Snow and Sunrise - Morvern from Loch Sunart Shore, Rockpool House, Resipole, Ardnamurchan by Steven Marshall Via Flickr: The light from a spectacular early winter sunrise over the first of the Winter’s snow paints the sky and Loch Sunart with shades of red
Before we get started no, this isn’t a “Britain’s great, down with the Pope” post, more a few introspective thoughts on the British civil wars of the 17th century.
The union of 1707 is often held as remarkable because it involved the final, complete political alignment of nations that had been considered rivals in every sense of the word - Scotland and England. What was truly remarkable, however, was not that the two nations found enough cultural common ground - most Scots, after all, are more descended from the English stock of the Anglo-Saxons or native Britons than they are from the Gaelic Irish. What was more surprising was that the union represented not only the wedding of Scotland and England, but the conjoining of Protestant Presbyterianism and Episcopalianism. While the churches never merged in the way that the political states did, they entered into a degree of harmony hitherto unheard of, and upset only by the Jacobite risings.
The divide between the two broad wings of Protestantism - Presbyterianism and Episcopalianism - is frequently overlooked. Much is made of England’s defiance of Rome in the 16th century - Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, et. all. What is more rarely discussed, however, is the fact that the Protestants in Britain spent far time fighting each other than they did the hated Catholics, especially in the 17th century. The Wars of the Three Kingdoms (including the English Civil Wars) between the late 1630s and early 1650s were caused, to a large extent, by the divide between Presbyterian/Puritan and Episcopalian beliefs. In this sense the wars could, with a fair degree of accuracy, be described as Britain’s Protestant Civil Wars.
Now, it should be noted that Puritian/Presbyterian dislike for Stuart Anglicanism stemmed from the belief that Charles I was only one small step from becoming an outright Catholic and bringing his kingdoms back into Rome’s sphere of influence. Their fears were not entirely unfounded, so it’s true to say that anti-Catholicism was the driving force behind one side’s resistance during the civil war era. Despite this, the end result is still a clash between several Protestant churches (I’ve lumped Puritans and Presbyterians together for ease of discussion, but they certainly had their differences too, and came to blows militarily in the 1650s).
All of this provides the backdrop to the union of 1707. Scotland, staunchly Presbyterian, and England, with its state-ratified Anglican Episcopalianism, put aside their differences in order to effect that unprecedented union. The independence of both churches was a vital clause, especially for the Scots, but the wedding of two Protestant churches in a single state is a frequently overlook element that changed the political landscape of Britain forever.
This is something I was working on but I am not sure if I should continue with it. I haven’t edited it, just throwing it out there to see if you guys think its worth working with some more.
It was her wedding day. A day Marianne had dreamed about since that moment Roland had taken her hand. The radio alarm went off, Elvis singing, “I can’t help falling in love with you…” She jumped up out of bed, her excitement giving her extra energy. They were having a destination wedding in Scotland, the whole wedding party was staying at a bed and breakfast run by a very nice little elderly lady name Griselda King. The place looked like a postcard of enchanted Scotland and the people had been very nice.
Marianne made her way down the stairs, wearing only her white pajamas pants printed with pink hearts and a huge t-shirt that read THE BRIDE in pink glitter. Marianne was partway down when she ran head long into the chest of someone coming up the stairs. She started to fall backwards but large hands grabbed her arms stopping her backward fall. She looked up, up, up, into a very stern, angry, unshaven face with the most startling blue eyes she had ever seen. He snarled, his accent thick,
“Ye should watch where the hell yer going!”
She started to stutter an answer ,when she heard their hostess, Griselda, yell from the bottom of the stairs.
“Bog stop scaring the guests!”
Bog, she assumed, was the person holding her in place. He growled something under his breath, then let her go.
“Just ye be more careful.”
He placed her to the side of him, then he was pass her disappearing up the stairs. Marianne came the rest of the way down, Griselda was just setting out muffins and other breakfast foods, the smell of rich coffee filled the room, everything smelled fantastic.
“You’re the first one up dear. Don’t let my son scare you. He is a big softy but he looks mean as anything.”
Marianne grabbed a muffin, grinning “No problem. Where is everyone?”
Griselda smiled “You are the first up dear.”
Marianne ate a little breakfast, had some coffee, chatting with Griselda about her nuptials, as the others started to wake. Sll the girls came rushing down laughing and soon were all over the dinning area in their nightgowns and pajamas eating and talking excitedly. Few in moments some of the males members of the wedding party had made their way down as well.
Marianne, laughing with her sister, decided to head upstairs. Roland was staying here too and she wanted to sneak in to wake her husband to be up. She wasn’t in her dress yet, so she wasn’t breaking any superstitious wedding rules as she slipped up the stairs, moving down the hall on tiptoe until she found Roland’s door.
Grinning, her hand over her mouth as she tried not to giggle, Marianne gently opened the door. She slipped inside Roland’s room turning to ease the door closed. She moved like a thief toward the bed in the darkened room, thinking she would sneak up on him and pounce, when she stopped short. In the bed was Roland, asleep, but as her eyes focused in the darken room, she saw another figure. Marianne crept closer, her heart hammered in her chest, at the same time her whole body felt ice cold. She had just made it around the side of the bed with the mysterious figure. She reached out gingerly, pulled back the covers to reveal the figure beneath.
Marianne stood still, like an animal caught in the sights of a hunter’s rifle. Lying on the bed, naked, was her best friend Amber. She couldn’t believe it, for the longest moment of Marianne’s life she simply stared at the figure of her friend. Then, without a word, she simply turned and walked out, slamming the door as loud as she could as she exited the room. * The rest of the day was a blur, Marianne would later not recall a great deal of what was said.There was a great deal of yelling, confusion, lots and lots of anger, slamming of doors but the worst part was the crying. She threw her wedding dress out the window, punched Roland, threw something at Amber and eventually found herself, not walking so much as stalking, outside into the garden at the back of the bed and breakfast yelling that if anyone followed her she would break their face! Luckily Dawn was there to block any of the wedding party, especially Roland, from following her.
Once outside, Marianne threw herself against the stone wall of the house, folding her arms over her chest with a snarl. She didn’t notice the tall man hanging out in the shadows, a slowly dissipating cloud of cigarette smoke around his head. He didn’t say anything, he only stared sideways at her. He was leaning against the house, one hand in the pocket of his jeans. He took a long drag on his cigarette, blowing out the smoke slowly. When she didn’t seem to notice him, he cleared his throat, in a thick accent asked.
“Would ye like a cigarette?”
Marianne nearly leapt off the wall, startled and put a hand to her rapidly beating heart.
“How long have you been there?!”
He shrugged. “Not long, wanna a smoke?”
She took a steadying breath. “I don’t smoke.”
He snorted holding his cigarette with his teeth as he grinned before taking it out.
“Maybe you should start after that clusterfuck in there.”
She chuckled a bit. “Yeah, maybe.”
“How about you and I go get a drink at the pub. Get you away from all this?” She looked at him, tilting her head as she examined him. He was attractive in a rough and tumble sort of way.
“Bog right? That’s what Griselda called you? I’m Marianne.”
He took a long drag then nodded.
“Aye, Griselda’s my mum. I have the room in the attic. Ye were the bride correct?”
“Yeah, was the bride.”
Marianne stared at him for a heartbeat, then she nodded, seeming to make a decision.
“A drink sounds good.”
He grinned showing off crooked teeth as he pushed away from the wall.
“Alright then. Follow me. * The pub was a cozy local drinking place that surprisingly was open this late in the morning. As they walked in, the place smelled of age, drink and home cooking. Bog led her to a booth in the back, then ordered to shot glasses, a bottle of whiskey along with a plate of eggs and sausages. She couldn’t remember exactly how it all began, but it was like a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
They had both put money down on the table as they stared hard at one another each with a smirk. Marianne reached out and took her shot glass, staring into blue eyes before she knocked it back in one gulp. The little crowd around them cheered for the American.
Bog snickered, refilling her shot glass before picking up his own. Marianne grinned, watching him with twinkling, slightly intoxicated brown eyes. They had been drinking for the last hour, the eggs and sausages consumed. She had started feeling the booze, which was just great because she wasn’t feeling the pain any more of Roland’s betrayal. Plus that smirk of Bog’s was becoming more and more kissable by the minute. Bog lifted his shot glass, gave her a little a salute, then downed it.
Another cheer went up. Marianne reached for her glass, for a moment she stared at the glass. Then she started to giggle. Once she started she couldn’t seem to stop.
Bog blinked drunkenly, staring at her confused, then he started to giggle too. Money was exchanging hands as the two began to giggled even more. Marianne managed to get the shot glass to her mouth, giggling so badly she was sputtering the alcohol, but she got most of it to her mouth and down her throat with only part of it going down her chin. Bog took the next shot of whiskey staring at the glass drunkenly for a moment. He was grinning laughing again as he brought it to his lips, giggling but he finally got all the liquid down. They were about to take their next shots, when the pub door flew open followed by Dawn.
“Oh my gosh Marianne!!!”
Dawn could only stare as she saw her very drunk sister, with a very drunk guy, both of them laughing so hard that they fell out of the booth. The two drunks both wobbled to their feet with the help of the crowd. Marianne wrapped herself around Bog, who put his arm around her shoulders holding onto her, weaving their way toward Dawn. That was when the pub doors opened and Roland walked in. Marianne’s drunk gaze settled on the blonde ass,
Marianne pushed patrons out of her way, dragging Bog with her. When she got close enough, she let go of Bog to throw a sloppy punch at Roland. Roland gasped in surprise just barely managing to duck in time. Bog grabbed Marianne pulling her back.
“Let me tough girl…”
Roland started to say something but even drunk Bog was a good brawler, his fist connected with the American’s face knocking Roland flat on his back. Marianne drunkenly whooped her approval throwing herself into Bog’s drunk arms, the two of them giggling like school kids.
“You are so awesome!!”
Marianne leaned into Bog a goofy drunken grin. Bog returned her drunken grin with his own.
HENRY’S PROCLAMATION AGAINST THE SCOTS: (KILL THEM ALL!)
Yep, just read it below, you’ll see.
In April 1544 Henry VIII issued a thunderous proclamation against his northern neighbor. It had been one year and a half since his nephew, James V, died, now he sought to take possession of his only legitimate heir, Mary I of Scotland to wed her to his son and heir Edward.
“Put all to fire and sword, burn Edinburgh town, so razed and defaced when you have sacked and gotten what you can of it, as there may remain forever a perpetual memory of the vengeance of God lightened upon them for their falsehood and disloyalty … and as many towns and villages about Edinburgh as ye may conveniently, do your best to beat the castle, sack Holyrood House and sack Leith and burn and subvert it and all the rest, putting man, woman and child to fire and sword, without exception where any resistance shall be made against you and this done pass over to the Fifeland and extend like extremities and destruction to all towns and villages whereunto ye may reach conveniently, not forgetting among all the rest so to spoil and turn upside down the Cardinal’s town of St. Andrews, as the upper stone may be the nether, and not one stick stand by another, sparing no creature alive within the same.”