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Old May 9th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #1

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Monition of Cursing


This is a small extract from the Monition of Cursing pronounced against the Border Reivers in 1525 by Archbishop Gavin Dunbar of Glasgow. It doesn't display much Christian charity, but it's a splendid example of invective...

For some reason, it didn't work.

Quote:
I curse thaim gangand, and I curse them rydland; I curse thaim standand, and I curse thaim sittand; I curse thaim etand, I curse thaim drinkand; I curse thaim walkand, I curse thaim sleepand; I curse thaim risand, I curse thaim lyand; I curse thaim at hame, I curse thaim fra hame; I curse thaim within the house, I curse thaim without the house; I curse thair wiffis, thair barnis, and thair servandis participand with thaim in their deides. I way thair cornys, thair catales, thair woll, thair scheip, thjair horse, thair swyne, thair geise, thair hennes, and all thair quyk gude. I wary their hallis, thair chalmeris, thair kechingis, thair stanillis, thair barnys, thair biris, thair bernyardis, thair cailyardis....
In modern English this reads:-

I curse them going, and I curse them riding, I curse them standing, and I curse them sitting; I curse them eating, I curse them drinking; I curse them waking, I curse them sleeping; I curse them rising, I curse them lying; I curse them at home, I curse them from home, I curse them them within the house, I curse them without the house; I curse their wives, their children, and their servants who who take part in their deeds. I call woe upon their corn, their cattle, their wool, their sheep, their horses, their swine, their geese, their chickens, and all their livestock. I revile their halls, their rooms, their kitchens, their stables, their byres, their barnyards, their cabbagepatches....



The whole thing can be read here:-
http://www.imbecility.com/glasgow.htm
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Old May 9th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #2

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Re: Monition of Cursing


He sounds a little bit annoyed.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #3
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Re: Monition of Cursing


Thanks for this notable piece of sacred literature, Chookie.

On the pious Gavin Dunbar (c1490 1547), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Dunbar_(Archbishop_of_Glasgow)).

If anything, we must admit the good bishop was meticulous, methodical and systematic; he would have made a good accountant.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 04:34 AM   #4

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Re: Monition of Cursing


I would guess that carrying their family feuds into sunday service wouldn't have gone down to well with the clergy ?
They tended to get rather annoyed whenever the congregation started drawing weapons and settling old scores in the house of God. It also made an awful mess of the pews (all that blood)
Can't say I really blame Gavin Dunbar, to be honest...
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #5

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Re: Monition of Cursing


Similar in its use of invective is the-
"The Most Defiant Letter."
A Letter written in the 1660s in response to a letter from Sultan Mohammed IV of the Turkish Empire demanding the Cossacks of Ukraine to voluntarily accept Turkish rule.



http://wwClick the image to open in full size.w.wikiislam.com/wiki/Historical_Correspondence_with_Jihadists

Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine Writing a Letter
to the Turkish Sultan. Oil painting by Elias Repin,
1878-91. 6'8" x 11'9".

Quote:
Thou Turkish Devil!
Brother and companion to the accursed Devil, and Secretary to Lucifer himself, Greetings!
What the hell kind of noble knight art thou? Satan voids and thy army devours. Never wilt thou be fit to have the sons of Christ under thee. Thy army we fear not, and by land and by sea in our chaikas we will do battle against thee.
Thou scullion of Babylon, thou beer-brewer of Jerusalem, thou goat-thief of Alexandria, thou swineherd of Egypt (both the Greater and the Lesser), thou Armenian pig and Tartar goat. Thou hangman of Kamyanets, thou evildoer of Podolia, thou great silly oaf of all the world and of the netherworld and, before our God, a blockhead, a swine's snout, a mare's ass, and clown of Hades. May the devil take thee!
That is what the Cossacks have to say to thee, thou basest born of runts! Unfit art thou to lord it over true Christians!
The date we know not, for no calender have we got. The moon (month) is in the sky, the year is in a book, and the day is the same with us here as with ye over there - and thou can kiss us thou knowest where!

Koshoviy Otaman Ivan Sirko
and all the Zaparozhian Cossack Brotherhood
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Old May 10th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #6

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Re: Monition of Cursing


Nice, what happened next????
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #7

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Re: Monition of Cursing


Quote:
Originally Posted by PADDYBOY View Post
I would guess that carrying their family feuds into sunday service wouldn't have gone down to well with the clergy ?
They tended to get rather annoyed whenever the congregation started drawing weapons and settling old scores in the house of God. It also made an awful mess of the pews (all that blood)
Can't say I really blame Gavin Dunbar, to be honest...
Did they do that? I can't remember. I would have thought each Surname would have it's own churches and those that actually went there on a Sunday would be quite strict in upholding the general peace. I'll have to look it up.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #8

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Re: Monition of Cursing


That was the Highland clans during the Linn nan Creach (1493-1625). Each clachan had a church, and each clachan was assigned to a tacksman who would hold the land on behalf of the clan chief (as an administrator). Their rivals would burn churches to declare their possession of the clachan, and usually they did this when it was full, to maximise the destruction on the opposing clan.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #9

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Re: Monition of Cursing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Belisarius View Post
Did they do that? I can't remember. I would have thought each Surname would have it's own churches and those that actually went there on a Sunday would be quite strict in upholding the general peace. I'll have to look it up.
If you've got any better ideas about why he got so annoyed, I'd like to hear them


http://www.electricscotland.com/history/borders/battle_sollomoss.htm

Quote:
Observance of religion does not seem to have played a large part in the life of a Reiver, although attendance at Sunday evensong was certainly required at Arthuret [b]. Legend has it that the Reivers also prayed hard enough before a raid to ensure it’s success [f]. Quite often Church services were interrupted by Reiver families bringing their weapons and feuds into the service. The clergy’s attempts to subdue the Borders by threatening hell and damnation went unnoticed; the most famous attempt by the Archbishop Gavin Dunbar of Glasgow in his "Monition of Cursing" stretched to 1500 of the most descriptive words of cursing of all time; it was read from every pulpit in the Borders to little effect, except that some of the more cynical of the Reivers held their own communion service in defiance of the interdict where one Hector Charlton "resaved the parson’s dewties and served them all of wyne"
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Old May 10th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #10

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Re: Monition of Cursing


As an "impartial" Anglo-Saxon of some Celtic ancestry, I have to say that the Celtic peoples seem to love a good feud and never forget an insult

Ulp. What did I just say?
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