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8th December 2006


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 http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/calendar_help.htm 

CONTENTS
-----------------
Electric Scotland News
Scottish Television
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
History of the Royal Caledonian Society of Melbourne
Poems
The Scottish-Canadian Newspaper (1890/1)
Standard Settings of Pipe Music of The Seaforth Highlanders
Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island (new book)
Scotland's Road of Romance (new book)
Hand Towels Made for Practically Nothing
Bits of Electric Scotland - Prince Charles Edward Stuart


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND
-----------------
Busy week with a mix of personal and business so not able to do as much as I would have liked on the site. Did make a start on a couple of new books though :-)

I also signed up with a company to provide you with free vacation brochures. See the graphic to the left of the micro buttons. If you click on the graphic you go to a Europe Vacations page where you can select any European country. If you click on the text link below "Order FREE Brochures!" then you'll go to specific Scottish vacations for example see http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?af_type=1&af_id=1892&action=summary&loc_id=219

They also provided me with links to specific types of Scottish holidays and here are the links...

Art and Artist Vacation Packages in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=1

History Vacation Packages in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=2

Food, Wine Tour Packages and Cooking Schools in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=3

Fishing Packages, Lodges, and Outfitters in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=5

Scuba Diving Packages, Resorts, Boats and Diving Centers in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=7

Bicycle Tour Packages in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=8

Hiking, Trekking, and Walking Tours in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=10

Castle Hotels and Castle Tours in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=12

Cultural Expedition Tours in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=13

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Whitewater Rafting in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=18

Sailing and Boating Packages in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=19

Golf Resorts and Golf Vacations in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=21

Golf and Spa in Scotland
http://www.infohub.com/scripts/html_cgi/affiliate/index.php?action=summary&loc_id=219&af_type=1&af_id=1892&cus_id=22

Hope you'll find this facility of use :-)

Picked up my drink supplies for Christmas this week. Home Brew so got 46 bottles of Indian Pale Ale (IPA), 46 bottles of a Wheat Beer and 30 bottles of Red Wine. Like always the wine needs to sit for a few months before I can drink it but the beer is ok right now and both are excellent. 500ml bottles with the wheat beer 5% proof and the IPA 6.5%. So perhaps not suitable for someone visiting that has to drink and drive but am willing to split a bottle :-)

I also got in that smoked salmon I ordered last week and very tasty it was too. I had some of it with boiled potatoes and a salad.

Got an email in asking me to inform British folk living in Canada to visit http://britishpensions.com as our old age pension is frozen and this link is trying to have Britain make changes to the pension payment, to allow for cost of living increases etc.



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 others.


Scottish Television
---------------------------
Got in an email from STV...

Scottish Television are making a programme, Hogmanay Stories to be broadcast at the bells this year. The idea is to hear stories of how Scots spend their Hogmanay and New Year from across the country. We would also like to have a section on Scots living abroad. We would like to broadcast messages from Scots abroad to friends and families at home.

Check out our website at http://www.stv.tv/hogmanay

You can also send us your message or greeting to hogmanay@stv.tv or call on 00 44 141 300 3981.

Also got in information on a new TV channel...

Scotland on TV
Scotland on TV is produced by SMG Productions, the content arm of the Scottish Media Group (SMG) based in Glasgow. You can view videos on various subjects including 5 minute clips of various Tom Weir shows at http://www.scotlandontv.tv/


THE FLAG IN THE WIND
------------------------------------
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots language at http://www.scotsindependent.org 

MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary can be viewed at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/fabiani/index.htm 


The Scottish Nation
----------------------------
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

Now onto the D's and added this week are Douglas, Drummond, Drysdale, Dudgeon, Duff and Duffus.

Very large account of Douglas this week and here is how it starts...

DOUGLAS, the name of an ancient and once very powerful family in Scotland, long the rival of Royalty. Its origin is entirely unknown. Hume of Godscroft, in his ‘History of the Douglases,’ says, “We do not know them in the fountain, but in the stream; not in the root, but in the stem, for we know not who was the first mean man that did raise himself above the vulgar.” The traditionary account, a mere family fable, which he gives of their origin, is, that in the 8th century, during the reign of Solvathius, king of Scots, one Donald Bane, of the Western Isles, made an irruption into the Scottish territory, and put to the rout the forces collected to repel his invasion. An unknown warrior, with his friends and followers, came seasonably to their aid, and in the conflict which ensued Donald was defeated and slain. When the king inquired at his attendants to whom he owed his deliverance, the stranger was pointed out to him by one of them, with the Gaelic words, “Sholto Dhu-glas,” – “Behold the dark man.” The king is said to have rewarded him with a large tract of land in Lanarkshire, which with the river by which it is traversed, was called Douglas after him.

George Chalmers, (Caledonia, vol. i. p. 579) derives the origin of the name from Douglas water, tracing it to the Celtic words ‘Dhu-glas,” the darm stream. He states, but without any warrant, that the founder of the family was a Fleming named Theobald, who came to Scotland about 1150, and as a vassal of Arnald, abbot of Kelso, received from him a grant of some lands on Douglas water. Wyntoun (Chron. b. viii. c. 7.) Says that of the beginning of the Murray and the Douglas, he can affirm nothing for certain; nevertheless as both bear in their arms the same stars set in the same manner, it seems likely that they have come of the same kin, either by lineal descent or by collateral branch.

The first of the name on record is William of Dufglas, who, between 1175 and 1199, witnessed a charter by Joceline, bishop of Glasgow, to the monks of Kelso, (see Origines Parochiales Scotiae, under parish of Douglas, vol. i. p. 155). He was either the brother or brother-in-law of Sir Freskin de Kerdale in Moray, and had six sons. 1. Sir Erkenbald, or Archibald, who succeeded him. 2. Brice, prior of Lesmahago, and in 1203 bishop of Moray. 3. Fretheskin, parson of Douglas, afterwards apparently dean of Moray. 4. Hugh, canon and probably archdeacon of Moray. 5. Alexander, sheriff of Elgin. 6. Henry, canon of Moray.

Sir William of Dufglas, the third of the famiy and apparrently the son of Sir Archibald, was a witness to charters in 1240, and with Sir Andrew of Dufglas, probably his brother (progenitor of the Douglases of Dalkeith, earls of Morton) in 1248. He died in 1276. He had two sons, Hugh, who contributed to the defeat of the Danes at Largs in 1263, and succeeded his father in 1276, but dying without issue before 1288, he was succeecded by his brother William, surnamed the Hardy, from his valour and his deeds. In July 1291 he swore fealty to Edward the First in the chapel of Thurston. He afterwards attacked the English, and in 1296 was govenor of the castle of Berwick, when the town was besieged by Edward and taken. After the garrison had capitulated and been allowed to march out with military honours, Douglas was detained a prisoner in one of the towers of the castle called Hog’s Tower, and the same year he renewed his oath of fidelity to Edward, at Edinburgh. In May 1297, however, he joined Sir William Wallace, for which his estate was invaded with fire and sword by Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick, and his wife and children carried off. In the subsequent July he again made sumission to Edward, when he was sent to England, and died in the castle of York in 1302.

His eldest son was the celebrated Sir James Douglas, styled “the Good Sir James,” the first really great man of the family, of whom a memoir follows. He left two natural sons, Sir William Douglas, styled the Knight of Liddesdale, and Archibald Douglas, lord of Galloway, called “the Grim,” of whom afterwards.

The knight of Liddesdale, the elder of the two, from his bravery was called the Knight of Chivalry. After the death of Robert Bruce, he supported the cause of his son, King David the Second, and was present at the attack on Annan in December 1332, when Edward Baliol was put to flight. Being appointed warden of the west marches he was overpowered and taken prisoner by Sir Anthony de Lucy in the following March, near Lochmaben, and did not reco er his liberty till April 1335. On his return home he performed the most gallant feats, expelling the English from the whole of Teviotdale excepting the castle of Roxburgh. His afterwards defeated, at Kilblane, the titular earl of Athol. (See ATHOL.) Not long after this, he was sent ambassador to france to inform David the Second, then residing at the French court, of the state of the realm. He afterwards sull.ied his fame by the cruel murder of Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie in 1342, who had in a gallant manner taken the castle of Roxburgh from the English, Douglas himself having failed to do so. [See RAMSAY of Dalhousie.] At the intercession of Robert Stewart, Douglas was pardoned by the king, and he was invested with the important charge of sheriff of Teviotdale and keeper of Roxburgh castle. He accompanied King David to the battle of Durham, 20th October 1346, and was taken prisoner along with him. After an imprisonment of six years, he obtained his liberty upon dishonourable terms, as by an indenture which he entered into with Edward the third, 17th July 1352, he engaged to serve that monarch against all parties whatsoever, and allow free passage to the English through his lands into Sxcotland; buyt was killed, in August 1353, as he was hunting in Ettrick forest, by his father’s nephew, and his own godson, Sir William Douglas, the first earl of Douglas, in revenge for the death of Ramsay. He left no issue.

You can read the rest of this account at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/nation/douglas.htm

You can read the other entries at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/nation/index.htm 


The Celtic Monthly
---------------------------
A magazine for Highlanders

Added the April 1903 issues which contains...

James M M;Kay Ohio USA, The Highland Exile, How the Feud between the Camerons and MacKintoshes ended, The Anglicising of the Highlands, A Highland Romance, The Pass of the Shadow, The Late General Sir Hector MacDonald, In Saint Columba's Country, The Martial Music of the Clans, Reminisceses of Strathnaver.

You can read this issue at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/celtic/april1903.htm

You can see the issues to date at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/celtic/index.htm 


The Southern States of America
----------------------------------------------
Published in 1909.

Now have Chapter III of the History of Virginia up and here is how it starts...

The Economic and Social Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century

I. - The Plantation System.

Throughout the Seventeenth century the entire system of Virginia life rested, not upon a civil division-the township, as in New England, but upon an economic division-the plantation. A just conception of its economic framework, either in whole or part, may be obtained by studying the character of a single large plantation in any section of the colony. The community was simply a series of plantations, differing one from another really only in size; in all, the same staple crop was produced, the same kind of labor was employed. Practically, the cultivation of tobacco was the only occupation. There were no towns, no organized manufactures, few trained artizans. A perfect simplicity, an almost complete monotony, was the universal economic keynote.

Taking the plantation as the centre of the economic life, it is easy to follow the growth of one of these communities from its very birth. The pressure of the advancing landowners against the barrier of the frontier forest was, from the start, like the pressure of an army besieging a town; the progress was step by step, but ever forward, irresistibly though slowly. A public grant of one little corner in the wilderness, at the outer edge of the settlements, was followed by the grant of another corner, close at hand but slightly ahead, until what was wild land to-day became tilled and inhabited land to-morrow. Most of these patentees were men who had been long established in the colony, and who, in choosing new ground, understood by experience what were the physical conditions desirable. There were two of prime importance : first, the soil must be rich in the elements suitable for tobacco, the best indication of which would be a thick growth of towering trees; secondly, the land must lie upon the banks of a stream navigable either by ships or shallops, so as to give access to the great highway of the ocean and thereby to the markets of the world.

Having inspected the soil, satisfied himself as to its quality and defined its bounds, the would-be grantee petitioned the Governor and Council to issue, in his favor, the necessary patent, under the colony's great seal. These officers, in consenting, were presumed to represent the King, in whom the paramount title to every acre was supposed to be invested. This was the legal fiction even before the Indians had been driven from the lands which they had held long before the English throne itself had come into existence. The King's right was thought to be as positive, absolute and exclusive as if it had descended undisputed from a remote ancestry. But in spite of this view there was, especially after the revocation of the charter in 1624, a disposition to recognize the Indian's real ownership of the country back of the frontier. This arose from a desire to avoid all causes of quarrel with those restless and treacherous people. But whether the paramount title of the King had been acquired by force or by treaty, the method of conferring on the private individual title in a given area of ground was substantially the same throughout the century-the only difference was that, in the company's time, the governor and council issuing the patent had to transmit it to the quarter court in London for confirmation, while, after the company's overthrow, the patent was granted under a general law which did away with such unnecessary delay.

There were two grounds on which the public lands were conveyed to individuals. First, the performance of public services which were thought to be worthy of some reward. During the company's existence such services were generally performed only by officers of state who had made extraordinary sacrifices of ease and fortune to increase the prosperity of the colony. Latterly, meritorious service usually consisted of some form of self-exposure in defending the frontiers against Indian attack.

But by far the most important basis of conferring title was the headright. Every person who came out to the colony or paid the expense of some other person's transportation, whether a member of his own family, a friend or a servant, could claim a patent for fifty acres out of the public domain. There was but one condition imposed : the person or persons whose importation had led to the grant must remain in Virginia at least three years, unless in the interval overtaken by death.

The headright was one of the most farsighted of provisions. In that age there were no such facilities for crossing the ocean as exist at the present day, when even the European peasant can meet all the costs of the passage. So expensive was the voyage then that, unless the importer had been allowed fifty acres in compensation for his outlay for every person, including himself, brought over by him, only a small number of the agricultural servants could have found their way to Virginia; and without that class, the destruction of the primaeval forest would have gone on very slowly. But in addition to this, the headright gave the practical assurance that the appropriation of the soil would not outstrip the growth in population. If any one could have secured a patent by paying down a sum of money, vast tracts of land would have been acquired in the most favored regions, to be held simply for speculative purposes, without any attempt at seating or tilling them. Especially was this to be deprecated in times when the proximity of a navigable stream to every estate was considered to be indispensable. It would not have been long before all the eligible parts of the public domain would have been engrossed by the wealthy colonists.

The expense of the ocean passage in the Seventeenth century was about six pounds sterling. Such was the amount which citizens like William Fitzhugh or William Byrd had to pay for every servant whom they imported, which would signify that each of these opulent planters obtained the fifty acres granted in compensation, at the rate of two and two-fifths shillings, or, in our modern currency, two dollars and eighty-five cents. Very properly, no limit was set to the number of acres to be acquired under the operation of the headright. If a colonist had the means to bring in ten thousand immigrants, he was as legally entitled to 500,000 acres as the man who had brought in one was entitled to fifty acres; but, as a matter of fact, owing to the expense of importing servants, the size of the patent rarely ran over a few hundred acres. Between 1630 and 1650, the average area embraced was 446 acres; between 1650 and 1700, it was 674; but there were instances of grants for as much as 10,000 acres.

When the grant had been made, two conditions had to be observed by the patentee to avoid a forfeiture. First, the plantation had to be seated. A very liberal interpretation of this requirement was permitted-it was deemed to have been fulfilled should the patentee have erected a small cabin of the meanest pretensions on the land; had suffered a small stock of cattle to range for twelve months in its woods, or had planted an acre in corn or tobacco. In the greatest number of cases, the new plantation was promptly occupied as provided by law, since the owner, wished to erect a home of his own at once. The second requirement was the payment to the K-ing of an annual quit rent of twelve pence for every fifty acres in the tract. This rent continued throughout the century to be a cause of ill-feeling in the landowners, as they looked on it as a cloud on their titles, and they used every kind of device either to diminish its burden or to evade it altogether.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/america/south/south4.htm

The book index page is at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/america/south/index.htm


History of the Royal Caledonian Society of Melbourne
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks to the society for letting us publish this book.

Now completed this book and here is a bit from the final chapter...

ALTHOUGH this book is essentially the history of one Scottish organization, reference has frequently been made in the narrative to the activities of kindred societies in Victoria. It has been thought appropriate, therefore, to reach an end with a summary of the activities of Scots in Australia as a whole.

The notes that follow are far from being a complete review of their subject. While tracing in outline the impact of Scots on Australia generally, and on the various States besides Victoria, they possibly fail to do justice to several useful movements and probably overlook many significant names. But, at least, they give some indication of the strength of the link that has bound Australia to Scotland during 160 years - from our civilized beginnings to the present time:

AUSTRALIA GENERALLY

Today there are 123 Scottish societies and 70 Highland Pipe Bands distributed throughout the Commonwealth. The oldest continuous body of the kind is the Highland Society of Maryborough, Victoria, which was founded by goldminers and pastoralists in 1857. Aside from their basic object of fostering Scottish culture and fraternity, the societies as a whole have a long record of valuable national and international service.

Scottish hospitals and kindred institutions, several of which obtain in Australia, are mainly based on individual endowments.

Robert Burns is honoured by six statues-in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Ballarat and Canberra-more than those accorded any other person with the possible exception of Queen Victoria. Shakespeare has only one!

Many place-names in Australia are of Scottish origin. They include those of two capital cities, one (Perth) commemorating a centre in Scotland and the other (Brisbane) honouring a Scottish Governor. Victoria narrowly escaped having an even more impressive example, for when Angus McMillan discovered its beautiful eastern province, now known as Gippsland, he attempted to have it termed Caledonia Australis.

An interesting suburban example is Hunter's Hill, Sydney, a name bestowed by the Glasgow "martyr" Thomas Muir, who was transported in 1794 on a trumped-up charge of sedition. Another is Point Piper, which commemorates an Ayrshire man who arrived in Sydney in 1792 and became a distinguished administrator in both Norfolk Island and N.S.W.

The most widely distributed of all Scottish names in Australian territory is that of Lachlan Macquarie ("the greatest and most beneficent Governor Australia has known"), supported by that of his wife, Elizabeth Campbell, and followed by that of the explorer Thomas Mitchell. Among Macquarie's "trophies" are two rivers, two harbours, two towns, two capes, a range, a lake, a strait, a plain, and an island.

Macquarie Island, an area of 55,000 acres, lies 900 miles south of Tasmania. Farther south again is Mac-Robertson Land, a large area of Antarctica, the name of which honours a Victorian Scot (Sir Macpherson Robertson) who gave &20,000 for exploration by Sir Douglas Mawson.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/australia/melbourne16.htm

You can read this book at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/australia/melbourne.htm


Poems
----------
Got in an article about the Bard of Banff, Bard airs thoughts on life after death at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/banff/life_after_death.htm

John sent in a new doggerel, Chynge, at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/doggerel193.htm



Scottish Canadian Newspaper
--------------------------------------------
This is the weekly newspaper that I acquired a years issues of. Some pages are missing but not a lot so hopefully you'll enjoy reading this. Due to the size of this newspaper I have no option but to photograph each page and post it up as a picture.

Got up the weekly issue for November 27, 1890 at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/scotscan/issue3.htm

And the one for December 4, 1890 at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/scotscan/issue4.htm


Standard Settings of Pipe Music of The Seaforth Highlanders
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Have made a start at getting this publication up onto the site. We are now up to page 96. This is all sheet music so hopefully those interested in playing the bagpipes will enjoy this.

http://www.electricscotland.com/music/pipemusic/index.htm


Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island
-------------------------------------------------------------
Memorial Volume 1772 - 1922.

This is a new book I've started and here is what the Foreword has to say...

The erection of a monument at Scotchfort to commemorate the arrival of the first Scottish Catholic immigrants in Prince Edward Island, is an event that deserves more than passing notice. So closely is it connected with the best traditions of Catholicity in this Country, that it deserves to be enshrined in the memory of all, who are impressed with the influence the Catholic Church has exercised in the destinies of the Province.

For this reason the Committee in charge of the matter deemed it advisable to publish a "Memorial Volume" containing an account of the entire proceedings, and at the same time setting forth the aims and aspirations, crystallized in the Scottish Catholic reunion of July 19th, 1922.

The volume thus presented to the public contains in detail the story of the first Scottish Catholic emigrants. It recounts the trying circumstances that forced them to leave their native land, and come to seek homes in Prince Edward Island. It describes the conditions they met on their arrival and the subsequent trials and difficulties they were forced to undergo. The brightest page in the volume tells of the heroism and devotedness of the early Missionaries, who with the constancy of Martyrs stood at their post of duty, and labored to preserve the Faith, amid incredible privations.

While the monument standing at Scotchfort will speak to the passerby of things wrought for God and Country, this little volume will bear the same story of devotedness throughout wider areas and to larger numbers. This is the object of the "Memorial Volume" this the wish of

The Committee.

Charlottetown,
July 19th, 1922

Now have the first 3 chapters up which can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/catholicsinpeindx.htm


Scotland's Road of Romance
------------------------------------------
Travels in the footsteps of Prince Charlie by Augustus Muir (1937).

Another new book started and here is a bit from the first chapter...

THE road begins at Arisaig; and it was in low spirits that I watched the little Highland train steam noisily away from the station and disappear among the trees. I had been the only passenger to descend. The station-master, a strapping grey-eyed girl in a blue uniform, had directed me to the beach in a shy and lilting voice, and with a polite smile had left me alone on the platform. I am not sure whether it was Kinglake who said that a man can have a more acute feeling of loneliness in the crowded streets of London than on the Egyptian desert; and though I have had a deep draught of the one and a slight taste of the other, I have never known such a devastating pang of loneliness as I felt that morning on the empty platform among the trees at Arisaig. When the noise of the departing train had faded, the silence was eerie. It was sharpened to an even keener pitch when the engine, now far in the distance, hooted once like a prowling owl and went on its way around the mountainsides. So intense, so prolonged, was the silence that presently it seemed to become a living thing : you could almost detect its pulse-beat in the clear hot air of that autumn morning. I can remember my odd desire to talk to some human being, and, so far as I knew, the only one within miles of me was the young station-mistress. I had nothing particular to say to her, but I felt it would have been a relief to hear the sound of a voice-any voice-breaking that interminable stillness. It must have been reticence, I thought, that had made the girl turn on her heel and go swinging down the platform out of sight. If I'd had the Gaelic, the language she would have warmed to, she might have waited to pass the time of day; but she appeared to be so self-sufficing, so serene in the cool and shuttered hermitage of her own mind, that somehow or other I did not care to intrude with the rough battering-ram of a Sassenach tongue. And so I remained alone on the platform, feeling like a child cut off from his companions, feeling infinitely far away from the green South country and my pleasant, familiar, rhythmic life of work and books and sleep, and a little daunted at the thought that I had more than two hundred miles to cover alone on foot before I reached the end of my journey. To travel hopefully may be better than to arrive, but I did not think so then. I had lumped my rucksack, a dead weight, out of the guard's-van ; it lay on the ground beside me; and I swung it on my shoulders and set out along the road through trees towards the shore.

It was cheering, twenty minutes later, to come upon two or three tiny cottages in a row, and to see some children playing below the gable-end. So the stationmistress and myself were not the only human beings in Arisaig ! The children stopped their play and collected in a rigid group to stare at me, and I asked them to put me on the path for the shore ; but though I repeated the question, I could not get a word out of them. They drew a little closer together, with the look of startled colts: I felt that at any moment they might toss their shaggy heads and, with a whinny, gallop for shelter. A friendly smile flickered for a moment on the face of the eldest girl. She put a protecting arm round the shoulders of a little man of three in baggy corduroys, and nodded to a boy in the rear of the group, who detached himself and ran into the nearest cottage. Presently, a middle-aged woman appeared at the door, and I asked her the best way down to Prince Charlie's beach-the beach where he landed in the 'Forty-five.

Her sad dark eyes were a little puzzled. "Prince Charlie's beach?" She shook her head. "I'm a stranger here," she said; "but maybe Donald will know." She called into the house in her soft Highland voice, and then, excusing herself, went indoors.

I slipped off my rucksack, glad to be rid of the weight of it for a few moments, and dropped it on the grass by the roadside; and I saw it was this the children had been staring at. Perhaps they were a little surprised at first that I hadn't come to sell things out of it at the cottage doors. They came a couple of steps forward, still keeping in a compact group, still uttering not a word, even among themselves. One boy ventured to draw yet a little nearer to the rucksack, but was hastily pulled back and chided by the eldest girl. I liked the look of the youngsters; they obviously were well cared for; and their respectful and reticent manners were pleasant to see. When I thought of the children near some big towns in the South, and of the sharp-eyed little Edinburgh keelies, lovable in their way but with the manners of unleashed demons, it seemed to me that the Gael in solitude must be rather a fine fellow when he can breed youngsters like these.

"Donald will take you to Prince Charlie's beach, sir," said the woman's voice behind me. "He knows where it is - there's a cave there - it will be a mile from here." And Donald himself came out of the cottage. He was pulling on a jacket, apparently not wishing to insult a stranger by walking beside him in the dishabille of a blue jersey. It seemed to be his Sunday jacket, too: which I accepted as a double honour. He was a sturdy boy of twelve or thirteen, with corduroy trousers reaching half-way between knee and ankle, and was uncommonly agile in spite of his enormous iron-shod boots. When I turned to the woman and thanked her she made a gesture of deprecation ; and since she had mentioned that she was a stranger, it occurred to me to ask her what part of the country she came from.

"Argyll," she said, almost wistfully.

"And you've come to live in Arisaig for good?"

"Oh, yes." Her husband, she added, was a gamekeeper; and it struck me that she must find life a very lonely thing in these parts. When I ventured to say so, she wrinkled her brows and thought for a moment.

"It is very strange here," she replied slowly, "but I will get used to it. No, it is not too lonely - the place I have lived in all my life would be more lonely than this. Ah, it is the people here that are different, and so is the Gaelic. Yes, this place is very strange, but I will get used to it," she repeated.

When I asked how long she had been in Arisaig her reply startled me:

"Five years."

After five years this woman still called herself a stranger!" But I will be going home for a week in the Spring," she added, her eyes lighting up.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/charles/romance1.htm

The book index page is at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/charles/romancendx.htm


Hand Towels Made for Practically Nothing
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Donna sent in one of her craft articles at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/america/donna/crafts/crafts23.htm


Bits of Electric Scotland
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This week I'm covering the page "Prince Charles Edward Stuart" at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/charles/index.htm

A very long and fascinating history of his attempt to re-gain the British throne. From his landing in Scotland in 1745 to his eventual defeat and escape to France in 1746. I thought I'd feature this section due to starting the new book "Scotland's Road of Romance" which I mention above.

To set the scene here is how the first chapter starts...

Prince Charles prepares to go to Scotland

From mere auxiliaries in the war of the Austrian succession, Great Britain and France at last entered the field as principals; and in the spring of 1745, both parties were prepared to decide their respective differences by force of arms. The Jacobites, who looked upon war as the harbinger to a speedy realisation of their wishes and their hopes, awaited the result with anxiety; though, from the policy of France, it was not difficult to perceive that the issue, whether favourable or unfavourable to France, would in reality neither advance nor retard the long looked for restoration. France, if defeated in the field, almost on her own frontiers, would require all he forces to protect herself; and could not, therefore, be expected to make a diversion on the shores of Britain. And, on the other hand, if successful in the campaign about to open in Flanders, she was likely to accomplish the objects for which the war had been undertaken, without continuing an expensive and dubious struggle in support of the Stuarts.

Charles Edward Stuart, the aspirant to the British throne, seems to have viewed matters much in the same light on receiving intelligence of the victory obtained by the French over the allies at Fontenoy. In writing to one of his father's agents at Paris, who had sent him information of the battle, Charles observes that it was not easy to form an opinion as to whether the result would "prove good or bad" for his affairs. He had, however, taken his resolution to go to Scotland, though unaccompanied even by a single company of soldiers, and the event which had just occurred made him determine to put that resolution into immediate execution. At Fonteroy, the British troops maintained by their bravery the national reputation, but they were obliged to yield to numbers; yet, to use the words of a French historian, "they left the field of battle without tumult, without confusion, and were defeated with honour". The flower of the British army was, however, destroyed; and as Great Britain had been almost drained of troops, Charles considered the conjuncture as favourable, and made such preparations for his departure as the shortness of time would allow.

The French government was apprised of Charles's intentions, and though the French ministers were not disposed openly to sanction an enterprise which they were not at the time in a condition to support, they secretly favoured a design, which, whatever might be its result, would operate as a diversion in favour of France. Accordingly, Lord Clare, (afterwards Marshal Thomond), then a lieutenant-general in the French service, was authorised to open a negotiation with two merchants of Irish extraction, named Ruttledge and Walsh, who had made some money by trading to the West Indies. They had, since the war, been concerned in privateering; and with the view of extending their operations, had lately obtained from the French government a grant of the Elizabeth, an old man-of-war of sixty-six guns, and they had purchased a small frigate of sixteen guns named the Doutelle, both of which ships were in the course of being fitted out for a cruise in the north seas. Lord Clare having introduced Charles to Ruttledge and Walsh, explained the prince's design, and proposed that they should lend him their ships. This proposal was at once acceded to by the owners, who also offered to supply the prince with money and such arms as they could procure, in fulfilment of which offer they afterwards placed in his hands the sum of £3,800.

While the preparations for the expedition were going on, Charles resided at Navarre, a seat of the Duke of Bouillon, and occupied himself in hunting, fishing, and shooting. A few persons only in his own confidence were aware of his intentions; and so desirous was he of concealing his movements from his father's agents at Paris, that he gave out, shortly before his departure, that he intended to visit the monastery of La Trappe, in the vicinity of Rouen, and would return to Paris in a few days. The prince ordered the few followers who were to accompany him to assemble at Nantes, near the mouth of the Loire; and the better to conceal their design, they arrived in different parts of the town, and when they met on the streets did not seem to recognise one another.

When informed that every thing was in readiness for his departure, Charles went to Nantes in disguise, and having descended the Loire in a fishing boat on the 20th of June, (O.S.) 1745, embarked on the 21st on board the Doutelle at St. Nazaire, whence he proceeded on the following day to Belleisle, where he was joined on the 4th of July by the Elizabeth, which had on board 100 marines raised by Lord Clare, about 2,000 muskets, and 500 or 600 French broad-swords. The persons who accompanied Charles were the Marquis of Tullibardine (styled Duke of Athole by the Jacobites), elder brother of James, Duke of Athole; Sir Thomas Sheridan, who had been tutor to Charles; Sir John Macdonald, an officer in the Spanish service; Francis Strickland, an English gentleman; George Kelly, a clergyman; AEneas or Angus Macdonald, a banker in Paris, brother to Kinlochmoidart; and O'Sullivan, an officer in the service of France. These were afterwards designated the "Seven Men of Moidart". There were also some persons of inferior note, among whom were one Buchanan, who had been employed as a messenger to Rome by Cardinal Tencin, and Duncan Cameron, formerly a servant of old Lochiel at Boulogne, who was hired for the expedition, for the purpose, as he informs us, of descrying the "Long Isle".

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/charles/1.htm

The index to this section is at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/charles/index.htm


And that's all for now and I hope you all had a great St. Andrews Day on 30th November :-)


Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 

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