I'd like to thank those that have completed my survey.... it's much
appreciated :-) It will remain open until 13th August for those that haven't
had the time to complete it. See
http://www.electricscotland.com/escgi/surveys/surveys.cgi?poll=1 to see
the most up to date results or to complete the survey if you haven't yet
managed to do so.
At time of writing 621 of you have completed the survey so I hope we'll
reach at least 1000 by the completion date. From all the comments you are
clearly a diverse group and so I guess that means it's a case of trying to
please most of you most of the time :-)
I note that I also had an offer of help to provide information on Scots
immigrants in Uraguay and Argentina and would be happy to receive such.
A lot of you wanted more information on clans. In actual fact you are
getting that and more with The Scottish Nation. For each name you get a
background on the name and then biographies of significant people of the
name. For example, next week I'll be posting up the name Campbell which is
of course a large clan. That account takes up 50 letter pages.
Going through the survey it appears that around 75% of you are happy with
the size of the newsletter but nearly a quarter of you would like a shorter
newsletter. Perhaps I can see a way to make it a little shorter :-)
Around three quarters of you expressed interest in getting more information
on both clan events and Scottish events and a significant number wanted one
or the other. Looks like I need to address this in future newsletters.
Bit of a mix on the timing of the newsletters. Around 40% didn't want a
Monthly newsletter but a quarter did want it but I also note in the answers
part that many suggested bi-weekly. I think this actually means that most
are happy with a weekly newsletter but wouldn't mind if I missed an issue
from time to time :-)
As to how easy it was to email me it seems most had no problem. All you need
to do is go to our "Contact Us" page on the web site to find my email
address and of course you can also just reply to this newsletter :-)
A touch confused on the Canadian Journal question and of course that's my
fault in not properly giving you the options to reply. Do I read "not
bothered" as we're ok with it and would read it if it's available should you
want to continue it. Or is it more we're not bothered if you continue it as
I wouldn't be reading it anyway. I'll have to think about this one :-)
It would seem providing ways to keep in touch by mobile phone is on the
whole not of interest so this will go on the back burner.
I was gratified to hear that most of you are ok with my new menu layout in
our header. That was good to hear.
I was interested to learn that most of you would like to see some history on
other parts of the world where Scots emigrated to. I'll be down in Kentucky
in September so will get that publication on the Southern States and will
now start to look for other histories.
I might add that I did get quite a few replies asking for more information
on Scots in certain countries. Like... more on the USA and less on Canada.
How about Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.
I will say when it comes to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa that I
do look for antiquarian material all the time but I have great difficulty in
finding anything worth while. There is a bigger story to tell about the
Scots in these countries and I would like to tell it. Around 50% of our site
visitors come from the USA, 20% from the UK and 10% from Canada. The other
20% come from in order, Australia, (not set) so I don't know where this is,
Germany, New Zealand, France, Netherlands, Spain, India, Philippines, Italy,
South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Japan, Belgium, Poland, Brazil, Singapore,
Finland, Mexico, Turkey and Norway. These figures come from the Google
I will say that I'd be more than happy to receive any contributions about
Scots living anywhere in the world. I'd also like to be advised if you come
across any antiquarian books about Scots in any country and if relevant I'd
try to purchase the book to put it up on the site.
As to Live Chat and Message Forums. Many thanks for your contributions on
this. We are due to purchase the upgrade on our forums software when it is
released and we think that might be around September time. We do also have
live chat software in-house but just haven't implemented it. I will review
this with Steve when I'm down in Kentucky.
The last question on the survey was just to try and force a decision on the
one area of most interest to give me an idea where I might concentrate my
efforts. I will in fact cover all the areas listed but will spend a bit more
time on the areas of most interest.
Next week I'll be having a closer look at all your comments to see where I
need to focus some of my efforts in the months ahead.
Thanks once again for completing the survey. It's really great to get all
that feedback :-)
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 Richard Thomson where he does his usual 2 in depth
articles. One on the emerging 'Cash for Honours' scandal and the other on
Scotland’s Quiet Revolution.
I see that the Black Watch is sheduled to return to Iraq making this there
Peter has done an interesting article on the Common Riding in Langholm in
the Scottish Borders. Here it is for you to read here...
Summer 2006 has been a scorcher and we hope that the sun continues to shine,
especially on Langholm, as Border town gears up from the crack of dawn (5am)
today (Friday 28 July 2006) for the highlight of the town’s year – the
annual Common Riding which is followed by Horse Races and Athletic Games.
Langholm - The Muckle Toun o the Lang Holm - was formerly known as Arkinholm
and became a Burgh of Barony in 1610. The industrial mill town is
picturesquely situated in the heart of a river junction, where the River Esk
is joined by the Wauchope and Ewe Water. Reflecting on the beauty of the
town's location, Langholm's most famous son, the poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote
'Gin scenic beauty had a' I sook,
I never need ha' left the muckle toon.'
The town's Common Riding dates back to 1759. It is held on the date of the
annual festival known as the 'Langholm Summer Fair', which was Scotland's
greatest lamb sales. Today it is traditionally held on the last Friday in
July. Whilst enjoying a meal or refreshment in Langholm's Crown Hotel, you
can read on the entrance hall wall – 'The Origin of Riding the Common'.
In 1759 the three owners of the Ten Merk Land of Langholm were in an action
in the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the delimitation of certain area in
and around the town. The boundaries were duly defined, but in the award it
was laid down by the Court that the Burgesses of Langholm had certain local
rights and privileges, and that part of the Ten Merk Lands, particularly the
Common Moss and the Kilngreen, had belonged inalienably to the community.
It became an obligation of the Burgesses that the boundaries of the communal
possession should be clearly defined, and accordingly beacons and cairns
were erected and pits were dug to indicate where the communal lands began
and ended, and a man was appointed to go out each year to repair the
boundary marks and to report any encroachment.
The first man to perform this duty was "Bauldy" (Archibald) Beatty, the Town
Drummer, who walked the Marches and proclaimed the Fair at Langholm Mercat
Cross for upwards half a century. According to the records it was in the
year 1816 that the Riding of the Common began. The first person to ride on
horseback over the Marches was Archie Thomson, landlord of the Commercial
Inn. In the previous year, Thomson, like "Bauldy" his predecessor, went over
the boundaries on foot alone, but on the present occasion he was accompanied
by other townsmen - John Irving, of Langholm Mill; and Frank Beatty,
landlord of the Crown Inn, being probably the most prominent. These local
enthusiasts, sometimes referred to as the "Fathers of the Common Riding"
were responsible for introducing horse-racing, which took place on the
Kilngreen, Langholm's ancient commonty. Horse racing was continued here
until 1834, when the races and sports were transferred to the Castleholm.
With the introduction of horsemen, there followed in 1817, the selection of
a leader or Cornet who would act as Master of Ceremonies during the
proceedings and activities of Common Riding Day.
In 1919 it was decided that the Common Riding be always held on the last
Friday in July.'
The entrance of the Crown Hotel also has a complete record of all the Common
Riding Cornets from W. Pasley in 1817 onwards. The name of the 2006 Cornet
Kevan William Grieve will take his rightful place on the Cornet's scroll. In
the Public Bar a poster is on display advertising the 1937 Common Riding
when on 30 July Walter Watson Robertson, an engineer, rode into Langholm
history and was added to the long list of Cornets, The price of admission to
the Horse Racing and Athletic Games was – Adults 1/6; Girls and Boys 6d – in
1937. Interestingly the style of poster for 2006 still looks exactly the
same as in 1937 but the admission prices are slightly dearer! Adults are now
charged £5, Senior Citizens £2, however children (under 12) now receive free
With the hope that not only Langholm, but all of Scotland, continues to bask
in and enjoy long summer days, our recipe thoughts for this week turned to a
suitable ‘hot weather’ one. Kenzie Wallace supplied the answer with her very
own ice-cream based Kenzie’s Knickerbocker Glory –ENJOY.
Kenzie’s Knickerbocker Glory
Method: Put fresh strawberry slices, grapes and melon pieces in the base of
a tall glass. Add two scoops of vanilla and one scoop of strawberry ice
cream. Pour over peach melba sauce. Top with thick whipped cream. Finally,
decorate with a cherry and add an ice cream wafer.
Serve immediately with a long handled spoon and a big napkin!
Time to modernize?
I was told that the Burns Club in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada will be
closing its doors due to lack of support. I believe it has been operating
for over 100 years. Always sad to see an old institution close. This however
led to discussions on why it has happened.
I also noted that in Scotland the heavy athletics events are not being as
well supported these days with perhaps just three athletes turning up. We
never seem to see places at these games where the young ones could get
involved. Why not have a special area where people of various age ranges
could try out tossing the caber. A wee light pole for the wee ones and
bigger ones for the older kids and adults.
Many clan societies tell me it's also hard to maintain their membership as
when the old members die off there are not the young ones to replace them.
What are we offering the young ones?
All this makes me wonder if it is time to look again at how we promote such
Someone in my current survey mentioned their inability to understand the old
Scots language. Is it just the older generation that wants to see this
maintained? I remember a couple of years ago a radio station around
Washington phoned me about Auld Lang Sang and as it happened I had a
translation of the poem which I read to them. I was told that many people
phoned up to say how good it was to actually learn what the poem was about
as they'd never been able to understand it and just knew the first few words
Many older people want to wear the traditional kilt and yet there are young
ones interested in wearing the new utility kilts you see around the place.
We also discussed how at Highland Games you never see the Scottish Tourist
Board in attendance (VisitScotland). You could easily hire some students to
go from games to games with a special tent and all VisitScotland needs to do
is send over a whole pile of brochures to give out. At least they'd be
Should anyone have any ideas on how Electric Scotland might help to get
younger folk involved feel free to send me in some suggestions.
Good accounts of Rutherglen, St Andrews, St Kilda and St Ninians in this
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now on the C's with Caldwell, Callander and Cameron added this week.
I might add that here is an example of how we do add further information on
clans. Here is a bit from the Cameron account...
CAMERON, or CHAMERON, the name of a numerous family or clan in Lochaber, the
distinguishing badge of which is the oak. Mr. Skene, in his history of the
Highlanders, appears to take it as an undoubted and established fact that
the Camerons are an aboriginal or Celtic clan, but it is not consistent with
this theory that the Camerons themselves have a tradition that they were
descended from a younger son of the royal family of Denmark, who assisted at
the restoration of Fergus the Second in 778, and that their progenitor was
called Cameron, from his crooked nose, (“cam shron,” the s in shron being
silent), a surname which was adopted by his descendants, and that the name
appears to have been borne (as will appear in the course of the work) at an
early period of history by individuals in the south and west.
Notwithstanding, therefore, of this traditionary origin of the name, which
is universally accepted by the clan, it does not seem improbable that it was
originally French, and not dissimilar to the modern French name of Cambronne.
In the Ragman Roll occurs the name of ‘Robertus de Camburn, dominus de
Balegrenach, miles,’ who swore fealty to Edward the First of England, ‘apud
Sanctum Johannem de Perth,’ 22d July 1296. There are also, in the same roll,
the names of Johannes Cambrun, who, in other deeds, is designed ‘dominus de
Balygrenoch,’ and Robertus Camburn de Balnely; all supposed to be the same
This tribe, from its earliest history, had its seat in Lochaber, to which,
contrary to all tradition, they appear to have come from the south, having
obtained from Angus Og, of the family of Islay, a grant of Lochaber in the
reign of Robert the Bruce. Their more modern possessions of Lochiel and
Locharkaig, situated upon the western side of the Lochy, still further in
the Celtic or Highland region, were originally granted by the Lord of the
Isles to the founder of the Clan Ranald, from whose descendants they passed
to the Camerons. This clan originally consisted of three septs, – the
MacMartins of Letterfinlay, the MacGillonies of Strone, and the MacSorlies
of Glennevis, and the tradition is, that it was by inter-marriage with the
MacMartins of Letterfinlay the eldest branch, that the Camerons of Lochiel
who belonged to the second branch, or the MacGillonies of Strone, first
acquired the property in Lochaber. Being the oldest cadets they assumed the
title of Captain of Clan Cameron. Drummond of Hawthornden describes the
Camerons as “fiercer than fierceness itself.”
The Camerons obtained a charter of the barony of Lochiel, and the lands of
Garbh-dhoch, in the 13th century, the first of them being styled “de
Knoydart.” They also possessed extensive property around the castle of
Eilean-Donnan, Ross-shire, of which they were deprived through the hostility
of the Gordon family. The lands of Glenloy and Locharkaig were purchased by
Sir Ewen Cameron in the reign of Charles II. These, with the barony of
Lochiel and a portion of the lands of Mamore, are still in possession of the
The Camerons of Lochiel are a family not only distinguished as the head of
the clan, but by the personal characteristics of many of their chiefs, of
whom Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, above mentioned, and his grandson, Donald,
“the gentle Lochiel of the ‘45,” are separately noticed. The family of
Cameron of Lochiel are further distinguished by having raised, and during
many years sustained, the 79th regiment of the line, known as the Cameronian
Highlanders. This occurred through the patriotic energy of Sir Alan Cameron
of Erroch, a cadet of that family, who distinguished himself in the first
American war. When on detached service he was taken prisoner, and immured
for nearly two years in the common gaol of Philadelphia, under the plea that
he had been engaged in exciting the native tribes to take up arms in favour
of Great Britain. In attempting to escape from this confinement, he had both
his ankles broken, and he never perfectly recovered from the painful effects
of these injuries. He was subsequently placed upon half-pay; but, aroused by
the dangers and alarms of 1793, principally by his personal influence over
his countrymen, he, in little more than three months, at his own expense,
patriotically raised the 79th, or Cameron Highlanders, of which he was
appointed first major-commandant and afterwards (January 1794)
The Prophecies of The Brahan Seer
By Alexander MacKenzie FSA Scot (1899)
Transcribed by Alan McKenzie for which many thanks
We have now completed this book and here is a bit from the final chapter....
HAVING thus disposed of the seer himself, we next proceed to give in detail
the fulfilment of the prophecies regarding the family of his cruel murderer.
And we regret to say that the family of Seaforth will, in this connection,
fall to be disposed of finally and for ever, and in the manner which
Coinneach had unquestionably predicted. As already remarked, in due time the
Earl returned to his home, after the fascinations of Paris had paled, and
when he felt disposed to exchange frivolous or vicious enjoyment abroad for
the exercise of despotic authority in the society of a jealous Countess at
home. He was gathered to his fathers in 1678, and was succeeded by his
eldest son, the fourth Earl. It is not our purpose to relate here the
vicissitudes of the family which are unconnected with the curse of Coinneach
Odhar, further than by giving a brief outline, though they are sufficiently
remarkable to supply a strange chapter of domestic history.
The fourth Earl married a daughter of the illustrious family of Herbert,
Marquis of Powis, and he himself was created a Marquis by the abdicated King
of St. Germains, while his wife’s brother was created a Duke. His son, the
fifth Earl, having engaged in the rebellion of 1715, forfeited his estate
and titles to the Crown; but in 1726 his lands were restored to him, and he,
and his son after him, lived in wealth and honour as great Highland chiefs.
The latter, who was by courtesy styled Lord Fortrose, represented his native
county of Ross in several Parliaments about the middle of last century. In
1766, the honours of the peerage were restored to his son, who was created
Viscount Fortrose, and in 1771, Earl of Seaforth; but those titles, which
were Irish, did not last long, and became extinct at his death, in 1781.
None of these vicissitudes were foretold in the seer’s prophecy; and, in
spite of them all, the family continued to prosper. That ruin which the
unsuccessful rising in 1715 had brought upon many other great houses, was
retrieved in the case of Seaforth, by the exercise of sovereign favour; and
restored possessions and renewed honours preserved the grandeur of the race.
But on the death of the last Earl, his second cousin, descended from a
younger son of the third Earl and his vindictive Countess, inherited the
family estates and the chiefdom of the Mackenzies, which he held for two
short years, but never actually enjoyed, being slain at sea by the Mahrattas,
at Gheriah, in the south of India, in 1783, after a gallant resistance. He
was succeeded by his brother, in whom, as the last of his race, the seer’s
prophecy was accomplished.
The appendix of the book contains a short biography of the author and here
is a bit from it...
As a matter of rendering simple justice to the author of this book and to
those of succeeding generations who will read with interest its pages during
the years and centuries that are to come, it is proper that some one should
supply an important omission of historical interest that the reader will
notice throughout its pages. There is scarcely a word of mention regarding
the character and personality of this man who has rendered to his family and
his ancestral name a most important and faithful service.
To tell the story of Capt. McGill’s life would require a work of volumes
rather than a mere sketch in a book of this size, for in telling that story
with any degree of faithfulness one would have to rehearse the salient
features of the last century—the greatest century of all the years of time.
He saw the century in its hopeful youth; he marked with wonder its
struggling manhood; he has followed its career to venerable age and has been
permitted in his own advanced years to stand with clear, unclouded martial
vision as a living witness of the glory of its sunset hours, and to witness
the advent of the new-born century, bright and buoyant in the lap of time.
He has stood for more than four-fifths of a century as an intellectual
colossus among his fellows-endowed with the mind and mental qualities of a
statesman to which were added the highest qualities of the patriot and the
soldier intermingled with the broadest minded and most generous sympathy for
oppressed humanity throughout the world.
An incident in his life during the great Civil War illustrates those
admirable traits in his character. He was an officer in the famous 83rd
Regiment of Pennsylvania that participated in thirty-seven of the hardest
fought battles of that most terrible struggle, which determined the fate of
the republic for all time. Up in the Central Mountain regions of the State
during the years of political and military terror that prevailed throughout
the State, there were a large number of peaceful citizens who, in their
simplicity, opposed and made a feeble attempt to evade the Conscription Act,
and soldiers were sent to invade the homes, arrest the fathers and sons, who
were old enough to perform military service. A large number were gathered in
from the recesses of the mountains and incarcerated in a military prison at
Fort Mifflin, near Philadelphia. They were taken from their homes and
families without change of clothing or any preparation and in many instances
their families were left in destitute circumstances. Many of them had small
farms whose scanty crops were left to rot in the fields-the families driven
almost to distraction by not knowing the fate that awaited their loved ones
that had been thus ruthlessly taken from them without a parting word or a
sign of hope or consolation.
For months these men suffered the mental and physical torments of a hundred
deaths in the living hell of filth and vermin to which they were confined
and guarded by bayonets.
These facts came to the knowledge of Hon. M. B. Lowry, Senator from Erie,
who made a personal investigation of these unfortunate men against whom, as
yet, no formal charge had been made.
He then brought the matter to the attention of Capt. McGill (who had
personally known Mr. Lincoln in i849-50) and requested him to make_ a
statement of the case to the President. McGill became interested and on
further investigation was satisfied that a gross outrage was being
perpetrated upon comparatively harmless people by a lot of carrion crows,
who follow in the wake of war for plunder, and he wrote a letter to the
President, couched in such expressive language as he only could command,
setting forth the hard facts of the case and requesting executive
intervention in behalf of justice and humanity.
Mr. Lowry carried the letter in person to Washington and laid it before the
President, who gave to it the most careful reading and attention. He called
the Secretary of War and read the letter to him, then told him to issue an
order for the immediate release of these prisoners with free transportation
to their homes.
That letter had stirred the soul of the great Lincoln, who turned again to
his Secretary of War declaring that "He envied the heart and the brain of
the man who wrote that letter."
A National Monument of Scottish Song
Edited and Arranged by John Greig, Mus. Doc. (Oxon.)
Have added the following songs...
I'm Owre Young To Marry Yet
Hame, Hame, Hame
Thou Art Gane Awa'
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
Frank does a review of the Burns Chronicle Index book which has just become
available. In it he says...
Bill has compiled a book entitled Directory to The Articles and Features
Published in The Burns Chronicle 1892 - 2005. Others have had a go at this
mammoth task in days past, but in baseball vernacular, this book is a
homerun! I do not recall receiving a book about which I have become so
excited. For those of us who enjoy reading the chronicles, this compilation
will make The Burns Chronicles come alive. For those of us who write and
prepare speeches, this book is a gold mine. No longer will one have to go to
chronicle after chronicle looking for articles on a particular Burns
subject. In the past while researching an article for use in a paper or
speech, I have struggled over and over with little or no success while
roaming through countless Burns Chronicles. Bill has made that part of my
research a lot easier.
From Fox's Earth to Mountain Tarn
Days among the wild animals of Scotland by J. H. Crawford (1907)
Continuing with this book and we're now up to chapter 14. Here is a bit from
Lanes and Woods...
YESTER EVEN, about six o'clock, was a sharp downpour, sharply defined alike
in its beginning and end. It came from a cloud that blotted out the
sunshine, and left a tail of sunshine behind. The earlier drops made marks
the size of a pennypiece. Thicker and faster they came, darkening the grey
surface, and gathering into little runlets down the road; sweet and pure was
the light after the cloud ; infinitely fresh the air.
The birds sang as birds only sing after such a rain. Like the green of the
field and wood the sounds were washed purer. It is so with some birds more
than others. It seems as though one heard the blackbird for the first time
when the bush is dripping, and the chaffinch when the beech is glistening.
The rain gave a fresh scene with other voices, new heavens and a new earth.
A few drops had fallen on the thrush's song: it was delightfully clear. In a
short avenue, where the trees close over the road, quite a dozen were
singing. Scarce had one song time to die into silence than another awoke.
Only to the shallow do all birds sing alike. So much came clearly out. There
is character, accent, tone, and choice of notes, so that it were possible to
know each thrush from all other thrushes of the wood. No one supposes that
the sitter on the blue eggs with the black spots does not know the voice of
her lord, and care for it more than for the rest. Ay, and she knows the song
of the thrushes that came to court her, and, when she would have none of
them, won other mates. The rivals, too, can tell each other's song, and each
knows all the voices as though this corner of thrushland were some suburban
Nor does the same bird sing the one song. In the free wild play of sound
which the thrush pours out on the air, this is more apparent than in the
repeated lay of the chaffinch. There is imitation. A lazy blackbird note
finds its way in. There is also rivalry. On such a night, when all are doing
so well, it pitches higher or adds an octave to the scale.
If the birds of the same wood do not sing alike, still less do those of
different woods. The birds of the south do not sing as the birds of the
north, any more than the Somerset people talk as the Fife folk. The air, the
scene, the voice of other birds all mould and weave at the song. There is
local colouring, a hint at dialect.
The Life of James Stewart
D.D. M.D. Hon. F.R.G.S. by James Wells, D.D. (1909)
This is the first of the Scottish missionaries that I mentioned last week.
In the preface it says...
THIS book might have been fitly entitled The Life and Times of Dr. Stewart,
for it records his influential share in the enterprises which have made a
new world of South and Central Africa.
Several of the Chapters are occupied with the great causes which Dr. Stewart
espoused; and they present his chief convictions in the form that seemed
most likely to interest the many circles of young people in Great Britain
and America who are now studying Foreign Missions.
His significant dates are...
Licensed as a Preacher 1860
Exploring in Central Africa 1861-63
Graduated in Medicine and Married 1866
Began as Missionary at Lovedale 1867
Planted the Gordon Memorial Mission 1870
Founded Blythswood 1873
Originated Livingstonia 1874
In Nyasaland 1876-77
The Expansion of Lovedale 1878-90
Pioneering the East African Mission 1891-92
Lectured on Evangelistic Theology in Scotland
Moderator of the General Assembly 1899-1900
Delivered the Duff Lectures 1902
Presided at First General Missionary Conference in South Africa 1904
‘And He Died’ 1905
The first chapter starts...
Sixty-Two years ago a tall youth of fifteen was following the plough in a
field in Perthshire. His two horses came to a standstill in mid-furrow, and
he was not minded to urge them on. Leaning on the stilts of the plough, he
began to brood over his future. What was it to be? The question flashed
across his mind—’Might I not make more of my life than by remaining here?’
He straightened himself and said, ‘God helping me, I will be a missionary.’
That was the making of the man and the missionary. His whole life lay in
that deed, as the giant oak lies in the acorn. The divine call came to the
Perthshire youth, as it came to Elisha, at the plough. In the days of His
flesh it was Christ’s way to call His apostles when busy at their daily
The aim of this chapter is to reveal the influences which secured that ‘I
will’: the following chapters will chronicle the results which flowed from
"In the ancient Abbey of Dulce Cor,
The pleasant Solway near,
Two passionate hearts they laid of yore
And a love that cast out fear."
So on the title-page of a little book of verses, called by the proper name
of the ancient monastic foundation, I wrote twenty years ago. The only
remark which a certain metropoIitan journal, then at the head of literary
criticism, made upon the work was conveyed in these, to me, memorable words,
"The caninity of the Latin title of this hook will prevent every educated
reader from venturing further."
Nevertheless, had the educated critic so much as turned the page, he would
have found that the little Collect of boyish verse was called after a real
Abbey of Dulce Cor, otherwise Douce Coeur–a 'Dulce Cor,'. too, where certain
memorable things came to pass, where many men lived and died in the odour of
sanctity, and whose last abbot continued, long after the Reformation had
swept away all his Scottish peers, to discharge his functions, both
hospitable and spiritual.
Further, the critic might have read in the same place these excellent words,
"lifted" from the Scoti Monasticon, and even through the clouds of anonymous
stupidity a light might have dawned upon him.
"When John Baliol died in 1269, Devorgilla, his wife, had his dear heart
embalmed and enshrined in a coffer of ivory, enamelled and bound with silver
bright, which was placed before her daily in her hall as her sweet silent
companion. At her death she desired the relic to be laid upon her heart,
when sleeping in the New Abbey which she caused to be built. Hence it
received the name of Sweetheart Abbey."
The Celtic people in the province of Quebec
by Dominic Haerinck
For many centuries, the province of Quebec has been home to many communities
from around the world, communities that enrich the cultural landscape of our
province each in their own way. There is one particular group that has for a
long time now been a major contributing cultural force in our society: the
Celtic people. Their presence impacts many facets of social life, from music
to a special day on the calendar, and is no doubt a strong element of our
social identity, even if not always rightfully acknowledged. The Celtic
people, namely the Scots, the Irish and the Bretons, immigrated to our land
in a sporadic fashion over the centuries, but there are some key events in
their history ( and thus in ours as well ) that saw a considerable growth of
their population on Canadian territory.
Already under the French Regime, there is some records of Scots – who often
went by frenchified names - inhabiting the province of Quebec after having
left their Scottish homeland, hoping for a new start and maybe a more
prosperous life besides their long-time French allies. (The political
relations between the French and the Scots date as far back as the 14th
century when they had sprung from concerted efforts of the two nations to
resist English overlordship.) Of course, it was under the English Regime
that the majority of Scots, fighting in the British army and thus striking a
sour blow to the Auld Alliance with the French, came to Quebec. Many
received lands in some parts of the province. Later, Scotland underwent many
major economical changes. Many Highlands chiefs became owners of their lands
in the English fashion, lands that had in the past belonged to the entire
clan. Those lands became rich sheep pastures and thousands of Highlanders
were forced to leave their homes (the Highland Clearances). Australia and
Canada were choice destinations for the displaced, especially the Eastern
Townships of Quebec (such as Inverness, Scotstown and Gould), a region that
proudly embraces its Scottish heritage to this day.
Another historical event marked the coming of more Celtic people to Quebec.
During the first half of the 19th century, a major food shortage and a
typhus outbreak hit Ireland. The number of deceased swelled to over a
million with as many people crossing the Atlantic and seeking refuge in
other parts of the world. Many thousands sailed to Canada, bringing with
them their music, their traditions and their identity.
Besides the Irish and the Scots, another important member of the great
Celtic family contributed to our community: the Bretons. Present among our
population since the 16th century, if in smaller proportions than the Scots
and the Irish, they came to our shores in two major waves, one at the turn
of the 17th century, the other at the beginning of the 20th century. There
are close to three thousand Bretons currently living in Quebec.
The presence of these three distinct, though related, Celtic communities in
our society is a major contributing factor to the shaping of our cultural
landscape and it is with great pride and joy that Quebec’s Celtic people
heritage will be celebrated on September 2nd and 3rd 2006.
David Hunter Photography
David sent us in more pictures of Scotland and this time as a tribute to Tom
Weir he's included photographs of the places around Tom Weir's home. You can
see these at
Scotch-Irish in New England
Our thanks to Janice Farnsworth for sending this into us.
This paper starts...
Taken from The Scotch-Irish in America: Proceedings and Addresses of the
Second Congress at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 29 to June 1, 1890.
Mr. President and Brethren of the Society--
Rev. Mr.William Boyd
The Scotch-Irish did not enter New England unheralded. Early in the spring
of 1718 Rev. Mr. Boyd was dispatched from Ulster to Boston as an agent of
some hundreds of those people who expressed a strong desire to remove to New
England, should suitable encouragement be afforded them. His mission was to
Governor Shute, of Massachusetts, then in the third year of his
administration of that colony, an old soldier of King William, a
Lieutenant-Colonel under Marlborough in the wars of Queen Anne, and wounded
in one of the great battles in Flanders. Mr. Boyd was empowered to make all
necessary arrangements with the civil authorities for the reception of those
whom he represented, in case his report of the state of things here should
prove to be favorable.
As an assurance to the governor of the good faith and earnest resolve of
those who sent him, Mr. Boyd brought an engrossed parchment twenty-eight
inches square, containing the following memorial to his excellency, and the
autograph names of the heads of the families proposing to emigrate: "We
whose names are underwritten, Inhabitants of ye North of Ireland, Doe in our
own names, and in the names of many others, our Neighbors, Gentlemen,
Ministers, Farmers, and Tradesmen, Commissionate and appoint our trusty and
well beloved friend, the Reverend Mr. William Boyd, of Macasky, to His
Excellency, the Right Honorable Collonel Samuel Suitte, Governour of New
England, and to assure His Excellency of our sincere and hearty Inclination
to Transport ourselves to that very excellent and renowned Plantation upon
our obtaining from His Excellency suitable incouragement. And further to act
and Doe in our Names as his prudence shall direct. Given under our hands
this 26th day of March, Anno Dom. 1718."
To this brief, but explicit memorial, three hundred and nineteen names were
appended, all but thirteen of them in fair and vigorous autograph. Thirteen
only, or four per cent of the whole, made their "mark" upon the parchment.
It may well be questioned, whether in any other part of the United Kingdom
at that time, one hundred and seventy-two years ago, in England or Wales, or
Scotland or Ireland, so large a proportion as ninety-six per cent of
promiscuous householders in the common walks of life could have written
their own names. And it was proven in the sequel, that those who could
write, as well as those who could not, were also able upon occasion to make
I have lately scrutinized with critical care this ancient parchment stamped
by the hands of our ancestors, now in the custody of the Historical Society
of New Hampshire, and was led into a line of reflections which I will not
now repeat, as to its own vicissitudes in the seven quarter-centurys of its
existence, and as to the personal vicissitudes and motives, and
heart-swellings and hazards, and cold and hunger and nakedness, as well as
the hard-earned success and the sense of triumph, and the immortal vestigia
of the men who lovingly rolled and unrolled this costly parchment on the
banks of the Foyle and the Bann Water! Tattered are its edges now, shrunken
by time and exposure its original dimensions, illegible already some of the
names even under the fortifying power of modern lenses, but precious in the
eyes of New England, nay precious in the eyes of Scotch-Irishmen
every-where, is this venerable muniment of intelligence and of courageous
purpose looking down upon us from the time of the first English George.
We have now started chapter 6 of this book about Progress in Culture and
Civilisation during the Bronze Age.
This will go up in 5 parts as it's a long chapter and is in acrobat reader
format. Here is how the chapter starts...
THE discovery of bronze, and its introduction into the simple arts and
industries of the Stone Age people of Europe, may be said to have speedily
revolutionised their whole system of social economy. Not only had all the
primitive implements and weapons to be remodelled, in accordance with the
principles of a metallic reigne, but new industries and higher artistic
aspirations were engendered which, by degrees, greatly modified the
commercial and social aspects of life.
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