Well smack me upside the head with a fresh haddock.
I just check’d my blog-stats, which for some reason are still 1.4 million over the past year. With precious little blogging done. Really? I mean, I know I’m amazing, but who wants to paw over cold entries?
What’s wrong with you people!?
OK. This time I mean it. Blogging restarts now, as soon as I find my password again.
Here’s summat I wrote up over on my Book of Face, which is where I’ve been blog-vacationing for too long.
Who’s The Cavalier Dude In My (FaceBook) Profile Pic?
That, dear minions, is the long-reviled & semi-forgotten James Graham, Earl of Graham, and 1st Marquis of Montrose (1612-1650). Though originally a Scots Covenanter, his conscience was better than his Covenanter principles, and he became a heroic royalist general without compare– one of Scotland’s greatest generals ever. And a snappy dresser, a great poet, besides.
Sadly, theocratic Covenanter principles included Alinskyite politics of personal destruction, so you’ve likely never heard of him, because from the moment he dared defy the Covenanter leadership in their bloody, viciously lawless, and militant master-plan for British Presbyterianism (“Jesus And No Quarter!”), he was attacked, slandered, show-trialed, murdered, and then his name blackened in perpetuity. This is early modern politics at the blackest and most totalitarian.. in the Roman world, it was called damnatio memoriae.. literally, the unpersonning and unremembering of someone, to annihilate them from history and recognition.
Comes The Mighty Pen
Thankfully, despite all the books and sermons, errors and lies, one Mark Napier— a 19th-century writer, lawyer, and thorough researcher– almost single-handedly punctured the balloon of Covenant malice and propaganda by researching original records, uncovering long-lost letters of Montrose, King Charles, and many other of the actors and figures of the mid-1600s in Scotland and England. That is, the facts were brought forward in a variety of books, widely disseminated, and so we have 20th century Scots historical novellist Nigel Tranter correcting the record distorted by Sir Walter Scott and others as to the true words, deeds, character, accomplishments, and motivations of The Great Montrose.
The cool thing for this Scotophile and history-nerd is that over the past decade and more, Napier’s works have been digitally copied and put online, via Google Books and Archive.org. They are crackingly good stuff, once you have Tranter in mind– though for those who like to trumpet the “spontaneous” uprising of the serving women including Jenny Geddes at St. Giles’ Cathedral in rejection of the Prayerbook, Napier nots that it and other civil unrest & attacks were all schemes long cooked up by others– including the sneaky Earl of Rothes & other leading Covenanter nobility– and months of incendiary preaching from pulpits across southern Scotland had proceeded it.
Freedom: Not A Disease
As we watch Canadian and American and European politics in this Year Of Our Lord 2013, we see the same kind of proto-dictatorship, political crimes, politics of personal destruction, the intrusion of the “Mother, May I” state into every sphere, attacks on true freedom, law, private & religious conscience, and principle on all hands; lies, high crimes and misdemeanors, with some heroical few standing tall and free and taking consequences in life & reputation and cheerful battle as we seem to be watching the Death of The West. That’s the kind of man James Graham was — of principle, conscience, nobility, and mercy in intolerant and bloody times; and yet a man fierce in war against his Covenanter enemies who unlike him– as after the ambush at Philliphaugh— showed no mercy, gave no quarter, and at the exhortation of rabid Presbyterian clergy, slaughtered prisoner and camp-followers alike by throwing 300 men, women and children from a high bridge, and beating them back into the water with clubs to drown if they somehow survived and made it to shore.
The high-profile prisoners were given a show-trial at best, then executed.. as later Montrose was himself, after being betrayed by Charles II and others, defeated, and finally betrayed by Neil MacLeod of Assynt. James Graham was hung, drawn, and quartered on May 21st, 1650.