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Beware of rebels who laugh, dance and sing.

"The Song of the Low Classes'

We plough and sow—we're so very, very low
That we delve in the dirty clay,
Till we bless the plain—with the golden grain,
And the vale with the fragrant hay.
Our place we know—we're so very low.
'Tis down at the landlord's feet:
We're not too low—the bread to grow,
But too low the bread to eat.
Down, down we go—we're so very, very low,
To the hell of the deep sunk mines,
But we gather the proudest gems that glow
Where the crown of a despot shines.
And whenever he lacks,—upon our backs
Fresh loads he deigns to lay:
We're far too low to vote the tax,
But not too low to pay.
We're low—we're low—mere rabble, we know,
But at our plastic power
The mould at the lordlings" feet will grow
Into palace and church and tower—-
Then prostrate fall—in the rich man's hall,
And cringe at the rich man's door:
We're not too low to build the wall,
But too low to tread the floor.
We're low—we're low—we'…

Peter Murray McDouall (1814-54)

Jenny Wormald in her biography “Mary Queen of Scots. A Study in Failure” describes a Scottish monarch who lacked an interest in Scotland and who posessed an obsession in aquiring the English throne. In 1548, at the age of just five, Mary left Scotland for France. She returned to Scotland in 1561 following the death of her husband and continued to still own and manage considerable French estates, the legacy of the dowry settled upon her as a consequence of her brief marriage to the the French king. In Scotland, and even during her long imprisonment in England, Mary maintained a predominantly French household and a pronounced interest in French affairs. French was to remain her first language.

The Marie Stuart Society have now begun a campaign to raise about £100,000 for a full-size bronze statue of Mary.

However, Socialist Courier is always surprised, although we shouldn’t be, by our own forgotten Scottish working class history. The Chartist activist and friend of Marx and Engels, G…

Gerald Massey - the Chartist Poet

"KINGS ARE BUT GIANTS BECAUSE WE KNEEL"

Good People, put no faith in Kings, nor merchant-princes trust,
Who grind your hearts in Mammon's press—your faces in the
dust—
Trust to your own true thought! to break the Tyrant's dark dark
ban;
If yet one spark of freedom lives, let man be true to man.
We'll never fight again, Boys! with the Yankee, Pole, or Russ.
We love the French as Brothers, and the fervid French love us!
We'll league to crush the fiends who kill, all love and liberty,
They are but Giants because we kneel, one leap, and up go we!

Trust not the Priests, their tears are lies, their hearts are hard and
cold—
The welcomest of all their flock, are fierce wolves fleeced with gold;
Rogues all! for hire they prop the laws, that make us poor men
sin.
Ay! tho' their robes are black without, they've blacker souls
within.
The Church and State are linkt, and sworn to desolate the land—
Good People, twixt these foxes tails, we'll fling a fiery bran…

A Chartist Tour of Scotland

Robert Gammage was a Chartist activist and is best known for his History of the Chartist Movement, published in 1854. In 1843 he embarked on a speaking tour of Scotland, lecturing in many small towns. It makes an interesting read and an insight into the history of the working class in Scotland.

'Recollections of a Chartist'

Now I was about to go to Scotland —
“Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood."

I walked to Annan, a little town about half way between Carlisle and Dumfries, and addressed a well attended open air meeting, and I was congratulated at the close on my lecture and its reception. I stayed at an inn, at that time the principal inn in the town. I had but rarely seen such a 'spread' for supper as was set before me, brought on one of those old-fashioned mahogany trays which I had indeed seen in my boyhood, but never supped off. There was meat in abundance, bread and cheese, and a jug of 'good Scotch ale.' I slept well…