The Admirality yacht HMY Iolaire under the name "Amalthaea", Ness Historical Society, via Wikimedia CommonsThe first day of the New Year of 1919 brought tragedy to the Island of Lewis, when the naval yacht ‘Iolaire’ crashed onto rocks in the approaches to the harbour of Stornoway. Of the official total of 284 naval crew and … Continue reading The ‘Iolaire’ Disaster 1 January 1919
Throughout December our office has been blessed with a veritable stream of sweets and treats as colleagues bring in baked goods and sweeties, in the festive spirit of giving and sharing (and the winter spirit of needing sugar to burn!). As I prepare to leave work for the Christmas break, my mind invariably goes to … Continue reading “Your confection is perfection” Henry Lauder
There are times when the conservator’s bench can be blessed by an object capable of tickling one’s imagination. That is what happened to me when a single section booklet from a Gift and Deposit collection in the National Records of Scotland materialised on my table: an 18th century recipe book from the papers of the … Continue reading A Lovely Gift
Christmas is now well established in Scotland as a time for giving, enjoying the company of loved ones, decorating the Christmas tree and of course, indulging in some Christmas feasting! But until relatively recently, Scotland did not celebrate Christmas, at least, not openly. For over 400 years, Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland and its … Continue reading Christmas: Banned in Scotland!
Have you ever asked to be excused from jury service? Well you're not alone! For centuries potential jurors have sought to escape their civic duty on grounds of health, work or simple inconvenience. Here are some such requests which survive within the High Court of Justiciary held by the National Records of Scotland. Ill Health … Continue reading Please Sir, may I be excused?
On 4 May 1822, the body of Dugald Cameron, Exciseman and veritable terror of the illicit distiller, was discovered lifeless and in a putrid state on the grounds of a farm in Kippen. Why was he so feared and hated? Why was he was so fervent in his pursuit of illicit distilling, persisting despite the obvious danger to his own life?
On 5 February the United States troopship ‘Tuscania’ was torpedoed by a German U-boat while sailing in convoy through the North Channel, between the north-east tip of Ireland and the Isle of Islay. She was carrying about 2,000 American troops as part of the build-up of forces on the Western Front to increase the Allies’ … Continue reading The sinking of the Tuscania, 1918
Are you a primary or secondary school teacher? Would you like to find out more about how you can use records from the National Records of Scotland archives as teaching tools? Our Outreach & Learning team provide a flexible service with workshops designed to support a wide range of Scottish Curriculum areas and National Qualifications. … Continue reading Scottish Archives For Schools
Our archivists have retrieved some items from the NRS archives to mark the 47th anniversary of decimalisation in the UK on 15 February. The first is a still from the film “All Change”, produced in colour in 1969 by World Wide Pictures Ltd. for the Central Office of Information, on behalf of the Decimal Currency … Continue reading “D Day” 1971 – All Change
While the exploits of Whitehall Cats – Palmerston and Larry most recently – have been recently making the news, cats in Government employ are nothing new. In fact, here at National Records of Scotland, we have evidence of a feline curiosity – a cat tasked with protecting records more than three centuries ago. The Exchequer … Continue reading A tale of a Government cat