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A Short History of Scottish Groups at
The Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire

by Sharon L. Krossa
Last updated 15 Jul 2002b  

Below is an outline history of Clan Colin and other Scottish groups that have worked at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire (RPFN). The information comes from various sources including Simon Spaulding, Roderick Robertson, Ellen Munro, Jim Krossa, Elheran Francis, Beth George, Tom Levesque, myself, and others involved in Clan Colin, St. Andrew's Guild, St. Jude's Guild, and/or St. Brigid's Guild at various relevant times. If you have corrections or more information to add about these groups or other Scottish groups at RPFN, please contact me. (I would particularly like information about the Scots portrayed in the Queen's court, such as when the character of Sir James Melville was introduced and who played him when, etc.)


Clan Colin, portraying Scottish Highlanders, is formed and is working RPFN, sharing a campsite in the fair with Cody Grundy's Irish group, "Clan na Brogeda". (The Scots and Irish, being visitors to Chipping-Under-Oakwood, have "campsites" rather booths or inns or whatever ;-) Clan Colin acts as "window dressing" in the combined Scots-Irish stage show.


Clan Colin and the Irish group move to separate campsites at RPFN. Clan Colin continues to act as "window dressing" in the Scots-Irish stage show (though some members are dancers or musicians in the show).


Clan Colin develops its own show, performed at Market Cross, with much help from the southern California members of the group and Bay Area RSCDS dancers.


Clan Colin's show is on Main Stage (two times a day) plus another "bardic" show on Innyard Stage. Clan Colin has its own workshops which were accredited for all RPFN participants (Clan Colin or not).


RPFN develops the guild system, Clan Colin is labeled "St. Andrew's Guild" (and the separate Irish group "St. Patrick's").


Clan Colin's Scottish stage show also includes a small group of Irish ceilidh dancers.


The southern part of Clan Colin becomes an independent group and clan, Clan MacColin (still going strong today and still working RPFS).


The Saturday of the 3-day weekend (2nd to last weekend of the run of fair), RPFN management tell Clan leaders that they want Clan Colin to work without pay because they have run out of money. After polling members, Clan Colin complete all stage shows that weekend, and, after the last show Monday afternoon/evening, Clan Colin/St. Andrew's Guild walks out (many of the men and perhaps a few women mooning the front gate on the way out). They do not return as a group to work the last weekend, though some individuals were spotted with other guilds. Although not the end of Clan Colin, it was the end of St. Andrew's Guild.


A new Scots guild, St. Jude's Guild, is formed at RPFN. It's unclear whether they were officially recognized by that name by RPFN management, but members did get food tickets. They did not have a stage show but marched in progress, had a campsite in fair, and did other street acting, etc.


The Scots guild is either St. Jude's or St. Brigid's. Either way, this is a transitional year, with much involvement by Scots from RPFS.


Whatever it was in 1984, in 1985 the Scots guild at RPFN is St. Brigid's, portraying Scottish Highlanders. They now also have at least one stage show (on Ben Johnson stage). See http://www.gotg.org/about.html for one version of the history of St. Brigid's Guild.


St. Brigid's has its own language workshop which is accepted by fair as satisfying the language workshop requirements for guild members, but it is not an official workshop (doesn't count for non-guild members).


RPFN cuts St. Brigid's Guild (and some other guilds).

Late 1990s (after 1996)

A group portraying English Borderers works RPFN as part of St. Michael's guild. (Included here because although not playing Scots, they might be mistaken for playing Scots.)

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