"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday 13 November 2015


Po Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "BLACK SLAVERY IN THE SOUTH WAS NOT NEW?": 

We studied the feudal system but it was a cold look. You got the picture that the top guy owned the river and the big house while the ' tenants ' got to farm the bits assigned to them. Clearly there was to be no mixing. Sort of like the cattle and sheep people in the west. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 13 November 2015 at 13:02

I don't remember if I learned  about the feudal system in Primary or Secondary school. I can't pin-point how much I understood  as my life evolved. 

Certainly nothing but  the concept of slavery would allow an understanding of being owned in a feudal system. 

I  am by no means an authority on the subject. I have an idea, control in Europe extended even to giving permission to marry or emigrate but I'm not sure of that. 

I am certain though, whatever was studied by the commenter was not successful. 

Maybe it is just impossible to visualize from a  historical and geographic perspective. 

I was born in the Royal Burgh of Irvine. Text books provided nothing of local history . I had to 
track that down myself.  

A ruin called Seagate Castle occupies space on a cobbled side street  The sea was a mile away.

A  metal plaque proudly proclaims Mary,Queen of Scots visited the castle with her four Maries.

The town celebrates Marymass Fair in August every year on the basis of that visit. 

It seems not to be true.

The Castle didn't exist at the time of Mary.

Pre-Covenant ,the Christian Faith was celebrated with an annual Holy Fair lasting a week. 

The patron saint of Irvine was St.Mary, mother of Christ.The Town Coat of Arms was a plaque of Mother and Child. When I went looking for it, it was a not where it was supposed to be. It was stashed in the archives somewhere. They said It was broken and needed fixing. 

The Parish was St Mary's. The Church was built when my mother was a child . The church was also the school when it was first built. My mother started in the infant class  in the choir loft. Children sharpened slate pencils on the lime stone pillar outside.Marks are still to be seen.

When there was only one Christian denomination, The Auld Kirk was the parish church. It's there still. I never did get inside. It is situated by the side of the river crossed by stepping stones to the Friary originally located in vicinity of  Friar's Croft . I was born at number 22.

The Auld Kirk sits in the middle of a cemetery. A gate is designed to,prevent cows from getting access. Osgoode Hall on Queen Street Toronto has a similar gate .No doubt originally intended to serve the same purpose. 

I started this post  to talk about the significance of Royal Burgh status to a town. I think it was proclaimed by one of the Charles.

Assizes  were  the King's responsibility. He travelled around to hear and settle disputes and trials. He decided, if the burgers were educated, they could handle the task  themselves. 

A Royal Academy was established for the education of children of the burgers. 

It was a long term strategy. 

Last time I was there ,the majestic old red sand stone building on the moor was derelict...windows had no glass and the building was abandoned for all intents  and purposes .

I discovered early, the  hangman's scaffold  had been outside the school wall but nothing marked the spot. 

I remember thinking history might have meant so much more by just stepping outside the classroom.

It occurred to me, even as a child, an opportunity was lost. 

To-day's post is a bit of a melange ...just thoughts rolling around in my mind. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a bit of filler. When today's teachers try to move kids outside the walls of schools, they run up against all kinds of
opposition. Least of it from the over-protective parents and the insurance of the school themselves. The zoo and pioneer villages
seem to be deemed safe enough.
Sorry about the scrambled lines.
My thoughts are elsewhere with those in Europe....