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Weekly Mailing List Archives
23rd February 2007

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 News
Micro Button Advertiser - Scotland's Greatest Story
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Scots Minstrelsie
History of Scottish Medicine to 1860
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
Poems and Stories
A History of Munro
Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands (New Book)
James Stewart M.inst.C.E
Bard of Banff
Glasgow Fun & Stress Free Gaelic Course - British Phone Books 1880-1984

I am working on a new header for the site to celebrate our 10th anniversary so you will see this next week when I launch it on 1st March. The big difference is that the menu is now alphabetical as so many folk told me they found it hard to find the menu option they were looking for :-)

Steve and I are working on lots of new things for this year and I hope it won't be too long until you see the fruits of our labours.

I am also working on some technical issues which will take some months of work. While this won't affect you directly I hope it will bring many more visitors to the web site. Most of this work is due to us being 10 years old and way back then certain standards we have today weren't even thought of back then.

On another matter I got in an email which I found interesting as it likely wouldn't have reached me any other way. It was an Australian person that read an article and sent it to an American friend who sent details out on her list which I get and was about a discovery in Toronto, Canada :-)

Diabetes breakthrough - Toronto scientists cure disease in mice
By Tom Blackwell - National Post

Friday, December 15, 2006

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

"I couldn't believe it," said Dr. Michael Salter, a pain expert at the Hospital for Sick Children and one of the scientists. "Mice with diabetes suddenly didn't have diabetes any more."

Amazing how the Internet works to bring us information from anywhere in the world :-)

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.

Micro Button Advertiser - Scotland's Greatest Story
A Scottish Homecoming

“Wha’s like us?”

The year 2009 promises to be a very special occasion for Scotland. Coinciding with the 250th anniversary of the birth of our national bard, Robert Burns, our proud nation will be commemorating this special event with a year long celebration to look back at our rich culture and history, and to anticipate our dynamic and exciting future.

It is estimated that for every Scot still in Scotland, there are five people living abroad of Scottish descent. And as we all raise a glass to our Rabbie, we want to share the bard's birthday with our fellow Scots around the world. It’s time to come back home to a very warm reception, to a land full of wonderful stories.

But as much as our nation’s history is about the deeds of great heroes like Bruce and Wallace, the romantic escapades of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Highland clans with their ancient blood tunes on the bagpipes, there is a hidden story that many ordinary Scots will have never heard before – their very own.

At the Scotland’s Greatest Story research service we seek to help you uncover the incredible hidden stories within your very own ancestry. From the simplest family tree to more fully detailed family histories, we can help you to uncover the most extraordinary tales of your past ancestors and preserve them for the future generations of your family still to come. Every one of your ancestors had a fascinating story to tell, whether they were the King of Scotland or the queen of hearts in the local glen, and with the biggest Scottish hooley about to hit the nation in centuries, what better time is there to start uncovering your past in time for a trip to your ancestral home?!

As a wise man once said, “Wha’s like us? Damn few and they’re a’ deid!” So we look forward to seeing you in 2009 – and to help you to get to know your ancestors before you come!

For more information, please visit our website at, and for more on Homecoming Scotland 2009 please visit

Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

It's Donald Bain's turn this week and amongst other articles he includes...

Comments on the announcement of the £13 million funding for the Orkney-based wave farm. He also includes commentary on...

It could have been worse. The UNICEF report ranking the well-being of children in developed countries put the UK in 21st place. This is because the survey was limited to 21 countries. Given the comprehensive scale of the UK’s poor showing in almost every category and the huge gap between it and the other countries surveyed it is pretty safe to assume that its ranking would be much lower if further countries were added to the sample.

No Synopsis this week but three good indepth articles.

Peter has made a start at "The Blue Toon Song Book" and here is the introduction....

This week we commence a new collection of Scottish song in succession to ‘Sing A Sang At Least’ (300 songs) – ‘The Blue Toon Song Book’. Anne Fowler compiled the songs and Peterhead Branch of the Scottish National Party published same in 2000. We are grateful to Anne for her permission, several years ago, to add a great collection of songs to The Flag.

Compiled by Anne Fowler

Picture the scene; A handful of people sitting, late at night, having a few drinks. Someone picks up a guitar, starts to sing and everyone joins in. First verse, chorus, second verse – the voices tail off – nobody can remember the words. Another song starts – it too tails off.

That’s when the idea of putting together a small song book came to me – a small book, full of songs everyone knows – at least partially. This is my choice of songs – songs that I like to sing. If your favourite song isn’t here – sorry. Finally I would like to thank the following for allowing me to use their songs in this booklet:-

Eric Bogle and Larrikin Publishing for No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France)’
Gordon Menzies and Gaberlunzie Music for Schiehallion, Bannockburn and Beyond the Border.

Whilst I have made efforts to trace all holders of copyright I shall be glad to learn of any other instances where acknowledgement is due.

Anne Fowler
September 2000

And the first song to be features is...


Linten addie tourin addie
Linten addie tourin ae
Linten louring louring louring
The Barnyards o’ Delgaty.

As I gae’d in by Turra Mairket,
Turra Mairket for tae fee,
I met in wi’ a wealthy fairmer,
Frae the Barnyards o’ Delgaty.

He promised me his twa best horses,
E’er I set my eyes upon,
When I got tae the Barnyards,
There was nothin’ there but skin and bone.

As I go tae the Kirk on Sunday,
Mony’s the bonnie lass I see,
Sittin’ by her faither’s side,
Winkin’ o’er the pews at me.

I can drink and no be drunken,
I can fecht and no be slain,
I can lie wi’ anither man’s lass.
And aye be welcome tae my ain.

Noo my candle is burnt oot,
The snotter’s fairly on the wane,
Fare thee well, ye Barnyards,
You’ll never find me here again.

Flagnote: One of the most popular Bothy Ballads which acts as a vivid reminder of the days of Feein Marts and the constant flitting of agricultural workers.

This week there is also a great long story, Through the Flood by Ian MacLaren and Read by Marilyn Wright. You can listen to this story at

It's likely better to bring up the story before playing the audio link as in that way you can follow the words.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at

You can view MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary at 
Email Linda at

We haven't actually heard from Linda for a couple of weeks so not sure what is happening.

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

Now moved onto the F's and added this week are Finlayson, Flakefield, Fleming and Fletcher.

Here is a bit from the Fleming entry...

FLEMING, a surname derived from Flandrensis, a native of Flanders. In the Chartularies of Paisley and Kelso, it is written Flandrensis, Flaming, and Flammaticus, originally borne by one who came from Flanders. Among those who accompanied William the Conqueror to England was Sir Michael le Fleming, a relative of Baldwin earl of Flanders, whose descendants still exist, and enjoy a baronetcy, in the county of Westmoreland. The Scots Flemings descended from natives of Flanders, the most enterprising merchants of their time, who in the twelfth century emigrated first to England, whence being banished they removed into Scotland. [Chalmers’ Caledonia, vol. i. page 600.] Several of this name are witnesses to charters of Malcolm the fourth, William the Lion, and the three Alexanders. Baldwin, a distinguished Flemish leader, settled, with his followers, at Biggar in Lanarkshire, under a grant of David the First. He was first designated Baldewin Flamingus, but assumed from his lands the name of Baldwin de Biger. He was sheriff of Lanark under Malcolm the Fourth and William the First, and it has been supposed that this office became for some time hereditary in his family. His descendants, though legally designed of Biggar, retained the original name of Fleming, as indicative of the country whence their ancestors derived their origin. The Flemings of Biggar appear to have obtained a footing in Lanarkshire earlier than even the more celebrated race of Douglas, for about 1150, Baldwin de Biger witnessed the charter granting lands on Douglas water to Theobald the Fleming, and the first of the Douglas name on record is after 1175 (see DOUGLAS).

Baldwin’s son, Waldeve, was taken prisoner with William the Lion at the siege of Alnwick castle in 1174. Willielmus Flandrensis, supposed to be Waldeve’s son, is witness to two charters of William the Lion, and also to a donation of Richard le Bard (now Baird) to the monastery of Kelso, which was confirmed by Alexander the Second in 1228.

Sir Malcolm Fleming, probably his son, was sheriff of the county of Dumbarton in the reign of Alexander the Third. At this period the Flemings were very numerous in Scotland. Dominus Johanes Flemingum, and eight other principal persons of the name, swore fealty to Edward the First in 1296.

Sir Robert Fleming, supposed to have been the son of Sir Malcolm, was one of the chief men of Scotland who proposed the marriage of the Princess Margaret of Scotland to Prince Edward at Brigham, 12th March 1289-90. Although he had sworn fealty to the English monarch, he was among the first to join Robert the Bruce in his attempt to obtain the crown, and recover the independence, of Scotland, and assisted at the slaughter of Comyn at Dumfries in 1305. The barony of Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire, which had belonged to the Comyns, was, with the barony of Leny, bestowed on him by King Robert. He died before 1314. He had two sons, Sir Malcolm, his successor, and Sir Patrick Fleming, sheriff of Peebles, who got the barony of Biggar by his marriage with one of the daughters and coheiresses of the brave Sir Simon Frazer, lord of Oliver castle, county of Peebles, upon which account this branch of the Flemings quartered the arms of Frazer with their own.

You can read more of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders

Added the August 1912 issue at 

This contains...

The Late Mrs MacRae, The Late Major Catto, After Culloden, The Real MacKay Tartan, The Clan Davidson, Gaelic Proverbs, Fionn's Wars with the MacGregors, The Late Dr. George Henderson, The Irish Oireaachtas, A Song of the North, Reviews, Celtic Notes and Queries, New Bagpipe Music, The Gunns, Corrievreckan in Legend, Our Musical Page, Notes on the Celtic Year.

You can see the issues to date at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Alabama - Chapter IV
The New Alabama, 1880 - 1909

The History of Mississippi - Chapter I
Colonial and Territorial Times

The History of Mississippi - Chapter II
Mississippi A State in the Union, 1817 - 1861

The History of Mississippi - Chapter III
Mississippi in the Confederacy, 1861 - 1865

Here is how Chapter I - The History of Mississippi - Chapter I - Colonial and Territorial Times starts...

The Land of the Aborigines.

MISSISSIPPI has not had a continuous history in the same way as England, France or Spain, but the boundaries, especially on the south and west, are natural, and the peoples who have flourished there have all left their impress. There are Indian, French, British and Spanish elements in her make-up, and in a sense the American is the heir, if not a combination, of his predecessors, working out the old problem of civilization under new conditions.


The physical basis of history consists principally of the soil, water courses and climate. Looking at a map of North America we find that while the Mississippi River receives tributaries on the west from its source to its mouth, there is on the east no large affluent south of the Ohio River. Thus there is a large coast region north of the Mexican Gulf whose drainage is directly southward from the Appalachian range, whose foothills make up a watershed which not only throws the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers northward to the Ohio, but is the source of many streams which seek the Gulf of Mexico.

The drainage, then, is from north to south, more or less parallel with the Mississippi. The watershed is one thousand feet high in the Pontotoc ridge, and gradually becoming lower as it runs south in several divisions. These give rise to considerable rivers, such as the Pearl and Pascagoula, and further east are the Alabama-Tombigbee, Chattahoochee and other systems. The basins are of unequal size, and some, as those emptying in Mobile Bay, could give rise to separate interests; but together they make up one district, the Old South West, extending from the Mississippi to the Chattahoochee, from the Appalachian highlands to the Gulf. No fairer land can be found for a commonwealth.

The country is made up geographically of several belts, running roughly from east to west, and cut transversely by these rivers. A large limestone district, known now as the Black Belt, sweeps in a crescent around the foothills of the Appalachians, extending southeastwardly from the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi across these different drainage basins to terminate near the Atlantic.

Northeastward of this is a rough country, rich in minerals, but in early times unattractive to man. Southward of the Black Belt prairies is the Coastal Plain, formed principally of sand, often underlaid with clay. The fertile lands produced cereals and nut-bearing trees in great abundance, while the coast was given over to the pine woods. The transverse river basins, such as the Mobile, and, par excellence, the Mississippi, were made up of alluvial soil, and their vegetation was luxuriant. Large game like the deer, bear and even buffalo abounded, especially in the interior and about the water courses; birds were numerous and beavers were plentiful, while edible fish could be caught in every stream.

The Mississippi River, like the Nile, flowed through a fertile country which it had created. On the western side and on both sides near its mouth the country was low and subject to inundations, while on the eastern bank were often found bluffs like those at Baton Rouge, the Tunicas, Natchez and Vicksburg, which became a series of hills eastward of the Yazoo River, extending roughly parallel with the great stream so as to enclose the Yazoo delta and give it a character of its own. It was intersected with bayous and ranked among the most fertile districts of America.

In the southwest the valleys of several streams, like Bayou Pierre, Cole's Creek, the Homochitto and Thompson's Creek made up a district having special characteristics. The land was high and yet well watered by these creeks, which, unlike elsewhere in this country, drained directly to the Mississippi. What was to become the northwestern and southwestern parts of Mississippi were, therefore, closely connected with the Mississippi River, and separated in character of soil and drainage from the prairies further to the east and the pine barrens of the coast. It may turn out that these characteristics will leave their mark in the history of the inhabitants.

The climate of this whole country is temperate. Snow is often known in its northern parts, and ice occurs down to the coast, but the predominant season is summer. Spring and autumn are mere names. Cold weather often does not come until January, while warm weather is sometimes known as early as March. Summer represents three-fourths of the year, which generally admits of two or three crops of vegetables. Beans and melons are native to the soil, but the staple product here, as elsewhere in America, is maize or Indian corn. This grows so early and so abundantly as to have been in all ages the chief reliance of the population. Wheat on the one hand and cotton on the other are not native to this section, and were not known to the native races.

You can read the rest of this chapter at 

The book index page is at

History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
By J. L. MacDougall (1922)

Inverness County is part of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I am now up to the District Sketches which contain a ton of genealogical information. You can read the chapters at 

The Districts added this week are...

Loch Ban and North Ainslie
Kinloch and Broad Cove Marsh
West Margaree
Margaree Forks

Here is how the account of West Margaree starts...

This district is situate on the coast between the district line of Broad Cove Marsh at St. Rose and Margaree Harbour. The place is well adapted to farming and fishing. The front farms lie between a range of heights on the rear and the glistening waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is a pretty shore, affording unfailing chances for fishing salmon, cod, herring, mackerel, and lobsters. And the men are here, able and willing, to prosecute these callings of the sea.

The great lack here as elsewhere on the Inverness coast, is reasonable transportation facilities for the products of the sea, the farm and the mine. The soil on these shores is capable of large production, the harvest of the sea is at hand and boundless, there are two tested deposits of bituminous coal within five miles of each other, one at St. Rose, and the other at Chimney Corner; but none of these great natural resources can be properly developed, because there is no way of getting their products to market. There is no incentive to produce.

The harbour of Cheticamp could be made a good shipping port, in summer, provided the so-called Inverness Railway was extended from the town of Inverness to Eastern Harbour. We can see no hope of such railway extension in this county, until the national Government takes over the existing line between Point Tupper and Inverness town; or, until some powerful Corporation acquires the right to several, if not all, of our coastal coal areas, with a view to active operations under one management. Either of these alternatives, could give us the necessary means of transportation. Is either of them attainable? If not, a vast amount of national wealth and fuel will be lost forever to the great Canadian public. As to the estimated quantity of coal in our various areas along the coast,—see treatise on previous pages entitled "Notes on Geology".

The people of West Margaree are a mixed body of Protestants and Catholics, peaceful and fraternal in spirit, and all of them sound and loyal citizens of Canada. They come honestly by these ennobling qualities: their forefathers were rich in them. Nearly all the present settlers of this division are of Scottish descent. North of Margaree Harbour the inhabitants are practically all French, and further on we hope to be able to sketch the pioneers, in this region, of that noble and interesting race.

At Margaree Harbour, on the West side, there is a neat Presbyterian Church and a resident minister; also, a modern school house, a Custom House, a Post Office and Telegraph office, a very commodious Hotel, and several strong business houses. In the olden times there was a fleet of trading schooners owned here; but lately the scientific use of steam has driven this sailing craft clean off the seas. In this connection Margaree has lost seriously, inasmuch as the harbour has never been fitted to the needs of the steamship service.

A very pretty little place is Margaree Harbour. The natural scenery is uplifting. The roads are straight, clean and level. The little village, in its modesty, would seem to be hiding its face from you. On the one side are the placid waters of the harbour, reflecting the varied hues, tints and topography, of the bold surrounding heights; on the other side are the rich slopes of Whale Cove, gorging you with the spirituality of man's natural calling; in front of you is the beautiful beach and the grand curve of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, infusing into your being the wholesome tang of the salt sea, and from the rear there comes to you, down the glens and rivers, the gentle zephyrs of a land breeze laden with the bracing breath of the pines. Altogether, it is one of those places where you are constrained, nolens volens, to praise God in his works.

The principal business men of this district have been Henry Taylor, hereafter referred to, Samuel Lawrence, Alfred Taylor, John P. MacFarlane and A. W. Chisholm, all of whom are dead except the genial John P., who has long since retired from mercantile pursuits. The oldest of the present merchants of the Harbour is John Munro, who is also probably the strongest merchant in Inverness.

You the rest of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Scots Minstrelsie
Started work again on the final volume 6 of this publication complete with sheet music. The index page is at 

To volume 6 I added...

Clean Pease Strae
Skye Boat-Song
The Scottish Blue-Bells
Auld Robin Gray
The Standard On The Braes O' Mar
O Poortith Cauld
Ho-Ro! My Nut Brown Maiden
Willie Brew'd A Peck O' Maut
Captain Paton No Mo'E
Sae Will We Yet

You can see these at 

History of Scottish Medicine to 1860
by John D. Comrie (1927).

I have up another three chapters which you can read at

Chapter XI - The Early Medical School of St. Andrews
First Scottish University - Early Medical teaching - John Knox - Chair of Medicine and Anatomy - The Chandos Chair - Medical School.

Chapter XII - Foundation of the College of Physicians and of the Faculty of Medicine at Edinburgh
Early Efforts - Botany and Anatomy - Early Physic Gardens - Archibald Pitcairne - Professors of Medicine in Town's College - Robert Sibbald - Travelling doctors and mountebanks - Medical Faculty of Edinburgh University - Plummer and Rutherford - Professor of Midwifery - Requirements for degree of M.D.

Chapter XIII - Medicine at Edinburgh in the latter half of the Eighteenth Century
Effect of the Rebellion - Whytt's researches - Monro's foramen - Cullen's work and text-books - The "Brunonian Theory" - Black discovers carbon dioxide - Progress of Edinburgh Medical School - Monro's lectures - Bell's "System of Surgery" - Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh.

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another issue of this newspaper...

April 16, 1891 at

An intersting account of Lady Grisel Bailie in this issue. There are also some notes on Some Noted Scottish Nobles.

The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
by Henri Hubert (1934).

Have added The Celts in the East - Part A and Part B
I. The Gauls in the Blkan Peninsula. II. The Galatians in Asia Minor. III. Gallic Mercenaries in Egypt. The Civilization of the Galatians. IV. The Celts on the Danube. V. Composition of the Celtic Armies.

You can read this at

Poems and Stories
Donna has sent in a new article, Chilocco’s Small Power Plant at

Also a poem, A Quiet Day at

John sent in a new doggerel, Lands of Dreams at

Added the Jan & Feb 2007 newsletters for Clan Am Cu at

A History of Munro
by Michael Munro.

This is quite a large update to this history which you can read at

Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands
by Charles St. John (1878).

I forgot about this book and just found it again. I decided to do three books which encompass the Natural History of Scotland and this was the final book in this set. Here is what the Preface has to say...

THE popularity of these Sketches has been attested by the sale of seven Editions since their first publication. But though the work is admitted to take rank with White's Selborne and Walton's Angler, no attempt has hitherto been made to illustrate the scenes, anecdotes, and ferae nature so graphically described by Mr. St. John. This want—to which attention has often been called—it is the object of the present Edition to supply.

In Mr. Cosmo Innes's Memoir of Mr. St. John, he gives the following amusing account of his first interview with him—an interview which led to the first publication of Wild Sports:— "I became acquainted with Charles St. John in my autumn vacation of 1844, while I was Sheriff of Moray. We had some common friends, and messages of civility had passed between us, but we had not yet met, when one day in October I was shooting down the river-side and the islands in the Findhorn, making out a bag of partridges laboriously.

"It was a windy day, and the birds going off wild, spoilt my shooting, which is at best uncertain. While I was on the island, two birds had gone away wounded into a large turnip-field across the river. I waded the river after them, and was vainly endeavouring to recover them with my pointers, when a man pushed through the hedge from the Invererne side, followed by a dog, making straight for me.

"There was no mistaking the gentleman—a sportsman all over, though without any `getting up' for sport, and without a gun. I waited for him, and on coming up, he said he had seen my birds pitch, and offered to find them for me, if I would take up my dogs. When my pointers were coupled, he called Grip,' and his companion, a large poodle with a Mephistopheles expression, began travelling across and across the drills, till suddenly he struck the scent, and then with a series of curious jumps on all fours, and pauses between, to listen for the moving of the bird, he made quick work with bird No. 1, and so with No. 2. I never saw so perfect a dog for retrieving, but he was not handsome. After this introduction, St. John and I became frequent companions."

The acquaintance thus begun ripened into a lasting friendship, and at Mr. Innes's instigation, Mr. St. John was persuaded to note down some of his varied experiences of sport and anecdotes of animals.

"At that time," continues Mr. Innes, "I was in the habit of writing an article occasionally for the Quarterly, and I put together one on Scotch sport, using as my material some of St. John's Chapters, especially the story of the Muckle Hart of Ben-more. The paper pleased Mr. Lockhart. It would be sufficient,' he said, to float any number . . . whether the capital journal laid under contribution be your own or another's I don't know, but every one will wish to see more of it.' I received the Editor's letter at Knockomie, and the next day the reading of it to St. John served for seasoning as we took our shooting lunch together beside the spring, among the whins on the Brae of Bervie. Our course was now plain. I divided the money produce of the Quarterly article with St. John, who rejoiced greatly in the first money he had ever made by his own exertions, and on my next visit to London I arranged for him the sale of the whole Chapters, the produce of his last winter's industry, which Mr. Murray brought out in the popular volume of Wild Sports and Natural History of the Highlands."

Great pains have been taken in illustrating this Edition accurately, to enter into the spirit, and where possible, to depict the actual scene of the events described in the text.

I have the Introduction and first three chapters up...


Chapter I
Highland Lakes — Steam-boats — Small Lochs — Wild Cats — Ravens — Dragging the Lake — The Crea — Fishing at Night — Pike — Trolling large Trout on Loch Ness — Flies, Otters, etc. — Fishing with the Otter — Spawning Trout.

Chapter II
Roe: Mischief done by — Fawns — Tame Roe — Boy killed by Roe — Hunting Roe: Artifices of — Shooting Roe — Unlucky shot — Change of colour — Swimming — Cunning Roe.

Chapter III
Grouse's Nest — Partridge Nest — Grouse-shooting — Marten Cat — Witch: Death of — Stags — Snaring Grouse — Black Game: Battles of — Hybrid Bird — Ptarmigan-shooting — Mist on the Mountain — Stag Unsuccessful Stalking — Death of Eagle.

You can read this book at

Got this account from Robert Stewart which describes a violent agitation that manifested itself in the waters of Closeburn Loch.

Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, under date 4th March, 1756, writing to the Philosophical Society, which communication appears in the Society's Transactions, Vol. 49, Part II., of that year, and which is also included in Dr. Ramage's volume, describes a violent agitation that manifested itself in the waters of Closeburn Loch a short time prior to the date of his letter. In consequence of the burning down of the mansion-house— which untoward event occurred on 24th August, 1748, through the carelessness of some drunken servants— Sir Thomas was then living at the Castle, and had therefore ample opportunity of witnessing the commotion he describes.

"Closeburn, 4th March, 1756.

"About a quarter before nine on Sunday morning (21st February, 1756) we were alarmed with an unusual motion in the waters of Closeburn Loch. The first thing that appeared to me in this wonderful scene was a strong convulsion and agitation of the waters from the west side of the loch towards the middle, when they turned and wheeled about in a strange manner. From thence proceeded two large currents formed like a river, which ran with swiftness and rapidity beyond all description, quite contrary ways, one from the middle to the south-east and the other to the north-east points of the loch. There they were stopt short, as the banks are pretty high, and obliged to turn, which occasioned a prodigious tumbling and agitation at both ends of the water. There was likewise a current, which rose sometimes considerably above the surface near the west side, that I frequently observed running with great velocity an hundred yards to the southward and returning in a moment with as great velocity the other way. What I noticed, in the next place, was the tossing of the waters in the ponds, which were more or less moved as the agitations of the loch came nearer the side or kept a greater distance from it. But as it is beyond my capacity to give a particular description of all that happened upon this occasion, I shall conclude with telling you that the agitation and current above-mentioned continued with-out intermission for at least three and a half or four hours, when they began to abate a little in their violence, though they were not quite over at sunset. I had almost forgotten to tell you that this strange phenomenon was renewed on Monday morning a little before nine, and lasted for an hour and a half, but the motion of the waters was not near so violent as the day before. What is very remarkable, there was not the least breath or gale of wind on Sunday till one o'clock, a circumstance which baulked us not a little in our observations."

This strange and violent disturbance was felt all over the South of Scotland. By some, it has been thought to have been co-temporary with the disastrous earthquake of Lisbon, but the dates do not agree,— that memorable convulsion occurring the previous year (1755).

In the case of the Closeburn agitation, the people who were on the way to church were so terror-stricken that they declined to go inside the building, and the minister (the Rev. Mr. Lawson) conducted the services in the churchyard; such was the reluctance to enter a building of any size until the tremor of the earth subsided.

Another singular phenomenon, though of a different nature, occurred in Nithsdale in July, 1783, when a vast water-spout, accompanied with tremendous thunder and lightning, emptied itself in the district, doing fearful damage to the country side, particularly in Scarr Water.

Describing this remarkable occurrence, a writer of the period says,—"Herds of cattle and their keepers were surrounded suddenly; people at work were obliged to flee for shelter, and were in danger of being enclosed; hay and timber were carried off; one stone bridge, and a house, with the wool of 1200 sheep, were swept away; and dreadful gulfs of whole acres were made on the face of the hills."

Ranald McIntyre phoned me after this story went up to say he can't find a loch in this area of the Borders but he did say there have been reports of earthquakes in the area right up to very recent times.

James Stewart M.inst.C.E.
Civil Engineer and Surveyor 1832 - 1914

Our thanks to Anne Stewart Ball for this account which has been added to our Famous Scots pages. She is in fact writing a full biography of her Great Grandfather which she hopes to have published later this year.

You can read this account at

Bard of Banff
Stan sent in a new poem called Scotland's Day which you can read at

He tells me he is now a granddad again, his second another girl and he's been promoted from Senior to Principal Surveyor.

Also been busy writing another two booklets one regarding the 'Banffshire Coast' and the other about the 'Hall Russell Shipyard' in Aberdeen, he's going to a Hall Russell reunion shortly and will be giving a slideshow presentation. He's getting some more books printed and is raising some money for the Banffshire Maritime Heritage Association at the same time.

Good on you Stan! :-)

Glasgow Fun & Stress Free Gaelic Course
Great news and something not to be missed, CNSA are pleased to inform everyone that an exciting new TIP Gaelic In The Home Course began in Glasgow on Monday 19th February 2007. It will run for 10 weeks on Mondays 10-12pm, Wednesdays and Thursday, from 10-12pm, then from 1.00-3pm and with an evening session from 7.00-9pm.

These innovative and exciting courses have at their heart the amazingly effective language acquisition tool called Total Immersion Plus (TIP) and are designed to deliver a Scottish Gaelic conversational fluency within 200 hours or less; given an ideal environment.

In line with all the other 25 TIP courses, now up and running throughout Scotland, there will be absolutely no reading, writing, grammar or translation, for a student to contend with; these skills are important and as such, are dealt with in other phases of this project.

We are most fortunate in having the talents of Margaret Macleod Nicolson (Mairead Na H-Oganaich), as course tutor. Moreover, she is presently engaged on 2 other TIP Gaelic In The Home Courses, as well as having presided over a number of these courses during the past 2 years.

An important feature of this new course, is that potential students can join in at any time within the 10 weeks; early on as possible is best though, be they complete beginners, intermediate, advanced or well on the way to being conversationally fluent already.

As one would expect, the course is open to all, however, we are most keen to see prospective and expectant parents, parents of young children, grandparents, teachers, pre-school staff, council personnel, media people etc., taking up the challenge.

For anyone wishing to participate on a course just contact Catherine on
? 0141-226-5222 or CNSA HQ at ? 01463-225469 or just email and have a chat with us.

I promise you a most interesting and stimulating experience, not to mention the fun one can have while learning Gaelic in this way.

There is also the added bonus of acquiring a fluency in one of Scotland’s most beautiful languages; what more could you possibly want?

For further information regarding the above news release please contact:

Finlay M. Macleoid
53 Church Street

Home ?…0044 (0)1542-836322
Work ?…0044 (0)1463-225469
Mob ?…0044 (0)7789826934

Got in a note about a new resource...
British Phone Books 1880-1984 at

And finally Allie Quinn sent in a wee verse she remembered...


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


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