Sep 182014

Bonnie Prince CharlieBonnie Prince Charlie bidding farewell to Flora MacDonald on the Isle of Skye after the Battler of Culloden, from the London Illustrated News.

Okay, the referendum is today. A brief memoir: I have Scottish blood, McCall and McInnes. On the McCall side, there was a Scottish soldier who fought with Wolfe at Quebec and then came west along the Lake Erie shore during Pontiac’s Rebellion. He was demobilized in New Jersey, but left the United States after the Revolution and ended up in what became known as the Long Point Settlement in what is now southwestern Ontario. On the McInnes side, there was a fatherless boy, taken up by Sir Walter Scott, educated and sent on the Grand Tour, who then inherited slaves and a tapioca plantation in Curaçao. Later he became the youngest slave owner indemnified by the British government for giving up his slaves. He took the money, moved also to southwestern Ontario, and never worked again. The two families eventually intermarried and my great-great-grandfather Daniel McCall ran a store in St Williams, Ontario, on the Erie shore. At some point, someone in the family cut this illustration from the London Illustrated News, framed it, and hung it in the outhouse (posh outhouse). Later, my grandmother, who grew up with it, took the illustration to live with her. Now it lives with me, hangs above my desk. So now you know which way I’d vote. On the other hand, these things always have a way of disappointing romantics, so I can’t bear to watch the news today.



  4 Responses to “Scotland the Brave, Bonnie Prince Charlie & Why I Can’t Watch the News Today”

  1. Sounds like a novel, DG! Or have you already written it? I’ve never read a published novel about the WAr of 1812, just a brave attempt by a Brit. Hope you tell your family story. Best, BB

    • Byrna,

      Not a chance (though I’ve written two War of 1812 short stories). 🙂 I think I hit the family highlights here already. The rest is pretty dull, something to escape not relive.

  2. My condolences. Though the romantic in me was on your side, I confess to breathing a sigh of relief this morning. And it hasn’t been a total loss for the side that came up short. When Cameron and Company were running scared a while back, they granted concessions which will mean somewhat greater autonomy for Scotland.

    The person for whom I feel most sorry (next to you, of course) is poor Mel Gibson, Hollywood’s Braveheart version of William Wallace. In agony, betrayed, beaten, racked, quartered, his entrails spooling out of his thorax, he finds the strength, just before he expires, to howl out FREEDOM! And a cursed majority of the Scottish electorate STILL votes against independence. Edward Longshanks must be grinning in his grave. .

    • Pat,

      Mel Gibson is twisting in his grave for sure. 🙂 (Yes, yes, I know he’s not dead — there are so many literalists reading this.)

      I expected this, having sat through two referendums in Quebec. You get to know how they go. Always some of that pro independence vote melts away at the last minute. So the pro side has to go into the vote with a big lead in the polls. Cameron screwed up granting all those concessions. He panicked, which shows what a bad prime minister he is. Now he has to live with it. I will enjoy that.

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