Saturday 17 May 2014
Constitution Day Celebrations
Our Norwegian National Day Celebrations
This year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution by the Riksamling or National Assembly at Eidsvoll on 17 May 1814.
The Constitution – Norges Grunnloven – formalised the dissolution of union with Denmark, and ensured that the Kingdom of Norway, as a 'free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm' exist as a democratic state based on the rule of law and human rights.
We will, of course, be raising a wee dram to the achievement and Scottish descent of that most famous of Eidsvoll signatories, Wilhelm Frimann Koren Christie. WFK Christie (b1778), whose statue stands in the centre of Bergen – the Hansa trading town where his Montrose ancestors settled – was Permanent Secretary to the Assembly during its deliberations on the Constitution. Quick of mind and quiet in his consideration of difficult issues raised in debate, he was lauded for his statesmanlike gravitas and courage.
Norway Day in Edinburgh
For those of you joining us for our celebratory Dinner, we look forward to seeing you! And for a day of family fun, don't forget to join the Parade, starting (at the one o'clock gun) from Parliament Square and winding down the Mound to Princes Street Gardens where a short ceremony will take place by the Norwegian Stone.
A Warm Welcome to NSA
Our Association, which meets in Edinburgh, provides an opportunity for Scots, Norwegians and friends to get together and to celebrate important Norwegian events. Whether you have a family connection with Norway, or just a love of Norwegian or Scottish culture, why not come and join us? Ye'll surely find a 'hearty welcome'!
Did You Know?
Bergen refuge for fleeing Scottish Marquis
John Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose (1612-50), Covenanter turned Royalist, was forced to flee Scotland after defeat at the battle of Philiphaugh. Choosing to escape to Norway, he had his men search all the coast and harbours to the north of his Montrose home to find a ship bound for Bergen. With good fortune, a Norwegian bark was anchored at Stanehyvie (Stonehaven) and arrangements were made to slip the Marquis onboard.
Dressed in coarse cloth, disguised as a servant, Montrose was rowed out to the bark. Local covenanters had attempted to cut the anchors, hoping the bark might found on the rocks and cliffs, but the escape party got away. On 3rd September 1646, with a 'fair wind' they put to sea with their Marquis 'maid' and began their voyage to Norway.
But within a few years, Montrose's luck ran out. An educated, charismatic and determined leader, he took a force of men back, via Orkney, to the Scottish mainland. A Covenanter at heart, he thought the Royalist cause the better only for Scotland's immediate political stability, and was wont to follow thought with action.
But his return proved one risk too many and he was captured, taken to Edinburgh and executed there in 1650. Today, the Bergen-bound Marquis lies at rest in St Giles Cathedral.
© SLKG 2011