Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scotland's Thistle

Have you seen that wonderful new show, "Who Do You Think You Are"? It's one of my new favorite shows! I am fascinated by family history. The only side my family really knows very much about is my father's father's side . . . as far back as anyone knows, it all began in beautiful, rugged Scotland, then someone migrated down to England & then some brave souls came to America around the turn of the 1700's. Once here, my ancestry includes the bravery & steadfastness of Jenny Wiley (<-- you MUST read her story), war heroes & many others . . . including a vein of Cherokee blood.

I have always been fascinated with my Scottish "roots." Do you think that's why Celtic music seems to be in the blood? lol My dream would be to find some wonderful Scottish "cousins" who still live in a quaint little village & to visit them. A charming dream, I know.

So, with that in mind, I thought I'd "treat" you to a little Scottish history . . .

I had wondered why the National Symbol of Scotland was a thistle. That prickly, pretty, purple thistle Eeyore loved so much. According to Scottish History On-Line, "The prickly purple thistle was adopted as the emblem of Scotland during the reign of Alexander III (1249-1286). Legend has it that the army of King Haakon or Norway, intent on conquering the Scots, landed at the coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness the Norsemen removed their footwear.

As they drew near to the Scots [they weren't] the only thing hiding under the cover of darkness. For one of Haakon's men unfortunately stood on one of these spiny little defenders & shrieked out in pain, alerting the Clansmen of the advancing Norsemen. Needless to say the Scots won the day. The first use of a thistle as a royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by James III in 1470."

Later came "The Order of the Thistle," given as the highest honor of Scotland . . . "This order was founded in 1540 by King James V who, being honored with the Order of the Garter from his Uncle, King Henry the VIII of England, and with the Golden Fleece from the Emperor, and the Order of St. Michael from France, resolved to be in the royal mode, and so made The Order of the Thistle for himself and 12 knights, in imitation of Christ and His 12 Apostles. Then celebrating all the festivals of the orders, he set up their arms and badges over the gate of his palace in Linlithgow, joining St. Andrew with them.

common badge worn by the knights are, a cross surmounted by a star of 4 silver points, and over them a green circle bordered and lettered with gold, containing the motto "Nemo me impune lacesset," "No-one harms me without punishment" but more commonly translated in Scots as "Wha dours meddle wi me" and in the center of the thistle proper, the whole being embroidered on the left breast."

And, as Paul Harvey used to say, "And now you know the rest of the story." :-)

"A man with God is ALWAYS in the majority." ~John Knox, who brought God's reformation to Scotland.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><


  1. Love the photos...thank you for sharing this. Something to look into for sure.


  2. Oh my! Once this very evasive plant is on your place it is terribly hard to get rid of. They get in our hay fields and will totally destroy it! Some times we don't even notice them until they are turning to seed! :(


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