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
25th April 2008

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site Aois - The Celtic Community
The Electric Scotland Article Service

Dear Friend

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
Article Service
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Poetry and Stories
Household Encyclopaedia
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the Tenth Century
The Intellectual Development of Scotland
The History of the Highland Clearances (New Book)
Fallbrook Farm
Memphis Scottish Society Newsletters
The Celtic Monthly
National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month
Polar Bear: I come in Peace!


Sun, and more Sun this week... and then I got a quote for a new roof! $7218.00! [gulp]

This week we've made a start at getting up our new forums software. Likely take a week or so to do this as it's very rich in features which just means it's a lot of work to get it all configured. We also note that there is likely to be a new full release of the software in the next couple of weeks which adds new functionality so we may delay things a little to get this in place before launch. It has moved from beta to release candidate 4 and so I understand when it moves to 5 it will be released.

As the upgrade from the current release to the new release is simple to do this will not hold us back from getting the software configured.

The software we will be using is vBulletin and is the first phase of bringing up our new Aois Community. The system will provide users with both public and private messaging, buddy lists, Instant Messaging, own area where each user can upload pictures and so photo hosting. You will be able to create your own blogs, have your own calendar with reminder system, do polls and lots more.

This is the first phase and to it we'll be adding additional functionality down the road where you'll have text, audio and video chat and be able to upload your own videos. We're even looking at a dating service :-)

We intend to have several public message forums to get us started. We'll have a clan area where folk can discuss their own clans and should we get a request for a specific clan area we'll certainly consider requests if there is enough support for one. We'll also have our old Thistle & Whistle Pub forum and a few other general ones.

There is a built in FAQ system which will help you understand the various options and how to use them.

There are a lot of social networking features built in and I guess it will take a little while for us to learn all the capabilities of the system :-)

We do have lots of decisions to make as we progress with the system but to start with the system will be free but we may implement a pay system for those that want to make larger use of the system. For example, while you can upload your own pictures we may set a cap on the total number of megabytes you can store. Should you wish to exceed this limit then there may be a small charge.

Overall this is a longterm project for us and we hope our new Aois Community will become a great place to visit and make your home on the web.


Made a start on a book about the Highland Clearances for which more below.


I noticed that only 56% of you actually opened the newsletter last week. Given that I am wondering how many are actually getting it.  Mind you if you are not getting you won't be able to tell me :-)


Coming soon are books about...

Scotland's Influence on Civilization
By The Rev. Leroy J. Halsey, D.D., LL.D.

Kind of self explanatory this one but it is an American publication and looks to have been written there as well.

Arbroath and its Abbey
By David Miller (1859)

As you will know the Declaration of Arbroath was signed here and it gives an interesting account of the Abbey and surrounding area. There is also some excellent information going quite far back in time addressing how people lived in those far off days.

Annals of Garelochside
By W. C. Maughan (1897)

This is a small area of Scotland and thought it would interesting to see what happened there.

The Border or Riding Clans
By B. Homer Dixon (1889)

This is actually a book that was produced as a private publication to tell fellow members of Clan Dickson about their heritage. Due to requests the information was expanded and published for general readership. It also gives some quite detailed accounts of what life was like in the Scottish Borders.

Domestic Life in Scotland, 1488 - 1688
By John Warrack (1924)

This is actually a book about furniture or lack of in Scotland.  It gives an interesting insight into how people lived during this time frame. It also alerts us not to assume things using our current state of living when examining old accounts of what life was like in the old days.

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 or on our site menu.

Scotland on TV
Visit their site at 

Alloway Auld Kirk - the inspiration for Robert Burns’ Tam o’Shanter

'She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.’

This week, the kirkyard which inspired the location for the witches’ dance in Robert Burns’ poem Tam o’Shanter, was re-opened by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond following programme of restoration and conservation work. Alex Salmond was on good form as he attended the re-opening event, even quoting lines from Burns’ infamous poem.

The kirk in South Ayrshire is also significant in the history of Robert Burns’ life as it is the final resting place of Burns’ father.

The completion of the restoration work was timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth as well as the Homecoming 2009 events next year. It is hoped that many of the ex-patriot Scots who are returning home to Scotland will want to visit this place which played such a significant role in inspiring the national Bard. With Ayrshire being ‘Burns Country’ it’s likely to be on many an itinerary.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Donald Bain. It appears that this is Donald's last contribution for the time being.

In Peter's cultural section we get...

In this week’s Scottish Quotations, the former footballer and football pundit Pat Nevin reminds us that football has played an important part in Scottish history and culture. Football, at a rudimentary level, has indeed enjoyed a long history in Scotland and was first mentioned in an act of the Scottish Parliament, The Three Estates, banning the game! Too much time was being devoted to football and golf as against, for the defence of the realm, necessary archery practise. Football at that time was a very rough game as recorded by an anonymous medieval poet –

Brissit brawnis and brokin banis, (torn muscles, broken bones)
Stride, discord and waisite wanis; (broken homes)
Crukit in eild, syne halt withal- (old age)
Thir are the bewties of the fute-ball. (The Bewties of the Fute-ball)

From the formation of Queen’s Park in 1867 the much more civilised modern sport quickly expanded to every village, town and city in Scotland. Indeed much of the expansion of football world-wide was due to expatriate Scots. At home football still plays a vital role in the social fabric of the nation and is much prized by local communities as was evidenced on Saturday (19 April 2008) in the towns of Hamilton, Dingwall and Methil as their local senior teams won their respective Scottish Football League titles. Hamilton, winners of the First Division will now ply their trade in the Scottish Premier League, Ross County as Division Two champions bounced back to the First Division after only one season in the lower league, and East Fife in the Third Division enjoyed their first league title success in 60 years. The Fife were the first club in Scotland to achieve championship status (15 March 2008) this season and with backing from businessmen Willie Gray and Sid Columbine hope to make their mark in the higher division next season.

Since becoming the only lower division club ever to win the Scottish Cup in 1938, East Fife supporters have always looked upon The Fife as being the footballing ‘Kings of Fife’ and our recipe this week features the King of Fish – the salmon.

Baked Salmon Escalopes

Ingredients: 450 g/1 lb salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces; 30 g/1 oz melted butter; 4 tbsp white wine; 4 bay leaves

Method: Cut 4 large discs of bakewell paper (12” diameter) and brush them lightly with melted butter. Lay an escalope in the centre of each, season well, place a bay leaf on top and pour a tablespoon of wine over each. Fold the paper over the fish and crimp the edges ‘en papillote’ – like a Cornish pasty. Lay the parcels in a hot oven (200 deg C/ 400 deg F – Gas Mark 6) for 15-17 minutes. Unwrap the papillotes and serve the escalopes with mange-tout and baby carrots.

And you can now purchase a Scots Independent T-Shirt at

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary is available at

The Article Service
Got in a really neat article about Llamas this week.

See these at

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

We are now onto the M's with Moor, Moore, Moray, Mordington, Moreham, Morison and Mortimer

Some good information on the Moore name with a famous Doctor, famous General and a famous Poet...

MOORE, SIR JOHN, a distinguished British commander, son of the subject of the preceding article, by his wife, a daughter of Professor Simson, of the university of Glasgow, was born in that city, Nov. 13, 1761. He received the rudiments of his education at the local High School, and at the age of eleven accompanied his father, then engaged as traveling physician to the duke of Hamilton, to the continent. In 1776 he obtained an ensign’s commission in the 51st foot. He was next promoted to a lieutenancy in the 82d regiment, and served in America till the conclusion of the war in 1783, when his regiment being reduced, he was put upon half-pay. On his return to Britain, with the rank of captain, he resumed the studies of fortification and field tactics, and on the change of ministry, which soon followed the peace, he was, by the Hamilton influence, elected to represent the Lanark district of burghs in parliament. In 1787 he obtained the rank of major in the 4th battalion of the 60th regiment, and in 1788 he exchanged into his first regiment, the 51st. In 1790 he succeeded by purchase to the lieutenant-colonelcy, and in 1791 he went with his regiment to Gibraltar.

In 1794 Colonel Moore was ordered to accompany the expedition for the reduction of Corsica, and at the siege of Calvi he was appointed by General Charles Stuart to command the reserve, at the head of which he gallantly stormed the Mozzello fort, amidst a shower of bullets, hand grenades, and shells, that exploded among them at every step. Here he received his first wound, in spite of which he mounted the breach with his brave followers, who drove the enemy before them. Soon after the surrender of the garrison, he was nominated adjutant-general, as a step to farther promotion.

Lots more to read on this person and the others 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 Tarland and Migvie

Here is a bit from the Antiquities section...

Antiquities.—About half a mile south from the church of Tar. land, and in the parish of Coull, there is a small hill or emi-nence, about 150 feet in height above the level of the Tarland burn; its summit of conical form, about 100 feet in circumference, consisting of solid rock and beautiful granite. On this summit may be seen the distinct ruins of a distinguished Druidical temple, containing two circles formed of large erect stones, at short intervals, from 4 to 5 feet in height, 3 broad, and 2 feet thick. The hill or eminence is known by the name Tomnaverie, a word of Gaelic extraction, and said to signify "the hill of truth, or worship, or of justiciary trial." About 100 feet from this summit westward, are two distinct inclosures, each about an acre of stony and uncultivated ground, which might have served for camps, or such accommodating purposes as the assembling worshippers required. On the east side of the eminence, and about 200 paces from the temple, there is about an acre of cultivated ground which was formerly enclosed, and is known by the name of the "hangman's yard." From the centre of the temple, pointing to the north-east, and about one mile distant, there may be seen the site and ruins of a lesser Druidical temple, as if intended for more frequent and ordinary worship. From the same centre, at the same distance, and pointing to the north, are to be seen the ruins of another Druidical temple: and from the same centre, at the same distance, and pointing to the north-west, and upon the boundary which separates Tarland from Coldstone parish, maybe seen the ruins of another Druidical temple,—all three uniform in size, and equidistant from the larger temple upon Tomnaverie. On the north-west point of the eminence, and close by the large temple, are to be seen evident traces of strong fire, which has shattered the solid rock several feet deep. It may be worthy of remark that, in the immediate neighbourhood of the lesser temple alluded to in the north-east,.there was lately found in the cultivated soil, a small stone of very hard texture, about 3 inches long, and 2 thick, tapering at one end, and, though quite smooth, altogether of rugged-like surface: the other end, impressed with two distinct circles; beautifully polished, and in high preservation.

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...

Nanny Welsh, the Minister's Maid and here is how it starts...

There are now—so far at least as my experience goes—fewer specimens of homely, odd, and eccentric characters to be met with in Scotland than in former years. In solitary nooks of the country, away from the boom of cities, and the rush of railways, many doubtless still exist, and contribute largely to the amusement of their rural acquaintances; but it cannot be denied that the race of originals is fast disappearing, and threatens ultimately to become altogether extinct. Into the cause or causes of this I do not intend to enter; it is sufficient to chronicle the melancholy fact. There may be a beauty in similarity, but there is a higher beauty in diversity. Men and women are now so very much alike, that the study of mankind is not such a difficult task after all. The greater facilities for intercourse which the present generation enjoys have tended to rub off the angularities of individual character, and to create a fusion, or confusion, of all classes in the community. Such being the case, it is pleasant at times to revert from the present to the past, and to recall the peculiar aspect, the odd sayings, and eccentric doings of persons with whom we were familiar in former years.

Among a number of others, Nanny Welsh stands prominent in my recollection. She was maid-of-all-work in the old home-manse of Keppel, where I first saw the light of day, and for many years afterwards. A rare specimen Nanny was of the departed or departing race of familiar domestics. She had herded the cows of neighbouring farmers, almost from her childhood, until she entered upon domestic service, and life before she became minister’s maid, an honour which she highly esteemed and long enjoyed. She was big-boned and masculine in the build of her body. Her face was long and hard, almost grim, and well freckled, and deeply browned by frequent exposure to the sun and air. A white "mutch," with a high horse-shoe shaped crown, surmounted her head at morning, noon, and night. With her gown tucked up behind in the old familiar fashion of domestics, and a youngster strapped on her back with a shawl, and peering with his little pow over her shoulders, she went to work, as if the fate of empires, not to speak of the honour of the old manse, depended upon her exertions.

She used to boast that she could ‘pit mair’ through her hands in an hour than ‘ony ither woman i’ the parish’. She was, in truth, a capital worker; and while her hands went her tongue wagged. Nanny could never endure either to be idle or silent. When engaged in scrubbing pots and pans her back was not forgotten, but received all the benefit of her sayings and soliloquies. In the discharge of her domestic duties she liked to carry everything her own way, and generally managed to take it, whatever orders might be given to the contrary.

You can read the rest of this story at

The other 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...

Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 441-445)
The Story of Cornelius (Pages 445-448)
Good Words for Every Day of the Year (Page 448)
Dr Wichern and The Rauhe House (Pages 449-453)
Journey by Sinai to Syria (Pages 453-456)

Here is how the second chapter of "The Story of Cornelius" starts...

Is there an exception to the rule which is implied in the words of Jesus, ''Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you"? Of all the thousands who, in the course of centuries, have heard and followed this invitation, was there ever a single individual who could say, "I tested the truth of this promise, I asked, I sought, I knocked, but in vain"? No, not one. He may have asked for days, without receiving; he may have been a seeker for months, without finding; he may have anxiously knocked for a long period, without obtaining an entrance: like John Bunyan and Martin Luther, he may for a long time have languished in darkness and fetters; like Augustine, he may have made many unsuccessful efforts, and been thrown back again and again by the superior strength of the world and his unrenewed nature and Satan; he may have been held captive by the dazzling sophistry of human wisdom and philosophy, like many a sceptic in our own day,—but, whenever God implants in the soul of man the desire after truth, light, and peace, it cannot be otherwise but that finally the victory is won—the weary pilgrim, roused by God to leave the city of destruction, at last finds rest at the Cross of reconciliation. The history of Cornelius speaks comfort and encouragement to all sincere seekers, and tells them to wait patiently and pray perseveringly—"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth you."

Cornelius was prepared to hear the Divine message, but the servant of the Lord was not yet prepared to preach it to him. Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, was chosen by God to admit the first Gentile into the visible Church. It was through his instrumentality that the Jewish Christian Church had been founded in Jerusalem. The peculiar gifts which God had bestowed upon him, and which the Spirit had sanctified, singled him out to be the representative and leader of the apostles. We would naturally expect that the first Gentile should be instructed and baptized by Paul, who was appointed to labour, not so much among his kinsmen according to the flesh, as the other nations, and to whom was given such a clear insight into the counsel of God concerning Israel and the Gentiles. But, on a more thoughtful consideration, it will appear that it was in a manner meet that the admission of Cornelius into the Church of Christ should be brought about by him who had planted the churches of Judea.

You can read the rest of this article at

You can read the other articles at 

Poetry and Stories
John sent in two new doggerels...

"The Grunsman's Trachles" at
"Belmont Camp - Meigle (1947)" at

Donna has started a new series called "Chief" which is the story of her cousin Warren Curtis Jones. You can read this at

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

Page 171
Cabbage, Cabbage Fly, Cabbage Moth, Cabbage Root Fly, Cabbage Snowy Fly, Cabinet
Page 172
Cabinet, Cabinet Making
Page 173
Cabinet Making, Cabinet Pudding, Cabriole Leg, Cachou, Cactus
Page 174
Caddis Worm, Caerphilly Cheese, Caffein, Cairngorm, Cairn Terrier, Cakes and How They Are Made

The index page of this publication can be seen 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...

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
In 7 volumes published in 1837.

The Preface start...

IN obedience to the instructions of Sir Walter Scott's last will, I had made some progress in a narrative of his personal history, before there was discovered, in an old cabinet at Abbotsford, an autobiographical fragment, composed by him in 1808 shortly after the publication of his Marmion.

This fortunate accident rendered it necessary that I should altogether remodel the work which I had commenced. The first Chapter of the following Memoirs consists of the Ashestiel fragment; which gives a clear outline of his early life down to the period of his call to the bar July, 1792. All the notes appended to this Chapter are also by himself.

They are in a hand-writing very different from the text, and seem, from various circumstances, to have been added in 1826. It appeared to me, however, that the author's modesty had prevented him from telling the story of his youth with that fulness of detail which would now satisfy the public. I have therefore recast my own collections as to the period in question, and presented the substance of them, in five succeeding chapters, as illustrations of his too brief autobiography. This procedure has been attended with many obvious disadvantages; but I greatly preferred it to printing the precious fragment in an Appendix.

I foresee that some readers may be apt to accuse me of trenching upon delicacy in certain details of the sixth and seventh chapters in this volume. Though the circumstances there treated of had no trivial influence on Sir Walter Scott's history and character, I should have been inclined, for many reasons, to omit them; but the choice was, in fact, not left to me, for they had been mentioned, and misrepresented, in various preceding sketches of the Life which I had undertaken to illustrate. Such being the case, I considered it as my duty to tell the story truly and intelligibly: but I trust I have avoided any unnecessary disclosures: and, after all, there was nothing to disclose that could have attached any sort of blame to any of the parties concerned.

You can read this at

The index page for this section can be reached at

The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Edited by W. Stanford Reid

This week have added...

The Scot and Canadian Identity by W. Stanford Reid
Scottish Place-Names in Canada by Watson Kirkconnell

which now completes this book.

Here is how "The Scot and Canadian Identity" starts...

The preceding chapters of this book have indicated that Scots have played an important role in Canada from the very beginning of its history. Scottish names appear repeatedly at crucial turning points in the Canadian story as well as in the more mundane aspects of its development. In this, Scots have contributed certain characteristics to Canadian identity. While some Canadians themselves may feel that there is no truly Canadian identity or that what identity has developed is now being eroded, to many who come to the country for the first time, one thing stands out. It is the Scottish influence, which, although metamorphosed by the Canadian geographical and social environment, still remains strongly Scottish in flavor.


While most of the chapters tend to end their story of the Scot in Canada around 1900, the reason for this is not far to seek. From the opening decade of the present century the pattern of Canadian immigration has changed radically from what it was in earlier years. Ever-increasing numbers of Europeans, particularly from eastern Europe, Asiatics, West Indians and Americans have moved into Canada to create a widely variegated ethnic mosaic. As a result the proportion of the native English-speaking element in the population has declined steadily, and as Scots were only a relatively small part of that group their share in the population has likewise become smaller.

This development is indicated at least in part by the immigration and population statistics. During the years 1898-1901, Scottish immigration averaged around 1200 immigrants a year out of a population in Scotland of 4,500,000. English and Welsh immigration, on the other hand, was running at about 8,500 out of a home population of 32,000,000 to 33,000,000. Thus Scotland was sending to Canada an average proportion of its population. By 1967 the number of Scots entering the country had risen to 15,575, although since that time the figure has dropped to about one-third of that figure. While the reasons for the increase in immigration in this century is not always clear, some factors, both old and new, have acted to maintain the flow of Scottish people of all classes and social strata. The fact that friends and relatives have already migrated sometimes acts as an incentive for a move to Canada. Perhaps more important is the fact that ever since the 1820s Canada has been regarded as the land of opportunity. This has been particularly true as a result of the Depression of the 1930s and two world wars. Canada did not seem to have been as hard hit by the Depression as were some areas of Scotland where up to 25% of the labouring population were, at the depth of the slump, out of work. Furthermore, during the bombing raids of World War II Canada seemed to be a very peaceful place to live, as testified by some of the children who were evacuated to relatives in Canada for safety. Another of the more recent causes has been the fear of the growing socialism in Great Britain which has caused middle class families to move. And probably one of the factors which went along with all the others was the fact that it was felt that in Canada there were more of the comforts of life, such as central heating! But even with the increase in Scottish immigration since 1900, the Scottish proportion of the population has declined. In 1901 it was just under 15%, by 1921 it had fallen to 13.3% and since 1941 it has remained stationary at around 10%, although in the latest census the differentiation between English, Welsh and Scottish has been dropped in favour of "British." Yet Canadians of Scottish origin, from what we can determine, still form the third largest ethnic group in the country, with a total of around 2,000,000, as compared with 5,000,000 in Scotland.

In spite of the proportional decline of Scots and Canadians of Scottish descent within the population, they still play an important part in Canadian life and activity. Scots continue to come to Canada from all levels of society: skilled workmen, professionals, financiers, manufacturers. Moreover, even though they may have no relations in Canada, they soon find that they are involved with other Scots or Scottish Canadians who are very conscious of their Scottish background and heritage, and of what Scots have meant to the development of Canada and Canadian self-consciousness.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the Tenth Century
By James T. Calder (1861)

This week have added Chapters 9, 10 and 11.

Chapter IX
Tragical disaster which befel Colonel George Sinclair in Norway—The Earl of Caithness employed by Government to quell a species of rebellion got up by Patrick, Earl of Orkney, and his natural son Robert—Takes the different posts occupied by the insurgents, and sends the prisoners to Edinburgh—Two serious charges, the one of incendiarism, and the other of being accessory to the slaughter of Thomas Lindsay, brought against the Earl—He is outlawed and denounced as a rebel—Escapes to Orkney—Sir Robert Gordon, who is commissioned to apprehend him, has the keys of Castle Sinclair, etc., delivered up to him— Lord Berriedale gets the management of the property, and an annuity is settled on the Earl—Great distress in Caithness and in Orkney occasioned by famine—The Master of Berriedale (son of William, Lord Berriedale) takes the National Covenant—Sir James Sinclair of Murkle raises a body of Caithness men and joins the Covenanters—Mowat, the Laird of Freswick, espouses the royal cause, and joins Montrose—Death of the old Earl—Affair between Macalister, the Freebooter, and the inhabitants of Thurso,

Chapter X
George, sixth Earl of Caithness, not distinguished by any remarkable qualities—Landing of Montrose in Caithness —He takes up his head quarters in Thurso—Compels the heritors and ministers to sign a bond of allegiance, which they all do except the minister of Bower—Is joined by Sinclair of Brims, Hugh Mackay of Dirlet, and Hutcheon Mackay of Scoury—Lays siege to the Castle of Dunbeath, which soon surrenders—Is defeated on the confines of Ross-shire, apprehended by Macleod of Assynt, sent to Edinburgh, and executed—Castle of Dunbeath re-taken— Henry Graham, the brother of Montrose, makes his escape to Orkney—Cromwell plants a garrison in Ackergill Tower—Curious extracts from the Session records of Can-isbay regarding some of his troops that were stationed there—Raids in Caithness by the Mackays of Strathnaver —Severe reprisal by the Laird of Dunbeath—The Earl of Caithness a supporter of the Government in suppressing Conventicles—Appears before the Presbytery in that capacity—His death,

Chapter XI
The late Earl, before his death, sells his property and title to John Campbell of Glenorchy—Glenorchy marries the Countess Dowager—George Sinclair of Keiss disputes the title—Battle of Altimarlach—The Sinclairs lose the day— Anecdote of Glenorchy's piper—Glenorchy hated by the inhabitants of Caithness—His estate in the county ultimately divided into separate portions and sold,

You can read these chapters at

The Intellectual Development of Scotland
By Hector MacPherson (1911)

We've now progressed with this book by adding chapters...

Chapter II
The Reaction: Moderatism

Chapter III
The Crisis in Theology

Chapter IV
The Rise of Philosophy

Chapter V
Recent Developments in Philosophy

Chapter VI
The Scientific Movement

Here is how Chapter VI starts...

Readers of Buckle will remember the startling contrasts he draws between the Scotland of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. According to Buckle, in the seventeenth century the Scottish clergy kept the people in a state of intellectual bondage; in the eighteenth century, thanks to men such as Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith, the chains which kept the people in bondage were broken, and the country entered upon a glorious career of intellectual freedom and discovery. It is remarkable that Buckle, who professed a high regard for science, should have approached the history of Scotland in a woefully unscientific spirit. The History of Civilization had great vogue in its day, and even yet it may be read with profit by those who like to have facts presented in the form of luminous generalizations. Tried by modern standards, Buckle's book, however, is found wanting, and that simply because the author, in approaching the study of history, entirely ignored the great principle of relativity, which plays such an important part in the interpretation of the past. National institutions are no longer judged by absolute standards; they are studied in relation to their historical environments and estimated accordingly. Institutions which, tried by modern standards, are condemned as obstructions to progress may find their explanation and justification in the fact that they were the natural and necessary products of the time in which they flourished. Attention to the idea of relativity, which we owe to the evolution conception of history, would save modern disciples of Buckle from a partisan attitude towards Scottish history.

Certain writers, for instance, are never weary of representing the Reformation as the substitution of one kind of despotism for another— the despotism of Presbyterianism for the despotism of Romanism. Thus it has come about that writers who have no sympathy with the great religious movements of Scotland contrast the turbulence and wranglings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with the comparative calm of the eighteenth century, and in a tone of contempt discuss the centuries of religious struggle as a kind of prolonged Donnybrook. A deep study of Scottish history shows that there is no such gulf as Buckle represents between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The antagonism lies on the surface. When viewed calmly and rationally, it will be found that the seventeenth was the natural preparation for the eighteenth century—that, in other words, the struggle for religious liberty under the Reformers and the Covenanters was the necessary preparation for the scientific movement. What the Reformers and the Covenanters did was to secure liberty, without which the cultivation of science was impossible. We see an illustration of this in the case of Napier of Merchiston. He founded no school. Why? As I have remarked elsewhere—

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapter can be read at

The History of the Highland Clearances
By Alexander MacKenzie (1914)

We have now made a start at this book which I hope you will learn from and to set the scene here is how the Introduction starts...

IT is with great pleasure that I accede to the request that I should write a short introduction to welcome this reprint of so interesting and valuable a book as Mackenzie's Highland Clearances. It has long been out of print, which anyone who recalls its first appearance will easily understand. It was written by a Highlander who commanded in a great measure the esteem of Highlanders, and it collected for the first time the sane and authenticated accounts of the experience of the Highlanders in the great agrarian crisis of their history. It appealed to the race as no book within recent years has done. The Highlander loves his past and his native land with a passionate attachment, and the story of the great wrongs of the days of the clearances is still deeply embedded in his mind. Within the last year or two many accounts, more or less imaginary, have appeared purporting to be true stories of those terrible days in the north, and it is peculiarly appropriate that, when once again men's minds are centred on the great problem of the land in this country as a whole, and specific attention has been directed towards the Highlands, this reprint should now appear. We are all, therefore, under deep obligations to the public spirit and enterprize of the publishers and others who have been good enough to secure in an accessible form a reliable account of the conditions and events which at once intensified the acuteness of the land-hunger in the Highlands and constituted the blackest page in Highland history.

Many evil deeds have been associated with the abuse of the monopoly power of land ownership in this and other countries, but it is safe to say that nowhere within the limits of those islands, or, indeed, anywhere else at any time have blacker or more foul deeds been committed in the sacred name of property than in the Highlands of Scotland in those days. It has always been a matter of astonishment that a brave race should ever have submitted to them. This becomes all the more remarkable, too, when one remembers that during those very years regiments raised in these very districts of the finest soldiers who ever marched to the stirring strains of the bagpipes, were gaining for the empire and for British arms the most noted achievements ever won in the Napoleonic wars and in the colonies. It is true, of course, and it is an eternal discredit, that many of these brave fellows came back wounded and war-scarred to find, not that a grateful country had taken care that the homes and the helpless ones they had left behind were kept sacred and immune from the greed and ruthless savagery of the landlord or his hirelings, but that their hearths and homes were desecrated and destroyed, and every moral law of patriotism and honour had been violated. "Their humble dwellings," says Hugh Miller, "were of their own rearing; it was they themselves who had broken in their little fields from the waste; from time immemorial, far beyond the reach of history, they had possessed their mountain holdings,—they had defended them so well of old that the soil was still virgin ground, in which the invader had found only a grave; and their young men were now in foreign lands fighting at the command of their chieftainess the battles of their country, not in the character of hired soldiers, but of men who regarded these very holdings as their stake in the quarrel." Well has my friend Mackenzie MacBride expressed it:-

"Ye remnant of the brave!
Who charge when the pipes are heard;
Don't think, my lads, that you fight for your own,
'Tis but for the good of the land.

And when the fight is done
And you come back over the foam,
`Well done,' they say, `you are good and true,
But we cannot give you a home.

'For the hill we want for the deer,
And the glen the birds enjoy.
And bad for the game is the smoke of the cot,
And the song of the crofter's boy.'"

You can read the rest of the introduction from the index page at

Fallbrook Farm
Always great to see how progress is being made in conservation projects and we've had another report in about the open meeting and other activities. You can read this at

Memphis Scottish Society Newsletters
We've got in the last two years issues of the monthly Memphis Scottish Society Newsletters. A great insight into what this society has achieved. You can read these at

The Celtic Monthly
As some of you may remember I ocr'd in volumes 10 and 11 of this publication some months ago. While searching for something else I came across a collection of .pdf files of Volumes 1 through to 9 and so I grabbed them and have added them to the site.

In the Introduction to Volume I. it gives its plans for what to carry and it says...

IN the circular issued, announcing the CELTIC MAGAZINE, we stated that it was to be a Monthly Periodical, written in English, devoted to the Literature, History, Antiquities, Traditions, Folklore, and the Social and Material Interests of the Celt at Home and Abroad: that it would be devoted to Celtic subjects generally, and not merely to questions affecting the Scottish Highlands: that it would afford Reviews of Books on subjects interesting to the Celtic Races—their Literature, questions affecting the Land—such as Hypothec, Entail, Tenant-Right, Sport, Emigration, Reclamation, and all questions affecting the Landlords, Tenants, and Commerce of the Highlands. We will also, from time to time, supply Biographical Sketches of eminent Celts at Home and Abroad, and all the Old Legends connected with the Highlands, as far as we can procure them, beginning with those of Inverness and Ross shires.

And so I hope you might enjoy a read of these at your leisure. You can perhaps download one volume and browse through it as you get the time... I know.. what time you ask :-)

Anyway... you can get to these volumes at 

National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month
Now that Tartan Day has finally been signed and now complete, we should join together towards the establishment of the entire month of April as “National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month” in the USA. A full month of recognition would enable those aware of our ancestry and heritage a fair opportunity to teach our children and others a vast, rich culture, that has lead many civilizations to success. Through the many innovations, inventions and social structuring. Another benefit of a month’s recognition would also bring attention to other days important to the Scottish, such as Tartan Day, Robert Burns, and St. Andrew as well as many others. It would be the perfect opportunity to inform the general public.

Many other groups have months to teach and recognize their achievements. For instance;

June - Caribbean-American Heritage Month;
March - Irish-American Heritage Month;
May - Jewish-American Heritage Month;
May is also Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month;
February - African-American History Month.

There are others which can be seen at The White House website -, then, “proclamations”. But, it seems the Scottish and Scots-Irish are about the only group left out. In today's world we must be aggressive, teach or be forgotten. We must be heard. We have been working toward the establishment of the month of April as “National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month ”for over six years and through that time many states have joined in the observances, although some states have acknowledged other months (on a state level), we seek a uniform national month as April and this would clarify some confusion. Many Scottish Societies, Clan societies and as mentioned states and municipalities support this.

We all know, strength in numbers gets things done. We ask that if your organization has not joined, to do so, with a simple “Letter of Support”, stating the support for the month of April as such and there’s no other obligations involved. We ask your help in the propagation as well. We’re also glad to assist states, mayor/municipalities in acquiring Proclamations and Resolutions. Any questions feel free to contact us and for more information, you can also “google” - “national Scots, Scots-Irish heritage month” and we look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

James Murray-chair
“National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month”
2402 S. Scales st. Reidsville N.C.

We have a page in support of this project at

Polar Bear: I come in Peace!
I got in an email which said...

If you don't already think animals are far more spiritually advanced than we humans, think again. Stuart Brown describes Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay. The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the polar bear wandered in, but...

The Polar Bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

and finally a wee bit of Scot Wit from the Flag...

Tea Break

There used to be a longish stop at our local station when the guard took the opportunity to have his tea on the platform. On one occasion an impatient passenger, knowing that the time for departure had come and gone, finally asked the guard why the train had not departed.

    "She canna stert till A blaw ma whussle" came the official explanation.

    "Then blow your whistle" protested the exasperated passenger.

    "An hou kin A blaw ma whussle" replied the aggrieved guard "whan ma mou's fu o biscuits?"

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


You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

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