‘Holyrood’, The Bulletin, 12 November 1903
Battle of Flodden (9 September 1513), Bonnie Prince Charlie, bush ballads, Corridor of Kings, Edinburgh, David Riccio, David Rizzio, Flodden Field, Holyrood Abbey, Holyrood Palace, Jacobite Uprising, James IV (1473-1513), Lord Darnley, lute, Mary Queen of Scots, monarchy, nostalgia, royal residence, Scotland, the Forty Five, Will H. Ogilvie (1869-1963).
As a young man, William H. (‘Will’) Ogilvie spent 12 years in outback Australia, ‘horse-breaking, droving, mustering and camping out on the vast plains’ before returning home to Scotland in 1901 (See Clement Semmler, 'Ogilvie, William Henry (Will) (1869–1963)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/ogilvie-william-henry-will-7890). He was a prolific writer and much of his poetry and verse appeared in The Bulletin. This poem is set in Holyrood palace, the principal residence of Scottish royals from the fifteenth century. The poet’s reference to ‘ancient tower and archway’ hints at the older provenance of the site, where Holyrood Abbey had stood since 1128. In the poem, the reader is taken on a journey “down the storied halls” while the lives of persons and events of note are recounted. The Scots massacred by the English at Flodden Field are remembered, including James IV - the last of the medieval kings in the ‘Corridor of Kings’ - who ruled Scotland from 1488 until his death at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. The verses also reference Mary Queen of Scots, who resided at Holyrood from 1561-1567; her Secretary David Rizzio (also Riccio), who was violently stabbed to death by Lord Darnley in 1566; and ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie (“a rebel prince”) and the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. Ogilvie’s nostalgic poem appeared in The Bulletin in November 1903, after first being printed in The Scotsman.
Will H. Ogilvie
12 November 1903