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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sepia Saturday: Monuments to Famous Men

Sepia Saturday encourages bloggers to record their family history through photographs.

I came  close to giving this photo prompt a miss,  with nothing in my collection on photographers photographing or cherry trees blossoming.  Then inspiration struck and I decided to pick up on the Washington Monument and feature three Scottish monuments to famous men.  

William Wallace - the Scottish Patriot who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence.[ He  defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, and was Guardian of Scotland, serving until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. Wallace was captured  In 1305, handed over to King Edward I of England, who had him summarily hanged, drawn, and quartered for high treason
His statue,  commissioned by the Earl of Buchan, at Dryburgh in the Scottish Borders   was the first monument to be raised to Wallace in Scotland.  In red sandstone and 21.5 feet high, it  was placed on its pedestal  in 1814.
 Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), the Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. The monument in the Victorian Gothic style was  inaugurated in 1846 in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.   One of Scott's most famous poems has stayed with me since school days.

O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,

Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword, he weapons had none
He rode all unarm’d, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.
James Hogg  (1770-1835). known as The Ettrick Shepherd, was a poet and novelist . He was born into  a farming family in the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders.  After leaving school at the age of 7,  he became a shepherd. Largely self-educated he began publishing poems and longer works and rose to become a star of the Edinburgh literary scene and a friend of Sir Walter Scott. and Robert Burns.  His statue, in the Yarrow Valley of Selkirkshire,  overlooks  St. Mary's Loch.  Here are the first  two verses from one of his most popular poems.
Where the pools are bright and deep
Where the grey trout lies asleep
Up the river and over the lea
That's the way for Billy and me
Where the blackbird sings the latest
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee
That's the way for Billy and me
Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved
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  1. A fine collection of monuments - and James Hogg is a new name to me.

  2. Well I'm glad you didn't give it a miss, and I'm glad your featured such fine characters. I'd heard that poem of Hogg's before and I'm sure it often appears in anthologies.

  3. Monuments are a reflection of their time rather than the person commemorated. William Wallace probably didn't resemble his statue any more than he looked like Mel Gibson!

  4. I was fortunate enough to see Sir Walter Scott's monument in person. In fact, I sat on one of those very benches and rested after a grueling day of sightseeing in Edinburgh!


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