International Socialist Archives

International Socialist was the journal produced by our tendency until January 2001, when we left the Committee for a Workers International. We now produce the journal Frontline.

Our Scots Noble Bampot's

Taxpayer's money to the tune of £130,000 has been dished out to some of Scotland's wealthiest landowners.The seven recipients, who received the cash from Scottish National Heritage, have a combined wealth of £1billion. Means testing clearly only applies to the poor. The wealthy just apply and wait for the cheque in the post.

The Queen, the world's richest woman was given £26,000 towards the upkeep of her fifty thousand acres Balmoral estate. Other beneficiaries of this largess were the noble houses of Buccleuch, Cawdor, Bute and Atholl.

The Duke of Buccleuch is Scotland's largest landowner. He owns 261,000 acres, 27,000 acres in the Scottish Borders alone and has a personal fortune of £45 million. Thanks to a non-elected Quango, he received £11,000 from public funds to spend on his ancestral lands. The Marquis of Bute collected £12,500,Cawdor and Atholl coined in £18,000 each. The Duke of Atholls domain covers 148,000 acres.

Half of Scotland's land is in the hands of 50 people. Many of them have been in situ for most of the last Millennium. How did they get control of it?

The vast majority of Scotland's so called noble houses are descended from Norman mercenaries who arrived in England in 1066 with William the Conqueror. The Conqueror, and his freebooter cronies, were not the Knights in shining armour, as portrayed in school history books. They were a bunch of cut-throats, who truly were the dregs of France.

A number of these land hungry individuals made there way to Scotland. Recruited by Scottish Kings like David the First, a religious zealot, who also gave vast tracts of Scotland away to the Church. They were hired for one reason only, armed muscle.
The lands that their descendants hold today are stolen property. Acquired, by theft and fraud. Their title deeds are murder, massacre and rape. The vast wealth of, Buccleuch, Cawdor, Atholl, Bute and their, ilk. was created, in the first place, by a medieval Mafia.

The Atholls trace their line back to a murderous Flemish pirate called Freskin. This individual turns up on numerous occasions in the family trees of Scotland's aristocracy.
The family, have a, great fondness for plunder. For years they conned a fortune out of the Isle of Man, thanks to a scam that they had inherited through marriage to the powerful Stanley family. A nice little earner, the money rolled in. Up until the 1820's the Atholls stuck a quarter of the island's revenue into their own, already overstuffed, pockets.
Millions of pounds in today's money had been collected before they finely 'disposed' of the property and privileges they held on the island to the crown. And in true brass-necked fashion, they managed to screw another £400,000 from the, public purse as a, final pay off.

The 'sly sleekit' Campbells in their various guises, are a family who have supplied some of the biggest rogues ever to disgrace Scotland. You name it they've done it. Treachery, theft and murder are just some of this mob's specialities. Nothing stopped this gang of thieves. They grabbed the lands of Cawdor through kidnap and child molesting. In the early 16th century the chief of the Argyle branch of the tribe had his son kidnap and marry the 12 year-old heiress to the land's of Cawdor.

The Scotts of Buccleuch have travelled the road from cattle thieves to the Ducal Crown. The original Scott was one Richard, a traitorous character who signed the infamous 'ragman's role' and sold out to Edward the First. This family of bandits achieved their Dukedom not by so called noble deeds, but by marrying a young child, of to a son of Charles the Second. Child abuse is rife in the much-vaunted family histories of our premier families.

The Stuarts of Bute are descended, like the present head of the Windsor clan, from an illegitimate daughter of the first Stewart King Robert the Second. This character was a useless nonentity. The Stewart's were a dysfunctional lot. James, the First was bumped off by members of his family. His grief stricken widow had the perpetrators roasted over an open fire. James the Third was stabbed to death after a family gang fight, when he was defeated by his own son. The Stewart's brought ruin on this country time and time again.
It all came to a sticky end at Culloden, when the not so bonny Charles Edward Stewart fled the field, and left his troops to the tender mercies of Butcher Cumberland
Before they got the top job the family practised their treachery well. One of them betrayed William Wallace for £100 worth of land.

John the 3rd Earl of Bute had a great fondness for money, other peoples. He wangled himself the job of his dreams as First Lord of the Treasury. This 18th century upper crust wide-boy had very sticky fingers. He managed to steal a fortune before he was rumbled and driven from office by popular demand. The bold John had looted enough though to build himself a large mansion in London stuffed full of art treasures.
The present Marquis, Johnny Dumfries the racing driver, inherited a fortune of £110 million. He recently sold some of the paintings that hung on the walls of the ancestral pile Mount Stuart for £2.4 million.

Over the centuries the same old names turn up time and time again. Every blood spattered page of Scotland's history (and it's the blood of the poor that usually gets spilt) pays testimony to the actions of these bandits.

The Douglas, Hamilton and Home clans have rampaged across the centuries. These three dynasties are, linked, by a thousand threads. Its hard tell were one lot ends and the other begins. The present Duke of Hamilton was last seen at the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Walking backwards before his big feudal boss, the Queen, carrying the Honours of Scotland on a fancy cushion. Hamilton is Scotland's premier Duke and has more titles than you can shake a stick at. He is also a descendent of the Douglas clan.

The Douglas's are another tribe, which has that rascal Freskin the pirate in its lineage. Their most famous historical figure was the 'Black Douglas'. Portrayed as a Scottish hero, he was nothing of the kind. In reality he was a bloodthirsty psychopath. One of his so-called heroic deeds was to massacre a group of unarmed soldiers on their way to church on a Palm Sunday.

The infamous 'Douglas Larder.'

He rose to prominence under Robert the Bruce. Bruce like the rest of his kind knew how to play both sides. This Norman whose family had long held lands in England (his father was Edward the First's governor in Carlisle) put the interests of Bruce before anything else. He even fought alongside Edward against the Scots.
He grabbed the throne after murdering another claimant 'Red' John Combine in a Dumfries church. Comyn not the brightest of a very dim bunch turned up to meet the noble Robert on his own and Bruce stuck the knife in.
After defeating the English based Norman's and their local Norman allies at Bannockburn, Bruce carved up the country amongst his Norman pals. As for the poor Scottish peasants, life went on as before. It was nasty, brutal and short.

The founder of the glorious Hamilton bloodline was a Norman robber baron Walter Fitz-Gilbert. This thug bolted north after murdering a bandit with a bigger gang than him. His passport, to the big-time came, through an act of betrayal. The bold Walter had sworn allegiance to Edward the First and got fixed up with a nice little job -keeper of Bothwell castle. On hearing the result from Bannockburn, it was make your mind-up time big style. He flew the English standard and welcomed all those fleeing the battle. Quickly turning his coat, he handed the lot of them over to the Bruce. This one act of betrayal made the families fortune.

The third leg of this noble treble is provided by the Homes. They claim decent from an old Scottish King called William the Lion. This individual's nickname was a huge exaggeration. The Homes turned murder theft and treachery into a fine art.

Over the years they feathered their nest well with mining royalties. But like the rest of their class they held the miner's in contempt. Before the First World War a Countess of Home believed that a group of Lanarkshire miners had not shown enough respect. She put, pressure on the owner of the miner's transport. With the desired the result that they had to walk the long road from Douglas to Glespin.

Alec Douglas-Home who was a Tory Prime Minister in the sixties was the 14th Earl of Home.

The Hamilton's also piled up a fortune from mining before nationalisation. Whilst the miners of Lanarkshire sweated in the bowels of the earth the Hamilton's sat back and counted the royalties. Such was the greed of this crew that they allowed their stately home Hamilton Palace to be undermined. It had to be demolished in the twenties. They were far from homeless, to this present day this crowd of minted layabouts are not short of a room or two.

Our Scots Noble Families have survived for centuries. Their ancestors murdered and stole their way to a fortune in medieval times. The inheritors of this stolen wealth have continued to prosper under capitalism.
The small landed clique has in their time held absolute power. The Tory party was their political instrument. The courts were packed with their cronies, and their class sat in judgement on everyone else. In church the hand picked minister gave forth from the pulpit, about the 'rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate' and of how god 'made everyone and ordered their estate'.

Under their despotic rule Scotland's miners were enslaved along with their families until the end of the 18th century. Not only did they oppose trade unions, their tame Judges hanged and sentenced trade unionists to transportation for life. With their sons in the House of Commons and daddy in the Lords they opposed every progressive measure, decade after decade.

They made their peace with the aspiring Victorian capitalists and together they turned their fire on the working class. The new capitalist class soon acquired titles and land of their own. Marrying their sons and daughters into the nobility. Their descendants receiving a dash of the old blue blood.

As recently as the late 1980's they trooped into the Lords to vote for the poll tax.

This, landed elite, now provide a useful cover for today's robber barons that control the market system. With their romantic ancient titles, fancy robes, court ritual (most of it made up in the last century by the Victorians) and public school accents, the Monarchy and the Aristocracy are supposed to provide the glue that binds the nation together. They are the guardians of our heritage. An historical pageant of hero's, battles and daring-do. It's all a lie, a great big historical con-trick.

The monarchy and their landed hangers on are a parasitical class. Descended from murderers, thieves and rogues. For a thousand years they have used and abused the land for their own purpose, pleasure and profit. There is no place in the twenty first century Scotland for this feudal anachronism. The real hero's of Scotland's story are those who have stood firm in the battle for a better society, a socialist society.