Boot Hill has two distinctive opposite meanings, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you live.

Boot Hill or Boothhill in the American West is the name for numerous cemeteries. During the nineteenth century it was the familiar name for the burial ground of gunfighters, or those, “who died with their boots on”.

The name implies that many of the inhabitants were cowboys and describing them as, “dying with their boots on” hints that their deaths were brutal, and that they met their end usually during a violent gun slaying. The “Old West” became notorious for its Boot Hill cemeteries, so the name carries a harsh, undesirable tone to it.

However, in Scotland, “Moot Hill, otherwise known as, Boot Hill or Omnis Terra” has a completely different connotation. Translated as, “Every Man’s Land”,  it is the place of glory and patriotic pride.

At Scone, the site of coronations of Scottish Monarchs, there stands, about sixty to seventy yards north of the parish church, a little hill. Tradition has it that the people who came to the coronation filled their boots with as much soil, from home, as was needed so that they could see their King crowned standing on their own land. Shortly after the ceremony they would empty the earth, out of their boots, creating a mound of dirt nearby. It was hence given the name of “Boot Hill”.

When Robert Bruce, was crowned, King of Scotland, on 27th of March, 1306, Sir James, the eighth Lord Douglas participated in the coronation. When the service was over, he along with other Scottish Barons of the realm deposited a huge amount of earth from their boots. Soil that had been brought from their own lands – all around Scotland. It made a small hill, and was thus, called, “Omnis Terra”  – “Every Man’s Land”.

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