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
17th October 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
Merchant and Craft Guilds
History of Glasgow
Reminiscences of a Highland Parish
The Scottish Historical Review
The Sea of Galilee Mission of the Free Church of Scotland (New Book)
The Pioneers of Old Ontario (New Book)
Rab and His Friends (New Book)
Gloomy Memories

My thanks to Bill Burns for letting me know that the new book I just started "Notes and Sketches illustrative of Rural Life in the 18th Century" By Wm. Alexander (1877) is in fact identical to another book already on the site called "Notes and Sketches Illustrative of Northern Rural Life in the Eighteenth Century" by David Douglas (1877)

I've checked various chapters and so far it's identical and so I've stopped working on it and you can in fact read the entire book at

The book is No. 49 in our list so must have been done several years ago.

I am intending to do the book "Parish Life in the North of Scotland" By Rev. Donald Sage A.M. (1899) so that should fill in new information on this topic.


As you know I try to give you a mix of information on the history of Scotland and the Scots so always trying to plug gaps in our knowledge. Would be happy to get any feedback from you on what you would like me to look out for. For example I've just discovered a book about birds in Scotland which I'll look at adding at some point.

It's actually quite hard to think of new topics that might be of interest to you so please let me know if you feel there is some topic that I haven't addressed.


I've now started on the next book "The Pioneers of Old Ontario" By W. I. Smith and Illustrations by M. McGillvray (1923) for which more below.


Came across a map showing how the European nations fit into Canada comparing the relative size of each country. You can see this at


Sorry that we didn't get our site search engine up. We managed to get the index created but so far Steve has been unable to get the cgi script working that allows us to search the index :-(


I've noticed recently that we're getting some high competition from several people in our Games Arcade. There is a good selection of games including old favourites like Patience, Solitare, Mahjongg and many word games. Not sure how some of our leaders are getting such high scores... they must be retired and are spending too much time in there! :-)

You can get to our arcade games through the "Games" page or directly at

Mind that if you want to record your score you need to be logged in.


Once we get moved to Michigan and get our increased bandwidth we do plan on spending time on our Aois Community system to bring in new features. We'll also be enabling features in it that are currently turned off to help preserve bandwidth.

Once we have the system updated our plan is to charge a one off fee of $5.00 to create an account. Essentially we want to eliminate spammers from the system and we know that spammers don't like to pay money for the privilege of spamming people so this will make the system far more secure.

Essentially we're not bothered about trying to attract thousands of members but rather that our own members will have a good secure service in which to enjoy their time.


Another reminder that our service is moving from Kentucky to Michigan on Sunday 26th October mid afternoon through to Monday morning 27th October so the site will be down during that time. This also includes our email service although you can still get to me on my alternative email address at

I will also be away in Chicago Friday 24th October returning on Sunday night 26th October at the Scottish North American Leadership Conference.


Got in an email from Trev Hill who told me he's been compiling some pictures of places in Poland that Scots had a connection with taken from our books on Scots in Poland. You can see his collection at

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. As usual Jim gives us a great range of articles and this issue he's even posted some good news from Scotland :-)

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

The festival of Halloween was commemorated by our National Bard, Robert Burns, in a splendid poem by that name. From his poem it is obvious that 18th century Scotland celebrated Halloween in fine fettle -

'Wi' merry sangs and frien'ly cracks
I wat they didna weary;
And unco tales, and funny jokes,
Their sports were cheap and cheery
Till buttered so'ens, wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a steerin';
Syne wi' a social glass o' strunt
They parted aff careerin
Fu' blythe that nicht.'

A must for any Halloween ploy is a turnip lantern, made from a large round turnip. From the top, cut off a thick slice - about a quarter of the whole - and scoop out the inside, taking care not to break the skin. The resulting "shell" should be as thin as possible, but a stump must be left at the bottom and hollowed out to serve as a socket for a candle. Carve on the "shell" a man-in the - moon face, or any devise that you wish eg skull and crossbones, and make two holes at the top to enable you to make a handle. The lantern when lit gives a soft luminous glow, and the carved face or design stands out clearly. A popular game at any Halloween Party is "Doukin fir Aipples" - a modern reminder of a by-gone ordeal by water - a large tub of water is filled with apples and the master of ceremonies uses a spurtle ( representing a Druidic wand ) to keep the apples in constant motion. Each of the company kneels by the tub, in turn, and tries to seize an apple in their teeth without the aid of their hands. An alternative method of "catching" your apple is to have a chair placed with its back against the tub and to kneel on the chair and attempt to spear your apple. Any apple taken by mouth or fork is yours to eat! If you fail to catch your apple, never fear, for traditionally there is always a large apple pie for the company to consume. Here is F Marian McNeill's Halloween Apple Pie recipe for you to bake and enjoy.

Apple Pie

Wash enough good cooking apples to fill your pie dish; then peel and core them and cut into thick chunks. Simmer the peelings and cores in a saucepan with a tumbler of water for half an hour; then strain and cool. Mix with the sugar a little grated lemon rind, a pinch of ground nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves, and a pinch of salt. Pile the apples in a round pie dish making them high in the centre, and sprinkling spiced sugar between each layer. Pour the cold apple liquor over all. Cover with good short pastry rolled out to quarter inch thick, making a hole in the centre, and decorate with a border of pastry apple leaves, leaving the domed centre plain. Brush with beaten egg or milk. Put into a hot oven, but when the crust begins to brown, lower the heat to cook the apples. An hour, in all, should be ample. Serve with cream or creamy custard.

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 completed the S's with Sydserf, Syme and Symington

and now onto the T's with Tannahill, Tarras, Tassie, Taylor, Telford, Tennant and Teviot.

An interesting account of Taylor which starts...

TAYLOR, JAMES, understood to have been the first person who suggested the power of steam in inland navigation, was born on May 3, 1753, at the village of Leadhills in Lanarkshire. He received the rudiments of his education at the academy of Closeburn, Dumfries-shire, and afterwards attended the university of Edinburgh, where he is said to have qualified himself both for the medical profession and the church. In 1785 he was engaged by Mr. Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, as tutor to his two sons, then attending the university of Edinburgh. Mr. Miller was at that period occupied with a series of operations for using paddle-wheels in the propelling of vessels, chiefly with the view of extricating them from dangerous situations, and had constructed a double vessel, sixty feet in length, with intermediate paddles, driven by a capstan, worked by manual labour. This vessel was tried in the firth of Forth with success in the spring of 1787, having easily distanced a custom-house wherry with which it contended in sailing. On this occasion, Mr. Taylor was convinced that a superior mechanical power was wanting to render the invention extensively useful; and suggested the steam engine as applicable to the purpose. Mr. Miller at first started many objections to the feasibility of the scheme, but at length consented to be at the expense of an experiment, to be superintended by Mr. Taylor.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read all these entries at

Clan and Family Information
Got in an update about the Clan Chattan Gathering at

Poetry and Stories
Another poem from John Henderson called "The Old Music-Halls" which you can read at

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

I might add that we're getting a lot of good comments about Donna's new series "Grandma's True Confessions" which people are enjoying.

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
We are now on the Lanark volume with the Parish of Lesmahago.

Name Boundaries, &c.—This parish is supposed to derive its name from Les or Lis, signifying in Gaelic, a green or garden, and Machute, the tutelar saint of the place, who is said to have settled here in the sixth century.

A monastery was founded in this parish by David I. in 1140. It was dependent on the abbey of Kelso ; and hence the village which collected round it received the name of Abbey Green, which it still retains. This village is nearly in the centre of the parish, and about twenty-two miles from Glasgow, upon which the inhabitants of this and other villages in the parish depend for employment as weavers.

The parish may be described as nearly square, and contains sixty-seven square miles, or 34,000 acres. It is bounded on the east by the parishes of Lanark and Carmichael; on the south by Douglas, and Muirkirk ; on the west by Strathaven and Stone-house; and on the north by Dalserf and Carluke.

It was in Lesmahago that the unfortunate Mr Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart was apprehended by a carpenter named Meikle, and a young clergyman of the name of Linning,--while on his way south to join Prince Charles; in revenge for which, the clans, on their way north, burned Meikle's house. A Mr Lawrie, generally designated the Tutor of Blackwood, from his having married the heiress of that estate, seems to have been a leading character in this part of the country in and about the time of the Revolution. His son was created a baronet by King William.

You can read this account at

The index page for the New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845) can be found at

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

This week have added...

The Covenanters

This is a large story and we have Chapter 2 up now which starts...

When Allan and his daughter sat down to their homely breakfast, the morning presented a pleasing contrast to the previous night. The sky was perfectly clear and serene. Every mountain sparkled, and the earth had a peculiar freshness diffused over its surface. The few clouds visible were at a great elevation, and were hurrying away, as if not to leave a stain on the transparent concave of heaven. There was little wind on the lower regions, scarcely sufficient to ruffle the surface of a slumbering lake. The dampness of the grass, the clay washed from the pebbles, and the rivulet swollen and turbid, were the only relics of the tempest. The weather continued beautifully serene, and when the sun was at its height, one of the finest days was presented that ever graced this most gorgeous month of the year.

It was about the middle of the day when Mary, who happened to look out, perceived six armed troopers approaching. They were on foot, their broadswords hanging at their sides, and carbines swung over their shoulders. In addition to this, each had a couple of pistols stuck in his belt. As soon as she saw them she ran in to her father with manifest looks of alarm, and informed him of their approach. Allan could not help feeling uneasy at this intelligence ; for the military were then universally dreaded, and whenever a number were seen together, it was almost always on some errand of destruction. He went to the door; but just as he reached it the soldiers were on the point of entering. The leader of this body he recognised to be the ferocious Captain Clobberton, who had rendered himself universally infamous by his cruelties; and who, it was reported, had in his career of persecution caused no less than seventeen persons to be put to death, in cold blood, without even the formality of a trial. He was one of the chief favourites of Dalzell, who used to call him his "lamb." The man’s aspect did not belie his heart, for it was fierce, lowering, and cruel. His companions, with a single exception, seemed well suited to their leader, and fit instruments to carry his bloody mandates into execution. Allan, when he confronted this worthy agent of tyranny, turned back, followed by him and his crew into the house.

You can read the rest of this at

The other stories can be read at

Merchant and Craft Guilds
A History of the Aberdeen Incorporated Trades by Ebenezer Bain (1887)

We have now completed this book with adding the various appendixes which are very interesting. Appendix 3 for example is entitled "Charter of Confirmation" and is a tanslation of the Latin text which starts...


Translated from the original Latin, by P. J. Anderson, LL.B.,
Aberdeen, 1887.

CHARLES, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, TO ALL good men of his whole land, clergy and laity, Greeting: KNOW YE that we, with express consent and assent of our well-beloved cousin and councillor, William Earl of Morton, Lord Dalkeith, etc., chief treasurer of our kingdom of Scotland, our collector and comptroller, and of our beloved cousin, John Lord Stewart of Traquair, our treasurer-depute in the said offices, and of the rest of the lords commissioners of our exchequer of our said kingdom, have fully considered a CERTAIN CHARTER, donation and mortification therein contained, made, given and granted by our beloved Mr. William Guild, preacher of the 'Word of God at Aberdeen, to the free craftsmen of Aberdeen: of all and whole that place and monastery of the Holy Trinity of the said burgh, belonging heritably in feu farm to the said Mr. William, with all and sundry the houses and buildings thereof, together with the church and churchyard of the same, yards, orchards, greens, and pertinents whatsoever, lying within the said burgh of Aberdeen, and the sheriffdom thereof ; as also of the ministry of the same place, with all and sundry lands, annual rents, fruits, profits, emoluments, and duties whatsoever, now belonging, or which were of old known to belong, to the foresaid monastery, wheresoever [they lie] within the burgh, or in the fields without the burgh, with the tenants, tenandries, services of free tenants of the same, and their sundry other pertinents; that the same place, with the revenues, may be an hospital for old poor craftsmen of the burgh aforesaid, as specified in the said charter ; to be held of us and our successors in pure and perpetual alms and mortmain for ever: [the said charter], at our command seen, read, and inspected, and diligently examined, being whole, entire, not erased, not cancelled, nor suspected in any part thereof, in form as follows :—

"TO ALL and sundry who shall hear and see the present letters, Mr. William Guild, preacher of the Word of God at Aberdeen, Greeting in Him who is the true salvation of all.

"KNOW YE that I, to the glory of God, for the comfort of the needy, and to afford to others a good example of charity towards the poor, whom our Lord Jesus Christ has to the end of the world left amongst us, and recommended to us, to be fed, clothed and cherished, HAVE FOUNDED, gifted, and perpetually mortified to the free craftsmen of Aberdeen, and, by this my present charter, do found, gift, and perpetually mortify, to the same: ALL and whole the place and monastery of the brethren of the Holy Trinity of the burgh of Aberdeen, belonging to me, the said Dr. William Guild, heritably in feu farm, with all and sundry the houses and buildings thereof, together with the church and churchyard of the same, yards, orchards, greens, and pertinents whatsoever lying within the said burgh of Aberdeen and the sheriffdom thereof; as also, the ministry of the same place, with all and sundry lands, annual rents, fruits, profits, emoluments, and duties whatsoever, now belonging, or which were of old known to belong, to the foresaid monastery, wheresoever [they lie] within the burgh, or in the fields without the burgh, with the tenants, tenandries, services of free tenants of the same, and their sundry other pertinents ; that the same place, with the revenues aforesaid or afternamed, may be an hospital for old poor craftsmen of the burgh aforesaid, to be sustained and supported in the same, who shall be of good fame, and not reduced to poverty through their own vice, or especially through drunkenness and extravagance.

"AND THEREFORE, in order that none be brought into that hospital or enjoy the fruits of this mortification save good pious and sober men, I ORDAIN as patrons, a preacher of the Word of God at Aberdeen (whom the deacons of the six crafts shall choose from the number of their own pastors), with the deacon-convener ; who shall associate to themselves six men of good fame, prudence, and piety (one from every craft), whom they shall bind with a solemn oath, one by one, that they nominate these whom they judge most worthy to be presented and admitted ; of which number it shall be lawful to the foresaid minister of the Word of God (with the deacon-convener), to admit him who shall seem most worthy to them, and be approved pious and sober by others, not for supplication or for bribe, but only out of charity, as they shall answer to God in the day of their appearance.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page can be found at

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

Now on the second volume of the three with...

Chapter XII
The Song Schools and Grammar School

Chapter XIII
Maister Peter Lowe and the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons

Chapter XIV
Sir George Elphinstone and the Letter of Guildry

Chapter XV
Archbishop John Spottiswood

Chapter XVI
Life in the Burgh in the Reign of James VI.

Chapter XVII
James VI. visits Glasgow

Chapter XVIII
Archbishop Law and his Time

Here is how chapter XII starts...

IN the first volume of this history occasional reference has been made to the early schools of Glasgow. These schools were probably of more importance in the life of the community than the casual mention in the various early records might seem to imply. The Rule of Sarum, or Salisbury, which was adopted as the ritual of the Glasgow bishopric almost from its restoration in the twelfth century, ordained that the chancellor should regulate schools and the precentor provide for the instruction and discipline of the boys serving in the choir. [Regist. Epis. Glasg. i. 270, No. 211.] Abundant evidence exists in the early Scottish chartularies of the provision of schools by the clergy throughout the country as early as the twelfth century itself. [Charters and Documents, i. 44; Grant's History of the Burgh and Parish Schools of Scotland.]

In connection with Glasgow Cathedral there must have existed from the very first a song school for the musical instruction of the boy singers of the choir. Its location was probably at the hall of the vicars choral on the north side of the cathedral, from which Vicars' Alley, the passage between the Royal Infirmary and the graveyard of the cathedral, still takes its name. ["Hall of the Vicars Choral," by Archbishop Eyre, in The Book of Glasgow Cathedral.] Among other references to this song school there is the deed by which, in 1539, John Panter, "formerly preceptor of the song school of the metropolitan church of Glasgow," settled certain rents of a tenement and yard on the east side of Castle Street on the master of the cathedral song school and others for the performance of anniversary services at certain altars. [Charters and Documents, ii. Appendix, No. xxi.] Under the various Acts which followed the Reformation, the revenues of the Vicars Choral were transferred to the provost and bailies of Glasgow, the need for training boys in the elaborate Latin services of the cathedral came to an end, and the song school of the metropolitan church ceased to exist. Accordingly, in 1590 John Panter's nephew, Sir Mark Jamieson, life-renter of the tenement above mentioned, went to the Tolbooth and delivered to the provost and bailies the documents of his uncle's gift " in ane litill box, to be keipit in the commoun kist." [Glasgow Burgh Records, i. 155.] The cathedral song school had served its time, and had laid the foundations of a musical taste in Glasgow and its cathedral which has never since died out.

You can read the rest of the Preface at

The index page of the book is at

Reminiscences of a Highland Parish
By Norman MacLeod D.D. (1871)

Have now completed this book with...

Staffa Tourists 50 Years Ago
New Year's Customs
Spirit of Eld
Emigrant Ship
Mary of Unnimore
Communion Sunday

Here is how the story of the "Emigrant Ship" starts...

RETURNING from Iona on the loveliest summer evening which I ever beheld, we reached a safe and sheltered bay at the north end of the Island of Mull. I never saw a harbour so well defended from the violence of winds and waves. A long narrow island encircled it seawards, spreading its friendly wings over every vessel that comes to seek its covert from the storms of ocean or to await under its shelter for favourable weather to double the great headland beyond. On the right hand where we entered, the land rises up steep and abrupt from the shore. We sailed so close to the rocks, that the branches of the trees were bending over us. The fragrance of the birch was wafted on the breeze of summer, and a thousand Iittle birds, with their sweet notes, were sing-in; to us from amid the branches, bidding us welcome as we glided smoothly and gently past them. A glorious view presented itself to me wherever I turned my eye. I saw the lofty mountains of Ardriamurchan clothed in green to their very summits; Suanard, with its beautifully-outlined hills and knolls; the coast of Morven stretching away from us, rejoicing in the warmth of the summer evening.

When we neared the anchorage there was nothing to be seen but masts of ships, with their flags floating lazily in the gentle breeze—nor to be heard, except the sound of oars, and the murmur of brooks and streams, which, falling over many a rock, were pouring into the wide bay, now opening up before us. From side to side of the shore, on the one hand, there runs a street of white houses; and immediately behind them there rises up a steep and high bank, where the hazel, the rowan, and the ash grow luxuriantly, and so very close to the houses that the branches seem to bend over their tops. At the summit of this lofty bank the other portion of the small town is seen between you and the sky, presenting a view striking for its beauty and singularity.

The bay, however, presented the most interesting sight. There were in it scores of vessels of different sizes; many a small boat with its painters green oars; the gay birlinn with its snow-white sails, and the war-ship with its lofty masts and royal flag. But in the midst of them all I marked one ship which was to me of surpassing interest. Many little boats were pressing towards her, and I noticed that she was preparing to unmoor. There was one man in our boat who had joined us at the *back of Mull, and who had not during the whole day once raised his head, but who now was scanning this great ship with the keenest anxiety.

"Do you know," I asked, "what this ship is?"

"Alas!" said he, "'tis I who do - know her. Grieved am I to say that there are too many of my acquaintances in her. In her are my brothers, and many of my dearest friends, departing on a long, mournful voyage for North America. And sad is it that I have not what would enable me to accompany them."

We pulled towards the vessel; for I confess I felt strongly desirous of seeing these warm hearted men who, on this very day, were to bid a last farewell to the Highlands, in search of a country where they might find a permanent home for themselves and their families. It is impossible to convey to any one who was not present a true idea of the scene which presented itself on going on board. Never will it fade from my memory. They were here, young and old—from the infant to the patriarch. It was most overwhelming to witness the deep grief, the trouble of spirit, the anguish and brokenness of heart which deeply furrowed the countenances of the greater number of these men, here assembled from many an island and distant portion of the Hebrides.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be found at

The Scottish Historical Review
I have added several more articles from these publications...

A List of Persons Attainted after the '45
Mr. James Stillie, bookseller, George Street, Edinburgh, had discovered amongst his papers a rare, if not unique, copy of the official list of men attainted for their share in the rising of 1745.

Lord Elgin in Canada. 1847-1854
Of such too readily forgotten statesmen, the eighth earl of Elgin and Kincardine is one of the foremost. He dominated Canada during seven critical years in the most critical period of Canadian history—1841-1867; but since his work was not that of war but only of its prevention, and of the creation of Canadian self-government, he has been relegated to the background of history, to make room for more romantic figures. It is time to restore him to his rightful place of pre-eminence.

A forgotten Scottish Scholar of the Sixteenth Century
A French historian, M. Ferdinand Buisson, well known for his services to primary education in France, has given a picture of Wilson and his surroundings which puts it beyond doubt that he was one of whom his country had reason to be proud.

The Castle Campbell Inventory
An Inventory of Archibald, 7th Earl of Argyll's Castle of Campbell (formerly called Castle Gloume), in the Shire of Clackmannan, taken on 21 February, 1595. Transcribed from the original, preserved in the Argyll Charter Chest.

You can read these articles at

The Sea of Galilee Mission of the Free Church of Scotland
Published for the Jewish Committee of the Free Church of Scotland

As promised have made a start at this book. Chapter 1 starts with...

PALESTINE was chosen as the first sphere of the Church of Scotland's Mission to the Jews; and although its occupation was long deferred, it has now become not the least hopeful of our missionary stations. A year or two after the Mission to the Jews had been sanctioned by the General Assembly, no step had been taken for its working till the deputation to Palestine was appointed with a view to future action. But in the event, our first mission was not in the Holy Land but in Budapest, which the deputies visited on their return; and there the God of Israel blessed our efforts with precious and ample first-fruits, which filled us with gratitude and hope.

The deputation to Palestine owed its origin to the health of Robert M'Cheyne having been weakened by overworking in the Lord's vineyard. When his friends were
considering what might be best for his restoration, Dr. Candlish, always, fertile in Christian expedients, stopped me one day in the street with the suggestion, "What would you think of sending M'Cheyne to Palestine?" With my cordial concurrence, he followed it up with his own ceaseless energy, till the memorable deputation was sent forth, with Andrew Bonar (M'Cheyne's special friend) and the venerable Dr. Keith and Dr. Black. Many still remember M'Cheyne's lines:—

"How pleasant to me is thy deep blue wave,
Thou Sea of Galilee!"

You can read the first couple of chapters that are now up at

The Pioneers of Old Ontario
By W. I. Smith and Illustrations by M. McGillvray (1923)

I really enjoyed this book and hope you will too. There are many illustrations in the book which I think you'll enjoy.

The Foreword starts...

In the Spring of 1897 I began a series of trips a-wheel through rural Ontario. These trips were undertaken with the object of obtaining first-hand information, for publication in the columns of The Weekly Sun regarding actual conditions on the farms of the province.

While engaged in that task, and purely by accident, I stumbled on a veritable storehouse of information of another kind altogether. This information was carried in the memories of men and women then still living—memories that went back to the days of the virgin forest, of log cabins surrounded by blackened stumps in the midst of scanty clearings, of bush trails and corduroy roads over which settlers toiled with their grists to distant mills, of old-time logging bees, and of the circuit riders who carried the Gospel message to those real heroes, who at such infinite cost in toil and privation were effecting a conquest in which there was none of the brute triumph of the conqueror or the bitterness of defeat in the conquered.

On the memories of those met with I drew for the material given in a series of pioneer sketches which appeared from time to time in the columns of the press during the period from 1897 to 1914. These sketches, with some further information gathered at a later date, form the basis of what is contained in this volume.
It was Goldwin Smith who first suggested the idea of putting into permanent form the fragmentary accounts of pioneer life which are here offered. The suggestion was made shortly after the sketches began to appear in print. Partly for that reason, but still more because the judgments and ideals which have governed my more mature years are mainly the result of the teaching and example of Goldwin Smith, whose character and aspirations were expressed in the inspired phrase, "above all nations is humanity," this volume is reverently dedicated to his memory.

It is not pretended that what is given even approaches the standard of a complete history of the period dealt with in the life of Ontario. It is hoped, however, that the facts collected may in some measure make easier the task of one, with wider knowledge and greater literary skill, who will some day write a real history of the land in which we live. And there can be no real history of this land unless full justice is done to the memory and service of the men and women who, while suffering unbelievable privations, enduring a loneliness almost too great to be borne, and with hearts aching because of ties broken with home and kindred, laid the foundations of the civilization which it is our privilege to enjoy.
W. L. S.

I might add here that this is not a book about Scots Pioneers but they are included within the book. I felt the description of these pioneering days opens up more understanding of what life was like then and of course these details can be applied to all races that came to North America.

We have the first chapter up and you can read this at

Rab and His Friends
and other dogs and men by Dr. John Brown

This is a partial book in that I really wanted to show the attitude to dogs in Scotland and so have just taken the first 6 chapters of this book.

The 6th chapter as it happens is about starting a dog home and here is the entire chapter for you to read here...

Plea for a Dog Home

EDINBURGH, December 8, 1862.

Sir., — I am rejoiced to find Mr. William Chambers has taken up this matter. There is no fear of failure if Glenormiston sets himself to organize a home for our destitute four-footed fellow-creatures, from whom we get so much of the best enjoyment, affection, and help. It need not be an expensive institution, — if the value of the overplus of good eating that, from our silly over-indulgence, makes our town dogs short-lived, lazy, mangy, and on a rare and enlivening occasion mad, were represented by money, all the homeless, starving dogs of the city would be warmed and fed, and their dumb miseries turned into food and gladness. When we see our Peppers, and Dicks, and Muffs, and Nellys, and Dandies, and who knows how many other cordial little ruffians with the shortest and spiciest of names, on the rug, warm and cozy, — pursuing in their dreams that imaginary cat, — let us think of their wretched brethren or sisters without food, without shelter, without a master or a bone. It only needs a beginning, this new ragged school and home, where the religious element happily is absent, and Dr. Guthrie may go halves with me in paying for the keep of a rescued cur. There is no town where there are so many thoroughbred house-dogs. I could produce from my own dog acquaintance no end of first-class Dandie Dinmonts and Skyes; and there is no town where there is more family enjoyment from dogs, — from Paterfamilias down to the baby whose fingers are poked with impunity into eyes as fierce and fell as Dirk Hatteraick's or Meg Merrilies's.

Many years ago, I got a proof of the unseen, and, therefore, unhelped miseries of the homeless dog. I was walking down Duke Street, when I felt myself gently nipped in the leg, — I turned, and there was a ragged little terrier crouching and abasing himself utterly, as if asking pardon for what he had done. He then stood up on end and begged as only these coaxing little ruffians can. Being in a hurry, I curtly praised his performance with "Good dog! " clapped his dirty sides, and, turning round, made down the hill; when presently the same nip, perhaps a little nippier, — the same scene, only more intense, the same begging and urgent motioning of his short, shaggy paws. "There 's meaning in this," said I to myself, and looked at him keenly and differently. He seemed to twig at once, and, with a shrill cry, was off much faster than I could. He stopped every now and then to see that I followed, and, by way of putting off the time and urging me, got up on the aforesaid portion of his body, and, when I came up, was off again. This continued till, after going through sundry streets and by-lanes, we came to a gate, under which my short-legged friend disappeared. Of course I couldn't follow him. This astonished him greatly. He came out to me, and as much as said, "Why the don't you come in?" I tried to open it, but in vain. My friend vanished and was silent. I was leaving in despair and disgust, when I heard his muffled, ecstatic yelp far off round the end of the wall, and there he was, wild with excitement. I followed and came to a place where, with a somewhat burglarious ingenuity, I got myself squeezed into a deserted coachyard, lying all rude and waste. My peremptory small friend went under a shed, and disappeared in a twinkling through the window of an old coach-body, which had long ago parted from its wheels and become sedentary. I remember the arms of the Fife family were on its panel; and, I dare say, this chariot, with its C springs, had figured in 1822 at the King's visit, when all Scotland was somewhat Fifeish. I looked in, and there was a pointer bitch with a litter of five pups; the mother, like a ghost, wild with maternity and hunger; her raging, yelling brood tearing away at her dry dugs. I never saw a more affecting or more miserable scene than that family inside the coach. The poor bewildered mother, I found, had been lost by some sportsman returning South, and must have slunk away there into that deserted place, when her pangs (for she has her pangs as well as a duchess) came, and there, in that forlorn retreat, had she been with them, rushing out to grab any chance garbage, running back fiercely to them, — this going on day after day, night after night. What the relief was when we got her well fed and cared for, - and her children filled and silent, all cuddling about her asleep, and she asleep too, — awaking up to assure herself that this was all true, and that there they were, all the five, each as plump as a plum, —

"All too happy in the treasure,
Of her own exceeding pleasure," --

what this is in kind, and all the greater in amount as many outnumber one, may be the relief, the happiness, the charity experienced and exercised in a homely, well-regulated Dog Home. Nipper — for he was a waif — I took home that night, and gave him his name. He lived a merry life with me, showed much pluck and zeal in the killing of rats, and incontinently slew a cat which had - unnatural brute, unlike his friend — deserted her kittens, and was howling offensively inside his kennel. He died, aged sixteen, healthy, lean, and happy to the last. As for Perdita and her pups, they brought large prices, the late Andrew Buchanan, of Coltbridge, an excellent authority and man — the honestest dog-dealer I ever knew— having discovered that their blood and her culture were of the best.

You can read the other chapters at

Gloomy Memories
DONALD MACLEOD'S "Gloomy Memories," originally appeared as a series of Letters in the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle. These letters were afterwards published separately in a thick pamphlet which has long become so rare in this country that no money will procure it. After a search of more than twenty years, we were fortunate enough to pick up a copy of the enlarged Canadian edition in Nova Scotia, during a visit there, in 1879. The Letters originally published in this country, are given in the following pages in the form in which they first appeared, with the exception of a slight toning down in two or three instances.

I have up the first 4 letters for you to read at

Pumpkin Recipe
As no doubt many of you have got your pumkin for halloween I thought I'd provide you with a recipe for Pumkin Seeds sent in by Allison Shaw...

3 cup(s) fresh pumpkin seeds
4 cup(s) water
3 teaspoon(s) salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pumpkin seeds, water, and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Drain seeds, blot dry, and toss with olive oil, paprika, and remaining teaspoon of salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a nonstick baking pan; roast until lightly golden and crisp -- about 30 minutes.

Like many nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds should be stored in the freezer. Any spice can be used such as cinnamon, allspice, or ground red pepper

And that's it for now and 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