Voice From The Past
Posted on June 24th, 2018
The letter below, purportedly written in 1844, has been circulating on social media for a few days, and has been kindly transcribed for this site by @Lara_Scotland. It has proved difficult to verify the context or provenance of the text, although the linguistic style does suggest it is authentic. It is certainly very passionate and strongly worded. If genuine, it confirms that strong feelings about Scotland’s place in the UK have been around for a very long time.
"Of yore, Scotsmen required no stimulus to prompt them to instant and energetic exertion, when their rights were trampled on, and their national honour invaded. How much stronger is the necessity *now* for our resuming a portion of the spirit of our ancestors, when our fatherland, in consequence of being united to England, has been sunk into a *contemptible province*, stripped of her very name, deprived of the power to remove those crying evils which afflict her, both socially and politically and when she is left with no other memorials of her former dignity and independence but the moss-covered ruins of her palaces and citadels, whose gigantic fragments but all too emphatically tell what Scotland once was, and what she now is.
Never was the destruction of an ancient state more complete and humiliating than that of Scotland; - never did a people consent so tamely to surrender their liberties, and submit themselves to the overbearing dictation of another kingdom, as the Scotch have done. No amount of prosperity, whether commercial or agricultural, can excuse or palliate *mean* conduct like this; and however much we may boast ourselves of our enlightenment, and the pretended happiness we enjoy under English rule, were our unpolished, but brave, honest, and shrewd Scottish ancestors to rise from their graves, and to behold in us their descendants the wreck and prostration of that glorious principle of nationality which burned so intensely in their bosoms, and for which they so often enthusiastically fought and bled, they would utterly disown and despise us.
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
14 November 1844"