Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Z is for (New) Zealand

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a-to-z-letters-zI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

550px-NZL_orthographic_NaturalEarth.svgZ is for New Zealand.  Yes, to finish the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, we’re going just about as far from Scotland as it is possible to get on the planet.  As many Scots did, as part of the Scottish diaspora that has continued to this day.  

Actually, Captain James Cook, who first circumnavigated and mapped New Zealand, was half-Scottish, and among his crew were many Scotsmen.   After them came sealers and whalers, some of whom stayed, establishing settlements.  

1839
1839

Organized settlements began in the 1840s.  Most Scots were Lowlanders or former Highlanders who’d been forced off their land earlier and moved to the Lowlands, and who adopted Highland activities and symbols such as clans, kilts, bagpipes and games, considered more interesting and romantic than the history and culture of the Lowlands.   

800px-Romney_Ewe_and_LambThey came for religious and economic reasons.  They were farmers, artisans, miners, weavers, shipbuilders and carpenters, gold miners, and tradespeople of all kinds, looking for a better life than economic conditions in Scotland allowed.  

Gaelic (see G is for Gaelic) was spoken by some but did not withstand the onslaught of English, though some Gaelic terms continue to be used.  Robert Burns’s poetry (see R is for Robert) and Burns Night is celebrated on Jan 25.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScotland gave New Zealand golf, curling, and Highland games such as tossing the sheaf.  Food and drink include, of course, whisky. But New Zealanders still enjoy porridge, shortbread and scones.

For more on the subject of Scots in New Zealand, click here

Participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month has been a lot of fun.  I’ve enjoyed it and learned a lot in the process of researching these short posts.  I hope you have, too! 

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Y is for Year of Homecoming in Scotland

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a-to-z-letters-yI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

Y is for Year of Homecoming in Scotland.  In 2014, there will be a year-long  series of events celebrating all things Scotland.  

There will be plenty of games and cultural events, arts and crafts and ancestral heritage activities.  The year starts with Hogmanay (see H is for Hogmanay) and continues with a Whisky month in May (see B is for Bunnahabhain, I is for Islay, O is for Old Pulteney, U is for Uisge beatha), the Commonwealth Games in July and the Ryder Cup in September.

I want to go!  Maybe I’ll even put on a Blair (T is for) Tartan plaid (K is for) Kilt and walk along the shores of (L is for ) Loch (N is for ) Ness.      

I might even see Nessie!  Or learn some (G is for) Gaelic.  How about you?

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Six Sentence Sunday Snippet #22

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I’ve been away at a conference again, and catching up with my A to Z Challenge posts, but I have something new to share this week!

Here’s a bit more from book 2 of my Highland Talents series, Highland Seer.

Bram swung as the lads had been doing.  Donal danced out of his way.

“When yer opponent is unskilled, all ye have to do is wait yer chance,” he said, watching Bram’s movements while he talked.  The moment Bram dropped his guard, Donal struck, but stopped his blade just before it connected with Bram’s chest.

Bram dropped his sword and grinned.   “A bit close, do ye think?”

Check back on 1 May for posts and pictures from my book signing with Nora Roberts and the WRW retreat!  I’ll put them up after the Blogging from A to Z Challenge ends on April 30.

For more great snippets, check HERE for the Snippet Sunday group on Facebook.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: X is for John KnoX

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a-to-z-letters-xI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

X is for John Knox.  Yes, I know – it’s not the first letter of his name, but give me a little wiggle room here.  After all, he started the Protestant Reformation in Scotland.    

507px-John_Knox_woodcutKnox was ordained a Catholic priest at St. Andrews in 1536, but after a mentor, George Wishart, was arrested and burned for heresy in March 1546 by Cardinal Beaton, Knox joined the Reformers, some of whom murdered Cardinal Beaton the following May.

He spent years in exile in England, Europe, even as a slave on a French galley.  Even after he returned to Scotland, the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, declared him outlaw after he published a misogynistic pamphlet against the rule of women – herself, her daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Mary of England.    

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With Scotland embroiled in a religious civil war, mobs were sacking cathedrals and priories.  Mary of Guise was finally deposed as regent and a protestant was put in her place, making Scotland safe for Knox.   In 1559, John Knox was ordained as a minister at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. His fiery sermons there inspired many to violence and were instrumental in driving Catholicism out of Scotland. In 1560, the Scottish Parliament passed three acts removing Scotland from the Pope’s jurisdiction, condemning any doctrine and practice not included the reformed faith, and forbidding Catholic Mass.  Knox and others were given the job of organizing the new Kirk.  

KnoxMaryLongBeachCovenantPCAll was going well until Mary, Queen of Scots, returned from exile to take her throne and continued celebrating Mass.  He survived  interviews with Mary where he was called upon to explain his statements in several of his sermons.  He continued to risk being accused of treason by speaking out against Mary and by promoting the Kirk until Mary abdicated and was later captured and killed by Elizabeth of England.  

He lived out his final years in St. Andrews and Edinburgh, speaking and writing until the end.

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: W is for (Rough) Wooing

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a-to-z-letters-wI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots as a young girl
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots as a young girl

W is for Wooing.  The Rough Wooing, that is – the conflict between Scotland and England and sometime civil war within Scotland.

Henry VIII wanted James V to break the Auld Alliance with France and to turn Protestant.  James refused, so Henry declared war.  James died after the Scottish defeat at Solway Moss in 1542.  

His daughter, now Mary, Queen of Scots, was just days old. Henry attempted to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between his son Edward and the infant Mary.  The Protestant faction in Scotland even signed the Treaty of Greenwhich, agreeing to the marriage.  

stirling castle2   But Scotland’s regent, the Earl of Arran, aided by the Cardinal at St. Andrews, took Mary to Sterling Castle, out of Henry’s reach.  Henry broke the Treaty of Greenwich and went to war.

Mary of Guise, Second wife of Henry IV
Mary of Guise, Second wife of James V

France aided Scotland under the Auld Alliance as Scotland rejected Henry’s advances. After Henry’s death, Edward VI continued the war, but the French-born Queen Mother, Mary of Guise, betrothed her daughter to the heir to the French throne and Mary was absent from Scotland for thirteen years, until after she was widowed. 

All of Henry VIII’s ambitions to control Scotland had failed.  Edward eventually signed a peace treaty with France (and thereby, Scotland) in 1550. It was the last major conflict between Scotland and England before the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

In Scotland, the war was called the “Nine Year’s War.”  The term “rough wooing” comes from a famous remark attributed to George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly. “We liked not the manner of the wooing, and we could not stoop to being bullied into love,” or, as historian William Patten reported, “I lyke not thys wooyng.”  

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: V is for Vikings

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a-to-z-letters-vI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

Nicholas Roerich "Guests from Overseas" 1901
Nicholas Roerich “Guests from Overseas” 1901

V is for Vikings. Vikings began to raid the monasteries in the northern reaches and western islands of Scotland as early as the 8th century.  They came searching for precious metals, slaves and food.  By the 9th century, they were settling and farming, much as they had in Scandanavia, and intermarrying with the local population.  Both Norse and Scot languages were spoken in the western Highlands for many centuries.  

Education Scotland has a wealth of information on Vikings in Scotland.  And if you’re lucky enough to be in Edinburgh, National Museums Scotland is hosting the “Vikings! The Untold Story” exhibit through May 12.

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.