William Scott - Reconstructions

~ Bannockburn the Poem

An opportunity to preview and buy a selection of Scottish reconstruction of events books

In 1662 four women were convicted of witchcraft and one escaped burning at the stake. How did she escape? Where did she go? She returned 12 years later, was recognised and burnt along with another. Who was responsible for this? Why did it happen? And why then? All the available papers are printed in the book and the answers are given in appendices, one of them the pretrial confessions of the witches, which are analysed in detail. Strange tales were told by them about meetings with the devil, the result of psychoses developing in women incarcerated in a freezing prison without proper food and care. Scotland was one of the worst places in Europe for witchcraft. About 4,000 witches are believed to have been burnt to death over the whole period which began with Demonology, a book by King James VI of Scotland and 1st of England. The entire matter is reconstructed, based on the papers which have survived efforts to conceal the obscene cruelties of the time. But the papers show conclusively that one man, Robert Stewart of Scarrell, a steading at Kildavannan on the shore of N. Bute, was partly responsible. An assistant minister to his father, thus, well educated and propertied, when his maidservant became pregnant, the Kirk Session (he was schoolmaster and session clerk) investigated several men, with him writing the minutes! The lady perjured herself by putting the blame on other distinguished men of the island. He was blamed for fornication, adultery, failing to own up, thereby slandering other men and virtually excommunicated as well as fined large sums. Thus, he was the devil of Bute! The human varietry.

The real culprit was the new Minister, Rev John Stewart, who had replaced Scarrell's dead father, Rev Patrick Stewart. ...

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© Elenkus: A Bute Crucifixion
© Elenkus ~ The Bute Witches (reconstruction & the papers ( proofs of conclusions)

Another reconstruction is Bruce's Genius Battle (BGB) which is about the training of the Scots at Bannockburn before the battle and the battle itself. It has original insights: where Bruce could easily address most of his army at one time: the amphitheatres (3). But this reconstruction is based on three scholarly works of history

First, Bannockburn Revealed (BR), published in 2000, which contains all the sources, translated, plus the first justified map of the battle area in 1314, that took up 100 pages and has about 70 photos and maps of the battle area. Where and how the battle was fought are established there for the first time. This book is groundbreaking.

In fact, seven sources say this in The Genius of Bannockburn (GB) published 2012 (p31,32) and three of them say that Bruce, the King of Scots, led the entire army on foot. This is remarkable. A discovery that will inspire the country when appreciated. By then, the map had been improved by adding elevations where the pools of water form regularly after heavy rain.

But there was, between, a third book Bannockburn Proved (BP) 2005, where half a dozen proofs of the site of battle (some short, the best about 8 pages of quotation) are given; the elevations, ridges and depressions were put on for the first time and the justification extended by another 27,000 words. Ch VI (GB) about 30,000 words is also very important in demolishing the rubbish by well known historians from the last century who spent two days walking the ground and understood nothing. This researcher devoted a decent fraction of a thousand over twenty years and even ten before that, not just at the battle area but the entire Forth Valley and the Borders too, into England.

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© Elenkus: Bruce's genius battle
© Elenkus ~ Bruce's Genius Battle (The Battle of Bannockburn)

Bannockburn the Poem

A further reconstruction is 'Bannockburn the Poem'. This is a half hour read in verse with rhyme and imagery which fully describes and conveys strategy and tactics in the battle.

A lifetime spent teaching mathematical science, philosophy and psychology have made this success possible. Serving on the Scottish Mathematical Council making problems and proofs for the best students in Scotland and writing many papers on these matters was invaluable. What I have discovered is science. It is opinion no longer. For the first time we have proof and certainty. Of course many years of concentration on this single matter have been necessary. The number of invaluable insights achieved over the years is remarkable. Psychology here has been very necessary dating sources: when they should count from. The work of Prof Sir FC Bartlett, FRS into reporting a story reveal omissions, transpositions in time, conflations as well as inventions. Checking them against each other, especially for detail, is a powerful tool in understanding what sources are best. Scalacronica, by Sir Thomas Gray, for example, though believed to be written in Edinburgh Castle in 1355, counts from 1314, for his father was captured on day 1 of the battle, he would have discussed it endlessly with his son as soon as he reached home after ransom was arranged, done rapidly to preserve his life away from a prison where he might have died. The amount of detail in it is phenomenal, some of it direct quotes, you can tell are correct. Philosophy has been invaluable in presenting arguments which this life has been engaged with every day, most of the day, hundreds of papers written full of nothing but arguments. The ability to make maps was self taught. Since Roy's two maps of Stirlingshire overlapped, they had tobe combined into one, difficult with untriangulated maps, a perfect join of which is mathematically impossible. This was done in 1999 when the National Library of Scotland still did not have coloured copies.These were available just before from the British Library, having been presented from the Queen's Library at Windsor.

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© Elenkus: Bannockburn the Poem front cover
© Elenkus ~ Bannockburn: The Poem, (a half hour read, with some maps, photos and proofs)