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23rd January 2009

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
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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
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
MacKenzie, Selkirk, Simpson
Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent
Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's Stories (New Book)
The Scot in America - Revolutionary Heroes
Raise a Glass to The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
50 pure dead giveaways that you are Scottish

I'd like to congratulate our American friends on getting a new President. There does seem to be a lot of International hope that he will bring in a new era in global politics so we wish him the very best on all the challenges he is now facing. I was also amazed that there is some Scottish blood in his genealogy :-)


I thought I'd also advise that we've switched to a new advertiser for our in-text advertising links. These are the ones that are double underlined and in green. We've been advised that we could get a three fold increase in revenue due to the higher rate that they pay. So as we're not adverse to earning more money we've implemented this on the site and will try it out for a month or so to see what happens.

I should also say that it will take a few weeks to sync with their advertisers as they will need to learn about our content but hopefully as we develop a relationship the links will become more useful.

The adverts only pop up when your mouse cursor goes over the double underlined green links. You can then view the pop up box and you will only go to the site if you click on the box.


The pictures I'm posting up in our header right now are ones taken from the lands of Clan MacThomas which is near Glen Shee. These were taken in 2004 when I spent a day in the area and just happened to see a sign with Clan MacThomas on it. I think this is the only clan sign that I ever saw in Scotland which was on a main road. I've also been in touch with the clan and they are going to send me some pictures of the last clan gathering they attended there.

You can see all of them and stories of the clan at


Starting a new book which might bring back some memories of old nursery rhymes of which more below.


Steve tells me that he has finished his crash testing of our community service and as a result looks to bring it back up this weekend in simple format. We should then see steady progress during next week as he adds back in all the other facilities we had and other new things.

I might add it was very important to us that we could make certain that this system could be restored quickly in the event of a hard disk crash or other event and hence some of the delay in getting this back. This should mean that if we go down again it will only take 24 hours to come back. Being down for this long is completely unacceptable and just makes us look like idiots.

We are also going to install a new version of the Arcade system that has become available since we went down. We now know more about these arcade games so we'll only be bringing up the most recent versions of the games that were written to take advantage of the new features.


Ranald McIntyre is sending me in scans of a book about James Darling who is his great grandfather. He was very active in the Temperance movement and also a kirk elder. As Ranald is sending in the scans I'm ocr'ing them onto the site and will make them available when complete. As far as we know this is the only book ever produced about a Kirk Elder so should make some good reading. It will not be out of order to give you the Preface to whet your appetite...

The subject of this short memorial sketch is a Christian layman, and it must be confessed that this is a department of Christian biography which has hitherto been too much overlooked. If it is not an unwrought, it is certainly an unexhausted mine. How many shining examples of Christian excellence in private members of our churches, and in "elders who have obtained a good report," have been allowed to pass away without a record to perpetuate by their example, their influence even, in the district in which they had lived and moved! The picture which I shall be called to present is not that of a man of great intellectual gifts,—though he was by no means deficient in these, and was remarkable for his commonsense,—but rather of one in whose character self-forgetting devotedness to the good of his fellow-men was the outstanding feature; and who, in helping the poor and needy, reclaiming the outcast, guarding the tempted, and encouraging those who had been brought back as lost sheep to the Divine Shepherd's fold,—and all this through a period of more than half a century,—made both the world and the Church his debtor. Nothing but the living power of Christian principle within him could have produced such a character. Those who were brought into intimate and frequent intercourse with him felt his example acting upon them as a moral tonic, and making it easier for them to do good, and they seemed to hear the words ringing in their ears—

"Work, work in the living present,
Heart within and God o'erhead."

"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

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 Jennifer Dunn. This time Jennifer is telling us things that are irritating her and it would be interesting to compare what is irritating her with what is irritating you :-)

In Peter's section he is talking about Robert Burns...

One of the best known Scottish traditions and customs world-wide must be the annual celebration, on and around 25 January, of the birth of our National Bard, Robert Burns. Within a few years of the poet’s death in 1796 his friends and admirers started to meet in order to remember Robert Burns and to toast his Immortal Memory. Scots travelling abroad carried a copy of work in their pouches and took the tradition world-wide. Over the past 200 years there have been countless Haggis addressed, Lassies toasted and Immortal Memory’s delivered, but this year, the 250th anniversary of his birth is rather special. It marks the start of Homecoming Scotland 2009 when it is hoped that many folk of Scots descent will come home and enjoy some of the 300 events, including a huge Clan gathering in Edinburgh. A whole year to celebrate Scotland and all things Scottish and what better way to start than by celebration of our National Bard.

No Burns Supper would be complete without the Haggis being addressed with the Bard’s own poem ‘To A Haggis’. With just one poem he raised the humble haggis to national status. The poem was composed within two weeks of Robert Burns arrival in Edinburgh for the first time, and was printed in the pages of the ‘Caledonian Mercury’ on 20 December 1786. It was produced, apparently extempore, at a dinner held in the Castlehill home of merchant Andrew Bruce.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o' the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

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

Christina McKelvie's Weekly diary is available at

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

Since the last newsletter we've added to the Supplement...

Geddes, Gordon of Fyvie, Irvine, Johnstone, Landsborough, Lockhart of Cleghorn, Low and Macaulay.

An interesting account of Johnstone which starts....

JOHNSTONE, MRS. CHRISTIAN ISOBEL, one of the most esteemed of modern female novelists, was born in Fifeshire in 1781. Very early in life she married a Mr. M’Leish, whom she was compelled to divorce. About 1812 she married, a second time, Mr. John Johnstone, then school-master at Dunfermline. They afterwards removed to Inverness, where Mr. Johnstone purchased the Inverness Courier, of which he became editor. The assistance of his wife aided materially in giving to that paper a character and a tone not often attained by a provincial journal, although afterwards ably maintained by a succeeding editor, Mr. Robert Carruthers. While at Inverness, Mrs. Johnstone wrote ‘Clan Albyn, a National Tale,’ published at Edinburgh anonymously in 1815.

The Inverness Courier being sold, Mr. Johnstone and his wife removed to Edinburgh, where Mr. Blackwood, publisher, engaged Mrs. Johnstone to write another novel. The novel referred to, ‘Elizabeth De Bruce,’ was published in 1827 in 2 vols. post 8vo. It was decidedly successful, although not to the extent Mr. Blackwood expected. He had printed 2,000 copies, the usual impression of a three-volumed novel being 500. Some 1,200 or 1,400 were sold readily, at the regular price.

The copyright of the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle was bought by Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Johnstone, the latter of whom had opened a printing-office in James’ Square. Of that newspaper Mr. and Mrs. Johnstone were the editors. Under them the principles of the paper were much too liberal for their co-proprietor, who belonged to the old Tory party, and the connexion did not long continue. The Chronicle was subsequently sold by the Johnstones, on their undertaking other projects. Amongst these was the publication of ‘The Schoolmaster,’ a three-halfpenny weekly journal, conducted and almost wholly written by Mrs. Johnstone. This was one of the first of the cheap periodical papers published in Edinburgh, and at the outset was tolerably successful; but being really too good, grave, and instructive for the price, readers of cheap publications not being then so numerous as they afterwards became, it began to decline, when it assumed a monthly form as “Johnstone’s Magazine,’ published at eightpence. That periodical, devoted almost entirely to literary and social subjects, to the exclusion of purely political matters, was, soon after, incorporated with ‘Tait’s Magazine,’ which had previously become a shilling, instead of a half-crown, monthly. This was in 1834.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read all these entries at

Poetry and Stories
John sent in another poem, "Wee Pete In Oor Street" at

And of course more articles in our Article Service at 

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

This week have added...

An Incident in the Great Moray Floods of 1829

Here is how it starts...

THE flood, both in the Spey and its tributary burn, was terrible at the village of Charlestown of Aberlour. On the 3d of August, Charles Cruickshanks, the innkeeper, had a party of friends in his house. There was no inebriety, but there was a fiddle; and what Scotsman is he who does not know that the well-jerked strains of a lively strathspey have a potent spell in them that goes beyond even the witchery of the bowl? On one who daily inhales the breezes from the musical stream that gives name to the measure, the influence is powerful, and it was that day felt by Cruickshanks with a more than ordinary degree of excitement. He was joyous to a pitch that made his wife grave. Mrs Cruickshanks was deeply affected by her husband’s jollity. "Surely my goodman is daft the day," said she gravely; "I ne’er saw him dance at sic a rate. Lord grant that he binna ‘fey’!

[‘fey’ – a word which the common people express those violent spirits which they think a presage of death.]

When the river began to rise rapidly in the evening, Cruickshanks, who had a quantity of wood lying near the mouth of the burn, asked two of his neighbours to go and assist him in dragging it out of the water. They readily complied, and Cruickshanks getting on the loose raft of wood, they followed him, and did what they could in pushing and hauling the pieces of timber ashore, till the stream increased so much, that, with one voice, they declared they would stay no longer, and, making a desperate effort, they plunged over-head, and reached the land with the greatest difficulty. They then tried all their eloquence to persuade Cruickshanks to come away, but he was a bold and experienced floater, and laughed at their fears; nay, so utterly reckless was he, that having now diminished the crazy ill-put-together raft he stood on, till it consisted of a few spars only, he employed himself in trying to catch at and save some haycocks belonging to the clergyman, which were floating past him. But while his attention was so engaged, the Hood was rapidly increasing, till, at last, even his dauntless heart became appalled at its magnitude and fury. "A horse! a horse!" he loudly and anxiously exclaimed; "run for one of the minister’s horses, and ride in with a rope, else I must go with the stream." He was quickly obeyed, but ere a horse arrived, the flood had rendered it impossible to approach him.

The rest of this story can be read at

The other stories can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added four more pages which include Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bun, Cinnamon Cake, Cinquefoil, Circuit, Circuit Diagram, Circulation, Circumcision, Cirrhosis, Cistern, Cistus, Citrate of Magnesia, Citric Acid, Citron: The Fruit, Citron: The Wood, Clamp, Clap Board, Clapped Bread, Claret, Claret Cup, Clarifying, Clarinet, Clarkia, Clary, Clasp Nail, Claustrophobia, Clavicle, Claw and Ball, Clawfoot, Claw Hammer, Clay, Claytonia, Clear Cole, Cleat, Cleft Palate, Clematis, Glergyman's Throat, Click Beetle, Climbing Plant or Climber, Clinical Thermometer, Clinker, Clivia, Cloak, Cloche, Clocks.

You can read about these at

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

We're completed the Selkirk biography with...

Chapter VII - Bloodshed
Chapter VIII - An Expedition of Rescue
Chapter IX - Worry and Disaster
Chapter X - The Shadows Fall

And we've now started on Sir George Simpson...

Chapter I - Dark Days and the Man for the Time
Chapter II - The Men he Led
Chapter III - The Domain of an Emperor

Here is how Chapter I starts on Sir George Simpson...

SOMETIMES the names of men intimately associated or diametrically opposed to one another are continually appearing together before us. It was so in the case of the two men, Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Lord Selkirk, whose careers we have been following. Of two whose lives afford a striking example of friendship it was said, "in their death they were not divided." It may be similarly remarked in regard to these two notable opponents. Mackenzie's book gave the impulse to Lord Selkirk's movement ; Mackenzie's company gave the clue to Lord Selkirk for his scheme; Mackenzie was the chief opponent in the Hudson's Bay Company to the sale of territory to Lord Selkirk for his colony; under Mackenzie's silent but powerful opposition, the chief obstacles were thrown in the way of His Lordship's colonization project; and now within a month of each other the two antagonists were called away from earth's trials and rivalries, Sir Alexander dying on his way home from London, March 12th, 1820; and Lord Selkirk passing away twenty-seven days later, on April 8th, far from home, seeking; health in a foreign land,
which brothers had been divided, and chief friends thrown into hostile camps. He had seen that breach closed and those wounds completely healed.

Fifteen or sixteen years had passed since that time, and Ellice advocated, under the circumstances similar to those of the earlier date, that the two great companies which had been fighting a battle royal should lay down their arms and be friends. He urged strongly the plea of self-interest. Both companies were reduced to the verge of bankruptcy. He pointed out that there was great extravagance in the conduct of trade. Two rival traders, outbidding each other, gave more for the furs than they were worth, simply to gain the victory over each other. Often two traders were stationed where the catch of furs was limited, and both establishments at the close of the year showed a serious shortage. The necessity of watching rivals, of ascertaining their plans, and of counterworking opposing movements caused a great loss of time, and so a loss of money and of prestige.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
By George Anderson and Peter Anderson of Inverness (1850)

Making more progress with this book and have added the following chapters...

Section IV

Town of Inverness

Section V


Perth to Inverness, across the Grampians, by the Highland road, through Athole, Bedenoch, Strathspay, and Strathdearn

Branch A. From Crieff and Greenloaning Station, by Lochearn-head, Killin, and Kenmore, to Tummel Bridge and Blair, and by Aberfeldy to Dunkeld; and by Curricmucklach and Aberfeldy to Dalnacardoch
To Amulree and Aberfeldy
To Lochearn-head, &c
Branch B. From Blair-Athole to Grantown, in Strathspey, by Glen Tilt and the Castletown of Braemar
Branch C. Routes across the Grampians to Braemar and Athole, with Loch-an-Eilan, Cairngorm, &c.
Branch D. Strathspey and Lochindorbh
Branch E. Strathdearn and the River Findhorn
Branch F. Strathnairn and Stratherrick
Ballichernocb Road

Here is what this chapter covers...

Inns, Steamers, &.c.; Objects worthy of Observation; Beauty of the Scenery, 1.—Character of the Surrounding Country, 2.—Origin of the Name; Situation; rslands in the Ness, 3.—Stone Bridge, 4.—Streets, 5.—Jail, 6.—Town-house, 7.—Population; Manufactures; Trade, S —Churches, 9.—Acadeniy; Schools; Infirmary, 10. Improvements; Public Charities; Walks; Country Seats, 11.—Antiquity of lnrerness, 12.—Castles of Inverness; Murder of Kin; Duncan, 13.—history of the Castle; Duke of Gordon, Heritable Keeper; Old Fort-George, 14.—The Burgh Charters, 15.—Early disturbed State; ncient Commerce, 16.—Royal Visits; Queen Mary's Visits, 17.—Crornwell's Fort, 18.—Form of Architecture, 19.—Ancient Politics and Manners, 20.—Magistracy, 21.—Spirit of Irnprovenient, 22.

You cvan read the rest of this chapter at

All of these can be read at

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

Moving ahead with this book and now added...

Chapter I - Dunn Add
Chapter II - The Children of Lir
Chapter III - Evonium
Chapter IV - Loch Etive
Chapter V - Kerrera
Chapter VI - The Sons of Uisnach
Chapter VII - Is it a Sun Myth?
Chapter VIII - The Rocks of Naisi

Here is how the chapter on Loch Etive starts...

"Few here the smooth and rounded rocks,
These made by nature in her dreams,
Still bear the marks of sudden shocks,
And deeply cutting ice-bound streams."

Margaet—Now we are at Connel, but there are no falls.

Cameron.—No; the tide is high and the water is smooth. Connel falls are strange: sometimes the water falls this way, and sometimes that; sometimes the water here is smooth as at present, sometimes it is a roaring fall of several feet, with a swirling rapid of several hundred yards, and people half a mile off are wakened in the night by the noise. At the south side there is a deep place where vessels can pass at high water.

Margaet.—I see the reason; there is a bank of rocks nearly across the narrow part of the loch, and the tide makes the fall as it flows out and in.

Cameron.—We often pass smoothly. Many a time have I crossed the loch both above and below with anxiety. The rocks at this gorge narrow the loch so much that here it is only about 150 yards broad, although it is too, or nearly a mile, up at Kilmaronaig, and as it is 22 miles long, there is a great deal of water to pass so frequently. The passage between these rounded rocks has probably been made when the sea-beach was lower. The heights correspond.

Cameron.—Many a fine rock cod have I caught beside these shores, and they made many a good breakfast in Lochanabeich. Let us go up the bank. This old sea-beach has been made into rabbit warrens where it is steep, and into cornfields where the slope is gradual. The whole of the plain here is composed of debris, chiefly rolled boulders, not very large, and it seems to have been flattened like a sea-bottom. It is now nearly all covered with moss, and it lies almost a waste, with a few cottages at its skirts. These cottages have only lately been built along the road; they were put up by General Campbell of Lochnell some forty years ago or so, that he might always have people to help him with his carriage across the ferry at Connel below the falls. Now so many people come with cattle and carts that men are always kept ready; but the cottages are pleasant companions of the district, and contain cheerful faces to meet us on the road. This heath is wild. Professor Daniel Wilson in his Prehistoric Annals of Scotland calls it "The Black Moss." It is no blacker than others, but uncomely places have often more abundant honour, and some have called this the heath of Lora, and Connel the falls of Lora. I who agree to this may explain to you that Lora means a noisy stream, and I may remind you of that beautiful beginning of Cath Lodin (or Loda), generally put the first of Ossian's poems-

"Oh! thou traveller unseen, thou bender of the thistle of Lora."

That is the travelling breeze, the light wind that shows itself to exist only by the result of its efforts. The very breeze is made into a mysterious agent, and takes its place among the spirits of the hill. And there before you is the thistle of Lora, gracefully bending before the unseen power.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read all these chapters at

Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for transcribing these for us.

This week we've added...

Spence, Robert A. at

Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's Stories
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904). This is a new book we're starting and I hope this might bring back some memories for you :-)

Here is what the Preface has to say...

In offering to the public this collection of Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, and Children's stories ---the multitudinous items of which, or such, at least, as were not living in my own memory, have been gathered with patient industry, albeit with much genuine delight, from wide and varied sources—I anticipate for the work a hearty and general welcome, alike from old and young. It is the first really sincere effort to collect in anything like ample and exclusive fashion the natural literature of the children of Scotland, and meets what has long appealed to me as decidedly a felt want. The earlier pages are occupied with a commentary, textually illustrated, on the generally puerile, but regularly fascinating Rhymes of the Nursery, the vitality and universal use of which have been at once the wonder and the Muzzle of the ages. This is followed in turn by a chapter on Counting-out Rhymes, with numerous examples, home and foreign, which is succeeded, appropriately, by a section of the work embracing description of all the well-known out-door and in-door Rhyme-Games—in each case the Rhyme being given, the action being portrayed. The remaining contents the title may be left to suggest. I may only add that the stories--including "Blue Beard," and "Jack the Giant Killer," and their fellow-narratives —ten in all—are printed verbatim from the old chapbooks once so common in the country, but now so rare as to be almost unobtainable.

Essentially a book about children and their picturesque and innocent, though often apparently meaningless, frolics, by the young in the land, I am assured, it will be received with open arms. From the "children, of larger growth" those who were once young and have delight in remembering the fact.- the welcome, if less boisterous, should be not less sincere. Commend to me on all occasions the man or woman who, "I with lyart haffets thin and bare," can sing with the poet-

"Och hey! gin I were young again,
Ochoue! gin I were young again
For chasin' bumbees owre the plain
Is just an auld sang sung again."


287 Onslow Drive,

You can read the first chapter at

The Scot in America
We have now completed this book with the final chapter "Revolutionary Heroes" which starts...

THERE was much in the Revolutionary movement which resulted in the formation and independence of the United States to attract Scotsmen to the cause. In Scotland the people were by no means intense in their loyalty to the Orange King or the Hanoverian Dynasty, and in the Highlands especially, the fact that "a stranger filled the Stuarts' throne" rankled in the hearts of every one. Even in the Lowlands, where the majority of the people were not in favor of the restoration of the "Auld Stuarts," movements looking to greater freedom under the prevailing Government were rife. Such movements were termed seditions and were repressed with all the severity and cruelty possible. Many of those concerned in these movements were glad to fly to America, and we can easily imagine that their views anent human freedom and the right of all citizens to a voice in the affairs of State did not change after they had crossed the sea. The close of the seventeenth century and the whole of the eighteenth was a period of unrest in Scotland as well as in Continental Europe, and would probably have found vent in the end in rebellion there, if not in revolution, as in France and America, had not Robert Burns crystallized the sentiments of the people into many of his matchless lyrics and inspire them with hope for the future in such reassuring prohetic-like words as those of "A man's a man for a' that."

The Scotch soldiers who were settled on grants of land in the States, as a reward for their military services, were steadfast in their loyalty to Britain at the outbreak of hostilities. They still regarded themselves as soldiers of King George, and considered, in view of their land holdings, that they were under obligation to continue to fight his battles when occasion demanded, without any consideration as to the merits of the question which was to be settled by a resort to arms. The well-known loyalty of these men and their military reputation drew upon them -- and, to a certain extent, upon their countrymen -- the ill-will of many, and caused some of the patriots to describe the Scots as being generally anti-revolutionary in their ideas, although, had they chosen to look around a little, exactly the opposite truth might become apparent to them. It was on this erroneous idea that John Trumbull of Connecticut wrote the doggerel lines of "McFingal." Describing that fictitious hero, Trumbull says:

"His high descent our heralds trace,To Ossian's famed Fingalian race;For tho' their name some part may lackOld Fingal spelt it with a Mac;Which great McPherson, with submissionWe hope will add, the next edition. His fathers flourished in the Highlands Of Scotia's fog-benighted islands."

In commenting on this passage, the late Benson J. Lossing, the latest and best editor of the poem, wrote:

"The Scotch were noted for their loyalty, in this country, and were generally found among the Tories, especially in the Carolinas. This fact and the odium that rested upon the Jacobites in the Mother Country made the Americans, during the Revolution, look with suspicion upon all Scotsmen. Jefferson manifested this feeling when he drew up the Declaration of Independence. In the original draft he alluded to 'Scotch and foreign mercenaries. This was omitted on motion of Dr. Witherspoon, who was a Scotsman by birth. In most minds the word Jacobite was synonymous with Popery. Trumbull showed his dislike of the Scotch by his choice of a hero in this poem. Frenau, another eminent poet of the Revolution, also evinced the same hatred. In one of his poems, in which he gives Burgoyne many hard rubs, he consigns the Tories, with Burgoyne at their head, to an ice-bound, fog-covered island of the north coast of Scotland, thus:

" 'There, Loyals, there, with loyal hearts retire;There pitch your tents and kindle there your fire,There desert nature will her strings display,And fiercest hunger on your vitals prey.'"

The bulk of the Scots who crossed the Atlantic, other than those in the military service, from 1700 till the outbreak of the Revolution, and long after, were discontented with the prevailing condition of things at home. Some wonder, knowing the intense loyalty of the Scots of the present day, that settlers of that country should have taken such an active part in the pre-Revolutionary movements in America, and been so ready to throw off their allegiance; but no one who has studied the history of the people, particularly in the period named, will be in the least surprised. The exiles of Dunbar and of Cromwell's regime may have had some sentimental regard for the King they fought for, but the news of his doings after the "blessed restoration" crushed it out. The prisoners of the Covenanting frays had little reverence for the royal authority and their descendants had none. After religious liberty had been won, the movement for civil liberty commenced in earnest and men were sent to prison for holding sentiments as well as for standing out in actual opposition to "the powers that be." Even such sentiments as "The nation is essentially the source of all sovereignty" and "Equal representation, just taxation, and liberty of conscience" were deemed treasonable enough to cause the arrest of their utterers, and such policy sent hundreds of good men and true across the sea. These wanderers found in America an opportunity for securing that religious liberty and that freedom and perfect equality before the law they could not obtain at home. When the Revolutionary troubles began they or their descendants entertained no loyalty for King George or his dynasty; they knew that Scotland had suffered deeply, not only at the hands of the last two Kings of the old royal house, but at those of King William "of blessed memory." Besides, from the time that John Knox had established in the Kirk the most perfect form of republican government of which the world has yet had knowledge, a growing sentiment, although in most instances an unconscious sentiment, in favor of a republican form of government for State as well as for Kirk existed in the country. These are some of the reasons which made Scotsmen in America, or rather the majority of them, be as devoted to the principles at stake in the American Revolution as were any of the native patriots.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Raise a Glass to The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
Good wishes from Kensington Palace & Clarence House together with support from MSPs of the Scottish Parliament have raised the spirits of Falkirk based Julie Deans and Steve Higson who are co-ordinating a “Worldwide Toast to Robert Burns.”

In the final countdown to the 250th Anniversary of Robert Burns, millions of people plan to celebrate the Bard’s birthday and Toasts and Suppers across the globe are already being counted on the Worldwide Toast web-site, especially designed to record the number of glasses raised worldwide.

At this early stage, countries as far and wide as USA, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, Turkey, The Netherlands and, of course, Scotland and England have raised a glass to the Bard with The Sons of Scotland in Winnipeg and the Alabama Scots being the first to register their toasts on-line and kick off this fantastic Worldwide celebration.

Ryan from Alabama Scots told Scottish Gemini “We all participated in the Toast and it was very exciting! I read your note just prior to the toast and it brought the excitement to a fever pitch! I feel as though your idea of the Toast really energized our group last night. I am truly glad that I found you on the Internet!”

Julie Deans of Scottish Gemini explained “It’s really easy since all you need to do is raise a glass, add up the numbers and complete a brief form on the web-site to record your numbers. We urge everyone, everywhere to raise a glass and Take Part. All toasts taking place from now until 7th February will be counted towards the overall total although if your toast is being held at 9pm GMT on 25th January you can be included as part of the Guinness World Record Attempt.

By keeping it simple, it is hoped that millions across the globe will unite with their Toasts and become part of this historic event.

The team are also fundraising for the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway. Shonaig Macpherson, Chairman of the NTS, referred to the campaign as “an exciting project” and the thrilling yet simple ‘Donate a Pound Campaign’ will give the opportunity for all corners of the globe to contribute a single pound so that everyone can help to ‘give something back to Burns.’

50 pure dead giveaways that you are Scottish
Was sent in this email and thought I'd share it with you...

It starts...

1. Scattered showers with outbreaks of sunshine and a cold northerly wind, is your idea of good weather.

2. The only sausage you like is square.

3. You were forced to do Scottish country dancing every year at high school.

4. You have a wide knowledge of local words, and know: Numpty is an idiot, Aye is yes, Aye right is No, Auldjin is someone over 40, and Baltic is cold.

5. You have an irrational need to eat anything from the chippy, as long as its deep fried - Haggis, pizza, white pudding, sausage, fish, chicken and battered Mars Bars.

The can be read the other 45 at

And finally as Robert Burns Suppers will be held this week you might like to read one of Robert Burns best poems... "To a Mouse" at

In particular this page gives you not only the actual poem but also an explanation of each verse for those not familiar with the Scots language. In addition we also have a real audio recording of it for you to listen to as you read it. As Connie commented on the page "Lovely to read this little poem. Hearing it with Real Audio while reading makes it suddenly very understandable. What a gift we have been given with the internet!"

And as a lot of you will be eating haggis at these Burns Suppers you might like to read some stories of the haggis that you can share with folk at your table. You can read these at

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


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