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Oliver Brown
Thoughts Historical


Here is an account of the Scots by Professor James Anthony Froude of Oxford, who suffered all his life by his indiscreet devotion to what he regarded as the Truth.

"If we except the Athenians and the Jews, no people so few in number have scored so deep a mark in the worlds history as you have ever done. No people have a juster right to be proud of their blood.

"Even now you are teaching us what, unless we saw it before our eyes, no Englishman would believe to be possible; that an MP can be elected without bribery. For shrewdness of head thorough-going completeness, contempt of compromise and moral backbone, no set of people were ever started into life more generously provided." (At St Andrew’s University, 19th March 1869).


Our last historian was David Home (generally called Hume for the benefit of the English) and he wrote the history of England! A good history of Scotland could be written only by a writer as skilled in Gaelic as in English.


When a writer has some historical insight (she) he writes a historical novel; when she (he) has none, she (he) writes history.

The reason is this. In a good historical novel everything but the facts is trite: in a history nothing but the facts is true. And sometimes not even these!


The greater part of history is TORY" and the Tories have falsified it for propaganda purposes. I once took a degree with distinction in Tory Propaganda, which the University of Glasgow called "European History". I had to unlearn it afterwards when I began my education.


William Paterson was the originator of the Darien Scheme, of the Bank of England and the drafter of the financial clauses in the Treaty of Union. What other name is associated with three such failures?


I was taught at school that the Border abbeys were pulled down by the Reformers. No-one told me about Hereford who destroyed them and was later called by the English - how ironically - Protector Somerset! They hanged him for some less serious reason.


It has been the habit of anti-Scots (and even of Scottish Nationalists) to belittle Bruce, as if he was a self-seeking Norman baron and not a patriot. Professor G.W.S. Barrow has dealt with this on page 37 of his Robert Bruce. "He may fairly be called a Scotsman born among Scots. He was assuredly much more a Scotsman than his great adversary Edward I was an Englishman... But the truth seems to be that Robert Bruce’s upbringing was coloured by a mixture of traditions of which the Gaelic traditions of Carrick and the West must have been one.


Here is a historical conundrum: She was descended from Colin, first Earl of Argyll; from Archibald, second Earl killed at Flodden; from the Earl of Angus and Sir John Wishart; from the Rev. William Wishart, Minister of Kinneil, and the Rev. George Wishart, minister of St Cuthbert’s. She was Johanne Bertha Julie Jennie, Baroness von Westphalen. What was her married name?

The answer is Mrs Karl Marx.


In guide hooks the massacre of Glencoe is described as part of the clan warfare between the Campbells and the MacDonalds. That is one of the myths of history. The greatest responsibility falls on William III, who signed the document authorising the deed (though this was contrary to his general character.)

The next responsible was Sir John Dalrymple, Secretary for Scotland, who was dismissed, rewarded with a pension and then reinstated. It was finally an atrocity committed by the British Army (as at Amritsar) under Sir Thomas Livingstone, who received a peerage and a monument in Westminster Abbey (like so many other criminals).

Of the adult population of 150 Only about 40 were killed, which testifies to the humanity of the soldiers.

The MacDonalds were not Roman Catholics but Episcopalians. They came back to their glen and increased until the Clearances succeeded where the massacre had failed and put an end to their community.


I met the leading personalities of the early Socialist movement after the first Labour Government had demoralised and killed it. Some of the idealists came over to the National Party of Scotland. (Such was John L. Kinloch) They had powerful influence on that new bodv giving it much-needed experience.

Of the disillusioned, some like Sir Patrick Dollan and John MacGovern took to religion. Others took to drink - they were the better ones!


Any new idea requires an institution to defend it and give it permanence. In the long run that institution sacrifices some of its idea in order to maintain itself. Then the idea becomes forgotten and its means of defence replaces it. So Christianity leads to the Holy lnquisition and Socialism to the Labour Party.


Who Was England’s Patron Saint? Here is the account given by England’s greatest historian (The Students’ Gibbon p. 172):

"George, from his parents or his education, surnamed the Cappadocian, was of mean origin and having obtained a lucrative contract to supply the army with bacon, he accumulated wealth by the basest arts of’ fraud and corruption; but his malversations were so notorious that George was compelled to escape from the pursuits of’ justice. Each moment of’ his reign was polluted by cruelty and avarice, and he oppressed with an impartial hand the various inhabitants of his extensive diocese.

"Under the reign of Constantius he was expelled by the fury or rather by the justice, of the people, and it was not without a violent struggle that the civil and military powers of the State could restore his authority and gratify his revenge. The messenger who proclaimed at Alexandria the accession of Julian announced the downfall of the Archbishop.

George was ignominiously dragged in chains to the public prison and at the end of 24 days was torn to pieces by fury of the multitude who, impatient of the tedious forms of judicial procedure, forced open the prison (December 24, A.D. 361).

"The odious stranger, disguising every circumstance of time and place, assumed the mask of a marytyr. A Christian saint and the infamous George of Cappadocia has been transformed into the renowned St George of England, the patron of arms, of chivalry and of the garter." What do yon think now of the Union Jackal?

I do think it strangely appropriate that England’s patron criminal should be a swindling army contractor!


 

 


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