"O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent;
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content"
Robbie Burns

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It’s been a while but life tends to get in the way it seems. I thought it was time to make a number of announcements regarding up coming classes and new services at Scottish Scribbles.


Scottish Scribbles is now providing romance/historical authors a unique service that has recently been dropped by most publishers that of a historical copy edit. With cut backs across the board many houses have long since dropped this service, most often relying on the research done by the author (which we know in romance is exceptional) and possible eye contact by her editor. The problem is often an editor may have only had one or two required college history classes and has little experience in the art of historical research. Of course we have all heard readers complain they don’t read historical fiction for a history lesson but having characters acting, eating, dressing ect for a particular time period is essential to a reader’s enjoyment of a story.


This new service at Scottish Scribbles will include a detailed read of your manuscript, a written evaluation of suggestions along with sources to enhance your story’s historical detail and an additional week for clarification on the points raised. We prefer electronic downloads but will accept hard copies in the mail. The fee for the service is $150 for 350+ pages or $95 for 350 or less pages.  We also provide partial evaluations for historical content for any number of chapters, contact us for details/fees.


This service along with our historical research service will provide a well-rounded approach for the romance/historical writer who is looking to enhance her historical research needs. This service is not meant to provide any other type of copyediting (grammar ect), this is for historical detail only and in no way guarantees a manuscript will sell. For those of you who are members of Romance Writers of America (RWA) you qualify for a one time 20% discount on your first manuscript evaluated at Scottish Scribbles. 

 For more information on this unique service email us .


Upcoming Classes:



Starting next Monday, August 3, I will be teaching a six week online class for romance writers on Scottish women from ancient to modern period. This class will be offered through the CELTIC HEARTS RWA chapter and administered through the use of a Yahoo loop. Class description:


         The character of a country is defined not only by its history, but also the contribution of its people. With most history written by the victors (men), the history of their women is often overlooked.  Contributions by women have been as rich and as powerful, if voiceless, whether they are of noble or humble birth. The women of Scotland are no exception.  The class will explore the contributions of Scottish women: on the political stage, in the arts, or in the home, and provide sources for further study. 

This class is a research class meant to provide the student with an understanding of how women played a role in the history/culture of Scotland over time and will include bio

graphies of women in the given time period. The inclusion of websites and lists of books will enhance the ability of an author to incorporate this information in their writing and character development.

The class will consist of two lessons a week: one lesson of the women of the era and the second lesson includes biographies of women of the era. There will be voluntary assignments each week to be posted on the Yahoo group. DISCUSSION OF MATERIAL IS ENCOURAGED AND EXPECTED ON THE YAHOO LOOP.


         If you are unable to take the class at this time but wish to take the class, you can purchase class for $20 (CD), contact me for further details.  I also offer my other Scottish class: THE OTHER SCOTLAND: The Borders and Lowlands, on CD for $25.  


Future Classes:

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR- October 2009 (Tentative) offered through the Hearts Through History Chapter of RWA. Watch for details.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Knights Templar in Scotland

Today's post is for my friends at the Knights Templar group on Shelfari.  I thought I would answer the question about the picture that adorns the our group site.  This is all that is left of the Scottish headquarters of the Knights Templar. This arch can be found in a field behind a row of houses next to a children's playground.  As with most ruins of historical relevance this has not been been disturbed by locals to expand their properties. 

The location of this arch is thougth to be the entrance to the headquarters of the Scottish perceptory at Balantradoch. The land for this headquarters of the Scottish Templars was granted by David I in 1153 which included a monastary on the east bank of River South Esk and a working farm. Later when the Knights Templar were brought down by  Pope Clement V and the King of France in 1307 the two Knights Templar who remained at Balantradroch were brought to trial. 

What is interesting is that the St Clair(Sinclair) family of nearby Rosslyn were part of the local nobles who sati in judgement at that trial and did NOT defend the Knights Templar. This has always seemed odd because popular history would have us believe that the St Clair family were very much a part of the Knights Templar movement and history in Scotland. However, it is important to note that the two Templar Knights at Balantradroch who were tried were English Knights, and not Scots.  One can only wonder if the Templar had been Scottish. Unfortunately prior to this the Templars at Balantradroch did fight with King Edward I and their leader in Scotland was killed by William Wallace. They had a bad reputation near the end because of turing out a widow from her own land, so much so she petition and won redress from King Edward I. 

One can't discount the closeness of Balantradoch to Rosslyn Glen, the home of the St Clair family. While in Scotland on my last trip my host at the Orchard House B/B, showed me on a map if one were to draw a line from the current chapel in Rosslyn (which wasn't there at the time of the Knights Templars at Balantrodoch) and to another known Templar site in the region (a stand of trees which supposedly important to Templar Knights)
and to Temple (Balantradoch) one creates a perfect triangle.  There is some significance to this in Templar lore.

What is also interesting in the region is that the perceptory, which after the downfall of the Knights Templar, was given to the Hospitallers in 1312, and  is located not far from Scotland's only known medieval hospital at Soutra Aisle

There are those who believe the three areas all have some sort of mystical connection with each other, but one has to wonder how if the Chapel at Rosslyn wasn't built until 136 years later. After the  little known Battle of Roslyn in 1302, Sir Henry St Clair was encouraged by one of his English captives to move the Roslyn Castle from the hill side where the Chapel now stands, down into the glen along the river where the current castle ruins are located.  

Either way the small arch (above) and the ruins of the Parish Kirk are all that remain with a possible connection to the original Scottish Templar Headquarters. However, it is believed that many of the Templars who were able to escape capture on the Continent came to Scotland because at the time King Robert Bruce had been excommunicated by the Pope for his deed against Red Comyn in Greyfrairs Kirk in Dumfries which resulted in Comyn's death. So Bruce was no longer honoring any of the Papal bulls,which created in Scotland a safe haven for Templars.  Many  of the Templars were from France and with  Scotland's "auld alliance with France escaping to Scotland was a natural. So even though the Parish Kirk that now stands in ruins in Temple is said to be built by the Hospitallers, there are aspects of clear Templar influence, a possible result of any number of Templars who  found safe haven not only in Scotland but also  with the Hospitallers in Scotland . 

The small village became Temple in honor of its past in the 1500's and now is just a quaint one lane village in the valley of the River South Esk. 

More on Rossly Chapel next time...