Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Weekly Mailing List Archives
15th 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
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Early Scotch History
Book of Scottish Story
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
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
McIntyre and the Scottish Caucas
Electric Scotland Recipe Database

Well done Delaware...

"Governors Proclamation" recognizing the Month of April as Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month. It states: Now, Therefore, We, Ruth Ann Minner, Governor, and John C.Carney, Lieutenant Governor do hereby declare April 2008 "Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month" in the State of Delaware and urge all residents to celebrate the accomplishments of Scots, Scots-Irish Americans in the First State.

There are in fact a number of States that support Scots and Scots-Irish month and you can see a list at

We were down a fair bit this week. First the server system disk went down but Steve got it repaired so we were back up for a wee bit when it failed again. By this time Steve had come down with a serious bought of flu and was away for some hours at the emergency dept of the local hospital. He was there 6 hours and they wanted to keep him in but he insisted he had to get back to fix the server. What a trooper! When he got back he started to work on the system. We went through 3 hard disks before we got one to work reliably. On Thursday morning Steve phoned to say the local para medics had come round and had fixed him up with an IV drip and at time of phoning me the first bag was about finished but he still had one more bag to go before they'd let him do any work. The saying... it never rains but it pours... seems to fit.

At time of doing this newesletter we are mostly back and running but might take to Friday night before we are 100% there.

I might add that I did have a productive time as not being able to publish to the server I got myself a haircut, went shopping and also bit the bullet and did my annual accounts and got them off to my accountant :-)

Got in the poem, "The Deil's Boolin' Match", from John Henderson and Brian Kellogg for which many thanks and hopefully that was the one Ann was looking for last week. You can view the poem at

Finally... I could do with some help on the new Recipe database that I intend to bring up in the next week or two. Thing is that there are loads of options for categories, dish types, cuisine, ingredients, etc. I went on to the web to see what others were doing and so took what a cross section of others had done to get started. A couple of friends have had a look and made suggestions which I've incorporated.

Now I'd be very happy if my newsletter readers would also eyeball the lists and let me know if I should delete, add, modify any of the lists. Towards the end of this newsletter I have listed what I have at the moment and would be happy to hear from you if you think any changes should be made. It is my intention to finalize the list by Tuesday and then will start to get some recipes up before launching the service.

So.. if you could help with this I'd appreciate it :-)

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 

FINLAGGAN on the Hebridean Island of Islay
The Seat of the Lords of the Isles

Islay is known for many things – whisky, scenery, wildlife – but the island is also full of history, much of which dates back over many centuries yet is still in evidence today.

On the north east of the island of Islay lies a settlement associated with the ‘Lords of the Isles’. Two of the three islands situated in the beautiful Loch Finlaggan were the ancient administration centre of the Lordship of the Isles during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Scotland on TV visited the small cottage, now rebuilt and maintained by the Finlaggan Trust, which sits on the shores of the Loch and houses a museum and information centre, where we met with Donald Bell of the Trust to discover more.

In the first episode of this two-part series, Donald presents some of the artefacts found in recent archaeological excavations. They tell the story of the seat of the Lords of the Isles and its contribution to the arts, culture and politics of Scotland. Amongst the treasures held in the museum is a replica of the footprint stone from a coronation ceremony of the Lords of the Isles, an ancient cross related to the lords and a sheep wool quilted aketon, a garment worn under armour.

In episode two we take a guided tour through the ancient ruins of Finlaggan. Still standing on the island of Eilean Mòr (large island), on the shores of Loch Finlaggan, one can find the stone walls of a medieval chapel dedicated to St. Findlugan. Inside the chapel, the Trust has placed and protected a number of 16th Century tombstones, including an impressive effigy of a warrior wearing an aketon. The memorial is believed to be the tombstone of MacGilleasbuig of Finlaggan, who died after the forfeiture of the Lordship and whose family then became the chief family at Finlaggan.

Further along the island are the remains of a small rectangular house which is believed to have been adapted into a two-story house during the 16th century, possibly for Donald MacGilleasbuig. Adjacent to the house there are the foundations of the most important structure on Eilean Mòr during the medieval period: the great hall, which was used by the Lords to hold banquets and feasts.

To watch the videos, click here:

This weeks Flag is compiled by Ian Goldie and he is showing his pleasure the passing of the first Scottish Budget. He also tells us that we'rer celebrating 80 years of the Scottish National Party and gives us links to historic articles.

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

A significant cash contribution has been made to boost the sport of curling in south-west Scotland. Sportscotland this week announced investment of more than £200,000 to improve facilities at Lockerbie Ice Rink and SNP Sports Minister Stewart Maxwell said that “ it would hopefully encourage more people to become physically active and, in doing so, become healthier.” Lockerbie is the home rink of current European curling champions David Murdoch and Euan Byers and the cash injection is a reminder that Scotland gave ‘The Roaring Game’ to the world. Curling started in Scotland in the 16th century, at least, and the earliest stone dating back to 1511 is held in Stirling at the Smith Institute. The outdoor game was obviously well established by the 17th century as Dr Alex Penecuik ( 1652 - 1722 ) wrote - ' To curle on ice, does greatly please' and our National Bard, Robert Burns, as a farmer probably played the game, and certainly wrote knowledgeably about in his poem ' Tam Samson's Elegy'. And the poet James Hogg, ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ wrote of ‘The Roaring Game’ –

Of a’ the games that e’er I saw,
Man, callant, laddie, birkie, wean,
The dearest, far aboon them a’,
Was aye the witching channel stane. [curling stone]

Oh! For the channel-stane!
The fell good name the channel-stane!
There’s no a game that e’er I saw,
Can match auld Scotland’s channel-stane.

(The Channel Stane)

Since the first indoor game took place in Glasgow in 1907 the outdoor game is now very infrequently played apart from 'The Bonspiel' or 'Grand Match' traditionally played on the Lake of Monteith in Perthshire. But this only takes place in extremely severe winters as the ice, for safety reasons, has to be 10 inches thick. The Bonspiel has only been held 33 times in the last 150 years. The last Bonspiel on 7 February 1979 attracted upwards of 10,000 players and supporters for the traditional contest between teams from the North and South of Scotland.

Scotland not only invented the game, wrote the rules, gave the game to the world but also makes the best curling stones. The Gold Olympic success should greatly increase interest in the game which in turn should benefit the Scottish manufacturer of curling stones. Nearly all the curling stones in the world are made from Scottish granite from Ailsa Craig - also known as Paddy's Milestone - the famous rocky outcrop off the Ayrshire coast.

Curling began as a social event, with plenty drams to keep out the cold, and it is still a social sport - the European Champions David Murdoch and Euan Byers both play for fun not money. But indoors, or outdoors, the game is still played in the cold! Our recipe this week - ‘Auld Reekie’ Cock-a-Leekie Soup - is the splendid answer to the chill of the Curling Rink. This variation of Cock-a-Leekie has the added bonus of having our National Drink as an ingredient – a food and a drink which will stick to your ribs!

‘Auld Reekie’ Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Ingredients: 3 lb boiling chicken (giblets removed); 3 rashers streaky bacon; 1 lb shin of beef; 2 lb leeks; 1 large onion; 5 fluid ounces Scotch Whisky; 4 pints water; 1 level tablespoon dried tarragon; one teaspoon brown sugar; salt and pepper; 8 pre-soaked prunes

Method: Mix the Whisky, tarragon and sugar in the water. Chop up the bacon and place the chicken, bacon and beef in a large bowl and pour over the Whisky marinade. Leave to soak overnight. Place the chicken etc in a large soup pot. Chop up the leeks (reserve one) and onion and add to pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for two hours, removing any scum as required. Remove the chicken from the pot, remove skin and bones. Chop the meat into small pieces and return to pot. Cut up the shin of beef, if required. Add the prunes and the last chopped leek and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. It will serve up to eight people. The prunes are optional but traditional.

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

We didn't get Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary this week.

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

We are now on the Mac's with MacLean, MacLellan, MacLennan and MacNab

Here is how the account of MacNab starts...

MACNAB, the name of a clan anciently located in the district of Breadalbane, Perthshire, the badge of which was the common heath. The clan Anaba or the Macnabs are erroneously held to belong to the Old Celtic race, or primitive Albionic stock of Scotland, which were among the clans included under the general denomination of Siol Alpin, of which the clan Gregor was the principal. The chief, styled Macnab of that ilk, had his residence at Kinnell, on the banks of the Dochart, and the family possessions, which originally were considerable, lay mainly on the western shores of Loch Tay. In the reign of David I. ‘1124-1153], the name was, it is said, Macnab-Eyre, and signified the son and heir of the abbot.. According, however, to the view taken in this work of the prefix Mac, as being no more than a contraction of magnus, great, this legend cannot be admitted, although it has been stated that the founder of this clan held the dignity of abbot of Glendochart.

From the frequent use of the words “of that ilk,” in the charters of the family of Macnab, it would appear, notwithstanding the received tradition as to the derivation of the name, that the origin of it is territorial or from land. There is not an instance in Scottish history where the words “of that ilk” are employed, in which this is not the case. And if the form of the name be given correctly as Macnab-Eyre, the source of the territorial designation may with great probability be conjectured. The Gaelic word for heir is not Eyre, but Oighre. It is only an adaptation of its sound to the common English word heir, which is from the Latin word Hares. The word Ayre or Aire, a term of frequent use in early Scottish annals for the site, rather occasional than permanent, of a court of justice, is a corruption of the Norman-French Oyer, to hear. Macnab-Eyre may, therefore, be held to mean the seat of justice, or justice-place, in the territory Macnab, and is so stated in the private histories of the family. Tradition points, however, at a priory where the burial place now is placed. Whether there ever was an abbot of Glendochart may well be doubted, yet there is every reason to believe that the abbots of Dunkeld held, as abthanes, – (that is, abbot-thanes, a secular title, defined by Ducange, as abbates qui simul erant Comites, – justiciary power over this portion of Perthshire. It seems, therefore, at least probable that Macnab-Eyre was the name given to the occasional seat of justice of some kind or other. The precise site of the lands bearing this particular name is now unknown, yet as in early times lands and districts received names from conspicuous natural objects lying in or near them, as Carrick, in Ayr, from the carrick or craig of Ailsa lying in the firth opposite to that district; so Macnab, the great Nab or Nob, may not improperly be held to mean the district around or near the mountain now called Benmore, (or great head,) which is conspicuous all along the glen of the Dochart, and very near its source. The occurrence of Nab in topography to designate a round-headed height or cone is familiar in Scotland and the north of England.

The Macnabs were a considerable clan before the reign of Alexander III. When Robert the Bruce commenced his struggle for the drown, the baron of Macnab with his clan, joined the Macdougals of Lorn, and fought against Bruce at the battle of Dalres. Afterwards, when the cause of Bruce prevailed, the lands of the Macnabs were ravaged by his victorious troops, their houses burnt, and all their family writs destroyed. Of all their possessions only the barony of Bowain or Bovain, in Glendochart, remained to them, and of it, Gilbert Macnab of that ilk, from whom the line is usually deduced, as the first undoubted laird of Macnab, received from David II., on being reconciled to that monarch, a charter, under the great seal, to him and his heirs whomsoever, dated in 1336. He died in the reign of Robert II.

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 Echt at

Here is a bit from the account...

Name.—The etymology of Echt is not known with certainty. An old tradition refers it to the Gaelic word "Each," which signifies a horse. It bears that a division of an ancient Caledonian army having encamped in this parish, the officers and men, in the time of a severe drought, were reduced to great straits for want of water, when a horse which had been brought to the camp was seen to gallop to a spot where he had been accustomed to drink; and that, by pawing and scratching with his feet, some signs of water were discovered; in which spot, a well having been dug, afforded relief from thirst to the army. In memory of that event, this particular district, and afterwards the parish, is said to have been designated by the above term.

Extent, &c.—The parish of Echt lies west from Aberdeen, the eastern extremity nearly ten, and the western fourteen miles from that city. It is almost of a square form, each side about 4½ miles. It is bounded on the east and north-east, by the parish of Skene; on the south-east, by Peterculter and Drumoak; on the south, by Banchory-Ternan; on the west and north-west, by Midmar; and on the north, by Cluny.

The chief historical event relating to this district is the battle of Corrichie, which was fought on the 28th October 1562, in a vale of the same name, by the forces commanded by the Marquis of Huntly and the Earl of Murray, the brother and general of Mary Queen of Scots. This battle is taken notice of by most of the Scottish historians. It appears that the Marquis was offended at the Queen for bestowing the earldom of Murray on her brother the Earl of Mar, and for her intention of giving him a great part of those large and valuable northern estates which belonged to that earldom, several of which had been seized by the Marquis. His son, Sir John Gordon, had escaped from the prison to which the Queen had sentenced him for some feudal outrage; and had placed himself at the head of the vassals of his house,—soon after which, the Marquis assumed arms in person, and advanced towards Aberdeen. Murray drew up his men on the hill of Fare, and awaited the approach of Huntly with only a few troops from the midland counties on which he could depend, and some troops belonging to the northern Barons, whose intentions were doubtful. Huntly encountered first the northern troops, who fled towards Murray's main body, pursued by the Gordons, sword in hand. The Gordons were repulsed by Murray's firm battalion, and victory was completed by the clans that had fled, who turned upon the Gordons as soon as they began to lose the day. Huntly, a bulky man, and heavily armed, fell from his horse, and was trod-den to death. Other accounts say that he fled nearly a mile, and there is a spot in the south-west corner of this parish, on the bor-ders of the estate of Cullerley, yet denominated " Gordon's moss" —where it is thought he was killed. Sir Walter Scott affirms that his body was afterwards brought into a court of justice, meanly arrayed in a doublet of coarse canvas, that the sentence of a traitor might be pronounced over it. The Queen, who was at Aberdeen during the battle, three days after beheld Sir John Gordon beheaded there. Murray was put in possession of the estates belonging to his new earldom. An excavation on the side of a rock, where it is said Mary sat soon after, and viewed the scene of action on her way south, still retains the name of the Queen's chair.

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 started on the "Home Life" section of this book staring with "Family Papers". Here is a summary of what is included...

Family Papers—Papers of the Family of Morton, Origin of Douglases—Early Members—William of Douglas— Bishop Bricius—Sir William of Liddesdale—Sir James of Dalkeith—Marriage of his Daughter with Hamilton—First Arms of Hamilton—Chapel of St. Nicholas of Dalkeith— Sir James's wills, the earliest Scotch wills extant—His alliances—The Regent Morton—Line of Lochleven—Excitement of a Charter hunt-—Early Letters of Correspondence unsatisfactory—Low range of Education—Danger of writing openly—Store of State Papers at Dalmahoy.

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 "The Lover's Last Visit" by Professor Wilson

Here is how this story starts...

The window of the lonely cottage of Hilltop was beaming far above the highest birchwood, seeming to travellers at a distance in the long valley below, who knew it not, to be a star in the sky. A bright fire was in the kitchen of that small tenement; the floor was washed, swept and sanded, and not a footstep had marked its perfect neatness; a small table was covered, near the ingle, with a snow-white cloth, on which was placed a frugal evening meal; and in happy but pensive mood sat there all alone the woodcutter's only daughter, a comely and gentle creature, if not beautiful—such a one as diffuses pleasure round her hay-field, and serenity over the seat in which she sits attentively on the Sabbath, listening to the word of God, or joining with mellow voice in His praise and worship. On this night she expected a visit from her lover, that they might fix their marriage-day; and her parents, satisfied and happy that their child was about to be wedded to a respectable shepherd, had gone to pay a visit to their nearest neighbour in the glen.

A feeble and hesitating knock was at the door, not like the glad and joyful touch of a lover's hand ; and cautiously opening it, Mary Robinson beheld a female figure wrapped up in a cloak, with her face concealed in a black bonnet. The stranger, whoever she might be, seemed wearied and worn out, and her feet bore witness to a long day's travel across the marshy mountains. Although she could scarcely help considering her an unwelcome visitor at such an hour, yet Mary had too much disposition—too much humanity,—not to request her to step forward into the hut; for it seemed as if the wearied woman had lost her way, and had come towards the shining window to be put right upon her journey to the low country.

The stranger took off her bonnet on reaching the fire; and Mary Robinson beheld the face of one whom, in youth, she had tenderly loved; although for some years past, the distance at which they lived from each other had kept them from meeting, and only a letter or two, written in their simple way, had given them a few notices of each other's existence. And now Mary had opportunity, in the first speechless gaze of recognition, to mark the altered face of her friend,—and her heart was touched with an ignorant compassion. "For mercy's sake! sit down Sarah, and tell me what evil has befallen you; for you are as white as a ghost. Fear not to confide anything to my bosom: we have herded sheep together on the lonesome braes; —we have stripped the bark together in the more lonesome woods; — we have played, laughed, sung, danced together; —we have talked merrily and gaily, but innocently enough surely, of sweethearts together; and, Sarah, graver thoughts, too, have we shared, for when your poor brother died away like a frosted flower, I wept as if I had been his sister; nor can I ever be so happy in this world as to forget him. Tell me, my friend, why are you here? and why is your sweet face so ghastly?"

The rest of this story can be read at

The rest of the stories can be read 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...

Aspects of Indian Life During the Rebellion (Pages 322-326)
Gone (Page 327)
A Story of the Eighth Commandment (Pages 327-328)
Thanksgiving (Page 328)
Missionary Sketches (Pages 329-333)
A Friend of Sinners (Page 333)
The Spirit of Beauty (Pages 333-335)

Here is how "The Spirit of Beauty" starts...

The Spirit of Beauty had wandered through the world from the first dawn of creation's morning. Man was subject to her, but he knew her not. Glimpses of her ethereal form gladdened him, but, as yet, she dwelt in his earth as a veiled virgin, and none had seen her countenance; only the reflection of her smile.

Then the Spirit of Beauty sighed, and said, "Man is my vassal; he acknowledges me as a power mysterious and superior, but he hath not beheld me; and how, then, shall he fully know and love me? Who shall reveal me to him? Where shall I find one who may undertake the mighty task?"

For the Spirit loved the soul of man, and longed to rejoice him with a revelation of her ineffable loveliness. So she went forth and walked through the world, to find one worthy to be the vehicle of her manifestation; and, lo, a fair young girl sat by a fountain, her head bent in quiet musing; and the Spirit loved her, and said, "Even she shall become the revealer of my power to the hearts of men." And from the sparkling waters the Spirit of Beauty, ascending, entered into her spirit, and looked forth from her brow, till men wondered, and said, "Surely the Spirit of the Beautiful is among us;" and they worshipped before her. Then the heart of the maiden was lifted up with pride, and an unholy light was mingled with the rays which the fair Spirit had poured from her starry eyes, and the purity was gone. So the Spirit was grieved, and said, "I cannot dwell with one who harbours the fell child of him who disturbed the harmony of my home, even heaven." And she sped away to seek a more perfect resting-place, leaving but a trace of her bright presence, like the quivering light of the summer sky at midnight.

Then the Spirit saw one who thought to perpetuate his name by a monument which should stand when the oak sapling at his door had become the riven and hollow trunk of a thousand winters. She overshadowed him with her influence as with an invisible mantle; and, under his master-hand and eye, there arose a fair temple, whose arching roof and carven pillars should be the interpretation of the mighty Spirit. ''Shall he not reveal me to man?" said she; and awhile she paused, resting in the thought. But Superstition crept, with serpent stealthiness, through the fane, leaving her defiling trail upon pavement and dome, and before that child of Darkness, the Light's eldest daughter fled in dismay.

You can read the rest of this at

You can read the other articles at 

Clan Information
Added the February 2008 Update for the Scottish Clans DNA Project which you can read at

Joanne Crawford of the Clan Crawford Association has sent us in a couple of adobe .pdf files she authored about William Wallace and Queen/St. Margaret and their Crawford connection. You can read these at the foot of the Crawford Page in The Scottish Nation at

Poetry and Stories
John sent in a doggerel, "Lorelei" at

He also sent in Chapter 69 of his Recounting Blessings at

Donna sent in a story, Stillwater’s Writer’s Group Talk, at

and also a poem, Measured Steps, at

The History of Ulster
We are now making a start at Volume 4 being the final volume. Added this week are...

I. The Relief of Londonderry
II. The Inniskillings
III. Arrival of Schomberg
IV. Schomberg commences his Campaign
V. An Inactive Army

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

In describing the condition of Londonderry at this period of the siege it is impossible to improve on Lord Macaulay's vivid and accurate summary of Walker's account of the state of things, which he says was "hour by hour becoming more frightful. The number of the inhabitants had been thinned more by famine and disease than by the fire of the enemy. Yet that fire was sharper and more constant than ever. One of the gates was beaten in: one of the bastions was laid in ruins; but the breaches made by day were repaired by night with indefatigable activity. Every attack was still repelled. But the fighting men of the garrison were so much exhausted that they could scarcely keep their legs. Several of them, in the act of striking at the enemy, fell down from mere weakness. A very small quantity of grain remained, and was doled out by mouthfuls. The stock of salted hides was considerable, and by gnawing them the garrison appeased the rage of hunger. Dogs, fattened on the blood of the slain who lay unburied round the town, were luxuries which few could afford to purchase. The price of a whelp's paw was five shillings and sixpence. Nine horses were still alive, and but barely alive. They were so lean that little meat was likely to be found upon them. It was, however, determined to slaughter them for food. The people perished so fast, that it was impossible for the survivors to perform the rites of sepulture. There was scarcely a cellar in which some corpse was not decaying. Such was the extremity of distress that the rats who [sic] came to feast in those hideous dens were eagerly hunted and greedily devoured. A small fish, caught in the river, was not to be purchased with money. The only price for which such a treasure could be obtained was some handfuls of oatmeal. Leprosies, such as strange and unwholesome diet engenders, made existence a constant torment. The whole city was poisoned by the stench exhaled from the bodies of the dead and of the half dead. That there should be fits of discontent and insubordination among men enduring such misery was inevitable. At one moment it was suspected that Walker had laid up somewhere a secret store of food, and was revelling in private, while he exhorted others to suffer resolutely for the good cause. His house was strictly examined: his innocence was fully proved: he regained his popularity; and the garrison, with death in near prospect, thronged to the cathedral to hear him preach, drank in his earnest eloquence with delight, and went forth from the house of God, with haggard faces and tottering steps, but with spirit still unsubdued. There were, indeed, some secret plottings. A very few obscure traitors opened communications with the enemy. But it was necessary that such dealings should be carefully concealed. None dared to utter publicly any words save words of defiance and stubborn resolution. Even in that extremity the general cry was 'No Surrender'. And there were not wanting voices which, in low tones, added: 'First the horses and hides; and then the prisoners; and then each other'."

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 LXXIII.
Neighbours and Incidents
Chapter LXXIV.
The Anti-Vaccination Agitation
Chapter LXXV.
Keighley Parties and Politics
Chapter LXXVI.
Farewell to England
Chapter LXXVII.
Back to Scotland
Chapter LXXVIll.
"The Northern Chronicle"
Chapter LXXIX.
The Procession of Changes

Here is a bit from "Back to Scotland"...

THE first issue of the new paper at Inverness was to take place in the first week of 1881, but I thought it would be well to make a preliminary survey of my new sphere of labour by personal observation and conversation with people of different classes and callings. With this purpose in view I left England about the middle of November, 1880. My wife, with our large brigade of young children, remained with her own people until I got a house for them. As it happened, the house was ready for them several weeks before they could get to it, because of the snowstorms and blocks on the Highland Railway. But they were happy where they were, and Mr and Mrs Aspinall were glad to have them for a longer time they had been foreseen by us when I left England.

My first halting place was Dunmore. Mr Archibald Campbell, the Earl's factor, one of my dearest friends from the time he was a little delicate pupil of mine in the Keumore school, until his premature death, after a bright and most honourable career, when factor of the Colquhoun estates, had pressingly invited me to diverge from the direct route to the Highlands and stop with him a couple of days. He threw in as an inducement the information that "Manitoba" would be my fellow guest, and would come by my train with me from Edinburgh to Larbert, where he would meet us with a dogcart and drive us to his picturesque factorial residence. "Manitoba" and I missed one another in the murky dark of the station in Edinburgh, but our host picked us up quickly enough when we emerged from our different carriages at Larbert.

"Manitoba" meant Mr Robert Campbell, a Glenlyon man, who, in his modest way, had done more than he was aware of for the extension of the territories of the Dominion of Canada, and the establishing of British authority over the Indians of the great North-West. I was quite a small boy when Robert went away from shepherding his father's farm of Dalchioinch to Hudson Bay, to enter the service of the old Royal Charter Company of traders and hunters. In that service he passed through many adventures and hardships, and proved his sagacity and tough powers of physical endurance. But he was one of those men of action who are sparing of their words. The best way for getting a full story out of him was to spread a map before him, and to make him describe his march, stage by stage, from commencement to finish. By means of a very imperfect map, Archie and I got him to tell us, stage by stage, the story of the expedition into the unknown wilds, of which he was chief, which discovered the Yukon Valley, and penetrated under great difficulties into Alaska, which was then Russian territory, with an undefined boundary between it and British territory. If first discovery counted in the settlement of the boundary, the whole of the Klondyke hinterland should belong to the Dominion, because no white man's foot had ever traversed these regions before Robert Campbell led his hardy little party over it. He rose, as he deserved, to be one of the Company's chief officers, and was in charge of Fort-Garry on the Red River, where the large city of Winnipeg now stands, when the rebellion of Riel and the half-breeds took place. He was, however, far away on his annual trading expedition, with the best and most faithful of his men, when the outbreak took place. He had some years before then married Miss Stirling from Comrie, and she and their children were left behind in the fort, which was in the charge of Thomas Scott, and could not be held against the rebels within and without. Mrs Campbell rallied together some fugitives and faithful Indians, who seized upon boats, and with them escaped, while "President" Riel and his half-breeds were employed in looting the stores and in condemning Scott by mock court-martial, and most barbarously murdering him. Mrs Campbell took care to bring away with her the books and papers of the factory when she and her children and companions slipped away out of Riel's clutches, and hastened to put between them and the "President" as much distance as they could.

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)

We have now moved on to Volume II and the next several chapters are all about the various Highland Regiments. When those accounts are complete we'll be moving onto the Fencible Regiments.

This week we've added...

Military Annals of the Highland Regiments
Loudon's Highlanders, 1745 [The year marks the date when the corps was first raised.]
Seventy-Seventh Regiment of Montgomerie's Highlanders, 1757
Seventy-Eighth Regiment or Fraser's Highlanders, 1757
Keith's and Campbell's Highlanders or Eighty-Seventh and Eighty-Eighth Regiments, 1759
Eighty-Ninth, or Gordon Highland Regiment, 1759
Johnstone's Highlanders or One Hundred and First Regiment, 1760
Fraser's Highlanders, or Seventy-first Regiment, 1775

Here is how the account of Fraser's Highlanders starts...

The rapidity with which the ranks of Colonel Fraser's regiment of 1757 were completed, its honourable and important services, and the character it upheld, were known and acknowledged; and by none more than by his late Majesty, who, with enlightened views of the firm and incorruptible fidelity, and mistaken but generous loyalty of many of his northern subjects, omitted no opportunity of exhibiting towards them the greatest indulgence, of directing their loyalty into the proper channel, and of securing their affections to his person, family, and government, from which they had been long unconstitutionally and unfortunately alienated. Those principles which had withstood so many years of absence and exile, formed the best security for that loyalty which was now in its proper place; and, as this was fully proved by the services of Colonel Fraser and his regiment in the former war, he was by his Majesty, in the year 1774, rewarded with a free grant of his family estate, forfeited to the Crown in 1746. In 1775 he was farther countenanced by receiving Letters of Service for raising in the Highlands another regiment of two battalions.

By the restoration of his property, he was now in possession of all the power which wealth and territorial influence could command ; but his present purpose had less relation to the influence of wealth, than to the preservation of respect and attachment to his person and family. Relying on the latter alone, when in poverty, and without the means to reward, his influence had experienced no diminution, for in a few weeks he had found himself at the head of 1250 men. So much having been done in 1757 without the aid of property or estate, no difficulty was to be expected, now that the case was the reverse. Nor did he find any; for, with equal ease and expedition, two battalions of 2340 Highlanders were marched up to Stirling, and thence to Glasgow, in April 1776. The completion of this numerous corps must, no doubt, have been accelerated by the exertions of his officers, of whom six besides himself were chiefs of clans, and all of respectable families, or sons of gentlemen tacksmen, as will be seen by the following nominal list:

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 David Archibald and here is how it starts...

By David Archibald, Awamoa, Otago.
[Premium—Five Sovereigns.]

There can be few more interesting subjects to breeders in Scotland than the breeding of the blackfaced sheep. These hardy animals have now gained a place and reputation for themselves that will entitle them to claim notice and attention. The breed may indeed be said to be at present the mainstay of Scottish sheep farming, as they were in the first instance largely the means of developing the pastoral resources of the country. In reference to their origin there is a good deal of uncertainty. Theories to account for it are, however, plentiful enough. To begin with, there is the usual story that they came from Spain with the Armada—a story which seems to be told about nearly all wool-bearing animals whose descent it is difficult to trace. A second tradition is, that they were introduced by one of the Scotch kings (whom Hogg calls James IV.) into Ettrick forest; but the quarter from which they were supposed to have come is a point on which this narrative is altogether silent.

Another belief, which has attracted more attention than these, is that the blackfaced breed were originally the product of a cross between the goat and the old whitefaced native sheep. This is an opinion which was at one time pretty current, and is found mentioned in the works of several writers. The publication which gave most importance to it was perhaps the Old Statistical Account of Scotland. The reference to the subject occurs in the report on the parish of Urr by the Rev. James Muirhead. This writer, after pointing out "that in the reign of James VI. Galloway was understood " to produce the finest wool in Scotland, perhaps in Britain fixes the date of the introduction of the blackfaced as about the time the king left Scotland for England (in 1603), and then asks, "Whence these sheep came?" "It may be observed/' he says, "that Galloway abounds with goats, which in the marshy or soft tracts are almost uniformly of a black colour;" and then he gives some countenance to the theory that the goats and sheep bred together, mentioning that mongrels or crosses between the two animals were quite common.

But while he ventures on this suggestion, Muirhead confesses that any inquiry upon the subject is not attended with much satisfaction. Then again, another and more widely accepted opinion has been, that the breed travelled northward from Yorkshire. This hypothesis was brought forward by Marshall, the author of numerous agricultural works at the end of last century. There is, however, this objection to accepting Marshall's authority, that in two separate works, published within a few years of one another, he makes statements that are slightly at variance. In a work on the Rural Economy of Yorkshire, published in 1788, in speaking of the moorland sheep, he says they " are probably of Scotch origin," adding that " they resemble much the Scotch sheep which are sometimes brought into the vale." Six years afterwards Marshall must have had but an indistinct recollection of what he had written in 1788. In an essay published in 1794, on the agriculture of the central Highlands of Scotland, he states "that the breed, which is now supplanting the ancient breed of the Highlands, is that which is well known in Scotland by the name of the blackfaced breed, which on the southern hills, as well as in the highlands or mountains of Braemar, is the established breed." Then, in dealing with the question of the origin of the breed, he gives altogether vague testimony. "Whether this breed has heretofore travelled northwards from the moorlands of Yorkshire, where a similar breed has been so long established as to be deemed natural to a heathy or mountainous situation, or whether that breed was drawn originally from Scotland, might perhaps be easily traced upon the southern borders."

Further examination of the recorded opinion of many writers leads to no more satisfactory result. So much is dependent on conjecture, that it is quite impossible to form any definite opinion based on reliable grounds. This view is fortified by the position taken up by two writers whose opinion carries considerable weight. Naismyth of Hamilton, writing in Young's Annals of Agriculture, in 1796, descriptive of a visit he had made to Lammermuir, states that the breed prevalent there was "the blackfaced muir kind, having generally horns, and called the short sheep," but that "it is impossible to trace their origin, there being no traditions of the sheep here being of a different kind, nor can they be called a distinct variety of the species." A passage very similar to this occurs in a Report on the Agriculture of Peebles, written by the Rev. Mr Findlater in 1802. "There seems to be," this writer says, "no clear tradition nor even plausible conjecture as to when or whence sheep were first introduced into this country, or whether the present breed are indigenous or from another country. There is, indeed, an obscure tradition, that previous to the introduction or general prevalence of sheep in the parish of Tweedsmuir, the farmers in that parish paid their rents by grazing, for hire through summer, the oxen then generally used by Lothian farmers for their winter ploughing. The native Tweeddale breed, which has continued the same as far back as memory or tradition extends, are all horned, with black faces and black legs and coarse wool." While there is much uncertainty in connection with the origin of the breed, it is beyond doubt that the system of sheep farming began to grow in importance just at the time when blackfaced stock began to grow into a prevalent type. Napier, in his work on Store Farming, which bears the date of 1822, adopts this view. "The present system of sheep or store farming does not appear," he writes, "to have taken place till about the end of the reign of James VI.," a statement which it may be pointed out agrees with what Muirhead says in the Old Statistical Account. "Before this time," Napier explains, "the mountainous south country districts are said to have been under a stock of black cattle and some small straggling flocks of sheep, as was the case in the Highlands till of late 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 fifth page of 10 cards up at

Electric Scotland Article Service
We're getting a nice wee collection of articles in and I'd certainly encourage you to have a read and perhaps have a go at adding an article yourself. There is a category where you can also add a wee article about your own family history.

You can get to it at

Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
I said I'd do my best to add a book each week and so this week I've added...

The Campbells of Argyll

You can get to the book at

You can get to this new section at

McIntyre and the Scottish Caucas
Mike McIntyre was influencial in saving Scots literature being sorted under English literature and you can read the story at

When I read the artile I was determined to find out a bit more about Mike McIntyre and have managed to get a wee biography of him at

Electric Scotland Recipe Database
I would appreciate some help on configuring our Recipe Database as there are loads of options so would be great to get some feedback. Here are the various sections and how I've configured them...


Appetizers and Snacks
Breakfast and Brunch
Dessert, Cakes and Pies
Fish and Seafood
Ground Meats and Sausages
Jams and Jellies
Quick and Easy
Rice, Potato, Pasta
Seasonal and Holiday
Side Dish
Soups and Stews
Video Recipes


Appetizers and Snacks
Breakfast and Brunch
Main Course
Side Dish

Dish Types

Bread and Muffins
Burgers and Loafs
Main Dishes
Raw Food
Salads and Wraps
Sauces, Dips and Gravies
Side Dishes
Spreads and Pates
Soups and Stews


Medieval and Renaissance
South American



Preparation Methods

No cooking


Ground Meat
Vegetables (Green)
Vegetables (Root)

Once all is configured you'll be able to search for recipes using all these options.

And so I'd appreciate your suggestions as to what I could delete, add, merge, etc. and of course if you think I've got it about right I'd also like to hear about that as well :-)

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


With Electric Scotland's new site design it is now possible for you to advertise your company on all 150,000+ pages of our site. Email address and contact information can be found at 

You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

For only $10.00 per year you can have your own email account with both POP3 and Web Access. For more details see 

To manage your subscription or unsubscribe visit and choose "Manage Subscriptions" at the foot of the Application box.

Return to Weekly Mailing List Archives


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus