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    The reign of James I Pages on later periods of Scottish history cover the in and the. There is also a lengthy detailed article about the during the Uprising and a similar article on There is also a detailed article on the And after all the battles and wars there is a with a balanced account of the.

    It also features video clips filmed at historic sites across Scotland and you can test your knowledge in the historical games section. A Complete Resource Guide Perhaps not yet "complete" but growing with introductory information on a range of clans, music, kings, castles, counties, battles, landmarks, religion and literature. For many of the topics there are links to selected books available from Amazon if you want to obtain more details. Items range from great sporting moments to the Empire Exhibition, entertainment people going "Doon the Watter" in and the world famous Harry Lauder on radioClydeside shipbuilding and from locations around Scotland.

    There are films from the early part of the 20th century as well as more recent times s. There are a number of pages on this site covering such subjects as the listed by date from to with notes on each and the succession of abbots fromstarting with Colum-Cille St Columba himself. There are also details of the which aims to create an electronic database of all the pre-Reformation clergy in Scotland.

    A fresh look at the Romans in Scotland based on a critical examination of the writings of Tacitus and up-to-date archeaological data. Articles on the history of the monarchy on the "Royals" own web site. The articles with relevance to Scotland are divided into sections such as: The classic multi-volume Burke's Landed Gentry has been a standard reference work for generations of researchers into the genealogy of all the major titled and untitled families in the UK.

    The first volume of the 19th edition, due to be published in Augustcovers all the people who have power and influence in Scotland.

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    So it not only covers all the expected aristocracy such as peers, lords, barons, knights and clan chiefs but also senior figures in politics, the military, law, religion, education, business and the arts.

    The Web site promises to have an on-line searchable database from spring onwards and you can order the printed version via the site. SCRAN will document and making electronically available the collections held by public bodies, including museums, galleries and archives. It will build up a vast national database containing 1. There will be access to top quality cultural resources, including pictures, sound files and moving images.

    As the project is only just under way this site is only able to whet our appetites. Based in Edinburgh, NAS is the main archive for sources of the history of Scotland as a separate kingdom, her role in the British isles and the links between Scotland and many other countries over the centuries.

    The NAS holds records spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries, touching on virtually every aspect of Scottish life. Note, however, that while the site gives advice on how to make best use of a visit to the NAS in Edinburgh, none of these records or images are available on-line. Additional sections are planned on, for example, the darker events linked to Edinburgh of old such as Burke and Hare, the Grassmarket hangings, and the great Edinburgh plague.

    Maps from National Library of Scotland Scanned images of historical maps of Scotland, including of the most important maps fromPont's maps of Scotland and 18th century military maps of Scotland.

    Around Timothy Pont, a young graduate of St Andrews University, undertook his remarkable task of mapping Scotland - the first person to do so in any detail. The National Library of Scotland has one of the finest surviving collections of its kind. All images can be reviewed by using a zoom functionality which allows the user to review the maps in a surprising level of clear detail.

    There are maps by such important cartography as William Roy's first survey of Scotland in creating a library of over historical maps. Access to the site is free and you can purchase printed copies of any of the maps. Pencils of Light These are two albums of the Edinburgh Calotype Club, the first photographic club in the world, are among the earliest photograph albums in the world ever assembled.

    They contain over images by a group of pioneering Scottish photographers working in Edinburgh and St. Some of the pictures are hard to see and are of historic interest only, others are very good.

    A lengthy narrative of the origins and history of the Picts, followed by further details of and In there is a discussion of the origins of Scotland's name. There is also a lengthy page of links to other Pictish-related sites. The list keeps expanding but includes: The authentic history of both and the mainly the highland kilt History of plus the Picardy, Breton and other pipes A histories of and and The associated with Clan MacLeod While concentrating on history from a perspective of Strathearn in Perthshire, many of the historical events and people in the broader history of Scotland are covered also.

    Starting with the of the area including the Highland Boundary Fault Line and Earthquake House at Comrie, there is then an interesting relating Strathearn with Scotland's major historical events and a section on the associated with the area.

    The meaning and origins of are explained and the narrative continues with pages on such subjects as: Battle of Prestonpans This resource provides news, interactivity and information on the Battle of Prestonpans and the charitable association Battle of Prestonpans [] Heritage Trust.

    The site comemorates the Battle and seeks to promote the campaign to better commemorate the battle. In addition to details of the historical background and the battle itself, the site includes a variety of multimedia files about the conflict taken from plays and documentaries, as well as ain image gallery and articles and poetry. Extensive with additional pages on aspects such as such as who is reputed to have reached North America years before Columbus and in Orkney in plus the.

    The history of the county and its people, and the local history of its parishes, towns and villages. Most articles are illustrated and cover a range of subjects including James Boswell who came from Auchinleck and Killochan Castle.

    Ayrshire Working Lives This Website displays images of industrial, commercial and agricultural heritage in Ayrshire and was been launched as a result of co-operation between three library authorities, East Ayrshire Arts and Museums, the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive and Ayrshire Archives.

    There are over images on display, telling the story of working life in Ayrshire through to the modern age. Topics include fishing, agriculture, building and transport and there is also background history to help the casual or professional researcher.

    Users are also invited to contribute further information about any of the images. Scots in Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria, Virginia, 6 miles south of Washington DC, was founded in the middle of the 18th century by a group that included several Scottish traders.

    The Web site charts the involvement of many of these Scots in the town. This is the Scottish section of the above society and it highlights and celebrates the many unique links which exist between Scotland and the Native Americans. There is also an extensive section on. Consisting of a number of different elements, including a links page, an essay on Settlement of Dalriada, AD and and the sheriffdom in Scotland from their earliest times into the beginning of the thirteenth century plus the Act of Union in There are also articles assisting pupils doing the Certificate of Sixth Year Studies history, covering including essay questions, articles and a reading list.

    A large site covering a range of historical and other subjects. From a Scottish perspective the pages on are particularly interesting, including: Part of the site, there are a number of illustrated articles giving the history behind some of the buildings and locations in Southern Scotland: There is a page on in Jedburgh and the A well visited sandstone statue of carved instands overlooking the Tweed Valley. There have been articles in the press about the rediscovery, during excavations at Melrose Abbey, of a casket said to contain the.

    This page has an illustration of the casket and its background plus biographical details of this Scottish hero.

    The history of the from its founding in is told here too. The Romans and Celts mixed and co-existed in the Tweed Valley and recent excavations at the Trimontium Roman garrison are attempting to find out more about their relationship. Some and Scottish Historic Houses are covered in detail in the "castles" section of Rampant Scotland. The anniversary produced a wide range of local events and initiatives across Scotland.

    The associated Web site gives details of these, plus a brief outline of the history of printing in Scotland. Designed as an aid to authors writing historical romances about Scotland, the site has a number of articles on aspects of Scottish history including: A series of various thumbnail images and larger versions of and based on films, paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows. The site also contains images from the film and illustrations and brief narrative on including and There are also images of including Pages dedicated to keeping alive the spirit of Braveheart and the interest in Scottish history, culture and politics which Braveheart helped awaken.

    This is a large, long-running site which includes pages on such diverse subjects as: The extracts have been selected to allow the readers to make up their own minds on whether the Clearances were ethnic cleansing or economic necessity - or something in-between.

    An exhaustive set of pages providing all you need to know and more about the first king of both Scotland and England - biography, family, picture gallery, his writings and achievements including the authorised version of the Bible. A site on the ill-fated in Panama at the end of the 17th century gives a comprehensive list of the principal characters, the vessels and dates.

    Ewan Crawford has created a vast compendium of railways in Scotland from their earliest beginnings up to the present day. There is a Chronicle of events, with lots of dates of events from before and a section on the of the engineers and contractors who created the railways in Scotland. The is a list of locomotive building companies with dates of operation and links where appropriate and the has Railway Steam packet companies and fleet lists.

    The section on the themselves has lots of photographs of locomotives and trains, categorised by class.

    The is an index of around 3, places, companies and people associated with Scottish railways. Some of the more well-known railway companies and lines which are covered by the site includes:
    For the Golfer there are 6 courses are within 30 minutes drive, including the excellent local Helmsdale 9 hole course.

    For the highly active perhaps panning for local Gold? Helmsdale and Navidale are also the best places in Scotland to collect Jurassic Fossils. Geologists have constantly been fascinated by the strange boulder beds for many years, and still questions remain unanswered to how many beds were formed.

    Fantastic sunset or sunrise? The morning sun from the cottage April Their scenery varies from wild cliffs and tiny islands to lonely moorland and remote golden sandy beaches. You will find Majestic castles like Dunrobin, Mey, Old Wick and Girnigoe, dozens of ancient monuments, quality tweeds and woollens, whisky distilleries such as Clynelish Distillery.

    Plus tree-lined twisting roads and foaming rivers. The pool systems and patterned bogs of the Flow Country are very important breeding grounds for rare birds and wildlife. Helmsdale centrally located offers unlimited opportunities for the explorer…how much time do you have available and what would you like to see?

    Favourite Walks — within 1 mile of easy walking uphill or downhill from Sea View Cottage you can enjoy these amazing views below Or in a Westerley direction to huge mountains and isolated Lochs like Loch Shin and the rewarding Salmon and Trout rivers of Sutherland and Wester Ross. Or you can head south to the wonderful mysterious Black Isle renowned for its scenic beauty and mild dry climate and easily as far as Loch Ness in around 2 hours. White-fronted Geese overwinter in nearby Loch Mey.

    Except for the cliff breeding colonies, there are birds in residence year-round. But please follow the birdwatchers and countryside codes. Please do not disturb nesting birds, and take care in sensitive areas. Please be very careful and discrete with any information you have been told or on species you discover, this information should only be passed on to the RSPB Etive House, Beechwood Park, Inverness and not put into the public domain. Careless talk can put at risk the birds that you have enjoyed watching.

    The reserve is open at all times; visitor centre is open Easter to end of October, daily 9 am to 5. It is a must for all nature lovers and is easily reached from Helmsdale up the delightful strath of Kildonan either in by car, bike or train from Helmsdale station to Forsinard station. The harbour was built in the years fromand extended in and again in Clearances took place right across the Highlands and Islands, but those perpetrated by the first Duke of Sutherland in this area were amongst the most notorious.

    Helmsdale grew as a planned village fromlaid out on a grid pattern by the Sutherland Estates. Some of the cleared were resettled in Helmsdale, as an alternative to being shipped to the colonies or to North America. The aim was to create a community able to live from both fishing and farming, and, in particular take advantage of the herring boom then in full swing.

    A more recent attraction in Helmsdale is the Timespan Heritage Centre. The museum here gives an insight into the colourful history of Helmsdale and the surrounding area particularly the gold rush ofwhich focused on two tributaries of the Helmsdale River in Strath Kildonan.

    Just like Loch Ness it is believed to be the home of deep mysterious creatures. The Golden sands of the Kyle of Tongue and North Coast The kyle of Tongue is a wildlife paradise — look out for seabirds, eagles, ptarmigans, otters, seals, red deer and enjoy whale and porpoise spotting.

    The area offers wonderful unspoilt game fishing with great yields in a long list of local lochs and rivers, particularly the Naver, Borgie Strathy, Forss and Halladale. Fabulous walking, hillwalking and mountain climbing you can see the Orkneys from the summit of Ben Hope on a clear day!

    This quiet location attracts lovers of the outdoors throughout the year from Hill-walkers and beachcombers to naturalists, fishers, Historians, geologists, photographers and artists.

    Dunnet heads famous lighthouse left one of the locals. There are more than 70 islands in the Orcadian Archipelago…. The River Shin is one of the great Salmon rivers in Scotland, with the fresh, clear water — coloured slightly brown due to the natural peaty soil of the landscape — creating perfect conditions for the Atlantic Salmon, and other fish that thrive in a constant flow of fresh water. This most natural feature enthralls visitors lucky enough to witness the many Atlantic Salmon as they battle upstream at the Falls to return to their place of birth in Loch Shin and spawn the next generation.

    There are also countless river and forest walks, BBQ, gift shop, restaurant and a mini golf course. This huge cave set into limestone cliffs is more than feet long and feet wide and 50 feet high at the entrance! The cave has been carved by successive episodes of high sea level over the past several hundred years. The huge entrance, the largest cave entrance in the British Isles is more than 15 meters high and leads into a chamber more than 60 meters long and 40 meters wide.

    The second chamber, containing the waterfall, is about 21 meters by 9 meters and can be viewed from a specially constructed platform, the third chamber is accessible only by a small boat. The Smoo burn Allt Smoo drops nearly 25 meters into the second chamber down a vertical shaft, the Falis Smoo or chimney Smoo as the as the sink hole in the roof is called.

    The burn cascades into a deep pool with a depth of around eight meters. After heavy rain, the Allt Smoo is changed into a raging torrent that crashes into the underground lochan with a gigantic roar. Wester Ross and Ross-shire Just a couple of hours drive away — here to you can find riches beyond your wildest dreams here and Pictures that tell a thousands of words.

    Again within a day you easily can tour Wester Ross and the beautiful landscape of the north-west Highlands So where do we start…Should we tell you about the more famous attractions of Wester Ross such as Inverewe gardens, and the Victorian Spa town of Strathpeffer, or about the scenery, the mountains, or maybe the golf-course or the gardens. What about the traditional music, or the fishing, and the walking?

    Have you ever seen the sunsets, the wildlife, the birds, the history, genealogy. Or perhaps you prefer the sea, the sailing, a kayak trip, the beaches? Maybe you fancy the swimming pool, the sports centre, the cycling? Have you tasted the prawns, the mussels, the lobsters? Are you for a wee dram…? Chanonry Point is certainly worth a visit as it is reputed to be one of the best spots in the UK to view Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the land.

    The dolphins are often visible off Chanonry point, particularly on an incoming tide when they play and fish in the strong currents. Other wildlife, including porpoises and grey seals, can also regularly be spotted. European otters Lutra lutra are occasional visitors. The largest body of Freshwater in Britain, over 25 miles long, over a 1 mile wide and more than metres deep. In AD the first recorded entry of a sighting was made by St.

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    To the genuine cine film sequence taken by Tim Dinsdale in There were also others like Roy Mackal and Robert Rines, plus a regular supply of Sonar and Radar readings picking up strong mid-water contacts in the Loch.

    There have also been many hoaxers and show men to add to the confusion. Original calculations put the the tonnage of fish living in the Loch at around 3 tons, hardly enough to support a large creature! Helmsdale has its own testing 9 hole course.

    Within 30 mins are another 4 courses in particular Royal Dornoch — another Links course made famous by Tom Watson and further a field further Championship courses such as Raey. The River Helmsdale has long been regarded as one of the most prolific and consistent rivers in the world for producing Atlantic salmon.

    If you are lucky enough to fish on this prime water you will have a chance of hooking a fish from the opening day of the season on 11th January.

    The lower River Helmsdale traditionally offers the best sport in springtime as temperatures are generally low. By the end of March and into April the Kildonan falls become productive. By early May the Spring run is in full flow and the upper beats score well. By late July the main run of grilse has have arrived and sport will be fast and furious throughout the river.

    By mid August most Helmsdale fish are in the system but good sport can be had right up to the last day of the season on September 30th. Although the river thrives from the luxury of having compensation water when required, spate water usually provides the best fishing towards the back end.

    If you do get the chance to fish this famous river be sure to take in all the advice of your ghillie and if you are fishing the popular association water, keep an eye on the locals! Unlike the big rivers of the world where casting long distances is important for success, the secret of the Helmsdale is in reading the water and knowing the lies which are often just under your rod tip!

    Coarse fishing, Sea fishing and Rainbow Trout fishing are permitted all year round and no national rod licence is required in Scotland.

    For the less active and just in need of a rest the beaches are amazing and often you will find one all to yourself. The area has much to offer for those interested in History and archaeology. With a local guide leaflet you can follow trails or head for one of the many ancient monuments. More information at www. Lists sample menus and dining facilities. There is also the Bunillidh Restaurant — Seafood restaurant with a fantastic vegetarian menu.

    There is also Gilberts traditional tea-rooms open daily.

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    Helmsdale also boasts the fantastic Timespan Heritage Centre. The museum here gives an insight into the colorful history of Helmsdale and the surrounding area.

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    There is also a gallery showcasing the work of international, national and local artists; an excellent cafe overlooking the riverside community garden; and a shop. The Timespan Heritage Centre also contains information about the gold rush ofwhich focused on two tributaries of the Helmsdale River in Strath Kildonan.

    It is still possible to pan for gold. There is also a gallery showcasing the work of international, national and local artists. There are various art and craft shops offering a range of animal stoneware sculptures, specialising in wildlife and birds, designed and made by hand.

    Wild Tiles Mosaics, plus craft courses in mosaic, batik, and textile embroidery. The recently Refurbished Hotel enjoys some of the most spectacular views of any hotel in Sutherland and there is also easy access to the beach. By far the best source of other additional local information is the Helmsdale community web site. The history of the castle is quite fascinating and has seen the architectural influences of Sir Charles Barry and latterly Sir Robert Lorimer.

    Instead of driving you can take a return train journey from Helmsdale station to Dunrobin halt or Golspie a most scenic 15 minute journey.

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    The cottage is double glazed with full oil fired central heating throughout, its thick stone walls keeping the cold winters and oppressive summer heat waves away. Other essentials such as glasses, crockery, cutlery and a corkscrew are also provided for your convenience. The Conservatory offers a second sitting room with 2 relaxing arm chairs to enjoy the amazing Sea Views. Great for the early morning sunrises with your coffee and toast, better still for night sky watching with a glass of wine or malt!
    In Gaelic poetry Scone's association with kings and king-making gave it various poetic epithets, for instance, Scoine sciath-airde, "Scone of the High Shields", and Scoine sciath-bhinne, "Scone of the Noisy Shields".

    In either or King Malcolm IV described Scone Abbey as in principali sede regni nostri, "in the principal seat of our kingdom". The king also ruled in LothianStrathclyde and the Honour of Huntingdonand spent much of his time in these localities too.

    Moreover, the king was itinerant and had little permanent bureaucracy, so that any idea that Scone was a "capital" in the way the word is used today can make very little sense in this period. But in the medieval sense Scone can in many ways be called the "capital of Scotland" and was often referred to as "the Royal City of Scone". Many comparisons can be drawn between the City of Westminster and the "City" of Scone. Both were medieval epicenters of Royal power. Both were located beside crossing points of major rivers - the highways of the medieval period - and in geographic locations central to their respective kingdoms.

    The origins of a settlement of any kind at Scone are unknown, although thought to be early medieval. The origins could be pre-Roman as there is much evidence of a well-established and sophisticated Iron Age people flourishing in this part of Scotland. Direct evidence however is lacking and so Scone's story is thought to begin in the wake of the Roman exit from Scottish history. Thus there may have been a village, a religious centre, or even seat of power based at Scone from as early as even the 5th century with Scone coming into real and recorded prominence in the 9th century during the amalgamation of the Pictish and Gaelic peoples and kingdoms.

    Scone at this point played a crucial role in the formation and governance of the ancient Kingdom of Alba and later Kingdom of Scotland. It was in these years in the 9th century that Kenneth MacAlpin came east to Scone bringing with him a holy relic and coronation stone which being housed at Scone acquired the name, the Stone of Scone over time.

    In the 12th century, various foreign influences prompted the Scottish kings to transform Scone into a more convincing royal center. Many historians have argued that the monastery or Priory was founded specifically in by Alexander I of Scotland.

    This is strictly speaking correct, however, it seems clear that this charter was simply a reaffirming of Scone's status, and of the religious institutions there, rather than a sudden founding or establishment. There is growing evidence that there had been an early Christian cult called the Culdees based at Scone dating from at least the 9th century and possibly earlier.

    The Culdees were eventually merged with the Augustinian canons who arrived from Nostell Priory in Yorkshire as part of the "re-establishment". This "re-establishment" and drive to confirm Scone's status at the heart of the emerging Scottish kingdom and nation continued in when Alexander I of Scotland wrote to "all merchants of England" omnibus mercatoribus Angliae promising them safe passage and protection if they are to bring goods to Scone by sea to trade.

    This advantage was at times a major disadvantage as the Vikings came across the North Sea to launch their lightning raids. Using the River Tay as a water route into the heart of Scottish held territory throughout the 9th and 10th centuries, the Viking raiders pillaged towns and villages as well as religious houses such as the abbey at Dunkeld. As time went on for various reasons the river by Scone became less navigable. At the same time medieval ships were developing deeper hulls.

    It was this combination of factors that encouraged David I of Scotland to establish a new burgh at the nearest suitable location downstream of Scone, namely Perth. King Alexander Ithus "re-established" an Augustinian priory at Scone, sometime between and Like other Scottish abbeys, Scone probably doubled up as a royal residence or palace as well as a hunting ground.

    Scone abbey's obvious function was like the role that Westminster Abbey had for the Kings of England, although Scottish kings it appears were subject to a more pagan ceremony including the use of the Moot Hill the coronation mound. It is likely that Scottish inaugurations and coronations were completed in two parts: This can be attributed, as Thomas Owen Clancy points out, to the importance in Gaelic tradition of swearing the inauguration oath in colle, on the traditional mound, the importance of which continental Christian fashions were apparently unable to overcome.

    Scotland's national relics and regalia were made in a formal presentation to the English royal saint, Edward the Confessor. Binchy describes as "an archaic fertility rite of a type associated with primitive kingship the world over".

    Walter of Coventry reported in the reign of William I of Scotland that "The modern kings of Scotland count themselves as Frenchmen, in race, manners, language and culture; they keep only Frenchmen in their household and following, and have reduced the Scots to utter servitude. According to Ailred of Rievaulxfriend and one time member of David's court, David "so abhorred those acts of homage which are offered by the Scottish nation in the manner of their fathers upon the recent promotion of their kings, that he was with difficulty compelled by the bishops to receive them".

    Later history[ edit ] Scone mercat crosstoday almost all that is left of the old village Although Scone retained its role in royal inaugurations, Scone's role as effective "capital" declined in the later Middle Ages.

    The abbey itself though enjoyed mixed fortunes. It suffered a fire in the twelfth century and was subject to extensive attacks during the First War of Scottish Independence including the theft of Scotland's most revered relic, the Stone of Scone. It also suffered, as most Scottish abbeys in the period did, from a decline in patronage.

    The abbey became a popular place of pilgrimage for St Ferguswhose skull the Abbots kept as a relic in a silver casket by the atlar. The Abbey and village also retained older festivals such as the famous Ba' of Sconea medieval game similar to football ; Ba' being short for "ball".

    Despite Scone's decline throughout the late medieval period, it some considerable fame for musical excellence through the composer Robert Carver. In June the abbey was attacked by a reformist mob from Dundee having been whipped up into a frenzy by the great reformer John Knox.

    The abbey was severely damaged during this attack despite Knox's apparent efforts to calm the mob. Some of the canons continued on at the abbey and there is evidence suggesting that the spire of the abbey church was repaired in the aftermath of the reformation. Monastic life at Scone persisted until about at which point the Monks of Scone finally dispersed, religious life continuing to function only as part of the parish church in Scone.

    As a consequence of the Ruthven's failure and demise, Scone, in was given to David Murray of Gospertie, newly created Lord Sconewho in was promoted to Viscount Stormont. It is often said that there is over years of significant Scottish history at Scone. James attempted to rally his supporters by releasing from Scone six Royal Proclamations.

    Having spent six weeks in residence at Scone, James and the Jacobite army marched retreated north on 30 January to Montrose. The rebellion having failed really before James had even arrived, he boarded a ship on 31 January leaving Scotland never to return. Queen Victoriaduring her jubilee tour, visited Scone staying in the Palace for just one night.

    Modern town[ edit ] Constructing the new palace meant destroying the old town and moving its inhabitants to a new settlement. The new village was built in as a planned village compare Evantonbuilt in by its landowner for similar motivesand originally called New Scone. It is also the last word of the play:
    He was a nephew of the Count of Hesden who bore Azure three scallops Or. He was created Hereditary Steward by David I and was granted large tracts of land in Renfrewshire, together with a toft and 20 acres in each Burgh in Scotland; these were confirmed to him in He chose what is now the town of Renfrew as the site for his base; there he and his descendants built the Castle of Renfrew, with its drawbridge and rock cut moat.

    His family became powerful landowners and officers of State; about Marjorie, only daughter of King Robert the Bruce, married Walter Stewart and bore the descendant of Walter Fitzalan who would be crowned as Robert II. The basic Stewart arms, Or, a fess chequy Azure and Argent, seem to originate from Flanders, using the blue and gold of Vermandois. Is it co-incidence that eleven of the ancient families in Renfrewshire have arms incorporating the fess chequy and a further four incorporate a chevron chequy?

    Do the additional charges on the other arms perhaps refer to positions held within the Steward's household?

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    And what about colour variations, as with the Lindsays' Gules, a fess chequy Argent and Azure between three mullets Argent? These 'Stewart' coats stand in sharp contrast to the other early coats showing the Flemish infuence throughout the county which is clearly shown by the use of stark black and white of Alost; the coats of Erskine, Argent, a pale Sable; Maxwell, Argent, a saltire Sable; Cunningham, Argent, a shakefork Sable, and Danielston, Argent, a bend Sable.

    The family is said to be descended from the Shaws of Sauchie, whose coat was plain Azure, three covered cups Or As might be expected, branches of the Stewart family bear the basic coat with suitable difference.

    The Spreulls of Cowdon, who occupied lands which controlled the road south to Ayrshire, bear Or, a fess chequy Azure and Argent between three bags Gules.

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    Bags are normally associated with Saint Matthew, the tax-gatherer, and are often used to denote a treasurer. Were they perhaps guardians and toll-gatherers? The family of Park, which seems to have originated in the Inchinnan and Bishopton area, near Bargarran and Fulbar, bears Or, a fess Chequy Azure and Argent between three stags' heads couped Gules. Their name 'park' implies a manmade hunting enclosure into which game could go, but from which it could not escape. Did the family then take their name from their employment as guardians of the Steward's game?

    The Forest of Paisley, a large tract of wild land to the south west of Paisley, was used by the Stewards as a private hunting preserve, using as a base their 'hunting lodge' at Blackhall, perhaps dating back as early as the 's. Stringent rules were enforced relating to to hunting within this area. Such a hunting preserve would require a Keeper, and who better than the Park family. Their lands of Castle Semple and Elliston guarded another land route south. The family bore Argent, a chevron chequy Gules and Argent between three hunting horns Sable stringed Gules.

    The Semples steadily grew in power to become the Steward's hereditary Baillies of Renfrewshire and their extensive land holdings were around Lochwinnoch, where the High Steward had jealously preserved fishing rights - to the extent that Paisley Abbey could only take fish from that Loch when the High Steward himself was fishing.

    The Semples were a tenacious family, and the only piece of 16th century heraldry in the town of Paisley is a stone showing the Semple arms, datedwith initials A S for Andrew Semple who married in Margaret Stirling of Craigbarnet.

    This stone was placed in the gable of the Semple town house in the High Street. When this building was demolished in the stone was placed in the newly-built replacement. When that, in its turn, was demolished in the s the stone was placed once again in the replacement building, where it remains, at a very high level, to this day. Hunting continued on the estate of Castle Semple until the early twentieth century. The Houstons of Houston, south of Finlayston, used two coats: Or, a fess chequy Sable and Argent between three martlets Sable and Or, a chevron chequy Sable and Argent between three martlets Sable.

    A cult rapidly grew around him and his tomb in Canterbury became one of the main pilgrimage sites in Europe. A potential hierarchy is perhaps more clearly suggested by those arms incorporating a chevron chequy, such as the Semples mentioned above.

    The Ross family, who were appointed Hereditary Constables of Renfrew Castle in the 's, and who held the lands of Hawkhead near Paisley as their main seat, and King's Inch in Renfrew as one of their lesser seats, bore Or, a chevron chequy Sable and Argent between three water bougets Sable, the water bougets being an ancient charge for those of the name of Ross or Roos.

    Their lands of Hawkhead straddled the River Cart above Paisley. One crucial coat of arms that seems to follow the habit of imitating those of the Stewarts, but whose origins still remain uncertain, eventually came to be used by the Burgh of Paisley.

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    Within Paisley Abbey is a monument known as the 'tomb of Marjorie Bruce'. We will omit the arguments which prove that it is not a tomb and has nothing to do with Marjorie Bruce.

    The west end of it shows three coats of arms. The northern coat is suspended from a crozier, denoting that the owner was an abbot or archbishop. The coat has been later blazoned as Or, a fess chequy Azure and Argent between three roses Gules, though there is no evidence for this blazon on the original.

    The supposition must be that this coat refers to an Abbot. Between the years and the uncle and nephew abbacies of George and Robert Shaw left several examples of their heraldry, Azure, three covered cups Or. We are therefore left with the arms of a major figure in the completion of the building of the Abbey, Thomas de Tervas, Abbot from toor his predecessor Thomas Morrow.

    The next surviving representation of the arms appears in on the re-dedication stone of Paisley Grammar School. The link of an educational establishment with the Monastery would be normal and what more natural than use the arms of the Abbot who might have formalised or even founded the institution? The arms next appear in on the Silver Bells horse race prize, along with the initials, as used on the Grammar School stone, of 0 P, for Oppidum Pasleti - the Town of Paisley.

    The arms next appear on the dedication stone for the Meal Market, built in When they appear on 18th century burgess tickets, the arms are in colour for the first time. Interestingly, the arms are not used on the Burgh seal at any time, but were incorporated into the Burgh arms matriculated in When so many families were determined to boast their links with the Stewards, why does this one coat still remain shrouded in mystery? This article has been written to encourage debate and comment rather than to make specific statements about the relationship of all these similar coats of arms to those of the feudal Lord.

    The use of different charges to represent differing professions and occupations is not a clear or exact science and it would be interesting to know of any other major landowners in other parts of Scotland where a preponderance of the coats of arms of the ancient families are based on the superior coat.

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