Page 17

comlongon_history

This form of treatment must be placed within the historical context of the time. It is highly unlikely that any individual was ever directly treated to such a torture; being faced with such a horror most would have capitulated well before being lowered into the festering foul dungeon, and willingly signed the drawn up “contract” between the parties. Black meal was usually paid in the form of cattle, resulting in certain families amassing considerable fortunes and creating some of the most powerful and influential families in the borders. Once the ransom arrived at the castle, the prisoner was released to return home, unharmed to his family. Pledges or bonds were taken extremely seriously at the time and once one was issued and witnessed it was enough to gain the release of a prisoner; failure to honour would result in the person, or more affectingly the clan being declared broken, and subject to hounding until either the debt was paid off or literally being hounded to death. Comparisons to the Mafia are numerous, and quite apt. Any debt at the time became subject after a year to a 100% fine, and a further 100% addition to cover costs of collection. A £100 fine would escalate to £300 fairly quickly. Continuing up the main staircase gains access to the upper floors, above the Great Hall is a large open plan room, or Solar, where the lairds family would sleep in an open plan dormitory style room, hence the need for curtains around four poster beds. S 17


comlongon_history
To see the actual publication please follow the link above