Nine of Diamonds

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The nine of diamonds was first called "The Curse of Scotland" in print in The reason for the connection with this particular card is pretty clear from a look at the Dalrymple family crest, and its similarity with the pattern on a nine of diamonds.

Dalrymple had been a highly effective politician, but was also utterly ruthless in his pursuit of causes that were deeply unpopular with many Scots. The public outcry that followed led to Dalrymple's resignation from Government, but he was once again in a position of power in Scotland in the early s and played a significant part in pushing through the Act of Union with England in , though it was not finally approved until after his death.

As a result a large number of anti-Union Scots also came to dislike his memory. So whether the phrase "The Curse of Scotland" was originally coined by those who disliked Dalrymple because they were Jacobites, or anti-Unionists, or simply because of his role in the Glencoe massacre, it found a ready audience across the country and rapidly caught on. Other versions of the origin of the expression are less persuasive. One story goes that the order to give no quarter to the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden was written by the Government commander, the Duke of Cumberland, on a nine of diamonds.

It is hard to imagine the Duke of Cumberland ruining a pack of cards for the want of a notepad: and as it took place in , the battle post-dated the appearance of the phrase by 36 years. A similar problem accompanies the idea that the link dates back to the eve of the Battle of Culloden, when two of Bonnie Prince Charlie's officers were playing cards until they found the nine of diamonds to be missing, and commented that it must have been stolen by the Duke of Cumberland. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Nine of diamonds, or the curse of Scotland: an etymological drama in two acts: Act 1

Skip to content. Some survivors managed to avoid the attack, as shown in this later painting, and attempted to escape through the snow. The Duke of Cumberland — by Stephen Slaughter attributed to , c. Share this: Tweet. Like this: Like Loading It would be interesting if any references earlier than turn up Like Like.

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Email required Address never made public. Name required. Post to Cancel. I was unable to find anything on this event, but at one time, the nine of diamonds was indeed called George Campbell. In The British Apollo , the pages are not numbered. CC0 via Pixabay. Our Privacy Policy sets out how Oxford University Press handles your personal information, and your rights to object to your personal information being used for marketing to you or being processed as part of our business activities.

Planetary Sequence for 9 of Diamonds

We will only use your personal information to register you for OUPblog articles. Or subscribe to articles in the subject area by email or RSS. Also, the offered explanation, every ninth king of Scotland being a curse, later appears with a version of every ninth king of England supposedly being so—from which perspective may be a dilemma. Of course saw the Act of Union between England and Scotland.

It does have an illustration of a nobleman holding, apparently, a piece of paper. This broadside, with an estimated date c. Your email address will not be published.

Is the Curse of Scotland in the cards? - The Scotsman

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Buy Now. By Anatoly Liberman December 6 th See the previous posts with the same title. Heraldry for etymologists and a note on unlikely candidates It has been said, and for good reason, that, whenever people played cards, every man whose unpopularity made him hated by the people and bearing as arms nine lozenges could be referred to as the curse of Scotland.

Great people, William the Conqueror, or William the Bastard, among them, wore it proudly. Apparently, there is nothing sinister about it.

(9) Nine of diamonds

Bent sinister also happens to be the title of a novel by Nabokov. The Massacre of Glencoe and Lord Stair In the previous post, the bloody events that attended the Jacobite movement in England were touched upon. The lozenges are here all right. The apotheosis of war.

Enter Fool In such a drama, one cannot do without an anticlimax.