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Weekly Mailing List Archives
14th November 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
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
History of Glasgow
The Scottish Historical Review
The Pioneers of Old Ontario
John Witherspoon
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Reminiscences of Cromar and Canada (New Book)
The Story of the Scots Stage (New Book)
On the Antiquity of the Gaelic Language
Blackie, John Stuart
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree

Noted an article about the new President Elect of the USA from Scotland...

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has sent his congratulations to the President-elect of the United States, Barack Obama.

In his message, Mr Salmond included an invitation to visit Scotland during the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

Senator Obama has Scottish ancestry and sent a statement of support to this year's Scotland Week celebrations in the United States.

Mr Salmond said:

"On behalf of the people of Scotland, I send you my heartfelt congratulations on a wonderful and historic election victory - it ushers in a new era of hope for the United States and its role in the world. This was a victory for optimism over pessimism, for hope over fear.

"It is time for a leader with your commitment to cooperation, and your belief that the improbable can be possible with goodwill and hard work.

"The American public have chosen another President of Scottish descent, and your message of support for the Scotland Week celebrations in the US this year was greatly appreciated by Scots at home and abroad.

"2009 is Scotland's Year of Homecoming - celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's national bard and international cultural icon, Robert Burns - during which we will welcome to Scotland people from around the world with a connection to and love of our nation.

"It will be a fantastic year to come home - for Presidents and citizens alike - and I extend an invitation of warm Scottish hospitality to you during this special year."

Presidential Backing - Present and Future

12 US Presidents have been of Scottish descent. According to genealogists, Barack Obama can trace his ancestry to William the Lion, who ruled Scotland between 1165 and 1214. Senator Obama's maternal ancestor, Edward FitzRandolph, emigrated to America in the 17th century.

In April, Senator Obama sent a message of support to the Scottish Government for the Tartan Day and Scotland Week celebrations in the US, which culminated in the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Senate's Tartan Day Resolution.

Statement from Senator Barack Obama

"I am proud to recognize the tenth anniversary of the Senate's resolution commemorating Tartan Day. With millions of Americans of Scottish descent living throughout the country, it is important to celebrate the historic relationship between the United States and Scotland, and the great contributions Scottish Americans have made. I wish you the best during this Scotland Week celebration."


As to the site... we've had many emails saying how much faster the site is and from my point of view it's also faster to publish new items. So now all I need to do is pay the increased bill for our double T1 line :-)


We are organizing a todo list for things we'd like to see once Steve gets settled in and if you'd like to see any new facilities on Electric Scotland please feel free to email me with suggestions.


We have started on a couple of new books this week... "Reminiscences of Cromar and Canada" and "The Story of the Scots Stage" for which more below.

Books that will be coming soon will be...

Sketches of North Carolina
Historical and Biographical, illustrative of the Principles of a portion of her Early Settlers By Rev. William Henry Foote (1846)

John Knox, A Biography
By D MacMillan, M.A. (1905)

MacKenzie, Selkirk, Simpson
The Makers of Canada, By Rev. George Bryce, D.D. (1910)

Old Time Customs
Memories and Traditions and Other Essays by John Burgess Calkin, M. A. LL.D. (1918)

Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Including Orkney and Zetland, descriptive of their scenery, statistics, antiquities, and natural history and directions for visiting the lowlands of Scotland with descriptive notices by George Anderson and Peter Anderson of Inverness (1850)

Glen Albyne
or tales of the Central Highlands.

Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs
by James M. Mackinlay (1893)

The Gateway of Scotland
East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse By A. G. Bradley (1912)

The Social and Economic Condition of the Highlands of Scotland Since 1800
By A. J. Beaton (1906)

By W. Barclay (1922)

Parish Life in the North of Scotland
By Rev. Donald Sage A.M. (1899)

The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk 1722-1805

Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach
By R. Angus Smith (1885)

I do also plan to do a few more biographies of very significant Scots.

Should you be interested in something appearing on the site do let me know and I'll see what I can do.

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 Ian Goldie.

In Peter's cultural section he's telling us about Martinmas...

This week we reach the fourth Scottish Quarter Day, St Martin’s Day – Martinmas – on 11 November. This according to folk lore was the day when the dead returned to the earth in the ballad ‘The Wife o Usher’s Well’ -

‘It fell about the Martinmas,
When nichts are lang and mirk,
The carlin wife’s three sons cam hame,
And their hats were o the birk.’

In by-gone days before the turnip was introduced as winter food for animals, Martinmas was the time of year for killing the animals which Scots could not afford to keep during the winter. It was a busy time of year as families strove to ensure that nothing was wasted. Meat was salted down and the innards made into black and white mealie puddings.

Most people now-a-days buy puddings at the butcher but Skirlie is still made at home. Skirl-i-the-pan is made with the same ingredients as mealie puddings but is fried in a pan rather than boiled in a skin. Also known as Poor Man's Haggis, Skirlie is splendid with neeps an tatties and also be used as stuffing for any kind of poultry or game. Here is the Aberdeenshire and North-East Scotland method of cooking:-

Take oatmeal, suet, onion, salt and pepper. Chop two ounces of suet finely. Heat a pan very hot and put in the suet. When it is melted add one or two finely chopped onions and brown them well. Now add enough oatmeal ( about four ounces ) to absorb the fat - a fairly thick mixture. Season to taste. Stir well till thoroughly cooked ( a few minutes ). Serve with potatoes.

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary didn't arrive.

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

We're now onto the T's with Traquair, Trotter, Tullibardine, Turnbull, Tweeddale, and Tytler.

And also the U's with Ure and Urquhart.

An interesting account of Tytler which starts...

TYTLER, the surname of a family distinguished in the literature of Scotland, one branch of which possesses the estate of Balnain, Inverness-shire, and another that of Woodhouselee, Mid Lothian, -- the “haunted Woodhouselee” of Sir Walter Scott’s ballad of ‘The Gray Brother.’ The family name originally was Seton, that of Tytler having been assumed by the ancestor of the family, a cadet of the noble house of Seton, who temp. James IV., in a sudden quarrel at a hunting match, slew a gentleman of the name of Gray, fled to France, and changed his name to Tytler. His two sons returned to Scotland in the train of Queen Mary in 1561, and from the elder the families of Balnain and Woodhouselee descend.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read all these entries at

Clan and Family Information
Clan Rattray have sent in pictures from their Gathering in Scotland. They will also be sending in an article which I hope to get next week. The pictures can be seen at

Poetry and Stories
Another poem from John Henderson called "The Wee Hoose Oan Its Lane" which you can read 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)
We have now added the Parish of Crichton to the Edinburgh volume.

Antiquities. - On the estate of Crichton, and at a small distance from the church, stands Crichton Castle, famous in Scotch story, and associated with many of its most remarkable events. Sir Walter Scott, in the Notes to his "Marmion," thus writes regarding this old ruin; "A large ruinous castle on the banks of the Tyne, built at different times, and with a very different regard to splendour and accommodation. The oldest part of the building is a narrow keep or tower, such as formed the mansion of a lesser Scottish Baron; but so many additions have been made to it, that there is now a large court-yard, surrounded by buildings of different ages. The eastern front of the court is raised above a portico, and decorated with entablatures bearing anchors. All the stones in this front are cut into diamond facets, the angular projections of which have an uncommonly rich appearance. The inside of this part of the building, appears to have contained a gallery of great length and uncommon elegance. Access was given to it by a magnificent staircase, now quite destroyed. The soffits are ornamented with twining cordage and rosettes, and the whole seems to have been far more splendid than was usual in Scottish castles."

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 Crushed Bonnet

And here is how it starts...

Towards the close of a beautiful autunmal day in 18--, when pacing slowly on my way, and in a contemplative mood admiring the delightful scenery between Blair Athole and Dunkeld, on my return from a survey of the celebrated pass of Killiecrankie, and other places rendered famous in Scottish story, I was accosted by a female, little past the prime of life, but with two children of unequal age walking by her side, and a younger slung upon her back. The salutation was of the supplicatory kind, and while the tones were almost perfectly English, the pronunciation of the words was often highly Scottish. The words, a "sodger’s widow"—"three helpless bairns" — and "Waterloo," broke my meditations with the force of an enchantment, excited my sympathy, and made me draw my purse. While in the act of tendering a piece of money — a cheap and easy mode of procuring the luxury of doing good — I thought the countenance, though browned and weather-beaten, one which I before had seen, with out exactly recollecting when or where. My curiosity thus raised, many interrogatives and answers speedily followed, when at last I discovered that there stood before me Jeanie Strathavon, once the beauty and the pride of my own native village. Ten long and troublous years had passed away since Jeanie left the neighbourhood in which she was born to follow the spirit - stirring drum; and where she had gone, or how she had afterwards fared, many enquired, though but few could tell. The incident which led to all her subsequent toil and suffering seemed but trivial at the time, yet, like many other trivial occurrences, became to her one fraught with mighty consequences.

She was an only daughter, her father was an honest labourer, and though not nursed in the bosom of affluence, she hardly knew what it was to have a wish ungratified. She possessed mental vivacity, and personal attractions, rarely exhibited, especially at the present day, by persons in her humble sphere of life. Though she never could boast what might properly be called education, yet great care had been taken to render her modest, affectionate, and pious. Her parents, now in the decline of life, looked upon her as their only solace. She had been from her very birth the idol of their hearts; and as there was no sunshine in their days but when she was healthy and happy, so their prospects were never clouded but when she was the reverse. Always the favourite of one sex, and the envy of another, when not yet out of her teens, she was importuned by the addresses of many both of her own rank and of a rank above her own, to change her mode of life. The attentions of the latter, in obedience to the suggestions of her affectionate but simple hearted parents, she always discouraged, for they never would allow themselves to think that "folk wi’ siller would be looking after their bairn for ony gude end." Among those of her own station, she could hardly be said to have yet shown a decided preference to any one, though the glances which she cast at Henry Williams, when passing through the kirkyard on Sundays, seemed to every one to say where, if she had her own unbiassed will, her choice would light. Still she had never thought seriously upon the time when, nor the person for whom, she would leave her fond and doting parents. Chance or accident, however, in these matters, often outruns the speed of deliberate choice; at least such was the case with poor Jeanie.

You can read the rest of this at

The other stories can be read at

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

Have now completed the second volume of the three and added this week are chapters...

Chapter XXVII
Under the Merry Monarch

Chapter XXVIII
Alexander Burnet's First Archbishopric

Chapter XXIX
The Policy of Conciliation

Chapter XXX
Alexander Burnet's Second Archbishopric

Chapter XXXI
Second Insurrection of the Covenanters

Chapter XXXII
In the Last Years of Charles II.

Chapter XXXIII
Rebellion and Revolution

Here is how chapter XXXIII starts...

THE Netherlands were, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, the chief rival of this country in colonizing enterprise and naval power. Since the days of Charles I. they had afforded an asylum to discontented and disinherited persons from England and Scotland alike. [Coltness Collections. Chambers's Domestic Annals, ii. 540.] Charles II. himself had found a retreat there while he waited an opportunity to recover the double crown from the Government of Oliver Cromwell. The Netherlands also were the arsenal from which the weapons were obtained which were used against the Government troops at the battles of Rullion Green, Drumclog, Bothwell Bridge, and Ayr's Moss. Accordingly, the arms and men were both ready there when the accession of Charles II.'s brother, the Duke of York and Albany, as King James VII. and II., seemed to offer a favourable opportunity for another attempt. The new king was a Roman Catholic, and for that reason unpopular, and the discontented elements at Amsterdam and the Hague resolved to seize the chance to effect a revolution without delay. Within three months of the beginning of the new reign two strong and fully equipped expeditions sailed from the Dutch ports.

The Earl of Argyll, as we have seen, had pleaded lack of means as a reason for refusing to repay the money borrowed by his father from Hutchesons' Hospital and the Town Council of Glasgow. But lack of means did not prevent him from fitting out a formidable expedition, with ships and men and ample munitions of war, for a more definite attempt than had yet been made to overthrow the Government of Scotland. And thus, while the Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth, son of Charles II. and Lucy Walters, with certain pretensions to legitimacy and a claim to the throne, landed with a force in the south-west of England, Argyll, at the head of an equally threatening array, disembarked in leis own country, near the disaffected southwestern district of Scotland. The story of that ill-starred campaign is told with fullness and, for him, unusual fairness by Lord Macaulay in his history of that time.

You can read the rest of the Preface at

The index page of the book is at

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

The Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons (now the Scots Greys)
Amongst a number of papers which lately came into the possession of Colonel F. J. Agnew Wallace, late of the Scots Greys, a collection of letters written in the years immediately before the Union by Lord John Hay, Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons (now the Scots Greys), came to light, and I am indebted to Colonel Wallace for permission to publish a selection of extracts from them.

Alexander Farquharson of Brouchdearg and his Farquharson Genealogies
The 'Genealogy of the Name of Farquharson ' down to the year 1733, by Alexander Farquharson of Brouchdearg—commonly known as the Brouch-dearg MS.—in which the writer traces the descent of practically all the members of his clan in his time, scattered though they were through four counties, with a completeness and accuracy which leave little to be desired, and with a modesty and frankness not always observable in such performances.

The Revolution Government in the Highlands
AN unfortunate prominence has been given to the massacre » of Glencoe, which, however discreditable to its authors, was an isolated event, and cannot be regarded as a real indication of a settled policy. The interest taken in it has only tended to distract attention from the more important question of the way in which the problem of Highland government was regarded by the Revolution statesmen, and of how they attempted to deal with it.

Mr. Hutcheson's 'Journal,' 1783
Mr. Charles Hutcheson, a young man (aged 21) of some spirit and intelligence, with a taste for good literature and a device of a sentimental journey engaging his holiday mind, has been able to set down some part of the truth about the life of himself and his friends, and may be thanked for another instalment of his travels to Arran.

You can read these articles at

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

I really enjoyed this book and have now added the final two chapters...

Strong Drink, Religion and Law
Heroes and their Descendants

Here is how the account starts from "Strong Drink, Religion and Law"...

"I can remember," said William Allan, of Churchill, "when taverns were to be found at almost every corner of the Penetang' Road between the town-line at the lower end of Innisfil and the north end of the township. There was one at Croxon's Corners, at the town-line; one at Cherry Creek; two at Churchill, on the fourth; one at the fifth; one at the seventh; two at Stroud; one at the twelfth; and one at Pains-wick, on the thirteenth. These were all along the leading road in the township. Others were scattered here and there, at other corners, off the main highway.

"The drinking habits of the people were in keeping with the number of taverns from which liquor was supplied. Fighting was a natural consequence of this excessive drinking. Liquor flowed with special freedom during elections, and fists and sticks formed the ultimate argument in the political controversies of the day. Nor were elections the only cause of quarrels. An incident of an international character once occurred at the old Tyrone tavern at the corner of the fifth. An American lumber firm (the Dodge) was engaged in cutting pine from our old place for the mill that was then in operation at Belle Ewart. The firm had a number of Americans in its employment and one night, a fight began at the tavern between the Americans and a number of Canadians. The former soon got the worst of it and were driven for shelter to their camp across the way. There was one negro in the American party, and he came in for some of the hardest knocks. People say that after the scrap was over, it was hardly possible to tell which was his face and which was the back of his head. If a white man had received such a pounding, his head would have been reduced to a pulp. A few years ago when Wightman Goodfellow tore down the old tavern, bloodstains, resulting from this and other fighting, could still be seen on the walls.

"Churchill, known in the early days as Bully's Acre, was another great place for fighting. At the old show-fairs you might see a scrap at any time you chose to turn your head in the direction from which the noise was coming. There is, by the way, an interesting story of the manner in which Churchill got its name. The first church in the neighbourhood was at the sixth line. A tavern-keeper located on the salve corner and named his place `Church Hill Tavern.' Believing the fourth line corners a better location lie later on moved there and carried his sign with him, and thus the name `Churchill' was transferred from the sixth to the fourth.

"Nor was the consumption of liquor confined to taverns. At almost every store a pail of liquor and a cup stood on the counter and all comers were at liberty to help themselves. No logging-bee could be field without an abundant supply of the same sort of refreshment, and after the bee was over, men fought or danced as fancy moved them—provided they were not by that time too drunk to do either.

"Where did the money come from to pay for all the liquor consumed? It came from the sweat-stained dollars that should have gone to the creation of homes; women were robbed of their due, and children of their heritage, that liquor sellers might wax fat. I have been told that the man who kept the old Tyrone tavern at the fifth, was able to supply his boys with two or three watches each from among those that had been left in pawn for liquor. Nor was this all. Many a good farm was drunk up over the bar in the old days and the owners and their children were forced to begin life over again in a new location."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

John Witherspoon
As John Witherspoon was a signatory to the American Declaration of Independence I thought it would be appropriate to put up a biography of him.

We have now completed this book with...

The American Period

Chapter II
President of Princeton

Chapter III
The Presbyterian Church

Chapter IV
Witherspoon, the American

Chapter V
The Last Years

Here is a bit from Chapter IV of The American Period...

FROM the day that he landed in America until the Revolution Witherspoon was a high type of British colonist. Scotchman as he was, he was British in sentiment and devotion. But he was likewise American to the core. He early perceived the possibilities of the new country. Its resources amazed him. The rich fertility of the soil, especially that which lay inland along the streams appealed to him in contrast with the less productive land in Scotland. He was delighted with the men whom he met and with the towns they had built. His admiration was not effusive, but his practical eye saw the evident advantages that would accrue from hard work. Clergyman and educator though he was, following professions not conducive to business sagacity, he had no hesitation in engaging in such enterprises as he thought would be profitable. He became one of a company which obtained from the crown a large grant of land in Nova Scotia.

Witherspoon appears to have had friends at court to whom, as in the case of the charter for the Widows' Fund, he could apply for aid. Whether he used this friend on this occasion I do not know. But he used his own name freely, as he might very properly, to advertise, not only his land in Nova Scotia but the general advantages in America, for the purpose of encouraging emigration. When John Adams was at Princeton in 1774, Witherspoon said the Congress ought to urge every colony to form a society to encourage Protestant emigration from the three kingdoms of Great Britain. It was this motive more largely than the hope of making money that induced him to join the Nova Scotia land company. When his name appeared in the advertisements in Scotch papers, some of his old enemies in that land took occasion to attack him. Ordinarily he let such things pass, but as injury might be done to possible emigrants induced to come to America by other land speculators and as he was accused of being an enemy to his country, he felt obliged to reply. The charge narrowed down to this, to use his own words: "Migrations from Britain to America are not only hurtful but tend to the ruin of that country; therefore, John Witherspoon, by inviting people to leave Scotland and settle in America is an enemy to his country."

In a long letter to the Scots Magazine he shows the folly of such an argument. His only reason for going into the company, he declares, was "that it would give people, who intended to come out, greater confidence that they should meet with fair treatment, and that I should the more effectually answer that purpose, one of the express conditions of my joining the company was, that no land should be sold dearer to any coming from Scotland than I should direct," surely a fine evidence of his associates' confidence in his integrity. He felt obliged to make this stipulation because many wildcat schemes were advertised abroad offering land at a rental per acre which equalled the value of the acre itself. Land in America was remarkably cheap compared with the price in Scotland, but Witherspoon reminded his readers that the value of it depended more upon its neighbourhood than upon its quality. The letter displays an astonishingly intimate acquaintance with the details of real estate, most unexpected in one whose chief repute was due to theological learning. Already he caught the import of the drift of population inland to the rich soils towards and beyond the mountains. As for the charge that he is an enemy to his country he replies, "I cannot help thinking it is doing a real service to my country when I show that those of them who find it difficult to subsist on the soil in which they were born, may easily transport themselves to a soil vastly superior to that." His hope was, not that Scotland should send out men who would take up large tracts and become landed proprietors on a large scale, but that farmers, willing to work the land themselves might take small holdings. It is shameful, he feels, for men to deceive intending settlers, and protests against the unjust charges of his enemies. "For my own part," he concludes, "my interest in the matter is not great; but since Providence has sent me to this part of the world, and since so much honour has been done me as to suppose that my character might be some security against fraud and imposition, I shall certainly look upon it as my duty to do every real service in my power, to such of my countrymen as shall fall in my way, and that either desire or seem to need my assistance."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Have made another start at this publication and I'll be adding more pages over the next several weeks.

This week have added...

Certificate, Cesspool, Chablis, Chafing, Chafing Dish, Chain, Chain Stitch, Chair.

You can see these at

The index page for this publication is at

Reminiscences of Cromar and Canada
By Donald Robert Farquharson

Here is the Preface of this book...

In committing to the press this unpretentious little book I beg to acknowledge my indebtedness for inspiration and assistance towards its preparation to my revered old teacher and friend the late Rev. John Grant Michie, whose books on Deeside, Logie Coldstone and Loch Kinord, as well as his enthusiasm, in reviving; other local memories, otherwise all but dead and forgotten, strongly impressed my youthful mind to my own father for many of the old local traditions and current sayings and by his manifested interest in so many of the people and characters in the parish and surrounding district; and to my brother William and my nephew David A. Stewart who, on my retirement from active service in the Customs Office in Chatham, Ontario, urged me to undertake the writing of these tales and memories, and have given willing and most appreciated assistance in collecting material, arranging chapters and reading proofs.

I trust that the narrative thus produced may prove of some interest to the rising generation at least and that it may help its reader to appreciate more fully the struggles of their forefathers and to exercise in the trials which they themselves will doubtless be confronted a like faith, courage and patience.

We now have up the first few chapters which can be read at

The Story of the Scots Stage
By Robb Lawson (1919)

Another new book we're starting and here is the foreword...

As it seems needful to explain why this book came into existence, I may say that as an eager student of Drama, I was anxious to trace out for myself the history of the Scottish Stage. The enquiry, pleasurable as it was, became a somewhat tortuous one. Unluckily for the student, Scotland does not seem to be very proud of its stage connections, with the result that to link the story together one has to become an Autolycus, delving into all sorts and conditions of documents and unsuspected volumes. This role I willingly adopted, and thinking that if I strung my notes together in some historical order, the volume might not be unwelcome to brother Scots at home and abroad, I have pleasure in submitting the result.

I have not attempted to go beyond the commencing date of the now popular Touring Companies, mainly because their products cannot be regarded as indigenous to the Scottish stage.

If this attempt at laying the foundation should inspire the more exhaustive history really desired, my purpose will have been happily served.

I am indebted to many friends for willing services rendered, but I cannot refrain from mentioning in this connection the names of Mr. J. M. Bulloch of The Graphic, Mr. Frank Boyd of The Dundee Courier, Mr. John Duncan of The Glasgow Herald, Mr. H. Thomson Clark, and Mr. J. A. Whamond-Mudie.

Robb Lawson.

You can read the first couple of chapters we've put up at

On the Antiquity of the Gaelic Language
Showing its affinity to Hebrew, Greek and Latin by the Rev. D. M'Intyre (1865)

This is a short book but very informative. Due to all the Gaelic words and other languages I've scanned this in as page images. Around 20 pages per section.

In the Preface it says...

The progress hitherto made to give the Gaelic language its legitimate rank among early European tongues appears to me unsatisfactory. 1 have devoted the following pages to that subject, and hope it may be found a step in the proper direction. I feel impelled, by a sense of duty, to make public the marked sameness, in vowel sounds, I have lately detected between the Gaelic and the Hebrew. That was my chief object in writing the Essay; and I trust the evidence adduced throughout is sufficiently cogent to show at once, that the sacred original of the Old Testament can be best read and understood by means of its own textual vowels, safe from the smallest risk of error, without calling in the aid of the fanciful system of Rabbinical points.


You can read this at

Blackie, John Stuart
An article from John Henderson about a significant Scots Professor and a patriotic Scot.

Blackie was one of one of the best-known Scotsmen of his time. Born in Glasgow and educated in Aberdeen, his first degree from Marischal College, Aberdeen was followed by three 'Wanderjahre' spent at the Universities of Göttingen and Berlin and in Rome. These gave him a life-long love, first of the German language, German student life, songs and culture, and secondly of the Greek language and antiquity. The first were later to inform several of his own books, notably "Musa burschicosa" (1869), "War songs of the Germans" (1870) and "Scottish song"(1889) as well as the initial compilation of "The Scottish Students' Song Book" (1891), of which his nephew Archibald Stoddart-Walker was one of the first editors.

Declining to enter the church he took a law degree at the University of Edinburgh and joined the Scottish bar. In 1839 was appointed Professor of Humanity at Marischal College, Aberdeen and in 1860 he achieved his ambition when he was appointed to the Chair of Greek at the University of Edinburgh.

At Edinburgh he became a charismatic teacher and a popular lecturer on many subjects. He espoused the causes of educational reform and the Gaelic language, and almost single-handed raised the £12,000 needed to endow the new Chair of Celtic at Edinburgh. His death was the occasion for a national day of mourning, and his funeral stopped the City of Edinburgh in its tracks.

You can read more of this and some of his poems at

Tattie and Mince Soup
Got sent in this old 50's Scots recipe...

You can read this at

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
We now have up the November issue...and here is Beth's Letter from the Editor...

EVERYWHERE! Most of us (including me) work at things Scottish because we love it. Very few people actually make their living at this. The rest of us do it because it is fun. We do it for the friendships and for the great feeling we get in helping to preserve our wonderful heritage.

Now, there are all levels of having fun. I, for example, have fun creating this publication although it is a whole lot of very hard work. I also have fun tending to horses and caring for dogs and being a staff-person for my cats. To me, fun is
having a neat house and a yard that is mowed. I love to garden and think nothing is more fun than growing roses - which is another whole set of hard work and regular work.

But those of us who relish the Scottish community, just love the PHUN parts of Highland Games. What fun you ask?

Well, there are several kinds of fun to be had Highland Games. Inventions that are Scottish fun! Here is just a sampling of the items I have heard discussed at Highland Games as potential million-dollar sellers.

Hairy legged panty hose for men who wear kilts in cold weather. Mmmm. They would have to be made in sizes S through XXXXXXXXXXXXXXL. They would have to come in shades of Indoor-Man Pink, He-Man Tan and maybe Beginner SunBurn. They would have
have fur of blonde, brown, black, grey-with blonde, brown, grey and black - oh, and red with gray and just red. They would have to maybe be custom woven for each individual. The fur would have to be a choice of curly or straight. I first heard
of these from an anonymous Buchanan at the Jacksonville (FL) Highland Games.)
I wonder if Hairy legged panty hose would be eligible in the Bonniest Knees Contests?

The Guzzle-A-Dirk which I heard discussed quite seriously at the recent Stone Mountain Highland Games. At first glance, this would appear to be a large and manly great knife. However, should you pull the dirk from its sheath, you would discover the blade portion is a little thicker than the normal knife blade. In fact, should you remove the gem from the top of the bone handle, you would discover the entire thing is hollow and filled with the “water of life” should you need a medicinal sip during your sojourn at the games.

This reminds me of the old remedy for snake bite: a long, stiff sampling of what used to be called “moonshine.” The moonshine was easily available and cheaply priced, but the story is that the most money was made on the selling of biting
snakes to go with the remedy!

The Airline Proof Skean Dubh that I heard about out at the Seaside Highland Games in Ventura, California, is another worthy invention.Seems there would be a great market for a skean dubh that would be proper for carry-on bags. The word was to make a skean dubh that looks normal in every way....except, if you take it from it’s sheath, it turns out to be a handsome sterling silver comb instead of a sharp blade! Wow. A skean dubh legal on the airlines - and neat hair to boot.

All of these remind me of my long-ago rodeo days. I always thought there was a fortune to be made in training goats used for the “Ladies Goat Roping” event. In that event, the mounted cowgirls race after a goat, rope him about his neck, leap from their horse and gather three of the goats legs together and then wrap those three legs in a “Piggin’ String” that must stay tight for at least 3 seconds.

Sometimes, the goat just doesn’t want you to have three of his legs gathered up. Goats can put up a pretty good fight. So, all you have to do is train goats to put
three of their legs together in a nice, neat little package for the tying part of the event. It would also help if they were trained to be perfectly still after
they are tied!

I digress.

Self-raising and self-lowering tents. Anyone who has ever put up a clan tent or taken down a clan tent will appreciate this idea. Just have “Robot Tents” who will march onto the field, raise themselves for the day or for the amount of time you need them - and then automatically lower themselves and march back to the games storage barn awaiting next year’s event. Attempts have been made, it seems for the latter portion of the tent performance - although these have other names such as Tornadoes, High Winds and Hurricanes.

Anyone is welcome to make and market these wonderful ideas. Remember though, you read the ideas here!

You can read this issue at

And that's it for this week and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend :-)


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