Moors Have Always Asserted Their Rights As A Distinct Nationality


“According to David Mac Ritchie ” Mr. Skene does not regard Fordun’s description as wholly accurate; and Fordun, be it remembered, did not write until two hundred years after this event. Since the north eastern corner of this twelfth century “Moors’ country” has continued t bear the name of “Moray’ country” has continued to bear the name of “Moray” down to the present day, and as another portion of that large territory is still known as “the Black Isle;” it would appear that various “reservations” were left to the native tribes, after the conquest;–or that such scraps of their original country were retained by them against the will of their enemies.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1

“However, Mr. Skene endorses Fordun’s statement to this extent –that Malcolm certainly granted large tracts of the more fertile regions of the “Moors’ country to certain of his followers (two of whom were Femings, named Berowald and Freskine, understood to be the respective ancestors, inter alia, of the north country Inneses and the modern dukes of Athle). One of the fertile districts particularized by Mr. Skene is in that very portion that longest retained the name of “Moray;”.

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 Page 178.

“But, though these Flemish colonist, and others of “his own peaceful people,” supplanted the intractable “Moors” in certain districts of that northern “Moravia,” yet Mr. Skene seems to think that considerable numbers of the earlier inhabitants continued to inhabit their fatherland, even after the ownership of it had been given to others…All through the twelfth century, indeed, these half suppressed races appear to have been in a state of ferment: now acting as auxiliaries in the armies of their overlords; and again asserting their rights as distinct nationalities. 

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 Page 179.

“This appeal undoubtedly indicates—what modern historians agree in telling us–that the greater portion of Great Britain, during this twelfth century, was dominated by Normans and semi-Normans. And this lord of Annadale by Norman and Northman–clearly regarded “the Scots” as conquered aborigines. That this ruling caste, to which the King of “Scotland” and his nobles belonged, was composed chiefly, or altogether, of white skinned men, may be regarded as almost certain. And it is equally certain that a considerable portion of the North-British army at this period (the middle of the twelfth century) was made up of gypsy” tribes:–the vanguard being wholly composed of the painted “Indians” of Galloway; and the main portion of the rearguard consisting of the newly conquered “Moors” of northern “Moravia” (Moor-, or Morrow-, or Murray-Land), together with other “Scots,”–this rear battalion being under the immediate supervision of the King and his Norman or semi-Norman nobility.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 Page 177

“The people whom we are accustomed to regard as “gipsies” are not everywhere identical in dress and customs. Nor is this to be wondered at, since “gipsies” are merely the residuum of various epochs and various nationalities.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 Page 270

“This usage outlasted Shakespeare by at least two generations. In a brief narrative of the encounters between the early colonist of New England and the native “Indians,” I find it stated that “…..these unfortunate gentlemen were intercepted by 700 Moors, with whom they fought for the space of four hours, till not only they two but Capt. Sharp and fifty-one Christians more lay dead upon the place.” And again that “at Woodcock[s[, ten miles from Seconch, on the 16th May, was a little skrimmage betwixt the Moors and Christians, wherein there was of the later three slain and two wounded, and only two Indians killed.” (“News from New-England, 1676, reprinted at Boston and Albany, U.S., 1850 and 1865.)”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume II Page 46

“In reciting the victories of the Roman general Theodosius, Claudian says—Ille leves Mauros, nec false noime Pictos Edomuit– Now, when Claudian wrote, and for a long time after, Maurus signified a great deal more than ” a native of Mauritania.” (Or it may be more correct to say that Mauritania implied as much, though in a different quarter, as “Scythia” did.) Any Latin dictionary,—any old one, at least, will tell you that maurus is “a moor,” a “blackamoor,” or ” a tawny-moor.” And Shakespeare uses the word “moor” as a synonym for “negro.” As that last word bear nowadays a somewhat restricted meaning, it may be better to take the old-fashioned “blackamoor,” as the nearest English rendering of maurus, signifying thereby any black, or brown skinned man. Consequently, the translation of Claudian’s line is this—- He subdued the nimble blackamoors, not wrongly named “the painted people”— and the British Picts, like those of other lands, stand out again as dark-skinned men.”  

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume II Page 47

“There has been much written about Meerominnen and other “water-people,” and the subject is usually treated mythologically, although capable, I venture to think, of being interpreted realistically. This view of the origin of Maurus must, however, be disregarded here, and out attention turned more directly to the dwellers among the moors and marshes. Whether they gave their name to these places or were so styled because they inhabited them, they were at any rate known as Moors. That is to say, this became the general pronunciation given to the word.”

“The original root seems likelier to have been “mor”, as seen in Cornish, Amorican, and other languages. Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, says of the word “moriave,”, defined by him as “black, swarthy, resembling a Moor,”–” This word has certainly been used in Old English, as Cotgrave gives it as the sense of Fr. more, id. It is probably a contraction of Lat. Mauritanus, a moor.” (It would, perhaps, be more correct to say that Lat. Mauritannus and Maurus are extensions of Mor.)”

“He also connects this word with the morion that formed the head-piece of the medieval man at arms. After English word from this root is murrey, mean ing dark red, or copper-color. The country of Moravia is said to receive its name from its chief river the Morava, March, or anciently Marus, and its first known inhabitants are stated to have been a people named Quadi, who emigrated in the fifth century to Gaul and Hispania. “The river Morava” is a tautology; for morava is Mor River, whether ava be regarded as Celtic, or Gothic, or a language older than either. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that the “Quadi” who went into France and Spain may have borne this name “Mor,” the other having been given to them by outsiders, or vice versa. They seem to have been known to the Romans, against whom they fought, by the first of these names.”

“Lempriere gives several nations bearing names beginning with Mor: the Morei or Morienses in India, and the Moruni in that country also, and the Morini, a people of Belgic Gaul, on the shores of the British Ocean, are examples. The Mauri* of Mauritania are perhaps the most notable examples of a nation bearing this name, though in a slightly altered shape. The consideration of this word, and of the localization of races thus named, is not irrelevant at this point. For although it may not be easy to trace their route hither, and the date of their arrival, a branch of this family did inhabit Britain, and are not only known as Mauri and Moors, but also as Moravienses, Morienses (identical with the name of those in India), Murray0men, and people of Moray or Moravia. This name Moravia was given to two districts in Scotland, one of the most important in the north-central, and the other in the southern portion of the country. That the Picts, known to the Romans as Mauri, were finally divided into two sections inhabiting these localities, is a speaking fact which it is well to remember at this juncture. The smaller district in the south has been the name-father of a family distinguished in Scottish history, the Murrays of Philiphaugh in Selkirkshire, whose ancestor, Archibald de Moravia, was among those who subscribed fealty to Edward I. of England, in 1296. One of the estates of this clan bore the significant name of the Black Barony. Of course, the race of Archibald de Moravia many have been that of an intruding army, and not necessarily that of the Moravienses, as he was simply Archibald [lord] of Moravia. “Sir Charles a Murre” who fought at Chevy Chase, of the same clan, shows the name in its modern form or approximately.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie Page 50

“Sir Walter Scott has this to say regarding it: –“Considerable diversity of opinion exist respecting the introduction of the Moorice dance into Britian. The name points it out as a of Moorish origin; and so popular has this leaping kind of dancing for many centuries been in this country, that when Handel was asked to point out the peculiar taste in dancing and music of the several nations of Europe to the French he ascribed the minuet; to the Spaniard, the saraband; to the Italian, the Marietta; to the English, the hornpipe, or Morrice dance.” So that it was actually regarded as the national dance of our country! England has never been invaded from Morocco during historic times,—nor even is this dance the property of the people of Morocco. It is peculiarly British. And yet “of Moorish origin?” Yes,—but the date of its introduction into Britian by the Moors was the date of the landing of the Pictish people, whensoever that may have been.” 

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie

“For example, we see one of the black people–the Moors of the Romans–in the person of a King of Alban of the tenth century. History knows him sometimes as Kenneth, sometimes as Dubh, and sometimes as Niger. “The version of the Pictish Chronicle in the Irish Nennius calls him ‘Cinaed vel Dubh,” and St. Berchan styles him “Dubh of the three black divisions.” “The Picts seems to have preserved a tradition that the whole nation was once divided into seven provinces,” and it would appear that “the three black divisions” over which Dubh, or The Black, held sway formed that portion of the original seven which still remained untouched by the white races; in short, the Pictish provinces. He seems to have been constatnlty at war with Cuilean, or Caniculus, “The Young Dog,” who is called Fionn or White, by St. Berchan; and eventually White succeeded in driving Black out of the country and reigning in his stead for more than twenty years after.”

Source: Ancient and Modern Britons: A Retrospect, Volume 1 By David MacRitchie