Crown of Scotland - Scottish Crown Jewels
This crown is from the Scottish Crown Jewels and is used at the coronations of the Kings of Scotland. It was created in 1540 for James V, as the old crown had been repaired several times and needed replacing. The crown is made of solid gold and contains 22 gems, including amethysts and garnets, 20 precious stones and 68 pearls. It is decorated with fleur-de-lis and strawberry leaves around the base and oak leaves across the arches. The bonnet inside the crown was initially purple, as James V requested. But James VII changed the colour to red and it has remained that way since, although the bonnet has been replaced several times since then.
The crown was used by Scottish monarchs for coronations, until the union with England, when the crown was then used to be taken to Scottish Parliament, as a symbol of royal authority. During the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell destroyed the English Crown Jewels, and wanted to destroy the Scottish ones too. However the Scottish Crown Jewels, including the crown, were buried and hidden until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. After the Act of Union in 1707, the Scottish Crown Jewels were sent to Edinburgh Castle, where they remained, as they were no longer needed for the parliaments of the new Great Britain. The crown has found use more recently, with the devolved Scottish Parliament, where it has been carried at official ceremonies.
Happy Birthday to the one, the only, Mr. Sherlock Holmes (reportedly born January 6th, 1854). There are few figures in literature who have inspired so many people throughout so many time periods, and the influence continues to this day! I’m looking at you, Sherlockians (aka fans of the BBC series, Sherlock - other notable works include Elementary, House M.D., the films with Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock, etc).
And, of course, wholehearted thanks to the man who created Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (b. 1859 - d. 1930). Sir Doyle once said, “If in one hundred years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes, then I will have considered my life a failure.” Perhaps he would consider himself a failure, but I’m sure, if Sir Doyle were alive today, millions of people would rush to contradict him.
“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
“‘Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!’”
Happy Birthday, Mr. Holmes.
We’ve been posting a lot of art and photos lately, and while portraits of men in pointy hats are awesome (we’re looking at you, Kaiser), we decided to add some text post action in the form of a featured European language! Events in history are the things we remember, but it’s also important to think about how people in that age would talk/write about said events. Thus, languages! Huzzah!
This post’s language is Scottish Gaelic. It’s a Celtic language mainly spoken in Scotland (surprise!) although there are dialects spoken in certain parts of Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The language expanded in Scotland around the 4th and 5th centuries AD and became known as “Scottis.” Its decline began around the 13th century, but it still survives today as a recognized minority language in the UK; there are around 59,000 native speakers in Scotland (1.2% of the population), the majority of them in the Outer Hebrides (westernmost isles) of Scotland.
I’ve put the rest under a ‘Read More’ so it’s not too obnoxious.
Adam Smith, again.
He viewed the ideal economy as being laissez-faire (no government intervention) and being led by the “invisible hand” of greed that ultimately improved the economy.
Smith was also said to be quite eccentric, frequently talking to himself, putting bread in his tea (although that was only one time), and sleepwalking outside.
George Villiers, The Duke of Buckingham (left) and King James I of England (right). James I ruled from 1567 until 1625. He was actually Scottish, and assumed the throne after the death of Elizabeth I.
James and the Duke were rumored to have been lovers, and quite passionate ones at that. A passage was recently discovered linking the bedchambers of the two.