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Weekly Mailing List Archives
17th April 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 and add your own at

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
New Statistical Account of Scotland
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
The Writings of John Muir
Home and Farm Food Preservation
Parish Life in the North of Scotland
Fraser's Scottish Annual
The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk
Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend (New Book)
Highlander and his Books
Robert Burns Lives!

The University of Guelph is launching a "Certificate in Scottish Studies" which is open to anyone anywhere :-)

Delivered through distance education, the six-course Certificate in Scottish Studies is focused around the landscape, literature, and history of Scotland and the legacy of Scottish migration on Canada’s development.

By bringing together a number of Scottish and Scottish-related courses, the Certificate offers a distinctive interdisciplinary program of study. The Certificate in Scottish Studies comprises courses that are offered to both undergraduate students and open learners. To earn the Certificate, students will be required to successfully complete six of the seven courses (3.0 credits) as follows:

Required Courses:
NRS*2050DE The Landscape of Scotland
ENGL*3360DE Scottish Literary Cultures (under development)
HIST*2000DE The British Isles 1066-1603
HIST*3030DE Celtic Britain and Ireland to 1066
HIST*3530DE Celtic Britain and Ireland from 1603

One from:
HIST*3140DE Witch-hunts and Popular Culture
HIST*4050DE Topics in Scottish History

Students who wish to enrol in the Certificate in Scottish Studies should contact the Open Learning program Counsellor:

Tel: 519-824-4120, ext. 56050


Got in information on a free event in Edinburgh for the first 200 to apply!

I have organised a Free event called "Fare-thee-weel Night" for Sunday 26th July at a venue in central Edinburgh. This will give those attending the Gathering from all corners of the globe the chance to get together one last time and to enjoy some Scottish entertainment with a strong Burns theme. The full programme has yet to be finalised but will include a short version of the Scottish musical play, "Clarinda", about the love affair between Burns and Nancy McLehose that inspired the poet to write "Ae Fond Kiss".

The venue will be laying on a BBQ (or Bard-B-Q as Geoff Crolley suggested!) from 6 to 7.30pm and there will of course be a licensed bar. The entertainment will run from 7.30 to 9.30pm leaving plenty of time thereafter for a guid blether.

As I said admission is free but restricted to 200 places allocated on a first come basis. If you are interested in attending email me at with detail of how many places you require.


A new society has been formed...


RoYAL OAK, MI – On Tartan Day, April 6th the announcement was made that a new group, The Scottish American Society of Michigan, was formed with the goal of preserving and furthering Scottish heritage throughout the state of Michigan. The group, which registered as a fraternal organization in March 2009, will hold meetings at The Commonwealth Club of Michigan located at 30088 Dequindre Road in Warren, Michigan.

The group plans to host various events throughout the year, including a potluck, BBQ’s, educational events and Ceilidhs featuring local pipe bands and dancers. People interested in the group can find out more information and join the mailing list to get updates by visiting

“We’re a group of people that share a common Scottish heritage that likes to get together on a monthly basis to talk about all things Scottish, share a meal, a toast and some laughs, and to hear the great Highland pipes and other entertainment,” says the group’s founder, Franklin Dohanyos. “One of our main missions will be to help others and be active in the community. The Scots have a long, proud history in Michigan and we will carry on that tradition. We’re in the planning stages for our inaugural event sometime in the late spring or early summer, perhaps a picnic or BBQ, or a fun afternoon Ceilidh.”

For more information please visit, or send e-mail


I didn't get in any suggestions about books to work on for the site so please don't be shy about letting me know your thoughts on this :-)

I am currently considering two publications. The first is "The History of the 48th Highlanders of Toronto". Not only does this book give their history but it also gives some information on other Canadian Highland Regiments in Canada. It's not a large book, some 150 pages, but I feel this is interesting enough to warrant a place on the site.

The second is a 5 volume publication "Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition". The reason for considering this publication is that it is all taken from oral conversations with the people of the Highlands and Islands relating old folklore. There were three gentlemen involved in this work and all were Gaelic speakers. Over many years they recorded the stories in Gaelic and then translated them to English. In particular, Campbell, was thought to be very gifted in the translation of the Gaelic words into English and could give a better sense of the real flavour of the stories. It is often said that Gaelic is an emotional language whereas English is a technical language.

Another point noted was the reluctance of some people to recite a story. This was partly due to the then ministers telling their congregations not to listen to such "nonsense" and so the people that knew the stories were very reluctant to recite them. We hear for example of one man who knew many of the old folk stories being scared away due to a visitor coming into the room. He then could not be found and it was only later that we hear of him emigrating to America and then dying there. Such a marvellous resource gone for good and taking so much knowledge with him.

I will say that neither of these publications will be easy to ocr onto the site but I feel the work will be worthwhile as both cover areas not already on the site.

My concept has always been to give you a really good introduction to a topic and having done that leave you to do further research on your own.

I have also approached many people in Scotland to try and get a story of the Scotland of Today but have failed to make any progress on this.


I attended the Scottish Studies AGM on the Saturday in Toronto where I got made President of the Scottish Studies Society. This is the commercial arm of the Scottish Studies Foundation. We could really do with a couple of new directors willing to get involved so if anyone would be interested in getting involved and can bring some expertise to the table please contact me.


And a wee nudge. While everything on the web is free these days I often say that this doesn't mean you shouldn't say a word of thanks to those providing free resources. It doesn't cost you anything apart from a little time but to those that receive your email it often means a lot. We do have regular contributors to the site so if you enjoy their contributions a wee email to them would be well received and perhaps make you feel a little good about yourselves as well. This doesn't just apply to our site but all sites where you visit on a regular basis.

I am constantly amazed how many emails I get asking for advice or information and yet few people actually say thanks when you reply to them with the information they are seeking. Anyway... just thought I'd mention this to you in the hope you might try to do a little better and it also applies to me as well. In fact it was me finding some really useful information on a site and it only occurred to me afterwards that I really should have dropped them a thank you email which is why I'm mentioning this now :-)

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 who has three main stories in this issue. I will note that one of his articles is to do with helping organise a visit to Scotland by French students. I only note this as I was talking to a friend of mine recently who was going to be staying in Edinburgh for 7 days and wanted to visit St. Andrews. She had tried to figure out how to get to St. Andrews by bus and/or train but was unable to find anything on the web to help her. So should anyone know of a web site that can help people like her to organise a trip within Scotland I'd love to hear from you.

In Peter's cultural section he gives us...

Many centuries of Scottish history are reflected in two traditional events being held in the Kingdom of Fife this weekend.

In the Lang Toun of Kirkcaldy the annual Links Market, first held in 1304, is already in full fling over its six days on the esplanade. The market started as a weekly market for traders, farmers, craftsmen and such like but today is the longest street fun fair in Europe and the largest in Scotland as it stretches along the esplanade. During the six days of the market some 150,000 visitors enjoy all the fun of the fair, albeit usually in poor weather! Many generations of the same fairground families over the year have plied their trade in Kirkcaldy, constantly updating and changing with the times. As usual the market started on Wednesday (15 April) and runs until Monday 20 April 2009.

Along the coast on Saturday (18 April 2009) some 500 years of history will be celebrated in the town of St Andrews as large crowds will watch the annual Kate Kennedy Procession. The procession, originally to celebrate the pagan Spring Rites, was condemned in 1432 by the university authorities as “useless, unprofitable, dangerous and damnable”. It was finally banned in 1881 because of drunken rowdiness. However in 1926 two students Donald Kennedy and James Doak, inspired by JM Barrie’s Rectorial Address on ‘Courage’ and with the assistance of Principal Sir James Irvine revived the Kate Kennedy Spring Procession. The all-male Kate Kennedy Club was set up to organise the procession and raise monies for charitable causes. The procession honours Kate Kennedy, the beautiful niece of Bishop Walter Kennedy founder of the university. The procession is led by St Andrew and behind him comes a carriage containing Bishop Kennedy and his niece (played by a first year male student) followed by students dressed as historical characters connected with St Andrews. Where else will you see characters such as Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox, Robert I and Andrew Carnegie? A new character this year is USA politician and founder-father Benjamin Franklin . He enjoyed his visits to St Andrews and received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree and the Freedom of the Burgh in 1759.

As an all-male club, the Kate Kennedy Club is, as in 1881, at odds with the university and the new St Andrews Principal Dr Louise Richardson has withdrawn official recognition of the club. Perhaps this will finally lead to the ending of another male bastion and herald the day when a female plays Kate Kennedy. However Dr Richardson did praise the club’s charitable fundraising and the tradition of the procession. The Kate Kennedy Procession is certainly well-worth a visit as the large crowd every year testifies.

We celebrate Kate Kennedy’s Procession with the appropriately named Kate’s Bread and Butter Pudding which is also just the ticket to heat you up during the usual cold, wet and windy weather associated with the Links Market!

Kate’s Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients: 10 - 14 slices wholemeal bread; Butter for greasing and buttering; Marmalade, home-made if possible; Small handful sultanas; 3 - 4 dried figs, chopped; Approx 75g muscovado sugar; 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon; 2 teaspoons ground ginger; 4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg; 4 eggs; 500ml double or extra thick cream (if using extra thick cream, some double cream may also be required to loosen the mix a little)

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and butter a 2 pint shallow baking dish. Remove the crusts from each slice of bread, butter both sides, spread one side with marmalade and cut in half. Arrange one layer of bread in the dish, marmalade side up. Sprinkle in the fruit and cover with the remaining bread. Insert a few pinches of muscavodo sugar between the layers. Dust the pudding with the cinnamon and ginger and half the nutmeg. Beat the eggs and add to the cream, lightly whisk with a fork before pouring over the pudding. Allow the cream to soak in before topping up. Sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg and a little extra sugar. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until golden on top and cooked through. Serve warm straight from the oven. Serves 6

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 this week.

Poetry and Stories
John sent in two poems this week...

"Fit Wye Tae Ging?" and "Gretna Green" which you can get to at the foot of his index page at 

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

I might add that I regularly add articles about Scottish news to this service and Donna adds some good stories each week. You can of course add your own articles to this service and they need not be about Scotland.

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

This week have added a new story...

Helen Waters: a Tale of the Orkneys and here is how it starts...

The mountains of Hoy, the highest of the Orkney Islands, rise abruptly out of the ocean to an elevation of fifteen hundred feet, and terminate on one side in a cliff, sheer and stupendous, as if the mountain had been cut down through the middle, and the severed portion of it' buried in the sea. Immediately on the landward side of this precipice lies a soft green valley, embosomed among huge black cliffs, where the sound of the human voice, or the report of a gun, is reverberated among the rocks, where it gradually dies away into faint and fainter echoes.

The hills are intersected by deep and dreary glens, where the hum of the world is never heard, and the only voices of life are the bleat of the lamb and the shriek of the eagle ;—-even the sounds of inanimate nature are of the most doleful kind; The breeze watts not on its wings the whisper of the woodland ; for there are no trees in the island, and the roar of the torrent-stream and the sea’s eternal moan for ever sadden these solitudes of the world.

The ascent of the mountains is in some parts almost perpendicular, and in all exceedingly steep; but the admirer of nature in her grandest and most striking aspects will be amply compensated for his toil, upon reaching their summits, by the magnificent prospect which they afford. Towards the north and east, the vast expanse of ocean, and the islands, with their dark heath-clad hills, their green vales, and gigantic cliffs, expand below as far as the eye can reach. The view towards the south is bounded by the lofty mountains of Scarabin and Morven, and by the wild hills of Strathnaver and Cape Wrath, stretching towards the west. In the direction of the latter, and far away in mid-ocean, may be seen, during clear weather, a barren rock, called Sule Skerry, which superstition in former days had peopled with mermaids and monsters of the deep. This solitary spot had been long known to the Orcadians as the haunt of seafowl and seals, and was the scene of their frequent shooting excursions, though such perilous adventures have been long since abandoned. It is associated in my mind with a wild tale, which I have heard in my youth, though I am uncertain whether or not the circumstances which it narrates are yet in the memory of living men.

The rest of this story can be read at

The other stories can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added another four pages including Cosmetic, Cosmos, Cots, Cotillon, Cotoneaster, Cottage, Cottage Pie, Cotter, Cotton, Cotton Thistle, Cotton Wool, Couch, Couch Grass, Cough.

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 the final stories which now completes this book.

Children's Stories
  Beauty and the Beast
  The Sleeping Beauty

These are all fairly substantial stories which you can read at

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

Have now started the third and final volume of this publication with...

Chapter XVI.
Literary and Scholastic

Here is how it starts...

WHEN in the eightieth year of the Christian era the Romans penetrated into that part of the island now called Scotland, they found the natives not unacquainted with letters and the arts of life. And it is considerably uncertain whether the Roman occupation, which continued 350 years, tended to promote popular culture, or to advance among the natives the course of civilisation. As the imperialists desired the suppression of those warlike tribes who offered them resistance, it is probable that any real culture which accrued to the inhabitants while they occupied the country, was chiefly due to the passionate earnestness of the native bards.

Not many years after the Romans had withdrawn, other races effected settlements on the northern, eastern, and western shores. These settlers were members of that great northern people who from the Danube and the Euxine had migrated to the shores of the Baltic. In their train followed the Dalriad Scots, who first landing on the Irish coast of Antrim, next rested at Kintyre. Attracting the Celtic inhabitants by their woollen garments, they were by them styled Sgeucluich or Scots, an appellative which after the lapse of centuries came to designate the general population. Not unfamiliar with Christian doctrine, the Sgeucluich gave a welcome to St Columba, assigning him, in 563, a congenial home in the island of Iona. By St Columba were reduced into a system the fragments of knowledge associated with Pagan worship. The earlier Christian scholars were ministers of religion.

In cultivating secular learning, Christian teachers ignored the aesthetic,—for fiction had engendered superstition, and fancy had created the gods. Eschewing the imaginary, they allowed history, defaced by legend, to perish with it; that portion only being retained which invigorated the energies and stimulated prowess. And hence survived the snatches of Fingalian verse. The poems and hymns ascribed to St Columba evince no inconsiderable vivacity, but are strictly of a devotional character, with a special reference to his personal surroundings. Literary activity awakened in the sixth century, was in the seventh advanced by Adamnan in his life of the western apostle. Then and subsequently missionaries from Iona, proceeded everywhere, to ultimately settle in retreats associated with the elder superstition, and where with Christian sentiment and the lore of learning, they imbued undisciplined and warlike chiefs.

From lona moved into Northumberland the venerable Aidan, who, fixing his seat in the Isle of Lindisfarne, there in the princely Oswald secured an intelligent interpreter. Constructing a monastery at Melrose, Aidan therefrom, in 651, sent forth St Cuthbert, through whose ardour and eloquence Lothian peasants acquired a. moderate culture and learned to pray. The clerical element continued to obtain influence and force. Bede, who died in the year 735, relates that in the island the gospel was preached in the languages of the Angles, Britons, Scots, Picts, and Latins. Of these languages Latin was common to all lettered Churchmen. By the Angles was used a kind of Low German, which resembled the Frisian, and by the Britons the language now spoken in Wales, while the Scots and Picts spoke dialects of the Irish, which, like the British, was cognate to the same Celtic original. When under Kenneth Macalpin, in 844, the Scots and Picts amalgamated in a new nationality, Saxon was slowly introduced. In Saxonia, proper, or Lothian, next in Galloway, and latterly in the territory to the north of the Forth and Clyde, the Anglo-Saxon language took root, spread, and latterly made rapid progress.

You can read lots more from this chapter at

You can get to the index page of the book at

The Writings of John Muir
Continuing with Volume 3, Travels in Alaska with...

PART I. The Trip of 1879

Chapter V. A Cruise in the Cassiar
Chapter VI. The Cassiar Trail
Chapter VII. Glenora Peak
Chapter VIII. Exploration of the Stickeen Glaciers
Chapter IX. A Canoe Voyage to Northward
Chapter X. The Discovery of Glacier Bay
Chapter XI. The Country of the Chilcats

Here is how Chapter XI starts...

ON October 30 we visited a camp of Hoonas at the mouth of a salmon-chuck. We had seen some of them before, and they received us kindly. Here we learned that peace reigned in Chilcat. The reports that we had previously heard were, as usual in such cases, wildly exaggerated. The little camp hut of these Indians was crowded with the food-supplies they had gathered — chiefly salmon, dried and tied in bunches of convenient size for handling and transporting to their villages, bags of salmon-roe, boxes of fish-oil, a lot of mountain-goat mutton, and a few porcupines. They presented us with some dried salmon and potatoes, for which we gave them tobacco and rice. About 3 we reached their village, and in the best house, that of a chief, we found the family busily engaged in making whiskey. The still and mash were speedily removed and hidden away with apparent shame as soon as we came in sight. When we entered and passed the regular greetings, the usual apologies as to being unable to furnish Boston food for us and inquiries whether we could eat Indian food were gravely made. Toward six or seven o'clock Mr. Young explained the object of his visit and held a short service. The chief replied with grave deliberation, saying that he would be heartily glad to have a teacher sent to his poor ignorant people, upon whom he now hoped the light of a better day was beginning to break. Hereafter he would gladly do whatever the white teachers told him to do and would have no will of his own. This under the whiskey circumstances seemed too good to be quite true. He thanked us over and over again for coming so far to see him, and complained that Port Simpson Indians, sent out on a missionary tour by Mr. Crosby, after making a good-luck board for him and nailing it over his door, now wanted to take it away. Mr. Young promised to make him a new one, should this threat be executed, and remarked that since he had offered to do his bidding he hoped he would make no more whiskey. To this the chief replied with fresh complaints concerning the threatened loss of his precious board, saying that he thought the Port Simpson Indians were very mean in seeking to take it away, but that now he would tell them to take it as soon as they liked for he was going to get a better one at Wrangell. But no effort of the missionary could bring him to notice or discuss the whiskey business. The luck board nailed over the door was about two feet long and had the following inscription: "The Lord will bless those who do his will. When you rise in the morning, and when you retire at night, give him thanks. Heccla Hockla Popla."

This chief promised to pray like a white man every morning, and to bury the dead as the whites do. "I often wondered," he said, "where the dead went to. Now I am glad to know"; and at last acknowledged the whiskey, saying he was sorry to have been caught making the bad stuff. The behavior of all, even the little ones circled around the fire, was very good. There was no laughter when the strange singing commenced. They only gazed like curious, intelligent animals. A little daughter of the chief with the glow of the firelight on her eyes made an interesting picture, head held aslant. Another in the group, with upturned eyes, seeming to half understand the strange words about God, might have passed for one of Raphael's angels.

The chief's house was about forty feet square, of the ordinary fort kind, but better built and cleaner than usual. The side-room doors were neatly paneled, though all the lumber had been nibbled into shape with a small, narrow Indian adze. We had our tent pitched on a grassy spot near the beach, being afraid of wee beasties; which greatly offended Kadachan and old Toyatte, who said, "If this is the way you are to do up at Chilcat, we will be ashamed of you." We promised them to eat Indian food and in every way behave like good Chilcats.

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 XXVIII - Recipes for Drying Fruits
75. Sun Drying Apricots, Pears, Peaches, and Apples
76. Sun Drying Prunes
77. Drying Thompson Seedless and Sultana Grapes
78. Drying Muscat and "Currant" Grapes
79. Packing Raisins
80. Sun Drying Cherries
81. Sun Drying Figs
82. Drying Fruits in Evaporators
(a) Driers
(b) Preparation of Fruit
(c) Apples
(d) Apricots and Peaches
(e) Berries
(f) Cherries
(g) Pears
(h) Prunes
(i) Grapes
(j) Figs
(k) Processing and Storing

Chapter XXIX - Recipes for Drying Vegetables
83. Sun Drying String Beans and Peas
84. Sun Drying Corn
85. Sun Drying Irish Potatoes
86. Sun Drying Sweet Potatoes
87. Sun Drying Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Cabbage, and Cauliflower
88. Sun Drying Beets, Pumpkin, and Squash
89. Sun Drying Tomatoes
90. Sun Drying Peppers
91. Drying Vegetables in an Artificial Evaporator

Chapter XXX - Recipes for Vinegar Making
92. Home Manufacture of Vinegar from Whole Fruits
93. Vinegar from Cores, Peels, and Fruit Scraps
94. Vinegar from Honey and Sirups
95. Clarifying Vinegar

Chapter XXXI - Recipes for Fruit Wines
96. Red Wine
97. White Wine
98. Hard Cider from Apples, Oranges, and other Fruits

Chapter XXXII - Recipes for Preservation of Vegetables by Salt or Fermentation
99. Preservation of Vegetables by Dry Salt
100. Preservation of Vegetables in Strong Brine
101. Preservation of Cabbage by Fermentation (Sauerkraut)
102. Preservation of String Beans, Beets, and Greens by Fermentation
103. Preservation of Vegetables by Fermentation in Brine
104. Dill Pickles

Chapter XXXIII - Recipes for Pickles and Relishes
105. Cucumber Pickles in Vinegar
106. Onion, Green Tomato, and Cauliflower Pickles in Vinegar
107. Sweet Vegetable Pickles
108. Sweet Fruit Pickles
109. Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind
110. Spiced Green Tomatoes
111. Chow Chow
112. Mustard Pickles
113. Piccalilli
114. Chili Sauce
115. Dixie Relish
116. Chutney
117. Stuffed Pickled Sweet Peppers
118. Green Tomato Pickle
119. Tomato Ketchup
120. Tomato Paste
121. Ripe Olive Pickles
122. Green Olive Pickles
123. Ripe Olive Paste
124. Ripe Olives Cured by the Salt Process
125. Dessicated Olives

Chapter XXXIV - Recipes for the Home Preservation of Meats and Eggs
126. Plain Salt Pork
127. Corned Beef
128. Sugar Curing Hams and Bacon for Smoking
129. Dry Curing of Pork for Smoking
130. Salting Beef for Drying
131. Preservation of Fish by Salting
132. Home Made Smoke House
133. Fuel for Smoking
134. Ham and Bacon
135. Dried Smoked Beef
136. Smoking Large Fish
137. Smoking Small Fish
138. Drying Fish
139. Dried Beef and Venison ("Jerkey")
140. Preservation of Eggs in Water Glass
141. Preservation of Eggs in Lime and Salt

All the 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)

We now have up several more chapters...



Chapter VI.
A Gunpowder Explosion.—The Doctor Wanted
Chapter VII.
Steeped in Tapu
Chapter VIII.
Maori Philosophy
Chapter IX.
Farewell to Waiomu



Chapter I.
The Two Pioneer Pakehas of the Waitemata
Chapter II.
Monarchs of all they Surveyed.—The Monarchs Turn Well-Sinkers
Chapter III.
I Present our Credentials to the Ngatitais.—The Early Missionary

Here is how Chapter III starts...

I had no misgivings in leaving my brother-Pioneer alone on the island; he would be just as safe there in his solitary glory with Tartar as I should be all alone in the midst of the strange tribe to whom I was bound. He had no more firearms than I had, but he certainly had a large stock of ammunition with which he could fight any number of natives likely to come his way. I too had armed myself with like munitions, my cartouch-box being filled with tobacco cartridges.

With half a fig of tobacco any native appearing on the scene of action could be shot off (if not finally disposed of) at all events until that shot from that locker was smoked out, when perhaps a return of the tobacco fight might come off—a fight of words only.

On the evening of the same afternoon that I left the island I was landed at the other end of the inlet at my place of destination, Oinapuhia, by Rama, and he proceeded home to Waiou.

My letter of credentials from Kanini to Te Tara, head chief of the Ngatitais, was received by him with every sign of high respect for the quarter from which it proceeded, and I was immediately made much of.

Te Tara appointed his own wife—he had only one, having been converted from his ways of polygamy —to be my handmaiden and attend upon me. The handmaiden being a rather ancient party, and mother of a grown and growing-up family, I was safe from falling an untimely victim to her charms.

The largest whare in the village was swept and garnished—with clean fern—for me. No one had to vacate the premises, for it was the meeting-house which had arisen when Te Tara forswore his extra wives and turned "meetinary," was converted from his heathen ways, and took to psalm-singing at the solicitation of his reverend converter.

During my sojourn, however, at Omapuhia, this big whare became occupied by all the personages of importance, male and female, irrespective of age, of the tribe, to do their smoking and gossiping korero-ing, not a few making it their sleeping quarters as well.

The nice clean fern covered the earthen floor; then a new clean mat was spread upon it for me, and a good many not nice clean ones were also spread either side of mine, which told me I was not going to be without company.

By the time these preparations were made I had heard my letter of introduction read a dozen times, for every new-corner who kept dropping in from the kumera plantations had the benefit of the composition.

Such a great arrival, a live Rangatera Pakeha bringing such a letter, did not happen every day at Ornapuhia; no, indeed! this was the first occasion of the kind, so little wonder the most was made of it.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Fraser's Scottish Annual
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish Annual.

Ah Yum's Diplomacy
The Logic of Scottish Humour
Mary: A Romance of the Transvaal
Scotchmen and Life Assurance
The Oldest Colony
The British Races in Canada
The Dramatic Element in Burns

The Logic of Scottish Humour

"TICKETS, Tickets,- tickets please." This from the guard on a local train approaching Edinburgh, as he addressed the obfuscated members of a brass band returning from an engagement in an adjoining clachan. ir "Od, man!" said the pounder of parchment as he fumbled vainly in his vest pooch, ''I've lost ma ticket." ''That's nonsense," replied the guard, "You couldna lose your ticket." "Could I no?" said the other with a sneer, "Man, I lost the big drum," which was a fact! Mr. Steuart Ross, who tells the story in his book, regards this as an exemplification of the statement that a Scotsman is above all things logical-drunk or sober, but especially drunk. Without going quite so far there can be no doubt respecting the truth of the proposition in a general way, and it is owing to this quality that we are twitted so often anent the necessity of a "surgical operation." M. Paul Blouet (Max O'Rell) has assured the writer that for keen appreciation of his points, he would prefer an audience of Scottish crofters or fishermen to one of Oxford or of Cambridge dons, and as this gentleman (for a wonder) does not claim to be in any measure Scots, and is not of sufficient importance for us to claim that he is, his evidence may be regarded as totally unbiased, Whether the logical quality be connected with climate, historic and domestic experiences, porridge, kail, haggis, the flavor of peat reek, or the shorter catechism, or all of these, there can be no doubt as to its existence.

Here and there you will find a Scot who appreciates a pun or some other play on words, but it is an acquired sense. Even when stern necessity drives him to perpetrate such a verbal crime it is the logic of circumstances that appeals to his mind, not merely the sound similarity, or the double entendre. When Captain Villiers Beauchamp, exercising his regimental horse in very awkward fashion, observed Airchie Drummock on the other side of a yett with a square foot of smiles under his bonnet, inquired angrily as he brought the animal to its haunches, "What are you laughing at me for, sir? Did you never see a war-horse before?" Airchie, without a motion except that of his lips, replied, ''Oo ay, I've often seen a war-horse afore, but gin ye wad allow me to mak' a remark, I wad juist like to say I dinna think I e'er saw a waur rider." It was the bald fact that appealed to Airchie's eye, and he used the sameness of sound merely to aid him in making his point. He would have been affronted had he been charged with punning.

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The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk (1722 - 1805)
It is said that this is one of the top 5 books to read if you wish to understand more about Scottish Life.

We now have up...

Chapter I
His birth —His father and the family—Precocious ministerings—Prestonpans and its social circle—Colonel Charteris—Erskine of Grange—Lady Grange and her adventures—Colonel Gardiner—The Murray Keith tour to Dumfries—The social habits of the borderers—Hanging of a border thief—Goes to the University of Edinburgh--His teachers and companions—Dr. Witherspoon of New York—Sir John Dalrymple—M'Laurin the mathematician.

Chapter II
Events of the Porteous mob—Sees the escape of Robertson from church—Present at the execution of Wilson—The night of the mob—University studies—Rise of the medical school—Anecdotes and adventures—Reminiscences of fellow-students—Sir John Pringle—First acquaintance with Robertson and John Home—Achievements in dancing—Ruddiman the grammarian—Medicine—The army—The Church—An evening's adventures with Lord Lovat and Erskine of Grange—Clerical convivialities—Last session at Edinburgh.

Chapter III
Goes to Glasgow—Leechman, Hutcheson, and the other professors—Life and society in Glasgow—Rise of trade—Origin of Glasgow suppers—Clubs—Hutcheson the metaphysician—Simson and Stewart the mathematicians—Moore—Tour among the clergy of Haddington—The author of The Grave — Return to Glasgow — College theatricals—Travelling adventures—News of the landing of Prince Charles—Preparations for the defence of Edinburgh—The Provost's conduct—Adventures as a disembodied volunteer—Adventures of John Home and Robertson—Expedition to view Cope's army—The position of the two armies—His last interview with Colonel Gardiner—The battle—Incidents—Inspection of the Highland army—Prince Charles.

Chapter IV
Sets off for Holland—Adventures at Yarmouth—Leyden and the students there—John Gregory—John Wilkes—Immateriality—Baxter—Charles Townshend—Dr. Aitken —Return to Britain—Violetti the dancer—London Society —The Lyons—Lord Heathfield—Smollett and John Blair —Suppers at the Golden Ball—London getting the news of the battle of Culloden—William Guthrie and Anson's voyages—Byron's narrative—The theatres and theatrical celebrities—Literary society—Thomson—Armstrong—Secker.

Chapter V
Return to Scotland—Windsor—Oxford—Travelling adventures—Presented to the church of Cockburnspath—Subsequently settled at Inveresk—His settlement there prophesied and foreordained — Anecdotes — Anthony Collins—Social life in Inveresk and Musselburgh—John Home.

Chapter VI
Ecclesiastical matters—The affair of George Logan—Sketches of the clergy —Webster—Wallace—Contemporary history of the Church—The "Moderates" and the "Wild" party—The patronage question—Riding committees—Revolution in Church polity, and Carlyle's share in it—Sketches of leaders in the Assembly—Lord Islay, Marchmont, Sir Gilbert Elliot—Principal Tullidelph.

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Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend
By Donald A MacKenzie

Another new book for you and here is how the Introduction starts...

The myths and legends of Scotland are full of what is called "local colour". They afford us not only glimpses of ancient times and of old habits of thought and life, but also of the country itself at different times of the year. In the winter season the great mountain ranges are white with snow and many inland Iochs are frozen over, but along the west coast, which is washed by the warm surface waters of the Atlantic and bathed in mild moist breezes from the south-west, there may be found sheltered and sunny spots where wild flowers continue to bloom. The old people believed that somewhere in the west the spirit of Spring had its hiding-place, and they imagined this hiding-place to be a green floating island on which the sun always shone and flowers were always blooming. During the reign of Beira, Queen of Winter, the spirit of Spring, they thought, was always trying to visit Scotland, and they imagined that Beira raised the storms of January and February to prolong her reign by keeping the grass from growing. Beira was regarded as a hard and cruel old woman, and the story of her exploits is the story of the weather conditions in winter and early spring. She rouses the dangerous whirlpool of Corryvreckan, she brings the snow, she unlooses the torrents that cause rivers to overflow. According to folk belief, it was she who formed the lochs and the mountains. In the days when the people had no calendar, the various periods of good and bad weather were named after the battles of Beira and the victories of the spirits of sunshine and growth. Gaelic-speaking people still refer to certain gales in February and March by their ancient names—the "whistling wind", the "sweeper", and so on, as set forth in the second chapter. On the northeast coast even those fisher folks, who are not Gaelic speakers, still tell that the fierce southwesterly gales of early spring are caused by the storm-wife whom they call "Gentle Annie". This Annie may be the same old deity as Black Annis of Leicestershire and Anu of Ireland, whose name lingers in the place name, the "Paps of Anu", a mountain group in County Kerry. In Scotland the story of the winter goddess, Beira, has a strictly local setting. She is, in consequence, a local deity. Bride, the lady of summer growth, is still remembered also, and there are beautiful Gaelic songs about her.

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The other chapters can be read at

Highlander and his Books
By Frank Shaw

Tucked away among a shrine of trees just outside Greenville, SC is Furman University, one of the most beautiful settings in America. The James B. Duke Library sits majestically as a center of focus for the 2,600 students on campus. DebbieLee Landi is Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist. She came to Furman after stints at the University of Missouri and the University of Mississippi. In my role as a university trustee, I have had opportunity to work with DebbieLee and am very aware that dedicated members of the university staff like her make Furman a special place.

DebbieLee is more than just a dedicated employee at a great university. She is my friend! I am proud to welcome her to this website. (FRS: 4.14.09)

Old Games in New Scotland
By DebbieLee Landi

As early as 1621, a Scottish nobleman, Sir William Alexander, established a settlement in Port Royal, Nova Scotia near the Bay of Fundy. Although this settlement did not last and control of Nova Scotia alternated between France and England for almost one hundred years, one of the Treaties of Utrecht finally transferred Nova Scotia to England in 1713. More than seventy years elapsed before Scottish highlanders permanently settled in northeastern Nova Scotia and today’s Antigonish County. These immigrants arrived speaking Gaelic, transporting their storytelling traditions, fiddling, piping and dance traditions as well as their devotion to the games of the Highlands.

The townspeople of Antigonish, the Highland Heart of Nova Scotia, met on August 22, 1861 to authorize the creation of a Highland Society. According to the members of the Antigonish Highland Society, the mission of the society would be “to protect and perpetuate the language, customs, music and games of the Highlands.” On October 16, 1863, this Society held its first Highland Games. We were fortunate to attend the 145th Antigonish Highland Games on July 19, 2008, Clan Day. The photographs which follow capture only a few of the many activities and unfortunately, do not adequately convey the exhilaration of the participants and the ardor of the spectators.

DebbieLee Landi
All photographs courtesy of Ryan K. Lazar

You can read the rest of this and see some pictures at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

In this article Frank is waxing lyrical about a new book on Burns "The Bard". In one paragraph he tells us...

One other thing that sets this book apart is that the author has uncovered new material on Burns from the diary of Reverend James Macdonald whose insightful material was hidden away in the archives of St. Andrew’s University.  The diary of Reverend Macdonald focuses on a conversation he sat in on just two months before Burns died. Crawford mentions that this “is the last extended account of his conversation written during the bard’s lifetime”. The author goes on to say that “this is Burns the spirited rebel, Bard of Sedition, even Blasphemy”.

You can read the rest of this review at

Also a fuller review of the book by Professor Gerard Carruthers, Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow, can be read at

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


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