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Weekly Mailing List Archives
27th March 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. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
New Statistical Account of Scotland
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Social Life in Scotland
Robert Burns Lives!
The Writings of John Muir
Home and Farm Food Preservation
Parish Life in the North of Scotland
Poenamo (New Book)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Fallbrook Farm Update
The Mc Intyre's 1805 - 1990

Time seems to be going by very fast these days. It seems like I've just finished one newsletter when it's time to do another one.

On the subject of newsletters I was sorry to learn of Rampant Scotland's webmaster having had a stroke and due to the pressure has decided to cease doing his newsletter which I understand was very popular. He's able to continue with his web site work and I'm sure we all wish him all the best for a full recovery.


Was interested to learn that the Labour Party was rather upset about comments in last weeks "Flag in the Wind" about the Northern Ireland article. The article seems to have been widely commented upon in blogs and one Labour MP is demanding an explanation and statement about it from the SNP. And so if you haven't been reading the Flag you'll see what you've been missing :-)


My thanks for those that got back to me on the "Kirkin' o' the Tartan" church service.


I was looking at our search statistics on Google and see that for March to date we've had 24,890 searches using the Google site search engine.


Got a pdf file sent in to me about a study by the Urban Warfare Analysis Center on Bayonets in Basra.

On 21 May 2004, Mahdi militiamen engaged a convoy consisting of approximately 20 British troops from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 55 miles north of Basra. A squad from the Princess of Wales regiment came to their assistance. What started as an attack on a passing convoy ended with at least 35 militiamen dead and just three British troops wounded. The militiamen engaged a force that had restrictive rules of engagement prior to the incident that prevented them from returning fire. What ensued was an example of irregular warfare by coalition troops that achieved a tactical victory over a numerically superior foe with considerable firepower.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are an infantry regiment of the British Army
with a rich history. It is one of Scotland’s oldest fighting forces. It is best known for forming the legendry “thin red line” at the Battle of Balaklava in the Crimean War against Russia in 1854. It later fought with distinction in World War I and World War II, including intense jungle warfare in Malaya. After Iraq, it served in Afghanistan before returning home in 2008.

The Bayonet Charge

The battle began when over 100 Mahdi army fighters ambushed two unarmored vehicles
transporting around 20 Argylls on the isolated Route Six highway near the southern city of Amarah.

Ensconced in trenches along the road, the militiamen fired mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and machine gun rounds. The vehicles stopped and British troops returned fire. The Mahdi barrage caused enough damage to force the troops to exit the vehicles.

The soldiers quickly established a defensive perimeter and radioed for reinforcements from the main British base at Amarah – Camp Abu Naji. Reinforcements from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment assisted the Argyles in an offensive operation against the Mahdi militiamen. When ammunition ran low among the British troops, the decision was made to fix bayonets for a direct assault.

The British soldiers charged across 600 feet of open ground toward enemy trenches.
They engaged in intense hand-to-hand fighting with the militiamen. Despite being outnumbered and lacking ammunition, the Argylls and Princess of Wales troops routed the enemy. The British troops killed about 20 militiamen in the bayonet charge and between 28 and 35 overall.

Only three British soldiers were injured. This incident marked the first time in 22 years that the British Army used bayonets in action. The previous incident occurred during the Falklands War in 1982.

Why the Bayonet Charge Was a Tactical Success

The bayonet charge by British troops in Basra achieved tactical success primarily because of psychological and cultural factors. It also shows that superior firepower does not guarantee success by either side. In this case, the value of surprise, countering enemy expectations, and strict troop discipline were three deciding characteristics of the bayonet charge.

Surprise as a Weapon

The Mahdi fighters likely expected the British convoy to continue past the attack. Previous convoys of British vehicles had driven through ambush fire. British military sources believe the militiamen miscalculated the response of the convoy and expected the Scots to flee.

Although the raid is a well-honed tactic practiced by jihadist and Arab irregulars, the surprise raid has been an effective tool against Arab armies, both regular and irregular. Irregular fighters usually are not trained in the rigid discipline that professional counterparts possess, and the surprise attack exploits this weakness.

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 Richard Thomson in which he has two main stories about the state of school buildings and the financial mess we're in right now.

In Peter's cultural section you can find great poems and some of them you can listen to in real audio. In fact Peter has now grown his audio Scots language section to be the largest in the world. As the Scots language was the official language of Scotland for several centuries you will also find that many historical documents quote many acts of Parliament and many other texts in that language and so his resource is most valuable when you need to look up the meaning of a word or phrase.

For example in this issue he has up...

argie-bargie: dispute
blaud: batter; deface; defame; blow; downpour
corp-lifter: body-snatcher
dozent: bewildered; stupefies; impotent
lunt: kindle; blaze; smoke a pipe
preen: pin

Dinna scaud yir mou wi ither fowk's kail: Don't poke your nose into other peoples business - it will only end up hurting you.

Quhen fra this warld to Christ we wend
Oure wretchit short lyfe man haif ane end;
Changit fra pane and miserie
To lestand gloir eternallie.

frae 'Scottish Funeral Hymns' o the 16th centurie

and all those words, phrases and wee poems all have links to listen to.

Also in this weeks issue his wife Marilyn has recorded the song...

The Land o' the Leal
by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne

Daughter of a Perthshire Jacobite, Carolina Oliphant (1766-1845) married William Nairne and called herself 'Mrs Bogan of Bogan' to write her songs, many of which are still widely popular today, including 'Caller Herrin', 'Willye no come back again?' and 'The Auld Hoose'.

I'm wearin' awa', John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw,
John, I'm wearin' awa'
To the land o' the leal.
There's nae sorrow there, John,
There's neither cauld nor care, John The day is aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

Our bonnie bairn's there, John,
She was baith gude and fair,
John, And, oh! we grudged her sair
To the land o' the leal.
But sorrow's sel' wears past, John,
And joy is comin' fast, John,
The joy that's aye to last
In the land o' the leal.

Sae dear's that joy was bough, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought,
To the land o' the leal.
Oh! dry your glist'nin' e'e, John,
My saul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me
To the land o' the leal.

Oh! haud ye leal an' true, John,
Your day it,s wearin, thro', John,
And I'll welcome you
To the land o' the leal.
Now fare ye weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we'll be fain,
In the land o' the leal.

And you can listen to this at

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at

New Statistical Account of Scotland
Being accounts of the Parishes of Scotland produced in 1845.

This week have added the Parish of Glasford to the Lanark volume.

Extent and Boundaries.—THE parish of Glasford is about eight miles in length. Its figure, as laid down in the map, resembles a sand-glass, three miles and three-quarters at its broadest extreme, two miles in the opposite end, and about one-half mile in the middle. It contains in all eleven square miles, or 5598 Scots acres. It is bounded on the north-west by East Kilbride and Blantyre; north, by hamilton; south, by Avondale ; and cast, by Stonehouse.

Topographical Appearances.—The parish is separated into two grand divisions,—the moors and the dales; the latter of which comprehend a beautiful strath of land, that runs along the lower part of the parish, and is bounded on the one side by the Avon. The aspect of the parish presents in some places a gradual rise, but nothing that can be termed mountainous. The district of the moors is in many parts bleak and barren. Owing to its high position the air is keen, but the climate is considered healthy. The soil may be reckoned of three kinds, moss, clay, and light loam.

You can read this account at

All the other Parishes we have up so far can be found at

Clan and Family Information
Got in the Clan Leslie Australia Newsletter which can be viewed at

Poetry and Stories
John sent in another poem, "Past and Present" at

And of course more articles in our Article Service from Donna and others at 

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

This week have added a new story...

The Court Cave: a Legendary Tale of Fife

This is a 3 part story and the first part starts...

A few years before the pride of Scotland had been prostrated by English bows and bills, on the disastrous day of Flodden, the holding of Balmeny, in the county of Fife, was possessed by Walter Colville, then considerably advanced in years. Walter Colville had acquired this small estate by the usual title to possession in the days in which he lived. When a mere stripling, he had followed the latest Earl of Douglas, when the banner of the bloody heart floated defiance to the Royal Stuart. But the wavering conduct of Earl James lost him at Abercorn the bravest of his adherents, and Walter Colville did not disdain to follow the example of the Knight of Cadzow. He was rewarded with the hand of the heiress of Balmeny, then a ward of Colville of East Wemyss. That baron could not of course hesitate to bestow her on one who brought the king’s command to that effect; and in the brief wooing space of a summer day, Walter saw and loved the lands which were to reward his loyal valour, and wooed and wedded the maiden by law appended to the enjoyment of them. The marriage proved fruitful; for six bold sons sprung up in rapid succession around his table, and one "fair May ” being added at a considerable interval after, Walter felt, so far as his iron nature could feel, the pure and holy joys of parental love, as his eye lighted on the stalwart frames and glowing aspects of his boys, and on the mild blue eyes and blooming features of the young Edith, who, like a fair pearl set in a carcanet of jaspers, received an added lustre from her singleness. But alas for the stability of human happiness!

The truth of the deep-seated belief that the instrument of our prosperity shall also be that of our decay, was mournfully displayed in the house of Walter Colville. By the sword had he cut his way to the station and wealth he now enjoyed ; by the sword was his habitation rendered desolate, and his gray hairs whitened even before their time. On the field of Bannockburn—once the scene of a more glorious combat—three of his sons paid with their lives for their adherence to the royal cause. Two more perished with Sir Andrew Wood, when Steven Bull was forced to strike to the "Floure and Yellow Carvell." The last, regardless of entreaties and commands, followed the fortunes of the "White Rose of York," when Perkin Warbeck, as history malignantly continues to style the last Plantagenet, carried his fair wire and luckless cause to Ireland; and there young Colville found an untimely fate and bloody grave near Dublin.

Thus bereft of so many goodly objects of his secret pride, the heart of Walter Colville naturally sought to compensate the losses which it had sustained in an increased exercise of affection towards his daughter. The beauties of infancy had now been succeeded by those of ripening maidenhood. The exuberant laugh, which had so often cheered his hours of care or toil, while she was yet a child, had given place to a smile still more endearing to his time-stricken feelings; face and form had been matured into their most captivating proportions, and nothing remained of the blue-eyed, fair-haired child, that had once clung round his knee, save the artless openness of her disposition, and the unsullied purity of her heart. Yet, strange to tell, the very intensity of his affection was the source of bitter sorrow to her who was its object, and his misdirected desire to secure her happiness, threatened to blench, with the paleness of secret sorrow, the cheek it was his dearest wish to deck with an ever-during smile of happiness.

The rest of this story can be read at

The other stories can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added another four pages on Contract Bridge, Contusion, Convalescence, Convolvulus, Convulsions, Cony, Cook, Cookers: Gas, Electric and Oil, Cooker, Cookie, Cooking Box, Cooling, Coop.

You can read about these at

Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's Stories
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904).

The pages we have up this week are...

Children's Songs and Ballads
Katie Beardie
The MiIler's Dochter
Hap and Row
How Dan, Dilly Dow
Whistle, whistle, Auld Wife
The Three Little Pigs

Here is "Katie Beardie" for you to read here...

Katie Beardie had a coo,
Black and white about the mou';
Wasna that a dentie coo?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a hen,
Cackled but an' cackled ben
Wasna that a dentie hen?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a cock
That could spin a gude tow rock;
Wasna that a dentie cock?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a grice,
It could skate upon the ice
Wasna that a dentie grice?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Katie Beardie had a wean,
That was a' her lovin ain;
Wasna that a dentie wean?
Dance, Katie Beardie!

Yet, there is tolerable proof extant that the above dates from at least the beginning of the seventeenth century. "Katherine Beardie," anyway, is the name affixed to an air in a manuscript musical collection which belonged to the Scottish poet, Sir William Mure, of Rowallan, written, presumably, between the years 1612 and 1628. The same tune, under the name of "Kette Bairdie," also appears in a similar collection which belonged to Sir John Skene of Hallvards, supposed to have been written about 1629. Further, so well did Sir Walter Scott know that this was a popular dance during the reign of King James VI., as Mr. Dawnev points out, that he introduces it in the Fortunes of Nigel, with this difference, that it is there called ''Chrichty Bairdie." a name not precisely identical with that here given; but as Kit is a diminutive of Christopher, it is not difficult to perceive how the two came to be confounded. Old as it certainly is---and older by a deal it may he than these presents indicate —it maintains yet the charm of youth—delighting all with its lightly tripping numbers.

You can read the other pages at

Social Life in Scotland
From Early to Recent Times by Rev. Charles Rogers in 3 volumes (1884)

I now have up this week the second chapter from Volume II...

Chapter XI.
The Ecclesiastical

Here is how the chapter starts...

WHEN worship in the grove and upon the hill-top had ceased, and the religious rites of the rock-basin had passed away, the earlier inhabitants conducted their religious solemnities upon the shores of estuaries, by the margins of lakes, at wells, and upon river-banks. The apostle of Cumbria, St Ninian, had his cave or cell on the shores of the Solway, near which in 397 he reared the "candida casa," or church of Whithorn. His ministrations among the southern Picts were followed by those of Kentigern or St Mungo, who planted his mission on the Clyde. Palladius, consecrated in 431, laboured among the northern Picts from the isles of Orkney to the Tay. The next great apostle, St Columba, eclipsed by his ministry of untiring zeal the labours of his predecessors.

Columba began his mission in 563 by planting his headquarters at Iona, so called from the words Innis-nan Duidneach, the isle of Druids. For there the worshippers of Baal conducted a great school and possessed a principal seat. At the lapse of another century St Cuthbert began his devoted pastorate on the south-eastern border.

As the Druids had received their appellative from worshipping in the groves, so the apostles of the new faith were named Ceal de, pronounced Kilde, that is, worshippers of God. Every Christian missionary became known as a Culdee.

In the wake of the converts at Iona arose monasteries at Abernethy, Lochleven, and Dunkeld, and in the tenth century at Brechin. Lesser Culdee settlements were planted at Glasgow, Dunfermline, Dunblane, Muthill, Scone, Culross, Melrose, Abercorn, Inchcolm, Aberlady, and Coldingham; likewise in northern parts at Mortlach and Monymusk. With each monastery were connected twelve brethren, who chose a thirteenth as abbot or chief.

Unconnected with the Roman see, the Culdees sedulously pursued their unambitious labours. It was by a law of Adamnan, abbot of Iona, passed in 697, that women were freed from the services and severities of war. By the Culdees were formed shires or parishes, the words originally being of like import. Parishes, which the Culdees had indicated in the ninth, were fully constituted four centuries later. To the Culdees also was due that literary activity through which, prior to the twelfth century, ecclesiastical MSS. were preserved and illuminated. Votaries of graceful art, designers of elegantly sculptured tombs, and not destitute of science, they cast light upon an age which without then had been uninteresting and obscure.

In 825 the king of the Picts abandoned his capital at Abernethy on the Tay, choosing as his residence the promontory, then named Muckross, overlooking a bay upon the eastern shore. With the king quitted Abernethy, the college of monks, who were there sustained by his bounty, while for their use he reared a small convent, which to his new capital brought the name of Kilrymont, or church at the heather mount.

You can read lots more from this chapter at

You can get to the index page of the book at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

This week Frank is featuring Dr Ross Roy...

In the first article he is telling us...

G. Ross Roy has done it again! He has published another masterful book that will be used by scholars and laymen alike for years to come. The new publication was compiled by Elizabeth A. Sudduth with the assistance of Clayton Tarr. Sudduth is the head of Rare Books and Special Collections Processing and Services for the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina and is very experienced in this field of work and publishing. This catalogue contains over 6,000 items on Burns. Written between the lines of this book is the story of a book collector’s dream – to build one of the world’s most significant libraries or collections on Robert Burns. Mission accomplished!

You can read the rest of this review at

In the second article G. Ross Roy is writing about "What Robert Burns means to me" and this can be read at

All other articles by Frank can be read at

The Writings of John Muir
This week have up...

A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf
Chapter IV. Camping among the Tombs
Chapter V. Through Florida Swamps and Forests
Chapter VI. Cedar Keys
Chapter VII. A Sojourn in Cuba
Chapter VIII. By a Crooked Route to California
Chapter IX. Twenty Hill Hollow

and that completes this volume.

We also have started on Volume II - My First Summer in the Sierra.

The first chapter is up, "Through the Foothills with a Flock of Sheep" and here is how this account starts...

IN the great Central Valley of California there are only two seasons — spring and summer. The spring begins with the first rainstorm, which usually falls in November. In a few months the wonderful flowery vegetation is in full bloom, and by the end of May it is dead and dry and crisp, as if every plant had been roasted in an oven.

Then the lolling, panting flocks and herds are driven to the high, cool, green pastures of the Sierra. I was longing for the mountains about this time, but money was scarce and I couldn't see how a bread supply was to be kept up. While I was anxiously brooding on the bread problem, so troublesome to wanderers, and trying to believe that I might learn to live like the wild animals, gleaning nourishment here and there from seeds, berries, etc., sauntering and climbing in joyful independence of money or baggage, Mr. Delaney, a sheep-owner, for whom I had worked a few weeks, called on me, and offered to engage me to go with his shepherd and flock to the headwaters of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers — the very region I had most in mind. I was in the mood to accept work of any kind that would take me into the mountains whose treasures I had tasted last summer in the Yosemite region. The flock, he explained, would be moved gradually higher through the successive forest belts as the snow melted, stopping for a few weeks at the best places we came to. These I thought would be good centers of observation from which I might be able to make many telling excursions within a radius of eight or ten miles of the camps to learn something of the plants, animals, and rocks; for he assured me that I should be left perfectly free to follow my studies.

I judged, however, that I was in no way the right man for the place, and freely explained my shortcomings, confessing that I was wholly unacquainted with the topography of the upper mountains, the streams that would have to be crossed, and the wild sheep-eating animals, etc.; in short that, what with bears, coyotes, rivers, canons, and thorny, bewildering chaparral, I feared that half or more of his flock would be lost. Fortunately these shortcomings seemed insignificant to Mr. Delaney. The main thing, he said, was to have a man about the camp whom he could trust to see that the shepherd did his duty, and he assured me that the difficulties that seemed so formidable at a distance would vanish as we went on; encouraging me further by saying that the shepherd would do all the herding, that I could study plants and rocks and scenery as much as I liked, and that he would himself accompany us to the first main camp and make occasional visits to our higher ones to replenish our store of provisions and see how we prospered. Therefore I concluded to go, though still fearing, when I saw the silly sheep bouncing one by one through the narrow gate of the home corral to be counted, that of the two thousand and fifty many would never return.

I was fortunate in getting a fine St. Bernard dog for a companion. His master, a hunter with whom I was slightly acquainted, came to me as soon as he heard that I was going to spend the summer in the Sierra and begged me to take his favorite dog, Carlo, with me, for he feared that if he were compelled to stay all summer on the plains the fierce heat might be the death of him. "I think I can trust you to be kind to him," he said, "and I am sure he will be good to you. He knows all about the mountain animals, will guard the camp, assist in managing the sheep, and in every way be found able and faithful." Carlo knew we were talking about him, watched our faces, and listened so attentively that I fancied he understood us. Calling him by name, I asked him if he was willing to go with me. He looked me in the face with eyes expressing wonderful intelligence, then turned to his master, and after permission was given by a wave of the hand toward me and a farewell patting caress, he quietly followed me as if he perfectly understood all that had been said and had known me always.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

Home and Farm Food Preservation
By William V. Cruess (1918)

Have added several more chapters to this book...

Chapter VII - Fruit Juices

26. Fruits for Juice
27. Crushing
28. Heating before Pressing
29. Pressing
30. Clearing the Juice
31. Bottling and Canning
32. Pasteurization of Fruit Juices

Chapter VIII - Fruit and other Sirups

33. Sources of Sirups
34. Clearing the Juice
35. Deacidification
36. Concentration
37. Storing the Sirup

Chapter IX - Jellies and Marmalades

38. Fruits for Jelly
39. Preparing and Cooking the Fruit
40. Expressing and Clearing the Juice
41. Testing for Pectin
42. Testing for Acid
43. Addition of Sugar
44. Sheeting Test for Jelling Point
45. Thermometer Test
46. Hydrometer Test for Jelling Point
47. Meaning of Thermometer and Hydrometer Tests
48. Pouring and Cooling the Jelly
49. Coating with Paraffin
50. Sterilization of Jellies
51. Jellies without Cooking
52. Jelly Stocks
53. Crystallization of Jellies
54. Marmalades

Chapter X - Fruit James, Butters and Pastes

55. Jams
56. Fruit Butters
57. Fruit Pastes

Chapter XI - Fruit Preserves and Candied Fruits

58. Preserves
59. Candied Fruits

Chapter XII - Fruit Drying

60. Fruit Drying—Importance of the Industry
61. Gathering the Fruit
62. Transfer to the Dry Yard
63. Cutting and Peeling
64. Dipping Fruits before Drying
65. Sulphuring Fruits before Drying
66. Trays for Sun Drying
67. Sun Drying
68. Artificial Evaporation
69. Sweating
70. Processing and Packing

Chapter XIII - Vegetable Drying

71. Vegetables for Drying
72. Preparation
73. Blanching
74. Sulphuring
75. Sun Drying
76. Artificial Drying
77. Processing Sun Dried Vegetables
78. Packing and Storing Dried Vegetables

The Vegetable Drying chapter starts...

Many surplus vegetables can be dried and thus made available for use throughout the year. The methods are similar to those used for fruits. In regions of dry summers, sun drying may be used; under other conditions, artificial evaporation must be resorted to.

Vegetables contain from 80% to 95% water; drying, therefore, decreases the weight from five to twentyfold.

71. Vegetables for Drying. Certain vegetables give very good products when dried; others do not lend themselves well to this method of preservation or are more satisfactory when preserved in some other way, e. g., by salting or fermentation, etc. Corn, green peas, green string beans, potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions, and tomatoes may be dried very satisfactorily. Artichokes, asparagus, cucumbers, cabbage, sweet peppers, and cauliflower do not dry well, and give better results when preserved by salting or fermentation.

72. Preparation. The vegetables should be clean and of good quality. Root vegetables should be washed thoroughly.

Potatoes must be peeled. Vegetable peelers are available for this purpose, for the peeling of all root vegetables. These machines vary from small kitchen sizes to large power driven peelers of several tons' daily capacity. Turnips, carrots, parsnips, and onions are best peeled without parboiling. Beets are parboiled for fifteen or twenty minutes, after which the skin may be slipped off easily.

Other vegetables are prepared as for cooking for the table.

The rest of this chapter can be read at

All the other chapters can be read at

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

More chapters up this week and we now have...

Editor's Preface
Author's Preface
Chapter I - The Minister of Lochcarron and his times
Chapter II - The Minister of Lochcarron - continued
Chapter III - Alexander Sage; His early days. The Reay Country
Chapter IV - Alexander Sage in Dirlot, and his Caithness Contemporaries
Chapter V - Alexander Sage: His Settlement at Lildonan. The Presbytery of Dornoch
Chapter VI - The Topography of Kildonan
Chapter VII - Donald Sage; His Childhood
Chapter VIII - Boyhood
Chapter IX - School-Boy Days at Dornoch
Chapter X - Home and College Life
Chapter XI - Aberdeen Professors. Northern Notabilities
Chapter XII - Aberdeen and Edinburgh; Divinity Halls

Here is how Chapter IX starts...


MY brother impresses himself strongly on my reminiscences of this particular period of my life. I was warmly attached to him. Our fishing expeditions together on "the burn" to its very source, and along the bank of the river, and on one occasion to Loch Ascaig; our excursions also to Coille-an-Loist, Coill'-Chil-Mer, Cnoc-an-Eireannaich, Suidh-an-fhir-bhig, Cnoe-an-t'sholuis-leathad, and Allochdarry for blae-berries and cloud-berries, all now recall to my remembrance my brother's intercourse and affection. It was about the beginning of November, 1801, I think, that we went together to the school at Dornoch. In the previous October some riot on the heights of Kildonan demanded the presence of the under-Sheriff of the county, to inquire into the particulars. The gentleman who then held office as under-Sheriff was Mr. Hugh MacCulloch of Dornoch, better known as an eminent Christian than as a magistrate or lawyer. His father, a respectable burgess of Dornoch, was one of the bailies of that burgh. His son Hugh, after receiving the rudiments of his education at his native town, studied law in Edinburgh. When a boy at school a remarkable event in his life took place.

He had gone with one or two other youths of his own age to bathe. It was at that part of the Dornoch firth to the south of the town, called "the cockle ebb." Having gone into the water he attempted to swim, and, getting beyond his depth, sank to the bottom. His companions immediately gave the alarm, when two or three men engaged in work hard by plunged into the sea for his recovery. But he had been so long in the water that, when taken out, he was to all appearance lifeless. By judicious treatment, however, suspended animation was restored. This narrative I received from his own lips, and he further added that, if God were to give him his choice of deaths, he would choose drowning, for, he said, he felt as he was in the act of sinking, and when the waters were rushing in at his mouth and nostrils, as if he were falling into a gentle sleep. That choice, in the inscrutable providence of God, was given him, for about four miles above that spot, on that identical firth, he was, with many others, drowned at the Meikle-ferry, an occurrence hereafter to be noticed. The year of his appointment as Sheriff-Substitute of Sutherland I do not know. His character as a judge was ordinary.

His administration of justice was free indeed from all sorts of corruption, but it was defective in regard to clear views of civil and criminal law. Sheriff MacCulloch, however, shone as a man of ardent and enlightened piety. Saving impressions by divine truth and divine agency had been made upon his mind at an early age, and he advanced in the Christian life under the training, and in the fellowship, of the most eminent Christians and evangelical ministers in the four northern counties. On the evening of his arrival at Kildonan from the heights of the parish, on the occasion alluded to, he was drenched almost to the skin, as it had rained heavily through the day; he especially required dry stockings, and he preferred putting them on at the kitchen fireside. I was directed to attend him thither; bringing with me everything that was necessary to make him comfortable. Whilst thus engaged he took particular notice of me, and asked me many questions about my progress in learning, particularly in Latin. He was much pleased with my answers, and said that, if my father would send my brother and me to school at Dornoch, he would keep us for three months in his own house. He repeated the same thing to my father next day at parting, assuring him that the parochial teacher at Dornoch was resorted to as a teacher of ability and success. The proposal was entertained, and preparations were made for us to go thither in the beginning of November.

The morning of the day of our departure from under the paternal roof, to attend a public school, at last dawned upon us. My brother and I had slept but little that night. After breakfasting by candlelight, we found our modes of conveyance ready for us at the entry-door. My father mounted his good black horse Toby, a purchase he had lately made from Captain Sackville Sutherland of Uppat, while my brother and I were lifted to the backs of two garrons employed as work-horses on the farm. We set forward, and both my sisters accompanied us to the ford on the burn, close by the churchyard, whence, after a few tears shed at the prospect of our first separation, we proceeded on our journey accompanied by a man on foot. We crossed the Crask, and stopped for refreshment at an inn below Kintradwell, in the parish of Loth, called Wilk-house, which stood close by the shore.

This Highland hostelry, with its host Robert Gordon and his bustling, talkative wife, were closely associated with my early years, comprehending those of my attendance at school and college. The parlour, the general rendezvous for all comers of every sort and size, had two windows, one in front and another in the gable, and the floor of the room had, according to the prevailing code of cleanliness, about half an inch of sand upon it in lieu of carpeting. As we alighted before the door we were received by Robert `'Wilk-house," or "Rob tighe na faochaig," as he was usually called, with many bows indicative of welcome, whilst his bustling helpmeet repeated the same protestations of welcome on our crossing the threshold. We dined heartily on cold meat, eggs, new cheese, and milk. "Tam," our attendant, was not forgotten; his pedestrian exercise had given him a keen appetite, and it was abundantly satisfied. In the evening we came to the manse of Clyne. Mr. Walter Ross and his kind wife received us with great cordiality. Mrs. Ross was a very genteel, lady-like person, breathing good-will and kindness. To her friends by the ties of affection, amity, or blood, her love and kindness gushed to overflowing. Her father was a Captain John Sutherland, who, at the time of his daughter's marriage, was tacksman of Clynelisb, within a quarter of a mile due south of the manse of Clyne. After the expiry of his lease he went to reside at Dornoch, and the farm was at the time I speak of in the possession of Mr. Hugh Houston, sometime merchant at Brora, and the brother of Mr. Lewis Houston of Easter-Helmisdale, whom I have named. Mr. Ross had by his wife a son and a daughter; the daughter died in infancy; the son, William Baillie, was of the same age with myself, and is, at the time I write (August 1842) a physician of repute in Tain.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

Sketches of the early days of New Zealand, Romance and Reality of Antipodean life in the infancy of a New Colony by John Logan Campbell (1881)

Delighted to find this book as books about New Zealand in the early days are not easy to find.

He writes to his children...

To My Children

I DO not sit down to pen these memoirs under the vain delusion that the small events of my small life are worthy of record.

But I think when I have passed away you ought not to be in ignorance of your father's life, nor' be placed in the position of having to ask some stranger about those days and myself when allusion is made to events of a long-ago past in which it fell to my lot to act a somewhat prominent part.

A simple narrative of my own writing seems to me the most natural and fitting source from which you should become acquainted with all I have passed through in the early days of the first colonisation of the country which has become the land of my adoption and will be your own future home.

To that far-distant land you are as yet strangers. Born in the sunny clinic of fair Italy, you have yet to learn that there is a far-away land even more fair, with a still more sunny sky, and a still more genial climate.

After many, many years spent in that land, and having reaped the reward of my early struggles there, I am now taking a long decade of holidays and wandering with you o'er many lands, amongst the fairest cities and finest scenery of the old world, before we finally take our rest in our own home in the new world of the Great South Land.

I commence these my reminiscences, strange to say, in the "land of the mountain and the flood," in my "ain kintrie," whilst sitting on banks of the Dee, the Braemar moorlands around me. In all likelihood, ere the last page is written I shall be once again in the far-away land where the scenes I am about to depict took place—scenes which can never occur there again, for civilisation has replaced the reign of savagedom which prevailed in the days of the pioneer settlers.

And life then was of a primitive simplicity which call me again, for now the iron road commences to span the land, and its very aborigines of the present day can no longer speak correctly their own language as spoken by their fathers two score years ago, so rapidly has that short epoch in history of the colony changed all things.

I intend to divide these memoirs into two periods. The first period will refer almost entirely to myself and the native people amongst whom I was thrown after leaving the parental roof and starting for myself in the race of life. It will bring the period of it to the point when I changed the whole current of my life, making its stream thereafter flow in a new channel, when I joined the pioneer band who saw the birth and earliest years of the infant capital of a new colony born to the Crown of England.

The second period will deal more historically of the colony when my own individuality will have become merged in the increased population and advancement of the young settlement.

When I have brought my memoirs down to a date that you yourselves can take up the thread of my life and your own from your own memories—then I shall lay aside my pen.

It may be that you will not read what I intend to set down here until I shall have passed away and been gathered alongside of my brother pioneers, who have now almost all paid the last debt of Nature, leaving me in marked solitude, to be almost the only remaining link that binds the long ago past with the present time, and who can tell you...


Here is a short biography of his life...

CAMPBELL, Sir John Logan

Auckland pioneer and benefactor.

John Logan Campbell was born at Edinburgh on 3 November 1817. His father was Dr John Campbell (1784–1867), son of Sir James Campbell, of Aberu-chill and Kilbryde, and his mother was Catherine née Logan (1788–1865). It seems that it was because of parental pressure rather than of a love for medicine that John Logan went to Edinburgh University, where he graduated M.D. and F.R.C.S. Determined to see something of the world, he sought a commission as medical officer in the East India Company; but as opportunities for settlement were offering in Australia, he decided to emigrate there, and sailed in the Palmyra as ship's doctor on 3 July 1839, arriving in Australia later that year.

After spending some time in the Bathurst and Lachlan districts, Campbell decided against settling in Australia, and sailed for New Zealand in the Lady Lilford, arriving at Coromandel on 13 April 1840. Here he was met by William Webster, an American trader, and by William Brown whom he had first met on the Palmyra. Hearing of the Government's decision to establish the capital at the Waitemata, Campbell and Brown conceived the plan of buying up land, forming a township, and selling it off. Accordingly they visited the Waitemata, but the natives refused to sell them any suitable land. Brown, however, purchased the island of Motukorea (now Browns Island), where on 13 August 1840 he and Campbell took up residence, remaining there until after the founding of the capital. Quick to see possibilities in the new capital, they decided to set up as merchants and commission agents; on 21 December 1840, therefore, they “came to town”, pitched their tent near the beach at Commercial Bay (the foot of the present Shortland Street) and began business. In due course they built business premises in Shortland Crescent, and in O'Connell Street built the “Acacia Cottage” which now stands in Cornwall Park.

In 1843 they erected a brick building next to their business premises, and this they let to Gibson and Mitchell who were in partnership with them, though the businesses were carried on under different names. This partnership enabled Brown and Campbell to obtain the necessary capital to develop the business. Campbell soon realised the country's need for exports, and saw the implication for their own business. He therefore set about obtaining goods suitable for export, and in 1844 the firm purchased the barque Bolina. On 20 December 1844 the flag was hoisted on Point Britomart to mark the departure of Auckland's first cargo to be sent by direct ship to England – kauri spars, manganese, and copper ore. Brown sailed with the ship, returning to Auckland in 1847. By this time the firm was well established and flourishing, the business side being left mainly to Campbell and Mitchell, for Gibson was in Scotland, while Brown, on his return, became immersed in politics. In June 1848 Campbell left for Scotland, returning in 1850. Hoping to profit from the California gold rush, he immediately set out for San Francisco with a cargo of potatoes, onions, etc., returning with a huge profit.

Although deeply interested in political and other public matters, Campbell, during these first 10 years, did not take such an active part in public affairs, as he did later, preferring to devote his energies to the business. He was, however, president of the Mechanics' Institute in 1846, was one of the group who founded the Auckland Savings Bank in 1846, became the local director of the new Auckland branch of the Union Bank of Australia in 1847, and was associated with Brown in the Southern Cross newspaper founded in 1843; but he refused FitzRoy's offer of a seat in the Legislative Council, having no taste, either then or later, for a political life.

After his return from overseas, Campbell moved to “Logan Bank”, the house he had built in Jermyn Street in 1842. In May 1855 the partnership with Gibson and Mitchell ceased. Brown at this time was Superintendent of the province but, when family reasons compelled him to leave New Zealand, he resigned. Campbell was asked to stand against Whitaker, which he did very reluctantly. He defeated Whitaker, but was Superintendent for only 10 months until September 1856, when he resigned to go to Europe. On 25 February 1858, he married Emma, daughter of Cracroft Wilson, at Meerut, India, returning with her to join his parents in Naples, where on 22 December 1858 their first child, Ida, was born. In 1859 he returned to Auckland and in 1860 was elected unopposed for Auckland Suburbs, but resigned before his departure for Europe in 1861. The next 10 years were spent in Europe, mainly in Italy. On 15 May 1861 a child, Cicily, was born, but died on 20 November 1861. On 26 May 1864, twins were born, John Logan (who died on 5 February 1867) and Winifred. In December 1870 the family left for New Zealand, and the rest of Campbell's life was closely bound up with the city of Auckland. In 1876 Campbell's wife and daughters went to England for his daughters' education, but in 1880, Ida, his elder daughter, died. The Campbells from then on lived in Auckland at “Kilbryde”, the house he had built on Campbell Point.

In 1897 the firm, which had some time earlier entered the brewing business, became amalgamated with Ehrenfried Brothers, prominent brewers. Brown had relinquished his interest in the firm in 1874, and the name now became Campbell and Ehrenfried. It is impossible to list the many business and other concerns with which Campbell was associated as chairman, director, trustee, president, or secretary, but in the years following his return to Auckland in 1871, he became one of the most prominent figures in the commercial life of the city. In addition, he was deeply interested in educational and cultural matters. He was, for instance, responsible for the establishment of a School of Design, which he maintained for 11 years until the founding of the Elam School of Art.

His gifts to the city are too numerous to list here, but he gave generously to such institutions as children's homes and St. John Ambulance – in fact, any organisation which was of benefit to the citizens of Auckland had his practical sympathy. His greatest gift, however, was that of the magnificent Cornwall Park. Originally purchased in 1845 by Thomas Henry, it was bought by Brown and Campbell in 1853. In 1901, when the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York visited New Zealand, Campbell was made Mayor to receive them and to present the citizens' address of welcome. He had intended to bequeath the park to the city, but it seemed to him a fitting opportunity to present it to “the people of New Zealand” through the hands of their Royal Highnesses. Campbell's own name for it had been Corinth Park, but in honour of the royal visitors, he changed it to Cornwall Park. Campbell was knighted in 1902 and died at “Kilbryde” on 22 June 1912 in his ninety-fifth year.

From being the very junior partner of a firm which eked out a precarious living on the shores of the infant capital, John Logan Campbell became one of Auckland's best known and respected citizens. Although always known as “Dr Campbell”, he concerned himself little with medicine, a profession which held no attractions for him and which, as a calling, he considered much inferior to “business”. Thus, after a particularly profitable deal, he wrote in this vein to his father: “What a botheration lot of pulses one would require to feel – tongues to look at and prescriptions to write before the fees would come up to the above sum, and as for a poor devil of a dentist, he would require to slay at least 310 teeth …”. Although neither he nor Brown had had any business training, the firm was soon established on a sound footing, due in great measure to Campbell's keen and farseeing mind. Money was to him, however, only a means to an end, and when circumstances allowed, he set about satisfying his life-long desire for travel, making several trips overseas, and spending 10 years in what he called a “holiday” in Europe. He did not believe in bequeathing large sums of money to descendants, and thought money should be used and not hoarded. When he finally settled in Auckland, he devoted himself to his business and to the city, and became one of Auckland's greatest benefactors, and its most prominent figure.

A statue was erected to him in his lifetime; the obelisk on One Tree Hill was built at his request, and his grave is beside it; but we do not need these reminders to keep his memory green. Institutions he founded still exist; cultural, educational, and charitable organisations still benefit from the generosity of John Logan Campbell, the man who has been called the “Father of Auckland”.

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

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The April issue is now available. Beth's Newfangled Family Tree is filled with articles about things Scottish - from events in the USA to famous Orkadians and inside information on travel. You'll find articles of interest to genealogists and news of the Scots Clan organizations as well as Flowers of the Forest. This publication is one where you can read about the latest goings on of your friends in the Scottish community and the interesting things they are doing, the honors they've won and what's happening in their lives.

Here is the front page story to read here...

Scots of the World Unite!

In a unique initiative Trees4Scotland has teamed up with The Gathering 2009 to plant a new woodland in Scotland’s central Highlands – and they need your support!

Not only will this fantastic project become a living monument to The Clan Gathering and a legacy of the Year of Homecoming but it will also help to enhance Scotland’s natural landscape and help in the fight against global warming! With trees from only £10 it could not be easier to get involved and anyone planting 5 trees or more will get their name placed up on the onsite honours board.

Angus Crabbie of Trees4Scotland says, “Our ultimate aim is for every visitor to Scotland take a positive action and plant a tree. So far we have been massively encouraged by the support that we have received – especially from the many Clan groups and societies in all parts of the world.”

All of the trees planted will be native varieties such as oak, birch, ash and rowan as this project aims to restore part of Scotland’s landscape back to its natural woodland state. This in turn will encourage the regeneration of wildlife habits, and have the additional benefit of combating climate change.

For further information please visit or Contact: Angus Crabbie, Trees4Scotland Email:

You can read this issue at

Fallbrook Farm Update
Another update from this heritage project in which they tell us...

As promised in our last update, we are telling you about our Aunt Rachel Schwann-McKay. She is the last person still living who actually lived on the farm with the patriarch Donald McKay. Elders such as Wilma and Alma Sinclair lived on neighboring farms and you will soon here of their stories. Mmes. Keir, Gegghie and Gates maintained the heritage of Fallbrook until its last gasp. They will be sharing their memories as well. We shall begin with a text written by our resident historian, Joan. Along with a formal presentation made by John and Irene Keir to Halton Hills Municipal Council on December 7, 2007, it was these efforts following up on intensive lobbying done by the McKay family which turned the tide against demolition.

You can read this story and other information at

These are two Gaelic poems by Dhomhnull Ruadh Mac-an-t-Saoir and if there is anyone out there who could translate these poems into English I'd love to hear from you :-)

You can see these at

The Mc Intyre's 1805 - 1990
This is a book that was handed into me at my home. A local McIntyre has published a book about his line of McIntyre's from Glen Noe in Scotland who had emigrated to Canada and obviously some of them also spread over the world. I've scanned it into a pdf file so you can read it as well. It is a 15Mb download but you can pick it up from the MacIntyre page or directly at

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


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