By Elma McMenemy
Aberdeen has been inhabited for 8,000 years, because the first Hunter-Gatherers settled at the banks of the River Dee. 4,000 years later, Bronze Age peoples left their mark at the panorama through developing an immense variety of recumbent stone circles, as soon as regarded as locations of sacrifice. Invaders together with Celts, Romans and Vikings met violent, bloody resistance, and the effective Roman military left hundreds of thousands of Caledonian corpses for the crows following the conflict of Mons Graupius. From the slaughter of Aberdeen Castle's English garrison (part of a electorate' rebellion in aid of Robert the Bruce) to all-out attacks at the urban via Kings, Royalists and Nazis, no century has left the town unmarked. Plague, conflict, extended family feuds, murderers, witches, covenanters and slavers - all have stained the silver urban crimson with blood!
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Extra resources for Aberdeen
In Moray, where Macbeth was Mormaer, or Earl, is Pitgaveny where he fought for his right to be King of Scotland. Here he killed King Duncan I in battle. About midway between the Moray blasted heath, where Shakespeare had Macbeth meet the three witches, and Glamis Castle, where much of the play is set, lies the village of Lumphanan. It was here, some miles west of Aberdeen, that Macbeth met his death in battle in 1057 at the hand of Malcolm Canmore, later King Malcolm III. For around 500 years, since establishing their Kingdom of Dalriada in the west of what is now Scotland, the Scots had gradually expanded their territory by invading and exploiting the lands of the Picts.
They also came to live in the lands they discovered and to trade with the natives. Many settled in Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides and on the west coast of Scotland, from where they set out to explore and attack other parts. They left their settlements in the Northern Isles – Hjaltland and Hrossey, today’s Shetland and Orkney. They sailed south to Katones, Caithness, and Sudrland, now Sutherland, and across the Moray Firth to Banffshire, Buchan and the North Sea coast of Aberdeenshire and Apardion, the name they gave to Aberdeen itself.
He was well travelled and almost certainly had fought in battle. His great ally was Andrew de Moray, from the same part of north east Scotland as Macbeth, and it is possible that many of the exploits ‘reported’ by Blind Harry may have been carried out by de Moray, rather than Wallace. The two succeeded in drawing together an effective and disciplined army which included not only knights and nobles, but also landowners and more lowly Scots. Using clever tactics they decimated the English Army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, killing and skinning the English Treasurer Cressingham, whose flayed skin was cut up and distributed among the victorious Scots.
Aberdeen by Elma McMenemy