1st Marquis of Montrose Society Schools Initiative
The aim of our society is to increase public awareness of the campaigns and exploits of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, during the seventeenth century British Civil Wars and to help people better understand the major impact that these events had on Scottish history and in the shaping of Scotland's place in the world. We believe that this part of Scotland's story has been seriously understated in history teaching. Rather than simply bemoaning this fact, the 1st Marquis of Montrose Society decided to take action directly with schools by encouraging them to become actively involved in projects concerning the remarkable times of the British Civil Wars.
Initially we have particularly focused on schools which are located in areas with which the 1st Marquis of Montrose was closely associated. There are many areas in this category and they are spread across the length and breadth of Scotland because of the geographically wide-ranging nature of the campaigns of Montrose and his army. Events of national importance occurred during the British Civil Wars in Lochaber, Orkney, Sutherland, Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Nairnshire, Perthshire, Borders as well as in the four major cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. There was probably an event of nation-shaping importance during these times “next door” to you and your school!
So far we have been working with 46 individual schools across Scotland. We have encouraged these schools to launch projects with a local flavour centering on events, related to Montrose, which occurred in their neighbourhood. We have provided information, books, articles, CDs, and on this website we are building an information pack which schools will be able to dip into whenever they need resources. We are also offering to showcase schools' project work via links to this website. This site has global visitors and these links allow schools to display their project work to a wide, interested audience that they would never otherwise reach.
Usually schools which are interested in this initiative try to broaden the appeal of their project, its teaching potential and its relevance to current day life by combining the "pure" history aspects with other strands such as environmental studies, imaginative writing, enterprise, drama, poetry, geography, leadership, parents newsletters, citizenship, teachers' CPD and so on. This also seems to make it easier to get a history project added to an already crowded curriculum. Each project therefore, though concerning events of national importance, will have a local history flavour and will be combined with other strands which will make it unique.
The Montrose story also lends itself easily to these other strands of learning. In addition to being a soldier and politician, he displayed outstanding leadership and enterprise qualities, was a man of principle and something of a poet! One of his poems was shorted listed by the BBC in 2005 in a quest to find Scotland's greatest poem. Montrose's words were used directly by Montgomery to motivate all allied troops in 1944 immediately before the D-Day landings in mainland Europe...
If you are interested in participating in this initiative by launching a project in your school please contact us by email. We will support you in every way we can with information and expert advice. Meantime you will find links from this page to a wealth of information related to the life and times of the 1st Marquis of Montrose.
Should you wish to join the 1st Marquis of Montrose Society you will also find a membership application form (includes junior membership).