Good Morning from Scotland
Loch Lomond Sunrise
Loch Lomond Sunrise
Georgie was born in Helensburgh on April 20th 1956 and as a child had little interest in appearing in school plays. She studied graphic design at Glasgow School of Art and moved to London in her mid-twenties to design book covers for the Thames and Hudson publishing house. Looking for other interests she joined Floodlight Council, an organization set up to bring out adult’s artistic skills and then became part of the Questors Theatre Company in Ealing, West London. Here she met the late Alan Rickman - who, like Georgie, had a background in design before treading the boards - and he encouraged her to follow her acting ambitions. As a result she enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic drama school and on graduating had her first job at the Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.
Even then she felt, somewhat modestly, that she did not have the looks for a leading lady but ever since her television debut in 1988 she has been a reliable supporting player in virtually every type of show from sketch comedy to period drama, notably in a recurring role as doughty Sergeant Jennifer Nokes in Heartbeat and the liberal, kindly teacher head of History, Audrey in'Waterloo Road - filmed in her native Scotland.
Indeed she may be said to be one of the first ladies of character acting and though her film roles have again always been in support of bigger names she has proved herself to be a scene- stealer par excellence, as one of the more enthusiastic in Calendar girls alongside Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.
As I said earlier she has been in every type of show, to name a few we have comedy roles in Harry Enfield and Friends, Alas Smith & Jones and Little Britain, drama series and films are two many to mention them all but there are dozens, the pick of them include Taggart, of course, Peak Practice, Doctor Findlay, Mrs Brown, Shakespeare in Love, Silent Witness, and I think a lot of you will maybe “say” oh yes, when I tell you that she was the Judge in The Victim in 2019, an excellent four part series set in Scotland also starring John Hannah and Kelly McDonald. Oh and she was Denise in the brilliant Channel four show Damned!
Georgie seems as busy as ever with a new series of Call the Midwife due out soon, and the popular Children’s BBC show Hetty Feather, she has also been a regular in The Crown as Ruth Lady Fermoy in four episodes last year as well as that she has been in the BBC sitcom The Cleaner along with some great actors, Greg Davies, Helena Bonham Carter and David Mitchell.
Young Tom’s father known as Old Tom was a golf pro at St Andrews at the time he was born but the family moved with his family as an infant from St Andrews to Prestwick that same year. Young Tom studied at the prestigious Ayr Academy up to his early teens. The Morris family was becoming more prosperous, and hence able to afford the expensive private school fees, in the range of £15 per year. At the Academy, Young Tom studied with the sons of noblemen and wealthy businessmen, and would put his schooling to good use in his golf game and in his personal relationships.
Tom was a prodigy. At age 13, he won an exhibition match in Perth for a first prize of 15 pounds. At 16, he won the Open Professional Tournament at Carnoustie against the best golfers in Scotland. At 17, he became the tournament’s youngest winner of the Open and began his domination of the tournament, winning three consecutive titles to take permanent possession of the Championship Belt in 1870.
The Open wasn’t played in 1871, but Morris made it four in a row in 1872, which is a record. That victory also gained Young Tom Morris the distinction of being the first golfer to win the silver claret jug, the permanent trophy for the Open Championship.
Tall, strong and incredibly handsome, Young Tom was to golf in his era what Arnold Palmer became in the later 1950s. It was said he sometimes inadvertently snapped a shaft in two merely by waggling the clubhead, but he also displayed an uncanny finesse around the greens.
Like his father, Tom Morris Jr. was idolized not only for the way he played, but the way he competed. In St. Andrews: Home of Golf, Young Tom was described as “endearingly modest.” Robert Clark, author of Golf: A Royal and Ancient Game, wrote about Morris’ “amiable temperament…obliging disposition…gentlemanly appearance…manly bearing,” and “undaunted determination.”
Today, he would be described as having the total package. “Golfers may come and golfers may go, but it is very much open to doubt whether any golfers will be quite the idol of the day as Young Tom was during his brilliant career,” wrote Harold Hutchinson in The Book of Golf and Golfers.
Tragically his life came to an end in 1875. Playing an exhibition match with his father in North Berwick against Willie and Mungo Park, Morris received a telegram that his wife of a year and son had both died during childbirth. It was a mournful party in atrocious weather that made the voyage across The Firth of Forth to St. Andrews, and Morris never recovered from the shock of his loss.
He died three months later, on Christmas Eve, of a pulmonary hemorrhage, causing some to speculate that he had died of a broken heart. His memory is perpetuated by a plaque in St. Andrews Cathedral which bears the inscription, “Deeply regretted by numerous friends and all golfers, he thrice in succession won the championship belt and held it without rivalry and yet without envy, his many amiable golfing qualities being no less acknowledged than his golfing achievements.”
If you haven’t seen the film based on his life, please seek it out, Tommy’s Honour stars Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden, the film is directed by Jason Connery, son of “Big Tam” or the late Sean Connery, as he was better known. If you want a stream to watch it just ask and I will post it.
Pics show Young Tom wearing the Open Belt and father and son in the second, the third is his grave.
The history of the Knights Templar in Scotland has been much mythologised, with some legends even suggesting that they fought alongside Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.
I have been asked a few times about The Knights Templar, but I honestly don’t know enough about them to piece together a decent post.
On 26th April, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm GMT time, join The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland free as they dive into the real stories behind these Templar tales, please note you have to register to receive the lecture.
On April 20th 1809 James David Forbes, the Scottish physicist who invented the Seismometer was born in Edinburgh.
James was a sickly child ever since birth, and his early years were marked by several tragedies which affected his world view. His mother died in 1810, his older brother William in 1826, and his father in 1827. Consequently he was a solitary individual who made no friends until well into adulthood. One of the sources I have read says he grew up, conservative, superior, and aloof. After the tragedies in his early life I find it amazing he went on to still be talked about 200 years later.
He entered the University of Edinburgh at aged 16 initially studying law but abandoned his legal interests in 1830 and embraced a life of science. There he won academic prizes and began writing articles on meteorology. The articles got him into the Royal Society of London.
Aged only 24 he became a professor at Edinburgh.University, the great James Clark Maxwell was one of his students. Until his health gave out, Forbes never stopped. His character was simply relentless, as irresistible as the glaciers he devoted his life to studying. I am in awe of the amount that he achieved, from ground-breaking research on the polarisation of thermal radiation to the invention of the seismometer, from the first accurate maps of the Alps to the foundations of modern glaciology.
Until Forbes came on the scene, glaciers were shrouded with ignorance and folklore, poorly understood and shoddily studied. A keen mountaineer capable of thirty miles a day for a week across the roughest terrain. He did all this before the invention of modern mountaineering equipment, safety techniques, or even real maps.
In 1843 he suffered an attack of gastric fever that nearly killed him. He struggled against chronic illness for the rest of his life and would never again regain his former strength. In 1846 he returned to the Alps but was too weak to climb, and his doctors prescribed complete rest for his annual six month vacation. Needless to say, his active personality rebelled against the sentence of peace and quiet, and in 1847 and 1848 he conducted a geological campaign in the Western Highlands. In 1848 Forbes explored the north face of Ben Nevis. He was probably the first man to turn a scientific eye to the mountains of Lochaber and Glencoe.
When the Alpine Club was founded in 1857, Forbes was the first honorary member. He maintained a keen interest in the Alps but never again climbed: “My heart remains where my body can never be. My yearnings towards the home of my youth and towards the Swiss Alps are much on a par: both homesickness.” he said.
He died in 1868. I’ve shied away from his scientific work which made Forbes famous to show that some of these great inventors that Scotland spawned were more than scientists but led a life away from their labs and studies. He is buried in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh. The grave is marked by a simple but large grey granite Celtic cross and lies on the south side of the main path just west of the roundel.
The first picture shows Forbes in 1845 taken by Scottish photography pioneers Hill and Adamson.
On 20th April 1918, Mora Dickson, Scottish author, painter and campaigner, was born in Mofat.
In 1958, Mora and her husband, Alec, had the idea for the Voluntary Service Overseas, or VSO, scheme, in response to the ending of National Service. They ran it from their London home until 1962, when a dispute led to Alec’s replacement as director. This prompted them to set up the Community Service Volunteers, or CSV, a volunteer programme focussing on Britain. In contrast to the highly selective VSO, CSV’s philosophy was to take all comers. They were reunited with VSO in the 1990s, and Mora was elected an honorary vice-president.
More on Mora Dickson here.https://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/…/1010838.html
Sunrise over the wreck of Mary of Banff at Balmedie Beach, Aberdeenshire
The Monument and the Thistle. Always on the look out for something a wee bit different.
Happy 78th Birthday Scottish singer Eve Graham, born April 19th 1943 at Auchterarder.
I know some of you will be saying Eve who? but eve was the voice behind Coca Cola’s most successful ad campaign as the lead singer of “I’d like to teach the world to sing”
Eve started singing aged twelve and was asked to sing for Cyril Stapleton in London who, together with Joe Loss, led the big orchestras in the 60s. She then sang as part of the band The Nocturnes, with Lyn Paul, and it was hermum who said they should apply for a new group called The New Seekers, the band were an overnight success.
They hit the American charts, which brought them to the attention of Coca-Cola singing the jingle “Buy the World a Coke” on its advertising campaign, the song was reworked as I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, which was a global hit, selling a phenomenal 96,000 copies of their record in one day, eventually selling over 12 million copies.
The group went on to have hit records such as Beg, Steal Or Borrow and You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me, meant bigger venues, huge crowds and tours with Liza Minnelli, Neil Diamond and Gene Pitney. The line up changed in 1974 and Graham said the magic had gone and left to pursue a career on the cabaret circuit.
In an interview she said “I couldn’t do a concert now as I’m 72, but I hope to record an album of just Scottish songs in the future.”
Well we are still waiting for that album, but she did manage to sneak Caledonia onto her last album in 2018, A Matter Of Time: The Nashville Dream.
On April 19th 1562
James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault was ordered
to surrender Dunbarton castle to the Queen’s officers.
Almost every day I read a wee bit about Mary Queen of Scots, some snippets are of such interest, like this one, that I feel I can make a post about it, others are quite mundane, for example, she arrived somewhere and stayed the night, or she was ill for a couple of days. While the original snippet was only a few words, alone they would mean little, so I have to build a wee bit background, so bear with me.
The Duke at that time 2nd Earl of Arran was Regent to Queen Mary from 1543 to 1554, his son was James Hamilton was put forward as a husband to Mary Queen of Scots. He had good credentials, his mother Margaret Douglas, was descended from James IV and at one point, before Mary was born, he was second in line to the throne, such are the peculiarities that were among the Stewarts back then.
The young James had quite the life, an ally of Cardinal Beaton he was at St Andrews Castle in May1546 when the Cardinal was murdered, and was held prisoner for a year, his Father besieging the Castle. The French helped lift the siege after more than a year and he was freed unharmed.
By then the marriage of Mary to the French Dauphin had been arranged, and in 1548 she was sent to France,
James went with her or shortly earlier in July. Though only a boy of 16, he was appointed captain of the royal
Garde Écossaise, the Scots Guards, an elite Scottish military unit who were personal bodyguards of the monarchs. At the same time he became 3rd Earl of Arran as his father, the Regent , for arranging the marriage of Mary and Francis, the Regent was made Duke of Châtellerault. In 1553 efforts were made to find a bride for the 3rd Earl, including the hand of the French King’s daughter, but he rebuked all attempts to marry him off.
James’ father gave up the Regency in 1556, and switched to a pro-English policy. It has been suggested that James was imprisoned in France as a Protestant in 1557–1558 but there has been no proof found he that he was. The Duke, now encamped firmly with the Scottish Protestants sought to put his son forward as a husband to Queen Elizabeth of England,
to cement an Anglo-Scottish alliance. put to her. John Knox the
leading Protestant cleric in Scotland, supported the proposal.
By 1559, Châtellerault and James openly declared themselves Protestants. James returned to Scotland escorted by English diplomat Thomas Randolph Elizabeth’s Ambassador to Scotland, December that year Elizabeth rejected the marriage proposal.
Fast forward a couple of years and Mary’s husband had died, the Queen returned to Scotland, Châtellerault was a persistent guy and- you guessed it, put forward his son, Young James as a second husband. The 3rd Earl of Arran however had left France under a shadow, pursued by the French, just to be a Protestant was enough for him to have to flee the country, one source says that Mary had denounced James as an “arrant traitor,” She was hardly going to take his hand in marriage.
This is where the wee bit of a story started for me, everything previous is just background. George Buchanan, no fan of Mary Queen of Scot, suggested that in November 1561, Mary exploited young Arran’s real affection for her by spreading a rumour that he planned to abduct her, security was strengthened around Holyrood, and the Queen in general.
At the end of March 1562, Arran, with “frantic inconsistency”, accused the Earl of Bothwell, with conspiring, with himself, said that the he and Bothwell was planning to abduct Queen Mary, and spoke strangely of witches and devils, and “fearing that all men round about came to kill him”. He also said that the mother of Earl of Moray, Mary’s half brother, was a witch! He was judged insane and confined for the rest of his life. George Buchanan thought the abduction plot was real and Arran a hero, the 3rd Earl however was imprisoned, as was Bothwell for a short time, the charges were too serious to be disregarded. and after being examined before the privy council, at St. Andrews, was soon discovered to be insane. He seems to have been sent to Edinburgh castle, to prevent “further mischief from him”
Such was the sad fate that on the 19th of April, the privy council required the Duke, his father, to surrender Dumbarton castle to the Queen’s officer;
His friend, Ambassador Randolph described Arran in a letter to the English statesman Cecil in January 1564, saying he was “inclined to solitariness, in dark rooms, with little company or talk, and was suspicious of all he met. He was also troubled with jaundice. He ate little, and spent most of his time in bed, without getting sound sleep. His father came to Edinburgh in January 1565 to ask Mary for his release. She visited Arran in the castle and kissed him, but he spoke few words as an apology to ask for forgiveness, and remained a prisoner.
Arran was released in April 1566 and went to Hamilton, sick and without the power of speech. He was to remain within four miles of Hamilton Castle.
His father died at Hamilton on 22nd January 1575. He inherited his father’s estate, but because of his insanity, he was placed under the care of his brother John who held him prisoner at
Craignethan Castle and was never again allowed any freedom.
Thomas Randolph wrote that Arran “has twice before been in the same case,” and his mother and aunts were “certain times or the most part of the year distempered with an unquiet humour! Several members of the family are said to have suffered from “bouts of insanity” It is said that Randolph’s description of Arran’s symptoms sound akin to modern diagnoses of mania and bi-polar disorder although details of his psychological condition will forever remain unknown.
James Hamilton’s brothers were supporters of Queen Mary and fled the country in 1579, when Regent Morton seized their estates. Arran along with his mother and other members of the family were taken to Linlithgow. Little is recorded of James in these later years: he died in 1609.
Pics are of
James Hamilton, 3rd Earl of Arran, his father
James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault and Craignethan Castle, where he was held for some years.
Robert II the first of the Stewart Kings died on April 19th 1390 at
Dundonald Castle, South Ayrshire.
WRobert was the son of Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland and Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce
An act of Parliament in 1315 decreed that the crown should have passed to Robert the Bruce’s brother, Edward, if The Bruce did not produce an heir, which would have been interesting. Edward at the time of his death in 1318 was the, albeit disputed, High King of Ireland, this might have united the two countries, but alas he died, and also he had no children or they would have been in line before the Stewarts.
After Edward died, a hastily arranged Parliament decreed the crown should pass through Marjorie, should an heir not be produced beforehand. All these acts, and if and buts during the decade after Bannockburn were cancelled out when The Bruce and
Elizabeth de Burgh produced an heir. King David II though married twice, failed to have any children to either wife, he is also said to have had a number of mistresses, I can find no evidence of any illegitimate children either, and so it reverted to the line through Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I.
Young Robert was well thought of with one chronicler describing him to be
‘for the innate sweetness of his disposition generally beloved by true-hearted Scotsmen’.
Over 600 years later the jury is still out on Robert II, some say he was quite ineffective, the machinery of government was allowed to stagnate with Robert using honours as a way of controlling the more powerful barons. The rule of law was also weakened and crimes went unpunished. Direct taxation lapsed and barons and officials siphoned off money from customs duties, nothing changes in that way I bet!
Others say this style of bestowing honours made him a successful monarch, me I see little startling in his life, except his recruiting John Barbour to write the life of his namesake King Robert I, “The Brus” The epic tale is a mine of information about our most famous King.
Robert the second was also the father of one of the nastiest pieces of work in Scottish history, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, the Wolf of Badenoch, his father backed his method of “management.”
In dealings with England he was most successful with a The victory of the Scots over the English at the Battle of Otterburn, it was tainted by the loss of James, Earl of Douglas, more of that in August.
Robert II toured the north-east of the kingdom in late January 1390 and returned to Dundonald Castle in Ayrshire where he died on 19th April and was buried at Scone on 25th April
What he lacked in his leadership he made up for in another field, he had 14 children by his two wives and at least another seven to other women, this was to cause conflict with later generations, but it left no shortage of potential heirs, his eldest son, John succeeded him, taking the name King Robert III.
Pics are Robert and Dundonald Castle.
Looking north again, same range as my last pic, but from Abbey Craig.
Coming down from Dumyat on Friday the mist towards the Highlands had lifted so I managed to get a few pics towards what I think, from left to right are Ben More,Stob Binnein, Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin. Anyone who thinks I’m wrong let me know. The body of water is Cocksburn Reservoir.
George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron of Byron was born in London on January 22nd 1788 to Captain John Byron and Catherine Gordon, heiress of Gight in Aberdeenshire.
After his father, known as “Mad Jack”, had frivolled away much of her fortune, Catherine whisked her son away to Aberdeen in 1789 where he spent his formative years, it was this time that left a mark on the romantic poet, he always saw himself as a Scot after this.
His father died when he was three, his half-sister was shipped off to live with their maternal grandmother, and he lived in miserable lodgings with his volatile, depressed mother and their abusive nurse. Aged ten his great-uncle William unexpectedly died in 1789, leaving young Byron to take up the reigns as sixth Baton Byron of Rochdale. The family moved to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire, and he was later educated at Harrow and The University of Cambridge.
Despite enduring such ordeals as a young child in the north east of Scotland, the poet was empowered by his Scottish bloodline. Aged just 19, he wrote of his love for the northern countryside in ‘Hours of Idleness’, distinctly unimpressed by the comparatively barren landscapes of the south, the evidence is in the third verse of the poem Dark Lochnagar, for those unconvinced about his “Scottishness”
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved on the mountains afar
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic
The steep frowning glories o’ wild Lochnagar.
As the poet entered into his late teens and early twenties, his life was quickly overwhelmed by scandal – among his affairs with married women, actresses and young men, it is thought he had a child with his half-sister Augusta, five years his elder, a scandalous life at any time, let alone 18th century England!
In what is considered his masterpiece, Don Jaun, he again harks back to Scotland, the work is over 500 pages long, split into canto’s. Canto X (ten) gives us another wee glimpse with….
But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred
A whole one, and my heart flies to my head, —
As “Auld Lang Syne” brings Scotland, one and all,
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams,
The Dee — the Don — Balgounie’s brig’s black wall,
All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall,
Like Banquo’s offspring; — floating past me seems
My childhood in this childishness of mine:
I care not — ‘t is a glimpse of “Auld Lang Syne.”
And though, as you remember, in a fit
Of wrath and rhyme, when juvenile and curly,
I rail’d at Scots to show my wrath and wit,
Which must be own’d was sensitive and surly,
Yet ‘t is in vain such sallies to permit,
They cannot quench young feelings fresh and early:
I “scotch’d not kill’d” the Scotchman in my blood,
And love the land of “mountain and of flood.”
On April 19th 1905, James (Jim) Alan Mollison was born in Glasgow.
A lot of you might not have heard of Jim, his wife though was Amy Johnson, they were both really famous back in the day but Amy’s legacy seems to have lasted while Jim is barely mentioned. The press loved them and they became known as the flying Sweethearts.
Jim, a pioneering aviator, made a habit of being ‘the youngest’ or ‘the first’ and in his specialist field of aviation, he held many individual records for distance, endurance, and speed flying, at the age of eighteen, the youngest officer in the Royal Air Force.
At the age of 22, Mollison became a flying instructor at Central Flying School (CFS), again setting the record for being the youngest in this role. He set the record for flying from Australia to Britain and, in March of the following year, he set the record for flying from Britain to South Africa. In the August of that same year of 1932, Mollison became the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West. In that same year he met Amy Johnson and I think he tried to set another record, proposing to her after only 8 hour, which she accepted, they married on July 1932
The records tumbled but Amy was often not far behind either setting her own or breaking her husband’s, the old Pathé News always seemed to have a story on them. The marriage of Amy Johnson and Jim Mollison did not survive much longer than the records. They were both egotists and both chasing the same records. Strains turned into cracks Mollison was also a gambler and a heavy drinker and, as a consequence, his marriage to Amy Johnson ended in divorced in 1938, after only six years.
Mollison married again, but later separated for the second time. His drinking continued to be a problem and, in 1953, the Civil Aviation Authority Medical Board revoked his flying license.
Jim Mollison died a broken man in a nursing home in 1959 of an alcohol related condition. It was a sad end for a gallant flier.
The first pic shows Jim with a member of the US, Federation of Scottish Societies entertaining Jim and presenting him with an honorary medal in 1933, other pics are of the flying ace.
Calm morning on Loch Rusky, near Callander.
Cramond sunset by Marc Hislop
Another one from through the week at cramond. I wasn’t fully happy with my previous edits (felt they were too harsh with the blacks) so looked through my catalogue and had one with the sunshine creeping in the top left. I feel this is a much better edit and has more interest.
The Scottish actor Angus Lennie was born on April 18th 1930 in Glasgow.
Many of you of a certain age brought up in Scotland might remember Angus as Shughie McFee, the chef in soap opera Crossroads, but others, myself included he will always be remembered as Archibald Ives, ‘The Mole’ in one of the best ever films, in my opinion, The Great Escape.
Lennie was born and brought up in Shettleston, in Glasgow’s East End, where he attended Eastbank Academy he began in show business as a dancer and stand up comedian. He was a song and dance man by the age of 14, performing at the Glasgow Metropole and was then on the variety circuit prior to making the transition into stage acting at Perth Theatre in the late 1940’s In 1957, he made his television debut in the Armchair Theatre play The Mortimer Touch. Two years later, he was cast as the cabin boy Sunny Jim in the BBC Scotland comedy series Para Handy- Master Mariner the first of the Para Handy tales in 1959. Other TV roles through the years included, The Saint Dr Who, Z Cars, Rumpole of the Bailey, Lovejoy, The Onedin Line, All Night Long, Keeping Up Appearances and Monarch of the Glen.
On stage, he appeared in six pantomimes over 10 years with the comedian Stanley Baxter at the King’s Theatres in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and toured the Far East with Derek Nimmo’s company.
On the big screen as well as The Great Escape he was also in Oh What a Lovely War, 633 Squadron and The V.I.P.s alongside Richard Burton.
Lennie died on 14 September 2014 in Acton, West London, aged 84.
Happy Birthday David Tennant born in Bathgate, April 18th 1971
Born David McDonald, David was brought up in Bathgate and Ralston and he knew from an early age he wanted to be an actor, at the age of three, Tennant told his parents that he wanted to become an actor because he was a fan of Doctor Who. His parents were very religious people and tried to discourage him but he himself admits to being “absurdly single minded” in his ambitions, educated at Ralston Primary and Paisley Grammar School. He acted in school productions throughout primary and secondary school
At aged only 11 the respected Scottish actress Edith MacArthur told his parents he would become a successful stage actor, David attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on saturdays and passed an audition age 16 to enter the academy as one of its youngest students. From there he took several stage roles at Dundee Repertory Theatre.
His first big break came in 1994 when he was cast in a lead role in the Scottish drama ‘Takin’ Over the Asylum’. He then moved to London where his career thrived and, most notably, he spent several years as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and took lead roles in the critically acclaimed TV dramas ‘Blackpool’ and 'Casanova’ and of course the role which catapulted him into “stardom” as Doctor Who.
Since leaving Doctor Who in 2010 his career has gone from strength to strength, with lead roles in films such as Fright Night, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold and in TV series including Spies of Warsaw and the very popular Broadchurch which has just finished it’s third run on ITV. Tennant still treads the board regularly, as well as being in demand for films and TV work, he is married to Georgia Moffett who he met when they co-starred in Doctor Who, her father is actor Peter Davison who took was also Doctor Who in the 70’s!
David’s career has gone from strength to strength, with lead roles in films such as Fright Night, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold and in TV series including Spies of Warsaw and the very popular Broadchurch which was remade in the U.S as Gracepoint, which showed his ability to adapt his accent to a different audience.
During the lockdown over the past year David has kept himself busy withthe likes of Ducktales, which as an animated series he has not had to break restrictions, please look online or on your smart TV for him in Staged, where he and Michael Sheen star as two actors whose West End play has been put on hold due to Covid-19, but whose director has persuaded them to carry on rehearsing online. As well as those look out for Around the World in 80 Days among other projects he has coming up.
April 18th 1886 saw The Earl of Eglintoun, ‘a young nobleman of a fair and large stature’ was murdered by Cunningham of Robertland.
Much is said about how the Highlands of Scotland could be a lawless land with clans often falling out and out and violence flaring, while this could be true, other parts of Scotland could be just as bad, as the following story, set in Ayrshire, tells.
The Baillieship of the district of Cunninghame had long been in the hands of the Cunninghame Earls of Glencairn, however around 1448 the Crown conferred the Baillieship on the Montgomerie Earls of Eglinton. This act inevitably caused resentment and resulted in a bloody feud that was to run on for centuries. At one point Kerelaw Castle was burned and the Earl of Glencairn retaliated by burning Eglinton Castle although the Earl himself had already escaped to Ardrossan Castle. Edward Cunninghame of Auchenharvie was slain in 1526 and Archibald Cunninghame of Waterstoun in 1528.
There are quite a number of different versions of exactly what happened but one goes that on 18 April 1586, Hugh Mongomerie, 4th Earl of Eglinton, aged twenty-four, was travelling to Stirling to attend the royal court. Attended only by a few domestic servants, he stopped at Lainshaw Castle to dine with his close relative, Neil Montgomerie. Neil’s wife Elizabeth Cunninghame, was a daughter of the laird of Aiket, which depending on how much of a conspiracy theorist you are, may or may not have had anything to do with what followed! When the Earl of Eglinton and his party set off again, they were ambushed by a party of thirty Cunninghames at the ‘Bridgend Ford’. His servants were cut down and the earl himself was dispatched with a single shot from the pistol of John Cunninghame of Clonbeith. His horse carried his dead body along the side of the river, a place known long afterwards as the Mourning Path.
I haven’t been able to work out where exactly this happened or even which river is being talked about. Assuming the Earl rode from Eglinton to Lainshaw and then continued on through Stewarton, there is no obvious river he would have needed to have crossed, however I imagine the facts are essentially true. It is certainly the case that if the earl rode on from Stewarton, he would have passed between Aiket, less than 3 miles to the west, and the Cunningham castle of Robertland, is just to the East
Following the murder of the Earl of Eglinton, a wave of bloody reprisals took place. Alexander Cunninghame, the Commendator of Kilwinning Abbey, was shot and killed at his gate at Montgreenan by Sir Robert Montgomerie of Skelmorlie, but as the situation worsened, the Cunningham Earl of Glencairn chose to show his lack of involvement in the whole affair by taking no action against the vengeful Montgomeries and abandoning his kinsmen to face the full weight of the law.
Robert Cunninghame of Aiket, one of those implicated in the murder, was killed near his home; while his brothers-in-law, David Cunninghame of Robertland and John Cunninghame of Corsehill fled to Denmark. Both Robertland and Corsehill were pardoned on the insistence of Queen Anne of Denmark upon her marriage to King James VI of Scotland, despite his earlier vow to bring them to justice. The laird of Clonbeith was traced to a house in Hamilton where he was found hiding in a chimney and hacked to death by Robert Montgomerie and John Pollock of that Ilk.
Aiket and other properties belonging to Cunninghame participants in the murder, were given to the Mongomeries in compensation, but returned to the family six years later. Robert Cunninghame of Aiket’s wife complained bitterly about the ruinous condition the estate was returned to her in, saying:
“the destruction of the policie of the place of Aiket, housis, yairdis, orcheardis and growand trees, swa that the samyn has been rivinous and laid waist, but door, windo, lok, ruf, or but ony repair, and the dewties prescrivit, rigourouslie exacted, to the great wrack of the poor tenantis, quha ar not addetit in sa mekle mail as is extortionat be thame.”
The pics show the arms of the Montgomries and Aiket Castle, as talked about above.