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Dunnottar castle, part 3 [06:48]
In the Middle Ages, lords, from kings to humble lairds,ate in the Great Hall with their household. Their status was perhaps stressed by the raising of the lord's table at one end of the hall, lifting him literally above the heads of his dependants, but he ate and drank with them daily. After the meal he might retreat into the privacy of a drawing room, but would often remain in the hall to listen to minstrels and musicians, or to play at cards and gamble on dice with his servants. However, since 1603, when James V1 of Scotland ascended the English throne, Scotland had been opened to English influences, and her nobility in particular adopted the practices of the English aristocracy. Chief amonst these was what is known as 'keeping state', where a self conscious nobility placed great stress on its status. Now wishing to distance themselves from their social inferiors, lords adopted an 'upstairs downstairs' division of the household, eating and sleeping in private suites while the servants ate in the kitchen or common hall. And so we come to the darkest chapter in the history of Dunnottar. The fury of the authorities reached fever pitch when the Duke of Monmouth, the King,s illegitimate son, endeavoured to take the British throne by force. In Scotland the ill-fated rebellion was led by the Duke of Argyll. it was then that a body of Covenanting prisoners, 122 men and 45 women, who refused to acknowledge the new prayer book in particular and the King's supremacy in spiritual ...
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