Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history through photographs.
|Horse Statue, Hawick, unveiled in 1914. |
Photograph by Lesley Fraser
I live in the Scottish Borders, a region often called "Scotland's Horse Country, where riding is in the blood. In the summer, towns celebrate their history with the annual common ridings. In Hawick where I lived until recently, it is both a symbolic riding of the town's boundaries, made in the past to safeguard burgh rights and also a commemoration of the callants, young lads of Hawick, who in 1514, raided a body of English troops at Hornshole by the river Teviot and captured their flag - the "banner blue". Hawick is gearing up to the 500th anniversary of this event next year.
Above is the Horse Monument unveiled in 1914, just before the outbreak of war. Situated at the end of the High Street, it is a popular meeting place and it can be confusing to newcomers to hear "I'll meet you at the Horse" - and left wondering is it a pub? No - it is a potent symbol of the town's heritage.
From a small Borders town to the USA and statues of two Presidents.
George Washington Statue in the Public Gardens in Boston
George Washington (1722-1799) was the first President of the United States (1789-1797), commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the Convention that drafted the United States Constitution and was unanimously elected as President, serving two terms in office.
This statue was the first equestrian statue in Boston, unviled in 1869. It rises 38 feet in total.
Statue of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) in Washington DC
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877) following his highly successful role as a Union general in the second half of the Civil War.
His statue, dedicated in 1922 on the 100th anniversary of his birth, sits below the west front of the US Capitol and faces towards the Lincoln Memorial which honours Grant's wartime president.
To Europe and more military men - and one woman.
Statue in London of Richard I of England (1157-1199)
Richard I, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was known as Richard Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. Richard was Christian commander during the Third Crusade, leading the campaign after the and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin, although he did not reconquer Jerusalem. Returning overland he was captured and held prisoner until a large ransom was raised. During his 10-year reign he spent only six months in England.
His statue, unveiled in 1856, stands outside the House of Parliament in Old Palace Yard.
Statue in Paris of Joan of Arc - Maid of Orleans c.1412-1431
Joan of Arc was born a peasant girl, but became a folk heroine of France and a saint. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years. She was captured, put on trial] and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was only 19 years old.
Her gilded bronze statue in Paris was commissioned by the French government following the defeat of the country in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
Statue in Vienna of Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen (1771-1847)
Archduke Charles of Austria, the third son of Emperor Leopald I, achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's most formidable opponents and defeated the French Emporer in 1809 at the Battle of Aspern.
This imposing equestrian statue was erected in 1860 in the Heidenplatz (Heroes Square) in Imperial Vienna.
Statue of Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904)
in Whitehall, London, opposite the War Office.
Prince George William, Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, was the grandson of King George III and cousin to Queen Victoria. An army officer and Commander in Chief of the British Army, he served in the Crimean War.
His title, Duke of Cambridge, fell into extinction upon his death. It was not revived until 107 years later when the Queen awarded the dukedom to Prince William on the occasion of his marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011.
And back to real people on horseback - my daughter and granddaughter keeping the Borders riding tradition alive.
Trot over to this week's Sepia Saturday page HERE to see other horsy stories.
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