The Gowrie Conspiracy

The Gowrie Conspiracy and Its Official Narrative (1902) by Samuel Cowan

There are two accounts of the Gowrie Conspiracy, the events of the fifth of August 1600 that resulted in the deaths of the third Earl Gowrie, John Ruthven, and his brother, Alexander Ruthven. The ‘orthodox’ version, essentially as presented here first of all, is written by Robert Chambers (1802-1871), and based primarily on the testimony of King James VI of Scotland, whose life was allegedly threatened, and the alternative, here summarized by Rev. Alexander Duff of Tibbermore, in Memorabilia of the City of Perth (1802) , and presented in Samuel Cowan’s book, along with three other papers,  believed by many, especially in Perth,  that the king himself conceived the circumstances of the plot for his own ends. To hold such a view at the time was to invite an accusation of treason, punishable by death, hence all the more remarkable that the alternative accounts persisted from the start. Compare these accounts for yourself..

Continue reading The Gowrie Conspiracy

Horse meat in supermarket burgers- why the long faces?

From stable to table…or, only fools eat horses?

Pure coincidence, but two recent posts concerned Black Beauty and Crazy Horse .. Enjoyable though all the jokes have been, this has been the week many British people may be re-assessing their relationship with meat.  I include here Barry Gormley’s (condensed) take on the dilemma:

“The vital question concerns how the quality of food is ensured in Ireland and Britain. In a recent investigation it was found that several big-name franchises in Ireland and the UK had been selling burgers which contained traces of horse and pig DNA. The shops involved were Tesco, Iceland, Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi.

The items came from three major processing plants – Liffy Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland, and Dalepack Hambleton plant in England. Of the 27 burgers analysed, a surprising 22 were found to contain traces of pig, while 10 contained horse. One sample from Tesco revealed 29% of horse, while 21 other beef products had pig DNA…

Continue reading Horse meat in supermarket burgers- why the long faces?

Black Beauty

Black Beauty The Autobiography of a Horse (1877) by Anna Sewell

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words”.  

Black Beauty

We have all heard of this classic novel, but how familiar are you with the book’s impact on animal welfare?

A century after first publication, in 1977, it was rated the favourite book read by ten year olds. Although its popularity is waning, its classic status remains unshaken. The strength of the novel lies in the sincerity and passion with which Anna wrote it, with its good hearted, hard-working hero who makes it against all odds, and incidentally, is a horse..

Continue reading Black Beauty

Gone With The Wind

Gone With The Wind (1936 novel) by Margaret Mitchell

Atlanta born Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel, Gone With The Wind, occupies an important place in American literature. After breaking publishing records with one million copies sold within six months, the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into over forty languages, and remains one of the best-selling novels of all time…

Continue reading Gone With The Wind