A clutch of Norwegian-Scottish Anniversaries

01 May 2012  An ambush in Gudbrandsdal, a highland lodge in Vest Agder, and Norway’s first oil refinery are the unusual features of a clutch of Norwegian-Scottish anniversaries this year. 

Myth and reality mix in celebrations at Gudbrandsdal with the marking of the 400th anniversary of an unfortunate clash between Norwegian peasants and Scots mercenaries at Kringen in August 1612. En route to serve the King of Sweden in the Kalmar War, a small column of Scots was ambushed at the narrowest pass of the valley, and with their capture was born a lasting romantic myth of Norwegian peasant prowess and independence. The real story of Kringen is not in the least glorious, of course, but fact and fiction hardly matter, for friendships and festivities are the only theme of celebrations taking place in Gudbrandsdal 18-23 August this year. The organisers promise ‘peace, reconciliation and cultural collaboration’ as the focus of an exciting programme of exhibitions and tours. More here.

Heather - ScotlandMeanwhile, in Vest Agder county in southern Norway, preparations are underway for two celebrations connected with the famed Salvesen family of Leith. Åseral municipality is marking the 100th anniversary of the idyllic ‘highland lodge’, Lordehytta, which was built for Scottish lawyer Lord Edward Salvesen (b1857) on a heathery outcrop overlooking a beautiful hill-sheltered loch. Both an exhibition telling the Salvesen story and a special guided visit are planned. The organisers are especially keen to renew old and happy connections with their Scots friends and hope to welcome all on the main anniversary day, 9th September, with a rousing skirl o’ the pipes! More here.

Out of the mountains and down to the coast, the Salvesen theme continues too in the nearby municipality of Mandal. At Risøbank house, built for the Salvesen family by Scottish architect Robert Lorimer, celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Salvesen-founded paraffin oil company Mandal Parafin-Olje Fabrikk will be marked too. Visitors to Risøbank can enjoy beautiful gardens, exhibitions, and lazy walks on the beach by the house. More here.


Hjertelig Velkommen
 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'!


Norwegian Scottish Association


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. 

Marquis of Montrose

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. 

Marquis of Montrose

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