyed the bond of military service between
chief and clansman, and the Heritable Jurisdictions Act took from the
chiefs virtually sovereign powers over their tenants. The Highlands
would now be subject to the same laws and procedures as all other parts
of the British state.
Scotland: A Concise History
the rising population on a traditional diet of oatmeal, cheese and meat
was an increasing problem, as output of these items could not keep place
with the growth of numbers. One solution had been found in the humble
but remarkable potato. In 1743 the Improvers had urged their members to
increase production of this plant, which could produce a far greater
volume of food per acre than any other crop. One of the early converts
to the idea of potato-growing was the chief of Clanranald, who returned
from a visit to Ireland in 1743, enthusiastically committed to potato
growing. By 1800 potatoes provided 80 per cent or so of the diet of the
- A Concise History
there is surely significance in the fact that no bad men were deported –
the men who were sent to Australia proved in their later lives that
rebellion and criminality are two very different things. The men who
died were good men, with courage, dignity and character far superior to
those who set out to deceive and betray them. And for all of us who work
to a political purpose, there is the lesson that these men of 1820
worked for a political objectivce and saw in political change the
potential – the necessary and exclusive potential – for social and
economic justice. That is how democrats go about their task,
(The 1820 Rising; The Radical War 1993)
Queens Counsel, Political Activist and Author
further insult to his Scottish crews, Nelson had one of his ships at the
Battle of the Nile named HMS Culloden. England expects us Scots to be
the Uriah the Hittite of England’s wars but do not ask us to celebrate
its heroes. The first memorial to this enemy of Scotland was erected by
English foundry workers at my neighbouring village of Taynuilt. I intend
to piss on it on Trafalgar Day.
(Letter to The
Herald 28 April 2005)
Letter quoted in ‘Grasping the Thistle’ (2006) and described by authors
Dennis MacLeod and Michael Russell as - ”an example of ‘grievance politics’
par excellence. In fact it is ‘grievance politics’ which has become
‘grievance history’. It demonstrates exactly why Scotland, needs a new
approach to its past, present and future.”
producer [Andrew Boswell] told me that anyone who sees this film [Stone
of Destiny] will leave the cinema a Scottish nationalist. I am just so
delighted that after all these years what we did has real relevance
Observer 25 May 2008)
was trying to do all those years ago was not to steal a piece of stone,
however symbolic. I was trying to restore the human dignity of my own
people….It is a terrible thing when a person or a nation loses its
pride. They feel they are nothing.
16 October 2008)
Douglas Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton, 1st Duke
Brandon and 1st Baron of Dutton (1658-1712):
we, in half an hour, yield what our forebears maintained with their
lives and fortunes for many ages! Are none of the descendants here of
those worthy patriots who defended the liberty of their country against
all invaders – who assisted the great King Robert Bruce to restore the
constitution, and avenge the falsehood of England and usurpation of
Baliol? Where are the Douglases and the Campbells? Where are thre peers?
Where are the barons, once the bulwarks of the nation? Shall we yield up
the sovereignity and independency of Scotland, when we are commanded by
those we represent to preserve the same, and assured of their assistance
to support us?
speech opposing Union with England 2 November 1706)
Hamilton, 2nd Lord Belhaven (1656-1708):
I think I
see a free and independent kingdom delivering up that which all the
world hath been fighting for, since the days of Nimrod; yea, that for
which most of all the Empires, Kingdoms, States and Principalities and
Dukedoms of Europe, are at this time engaged in the most bloody and
cruel wars that ever were, to wit a power to manage their own affairs by
themselves without the assistance and counsel of any other.
(Speech opposing the incorporating Union between Scotland and England 2
(Cliff) Leonard Clark Hanley, ‘Henry Calvin’
Journalist, Novelist, Playwright; Songwriter and Broadcaster
distinquishes Scottish soccer, perhaps, is the permanent triumph of hope
over experience. Scottish teams have certainly made their mark now and
then on the international scene. But in general, they tend to set out on
a wave of euphoria and sink without trace…Next time, all will be
different. It is nearly always next time the Scots are looking for.
(The Scots 1982)
leader of men is somebody who is afraid to go anywhere by himself.
The country of the extremes
Love of life
Hatred of life
Poets and murderers
Rigid temperance and savage drinking
John Knox and Johnny walker
Prosperity and poverty
empty landscapes and the most congested slums in Europe
Warm hearts and idiot violence
A country of sturdy democracy and savage class hatred side by side
The gulf between opposites
bosses and the workers
Them and us
The Bowler and the Bunnet
and the Bunnet 1967)
HRH Prince William Augustus of Wales, HRH Duke of Cumberland, The House
of Hanover (‘Butcher’ Cumberland) (1721-1765): English Soldier
are these men going to do with a bundle of sticks [Bagpipes]? I can
supply them with implements of war.
(Reviewing Highlanders in the Hanoverian service 1745/46)
Keir Hardie (1856 - 1915): Politician, Founder of Scottish Labour
I am strongly in favour of Home Rule for Scotland
being convinced that until we have a Parliament of our own, we
cannot obtain the many and great reforms on which I believe the
people of Scotland have set their hearts..
(Mid-Lanark By Election 1888)
men elected to make laws are but a small part of a foreign parliament,
that is when all healthy national feeling dies.
Christopher Harvie: Politician, Historian and Author
tradition had given a logic of its own to Scottish development during
the Middle Ages. Two national epics treated the Wars of Independence,
1296-1328, not as a chivalric episode but as a popular struggle which
was also libertarian. The myth was underlain by reality. On the edge of
Europe, composed of a variety of races and affected by the cultural
traditions of Roman and Christian Europe, Welsh, Irish and Norsemen,
Scotland had evolved by the thirteenth century, in advance of England
and France, the institutions of a national community. They were in the
main aristocratic, derived from Anglo-Norman feudal practice but their
local identity was so secure that when the male royal line of Scotland
expired in 1286, the Scots nobility thought that joining England under a
dual monarchy implied no major risk to it. Instead, the collapse of this
scheme, and English invasion, made patriots of the mass of the
(Scotland & Nationalism: Scottish Society and Politics 1707 to the Present
standard of Labour MPs in Scotland was lower than in England, as local
government work was unpaid, many party activists were excluded from it
and Labour councillors – small businessmen, trade union officials and
housewives – had only a primitive level of political consciousness. The
key to success in the Labour Party, as one weary left-winger maintained,
was ‘the law of the rise of the charismatic numskull’;
meetings, become minute secretary, organise jumble sales, canvas, but
don’t say anything. Never express a political opinion. Then nobody will
know what you stand for and they’ll sort out everyone whose line they do
know. That way you become an MP, as they can’t think of anything against
1967, the year of the Pollok and Hamilton by-elections, even the most
charismatic of numskulls was in for a very rough time.
Nationalism: Scottish Society and Politics 1707 to the Present, 1977)
Gerry Hasson: Writer, Researcher, Policy Analyst, Editor and Broadcaster
leaves Scottish Labour in a state of denial. Having been the political
establishment [in Scotland] for the past 50 years, Labour has fallen for
its own hype and chosen to believe it has a divine right to rule.
28 March 2008)
has become a more confident, diverse society and a place that sees
itself as more of a nation than ever before, and it expects its
government, national politicians and leaders in public life to reflect
this sea change. Alex Salmond has, in a way, been both a product of this
change and aided it, and it is difficult to imagine the office of First
Minister ever going back to the dismal, minimalist politics of Jack
19 May 2008)
his article Gerry Hasson also correctly predicted that Wendy Alexander would
resign as Leader of the Scottish Labour MSPs.
(Willie) Haughey: Businessman
not complete transparency in political giving in the future, then I
certainly won’t give to any party.
(8 December 2007)
Glasgow businessman had previously donated more than £1 million to the
British Labour Party.
Campbell Hay, Deòrsa Mac Iain Deòrsa (1915-1984):
Poet and Political Activist
do thaalmh duthcais,
Air fearann no air chuinneadh,
Air onair no air siursachd,
forsake your native land
For lands or for wealth
For honour or for harlotry.
Forsake Your Native Land)
Hazlitt (1778-1830): English Writer, Essayist and Literary Critic
Scotch are proverbially poor and proud, we know they can remedy their
poverty when they set about it. No one is sorry for them.
Politician and Businessman
up till Scotland’s freedom is won.
(Hamish) Scott Henderson
(1919-2002): Folklorist, Poet and Songwriter
Nae mair will the bonny callants
Mairch tae war, when oor braggarts crousely craw,
Nor we weans frae pit-heid an' clachan
Mourn the ships sailin' doon the Broomielaw.
Broken faimlies in lands we've herriet
Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair;
Black an' white, ane til ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o' their maisters bare.
A tree has many branches but
travelling people are the roots.
Freedom is never, but never a gift from above; it invariably has to
be won anew by its own exercises.
(Letter to ‘The Scotsman’)
spoke the men of Knoydart
“You have no earthly right
For this is the land of Scotland,
And not the Isle of Wight.
When Scotland’s proud Fianna,
With ten thousand lads is manned,
We will show the world that Highlanders
Have a right to Scottish Land.”
(The Ballad of the Men of
Scotland has never had a Shakespeare but she has the Ballads…
Professor Arthur Herman: American Historian and Author
if you a monument to the Scots, look around you … Before the eighteenth
century was over, Scotland would generate the basic institutions, ideas,
attitudes, and habits of mind that characterise the modern age. Scotland
and the Scots would go on and blaze a trail across the global landscape
in both a literal and a figurative sense, and open a new era in human
history… The Scots are the true inventors of what we today call the
social sciences: anthropology, ethnography, sociology, psychology,
history and … economics. But their interests went beyond that… The
Scottish Enlightenment embarked on nothing less than a massive
reordering of human knowledge. It sought to transform every branch of
learning – literature and the arts; the social sciences; biology,
chemistry, geology and the other physical and natural sciences – into a
series of organised disciplines that could be taught and passed on to
(How the Scots
Invented the Modern World – How Western Europe’s Poorest nation Created Our
World & Everything in It, New York 2001)
amazing story of the Scottish National Party’s rise and eventual triumph
in the face of tremendous official hostility and bitter factional
infighting closely follows the decline of traditional British politics.
The SNP came to fill the void created by the demise of the Liberals and
classical liberalism: as the other political parties made the class
struggle and whether to extend or demolish the welfare state their
principal issues, Scottish voters began to turn to a party that, if
nothing else, offered a way out of Scotland’s malaise. Whether it was
devolution, or autonomy, or outright independence (the SNP leadership
often quarrelled bitterly over which they wanted), it was at least
something different – and something that struck a chord that most Scots
deeply felt but had been afraid to acknowledge: a sense of national
Scots Invented the Modern World – How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation
Created Our World & Everything in It, New York 2001)
English Police Detective Inspector and Author
me if the Scots want real independence, and fair enough if they
do, they should have it.
tell you that their kinsfolk may be justly regarded as being responsible
for many important developments over the years: The telephone –
Alexander Graham Bell; Penicillin – Alexander Fleming; TV – John Logie
Baird; roads and bridges – Thomas Telford. There are many more. Here, at
least, the English can notch up a breakthrough of their own, for, it is
said, it wasn’t until the construction of the Forth and Clyde [Canal]
that wheelbarrows first appeared north of the border. The Scots,
particularly with allotments, would do well to remember this. England be
Eric J Hobsbawm:
Egyptian-born, English-domiciled Historian and Author
Scotland and Wales are socially, and by their history, traditions, and
sometimes institutions, entirely distinct from England, and cannot
therefore be simply subsumed under English history or (as is more
and Empire 1968)
James Hogg,’ The Ettrick Shepherd’ (1770-1835): Poet and Novelist
the games that e’er I saw,
Man, callant, laddie, birkie, wean,
The dearest, far aboon them a’,
Was aye the witching channel stane. [curling stone]
Oh! For the channel-stane!
The fell good name the channel-stane!
There’s no a game that e’er I saw,
Can match auld Scotland’s channel-stane.
(The Channel Stane)
been bred amongst mountains I am always unhappy when in a flat country.
Whenever the skirts of the horizon come on a level with myself I feel
myself quite uneasy and generally have a headache.
(Letter to Sir
Walter Scott 25 July 1802)
Home (1722-1808): Minister, Poet and Playwright
erect the Caledonian stood;
Old was his mutton, and his claret good.
‘Let him drink port!’ the Saxon statesman cried.
He drank the poison, and his spirit died.
‘Mr Glasgow’ (1906-1991): Journalist, Author, Historian, Scriptwriter and
football players have been quoted as saying that the Hampden Roar is the
equivalent of two goals for Scotland. Unfortunately this has not always
The Glasgow invention of square-toed shoes was to enable the
Glasgow man to get closer to the bar.
(Chris) Hoy: Cyclist
cross the line and all the pressure evaporates. It’s like nothing else
you’ve ever felt.
Gold cycling success 19 August 2008)
haven’t had a single day off. Even getting a couple of hours to myself
is pretty unusual.
after Olympic success October 2008)
Octavian Hume (1829-1912):
Civil Servant, Political Reformer and Founder of the Indian National
A free and
civilized government must look for its stability and permanence to the
enlightenment of the people and their moral and intellectual capacity to
appreciate its blessing.
in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
increase of riches and commerce in any one nation, instead of hurting,
commonly promotes the riches and commerce of all its neighbours.
testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be
of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the
fact which it endeavours to establish.
(An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,
not strange that at a time when we have lost our Princes, our
Parliaments, our independent government, even the Presence of our chief
Nobility, are unhappy in our accent and pronunciation, speak a very
corrupt Dialect of the Tongue which we make use of, is it not strange, I
say, that in these Circumstances, we shou’d really be the People most
distinguished for Literature in Europe?
then, is the great guide of human life.
Concerning Human Understanding 1758)
Blane Hunter: Businessman, Entrepeneur and Philanthropist
belief is that with great wealth comes great responsibility.
17 July 2007)
Hutton (1726-1797): Geologist, ‘Father of Modern Geology’
to the Earth and it shall speak to thee. Time is to Nature endless and
Poet, songwriter and Piano Tuner
mair, ance mair where Gadie rins,
Where Gadie rins, where Gadie rins,
Oh! Lat me dee where Gadie rins,
At the foot o’ Bennachie.
Gin I War Whaur Gadie Rins)
Aberdeen-born poet and songwriter died far from his beloved Bennachie, while
visiting one of his brothers in Jamaica in 1846. He was a forebear of the
folk singer Hamish Imlach, one of the greats of the Scottish Folk Revival in
Washington Irvine (1783-1859): American Author, Essayist, Biographer and
saw a great part of the border country spread out before me and could
trace the scenes of those poems and romances which had bewitched the
world. I gazed about me for a time with mute surprise, I may almost say
with disappointment. I beheld a mere succession of grey waving hills…
monotonous in their aspect and destitute of trees… and yet such had been
the magic web of poetry and romance thrown over the whole that it had a
greater charm for me than the richest scenery I beheld in England. I
told [Sir Walter] Scott that he had a great deal to answer for on that
head, since it was the romantic associations he had thrown by his
writings over so many out-of-the-way places in Scotland that had brought
in the influx of curious travellers. Scott laughed and said I might in
some measure be right and recollected a circumstance in point. He
recalled an old woman who kept an inn at Glencross who recognised him as
the gentleman who had written a bonnie book about Loch Katrine. She
begged him to write a little book about their lake too, for she
understood his book had done the inn at Loch Katrine a muckle deal of
(Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey 1817)
Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer and Diarist
me fit was on your mind ye roarin Norland wind?
As ye come blawin frae the land that’s never frae ma mind.
Ma feet they traivel England but I’m deein for the North.”
“Ma man, I saw the siller tides rin up the Firth o Forth.”
(The Wild Geese)
Politician, Scottish Minister for Justice
message is clear – bigots and bullies have no place in a modern Scotland
and will be shamed.
Scottish Executive review of new laws to tackle religious hatred 27 November
Jeffray, Lord Jeffray (1773-1850): Judge and Man of Letters; Founder
and Editor of the Edinburgh Review (1802)
I could not live anywhere out of
Scotland. All my recollections are Scottish, and consequently all my
imaginations; and though I thank God that I have as few fixed opinions
as any man of my standing, yet all the elements out of which they are
made have a certain national cast also.
(letter to Lord Murray
20 August 1813)
I think it
is a great good on the whole [the generalist democratic approach of
Scottish education], because it enables relatively large numbers of
people to get – not indeed profound learning, for that is not to be
spoken of – but that knowledge which tends to liberalise and make
intelligent the mass of our population, more than anything else.
Robin Jenkins (1912-2005):
Author and Teacher
had taken the place of religion in Scotland.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784): English Lexicographer
oats, n.s A grain which in England is generally given
to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.
(A Dictionary of the English Language, 1755)
country [Scotland] consists of two things, stone and water.
storm bound, rained on and tossed about in boats during his tour of the
Western Isles 1773)
But, Sir, let me tell you, the
noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that
leads him to England!
(Quoted in James Boswell The Life of
Samuel Johnson 1791)
be made of a Scotchman, if he be caught young.
Scotland, madam, is only seeing a worse England, It is seeing the flower
fade away to the naked stalk. Seeing the Hebrides, indeed is seeing
quite a different scene.
James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson 1791)
[Highland] chiefs have already lost much of their influence; and as they
gradually degenerate from patriarchal rulers to rapacious landlords,
they will divest themselves of the little that remains.
(Journey to the Western Islands)
southern inhabitants of Scotland, the state of the mountains and the
islands is equally unknown with that of Borneo and Sumatra. Of both they
have heard only a little and guess the rest. They are strangers to the
language and the manners, to the advantages and wants of the people,
whose life they would model, and whose evils they would remedy.
the Western Islands of Scotland 1775)
speech [Gaelic] of a barbarous people with few thoughts to express.
Wonder what the noble Doctor would have made of a TV channel dedicated to
the rude speech with few thoughts to express as the recently launched
digital Gaelic station BBC Alba makes for excellent and varied viewing.
(Tom) Johnston (1882-1965): Politician, Journalist and Author
become, and increasingly become, uneasy lest we should get our political
power without first having, or at least simultaneously having, an
adequate economy to administer. What purpose would there be in getting a
Scots Parliament in Edinburgh if it has to administer an emigration
system, a glorified poor law and a graveyard?
(Jimmy ‘Jinky’) Connolly Johnstone (1944-2006):
Footballer, Celtic and Scotland
to entertain and to that you’ve got to practise at it. And that’s what’s
Poet and Writer
Anniversaries afford us a big noisy opportunity to try and remember what
we should not have forgotten.
(Billy) Kay: Author and Broadcaster
Hugh MacDiarmid the father of modern Scottish literature who wrote the
we hae faith in Scotland’s hidden poo’ers
The present’s theirs, the past and future’s oors.”
long we Scots were content to look to the past and perpetuate a romantic
myth about the country. Attractive though the myth might be, it hinders
the natural growth of the culture, for no one confronts the problems of
the present in their thoughts and writing. The writers listed above are
among those who tried honestly to be aware of the values of the past,
but only as they touch the present and are relevant to the future. Books
on tartan are fine, but books on people are better. Enjoy your reading
and come to a closer understanding of Scotland at the same time.
Newsletter No 75 of the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, 18 April 1975)
writers suggested by Billy Kay included Neil Guun, Lewis Grassic Gibbons,
George Douglas Brown, Iain Crichton Smith, Fionn MacColla, George Mackay
Brown, Archie Hind and William McIlvanney. Works by all these would still
appear on a suggested reading list of Scottish novelists today.)
Scots have made a contribution to national and individual freedom in the
world and I sure that all of this begins with the example of William
American Arthur Herman has written a marvellous book on the Scottish
Enlightenment titled How the Scots Invented the Modern World – I
wouldn’t go quite as far Professor Herman, but I would agree with his
countryman the novelist John Steinbeck, who in 1964 wrote a letter to
Jackie Kennedy: “You talked of Scotland as a lost cause and that is not
true. Scotland is an unwon cause.”
As long as
we have the inspirational memory of Wallace to guide us, the Cause of
Scotland will never be lost…
(Wallace Day Address, Aberdeen 21 August 2005)
his songs, Burns will live forever.
Scotland 5 January 2009)
Television Presenter, Columnist and Author
comfort before appearance. I couldn’t bear to live in something that
looked like a show house’
delighted we’re scrapping that horribly cringe-making slogan that
Scotland is the best small country in the world. There’s nothing small
about Scotland. We’re all about big, beautiful scenery and giant
intellects that invented the likes of penicillin, telephone and TV. We
enjoy gigantic portions of grub and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into
our football and rugby clubs. That slogan made us look like a lot of wee
(On the SNP
Scottish Government dropping the previous Labour/Liberal Democrat Executive
slogan – Sunday Post 2 September 2007)
gone from being scunnert and angry to being weary of it. It just happens
far too often, I am a Dundee United fan and we were robbed. We have to
stop whinging and moaning about it and do something about our referees.
Scotland – in the wake of Dundee United once more suffering from poor
refereeing against Rangers 10 May 2008)
never put poison into my body.
asked if she would consider Botox or a facelift July 2008)
Burns’ lusty, earthy, honest style and the way he can be bawdy but also
tender. My favourite Burns moment is hearing the Russian Red Army
version of ‘A Red, Red Rose’ while it was what then the Soviet Union. I
was very gratified at the esteem in which our Bard was held.
Mail 18 January 2009)
(1928-1968): Novelist and Screenwriter
“Whisky. For the gentlemen that like it and for the gentlemen who
don’t like it, whisky.”
(Tunes of Glory 1956)
Words are so suspect, as we
know. Much as I've tried them before the horrid little Scot
locked up inside has betrayed my best intentions.
(Letter 1 March 1964 in Susan Kennaway,
The Kennaway Papers 1981)
Kipling (1865-1936): English Author and Poet
send a man like Robbie Burns to sing the Song o’ Steam!
(Davie) Kirkwood, 1st Baron Kirkwood (1872-1955):
Politician and Engineer
men are the Clyde shop stewards. I can assure you that every word you
say will be carefully weighed. We regard you with suspicion because the
Munitions Act with which your name is associated has the taint of
slavery about it, and you will find that we, as Scotsmen, resent that.
If you deserve to get the best out of us, you must treat us with justice
to David Lloyd George, Minister for Munitions, on behalf of Clydeside Shop
Stewarts 25 December 1915)
Trent Lott Snr.: American Politician, US Senator
I learned over the
years that I have some very strong Scottish roots of my own – my
mother’s name is Iona Watson and her brother’s name was Ferguson Watson.
As a kid I always thought those names were a little different and then
as I got older I started asking questions and studying the history of my
family and then studying the history of Scotland.
Some of the early
signatories of the [American] Declaration of Independence were of
Scottish descent and our own Declaration of Independence was very
closely related - if you look at the words – to the original Declaration
of Arbroath. Because of that, when I was the majority leader of the
Senate in the 1990s I decided that since we had a St Patrick’s Day in
America and we had a Columbus Day in America we needed a Tartan Day in
Abbey Pageant Re-enactment 6 April 2009)
Flagnote: In 1998 Trent
Lott proposed US Senate resolution 155 – introducing a Tartan Day to the USA
on 6 April every year. The date marks the anniversary of the Declaration of
Arbroath in 1320 which urged the Pope to recognise Scottish Independence.
Louisa (AL) Kennedy:
Novelist, Short Story Writer and Comedian
something good happens in my life, I tend to get quite suspicious
because empirically, it will always bugger off before I get used to it.
think awards make much sense. You could just as easily not be a winner
because the person with the casting vote had indigestion.
Queens Counsel, Broadcaster and Author
that the time has come for women – I see so many women changing
frontiers, and doing it with good humour and with affection and with
enthusiasm, and never losing touch with their nurturing qualities, as
women who were successful in the past often had to do. Now, it seems,
one doesn’t have to abandon these things.
Kennedy of Glentig (1460-1508): Poet
nae priests for me shall sing,
Nor yet nae bell for me ring,
But ae Bag-pype to play a spring.
Kennedy-Fraser (1857-1930): Singer, Collector and Arranger of Gaelic Songs
Folk-song has come into its own of late years. The University of
Edinburgh has set its mark on the place assigned to such racial lore by
conferring on me the honorary degree of Doctor of Music .
(A Life of
John Knox (1513-1572):
with God is always in the majority.
‘Quhat have ye to do’, said sche [Mary Queen of Scots], ‘with my
Mariage ? Or quhat ar ye in this Common-welth?’
Subject borne within the sam’, said he [John Knox}, ‘Madem.
And albeit I be nyther Erle, Lord, nor Barron within it, yit hes
God maid me (how abject that eveir I be in your Eies) a profitabill
Member within the sam’.
of the Reformatioun in Scotland 1586)
I am in
the place where I am demanded of conscience to speak the truth, and
therefore the truth I speak, impugn it whoso list, *
(* whoever chooses to attack it)