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Weekly Mailing List Archives
14th December 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
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Clan Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
History of Ulster
Bonnie Scotland
Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander
Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland (New Book)

We've made more progress with ScotCards this week. I only just noticed the watermark on the pictures and have now removed that. Have also added a lot more pictures and more poems and stories. Have also added a couple more Scottish Clans to the list. Mind if you have any pictures of clan chiefs, castes or lands we'd be happy if you shared your pictures with us for that Scottish Clan section!

I've also got up our old Electric Scotland cards where we use our wee characters like a Birthday Card from Duncan and Brodies and... where you then enter your name and any message :-)

You can see our ScotCards at

We've also repaired our ScotSearch site by adding back in the menu bar that I obviously over wrote while updating the header. Thanks to Steve for getting that back for us. Our ScotSearch site is at

And Steve is hoping to get a few new games up for us in time for the Christmas season so you'll have something to keep you amused :-)

I am pleased to say we have Christina McKelvie MSP taking over from Linda Fabiani MSP to do a weekly diary for us. You can see her initial entry at

Have also started a new book, "Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland; with details of The Military Service of The Highland Regiments" by Major-General David Stewart. See below for more details on this book.

I was over in Toronto for a couple of days this week and attended the Scottish Studies Foundation meeting where we are in the process of organising the Tartan DaY Dinner. I was also helping Nola Crewe get familiar with FrontPage so she can update her web site and when I left she was busy typing away at a great rate of knots adding tons more information on her castle which if interested you can read at 

I also hear that two of her daughters are close to launching their own web sites. Verity is doing a voting site and Torry is doing a wedding site. Once they are up and running I'll give you the urls so you can see what they are like :-)

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
Visit their site at

The Scotland on TV Festive Calendar

We mentioned our Scotland on TV Festive Calendar a couple of weeks ago and it’s proving extremely popular. It works just like a traditional Advent calendar, but with this version each day during December you click on a ‘door’ and reveal a special seasonal video.

We’re almost half-way through the month, but if you’ve not had a chance to take a look ‘behind the doors’ yet, it’s not too late. You can go back and view the videos from the days which have already passed as well as opening new ‘doors’ each day for the rest of the month.

So far, we’ve revealed some beautiful scenes, showcasing Scotland at its wintry best with shoppers, skaters, revellers, Christmas lights and Scottish landmarks. And it’s not just wonderful pictures; we also have some great music – carols from Glasgow Cathedral and McCallum Bagpipes – and a reading of Robert Burns’ Winter Dirge by acclaimed Scottish actor David Anderson. As well as a Scottish Christmas weather forecast, and memories of Christmases past.

And it’s only the 14th of December! The calendar takes you all the way up to Hogmanay with a brand new video every day. We won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what’s lined up behind the next set of ‘doors’, but the videos include readings of classic Scottish seasonal poems and texts, more wonderful festive music, and another weather forecast from stv’s own Sean Batty. But it’s up to you to discover which doors they’re hiding behind...

Click here to view the calendar 

And don’t forget to open a new ‘door’ every day in December.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Donald Bain and he shows us how the people of Scotland are responding to the new SNP Government.

In Peter's cultural section he tells us...

Have we got too used to just walking into a supermarket and eating food from all over the world? A group in Fife think so and have set up an organisation Fife Diet to encourage people to eat local produce. Think Global Eat Local is their motto. The recently set up group hope to change eating habits through the eating of fresh local products and cutting down the large importation of food from all over the world. They point out the effect of transportation, particularly air freight, on the environment and the food itself. They note that the further food has to be transported results in vital vitamins being lost and a decline in nutritional values. The Fife Diet group look back to the days when people mainly ate local produce. They aim to bring together folk who want to eat local food and thus boost the local economy and promote local producers. The Kingdom of Fife is a great place to celebrate the diversity of local food from both land and sea. The growing number of local Farmers’ Markets, all over Scotland, shows the potential for groups such as Fife Diet. In the modern world every organisation appears to have a website and Fife Diet is no exception – visit for further details (the feedback on eating local is fascinating) and links to a variety of Fife food producers with a wide range of produce. These include Fletchers of Auchtermuchty who are able to provide the basic ingredient for this week’s recipe – venison. Simmered Venison with Walnuts and Pomegranate would make a splendid alternative to turkey for your Yule Denner.

Simmered Venison with Walnuts and Pomegranate

Ingredients: 900g (2 lb) diced venison haunch or shoulder; 600ml (1 pt) venison or other stock; 1 onion; 150g (5 oz) freshly shelled walnuts; 1 litre pomegranate juice (or 2-3 tablespoons tart jelly); juice of 1 lemon (optional)

Method: If using pomegranate juice, put it in a wide pan and boil it down until only 3 or 4 tablespoons of syrup remain. It will be reduced by the time the meat has cooked. Chop the walnuts into small crumbs. Fry them gently in a teaspoon of oil, stirring for about fifteen minutes until they darken, then draw them off the heat. Fry the onion in oil till golden brown, then add the neat and brown that too. Add just enough stock to cover the meat, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, topping up with stock if necessary. Then stir in the pomegranate paste (or jelly) and continue to simmer until the meat is tender (about another 30-45 minutes, longer for shoulder). Season with salt and pepper, adding lemon juice if necessary to increase the note of tartness. Serve with steamed spinach and plain or saffron rice.

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.

We are now onto the L's with Loudon, Loudoun, Lovat and Love

Here is how the interesting account of Loudon starts where "noticing the inferior state of farming in England, compared to that in Scotland"...

LOUDON, JOHN CLAUDIUS, an eminent writer on gardening and agriculture, the son of a farmer at Kerse Hall, Gogar, near Edinburgh, was born 8th April 1783, at Cambuslang in Lanarkshire, where resided his maternal aunt, the mother of the Rev. Dr. Claudius Buchanan, celebrated for his philanthropic labours in India. He received his education at Edinburgh, and early evinced a decided taste for drawing and sketching scenery. This, with a fondness which he also showed for gardening, induced his father to bring him up as a landscape gardener. To give him a knowledge of plants he was placed, for some months, with Mr. Dickson, a nurseryman in Leith Walk. At this time he acquired the habit of sitting up two nights a-week to study, and this practice he continued for many years, drinking strong green tea, to keep himself awake. Besides learning Latin, he also acquired French and Italian, and paid his teachers out of the profits of translations from these languages, which he sold to the booksellers. The first of these was a life of Abelard, from the French, which he had made as an exercise, and which he sent to a periodical then publishing, called Sharton’s Encyclopaedia. He also attended the classes of botany, chemistry, and agriculture in the university of Edinburgh. The vacations he spent at home, working beside his father’s labourers in the fields, with such vigour that it was a common saying among them that they were all shamed by the young master.

In 1803, Mr. Loudon went to London, carrying with him numerous letters of introduction to noblemen and gentlemen, and soon found ample employment as a landscape gardener. In a journal which he kept in his early years, he remarks at this time, “I am now twenty years of age, and perhaps a third part of my life has passed away, and yet what have I done to benefit my fellow-men?” He now learnt German, and for a pamphlet, which he had translated by way of exercise from that language, he received from Mr. Cadell the publisher £15. To the Literary Journal he contributed at this period a paper entitled ‘Observations on laying out the Public Squares of London,’ which led to their being adorned with some of the lighter trees, such as, the oriental plane, the sycamore, and the almond, instead of yews, pines, and other heavy plants, as had been the custom previously. In 1804, he returned to Scotland, but went back to England the following year.

In 1806 he was attacked with rheumatic fever, and being much debilitated, he took lodgings at Pinner near Harrow. There he had an opportunity of noticing the inferior state of farming in England, compared to that in Scotland, and on his recovery, with the view of introducing improvements, and showing the advantage of the Scottish system of agriculture, in conjunction with his father, he took a farm near London, called Wood Hall. A pamphlet, which he published in 1807, entitled ‘An Immediate and Effectual Mode of Raising the Rental of Landed Property in England,’ was the means of his introduction to General Stratton, the owner of Tew Park in Oxfordshire, and in 1809 he went there as tenant of a large farm on his estate. Here he established a sort of agricultural college, in which young men were instructed in the principles of farming. He was so successful that in 1812 he found himself worth £15,000. In 1813 he determined to travel for a time on the continent, which was then thrown open to the English, and, giving up his farm, he proceeded, in March of that year, to Sweden, and afterwards went to Russia, Poland, and Germany, visiting the principal cities of the countries through which he passed. A journal which he kept during the whole time of his absence he illustrated with spirited sketches of the various places he saw, most of which were afterwards engraved on wood, for the historical part of his ‘Encyclopaedia of Gardening.’ Some of his adventures were remarkable. Once, while making a drawing of a picturesque old fort in Russia, he was arrested as a spy, and on his examination before a magistrate, he was very much amused at hearing his note-book, full of unconnected memoranda, translated into Russ. Another time, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, the horses in his carriage being unable to drag it through a snowdrift, the postilions very coolly unharnessed them, and trotted off, telling him that they would bring fresh horses in the morning, and that he would be in no danger from the wolves if he would keep the windows of the carriage close and the leathern curtains down. On all subsequent occasions of travelling, when he met with difficulties, he was accustomed to say that they were nothing compared to what he had suffered during the night he passed in the steppes of Russia.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other entries at 

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeenshire. There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.

This week have added...

Parish of Oyne at
Parish of Midmar at

Here is some information on the Parish of Oyne...

Name.—The name of this parish is, in some old papers, written Oyen, but now generally Oyne, and is pronounced Een. Its origin is doubtful, but it is thought by some to be derived from the same Celtic word as Inch, and to denote a place having a resemblance to an island or a peninsula, an opinion which is very plausible, as the parish is bounded by the river Don on the southern side, and in the northern part alone has three fresh water streams which mark its boundaries, namely, the Shevock, dividing it from Insch on the north-west; the Ury, separating it from Rayne on the north; and the smaller stream Gady, running from the west, and falling into Ury at the eastern extremity, where Chapel of Garioch begins; and these general features of the peninsula are distinctly seen from Ardoyne, which signifies the top or height of Oyne, and is the highest ground in the northern section of the parish.

Eminent Men.—Among persons of eminence connected with the parish may be mentioned John Leslie, Bishop of Ross, who had been educated in France, and was made priest of Oyne, and an official of the diocese of Aberdeen about the middle of the sixteenth century; but in 1565, he was promoted to the bishoprick of Ross, and became the friend and counsellor of Queen Mary, and continued so during her long imprisonment and last trials. This John Leslie appears to have been a natural son of the minister of Kingussie, who was himself an illegitimate descendant of the Leslies of Bal-quhaine, an ancient and powerful family in this district; so that the epithet of "Priest's brat," given by John Knox to the Bishop of Ross, though harsh was not unjust. Sir John Runciman was also one of the Priests of Oyne, and an official of the diocese, being "Rome raiker," or messenger to Rome. And that the Pro-testant established church may not appear altogether isolated from the honourable families in the land, it may be added that Mr Alexander Turing, who was minister at Oyne from 1729 to 1782, had a hereditary claim to the baronetcy of Turing of Foveran, a title which was claimed and enjoyed by his son, Sir Robert Turing, Baronet, who died at Banff Castle within the last ten years; and which has fallen to his cousin, Sir James Turing in Rotterdam.

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

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...

"Sorrowing, Yet Rejoicing" (Page 232)
Lady Sommerville's Maidens (Pages 233-237)
On Messianic Prophecy (Pages 237-239)
Good Words for Every Day in the Year (Pages 239-240)
A Journey by Sinai to Syria (Pages 241-244)
On Messianic Prophecy (Pages 244-246)

Here is a little from "Good Words for Every Day of the Year"...

April 14.

"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do,"—Acts ix. 6.

If we are indeed sincere in asking this most important question, God will not leave us unanswered, though, perhaps, He may not at once reveal His will concerning us, but may give us, as a test of obedience, some duty to perform as simple as that which He gave first of all to the newly-awakened Saul of Tarsus—"Arise, and go into the city." How apt are we to think that we must do some great thing for Christ, while, perhaps, we are neglecting some very obvious though lowly duty which lies close to our feet. Again, how ready are we to look at our neighbours, and think what would be the right thing for them to do, instead of saying, " "What wilt thou have me to do?" Truly, there would be fewer doubts about the way if there were more sincerity in asking and following it; and there would be fewer falls in the Christian's journey if he would be content to perform it step by step, the nearest duty first, and all for the Lord's sake, so as to make of each in its turn a practical answer to the question here asked.

"Oh, that I were an orange tree,
That busie plant!
Then should I ever laden be,
And never want
Some fruit for Him that dressed me!"

April 15.

"And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."—Luke xxiv. 36.

What a blessed salutation! Peace from Him who alone can give it. Peace purchased by Him with His own blood. Peace for time and for eternity. What a depth of peace lies in these words! He had won the victory; the agony, the bitter cross, the dark, cold grave were all behind Him now. He had risen and conquered, and the first pledge of His triumph bestowed on His Church lay in His first greeting, "Peace!" Yes, those whose sins are nailed to the cross, who have died with Him unto sin, have peace; a peace that the world knows not of, and can neither give nor take away. O Jesus, cause me to hear Thy peace-speaking voice! Suffer me not to disregard its gentle accents amidst the turmoil of this world's vanities. Enable me to meditate on Thy peace, and on all that Thou hast done to bestow it; and may my whole soul expand with love to Thee, who hast so loved our guilty world as to make thine own self an offering, that we might possess peace with God.

"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Which before the Cross I spend,
Life and death and peace possessing,
From the sinner's dying Friend."

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other articles at

Clan Information
Added the Samhain 2007 newsletter for Clan Gregor at

Poetry and Stories
Donna sent in a short story, Kitty Litter in an Ice Storm at

John sent in a doggerel, Hale an Fere - [Healthy] at

And also a poem, Kelty Clippie, at

John also sent in Chapter 65 of his Recounting Blessings at

Stan sent in information on the King Edward War Memorial which we've added to our historic Grampian page 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

This week we have...

A Tale of Pentland
by James Hogg

Here is how it starts...

Mr JOHN HALIDAY having been in hiding on the hills, after the battle of Pentland, became impatient to hear news concerning the sufferings of his brethren who had been in arms; and in particular, if there were any troops scouring the district in which he had found shelter. Accordingly, he left his hiding-place in the evening, and travelled towards the valley until about midnight, when, coming to the house of Gabriel Johnstone, and perceiving a light, he determined on entering, as he knew him to be a devout man, and one much concerned about the sufferings of the Church of Scotland.

Mr Haliday, however, approached the house with great caution, for he rather wondered why there should be a light there at midnight, while at the same time he neither heard psalms singing nor the accents of prayer. So, casting off his heavy shoes, for fear of making a noise, he stole softly up to the little window from whence the light beamed, and peeped in, where he saw, not Johnstone, but another man, whom he did not know, in the very act of cutting a soldier's throat, while Johnstone's daughter, a comely girl, about twenty years of age, was standing deliberately by, and holding the candle to him.

Haliday was seized with an inexpressible terror; for the floor was all blood, and the man was struggling in the agonies of death, and from his dress he appeared to have been a cavalier of some distinction. So completely was the Covenanter overcome with horror, that he turned and fled from the house with all his might. So much had Haliday been confounded that he even forgot to lift his shoes, but fled without them; and he had not run above half a bowshot before he came upon two men hastening to the house of Gabriel Johnstone. As soon as they perceived him running towards them they fled, and he pursued them; for when he saw them so ready to take alarm, he was sure they were some of the persecuted race, and tried eagerly to overtake them, exerting his utmost speed, and calling on them to stop. All this only made them run faster; and when they came to a feal-dyke they separated, and ran different ways, and he soon thereafter lost sight of them both.

You can read the rest of this story at

The index page of the book where you can read the other stories is at

The History of Ulster
From the Earliest Times to the Present Day by Ramsay Colles (1919)

This week we continue Volume II with

The Progress of the Plantation
A Precedent for Parliaments
The Romanists Remonstrate
Tyrone and Tirconnell Attainted

Here is how the chapter "The Progress of the Plantation" starts...

King James was by nature a very suspicious person. He trusted no one, and one of his favourite devices for his own protection was (on the principle offset a thief to catch a thief") to supplement the work of a commissioner who believed himself to be in supreme command by that of another who, as specially commissioned, was to overlook and report upon the work of the first. Not satisfied with Chichester's guidance in the settlement of Ulster, nor pleased with the progress made, which, if slow, was sure and steady, the King now (1611) sent over Lord Carew, formerly Sir George Carew, President of Munster (a position from which he had retired) to report on matters generally, but chiefly on the question of how to make Ireland self-supporting. He was also specially instructed to discover how His Majesty may without breach of justice make use of the notorious omissions and forfeitures made by the undertakers of Munster, for supply of some such portion of land as may be necessary for transplanting the natives of Ulster. This was with the view of making further provision for the native Irish. Carew in his diary gives us a graphic account of this journey undertaken by command of the King. Accompanied by the Lord Deputy, Sir Thomas Ridgeway (afterwards Earl of Londonderry), Sir Richard Wingfield, and Sir Oliver Lambert, he started from Dublin on his mission on the 30th of July. The difficulties and dangers of the undertaking were greatly increased by a countryside flooded by three weeks' constant rainfall which swept away old landmarks, and made travelling perilous as well as irksome. Few of the rivers were fordable, and in crossing one Carew himself nearly lost his life.

The special commissioner found that the work, like all work done on a very large scale, and for which there had scarcely been a precedent (unless the work attempted, but not accomplished, in Munster could be deemed such), was being done imperfectly. Many were still on the land from which, in theory, they were supposed to have removed months before. There still lingered in the air rumours of Tyrone's possible return, and, as time passed without any reappearance of the Earl, vague whisperings announced the advent of 10,000 men from Spain, "armed with the Pope's indulgences and excommunications".

Carew found that, as of yore, the English settlers who had been long on the land joined hands with the Irish, and both alike resented the intrusion of the new-comers. The strange and unaccountable sentiment which, even in the days of the Norman invasion, led to the proud knight sinking his noble patronymic, and in exchanging it for a barbarous equivalent to become more Irish than the Irish themselves had led to the older settlers acknowledging a common bond with their Irish neighbours, and adopting the same attitude of resentment towards, if not actual hostility to, the intruders who disturbed their peace. "For this cause," and the cause of religion, said Carew, "in odium tertni the slaughters and rivers of blood shed between them is forgotten and the intrusions made by themselves or their ancestors on either part for title of land is remitted."

The new settlers on their side had had much to contend with, apart from the uphill work of eking out a livelihood. Their experiences were not unlike those of a pale-face who elects to live among red-Indians. An undertaker had not alone to till a neglected land, but he had to build under the strange conditions of those who, we are told, rebuilt Jerusalem, with the sword in one hand and the trowel in the other, for at any moment he might be called upon to contend with the cruel wood-kerne, the devouring wolf, and other suspicious Irish". Even Sir Toby Caulfeild, he who was deputed to cross-examine Lady Tyrone in private on her husband's attitude towards the Government, was no better off than his fellow-settlers, but had, himself, to secure his cattle at night, driving them in at nightfall but notwithstanding this precaution, do he and his what they can, the wolf and the wood-kerne, within caliver shot of his fort, had often times a share".

One such early settler under the plantation scheme was of opinion that active measures should be taken by those in possession against the common enemy, and by concerted effort he held that much might be done to exterminate the offenders against law and order. He proposed that one day a week should be devoted to an organized hunt made by the inhabitants of, say, Coleraine, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Lifford, and Omagh, who, joining their forces, should also concentrate their efforts to discover the hiding-places of two-footed as well as quadrupedal foes, and no doubt it will be a pleasant hunt and much prey will fall to the followers. The wolf by such means might be exterminated, and "those good fellows in trowzes", the creaghts, be persuaded that the wiser course was to turn a deaf ear to revolutionary counsels, and no longer harbour the plundering wood-kerne.

Such were the conditions under which the new-comers lived. The natives were, however, in a worse plight. Numerically they preponderated, but in pride of possession they were sadly inferior. Chichester, whatever his faults may have been, was not lacking in consideration for the natives when the plantation scheme was first promulgated. His experience as Governor of Carrickfergus made him well acquainted with the conditions of life and sentiment in Ulster, and he urged that the land should be parcelled out first to the Irish, who should get all they required, and, their wants and wishes being satisfied, the residue should be planted. Had his scheme been carried out, widespread disaffection and misery might have been avoided. As it was, the condition of the Irish of all social conditions was deplorable. They were not alone made, in modern parlance, to take a back seat, and thereby treated with great indignity, which to the susceptible Irish is almost worse than death, but they were deprived of their very means of subsistence, the land, which they had the sorrow to see transferred to strangers who had come in to lord it over them. It is not to be wondered at that gentleman and kerne alike bitterly resented the new order of things and never ceased to cherish blind wild hopes of being able to grasp this sorry scheme of things, shatter it to bits, and then remould it nearer to the heart's desire.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

Bonnie Scotland
Painted by Sutton Palmer, Described by A R Hope Moncrieff (1904)

Have now completed this book with...

The Whig Country

Here is how the account of "Galloway" starts...

The Whig country included Galloway, that rough southwestern corner that stretches its Mull towards Ireland in what Boece calls "ane great snout of crags." The whole promontory formed by the stewartry of Kirkcudbright and the county of Wigtown, once known as Upper and Lower Galloway, and then taking in parts of Ayr and Dumfries, seems to concentrate many of the qualities of Scotland, Land und Leute. This northern Cornwall lent itself of old as a scene for dark romance, whose combats glitter here and there through deepest mists of history. Its Attacott people, Picts or what not, mixed with Scots from Ireland and Gaels from who knows where, run to dark hair and the tallest forms of Britain, perhaps even of Europe, while their character is a blend of especially perfervid spirit. Though this corner was the first foothold of Christianity on the mainland, it long remained notable for untamed fierceness, like that of the northern mountain cats. So near England, it came to glow with a patriotism more fervent than its loyalty; and some of the doughtiest exploits of Wallace and Bruce were done upon its borders, not always indeed with the help of the Galwegians. Mr. S. R. Crockett, who in a generation too forgetful of Guy Mannering has come forward to give Galloway its fair share of fame, tells us how most of its gentry, as well as its long-limbed and hot-hearted peasants, threw themselves into the Covenant struggle, their "Praying Societies" throughout making camps of resistance and protest against the persecutors; and in quieter times the same enthusiasm has flared up into will-o'-the-wisp fanaticism bred among the moss hags. Later on, as we know from Scott, the wild coasts of Galloway reared a daring breed of smugglers to testify for what they called "fair trade" with the Isle of Man. That trans-atlanticised firebrand, Paul Jones, hailed from Galloway, to which he came back to threaten the mouth of his native Dee.

Whatever this people's hand finds to do, it has been apt to do it with might and main. What it chiefly finds to do in our day is the rearing of cattle, that seem to thrive best on the promontories of our island ; then also Galloway has given its name to a hardy horseflesh, and pigs, too, are largely reared in this region. Such an authority as the author of Field and Fern judges no beef better than that which matches the brawn of Galloway men. And these tall fellows have the name of living to a good old age, as witness the Galloway story of a man of threescore and ten found "greeting" when his father had given him "his licks" for throwing stones at his grandfather.

You can read the rest of this account and enjoy the landscape paintings at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander
By Duncan Campbell (1910)

This week we've added the following chapters...

Chapter XII.
Social Life and Morals
Chapter XIII.
The Highland Landlords
Chapter XIV.
Francie Mor Mac an Aba
Chapter XV.
Disappearance of Old Landed Families Much Regretted
Chapter XVI.
Patriotism and Politic
Chapter XVII.
The Breadalbane Evictions
Chapter XVIII.
The Parting of the Ways

Here is the chapter on "The Breadalbane Evictions"...

As second Marquis, "the son of his father," contrary to all prognostications, became, as soon as expiring leases permitted it, an evicting landlord on a large scale, and he continued to pursue the policy of joining farm to farm, and turning out native people, to the end of his twenty-eight years' reign. But like the first spout of the haggis, his first spout of evicting energy was the hottest. I saw with childish sorrow, impotent wrath, and awful wonder at man's inhumanity to man, the harsh and sweep- ing Roro and Morenish clearances, and heard much talk about others which were said to be as bad if not worse. A comparison of the census returns for 1831 with those of 1861 will show how the second Marquis reduced the rural population on his large estates, while the inhabitants of certain villages were allowed, or, as at Aberfeldy, encouraged to increase. When such a loud and long-continued outcry took place about the Sutherland clearances, it seems at first sight strange that such small notice was taken by the Press, authors, and contemporary politicians, of the Breadalbaue evictions, and that the only set attack on the Marquis should have been left to the vainglorious, blundering, Dunkeld coal-merchant, who added the chief-like word "Dunalastair" to his designation. One reason perchance the chief one for the Marquis's immunity was the prominent manner in which he associated himself with the Nonintrusionists, and his subsequently becoming an elder and a liberal benefactor of the Free Church. He had a Presbyterian upbringing, and lived in accordance with that upbringing. His Free Church zeal may therefore have been as genuine as he wished it to be believed; but whether simply real or partly simulated, it covered as with a saintly cloak his eviction proceedings in the eyes of those who would have been his loud denouncers and scourging critics had he been an Episcopalian or remained in the Church of Scotland. The people he evicted, and all of them, young and old, who were witnesses of the clearances, could not give him much credit for any good in what seemed to us the purely hard and commercial spirit of the policy which he carried out as the owner of a princely Highland property. Such of the witnesses of the clearances as have lived to see the present desolation of rural baronies on the Breadalbane estates can now charitably assume that had he foreseen what his land-management policy was to lead up to, he would, at least, have gone about his thinning out business in a more cautious, kindly, and considerate manner, and not rudely cut, as he did, the precious ties of hereditary mutual sympathy and reliance which had long existed between the lords and the native Highland people of Breadalbane.

It is quite true that in 1834 the population on the Breadalbane estate needed thinning. The old Marquis had made a great mistake in dividing holdings which were too small before, in order to make room for Fencible soldiers who were not, as eldest sons, heirs to existing holdings. In twenty years congestion to an alarming extent was the natural result of the old man's mistaken kindness.

There was indeed a good deal of congestion before that mistake was committed, although migration and emigration helped to keep it within some limits. Emigration would have proceeded briskly from 1760 onwards had it not been discouraged by landlords who found the fighting manhood on their estates a valuable asset; and when not positively prohibited, emigration was impeded in various ways by the Government, now alive to the value of Highlands and Isles as a nursery of soldiers and sailors. Although discouraged and impeded, emigration was never wholly stopped, and after Waterloo, Glenylon, Fortingall and Breadalbane, Rannoch, Strathearn and Balquidder, sent off swarms to Canada, the United States, and the West Indies. A large swarm from Breadalbane, Lochearnhead, and Balquidder went off to Nova Scotia about 1828, and got Gaelic-speaking ministers to follow them. In 1829 a great number of Skyemen from Lord Maconald's estate went to Cape Breton, where Gaelic is the language of the people, pulpit, and the "Mactalla" newspaper to this day. The second Marquis of Breadalbane would have won for himself lasting glory and honour, and done his race and country valuable service, if he had chosen to place himself at the head of an emigration scheme for his surplus people, instead of merely driving them away, and further trampling on their feelings by letting the big farms he made by clearing out the native population to strangers in race, language, and sympathies. He was rich, childless, and gifted, and he utterly missed his vocation, or grand chance for gaining lasting fame among the children of the Gael.

At a later period of my life than this of which I am now writing, I looked into many kirk-session books, and found that those of the parishes of Kenmore and Killin indicated a worse state of matters in Breadalbane than existed in any of the neighbouring parishes. Pauperism was increasing at a rapid rate, although it was a notorious fact that rents there were lower than on other Highland estates. The old Marquis was never a rack-renter. Other proprietors, when leases terminated, took more advantage than he did of a chance to raise rents, and when once raised they strove ever afterwards to keep them up. But I do not wonder that his son thought that if things were allowed to go on as he found them on succeeding to titles and estates, a general bankruptcy would soon be the result. Without ceasing to regret and detest his methods, I learned to see the reasonableness of the second Marquis's view of the alarming situation. The population had simply outgrown the means of decent subsistence from the carefully cultivated small holdings which were the general rule. Had it not been for the frugality and self- helpfulness of the people, the crisis of general poverty would have come when the inflated war prices ceased, or at least in the short-crop year of 1826, when the corn raised in Breadalbane, although the hillsides were cultivated as far up as any cereal crop could be expected to ripen in the most favourable season, did not supply meal enough for two-thirds of the people. But the "calanas" of the women, especially as long as flax-spinning continued in a flourishing condition, brought in a good deal of money; and for many years "Calum a Mhuilin" (Calum of the Mill), otherwise Malcolm Campbell, road contractor, Killin, led out a host of young men to make roads in various parts of the country, and these returned with their earnings to spend the winter at home. These sources of profit were beginning to dry up when the old Marquis died.

What came of the dispersed? The least adventurous or poorest of them slipped away into the nearest manufacturing town, or mining districts where there was a demand for unskilled labourers. There some of them flourished, but not a few of them foundered. The larger portion of them emigrated to Canada, mainly to the London district of Ontario, where they cleared forest farms, cherished their Gaelic language and traditions, prospered, and hated the Marquis more, perhaps, than he rightly deserved when things were looked at from his own hard political-economy point of view.

The other chapters added so far can be read at the index page of the book at

Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
by Major-General David Stewart (1822)

This is a 2 volume publication and is extensively quoted from on many web sites and so I am pleased to bring you this publication and hope you enjoy the read.

In his Preface the author states...

After the conclusion of the late war, his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief directed that the Forty-second should draw up a record of its services, and enter it in the regimental books, for the information of those who should afterwards belong to the corps. As none of the officers who had served previously to the loss of the records in 1794 were then in the regiment, some difficulty arose in drawing up the required statement of service; indeed, to do so correctly was found impossible, as, for a period of fifty-four years previous to 1793, the materials were very defective. In this situation, the commanding officer, in the year 1817, requested me to supply him with a few notices on the subject. After some hesitation and delay, I commenced; but merely with the intention of noting down as much as would cover about thirty or forty pages of the record book. I did not, indeed, expect that my knowledge of the subject would enable me to extend my statement to greater length, especially as I had kept no journal, and had never even been in the habit of taking any notes or memorandums of what I had heard or seen: but as I proceeded, I found that I knew more, and had a better recollection of circumstances, than I was previously aware of, although, in the multiplicity of facts I have had to state, some inaccuracies may afterwards be discovered. I had, indeed, possessed considerable advantages.

Several old officers of great intelligence belonged to the regiment when I joined it. One of these had not been a week absent from the day he entered in the year 1755. His wife, too, who was a widow when he married her, had joined the regiment with her first husband in the year 1744, and had been equally close in her attendance, except in cases where the presence of females was not allowed. She had a clear recollection of much that she had seen and heard, and related many stories and anecdotes with the animated and distinct recitation of the Highland senachies.

Another officer, of great judgment, and of a most accurate and retentive memory, had joined the regiment in the year 1766; and a third in 1769. I had also the advantage of being acquainted with several Highland gentlemen who had served as private soldiers in the regiment when first organized. The information I received from these different sources, together with that which I otherwise acquired, led me on almost insensibly till the narrative extended to such length, that I had some difficulty in compressing the materials into their present size. It then struck me, that I could, without much difficulty, give similar details of the service of the other Highland regiments.

In the course of this second investigation, I met in all of them much of the same character and principles. The coincidence was indeed striking, and proved that this similarity of conduct and character must have had some common origin, to discover the nature of which appeared an object worthy of inquiry. The closest investigation only confirmed the opinion I had before entertained, that the strongly marked difference between the manners and conduct of the mountain clans and those of the Lowlanders, and of every other known country, originated in the patriarchal form of government, which differed so widely from the feudal system of other countries. I, therefore, attempted to give a sketch of those manners and institutions by which this distinct character was formed; and, having delineated a hasty outline of the past state of manners and character, the transition to the changes that had been produced, and the present condition of the same people, was obvious and natural. Hence I have been led on, step by step, from one attempt to another, till the whole attained its present form.

So far I have added...

Section 1
Geographical Situation and Extent of the Highlands—Celtic Kingdom
Section 2
System of Clanship—Patriarchal Sway of the Chiefs—Consequences of this System—Effects of the want of Laws, and of constant agitation and alarms on the Character of the People
Section 3
Devoted Obedience of the Clans—Spirit of Independence—Fidelity
Section 4
Arms—Warlike Array

You can read this book at

And that's all for now and hope you all have a great weekend.


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