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Weekly Mailing List Archives
5th September 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
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
The Life of John Duncan
History of Glasgow
History of Banking in Scotland
The Glengarry McDonalds of Virginia
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Wells, Trees and Sacred Groves
Ranald's Humour

Steve said to tell you that he'll be working on the Servers over the weekend so we might be down for a few minutes from time to time.


We have done a deal with "All Celtic Music" where they're providing us with a shopping mall where you can purchase and download individual tracks and entire CD's. In addition, to launch the shopping mall, we have some special offers...

1) The 2008 World Pipe Band Championships Vol.1 & 2 & Grade One Qualifying Heats.
The actual CDs are not on the streets for at least another two weeks in the UK. We are way ahead of the game.
2) 'Send A Friend A Free Download' until the end of September.
3) All Lismor pipe band CDs are only £5 until the end of the season in September.

When you browse through the site you'll find loads of tracks to listen to and you you can purchase individual tracks from a cross section of albums to make up your own playing list. These tracks can be downloaded to your PC and of course added to your MP3 player. You can also purchase complete CD's and have them posted to you as well instead of downloading them.

On the home page of the Shopping Mall you'll find our Electric Scotland logo and clicking on that will return you to our site.

And so I hope you enjoy this new service which can be reached by clicking on the "All Celtic Music" button in the header of our site and also directly at


I was away Friday afternoon through to Tuesday afternoon in Toronto. Went on the Sail Past, the tall ship, which represents the sailing of the Ship Hector to Nova Scotia. Great time and beautiful weather. Also visited the Ex in Toronto. All in all had a great time. I might add that the haggis pies were great! :-)

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 Jim Lynch, the editor of the Scots Independent Newspaper.

As always Jim brings us a great range of topics including information about how to get around the Western Isles of Scotland by Ferry. Loads of other great articles well worth a read.

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

This week’s visitor attraction is 37 miles long and nearly 1,900 years old and lies from coast to coast across Central Scotland, was built by the Romans and is now a World Heritage Site. It is, of course, the Antonine Wall which stretches from Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde. On 7 July 2008 the World Heritage Committee meeting in Quebec approved it as a World Heritage Site and the Antonine Wall has become part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site alongside Hadrian’s Wall and the German limes.

Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England had been constructed under Emperor Hadrian in 122AD, to keep out the Barbarians, and some twenty years later the Roman army in the early 140s, on the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius, began construction of the wall which bears his name. Across Central Scotland they built a turf rampart fronted by a wide and deep ditch. Forts and fortlets provided accommodation for the troops based on the new wall as well as points where the wall could be crossed. They were linked by a road, known as the Military Way. All these, together with the camps used by the wall builders, are included in the World Heritage Site. The Antonine Wall was the most northerly frontier of the vast Roman Empire but it was only manned for about a generation before being abandoned in the 160s.

Visit for further information about the wall and details of where you can find it. For example you can easily combine a visit to a modern marvel The Falkirk Wheel with seeing a part of the 1,900 year old Roman defence against the Barbarians. As you can walk the route of the wall, forts and camps, the new publication ‘Map of the Antonine Wall’ (£5) published by Historic Scotland and the Hunterian Museum could well become a best-seller. You can see artefacts from the Antonine Wall at museums along its length – Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh; Kinneil Museum, Bo’ness; Callendar House Museum, Falkirk and Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch. Hopefully with the new world status, the Antonine Wall will become one of Scotland’s major tourist attractions with crowds to rival say Kelvingrove Museum – only time will tell.

Did salmon form part of the diet of the wall builders and soldiers manning the wall? It certainly would of the local population but they would not have been able to enjoy this week’s recipe – Salmon Cakes – as potatoes did not reach Scotland for a long time after the Roman troops left for good!

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients: 212 gram tin salmon, drained and flaked; 3 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed; 2 spring onions finely chopped; 1 egg beaten; 15 ml olive oil; salt and pepper to taste

Method: Preheat oven 375° F, 190 degrees C. Mix together the salmon, egg, mashed potato, olive oil, green onions to form a stiff mixture. Season to taste. Roll into a sausage, then cut off sections and form into patties about 1 inch thick. Coat these with milk and roll in breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4.ender, stir in the berries and serve with dropped scones (see last week’s recipe).

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 read at

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

We're now onto the S's with Skinner, Smellie and Smeton

An interesting account of William Smellie this week which starts...

SMELLIE, WILLIAM, a learned and ingenious printer and eminent naturalist, was born in the Pleasance of Edinburgh in 1740, and received the first rudiments of his education at Duddingston school, where, and at the High School of his native place, he obtained a thorough knowledge of the Latin language. His father, who, like his grandfather, followed the occupation of an architect or master builder, and belonged to the sect of Reformed Presbyterians, originally intended to apprentice him to a staymaker, but some difference occurred as to the terms of the indenture, and, in October 1752, he was apprenticed for six years and a half to Hamilton, Balfour, and Neill, printers to the university of Edinburgh. His diligence and regular conduct recommended him to his employers, who, after he had been four years with them, appointed him corrector of the press, with a small increase of wages. His evenings he devoted to study, and in the latter part of his apprenticeship he was allowed to attend several of the classes in the university. In 1757 the Edinburgh Philosophical Society offered a prize for the most accurate edition of a Latin classic, on which occasion young Smellie produced an edition of Terence, in duodecimo, wholly set up and corrected by himself, which procured for his masters a silver medal. In 1758 he attended the Hebrew class, to enable him to superintend the printing of a Hebrew grammar edited by Professor Robertson. In September 1759, his apprenticeship having expired, he transferred his services to the office of Murray and Cochrane, printers, where, besides being corrector of the press, he was employed in making abstracts and collecting articles for the Scots Magazine.

Having an ardent desire for learning, Mr. Smellie not only attended the mathematical and philosophical classes at the university, but all the medical courses, including chemistry and botany. His studies, indeed, had been so regular and complete, that he was well qualified for any of the learned professions, and he was solicited by his friends either to enter the church or become a physician, but he preferred remaining a printer. In 1763 he married Jane Robertson, daughter of an army agent in London, by whom he had several children. To the study of botany he devoted so much attention, that, in 1765, his Dissertation on the Sexes of Plants, in which he opposed the doctrines of Linnaeus, gained the gold medal given by Dr. Hope, the botanical professor, and was inserted in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. While attending this class, the professor, during an illness which confined him to the house, selected Smellie to continue the course of lectures in his absence.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read all these entries at

Clan and Family Information
Clan MacIntyre have sent in more pictures, a copy of the report on the Gathering from the Oban Times, as well as a list of the contents in the Glenoe Box which you can get to at


Clan Chattan announce the 400th Anniversary of the signing of the great Clan Chattan Bond of Union to be held in 2009. Read more about this at

Names associated with the Clan Chattan are...



Got in an account of the Clan Home Gathering 2008 in Scotland which you can read at

Poetry and Stories
Another poem from John Henderson called "For Better .... For Worse" which you can read at

John has also sent in another pdf file in his "Village Cricket" series at

Margo has sent us in another Ian and Mac children's story at

We also have some new poems and articles from Donna, Alastair and others in our Article Service 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 Skene

Name.—The name of the parish is said to be derived from the Gaelic sgian, (or skian), "the dagger, or knife," that weapon having been used by the man who killed a wild boar which had attacked King Malcolm (Canmore) whilst hunting within the bounds of the parish, then supposed to be part of the King's forest. For which service, the same tradition says, the young Highlander, was rewarded by a grant of the whole land in the parish. [The reward offered by the King is said to have been a hound's chace or a flight. The latter was preferred.]

Extent, &c.-The extent of the parish is nearly 6 miles by 4. It is bounded by the parishes of Kinellar, Newhills, Peterculter, Echt, Cluny, Kemnay, and Kintore.
Hydrography.—The Loch of Skene is nearly three miles in circumference, situated near the west boundary of the parish. Its greatest depth does not exceed twelve feet. It is supplied by several small streams, and is the reservoir which supplies water for one of the meal mills in the parish, and for the works of Messrs Hadden and Sons (a wool manufactory) at Garlogie mills.

Geology.—The soil is various, from the undulating nature of the grounds in the parish; several of the ridges (although they can scarcely be called hills) rising to a considerable height, and, with two excepted, which are planted, cultivated to the tops. There are some rich and fertile fields; but few comparatively; the greater part of the land being either light or cold. The subsoil is chiefly clay, part sand or gravel, and there is a considerable extent of moss.

You can read 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...

The Lady Isabel

Here is how it starts...

A Legendary Tale of the Fifteenth Century

The Lady Isabel was a Scottish baron’s daughter, and far was she famed. Were others fair, she was fairer ; were others rich, she was richer. In short, all perfections were said to be centred in the Lady Isabel, and yet that quality for which she ought to have been most prized, seemed the one which made the least noise in the world, - this was her devoted duty to her father. She was his only child - the child of his old age, the idol of his heart, and the lamp of his life. But still was he a cruel father; for in return for her duteous affection, he had determined to wed her to a man she had never seen, while he knew that her heart was another’s.

The Lord of Ormisdale was the son of his ancient friend, and the possessor of broad lands in a distant part of Scotland. The two old men had sworn to each other that their children should be united, but ere this paction, the youth had been sent abroad to be initiated in the art of war - an art but too much practised in his native country at that time; for be it known that our peerless beauty bloomed in the 15th century, when the feuds of the Scottish nobility were frequent and deadly. Much was bruited abroad of the goodly person and brave qualities of the young earl, but of this Lady Isabel had no opportunity of judging, for never, as has been told, had she seen him. She had, however, but too often seen his cousin Roderick, and to him was her heart devoted. It was true he had neither title, nor lands, nor vassals; but he was a handsome, a noble, and a gallant youth, and he had knelt at her feet, confessed his love, and swore eternal constancy; and though, when she thought of her father, she turned coldly away, it was but to treasure his image in her heart, and to weep most bitter tears for the hapless fate which doomed her to wed another. Roderick, by-and-by, went away to a foreign land, distraught by his passion for the Lady Isabel; and the time was long, and he returned not, and none spoke of him, or seemed to think of him, save his disconsolate love. But it was not so; for the old Baron loved him for his worth and manly bearing; and when he saw his daughter drooping her head like a lily, he too was unhappy, and repented him of his rash vow, though he would rather have sacrificed his own life, and hers too, than have broken his oath. And so time passed on, and many were the suitors that sought the hand of the Lady Isabel. Some loved her for herself, some for her great possessions, and some for both; but all were sent hopeless away.

You can read the rest of this at

The other stories can be read at

The Life of John Duncan
Scotch Weaver and Botanist with Sketches of his Friends and Notices of the Times
By William Jolly (1883)

Have now added more chapters from this book...

Chapter XXXIV - The Author's First Visit to Droughsburn
I visit John in his eighty-third year with friends; introduced; John's aspect and shyness; his weaving then, and independence in it; his general herbarium inspected; his finer collections examined; his treasured Cryptogamic book; his conquest of the science in his old age: I return to the cottage alone; his interesting and varied conversation; we climb the hill together; John on the objects seen there; the view; entertainment in the cottage; parting with him. September, 1877.

Chapter XXXV - Fame. Pauperism and Weakness
Account of this visit in "Good Words"; its pleasant results in assistance and appreciation; "they've found you out at last!"; "Sal, lad, it pays!" John's indignation at silly pride; Charles writes him in congratulation: John becomes unable to make ends meet; books his one luxury; he cannot part with them; tells no one; applies for work at a saw-mill in vain; takes to bed sick with heartache; renewed struggle; begs a pauper's portion; boarded in the cottage: growing weakness; faints on way to church; his last visit there; "like an aul' tumbledoon feal dike"; visits James Black and William Beveridge for last time; account of my visit appears in "Leaders of Men." 1870-1881.

Chapter XXXVI - John's Herbarium presented to Aberdeen University
The herbarium still unlocalised; John agrees to present it to the University; visit of the two Taylors to arrange it; John Taylor receives Dickie's "Flora"; he completes the work; it is packed for transport; John's gratification at its destination; Dr. Murray's herbarium; John's books and letters gone over; wishes a decent funeral and "a queer stane" on his grave; advises to the study of nature: herbarium finally arranged; account of it; the volumes and their contents; its presentation; accounts of this appear in newspapers. 1880.

Chapter XXXVII - Public Appeal made on his behalf, and its generous results
His pauperism now revealed; the author's appeal to the country on his behalf; immediate generous response; the press on the subject; examples of sympathetic messages sent; of curious letters received; manner of gathering some subscriptions; honours from scientific societies; places that remained silent; John's appreciation of these honours; his comforts increased; Trust Deed drawn and signed; permanent Trustees appointed; Science prizes arranged for; disposal of his library. 1881.

Chapter XXXVIII - His growing debility: and the Author's last visit
His debility increases; his bed removed to workshop; his hallucinations; faints by the burn; last journey up the Leochel; brought home in a barrow; objects to being attended on: Author makes last visit in winter storm; John's reception of him in weakness; his new comforts; bright conversations with him; debility and crossness; sings a song; his gratitude for gifts; feelings for the Queen; love of Charles Black; angry reception of author and reconciliation; their last interview; letter of Charles Black's; John's strong emotion; final parting with author. 1880, 1881.

Chapter XXXIX - The Happy and Honoured Close
His later condition; cuts his temporal artery; memories of Dunnottar roused; John Taylor comes to nurse him; Duncan's last time outside; asks for short reading and prayer; rigid criticism of the request; invited to a scientific meeting; has no fear of death; the monument he wishes for his grave; painless tenacity of life; last conversations; last words; his serene death; the scene in the room the scene without; the state of the workshop; the flowers placed on his body; the author's last sight of it; the funeral; ceremony at the cottage and churchyard; monument at his grave and its inscription. 1881.

These can all be viewed at

The History of Glasgow
By Robert Renwick LL.D. and Sir John Lindsay L.D. in 3 volumes (1921)

We are now making progress with these volumes and this week we have up...

Chapter XXVI
Baronial Revenues—Appointments of Bishops—Charters by King Robert—Polmadie Hospital—Barlanark or Provand —Chapel of St. Thomas—Lost Seal—Manor of Lochwood

Chapter XXVII
King Robert—Reign of King David and Episcopate of Bishop Rae —Temporalities of Bishopric — Bishopforest — Papal Registers — Endowments of Friars Preachers — Glasgow Bridge

Chapter XXVIII
Reigns of Kings Robert II. and III.—Bishops Wardlaw and Glendonwyn—Duke of Albany—French Army—Burgesses —`Weekly Market—St. Mary's Chapel—Prebend of Glasgow Secundo—Robes, Ornaments, and Lights of Cathedral—Timber Steeple—Alienation of Cadder

Chapter XXIX
Foreign Trade—Customs on Exports— Glasgow's Earliest Trading, Manufactures, and Industries

Chapter XXX
Glasgow's Connection with Convention of Burghs—Dukes of Albany and King James I.—Bishop Lauder—Cathedral

Chapter XXXI
Return of King James I.—His Legislation—Bishop Cameron—Cathedral and Castle—Archdeaneries and Prebends—Town Mill—Rentallers

And here is a bit from Chapter XXXI...

THE period of King James's reign which followed his return from England is marked by much legislative activity and in this connection the burghs were not overlooked. Under statutes then passed regulations came into operation for the more effective supervision of craftsmen and their work; hostels or public inns were to be provided for the accommodation of travellers; burgesses and indwellers, sufficiently equipped, had to appear for inspection of their armour, at the periodical wapinshawings; measures were to be adopted for security against fire; the "array of burgesses and thair wyffis" was regulated by the sumptuary laws; rules were laid down "anent Lipper folk"; beggars were subjected to licensed conditions; playing at football was discouraged as interfering with the practice of archery, and instructions were given to the king's officers and burgh sergeants for the maintenance of order.

By a parliament held on 26th May, 1424, a subsidy was imposed to meet the contribution to England stipulated for on the return of the king from captivity. As Glasgow bore its share of the taxation for King David's ransom it might have been expected that the burgh would also be a contributor to the levy of 1424, but in the Exchequer Rolls, where the contributions of twenty-three burghs are recorded, Glasgow is not included in the list.

Acts of parliament were passed for securing the "fredoine of halikirk"; traffic in pensions payable out of church benefices was prohibited; church lands unjustly alienated were to be restored; and churchmen were forbidden, by themselves or their procurators, to take their law pleas to foreign ecclesiastical courts without the king's consent. These and other regulations, however needful and salutary, did not meet with approval in all quarters, and the responsibility for their introduction having to some extent been ascribed to John Cameron, who was Bishop of Glasgow from 1426 to 1446, he was subjected to not a little opposition and trouble on that account.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page of the book is at

History of Banking in Scotland
By Andrew William Kerr (1908)

We now have up several chapters from this book...

Chapter XIV
Murder and Robbery

Chapter XV
From War to Crisis - Decay of Local and Development of National Banking

Chapter XVI
The Small-Note Scare of 1826

Chapter XVII
A Typical Period - Joint-Stock Mania and the Crisis of 1837

Chapter XVIII
The Close of Free Banking

Chapter XIX
The Revolution Settlement

Chapter XVIII starts...

WITH the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne of Great Britain, on 20th June 1837, commenced a new era in the history of the country. From that date onward there has been a triumphant progress of more remarkable development of industry, science, and social improvement, than history records of any former age. The beginnings of this social revolution have been indicated in previous chapters as concurrent with the century ; but it was reserved for the Victorian era to achieve its development. The application of steam to navigation and manufactures had accomplished a mighty work, but the connecting link was wanting so long as inland transit was conducted under the slow and laborious methods of highways and canals. When steam railways became an established system, men's eyes were opened; and from thenceforth they thought and acted with an independence and activity they had never formerly displayed. Improvements in every department of business and social relationship succeeded each other with uninterrupted rapidity.

The general condition of the country, however, at the time with which we are at present dealing, was not yet one of emancipation. Men's eyes were indeed opening to the realisation of brilliant possibilities, but they failed not also to see intolerable evils around them. The achievement of constitutional liberty in 1832 had, as yet, done little beyond making the nation conscious of its power to accomplish its own emancipation. But when that consciousness had been attained, the good work sped apace. Deterrent influences were, however, at work. Wars in China and India—costly and, at times, very disastrous; Chartist riots and Irish troubles; industrial and agricultural distress and disturbances, and a high rate of bankruptcies, followed, for a few years, the effects of the crisis of 1837. But the national appreciation of railways was not to be checked in its manifestation. A mania for investment in railway undertakings set in, resulting in a much more rapid expansion of the system than the circumstances of the country warranted. Trade was thus stimulated, both directly and indirectly, to an unusual extent.

The position of banking in Scotland at the close of 1837 was as follows:—There were five chartered banks, with aggregate capitals amounting to £4,600,000, on which dividends averaging six per cent were paid. Five other joint-stock banks had capitals amounting to £1,550,000, on which the dividends averaged slightly less than six per cent. These ten banks had 213 branches, of which the chartered banks held 158. There were, besides, other seven joint-stock banks, and seven private banks, with 37 branches. This gives a total of twenty-four banks, with 274 offices. The average circulation of these banks does not appear to have much exceeded three millions sterling, the small notes forming about two-thirds of the total amount. The amount of the deposits was estimated at twenty-five millions; but little weight can be attached to a calculation which, in the absence of official information, must have been largely founded on imagination. The average price of the stocks of the chartered banks was 178 per cent, and such of the shares of the other banks as were quoted stood at high premiums.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

The Glengarry McDonalds of Virginia
By Mrs Flora McDonald Williams (1911)

We now have up the first 14 chapters for you to read and here is a bit from Chapter 9 which shows how hard schooldays were...

was born on the 16th of May, 1829, in Romney, Hampshire County, then a portion of Virginia, now West Virginia. The place of my birth was in the house now owned by the Gilkeson family. In this house also were born my sister, Ann S., and my brother, Edward H. It is immediately opposite the old Armstrong Hotel.

This was a noted hostelry in its day. Before the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to the Ohio River the North Western Turnpike, built by the State of Virginia, passed through Romney. This with the National Turnpike, passing mainly through Maryland and Pennsylvania, carried then much of the travel and freight from the East to the Ohio River. Passengers were carried in Troy four horse coaches. Col. Crozet, a professor at West Point during my father's cadetship there, was its Chief Engineer. My father was very fond of him, and I have often seen him as a visitor at our house while he was building this road. The stages, as we then called them, changed horses and were furnished with meals and liquid refreshment, if desired, at this hotel. Many members of Congress and other distinguished men from the South and West were its

guests from time to time. Amongst these I can recall Henry Clay and the crowd of admirers who called on him when he was candidate for President in 1844.

It was here that I met for the only time in my life the brilliant Tom Marshall of Kentucky. I was a youngster at the time, and was introduced to him by my father and placed under his care while going to Winchester. I sat beside him and was greatly attracted to him. He entertained the passengers continuously with his stories which were full of fun and interest.

At a very early age, before I was big enough to sit upon the wooden benches in front of the desks and touch the floor with the tips of my toes, I was posted off to the Academy, then taught by Dr. Foot. I carried with me a little stool, the seat of which was covered with a piece of carpet. Upon this I sat with no desk in front of me. Two other boys about my age were similarly accommodated with seats, which were located in different parts of the schoolroom, the idea doubtless being that good behavior for the three would be much promoted by getting each one as far as possible from the others thus preventing combustion by scattering the brands.

I don't mean to intimate that this was the only means the Doctor had to enforce good behavior. He also had conveniently at hand a heavy ruler about two feet long which he frequently used. The Doctor, besides being the Principal of the Academy, was the Pastor in charge of the Presbyterian Church at Romney. He left Romney when I was about ten years of age but returned again about 1845. In the meantime he had been engaged in writing his "Sketches of North Carolina" and "Sketches of Virginia." Both of these books have great value for their historical accuracy and are often quoted by later historians. President Roosevelt in his "Winning of the West" repeatedly quotes them.

During the interval between his leaving Romney and his return the Academy had two principals, men of very opposite characteristics. The first, the Rev. Theodore Gallaudet, was not over five feet, four or five inches in height and very subdued looking, "as meek as Moses." He would submit to almost any kind of disorder in the school rather than thrash a boy. He did not even keep a ruler or switch at hand. The result was that the school was a perfect pandemonium. We sometimes organized regular bands. The instruments upon which we performed were combs wrapped with tissue paper through which we used to sing. My sisters, Mary and Ann, and three brothers besides myself, Ned, Will and Marsh, all attended this school.

The Academy was then divided by a board partition. In the room adjoining was another school with Mr. Ben E. Pigman as principal. Pigman was the opposite of "Old Gallaudet," as the boys called him. He kept always something between a switch and a club which he freely used.

Upon one occasion the smaller boys of the Gallaudet school, composed of Ned and Will McDonald, Bob White and some others about the same age, led by "Old Dad Kern," a boy about my age, had gotten out of the open windows and as "Old Gallaudet" sat upon the platform hearing recitations commenced an attack upon him by throwing clods, pieces of sod and other things neither clean nor hurtful at him. At first there was no intention of hitting him but the sport got to be very exciting a he left his platform and dodged about the room to avoid the missiles, and though the old gentleman was not hurt, he was struck often. This attack continued until the boys got tired, when the outraged old gentleman hunted around the schoolroom until he got hold of a good sized stick and then quietly resumed the hearing of his classes.

The first one of the party to appear, climbing in the open window, was "Old Dad" (John Kern) . At sight of him the old man grabbed his cane and went for him. The first lick was just over the eye brow, laying the skin open, and then such a trouncing as Dad received had never before been seen in that school. After this reckoning with Dad he quietly resumed his work and watched for the next victim. One by one the other participants in the sport stole quietly into the schoolroom and were permitted to take their seats. When all had been seated the fun again commenced. The old gentleman grasped his stick and went for each one. As each boy in turn was attacked he would dodge under his desk, which prevented the free use of the stick, as he would scramble from one end of the desk to the other. In this way the members of the whole party took their medicine. While the school was never famous for its orderly conduct there never was any more clod throwing at the teacher. "Old Dad," who was somewhat of a rhymer, composed this couplet upon the occasion:

"Gentlemen and ladies, I'll tell you plump and plain,
If you fool yourself with Theodore he'll hit you with his cane.''

He would repeat it often during the school hours, to the amusement of the scholars as well as Theodore himself.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

I might add that I intend to bring you the book mentioned above "Sketches of North Carolina" in the weeks ahead.

The other chapters can be read at

Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Thanks to Nola Crewe for typing these in for us.

This week we have Donald Johnstone which you can read at

From time to time we get in a Homily done by Nola Crewe and this week we got another one in which you can read at

Wells, Trees and Sacred Groves
By Stuart McHardy

An excellent article which starts...

Water is basic. It is necessary to all forms of life on our planet. It is also in some countries, like Scotland, extremely common. We have lochs, rivers, wells and springs and in all our seasons - rain. Yet water is the bearer of sanctity and is involved in the rituals of many religions. The Christians use water for baptism and christening - sanctifying the person involved. Water was also at the very heart of what was the ancient religion. It has been suggested that we all respond particularly to water because in our mothers’ wombs we float in the amniotic fluid as if it were water and some psychologically driven people see the idea of the Flood as being derived from a memory of the time in the womb. Be that as it may there can be no doubt that water was absolutely central to the belief patterns of our ancestors. The importance of wells and the association of goddess-type figures with our rivers attest to this. It would seem fair to say that in pagan times that water was seen in some way as the blood of the Goddess. Wells and springs erupting from the earth were seen as being particularly beneficial and the term well-worship has been widely used to describe that happened at many locations. In Scotland the survival of many well-rituals into the 19th and 20th centuries have been commented upon, giving us glimpses of how our ancestors saw themselves in the world. Many of these wells have been, and some continue to be, associated with healing, sometimes in a general sense and at others with specific complaints.

You can read the rest of this account at

Ranald's Humour
Ranald McIntyre from Scotland is an old time friend of the site and we have a collection of his sayings and verses up on the site at

He has sent in a wee humour story for us and here it is for you to enjoy...

You don't have to own a cat to appreciate this one. You don't even have to like 'em!

We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local cab company and requested a taxi.

The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house. The cat we put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We didn't want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird.

I go out to the taxi, while my husband went inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with my husband in hot pursuit. Waiting in the cab, I don't want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night. I explain to the taxi driver that he will be out soon, 'He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother.'

A few minutes later, he gets into the cab. 'Sorry I took so long,' he said, as we drove away. 'That stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her fat ass downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!'

The cab driver nearly hit a parked car.

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


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