A lot of friends have asked why use the screen name “Macsiccar” and only a few have cracked the code!
The explanation is very historical, very Scottish and much associated with Dumfries in the south west of Scotland.
It was an early winter’s morning in 1306 when 30 year old future King of Scotland
Robert Bruce, Lord of Annandale and Earl of Carrick together with his brother in law Sir Christopher Seton and friends Roger Kirkpatrick and David Lindsay were on their way to a meeting with Sir John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch. Sir John had a ruddy complexion that dubbed him the “Red” Comyn and was in Dumfries for the Justiciars Court. He was was arguably the most powerful man in Scotland and was staying at Dalswinton seven miles or so further up the River Nith. He had agreed to the meeting after Bruce sent two of his brothers to Dalswinton, suggesting it would be in their mutual interest.
The meeting was arranged so that Bruce could put his simple plan to Comyn which was for the two families to unite and drive the English occupation force of Edward I from the country. They would then decide whether Bruce would take the throne, handing his lands to Comyn or vice versa.
The pair took a few steps down the Friars Vennel to the door of the Church of the Grey Friars and disappeared into the Church. There are no eye witness reports of exactly what happened but it is safe bet to assume that all the arguments boiled up once again. Comyn is said to have cried at one point “You lie”. Rage descended upon Bruce and he plunged his dagger into Comyn who staggered against the alter. Comyn’s uncle, Sir Robert, watching from close by, immediately drew his sward and got in a blow that crashed off the chain mail protecting Bruce’s chest. It was the old man’s last act. Seconds later Sir Christopher Seton hewed open his scull with a massive sward blow, killing him instantly.
Bruce staggered blindly from the church, followed by Seton, and collapsed against the wall trying to make sense of the last few minutes. His excited followers clamoured around anxiously demanding to know what had happened. The blood on Bruce’s dagger,told the tale.
“I think I’ve killed Comyn”, Bruce reputedly blurted out. The Kirkpatrick family swear their ancestor Roger, later Sir Roger, replied: “What dae ye mean, think? Ah’ll mak siccer” (meaning “I will make sure”). The story goes that he, Roger Kirkpatrck, and David Lindsay dashed back into the Church and despatched the still alive Comyn.
Thursday February 11, was destined to be a key date for them all, not to mention the future of Scotland and England.
So since my wife’s family’s name is Kirkpatrick,that we live the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Dumfries and I am a very patriotic Scotsman, I felt the derivation of “mak siccer” to “Macsiccar” was most appropriate and hence was adopted as a screen name.