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Weekly Mailing List Archives
24th August 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
Scotland on TV (new advertiser and content collaborator)
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Clan Newsletters and Information
Clan Donnachaidh (Robertson)
Poetry and Stories
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
History of Scotland
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
The Island Clans During Six Centuries
Book of Scottish Story (new book)
The Great Deception - GERS - 2005
Jeanette Lemmon

Been an interesting week content wise for the site. James Irvine Robertson, the editor of the Clan Donnachaidh (Robertson) annual magazine, got in touch offering to send us in articles from the magazines. He has been the editor for the past 10 years and so we can look forward to some excellent information on the clan over the coming weeks. The first article has already been posted for which more below.

John Henderson, who provides doggerels and his "Recounting Blessings" series to the site, has acquired the book, "Book of Scottish Story", Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative by Standard Scottish Writers (1896). He has offered to scan in one story each week for us until the book is complete. I believe it has some 792 pages so lots of interesting reading. I have the first story up and again more below.

STV (Scottish Television) and ScotlandOnTV have agreed to advertise with us at least to the end of this year but hopefully for much longer (annual budget permitting) and will also provide some content for the site. See the article below for a wee introduction on ScotlandOnTV. Joe, the controller of STV, is not about just now for the details due to the arrival yesterday morning of 9lb 6oz healthy baby boy called James but we'll be hearing from him soon :-)

Scottish Hampers have decided not to sell their business after all and so have agreed a new 2 year advertising contract with us. They advertise in our menu as "Christmas Hampers" and "Corporate Hampers". Alasdair MacPherson, the owner of the business, is now also the local SNP councillor for Bannockburn and has offered to send us some regular accounts of his work with Stirling Council and so look forward to sharing these with you.

David Thomson has been in touch and I am working with him to put up his book, "A fisherman’s Reflections on a beautiful but troubled world", 50 years of observations of people and events in 70 lands around the globe. These memoirs and observations are dedicated to the millions of small farmers and fishers, the food producers of the world, it has been the writer’s privilege to serve, in five continents and on their seas and inland waters.

We're most of the way through getting the text up so just working on the pictures to go with it. I might add that David has also agreed to help with building some information on the Fishing industry in Scotland.

Steve's informed me that my new Dell notebook has arrived and he hopes to get all my software loaded by this weekend and then ship it up to me. Certainly looking forward to getting it. Hope he's able to get his head around the new vista operating system :-)

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.

Scotland on TV
Scotland on TV, stv’s (Scottish Television) global web TV channel, has been talking to Alastair McIntyre in recent days about ways in which we all might collaborate. In fact, you’ll see that Scotland on TV is now advertising on Electric Scotland.

But what is Scotland on TV and what’s a web tv channel when it’s at home? Very simply, it’s a 24/7 TV channel on the web, where you can watch programmes about Scotland when you want to watch them – for free! All it takes is a broadband connection and the web address:

Scotland on TV carries programmes from stv’s archive – series such as Weir’s Way, where Tom Weir brought a unique approach to the Scottish countryside and people, and Edge of the Land, which reveals Scotland’s coastline from the air. And it also has made-for-the web videos covering a very wide range of subjects. Over the last few months, the Scotland on TV team has covered everything from bagpipe manufacturers to Highland Games, and from festivals and visitor attractions to Scottish cooking and daily Scottish news.

In fact, at time of writing, the Scotland on TV production team is preparing to catch the ferry to Dunoon for the Cowal Highland Gathering – Scotland’s biggest Highland Games. The guys will be covering the final Grade One Pipe Band competition of 2007, heavy athletics and the World Scottish Highland Dancing Championships.

With over 40% of the audience coming from the USA and Canada, the production team produces made-for-web videos especially for the global audience.

Scotland on TV lives in stv’s state-of-the-art broadcasting centre beside the River Clyde at Pacific Quay in Glasgow. The production team comprises six enthusiastic and hard-working people (of course!) who really enjoy exploring Scotland on behalf of the global audience. Over the last few months alone, the team has covered everything from bagpipe manufacturers to Highland games, and videos of Scottish landscapes to new visitor attractions such as the Falkirk Wheel and the Titan Crane. And then there' s been the Scottish cooking, the whisky tasting, the tasty seafood... it's a tough life on Scotland on TV - honest!

And, if you'd like to advertise on the channel - banner, skyscrapers, MPUs or even pre and post-roll video, just get in touch at the email address below.

So why not log on to now and explore the channel for yourself? And remember, the team love to get suggestions for possible content so drop them a note on

Helen Alexander


I might add that Julia, Helen's assistant, emailed me about another matter today and I loved her final comment...

"And, of course, I'll pass on your congratulations to Joe - I suspect it may come as a bit of a shock that you can't sort out babies by re-booting them :-)" [grin]

This weeks Flag is compiled by Donald Bain. This issue he is covering 3 articles, 100 days, Scotland's place in Word Science and an article about Malcolm Slesser.

In Peter's cultural section we find an interesting song from Dundee. In Peter's footnote we learn...

One of the many songs, this one is from Dundee, warning men, usually young, of the dangers in towns and cities from drink and women! The Dundee Overgate was infamous for the number of its brothels.

As I gaed up the Overgate
A lassie I did spy
She winked tae me wi’ the tail o’ her ee
As I gaed passin’ by

Ricky doo dum day doo dum day
Ricky dicky doo dum day

I asked her what her name was
Says she Jemima Ross
An’ I bide up the toon wi’ Mistress Broon
In a hoose in the Beefcan Close

She taen me tae a lodgin’ hoose
At the tap o’ the Scourin’ Burn
Twas there that Rabbie Burns said
That man was made tae mourn.

As I gaed up the Beefcan Close
The stairs were awfie dark
So I taen ma siller fae ma inside pooch
An’ tied it tae the tail o’ ma sark

She taen me intae the kitchen
An’ she bade me sit doon
An’ she winked tae me wi’ the tail o’ her ee
We’ll haud awa ben the room

She gied me pies an’ porter
An’ she gied me pints o’ beer
An’ I eat an’ drink as muckle that nicht
As would’ve held a guid New Year

Nae sooner had we settled doon
Tae spend a peacefu’ nicht
When at the door cam a loud rat-tat
At the brakin’ o’ daylicht

In stepped twa big policemen
An’ grabbed me by the hair
They gar’d me dance a whirly-ma-jig
An’ ma sark fell doon the stair

But man I had a dream that nicht
I dreamt o’ Jemima Ross
But when I awoke I was lyin’ on ma back
In the middle o’ the Beefcan Close

Now when tae the toon you venture
And if the stairs are dark
An’ ye’re on the spree just be like me
Tie yir siller tae the tail o’ yer sark.

Ricky doo dum day doo dum day
Ricky dicky doo dum day

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

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

Now onto the H's with Humberston, Hume, Hunter, Huntly and Hutton added this week.

Here the account of Hunter we get a small biography of...

HUNTER, JOHN, a celebrated anatomist and surgeon, and medical writer, younger brother of the preceding, was born at Long Calderwood, of which his father was proprietor, parish of Kilbride, Lanarkshire, February 13, or, according to some accounts, July 14, 1728. The former is the date in the parish register. He was the youngest of ten children, and at the time of his birth his father was nearly seventy years of age. His education was neglected, and it appears that when about the age of seventeen he went to Glasgow, and assisted his brother-in-law, a Mr. Buchanan, in his trade as a cabinetmaker. Hearing of the success of his elder brother, William, in London, he offered his services to him as an anatomical assistant, and was invited by him to the metropolis, where he arrived in September 1748. Having immediately entered upon the study of surgery, first at Chelsea Hospital, and afterwards at St. Bartholomew’s, his improvement was so rapid, that in the winter of 1749 he was able to undertake the charge of the dissecting-room. In 1753 he entered as a gentleman commoner in St. Mary’s Hall, Oxford, and the following year he became surgeon’s pupil at St. George’s Hospital, London. In 1755 he was admitted to a partnership in the lectures delivered by his brother, when, applying himself assiduously to the acquirement of a knowledge of practical anatomy, he extended his inquiries from the human body to the structure of the inferior animals, and procured from the Tower, and from the keepers of menageries, subjects for dissection.

His health became so much impaired by his constant application, that he was obliged to retire from the dissecting-room; and, in May 1756, he became house surgeon of St. George’s hospital. In October 1760 he was appointed, by Mr. Adair, surgeon in the army, and in 1761 was at the siege of Belleisle. In the subsequent year he accompanied the army to Portugal, and served as senior surgeon on the staff till the peace in 1763, when he returned to England on half-pay, and immediately commenced practice. Having purchased a piece of ground at Brompton, about two miles from London, he there formed a menagerie, and carried on his experiments in a house which he built, for the purpose of studying the habits and organization of animals. In the beginning of 1767 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. The year following he was appointed surgeon to St. George’s Hospital. Among others of his house pupils was the celebrated Dr. Jenner, the introducer of vaccine inoculation, who boarded in his house in 1770 and 1771. Mr. Hunter’s first publication, a treatise ‘On the Natural History of the Teeth,’ appeared in 1771. In the winter of 1773 he commenced a course of lectures on the theory and principles of surgery, in which he developed some of those peculiar doctrines which he afterwards explained more fully in his printed works. His profound acquaintance with anatomy rendered him a bold and expert operator, but his fame chiefly rests on his researches concerning comparative anatomy. In January 1776 he was appointed surgeon extraordinary to the king.

In 1781 Mr. Hunter was chosen a member of the Royal Society of Sciences and Belles Lettres at Gottenburg, and in 1783 of the Royal Society of Medicine and Academy of Surgery at Paris. In the latter year he purchased a leasehold in Leicester Square, where he erected a building for his museum, lecture-room, &c. He now became one of the first surgeons in London, and acquired an extensive practice. With his friend, the celebrated Dr. Fordyce, he instituted a medical society, called the Lyceum Medicum Londinense, the meetings of which were held in his own lecture rooms. In 1786 he was appointed deputy-surgeon-general to the army, and the same year he published his celebrated work on the venereal disease. About the same time appeared a quarto volume by him, entitled ‘Observations on Various Parts of the Animal Economy,’ consisting of physiological essays, most of which had been inserted in the Ph8losophical Transactions. Having, at various times, read before the Royal Society many valuable communications, in 1787 he received the gold Copleyan medal. In July of the same year he was chosen a member of the American Philosophical Society. On the death of Mr. Adair, in 1789, he was appointed inspector-general of hospitals, and surgeon-general to the army, and about the same time was admitted a member of the Royal College of surgeons in Ireland. In 1792 he was elected an honorary member of the Chirurgico-Physical Society of Edinburgh, and became one of the vice-presidents of the Veterinary College, then just projected in London. The last of his publications that he prepared for the press was his ‘Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation, and Gun-shot Wounds,’ which was published posthumously in 1794, with an account of his Life by his brother-in-law, Sir Everard Home, who had been for six years a pupil in his house, after Mr. Hunter’s marriage to his sister, and in the last years of his life became his assistant, and also succeeded him in the lecture room. Mr. Hunter died suddenly in the board Room of St. George’s hospital, October 16, 1793, in the 64th year of his age. He had long been afflicted with an organic disease, which on occasions of excitement, affected his head and his memory, and brought on severe spasms; and, on a post mortem examination of his body, it was discovered that, among other morbid changes that had occurred, the arteries both of the heart and brain had undergone ossification. His museum was purchased by Government for £15,000, and transferred to the Royal College of Surgeons for the benefit of science.

You can read the rest of the Hunter entry at

You can read the other entries at 

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen. There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.

This week have added...

Parish of Newhills

Here is how the account starts...

The parish of Newhills, in former times, was a part of the then extensive and incommodious parish of Saint Machar, or Old Machar, whose church is situated in Old Aberdeen. The distance betwixt the church and the remote confines towards the west was so great, that it was hardly possible for the people resident there to assemble at Saint Machar for worship, and for other religious purposes. This circumstance had excited, it appears, the notice and sympathy of a pious and humane individual, Mr George Davidson, of Pettens, a burgess of Aberdeen,—and who had amassed a considerable fortune, and risen entirely by his own industry. This man, having no family to provide for, and feeling that he could not better dispose of his property than by applying it "in better providing" (as he himself expressed it) for the spiritual wants of the people with whom he was connected, and in whose salvation he took a deep interest,—mortified for the endowment of a resident clergyman in this western part of Saint Machar the lands of "Keppelhills," consisting of nearly 700 Scotch acres, which he had previously purchased from the town of Aberdeen. He also caused a church to be built, upon these mortified lands, about five miles distant from Saint Machar; and all at his own expense, in the year 1663.

This property he disponed and made over to the officiating clergyman at the time, the Rev. George Melville, and to his successors in office in all time coming. The place of worship, therefore, was originally a chapel of ease, and had continued to be so for about three years.

This benevolent individual also built a large stone bridge over the Buxburn, in the line of the old road to Aberdeen, for the accommodation of travellers in the lower end of the district; and mortified the lands of Bogfairlie and the lands of Pettens in Belhelvy, to Saint Nicholas Church in Aberdeen.

The death of Mr Davidson did not prevent the incorporation of the new church with the Established Church; for in 1666 the persons interested in the concern, and authorized to act, applied to the Lords Commissioners for Planting Kirks for a disjunction of a certain district of Saint Machar around the church built by Mr Davidson, and its erection into a parish ; which application, having the consent of all parties, was successful, and the decreet of the Lords Commissioners accordingly was obtained that year.

Since that time the parish has continued separate and distinct, and possesses all the privileges and rights which belong to the other parishes of the Established Church of Scotland.

Name.—It appeared to have been the desire of the applicants to give to this newly erected parish a name in some degree resembling the name of the mortified lands of "Keppelhills," and hence it was denominated "Newhills."

Extent.—The extent of the parish is very considerable. It is reckoned to contain about 30 square miles, being about 6 miles in length, and 5 in breadth. It is of an irregular form, and is bounded on the east by the river Don; towards the south, by the parish of Peterculter and Nether Banchory; towards the north, by the parish of Dyce and Kinellar; and towards the south-east, by Saint Machar, from which it was originally disjoined.

You can read the rest of this account at

On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and also a map at

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
You can see Beth's current monthly edition and the archives at

There is a special treat in the September BNFT coming next week. It's a Time Travel 8-page photo section from 150 years ago.

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

October 15, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Gilfillan Manse, on the first page.

You can see all the issues to date at

Clan Newsletters and Information
Got in the Summer 2007 newsletter from Clan Ross which you can read at

Clan Donnachaidh
Our thanks to James Irvine Robertson for sending us in articles from the Clan Donnachaidh annual magazines of which he has been editor for some 10 years.

In his first article "The Early Clan Donnachaidh" it starts...


The author of this article, Gordon A. MacGregor, is a professional genealogist with 25 years experience researching the land-owning families of Highland Perthshire. His most recently published work, ‘The Red Book of Perthshire’, came out at the end of 2006. It contains, in close on 1100 pages, detailed genealogical accounts of virtually every family to have ever held lands within Perthshire from the introduction of written record. His work can be seen on the web at

Funded by a member of the Society, Gordon was asked to look closely at the records concerning the Clan Donnachaidh, especially its early days, and the ancestry of Stout Duncan, our charismatic chief from the 14th century about which there has been so much uncertainty and controversy. His first results are published below. They may not fit with all the previous accounts or legends but they are based on land charters – historical facts. It has often been claimed that the Robertsons of Struan and the Clan Donnachaidh have the oldest verifiable ancestry in Scotland. For the first time it seems to have been proven - Ed


Of great importance to any family are its origins and the origins of the Clan Donnachaidh have been under scrutiny for some generations now. In reality very few positive steps forward have actually been taken in determining the male ancestry of the Clan mainly due to the lack of documentary evidence at hand.

One tradition that gained a foothold early on was that the Clan descends from the MacDonald, Lords of the Isles, with the following passage occurring within the first pages of document known as the ‘The Red Book of Clan Donnachaidh’, the earliest surviving narrative history of the clan.

‘The Robertsons of Scotland are called in the Gallick language Clan-Donochy from Duncan the founder of the family in Perthshire, who was son to Angus, Lord of the Isles, called by the Highlanders “of Cowal”, from the place of his birth or nursing, for Duncan is styled in the Gallick language “Donnach Ravir Macinnes na Coalich”, that is “Duncan the fat or corpulent son of Angus of Cowal”. The friendship that has ever subsisted betwixt the Clan Donochy and the Macdonalds is avowedly grounded upon the absolute certainty of their being sprung from the same stock. Duncan is said to have been born in the year 1275, he came to the Highlands of Perthshire some time before the coronation of King Robert 1st most probably invited to be the Captain and Protector of such as found themselves apprised under the tyranny of the Baliol party.’

You can read the rest of this article at

Poems and Stories
The Bard of Banff sent in a poem, Bring It On! which you can read at

Donna sent in a poem, Ode to Mrs. Donahoo which you can read at

Donna sent in a poem, Cain’t Take the Country out of the Girl, which you can read at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
Added more sections to this volume...

Short Impromptu Addresses

By Rev. Samuel Young, Allegheny City, Pa. at
By Col. I. W. Avery, Atlanta, Ga. at
By Judge Hamilton McWhorter, Atlanta, Ga. at
By Capt. G. B. Forbes, Atlanta, Ga. at

Here is the Address by Capt. G. B. Forbes, Atlanta, Ga.

The Scotch-Irish Boy in the "Banks."

I had hoped that time would have been so occupied that I might have escaped the ordeal of a speech before this critical audience. Especially for myself do I deem it unfortunate that I should follow our eminent friend, Rev. Dr. Bryson, whose silver tongue has electrified his audience. My only hope to make myself even tolerated is to speak to you about one who has not yet been brought forward in any speech or paper read. It is the private soldier of Scotch-Irish origin in our late family quarrel. While I may speak from my standpoint as a Confederate soldier, I wish my friends who were on the other side in this unpleasantness to apply to themselves all the good things I may say.

In speaking to this audience, composed of men who were on one or the other side, I feel I have a peculiar right to be either impudent or liberal, for I was born and reared under the genial clime of Southern sky, imbued with Southern civilization and institutions, from a parentage of New York and Connecticut.

Early in 1861 I donned my suit of gray, then, as you may imagine, a mere youth, and went forth to battle with the idea that I could whip a whole regiment of Yankees. How quickly that illusion was dispelled it is hardly necessary for me to say, for I soon learned that there was another fellow on the opposing side who could shoot as well as I.

At this late day I have no apologies to make and none to demand, for now, in the language of our illustrious Hill, "We are in the house of our fathers, our brothers are our companions, and we are at home to stay, thank God," for now whatever side he may have taken, be he Scotch-Irish or from any other race, he is to-day an American citizen, protected alike under the old flag which is ours by right of inheritance. This commingling of our race, from all parts of this broad land of ours, will eventually wipe out all animosity and help keep forever green the sod over the graves of our fallen heroes, whether they wore the blue or the gray.

As typical of the characteristics of our race, I will mention a few things that concerned the men in the lower ranks of our Southern army.

Early in June, 1862, six or eight men of the Federal army conceived the idea of destroying telegraphic communication and our railroad facilities in the rear of the army at Chattanooga. They came down the Western and Atlantic railroad, stole an engine, and started up the road for this purpose. It is due, I may say, to one of our own citizens whom we delight to honor that an effort was made to secure an engine and follow. They destroyed some of the telegraph wires; but they were pressed so closely that they burned no bridges. Mr. Anthony Murphy, of our city, was the man that conceived the idea of pursuing the raiders. A part of them were captured and a part escaped; but the pleasant feature of it is that two years ago the survivors of that raid came to Atlanta. Whom do you suppose they sought? They did not seek the Governor, nor did they seek the Mayor, but they sought Mr. Murphy and made him a present of a handsome gold-headed cane.

To show how close we can get together after such scenes as that, I will mention another incident. I had the pleasure sometime since of showing the cyclorama of the battle of Atlanta to our mutual friend, Col. John W. Echols. He said to me: "I was too young to to be in the army, but now I would give anything in the world if I had been there. I wouldn't care which side I was on, so that I would now be able to talk to you old fellows." [Laughter.] Another pleasant experience I had this morning: the Hon. Mr. Roper, of Pennsylvania, said to me that he was glad the war had ended before the bullet had been molded that would have killed me. I can here publicly say the same for him. [Applause.] One other incident that might perhaps interest you, but as my time is limited, I will make it short, was the last fight of the little ship "Alabama.'' The second in command of that vessel was our Adjutant General, an interesting Scotch-Irish character. I will tell only one anecdote of him. The "Alabama" was in bad condition, and Capt. Semmes put into the harbor of Cherbourg, on the north coast of France, for repairs. He soon found out that the "Kearsarge" was just outside. He did not dare to stop, for if he did he realized he would have more than one United States war vessel to fight. So he took the chances, and one bright, beautiful Sunday morning in June, 1864, he steamed out of port and gave battle to the "Kearsarge," in that foreign water. The result was disastrous, of course, but what I want to tell you about is connected with John Mcintosh Kell, who commanded the batteries of that vessel. During the hottest part of the fight, realizing that he was not moving fast enough, he went to the skylight of the engine room and sung out to the engineer to "give her more steam or we will be whipped." There was a Scotch-Irishman down in the engine room by the name of O'Brien. Engineer Brooks, who had heard Mr. Kell's order said to O'Brien: "Mr. Kell says give her more steam or we will be whipped, but we have positive orders not to carry more than fifteen pounds." O'Brien answered back: "Give her more steam; we had just as well be blown up as to be whipped." [Applause.]

You can get to the index page of this volume at

History of Scotland
In 9 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

I admit most of these .pdf files are rather large but hopefully you've been able to download them ok as they make good reading.

Have now completed the ninth volume and hence we come to the end of this publication which I hope you've enjoyed reading.

Chapter VI (Pages 307 to 360) James the Sixth, 1600 at
Chapter VII (Pages 361 to 411) James the Sixth, 1600 to 1603 at
Proofs and Illustrations (Pages 415 to 446) From Unprinted Manuscripts at

In the final Proofs and Illustrations you will be able to read some of the actual letters written by Queen Elizabeth to King James which are most interesting.

As all the chapters are .pdf files I'll just point you at the index page of this publication where you can read the rest of the chapters at

Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod

You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger articles are continued week by week.

This week have added articles on...

Concerning Each One's Religious History (Pages 58-60)
The Story of Faith (Pages 60-61)
Simple Thoughts on Bible Subjects (Pages 61-62)
The Legend of Christophorus (Page 62)
Good Words for Every Day of the Year (Pages 63-64)
Bible Records of Remarkable Conversions (Pages 65-68)
Symbolism in the Christian Economy (Pages 68-71)

The Legend of Christophorus

You may have seen in a Gothic cathedral a picture representing the legend of Christophorus; a gigantic man, carrying on his shoulder a beautiful child, in whose right hand is placed a globe. The burden seems to crush the athletic man, who, leaning on a trusty staff, is wading through a river.

The legend, which contains a striking allegory, is as follows:—Christophorus, a Syrian by birth, excelled all other men in height and strength of body. He had no equal in the land, and was feared and dreaded far and near. For a while this eminence pleased him; but after a little he did not feel satisfied with his solitary and frigid superiority. "I wish," he said to himself, "I could find a man stronger and greater than I am, that I may serve him! "He heard of a great and mighty king in a far country, and after having convinced himself of his superior strength, offered him his services. The king received him with joy, and for a time the Syrian felt happy. But one day, as the king's minstrel was playing and singing before him, he made the sign of the cross as the name of Satan occurred in the song. Christophorus, who then bore the name of Arprobus, was astonished at this, and asked what it meant, to which the king replied, ''I make this sign lest Satan should gain power over me." "Is there then a greater and stronger king than thou? Then let me, I beseech thee, leave thy service, for it is not meet that I should serve any but the strongest and greatest."

He said it, and went forth immediately to seek the stronger king, called Satan. In the wilderness he met the adversary, and when asked by him, "Whom seekest thou?" replied, "I seek the Prince of this world, that I may serve him." And after this the Syrian became the servant of the adversary.

One day they passed a crucifix on the road. In terror and dismay the Evil One turned his face, and retraced his steps. At first he refused to give an answer to the questions of his new servant; but at last he confessed, "The cross is the sign of the King Christ, and before Him I must always flee!" "What!" exclaimed the brave Syrian in search of a true Master and King, "is there then a greater and stronger than thou? Then I must go and seek Him, for it is not meet that I should serve except the greatest and strongest."

And he went forth to seek Christ; he asked many a one, but in vain. At last he found a poor hermit, who willingly and joyfully gave him the desired information. First, he told him to pray and fast, but the strong man thought this too easy. ''If thou wilt serve Christ," replied the pious man, "go to the river yonder and take up thy abode there, and for Christ's sake carry people across." And he went and built a cottage there, and for many a day helped people across the river, and every evening he sighed and said, "If only the Lord Christ, whom I am serving, would appear to me!"

And one night while, tired by his day's work, he lay asleep, a gentle voice was heard by him saying, "Carry me across!" He awoke and arose, but saw no one. He went to his rest, and the same gentle voice called him a second time. Again he arose, but he could see no one. The third time his sleep was disturbed in the same manner, but on rising he saw a little boy with a wonderfully beautiful countenance. He said, "Carry me across," and there was something so sweet and attractive in his mien and voice, that the Syrian replied, "With all my heart." He took his cedar staff, the little boy on his shoulder, and commenced the well-known journey. But scarcely had he stepped into the river when it began to swell and roll as he had never seen it before. At the same time the burden on his shoulder became heavier every step he took. Scarcely had he reached the middle of the river when the burden became wellnigh unbearable. "Little child," he cried, panting for breath, "who art thou?" He proceeded a few steps further, but now he felt as if he could not carry the weight any longer, and had to sink to the ground. A mysterious awe, such as he never knew before, filled his soul. ''Thou wonderful child," he said, "who art thou? The weight of the whole world seems to be resting on my shoulders. Reveal to me who thou art!" And he answered, ''I am the Lord Jesus Christ, whom thou servest, the King of heaven and earth. Thy name is henceforth Christophorus" (Christ bearer).

This is the legend. Man is made to serve One, who is greater and stronger than himself, and whom at the same time he can love and trust. Man cannot exist by himself: like as ivy he must cling to the Bock. Jesus Christ is the only true Master, the only Lord and King, the highest, the strongest, the mighty God, yet meek and lowly, gentle and tender! But in serving Him, the strongest become weak, and the longer they serve Him, the more they feel, He is all, I am nothing. Yet worn Jacob, in wrestling with Jehovah, prevails and becomes Israel; the Lord gives strength to serve and glorify Him. Go thou, therefore, and be a true Christophorus.

You can read the other articles at

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have included...

On Thinning Plantations as applicable in Practical Forestry
On Natural Coppice Wood, of other Species than Oak

And from the July 1847 - March 1849 edition

Transactions of the Society
On Raising Improved Varieties of Oats
Report on a Plantation of Fir and Larch in Sand and Bent-Covered Hillocks, at Kincorth, in Morayshire

From the Transactions of the Society we read...

During the period which has elapsed since the publication of the Introduction to the last volume of the Transactions, in 1845, it has been the endeavour of the Directors to extend the objects, and to promote the usefulness and prosperity of the Society. They have the gratification of reporting that these efforts have not been unsuccessful, and that the interest taken in the welfare and progress of the Society, not only by the agricultural classes, but by the public generally, continues to be unabated; they feel assured, that its present state of maturity and strength will not only be maintained, but will increase with the development of the country at large, and that it will continue to command the active support of the agriculturists of Scotland, and to retain its place in the opinion of the public, as an institution of national benefit and importance. Its members now exceed 2600, a greater number than ever before appeared on the printed list.

The Directors will very briefly advert to the subjects which have principally occupied the attention of the Society since the publication of the last volume. It is unnecessary to recapitulate, at any length, the various classes of premiums which have been offered or awarded; these have been repeatedly brought under the notice of the public by advertisement in the newspapers, and by publication in the Transactions. Every effort has been made by the Directors, beneficially, and at the same time economically, to apply the resources of the Society to the greatest possible extent, in encouraging experiment, and in procuring information on all subjects connected with the science and practice of agriculture, the proper management of woods and plantations, and the improvement of agricultural machinery. Much valuable knowledge has been acquired and published in reference to the effects attending the application of different special manures. The improvement of the cereal grains, and of the various grasses, has been successfully stimulated; the more extended culture of green crops on hill farms, and on small holdings, has been encouraged, and premiums have been awarded for the best qualities of turnip seed.

The improvement of the live stock of the country has been promoted, not only through the medium of the Society's general shows, but by means of local competitions, where premiums are offered for the breeds of cattle, sheep, and horses, most suitable for the different districts of the country. These competitions afford facilities to the smaller farmers who may be at a distance from any general show; they also tend to aid the funds, and strengthen the hands of the local agricultural associations, under whose charge they are placed; and to maintain, between them and the parent Society, a friendly intercourse advantageous to both.

The Directors consider the establishment of the numerous local associations of Scotland to be one of the most useful results of the Society's exertions and example; and it has ever been their object to promote the welfare of such bodies, by granting that aid which the income of the Society will permit. On the other hand, they expect that the proprietors and tenantry of the country will not restrict their support to the associations within their respective localities, but by extending it to this, the central body, enable it to continue that co-operation, and to dispense that assistance, which have hitherto proved so beneficial. With these objects in view, the Directors have this year offered to add the Society's medal to the money premiums, which may be given in districts, for the best managed green crops, the best kept fences, or the greatest extent of land, in proportion to the size of the farm, sub-soiled or trench ploughed. Besides the acquisition of the medals, successful competitors will participate in the privilege of being included in the lists of awards annually published by the Society. Very beneficial effects have already resulted from a similar system in regard to seeds, and it is hoped that advantage will be taken of the facilities thus offered.

The silver medal to the ploughman successful at competitions, where money premiums to a certain amount have been awarded by the districts, is still continued. It is a distinction much prized by farm-servants, as being the only one emanating from the Society, with the exception of the cottage premiums, for which they have an opportunity of competing; and in each year numerous applications for the medal have been received from all parts of the country.

The endeavour to promote comfort and cleanliness among the poorer classes, by means of rewards for the best kept cottages, has been continued. In some parishes, where the proprietors have co-operated in forwarding the views of the Society, the expectations of amendment entertained have been fully realised, and the Directors are strongly impressed with the opinion, that if more advantage were taken of this class of premiums, the habits of the rural population might be much ameliorated.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can get to the other articles at

The Island Clans During Six Centuries
By The Rev. Canon R. C. MacLeod of MacLeod (1920's).

Have continued posting up this book with another three chapters...

Chapter V - Internal and External Warfare at
Chapter VI - Scottish Kings and Island Chiefs at
Chapter VII - The Passing of the Old Order att

Here is how Chapter VI starts...

The Scottish Kings had grave and difficult problems to solve in the West Highlands during the fifteenth century. At that time the Island Lords were dreaming of making themselves quite independent, and hoped, as Macaulay says, "to change their caps of maintenance for Royal Crowns." To gain this end they and the Chiefs who followed them were at intervals rising in rebellion against the King, entering into conspiracies with discontented nobles in the South, and, what was a greater source of danger than all, intriguing with Scotland's arch enemies, the Sovereigns of England.

It is not necessary to describe all the rebellions which took place, but it may bring the magnitude of the danger home to the reader's mind if I relate the story of one intrigue with England.

In October 1461, John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, by the advice of his council sitting at Ardtornish Castle, issued a commission to certain plenipotentiaries to confer with the deputies of the English King. These ambassadors went to London, and concluded a treaty which, though it was signed at Westminster on February 13th, 1462, is known as the "Treaty of Ardtornish." Under this treaty Scotland was to be conquered by the Earls of Ross and Douglas with the assistance of English troops, it was to be divided between them, and each of them was to become the sworn vassal of the English King. The events which followed, and the final forfeiture of the Island Lordship in 1493, have been related in Chapter V.

After the forfeiture had taken place the dangers which menaced the safety of the realm were no less acute. The Western Chiefs were longing to see the ancient Lordship of the Isles restored. Though they were engaged in desperate feuds amongst themselves, whenever they saw a favourable opportunity of attaining their great object, they forgot their quarrels, and uniting their forces, rose in rebellion against the King. In 1501, in 1514, and in 1528 such risings took place. These were suppressed with greater or less difficulty. In 1545, Donald Dubh, the heir of the Isles, who, after spending 40 years in captivity, had been set at liberty by the Earl of Arran, headed a yet more serious rebellion, and again entered into negotiations with the King of England.

On June 28, 1545, acting with the advice of the seventeen Chiefs who formed his council, he appointed plenipotentiaries to treat with Lennox, the representative of Henry VIII., and finally, a treaty having been made, he and all his vassals solemnly on August 5 took the oath of allegiance to the English Monarch.

The dangers with which the Scottish Sovereigns were face to face being so great, they not unnaturally thought that it was better to see the clans divided and fighting with each other than to see them united, and threatening the rest of the kingdom, and some of the measures which they adopted indicate that their real object was, not to allay strife, but to foment it.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Book of Scottish Story
Kindly sent in to us by John Henderson

The Book of Scottish Story
Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative
by Standard Scottish Writers Published by Thomas D. Morison, 1896

As mentioned above John is going to send us in one story a week from this book until complete and here is the Preface to read here...

NEXT to its Ballads and Songs, the Stories of Scottish Literature are the most characteristic exponents of the national spirit. Allowing for the changes which time and the progress of civilization have effected in the national manners and character since the beginning of the present century— the era to which the Stories chiefly refer—they shall be found to delineate the social and domestic features of Scottish life as faithfully as the Ballads do the spirit and sentiment of an earlier age; or as the daily press reflects, rather than portrays, those of the present day. While Songs—the simple expressions of feelings and sentiments, musically rendered—change, in so far as they exhibit habits and manners, yet their form is lasting. Not so the Ballads, whose true historical successors are Prose Stories, as Novels are those of Romances.

Whether we account for it on the theory that a larger infusion of the imaginative and romantic elements, characteristic of the Celtic race, gives additional fervour to the Scottish character, or otherwise, it is a fact that in no other community, on the same social level as that of the peasantry and working-classes of Scotland, has this form of literature had so enthusiastic a reception. There can be no doubt that this widely diffused and keen appreciation, by an earnest and self-respecting people, of Stories which are largely graphic delineations of their own national features, has been the chief stimulus to the production of so large and excellent a supply as our literature contains.

The present Selection is made on the principle of giving the best specimens of the most popular authors, with as great a variety, as to subjects, as is compatible with these conditions.

The favourable reception of the issue in the serial form, both by the press and the public, is looked upon by the projectors as an earnest—now that the book is completed—that its further reception will be such as to assure them that they have not fallen short of the aim announced in their prospectus, viz., to form a Collection of Standard Scottish Tales calculated to delight the imagination, to convey interesting information, and to elevate and strengthen the moral principles of the young. END.

The first story is "The Henpecked Man" by John Mackay Wilson which you can read at

The index page of the book where you can see the list of chapters to come is at

The Great Deception - GERS - 2005
This is a .pdf file of an attempt at showing how, contrary to public opinion, Scotland actually subsidises England. The author of this report kindly provided me with this copy which you can read at

Jeanette Lemmon (Simpson)
You may remember Jeanette when she was a Simpson when she used to help the site by typing up books for us and also contributing various articles. Well she went and married an Englishman and moved to England! She has been in touch to send two articles...

1. 42 Hours in Edinburgh. In this she is detailing her taking the train to Scotland to visit the Tattoo and has also included a few pictures. You can read this at


2. Clan Carmichael 2007 Gathering in Scotland which you can read at

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


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