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What does an ordinary Englishman know (or think he knows) about Scotland? Simple beliefs (as opposed to simple facts) are marked with **. The last few entries are things you may not know.


The capitol of the country is Edinburgh [ed'-in-buh-ruh]; we've almost captured it once or twice.

**It is overrun with Frenchmen, which means it is a continuing threat on our northern flank and ought to be subdued by England for our own good. (However, the "Auld Alliance" with France was actually dead by 1570.)

**The Scots are untrustworthy, incapable of keeping a bargain, treaty, or their word, even amongst themselves. There is no word for loyalty in Scottish.

**Barely civilized, they are almost as bad as the Irish.

Berwick and the Borders

The Borders comprise the West, Middle and East Marches of England, facing the West, Middle, and East Marches of Scotland. Each march is governed by a warden.

Being at feud is a way of life. A truce may be pledged and may include marriages between feuding families, although this does not create a permanent peace.

A common soldier in the Scottish border garrison at Berwick (bear'-ick) gets food, clothing, equipment, and 8 pence a day, from which 4 pence is kept back for food, clothing, equipment.

Although still in transition, Scotland is rapidly going protestant. Scottish Protestants are Presbyterians, following the Calvinist teachings of John Knox. The Highlands are predominantly Catholic.

In the Lowlands, the proper term is "family", not "clan". Clan is a Gaelic (Highland) word.

The word Celt is not used in English until the early 18th century. Various clansmen should be referred to as Irish or Scots, or even "Scotch", which is the period word for Scottish.

The clans are tribal Highlanders of the far north, who do not speak English. The fighting on the borders never involves Highland troops.

The English have a stake in keeping the situation on the border unstable. As long as the Scots government has to spend time and money trying to maintain the peace at home, it's not making war on England.


Fraser: The Steel Bonnets,
Fraser: Mary Queen of Scots,

Map of Scotland and the Borders

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26 March 2000 pkm