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Weekly Mailing List Archives
21st July 2006

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at

I keep getting in requests to promote events and clan gatherings but this isn't really the role of Electric Scotland. For example...

The Oliphant Clan and Family Association is undergoing much reorganization and was re-launched in January 2006 after a large gathering of the Clan Oliphant family in August 2005 in Scotland, where we met "cousins" from all over. Our objectives are to preserve and foster the history and traditions associated with the name of Oliphant, and all of its variants, in every part of the world where the Oliphants have lived or do live now. As we grow and foster our Clan, we hope to purchase and preserve Oliphant lands and to some day open a museum both in Scotland and in the States.

We want to create links and friendships to research and share information about the history of all Oliphants. Anyone with a historical or personal interest in the Oliphant Clan can join.

Many of our members are setting up tents at local highland games, including Maine and New Hampshire, so please attend and look for us there. Contact information for your area is listed on the message boards at both and or please feel free to write to

In my view the only place to post this type of information is really in this newsletter. It's essentially current information and doesn't really provide content relevant for archiving on Electric Scotland. Also... if you want to know what your clan society is doing I would presume that the best place to find that out is on their own web site.

So the question is really... should I be doing more?

I could for example have a section under each clan listing where the clan will have a tent and any events they are planning. Perhaps call it "Current News and Events". Having said that I do have a clan newsletter section where clans can send in copies of their newsletters. Perhaps this would be a better place to put this information and any clan society could perhaps at least post one of their newsletters up for us as an example. I am aware that many societies feel this is the only real benefit of membership and so don't like to give them out for free. That said, one sample newsletter really shouldn't make any difference and at least it would be something that potential members might want to look at before joining. We can also carry application forms.

There are essentially two areas here.. one for clans and their societies and the other for the event organizers. I have been discussing clans up to now as the event organizers can add their events to our Calendar at

Anyway... I'm starting to ramble a bit but I'd be happy to get any emails in from you as to suggestions :-)

Next week I'll be starting on a few histories of famous Scots missionaries. Essentially these books tell a remarkable story and how they helped thousands of people. These accounts also help to shed light on some of the other Scots influences around the world. Two that I will be doing are...

James Chalmers of New Guinea. Here we will see how not only was he doing mission work but also establishing schools. The local inhabitants were being persuaded to stop eating humans and stop their constant fighting. Peace was coming to the area through his efforts and having a beneficial effect on tens of thousands of the inhabitants. People like this are an inspiration and is why they deserve a place on Electric Scotland.

The other missionary I will be profiling will be James Stewart of Lovedale in South Africa. Here he built a missionary school which took in both black and white students. It also included an agricultural school and craft workshops. It was taken as a model for other schools. He was also a moderator of the Church of Scotland. Again through his work he influenced the lives of tens of thousands of people.

I will also be doing a small book on a Gaelic church in Australia which gives an insight into the running of a church in the early days in Australia. I also plan to start a book about Scottish education as to date we have very little information on this topic and it certainly deserves a place on the site.

I have also made a start this week on another nature book "From Fox's Earth to Mountain Tarn" for which see below.

And a wee announcement for those around Ontario...

Sunday, September 3rd: Scottish Studies Tall Ship Sailing Cruise Toronto

The Scottish Studies Society invites you to join its 15th Annual Scottish Tall Ship Sailing Cruise, which will be held Sunday, September 3, 2006 aboard Canada's largest sailing ship, The Empire Sandy. The cruise promises to be a unique opportunity to share in the experience of a voyage on a tall ship, recapturing the legendary spirit of Canada's pioneers! The day will feature two sailings. The morning cruise will board at 11 a.m., while the afternoon cruise will board at 2 p.m. Tickets for the cruises are priced at $20 per adult and $5 per child (15 and under) if purchased in advance, and $25 per adult and $8 per child if the day of the cruise. Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase on board the ship during the cruise. The Empire Sandy will be docked on the south side of Queens Quay West in Toronto, directly opposite Lower Spadina Avenue, beside the Music Garden. Parking is readily available in the vicinity of the Harbourfront, but be sure to leave yourself time to find a spot! Public transportation is also an option, via the LRT (Light Rapid Transit) streetcar which originates from Union Station. For more information, or to register, please contact David Hunter at 416-332-7353, email,  or visit

This event is usually sold out so best to book early if you can.

And the reason this announcement appears here is simply that I'm the Vice-President of the Society [grin]

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and others.

This weeks edition is by Donald Bain where he has produced a number of most interesting articles about energy. Here is one of them to read here...

Scottish Energy Review

The most impressive stop on the above-mentioned alternative energy tour was to the wave energy research facility at Edinburgh University. There was a huge wave tank where it was possible to replicate almost any ocean conditions and measure all the effects on model boats and on small-scale wave conversion devices called ducks. These were known as “Salter’s Ducks” after their inventor, Dr. Stephen Salter.

Salter’s presentation, (marred only by the presence of a slightly sinister “man from the ministry” who periodically interrupted the narrative flow by tapping his forefinger on his lips, presumably to indicate that too much information was being divulged) dazzled his multicultural audience with its mix of hard scientific fact, humour, unusual insights and elegant understatement.

I was reminded of this when reading the just-published “Scottish Energy Review: Scotland’s Opportunity - Scotland’s Challenge”. It is written in the same inimitable style, which makes it not only a deeply serious scientific paper but also (unusually for an academic report) an exceptionally entertaining read.

Commissioning Professor Salter (as he now is) to chair this study of Scotland’s current and potential energy prospects was an inspired choice by the SNP. Together with his distinguished colleagues Kerr MacGregor and Clifford Jones he has produced possibly the best concise review of the totality of Scottish energy options yet produced.

I shall resist summarizing the findings of the review in the hope that readers will read the report in its entirety. Those without a scientific background may have to invest a little time in acquainting themselves with some of the technical language but the effort will be amply rewarded.

Download the full report (36 pages) at

Postscript. Why is it only now, over 20 years later, that wave-power devices are entering commercial application? Part of the answer is that oil prices dipped sharply in the mid-1980s and thatcherite short-termism lead to the plug being pulled on many renewable energy projects (including my own management courses). I would also hazard the thought that wave power was subject to dirty tricks by the nuclear lobby, who saw it as the one renewable energy technology which posed a real threat. Perhaps Professor Salter can tell us the full story one day, “man from the ministry” permitting.

Note: I couldn't find the review mentioned in the article so went hunting for it and found it and have made it available at

I did find this report to be most interesting and given the current interest about gas prices, etc this may also be of general interest to our readers as it also covers some interesting comments on renewable energy.

And pleased to say that the Scot Wit section is back in business and here it is for you to read here...

Tea Break

There used to be a longish stop at our local station when the guard took the opportunity to have his tea on the platform. On one occasion an impatient passenger, knowing that the time for departure had come and gone, finally asked the guard why the train had not departed.

"She canna stert till A blaw ma whussle" came the official explanation.

"Then blow your whistle" protested the exasperated passenger.

"An hou kin A blaw ma whussle" replied the aggrieved guard "whan ma mou's fu o biscuits?"

You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots language at

Children's Stories
You can see Margo's new index page at

Margo usually manages to add a children's story each day so do check our "What's New" page.

This week saw the completion of the 10th book of the Rolphin's Orb series which you can read at

And here is another children's story to read here...

The Pink Stones

Gareth sat on the chair, staring at the jar of pink gems. "I will not be happy until the entire jar is full. I must go and find some more." He finished nibbling on some chocolates and then grabbed his staff. A pink glass ball sat on the top, held by prongs of wood. "Off I go." He grabbed his carrying case on the way out. "Ah, a lovely day; perfect for gathering pink glabberdungs. I'm so lucky to live near the forest."

After he reached the edge of the pines and oaks, he took a deep breath. "Lilith will be so pleased when she comes home and finds the jar full. I'm sure she'll want to take them to the village wizard and sell them. Fairies always have to sell things. I'd be happy letting the jar sit there so I could look at it any time I wanted, but not Lilith. She'll need some fairy dust or a new wand. Ah well. It is my own fault for marrying a fairy."

As Gareth stepped into the forest he immediately saw some pink glabberdungs. "Well, well, well. This might not turn out to be such a bad day after all."

What Gareth didn't know was that Brog was already in the forest gathering the glabberdungs. After Gareth had filled his carrying case, he headed deeper into the forest in hopes of filling his pockets. "Once Lilith takes the jar, I can start a new jar just for me." It didn't take long before he noticed that there were fewer and fewer glabberdungs lying on the ground. He spotted a footprint. "What's this? Someone is trespassing in the forest and by the looks of it has been collecting pink glabberdungs. I'll have none of that!" Gareth hid the carrying case and went in search of the stranger.

Behind an old oak tree Gareth spotted Brog. He was bent over picking up glabberdungs and putting them into a dirty gray bag. Gareth also noticed that Brog held a shiny gold axe over his shoulder. "Drat! He's armed with an axe and all I have is this staff." Gareth groaned and moaned. "How will I ever get those glabberdungs away from him? I know, I'll offer him a trade." Gareth ran after Brog. "Excuse me! Excuse me! I'd like to have a word with you."

Brog stopped and turned around. "What do you want?"

"Excuse me. My name is Gareth and well, you see, this is my forest. Since it is my forest, anything in this forest belongs to me. I'm afraid all those glabberdungs you've got in your bag are mine."

Brog put the bag on the ground and laid his axe on top of it. "Yours, you say? Since when do you own the forest?"

"I've always owned it. Now, sir, I would be happy to offer you a trade. Why don't you come with me to my cottage and you have pick anything you like. It's yours. All I ask is that you let me keep everything in your bag." Gareth felt quite proud he'd come up with such a great idea.

"I'll come with you and see what you have to offer." Brog followed Gareth back to his cottage. He looked through the house, but didn't see much. He spotted the jar of glabberdungs.

"Oh, you can't have that, but you can help yourself to anything else," Gareth said.

Just then Lilith walked in the front door. She stood still. Her gaze wandered to Gareth and then to Brog.

Brog grunted. "I know what I want. I want her."

"You want Lilith? She's my wife," Gareth said.

Later on that night, Gareth sat in his chair looking at his jar of glabberdungs. The jar was full to the brim and a second jar sat next to the first one. He giggled as the pink gems sparkled.

Brog carried his axe over his shoulder and Lilith over the other one. After all, Gareth said he could take anything in the house except the glabberdungs and that's exactly what Brog did.

Now working on the R's which you can read at

Good accounts of Roslin, Ross and Cromarty, Rothesay, Roxburgh and Roxburghshire.

I might add that I've almost completed this 5th volume so have also started preperation for the final 6th volume by adding the pictures and maps. Also when you go to the index page you'll note that around two thirds into the sixth volume they move to a general survey of Scotland and here are the sections that will be included...

Position, Boundaries, Extent, and Area
Leading Physical Features
Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, and Islands
The Botany of Scotland
The Geology of Scotland
Deer Forests and Grouse Moors
Industries, Shipping, Trade, and Commerce
Roads, Canals, Railways, Steamers, Telegraphs, Etc.
Ecclesiastical History
Scottish Language and Literature
Gaelic Language and Literature

The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

We are now on the C's with Calder and Calderwood added this week. Here is a bit from the Calder entry....

CALDER, an ancient surname assumed from the lands of Calder, now Cawdor, in Nairnshire, but derived originally from the French name of de Cadella, from which the name of Cadell takes its rise, Hugo de Cadella being a thane of Calder in the reign of King Malcolm Canmore, in whose restoration he was very instrumental, and in consequence was liberally rewarded by that monarch. His son, Gilbertus de Cadella, in 1104, obtained from King Edgar a grant of the lands of Calder, &c. in the county of Nairn.

His son, Alexander, who succeeded him, discovered a conspiracy of the Macdonalds, Murrays, and Cumings, to assassinate King Alexander the First at Bell-Edgar in his expedition to the north, for which good service, that monarch, on his return, confirmed to him the thanedom of Calder, in 1112.

For three generations nothing more appears on record concerning the family of Calder, except that in the year 1230, Helen, a daughter of the family, was married to Schaw Macintosh of Macintosh. In 1295 Donald, thane of Calder, was one of the inquest on the extent of Kilravock and Easter Geddes, in the parish of Nairn, the property of his neighbour, Hugh Rose of Kilravock. His supposed son, William, had a charter of the Thanage from Robert I., 1310. He had a son, William, mentioned in his father’s lifetime, 1350.

The next ascertained thane of Calder was Andrew. Boece relates that one Thomas, a valiant knight, supposed to be thane of Calder, was killed fighting on the side of the Comyn faction against the regent, Andrew de Moravia, before 1338, Robert Cumyn and William Cumyn being slain at the same time; but this seems an invention of his own, as no such event is known in history. Local tradition avers that the thane Andrew was murdered by Sir Alexander Rait of that ilk, and the lands of Rait being forfeited, were given to the thane of Calder’s heir, in consideration of his father’s murder. His son, Donald, succeeded him. Donald’s son, William, succeeded in 1442. In 1454 he is designated by the king, James II., as his loved familiar squire, dilectus familiaris scutifer. With Thomas Carmichael, canon of Moray, he held the joint office of Crown chamberlain beyond Spey. He was the original builder of the castle of Cawdor.

Tradition mentions another son, Hutcheon or Hugh, who in 1452 attended Alexander earl of Huntly, the king’s lieutenant, in his expedition against the earls of Crawford and Douglas, then in rebellion, and Huntly having routed the forced of these two earls at the battle of Brechin, Hutcheon, being too eager in his pursuit, was taken prisoner by the enemy, and brought to Finhaven, whither Crawford had retired; but he being alarmed while at supper with the news of Huntly’s approach, fled with such precipitation that Hutcheon and several other prisoners made their escape. Hutcheon carried off the silver cup out of which Crawford drank, and presented it to Huntly at Brechin as a sure evidence of Crawford’s flight, for which service, says the History of the family of Gordon incorrectly,

Huntly, upon his return home, gave him the lands of Asswanly, and George duke of Gordon gave to his successor a massy silver cup gilded, whereon the history of the transaction was engraved. From this Hutcheon was supposed to have descended the family of Calder, baronet of Muirtown (see following article); but in a note appended by the late Admiral Sir Robert Calder, baronet, to a copy of ‘Nisbet’s Heraldry’ in the Advocates’ library, the appendix to which contains an account of the family of Calder, it is stated that “the Calders of Asswanly are not descended from Hutcheon, second son of Donald thane of Calder, nor has the grant of the lands of Asswanly any reference to the battle of Brechin, which was fought on the 18th May 1452, twelve years subsequent to the date of the grant of the foresaid lands of Asswanly, as appears by a charter of confirmation from the king, dated at Edinburgh 8th July 1450, of the grant of the lands of Asswanly, by Sir Alexander Setonne to Hugh Calder, son and heir of Alexander Calder, and to his spouse Elizabeth Gordonne, dated at Elgin, the last day of August 1440.” This note is dated Edinburgh, 29th September 1802, and the original charter was stated to be in the possession of the said Rear-admiral Sir Robert Calder.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other entries at

The Prophecies of The Brahan Seer
By Alexander MacKenzie FSA Scot (1899)
Transcribed by Alan McKenzie for which many thanks

We have continued to add to this book and now have the first 7 chapters up. Here is a bit from Chapter 7...

Sketch of the Family of Seaforth

THE most popularly-received theory regarding the Mackenzies is that they are descended from an Irishman of the name of Colinas Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Kildare or Desmond, who distinguished himself by his bravery at the battle of Largs, in 1263. It is said that his courage and valour were so singularly distinguished that King Alexander the Third took him under his special protection, and granted him a charter of the lands of Kintail, in Wester Ross, bearing date from Kincardine, January the 9th, 1263.

According to the fragmentary “Record of Icolmkill,” upon which the claim of the Irish origin of the clan is founded, a personage, described as “Peregrinus et Hibernus nobilis ex familia Geraldinorum” - that is “a noble stranger and Hibernian, of the family of the Geraldines” - being driven from Ireland with a considerable number of his followers was, about 1261, very graciously received by the King, and afterwards remained at his court. Having given powerful aid to the Scots at the Battle of Largs, two years afterwards he was rewarded by a grant of the lands of Kintail, which were erected into a free barony by royal charter, dated as above mentioned. Mr. Skene, however, says that no such document as this Icolmkill Fragment was ever known to exist, as nobody has ever seen it; and as for Alexander’s charter, he declares (Highlanders, vol. ii., p. 235) that it “bears the most palpable marks of having been a forgery of a later date, and one by no means happy in the execution”. Besides, the words “Colino Hiberno” contained in it do not prove this Colin to have been an Irishman, as Hiberni was at that period a common appellation for the Gael of Scotland. Burke, in the “Peerage” has adopted the Irish origin of the clan, and the chiefs themselves seem to have adopted this theory, without having made any particular inquiry as to whether it was well founded or not. The Mackenzie chiefs were thus not exempt from the almost universal, but most unpatriotic, fondness exhibited by many other Highland chiefs for a foreign origin. In examining the traditions of our country, we are forcibly struck with this peculiarity of taste. Highlanders despising a Caledonian source trace their ancestors from Ireland, Norway, Sweden, or Normandy. The progenitors of the Mackenzies can be traced with greater certainty, and with no less claim to antiquity, from a native ancestor, Gillean (Cailean) Og, or Colin the Younger, a son of Cailean na h’Airde, ancestor of the Earls of Ross; and, from the MS. of 1450, their Gaelic descent may now be considered beyond dispute. [See Nos. XXVI. and XXVII. of the Celtic Magazine, Vol. III., in which this question is discussed at length.]

You can read the rest of this chapter at

And the other chapters are available at

The McGills
Celts, Scots, Ulstermen and American Pioneers - History, Heraldry and Tradition by Capt. A. McGill (1910)

We're now nearing the completion of this book which you can read at

This week we see a chapter up about Andrew Ryan McGill who was Governor of Minnesota and here is how that starts...

Of Andrew R. McGill it may be safely said, without awakening a pang of jealousy or sounding a note of dissent, that he was the brightest and most distinguished representative of his family and people that has lived during the last two hundred years.

We would make no invidious comparisons between him and other conspicuous characters of his time; and we would detract nothing from the fame of his compeers, or his competitors; we only seek to tell the simple story of his works and ways, leaving comparisons to posterity after history has matured, and the analysis of time has separated the pure gold from the glittering tinsel, and weighed achievements in the scales of Eternal Justice.

He became one of the distinguished men and the Chief Executive of the State of Minnesota, which compared to many of the little kingdoms of the old world, is an Empire in extent.

How much of this success in life was due to his ancestry—the blood and breeding of his race?

Andrew R. McGill did not build upon a submerged strata; nor did he spring from the loins of any degenerate people.

More than five hundred years ago the great House of McGill of Rankeillour was founded in Scotland, from material that for a thousand years had been accumulating and maturing on Caledonian Hills. Rankeillour gave Scholars, Statesmen, Jurists and Warriors to the nations, and sent out, as proven by history and heraldry, branches into England, Ireland and Wales, that wielded influence and power wherever they were established. From Rankeillour came the House of Ramgally in Scotland, of Viscount of Oxenford in England and Ballynester in Ireland-all with armorial bearings that show their derivation from the ancient clan; and from this house came also a large contingent of the colony in Ulster, Ireland, founded by James I. of England and VI. of Scotland, in 1602-1610.

With this emigration into Ireland came the ancestors of the Pennsylvania branch, who in 1608 obtained leases from the London-Belfast Company, on the banks of Belfast Bay, County Antrim, Province of Ulster, Ireland. A lease in Ulster was a vested right that descended by primogeniture, and the proprietary rights thus secured may yet be in possession of the older branches of the family.

One hundred and sixty-two years from the date of obtaining landed interests in Ireland the McGills appear in America. In 1770, Patrick McGill, the grandfather of Andrew R., then a youth of seventeen years, came to this country, participated in the operations of the Revolutionary War, married Anna Maria Baird, of Maryland nativity, and settled in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania.

In 1792 Patrick located lands in Western Pennsylvania, which he proceeded to occupy in 1795, and for which patent was issued by the State in 1802, the same year in which Charles Dillon McGill, the father of Andrew, was born, and on the same premises in 1840 Andrew Ryan McGill first saw the light of day.

On the father's side the lineage was good for more than five hundred years, always found in the front rank of civilization and occupying a high place among the old, distinguished families of the ancient Scotch Celtic race.

Andrew McGill's mother was Angeline Martin. She was of a race of people more prominent in the turbulent times of the past than were the McGills. The Martins, of Galway, in Ireland, occupy a distinguished place in the history of the Emerald Isle. All over the Kingdom they were celebrated in song and story for knightly deeds of high emprise in defense of an oppressed people. Romance has woven garlands and twined them around their brows and immortalized the name forever. They were a proud intrepid race who disdained the wiles of the oppressor and with sword in hand stood ever ready to defend the right.

Gen. Charles Martin, of Revolutionary celebrity, was tile grandfather of Angeline. It `has been said that he was born in England; that may be so, but the name of Martin belongs to Ireland; and when the opportunity came he quickly proved his Galway blood by turning the point of his sword toward the hereditary enemy of his race. I personally knew four brothers of Angeline-Charles, John E., Samuel and Manning. They were men of character, affable and genteel, educated and intelligent; proud men with high instep and lofty bearing.

Angeline herself grew to beautiful womanhood, not only as to feature and form, but she was endowed with all the graces and goodness of her sex. That she left the impress of her gentle soul on the mind of her youngest son is not to be doubted. She died in 1848, when he was eight years old.

It is seen by the foregoing that Andrew R. McGill did not derive from any ignoble strain. The blood of a long line of manly ancestors coursed through his veins. Yet it must be remembered that the plunge of his forbears into the wilderness, behind mountain ranges, had isolated his people from intercourse with the world and greatly abridged the means of intellectual culture and the development of those faculties that tend to make men great. He was not surrounded by affluence or wealth; the board at which he sat was laden with plenty, yet the starvation of the soul was not arrested by ready means to gratify its longing for higher and better things.

His ancestry had given him its blood and racial trend, but nothing more. If he would mount higher it must be by forces within himself, unaided by any outward propulsion or extraneous help.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Scots Minstrelsie
A National Monument of Scottish Song
Edited and Arranged by John Greig, Mus. Doc. (Oxon.)

Have added the following songs...

O Wha Is She That Lo'es Me?
O Let Me In This Ae Nicht
My Mither's Aye Glow'rin' Owre Me
I Gaed A Waefu' Gate Yestreen

and you can read these in our current volume at

From Fox's Earth to Mountain Tarn
Days among the wild animals of Scotland by J. H. Crawford (1907)

A new book for the site and here is what the Introduction has to say...

THIS book is a contribution to the natural history of Scotland. It tells of days among the wild creatures; days selected from many days, because more crowded with incident, against a picturesque background. It starts from the earth of a lowland fox, and ends by a lonely mountain tarn. It ranges from the border to Shetland, from burn to river, from shaded lane to fenceless moor and bare mountain top. Trout and salmon, singing-bird to eagle, field mouse to deer—all find a place. The current ripples; the rings break out on the pools; in the twilight the voles come forth from their tunnels. The rod flashes its silvered line; the bay of the hound, the crack of the gun echo through the pages. It is confined to the north. Scotland is, perhaps, the only part of the British Isles where the term wild life has much meaning.

The object is to open the general eye to the charm, to waken an interest in the general mind. Nothing is so fatal as indifference. Rare forms have passed out of existence, others are passing. Our land is poorer than she was, and richer than she will be. Against this depletion I strive with all my might.

Alike to pursuer and pursued, Sport is bright and bracing. Pleasant are her footmarks along the stream bank above the sedges; her breath, the purple moorland breeze that brushes the heather. But she may be ugly, and try the patience of those who love her most wisely. Modern sport selects such as she cares to follow, and kills out their enemies. A wild creature without natural check is ever, more or less, tame and unfit. Among the doomed are the wild cat, the greater weasels, and the birds of prey. More than any others these forms make of Scotland an interesting land, and ought to be her chief charge. Sport owes much to them. Without eagle and falcon were no twelfth of August.

And here is how the first chapter starts...

Lowland and Hill Fox

WITH a very troubled face, the game-keeper came in to report a tragedy of the previous night. The pheasantry had been entered, and seventeen birds taken or killed. By a diabolic ingenuity the depredator had managed to get over, or through, the wire-netting fence. A great deal of noise was made about the loss. Blame was scattered indiscriminately. There was but one oversight. The chief offender was overlooked. He was a chartered raider.

My host asked me if I cared for a walk. A young hound, blotched black and brown, loosely put together as growing lad, mainly feet and head, sprawled along the moist path. Awkward and good-natured, it insisted on following us to the edge of the lawn, where a gap in the hedge let us through, on to the grass. It was being "walked" against the approaching day for puppy judging: a curious system of boarding-out, con fined, so far as I know, to young foxhounds.

The country round about was mainly grass and woodland, an excellent combination for scenic effect, of that soothing and idyllic kind known as pastoral. Some workmen were engaged in making gateways, for the benefit of those who would rather not take the fence. A somewhat ingenious latch, easily lifted by the whip, enabled the rider to gain passage without dismounting. Thus there would seem to be a theatrical element in sport: an appearance of daring meant to impress the gallery. The great shaggy Highland cattle lent the last picturesque touch to the environment. Down the face of the green slope we went, to the stream running along the foot. "I brought you to see this, because I thought you would be interested." There was much to interest.

It was a fox’s earth, wider than, but in no other way differing from, a rabbit’s hole. Though not naturally a burrower, the fox may enlarge what is already there. In this case, it seemed to have taken possession after, probably, consuming the previous tenant. The surroundings were untidy and unsavoury to a degree. The fox is not a clean feeder, nor does it take the trouble one would look for in so quick-witted an animal to remove the tell-tale evidence of its whereabouts.

It were difficult to say what of fur and feather was not there. A casual glance showed hare and rabbit, wood pigeon, and some trophies from the farmyard; altogether an excellent larder.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

As regular readers will know I take the time to trawl through the Guttenberg collection of Electronic Texts to see what new books might have appeared that have a Scottish connection. This week I found quite a few of interest and here is a list...

The Story of Newfoundland
By Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead

Twenty-two years ago the enterprise of Horace Marshall & Son produced a series of small books known as "The Story of the Empire Series."
These volumes rendered a great service in bringing home to the citizens of the Empire in a simple and intelligible form their community of interest, and the romantic history of the development of the British Empire.

I was asked more than twenty-one years ago to write the volume which dealt with Newfoundland. I did so. The little book which was the
result has been for many years out of print. I have been asked by my friends in Newfoundland and elsewhere to bring it up to date for the
purpose of a Second Edition. The publishers assented to this proposal, and this volume is the result.

The book, of course, never pretended to be anything but a slight sketch. An attempt has been made--while errors have been corrected and
the subject matter has been brought up to date--to maintain such character as it ever possessed.

I shall be well rewarded for any trouble I have taken if it is recognized by my friends in Newfoundland that the reproduction of this little book places on record an admiration for, and an interest in, our oldest colony which has endured for considerably more than twenty-one years.

May 1920.

Alec Forbes of Howglen
By George MacDonald

A story in the Scots venacular and it also has a most useful glossary of Scots words at the end of the book.

The Cave Boy of the Age of Stone
By Margaret A. McIntyre

I really posted this up seeing as the author was a McIntyre but having said that it's quite interesting. There is also a section for teachers...

The teacher who wishes to make the most of this work will take her class to visit a museum, if a museum is available; or, if not, she will do what she can to show her class actual specimens of the things described in the story.

In a museum primitive implements should be observed, and specimens of animals and birds. Pictures of caves, pieces of stalactites, stalagmites, of limestone, quartz, and flint would be of value, either seen in the museum or, better still, looked at and handled in the classroom as the story is read. A tendon procured from the butcher and dried for a few weeks and then pulled to pieces would show primitive thread.

Out of doors a limestone cliff showing stratification would be the best kind of illustration to explain both the formation of caves and the gradual burying and preservation of animal bones and other primitive relics.

In the schoolroom, again, on a large stand might be made a model of a hilly country. A cave could be shown, shaped of two upright stones and a crosspiece, the whole covered with sods and earth; and animals and men might be made of paper or of clay.

Various scenes from the story are adapted to dramatization; for instance, the visit of the cave bear, the making of fire, work in the stone yard, or the feast of mammoth's meat.

The chapters include...


The Auld Doctor and other Poems and Songs in Scots
By David Rorie

An interesting collection of poems which I thought you might enjoy. Here is one to read here...


O' a' the jobs that sweat the sark
Gie me a kintra doctor's wark,
Ye ca' awa' frae dawn till dark,
Whate'er the weather be, O!

Some tinkler wife is in the strae,
Your boots are owre the taps wi' clay
Through wadin' bog an' sklimmin' brae
The besom for to see, O!

Ye ken auld Jock o' Windybarns?
The bull had near ca'ed oot his harns,
His een were blinkin' fu' o' starns,
An' doon they ran for me, O!

There's ae guid wife, we're weel acquaint,
Nae trouble's kent but what she's taen't,
Yet aye she finds some new complaint,
O' which I hae the key, O!

She's had some unco queer mishaps,
Wi' nervish wind and clean collapse,
An' naethin' does her guid but draps-
Guid draps o' barley-bree, O!

I wouldna care a docken blade,
Gin her accoont she ever paid,
But while she gi'es me a' her trade,
There's ne'er a word o' fee, O!

Then De'il hae a' thae girnin' wives,
There's ne'er a bairn they hae that thrives,
It's aye the kink-hoast or the hives
That's gaun to gar them dee, O!

Tak' ony job ye like ava!
Tak' trade, the poopit or the law,
But gin ye're wise ye'll haud awa'
Frae medical degree, O!

Minstrelsy of the Scottish border Vol. 1
By Walter Scott

Minstrelsy of the Scottish border Vol. 2
By Walter Scott

Scott's famous Minstrelsy of the Scottish border so dosn't really need an introduction but it does contain romantic and historical ballads of the Scottish Borders.

The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume I.
By Charles Rogers, LL.D., F.S.A. SCOT.

The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume II.
By Charles Rogers, LL.D., F.S.A. SCOT.

The songs of Scotland of the past half century with Memoirs of the Poets, and sketches and specimens in English verse of the most celebrated modern Gaelic bards.

Brendan's Fabulous Voyage
By John Patrick Crichton Stuart Bute

Brendan, the son of Finnlogh O' Alta, was born at Tralee in Kerry, in the year 481 or 482.[1] He had a pedigree which connected him with the rulers of Ireland, and thus perhaps secured for him a social prominence which he would not otherwise have enjoyed. Nature seems to have endowed him with an highly wrought and sensitive temperament. Putting aside altogether the idealism which caused him, like so many others of his time and race, to give himself to the Church, he displayed throughout life a restlessness which led him to constant journeys, sometimes of the nature of migrations, and the constant inception of projects to which he did not continue long to adhere; and in the statements about him there are elements from which I conjecture that he was probably of the class of persons who furnish good subjects for hypnotic experiments.

The Romantic Settlement of Lord Selkirk's Colonists
By George Bryce

The present work tells the romantic story of the Settlement of Lord Selkirk's Colonists in Manitoba, and is appropriate and timely in view
of the Centennial celebration of this event which will be held in Winnipeg in 1912. The author was the first, in his earlier books, to take a stand for justice to be done to Lord Selkirk as a Colonizer, and he has had the pleasure of seeing the current of all reliable history turned in Lord Selkirk's favor.

Dr. Doughty, the popular Archivist at Ottawa, has put at the author's disposal a large amount of Lord Selkirk's correspondence lately received
by him, so that many new, interesting facts about the Settlers' coming are now published for the first time. If we are to celebrate the Selkirk Centennial intelligently, it is essential to know the facts of the trials, oppressions and heartless persecutions through which the Settlers' passed, to learn what shameful treatment Lord Selkirk received from his enemies, and to trace the rise from misery to comfort of the people of the Colony.

The story is chiefly confined to Red River Settlement as it existed--a unique community, which in 1870 became the present Province of Manitoba. It is a sympathetic study of what one writer has called--"Britain's One Utopia."

Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary
By W. P. Livingstone

We already have a page for this remarkable women and this is simply a more detailed account of her life and work.

Glengarry Schooldays
By Ralph Connor

This is a book about growing up in Glengarry in Ontario, Canada, in the old days and gives an insight into what it was like in the days of old.

Black Rock
By Ralph Connor

A Tale of the Selkirks... In the Introduction it starts...

I think I have met "Ralph Conner." Indeed, I am sure I have--once in a canoe on the Red River, once on the Assinaboine, and twice or thrice on the prairies to the West. That was not the name he gave me, but, if I am right, it covers one of the most honest and genial of the strong characters that are fighting the devil and doing good work for men all over the world. He has seen with his own eyes the life which he describes in this book, and has himself, for some years of hard and lonely toil, assisted in the good influences which he traces among its wild and often hopeless conditions. He writes with the freshness and accuracy of an eye-witness, with the style (as I think his readers will allow) of a real artist, and with the tenderness and hopefulness of a man not only of faith but of experience, who has seen in fulfillment the ideals for which he lives.

The Norwegian account of Haco's expedition against Scotland, A.D. MCCLXIII
Creator - Sturla Þórðarson, 1214-1284

Exactly one hundred years ago this Translation of the Norwegian Account of Haco's Invasion of Scotland first issued from the press. Since then, amid much literature upon the subject, it has always held a most important place in the eyes of the student of early Scottish History. As an authentic source of information it has been eagerly sought after, but it has an additional attraction in the graphic pictures which it presents of the various perils by land and sea encountered by the hardy Norsemen. The translator's valuable notes are given "in extenso", and for easier reference are transferred from the end of the work and printed on the pages to which they belong.

The McWhorters in South Carolina
by Karen McWhorter Wilhelm

Here is how this article starts...

The Pacolet River in northwestern South Carolina runs east, about 16 miles south of the North Carolina border. It flows through gently rolling hills, cut by nameless creeks and ravines now filled with kudzu vines that create an eerie landscape. The kudzu engulfs trees, telephone poles, old barns, in tropical green foliage. Mowed fields attempt to impose order, and a few stretches of browned vines indicate a herbicidal counterattack. This is mostly well-kept farm country, with a few small towns and a clothing factory or two. Houses are painted; streets are clean; Hardee's efficiently serves hamburgers.

In 1765, the wooded country was being settled by people from the northern colonies. The Cherokees had moved west, and treaties opened this land for pioneers. The Great Pennsylvania Wagon Road linked the back country of Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. A tide of families came south, many of them the so-called Scotch-Irish, like the McWhorters. The hills and valleys then were covered with the wild pea-vine, good pasturage for the cattle herds kept by these families.

Eleanor McWhorter received a grant of North Carolina land, 300 acres on both sides of the Pacolet River, somewhere along the twelve mile stretch that later became the northern boundary of Union County. When it was surveyed on September 3, 1765, George McWhorter and John Portman served as chainbearers. After the border between North Carolina and South Carolina was surveyed in 1772, showing her to actually be in South Carolina, Eleanor obtained a new grant of the same land. It was a royal grant from King George III, signed May 4, 1775 by Lieutenant Governor William Bull Eleanor had to pay three shillings sterling for each hundred acres, and clear and cultivate three acres a year for each hundred acres in order to maintain her grant from the King. Events intervened, however, and the King would receive little benefit from his grant-holders after 1776.

You can read the rest of the article at

Got in an article about Margaret Edgeworth McIntyre, OBE (1886-1948) - First woman elected to parliament in Tasmania and you can read a little about her at

Also received a few hi-res pictures of MacIntyre lands from Colin MacIntyre which I've add to the MacIntyre picture page at

Names and Spellings of Names connected with Clans and Tartans
As you may know we've always had this page up on the site which we hope will be useful to our visitors as it attempts to show various spellings of names that are connected with each clan. It's also been set out so that it can be printed out and used by clan societies and others at various Scottish events. Blair Urquhart of House of Tartans maintains this list and this is the first big update since it was first published in 2004.

You can see this at

The Ploughman Poet
From an autobiographical sketch sent to Dr. Moore

Got sent this article in which is said to be from and old magazine. Here is how it starts...

A note of pride in his humble origin rings throughout the following pages. The ploughman poet was wiser in thought than in deed, and his life was not a happy one. But, whatever his faults, he did his best with the one golden talent that Fate bestowed upon him. Each book that he encountered was made to stand and deliver the message that it carried for him. Sweethearting and good-fellowship were his bane, yet he won much good from his practice of the art of correspondence with sweethearts and boon companions. And although Socrates was perhaps scarcely a name to him, he studied always to follow the Athenian's favourite maxim, "Know thyself"; realizing, with his elder brother of Warwickshire, that "the chiefest study of mankind is man."

From an autobiographical sketch sent to Dr. Moore.

[_To Dr. Moore_]

MAUCHLINE, August 2, 1787.

For some months past I have been rambling over the country, but I am now confined with some lingering complaints, originating, as I take it, in the stomach. To divert my spirits a little in this miserable fog of ennui, I have taken a whim to give you a history of myself. My name has made some little noise in this country; you have done me the honour to interest yourself very warmly in my behalf; and I think a faithful account of what character of a man I am, and how I came by that character, may perhaps amuse you in an idle moment. I will give you an honest narrative, though I know it will be often at my own expense; for I assure you, sir, I have, like Solomon, whose character, excepting in the trifling affair of wisdom, I sometimes think I resemble--I have, I say, like him turned my eyes to behold madness and folly, and like him, too, frequently shaken hands with their intoxicating friendship. After you have perused these pages, should you think them trifling and impertinent, I only beg leave to tell you that the poor author wrote them under some twitching qualms of conscience, arising from a suspicion that he was doing what he ought not to do; a predicament he has more than once been in before.

You can read the rest of this at

And that's all for now and I hope you all have a great weekend :-)


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