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Weekly Mailing List Archives
20th June 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  It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Clan and Family Information (Some complete books added)
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
Household Encyclopaedia
The History of the Highland Clearances
Arbroath and its Abbey
History of Curling
Annals of Garelochside
The Border or Riding Clans
Domestic Life in Scotland, 1488 - 1688 (New Book)
The Life of Tom Morris (New Book)
Robert Burns and the Excise Board
Robert Burns Lives!
Golf at Gleneagles

Nothing much to report this week other than working on some new books for the site. I have made a start at the Life of Tom Morris so if you're a golfer you might enjoy this one and more details on this below.

I also intend to make a start at the Annals of Penicuik this coming week.

I did add a Clan MacIntyre forum to our Electric Scotland Aois Celtic Community so we'll see how that develops.

Steve has started work on our site search engine so hopefully we'll see it up and running during the coming week :-)

As some of you may know there is an effort in the USA to recognize April as Scots and Scots-Irish Heritage Month. To that end Electric Scotland has made available a page to list the supporting organisations. On the page we've also added a link to a petition which will eventually be presented to the President who will hopefully agree to sign it. You can see this at and after the list of organisations you'll see the link "Sign the Petition".

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.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Mark Hirst a new compler for The Flag.

In Peter's cultural section he's talking about...

This weekend at Scotland’s largest agricultural show – the Royal highland Show 2008 – you can see everything from the gentle giants, the massive Clydesdale down to the slightly smaller ferret. Some 150,000 people are expected to attend the show at its Ingliston home in Edinburgh from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 June. The record crowd was in 1957 at Dundee when 163,917 paid at the gate – with good weather could this long standing record be beaten in 2008? The four-day event is staged by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) which can trace its history back to meeting in the autumn of 1783 in the Royal Exchange of Edinburgh – the building which is now the City Chambers. The Highland Show used to tour Scotland with a different venue every year but has had a settled venue at Ingliston since 1960. For the past few years the possibility of a move has hung over the venue, depending on expansion at the nearby Edinburgh airport, but the RHASS has a contingency plan in place to move to a new site.

Meantime we can enjoy the Show in its present location with something for all the family including a discovery centre for the bairns. Visit for full details of this fabulous event. With over 1,000 exhibitors and more than 4,000 animals there is plenty to see and as you would expect at an agricultural show food, drink and cooking plays a major part. As Scotland produces some of the best beef in the world our recipe this week - Scotch Beef Balmoral - takes full advantage of this fact.

Scotch Beef Balmoral

Ingredients:  700g (1lb 9oz) Scotch fillet of Beef or rolled rib eye of Scotch beef; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 large onion or 6 shallots, finely chopped; 6 tbsp whisky liqueur such as Drambuie; 150ml (1/4 pt) Scottish double cream; 2 tbsp wholegrain Highland or Arran mustard; 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley or chives; salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:  Place the meat in a roasting tin, season with some pepper and drizzle a little of the olive oil. Cook in a preheated oven 220’C / 200’C Fan / Gas 8 for 20 minutes per 500g for rare or 25 minutes per 500g for medium rare.

Remove the cooked meat and wrap in foil to rest whilst you prepare the sauce. Transfer the roasting tin to the hob and add the remaining olive oil and chopped shallots to the pan juices. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, loosening any tasty meat residue then stir in the liqueur, cream and mustard

Bring to a gentle simmer to reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Slice the meat onto warmed plates and spoon some sauce over the slices. Garnish with a scattering of fresh parsley and serve at once. Good with rice or new potatoes.

Serves 4

And you can now purchase a Scots Independent T-Shirt, Scottish Flags and books 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 for this week can be found at

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

We are onto the P's with Pitsligo, Pittenweem, Playfair, Polwarth, Pont, Pope, Portmore, Preston, Primrose and Pringle.

A good article on PLAYFAIR, JOHN, an eminent mathematician and natural philosopher, born March 10, 1748, at Benvie in Forfarshire...

He received the rudimentary part of his education at home; and, at the age of fourteen, was sent to the university of St. Andrews, where he soon became distinguished for his love of study, and especially for the rapid progress which he made in mathematical learning. While yet a mere student, he was usually selected by Dr. Wilkie, author of ‘The Epigoniad,’ then professor of natural philosophy, to deliver the lectures to his class during his own absence from indisposition. In 1766, when only eighteen years old, he became a candidate for the professorship of mathematics in Marischal college, Aberdeen. After a lengthened and very strict examination, only two out of six rival competitors were judged to have excelled him, namely, Dr. Trail, who was appointed to the chair, and Dr. Hamilton, who subsequently succeeded to it. In 1769 he went to reside at Edinburgh; and on the death of Dr. Wilkie, in 1772, he offered himself as his successor, but was again unsuccessful. The same year his father died; and the care of providing for the support of his mother and her young family having in consequence devolved upon him, he considered it his duty to enter upon the ministry, for which he had been educated, notwithstanding his strong predilection for scientific pursuits. He accordingly applied to Lord Gray, the joint patron with the Crown, for the vacant living of Liff and Benvie, and his request was at once complied with; but his lordship’s right of presentation being disputed, he did not obtain induction till August 1773.

During the nine following years his time was chiefly occupied with his pastoral duties, and the superintendence of the education of his brothers. He did not neglect, however, the prosecution of his own philosophical researches. In 1774 he visited Schichallion, in Perthshire, to witness the experiments of Dr. Maskelyne, the astronomer royal, on the attraction of the mountains in that district, on which occasion he formed a permanent friendship with that celebrated philosopher. His earliest contribution to science was a paper communicated to the Royal Society of London, and inserted in their Transactions for 1779, ‘On the Arithmetic of Impossible Quantities,’ which is said to exhibit a greater taste for purely analytical investigation than had been shown by any of the British mathematicians of that age.

In 1782 he was induced, by an advantageous offer made to him by Mr. Ferguson of Raith, to resign his charge, and to become the tutor of his two sons, Mr. Robert Ferguson, subsequently a member of parliament, and his brother, afterwards Sir Ronald. In consequence of this arrangement, he removed to Edinburgh with his pupils.

In 1785, when Dr. Adam Ferguson exchanged his chair of moral philosophy for that of mathematics, taught by Mr. Dugald Stewart, and, in consequence of declining health, retired from the duties of the professorship, Mr. Playfair was admitted into the university of Edinburgh as his assistant, being appointed joint professor of mathematics. On the institution of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in 1783, he became one of its original Fellows, and in subsequent years he contributed many valuable papers to its Transactions. In 1789 he communicated his ‘Remarks on the Astronomy of the Brahmins,’ which excited considerable attention both in Europe and India, and gave rise to much speculation and controversial discussion. The same year he succeeded Dr. Gregory as secretary to the physical class of the society; and, owing to the illness of Dr. Robison, the duties of general secretary, with the arrangement of the Society’s Memoirs for publication, were for many years chiefly performed by him. In 1792 he communicated to the Society’s Transactions a learned treatise ‘On the Origin and Investigation of Porisms.’ In which he gives a clear and beautiful philosophical analysis of this class of geometrical propositions.

You can read the rest of this article at

You can read these entries at

Clan and Family Information
Got in a short 3.1Mb pdf file about Clan MacKay which you can read at

Got in the Clan Leslie Newsletter from Australia which you can read at

Poetry and Stories
Another doggerel from John Henderson called "Wee Jeannie Toon" which you can read 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 Methlick

This is a landward parish, and contains upwards of 20 square miles. It is situate wholly in the county of Aberdeen, the two-thirds which lie on the north side of the Ythan being in the district of Buchan, and the remaining third on the south side of the river being in that of Formartine, It is bounded by Tarves on the south; by New Deer on the north; by Fyvie and Monquhitter on the west; and by Ellon on the east.

Eminent Men.—Associated with this parish are the names of the ancient family of the Earl of Aberdeen, among whom may be mentioned the famous Chancellor of Scotland in the time of Charles II, and Sir John Gordon of Haddo, who distinguished himself during the former reign.

Dr George Cheyne, an eminent physician, was born at Auchencruive, in this parish, in 1671, and died at Bath in 1742. He was the author of a treatise on the "Philosophical Principles of Natural Religion," and various other works.

Dr Charles Maitland, who was the first to introduce inoculation into Britain, and was sent to Hanover by George II. to inoculate Frederick, Prince of Wales, was born and buried here. In 1748, the year of his death, he mortified L.333, 6s. 8d. for behoof of the poor.

Land-owners.—The whole parish belongs to one heritor, the Right Honourable the Earl of Aberdeen, presently her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The first property of the family was the barony of Methlick, whereof Haddo was a part. His Lordship derives three of his titles from this parish, namely, Baron Methlick, Haddo, and Kellie.

Parochial Registers.—The oldest register of church discipline and accounts of the poor's funds commences in 1683, and, with the exception of the years from 1689 to 1703, and from 1726 to 1729, is complete till the present day. The earliest date of the baptismal record is 1663; but it has not been regularly kept, owing to the neglect of parents in not attending to the registration of the births of their children. The marriages have been registered for many years.

You can read more 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...

Chapter 1 of "The Laird of Cassway" by James Hogg and here is how it starts...

There is an old story which I have often heard related, about a. great Laird of Cassway, in an outer corner of Dumfriesshire, of the name of Beattie, and his two sons. The incidents the story are of a very extraordinary nature. This Beattie had occasion to be almost constantly in England, because, as my informant said, he took a great hand in government affairs, from which I conclude that the tradition had its rise about the time of the civil wars ; for about the close of that time the Scotts took advantage of the times to put the Beatties down, who for some previous ages had maintained the superiority of that district.

Be that as it may, the Laird of Cassway’s second son, Francis, fell desperately in love with a remarkably beautiful girl, the eldest daughter of Henry Scott of Drumfielding, a gentleman, but still only a retainer, and far beneath Beattie of Cassway, both in point of wealth and influence. Francis was a scholar newly returned from the university; was tall, handsome, of a pale complexion, and gentlemanly appearance, while Thomas, the eldest son, was fair, ruddy, and stout made, a perfect picture of health and good humour, —a sportsman, a warrior, and a jovial blade; one who would not suffer a fox to get rest in the whole moor district. He rode the best horse, kept the best hounds, played the best fiddle, danced the best country bumpkin, and took the stoutest draught of mountain dew, of any man between Erick Brae and Teviot Stone, and was altogether the sort of young man, that whenever he cast his eyes on a pretty girl, either at chapel or at weapon-shaw, she would hide her face, and giggle as if tickled by some unseen hand.

You can read the rest of this story at

The other stories can be read at

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

This week we've completed this book by adding...

Statistical Statement
Shoving the Population in 1831, 1841, 1851, 1881, and 1911, of all Parishes in whole or in part in the Counties of Perth, Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Caithness, and Sutherland


Here is the first of the Appendix entries...

NOTE A. (See Page 115.)

The following pertinent observations appeared in the Dundee Advertiser, of 10th January, 1914. They are from the pen of a notable Dundee lawyer, Mr. John Walker, who has made a special study of the legal aspects of the Highland Clearances At the time of Patrick Sellar's trial the ruthless evictions carried out by the Stafford family had been so long in process of execution that no one had the slightest doubt of the facts of these taking place. The question tried was not whether they took place, but whether they were carried out, in one particular instance, in such a way as to directly cause the death of Donald M'Beath and Janet M'Kay, two helpless, old, bedridden people. The trial took place at Inverness. Of the 15 jurors 8 were landed proprietors, and the rest were mostly either factors or those interested in factors. The most of the witnesses for the prosecution were evidently terrified to say one word against the accused. When Sellar was arrested, he emitted a declaration which was put in evidence at the trial, and, to be strictly fair, I shall confine myself to that. The gist of it is as follows:—In December, 1813, the crofting lands were advertised to let, and at the set, where apparently the lands were disposed of to sheep farmers, a paper was read that the removed tenants would get allotments "in the lower part of the county." "That Lord and Lady Stafford directed the declarant (Sellar) to offer at the set for any farm he chose a few pounds beyond the highest offerer; and they directed Mr. Young on his so offering to prefer him." That thus Sellar got possession of the farms of Rhiloisk and Rossal. That in April, 1814, decrees of removing were got against all the tenants on these farms. That the ejections were carried out in June, 1814, and " that his directions to the officers were that they should lawfully eject the tenants, and that after ejecting . . they should remove the roof of every house in Rhimsdale excepting those occupied by families, wherein sickness was mentioned to have been." That he was present at the first part of the ejections (of the towns of Garvault, Ravigill, Rhiphail, and Rhiloisk), but after they had ejected from a few houses and had unroofed these the tenants of the others " in the neighbourhood yielded obedience to the warrant, and removed themselves." "Interrogated. If the declarant's orders to the officer and party were not to throw down the couples and timber of the different dwelling-houses, barns, kilns, and sheep cots? Declares that the declarant directed the officers . . . to remove the tenants' property and effects from the premises ; and thereafter to unroof the huts to prevent them from retaking possession after the declarant should leave that part of the county." Sellar himself admitted burning only in one case. The proceedings from a judicial aspect were largely a farce, as can be judged from the fact that the first evidence adduced for the defence consisted of written certificates from three landed proprietors, who did not appear, as to "Mr. Sellar's character for humanity," and that these certificates, although not evidence, were founded on in Lord Pitmilly's charge to the jury. But the important thing is that Sellar's declaration implicates Lord and Lady Stafford as being by their own instructions the direct instruments of putting this tyrannical under-factor in the position of rendering homeless some hundreds of their helpless tenants. The little crofts were made into large sheep farms, which were advertised to let to the highest offerer, and the exposure was a farce, because the Sutherland family had personally arranged that Sellar was to be allowed to cap the highest offer. One would require a double-power microscope to see the noble philanthropy of that transaction! I have extracted the above summary from the report of the trial, which was prepared and circulated by Sellar's own junior counsel.

On the other hand, the stories yet told in Sutherland represent a much harsher state of matters. I personally have talked with men whose fathers were as young children turned out on the hillside to see their little cottages burned to the ground, and I have had pointed out to me the sites of these same cottages and crofts, where now there is nothing but miles and miles of dreary waste ; and this did not happen in one or two instances, but in the whole of Strathnaver, Strathbrora, and many other places in all parts of the county.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

History of Curling
By John Kerr (1890)

Have now completed this book by adding...


Chapter III. The art of curling
Chapter IV. Bibliotheca Curliana

Appendix A. Constitution of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club
Appendix B. Provinces (as in 1889)

Here is a bit from The art of curling...

An Englishman, who is now a keen curler, tells us that when he first saw a game of curling, one of the players—a very lean, hungry-looking individual—was gesticulating wildly, and yelling at the pitch of his voice, "Soop! ye deevils; soop!" the Englishman thought the poor fellow was starving, and crying out in despair for some "soup" to put warmth into his benumbed frame.

In a match between the Bradford and the Blackburn clubs, several doctors happened to be in the rinks. One native, who, in his own opinion, knew all about it, was overheard informing another, who did not disguise his ignorance, that the players were lunatics from a neighbouring asylum going through their exercises, and that what they were now and then drinking was medicine to keep them right.

The curler's equipments do not help the outsider to understand the hidden art. When the members of the Darlington club first appeared in the streets of the town flourishing their besoms, some municipal changes had just taken place, and the people took the curlers to be a special force of scavengers sent forth to perform the proverbial clean sweep.

In the winter of 1876-77, the pond of the Wigan and Haigh club having been rendered useless by a heavy snowstorm, the members sallied forth to play on Martin here, a large tract of water lying between Wigan and Southport. The day was densely foggy, with intense frost; and as the curlers had all long beards, their Father Christmas appearance and the queer weapons they carried frightened the villagers of Martin so much that the landlord of the inn actually refused to supply them with refreshments. [The stationmaster, who had a better idea of them, took pity on the curlers, and presented them with a small barrel of beer. But this did not end their day's troubles. The barrel was conveyed in a cart to the field of battle, placed in position, duly tapped, and left ready for use. In the keen play the barrel was left unnoticed for three hours, but at last "the weary drouth cam' up their throats." A truce was called, and with one accord they invoked the favour of the kindly barrel. Judge of their horror when the curlers found that beer and barrel were frozen into a solid lump! They left for home.]

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

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

Have added...


Chapter III
Rosneath Estates; Ancient Families; Agriculture; Folk Lore; Eminent Men; Birds

Chapter IV
Parochial Records; Succession of Ministers; The Story Family; Ecclesiastical Conditions


Chapter I
Topography; Succession of Ministers; Ecclesiastical State

Chapter II
Agriculture; Eminent Men; Smollett Family; Dennistouns of Colgrain

Chapter III
Description of Parish; Kilmahew and Killiter; Ardmore Promontory

Here is how Chapter 1 starts...

THERE is considerable beauty of scenery, and much that is of great historical interest in the parish of Cardross, which is partly bounded by the waters of the Frith of Clyde, and by the river Leven issuing from Loch Lomond. No doubt the name is derived from "Ross," a point or headland, and "Car," a moorland ridge, and the church formerly stood on the high ground above the Leven, near its confluence with the Clyde. It is bounded on the south by the Clyde, on the west by the Parish of Row, and on the north it marches with Luss and Bonhill parishes. Its extreme length may be about eight miles, and its breadth varies from one and a half to three miles. In former times the parish appears not to have extended much farther along the shores of the Frith of Clyde than the site of the present church. Some lands in Glenfruin, and on the Gareloch, and even as far as Loch Long, then belonged to it, although these were detached from it in 1643, when the parish received an addition on its western boundary.

Cardross was part of the lordship of the old Earls of Lennox, but portions of it were held by their vassals before the wars of the suecession. In the middle of the thirteenth century Earl Maldoven of Lennox granted to Donald Macynel a land in Glenfreone called Kealbride, which is held on a fourth part of a "harathor," bounded by the Lavaran and the burn called Crose, as they run from the hill and fall into the Freone; the reddendo, the twentieth part of the service of a man-at-arms. The grant is witnessed by the Earl's brother, Amelec, of whose large appanage Glenfruin formed a part. Before 1294, John Napier held Kilmahew of the Earl, giving three suits at his head court, and paying what is exigible for a quarter of land in Lennox.

Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, resigned into the hands of the King, Robert I., a plough of land of Cardross, getting in compensation the half of the lands of Lekkie in Stirlingshire. The King, about 1322, gave over the lands of Hoyden, within the Barony of Cardross, to Adam son of Alan, and he had a specific object in view in acquiring land in the parish. For upon a bank overhanging the river Leven, near its junction with the Clyde, the hero of Bannockburn built a castle, and surrounded it with a park, which was called the King's Park of Cardross. At the first milestone out of Dunbarton, along the Cardross road, there is a wooded knoll which bears the name of Castlehill, although there are no traces of any ruined buildings to be seen. Having divested himself of the cares and vexations of government, the monarch found relief in the chase, and indulged in hunting excursions, and made short voyages along the neighbouring waters of the Gareloch and Loch Long, and the broad estuary of the Clyde, while he was kept in security by the neighbouring castle of Dunbarton. Within the walls of his residence, in view of the fine mountain ranges which throw their dark shadows over the placid waters of Loch Lomond, the patriot king breathed his last on 7th June, 1329.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

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

Have now completed this book with chapters on...

The Clan Dickson
Families, Members of Parliament, Arms
Homer Dixon Family
Index to Clans and Surnames

The Clan Dickson starts with a list of all the various spellings of the name. These variations of spelling proper names are not peculiar to Scotland. I think it was Dugdale who stated that he had found over one hundred and forty variations of the name of Mainwaring or Mannering, anciently de Mesnilwarin.

Dickson is now the usual form in Scotland, but in England where the similar name is not a clan name, and where there are numerous different families who do not pretend to claim a common origin, but all derive their surname from being sons of various Dicks, it is almost invariably written Dixon.

The clan are descended from the Keiths, Earls Marshall, one of the most powerful families in Scotland, when, with the sole exception of the Royal Family, the title of Earl was the highest in the kingdom, and who had so many possessions that it was formerly said that they could journey from the north to the south of Scotland and sleep every night in one of their own castles.

This descent is proved by no less than three entries in the Records of the Lyon Office between the years 1672 and 1694.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page of the book is at

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

The Preface to this book starts...

FEW realise how modern are the conceptions of comfort and decency which inspire the furnishing and arrangements of our present-day homes, or how different were the conditions in which, only a few centuries ago, our forefathers spent their lives. Till the beginning of the seventeenth century chairs for ordinary household use were unknown. Hats were worn at meals. Washing formed no part of the morning toilet, even in Charles II's time, and very few in any country in Europe washed their faces every day. The use of forks did not become general till the eighteenth century, and food was picked from the general dish and raised to the mouth with the fingers.

The development of Domestic Life has not, I think, hitherto been studied as a continuous process, nor traced to its social and historical origins, though many of its details have been worked out and much knowledge of a fragmentary kind has been accumulated. In trying to reconstruct the domestic life of Scotland at various epochs in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and to trace the lines of development, I have had recourse to the comparison and analysis of many hundreds of early inventories which are to be found among the national documents preserved in the Register House, and the study of these records has resulted in much new and curious information as to the details of household life in early times. I have also drawn freely on early Scottish literature, including biographies, journals and account books, for material likely to put my readers into more living touch with the men, women and children of the times with which I have dealt.

We now have the first two chapters up which you can read at

The Life of Tom Morris
By W. W. Tulloch, Member of the Royal & Ancient Club of St. Andrews

I will say that this book was very faded and hence is was a tedious task to get this onto the site and dare say there will be a fair few errors in the process. I hope this does not harm your enjoyment of this book.

We have chapter 1 up now for you to read and here is how the account starts which just show how difficult it was to get to St. Andrews in these old days...

In 1821 Tom Morris was born. I did not know St Andrews until 1854, when I came as a boy of eight years of age to the old grey city, which was to be the home of my subsequent childhood and early manhood. "What a difference from to-day! To begin with, there was no Forth Bridge in existence, and the journey from Edinburgh was a tedious and slow one. You took the train, as you do to-day, at the Waverley Station, and you crawled slowly on to Granton. There you left the train and got into the little steamer that was to take you across the Firth of Forth. Sometimes the passage was made in perfect weather, and then the sail across was a welcome relief from the stuffy and slow train. But more frequently the weather was stormy and boisterous and the crossing was horrible in every way. You were glad to reach Burntisland and get into the train again, though you knew that it was a North British one and the slowest of the slow. You had to "change carriages," and often have a long and tedious wait at Ladybank. Thence on to Leuchars, where you had to change again.

But by that time the worst of the journey was over, and just before 3 am reached Leuchars Junction you could descry the ancient city in the distance. The hearts of those who loved her grey walls and old ruins, and their many dear friends and acquaintances there, were lifted up, and a Te Deum of Thanksgiving was sung. You grudged having to stop at Guardbridge Station, and later once again to get your tickets taken. But by this time you had skirted the famous links, and every inch of the ground was redolent of happy memories. The tide might happily be in and the Eden looking like a lake; and there is "The Shepherd's House," where, on many a warm summer day, you have left your game as a boy with three other chums and gone for potations of home-made beer. There you descry in those old days the forms of some players you know old Mr Sutherland, perhaps, and Mr Walkinshaw, after whom two bunkers are now named; Mr Glennic, in honour of whom the Medal was presented to the Club; his friend "Pat" Alexander, philosopher, poet, bohemian, a medallist in golf, and an Examiner in Philosophy, and the best of jolly good fellows; his friend Principal Tulloch; their friends, John Skelton (Sir John later on), the "Shirley" of Frascr's Magazine; "long Richardson," and Mr Frank Wilson, who were living together in rooms in Bell Street, and made a rubber for the pleasantly tired evening. There you would be sure to see Mr Whyte Melville, of Bendochy and Strathkinness a gentleman of the old school, the husband of Lady Catherine, a daughter of the Duke of Leeds, and the father of the novelist, poet and sportsman, George Whyte Melville. Many of the novelist's works appeared in Fraser Good for Nothing or All Down Hill, Digby Grand, and others. He once told me, in his blase style, that he thought he could go round the links as well and as often as his father if he could get a glass of sherry before each tee shot. There also you would see the handsome form of Mr F. Boileau Elliot, husband of Lady Charlotte, a charming woman and a sweet poetess: the Mr Wolfe Murray of that day, and Colonel, then Major Boothby, in the glory of his magnificent manhood: Sir John Low of Clatto, riding on his cream-coloured pony, and dismounting to play when his turn came in his foursome; and his brother, Colonel Low, whose daughter, later on, was one of the belles of St Andrews. You might see Mr John Blackwood, the famous publisher, and his brother James the match followed by their cousin, Archibald Smith: "Tom" Hodge, a most successful golfer who took to the game in middle life, and after he had given up cricket. Mr Hodge is still alive [Since the words were in type. Mr Hodge has passed away, 20th May 1907. He read this narrative with great interest in the column of Golfind, and was looking forward to possessing it in book form.] in Hampstead, and wearing his years well. But he takes no interest now in the game, in which he used to excel. Quite lately I took him several numbers of Golf Illustrated, thinking I would please him. But he refused to look at them, and said there was no real golf played nowadays. And yet he is an Englishman, or rather, a Cornish man. Every golfer knows his sketches in the Badminton book on golf. Another "Tom" was Captain M'Whannell of Perth, a very neat and successful player.

But now the train is slowing down. It is at what was the old station it draws up, and pour moi, I much prefer the old one. Out one gets. He is hailed by the 'bus-drivers, very likely by his first name if he is an old resident who has grown up in the place. "Hoo are you, Wullie?" says a stalwart driver to me it just seems the other day "You'll be gawn' to Chairlie's" Mr Charles Stuart Grace. He was right, so possessing himself of my luggage, off he went. And I joined a match at the Burn hole and walked in with it, over the well-known Swilcan Bridge and up to the Club. In 1854 there was only one hole for the outgoing and incoming players. What think ye of that, ye pampered golfers of to-day? And one couple had to give precedence to the other if nearer the hole. I daresay there were sometimes rows about the first holing out. No doubt there were some men who always wished to claim the right of putting out first.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Robert Burns and the Excise Board
Was Burns ever reprimanded, suspended, or dismissed by the Board of Excise? Nine-tenths of fairly well-informed persons will answer "Yes," so commonly is the alleged fact assumed. But it will be added that there is some mystery as to the form of the punishment, and of the fault for which it was inflicted; the latter probably drunkenness, irreligion, indecent life, disloyalty, or neglect of deity. Friends of Burns grieve that such a scandal, said to have been officially recorded should dog the memory of Burns.

You can read this 24 page book at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

It has been my desire for some years now to have an article by Dr. Patrick Scott on this website and here he writes on the relationship of Robert Burns and James Hogg, “The Ettrick Shepard”. This article adds additional depth and another dimension to the pages of the Robert Burns Lives! Website.

Let me introduce you to Dr. Scott if you have not had the opportunity of meeting him. Patrick is Director of Special Collections (Rare Books), Thomas Cooper Library, as well as Professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Although he says, “I’m not by training a Burns scholar”, he is, in his own right and as my Burnsian friends will testify, a Burns scholar and is highly respected by those who profess a love and scholarship for Burns.

He is my friend and has helped immensely in my research regarding the bard. Patrick has given me invaluable advice regarding my Scottish library and particularly the books in my Burns library. Actually, there are no high-priced books in my library on or about Burns that Patrick, along with his senior colleague, Ross Roy, has not given me advice on, including the Kilmarnock purchased a few years back. Additionally, there are few speeches or articles that I have given or written over the last four years that have not included his imprint in one form or another. Unbeknown to Patrick, in our conversations, phone calls and emails, I have picked up many ideas and put them in print or used them in speeches. It is a distinct privilege for me to welcome Dr. Scott to the pages of Robert Burns Lives! (FRS: 6-11-08)

You can read this article at

Golf at Gleneagles
A book by R. J. MacLennan (1919) in pdf format.

This is a charming wee book which I think golfers will enjoy and you can read this at

Ancient Scottish Lake-Dwellings or Crannogs
Since visiting a Crannog in Aberfeldy in Scotland I've always been interested in these dwellings. In fact I was quite amazed how people BC could produce such a comfortable and defensive dwelling.

You can read this book at

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


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