The Legend of "The Lion & Rose" began in Scotland in the 12th century with William, the King of Scotland, who ascended the throne in December of 1165 AD after the death of his brother Malcolm.
William was known as "The Lion" because of the rampant (standing on hind legs) red lion on yellow that was the image for his standard. This standard became the royal herald of Scotland and has endured the test of time, still being recognized to this day.
Legend has it that King William, while in the midst of a campaign against Carlisle Castle, was in the forest a few furlongs away in hot pursuit of enemy spies that had infiltrated their camp. As he galloped after the spy on his valiant steed, unbeknownst to William, others of the enemy lay in wait. Almost upon the spy, he came to a clearing in the trees but as soon as he was about to close on his prey, he was set upon by two additional soldiers on horseback. A valiant fight ensued and William dispatched two of the three enemy soldiers but was overcome by the third and was left for dead, sustaining a number of bloody wounds .
As William lay in the way hanging on to life, he was found by a young maiden named Mary Rose. As she bent over William to see if life yet remained in him, he gasped "help me". Almost at the same moment, an enemy soldier entered the clearing with a drawn sword to finally dispatch King William. Recognizing the soldier as one of the miscreants from the castle that had abused her and her family, she decided to help the wounded man she was cradling in her arms. Holding William, she felt the shaft of an arrow that had pierced his body. Breaking off the part of the arrow with the pointed tip that protruded from William's back, she plunged the arrow into the throat of the enemy soldier as he bent down to finish William.
Having saved the life of William, Mary brought the King to her cottage and dressed his wounds. William soon returned to his camp after he regained his strength and told his soldiers about the courageous maiden that saved his life. He often told of her fierce courage with the "dart" (little arrow)...and he would wistfully speak of her gentle way as she helped him recover from his wounds.
Little is known about Mary Rose...where she came from, her brothers and sisters, or if she ever had children, but for centuries, even after King William was no more, there were whispers about a certain "Lion and a Rose"...and a dart that found it's mark and changed the course of history.
Through the centuries, the connotation of "The
Lion & Rose" began to carry the thought of refreshment – probably because the spirit and body of King William was refreshed by the ministrations of maiden Mary Rose. The Lion & Rose Authentic English Pub is pleased to present this unique and rich heritage as a part of our identity in a 21st century context. And, oh yes... did we mention "we have 'darts' "?