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‘Anytime you can add some real history for added flavor, it’s so fun.’ I don’t know if it is but you can outright  blame the lovely Aubrey Wynne, author of the forthcoming Magnificent Valor for these, following on from my last blog….



Yes, don’t faint that is me. Did I say I found the Claverhouse story interesting being a romance writer, because he married a Covenanter. I never said I once played her too.  I promised Aubrey to show some of the piccies. Alas Aubrey, I am really quite shocked to report that as the production wended its way round various venues, so did the cast. And as these venues boasted ‘social’ facilities, most of these pictures show the ‘happy, party’ atmosphere behind the scenes…..of what was actually a pretty amazing time really. The things that went wrong. The things that went right. The wonder being we didn’t all develop alcohol poisoning. But the black and white one above is a newspaper posed one and the one below is from the church at Old Blair where Claverhouse is buried –the plaque is to the left there –after a performance at Blair Castle.


Aubrey, you can have the rest about my assassin ancestor, also a bit of a writer I understand, another time.

So, a devil of your own making… That was actually a line from the play.  Last blog I mentioned Sawney Bean, cannibal extraordinary  Staying on the devilish, spooky month theme, he probably ties in nicely with Claverhouse.  Oh, not because of the cannibalism. No. Here’s another one with a certain amount of legend attached to the name. Not only that but the story of Sawney Bean–interesting name for a cannibal–first appeared in pamphlets printed in 18th Century England at the time of the Jacobite risings. Claverhouse was the first Jacobite. Just look at what he set in motion.

It’s not  actually certain where Mr Bean’s cave was exactly Somewhere between Ballantrae and Girvan. And there’s no documented evidence of a trial. gav

When it comes to legends he is probably Scotland’s most gruesome one, though. Said to be the son of a ditch digger, Mr Bean eschewed the principles of earning his living and buying his food like everyone else and instead set up in cave with his ‘wife’ where they proceeded to feast upon unsuspecting travellers– the children had to fed after all– and scatter the remains about neighbouring beaches. Their luck ran out eventually and they were captured and burned at the stake.

A ‘made’ devil or not, Sawney is the most popular attraction at the Edinburgh Dungeon,  the Bean clan have provided Hollywood with inspiration, and I really think if he did exist and you had come across him in on a dark night you wouldn’t have time to follow the advice given in the rest of the line from this blog title and return to your prayers.

You’d be dead.