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The Thistle
A Scottish Patriotic Magazine

I came across this publication which looks to be a monthly publication but have only discovered the first two volumes which I bring you here. Here is what they say in the first issue..


IN bringing The Thistle before the notice of the Scottish people, it is only fitting that we should give some reason for so doing. We hold that it is not only desirable, but necessary that there should be a literary organ exclusively devoted to Scottish affairs—to the maintenance of Scottish National Rights; and more especially to the preservation of the National Honour of Scotland. Owing to the wave of materialism which during the last half century has submerged and obscured much of the fine old Scottish pride and spirit, the progress of Anglicisation has been considerable; and though a check has lately been given to that movement, yet it seems to us that the efforts of Scottish patriots would be greatly advanced and strengthened, if they had a cheap and popular organ for the dissemination of their views, and for communing with each other for the purpose of defending their country and their nationality against English arrogance and English injustice and aggression.

Such an organ of opinion is all the more necessary, owing to the unprecedented action of our present monarch. That personage — the head of the British Empire — whose duty it is to hold the scales ofjustice even, as between the three kingdoms and the four peoples over whom he rules—England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales—has thought fit to sully his high position by taking part in the unjust aggressions of England against his ancient kingdom of Scotland. In such action he has violated the constitution of the United Kingdom, and has thus proved himself to be a creator of disaffection to his person, and even of disloyalty to the British throne.

But even more dangerous to Scottish national honour than this ebullition of royal spleen against Scotland is the deep-set and persistent policy of the vast majority of the English people to submerge the name of Scotland in the name of England, and to treat the Scottish people as if they were subjects of England. Kings, after all, can only strut their little time on the world's stage, while a people like that of Scotland, so long as they maintain their national honour, will for ever hold their own in the stream of history. But this is what the brutal English majority in the United Kingdom seems determined to prevent. The national rights and the national honour of Scotland, as clearly and unmistakably defined by the Treaty of Union of 1706, are, if maintained in their integrity, an insuperable obstacle to the unjust and arrogant attempt of England to assert herself as the sole representative of the British—or as she would like to term it—the English Empire. Such an unblushing attempt to degrade the Scottish race, by treating them as if they were a subject people, must be resisted at all hazards.

On this point there will be no compromise on the part of The Thistle. Its policy on this point may be stated in a few words—we would rather see Scotland robbed or plundered annually by England of many millions sterling than pay a pound a year to her by way of tribute. A people may be ruthlessly deprived annually of many millions sterling, and still be able to hold a high position amongst the nations. But let them tamely give up their national honour, and they at once become a subject and a servile race, whose place in history is one of gloom and of degradation.

Are Scotsmen going quietly to submit to such a fate? We think not without persistent and determined resistance. To give voice then to those Scottish patriots at home and abroad — male and female — who hold such views, and who are determined, at all hazards, to maintain the honour of their country, The Thistle, as a monthly magazine, has been started, and now appeals for support to the Scottish people. It appears in a very plain and modest guise, and its cost—one shilling a year—practically places it within the reach of every member of the Scottish race. It is intended to be the mouthpiece — not of the Scottish nobility, for, with a few honourable exceptions, they have become Anglicised—not of the Scottish commercial or professional classes, for they, to a large extent, have during the last generation basely given themselves up to materialism—but of the Scottish commonalty, who in all the critical stages of Scottish history have been the surest and most stalwart defenders of the liberty and the honour of Scotland. For such a class The Thistle will speak with no uncertain sound. Its aim will be not only to defend, but also to attack; and whether the violators of Scottish rights be English commoners, English nobles, or the monarch on the throne, The Thistle will not shrink from censure, or be slow to criticise or attack. Such a policy of offence, as well as of defence, is now absolutely necessary for the Scottish people. For the sake of peace and goodwill towards their English fellow-subjects, they have for the last two or three generations quietly submitted to English encroachments on their national honour, till the cry arose among the offenders: "We have absorbed Scotland" — "Scotland is now practically an English province." But though National Sentiment may for a time be quiescent, it never dies when it has such a glorious history to give life to it as Scotland has.

She stands proudly pre-eminent among the nations of the modern world as the staunch and unswerving upholder of freedom for many centuries against apparently overwhelming odds. And though the attack on her independence and her good name is not now by force of arms, but by chicanery, by perfidy and by political injustice, it is on that account none the less dangerous. For it has been well said, that "Eternal vigilance is the price of "Liberty." Scottish patriots, then, must recognise the change in the conditions of the fight against English aggression. They must be forever on the alert. Their position is impregnable, if they will only manfully defend it. To maintain this defence, there must be unity of action among representative Scotsmen; not only in Scotland, but throughout the Empire. To secure such unity is one of the chief aims of The Thistle. Through its pages, information can be conveyed, and above all, ideas can be interchanged between patriotic Scots in all parts of the Empire. Such an interchange will have an important effect on the issue of the Campaign against English injustice and English aggression. Nay, more, the time is coming when the Scots abroad will exercise a most important influence on the destiny of the Empire. But this important aspect of the question will have to be dealt with in a future issue.

Volume 1 (1908-9) | Volume 2 (1910)



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