Did you know...
that the sgian dubh, the small "black knife" worn in the Highlander's hose against his right leg, was a utility knife, often used for the "gralloch" of deer after killing to keep the meat sweet?
that the earliest known maker
of thc "snap-haunce" pistol. an externally primed firearm, was a gunsmith
named Alison, of Dundee, Scotland; his first-known weapon made in 1646?
that the first gunsmithery known was founded at Doune in Perthshire, Scotland, by Thomas Caddell, in 1646?
that the ancient Scottish garment for men called the "breacanfaile" or belted plaid, combined the kilt and the plaid (or shawl) in one length of heavy, hand-loomed, wool tartan, five feet wide and eighteen feet long?
that Magnus, the Norse King, after his conquest of the Hebrides, according to records, adopted the dress of the Scots, himself, and thus kilted, became known to his people and to posterity as Magnus Bareleg?
that when properly pleated, the "sett" or pattern of the tartan kilt must be as perfect and clean-cut in the pleated back as it is in the unpleated front?
that a lady may properly wear a tartan skirt styled like a man's kilt, but, contemporary fashion to the contrary, it should never be so short as to display the knee if she wishes to follow Scottish tradition?
that a Highlander's sporran, the leather or fur purse suspended from the waist, was used to carry "siller," or even a handful of oatmeal for food on a long trek?
that a lady should never, under any circumstances, wear a Scotsman's sporran?
that the Balmoral and Kilmarnock bonnets, the broad, flat, tamlike Scottish caps, are many-centuries old in style?
that the wearing of the kilt and all forms of Scottish dress, use of the tartan, playing of bagpipes, and the bearing of arms for any purpose, was forbidden to the Scottish people for thirty-seven years following their defeat at Culloden, on pain of death or deportation?
that the Glengarry bonnet is the pattern from which the American Army Overseas Cap is styled?
that although the antiquity of the tartans of Scotland is obscure and greatly disputed, and that the earliest written reference in Scotland to "Heland tertan" is dated 1538, much earlier records of the Roman Occupation refer to the robes of the inhabitants of Caledonia as being woven in many colors? This would strongly suggest that the stripes and squares were woven as early as the latter years before the birth of Christ.
that the scale or gauge used by old weavers to reproduce perfectly the sett of a standard tartan was simply a stick around which was wound the exact number of threads of each color needed for the warp and weft? that most of the beautiful tartan setts are created by identical warp and weft?
that the weave of authentic tartan
is a diagonal twill~ over two and under two?
that the word "Tweed," referring to a particular fabric, has nothing to do with Scotland's famous boundary river? It is simply an old misspelling of the word "twill" which in Scotland is pronounced "tweel."
that the fine, "spider-web" knitted shawls that are a tradition in the Shetland Islands are tested in Lanark by drawing them through a wedding ring?
that the wool for the "spider-web" shawls of the Shetlands must be pulled from the sheep rather than shorn?
that the contemporary large Italian community in Scotland has now formally and officially registered its own tartan with the Lord Lyon, in the white, red, and green of Italy's National flag?
that as a young man, William Brewster, probably of Scottish descent, had been private secretary to Queen Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, William Davison, who prepared for Elizabeth's signature the warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots' execution, and dispatched it to Fotheringay Castle, Mary's last prison? Later, to absolve herself from guilt and criticism of her action, Queen Elizabeth declared that Davison had acted prematurely, and committed him to prison for the remainder of his life.
that while later residing in Leyden, Holland with other members of the Puritan-Separatist-Brownist churches who bad fled the persecutions of King James VI, William Brewster, whose background of wealth and education aided him, set up a print shop in which he published in 1619, David Calderwood's A Brief Account of Discipline in the Scotch Church? This defense of Presbyterianism resulted in many unsuccessful attempts by the English, through their ambassador at The Hague, to apprehend him. William Brewster became the well-known and well-loved Elder Brewster, spiritual leader of the Puritans' Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.
that in order to carry out the English laws of suppression against the Scottish people after the Rebellion of 1715, the English General Wade with his troops, commissioned to construct roads through the Highlands connecting forts and the larger cities, built between 1725-1732 260 miles of 16-foot wide roads, and from 30-40 bridges, some of which still exist in good repair?
that Flora MacDonald (1722-1790), although born and brought up in the rugged Scottish Hebrides on farms or "tacks" granted to her father and stepfather by the Clan Chief, and with no formal education, appeared to everyone with whom she had contact to be a well-educated lady? The quality and dignity of her background, the training in house-hold management and in manners by her mother, and the social contacts she had with a family of cousins near Campbeltown, with Lady Margaret MacDonald of Mugstot, and with Lady Clanranald, the wife of her Chief, prepared the enquiring and receptive mind of this remarkable young woman with the poise and serenity she exhibited not only during her "Great Adventure" with Prince Charles, but with the vicissitudes of her later life.
that, as a middle-aged woman of 52, Flora MacDonald, with her family, came to America and settled on a plantation in North Carolina for about five years?
that Flora MacDonald and many of her fellow-Scots-settlers in America, having been previously forced to take an oat of allegiance to King George after the Battle of Culloden, supported the British during the Ame