Went for a walk today. Tide was in, so no beach, but a lovely walk anyway.
This is Banff, a small town near me with some interesting history that I won't bore you with at present....
In town there is a cafe called "the broken fiddle" and on the wall is this sign..
Jamie Macpherson was the illigitimate son of a laird and a gypsy girl. When the laird died, Jamie and his mother joined the gypsies. Jamie became a good swordsman and a gifted fidddle player. He eventually became leader of the band of gypsies and embarked on a 'Robin Hood' lifestyle - robbing from the rich and helping the poor.
When the law caught up with him, he was sentensed to be hanged at the Merkat cross in Banff. On the gallows, he played his fiddle and then asked if someone would play it at his funeral. Nobody wanted to be guilty by association, so he broke the fiddle and threw it into the crowd, saying it should never be played again.
This sounds a bit like a Disney fairytale, but it is largely true. The official records are kept in the National Archives of Scotland, The fiddle is in the Macpherson museum and his sword is on display in the nearby Duff House. A few stories grew up round the trial, which most people believed was 'fixed'. These are a bit doubtful, but they make a good tale.