Saturday, 19 June 2010

St Andrews - 20

St Andrews was first recognised as an ecclesiastical burgh in the twelfth century, and initially developed in the shadow of its powerful patron, the bishop.

Its situation on the east coast favoured expansion as a trading port. The burgh increased its wealth and status through merchants exporting mostly wools and hides and importing a range of foreign goods.

This growth fostered a new sense of independence among the inhabitants which reached its height in the second half of the sixteenth century, as expressed in the impressive West Port Gate rebuilt in 1589.

St Andrews was made a Burgh of Regality in 1614, and a Royal Burgh six years later.

City of God, how broad and far
outspread thy walls sublime!
The true thy chartered freemen are
of every age and clime.

One holy Church, one army strong;
one steadfast, high intent;
one working band, one harvest song,
one King omnipotent.

How purely hath thy speech come down
from man's primeval youth!
How grandly hath thine empire grown
of freedom, love and truth!

How gleam thy watch fires through the night
with never fainting ray!
How rise thy towers, serene and bright,
to meet the dawning day!

In vain the surge's angry shock,
in vain the drifting sands;
unharmed upon the eternal Rock
the eternal City stands.

Samuel Johnson, 1864

Talking of Royalty - next Monday this blog will be visiting Balmoral Castle!

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