It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning
the weekend is nearly here :-)
You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
http://www.electricscotland.com/update.html and you can unsubscribe to
this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.
See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at
Micro Button Advertisers - A special discount offer for Electric Scotland
visitors from the Celtic Jewellery Store.
The Flag in the Wind & MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary
Clan Munro History
Mottos of Clans and Families
Bard of Banff
Scottish Education - Schools and University, from early times to 1908 (New
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent
The Scots Week-End
James Chalmers of New Guinea
Memoirs of Peter Henry Bruce, Esq (New book)
History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Aubigny in France
Bits of Electric Scotland - Scottish Charms and Amulets
I have made a start at two new books this week for which see more below.
Added pictures of Kinloch Rannoch and the Pass of Kiliecrankie to our index
For any of you within reach of the University of Guelph their Fall
Colloquium agenda is now available which looks rather interesting with folk
coming over from Scotland to give some talks.
Saturday 30th September 2006, Rozanski Hall, University of Guelph
9.00 a.m. Registration and Coffee
Bagpiping by Erin Grant (University of Guelph)
9.30 a.m. 'Welcome', Dr. Graeme Morton (Scottish Studies Foundation Chair,
9.40 a.m. Dr. Mark Elliott (University of St. Andrews),
'Diagnosing the fatal flaw in the character of modern Scottish Spirituality
10.20 a.m. Lindsay Irvin (University of Toronto), 'The Medieval Scottish
10.45 a.m. Coffee Break
11.00 a.m. Elizabeth Ritchie (University of Guelph), 'Creating Community in
South Uist in the 18th and 19th Centuries'.
11.25 a.m. Andrew R. Nicoll (Archivist, Edinburgh), 'The Scottish Catholic
12 noon Performance by Katrine Anderson, singing some Hebridean songs
12.35 p.m. Lunch
1.15 pm Performance by the University of Guelph Highland Dancers
1.45 p.m. Report from the Scottish Studies Office, Dr. Graeme Morton -
Launch of The International Review of Scottish Studies,
Vol. 31 (2006)
2.15 p.m. Graduate Award Ceremony
2.30 p.m. Presentation to UoG Research Librarian Tim Sauer on his
retirement, by John B MacMillan, Secretary of the Scottish Studies
2.45 p.m. Mary Williamson (York University),
'Come Again To-morrow, Whim Wham, and much more for 7s6d: a Georgian
gentlewoman's culinary journey from Charlottetown to Dundee'.
3.15 p.m. Break
3.30 p.m. Dr. Marjory Harper (University of Aberdeen), 'Scottish Emigration
4.30 p.m. 'Closing Remarks', Dr. Graeme Morton
Scottish Catholic Archive Display, Natural Heritage Books and University of
Guelph Library Sale
Registration (includes coffee and lunch)
Members of the Scottish Studies Foundation: $35
Non members: $40
Student Rate: $10
Scottish Studies Office
MacKinnon Extension, Room 1008
University of Guelph,
Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1
Tel: 519-824-4120 ext 53209
Email: [email protected]
I might add that there is a new web site for the St. Andrews Society of
Washington Tartan Ball, Friday, November 10, 2006 at Ritz-Carlton Tysons
Corner, Virginia which you can see at
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
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Celtic Journeys just started advertising with us this week and here
is a bit about them...
Welcome to Celtic Journeys, a specialist counselor on travel to Scotland and
Ireland. Certified by the tourist boards of both countries as an expert
travel planner and advisor, with the designations of SCOTSmaster and
Shamrock Club member, Celtic Journeys is dedicated to making your vacation
memories last a lifetime.
As you move about our website, you'll find some unique vacation concepts and
discover the advantages of having the assistance of a destination
specialist. These two unique countries have much to offer those who want to
combine a fun vacation with a learning experience. Filled with legend,
folklore and history, these magical gems will introduce you to a culture and
heritage that spans more than 7,000 years. From well-preserved neolithic
settlements to contemporary museums, and from small, tidy villages to modern
cities, these two Celtic nations continue to delight and inspire travelers
of all ages.
On our website you won't find specific travel packages because we believe
that each vacationer has different needs and expectations. When you book
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and experience. With emphasis on personalized service, we strive to fulfill
your needs and exceed your expectations.
As owner of Celtic Journeys, I reinforce my knowledge and experience with
semi-annual visits to both countries. Having completed comprehensive courses
of study and earned the designation of destination specialist by the tourist
boards, I focus on bringing quality and good value to you, the valued
Please direct your inquiries directly to me, as I look forward to working
for you and with you.
You can visit their web site at
I might add that Judy has volunteered to type in a book for us :-)
Got in a letter from the Gaelic College which I thought you might find
The Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts
P.O. Box 80, Englishtown
Nova Scotia, Canada
Office: (902) 295-3411
Fax: (902) 295-2912
E-Mail: [email protected]
August 31, 2006
A' Charaid Chòir:
I am writing to you with an invitation to be part of an exciting project
that we are undertaking at the Gaelic College. Since 1938, the Gaelic
College has been a mainstay of Scottish Gaelic language, culture and
tradition. The only institution of its kind in North America, the Gaelic
College began with a beautiful log building constructed by local craftsmen
and an enthusiastic mandate to preserve and perpetuate the language and
traditions of the Highland settlers to the area. The College has grown over
the ensuing decades and our programs and facilities have developed to
service a growing interest in Scottish heritage as it has developed in North
This summer, we've embarked on an ambitious project that will see to the
establishment of a Gaelic Heritage Centre within our Hall of The Clans
museum building. This centre will be comprised of three parts: a Cultural
Centre housing interactive interpretive stations depicting the linguistic,
musical and dance culture of the Gaels of Nova Scotia. A Gaelic Learning And
Resource Centre housing our library collection, computer research stations,
as well as learning stations providing creative learning opportunities.
Linking these centres is a hallway in which we will establish a Gallery of
Gaels of North America.
Rationale for the Gallery:
Year after year we welcome students from every region of Canada and the
United States who gather here at the Gaelic College to receive world-class
instruction and to take part in informal ceilidhs and concerts celebrating
our shared heritage. So many of our students will make reference to a
parent, grand parent or great grand parent who was a Gaelic speaker or will
make reference to their ancestral community in which Scottish Gaelic was a
part of everyday life. We wish to create a Gallery here at the Gaelic
College that will bring together images to honour those people who created
the Scottish Gaelic presence in North America that we perpetuate today.
We wish to extend to you an invitation to submit a photograph or photographs
of Gaelic speakers from your area for consideration for inclusion in the
Gallery. These photographs may be of a single person or of a group.
Here are some guidelines:
Photographs must be accompanied by information on the people in the
photograph. For individuals or groups of 2-4 people, this information should
include the approximate year and locality that the picture was taken, the
names of individuals in the photo as well as a brief biography if available,
telling where they lived and their contribution to their community.
Group photos (more than four people) should reflect some aspect of community
life – a work crew associated with a local industry or a group engaged in an
activity representative of the community. It is often difficult or
impossible to name everyone in a group photo such as this but information
accompanying the photo should include the approximate date of the photo, the
locality where it was shot and some information on the nature of the
enterprise that brings these people together.
Keep in mind that in all instances we are seeking photographs of Scottish
Gaelic Speakers in North America.
We can accept original photographs, high-quality print reproductions, or
high-quality digitized images. Electronic / digital photo files must be high
resolution -- at least 300 dpi -- to be usable for print reproduction. An 8"
x 12" full-page image is roughly 2500x3500 pixels, often running 25
megabytes or more. We have the capacity to handle large files, but you may
find it easier to have an image copied to a disk and mail it to us.
If you wish take part in this project, or would like more information, I'd
love to hear from you. Please contact me at the address above by surface
mail, email, fax, or phone. I look forward to talking to you.
Leis Gach Deagh Dhùrachd // With Kind Regards
Hector Mac Neil
Gaelic Program Director
The Gaelic College
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks edition is by Donald Bain and in this issue he's talking about
the death of long time Nationalist, Douglas Henderson.
I noted one of Peter's quotations this week are to do with Scottish Food...
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
The halesome Parritch, chief o’ SCOTIA’S food.
(The Cotter’s Saturday Night 1786)
John Home (1722-1808)
Firm and erect the Caledonian stood;
Old was his mutton, and his claret good.
‘Let him drink port!’ the Saxon statesman cried.
He drank the poison, and his spirit died.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
And, my lords and lieges, let us all to dinner, for the cockie-leekie is
(The Fortunes of Nigel 1822)
Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855)
Breakfasted [at Cairndow, near Glen Kinglas], before our departure, and ate
a herring fresh from the water, at our landlord’s earnest recommendation –
much superior to the herrings we get in the north of England.
(Journal 30 August 1803)
You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots
Linda Fabiani's diary is in for 18th September and I note she is working
with a bad back this week. Know all about having a bad back so she has my
sympathy! You can read her diary at
Have now completed all the places in the gazetteer and so have now moved
onto the final part which is the General Survey which contains lots of
This week we've added various sections...
Position, Boundaries, Extent, and Area
Leading Physical Features
Mountains, Lakes, Rivers, and Islands
The Botany of Scotland
The Geology of Scotland
The whole Gazetteer is available at
Clan Munro History
By Michael Munro
This is quite a substancial history that Michael has sent in and it
The name of the Munro (Rothach or Mac an Rothaich in Gaelic) is derived from
the area in which they are first known to have came from, the 'Mountains of
Ross-shire', Highlands, Scotland. However other people believe that the
Munro's came from Ireland and settled in Scotland in the 11th Century.
Another theory is that they were originally from Scotland and moved to
Ireland to escape Roman rule and then returned to Scotland 300 years later
to expel Viking invaders. Non of these theories can be fully substantiated.
Hugh Munro was the first Munro recorded to be authentically designated of
Foulis, he died in 1126. He is believed to have been the son of Donald Munro
who in turn was the son of O'Ceann. O'Ceann being an Irishman who settled in
Scotland in the 11th century.
By tradition it is believed that during the 11th Century the Munro's fought
as mercenary soldiers under the Earl of Ross. It was during this time the
Munros defeated and expelled Viking invaders who had invaded Rosshire. As a
reward the clan under Chief Donald Munro were granted lands in Foulis,
Rosshire and a seat at Foulis Castle by a grateful King. The clan soon
spread into Sutherlandshire and were also given a charter for lands in
Strathspey in 1309. However there is not much evidence of this until 1336
when we do find the Munros being granted lands by the Earls of Ross. Within
the Munro's lands is the 1046m (3432ft) mountain Ben Wyvis.
During the Scottish-Norwegian War the Munros fought at the Battle of Largs
in 1263. This battle was the most important military engagement of the
Scottish-Norwegian war. The Norwegian forces were led by King Håkon
Håkonsson and the Scottish forces by King Alexander III. It was at this time
that the clan under Chief George Munro had all their lands in Ross-shire
confirmed to them by King Allexander III of Scotland for their support.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Clan Munro are known to have
fought in support of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314
where chief George Munro was killed along with his son. His grandson also
called George took over as chief of the Clan Munro and was killed at the
Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.
You can read the rest of this report at
Ken Shaw sent in another poem, The Deid Salmon, at
Got four mini bios in this week...
Millar's of Kinross-shire at
Steele, Jack at
Willams, Janet at
Mottos of Clans and Families
Provided a list of mottos for clan and families thanks to a list provided by
Bard of Banff
I got in three articles this week...
Three more slides of Scottish fishing boats from his son which you can view
An article on the Banffshire Maritime Heritage Association which you can see
He has had another book published, this time in Norway, and he shares a
couple of pages at On A Quest To Hmmerfest at
Scottish Education - Schools and University, from early times to 1908
by John Kerr, M.A., LL.D. (1910).
I've nothing on the site to do with education in Scotland so this fills a
great gap and am very pleased to be providing this for the site.
The first chapter, Chapter I - Schools before 1500, covers...
Pre-Reformation schools. Scottish schools not advanced. Students went to
England and the continent. Church schools. Grammar schools only in some of
the larger towns. Connection between church and education. High reputation
of Perth Grammar school. School officials. Desire for higher education.
Social position of the Rector. Ayr Burgh school, famous then as now.
Emoluments of teachers. Cathedral, Abbey and Collegiate schools religious
rather than educational in character. Sang schools. Libraries. Languages
taught. Aberdeen Grammar school. Summary.
THERE is not so far as I have seen any exact record of education in Scotland
earlier than the 12th century. It is however not only a fair but a necessary
inference, that there must have been schools of some kind, probably only
those in connection with monasteries, from the time of the settlement of
Columba in lona in 563. The service of the Church, which was conducted in
Latin, must have required that the boys and youths who took part in the
service, or who were being trained as clerics, got more or less instruction
in that language. The absence of books also required that they should be
taught writing with a view to copying the Scriptures and religious books.
We are on perfectly safe ground in stating that between 1183 and 1248 grants
of lands, houses, chapels, tithes, and schools were made or confirmed to
different parts of the country by no fewer than six Popes, ranging from
Lucius to Innocent IV, all for the promotion of education.
The fostering of education was not left to the Popes alone. In the
Chamberlain and Exchequer rolls we find abundant evidence of the interest
shown by the Scottish kings during the whole of the 14th century. Grant
after grant is recorded as being paid by the King’s Treasurer and
Chamberlain to meet the expense of food and clothing for certain poor
scholars. It is fair to infer from this, that the schools attended by these
poor scholars were doing good work. It may be presumed that they were chosen
for this royal favour because of their industry and ability. Selection would
have been impossible, had the teacher been half-hearted or the pupil
That the teaching, though probably solid and faithful, was not highly
advanced is shown by the fact that those who aimed at the higher reaches of
education were obliged to seek it in the oldest of the Oxford
Colleges-University, Merton and Balliol-or abroad in France, Switzerland,
Germany and Italy, for Scotland at that time had no great schools of her
own. Many did so with the help of grants from our sovereigns, and returned
to be masters of schools in their- native land. The absence of schools in
Scotland in which a liberal education could be completed, the inconvenience
of foreign travel for this purpose, and the rapidly growing desire for
advanced education `led to the foundation of the three earliest Scottish
universities, St Andrews in 1411, Glasgow in 1450, and Aberdeen in 1494.
You can read this chapter from the index page for the book at
It's been pointed out to me that Lady Nairn was very influential in Scotland
and many of her songs have been attributed to Robert Burns. I have decided
to create a section for her on the site and to that end I have an index page
for her where you can read a biography and also a small book of 32 of her
You can see this at
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now on the C's with Clerk, Clunie, Clyde, Clydesdale, Cochran or
Cochrane, Cockburn, Colden, Colquhoun and Colt added this week.
Here is a bit from the Colquhoun entry....
COLQUHOUN, an ancient surname in Scotland, borne by a clan whose territory
is in Dumbartonshire, and whose badge is the hazel. The principal families
of the name are Colquhoun of Colquhoun and Luss, the chief of the clan, a
baronet of Scotland and Nova Scotia, created in 1704, and of Great Britain
in 1786; Colquhoun of Killermont and Garscadden; Colquhoun of Ardenconnel,
and Colquhoun of Glenmallan. There was likewise Colquhoun of Tilliquhoun, a
baronet of Scotland and Nova Scotia (1625), but his family is extinct.
The origin of the name is territorial. One tradition deduces the descent of
the first possessor from a younger son of the old earls of Lennox, because
of the similitude of their armorial bearings. It is certain that they were
anciently vassals of that potent house.
The immediate ancestor of the family of Luss was Humphry de Kilpatrick, who,
in the reign of Alexander the Second, obtained a grant of the lands and
barony of Colquhoun, pro servitio unius militis, &c., and in consequence
assumed the name of Colquhoun, instead of his own.
His son, Ingelram de Colquhoun, lived in the reign of Alexander the third.
In a charter of Malcolm, fourth earl of Lennox, in favour of Malcolm, son
and heir of Sir John de Luss, of the lands of Luss, in 1280, Ingelram de
Colquhoun is a witness. His son, Humphry de Colquhoun, is witness in a
charter of Malcolm, fifth earl of Lennox, in favour of Sir John de Luss,
which was confirmed by Robert the First in 1316. The following remarkable
reference to the construction of a house for the Culquhanorum, by order of
King Robert Bruce, is extracted from the Compotum Constabularii de Cardross,
vol. i., in the accounts of the Great Chamberlains of Scotland, under date
30th July 1329, as quoted by Mr. Tytler in the appendix to the second volume
of his History of Scotland: “Item, in construccione cujusdam domus ad opus
Culquhanorum Domini Regis ibidem, 10 solidi.” Mr. Tytler in a note says that
Culquhanorum is “an obscure word, which occurs nowhere else – conjectured by
a learned friend to be ‘keepers of the dogs,’ from the Gaelic root
Gillen-au-con – abbreviated, Gillecon, Culquhoun.”
Sir Robert de Colquhoun, the son of the last mentioned Humphry, in the reign
of David Bruce, married the daughter and sole heiress of Humphry de Luss,
lord of Luss, head or chief of an ancient family of that name, whose
extensive possessions lay in the mountainous but beautiful and picturesque
district on the margin of Loch Lomond, and the sixth or seventh in a direct
male line from Lalduin, dean of Lennox, who, in the beginning of the twelfth
century, received from Alwyn, second earl of Lennox, a charter of the lands
of Luss. Sir Robert was afterwards designed dominus de Colquhoun and de Luss,
in a charter dated in 1368; since which time the family have borne the
designation of Colquhoun of Colquhoun and Luss. He is also witness in a
charter of the lands of Auchmar by Walter of Faslane, lord of Lennox, to
Walter de Buchanan in 1373. He had three sons, namely Sir Humphry, his heir;
Robert, first of the family of Camstraddan, from whom several other families
of the name of Colquhoun in Dumbartonshire are descended; and Patrick, who
is mentioned in a charter from his brother Sir Humphry to his other brother
The eldest son, Sir Humphry, is a witness in two charters by Duncan earl of
Lennox in the years 1390, 1394 and 1395. He had two sons and two daughters.
Patrick, his younger son, was ancestor of the Colquhouns of Glennis, from
whom the Colquhouns of Barrowfield, Piemont, and others were descended. The
eldest son, Sir John Colquhoun, was appointed governor of the castle of
Dumbarton in the minority of King James the Second. From his activity in
punishing the depredations of the Highlanders, who often committed great
outrages in the low country of Dumbartonshire, he rendered himself obnoxious
to them, and a plot was formed for his destruction. He received a civil
message from some of their chiefs, desiring a friendly conference, in order
to accommodate all their differences. Suspecting no treachery he went out to
meet them but slightly attended, and was immediately attacked by a numerous
body of Islanders, under two noted robber-chiefs, Lachlan Maclean and
Murdoch Gibson, and slain in Inchmurren, on Loch Lomond, in 1440.
By his wife, Jean, daughter of Robert Lord Erskine, he had a son, Malcolm, a
youth of great promise, who was one of the hostages for the ransom of King
James the First. He died before his father, leaving a son, Sir John, who
succeeded his grandfather in 1440. This Sir John Colquhoun was one of the
most distinguished men of his age in Scotland, and highly esteemed by King
James the third, from whom he got a charter, under the great seal, of
several lands in 1462, and in 1463 he had the honour of knighthood conferred
upon him. The same year he was appointed clerk register for Scotland, From
1465 to 1469 he held the high office of comptroller of the Exchequer. He was
subsequently appointed sheriff principal of Dumbartonshire.
In 1465 he got a grant of the lands of Kilmardinny, and in 1472 and in 1473,
of Roseneath, Strone, &c. In 1474 he was appointed lord high chamberlain of
Scotland, and immediately thereafter was nominated one of the ambassadors
extraordinary to the court of England, to negociate a marriage between the
prince royal of Scotland, and the princess Cicily, daughter of King Edward
the Fourth. By a royal charter dated 17th September 1477 he was constituted
governor of the castle of Dumbarton for life. He was killed by a
cannon-ball, in defending that fortress against besiegers 1st May 1478. By
his wife, daughter of Thomas Lord Boyd, he had two sons and one daughter.
His second son, Robert, was bred to the church, and was first rector of
Kippen and Luss, and afterwards bishop of Argyle from 1473 to 1499. The
daughter, Margaret, married Sir William Murray, seventh baron of
Tullibardine (ancestor of th dukes of Athol), and bore to him seventeen
sons. His eldest son, Sir Humphry Colquhoun, died in 1493, and was succeeded
by his son, Sir John Colquhoun, who received the honour of knighthood from
King James the Fourth, and obtained a charter under the great seal of sundry
lands and baronies in Dumbartonshire, dated 4th December 1506.
On 11th July 1526 he and Patrick Colquhoun his son received a respite for
assisting John earl of Lennox in treasonably besieging, taking, and holding
the castle of Dumbarton. On 20th July 1535, Patrick Colquhoun and Adam his
brother, with twenty-five others, found security to underly the law for
intercommuning with and assisting Humphry Galbraith and his accomplices,
rebels and “at the horn,” for the slaughter of Stirling of Glorat. Sir John
Colquhoun himself would also have been prosecuted for the same, but that he
was “proved to be sick,” and he died soon after, as on 15th August 1536 one
Walter Macfarlane found caution that he would appear at the next justice-air
at Dumbarton and take his trial, for convocation of the lieges in warlike
manner, and besetting the way of the widow of Sir John Colquhoun and David
Farnely of Colmiston, being for the time in her company, for their
slaughter. By his first wife. Margaret Stewart, daughter of John, earl of
Lennox, ancestor of the royal family, Sir John Colquhoun had two sons and
four daughters; and by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of William
Cunningham of Craigends, he had two sons. His eldest son, Sir Humphry
Colquhoun, married Lady Catherine Graham, daughter of William first earl of
Montrose, and died in 1537.
His son, Sir John Colquhoun, married Agnes, daughter of the fourth Lord
Boyd, ancestor of the earls of Kilmarnock, by whom, with two daughters, he
had three sons, namely, Humphry, John, and Alexander. He died before 1583.
His eldest son, Humphry, acquired the heritable coronership of the county of
Dumbarton, from Robert Graham of Knockdollian, which was ratified and
confirmed by a charter under the great seal in 1583. In July 1592 some of
the Macgregors and Macfarlanes came down upon the low country of
Dumbartonshire, and committed vast ravages, especially upon the territory of
the Colquhouns. At the head of his vassals, and accompanied by several of
the gentlemen of the neighbourhood, Sir Humphry Colquhoun attacked the
invaders, and after a bloody conflict, which was only put an end to at
nightfall, and in which he was worsted, he retired to his strong castle of
Bannachrea, but was closely pursued by a party of the Macfarlanes, who broke
into his castle and found h im in a vault, where they put him to death under
circumstances of extreme atrocity. His next brother, John, seems to have
been implicated in this cruel murder, as he was beheaded at Edinburgh for
the crime on the last day of November 1592. Sir Humphry married first Lady
Jean Cunningham, daughter of Alexander, fifth earl of Glencairn, widow of
the earl of Argyle, by whom he had no children, and secondly, Jean, daughter
of John Lord Hamilton, by whom he had a daughter. Having no male issue he
was succeeded by his younger brother, Alexander.
You can read the rest of this account at
You can read the other entries at
The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders
I have now added the seventh issue of Volume 10 (April 1902) which includes
amongst other articles ones on MacLeod Stewart of Ottawa Canada, Gaelic
Music in Scotland, Applecross: Its church and monastery, John Sinclair,
Shepherd Part III, Are the Benzies a sept of Clan Menzies, The Beatons or
Bethunes, The Martial Music of the Clans, Comhradh Tirisdeach, How
Allan-of-the-Straw founded a family - A tale of the MacLeans of Torloisk,
The story of Jane MacRae, Sonnets on Schiehallion, The song of the Western
Seas, Clan Forbes March.
This issue is at
You can see the issues to date at
Margo has now started on the final book (12) in her Rolphin's Orb series and
you can read this at
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Thanks to Nola Crewe for transcribing these biographies for us.
We have another one this week and here it is for you to read here...
JOHN SMITH, one of the highly respected and successful citizens of Chatham,
County of Kent, Ontario, is descended from one of the pioneer settlers of
the county. The family originated in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the
grandfather of John having been born there about 1755, and there married and
died. Among his children were: James, Robert, David, Thomas, Mary and
Duncan. In 1832 Robert and Thomas Smith emigrated to Ontario, settling in
Tilbury township, County of Kent, Thomas on Lot 10, Middle Road, where he
farmed until his death. James came in 1840, and settled in Cobourg. The
Smiths were the founders of Tilbury.
Robert Smith, the father of John, was born in Scotland in 1780, and there
married Janet Patterson, a woman of Scottish extraction. After locating in
Ontario he followed farming and milling. The home was in a wilderness of un
cleared land, six miles from any signs of civilization, and for a long time
after the family settled upon the property all the water for household use
was carried in pails from Lake Erie, a distance of six miles. These pails
were placed on a pole resting on the shoulders of two men. The grain, which
was soon harvested, was ground in a hand mill invented by Robert Smith, a
cousin of John Smith. Meat was obtained by the trusty gun, wild game being
plentiful, and with this meager diet the hard workers satisfied their hearty
appetites for a long time. Robert Smith was twice married, and by his first
wife, Janet Patterson, he had the following children: Jean, Marion, Robert,
James, Edward, Duncan and John. His second wife was Margaret Lowery, by whom
he had four children: David, Mary, Isabella and William.
John Smith was born May 13th, 1822, in Scotland, and was reared to manhood
in Tilbury township, County of Kent. At the age of eighteen he hired out as
a farm hand at a salary of eight dollars per month, and, being a thrifty and
industrious young fellow, in 1844 he was able to purchase 100 acres of land,
on Lot 24, Concession 9, Raleigh township, of which he cleared thirty acres,
and raised a crop of wheat. He then sold this property and purchased 200
acres on Talbot street, in Romney township, County of Kent, where he resided
until 1888, when he retired from active life and settled in Chatham. Mr.
Smith was enterprising as well as industrious, and in partnership with the
late Archibald McKellar, father of P.D. McKellar, he operated the first
threshing machine along the Thames river.
On January 15th, 1846, Mr. Smith married Mary Ann Renwick, who was born in
Romney township September 5th, 1822, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Robinson)
Renwick, natives of England, who came to Romney township in 1818. He was the
first postmaster at Romney and Mr. Smith was the deputy. To Mr. And Mrs.
Smith nine children have been born, four of whom died young: George, born
March 4th, 1851, is a farmer in Dover township; he married Mary Duncan, by
whom he has five children. Harry, Bertha, Duncan, Maud and George Robert.
Edward, born November 6th, 1854 resides at Leamington, County of Essex; he
married Josephine Wilkinson, and has no children. Thomas Robert, born
September 18th, 1858, married Edith Russel, and has one son, Russel. John
B., born November 1st, 1861, married Agnes Ward, has one child, Jean, and
resides in Raleigh township. James, born in 1863, resided with his father
and mother in Chatham, and was an invalid for a long time, before his death
in April, 1903. Politically Mr. Smith is a member of the Reform party. His
religious connection is with the Presbyterian Church, while Mrs. Smith is
connected with the Methodist Church. Through his own good management Mr.
Smith accumulated a comfortable fortune, and is now enjoying the fruits of
his long years of arduous labour. He is now one of the oldest citizens of
Chatham, and is held in the highest esteem by his fellow townsmen, who
recognize his many excellent traits of character, and to many of whom he has
You can read the other biographies at
The Scots Week-End
And Caledonian Vade-Mecum for Host, Guest and Wayfarer (1936)
I completed the final chapters of this book...
The Caledonian Calendar
Scots Regiments and their Tartans
The Holiday Friend
To the Stranger within our Gates
The Caledonian Calendar is interesting and also explains what is behind some
of those dates. It starts...
THE Scots are, broadly speaking, a Celtic people with a strong Scandinavian
leaven, and their festivals derive from both sources.
In ancient Europe there were two methods of dividing the year. The
non-Celtic peoples divided it in accordance with the solstices and the
equinoxes, their two chief festivals being held at Midsummer and at
Midwinter or Yule, as our Scandinavian forebears called it. The Celtic
peoples, on the other hand, divided it in accordance with the entry of the
seasons, their principal festivals being at Beltane (May 1st) and Hallowmas
(November 1st), or, more strictly, Hallowe'en. This division of the year was
natural to a people at a pastoral stage of development, for at Beltane the
cattle went out to their summer pastures and at Hallowmas they returned to
the fold. (The two systems were not mutually exclusive, the non-Celtic
nations, for example, kept Walpurgis Night, and there was a ritual gathering
of the mistletoe by the Druids, or Celtic priests, at the time of the summer
and winter solstices.) The minor Celtic festivals were St. Bride's Day and
Lammas, which fell on February 1st and August 1st respectively. "At four
termes in the zeir," we read in the old records, "viz., Alhalowmas,
Candilmas, Beltan, and Lambmes"; and though the dates have been slightly
dislocated by the reform of the Calendar, the Scottish Quarter Days still
follow the ancient division of the Celtic peoples, while in England they
follow the non-Celtic usage.
The principal festivals in modern Scotland are Beltane, now merged with
Midsummer, which is celebrated principally in the Common Ridings of the
Border burghs; Hallowe'en, which is the great children's festival throughout
the country; and Yule, which, owing to prejudices of the Kirk, does not now
mean Christmas but "the hinner end" of the old Yule, embracing Hogmanay and
Ne'er Day. Auld Handsel Monday, the "boxing-day" of the domestic servant and
the farm labourer, is now virtually extinct.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The rest of the chapters can be read at
James Chalmers of New Guinea
by Cuthbert Lennox (1903)
I've now completed this book and here is a bit from Chapter 24...
THE decision to remove to Daru was principally dictated by a desire to
secure a more healthy place of residence. Both Tamate and his wife had to go
to Thursday Island in the summer of 1900 for the purpose of recruiting their
health. In the case of Mrs. Chalmers, at least, this trip was ineffectual,
and after a long illness this devoted woman succumbed at her post, dying on
board the Niud, off Daru, on 25th October.
"She had been ill for fourteen weeks," Tamate wrote, "and had suffered much.
During these weeks her faith strengthened, her love increased, and her
desire to depart and be with Christ intensified. One of her last sayings
was, ‘Jesus is near’; and again, ‘Jesus is very near.’ She was conscious
nearly to the end. She prayed that she might be buried on Daru and not at
Saguane, and her desire was granted.
"I feel at sea—a kind of wanderer. I return to the Fly River and to work. .
. . Pray for me, that more of Christ be revealed in me and through me."
To another correspondent, Tamate wrote: "God bless and reward you for your
kind consoling words. He has not erred; yet it is strange, and to be
explained hereafter. We had dreamt of a little rest together in a cottage
out of London somewhere, before we crossed the flood. We shall dream them no
more, she waits on the other side as she said—’ I shall be waiting for you
all.’ I like dreaming (dreams); never mind though they are never realised.
Another dream was to visit China and Japan and cross America. Perhaps in the
other life we may do it with ease. She was a grand, good, loving woman; a
true, faithful, loving wife; a real devoted worker, and all for Christ. How
anxious she ever was that the teachers should preach Christ more
In declining an invitation to take a voyage, home at this time, the stricken
missionary made excuse: "I fear I am too much attached to New Guinea. I am
nearing the Bar, and might miss resting amidst old scenes, joys, and
sorrows. No, I am in excellent health, only a stiffness of the legs at
times, a great loneliness, and a gnawing pain at the heart-strings. I know
it is well, and He never errs, and is never far off. I must, God sparing me,
see this work through."
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The whole book can be read at
Memoirs of Peter Henry Bruce, Esq
A Military Officer, in the services of Prussia, Russia and Great Britain
This is another new book this week and a bit different from other books I've
added to the site. As this is an old book you'll find that the letter "s" is
writen as an "f " and so it takes a wee bit of time to get your head around
that as you read the pages. Due to this I've added each page as a picture of
the page. He died in 1757 and the narration ends in 1745 when he was
There are twelve books that make up the whole publication and have added the
first 3 of them for you to read. I'll try to get a book up each week but
here are the contents of the first three chapters...
The author's descent. - His grandfather's going into the Prussian service. -
John Bruce's marriage and descendants, and the author's birth, etc. - His
entering into the Prussian service. - Lines on the battle of Ramillies. - A
remarkable story of the author's landlady. - His first campaign. - His
second campaign. - Defeat of the French. - Siege of Lisle. - A remarkable
accident to prince Eugene. - Captain Dubois. - A sad accident to the enemy's
cavalry. - Bon mot of the duke of Marlborough. - Siege of Ghent. - Third
campaign. - Siege of Tournay. - Battle of Malplaquet. - Story of a Swiss
recruit. - Siege of Mons. - Fourth campaign. - Siege of Doway. - Siege of
Bethune. - A sad misfortune to six Scotch officers. - Sieges of Aire and St.
Venant. - Terrible story of the Jesuits at Tournay.
He goes into the Russian service, a captain. - Overtakes general Bruce at
Pruss-Holland. - A curious story of a man at Elbing. - They arrive at
Jaweross, where the Czar is privately married. - General Bruce's rank and
honours. - Account of the Russian army. - Their numbers and cloathing. -
Expedition against the Turks. - Council of war at the Neister. Prince
Constanure joins them without any troops. - A swarm of locusts. - The Turks
appear. - The Russians form on the river Pruth. - Engage the Turks three
days. - The czarina saves the whole army and prince Canamire. - The king of
Sweden upbraids the grand vizier. - The Russians return. - Colonel Pitt's
lady and daughter carried off by the Tartars. - The grand seignior approves
the treaty. - Captain Bruce sent express to Constantinople. - Description of
that city. - Its mosques. - Accommodations for strangers. - Strength. - The
seraglio. - Scutari, a fine view. - The port and harbour. - Suburbs. -
Arsenal. - Air and climate. - The Turks contrasted. - Domestic
Accommodations. - Internal government of the country. - Religion. - Worship.
- The plague. - Their games. - Diet. - Rest. - Exercise of their youth. -
Dress of their ladies. - Ointment of Pilo. - Their predominint interest. -
Matrimonial privilege. - Concubine marriage. - Policy of their religion. -
Severities on the amorous stranger. - Their laws of debt. - In criminal
cases. - Their punishments. - The channel of the captain's information. -
New difficulties to the Treaty at the Pruth. - Change of ministry. - A fresh
treaty. - Fresh interruption to the peace. - Against which the czar
remonstrates. - Ministry again changed. - The Russian ambassador, etc. sent
to the Seven Towers. - Mighty preparations for war, which end against the
king of Sweden at Bender. - Reflexions.
Marriage of the czarowitz. - The czar's celebration of his old wedding. -
General Baur's discovery of himself to his friends and brother officers. -
The empress Catherine's descent and rise. - Prince Menzikof's rise, and the
czar's narrow escape from poison. - Expedition against the Swedes. -
Description of the city of Moscow. - An ambassador from Persia; a great fire
in Moscow. - A young physician burnt by the clergy, who are therefore
deprived of the power of life and death, and holidays and convents abridged.
- Manners of the gentry. - Description of the women. - Entertainments of the
common people. - Marriage. - The princess Natalia's humorous fancy in the
marriage of the dwarfs. - Three women punished for drowning their husbands.
- The punishment of the knout. - The czar's birth and marriage. - A virtuous
young lady. - Muscovite robberies and murders. - The czar's danger by them.
- Remarkable murder of Swedish officers by Jews. - Suppression of the
Robbers. - Seat of empire changed from Moscow to Petersburgh. - A
description of the czarowitz's person and manners. - Ridiculous custom in
burying. - Their images. - Their baths. - Manner of travelling. - Religious
You can read this book at
History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Got up two more chapters from this book. The previous chapters can be read
Chapter 36 starts...
THE Indulgence was meant by its projectors to be a bone of contention and a
snare to the Presbyterians. It proved to be so, inasmuch as it separated the
clergy into two antagonistic parties-the indulged and the non-indulged. The
people for the most part adhered, and that with more steadfastness than
ever, to those ministers who declined to purchase ease and comparative
comfort, by sacrificing an iota of what they deemed to be the
imprescriptible rights of the Church. Conventicles, in house and field, as a
consequence, increased; and to crush them, and punish their frequenters, the
whole machinery of a merciless Government was set in operation. Among the
many other means adopted for these ends, landlords were required to enter
into bonds pledging themselves that neither their families, domestic
tenants, nor the servants of their tenants, nor any one residing on their
land, should attend the ministry of the proscribed preachers, or in any way
give them countenance. "We cannot possibly come tinder such stipulations,"
pleaded a body of the proprietors before the Privy Council. "By the Lord
Jehovah! you must and shall!" retorted Lauderdale, as the savage
significantly bared his arms above the elbows; and, to assist him in making
his threat good, eight thousand armed Highlanders were let loose upon the
fertile districts of the south and west. This locust-like host ravaged the
country for three months; and on being recalled, the other soldiers raised
by the Government took their place, emulating them in rapacity, surpassing
them in the art of hunting down the wandering occupants of the hills and
An additional pretext for violence was unhappily supplied by the
assassination of Sharpe on the 3rd of May, 1679 - the deed of a few zealots,
for which the Covenanters generally ought not to have been held responsible.
The blame of it was, however, thrown upon the whole party; and a testing
question was based upon it, which increased the inquisitorial resources of
the military. If, when a suspected individual was asked, "Do you consider
the killing of Archbishop Sharpe murder?" a negative answer was given, or no
answer at all, he was dragged to prison, or summarily despatched. At length
the patience of the persecuted sufferers gave way, and they resolved once
more to give armed resistance to their rulers. On the 29th of May in the
same year, the anniversary of the Restoration, a band of eighty armed
Covenanters entered Rutherglen, extinguished the bonfires lighted in honour
of royalty, burned the Acts of Council by which Episcopacy was established,
and finished their demonstration by affixing to the Market Cross of the town
a written document repudiating and condemning all the tyrannical doings of
the Government in Scotland during the existing King's reign.
These daring acts were correctly looked upon by the Privy Council as a
declaration of war; and they, nothing loath, commissioned John Graham of
Claverhouse to take up the gauntlet on their behalf, feeling assured that he
would make short work with the rebels. Claverhouse had already proved his
fitness for such a task. After serving some time with distinction in the
Dutch army, he returned to his native country, at the age of thirty-five, to
become policeman-general over the disaffected districts, and gain transitory
rewards and deathless infamy, by punishing the bodies of his poor
fellow-countrymen when he failed by threat and fine to enslave their souls.
The Council soon saw that he was admirably adapted for their purposes; he
was so cool, self-reliant, unscrupulous, and cruel. An impression to the
same effect is conveyed by the two authentic portraits that have been
preserved of the notorious cavalier: one representing him when quite a
youth, and comparatively unknown; the other when in the prime of manhood,
and raised to the peerage as Viscount Dundee. An unmistakable dourness is
visible in the first of these likenesses: the curl of the upper lip-the
mouth compressed-the nostrils distendedthe troubled, anxious, almost
sorrowful, expression thrown over the face-impress the beholder unfavourably,
in spite of the regularity and graceful outline of the features. This
portrait gives us the idea that lie must have been cold, reserved, proud,
and pitiless before the age of puberty was reached. The youth is "Bonnie
Dundee" in embryo-handsome, yet sinister and unattractive; and the
impression conveyed by the other picture, though in some degree different,
is of the same general kind. The countenance is rather softer, if anything,
and is equally sad and haughty; the lower part of the face, however, having
become heavy without any trace of that effeminacy of which Sir Walter Scott
speaks, except in the mouth, which is small as compared with the colossal
nose, indicative of the possessor's energy and power. Scott's mental sketch
of the man may be fittingly subjoined:- "Profound in politics, and imbued,
of course, with that disregard for individual rights which its intrigues
usually generate, this leader was cool and collected in danger, fierce and
ardent in pursuing success, careless of facing death himself, and ruthless
in inflicting it upon others." [Old Mortality, chap. xii.] This is, on the
whole, a fair outline of Graham's character, as indicated by his portraits,
and as exemplified during his ten years of military misrule over the west
and south of Scotland.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The whole book can be read at
Aubigny in France
George Wilkie sent in a wee article on the Scots connections to Aubigny and
here it is for you to read here...
I wonder how many Scots know that there is a town in France that's more
Scottish than many towns in Scotland.
It all goes back to 1419 during the Hundred Years War. The French dauphin,
later to become Charles VII, was struggling against the English in nearby
Bourges and appealed to Scotland for assistance. Always willing to do battle
against the Sassenachs, an army of some ten thousand Scots made its way to
Bourge and eventually the war swung in favour of the French. As the war had
drained his finances, the dauphin handed over the town of Aubigny to the
leader of the Scots, John Stuart of Darnley, as payment for his assistance.
The Stuart family were highly influential in Aubigny and its surrounding
area for many years until the line eventually died out and the whole affair
became forgotten in history. However, in 1931 the Scottish connection was
brought to the surface once again in the shape of a festival and has been
celebrated since then. The town's hotel is named the Cutty Sark and there is
an Aubigny tartan, worn regularly by many of the male inhabitants of the
town, several of whom play in the town's pipe band.
Aubigny is twinned with Haddington in East Lothian and I'm sure that someone
from Haddington would shed much more light on this wonderful example of the
Auld Alliance than the few lines that I have scribbled.
You can read a bit more I dug up from the web at
Bits of Electric Scotland
It was suggested that I might highlight bits of the site that I thought
might be of general interest.
This week I thought I'd highlight the "Scottish Charms and Amulets" pages.
This section came from papers from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
and here is what the index page says...
SCOTTISH CHARMS AND AMULETS. By GEO. F. BLACK,
ASSISTANT-KEEPER OF THE MUSEUM.
The subject of Scottish charms and amulets, although one of great interest,
has scarcely as yet been touched upon by antiquaries. With the exception of
two or three brief notices of individual charms, the only special article of
any importance is the paper of the late Sir James Young Simpson, published
in the fourth volume of our Proceedings. In the present paper it is purposed
to describe in detail all the known specimens of Scottish amulets and
charms, accompanied by such extracts from various sources as are calculated
to shed light on their uses and on the motives which induced the people to
believe that such objects possessed the power to protect them from
innumerable dangers, avert evil from themselves, or cause evil in others.
Although the words amulet and charm, as now used, are synonymous, yet each
has its own clearly defined and distinct meaning.
The earliest known writer who uses the word amulet is Pliny, and it is
employed by him with the same meaning that we attach to it, namely, as a
preservative against poison, witchcraft, and sorcery ("venoficiorum
amulets," Historia Naturalis, lib. nix, cap. xix). The derivation of the
word is not known, but by some a Latin origin is assigned to it as being
that "quod malum amolitur." By others the word is derived from amula, "vas
lustrale." The etymology from the Arabic himälah (= "that which is carried
") usually assigned to the word in modern dictionaries is wrong, the
resemblance between the two words being purely fortuitous.
The word charm, from the Latin carmen, a song, was in later times understood
to mean a form of words possessing some occult power for good or evil, more
often the former. Charms were of two kinds, written and recited. Of the
former, the toothache charms described below are typical examples, and of
the latter the Shetlandic incantation for the cure of a sprained joint or
sinew is an instance:-
"The Lord rade, and the foal slade;
He lighted, and he righted,
Set joint to joint, bone to bone,
And sinew to sinew, heal in the Holy Ghost’s name."
The various articles under this publication are...
Balls of Rock-Crystal used as Charms
Adder Beads and Stones
Amber Beads Used As Charms
Crosses of Rowan-Tree used as Charms
Seeds used as Charms
TaIismanic Brooches and Rings
Written Charms to Cure Toothache
Charm Serpent's Skin
Willox's Ball and Bridle
Miscellaneous Charms, &c
You can get to this section at
Added a picture to Gallery 9 of the 2006 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
dance competition winners which you can see at
Historic Aircraft was Named for Ann McLean
A BBC documentary about a legendary Battle of Britain fighter plane,
code-named "Shrew", has revealed that it was re-named by a Mr MacLean, head
of UK defence company Vickers, after his spirited daughter Ann whom he
described as "a little Spitfire". Thanks to Gregory Rankin for sending in
this snippet and also for alterting me to another Significant Scot, Hugh
Dowding, for which you can read about him at
And that's all for now and I hope you all have a great weekend :-)
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