The Soldier’s Leap – Acrylic with textured gels/eggshells in a Watercolour Moleskine

One of the best known Scottish Folk songs recalls, along with others, the Battle of Killiecrankie which was fought between Government troops, loyal to King William and a Highland Army loyal to the exiled King James V11. This took place on 27th July 1689. The day was won by the rebel highlanders who accounted for more than 1000 enemy soldiers. One of these soldiers, however, managed to escape by leaping across this gorge – a distance approaching 20 feet. If this seems improbable, who knows what latent strengths can be summoned when being pursued by fierce highlanders waving their claymores (6 feet double-handed swords). The battle was not, as many would have you believe, a Scottish/English affair. Few know that the “Highlands” refer to the west of Scotland as far south as Glasgow and beyond while many Scots, from other parts of the country, fought for King William. In fact the soldier, commemorated in this episode was called Donald MacBean – a true Scottish name. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the early Jacobite uprisings and many believe that the battleground is haunted. As pointed out, much folk music is connected with this period. “Bonnie Dundee” (The name of the Highland leader – Viscount Dundee) is sung by many schoolchildren as part of their history

The actual battle is commemorated by “Killiecrankie” the name of the pass where this gorge lies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygIuVZOQJlc
and refers to the awfulness of the slaughter – “The deils (devils) at Killiecrankie Oh”

Now – my favourite anti-government story:

A troop of redcoats (Government troops) was passing through a valley when a fierce looking highlander appeared on the brow of a nearby hill and started taunting them. He then disappeared back over the hill. Two redcoats were sent to dispatch this miscreant and after a lot of noise the highlander reappeared and continued his insults. Six troops were then sent but they faired no better. Frustrated, the general in charge sent twenty redcoats to finish this business. After lots of noise, from behind the brow of the hill, a lone redcoat staggered back shouting, “Go back! Its a trap. There’s two of them”.