Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Weekly Mailing List Archives
28th 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 and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at

I'd like to thank those that have completed my survey.... it's much appreciated :-) It will remain open until 13th August for those that haven't had the time to complete it. See to see the most up to date results or to complete the survey if you haven't yet managed to do so.

At time of writing 621 of you have completed the survey so I hope we'll reach at least 1000 by the completion date. From all the comments you are clearly a diverse group and so I guess that means it's a case of trying to please most of you most of the time :-)

I note that I also had an offer of help to provide information on Scots immigrants in Uraguay and Argentina and would be happy to receive such.

A lot of you wanted more information on clans. In actual fact you are getting that and more with The Scottish Nation. For each name you get a background on the name and then biographies of significant people of the name. For example, next week I'll be posting up the name Campbell which is of course a large clan. That account takes up 50 letter pages.

Going through the survey it appears that around 75% of you are happy with the size of the newsletter but nearly a quarter of you would like a shorter newsletter. Perhaps I can see a way to make it a little shorter :-)

Around three quarters of you expressed interest in getting more information on both clan events and Scottish events and a significant number wanted one or the other. Looks like I need to address this in future newsletters.

Bit of a mix on the timing of the newsletters. Around 40% didn't want a Monthly newsletter but a quarter did want it but I also note in the answers part that many suggested bi-weekly. I think this actually means that most are happy with a weekly newsletter but wouldn't mind if I missed an issue from time to time :-)

As to how easy it was to email me it seems most had no problem. All you need to do is go to our "Contact Us" page on the web site to find my email address and of course you can also just reply to this newsletter :-)

A touch confused on the Canadian Journal question and of course that's my fault in not properly giving you the options to reply. Do I read "not bothered" as we're ok with it and would read it if it's available should you want to continue it. Or is it more we're not bothered if you continue it as I wouldn't be reading it anyway. I'll have to think about this one :-)

It would seem providing ways to keep in touch by mobile phone is on the whole not of interest so this will go on the back burner.

I was gratified to hear that most of you are ok with my new menu layout in our header. That was good to hear.

I was interested to learn that most of you would like to see some history on other parts of the world where Scots emigrated to. I'll be down in Kentucky in September so will get that publication on the Southern States and will now start to look for other histories.

I might add that I did get quite a few replies asking for more information on Scots in certain countries. Like... more on the USA and less on Canada. How about Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.

I will say when it comes to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa that I do look for antiquarian material all the time but I have great difficulty in finding anything worth while. There is a bigger story to tell about the Scots in these countries and I would like to tell it. Around 50% of our site visitors come from the USA, 20% from the UK and 10% from Canada. The other 20% come from in order, Australia, (not set) so I don't know where this is, Germany, New Zealand, France, Netherlands, Spain, India, Philippines, Italy, South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Japan, Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Singapore, Finland, Mexico, Turkey and Norway. These figures come from the Google Analytics service.

I will say that I'd be more than happy to receive any contributions about Scots living anywhere in the world. I'd also like to be advised if you come across any antiquarian books about Scots in any country and if relevant I'd try to purchase the book to put it up on the site.

As to Live Chat and Message Forums. Many thanks for your contributions on this. We are due to purchase the upgrade on our forums software when it is released and we think that might be around September time. We do also have live chat software in-house but just haven't implemented it. I will review this with Steve when I'm down in Kentucky.

The last question on the survey was just to try and force a decision on the one area of most interest to give me an idea where I might concentrate my efforts. I will in fact cover all the areas listed but will spend a bit more time on the areas of most interest.

Next week I'll be having a closer look at all your comments to see where I need to focus some of my efforts in the months ahead.

Thanks once again for completing the survey. It's really great to get all that feedback :-)

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 Richard Thomson where he does his usual 2 in depth articles. One on the emerging 'Cash for Honours' scandal and the other on Scotland’s Quiet Revolution.

I see that the Black Watch is sheduled to return to Iraq making this there third deployment.

Peter has done an interesting article on the Common Riding in Langholm in the Scottish Borders. Here it is for you to read here...

Summer 2006 has been a scorcher and we hope that the sun continues to shine, especially on Langholm, as Border town gears up from the crack of dawn (5am) today (Friday 28 July 2006) for the highlight of the town’s year – the annual Common Riding which is followed by Horse Races and Athletic Games. Langholm - The Muckle Toun o the Lang Holm - was formerly known as Arkinholm and became a Burgh of Barony in 1610. The industrial mill town is picturesquely situated in the heart of a river junction, where the River Esk is joined by the Wauchope and Ewe Water. Reflecting on the beauty of the town's location, Langholm's most famous son, the poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote :-

'Gin scenic beauty had a' I sook,
I never need ha' left the muckle toon.'

The town's Common Riding dates back to 1759. It is held on the date of the annual festival known as the 'Langholm Summer Fair', which was Scotland's greatest lamb sales. Today it is traditionally held on the last Friday in July. Whilst enjoying a meal or refreshment in Langholm's Crown Hotel, you can read on the entrance hall wall – 'The Origin of Riding the Common'.

In 1759 the three owners of the Ten Merk Land of Langholm were in an action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the delimitation of certain area in and around the town. The boundaries were duly defined, but in the award it was laid down by the Court that the Burgesses of Langholm had certain local rights and privileges, and that part of the Ten Merk Lands, particularly the Common Moss and the Kilngreen, had belonged inalienably to the community.

It became an obligation of the Burgesses that the boundaries of the communal possession should be clearly defined, and accordingly beacons and cairns were erected and pits were dug to indicate where the communal lands began and ended, and a man was appointed to go out each year to repair the boundary marks and to report any encroachment.

The first man to perform this duty was "Bauldy" (Archibald) Beatty, the Town Drummer, who walked the Marches and proclaimed the Fair at Langholm Mercat Cross for upwards half a century. According to the records it was in the year 1816 that the Riding of the Common began. The first person to ride on horseback over the Marches was Archie Thomson, landlord of the Commercial Inn. In the previous year, Thomson, like "Bauldy" his predecessor, went over the boundaries on foot alone, but on the present occasion he was accompanied by other townsmen - John Irving, of Langholm Mill; and Frank Beatty, landlord of the Crown Inn, being probably the most prominent. These local enthusiasts, sometimes referred to as the "Fathers of the Common Riding" were responsible for introducing horse-racing, which took place on the Kilngreen, Langholm's ancient commonty. Horse racing was continued here until 1834, when the races and sports were transferred to the Castleholm.

With the introduction of horsemen, there followed in 1817, the selection of a leader or Cornet who would act as Master of Ceremonies during the proceedings and activities of Common Riding Day.

In 1919 it was decided that the Common Riding be always held on the last Friday in July.'

The entrance of the Crown Hotel also has a complete record of all the Common Riding Cornets from W. Pasley in 1817 onwards. The name of the 2006 Cornet Kevan William Grieve will take his rightful place on the Cornet's scroll. In the Public Bar a poster is on display advertising the 1937 Common Riding when on 30 July Walter Watson Robertson, an engineer, rode into Langholm history and was added to the long list of Cornets, The price of admission to the Horse Racing and Athletic Games was – Adults 1/6; Girls and Boys 6d – in 1937. Interestingly the style of poster for 2006 still looks exactly the same as in 1937 but the admission prices are slightly dearer! Adults are now charged £5, Senior Citizens £2, however children (under 12) now receive free admission.

With the hope that not only Langholm, but all of Scotland, continues to bask in and enjoy long summer days, our recipe thoughts for this week turned to a suitable ‘hot weather’ one. Kenzie Wallace supplied the answer with her very own ice-cream based Kenzie’s Knickerbocker Glory –ENJOY.

Kenzie’s Knickerbocker Glory

Method: Put fresh strawberry slices, grapes and melon pieces in the base of a tall glass. Add two scoops of vanilla and one scoop of strawberry ice cream. Pour over peach melba sauce. Top with thick whipped cream. Finally, decorate with a cherry and add an ice cream wafer.

Serve immediately with a long handled spoon and a big napkin!

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

Time to modernize?
I was told that the Burns Club in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada will be closing its doors due to lack of support. I believe it has been operating for over 100 years. Always sad to see an old institution close. This however led to discussions on why it has happened.

I also noted that in Scotland the heavy athletics events are not being as well supported these days with perhaps just three athletes turning up. We never seem to see places at these games where the young ones could get involved. Why not have a special area where people of various age ranges could try out tossing the caber. A wee light pole for the wee ones and bigger ones for the older kids and adults.

Many clan societies tell me it's also hard to maintain their membership as when the old members die off there are not the young ones to replace them. What are we offering the young ones?

All this makes me wonder if it is time to look again at how we promote such organisations.

Someone in my current survey mentioned their inability to understand the old Scots language. Is it just the older generation that wants to see this maintained? I remember a couple of years ago a radio station around Washington phoned me about Auld Lang Sang and as it happened I had a translation of the poem which I read to them. I was told that many people phoned up to say how good it was to actually learn what the poem was about as they'd never been able to understand it and just knew the first few words to sing.

Many older people want to wear the traditional kilt and yet there are young ones interested in wearing the new utility kilts you see around the place.

We also discussed how at Highland Games you never see the Scottish Tourist Board in attendance (VisitScotland). You could easily hire some students to go from games to games with a special tent and all VisitScotland needs to do is send over a whole pile of brochures to give out. At least they'd be there.

Should anyone have any ideas on how Electric Scotland might help to get younger folk involved feel free to send me in some suggestions.

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

Good accounts of Rutherglen, St Andrews, St Kilda and St Ninians in this week.

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

We are now on the C's with Caldwell, Callander and Cameron added this week.

I might add that here is an example of how we do add further information on clans. Here is a bit from the Cameron account...

CAMERON, or CHAMERON, the name of a numerous family or clan in Lochaber, the distinguishing badge of which is the oak. Mr. Skene, in his history of the Highlanders, appears to take it as an undoubted and established fact that the Camerons are an aboriginal or Celtic clan, but it is not consistent with this theory that the Camerons themselves have a tradition that they were descended from a younger son of the royal family of Denmark, who assisted at the restoration of Fergus the Second in 778, and that their progenitor was called Cameron, from his crooked nose, (“cam shron,” the s in shron being silent), a surname which was adopted by his descendants, and that the name appears to have been borne (as will appear in the course of the work) at an early period of history by individuals in the south and west.

Notwithstanding, therefore, of this traditionary origin of the name, which is universally accepted by the clan, it does not seem improbable that it was originally French, and not dissimilar to the modern French name of Cambronne. In the Ragman Roll occurs the name of ‘Robertus de Camburn, dominus de Balegrenach, miles,’ who swore fealty to Edward the First of England, ‘apud Sanctum Johannem de Perth,’ 22d July 1296. There are also, in the same roll, the names of Johannes Cambrun, who, in other deeds, is designed ‘dominus de Balygrenoch,’ and Robertus Camburn de Balnely; all supposed to be the same as Cameron.

This tribe, from its earliest history, had its seat in Lochaber, to which, contrary to all tradition, they appear to have come from the south, having obtained from Angus Og, of the family of Islay, a grant of Lochaber in the reign of Robert the Bruce. Their more modern possessions of Lochiel and Locharkaig, situated upon the western side of the Lochy, still further in the Celtic or Highland region, were originally granted by the Lord of the Isles to the founder of the Clan Ranald, from whose descendants they passed to the Camerons. This clan originally consisted of three septs, – the MacMartins of Letterfinlay, the MacGillonies of Strone, and the MacSorlies of Glennevis, and the tradition is, that it was by inter-marriage with the MacMartins of Letterfinlay the eldest branch, that the Camerons of Lochiel who belonged to the second branch, or the MacGillonies of Strone, first acquired the property in Lochaber. Being the oldest cadets they assumed the title of Captain of Clan Cameron. Drummond of Hawthornden describes the Camerons as “fiercer than fierceness itself.”

The Camerons obtained a charter of the barony of Lochiel, and the lands of Garbh-dhoch, in the 13th century, the first of them being styled “de Knoydart.” They also possessed extensive property around the castle of Eilean-Donnan, Ross-shire, of which they were deprived through the hostility of the Gordon family. The lands of Glenloy and Locharkaig were purchased by Sir Ewen Cameron in the reign of Charles II. These, with the barony of Lochiel and a portion of the lands of Mamore, are still in possession of the family.

The Camerons of Lochiel are a family not only distinguished as the head of the clan, but by the personal characteristics of many of their chiefs, of whom Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, above mentioned, and his grandson, Donald, “the gentle Lochiel of the ‘45,” are separately noticed. The family of Cameron of Lochiel are further distinguished by having raised, and during many years sustained, the 79th regiment of the line, known as the Cameronian Highlanders. This occurred through the patriotic energy of Sir Alan Cameron of Erroch, a cadet of that family, who distinguished himself in the first American war. When on detached service he was taken prisoner, and immured for nearly two years in the common gaol of Philadelphia, under the plea that he had been engaged in exciting the native tribes to take up arms in favour of Great Britain. In attempting to escape from this confinement, he had both his ankles broken, and he never perfectly recovered from the painful effects of these injuries. He was subsequently placed upon half-pay; but, aroused by the dangers and alarms of 1793, principally by his personal influence over his countrymen, he, in little more than three months, at his own expense, patriotically raised the 79th, or Cameron Highlanders, of which he was appointed first major-commandant and afterwards (January 1794) lieutenant-colonel.

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 now completed this book and here is a bit from the final chapter....

HAVING thus disposed of the seer himself, we next proceed to give in detail the fulfilment of the prophecies regarding the family of his cruel murderer. And we regret to say that the family of Seaforth will, in this connection, fall to be disposed of finally and for ever, and in the manner which Coinneach had unquestionably predicted. As already remarked, in due time the Earl returned to his home, after the fascinations of Paris had paled, and when he felt disposed to exchange frivolous or vicious enjoyment abroad for the exercise of despotic authority in the society of a jealous Countess at home. He was gathered to his fathers in 1678, and was succeeded by his eldest son, the fourth Earl. It is not our purpose to relate here the vicissitudes of the family which are unconnected with the curse of Coinneach Odhar, further than by giving a brief outline, though they are sufficiently remarkable to supply a strange chapter of domestic history.

The fourth Earl married a daughter of the illustrious family of Herbert, Marquis of Powis, and he himself was created a Marquis by the abdicated King of St. Germains, while his wife’s brother was created a Duke. His son, the fifth Earl, having engaged in the rebellion of 1715, forfeited his estate and titles to the Crown; but in 1726 his lands were restored to him, and he, and his son after him, lived in wealth and honour as great Highland chiefs. The latter, who was by courtesy styled Lord Fortrose, represented his native county of Ross in several Parliaments about the middle of last century. In 1766, the honours of the peerage were restored to his son, who was created Viscount Fortrose, and in 1771, Earl of Seaforth; but those titles, which were Irish, did not last long, and became extinct at his death, in 1781.

None of these vicissitudes were foretold in the seer’s prophecy; and, in spite of them all, the family continued to prosper. That ruin which the unsuccessful rising in 1715 had brought upon many other great houses, was retrieved in the case of Seaforth, by the exercise of sovereign favour; and restored possessions and renewed honours preserved the grandeur of the race. But on the death of the last Earl, his second cousin, descended from a younger son of the third Earl and his vindictive Countess, inherited the family estates and the chiefdom of the Mackenzies, which he held for two short years, but never actually enjoyed, being slain at sea by the Mahrattas, at Gheriah, in the south of India, in 1783, after a gallant resistance. He was succeeded by his brother, in whom, as the last of his race, the seer’s prophecy was accomplished.

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 have now completed this book which you can read at

The appendix of the book contains a short biography of the author and here is a bit from it...

As a matter of rendering simple justice to the author of this book and to those of succeeding generations who will read with interest its pages during the years and centuries that are to come, it is proper that some one should supply an important omission of historical interest that the reader will notice throughout its pages. There is scarcely a word of mention regarding the character and personality of this man who has rendered to his family and his ancestral name a most important and faithful service.

To tell the story of Capt. McGill’s life would require a work of volumes rather than a mere sketch in a book of this size, for in telling that story with any degree of faithfulness one would have to rehearse the salient features of the last century—the greatest century of all the years of time. He saw the century in its hopeful youth; he marked with wonder its struggling manhood; he has followed its career to venerable age and has been permitted in his own advanced years to stand with clear, unclouded martial vision as a living witness of the glory of its sunset hours, and to witness the advent of the new-born century, bright and buoyant in the lap of time. He has stood for more than four-fifths of a century as an intellectual colossus among his fellows-endowed with the mind and mental qualities of a statesman to which were added the highest qualities of the patriot and the soldier intermingled with the broadest minded and most generous sympathy for oppressed humanity throughout the world.

An incident in his life during the great Civil War illustrates those admirable traits in his character. He was an officer in the famous 83rd Regiment of Pennsylvania that participated in thirty-seven of the hardest fought battles of that most terrible struggle, which determined the fate of the republic for all time. Up in the Central Mountain regions of the State during the years of political and military terror that prevailed throughout the State, there were a large number of peaceful citizens who, in their simplicity, opposed and made a feeble attempt to evade the Conscription Act, and soldiers were sent to invade the homes, arrest the fathers and sons, who were old enough to perform military service. A large number were gathered in from the recesses of the mountains and incarcerated in a military prison at Fort Mifflin, near Philadelphia. They were taken from their homes and families without change of clothing or any preparation and in many instances their families were left in destitute circumstances. Many of them had small farms whose scanty crops were left to rot in the fields-the families driven almost to distraction by not knowing the fate that awaited their loved ones that had been thus ruthlessly taken from them without a parting word or a sign of hope or consolation.

For months these men suffered the mental and physical torments of a hundred deaths in the living hell of filth and vermin to which they were confined and guarded by bayonets.

These facts came to the knowledge of Hon. M. B. Lowry, Senator from Erie, who made a personal investigation of these unfortunate men against whom, as yet, no formal charge had been made.

He then brought the matter to the attention of Capt. McGill (who had personally known Mr. Lincoln in i849-50) and requested him to make_ a statement of the case to the President. McGill became interested and on further investigation was satisfied that a gross outrage was being perpetrated upon comparatively harmless people by a lot of carrion crows, who follow in the wake of war for plunder, and he wrote a letter to the President, couched in such expressive language as he only could command, setting forth the hard facts of the case and requesting executive intervention in behalf of justice and humanity.

Mr. Lowry carried the letter in person to Washington and laid it before the President, who gave to it the most careful reading and attention. He called the Secretary of War and read the letter to him, then told him to issue an order for the immediate release of these prisoners with free transportation to their homes.

That letter had stirred the soul of the great Lincoln, who turned again to his Secretary of War declaring that "He envied the heart and the brain of the man who wrote that letter."

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

Have added the following songs...

Craigie-Burn Wood
Alastair MacAlastair
I'm Owre Young To Marry Yet
Hame, Hame, Hame
Bonnie Dundee
Thou Art Gane Awa'

and you can read these in our current volume at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

Frank does a review of the Burns Chronicle Index book which has just become available. In it he says...

Bill has compiled a book entitled Directory to The Articles and Features Published in The Burns Chronicle 1892 - 2005. Others have had a go at this mammoth task in days past, but in baseball vernacular, this book is a homerun! I do not recall receiving a book about which I have become so excited. For those of us who enjoy reading the chronicles, this compilation will make The Burns Chronicles come alive. For those of us who write and prepare speeches, this book is a gold mine. No longer will one have to go to chronicle after chronicle looking for articles on a particular Burns subject. In the past while researching an article for use in a paper or speech, I have struggled over and over with little or no success while roaming through countless Burns Chronicles. Bill has made that part of my research a lot easier.

You can read his article at

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

Continuing with this book and we're now up to chapter 14. Here is a bit from Lanes and Woods...

YESTER EVEN, about six o'clock, was a sharp downpour, sharply defined alike in its beginning and end. It came from a cloud that blotted out the sunshine, and left a tail of sunshine behind. The earlier drops made marks the size of a pennypiece. Thicker and faster they came, darkening the grey surface, and gathering into little runlets down the road; sweet and pure was the light after the cloud ; infinitely fresh the air.

The birds sang as birds only sing after such a rain. Like the green of the field and wood the sounds were washed purer. It is so with some birds more than others. It seems as though one heard the blackbird for the first time when the bush is dripping, and the chaffinch when the beech is glistening. The rain gave a fresh scene with other voices, new heavens and a new earth.

A few drops had fallen on the thrush's song: it was delightfully clear. In a short avenue, where the trees close over the road, quite a dozen were singing. Scarce had one song time to die into silence than another awoke.

Only to the shallow do all birds sing alike. So much came clearly out. There is character, accent, tone, and choice of notes, so that it were possible to know each thrush from all other thrushes of the wood. No one supposes that the sitter on the blue eggs with the black spots does not know the voice of her lord, and care for it more than for the rest. Ay, and she knows the song of the thrushes that came to court her, and, when she would have none of them, won other mates. The rivals, too, can tell each other's song, and each knows all the voices as though this corner of thrushland were some suburban society.

Nor does the same bird sing the one song. In the free wild play of sound which the thrush pours out on the air, this is more apparent than in the repeated lay of the chaffinch. There is imitation. A lazy blackbird note finds its way in. There is also rivalry. On such a night, when all are doing so well, it pitches higher or adds an octave to the scale.

If the birds of the same wood do not sing alike, still less do those of different woods. The birds of the south do not sing as the birds of the north, any more than the Somerset people talk as the Fife folk. The air, the scene, the voice of other birds all mould and weave at the song. There is local colouring, a hint at dialect.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

Clan Newsletters
We've got in a couple of clan newsletters...

The Utley family at
Dunardry Heritage Association at
Clan Leslie of Australia and New Zealand at

Couple of poems in this week from...

Kenneth Shaw at and another one at
Donna Flood at

The Life of James Stewart
D.D. M.D. Hon. F.R.G.S. by James Wells, D.D. (1909)

This is the first of the Scottish missionaries that I mentioned last week. In the preface it says...

THIS book might have been fitly entitled The Life and Times of Dr. Stewart, for it records his influential share in the enterprises which have made a new world of South and Central Africa.

Several of the Chapters are occupied with the great causes which Dr. Stewart espoused; and they present his chief convictions in the form that seemed most likely to interest the many circles of young people in Great Britain and America who are now studying Foreign Missions.

His significant dates are...

Born 1831
Licensed as a Preacher 1860
Exploring in Central Africa 1861-63
Graduated in Medicine and Married 1866
Began as Missionary at Lovedale 1867
Planted the Gordon Memorial Mission 1870
Founded Blythswood 1873
Originated Livingstonia 1874
In Nyasaland 1876-77
The Expansion of Lovedale 1878-90
Pioneering the East African Mission 1891-92
Lectured on Evangelistic Theology in Scotland
Moderator of the General Assembly 1899-1900
Delivered the Duff Lectures 1902
Presided at First General Missionary Conference in South Africa 1904
‘And He Died’ 1905

The first chapter starts...

Sixty-Two years ago a tall youth of fifteen was following the plough in a field in Perthshire. His two horses came to a standstill in mid-furrow, and he was not minded to urge them on. Leaning on the stilts of the plough, he began to brood over his future. What was it to be? The question flashed across his mind—’Might I not make more of my life than by remaining here?’ He straightened himself and said, ‘God helping me, I will be a missionary.’

That was the making of the man and the missionary. His whole life lay in that deed, as the giant oak lies in the acorn. The divine call came to the Perthshire youth, as it came to Elisha, at the plough. In the days of His flesh it was Christ’s way to call His apostles when busy at their daily toil.

The aim of this chapter is to reveal the influences which secured that ‘I will’: the following chapters will chronicle the results which flowed from it.

We now have the first 5 chapters up which you can read at

Got in another two chapters of this book (IV & V) which you can read at

Here is how Chapter IV starts...


"In the ancient Abbey of Dulce Cor,
The pleasant Solway near,
Two passionate hearts they laid of yore
And a love that cast out fear."

Dulce Cor.

So on the title-page of a little book of verses, called by the proper name of the ancient monastic foundation, I wrote twenty years ago. The only remark which a certain metropoIitan journal, then at the head of literary criticism, made upon the work was conveyed in these, to me, memorable words, "The caninity of the Latin title of this hook will prevent every educated reader from venturing further."

Nevertheless, had the educated critic so much as turned the page, he would have found that the little Collect of boyish verse was called after a real Abbey of Dulce Cor, otherwise Douce Coeur–a 'Dulce Cor,'. too, where certain memorable things came to pass, where many men lived and died in the odour of sanctity, and whose last abbot continued, long after the Reformation had swept away all his Scottish peers, to discharge his functions, both hospitable and spiritual.

Further, the critic might have read in the same place these excellent words, "lifted" from the Scoti Monasticon, and even through the clouds of anonymous stupidity a light might have dawned upon him.

"When John Baliol died in 1269, Devorgilla, his wife, had his dear heart embalmed and enshrined in a coffer of ivory, enamelled and bound with silver bright, which was placed before her daily in her hall as her sweet silent companion. At her death she desired the relic to be laid upon her heart, when sleeping in the New Abbey which she caused to be built. Hence it received the name of Sweetheart Abbey."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The Celtic people in the province of Quebec
by Dominic Haerinck

For many centuries, the province of Quebec has been home to many communities from around the world, communities that enrich the cultural landscape of our province each in their own way. There is one particular group that has for a long time now been a major contributing cultural force in our society: the Celtic people. Their presence impacts many facets of social life, from music to a special day on the calendar, and is no doubt a strong element of our social identity, even if not always rightfully acknowledged. The Celtic people, namely the Scots, the Irish and the Bretons, immigrated to our land in a sporadic fashion over the centuries, but there are some key events in their history ( and thus in ours as well ) that saw a considerable growth of their population on Canadian territory.

Already under the French Regime, there is some records of Scots – who often went by frenchified names - inhabiting the province of Quebec after having left their Scottish homeland, hoping for a new start and maybe a more prosperous life besides their long-time French allies. (The political relations between the French and the Scots date as far back as the 14th century when they had sprung from concerted efforts of the two nations to resist English overlordship.) Of course, it was under the English Regime that the majority of Scots, fighting in the British army and thus striking a sour blow to the Auld Alliance with the French, came to Quebec. Many received lands in some parts of the province. Later, Scotland underwent many major economical changes. Many Highlands chiefs became owners of their lands in the English fashion, lands that had in the past belonged to the entire clan. Those lands became rich sheep pastures and thousands of Highlanders were forced to leave their homes (the Highland Clearances). Australia and Canada were choice destinations for the displaced, especially the Eastern Townships of Quebec (such as Inverness, Scotstown and Gould), a region that proudly embraces its Scottish heritage to this day.

Another historical event marked the coming of more Celtic people to Quebec. During the first half of the 19th century, a major food shortage and a typhus outbreak hit Ireland. The number of deceased swelled to over a million with as many people crossing the Atlantic and seeking refuge in other parts of the world. Many thousands sailed to Canada, bringing with them their music, their traditions and their identity.

Besides the Irish and the Scots, another important member of the great Celtic family contributed to our community: the Bretons. Present among our population since the 16th century, if in smaller proportions than the Scots and the Irish, they came to our shores in two major waves, one at the turn of the 17th century, the other at the beginning of the 20th century. There are close to three thousand Bretons currently living in Quebec.

The presence of these three distinct, though related, Celtic communities in our society is a major contributing factor to the shaping of our cultural landscape and it is with great pride and joy that Quebec’s Celtic people heritage will be celebrated on September 2nd and 3rd 2006.

See for further information on their heritage event.

David Hunter Photography
David sent us in more pictures of Scotland and this time as a tribute to Tom Weir he's included photographs of the places around Tom Weir's home. You can see these at

Scotch-Irish in New England
Our thanks to Janice Farnsworth for sending this into us.

This paper starts...

Taken from The Scotch-Irish in America: Proceedings and Addresses of the Second Congress at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 29 to June 1, 1890.

Mr. President and Brethren of the Society--

Rev. Mr.William Boyd

The Scotch-Irish did not enter New England unheralded. Early in the spring of 1718 Rev. Mr. Boyd was dispatched from Ulster to Boston as an agent of some hundreds of those people who expressed a strong desire to remove to New England, should suitable encouragement be afforded them. His mission was to Governor Shute, of Massachusetts, then in the third year of his administration of that colony, an old soldier of King William, a Lieutenant-Colonel under Marlborough in the wars of Queen Anne, and wounded in one of the great battles in Flanders. Mr. Boyd was empowered to make all necessary arrangements with the civil authorities for the reception of those whom he represented, in case his report of the state of things here should prove to be favorable.

As an assurance to the governor of the good faith and earnest resolve of those who sent him, Mr. Boyd brought an engrossed parchment twenty-eight inches square, containing the following memorial to his excellency, and the autograph names of the heads of the families proposing to emigrate: "We whose names are underwritten, Inhabitants of ye North of Ireland, Doe in our own names, and in the names of many others, our Neighbors, Gentlemen, Ministers, Farmers, and Tradesmen, Commissionate and appoint our trusty and well beloved friend, the Reverend Mr. William Boyd, of Macasky, to His Excellency, the Right Honorable Collonel Samuel Suitte, Governour of New England, and to assure His Excellency of our sincere and hearty Inclination to Transport ourselves to that very excellent and renowned Plantation upon our obtaining from His Excellency suitable incouragement. And further to act and Doe in our Names as his prudence shall direct. Given under our hands this 26th day of March, Anno Dom. 1718."

To this brief, but explicit memorial, three hundred and nineteen names were appended, all but thirteen of them in fair and vigorous autograph. Thirteen only, or four per cent of the whole, made their "mark" upon the parchment. It may well be questioned, whether in any other part of the United Kingdom at that time, one hundred and seventy-two years ago, in England or Wales, or Scotland or Ireland, so large a proportion as ninety-six per cent of promiscuous householders in the common walks of life could have written their own names. And it was proven in the sequel, that those who could write, as well as those who could not, were also able upon occasion to make their "mark."

I have lately scrutinized with critical care this ancient parchment stamped by the hands of our ancestors, now in the custody of the Historical Society of New Hampshire, and was led into a line of reflections which I will not now repeat, as to its own vicissitudes in the seven quarter-centurys of its existence, and as to the personal vicissitudes and motives, and heart-swellings and hazards, and cold and hunger and nakedness, as well as the hard-earned success and the sense of triumph, and the immortal vestigia of the men who lovingly rolled and unrolled this costly parchment on the banks of the Foyle and the Bann Water! Tattered are its edges now, shrunken by time and exposure its original dimensions, illegible already some of the names even under the fortifying power of modern lenses, but precious in the eyes of New England, nay precious in the eyes of Scotch-Irishmen every-where, is this venerable muniment of intelligence and of courageous purpose looking down upon us from the time of the first English George.

You can read the rest of this at

Prehistoric Scotland
We have now started chapter 6 of this book about Progress in Culture and Civilisation during the Bronze Age.

This will go up in 5 parts as it's a long chapter and is in acrobat reader format. Here is how the chapter starts...

THE discovery of bronze, and its introduction into the simple arts and industries of the Stone Age people of Europe, may be said to have speedily revolutionised their whole system of social economy. Not only had all the primitive implements and weapons to be remodelled, in accordance with the principles of a metallic reigne, but new industries and higher artistic aspirations were engendered which, by degrees, greatly modified the commercial and social aspects of life.

You can read the first two parts of this chapter at

Jack Bode
Jack is a little know author of Science Fiction books and am happy to give him a plug as I've read them all at least twice :-)

You can view the first chapters of some of his books at

At the foot of that page there is a .pdf file which gives a summary of all of his books (13).

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


With Electric Scotland's new site design it is now possible for you to advertise your company on all 20,000+ pages of our site. Email address and contact information can be found at

You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

For only $10.00 per year you can have your own email account with both POP3 and Web Access. For more details see 

To manage your subscription or unsubscribe visit and select "Manage Subscriptions" at the foot of the Application box.

Return to Weekly Mailing List Archives


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus