I keep getting in requests to promote events and clan gatherings but this
isn't really the role of Electric Scotland. For example...
The Oliphant Clan and Family Association is undergoing much reorganization
and was re-launched in January 2006 after a large gathering of the Clan
Oliphant family in August 2005 in Scotland, where we met "cousins" from all
over. Our objectives are to preserve and foster the history and traditions
associated with the name of Oliphant, and all of its variants, in every part
of the world where the Oliphants have lived or do live now. As we grow and
foster our Clan, we hope to purchase and preserve Oliphant lands and to some
day open a museum both in Scotland and in the States.
We want to create links and friendships to research and share information
about the history of all Oliphants. Anyone with a historical or personal
interest in the Oliphant Clan can join.
Many of our members are setting up tents at local highland games, including
Maine and New Hampshire, so please attend and look for us there. Contact
information for your area is listed on the message boards at both
rootsweb.com and genforum.com or please feel free to write to
In my view the only place to post this type of information is really in this
newsletter. It's essentially current information and doesn't really provide
content relevant for archiving on Electric Scotland. Also... if you want to
know what your clan society is doing I would presume that the best place to
find that out is on their own web site.
So the question is really... should I be doing more?
I could for example have a section under each clan listing where the clan
will have a tent and any events they are planning. Perhaps call it "Current
News and Events". Having said that I do have a clan newsletter section where
clans can send in copies of their newsletters. Perhaps this would be a
better place to put this information and any clan society could perhaps at
least post one of their newsletters up for us as an example. I am aware that
many societies feel this is the only real benefit of membership and so don't
like to give them out for free. That said, one sample newsletter really
shouldn't make any difference and at least it would be something that
potential members might want to look at before joining. We can also carry
Anyway... I'm starting to ramble a bit but I'd be happy to get any emails in
from you as to suggestions :-)
Next week I'll be starting on a few histories of famous Scots missionaries.
Essentially these books tell a remarkable story and how they helped
thousands of people. These accounts also help to shed light on some of the
other Scots influences around the world. Two that I will be doing are...
James Chalmers of New Guinea. Here we will see how not only was he doing
mission work but also establishing schools. The local inhabitants were being
persuaded to stop eating humans and stop their constant fighting. Peace was
coming to the area through his efforts and having a beneficial effect on
tens of thousands of the inhabitants. People like this are an inspiration
and is why they deserve a place on Electric Scotland.
The other missionary I will be profiling will be James Stewart of Lovedale
in South Africa. Here he built a missionary school which took in both black
and white students. It also included an agricultural school and craft
workshops. It was taken as a model for other schools. He was also a
moderator of the Church of Scotland. Again through his work he influenced
the lives of tens of thousands of people.
I will also be doing a small book on a Gaelic church in Australia which
gives an insight into the running of a church in the early days in
Australia. I also plan to start a book about Scottish education as to date
we have very little information on this topic and it certainly deserves a
place on the site.
I have also made a start this week on another nature book "From Fox's Earth
to Mountain Tarn" for which see below.
And a wee announcement for those around Ontario...
Sunday, September 3rd: Scottish Studies Tall Ship Sailing Cruise Toronto
The Scottish Studies Society invites you to join its 15th Annual Scottish
Tall Ship Sailing Cruise, which will be held Sunday, September 3, 2006
aboard Canada's largest sailing ship, The Empire Sandy. The cruise promises
to be a unique opportunity to share in the experience of a voyage on a tall
ship, recapturing the legendary spirit of Canada's pioneers! The day will
feature two sailings. The morning cruise will board at 11 a.m., while the
afternoon cruise will board at 2 p.m. Tickets for the cruises are priced at
$20 per adult and $5 per child (15 and under) if purchased in advance, and
$25 per adult and $8 per child if the day of the cruise. Beverages and
snacks will be available for purchase on board the ship during the cruise.
The Empire Sandy will be docked on the south side of Queens Quay West in
Toronto, directly opposite Lower Spadina Avenue, beside the Music Garden.
Parking is readily available in the vicinity of the Harbourfront, but be
sure to leave yourself time to find a spot! Public transportation is also an
option, via the LRT (Light Rapid Transit) streetcar which originates from
Union Station. For more information, or to register, please contact David
Hunter at 416-332-7353, email [email protected], or visit
This event is usually sold out so best to book early if you can.
And the reason this announcement appears here is simply that I'm the
Vice-President of the Society [grin]
ABOUT THE STORIES
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 and pick up poems and
stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks edition is by Donald Bain where he has produced a number of most
interesting articles about energy. Here is one of them to read here...
Scottish Energy Review
The most impressive stop on the above-mentioned alternative energy tour was
to the wave energy research facility at Edinburgh University. There was a
huge wave tank where it was possible to replicate almost any ocean
conditions and measure all the effects on model boats and on small-scale
wave conversion devices called ducks. These were known as “Salter’s Ducks”
after their inventor, Dr. Stephen Salter.
Salter’s presentation, (marred only by the presence of a slightly sinister
“man from the ministry” who periodically interrupted the narrative flow by
tapping his forefinger on his lips, presumably to indicate that too much
information was being divulged) dazzled his multicultural audience with its
mix of hard scientific fact, humour, unusual insights and elegant
I was reminded of this when reading the just-published “Scottish Energy
Review: Scotland’s Opportunity - Scotland’s Challenge”. It is written in the
same inimitable style, which makes it not only a deeply serious scientific
paper but also (unusually for an academic report) an exceptionally
Commissioning Professor Salter (as he now is) to chair this study of
Scotland’s current and potential energy prospects was an inspired choice by
the SNP. Together with his distinguished colleagues Kerr MacGregor and
Clifford Jones he has produced possibly the best concise review of the
totality of Scottish energy options yet produced.
I shall resist summarizing the findings of the review in the hope that
readers will read the report in its entirety. Those without a scientific
background may have to invest a little time in acquainting themselves with
some of the technical language but the effort will be amply rewarded.
Postscript. Why is it only now, over 20 years later, that wave-power devices
are entering commercial application? Part of the answer is that oil prices
dipped sharply in the mid-1980s and thatcherite short-termism lead to the
plug being pulled on many renewable energy projects (including my own
management courses). I would also hazard the thought that wave power was
subject to dirty tricks by the nuclear lobby, who saw it as the one
renewable energy technology which posed a real threat. Perhaps Professor
Salter can tell us the full story one day, “man from the ministry”
I did find this report to be most interesting and given the current interest
about gas prices, etc this may also be of general interest to our readers as
it also covers some interesting comments on renewable energy.
And pleased to say that the Scot Wit section is back in business and here it
is for you to read here...
There used to be a longish stop at our local station when the guard took the
opportunity to have his tea on the platform. On one occasion an impatient
passenger, knowing that the time for departure had come and gone, finally
asked the guard why the train had not departed.
"She canna stert till A blaw ma whussle" came the official explanation.
"Then blow your whistle" protested the exasperated passenger.
"An hou kin A blaw ma whussle" replied the aggrieved guard "whan ma mou's fu
And here is another children's story to read here...
The Pink Stones
Gareth sat on the chair, staring at the jar of pink gems. "I will not be
happy until the entire jar is full. I must go and find some more." He
finished nibbling on some chocolates and then grabbed his staff. A pink
glass ball sat on the top, held by prongs of wood. "Off I go." He grabbed
his carrying case on the way out. "Ah, a lovely day; perfect for gathering
pink glabberdungs. I'm so lucky to live near the forest."
After he reached the edge of the pines and oaks, he took a deep breath. "Lilith
will be so pleased when she comes home and finds the jar full. I'm sure
she'll want to take them to the village wizard and sell them. Fairies always
have to sell things. I'd be happy letting the jar sit there so I could look
at it any time I wanted, but not Lilith. She'll need some fairy dust or a
new wand. Ah well. It is my own fault for marrying a fairy."
As Gareth stepped into the forest he immediately saw some pink glabberdungs.
"Well, well, well. This might not turn out to be such a bad day after all."
What Gareth didn't know was that Brog was already in the forest gathering
the glabberdungs. After Gareth had filled his carrying case, he headed
deeper into the forest in hopes of filling his pockets. "Once Lilith takes
the jar, I can start a new jar just for me." It didn't take long before he
noticed that there were fewer and fewer glabberdungs lying on the ground. He
spotted a footprint. "What's this? Someone is trespassing in the forest and
by the looks of it has been collecting pink glabberdungs. I'll have none of
that!" Gareth hid the carrying case and went in search of the stranger.
Behind an old oak tree Gareth spotted Brog. He was bent over picking up
glabberdungs and putting them into a dirty gray bag. Gareth also noticed
that Brog held a shiny gold axe over his shoulder. "Drat! He's armed with an
axe and all I have is this staff." Gareth groaned and moaned. "How will I
ever get those glabberdungs away from him? I know, I'll offer him a trade."
Gareth ran after Brog. "Excuse me! Excuse me! I'd like to have a word with
Brog stopped and turned around. "What do you want?"
"Excuse me. My name is Gareth and well, you see, this is my forest. Since it
is my forest, anything in this forest belongs to me. I'm afraid all those
glabberdungs you've got in your bag are mine."
Brog put the bag on the ground and laid his axe on top of it. "Yours, you
say? Since when do you own the forest?"
"I've always owned it. Now, sir, I would be happy to offer you a trade. Why
don't you come with me to my cottage and you have pick anything you like.
It's yours. All I ask is that you let me keep everything in your bag."
Gareth felt quite proud he'd come up with such a great idea.
"I'll come with you and see what you have to offer." Brog followed Gareth
back to his cottage. He looked through the house, but didn't see much. He
spotted the jar of glabberdungs.
"Oh, you can't have that, but you can help yourself to anything else,"
Just then Lilith walked in the front door. She stood still. Her gaze
wandered to Gareth and then to Brog.
Brog grunted. "I know what I want. I want her."
"You want Lilith? She's my wife," Gareth said.
Later on that night, Gareth sat in his chair looking at his jar of
glabberdungs. The jar was full to the brim and a second jar sat next to the
first one. He giggled as the pink gems sparkled.
Brog carried his axe over his shoulder and Lilith over the other one. After
all, Gareth said he could take anything in the house except the glabberdungs
and that's exactly what Brog did.
Good accounts of Roslin, Ross and Cromarty, Rothesay, Roxburgh and
I might add that I've almost completed this 5th volume so have also started
preperation for the final 6th volume by adding the pictures and maps. Also
when you go to the index page you'll note that around two thirds into the
sixth volume they move to a general survey of Scotland and here are the
sections that will be included...
Position, Boundaries, Extent, and Area
Leading Physical Features
Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, and Islands
The Botany of Scotland
The Geology of Scotland
Deer Forests and Grouse Moors
Industries, Shipping, Trade, and Commerce
Roads, Canals, Railways, Steamers, Telegraphs, Etc.
Scottish Language and Literature
Gaelic Language and Literature
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now on the C's with Calder and Calderwood added this week. Here is a
bit from the Calder entry....
CALDER, an ancient surname assumed from the lands of Calder, now Cawdor, in
Nairnshire, but derived originally from the French name of de Cadella, from
which the name of Cadell takes its rise, Hugo de Cadella being a thane of
Calder in the reign of King Malcolm Canmore, in whose restoration he was
very instrumental, and in consequence was liberally rewarded by that
monarch. His son, Gilbertus de Cadella, in 1104, obtained from King Edgar a
grant of the lands of Calder, &c. in the county of Nairn.
His son, Alexander, who succeeded him, discovered a conspiracy of the
Macdonalds, Murrays, and Cumings, to assassinate King Alexander the First at
Bell-Edgar in his expedition to the north, for which good service, that
monarch, on his return, confirmed to him the thanedom of Calder, in 1112.
For three generations nothing more appears on record concerning the family
of Calder, except that in the year 1230, Helen, a daughter of the family,
was married to Schaw Macintosh of Macintosh. In 1295 Donald, thane of
Calder, was one of the inquest on the extent of Kilravock and Easter Geddes,
in the parish of Nairn, the property of his neighbour, Hugh Rose of
Kilravock. His supposed son, William, had a charter of the Thanage from
Robert I., 1310. He had a son, William, mentioned in his father’s lifetime,
The next ascertained thane of Calder was Andrew. Boece relates that one
Thomas, a valiant knight, supposed to be thane of Calder, was killed
fighting on the side of the Comyn faction against the regent, Andrew de
Moravia, before 1338, Robert Cumyn and William Cumyn being slain at the same
time; but this seems an invention of his own, as no such event is known in
history. Local tradition avers that the thane Andrew was murdered by Sir
Alexander Rait of that ilk, and the lands of Rait being forfeited, were
given to the thane of Calder’s heir, in consideration of his father’s
murder. His son, Donald, succeeded him. Donald’s son, William, succeeded in
1442. In 1454 he is designated by the king, James II., as his loved familiar
squire, dilectus familiaris scutifer. With Thomas Carmichael, canon of
Moray, he held the joint office of Crown chamberlain beyond Spey. He was the
original builder of the castle of Cawdor.
Tradition mentions another son, Hutcheon or Hugh, who in 1452 attended
Alexander earl of Huntly, the king’s lieutenant, in his expedition against
the earls of Crawford and Douglas, then in rebellion, and Huntly having
routed the forced of these two earls at the battle of Brechin, Hutcheon,
being too eager in his pursuit, was taken prisoner by the enemy, and brought
to Finhaven, whither Crawford had retired; but he being alarmed while at
supper with the news of Huntly’s approach, fled with such precipitation that
Hutcheon and several other prisoners made their escape. Hutcheon carried off
the silver cup out of which Crawford drank, and presented it to Huntly at
Brechin as a sure evidence of Crawford’s flight, for which service, says the
History of the family of Gordon incorrectly,
Huntly, upon his return home, gave him the lands of Asswanly, and George
duke of Gordon gave to his successor a massy silver cup gilded, whereon the
history of the transaction was engraved. From this Hutcheon was supposed to
have descended the family of Calder, baronet of Muirtown (see following
article); but in a note appended by the late Admiral Sir Robert Calder,
baronet, to a copy of ‘Nisbet’s Heraldry’ in the Advocates’ library, the
appendix to which contains an account of the family of Calder, it is stated
that “the Calders of Asswanly are not descended from Hutcheon, second son of
Donald thane of Calder, nor has the grant of the lands of Asswanly any
reference to the battle of Brechin, which was fought on the 18th May 1452,
twelve years subsequent to the date of the grant of the foresaid lands of
Asswanly, as appears by a charter of confirmation from the king, dated at
Edinburgh 8th July 1450, of the grant of the lands of Asswanly, by Sir
Alexander Setonne to Hugh Calder, son and heir of Alexander Calder, and to
his spouse Elizabeth Gordonne, dated at Elgin, the last day of August 1440.”
This note is dated Edinburgh, 29th September 1802, and the original charter
was stated to be in the possession of the said Rear-admiral Sir Robert
The Prophecies of The Brahan Seer
By Alexander MacKenzie FSA Scot (1899)
Transcribed by Alan McKenzie for which many thanks
We have continued to add to this book and now have the first 7 chapters up.
Here is a bit from Chapter 7...
Sketch of the Family of Seaforth
THE most popularly-received theory regarding the Mackenzies is that they are
descended from an Irishman of the name of Colinas Fitzgerald, son of the
Earl of Kildare or Desmond, who distinguished himself by his bravery at the
battle of Largs, in 1263. It is said that his courage and valour were so
singularly distinguished that King Alexander the Third took him under his
special protection, and granted him a charter of the lands of Kintail, in
Wester Ross, bearing date from Kincardine, January the 9th, 1263.
According to the fragmentary “Record of Icolmkill,” upon which the claim of
the Irish origin of the clan is founded, a personage, described as
“Peregrinus et Hibernus nobilis ex familia Geraldinorum” - that is “a noble
stranger and Hibernian, of the family of the Geraldines” - being driven from
Ireland with a considerable number of his followers was, about 1261, very
graciously received by the King, and afterwards remained at his court.
Having given powerful aid to the Scots at the Battle of Largs, two years
afterwards he was rewarded by a grant of the lands of Kintail, which were
erected into a free barony by royal charter, dated as above mentioned. Mr.
Skene, however, says that no such document as this Icolmkill Fragment was
ever known to exist, as nobody has ever seen it; and as for Alexander’s
charter, he declares (Highlanders, vol. ii., p. 235) that it “bears the most
palpable marks of having been a forgery of a later date, and one by no means
happy in the execution”. Besides, the words “Colino Hiberno” contained in it
do not prove this Colin to have been an Irishman, as Hiberni was at that
period a common appellation for the Gael of Scotland. Burke, in the
“Peerage” has adopted the Irish origin of the clan, and the chiefs
themselves seem to have adopted this theory, without having made any
particular inquiry as to whether it was well founded or not. The Mackenzie
chiefs were thus not exempt from the almost universal, but most unpatriotic,
fondness exhibited by many other Highland chiefs for a foreign origin. In
examining the traditions of our country, we are forcibly struck with this
peculiarity of taste. Highlanders despising a Caledonian source trace their
ancestors from Ireland, Norway, Sweden, or Normandy. The progenitors of the
Mackenzies can be traced with greater certainty, and with no less claim to
antiquity, from a native ancestor, Gillean (Cailean) Og, or Colin the
Younger, a son of Cailean na h’Airde, ancestor of the Earls of Ross; and,
from the MS. of 1450, their Gaelic descent may now be considered beyond
dispute. [See Nos. XXVI. and XXVII. of the Celtic Magazine, Vol. III., in
which this question is discussed at length.]
This week we see a chapter up about Andrew Ryan McGill who was Governor of
Minnesota and here is how that starts...
Of Andrew R. McGill it may be safely said, without awakening a pang of
jealousy or sounding a note of dissent, that he was the brightest and most
distinguished representative of his family and people that has lived during
the last two hundred years.
We would make no invidious comparisons between him and other conspicuous
characters of his time; and we would detract nothing from the fame of his
compeers, or his competitors; we only seek to tell the simple story of his
works and ways, leaving comparisons to posterity after history has matured,
and the analysis of time has separated the pure gold from the glittering
tinsel, and weighed achievements in the scales of Eternal Justice.
He became one of the distinguished men and the Chief Executive of the State
of Minnesota, which compared to many of the little kingdoms of the old
world, is an Empire in extent.
How much of this success in life was due to his ancestry—the blood and
breeding of his race?
Andrew R. McGill did not build upon a submerged strata; nor did he spring
from the loins of any degenerate people.
More than five hundred years ago the great House of McGill of Rankeillour
was founded in Scotland, from material that for a thousand years had been
accumulating and maturing on Caledonian Hills. Rankeillour gave Scholars,
Statesmen, Jurists and Warriors to the nations, and sent out, as proven by
history and heraldry, branches into England, Ireland and Wales, that wielded
influence and power wherever they were established. From Rankeillour came
the House of Ramgally in Scotland, of Viscount of Oxenford in England and
Ballynester in Ireland-all with armorial bearings that show their derivation
from the ancient clan; and from this house came also a large contingent of
the colony in Ulster, Ireland, founded by James I. of England and VI. of
Scotland, in 1602-1610.
With this emigration into Ireland came the ancestors of the Pennsylvania
branch, who in 1608 obtained leases from the London-Belfast Company, on the
banks of Belfast Bay, County Antrim, Province of Ulster, Ireland. A lease in
Ulster was a vested right that descended by primogeniture, and the
proprietary rights thus secured may yet be in possession of the older
branches of the family.
One hundred and sixty-two years from the date of obtaining landed interests
in Ireland the McGills appear in America. In 1770, Patrick McGill, the
grandfather of Andrew R., then a youth of seventeen years, came to this
country, participated in the operations of the Revolutionary War, married
Anna Maria Baird, of Maryland nativity, and settled in Northumberland
In 1792 Patrick located lands in Western Pennsylvania, which he proceeded to
occupy in 1795, and for which patent was issued by the State in 1802, the
same year in which Charles Dillon McGill, the father of Andrew, was born,
and on the same premises in 1840 Andrew Ryan McGill first saw the light of
On the father's side the lineage was good for more than five hundred years,
always found in the front rank of civilization and occupying a high place
among the old, distinguished families of the ancient Scotch Celtic race.
Andrew McGill's mother was Angeline Martin. She was of a race of people more
prominent in the turbulent times of the past than were the McGills. The
Martins, of Galway, in Ireland, occupy a distinguished place in the history
of the Emerald Isle. All over the Kingdom they were celebrated in song and
story for knightly deeds of high emprise in defense of an oppressed people.
Romance has woven garlands and twined them around their brows and
immortalized the name forever. They were a proud intrepid race who disdained
the wiles of the oppressor and with sword in hand stood ever ready to defend
Gen. Charles Martin, of Revolutionary celebrity, was tile grandfather of
Angeline. It `has been said that he was born in England; that may be so, but
the name of Martin belongs to Ireland; and when the opportunity came he
quickly proved his Galway blood by turning the point of his sword toward the
hereditary enemy of his race. I personally knew four brothers of Angeline-Charles,
John E., Samuel and Manning. They were men of character, affable and
genteel, educated and intelligent; proud men with high instep and lofty
Angeline herself grew to beautiful womanhood, not only as to feature and
form, but she was endowed with all the graces and goodness of her sex. That
she left the impress of her gentle soul on the mind of her youngest son is
not to be doubted. She died in 1848, when he was eight years old.
It is seen by the foregoing that Andrew R. McGill did not derive from any
ignoble strain. The blood of a long line of manly ancestors coursed through
his veins. Yet it must be remembered that the plunge of his forbears into
the wilderness, behind mountain ranges, had isolated his people from
intercourse with the world and greatly abridged the means of intellectual
culture and the development of those faculties that tend to make men great.
He was not surrounded by affluence or wealth; the board at which he sat was
laden with plenty, yet the starvation of the soul was not arrested by ready
means to gratify its longing for higher and better things.
His ancestry had given him its blood and racial trend, but nothing more. If
he would mount higher it must be by forces within himself, unaided by any
outward propulsion or extraneous help.
From Fox's Earth to Mountain Tarn
Days among the wild animals of Scotland by J. H. Crawford (1907)
A new book for the site and here is what the Introduction has to say...
THIS book is a contribution to the natural history of Scotland. It tells of
days among the wild creatures; days selected from many days, because more
crowded with incident, against a picturesque background. It starts from the
earth of a lowland fox, and ends by a lonely mountain tarn. It ranges from
the border to Shetland, from burn to river, from shaded lane to fenceless
moor and bare mountain top. Trout and salmon, singing-bird to eagle, field
mouse to deer—all find a place. The current ripples; the rings break out on
the pools; in the twilight the voles come forth from their tunnels. The rod
flashes its silvered line; the bay of the hound, the crack of the gun echo
through the pages. It is confined to the north. Scotland is, perhaps, the
only part of the British Isles where the term wild life has much meaning.
The object is to open the general eye to the charm, to waken an interest in
the general mind. Nothing is so fatal as indifference. Rare forms have
passed out of existence, others are passing. Our land is poorer than she
was, and richer than she will be. Against this depletion I strive with all
Alike to pursuer and pursued, Sport is bright and bracing. Pleasant are her
footmarks along the stream bank above the sedges; her breath, the purple
moorland breeze that brushes the heather. But she may be ugly, and try the
patience of those who love her most wisely. Modern sport selects such as she
cares to follow, and kills out their enemies. A wild creature without
natural check is ever, more or less, tame and unfit. Among the doomed are
the wild cat, the greater weasels, and the birds of prey. More than any
others these forms make of Scotland an interesting land, and ought to be her
chief charge. Sport owes much to them. Without eagle and falcon were no
twelfth of August.
And here is how the first chapter starts...
Lowland and Hill Fox
WITH a very troubled face, the game-keeper came in to report a tragedy of
the previous night. The pheasantry had been entered, and seventeen birds
taken or killed. By a diabolic ingenuity the depredator had managed to get
over, or through, the wire-netting fence. A great deal of noise was made
about the loss. Blame was scattered indiscriminately. There was but one
oversight. The chief offender was overlooked. He was a chartered raider.
My host asked me if I cared for a walk. A young hound, blotched black and
brown, loosely put together as growing lad, mainly feet and head, sprawled
along the moist path. Awkward and good-natured, it insisted on following us
to the edge of the lawn, where a gap in the hedge let us through, on to the
grass. It was being "walked" against the approaching day for puppy judging:
a curious system of boarding-out, con fined, so far as I know, to young
The country round about was mainly grass and woodland, an excellent
combination for scenic effect, of that soothing and idyllic kind known as
pastoral. Some workmen were engaged in making gateways, for the benefit of
those who would rather not take the fence. A somewhat ingenious latch,
easily lifted by the whip, enabled the rider to gain passage without
dismounting. Thus there would seem to be a theatrical element in sport: an
appearance of daring meant to impress the gallery. The great shaggy Highland
cattle lent the last picturesque touch to the environment. Down the face of
the green slope we went, to the stream running along the foot. "I brought
you to see this, because I thought you would be interested." There was much
It was a fox’s earth, wider than, but in no other way differing from, a
rabbit’s hole. Though not naturally a burrower, the fox may enlarge what is
already there. In this case, it seemed to have taken possession after,
probably, consuming the previous tenant. The surroundings were untidy and
unsavoury to a degree. The fox is not a clean feeder, nor does it take the
trouble one would look for in so quick-witted an animal to remove the
tell-tale evidence of its whereabouts.
It were difficult to say what of fur and feather was not there. A casual
glance showed hare and rabbit, wood pigeon, and some trophies from the
farmyard; altogether an excellent larder.
As regular readers will know I take the time to trawl through the Guttenberg
collection of Electronic Texts to see what new books might have appeared
that have a Scottish connection. This week I found quite a few of interest
and here is a list...
Twenty-two years ago the enterprise of Horace Marshall & Son produced a
series of small books known as "The Story of the Empire Series."
These volumes rendered a great service in bringing home to the citizens of
the Empire in a simple and intelligible form their community of interest,
and the romantic history of the development of the British Empire.
I was asked more than twenty-one years ago to write the volume which dealt
with Newfoundland. I did so. The little book which was the
result has been for many years out of print. I have been asked by my friends
in Newfoundland and elsewhere to bring it up to date for the
purpose of a Second Edition. The publishers assented to this proposal, and
this volume is the result.
The book, of course, never pretended to be anything but a slight sketch. An
attempt has been made--while errors have been corrected and
the subject matter has been brought up to date--to maintain such character
as it ever possessed.
I shall be well rewarded for any trouble I have taken if it is recognized by
my friends in Newfoundland that the reproduction of this little book places
on record an admiration for, and an interest in, our oldest colony which has
endured for considerably more than twenty-one years.
I really posted this up seeing as the author was a McIntyre but having said
that it's quite interesting. There is also a section for teachers...
The teacher who wishes to make the most of this work will take her class to
visit a museum, if a museum is available; or, if not, she will do what she
can to show her class actual specimens of the things described in the story.
In a museum primitive implements should be observed, and specimens of
animals and birds. Pictures of caves, pieces of stalactites, stalagmites, of
limestone, quartz, and flint would be of value, either seen in the museum
or, better still, looked at and handled in the classroom as the story is
read. A tendon procured from the butcher and dried for a few weeks and then
pulled to pieces would show primitive thread.
Out of doors a limestone cliff showing stratification would be the best kind
of illustration to explain both the formation of caves and the gradual
burying and preservation of animal bones and other primitive relics.
In the schoolroom, again, on a large stand might be made a model of a hilly
country. A cave could be shown, shaped of two upright stones and a
crosspiece, the whole covered with sods and earth; and animals and men might
be made of paper or of clay.
Various scenes from the story are adapted to dramatization; for instance,
the visit of the cave bear, the making of fire, work in the stone yard, or
the feast of mammoth's meat.
The chapters include...
THE NEEDLE, THE CLUB, AND THE BOW
THE TAMING OF THE DOG
HOW STRONGARM HUNTED A BEAR AND A LION
THE OLD AX MAKER VISITS HIS DAUGHTER
THE COMING OF FIRE
THE CAVE TIGER
THE MAKING OF STONE WEAPONS
AT THE GRAVEL PIT
A SUMMER CAMP
THORN MEETS THE CHILDREN OF THE SHELL MOUNDS
AT THE HOME OF THE SHELL MOUND PEOPLE
THORN LEARNS TO SWIM
THE FEAST OF MAMMOTH'S MEAT
THE RED MEN OF OUR OWN COUNTRY IN THE STONE AGE
HOW STONE WEAPONS OF THE CAVE MEN WERE FIRST FOUND
HOW THE EARTH LOOKED WHEN THE SHELL MEN AND THE CAVE MEN LIVED
HOW EARLY MEN BELIEVED THAT ALL THINGS THAT MOVE ARE ALIVE
THE PEOPLE OF OUR TIME WHO WERE MOST LIKE THE CAVE MEN
Brendan, the son of Finnlogh O' Alta, was born at Tralee in Kerry, in the
year 481 or 482. He had a pedigree which connected him with the rulers of
Ireland, and thus perhaps secured for him a social prominence which he would
not otherwise have enjoyed. Nature seems to have endowed him with an highly
wrought and sensitive temperament. Putting aside altogether the idealism
which caused him, like so many others of his time and race, to give himself
to the Church, he displayed throughout life a restlessness which led him to
constant journeys, sometimes of the nature of migrations, and the constant
inception of projects to which he did not continue long to adhere; and in
the statements about him there are elements from which I conjecture that he
was probably of the class of persons who furnish good subjects for hypnotic
The present work tells the romantic story of the Settlement of Lord
Selkirk's Colonists in Manitoba, and is appropriate and timely in view
of the Centennial celebration of this event which will be held in Winnipeg
in 1912. The author was the first, in his earlier books, to take a stand for
justice to be done to Lord Selkirk as a Colonizer, and he has had the
pleasure of seeing the current of all reliable history turned in Lord
Dr. Doughty, the popular Archivist at Ottawa, has put at the author's
disposal a large amount of Lord Selkirk's correspondence lately received
by him, so that many new, interesting facts about the Settlers' coming are
now published for the first time. If we are to celebrate the Selkirk
Centennial intelligently, it is essential to know the facts of the trials,
oppressions and heartless persecutions through which the Settlers' passed,
to learn what shameful treatment Lord Selkirk received from his enemies, and
to trace the rise from misery to comfort of the people of the Colony.
The story is chiefly confined to Red River Settlement as it existed--a
unique community, which in 1870 became the present Province of Manitoba. It
is a sympathetic study of what one writer has called--"Britain's One
A Tale of the Selkirks... In the Introduction it starts...
I think I have met "Ralph Conner." Indeed, I am sure I have--once in a canoe
on the Red River, once on the Assinaboine, and twice or thrice on the
prairies to the West. That was not the name he gave me, but, if I am right,
it covers one of the most honest and genial of the strong characters that
are fighting the devil and doing good work for men all over the world. He
has seen with his own eyes the life which he describes in this book, and has
himself, for some years of hard and lonely toil, assisted in the good
influences which he traces among its wild and often hopeless conditions. He
writes with the freshness and accuracy of an eye-witness, with the style (as
I think his readers will allow) of a real artist, and with the tenderness
and hopefulness of a man not only of faith but of experience, who has seen
in fulfillment the ideals for which he lives.
Exactly one hundred years ago this Translation of the Norwegian Account of
Haco's Invasion of Scotland first issued from the press. Since then, amid
much literature upon the subject, it has always held a most important place
in the eyes of the student of early Scottish History. As an authentic source
of information it has been eagerly sought after, but it has an additional
attraction in the graphic pictures which it presents of the various perils
by land and sea encountered by the hardy Norsemen. The translator's valuable
notes are given "in extenso", and for easier reference are transferred from
the end of the work and printed on the pages to which they belong.
The McWhorters in South Carolina
by Karen McWhorter Wilhelm
Here is how this article starts...
The Pacolet River in northwestern South Carolina runs east, about 16 miles
south of the North Carolina border. It flows through gently rolling hills,
cut by nameless creeks and ravines now filled with kudzu vines that create
an eerie landscape. The kudzu engulfs trees, telephone poles, old barns, in
tropical green foliage. Mowed fields attempt to impose order, and a few
stretches of browned vines indicate a herbicidal counterattack. This is
mostly well-kept farm country, with a few small towns and a clothing factory
or two. Houses are painted; streets are clean; Hardee's efficiently serves
In 1765, the wooded country was being settled by people from the northern
colonies. The Cherokees had moved west, and treaties opened this land for
pioneers. The Great Pennsylvania Wagon Road linked the back country of
Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. A tide of
families came south, many of them the so-called Scotch-Irish, like the
McWhorters. The hills and valleys then were covered with the wild pea-vine,
good pasturage for the cattle herds kept by these families.
Eleanor McWhorter received a grant of North Carolina land, 300 acres on both
sides of the Pacolet River, somewhere along the twelve mile stretch that
later became the northern boundary of Union County. When it was surveyed on
September 3, 1765, George McWhorter and John Portman served as chainbearers.
After the border between North Carolina and South Carolina was surveyed in
1772, showing her to actually be in South Carolina, Eleanor obtained a new
grant of the same land. It was a royal grant from King George III, signed
May 4, 1775 by Lieutenant Governor William Bull Eleanor had to pay three
shillings sterling for each hundred acres, and clear and cultivate three
acres a year for each hundred acres in order to maintain her grant from the
King. Events intervened, however, and the King would receive little benefit
from his grant-holders after 1776.
Names and Spellings of Names connected with Clans and Tartans
As you may know we've always had this page up on the site which we hope will
be useful to our visitors as it attempts to show various spellings of names
that are connected with each clan. It's also been set out so that it can be
printed out and used by clan societies and others at various Scottish
events. Blair Urquhart of House of Tartans maintains this list and this is
the first big update since it was first published in 2004.
The Ploughman Poet
From an autobiographical sketch sent to Dr. Moore
Got sent this article in which is said to be from and old magazine. Here is
how it starts...
A note of pride in his humble origin rings throughout the following pages.
The ploughman poet was wiser in thought than in deed, and his life was not a
happy one. But, whatever his faults, he did his best with the one golden
talent that Fate bestowed upon him. Each book that he encountered was made
to stand and deliver the message that it carried for him. Sweethearting and
good-fellowship were his bane, yet he won much good from his practice of the
art of correspondence with sweethearts and boon companions. And although
Socrates was perhaps scarcely a name to him, he studied always to follow the
Athenian's favourite maxim, "Know thyself"; realizing, with his elder
brother of Warwickshire, that "the chiefest study of mankind is man."
From an autobiographical sketch sent to Dr. Moore.
[_To Dr. Moore_]
MAUCHLINE, August 2, 1787.
For some months past I have been rambling over the country, but I am now
confined with some lingering complaints, originating, as I take it, in the
stomach. To divert my spirits a little in this miserable fog of ennui, I
have taken a whim to give you a history of myself. My name has made some
little noise in this country; you have done me the honour to interest
yourself very warmly in my behalf; and I think a faithful account of what
character of a man I am, and how I came by that character, may perhaps amuse
you in an idle moment. I will give you an honest narrative, though I know it
will be often at my own expense; for I assure you, sir, I have, like
Solomon, whose character, excepting in the trifling affair of wisdom, I
sometimes think I resemble--I have, I say, like him turned my eyes to behold
madness and folly, and like him, too, frequently shaken hands with their
intoxicating friendship. After you have perused these pages, should you
think them trifling and impertinent, I only beg leave to tell you that the
poor author wrote them under some twitching qualms of conscience, arising
from a suspicion that he was doing what he ought not to do; a predicament he
has more than once been in before.
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