In a corner of Edinburgh Castle’s grand esplanade, there’s a small memorial that’s easy to miss unless you’re looking out for it. This drinking fountain with its bronze relief is a modest thing compared to the military monuments that line the rest of the esplanade.
One day in 1745 in the hamlet of Gubblecote, near Tring in Hertfordshire, an elderly woman named Ruth Osborne went to beg for some buttermilk at a local farm. She lived in poverty with her husband, John, neither of them able to get much work or support from their neighbours. The Osbornes were shunned for the double reason that they were thought to be witches and Jacobites (1745 also happened to be the year of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rising).