Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
Poems and Stories
Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands
Scotland in the Middle Ages
Scotch-Irish in America (New Book)
Scots in Argentina
Away again in Toronto this week with the Knight Templars. I am trying to get
further information on the various Priories so if anyone reading this is a
Knight you might mention to your priory that I'd love to get a bit of
history and some pictures. I'll add this information to my page at
I launched the book, Scotch-Irish in America, this week, more of which
below. In the book the author tells us that he was a board member of the
Scotch-Irish Association and further mentioned their publications where they
provide details of their annual meetings. He tells us that these
publications were top notch for providing further information on the
Scotch-Irish. I have in fact got the first congress publication but as he
specifically tells us that the first eight publications were of particular
importance I have tried to purchase the other 7.
I have had major problems getting these as the titles are quite long so when
they confirm the purchase, or not as the case may be, they truncate the
title meaning I don't know which issue is which. A real pain in the neck.
Around 5 issues I ordered were "sold" so had to go back and try and find the
ones that were sold to see if I could find other copies. So hopefully I have
got the first 8 but time will tell.
Don't forget if you have any interesting stories about your own families
we're more than happy to receive them to post on the web site. Should you
already have a web site with family information perhaps you could do a short
article for Electric Scotland to which we'd be happy to add a link to your
own web site. On the whole Electric Scotland does not post up links as we
don't have a links page. We are more than happy to add a link along with a
decent article that you send into us.
I also picked up from Nola Crewe in Toronto the 6 volume "History of
Scotland" by Patrick Fraser Tytler. This was published in 1828. This
publication has a huge number of footnotes which are of course really great
for additional information and bibliographies. The problem is that they are
also very time consuming to ocr into the site. For this reason I am going to
scan each chapter in as a .pdf file.
This is what he says in his Preface...
I have commenced the History of Scotland at the accession of Alexander the
Third, because it is at this period that our national annals become
particularly interesting to the general reader. During the reign of this
monarch, England first began to entertain serious thoughts of the reduction
of her sister country. The dark cloud of misfortune which gathered over
Scotland immediately after the death of Alexander, suggested to Edward the
First his schemes of ambition and conquest; and perhaps, in the history of
Liberty, there is no more memorable war than that which commenced under
Wallace in 1297, and terminated in the final establishment of Scottish
independence by Robert Bruce, in 1328.
In the composition of the present volume, which embraces this period, I have
anxiously endeavoured to examine the most authentic sources of information,
and to convey a true picture of the times without prepossession or
partiality. To have done so, partakes more of the nature of a grave duty
than of a merit; and even after this has been accomplished, there will
remain ample room for many imperfections. If, in the execution of my plan, I
have been obliged to differ on some points of importance from authors of
established celebrity, I have fully stated the grounds of my opinion in the
Notes and Illustrations, which are printed at the end of the volume; and I
trust that I shall not be blamed for the freedom of my remarks, until the
historical authorities upon which they are founded have been examined and
The main reason for doing this publication is that I don't actually have a
good history of Scotland on the site. I do have an excellent history of the
Highlands but that specifically didn't show the history of the rest of
Scotland unless it impacted the Highlands. So... this publication should
fill this gap and it has been generally recognised as the best of the old
histories of Scotland.
And a wee note about the site.... I only recently discovered that our Google
search engine wasn't working on all our pages. It was working on our index
page where I mostly use the search myself but not the other pages. I have
now fixed this.
Ron Hooker emailed to say there was a Fleming Family Reunion, Christchurch
New Zealand on Easter 6th - 8th April 2007 at St Andrews College,
Christchurch & MainPower Oval, Rangiora. You can get more information at
Scott McKechnie told me of the new website of the SCOTTISH AMERICAN CENTER
and Heritage Resource just established in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota.
It is a non-profit entity, modest in size in it's initial form, but has been
a labor of love (and considerable expense) to get this up and beginning.
There is much to be done to grow it and what it can do, but it's a very good
start and there will be much to come in weeks, months, and years ahead. You
can see this site 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
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
It's Richard Thomson's turn this week and amongst other articles he covers
first class rail travel, the Tory party and the leader of the Lib-Dems.
In Peter's cultural section...
In Memorandum Andrew D Lowe 1919 - 2000
The greatest asset of the SNP according to the late John McAteer when
National Organiser, was "body heat". The death of Andrew D Lowe, on 10th
February, has robbed us, of yet another of those Nationalists who provided
that "body heat". I first knew Andrew, a stalwart of the Aberdour Branch,
when I chaired the then West Fife Constituency Association SNP. He played an
enthusiastic and valuable part in the campaign leading up to the 1970
General Election, when James Halliday carried the SNP Banner in West Fife.
Five days before his death. Andrew wrote to me (his last letter) reflecting
on his SNP activity "I look back with real pleasure to events in which I
could and did play a useful part chairing an election meeting, supplying
and running a garden stall at sales of work, organising an Aberdour Branch
Burns Supper, running a candidate around the constituency, canvassing in
many towns on the East Coast for me they have been thirty glorious years.
Now I hope that Scotland and her reconvened Parliament will be found worthy
of those generations of happy warriors and foot soldiers. It is up to them
now to build on that and carry us forward to Independence".
Andrew Lowe was among the best of those "happy warriors and foot soldiers".
No job went undone when Andrew turned his hand to it if he said he would
do something, it was done and always with humour, joy and enthusiam.
He was, as his minister described him at the Thanksgiving Celebration in a
packed Warriston Crematorium, "an artist, poet, gardener, successful
businessman, true patriot, loving family man and a real gentleman in the
truest sense of the word". That he was.
After moving to Edinburgh in 1985, Andrew kept in touch with his many
friends in Fife and was a regular attender at the Alexander III
Commemoration at Pettycur, Kinghorn. Indeed he once chided me that he wasnt
coming because I had not invited him in Scots! That year Andrew not only
attended but after laying the wreath read his splendid poem "Coronach" in
memory of the dead King.
Due to his interest in the Guid Scots Tung, Andrew and his wife Irene were
among the supporters of the Scots Poetry events held by "Scots Gladnost" and
then "Merchants o Renoun" in Edinburgh.
Andrews belief in a Free Scotland never wavered nor did his strong
Christian faith, which sustained him through his long illness. He died
peacefully in the bosom of his loving family.
Andrew D Lowe will be missed but remembered with affection by all who knew
him. Andrews life was a shining example of all that is best in Scotland,
the Scottish people and Scottish Nationalism.
Scots Independent Newspaper April 2000
Ae wild March nicht lang syne
a storm ragit roun the castle craig.
The north wind, chairgit wi sleet an snaw,
thunnert owre the lofty pile
wi sic interperate sa vagerie
as wad gar the bravest fear
at Juidegment Day wis like tae daw.
On this faroushie nicht a companie
o fowr weel-mountit chiels
cam clappering thru Embro toun
an aen the gait til the Queen s ferrie.
As they cam skelpin doun
thru the dark o the Hawes Brae
thir herts froze at the sicht an soun
o Forths jawin waves an fleein spray
but wadna be hinnrt bi the angry tide
an laundit unskaithed on tither side.
Nae mune nor fient a stairn
tae gie them licht
as they drave on
thru drumlie cleuch an mirky howe,
bi knarled pine an jimpy birk
at huddled roun St. Bridgets kirk
as tho tae guard it frae the storm.
Straucht thru the Barony o Aberdour
bi the burn an the strong tower
they rade wi neer a word til tither
up the stey brae, droukit an forforn.
The waur pairt o thir journie owre
an scarce twa mile frae Kinghorn s tower,
Wi promise o the marriage bed,
ae moment pairted frae his fieres,
his fair forfechen mount
stoitert owre the scaurs
an the King o Scots lay deid.
She has now sent in an entry for the previous three weeks.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Now moved onto the F's and added this week are Forsyth, Forth, Fothringham
Here is how the Fraser entry starts...
FRASER, sometimes written Frazer, a surname derived from the French word
fraizes or fraises, strawberries, seven strawberry flowers forming part of
the armorial bearings of families of this name. The first of this surname in
Scotland was of Norman origin, and came over with William the Conqueror. The
Chronicles of the Fraser family pretend that their ancestor was one Pierre
Fraser, seigneur de Troile, who in the reign of Charlemagne, came to
Scotland with the ambassadors from France to form a league with King Achaius,
and that his son, in the year 814, became thane of the Isle of Man, but all
this is mere fable. Their account of the creation of their arms is equally
an invention. According to their statement, in the reign of Charles the
Simple of France, Julius de Berry, a nobleman of Bourbon, entertaining that
monarch with a dish of fine strawberries, was, for the same, knighted, the
strawberry flowers, fraises, given him for his arms, and his name changed
from de Berry to Fraiseur or Frizelle. They claim affinity with the family
of the duke de la Frezeliere, in France. The first of the name in Scotland
is understood to have settled there in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, when
surnames first began to be used, and although the Frasers afterwards became
a powerful and numerous clan in Inverness-shire, their earliest settlements
were in East Lothian and Tweeddale.
In the reign of David the First, Sir Simon Fraser possessed half of the
territory of Keith in East Lothian (from him called Keith Simon), and to the
monks of Kelso he granted the church of Keith. He had a daughter, Eda,
married to Hugh Lorens, and their daughter, also named Eda, became the wife
of Hervey, the kings marechal, proprietor of the other half of the
territory of Keith, called after him Keith Hervey. He was the ancestor of
the north country Keiths, earls Marischal. A member of the same family,
Gilbert de Fraser, obtained the lands of North Hailes, also in East Lothian,
as a vassal of the earl of March and Dunbar, and is said to be a witness to
a charter of Cospatrick to the monks of Coldstream, during the reign of
Alexander the First. He also possessed large estates in Tweeddale. His
eldest son, Oliver de Fraser, who flourished between 1175 and 1199, built
Oliver castle, in the shire of Peebles, celebrated in history as the
stronghold of the heroic companion of Wallace, Sir Simon Fraser, of whom a
memoir is given afterwards. Dying without issue, Oliver was succeeded by his
nephew, Adam de Fraser, He was the son of Udard Fraser, Gilberts second
son, who had settled in Peebles-shire. His son, Laurence Fraser, is witness
to a charter of the ward of East Nisbet, by Patrick earl of Dunbar to the
monks of Coldingham, in 1261. Laurentius Fraser, dominus de Drumelzier,
possessed the lands of Mackerston in Roxburghshire. His son, also named
Laurence, lived during the wars of succession, and with his eldest daughter
the estate of Drumelzier went by marriage into the family of Tweedie. The
second daughter, maarying Dougal Macdougall, carried to him the estate of
Mackerston, in the reign of David the Second, and it now belongs to a
descendant of his on the female side.
In the reign of Alexander the Second the chief of the family was Bernard de
Fraser, supposed to have been the grandson of the above-named Gilbert, by a
third son, whose name is conjectured to have been Simon. [Andersons Hist.
Acc. of the frasers, p. 8.] Bernard was a frequent witness to the charters
of Alexander the Second, and in 1234 was made sheriff of Stirling, an h
onour long hereditary in his family. By his talents he raised himself from
being the vassal of a subject to be a tenant in chief to the king. He
acquired the ancient territory of Oliver castle, which he transmitted to his
posterity. He was one of the magnates of Scotland who swore to the
performance of the treaty of peace agreed upon between Alexander the Second
and Henry the Third of England at York in 1237, and is said to have married
Mary Ogilvie, daughter of Gilchrist, thane of Angus, whose mother, Marjory,
was the sister of Kings Malcolm the Fourth and William the Lion, and the
daughter of Prince Henry. He was succeeded by his son Sir Gilbert Fraser,
who was sheriff or vicecomes of Traquair during the reigns of Alexander the
Second and his successor. He had three sons; Simon, his heir; Andrew,
sheriff of Stirling in 1291 and 1293; and William, chancellor of Scotland
from 1274 to 1280, and bishop of St. Andrews from 1279 to his death in 1297.
He was first dean of Glasgow, and was consecrated bishop at Rome by Pope
Nicholas the Third in 1280. In 1283, according to Wintoun, (Chronicles, p.
528,) he obtained for the bishops of St. Andrews, from Alexander the Third,
the privilege of coining money. After the death of that monarch, he was one
of the lords of the regency chosen by the states of Scotland, during the
minority of the infant queen Margaret, styled the maiden of Norway; and as
such was appointed to treat with the Norwegian plenipotentiaries on her
affairs. On the death of that princess in 1291, he rendered a compelled
homage to Edward the First of England, by whom he was created one of the
guardians of Scotland. He was one of the early assertors of the independence
of his country, and within a month after the accession of John Baliol to the
throne, bishop Fraser joined with several others in a complaint against the
English monarch for withdrawing causes out of Scotland contrary to his
engagement and promises, and in prejudice of Baliols sovereign rights and
authority. It was at the command of this patriotic bishop that Sir William
Wallace, when guardian of the kingdom, put all the English who held them,
out of their church benefices in Scotland. In 1295 he was one of the
commissioners who concluded the fatal treaty with King Philip of France, by
which the latter agreed to give Baliol his niece, the eldest daughter of
Charles count of Anjou, in marriage to his son and heir, a treaty, styled by
Lord Hailes, the groundwork of many more equally honourable and ruinous to
Scotland. [Annals, vol. i. p. 234.] Bishop Fraser died at Arteville in
France, 13th September 1297. His body was buried in the church of the friars
predicants in Paris, but his heart, enclosed in a rich box, was brought to
Scotland by his successor, Bishop Lamberton, and entombed in the wall of the
cathedral of St. Andrews.
Mr John MacLeod, After Culloden, Beauly Priory and its Associations, "Clann
An Sgeulaiche (A famous family of Pipers), Our Highland Dances, Clan MacKay
Society, New Celtic Lecturer for Glasgow, Royal Stewart Tartan, The Fernaig
MS, Celtic Notes and Queries, The Adventures of Fionn in Connaught, Notes on
the Celtic Year, The Clan MacLean gathering at Duart Castle, Gaelic
Proverbs, Oran, Gaelic Music, The Campbells, Our Musical Page.
The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.
Added this week are...
The History of Florida - Chapter III
Florida, 1861 - 1909
The History of Louisiana - Chapter I
Louisiana under French and Spanish Control
The History of Louisiana - Chapter II
The Territory of Orleans, 1803 - 1812
Here is how Chapter I - The History of Louisiana starts...
THE history of the Mississippi Valley, which for the first hundred years
after its discovery, was known to political geography as the province of
Louisiana, must ever be of surpassing interest to the American student.
Its existence and value were neglected by the Spaniards who sought and found
fame and wealth in Central and South America. When at last this field was
fully occupied the Spanish explorers turned to the Northern Continent hoping
to find there territories as rich in treasure as those of the South, but
disaster dogged their footsteps. After two attempts at conquest, exploration
of the valley of the Mississippi was abandoned for a century.
During this time the other maritime nations of Europe had planted
settlements along the coast. The country they occupied was a comparatively
narrow strip bounded on the west by the densely-wooded heights of the
Alleghanies. The French explorers had discovered and taken possession of the
Gulf and valley of the St. Lawrence. Their intrepid hunters soon penetrated
to the great lakes and learned from the Indians of the great river which
might lead to the Pacific Ocean. To solve the riddle, expeditions were sent
from Canada, one to ascend the river, the other under La Salle to seek the
mouth, which he reached on April 9, 1682. For the king, Louis XIV., he laid
claim to the whole of the lands on all the streams falling into the great
river Mississippi. Iberville reaped the fruit of the discovery of La Salle
and founded the colony of Louisiana at Ocean Springs (Old Biloxi) in 1699.
Its growth was slow. The colonists did not attend at first to the
agricultural work which was needed. Pestilence and hostile Indians were
combated with difficulty. Commerce suffered from the monopolies of Crozat
and Law, and when directly governed by the Crown the colony might have
flourished, but a dual form of government, a governor and an intendant, and
unwise commercial laws retarded the progress of colonial Louisiana.
The result of the war between England and France was to cause the
dismemberment of Louisiana. The country on the eastern bank of the river was
ceded to England and that on the west, together with the island of Orleans,
to Spain. The French inhabitants protested in vain. Milder governors
succeeded the severe O'Reilly. The strict commercial regulations of the
Spanish colonies were but little observed, and Louisiana advanced rapidly in
wealth. The enterprising population of the American states began to claim a
free outlet for their products and were only granted a temporary place of
deposit. The revolution in France called to office men who wished to recover
its ancient colonies and finally Bonaparte, in 1800, dreaming of a colonial
empire, under pretense of an exchange for the duchy of Parma, compelled the
retrocession of Louisiana by a secret treaty. The government of the province
was left in the hands of the Spanish officials, who withdrew the right of
deposit. Thereupon arose such an outcry from the western settlers that the
President was compelled to take immediate steps to obtain the command of the
mouth of the river, and to that end offered to purchase New Orleans, but
Bonaparte needed money and feared the seizure of Louisiana by England. He
offered to the astonished American envoys the whole province. The price of
$15,000,000 was quickly arranged and a treaty was signed. A commissioner was
sent from France to receive Louisiana from Spain, and twenty days later, on
Dec. 20,1803, the ancient French colony became a portion of the United
States, bringing an accession of territory which gave to the young republic
a great place among the nations of the world.
Highland Society of Antigonish
River Dennis Road and Mountain
Here is how the account of Highland Society of Antigonish starts...
Highland Society of Antigonish. Why It Exists and Its History.
By Dr. A. G. MacDonald The rotogravure section of The Sunday Leader this
week contains a number of pictures from scenes at the Highland Games held
severel weeks ago in Antigonish. These were eminently successful and as a
prelude to a similar athletic gathering in Halifax on the 13th of August,
they served to maintain an interest that went a long way towards ensuring
that favorable issue which attended the efforts of the North British
The Braemar at Antigonish was conducted under the auspices of the Highland
Society, and celebrated the diamond jubilee of that venerable organization.
Sixty years of existence is the record claimed by the Highland Society; the
twenty-five years of its life prior to 1861 are not considered. History,
however, testifies to the fact that for eighty-five years there has been
such a society in the county of Antigonish and history further records that
it is thus the oldest Highland Society in the Maritime Provinces, and the
oldest Highland Society functioning in Canada. Why is the Highland Society?
The question is pertinent. Five words are required to ask it. But
considerably more are needed if it is to be adequately answered.
To Assist The Emigrant.
The Highland Society of Antigonish functions for several purposes. Chief
amongst them is that of rendering assistance to the Scottish emigrant. The
story associated with such an expressed need is a long one. It extends back
over the last century and takes one to a period when Nova Scotia was not the
smiling productive land it is now. The forest primeval was then the
unpromising portion of the original pioneers.
"No one can understand the history of the Highland Society of Antigonish,
without first having made a profound study of the background." One must try
to visualise the hardships of the original pioneers of this country. They
came, for the most part, from a treeless land, which for centuries had been
racked with political and religious strife.
"The history of Scotland in the 18th Century is a history first of
rebellion, and of discontent with the reigning power, accentuated by
religious turbulence and repression. The freedom of worship enjoyed today by
all the peoples under the British Flag was practically unknown in those
days. Religious persecution and landlordism with its cruel greed and
arrogance in a great many cases made emigration from their native glens and
straths to the forests of America a happy if sad alternative to our heroic
Delighted to say that this 6 volume set is now complete. Took me around 3
years to complete this and I do feel that it an excellent contribution to
understanding Scottish songs which also includes the sheet music.
Feature story this week is about Jean Adams, a famous songstress...
To the peasant class, also, belongs Jean Adams, authoress of one of the best
known song's in Scotland, and "the most powerful expression of conjugal love
in any language." Joan Adams was born in Crawford's Dyke, Greenock, in 1710.
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
by Henri Hubert (1934).
Our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning this in for us.
Added this week...
The Celts in the West. Germany and Gaul
I. Celts and Germans. II. The Cimbri and Teutones. III. Results of the
Invasion. IV. The Character of the Celtic Expeditions.
These are .pdf files for which you need the Acrobat reader.
Anecdotes and Instinct of Dogs Anecdotes of Retriever Shepherds' Dogs
Sagacity Dogs and Monkey Bulldog Anecdotes of Shooting a Stag
Treatment of Dogs.
Increase of Wood-Pigeons and other Birds Service to the Farmer of these
Birds Tame Wood Pigeons: Food of The Turtle-Dove Blue Rock-Pigeons
Caves where they Breed Shooting at the Rocks near Cromarty.
Wild Ducks: Edible kinds of Breeding-places of Mallards Change of
Plumage Shooting Feeding-places Half-Bred Wild Ducks Anas glacialis
Anas clangula: Habits of Teeth of Goosander Cormorants Anecdotes.
Birds that come in Spring The Pewit: Pugnacity; Nests of; Cunning Ring
Dotterel Redshank Oyster-Catcher: Food; Swimming of ; Nest Curlew
Redstart Swallows, etc.
Sheldrake: Nest; Food Teal: Breeding-places; Anecdotes Landrail: Arrival
of Cuckoo Nightjar: Habits of Quail Grebe: Arrival; Account of Nest
and Young Baldcoot Water-Hen Water-Rail.
Wild Geese: Arrival of; Different kinds of; Anecdotes of Shooting Wild Geese
Feeding-places Wariness Habits Breeding-places Blackheaded Gull
Birds that breed on the River-banks.
Here is a wee bit about Dogs from Chapter XIV...
So much has been written, and so many anecdotes told, of the cleverness and
instinct of dogs, that I am almost afraid to add anything more on the
subject, lest I should be thought tedious. Nevertheless I cannot refrain
from relating one or two incidents illustrating the instinct, almost
amounting to reason, that some of my canine acquaintances have evinced, and
which have fallen under my own notice. Different dogs are differently
endowed in this respect, but much also depends on their education, manner of
living, etc. The dog that lives with his master constantly sleeping before
his fire, instead of in the kennel, and hearing and seeing all that passes,
learns, if at all quick-witted, to understand not only the meaning of what
he sees going on, but also, frequently in the most wonderful manner, all
that is talked of. I have a favourite retriever, a black water-spaniel, who
for many years has lived in the house, and been constantly with me; he
understands and notices everything that is said, if it at all relates to
himself or to the sporting plans for the day: if at breakfast-time I say,
without addressing the dog himself, "Rover must stop at home to-day, I
cannot take him out," he never attempts to follow me; if, on the contrary, I
say, however quietly, "I shall take Rover with me to-day," the moment that
breakfast is over he is all on the qui vive, following me wherever I go,
evidently aware that he is to be allowed to accompany me. When left at home,
he sits on the step of the front door, looking out for my return,
occasionally howling and barking in an ill-tempered kind of voice; his great
delight is going with me when I hunt the woods for roe and deer. I had some
covers about five miles from the house, where we were accustomed to look for
roe: we frequently made our plans over night while the dog was in the room.
One day, for some reason, I did not take him: in consequence of this,
invariably when he heard us at night forming our plan to beat the woods,
Rover started alone very early in the morning, and met us up there. He
always went to the cottage where we assembled, and sitting on a hillock in
front of it, which commanded a view of the road by which we came, waited for
us: when he saw us coming, he met us with a peculiar kind of grin on his
face, expressing, as well as words could, his half doubt of being well
received, in consequence of his having come without permission: the moment
he saw that I was not angry with him, he threw off all his affectation of
shyness, and barked and jumped upon me with the most grateful delight.
As he was very clever at finding deer, I often sent him with the beaters or
hounds to assist, and he always plainly asked me on starting whether he was
to go with me to the pass or to accompany the men. In the latter case,
though a very exclusive dog in his company at other times, he would go with
any one of the beaters, although a stranger to him, whom I told him to
accompany, and he would look to that one man for orders as long as he was
with him. I never lost a wounded roe when he was out, for once on the track
he would stick to it, the whole day if necessary, not fatiguing himself
uselessly, but quietly and determinedly following it up. If the roe fell and
he found it, he would return to me, and then lead me up to the animal,
whatever the distance might be. With red-deer he was also most useful. The
first time that he saw me kill a deer he was very much surprised; I was
walking alone with him through some woods in Ross-shire, looking for
woodcocks; I had killed two or three, when I saw such recent signs of deer,
that I drew the shot from one barrel, and replaced it with ball. I then
continued my walk. Before I had gone far, a fine barren hind sprang out of a
thicket, and as she crossed a small hollow, going directly away from me, I
fired at her, breaking her backbone with the bullet; of course she dropped
immediately, and Rover, who was a short distance behind me, rushed forward
in the direction of the shot, expecting to have to pick up a woodcock; but
on coming up to the hind, who was struggling on the ground, he ran round her
with a look of astonishment, and then came back to me with an expression in
his face plainly saying, "What have you done now? you have shot a cow or
something." But on my explaining to him that the hind was fair game, he ran
up to her and seized her by the throat like a bulldog. Ever afterwards he
was peculiarly fond of deer-hunting, and became a great adept, and of great
use. When I sent him to assist two or three hounds to start a roeas soon as
the hounds were on the scent, Rover always came back to me and waited at the
pass : I could enumerate endless anecdotes of his clever feats in this way.
Though a most aristocratic dog in his usual habits, when staying with me in
England once, he struck up an acquaintance with a rat catcher and his curs,
and used to assist in their business when he thought that nothing else was
to be done, entering into their way of going on, watching motionless at the
rats' holes when the ferrets were in, and, as the rat catcher told me, he
was the best dog of them all, and always to be depended on for showing if a
rat was in a hole, corn-stack, or elsewhere; never giving a false alarm, or
failing to give a true one. The moment, however, that he saw me, he
instantly cut his humble friends, and denied all acquaintance with them in
the most comical manner.
Scotland in the Middle Ages
Sketches of Early Scotch History and Social Progress by Cosmo Innes
(Professor of History in the University of Edinburgh. 1860).
I have up Chapters 5, 6 and 7 this week...
I am really enjoying reading these chapters and am finding it is filling in
a lot of areas that we previously had little or no information on.
Chapter V - Scotch Burghs
Roman Institutions remaining after the overthrow of the Roman power
Municipal Institutions Spanish Fueros German free cities Hanse Towns
English burghs Scotch burghs The Scotch laws of the burghs founded on
old customs of English and Scotch burghs Election of Magistrates Who
were the electors? Scotch burghs more ancient than any charters Berwick
St. Andrews Edinburgh Rutherglen Perth Perth burgh charter
Aberdeen Inverness Ayr Churchmen's burghs Glasgow Court of the
four burghs Beauty of Scotch towns Burgesses.
Chapter VI - Vestiges of Ancient Law
Ancient, customary, and common law Celtic law of succession Celtic
marriages No general change of law AEstimatio personarum Ancient law
of compensation Criminal law Wager of battle Compurgators Trial by
battle Trial by fire and water Law of ordeal Proof by witnesses
gradually admitted Penalties of theft Penalty of slaughter Four pleas
of the Crown Laws of Galloway Galloway customs Law of sanctuary
Church girth Famous sanctuaries Stow in Wedale Lesmahago Inverlethan
Chapter VII - Ancient Constitution of Scotland
Early Tenures Bruce charter Dundas charter Charter to the Steward
The Stewarts' charters Legal fiction that all property belonged to the
Crown First Stewart charters Early tenures The Baron's court Suit,
and service Composition of the king's court National Council; its
composition in early times Communitas regni Taxes, how imposed of old
Parliament, when first so called Burgesses in Parliament Grant of aid
Conditions of the grant Committees of Parliament Committee of Articles
Judicial committee Institution of Court of Session The Lords of the
Articles Representation of small freeholders Representation of burghs
Officers of state with seat in Parliament All sat together Defects of
the Scotch Parliament.
Here is a bit from Chapter V...
There is no more important mistake in history than when we speak of the
extermination of a people by an invading enemy. Such extermination,
probably, never takes place, certainly not where the conquered people is the
civilised, the invaders the barbarians. I do not mean to controvert the slow
retreat and gradual disappearance of an inferior race before a more
energetic one. That is passing under our own eyes, wherever the white man of
Europe comes into lengthened opposition to the red man of America, or the
aborigines, I may say, of any other clime. But the intentional and total
extermination of a powerful and civilised people is contrary to all reason,
and the nearer each alleged instance comes to our own examination, the more
easy do we find it to disprove it. Undoubtedly no such general and violent
destruction took place when the Roman empire fell before the invading
barbarians. Neither the old people nor their institutions were altogether
rooted out. The provincial cities of Europe were already ground down with
intolerable taxes to Rome. The barbarians could get no more. They could not
reconcile themselves to a town life, and they left the inhabitants to live
according to their old customs, only transferring the payment of taxes to
their new masters. The result was, that in most of the great cities of
France and Germany, the institutions for town police and local management
remained on the old footing. They had their curia or council, chosen by the
citizens, which administered the affairs of the community. Such of the
cities as enjoyed the jus Italicum had magistrates, with civil and criminal
jurisdiction, also chosen by themselves. I would not have you to believe
that there was a real independence in those old Roman cities. They had never
known it under the Roman sway, and still less could they expect to enjoy it
under new masters, regardless of their laws. The magistrates were apparently
controlled and thwarted by the state government, and subjected to all
indignities. But still the germ remained of self-government, and throve not
the worse, that in most of the conquering tribes it met a similar principle.
By it, peace was promoted and union, and some degree of security ensured for
person and property. The convenience of the system caused it to spread among
the new towns, which rose round bishops' cathedrals and the castles of
princes; and when, at a later time, it became a state policy to defend the
people and an infant commerce against an insolent nobility, the framework
was there ready, and the community, long bound together by such ties, and
confiding in its chosen leaders, required nothing but the protection of the
Prince and the law to make it capable of defending itself. Accordingly, when
we get at what are called the charters of erection or incorporation of any
of the more ancient towns, we find them to indicate a pre-existing body,
enjoying some definite constitution or government.
The first country of modern Europe, in which the old municipal institutions
were called into new life and activity, was Spain; but there, the revival of
privileged towns was for a peculiar purpose, and the cities were invested
with freedom and property, on condition of defending their country against
the Moorish enemy. The Fuero, or original charter of a Spanish community,
was properly a compact, by which the king or lord granted a town and
adjacent district to the burgesses, with various privileges, and especially
that of choosing magistrates and a common council.
Of this kind, Leon had a charter in 1020, and Barcelona in 1025. In both of
these, there is evidence of a municipal constitution and council already in
Henry V., Emperor of Germany, was the first emancipator of the German cities
from the tyranny of their bishops and princes. With a more questionable
policy, he encouraged and incorporated bodies of men, of the same craft and
occupation, as we should say, the trades of the townsthus sanctioning their
separation from the mercantile or high burgher class, with whom they ought
to have been rather encouraged to unite. We do not find in his charters, nor
those of his successors, any grant of the right of electing counsellors and
magistrates ; but in fifty years after his time, all the cities of Germany
had counsellors of their own choice, and before the end of the thirteenth
century, the free cities of Germany were acknowledged sovereign and
independent, and sent deputies to the national diet, along with the electors
About the middle of the thirteenth century, the free towns of Lubeck and
Hamburgh entered into a league for mutual defence and protection of trade.
Other towns soon joined their confederacy, and in a short time, eighty of
the most considerable cities, along the shores of the Baltic, from the mouth
of the Rhine to the gulf of Finland, had united into that famous
confederacy, which is still remembered by the name of the Hanse league. Like
many burghal usages, such combinations must have been floating over Europe
for centuries before. We find a similar fellowship, on a small scale, in our
own country, known by the same name of Hanse, in the reign of David I., one
hundred years before the great Baltic association came into being. The great
Hanse was divided into four classes, of which Lubeck, Cologne, Brunswick,
and Dantzick, were the heads, and Lubeck was the centre of the association.
It had four foreign staples, London, Bruges, Novogorod and Bergen, in
Norway. The Hanse league, so powerful for good or evil, exercised the
lawyers in discussions upon its legality, but went on, nevertheless, in
prosperity and power, while bound together by its delegates, meeting for its
proper and legitimate purposes of trade. It was only when its vast influence
seemed to offer an inducement to scheming princes to use it for political
power, that the Hanseatic cities gradually fell asunder, and, after the
sixteenth century, left only the name of their mighty union.
Added the March 2007 Newsletter of Clan MacKenzie of Canada which makes a
great read even if you're not related to the MacKenzies. It also includes an
article about a new DNA study where they claim to be able to tell if you are
descended from The Picts or The Vikings.
Scotch-Irish in America
By John Walker Dinsmore (1906)
Here is the Preface from this book...
Some time ago I wrote for the Presbyterian Banner, a short series of papers
on, "A Typical Scotch-Irish Community Fifty-Odd Years Ago." These papers
awakened an interest quite unexpected, especially among the people of this
race. Letters came to the writer from widely separated sections of the
country, requesting him to expand the papers and publish them in a volume.
Several ancient congregations took formal action to the same effect. This
little book is the result. The articles in the Banner were simply the basis
of what is here written much enlarged. It does not pretend to be an adequate
history of the Scotch-Irish people in this land. Its aim is much less
ambitious. It is simply an at tempt to sketch with a free hand, some of the
characteristic traits, ways of life, institutions and influences of this
race, particularly in the earlier days in this country. Western Pennsylvania
is selected for the purpose of illustration, because that section was first
settled and is still dominated by the most powerful Scotch-Irish community
in America. No effort has been made to give this little book orderly
arrangement, or to cast it into logical form. It is simply a series of
sketches, true to nature and to fact; pictures of a people, their doings and
the conditions under which they lived in former days. The chief thing to be
regretted is that a more clever and skilful hand did not hold the brush.
John Walker Dinsmore.
Here is the first paragraph you Chapter 4...
As already intimated, these pioneers of southwestern Pennsylvania seem to
have had in unusual degree the marked characteristics of their race; great
energy and general force of character, with uncommon intelligence, practical
wisdom, self-command, and, above all, deep and controlling piety. Their mood
was earnest, and they took life seriously. In their minds human life under
the sun was not sport; it was very unlike sport; it was no mere holiday, no
carouse, or frolic. It was earnest business. No man could play, or laugh, or
dance his way through this world and come to anything good. And yet they
were not a gloomy, morose, or ascetic people. If that had been their mood,
they never could have done the work they did. They were cheery, hopeful,
brave, steadfast. There was in them a rich vein of humor too, rather coarse
in texture and rough on the edges, but not bitter or malicious. The younger
sort of them was much given to practical jokes. The people were hospitable,
social, neighborly. There was far more sunshine in their lives than is
commonly supposed, and this despite the hard conditions under which they
lived. Considering the close limitations of their lives and their isolation
from the currents of the populous world, they were highly intelligent as a
rule. They had not the training of the schools, but they had the training of
practical life, and of much reflection. They had great respect for real
learning. They would not listen to a minister who had not a classical and
theological education. They cared but little for the trimmings, the mere
filigree, but for solid learning they had very high regard. Especially did
they exhibit in a high degree what we call practical wisdom and common
sense. They searched out the good lands and were not backward in laying hold
of them with a hand that could not be shaken loose. It never was found an
easy job to "jump" the claim of a Scotch-Irishman, whether in Pennsylvania
or California. Ex-Gov. Proctor Knott once said, "The Scotch-Irishman is one
who keeps the commandments of God, and every other good thing he can get his
hands on." In undaunted courage, inflexible resolution, and unwearied
industry, they have never been surpassed by any people. They had great
patience too, and were willing to work hard and wait long, believing that
while they might have to die in faith without entering into the promises,
God was preparing some better thing for those who were to come after them.
They practised the closest economy in everything. To them waste was sin.
However ample the table, everybody was expected to clean up his plate, else
he ought not to have taken so much. They dug every smallest potato from the
row, and wrenched every least nubbin from the husk. They gleaned their
grainfields and raked their meadows clean. Men who would turn out their last
dollar at some call of religion or humanity, would stoop to pick up a pin,
and would patch their garments as long as they could be made to hold
He is going to send in more material so we'll look forward to receiving this
And in conclusion Ranald McIntyre sent us in this wee story...
A renowned and very well respected minister died.
A short time later, another equally respected colleague died, and found
himself on the stairway to Heaven. He was given a bag of chalk and told to
write, one on each step, of the sins he had committed.
After many hundred of steps he noticed his predecessor was on his was down.
Enquiringly he asked "Have you finished and have now been permitted to Enter
The reply was "No, I am on my way down for some more chalk"!
And that's all for now and I hope you and your families all have a great
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