Above is a photo of St John’s Church, near Farley Mount in Hampshire. It is a beautiful isolated church that I visited yesterday, which includes a piece of political spin relating to Scotland.
So what does the church have to do with Scotland?
The second photo is a memorial plaque in the church to the interestingly named Thrift Smith from Fifeshire “North Britain”, who sadly died aged only 27. The reference to North Britain provides an insight into England’s view of the Union with Scotland at that time. Political spin was alive even then!
Thrift’s family address is a reminder of the attempt in the 18thand 19thcentury to downplay Scotland as a country, and turn it into a British region. The best known example of this is the former North British hotel near Waverley Station in Edinburgh, which was renamed the Balmoral Hotel about 20 years ago when this practice was seen as outmoded and insulting.
Strangely enough I have not seen places in England referred to as being in South Britain.