The Moors in Mary of Guise’s court

Mary of Guise
Mary of Guise

Historic Scotland, who count Stirling Castle as one of the many properties they oversee, have just released some fascinating details of life below stairs in Stirling Castle. Their £12 million refurbishment of the ancient royal palace has unearthed previously hidden details of eating habits of the time, which reveal an interesting array of palace guests and visitors.

Whilst trawling through court records, historian John Harrison has found evidence of a Moorish presence in the environs of Stirling dating back to the 16th century – a time when the palace was overseen by Mary Queen of Scot’s mother, Mary de Guise. This most cosmopolitan of residences granted a daily loaf to the Morys – or Moors – who Mr Harrison believes were probably either Africans or Arabs originating from North Africa.

But whilst Mary ensured their daily loaf, she was never in danger of suggesting, as a later French Queen did, that they “eat cake”. The records show that the “gateaux” was kept firmly in the larder for posh guests, as only they justified the expense of sugar.

Find out more about the under-the-stairs life at Stirling by visiting Historic Scotland’s website.

  • Many of us are willing this title to succeed and are hoping that there will be balanced and informative analysis and reporting.

    As ‘new kids’ on the block it would be good to hear their opinion on the demise of the Scottish press. Indeed last week with the Buckfast, Nuffield report, Balmoral Paths and Maldives coverage would have provided a perfect opportunity to find out why ‘The Cally’ proprietors feel that anew organ will succeed and what it is about the current lot that is wanting.

    I don’t know whether they allow url’s or links but over at Newsnet Scotland we took a look at these four aforementioned stories and the way that the main stream media handled them.

    Feel free to have a look yourselves:

    Just google Newsnet Scotland (I don’t think that url’s are allowed).

    Come on ‘Cally’ have a constructive dig at your former employers – where are they going wrong?