Thursday, January 19, 2023

Wait, There's A Real Blackadder?

      Fans of the Rowan Atkinson historical comedy Blackadder may be disconcerted -- or pleased -- to learn that there was a real Blackadder family, with a complicated, tragic history.  And a large estate, centered on Blackadder House along the Blackadder Water in Scotland, demolished after having been vandalized by troops quartered there during World War One.  Some of the outbuildings and traces of the garden remain, along with a few bridges.

      I happened across it by accident; I was looking up the history of polio epidemics, which led me to Sir Walter Scott.  He grew up at Sandyknowes, in the shadow of Smailholm Tower, the former family castle.  This linked to a whole list of Scottish castles, and thus to Blackadder House.

      I'm almost afraid to look up "Baldrick" as a family name now.  Art, life....

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