Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Battle of Athelstaneford

Years before Kenneth MacAlpin succeeded in uniting the Kingdoms of Dalriada and Pictland, King Angus of the Scots was invading Lothian, at that time under Northumbrian control. However, the Scots encountered a larger force led by the Northumbrian King Athel.

The Scots army was forced to retreat, and were cornered near the Peffer Burn. Angus's men were severely outnumbered, so the King and his companions (which included Kenneth) prayed to God and the Saints that they would be delivered from the hands of their enemies. Soon after the fighting began, the cross of Saint Andrew appeared in the clouds above the field. Emboldened by this sign from above, the Scots went on to victory, even against such overwhelming odds.

Seeing that the battle was turning in favour of the Scots, King Athel attempted to build a ford and escape across the burn. However, he was slain while trying to cross, and that place was forever known as Athelstaneford.

When Kenneth united the Scots and Picts, creating the Kingdom of Alba, he remembered the Scots' triumph over the Northumbrians at the hands of Sint Andrew, and so Andrew became patron Saint of Scots. The battle is remembered in the Scottish flag, which depicts a white Saltire cross against the blue sky. It is also commemorated in the celebration of St Andrew's day, which is held each year on the 30th of November.


  1. Neat history lesson. ^_^

    Thanks for putting up with my haggis-questions too, haha.

  2. Interesting!

    Huh, Alice In Wonderland, the movie, reminds me of you know, the black pawns(like proxies), and white pawns. Not sure if there's a Black Queen and White Queen.
    Also, the Black King(I' m guessing Slender Man) and White King.
    All of them would be on a chess. Probably as a game or war type I think.

    This thought came over me and it was weird. I have no clue why I would think like this, though.

  3. @Lucia: Aw, now I feel terrible about lying to you. Alright then, I'll tell you the truth.

    The haggis is a small furry creature native to the Highlands and Western Isles. It's diet consists of heather and thistles (and any other unappetising plants it might come across.) and its legs on one side are longer than on the other side so that it can stand upright on the steep Scottish hillsides.

    The haggis may be small, but it can run very fast when it wants to, making catching it difficult without the right knowledge. However, there is a very simple trick. Once the haggis is spotted, you get people to hold a net at the bottom of the hill. Then you charge at the haggis head on, making as much noise as you can, so as to scare it and make it try to run away. Of course, with its longer legs towards the the top of the slope, it can't balance anymore so it ends up rolling down the hill into the net.

    The sheep organ thing is just something we say to foreigners, partly to put them off, and partly so that the animal is kept a secret and nobody tries to make off with one and start a farm in their country.

    @Butterfly: I think in Alice In Wonderland it was red and white. And if Slender Man were a chess piece I think he'd be the queen. Most powerful piece on the board, nigh impregnable, and even if you manage to defeat it, it keeps coming back to torment you.

  4. Slender Man as a Queen?!
    But, he's a he.
    Um...ok then. I heard that some people would call him The Black King, though.

  5. I couldn't help but picture a "haigs" in my head, and I have to admit, it gave me a good laugh. Here is your chess metaphor, by the way. A little outdated, but still a pretty good example. By the way, I agree with him being the queen, all the power, movement, and range of the peice, along with the ability to ressurect. Heh, and the only peice that can beat him without a sacrefice is the knight.

    See you around