‘How Scotland Lost Her Parliament‘ (1891)
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Charles Waddie was an Edinburgh solicitor and Secretary of the Scottish Home Rule Association at the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century. He was, as you’ll see, both a pro-Unionist and a proud Scottish Nationalist. Today we see these terms as associated with Scots on two very different sides of the political divide in Scotland. Prior to the propaganda of the first and second World Wars, people in Scotland who held both patriotic feelings for their country and a desire to see the Union as being fairer and of more positive benefit to their nation, were prevalent. They didn’t see Britain as a country they could be patriotic to as it was just a treatied Union as opposed to Scotland’s being an ancient free and independent kingdom with its own rights and privileges in law to which they could hold an allegiance and a desire to see her succeed for their descendants.
We first came across Mr Waddie in his correspondence within the press, from about 1883 to 1894, occasionally under the pen-name ‘Thistledown.’ I think I loved him immediately. He has a succinct way of presenting a case that’s well written and difficult to put down. I wasn’t able to find any of his publications as cited within the ‘Scottish Review’ articles quoted in ‘Treaty of Union Articles.’ This was strange to me being as he had both published them from what seems to be his own firm of Waddie & Co. Ltd., Edinburgh, and therefore could publish as many as required for his demographic, which appeared to be Scots in general. Also, as the Secretary of the Scottish Home Rule Association, distribution would have been easily done. They’re also by no means the oldest books. 19th century publications are fairly easily got a hold of, in my experience, especially those at the latter end of the century. I went looking for information and couldn’t even find a picture of the man himself. In such a position as he held I can’t believe he never had his picture taken or illustrated in some way. It all seemed very strange. An exceptionally generous Patron of Random Scottish History spirited a copy into our hands from the United States. What I quickly found out was that the text didn’t exist online, outside of the odd scanty quote from other publications. The information it contained was of far too much value to allow it not to exist anywhere. People needed access to this book. Within 4 days of it arriving on our doorstep it was transcribed and published to RSH.scot. It needed more exposure though and to that end I contacted the wonderful Ken of iScot Magazine who agreed with me and my aim as regarded this publication.
Charles Waddie deserves commendation for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Scottish Home Rule Association and, therefore, Scotland and her people. His last sentence at the end of chapter X. of this publication is;
“If we do our duty we will be classed with the wise and good Scots of the past; but if we falter and fail to assert the rights of our country in this crisis, then our memory will be covered with eternal infamy.”
I hope these words didn’t cause him too much heartache at the end of his life. I hope he felt it was all worth it and that there was still hope for justice for his homeland within or without the Union in its future and that he’d laid an excellent groundwork we could use to complete his work.
To read this publication within RSH see HERE.