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Weekly Mailing List Archives
8th February 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
Grower Flowers
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Early Scotch History
Book of Scottish Story
Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site (New)
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Clan Information
Poetry and Stories
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
Scottish Art Trading Cards
Electric Scotland Article Service (New)
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format (New)
Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt. obitury

Got in an email....

I wonder if it would be possible to call on you and your readers for some help in locating a poem that a great uncle of mine used to narrate. All I remember is the title - and even that is sketchy!! The poem I think is called Rabbie Duke At The Bools (Robert Duke At The Bowling). I know it isn't much to go on, but hopefully some of your readers might have heard this and will be able to help with the actual poem.

So if you can help please send an email to Ann at and do copy me into it if you do and I can include it on the site :-)

Been a bit swamped this week with lots going on.

We've launched a new section under our Books menu where we offer a new link "Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format" for which see more below.

Also added the "Electric Scotland Article Service" again for which see more below.

I am also working on a new Recipe program and while I have it configured I need to work on the various categories, courses, dish types and ingredients. And having done that I will then need to get at least some recipes up to get you started. This means it will likely be a few weeks before it is launched. Mind you if any of you out there have a collection of recipes you'd like to share I'd be happy to give you early access so you can input them for us :-)

On top of that we're also working on the Scotgames site and hope to be bringing you some new games to play soon. We're currently working on the programs as for some reason this site was flagged as a "System Directory" and thus I wasn't able to access it. This has meant Steve having to in effect delete all the programs and then reinstall them so is taking a wee bit of time.

Got some emails in over the last few weeks asking where the Baronial Home and the Electric Scotland Clan characters have gone. You can find these at

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.

Grower Flowers [Advert]
Grower Flowers grow their own flowers in both Canada and the USA and offer a next day delivery service and a FREE vase. As Valentine's Day is approaching you might wish to check out their offerings at

They have a huge range of gift baskets for all occasions including special Valentine's baskets and so if you're too busy to do personal shopping for that special occasion then Grower Flowers is an excellent resource.

Electric Scotland has been working with Grower Flowers for over 3 years now and we've had many emails from our visitors saying how pleased they were with the service.

Scotland on TV
Visit their site at 

The Willow Tearooms in Glasgow

Located on Sauchiehall Street right in the heart of Glasgow city centre, the Willow Tearooms - a Glasgow institution - opened for business in October 1903. As the temperance movement grew in popularity in the city, a local businesswoman named Kate Cranston opened four tearooms for people to socialise without the temptation of alcohol. Local designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh was engaged by Miss Cranston to design all four of her tearooms, which he did in his own distinctive style.

The Willow Tearooms were incorporated into a department store in 1928, but a number of the tearooms were faithfully restored to their former glory and were reopened in 1983.

Scotland on TV visited the Willow Tearooms this week to take high tea and have a look around. The current owner, Anne Mulhern revealed how this venerable institution came into being. Commercial Manager, Margaret Daly details Miss Cranston's continuing legacy and her forward-thinking business sense in commissioning world-renowned architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh to design both the interior and exterior of this remarkable building. And manager, Joanne Murray dispels the myth that it's just a venue for 'ladies who lunch'.

Just click here to watch the video:

This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch and he is showing his pleasure at the first Scottish budget passing in Parliament. Also lots of words on the problems of labour leader Wendy Alexander and lots more to read.

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

This week sees two notable anniversaries – one sad, one happy. The sad event took place on 13 February 1692 when government troops, under orders from King William carried out the notorious Massacre of Glencoe, the attempted ethnic cleansing of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. Thanks to a snowstorm, although 38 died, the majority of the clan escaped the government swords, and the Glencoe MacDonalds were able to supply a healthy number of blades on the Jacobite side in both the 1715 and 1745 Risings.

The second date is, of course, far happier and is engraved on the hearts and minds of romantics world-wide, St Valentines Day on 14 February. Scotland is in a position to claim a close affinity to the Saint as his remains lie in a Glasgow church – the Church of Blessed John Duns Scotia in the Gorbals. But note, the notorious ‘Glasgow Kiss’ has, of course, nothing to do with either the saint or romance, indeed quite the opposite!

Scotland’s most romantic poet, Robert Burns, wrote of St valentine’s Day in his poem ‘Tam Glen’ –

“Yestreen at the valentines’ dealing
My heart to my mou’ gied a sten’;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written – Tam Glen!”

And our most famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, wrote of St Valentine’s Day in ‘The Fair Maid of Perth’ –

“Tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day, when every bird chooses her mate. I will plague you no longer now, providing you will let me see from your window tomorrow when the sun first peeps over the eastern hill, and give me right to be your Valentine for the year.”

A romantic time of year as reflected by romantic writers surely requires a romantic recipe – love and chocolate traditionally go together so why not treat your Valentine to some delicious handmade Chocolate Truffles.

Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients: 4oz plain chocolate; 4floz milk; 4oz icing sugar; 3tbsp evaporated milk; 1tsp vanilla essence

Method: Melt chocolate and add other ingredients. Leave to cool and firm (1/2 hour) and then form into small balls.

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 7th Feb 2008 at

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

We are now on the Mac's with MacKnight, MacLachlan and MacLaurin

Here we find an interesting article on MacKnight...

MACKNIGHT, JAMES, D.D., a learned biblical critic, the son of the Rev. William Macknight, minister of Irvine in Ayrshire, was born September 17, 1721. He received his academical education at the university of Glasgow, and afterwards studied theology at Leyden. On his return to Scotland he was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Irvine, and after officiating for some time at the Gorbals, in Glasgow, he acted as assistant at Kilwinning. In May 1753 he was ordained minister of Maybole in his native county. In 1756 he published a ‘Harmony of the Gospels,’ which met with such a favourable reception, that he was induced in 1763 to bring out a second edition, with considerable improvements and additions. The same year he produced his ‘Truth of the Gospel History,’ which still farther advanced his reputation as a theologian. From the university of Edinburgh he received the degree of D.D., and he was in 1769 chosen moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. During the same year he was translated to the parochial charge of Jedburgh, and in 1772 he became minister, first of Lady Yester’s, Edinburgh, and in 1778 of the Old church in that city, where he had for his colleague Dr. Henry the historian. For upwards of thirty years he was engaged in the preparation of his last and most important work, ‘The New Literal Translation from the Greek of all the Apostolical Epistles, with Commentaries and Notes, which was published in 1795, in 4 vols. quarto. He died January 13, 1800. – His works are:

Harmony of the Four Gospels, in which the natural order of each is preserved; with a Paraphrase and Notes. Lond. 1756, 2 vols, in one, 4to. 2d edit.; with six Discourses on Jewish Antiquities. Lond. 1763, 4to. 3d edit. Edin. 1804, 2 vols. 8vo. This has long been regarded as a standard book among Divines. It was translated into Latin, by Professor Ruckersfelder, and published at Bremen and Deventer. 1772, 3 vols. 8vo.

The Truth of the Gospel History shewn, in three books. London, 1763, 4to.

The Translation of the First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians: with a commentary and Notes. London, 1787, 4to.

A new Literal Translation, from the original Greek, of all the Apostolic Epistles; with a Commentary and Notes, Philological, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical. To which is added, A History of the Life of the Apostle Paul. Edin., 1795, 4 vols. 4to. 2d edit.; with the Greek Text, and an account of the Life of the Author. 1807, 6 vols. 8vo. Also without the Greek Text. 3 vols. 4to. and 4 vols, 8vo. This is a work of theological diligence, learning and piety not often paralleled.

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 Culsalmond at

There is considerable account of antiquities and here are a few to read here...

Heritors.—Of these there are five; Gordon of Newton; Fraser of Williamston; Leith Lumsden, of Tullymorgan; Gammel of Sheelagreen; and Leith of Cairnhill. The valued rent of the parish is L.2100 Scots, the real rent supposed to be upwards of L.4000 Sterling. In 1790, it was rated at L.1150.

Antiquities.—There is, in this parish, part of an ancient highway. It crosses the hill of Culsamond, near its top, from the north-west, and had formerly been the road which people took when travelling on their way to St Lawrence Fair, at Old Rayne, It still retains the name of the Lawrence Road, and is, to all appearance, nearly in the same state in which it had originally been, many hundred years ago. In times long since past, when the woods were haunted by ferocious wild beasts, and the valleys overrun with rivers and swamps, it was dangerous to travel in low-lying grounds. Hence, the most ancient roads traversed the tops of the hills, and, from this circumstance, were properly termed highways. There appear to have been at least three sacred fountains in this parish; St Mary's Well, on the farm of Colpie; St Michael's, at Gateside; and another, at the foot of the Culsamond Bank, a little west of the Lady's Causeway. On the first Sunday of May, multitudes resorted to them from distant parts, in the full faith that, by washing in the stream, and leaving presents to the saints, as their heathen ancestors did to the spirit presiding over the well, they would be cured of all loathsome or otherwise incurable diseases. Pieces of money were always, accordingly, left in the wells, corresponding to the ability of the diseased person. In digging a drain, at the foot of the bank, some years ago, when the workman struck his pick into the bottom of the well which had been there, a large quantity of water sprung up into the atmosphere, in which he observed a shining substance, which proved to be a gold piece of James I. of Scotland, in as good preservation as when it came from the mint. It is now in the Freefield Cabinet.
The standing-stone in the woods of Newton, near Pitmachie, has an inscription upon it, supposed to be in Runic characters, Some drawings of it have been published in the Monthly Magazine, and also by Pinkerton, but they are far from being accurate. There is another standing-stone, near the house of Newton, with figures upon it.

Several arrow heads and axes have been found in this parish and neighbourhood. In one of the cairns on the farm of Moss-side, in this parish, was found a large stone-axe, which is now in the possession of Sir A. Leith of Freefield. These axes were of different sizes, and made of different kinds of stone. A small one of flint was found in the parish of Insch about 1827, and is now in the Freefield cabinet. The finest were of flint. They were used by our Celtic ancestors, in ages long prior to the Roman invasion, as battle-axes, spears, or tools for domestic purposes. The largest were generally made of coarse, but very hard, grey stone, for home use. The smallest were manufactured from the finest flint, and used as warlike instruments, and in different ways. Druidical Temples.—Two of these were on the farm of Colpie, although now almost obliterated. Several urns were dug up in making a road near one of them.

A Druidical place of worship anciently stood on the spot which is now the church-yard or burying-ground, and about the middle of it. It consisted of a circle of twelve upright large granite stones from Benochee, which were overturned when the first Christian temple was erected. One of these stones was taken out of the ground in 1821, and now remains above ground, near the spot from which it was dug up. The other eleven are still under ground. This is a proof that the first Christian missionaries, in this country, erected their places of worship as near as possible to the holy hills of the heathens, that the people might be more easily persuaded to assemble there. In digging out the foundation stones of an ancient but small building, to which the last kirk of Culsamond had been attached, there were found below them, side by side, and at right angles with the wall, the skeletons of two men in perfect preservation. This happened in the year 1821, when the new kirk-yard dikes were building.

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 

Early Scotch History
By Cosmo Innis and our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning this in for us.

This week Alan has sent in the account of Aberdeen University. This account includes information on...

Circumstances of the district—Early schools of Aberdeen— Scarcity of books — University founded 1494 — Bishop Elphinstone; the Events of his Life and his Character—Hector Boece, the first Principal—William Hay—Vaus—First Scotch printing—The Reformation—Conference on Doctrine —Purging of the University—Wandering Scotch scholars— Barclay, Florence Wilson, John Cameron, etc.— Principal Arbuthnot—The new foundation—The University in the seventeenth century—Bishop Patrick Forbes—The Aberdeen Doctors—-Cultivation spreading in Aberdeen—Secular learning—Gordon of Straloch—The Johnstons and the Poets— Raban's Printing-press—Aberdeen Academic prints and their dates— Universitas Carolina—Rowe, Principal—Collegiate Life—Changes of Life, and of Teaching—General University Court of Scotland—The College fabric—Benefactions— Mace; Seal; Bells; Spoons; Plate—Number of Students — Some degrees abolished—Reforms suggested—Union of the Universities of Aberdeen.

You can read the .pdf file at

Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this is for us.

This week have added "Traditions of the Old Tolbooth of Edinburgh" by Robert Chambers.

Here is how this story starts...

Whosoever is fortunate enough to have seen Edinburgh previous to the year 1817—when as yet the greater part of its pristine character was entire, and before the stupendous grandeur, and dense old-fashioned substantiality, which originally distinguished it, had been swept away by the united efforts of fire and foolery—must remember the Old Tolbooth. At the north-west corner of St Giles's Church, and almost in the very centre of a crowded street, stood this tall, narrow, antique, and gloomy-looking pile, with its black stancheoned windows opening through its dingy walls, like the apertures of a I hearse, and having its western gable penetrated by sundry suspicious-looking holes, which occasionally served—horresco referens—for the projection of the gallows. The fabric was four stories high, and might occupy an area of fifty feet by thirty. At the west end there was a low projection of little more than one story, surmounted by a railed platform, which served for executions. This, as well as other parts of the building, contained shops.

On the north side, there remained the marks of what had once been a sort of bridge communicating between the Tolbooth and the houses immediately opposite. This part of the building got the name of the "Purses," on account of its having been the place where, in former times, on the King's birth-day, the magistrates delivered donations of as many pence as the King was years old to the same number of beggars or "blue-gowns." There was a very dark room on this side, which was latterly used as a guard-house by the right venerable military police of Edinburgh, but which had formerly been the fashionable silk-shop of the father of the celebrated Francis Horner. At the east end there was nothing remarkable, except an iron box, attached to the wall, for the reception of small donations in behalf of the poor prisoners, over which was a painted board, containing some quotations from Scripture. In the lower flat of the south and sunny side, besides a shop, there was a den for the accommodation of the outer door-keeper, and where it was necessary to apply when admission was required, and the old gray-haired man was not found at the, door. The main door was at the bottom of the great turret or turnpike stair, which projected from the south-east corner. It was a small but very strong door, full of large headed nails, and having an enormous lock, with a flap to conceal the keyhole, which could itself be locked, but was generally left open.

The rest of this story can be read at

The rest of the stories can be read at

Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
I'm very much in support of this project that is trying to preserve the farm as a living historical demonstration of how the ordinary settlers came into the country and started to clear the woods and create farms. They would love to have your support for this project and emails to them showing support would be great and of course if you can make any donations even better :-)

Here is how the account starts...


If you walk the Bruce Trail near Georgetown and go to trail 13, you will be walking on the land of the Fallbrook Farm, until 1943 known as the McKay farm or Uncle Sandy’s place. It is an idyllic setting renowned for its natural beauty and the fact that the original pioneer log cabin stills stands in mint condition, hidden discretely by wooden siding until 1999. It looked exactly like you see in this picture. But, tragically, the original barn was torn down and since 2001, the home has been abandoned after 150 years of sheltering the farm families who cleared and developed that inhospitable land, first settled in the 1850's. The SilverCreek area, bordering on the Niagara Escarpment was not well suited to profitable farming. The toil and struggles of the Scottish immigrants, many crofters expelled from their homeland, who opened this region has never been told or even recognised as historically significant. The battle for Fallbrook is not only a quest to resurrect the homestead as a living teaching museum but also as a memorial to these farm families, of whom we are the descendants. The heritage site consists of the homestead, an icehouse, classical highlander stone walls and an arch bridge over SilverCreek and finally Providence cemetery on William McKay’s land where Donald, his wife and son William are buried.

You can see a full article on this site 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...

A Summer's Study of Ferns (Pages 321-322)

Here is how it starts...

A long holiday was before me, which I was going to spend in various visits among friends and relatives residing in different parts of England. I was very anxious to gain some improvement during this "play-time," something that in future periods of sickness or weariness might be a resource to me, but in what direction I should seek this advantage I found it difficult to decide. As the railway train sped onward, bearing me far from the great capital, I continued to revolve various plans in my mind, but I reached my journey's end, a sequestered domicile in one of the most remote of the Yorkshire dales, before coming to a decision. The long drive in the dark from the railway terminus had left me in total ignorance of the sort of country I was visiting; so it was with eager impatience that I drew up my blind on first awaking in the morning. The window commanded a view of a wide valley, the prevailing feature of which was far-spreading moors. On the hill-sides were deep clefts, where noisy brooks foamed down, and nourished birch-woods along their banks. Three villages and two churches were visible on the left, while on the right the valley became more narrow and the country more wild. The river Swale wound serpent-like along the dale, and the morning sun turned its waters to gold. I stood for a time in a trance of delight, rejoicing in the beauty that surrounded me; and then I hastened to perform my toilet, that I might go forth and taste the freshness of the morning. As I sat at breakfast with my cousin, his wife, and their daughter Esther, I mentioned my immature plan, in which my young cousin expressed great interest.

"Take up the study of ferns," she said; "I want to do so. I have got a book about them, and I want to understand them from the very beginning. There are numbers of them in our woods and pastures, and it is a perfect waste of objects of interest to neglect them."

"Be it so," I replied; "get your book, and we will hie away to the woods."

You can read the rest of this at

You can read the other articles at 

Clan Information
Added a page for Clan MacKay of Germany at

The MacIntyre Gathering in 2008 is gathering pace with over 300 having placed their deposits for the event. You can read more about this at

Poetry and Stories
Donna sent in an article, International Club, at

Got in a poem, Robert The Bruce, By George Ray Houston at

Got in an article, Supermarket Kilts Sell Out in a Day, at

Got in information about Robert Burns' granddaughter and her burial place at Guelph at

John sent in a doggerel, Alane Nae Mair?, at

Donna sent in an article, Mrs. Frazel and the Principal, at

The History of Ulster
Have now completed volume 3 of this 4 volume set and have added this week...

XXIV. Tyrconnell, Lord of Misrule
XXV. Londonderry and Enniskillen Revolt
XXVI. The Brave Inniskillings
XXVII. King James in Ulster
XXVIII. The Siege of Londonderry
XXIX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)
XXX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)

This is how "The Siege of Londonderry" starts...

Londonderry invested - Commanders of the Various Jacobite Regiments - Disposition of the Jacobite Forces - Divided Counsels - Arrival of Captain Adam Murray - He supports the Citizens - Lundy and the Council defeated - Lundy deposed and Baker elected Governor - Rev. George Walker, Assistant Governor - James and his Army greeted with Cannon-balls - He leaves for Dublin - Surrender of Culmore Fort and Castlederg - First Sally from the City - Maumont killed - The Jacobites lose 200 Men and some Officers - Murray rescued by Walker.

Londonderry was now surrounded, except on the water side, by horse and foot, which presented a most formidable appearance to a garrison to whom warfare was unfamiliar, and who were distracted by fierce faction fights within the city walls. The Council, led by Lundy, signed an offer of surrender and entrusted it to Captain White for delivery to General Hamilton, instructing him at the same time to stipulate that the besieging army should not, until its conditions were fulfilled, advance within four miles of the city. Rosen had, in the meantime, distributed his forces in such a way as to invest the city from the river under Ballougry to the shore at Culmore.

The commanders of the various regiments included Colonel Richard Hamilton; Lord Galmoy, at the head of a troop of guards; Sir Michael Creagh, Lord Mayor of Dublin and paymaster of the Jacobite army, who held the rank of Colonel of the 33rd regiment of foot; Donough, Earl of Clancarty, Colonel of the 4th regiment of foot, who on James's arrival in Ireland received and entertained him, and was made a lord of the bedchamber; Jenico Preston, Lord Gormanston, premier Viscount of Ireland, Colonel of the 9th regiment of foot; Sir Maurice Eustace (son of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland), Colonel of the iQth regiment of foot; Edward Butler, related to Viscounts Ikerrin and Mountgarret, and to Lord Dunboyne and other Butlers of the Barrow, Colonel of the 27th regiment of foot; Charles Cavanagh of Wicklow, Colonel of the i6th regiment of horse; Ramsay, Colonel of a Scottish regiment which bore his name and which had served with distinction in Holland; Nicholas Fitzgerald, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 12th regiment of foot, of which Lord Bellew was Colonel; Dudney Bagnal, Colonel of the 30th regiment of foot; and Lord Slane.

According to a map of Londonderry, drawn at |the time of the siege by Captain Francis Neville, the order in which the troops of the Jacobite army were stationed was as follows: Lord Galmoy's horse and Sir Michael Creagh's regiment of foot extended from Ballougry hill to the water; then came the regiments commanded by Colonels Barrington, Butler, Ramsay, Lord Slane, Hamilton, and Gormanston. Sir Maurice Eustace and his regiment had charge of the magazine, between Hamilton's quarters and a mill a little to the north of the Bishop's demesne. The Bishop himself had left the scene of battle and was now officiating in a chapel in London.

In Hamilton's front was a strong post, and between it and Pennyburn mill were Cavanagh and his regiment. Butler's was encamped near Charles-fort, and round to the bank of the river, and on the opposite side a little lower down, was a regiment of dragoons under the command of Sir Neill O'Neill. Lord Clancarty and his men occupied a position on the road to Greencastle, about half-way between Charles-fort and an old chapel on the rising ground above Culmore; and between this chapel and the river Fitzgerald's and Bagnal's regiments shut out all communication by land between Culmore and the city. The fort had a mound of sod-work for its protection on the land side, and the batteries on the side towards the water were very formidable to vessels coming up the river.

Londonderry at this juncture presents the strange spectacle of a city divided against itself, and it would undoubtedly have succumbed to the fate to which all so situated are destined, had not a succession of deliverers arrived to avert the catastrophe. The first to appear on the scene was Captain Adam Murray, a brave officer in command of one of the outposts of the city, who, on learning the state of affairs, advanced at the head of a strong body of horse, followed by his infantry, determined to oppose the surrender. Lundy and the Council immediately sent him orders to retire out of sight of the citizens; but seeing soldiers and civilians beckoning from the walls he marched to one of the gates, which was at once thrown open to him by Captain Morrison, who commanded the guard. As Murray rode through the streets he was greeted by the populace with enthusiastic shouts of welcome, to which he responded by declaring that his life and his sword were at their service, and calling upon all who cried "No surrender!" to tie a white band on the left arm as a badge betokening their principles. In adopting this plan he was joined by other officers, and the white sign soon appeared on every arm.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at 

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

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

Chapter LXVI.
Visitors of many Nations and Races
Chapter LXVII.
The Position of the Ruling Race
Chapter LXVIII.
The Boers
Chapter LXIX.
The Britons
Chapter LXX.
Afloat again
Chapter LXXI.
Chapter LXXII.
At Thwaites House

Here is a bit from "At Thwaites House"...

A political era closed with the death of Lord Palmerston and the going to the House of Lords of old Lord John Russell. The leaders who came after them, Mr Disraeli and Mr Gladstone, had began public life, the former as a flashy, philosophical Radical, and the latter as a High Church Anglican Tory. After Mr Disraeli's democratic Reform Bill, establishing household suffrage in boroughs, and ten pound suffrage in the counties, and Mr Gladstone's disestablishment of the Irish Church, the old designation of parties as Whigs and Tories lost their meaning ; and the new ones of Liberals and Conservatives became more appropriate. As for the disestablishment of the Irish Church, the only thing I deeply regretted myself was that the confiscated ecclesiastical funds were not retained and proportionately shared among Catholic parish priests and Protestant ministers of all denominations for permanent endowment purposes as far as they would go. The Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland was in very truth "A garrison church," which represented English domination, and a half conquest, which was much more irritating and ten times less beneficial than a settlement on complete conquest might have been. 1 had read all Mr Disraeli's published works, and while fully aware of the genius displayed in them, I did not like their foreign-like glitter, superlatives, and class and caste limitations in regard to his subjects and the way he treated them. But on questions of foreign and colonial policy his views seemed always to be as far- seeing and truly patriotic as those of Mr Gladstone were hazy and unreliable. It was after the time I am writing about that Mr Gladstone took to having special revelations like Mahomet, which suited personal and party interests. When he disestablished the Irish Church, he was yet far enough from Irish Home Rule, and from the passionate claptrap of the Bulgarian atrocity agitation. He had, with wonderful gifts of oratory and financial talents, the singular faculty of persuading himself as well as others that on every occasion of his making a new departure in politics he was acting on the highest motives, as if he had a revelation and order from heaven. No one could listen to his glowing oratory without being to some degree mesmerised, but when his speeches, with their bursting sentences so troublesome to reporters were read in print, the mesmerism of tone and personality disappeared, and one wondered how the sought-for impression could have been produced at the public meeting or in the House of Commons by a flow of words, which were in sense frequently elusive, however imposing in form. 1 think I must admit that I got an early prejudice against Mr Gladstone, because he was the only House of Commons member of Sir Robert Peel's Government in 1842-3 who understood the dispute which ended in the Disruption, and who, instead of doing all he could to prevent the catastrophe, joined with Manning and others in setting up the Glen- almond College, for Anglicanising the sons of the Scotch nobility and gentry.

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 completed the appendix which completes volume I of this 2 volume set. Added were...

DD, Letting Lands by Auction, Advertisements, or Private Offers
EE, Influence of Public Opinion
FF, Religious Education—Gaelic Schools
GG, The best Soldiers destroyed by inattention to their Feelings and Dispositions
HH, Remarkable Instance of Military Talent exhibited both in the Plans of the Commanders; and in their Execution
II, Earl of Crawfurd, Colonel of the Highland Regiment

We have now moved on to Volume II which starts with an account of the History of the Royal Highland Regiment which is in 2 sections. It is actually a continuation from Volume I and here is how the first section starts...

The soldiers soon recovered from their wounds, and from the fatigues of the march to Corunna. No officer of this regiment died except Major Campbell, whose constitution, previously debilitated by a service of twenty-five years in the regiment, sunk under the severity of the weather to which he had been exposed on the march. He died a few days after landing at Portsmouth. [Major Archibald Argyle Campbell was son of Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Campbell, who had served in the Royal Highland Regiment during the Seven Year's War, in the 84th, or Highland Emigrants in the American war, and as Lieutenant-Colonel in the Breadalbane Fencibles in the last war. Major Campbell died honoured and lamented by his regiment. So sensible were the officers of his value, that they subscribed a sum of money, in which the soldiers requested to join, to erect a monument to his memory in the Calton Hill burying-ground in Edinburgh, where it now stands as a mark of respect to a brave soldier, whose courage was guided by judgment and prudence, and whose prudence was warmed by the best heart and the kindest disposition.]

The regiment was marched to Shorncliffe, and brigaded there with the Rifle corps, under the command of Major-General Sir Thomas Graham. In these quarters the men were again equipped, and soon ready for further service. The second battalion, which had been quartered in Ireland since 1805, was now under orders to embark for Portugal, and could therefore spare no men to supply the loss sustained by the first battalion on the retreat to Corunna. In the last day's march of forty-five miles from Lugo, numbers of the men being without shoes, and all half famished and exhausted, orders were issued that " the rear guard cannot stop, and those who fall behind must take their fate." Upwards of 6000 men of the army had already, from disease and fatigue, dropped behind. The loss of the Royal Highland Regiment, from the same causes, was also considerable. Including those killed and dead of wounds, and prisoners, the number amounted to 136 men. Of the prisoners who dropped behind on the march, and fell into the hands of the enemy, numbers were released and sent to England, and rejoined their regiment.

It was supposed by some that the soldiers of the 42d, 79th, and 92d regiments, suffered from the Highland dress. Others again said, that the garb was very commodious in marching over a mountainous country, and that experience had shown that those parts of the body exposed to the weather by this garb, are not materially affected by the severest cold; that, while instances are common of the fingers, toes and face, being frost-bitten, we never hear of the knee being affected; and that, when men, in the Highland garb, have had their fingers destroyed by frost, their knees remained untouched, although bare and exposed to the same temperature which affected other parts of the body.

[An extraordinary instance of the degree of cold which the human body can be brought to sustain, is exemplified in the instance of a man of the name of Cameron, now living on the estate of Strowan, in the county of Perth. This man showed an aversion to any covering from the time he was able to walk, always attempting to throw off his clothes. Being indulged by his mother in this, he went about at all times, even in the deepest snows, and during the hardest frosts, in a state of nudity, and continued the same practice without the smallest detriment to his health, till increasing years made it necessary, for the sake of decency, to give him some covering. His parents, wishing to send him to a neighbouring school, a loose kind of plaid robe descending to his knees was made, and thrown over his shoulders; but he was fifteen years of age before he wore the usual dress. There is nothing remarkable in his character; disposition, or constitution, nor does he appear to be stronger than other men, but he is perfectly healthy.]

The warmth which the numerous folds of the kilt preserved round the centre of the body was a great security against complaints in the bowels, which were so prevalent on this occasion among the troops; and it may be supposed that men who are in a manner rendered hardy by being habituated, at least from the time they joined Highland corps, to a loose cool dress, would be less liable to be affected by violent and abrupt changes of temperature.

You can read the rest of this at

You can read the other chapters at 

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
This week have added The Blackfaced Breed of Sheep by Alexander MacDonald and here is how it starts...


Beyond vague tradition, we have no reliable indication of the origin of the blackfaced or heath breed of sheep. It is a common belief in Scotland that it is not indigenous to Britain, and many circumstances tend to confirm this opinion. Dr Walker, who is acknowledged to have been a high authority on the subject, supposes that it is of foreign origin, and that the forest of Ettrick was selected as its first locality in Scotland. He mentions that a flock of some 5000 sheep was imported by one of the Scottish kings for the use of the royal household, and from that stock the whole of the blackfaced race, it is supposed, succeeded. The opinions of other writers, however, combined with the natural character of the breed, indulge the belief that there is some truth in the conjecture that it originated among the mountains of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire, and that it was introduced into Scotland at an early date. Some people hold, on the other hand, that the blackfaced sheep originated among, and were the earlier inhabitants of, the mountainous parts of the south of Scotland. There is no breed of sheep existing in Britain at the present time to which this breed bears much resemblance, and this, coupled with the fact that the only similar sheep known is Wallachian, goes to support Dr Walker's argument.

The comparatively valueless character of the fleece, as well as the whole figure and general independent bearing of the blackfaced sheep, suggests, or in fact points it out, as the native of a high and stormy region. This peculiarity, says a writer, may in all probability have been derived from the character of the hills where the breed originated. The influence of the soil and climate on the covering of animals is well known, and has been strikingly exemplified in the natural history of the sheep in this and other countries. A humid atmosphere has the effect of lengthening the covering of sheep as well as of other animals. The cattle in the west coast have, as a rule, longer hair than those of the east, because of the dampness of the atmosphere. The depth and quality of the soil are also supposed to exercise a considerable influence on the growth and character of the wool and general development of the sheep.

History of the Breed.

Notwithstanding the inferior quality of the wool, and other defects of this breed in its aboriginal and unimproved condition, its peculiar adaptability to withstand severe climate, and to fatten on the coarsest herbage, commended it to occupiers of large tracts of heath and mountain land; and to quote Hector Boethius, who wrote about the year 1460, and speaking of the sheep in the vale of Esk, says—"Until the introduction of the Cheviots, the rough-woolled blackfaced sheep alone were to be found." From this, it would seem that the blackfaced or heath breed of sheep had been the prevailing breed at an early date. After the introduction of the Cheviot and other fine-woolled breeds, it was supplanted by them in many districts, at different periods during its history-—a circumstance regulated by the prices of wool—but the race has never been allowed to die out. The germs of its early fame had never been entirely extinguished, and for many years past they have been gradually regaining strength. It is only within the past century and a half, or little more, however, since flockowners began to direct attention to the improvement of the breed, but during that time many defects have been removed. Since the advent of the present century, an enthusiasm has been manifesting itself among sheep farmers to raise the value of their flocks, and a healthy emulation has existed among breeders for upwards of sixty years.

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 

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 fourth page of 10 cards up at

Electric Scotland Article Service
Over the years I've had many people send in articles for the site and thought it was time that I gave you a method of adding your own articles and hence this service.

Once you post an article in here it is also available to search engines and so you may well get additional readers than just those using this service.

The way it works is that when you load the service you'll be able to select "Add Article" and you then get to put up your name along with a wee description about yourself. You can also leave those field blank and your article will be marked "Anonymous". You then give your article a title and then select an appropriate category or sub category in which to place it.

You then get a WYSIWYG editor where you type in your article. You can of course prepare the article offline in a text editor and then just paste it in. There are formatting options where you then select the font, font size, etc. We usually default to Arial font and size 2 but you can use others if you wish. You can also add a picture but it needs to be on the web currently and so you simple click on the "Insert Picture" icon and then you can provide a url to the picture.

There is also an opportunity to use a spell checker for your article if you've just typed it in. I did trial on that and if you don't have the spell checker installed you are offered a link to download one.

While I have a number of categories up do feel free to email me if you think there should be another category or sub category. Like anything that is brand new I'm sure there will be changes :-)

So... how it can be used is really up to you. The main categories are...

Article Service...
Clan & Family...
Family Histories
Food & Drink
Highland Games &...
History of Scotland
Travel and Tourism

Under most will be further sub categories. You can also search for articles by key word and also by author.

Perhaps useful for Clan and Family Societies to post some regular goings on of your society. Should you wish to do this on a regular basis then if you email me I could create a sub category for your society under "Clan & Family".

I have added a couple of articles to the site with one as an introduction to the service and the other as an article I copied from our site.

There is also the opportunity to add comments to articles and so it can end up being like a discussion board.

To be frank there are huge possibilities for this program but as always it is up to you to figure out how best to use it to your advantage. I think this is one of those services where you are only limited by your imagination :-)

I hope you'll enjoy and use this new service and look forward to seeing your articles and note a few have been added already :-)

You can get to it at

Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
Over the years Electric Scotland has acquired many antiquarian books with the intention of adding them to the site. However in very recent times we have seen a start made by various libraries to scan in copies of their books. Also, companies like Microsoft and Google are now busy scanning in books from libraries around the world. We note that some of the books that are appearing in Internet archives have been taken from ourselves and we really don't mind that being done. The purpose of Electric Scotland is to make a body of work available so people can learn about the History of Scotland, the Scots and people and places of Scots descent.

The files in here have been downloaded from various sources and we have then optimised them for the web. For example one book was 525Mb in size but after we optimised it we got it down to 85Mb and so making it much easier to download. Many of the books in here we have purchased ourselves but see little point in duplicating work already done by others.

Each link goes to a web page where we endeavour to provide an introduction to give you a better opportunity to decide if you wish to download it. At the foot of the page you'll find a link to download the book and information on the file size.

Here is a list of the books that we've made available so far...

Dictionary of the Gaelic Language
A Highland Tour

We'll be adding to this over time and likely one book per week. As there is a lot of reading in those books we don't see any point in doing more than one a week.

You can get to this new section at

Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt. obitury
It is with sadness that we note the death of Clan Chief Sir Ivar Colquhoun of Luss on January 31. He died peacefully at home at Camstraddan on his beloved Loch Lomondside just outside the village of Luss.

See an account of his life at

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


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