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Weekly Mailing List Archives
18th January 2008

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 and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
History of Ulster
Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander
Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
Household Encyclopaedia
Frank Shaw Articles
Scottish Art Trading Cards

This week I've been trying to identify why so many genuine emails are going into my Junk folder. Needless to say everyone is denying responsibility. I use McAfee and they tell me they don't send any emails to a junk folder as they only put it into a SpamKiller folder. I am in fact pleased with this as I have yet to catch a genuine email in that folder. Microsoft deny any responsibility and likewise my own ISP. I'm determined to get to the bottom of this as some 63 genuine emails went into my Junk folder in the past 48 hours and they continue to go in.

Don't know how Michael managed it but he caught me at the wheel of the car down in Florida... see :-)

As we're heading for the Burns Suppers do check out our own Burns section for information on the Bard at

And you'll see below that the Clan Logan newsletter has an interview with myself :-)

I was away in Toronto on Monday through to Wednesday and took in the Scottish Studies Foundation meeting. Looks like there is a chance that this years Tartan Day Dinner may be at the CN Tower.

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 


As we told you last week, we’ve been busy preparing for our own Burns Supper for next Friday’s Burns Night. We’ve been making videos on how to get ready for Burns Night, to give you all the information you need, whether you’re having a Burns party or just want to celebrate at home yourself.

We’ve been speaking to experts to find out who Robert Burns was and why it is that Scots all over the world celebrate his birth on the 25th of January each year. The Burns Supper can be a pretty daunting affair for anyone who hasn’t encountered it before, so, with the help of our experts, we’ve identified the key elements of the evening, plus a few “dos” and “don’ts” to help you along.

A Burns Supper can be as big or as small an event as you want to make it, so we hope you’ll be able to join us for ours online, wherever you are in the world.

The link below will take you to Scotland on TV’s brand new Burns Supper page, where you can find everything you need (except for the haggis itself) to get ready to celebrate.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Ian Goldie and he highlights an interesting article on...

SNP Westminster Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport, Pete Wishart MP, has welcomed the reversal of a decision by the Library of Congress, one of the world's largest libraries, to reclassify Scots authors as English. The move would have seen classic novels like "The Thirty Nine Steps" by the Scottish author John Buchan, listed as an English adventure story.

Mr Wishart said:

“I am delighted that the Library of Congress has made this decision after pressure from writers and academics in Scotland, who were right to react when this proposal was first made.

“This means the category of “Scottish writer” has been newly recognised by the Library of Congress, whose classifications set a global, standard. I welcome also the British Library supporting this decision and it will return to classifying Scottish literature as a separate category. This is another major step in recognising and celebrating the cultural differences that exist across the nations of the United Kingdom.

“Scotland’s literature over the centuries has made such a significant contribution to the world literature and continues to do so with great vitality into our modern era.

“It would have been a travesty that our capital city, Edinburgh, has been given the honour of being named a UNESCO City of Literature whilst one of the worlds largest libraries might have institutionally not recognised Scotland’s distinctive body of literature. I am thrilled that this will not the case”

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

A week today is one of the major dates in the Scottish calendar which is enjoyed by Scots, at home and in exile alike, the annual celebration of the birth of our National Bard, Robert Burns, on 25 January 1759. At countless Burns Suppers, worldwide, his life and work will be marked as ‘The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns’ is proposed by a myriad of speakers. His songs and poems will ring out as a few drams are raised in memory of the greatest Scot of all-time.

The first Burns Club was set up in Greenock in 1801, only 5 years after his untimely death, and Clubs and his work spread worldwide. A group of the Bard’s friends held their own remembrance and met in Alloway (his birthplace) in 1802 and sat down to ‘a comfortable dinner of which sheep’s head and Haggis formed an interesting part’. Haggis had. of course, been immortalised in verse by the Bard himself in 1786 during his first visit to Edinburgh.

A Burns Supper without Haggis would be a gey puir affair, so this week’s recipe for Vegetarian Haggis allows everyone to enjoy the great night in proper style.

Vegetarian Haggis

Ingredients: ½ lb flour; ½ lb breadcrumbs; 6 oz butter; 1 small onion, chopped; teacupful pinhead oatmeal; 1/2 cup cooked green lentils; 2 eggs; vegetable stock

Method: Melt butter, add to the dry ingredients and moisten with a little stock. Season with white pepper and salt to taste. Boil in a covered basin for about three hours.

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

Also Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary for 17th Jan 2008 at

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

We are now on the Mac's with MacCulloch, M'Diarmid, MacDonald, MacEachin, M'Fie, M'Gavin and MacGill

Needless to say the account of MacDonald is huge and here is how it starts...

MACDONALD, the name of a numerous and wide-spread clan, divided into several tribes, which derived its generic name from Donald, elder son of Reginald, second son of the celebrated Somerled of Argyle, king of the Isles (see THE ISLES, lord of).

The distinctive badge of this clan was the bell-heath. They formed the principal branch of the Siol-Cuinn, or race of Conn, their great founder, Somerled, being supposed by the Sennachies or Celtic Genealogists, to have been descended from an early Irish king, called Conn of the Hundred battles. Although a Norwegian extraction has been claimed for them, their own traditions invariably represent the MacDonalds as of Pictish descent, and as forming part of the great tribe of the Gall-gael, or Gaelic pirates, who in ancient times inhabited the coasts of Argyle, Arran, and Man. The latter is Mr. Skene’s opinion (History of the Highlands, vol. ii. p. 38.) The antiquity of the clan is undoubted, and one of their own name traces it back to the sixth century. Sir James MacDonald of Kintyre, in a letter addressed, in 1615, to the bishop of the Isles, declares that his race “has been tenne hundred years kyndlie Scottismen under the kings of Scotland.”

The representative and undoubted heir-male of John, eleventh earl of Ross, and last lord of the Isles, is Lord Macdonald, of the family of Sleat in Skye, descended from Hugh, the brother of Earl John and the third son of Alexander, tenth earl of Ross. A son, John, whom Hugh of Sleat had by his first wife, Fynvola, daughter of Alexander MacIan of Ardnamurchan, died without issue, but by a second wife, a lady of the clan Gunn, he had another son, Donald, called Gallach, from being fostered by his mother’s relations in Caithness. He had several other sons, and his descendants were so numerous in the 16th century that they were known as the clan Huistein, or children of Hugh. They were also called the Clandonald north, from their residence in Skye and North Uist, to distinguish them from the clan Ian Vohr of Isla and Kintyre, who were called the Clandonald south. Since the extinction of the direct line of the family of the Isles, in the middle of the 16th century, Macdonald of Sleat, now Lord Macdonald, has always been styled in Gaelic, MacDhonuill nan Eilean, or Macdonald of the Isles. (Gregory’s Highlands and Isles of Scotland, page 61.)

You can read the rest of this large 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 Premnay at

Nairn, Extent, and Boundaries—The name of this parish is said to be derived from the Gaelic. In some old registers, it is written Premanal. Its greatest extent from east to west is about 4 miles, and from north to south about 4½ miles; but its average breadth of arable land from north to south does not exceed 2 miles. It lies on the north side of Benachie, and from 25 to 29 miles north-west from Aberdeen, the county town. It is bounded on the east and north-east, by the parish of Oyne; on the north and north-west, by Insch; on the west, by Leslie; and on the south, by Keig.

Topographical Appearances. — Although the surface of this parish is cultivated, it is considerably diversified by little hills, having a few acres on the top of each covered with whins, the soil there being rocky and too poor to admit of cultivation. These hills occupy the centre of the parish, having on all sides extensive fields of arable land sloping down to their bases. In the valley between these hills and Benachie, the Gady runs from west to east, having the acclivities on both sides, well cultivated, and interspersed in some places with hedgerows, which, in summer, have a very lively and agreeable appearance. The parish church stands on the north side of the Gady, and about a mile from the east end of the parish. Opposite to the church on the south side of the Gady Tillymuick rises, a bleak, lumpish hill, of no great elevation or extent, having the lower part of the north side of it cultivated. Still farther southward, rises the mountain of Benachie, the west end of which lies within the boundaries of this parish. Although this mountain is only about 1500 feet above the level of the sea, yet, as it rises rather abruptly from its base, and as there are no other hills of much elevation in its neighbourhood, it forms a very conspicuous and rather interesting object in this district of country. From its tops or paps, of which it has several, may be seen with the naked eye, in a clear day, the German Ocean, for many miles along the eastern coast, the Moray Frith, and the Caithness hills beyond it. The Brindy hill stretches along to the westward from the foot of Benachie, cutting off a small portion of the arable land which lies on the south side of it from the rest of the parish, and forms part of the ridge of hills which separates the district of Garioch from the vale of Alford. The parish is rather destitute of growing timber, there being only three or four small plantations within it, and these of no great value. There are, however, some fine old beeches at Licklyhead, the old family seat of the estate of Premnay.

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...

Good Words for Every Day in the Year (Pages 287-288)
God's Glory in the Heavens (Pages 289-292)
Bees and Beehives (Pages 292-296)

Here is how "Bees and Beehives" starts...

The bee has been a favourite from the earliest days. In Scripture, a land flowing with milk and honey was the promised rest, toward which patriarchs looked and hoped. The bee was indigenous to Canaan. Its produce is regarded by David as the type and measurement of the sweetness of the Word of God. After His resurrection our blessed Lord ate of a honeycomb.

Some have supposed that the storing and hoarding propensities of the bee, render it an exemplar rather of avarice than Christian unworldliness. Hence it is alleged the ant is regarded by Solomon as the appropriate type of him who asks only daily bread, and takes no thought for to-morrow.

But the hoarding disposition of the bee is instructive and exemplary if viewed aright. It lays up in the present what it is to enjoy in the future; it makes the present subservient to the future; its whole present is consecrated to its whole future. The miser has neither an illustration, nor a precedent, nor an example in the bee. He devotes his whole present to a fragment of the future; or rather, he devotes a part of his present being to the service of the remaining part of the same present being, as if the bee were to work very hard in May and June, in order to live idly in July and August. He alone finds a precedent in the bee, who lays up, during his whole life in this world, riches or stores which neither moth, nor rust, nor thieves can take away. A bee's time is summer, its eternity is winter. It works in the one to sustain it in the other. So man should sow now what he desires to reap. He ought now to gather the manna that falls freely, as honey does On. every opening flower. Rich toward God is the attainment he should aim at. As the bee turns what it gathers from every variety of blossom into one substance, so should man, and so does the Christian, turn all he comes into communion with into one grand and absorbing issue. Christians ought to live on earth with their hearts in glory. The future is their destiny, and all their present life should be spent in sowing seed which will spring up a harvest in glory. Not that any works of ours either originate, elaborate, or deserve eternal joy. We are saved not by "running," yet in "running; " not by good works, but in working. Not indolence, but activity, energy, and life, are required in believers. A bee seems absorbed in its work. It has no time for play. It seems to turn aside to no object, and to tarry nowhere unnecessarily. It seems to feel the importance and the instancy of its mission, and to hasten to accomplish it.

You can read the rest of this at

You can read the other articles at 

Clan and Family Information
Added the January 2008 Clan Logan newsletter which includes an interview with myself at

Added Great Founders of Falkirk and Glasgow, Maclarens and Telfers from 1775 By John Henderson from his own Telfer Archives and the Maclaren Archives at

Poetry and Stories
Donna is doing some poems about Velma at

Read and listen to these poems by the Bard of Banff...

The Launch at

and also

Stoney at

Janice Richardson sent us in a wee article, Haggis O’ the World Unite! at

John sent in Chapter 68 of his Recounting Blessings 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...

The Death of a Prejudice
by Thomas Aird


Anent Auld Grandfather, &c.
by D. M. Moir

Here is how Anent Auld Grandfather, &c. starts...

Auld Grandfaither died when I was a growing callant, some seven or aught year auld; yet I mind him full weel; it being a curious thing how early such matters take haud of ane's memory. He was a straught, tall, auld man, with a shining bell-pow, and reverend white locks hinging down about his haffets; a Roman nose, and twa cheeks blooming through the winter of his lang age like roses, when, puir body, he was sand-blind with infirmity. In his latter days he was hardly able to crawl about alane; but used to sit resting himself on the truff seat before our door, lean-ing forit his head on his staff, and finding a kind of pleasure in feeling the beams of God's ain sun beaking on him. A blackbird, that he had tamed, hung above his head in a whand cage of my faither's making; and he had taken a pride in learning it to whistle twa or three turns of his ain favourite sang, "Ower the Water to Charlie."

I recollect as well as yesterday, that on the Sundays he wore a braid bannet with a red worsted cherry on the tap o't; and had a single-breasted coat, square in the tails, of light Gilmerton blue, with plaited white buttons, bigger than crown pieces. His waistcoat was low in the neck, and had flap pouches, wherein he kept his mull for rappee, and his tobacco box. To look at him, wi' his rig-and-fur Shetland hose pulled up ower his knees, and his big glancing buckles in his shoon, sitting at our door-cheek, clean and tidy as he was kept, was just as if one of the ancient patriarchs had been left on earth, to let succeeding survivors witness a picture of hoary and venerable eld. Puir body, mony a bit Gibraltar-rock and gingerbread did he give to me. as he would pat me on the head, and prophesy that I would be a great man yet; and sing me bits of auld sangs, about the bloody times of the Rebellion and Prince Charlie. There was nothing that I liked so well as to hear him set a-going with his auld warld stories and lilts; though my mother used sometimes to say, "Wheesht, grandfather, ye ken it's no canny to let out a word of thae things; let byganes be byganes, and forgotten." He never liked to gie trouble, so a rebuke of this kind would put a tether to his tongue for a wee; but when we were left by ourselves, I used aye to egg him on to tell me what he had come through in his far-away travels beyond the broad seas; and of the famous battles he had seen and shed his precious blood in; for his pinkie was hacked off by a dragoon of Cornel Gardiner's down by at Prestonpans, and he had catched a bullet with his ankle over in the north at Culloden. So it was no wonder that he liked to crack about these times, though they had brought him muckle and no little mischief, having obliged him to skulk like another Cain among the Highland hills and heather, for many a long month and day, homeless and hungry. Not dauring to be seen in his own country, where his head would have been chacked off like a sybo, he took leg-bail in a ship, over the sea, among the Dutch folk; where he followed out his lawful trade of a cooper, making girrs for the herring barrels, and so on; and sending, when he could find time and opportunity, such savings from his wages as he could afford, for the maintenance of his wife and small family of three helpless weans, that he had been obliged to leave, dowie and destitute at their native home of pleasant Dalkeith.

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
Have now started on volume 3 of this 4 volume set and have added this week...

IX. Glamorgan and the Great Seal
X. The Battle of Benburb
XI. O'Neill and his Ulstermen in Leinster
XII. Defeat of the Royalists

This is how "Defeat of the Royalists" starts...

Colonel George Monck, whose name sprang into prominence at this period, arrived in Ireland on the 9th of March, 1647, in the train of Lord Lisle, who had been appointed Lord -Lieutenant by the Parliament. Lisle found himself unable to cope with the opposition with which he was met, and returned almost immediately to England, taking Monck with him. Monck, however, returned in a short time, having been appointed commander of all forces, both English and Scottish, in Ulster, those commanded by Sir Charles Coote, Governor of Londonderry, alone excepted.

Money becoming scarce, the relations between O'Neill and Rinuccini became strained. The Nuncio's influence waned when there was no longer cash to support it, and Owen Roe's applications for coin with which to pay his men were met with maledictions. Not satisfied with these, Rinuccini now wished to repudiate his having had any share in robberies and murders done "under cover of religion" by Ulster soldiers, "barbarous enough by nature, although good Catholics". O'Neill, according to the Nuncio, was now the devil incarnate. "If I had not sent my confessor to dissuade him from so unjust a resolution," declared Rinuccini, "Kilkenny would have been sacked and much innocent blood shed." The "Catholic Army of Ulster" was now anathema to its former paymaster, who became as fierce in his denunciations of it as he had formerly been prodigal of his praise. The people who had recognized the prelate's patronage of the Ulster army continued to identify the Nuncio with O'Neill's followers; and when, complained Rinuccini, they "perform any act of cruelty or robbery, the sufferers execrate His Holiness and me, and curse the clergy, whom they consider the patrons of this army". Mountgarret being one of the sufferers, he directed a crowd of women to the Nuncio's house as the residence of the chief cause of the trouble, whereupon "they made a dreadful uproar with howls and lamentations, thus giving it to be understood that I countenanced the cruelties perpetrated by the Ulster men".

An event which contributed greatly to weaken the power of the Confederates was the severe defeat of Lord Taaffe (formerly an adherent of Ormonde, but who after his departure had taken the oath of Confederacy) by Murrough O'Brien, Baron Inchiquin, at Knocknanuss on the 13th of November, 1647, when Taaffe lost nearly 6000 men, more than half his army, and Inchiquin only about 150 men. The General Assembly of the Confederates, which met at Kilkenny on the day before this disaster, had already begun to show signs of weakness. In 1646 there had been seventy- three representatives from Ulster; on this occasion, "from poverty or some other cause", there were but nine. Among the orders made under a new constitution inaugurated at this meeting was one for the regulation of the creaghts, a body of nomadic herdsmen of whom O'Neill's army was chiefly composed, to whom law and order were words without meaning. The Nuncio now made a last desperate attempt to dominate the assembly. He asked that, as the war had hindered the province of Ulster from sending its complement of seventy-three representatives to the meeting, the nine members present might be allowed, not alone to vote on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the absent representatives of Ulster. The opposition proved to be sufficiently strong to be able to reject this proposal, for "the lord nuncio's excommunications had now by his often thundering of them, grown more cheap", and had little or no effect save on the rude and ignorant followers of the rival generals. Being friendless, the Nuncio, on the 7th of May, 1648, returned to O'Neill, who was encamped at Killminch in Queen's County. The northern chieftain now received more money, the Nuncio having sent Dean Massari to Rome for financial assistance. With the aid of this he augmented his forces as quickly as possible, and thus was able to be independent of the Council, who, on learning that he had sided with Rinuccini, revoked his commission as general of Ulster.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The previous 2 volumes can be read at 

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

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

Chapter XLV.
The Patron Saint
Chapter XLVI.
Two Notable Balquhidder Ministers
Chapter XLVII.
Balquhidder in 1857-60
Chapter XLVIII.
Chapter XLIX.
Conditions of Parish and People
Chapter L.
Another Remove
Chapter LI.
Off to England

Here is how the chapter on "Conditions of Parish and People" starts...

IN 1857 the nearest railway station was at Dunblane, but the line from Dunblane to Callander was in course of construction, and when opened it brought railway communication as near as ten miles to Balquhidder Church. As long as the railway stayed at Callander, the summer visitors to Balquhidder might still think themselves far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, in a purely romantic Highland district. But even before the passes of Leny and Glenogle were forced, profaned, and vulgarised by the Callander and Oban railway, the old was slowly giving place to the new. The occupancy of the land did not much differ from what it had been a hundred years before. There were large grazing farms, with little arable land or none at all worth speaking of, which took up a big portion of the area of the parish, moderate-sized, well-managed, and diligently cultivated farms in the occupancy of good tenants, crofts, and Strathyre village feus. As the old spinning industry no longer brought in a revenue, the smaller crofters had to be craftsmen or labourers to make ends meet, and had to send their children out to service. There was not much pauperism among them as long as they were blessed with health and found work to do. Before the coming of the railway, which caused renovation and the building of better houses for the accommodation of summer visitors, Strathyre village was a row of stoutly-built and slated peasant feu houses, with a good space of land attached to each, which might have been but, except in a few cases, were not made into excellent gardens. Over all the Highlands gardening was shamefully neglected, as it yet is in so many places. Ownership of the feu properties often changed, but there were some who held on for three generations. Selling out took place when owners died, and what they left had to be divided among children or relatives. The resident feuars of my time were a respectable class of industrious men and women who had small independent means or were supported by wealthier friends. The village had two inns, and thereby got the nickname of Nineveh, by which it was known to drivers and drovers from Falkirk to Skye, and which its inhabitants deeply resented. They said the name was given it long ago by a traveller, who, when bound to hasten elsewhere, lost himself there for three days, not preaching repentance, but getting drunk, sleeping, and getting drunk again. Whatever abuse of drinking facilities existed was mainly due to way-goers and the tenants and lodgers of non-resident feuars. Resident feuars and the people of the neighbourhood were far from being habitual drinkers or frequenters of the two inns. The other two licensed places in the parish were the hotel at Lochearnhead and the Kingshouse half-way between it and Strathyre village, which owed its name and existence to General Wade's road-making, as did Kingshouse in the Black Mount, and several other places of public entertainment. The Highlands had still to be thoroughly penetrated by railways, and years after that had to elapse before railway transport and sales in central towns interfered with local fairs and cleared the roads and passes of the droves and herds driven southward to Falkirk trysts.

The rest of this chapter can be read at

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 week we've added...

F, Characteristic Anecdotes
G, Sketch of the Life and Character of Rob Roy
H, John Dhu Cameron, or Sergeant Mor
I, Highland Armour
K, Bows and Arrows
L, Highland Garb
M, Highland Weddings

Here is the Appendix entry for "Highland Weddings"...

The weddings were the delight of all ages. Persons from ten years of age to four score attended them. Some weeks previous to the marriage-day, the bride and bridegroom went round their respective friends, to the distance of many miles, for the purpose of inviting them to the wedding. To repay this courtesy, the matrons of the invited families returned the visit within a few days, always well supplied with presents of beef, bams, butter, cheese, spirits, malt, and whatever they thought necessary for the ensuing feast. These, with what the guests paid for their entertainment, and the gifts presented the day after the marriage, were often so considerable, as to contribute much to the future settlement of the young couple. On the wedding-morning, the bridegroom, escorted by a party of friends, and preceded by pipers, commenced a round of morning calls, to remind their invited friends of their engagements. This circuit sometimes occupied several hours, and as many joined the party, it might perhaps be increased to some hundreds, when they returned to the bridegroom's house. The bride went a similar round among her friends. The bridegroom gave a dinner to his friends, and the bride to hers. During the whole day, the fiddlers and pipers were in constant employment. The fiddlers played to the dancers in the house, and the pipers to those in the field.

[Playing the bagpipes within doors is a Lowland and English custom. In the Highlands the piper is always in the open air; and when people wish to dance to his music, it is on the green, if the weather permits; nothing but necessity makes them attempt a pipe dance in the house. The bagpipe was a field instrument intended to call the clans to arms, and animate them in battle, and was no more intended for a house, than a round of six-pounders. A broadside from a first rate, or a round from a battery, has a sublime and impressive effect at a proper distance. In the same manner, the sound of the bagpipe, softened by distance, had an inde-scribable effect on the minds and actions of the Highlanders. But as few would choose to be under the muzzle of the guns of a ship of the line or of a battery when in full play, so I have seldom seen a Highlander, whose ears were not grated when close to pipes, however much his breast might be warmed, and his feelings roused, by the sounds to which he had been accustomed in his youth, when proceeding from the proper distance.]

The ceremony was generally performed after dinner. Sometimes the clergyman attended, sometimes they waited on him : the latter was preferred, as the walk to his house with such a numerous attendance added to the eclat of the day. On these occasions the young men supplied themselves with guns and pistols, with which they kept up a constant firing. This was answered from every hamlet as they passed along, so that, with streamers flying, pipers playing, the constant firing from all sides, and the shouts of the young men, the whole had the appearance of a military array passing, with all the noise of warfare, through a hostile country. The young couple never met on the wedding-day till they came before the clergyman, when the marriage rites were performed, with a number of ceremonies too minute to particularize. One of these was to untie all the strings and bindings on the person of the bridegroom; nothing to be bound on that occasion, but the one indissoluble knot, which death only could dissolve. The bride was not included in this injunction. She was supposed to be so pure and true, that infidelity on her part was not contemplated. Such were the peculiar notions and delicacy of thinking among a people esteemed rude and uncultivated.

You can read the other chapters at 

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
This week have added another substantial article about The Agriculture of the County of Stirling and here is how it starts...

The county of Stirling is bounded on the north by Perthshire, and by the river and Firth of Forth. The parishes of Logie and Lecropt are north of the Forth, and the parish of Alva is a detached portion of Perthshire. On the east side the county is bounded by the Firth of Forth and the county of Linlithgow, on the south by the counties of Lanark and Dumbarton, and on the west by Dumbartonshire and Loch Lomond. The greatest length of the county from east to west is 36 miles ; but following the curvature of its outline from Linlithgow bridge to the neighbourhood of Inversnaid, Loch Lomond, in the west, it is 45 miles. The greatest width is about 18 miles; but in the west it is less than 5, and the average width of the county is about 10 miles. The area of the county as given in the Return of Owners of Lands and Heritages in Scotland, 1872-3, is 284,751 acres, and its gross annual rental was then computed at £521,406, 11s. From the same record it appears that, in the county, there were 848 owners of land of one acre and upwards, who were estimated to possess 283,468 acres, at a rental of £413,190, 2s., being a little over £1, 9s. per acre; and 3409 owners of less than one acre, who owned 1283 acres, at a rental of £108,216, 9s., being upwards of £84 an acre. The most extensive proprietor is the Duke of Montrose, who is entered as owner of 68,878 acres, with a rental of £15,706 a year, or less than 4s. 7d. an acre. In the eastern part of the county, Mr Forbes of Callendar has 13,041 acres, at a rental of £12,795, 16s., or fully 19s. 8d. an acre, besides £3419, 10s. for minerals; the Earl of Dunmore, 4620 acres, rented at £8072, 10s., or nearly £1, 19s. an acre, and £850 for minerals; the Earl of Zetland, 4656 acres, at £9552, or upwards of £2, 1s. per acre, and £4255 for minerals. In the county there are twenty-six parishes, and the population in 1881 was 112,798, an increase of 14,580 in ten years.

In the agricultural returns for 1882 issued by the Board of Trade, the total area of the county is stated to be 295,285 acres. The total acreage under crops, bare fallow, and grass was 114,543 acres. Under corn crops there were 31,450 acres, of which there were 2786 acres wheat, 4846 barley and bere, oats 20,345, rye 70, beans 3389, and peas 8 acres. Under green crops there were 9174 acres, of which 4066 were under potatoes, 4589 turnips and swedes, 16 mangold, 15 carrots, 81 cabbage, kohl-rabi, and rape, and 407 vetches and other green crops, except clover or grass. Of clover, sanfoin, and grasses under rotation, there were 25,220 acres; permanent pasture or grass not broken up in rotation (exclusive of heath or mountain land), 46,679 acres; flax, 64; and bare fallow or uncropped arable land 1956 acres. Of horses, including ponies, as returned by occupiers of land, there were 4862, of which 3301 were returned as used solely for purposes of agriculture, &c, and 1561 were unbroken horses and mares kept solely for breeding. There were 28,991 cattle, of which 10,081 were cows or heifers in milk or in calf; and of other cattle there were 9106 two years old and above, while 9804 were under two years of age. Of sheep there were 111,658, of which 71,667 were one year old or upwards, and 39,991 were less than one year old. There were 2162 pigs.

The capital of the county is the royal burgh of Stirling. The landward part of the parish does not cover more than 200 acres; but within the parliamentary boundaries are included parts of Logie and St Ninians; and the small village called the Abbey, which occupies the place where once stood the abbey of Cambuskenneth, belongs to the burgh, though it is situated in a northern link of the Forth, in the county of Clackmannan. The population within the parliamentary boundaries was 16,010 in 1881. Stirling unites with Culross, Dunfermline, Queensferry, and Inverkeithing in electing a member of Parliament, and the present representative is Mr H. Campbell Bannerman. The town is of considerable antiquity. Buchanan mentions it frequently as existing in the ninth century, but gives no description of the place. The earliest known burgh record is a charter dated the 18th of August 1120, given at Kincardine by King Alexander I., but that only confers some additional privileges on the burghers and freemen, and is not a charter of erection, as the burgh had existed long before. With Edinburgh, Berwick, and Roxburgh it formed " the court of the four burghs," an institution found in existence at the dawn of our national history, and from which is supposed to have emanated a collection of the laws of the burghs in the time of David I. In 1368, when Berwick and Roxburgh had come into possession of the English, Lanark and Linlithgow were substituted for them. This burgher parliament made laws and regulations for trade, and for the management of burghal affairs. In 1454 it was fixed by royal charter that Edinburgh be the place of meeting. The four burghs summoned others to their council, and thus arose the Convention of Royal Burghs, which, though now somewhat antiquated, was a most useful institution in its day.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other articles can be read at

Household Encyclopaedia
I have added a few more pages to the B's which you can see at

The index page of this publication can be seen at 

Frank Shaw Articles
Frank has sent us in two articles this week...

The Gastronomic World of Sir Walter Scott which starts...

Sir Walter Scott, one of the most prolific beloved writers of all time, author of many notable novels and narrative poems, was also a social historian who had a keen interest in Scotland’s food and gastronomic traditions. Early in the 19th century, there was a notable renaissance in Edinburgh and the Lowlands of old Scots’ dishes and dining customs that were looked upon with new respect, and “The Whole World’s Darling” did a great deal to foster and promote the revival of Scottish self-awareness and make people proud once again to be Scots. It has been said that if ever a man was a publicity agent for Scotland, it was Scott.

You can read this at

The second article is...

A Trip to Paris and London in Search of Benjamin Franklin which starts...

One of the great pleasures of being a bibliophile, or lover of books, is discovering a rare but enjoyable one written long ago. This particular book, Benjamin Franklin in Scotland and Ireland, 1759 and 1771, was written by J. Bennett Nolan in 1938, the year of my birth, and has a special attraction to me. You see, I never knew of Benjamin Franklin’s two tours of Scotland nor of his love of our auld country and its people. Ben had many Scottish friends in Philadelphia, and he actually “assisted in the outing of the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia and joined in singing ‘The Bonnie Braes of Balwither’.” And it is recorded that he attended the Burns Night Supper at the St. Andrews Society there in 1762.

It ends...

As a final quote regarding Scotland, Franklin paid the country one of its greatest tributes in a letter to Lord Kames, “If strong connections did not draw me elsewhere, Scotland would be the country I would choose in which to spend the remainder of my days.” (FRS: 1.16.08)

You can read this at

Scottish Art Trading Cards
Margo has done some Scottish Art Trading Cards which you can print out on 2.5" x 3.5" cards and build them into a collection. These are great for kids and also anyone interested in collecting cards. We have the first 10 up at

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


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