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Re: Forever Argyll

Another potential thing to look at:

>Nevertheless, in view of the interest in the "Sinclairs of Argyll", I'll do 
>a bit more digging and, when I come across an authentic
>source, I'll get back to you.  The armorers were known as Sancto Claro (St 
>Clair).  The Gaelic caerd would only have come into
>usage because of the common custom to describe people by their trade or 
>profession so the armorers became caerds as soon
>as they began to ply their trade to (a) make a living in an alien land and 
>(b) to make them more acceptable to the local population
>who may not have needed much encouragement to kill 'the enemy' (although, 
>in truth, the Spanish were the enemies of England
>rather than of Scotland).

The Armada formed up in Galicia, which is a Celtic region of Spain, in
the far northwest corner.  It even looks a bit like Scotland, with high
hills falling to foggy river valleys (they call them rias) and to the sea.
Many of the people there are quite fair-skinned, frequently with freckles,
although I can't recall seeing any with red hair.

Nowadays there seems to be no remaining spoken Gaelic in Galicia
(although they do speak a dialect, Galician or Gallego, which is about
as distinct from Castilian as is Catalan, although not as different as
Portuguese).  In the days of the Armada, there may still have been spoken
Gaelic.  So the use of the word caerd for survivors of the Armada could
conceivably predate the wreck of their ships.  And if the survivors were
from Galicia, Argyll may not have seemed as foreign to sailors from foggy
Galicia as you might think if you're thinking of hot and dusty Andalusia.

No, I have no evidence for this speculation.  And it could easily turn out
that the shipwrecked sailors were all from La Mancha.  But it's a thought.

>The crew of the Spanish galleon which sank in Tobermoray Bay had to sink or 
>swim.  It wasn't as if the galleon was mid-ocean.
>The ship had foundered.  Land was within reach.

Which galleon was it?  Perhaps there are records of where its crew came from.

>Back to you soon.
>Niven Sinclair

John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
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