Family weekend: Rebels with a Cause – The Jacobites and the Global Imagination

  • The List
  • 17 November 2010
Family weekend: Rebels with a Cause – The Jacobites and the Global Imagination

Traditional music, egg decorating and quiz among highlights of weekend of free children's events at Scottish Parliament

The unique exhibition Rebels with a Cause – The Jacobites and the Global Imagination explores the influence of the Jacobite cause on the history of Scotland and the wider world. This free exhibition draws upon rarely seen and internationally significant material from the University of Aberdeen’s collections.

Follow your visit to the Jacobites exhibition with a free tour of the Scottish Parliament or tickets for business in the Chamber and Committee Rooms, whilst enjoying the Parliament’s own exhibition, café, shop and free crèche.

Family weekend

To mark St Andrew’s Day this year, the Parliament has a range of special free events aimed at families and visitors over the weekend of Fri 26 to Mon 29 Nov. Visitors and families will have the opportunity to participate in a number of free Jacobite-themed events and activities whilst learning more about the Scottish Parliament.

Come and follow the hidden trail of the Jacobites and unlock the secret codes; listen to exciting tales of soldiers, spies, bloody battles and daring escapes. Join in with the drama and re-enact the battle of Culloden, listen to period music and decorate eggs and coins with your own Jacobite symbols. For more information on what you can do and when, visit

There will also be a range of Gaelic language events, tours and song workshops happening over the family weekend.

For full details visit
Fri 26 - Mon 29 Nov

Guthan na sràidean / Sound of the Streets Artist - Déirdre Ní Mhathúna
On display at the Parliament, this art installation explores the story of Gaelic communities in Glasgow, looking at aspects of everyday life from the home to involvement in local industries. Enter the installation, furnished with Gaelic books and records and remnants from local industries and listen to music, song and personal stories of the Gaels of Glasgow, in Gaelic and in English.
Fri 26 to Sun 28 Nov

Jacobite Quiz

Follow the trail of the Jacobites taking you to various locations within the Scottish Parliament; can you unlock the trail of secret symbols and codes that lead you to the final message? This activity will take you on a tour of the exhibition and the Parliament building as you learn more about the Parliament and follow the secret symbols of the Jacobites. Visitors can submit completed quizzes for daily prize draws.


Join us for exciting stories of heroes and spies, soldiers and kings as our storytellers act out the adventures of the Jacobites. Join the adventure and help to write your own version of history.

Scottish Parliament,Committee Room 1. Fri 26 12pm & 2pm (Gaelic), Sat 27 11:30am, 1pm, 3pm and 4:30pm. Sun 28 11:30pm, 1pm, 3pm (Gaelic) and 4:30pm. Sessions are run by Scottish Storytelling Centre and last on hour.

Highland warfare comes to Holyrood, Committee Room 3

Come and watch the soldiers as they prepare for the battle of Culloden, what did they think and feel? What was it really like to be a Jacobite? Hear their stories, dress up in their costumes for souvenir photographs and join in the drama as we discover what it was really like at the time of the risings.

Traditional Jacobite music, Garden Lobby. Sat 27 & Sun 28 at 11:30am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Sessions lasting 30 minutes

Be inspired by the music of the era as professional Clàrsach player Katie Mackenzie and Gaelic singer Fiona Mackenzie perform rousing Jacobite songs and talk about life in the 17th and 18th centuries throughout the day in the Garden Lobby.

Decorate an egg with your own secret symbols

The exhibition includes a wonderfully decorated ostrich egg, covered in symbols and secret codes. Come and join the Parliament’s chef to learn about egg decoration and spend half an hour creating a unique chocolate egg of your own to take home.

Garden Level Restaurant, Sat 27 & Sun 28 Nov at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 4pm. Sessions lasting 30 minutes

Free Mercat Tours

Take a tour and see the Royal Mile as you have never seen it before through the eyes of the Jacobites. Listen to exciting stories of famous people and places, executions, floggings, battles and retreats. Take a step back in time as you journey down the Royal Mile from the Mercat Cross to the Scottish Parliament.

Tours start at the Mercat Cross, High Street, Royal Mile, Sat 27 and Sun 28 Noc, 12pm and 2pm. Free

Burnsong Live

An event showcasing the best musical talent from previous Burnsong competitions. In recent years Burnsong has sought Scotland’s newest songs and songwriters, and mentored participants through writing lyrics, music and arrangements either solo or in collaboration to develop, enhance and extend their song writing skills from traditional to pop, rock to jazz. Judge for yourself listening to Scotland’s best. For further information and free public tickets, please visit

Members’ Restaurant, Sat 27 Nov, 6pm-7.30pm,

St Andrew’s Day Debate

Working together, the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government and the English Speaking Union have organised the annual St Andrew’s Day Debating Championship where university and secondary school pupils will join together and form teams that will debate their way through several heats before taking their place in the championship final in the Debating Chamber. For further information and free public tickets, please visit

Debating chamber, Mon 29 Nov, 4pm-5:30, Free

For full details

Rebels With A Cause: The Jacobites and the Global Imagination

A fascinating display of materials and historical artefacts from the University of Aberdeen's Jacobite collection intended to foreground the international aspect of the movement's legacy and the influence that Jacobites forced into exile after Culloden came to have in France, Italy, America and India. The exhibition…

St Andrew's Family Weekend Events

A programme of Jacobite-themed family events, including a history trail, code-breaking fun, storytelling and arts activities.

Jacobite Storytelling Sessions

Come down to the Scottish Parliament for exciting tales of heroes and heroines, bloody battles, spies, soldiers and kings. Gaelic-language sessions run on Fri 26 Nov at 2pm and Sun 28 Nov at 3pm.

Highland Warfare Comes to Holyrood

Come along and meet the soldiers as they prepare to battle at Culloden. Try on their armour and hear their stories to discover what it was really like to be a Jacobite rebel.

Egg Decorating Workshop

One of the central treasures of the Jacobite exhibition is an ostrich egg engraved with secret codes and mysterious writings. Come along and join the Parliament's chef to create your own (and considerably more tasty) chocolate version of the encoded egg to take home.

Free Mercat Tours

As part of the Jacobite exhibition at the Scottish Parliament, the pre-eminent Edinburgh guiding company is offering free tours of the Royal Mile as seen through the eyes of a Jacobite rebel. Tours leave from the Mercat Cross and proceed down to the parliament.

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