Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship."
~ Charles De Gaulle, 1942
Happy July 14th! The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution. The Auld Alliance (French: Vieille Alliance; Scottish Gaelic: An Seann-chaidreachas) was an alliance made in 1295 between the kingdoms of Scotland and France for the purpose of controlling England's numerous invasions. Although the alliance is said to have formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh in 1560, British historian Siobhan Talbott, after extensive research, concluded that the Auld Alliance had never been formally revoked and that it endured and thrived long after the Acts of Union in 1707 and the Entente Cordiale of 1906! 🇫🇷🎆🏴
Dating back to 1295, the Auld Alliance was built upon Scotland and France’s shared interests in controlling England’s aggressive expansion plans. Drawn up by John Balliol of Scotland and Philip IV of France, it was first and foremost a military and diplomatic alliance, but for most ordinary Scots it brought more obvious benefits through jobs as mercenaries in France’s armies and a steady supply of fine French wines.
After the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, in desperation the French Dauphin turned to the Scots, England’s traditional enemy, for help. More than 12,000 Scots boarded ships bound for France. In 1421 at the Battle of Bauge they defeated the English army, killing the Duke of Clarence.
Many Scots remained in France with some joining Joan of Arc in her famous relief of Orleans.
Joan of Arc's personal standard was painted by a Scotsman, probably called James Polwarth, and Scots fought under her command when she relieved the siege of Orleans and at the battles of Jargeau and Patay in 1429.
Others formed the Garde Écossais, the fiercely loyal bodyguard of the French Kings.
Due to this special relationship that Scottish merchants had the privilege of selecting the finest wines for themselves, much to the annoyance of wine drinkers south of the border.
For a Franco-Scottish Fusion dish celebrating The Auld Alliance, Howtowdie – a Scottish version of the French dish “Hetoudeau" - click the Coat of Arms celebrating The Auld Alliance from Coat of Arms artist Laurent Granier.