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Weekly Mailing List Archives
8th September 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

Electric Scotland
Micro Button Advertisers - Great Scot
The Flag in the Wind
Scottish Gazetteer
The Scottish Country Dance Book
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
Children's Stories
Scots Minstrelsie
The Life of James Stewart
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent
The Scots Week-End
James Chalmers of New Guinea
History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Art Lessons by Donna Flood
Bits of Electric Scotland - 9/11

This week I took the Labour Day holiday and ended up going to the Scottish Studies Soicety's "Sail Past" event in Toronto and had a wonderful time. I'd highly recommend going on this next year if you get a chance. I've posted up some pictures and wee videos I took of the event which you can see at

I think the only question left to answer from the survey is to do with wanting more pictures. Looking at the main menu, in the header of our site, you'll find "Picture Tours" which gets you to

On there you will find loads of links to over a thousand pictures of Scotland which I hope you will enjoy. I might add that for the most part I have presented the pictures in two columns with each picture being 294 pixels wide. The vast majority of these pictures can be clicked on to bring up a larger picture. I felt on balance by doing it this way that the pictures would load quicker and be large enough for you to appreciate the individual pictures but should you want to see a larger version then you can.

There is also a link to tours of Scotland and over the years we've had quite a few visitors sending us in articles of their holiday in Scotland and also attaching some of their pictures. You can see these at

David Hunter has also sent us in a collection of photographs he's taken when in Scotland and frankly he's a superb photographer and I just wish I could do as well. You can see his pictures at

And so if you follow the links on that page you should see enough pictures to get you going :-)

I might add that if you have taken some pictures in Scotland I'd be more than happy to get copies of them to post up on the site. You can always scan them in and send them to me by email and if you can also add a wee description for the picture or a general comment if sending me a set of them I'd appreciate it :-)

After last weeks newsletter I received a few pictures in but none of them said why they were sending them. I'd kind of assumed you wanted them to be placed in the Visitor's Gallery but unless you specify this I can't put them up. So... if you are sending me pictures please be sure to tell me why you are sending them and if you want them up on the site then tell me as otherwise I won't do anything with them as I do need your permission to post up your pictures.

And finally on the subject of pictures... I thought I might try posting up some pictures of Scotland on my index page and then changing them each week. This is me removing the castle and posting up pictures instead. You might let me know what you think of this idea and I have the first six pictures up for you to see. Mind also that you can click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

Please feel free to send me an email if you have any comments or suggestions for the site... always happy to hear from you :-)

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.

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Just to let you know that "Great Scot" will be at the Long's Peak Scottish Festival in Estes Park this Friday and Saturday and also the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain on September 22, 23, and 24. Should you be able to visit them be sure to say hello from Electric Scotland! You can reach them on the web at

This weeks edition is by Jim Lynch and I note he's covering the National Health Service and figure Canada could well relate to some of what he is saying.

And on the subject of Canada I note Jim has featured an article given by Ian Hudghton on Sunday 3 September 2006...

SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has expressed solidarity with Canadian fishing communities who have experienced major social and economic challenges in recent years. Mr Hudghton's comments came after a meeting with Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn MP at the Canadian Embassy in Brussels. Mr Hearn was in Brussels to discuss fisheries issues with various EU officials and as part of his visit agreed to hold informal talks with a delegation from the European Parliament.

After the meeting, Mr Hudghton said:

"The coastal communities of Eastern Canada have had to face severe challenges in recent years. The issues of declining stocks, environmental changes and illegal fishing by overseas fleets have all impacted on a once thriving industry.

"Many of the problems facing Canadian fishermen will be familiar to Scotland's fishing communities. However, we can also take encouragement from the positive attitude shown from across the Atlantic. The Canadian fishing industry is looking to the future with hope and their government seems intent on securing the industry for future generations.

"The stable future of Scotland's industry too can be secured with the necessary political will. Scottish fishing policy decided in Scotland is essential for those hopes to be realised.

"When Scotland can co-operate on an equal footing with our neighbours across both the Atlantic and the North Sea, we can ensure that decisions are taken to safeguard those fleets which have fished northern waters for generations and centuries."


The Gaelic column is also in this weeks issue.

I've always found Peter's DATES IN HISTORY interesting and thought I'd include this weeks dates for you to read here...

8 September 1568
An outbreak of plaque began in Edinburgh, brought to the city, it was said, by a merchant James Dalgleish. In six months some 2,500 died.

8 September 1892
Launch of the 12,950-ton Cunard liner Compania at Govan. Built by the Fairfield Engineering Company, she won the coveted Blue Riband trophy for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic (five days, seventeen hours and twenty-seven minutes) and was converted to an aircraft carrier in World War I.

9 September 2005
Death of internationally renowned surgeon Andrew Logan, aged 91, in Edinburgh. He carried out the world’s second lung transplant.

10 September 1462
Robert Henryson admitted to Glasgow University as Licentiate in Arts and Batchelor of Law. Probably the poet Robert Henryson, schoolmaster at Dunfermline, author of the ‘Moral Fabillis’, ‘The Testament of Creisseid’, etc.

“Quha wait gif all that Chauceir wrait was trew?
Nor I wait nocht gif this narratioun
Be authoreist, of fenyeit of the new
Be sum poeit, throw his inventioun,
Maid to report the lamentatioun
And wofull end of this lustie Creisseid,
And quhat distress scho thoillit and quhat deid.”

From his ‘Testament of Cresseid x,’

10 September 1985
Scotland’s football manager Jock Stein tragically collapsed following Scottish qualification for the World Cup Finals after a 1-1 draw with Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. His untimely death blighted Scotland’s success in reaching a fourth successive appearance in the World Cup.

11 September 1745
The Jacobite army left Perth and advanced towards a defenceless Edinburgh with Sir John Cope’s Hanoverian force still in the north.

13 September 1653
The Swan, a small three-masted ship, sank in a storm off the Isle of Mull. The vessel was part of a task force sent by Oliver Cromwell to attack Duart Castle, stronghold of the Maclean clan whose chief was loyal to King Charles II. After unloading troops, cannons and supplies, a fierce storm struck sinking three of the six ships, including The Swan. Of the sunken ships only The Swan has been found.

13 September 1938
Birth of John Smith, Labour Lanarkshire MP from 1970 and leader of the British Labour Party, from 1992, at Dalmally, Argyll.

14 September 2001
Millions of people around the world observed a three-minute silence at 11am, and attended memorial services for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

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

Completed the T's, U's and V's and have now moved onto the W's. The end is in sight! :-)

Here are places mentioned this week...

Tweedsmuir, Twynholm, Tynabruaich, Tyndrum, Tyne, Tynecastle, Tynehead, Tyninghame, Tynron, Tyree, Tyrie, Uamh Mhor or Uamvar, Uddingston, Uddington, Udny, Udston, Ugie, Uie or Eye, Uig, North Uist, South Uist, Ulbster, Ullapool, Ulston, Ulva, Unapool, Underwood, Union Bridge, Union Canal, Unst, Uphall, Uplawmoor or Ouplaymoor, Upper Keith, Upper Largo, Upsetlington, Urchay, Urie, The Urie, Loch Urigill, Urquhart, Urquhart and Glenmoriston, Urquhart and Logie Wester, Urr, Urrard House, Urray, Bridge of Urr, Haugh of Urr, Urr Water, Ury, Ushenish, Loch Ussie, Uyea, Vaila, Vallay, Valleyfield, Valleyfield House, Low Valleyfield, Valtos, Varrich Castle, Vat, Vaternish or Waternish, Vatersay or Watersay, Vatsker, Loch Veatie, Vementry, Venlaw, Loch Vennachar, Loch Veyatie, St. Vigeans, Vogrie, Loch Voil, Wadbister, Walkerburn, Wallace Hall, Wallace Monument, Wallacestone and Standrig, Wallacetown, Wallhouse, Walls, Walls and Flotta, Wallyford, Walston, Wampherflat, Wamphray.

The whole Gazetteer is available at

Poetry has always been very popular with the Scots and it's always good to see new poems coming onto the site from various contributors. This week Ross McGillivray, 17, of Aberdeen in Scotland sent us in his poem "The Scots" which you can read at

I like the fact that the youth of today are showing interest in Scottish history :-)

John Henderson also sent in two doggerels...

Baach an Baul at
Safari USA at

The Scottish Country Dance Book
I acquired this book (No.4) which shows a collection of 12 dances. These show the dance steps and the sheet music to go along with them so I have scanned the book in page by page as a graphic. You can see this at

As I hope to do a section on Highland dancing I am going to try and find a few more issues of this publication to put up. While on the Empire Sandy I met one of the Highland dancers who said she'd be willing to write up a history of Highland Dancing for me and also would be happy to arrange a visit to her dance studio so I can do some videos of Highland Dancing.

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

We are now on the C's with Chambers, Chancellor, Chapman, Charteris, Cheyne, Chisholme and Christie added this week.

Here is a bit from the Charteris entry....

CHARTERIS, the surname of an Anglo-Norman family which, says Douglas in his Baronage, “is of great antiquity in Scotland, and it is the opinion of some antiquaries that they are of French extraction; that William a son of the earl of Chartres in France, came to England with William the Conqueror; that a son or grandson of his came to Scotland with King David the First, and was progenitor of all of the surname of Charteris in this kingdom, and certain it is they began to make a figure in the south of Scotland soon after that era.”

The immediate ancestor of the family of Charteris of Amisfield, *(anciently Emsfield, and sometimes Hempisfield,) in Dumfries-shire, was Robert de Charteris, who flourished in the reigns of King Malcolm the Fourth and King William the Lion. In a charter of confirmation by the latter to the monastery of Kelso, Robert de Charteris is one of the witnesses. It has no date, but as Ingelram bishop of Glasgow, another of the witnesses, died in 1174, it must have been granted in or before that year. His son, Walter de Charteris, is mentioned in a donation to the monastery of Kelso, and also the son of the latter, Thomas de Charteris, who lived in the reign of King Alexander the Second. His son, Sir Robert de Charteris, made a donation to the same monastery of the patronages of two churches in Dumfries-shire, by a charter, in which he is designed Robert de Cornoto, miles. It is to be observed that in ancient charters the family name is often thus Latinized, but when Englished it is invariable called Charteris.

The son of this Sir Robert, Sir Thomas de Charteris, was in 1280 appointed lord high chancellor of Scotland by King Alexander the Third, and seems to have been the first layman who held that office. He was also, with Sir Patrick de Graham, Sir William St. Clair, and Sir John Soulis, nominated on an embassy extraordinary to the court of France, to negociate the king’s marriage, which important negociation they quickly accomplished, but King Alexander’s untimely death soon after prevented the good effects of it. Sir Thomas died in 1290. His son, Andrew de Charteris, was among the barons of Scotland who were compelled, in 1296, to make submission to Edward the first of England; but he soon retracted what he had done, for which he was forfeited the same year, and his lands of Amisfield bestowed on an Englishman. Several others of the name who had possessions in different counties, were also at the same time forced to swear allegiance to the English king, as William de Charteris, Robert de Charteris, and Osborn de Charteris.

Andrew’s son, William de Charteris, did homage to King Edward in 1304, for his lands in Dumfries-shire, but he took the first opportunity of joining the party of Bruce, and was one of those patriotic barons who attended the latter at Dumfries when Comyn was slain in 1306. With Walter de Perchys he resigned the half of their barony of Wilton, in Roxburghshire, in favour of Henry de Wardlaw. He died about 1330. His son, Sir Thomas Charteris of Amisfield, was a most faithful subject of David the Second. In 1335, when that monarch was in France, he was, by the estates of the kingdom, appointed one of the ambassadors extraordinary to the court of England; and, 20th March 1341, he was again sent on another embassy to treat with the English. After King David’s return to Scotland, he appointed him, in 1342, lord high chancellor. He was killed in 1346 at the battle of Durham, where his royal master was taken prisoner.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other entries at

The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders

I have now added the fifth issue of Volume 10 (February 1902) which includes amongst other articles ones on James Mead Sutherland, Am Bodach Glas (The Grey Spectre), Banais Anns A' Ghaidhealtachd, Gaelic Music in Scotland, The Pledged Sporran, Rognvald: Earl - Jorsala-Farer and Saint, The Haunted Castle, The Stewart Society, The Bagpipes in the Indian Highlands, London Argyllshire Association, The Martian Music of the Clans.

This issue is at

You can see the issues to date at

Children's Stories
Margo sent in some more wee children's stories...

The Country Boy at
The Gondolier at
Jump Rope at
She Can't Do It! at

Scots Minstrelsie
Have made a start at the 5th volume by adding the editors notes and pictures and the first song. You can see this at

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

Have now concluded this book with the final chapter. Dr. Stewart’s Last Message to the Missionaries—His Private Statement about the Native College—The Present Position of the College.

‘It is better to Christianise the Africans than to crush them. It is better to educate than to exterminate them. And the day is coming, whether we live to see it or not, when even the Dark Continent shall have its Native Universities. ‘—Dr. Stewart in 1878.

A FEW weeks before his death Dr. Stewart dictated this message to the missionaries of all the Churches:—

‘DEAR SIR,—The recommendation of the recent Inter-Colonial Native Affairs Commission with regard to the establishment of a central Native College aided by the various States for training native teachers, and in order to afford opportunities for higher education to native students, has, no doubt, occupied your thoughts. As the proposal is being discussed by natives all over the country, and in view of any action the Governments may take to give practical effect to the recommendation, it seems well that expression should be given to the opinion of missionaries and especially of those directly connected with the education of the more advanced native students.

‘I therefore write to you, and to other European missionaries, to ask you to assist in carrying out this scheme for the advancement of native education throughout South Africa, that we, by co-operation with one another, and co-operation with the Governments, may ensure the missionary and inter-denominational character of the proposed College.

‘Owing to my ill-health, I fear very much I could not attend any meeting which might be convened for the purpose of discussing the matter and of uniting in some one line of policy, but my views on the subject can be condensed into a short written statement, and a member of my staff would represent me. - Believe me to be, yours sincerely,


You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Thanks to Nola Crewe for transcribing these biographies for us.

We have several more biographies up for you to read at

I might add that these wee biographies should be an inspiration to all of us as it shows how you can record your own family. These are not huge biographies and really most people should be able to come up with something similar. The one below is a very typical example...

DR. GEORGE JAMES GIBB. The Gibbs are among the old and well known families of the County of Kent, and are of Scottish extraction. George Gibb, the first member of whom there is any definite record, was of Montrose, Scotland, and emigrated to the County of Middlesex, Ontario, many years ago. His house was used for the first post office between London and Chatham, on the Long Woods road. Here his death occurred in 1839. He married Mary Gardiner, a sister of James Gardiner, of Chatham, and they had the following children: Ruth, who is deceased; Jane, wife of Thomas Neil; Ellen, widow of Ed Bondimer, of Detroit; Eliza, deceased, wife of Alexander Archer; Peter, deceased, who had one child, Ida, now of Detroit; and David, deceased.

David Gibb, father of Dr. Gibb, was born in the County of Middlesex in 1836, and for a number of years was a farmer. Later he settled in Sarnia, and there died August 8th, 1900. He married Maria Jackson, daughter of James and Rebecca (Cater) Jackson, formerly of Oxford, England. Mrs. Gibb died in 1881, the mother of the following children: William W. died leaving no family; Mary L. is the widow of Richard T. Maxwell, and has one child, Mary; Alice is now residing at Sarnia; Emma, wife of F.W. Sheppard, of St. Louis, Missouri, has four children, Louise, Lilian, Anna and Allan; George James is our subject.

George James Gibb was born in the County of Middlesex, Ontairo in 1859, and grew to manhood in his native county. After a preliminary course in the public schools he graduated from the Wardsville high school, in which he later became a teacher, continuing there for some time. Then he attended the University of Toronto, and in 1881 he commenced the study of dentistry in the office of Drs. Coyne and Wilson, of Wardsville, completing his course at the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, from which he was graduated in 1883. Immediately afterward he commenced the practice of his chosen profession in Blenheim, where he has since resided, building up a very enviable patronage among the best people of the community. Professionally he is regarded as one of the leading dental surgeons of Blenheim, as well as of the surrounding district, where his ability has made him well known.

In 1889 Dr. Gibb married Leora Arnold, daughter of Thadeus and Caroline (Field) Arnold, and granddaughter of Christopher Arnold, one of the illustrious pioneers of the County of Kent. Three daughters have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Gibb, Alma, Grace and Moyna. The Doctor and his wife are very popular in social circles.

And so... why not see if you can't do something similar and then you can send it in for inclusion in our Mini Bios section at

I should add a note of caution that you must be careful about sharing information on the web of any living person. Should you have their permission then no problem. Also be careful about providing any information of a private nature or anything that might compromise your own security.

The Keith Highlanders Pipe Band – LIVE!
October 26, 27 & 28, 2006 7:30pm $20 adults, $15 students and seniors
Kirkland Performance Center, 425-893-9900,
See the Keith Highlanders at the KPC and enjoy the best of traditional Scottish piping, drumming and Highland dancing from the largest and best-known pipe band in the Puget Sound region. Fiddlers Amy and Daniel Carwile, formerly with past guest Full Moon Ensemble, return to the KPC to play spectacularly crowd-pleasing Celtic aires, lively jigs, blistering hornpipes, electric reels!

Alan Mackenzie, Lieutenant to Cabarfeidh, chief of the world-wide Clan Mackenzie, is directing and playing in a new play "Opening Night", a comedy by Norm Foster, by the Mississauga Players. It's a funny gentle look at human relationships. It playes on Sept. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 at the Burnhamthorp Library Theatre, Mississauga. Box Office: 905-812-1759.

Got in an email telling me of a new web site where Clan MacNeil folk can share pictures at

The Scots Week-End
And Caledonian Vade-Mecum for Host, Guest and Wayfarer (1936)

Am making some good progress with this book and there are loads of poems and songs for you to enjoy this week. One of the chapters is to do with The Sabbath Day and here is a wee bit from it...


Being Sunday, we saw many women in and near town, walking to church in their best apparel, and really very neatly dressed. White gowns, shawl, black velvet bonnet, gloves, and an umbrella, absolutely walking barefooted in the mud, very composedly, with their shoes and stockings in their hands. This custom is defended as clean, for they must wash their feet,-as wholesome, for they are sure of having dry shoes and stockings,-and it is certainly saving. - Louis Simond (1810) .


In Edinburgh two men have just been taken up for whistling in the street on Sunday, and in Glasgow a barber has been sent to jail for having dared to shave three men on that same day! Owing to the zeal with which these pious regulations are enforced you see the populace, driven from home by sheer boredom, thronging the pavements like citizens forced from their firesides by some public calamity. Their spiritual guides forbid not merely work for gain, but anything whatsoever in the nature of amusement. In other countries on holy days, the crowds in public places are out for recreation; but in Scotland all you see is a lot of people, religiously unemployed, wandering aimlessly about the town, and going home after a long "day of rest" thanking heaven that they will be back at work again on the morrow. Relaxation has been made so painful that fatigue comes as a blessed relief. - The Marquis de Custine (1822).

I shall say nothing of the terrible Scotch Sunday, beside which London's is a positive jollification. This day, consecrated to the honour of heaven, is the nearest thing to hell that I have ever seen on earth. Said a Scotchman to a French friend as they were returning from church: "Not quite so fast, or people will think we are taking a walk!" - Stendhal.


To make the best of a bad job and without thinking I started to amuse myself by humming and whistling. Suddenly in comes my old landlady with a sacred countenance. "Fie for shame," she said, "you're singing!"

Remembering Sosie in Moliere's Amphitryon, I said to myself "Cette femme assurément n'aime pas la musique".

Then after a pause, for I was rather taken aback, "Why," I said, "what's the harm in singing?" "Sir," she answered, as she shut the window, "God forbid that anybody should sing on the Sabbath." Having a very modest opinion of my vocal powers, and being ignorant of the customs of the country, I supposed she had simply taken a polite way of telling me that I was a bad singer and was annoying her, which might very well have been the case, and that what her words really meant was "God forbid that anybody should sing so badly". I desisted accordingly, fearing there might be sick folk in the house.

I learned afterwards that on Sunday in Scotland one must not sing, whistle, dance or play, but one may drink, yawn and sleep, since when I have done my best to conform to the custom of the country. Presently I asked my worthy landlady to lend me a book, and she let me have a volume of the Lives of the Presbyterian Saints, which were not of much use to me, as they rival our own Lives of the Saints in soporific quality. To show her that I knew as well as she did that it was Sunday, I asked her if there was a Catholic chapel in the town. "Catholic!" she repeated, "Catholic!"-making such a face that you would think she had seen the Devil-"Catholic!" and left my room without another word. That made me want more than ever to find out if there was really a chapel in the town, and accordingly I went out and without much trouble was directed to one, where I had the pleasure of hearing an eloquent sermon in Gaelic, of which unfortunately I didn't understand a word but "the Virgin Mary". - The Chevalier de Latocnaye.

Sunday is indeed (in Scotland) a dies non. I have just seen my landlady, who has informed me that a very fine young man was drowned this morning, which, she added, "served him right for bathing on the Sabbath day!" I asked her if she thought it would serve me right to cut my throat for being shaved on a Sunday; she replied with an angry countenance, "I dinna ken, sir," indeed she looks upon me as lost mutton for singing on the Sabbath, and I have got warning to quit, for a musical transgression, by playing on the flute. - Felix MacDonogh.

We arrived at Edinburgh on a Sunday, that is to say, on one of those days of strict observance, when every house is closed, every shop is impenetrable, and everybody is at prayers. The solitude was immense, absolute, and the first feeling we had of Edinburgh was, that this prodigious city had been anciently built by a race of giants who had long since vanished from the earth. - Charles Nodier.

You can read more from this chapter at

The book can be found at

James Chalmers of New Guinea
by Cuthbert Lennox (1903)

I've now moved ahead with this book and we're now on chapter 12

Chapter 12 starts...

IN this chapter we open up the record of 1881 and following years. Up to this time Chalmers and his colleague had spent their best energies in breaking the ground over a wide area of country, and along a coast-line exceeding five hundred miles in length, delegating the greater part of the actual teaching and preaching to the wide-scattered staff of Polynesian teachers. Men of large minds and splendid imagination, they worked for big results, and were content to leave these to time and the assured vitality of that gospel of peace and love of which they were the heralds.

But this year began with much promise. On the 5th of January a new church was opened at Port Moresby, and the first three New Guinea converts were baptized. Two months later, on 6th March, there were baptized the first two women of New Guinea converted to Christianity. It may be mentioned here, perhaps, that the first two converts, a man and a woman, were still living steadfastly in the faith at the date of Chalmers’s death in 1901.

Besides this directly spiritual fruitage, the missionaries had for their cheer, in the beginning of 1881, an evidence of the powerful influence that Tamate had acquired over the native mind. News came that the natives of Motumotu and Lese, in the district of Elema, were making great preparations for a descent on Port Moresby, and boasting that they would kill Tamate and Ruatoka, and then harry the coast right and left. The tidings only made Tamate determine "to visit Motumotu and beard the lion in his den." "I did not believe they would touch me," he continues, "but I feared they meant mischief to Kabadi and the coast villages. No time could be lost, as we were in a bad month for rain and storms, and the coast-line is long and bad. The natives said it was too late, yet I resolved to try it."

Piri and his wife were ordered to make ready to accompany the expedition in the whale-boat, Tamate also manning an open boat, and a start was made on 10th January. The principal man of the boat’s crew ran off, but his place was promptly taken by one of the three converts who had been baptized on 5th January.

"Our boat’s crew were considered fools, rushing into the arms of death. Wives, children, and friends were gathered round weeping. The men said, ‘Cannot you see that if Tamate lives we shall live; and if he is murdered we shall be murdered; it is all right; we are going with him, and you will see us back all right with sago and betel-nuts.’" The convert who had volunteered for service told Tamate that all means imaginable, short of physical force, were used to prevent the crew from accompanying him, and added, "We know it is all right; the Spirit that has watched over you in the past" (naming the various journeys) "will do so now; and if we return safe, won’t the people be ashamed?"

At Manumanu the two boats’ crews would fain have turned back, terrified by the dismal pictures drawn by their friends at the village. They urged upon Tamate that the bad weather had set in, but to this he only replied, "Think, my children, of the disgrace. We started to go to Motumotu, and at the first breath of contrary wind we put back. It must not be. Let us try it a little longer, and if the wind increases we can put back and not feel so ashamed."

At Delena the voyagers had a right hearty welcome. The natives there had a good deal to fear from a predatory attack by the Motumotuans, but they expressed the confidence that Tamate would be well received. This somewhat heartened the boats’ crews, and these sent word, "When you wish to start, call out; you will see us gladly spring into the water." At Oiapu, and again at Jokea, the natives made friendly demonstrations, and invited the missionary to land. The proffered feasts were declined with thanks, and Lese was duly reached. Here presents were exchanged, and a feast of pig was spread for the travellers. When Tamate set out for Motumotu next morning, he had the promise of the people of Lese that they would not molest Kabadi again, and their affirmation that they "considered our visit as peace with all the coast villages."

Tamate was going to Motumotu with a certain degree of confidence. He had had friendly dealings with a good many men of this district, and, only a few weeks before, one of them had said to Mr. Lawes and himself—" Listen. You think we Motumotuans are not attending to your words; but you are mistaken. Before you came here, we were always fighting, and were a terror to all, east and west, but now it is different. We are at peace all around; we go about unarmed, and sleep well at night. Soon our fathers’ ancient customs will all be given up, and you will see us, old and young, coming to be taught the word of the great and good spirits."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The whole book can be read at

History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Got up two chapters from this book. The previous chapters can be read at

Chapter 33 starts...

THE Parish Register of Dumfries goes back to the 6th of October, 1605, as regards baptisms; in the following year the names of sixty infants, "bairns lawfullie begotten," are entered in the list; and it is not till the 12th of May, 1616, that marriages, and not till the 11th of May, 1617, that burials begin to be inserted in the record. In 1618 the total baptisms were 111, marriages 19, and deaths 51; though, in all probability, the latter figures considerably underrate the mortality for the year. In 1660 there were, according to the register, 116 baptisms, 31 marriages, and 122 burials; but we may very safely add a fourth to the first two of these entries, and a third to the other, to make up for omissions, which would bring up the returns to 145 births, 39 marriages, and 139 deaths. These bear the proportion of less than one to four of the registrar-general's figures for the Parish in 1860; and supposing the population to have been in the same ratio to the returns in both years, the inhabitants of the Parish, burghal as well as landward, must have numbered barely 4000 two hundred years ago. [Nearly the same result is arrived at by taking the number of the Trades as a basis of calculation. See awe, p. 365.] This is a rough mode of calculation, and can only be regarded as approximately correct. There is every reason to believe that the long desolating wars, and the cruel persecution, to which the town and district were subjected, seriously thinned their population, and otherwise checked their prosperity. Other agencies, the chief of which were famine and pestilence, produced like results.

In 1598, as we learn from the "Chronicle of Perth," "the wheat was blasted" over all Scotland, and oatmeal was so scarce that it sold for 6s. the peck; "ane great deid amang the people" being occasioned by the dearth. A virulent plague followed Dumfries suffering much from both visitations; while, to add to its distress, it was cut off from all intercourse with neighbouring towns. A minute of the Kirkcudbright Town Council shows, that that body, on the 20th of April, 1599, took alarm on account of "the pest being verie ill in Drumfries," and prohibited the inhabitants, "under the paine of xi. s. ilk fault, and tinsall of their freidome," to enter the infected Burgh, or even to venture below the Water of Urr, or hold intercourse with any one from the east side of that river. As a consequence, the trade of the town was utterly paralyzed; the cattle of the burgesses disappeared, and none came from a distance to supply their place.

In such sad circumstances, two men, James Sharpe and John Martin, were sent into the western parts of Galloway on a cattle-buying mission. On reaching the burgh of Wigtown, they were well received by its magistrates, and allowed to bargain for as many beeves as they needed, on condition of paying the market dues, as well as the price of the stock. Whilst the men were driving their purchase-thirty-eight head of nolt-homewards, they were encountered at Minnygaff by a large armed party, commanded by the Wigtown authorities, Provost Hannay and Bailies Edgar and Tailfer, who, by dint of main force, brought both cattle and drovers back to their burgh; the reason assigned being, it is supposed, that the latter had not paid the full amount of custom. When at Wigtown the cattle were detained eight days on scanty fare, so that they were reduced to the condition of Pharaoh's lean kine. In the end, their purchasers, after laying down a hundred additional merks, were allowed to depart with the animals, which, by cropping the wayside pasture as they went along, would probably reach their journey's end in tolerable "fettle." This pitiable affair, which reads so strangely of Dumfries, now the scene of magnificent markets for the transfer of cattle, came under the notice of the Privy Council, and was remitted to the ordinary judges, to be settled by them as they might think best. [Chambers's Domestic Annals]

Again the two fell destroyers visited the country in 1623. At midsummer, that year, Calderwood tells us, the famine was so sore that " many, both in burgh and land, died of hunger;" numerous poor folks, who flocked into Edinburgh in a vain search for succour, falling down lifeless in the streets of the city. For several months prior to Michaelmas, the mortality in Perth was at the rate of ten or twelve deaths per day: [The Perth Chronicle] some other towns suffered in the same proportion ; and Dumfries, perhaps, in a greater degree than any. Fearful must have been the condition of the Burgh in that fatal year: many of the people pining for want-many more perishing under the "arrows of the pestilence," - some suffering from both the famine and the plague. To the names of a hundred persons who died during the year, the words, "puir," "extreme puir," or "pauper," are annexed in the register of the Parish. During the first ten months, there were no fewer than 492 deaths (those for the rest of the year not being recorded); so that the Parish must have lost about a ninth of its inhabitants by this terrible scourge.

We cannot wonder that the Dumfries Town Council, after such sad experiences of the plague, should, in the summer of 1665, when it was raging in London, have taken special precautions with the view of keeping the Burgh unvisited by the destroyer. The importation of English merchandise was strictly forbidden; and it was duly certified that any inhabitant who should receive such goods would be liable to a penalty of five hundred merks, to have his house closed up, and himself and " haill family sequestrate without the town for the space of 40 days thereafter." Then, as some of the Dumfries pedlars were away South, hawking the linen and woollen cloths manufactured in the Burgh, they were debarred from returning to it under a similar penalty, unless furnished with "a bill of health;" and, finally, lest strangers should enter the ports, bringing more mischief in their wake than even the English Borderers of old, twenty-four men kept watch and ward over the town by night and day. [Town Council Minutes, and Burnside's MS]

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The whole book can be read at

Art Lessons
Donna is starting a series of 10 Art lessons and so if you want to become an artist you might be interested in following her through this series of lessons. We have the first two lessons up at...

Lesson 1 is at
Lesson 2 is at

Bits of Electric Scotland
It was suggested that I might highlight bits of the site that I thought might be of general interest.

As we are hitting the 5th anniversary of 9/11 this week I thought I'd highlight the tribute I did at the time. You can see this at

Note that I do attach background music to the page so if you are viewing late at night you might want to turn down the volume! You might also note that there is a link at the top of that page to where I also covered the 1st anniversary of the attack.

I am pleased to say that the links I placed on the page to various video clips are still working.

I might add that in the first 48 hours of posting this up I received over 2,000 emails. Most of them were private and I took the decision not to publish those on the site but I did post up some comments that were posted in our public webboard service at the time.

I also note that on Monday CNN are re-playing the whole days happenings as it happened on the actual day. It starts at 8.30am EST.

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


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