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Weekly Mailing List Archives
29th 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)
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
The Scottish Tradition in Canada (New Book)
Boleskine & Dores (Inverness-shire)

Many thanks for so many of you emailing me back with the wee test mailing I did tonight. Now that I know that is working you should now get this newsletter when I send it out shortly :-)

I'll be using this system until we get the other program working when I can get back to sending out both html and text versions.

Many thanks also to the many of you that either filled in the wee survey or emailed me direct. It's obvious the majority of you would like to continue the newsletter as is and that's what I'll do :-)

The newsletter folk we used put up a firewall and this prevented us from adding our newsletter. They were unable to offer any work around so we had no option but to find another solution. I might add that I am not complaining about this as they were kind enough to host the newsletter for a number of years.

I have in fact added an RSS feed to the site on our index page and on our what's new page. When you go to either of these pages you'll see a wee orange graphic with RSS on it. Clicking that will get you to our feed. You can also find this at

I do have a small script that allows you to take our feed and then convert it to java code which can then be inserted into any web page. Once this is done you'll get our feed appearing on your own web page. Once we have the newsletter sorted we'll get this script up and add a page telling you more about how to use it. The link to this will appear on our "Services" page.

I intend to make use of this script myself to add to our what's new page on the site. This way I won't need to do double work. The script allows you to add as many news items as you want but for most folk likely 10 news items will be sufficient although I've customised it to offer up to 100 news items. Once you get to the limit you decide on the older news items will be removed and replaced with the newest items.

I might add that the "Services" page is new and is intended to list all our interactive services such as our new article and recipe services along with our Calendar and Postcard programs. In other words services that you can do something with.

We are working on new forums software which will be a lot different from the gossamer forums we were using. We have the software but are doing a lot of customization work on it. We intend to offer both public and private messaging, blogs, image hosting and likely a calendar service.

What I am trying to do is provide not only a great research site for Scottish history but also a community that our visitors can use for all kinds of things. I am also not confining this to just Scottish themes and so hope to attract people that may have no particular interest in Scotland but when attracted to some of our services will hopefully become interested in Scotland :-)

This week also sees us starting a new book, "The Scottish Tradition in Canada" of which more below.

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 

PIPING – it’s cool say Scottish kids

Bagpiping is increasing in popularity amongst Scottish young people and this week, Vicky Lee set out to find out more.

Vicky met with TNT (The New Tradition), a kilt-wearing group of 3 young guys in their late teens/early twenties - Keith, Cameron and Alasdair - who are breaking new ground in upping the profile of pipe music amongst Scottish young people. The band formed in July 2006 and have gone from strength to strength, performing in festivals including Glasgow’s Piping Live and Celtic Connections. The three lads are all studying for degrees in Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, but also find time to play with traditional pipe bands when not performing with TNT.

Vicky also visited a group of young pipers from Johnstone, Renfrewshire. The Johnstone Pipe Band has a youth programme which enabled them, in 2006, to launch the Johnstone Novice Juvenile Pipe Band where they’ve discovered that it’s not just the boys who want to be in pipe bands.

It’s actions such as the formation of Johnstone’s juvenile band and emerging contemporary bands such as TNT that are all helping to make piping so appealing to Scotland’s young people.

See for yourself how the future of piping is being assured!

This weeks Flag is compiled by Donald Bain and he's telling about "The man threatening to
destroy Scotland’s independent courts" which is certainly a matter of concern.

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

Carpe diem! Seize the day! Today 29 February 2008 is Leap Day which by tradition is the one day that women can propose marriage, thus keeping men safe for the next 1460 days! So ladies go ahead and seize the day. Supposedly a 1288 law by Margaret, Queen of Scots (then five years old and in Norway) required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man, compensation ranged from a kiss, to a £1, to a silk gown to soften the blow. Thus added to 14 February, St Valentine’s Day, we have another romantic day this February, which calls for another romantic recipe. Chocolate Cloud Cake is just the ticket to round off any romantic meal.

Chocolate Cloud Cake

Cake: 250g dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids; 125g unsalted butter, softened; 6 eggs: 2 whole, 4 separated; 175g caster sugar: 75g in the cake, 100g in whites; 2 tbspns Cointreau (optional); grated zest of an orange (optional); 23cm springform cake tin

Cream topping: 500ml double cream; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tbspn Cointreau (optional); half tsp unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line the bottom of a 23cm Springform cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in it's tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the crater look we're going for here. Whip the cream until soft and then add the vanilla and Cointreau and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff. Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer.

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary has not been received for this week at the time of completing this newsletter.

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

We are now on the Mac's with MacPhie, MacQuarrie, MacQueen, MacRae and MacRimmond

Here is how the account of MacQuarrie starts...

MACQUARRIE (Clann Guarie), the name of a minor clan which possessed the small island of Ulva, one of the Argyleshire Hebrides, with a portion of mull, and the badge of which was the pine. The Gaelic MS of 1450 deduces their descent from Guarie of Godfrey, called by the Highland Sennachies, Gor or Gorbred, said to have been “a brother of Fingon, ancestor of the Mackinnons, and Anrias or Andrew, ancestor of the Macgregors.” This is the belief of Mr. Skene, who adds, “The history of the Macquarries resembles that of the Mackinnons in many respects; like them they had migrated far from the head-quarters of their race; they became dependent on the lords of the Isles, and followed them as if they had become a branch of the clan.”

According to a history of the family, by one of its members, in 1249 Cormac Mhor, then “chief of Ulva’s isle,” joined Alexander II., with his followers and three galleys of sixteen oars each, in his expedition against the western islands, and after that monarch’s death in the island of Kerrera, was attacked by Haco of Norway, defeated and slain. His two sons. Allan and Gregor, were compelled to take refuge in Ireland, where the latter, surnamed Carbh or the rough, is said to have founded the powerful tribe of the MacGuires, the chief of which at one time possessed the title of Lord Inniskillen. Allan returned to Scotland, and his descendant, Hector Macquarrie of Ulva, chief in the time of Robert the Bruce, fought with his clan at Bannockburn.

The first chief of whom there is any notice in the public records was John Macquarrie of Ulva, who died in 1473. (Reg. of Great Seal, 31, No. 159.) His son, Dunslaff, was chief when the last lord of the Isles was forfeited twenty years afterwards. After that event, the Macquarries, like the other vassal tribes of the Macdonalds, became independent. In war, however, they followed the banner of their neighbour Maclean of Dowart. With the latter, Dunslaff supported the claims of Donald Dubh to the lordship of the Isles, in the beginning of the 16th century, and in 1504, “MacGorry of Ullowaa” was summoned, with some other chiefs, before the Estates of the kingdom to answer for his share in Donald Dubh’s rebellion. The submission of Maclean of Dowart, in the following year, implied also that of Macquarrie, and in 1517, when the former chief obtained his own remission, he stipulated for that of the chief of Ulva and two other chiefs. Dunslaff married a daughter of Macneill of Taynish, the bride’s tocher or dower consisting of a piebald horse, with two men and two women.

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 Insch at

Here is a bit from the account...

Name.—The name Insch is generally considered to be of Celtic origin, and to signify an island. It is not improbable, that the Insch had originally been confined to the small town or village in which the church stands, or, at all events, to the spot of ground which forms the site of the village, and which bears some marks of having been at one time surrounded with water.

Extent, &c.—The parish is of an irregular figure. Were one part of it, however, taken away, namely, the Daugh of Moreal, which there is reason to think had not originally belonged to it, but had formed part of another parish now extinct, called Rathmoreal or Christkirk, the remains of whose church, surrounded by a burial-ground, are quite adjacent, in the parish of Kennethmont, the remainder would be pretty nearly an oblong, the greater sides, from north to south, measuring about 5½ miles, the lesser, from east to west, about 2½. The superficial extent of the whole parish is about 11 2/3 square miles. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Culsamond; on the south, by Oyne, Premnay, and Leslie; on the west, by Kennethmont and Gartly; and on the north, by Drum-blade and Forgue.

Any authentic account of the more remote history of the parish would undoubtedly be very interesting, as the memorials of long past times, which still exist in it, are such as shew that it has once been the scene of important events. No such account, however, is known to the writer of this. In a genealogical work, now rare, entitled Laurus Lesliana, and which gives an account of the various branches of the Lesly family, there is some information to be found respecting the former proprietors of land in the parish, the chief of whom had belonged to the house of Lesly.

Land-owners.—The principal land-owners, at the present time, are, Count Lesly of Balquhain, proprietor of the lands termed the Barony of Meikle Wardhouse, Knockenbaird, &c. in the parish of Insch. Count Lesly's ancestors had, it would seem, at one time been possessed of the greater part of the lands in this parish, as also in not a few of the parishes in the Garioch. The baronies of Balquhain and Meikle Wardhouse, the former in the parish of Chapel of Garioch, the latter in this parish, had formerly be-longed to separate branches of the family, and they continued to do so till about the year 1642, when, according to Spalding, the estates of Wardhouse were "so much dilapidated, that the heir, Sir John Leslie, (who died in 1645), on coming home from Germany, on the death of his father, found that there was nothing left for him to live upon." The greater part of his property, having probably been mortgaged, had come, about that time, into the hands of the Balquhain branch, in which it has continued ever since.

A considerable portion, however, including the site of the castle of Wardhouse, having been otherwise disposed of, and having passed through various hands, is now in the possession of John David Gordon, Esq. merchant in Cadiz, who succeeded his father, Charles Gordon, about nine years ago. The family residence in Scotland is Gordon Hall, Kennethmont. The other proprietors of land are, Theodore Gordon, Esq. Overhall, who is possessed of part of the lands of Dunnideer, in this parish.—Robert Abercrombie, Esq. of Rothney and Drumrossie, who came into possession of the above lands (lying partly in Insch, partly in Premnay), by purchase, only a few years ago, they having been sold by the executors of the late Miss Mary Gordon, the last of her family, which was a branch of the Gordons of Lesmoir, and in whose hands they had been for some centuries.—Sir Andrew Leith Hay, of Rannes, who is possessed of the lands of Insch and Netherboddom, and the superiority of the burgh of Insch. Besides the properties above referred to, there are in the parish the lands of Boddom, Cairneston, and Johnsleys, which are at present in the market, having fallen to be disposed of by the executors of the late Mr Gordon, Newton.

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 

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

This week have added 2 stories...

A Night in Duncan M'Gowan's
from Blackwood's Magazine

The Miller and the Freebooter
by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder

As the story of "The Miller and the Freebooter" is quite short here is the whole story for you to read here...

In Glenquoich, in Aberdeenshire, in the early part of last century, there was a corn-mill erected for the use of the neighbourhood, and as the construction and management of such machines were ill understood in that part of Scotland at the time, a miller was brought from the low country to superintend it. In this neighbourhood there lived at that lime a certain Donald Mackenzie, a hero remarkable for his haughty and imperious manner, and known by the appellation of "Donald Unasach," or Donald the Proud. Being a native of Glenquoich, he knew as little of the English language as the miller did of Gaelic. He was an outlaw, addicted to freebooting, and of so fierce and unruly a temper, that the whole country stood in awe of him. One circumstance regarding him struck everyone with superstitious awe, and created much conjecture and speculation among those around him: he was never known to be without abundance of meal, and yet he was never known to carry any corn to the mill.

But the sagacious miller of Glenquoich soon discovered that, in order to bilk him of his proper mill-dues, the caitiff was in the habit of bringing his grain to the mill in the night, and grinding it, and carrying it off before morning. To charge him directly with this fraud, was too dangerous an attempt. But the miller ventured to ask him now and then, quietly, how he did for meal, as he never brought any corn to the mill; to which the freebooter never returned any other answer than one in Gaelic, signifying that "strong is the hand of God!"

Provoked at last, the miller determined to take his own way of curing the evil; and, having some previous notion of the next nocturnal visit of his unwelcome customer, he took care, before leaving the mill in the evening, to remove the bush, or that piece of wood which is driven into the eye of the nethermillstone, for the purpose of keeping the spindle steady in passing through the upper stone. He also stopped up the spout through which the meal discharged itself; and as the mill was one of those old-fashioned machines, where the water-wheel moved horizontally, and directly under the stones, it follows that, by this arrangement of things, the corn would fall into the stream. Having made these preparations, the miller locked his house door, and went to bed.

About midnight, Donald arrived with his people, and some sacks of dry corn, and finding everything, as he thought, in good order in the mill, he filled the hopper, and let on the water. The machinery revolved with more than ordinary rapidity; the grain sank fast in the hopper; but not a particle of it came out at the place where he was wont to receive it into his bag as meal. Donald the Proud and his "gillies" were all aghast. Frantic with rage, he and they ran up and down; and, in their hurry to do everything, they succeeded in doing nothing. At length Donald perceived, what even the obscurity of the night could not hide, a long white line of fair provender flowing down the middle of the stream, that left not a doubt as to where his corn was discharging itself. But he could neither guess how this strange phenomenon was produced, nor how the evil was to be cured. After much perplexity, he thought of turning off the water. But here the wily miller had also been prepared for him, having so contrived matters, that the pole, or handle connecting the sluice with the inside of the mill, had fallen off as soon as the water was let on the wheel.

Baffled at all points, Donald was compelled at last to run to the miller's house. Finding the door locked, he knocked and bawled loudly at the window; and, on the miller demanding to know who was there, he did his best to explain, in broken English, the whole circumstances of the case. The miller heard him to an end ; and turning himself in his bed, he coolly replied, "strong is the hand of God!" Donald Unasach gnashed his teeth, tried the door again, returned to the window, and, humbled by the circumstances, repeated his explanation and entreaties for help. "Te meal town te purn to te teil! hoigh, hoigh!" "I thought ye had been ower weel practeesed in the business to let ony sic mischanter come ower ye, Donald," replied the imperturbable lowlander; "but, you know, 'strong is the hand of God!'" The mountaineer now lost all patience. Drawing his dirk, and driving it through the window, he began to strike it so violently against the stones on the outside of the wall, that he illuminated the house with a shower of fire, that showed the terrified inmates the ferocious countenance of him who wielded the weapon. "Te meal to te mill, te mutter to te mailler," sputtered out Donald, in the midst of his wrath, meaning to imply, that if the miller would only come and help him, he should have all his dues in future. Partly moved by this promise, but still more by his well-grounded fears, the miller arose at last, put the mill to rights, and ground the rest of the corn. And tradition tells us that after this the mill-dues were regularly paid, and the greatest harmony subsisted between Donald Unasach and the miller of Glenquoich.

The other much longer story 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...

A Summer's Study of Ferns (Pages 345-346)
Aspects of Indian Life During the Rebellion (Pages 347-350)
Isaiah XXXIII 17 (Page 351)
Good Words for Every Day in the Year (Pages 351-352)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 353-356)

Here is how the account of "Aspects of Indian Life During the Rebellion: starts...

At Delhi Mr Russell found himself "in the ruined streets of a deserted city, in which every house bore the marks of cannon or musket shot, or the traces of the hand of the spoiler. . . . As the gharry (travel cart) rattled along at the foot of the huge red wall, not a creature was to be seen except a hungry pariah, (semi-wild dog,) "or an impudent crow. The walls of ruined houses, covered all over with bullet marks, stared out dully at us with their Windless eyes of windows." Further on, a few soldiers appeared, lounging about, while English children looked out of the glassless windows, and "a few natives of the lower order strut through the wide street." Received with luxurious hospitality by the Commissioner, Mr Russell proceeded the same evening to visit the ex-king. The description of this miserable shadow of royalty, a "dim, wandering-eyed, dreamy old man, with feeble, hanging nether lip, and toothless gums," has been often quoted, and is repeated by Mr Russell Himself, from his Times' letters. Yet Mr Russell's reflections upon his fate deserve our attention:—

"He was called ungrateful for rising against his benefactors. He was, no doubt, a weak and cruel old man; but to talk of ingratitude on the part of one who saw that all the dominions of his ancestors had gradually been taken from him, by force or otherwise, till he was left with an empty title, a more empty exchequer, and a palace full of penniless princesses and princes of his own blood, is perfectly preposterous. . . . We, it is true, have had the same right and the same charter for our dominions in India that the Mohammedan founders of the house of Delhi had for the sovereignty they claimed over Hindostan; but we did not come into India as they did, at the head of great armies, with the avowed intention of subjugating the country. We crept in as humble barterers, whose existence depended on the bounty and favour of the lieutenants of the kings of Delhi. . . .

An English lawyer in an English court of justice might shew that it would be very difficult for our government to draw an indictment against the king of Delhi for treason, for the laying of war against us as lords paramount, or even for being directly accessory to the murder of the poor ladies who fell victims to the brutal ferocity and bloodthirstiness of a Mohammedan mob. . . . The position of the king was one of the most intolerable misery long ere the revolt broke out. His palace was in reality a house of bondage; he knew that the few wretched prerogatives which were left to him, as if in mockery of the departed power they represented, would be taken away from his successors; that they would be deprived of even the right to live in their own palace, and would be exiled to some place outside the walls. We denied permission to his royal relatives to enter our service ; we condemned them to a degrading existence, in poverty and debt, inside the purlieus of their palace; and then we reproached them with their laziness, meanness, and sensuality. We shut the gates of military preferment upon them—we closed upon them the paths of every pursuit—we took from them every object of honourable ambition; and then our papers and our mess-rooms teemed, with invectives against the lazy, slothful, and sensual princes of his house."

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other articles at 

Clan Information
Got in the December 2007 Newsletter from the Clan MacKenzie Society in the Americas at

Poetry and Stories
Further articles have been added to our Articles Service where the likes of Donna have been adding poems and recipes at 

The History of Ulster
We are now working on Volume 4 being the final volume. Added this week are...

XIII. The Ulster Volunteers
XIV. The Volunteer Movement
XV. Defeat of the Volunteers
XVI. Coercion and Conciliation
XVII. The Rebellion of 1798
XVIII. The Insurrectionary Counties: Antrim and Down
XIX. Insurrectionary and Legitimate Fights for Independence

This is how "The Ulster Volunteers" starts...

The Opening Years of the Reign of George III—Marked by the Establishment of Secret Societies—The Hearts of Oak Boys—The Hearts of Steel Boys — The Comments of Arthur Young on these Secret Societies—The War of American Independence—The Irish Volunteers—The Movement originates in Ulster—Ulster's Example followed by all Ireland—The Convention of Dungannon—Influence of the Volunteers—Free Trade obtained and a Free Parliament demanded.

The opening years of the long reign of George III were, in Ireland, marked by the establishment of secret societies for the redress of grievances which lay heavy on the people, and to which the Government displayed great indifference. The poorer classes, unable to endure any longer the grinding tyranny under which they were condemned to live, made spasmodic efforts by a war of outrages, conducted by secret oath-bound associations, to call attention to their unhappy condition, and to, in some measure, obtain relief. These organizations were in most cases defensive, but there were some propagandist or offensive bodies.

In the south this sad condition of things led to the establishment of the White Boys, so called on account of the members wearing, during their nocturnal visitations, night-shirts over their clothes. In Ulster the organizations were formed among the weaving or manufacturing small farmers, though they included many working men who possessed no land, and some small farmers not in any way connected with the linen trade.

The Presbyterians, as we have seen, suffered several religious disabilities, and, like the Roman Catholics, paid excessive rents and oppressive tithes, though not to the same extent. The scarcity of money, not only as capital, but also as coin in circulation; the heavy taxation, caused by the war, and the consequent interruption of trade, and especially the high price of bread, produced dire misery, nearly always verging on, and sometimes terminating in famine. Such a state of things is bound to produce lawlessness and crime, and only requires some act of gross injustice to bear fruit.

The injustice which led to the formation in 1761 of the Oak Boys was duty work on roads. Every householder was required to give six days' labour in making or repairing the public roads, and if he possessed a horse he had to give six days' labour of his horse. The complaint was that this duty work was only levied on the poor, and that they were compelled to work on private job roads and even upon what were the avenues and farm roads of the gentry.

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)

We have now completed this book by adding the final two chapters...

Chapter LXXXVII.
Presbyterian Divisions

Some Pleas on behalf of the National Union of Scotch Presbyterians

Here is how "Presbyterian Divisions" starts...

I BELIEVE that eighty per cent, of the native-born population of all Scotland call themselves Presbyterians, and the proportion exceeds that figure in the Highlands. It is clear to everyone who has eyes to see, and intelligence to understand, that our country, and other countries as well, must pass through the fiery ordeal of a transitional era, which already exhibits not a few of the dangers it carries in its bosom. The cause of religion, sound education, wise and firm government and administration, calls loudly for organised defence and cautious progress on lines which will lead to safety and save us from plunging into chaos, to find destruction there instead of the Socialist Golden Age. When proverbially and actually union is strength, and disunion is weakness, the question which every Christian possessing commonsense should put to himself is "Why do we not knock down paltry hedges of partition, and unite into a great host, fit, should there be need, to repeat the achievements of our ancestors in a new form?"

In 1860 the Free Church was as yet pervaded by the preaching fervour of evangelicalism and revivalism, and flourishing on Disruption principles, from which there could be no lapsing as long as the ruling power remained in the hands of those who had gone through the excitement of the "Ten Years' Conflict," and sealed their testimony by leaving the Church of Scotland in May, 1843. The representatives of Old Secessions that united in 1847 on the platform of Voluntaryism, and threw aside the testimonies and declarations of the founders of their little communions, counted for nothing in the High- lands, but were of consequence in the southern towns, and had a footing in southern villages and rural districts. They took a lively part in political and municipal affairs, and were worthy and prosperous people, who, in the opinion of their less bustling and less self-confident neighbours, had not the least need to pray the Lord to give them a good conceit of themselves. Their ministers were orthodox evangelicals, and they kept themselves as much as they could out of the political and municipal affairs in which their hearers liked to display their gifts, and from which they often snatched the prizes of their ambition. In the South the Church of Scotland had, before 1870, in a great measure recovered from the staggering blow of the Disruption, and the party within her walls who wished to throw Lord Aberdeen's Act to the dogs and get patronage abolished root and branch, were gaining power and courage to fight and conquer. In the Highlands the smashing-up had been too thorough to allow of anything more than very slow recovery. The majority of Highland Church of Scotland ministers had to put up for a long time with skeleton congregations, and although a vast improvement has taken place since the abolition of patronage, some of them have to do so to this day.

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...

Forty-second Royal Highland Regiment, second Battalion, now Seventy-third Regiment, 1780
Seventy-fourth Regiment, 1787
Seventy-fifth Highland Regiment, 1787
Seventy-eighth Regiment, or Ross-shire Highlanders, 1793
Seventy-ninth Regiment, or Cameron Highlanders, 1793
Ninety-seventh, or Strathspey Regiment, 1794
Ninety-eighth, or Argyleshire Highlanders; now the Ninety-first Regiment, 1794

Here is how the account of the Ross-shire Highlanders starts...

n 1793, and the succeeding years, the whole strength and resources of the United Empire were called into action. In the northern corner of the kingdom a full proportion of its disposable resources was produced. A people struggling against the disadvantages of a boisterous climate, and barren soil, could not be expected to contribute money. But the personal services of the young and active were ready, when required, for the defence of the liberty and independence of their country. The men whom these districts sent forth, in the hour of danger, possessed that vigour and hardihood peculiar to an agricultural and pastoral life. As a proof of this, in late years, when typhus and other epidemic diseases were prevalent in the South, it was so different in the mountains, that, except in cases where infection was carried from the Low country, few instances of typhus or other contagious distempers occurred, and where they actually broke out, they did not spread, as might naturally have been expected, from the confined and small dwellings of the Highland peasantry,—a fact only to be accounted for from their habitual temperance, and that robust vigour of constitution produced by sobriety and exercise.

It may, therefore, be allowed that the effective national defence which the agricultural population afford the State is to be valued beyond a numerical force of another description, in so far as a man, whose strength of constitution enables him to serve his country for a term of years, though subjected to privations and changes of climate, is more valuable than the man whose constitution gives way in half the time. This remark applies forcibly in the present instance. Indeed, where sickness has prevailed among Highland soldiers, it has in general been occasioned less by fatigue, privations, or exposure to cold, than from the nature of the provisions, particularly animal food, and from clothing unnecessarily warm. [In 1805, the second battalion of the 78th regiment, newly raised, and composed of nearly 600 boys from the Highlands, was quartered in Kent where many of the finest looking lads were attacked with inflammatory diseases, preceded by eruptions on the skin, arising entirely from the quantity of animal food suddenly introduced into the system, previously accustomed to barley and oatmeal, or vegetable diet. The stomachs of many rejected the quantity of animal food supplied, and it was not till the following year that they were fully seasoned.] In the march through Holland and Westphalia in 1794 and 1795, when the cold was so in-tense that brandy froze in bottles, the Highlanders, consisting of the 78th, 79th, and the new recruits of the 42d, (very young soldiers), wore their kilts, and yet the loss was out of all comparison less than that sustained by some other corps. [During the whole of that campaign, from the landing at Ostend, in June 1794, till the embarkation at Bremenlee, in May 1795, the number killed and died of sickness in the 42d regiment was only twenty-six men.] Producing so many defenders of the liberty, honour, and independence of the State, as these mountains have done, and of which an aggregate statement will be given, they might have been saved from a system which tends ultimately to change the character, if not altogether to extirpate their hardy inhabitants. We have heard of the despotic institutions of the Mesta in Spain, which provide that the lands and pastures shall be cleared for the royal flocks, who are driven from district to district for subsistence. The monopoly of farms, which expatriates a numerous and virtuous race, is a species of Mesta, greatly more ruinous to the ancient inhabitants than that so justly complained of in Spain. Whether it proceeds from the privileges of an absolute monarch, or the power of engrossing wealth, we find that monopoly and despotism are frequently analogous in their ultimate result, although they may differ in the means to which they may resort for their attainment.

Individual severity as certainly generates disaffection to the commonwealth, as the political sins and oppressions of the government. However, the loyalty of Highlanders is not easily alienated; for, although the engrossing of farms, and removal of the old occupiers, caused such discontent in the county of Ross, that the people broke out in open violence [See Article 42d Regiment, vol. I. page 416.] in the year 1792, and the recruiting for the 42d and other regiments was materially affected, yet, whenever the general welfare and honour of the country were called in question, and war declared, all complaints seemed to be buried in oblivion. And as the Frasers, who had been one of the most active, numerous, and efficient clans in the Rebellion of 1745, were the first, in the year 1756, to come forth in his Majesty's service, under the very leader who had headed them at Culloden, and, in like manner, in the American war, when the 71st, or Fraser's Highlanders, was the first regiment embodied; so now, in the same country, whither, but two years before, troops had been ordered to repair, by forced marches, to quell the riotous discontents of the people, the first regiment raised in the late war was completed in a few months, after letters of service had been granted to the late Lord Seaforth. When completed it was numbered the 78th (the old establishment of the army being 77 regiments), the regiment raised by his predecessor the Earl of Seaforth, in the year 1779, having the same number. This regiment, however, was not raised with the same expedition as in former times. Probably some lurking feel-ings of dissatisfaction at the late proceedings and depopulations still remained. The desolate appearance of the once populous glens, the seats of happiness and contentment, too strongly commemorated these hated proceedings; especially as the people were, at the same time, uncertain whether a similar fate awaited themselves. But, notwithstanding of these appalling discouragements of patriotic and chivalrous feeling, the first establishment of the regiment was completed, and embodied by Lieutenant-General Sir Hector Munro at Fort George on the 10th of July 1793. Five companies were immediately embarked for Guernsey, where they were brigaded with the other troops under the command of the Earl of Moira. The other five companies landed in Guernsey in September 1793.

This was an excellent body of men, healthy, vigorous, and efficient; attached and obedient to their officers, temperate and regular; in short, possessing those principles of integrity and moral conduct, which constitute a valuable soldier. The duty of officers was easy with such men, who only required to be told what duty was expected of them. A young officer, endowed with sufficient judgment to direct them in the field, possessing energy and spirit to ensure the respect and confidence of soldiers, and prepared, on every occasion, to show them the eye of the enemy, need not desire a command that would sooner, and more permanently, establish his professional character, if employed on an active campaign, than that of 1000 such men as composed this regiment.

You can read the rest of this at

You can read the other chapters at 

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1884
This week have added a large account of The Agriculture of Wigtownshire and here is how it starts...

Wigtown or West Galloway forms the south-west corner of Scotland, and is bounded on the west by the Irish Channel, on the north by Ayrshire, on the east by Kirkcudbrightshire and the Solway Firth, and on the south by the Irish Sea.

There are sixty-nine landed proprietors, four of whom have incomes exceeding £10,000, seventeen from £1000 to £9000, the rest being smaller. The average size of farms, as given by the Board of Trade in 1867, was 104 acres.

The county is deeply indented by two arms of the sea,—Loch Ryan varying in width from 3 to 6 miles, stretching from the northwest corner southward for about 9 miles, and Luce Bay, stretching from the south northwards for 18 miles, with a width of about 12 miles, the two inlets at their heads being only about 6 miles apart.

The peninsula thus formed on the western side is known as the Rhins of Galloway, extending from the Mull of Galloway on the south to Corsewall Point on the north, a length of about 28 miles, and varying in width from 1½ to 6 miles; the southeast portion is known as the Machars, extending from Burrow Head northwards. The general appearance of Wigtownshire is not very striking from a distance, being rather flat, none of its heights exceeding 800 to 1000 feet. A great portion of it is irreclaimable moor, this being mostly in the northern and higher part, stretching towards the boundaries of Ayrshire. The southern and lower district is now mostly arable; it has few characteristic features; the chief being three rivers or waters, viz., the Cree, which forms its eastern boundary, the Bladnoch, both falling into Wigtown Bay, and the Luce falling into Luce Bay, besides a few inland lochs. Moss enters largely into the composition of the soil of the county, and has been found a very useful and economical firing; though now in a great many cases it has been drained and improved, and coals have to be alone depended on for fuel.

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 seventh page of 10 cards up 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...

Henry Drummond
The author of "The Greatest Thing in the World", it went on to sell over 12 million copies and it continues today to influence people to follow God's two great commandments: to love God and to love each other.

The first two paragraphs are...

IT is now eighteen months since Henry Drummond died time enough for the fading of those fond extravagances into which fresh grief will weave a dead friend's qualities. And yet, I suppose, there are hundreds of men and women who are still sure and will always be sure that his was the most Christlike life they ever knew. In that belief they are fortified not only by the record of the great influence which God gave him over men, for such is sometimes misleading; but by the testimony of those who worked at his side while he wielded it, and by the evidence of the friends who knew him longest and who were most intimately acquainted with the growth of his character.

In his brief life we saw him pass through two of the greatest trials to which character can be exposed. We watched him, our fellow-student and not yet twenty-three, surprised by a sudden and a fierce fame. Crowds of men and women, in all the great cities of our land, hung upon his lips; innumerable lives opened their secrets to him, and made him aware of his power over them. When his first book was published, he, being then about thirty-three, found another world at his feet: the great of the land thronged him, his social opportunities were boundless, and he was urged by the chief statesman of our time to a political career. This is the kind of trial which one has seen wither some of the finest characters, and distract others from the simplicity and resolution of their youth. He passed through it unscathed: it neither warped his spirit nor turned him from his accepted vocation as a teacher of religion.

We have made available three books about him. The first is a biography about him. The second is a much shorter version from the "Famous Scots" series. The third is his book, "The Greatest Thing in the World".

You can read all this at

The index page for this section can be reached at

The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Edited by W. Stanford Reid

We have the Editor's Introduction, Introduction and Chapter 1 up for you to read. I feel it is appropriate to feature the entire "Editor's Introduction" here to give you the background to this publication...

Canadians, like many other people, have recently been changing their attitude towards the ethnic dimension in society. Instead of thinking of the many distinctive heritages and identities to be found among them as constituting a problem, though one that time would solve, they have begun to recognize the ethnic diversity of their country as a rich resource. They have begun to take pride in the fact that people have come and are coming here from all parts of the world, bringing with them varied outlooks, knowledge, skills and traditions, to the great benefit of all.

It is for this reason that Book IV of the Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism dealt with the cultural contributions of the ethnic groups other than the British, the French and the Native Peoples to Canada, and that the federal government in its response to Book IV announced that the Citizenship Branch of the Department of the Secretary of State would commission "histories specifically directed to the background, contributions and problems of various cultural groups in Canada." This series presents the histories that have resulted from that mandate. Although commissioned by the Government, they are not intended as definitive or official, but rather as the efforts of scholars to bring together much of what is known about the ethnic groups studied, to indicate what remains to be learned, and thus to stimulate further research concerning the ethnic dimension in Canadian society. The histories are to be objective, analytical, and readable, and directed towards the general reading public, as well as students at the senior high school and the college and university levels, and teachers in the elementary schools.

Most Canadians belong to an ethnic group, since to do so is simply to have "a sense of identity rooted in a common origin . . . whether this common origin is real or imaginary." [Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.] The Native Peoples, the British and French (referred to as charter groups because they were the first Europeans to take possession of the land), the groups such as the Germans and Dutch who have been established in Canada for over a hundred years and those who began to arrive only yesterday all have traditions and values that they cherish and that now are part of the cultural riches that Canadians share. The groups vary widely in numbers, geographical location and distribution and degree of social and economic power. The stories of their struggles, failures and triumphs will be told in this series.

As the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism pointed out this sense of ethnic origin or identity "is much keener in certain individuals than in others." [Ibid. Paragraph 8.] In contemporary Canadian society, with the increasing number of intermarriages across ethnic lines, and hence the growing diversity of peoples ancestors, many are coming to identify themselves as simple Canadian, without reference to their ancestral origins. In focusing on the ethnic dimension of Canadian society, past and present, the series does not assume that everyone should be categorized into one particular group, or that ethnicity is always the most important dimension of people's lives. It is, however, one dimension that needs examination if we are to understand fully the contours and nature of Canadian society and identity.

Professional Canadian historians have in the past emphasized political and economic history, and since the country's economic and political institutions have been controlled largely by people of British and French origin, the role of those of other origins in the development of Canada has been neglected. Also, Canadian historians in the past have been almost exclusively of British and French origin, and have lacked the interest and the linguistic skills necessary to explore the history of other ethnic groups. Indeed, there has rarely ever been an examination of the part played by specifically British - or, better, specifically English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh - traditions and values in Canadian development, because of the lack of recognition of pluralism in the society. The part played by French traditions and values, and particular varieties of French traditions and values, has for a number of reasons been more carefully scrutinized.

This series is an indication of growing interest in Canadian social history, which includes immigration and ethnic history. This may particularly be a reflection of an increasing number of scholars whose origins and ethnic identities are other than British or French. Because such trends are recent, many of the authors of the histories in this series have not had a large body of published writing to work from. It is true that some histories have already been written of particular groups other than the British and French; but these have often been characterized by filio pietism, a narrow perspective and a dearth of scholarly analysis.

Despite the scarcity of secondary sources, the authors have been asked to be as comprehensive as possible, and to give balanced coverage to a number of themes: historical background, settlement patterns, ethnic identity and assimilation, ethnic associations, population trends, religion, values, occupations and social class, the family, the ethnic press, language patterns, political behaviour, education, inter-ethnic relations, the arts and recreation. They have also been asked to give a sense of the way the group differs in various parts of the country. Finally, they have been asked to give, as much as possible, an insider's view of what the immigrant and ethnic experiences were like at different periods of time, but yet at the same time to be as objective as possible, and not simply to present the group as it sees itself, or as it would like to be seen.

The authors have thus been faced with a herculean task. To the extent that they have succeeded, they provide us with new glimpses into many aspects of Canadian society of the past and the present. To the extent that they have fallen short of their goal, they challenge other historians, sociologists and social anthropologists to continue the work begun here.

Jean Burnet
Howard Palmer

You can read what we have up to date at

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Produced by Beth Gay

Beth has sent in the March 2008 edition for us to enjoy. You can view both sections of the publication at

Boleskine & Dores (Inverness-shire)
Our thanks to Marie Fraser for sending this into us. It details Place Names in Parish Registers pre-1800. Always great to get this type of information in as genealogists sometimes find it hard to trace a place that is no longer listed on maps.

You can see this at

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


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