Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
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
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11,
1889. (New Book)
Many many thanks to you all for completing the Homecoming Scotland Survey
and should any of you not have managed to complete it you can still do the
In the first 24 hours I was told that over 700 of you completed this survey
and I very much appreciate your help with this. I also got in a few emails
saying you were having problems getting in or completing it. I'm told that
you really tested the service and totally amazed and WOW'd the researchers.
[grin] Stephen told me that they hoped at the upper limited to get at least
700 completed surveys from all sources and so looks like we managed to beat
this all by ourselves... so well done you! :-)
Due to the heavy usage of the survey in such a short period they did
experience some problems and am told these are now fixed so if you didn't
manage to complete it or get it loaded you should be able to do so now.
I just think it's great how you all demonstrated that if you get a chance to
help then you will. I hope this will open folks eyes a bit back in Scotland
and as a result they'll do better at communicating with us in the future.
In April there will likely be lots of Tartan Day celebrations and I have
been told of a site at
http://www.coloradotartanday.com/ for the Colorado Tartan Day
I've also noted a web site for the Scottish American Society of Canyon
County at http://www.gr8scots.org
Should you be in the Toronto area then the Scottish Studies Dept. at the
University of Gulph are having their Sring Colloquim at Knox College,
University of Toronto, 59 St. George Street, Toronto (Room 4) on Saturday
31st March. $25.00 which includes lunch with registration at 12:15. Email:
They tell me they've almost filled the room so if you can contact them if
you intend to attend that would be a big help as they may need to move to a
This week also sees me embarking on a new project which is to bring you the
first 8 volumes of the Scotch-Irish Society Congresses in the USA. Each
volume is dedicated to a single congress and in it they provide us with the
addresses and historical papers presented at the congress. I hope this will
give us considerable insight into the Scotch-Irish race in America. I also
note the use of the term Scotch-Irish which are also known as the
Scots-Irish or Ulster Scots. More on this below.
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
This is a great company sending fresh flowers along with a free vase and the
flowers come from both Canada and the USA but they can actually deliver to
most parts of the world.
They have special Mother's Day offerings available from March 30, 2007.
A Mother`s Love - 3029 - SR $46.95
Just For Mom - 3018 - SR $36.95
Mommy Magic - 3013 - SR $39.95
Mom`s Delight - 3028 - SR $39.95
Mother`s Day Bouquet - 3011 - SR $44.95
Thanks Mom! - 3014 - SR $37.95
To Mom with Love - 3024 - SR $49.95
They also provide gift baskets which can be added to your order.
Jeanne Treat, the author of the book Dark Birthright, has sent us in a wee
collection of Traditional Fisher Folk Songs of Northeast Scotland that are
featured in her book. Here is one to read here...
Who would be a fisherman's wife?
"Who would be a fisherman's wife?
To go to the mussels with a scrubber and a knife
A dead out fire
And a reveled bed
Away to the mussels in the morning
See the boat come beatin' in
With three reefs to the foresail in
Not a stitch
Upon his back
Away to the mussels in the morning"
There are many songs referenced in this book, taken from traditional
Scottish folk music. Most of these compositions are over 100 years old and
in the public domain, with one exception. "Mairi's Wedding" was written by
Johnny Bannerman in Gaelic in 1935 for his friend Mairi McNiven, and
translated into English a year later by Hugh Roberton.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
It's Donald Bain's turn this week and he's covering the European Union this
week and this makes an interesting read. I thought I'd include his first
article here just to give you a little information on the European Union and
here it is...
Civic nationalism flourishes as the European Union matures
The EUs 50th birthday passed off last week with rather muted celebrations
and an almost total absence of the federalist rhetoric often associated with
such occasions. As usual the institution is in crisis crises are an
essential part of the way the EU operates this time as a consequence of
the French and Dutch electorates rejection of the European Constitution.
And, also as usual, no-one seems particularly worried.
Back in Scotland the EU has been allotted, thus far, only a minor walk-on
part in the election drama. This is a pity because the urgency of gaining
separate Scottish representation in the EU Council of Ministers is so great
as to constitute in itself an irresistible argument for independence.
Unfortunately popular perception of the European Union tends to be shaped by
the xenophobic English press and a Westminster-based political class that
views EU membership as a means of containing rather than encouraging
pan-European initiatives. There is little awareness of the radical changes
in power within the EU in recent years and the exceptional opportunities
these provide for an independent Scotland.
The two key changes that have occurred in the last few years have been the
deep erosion of the powers of the European Commission, mainly to the benefit
of the Council of Ministers, and the growing influence and prosperity of the
smaller countries relative to the larger states. Put simply, the nation
states have regained control of the Union and those most adept at playing by
the new rules are the small and medium countries. The result is more like
the Nordic Union than the dream/nightmare of a United States of Europe.
While this fundamental shift is surprisingly little analysed in Europe
itself it is attracting the attention of North American academics and
commentators. One example is a perceptive recent article by Tom Hundley in
the Chicago Tribune (24th March) entitled Small nations discover benefits
of EU membership.
According to Hundley the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of
Rome comes at a time when the actual European Union has taken a path quite
at odds with the federalist ambitions of the original signatories. The
process they initiated has reshaped the landscape of Europe in ways that
few would have anticipated or intended back then.
'One of the most significant of those unintended consequences is that
European integration has created a Europe where "Great Powers" are becoming
obsolete, and where it is safe, even advantageous, to be a small nation. ..
In terms of pure economic self-interest, it is undoubtedly better to be a
citizen of a small nation like Finland or Ireland than a big one like
Germany or Britain.'
He quotes Oxford historian Timothy Garton Ash in a recent essay. "Small
countries generally don't start wars. They usually don't have the arrogance
of larger states. Besides modesty and intimacy, they often enjoy a high
level of social solidarity. The nation is like an extended family."
Ironically the prime movers of the European project France and Germany
saw the new institutions as a means of expanding their own power. For a
while it did appear almost inevitable that they would dominate. As Hundley
puts it There was a moment between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and
the "Big Bang" EU expansion of 2004 when it seemed the EU might morph into a
kind of European superstate - a United States of Europe.
'But something was happening below the radar. The EU changed the dynamic of
power relations between big nations and small. Until then, politics in
Europe was strictly a big boys' game. "It used to be that large nations -
the Great Powers - would consult with each other and small nations had no
say at all," said Hugo Brady, an analyst at the Center for European Reform,
a London think-tank. "Large nations still have a say in the EU. But if they
try to say to small countries `This is what is going to happen,' then that
is what is not going to happen," he said.'
Some analysts would go further. Hundley quotes the Hungarian political
consultant Krisztian Szabados as saying France, Britain and Germany are
dinosaurs. In the EU, it's better to be small."
He could have added: and essential to be independent.
Linda Fabiani has been awarded an honour by the Italian ambassador... here
is the article from the BBC...
MSP recognised for Italian links - Linda Fabiani was handed the honour by
the Italian ambassador
A Scottish politician has received one of Italy's highest honours in
recognition of her work to promote relations between the two countries. MSP
Linda Fabiani was awarded the Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della
The accolade, bestowed in Edinburgh, translates as Knight of the Order of
the Star of Italian Solidarity. Ms Fabiani, a Nationalist MSP for the
Central Scotland area, said the honour would help boost relations.
The accolade was presented by Italian ambassador Giancarlo Aragona during a
ceremony at the Scottish Parliament. He said of Ms Fabiani: "She is living
testimony of the very successful marriage between Italian and Scottish
values, while being very active and successful in Scottish politics."
He added: "Italians have established themselves for a long time in Scotland
and I'm very happy to see that many of them are very successful and feel
Ms Fabiani, whose grandfather was from Italy, said of her work to promote
Scots-Italian links: "I never thought of it as anything special. I've just
been doing what I think is right to be doing."
The honour, instituted by the Republic of Italy in 1947, is awarded to
citizens and foreigners for distinguished service to the country or its
In Peter's Cultural section we have an article about Easter...
The date of Pasch ( Easter ) is that of the Jewish Passover, which, in turn,
coincides with the great pagan festival that celebrated the Spring Equinox -
thus Easter is the season of renewal in nature. In pagan times, offerings
were made to the Goddess of Spring. The Scandinavians called her Frigga; the
Saxons, Eastre or Ostara, whence the English name Easter. In Scots, however,
Easter is called Pasch or Pesse, a derivative of the Hebrew pesach, passover,
and in Gaelic,Caisg.
Like the Passover, Easter was a lunar date - that of the first Sunday after
the full moon, following the Spring Equinox, hence the old Scots rhyme -
First comes Candlemass,
Syne the new mune;
The neist Tyseday aifter that
Is aye Fester Een.
That mune oot
An the neist mune fou,
The neist mune aifter that
Is aye Pasch true.
The custom of baking cakes in honour of their gods and goddesses was
widespread among the pagan peoples; the Egyptians made a cake marked with a
cross in honour of the Moon; and in Greece and Rome bread similarly marked
was used in the worship of Diana, the round bun representing the full moon
and the four quarters. After the introduction of Christianity, the cross
became a Christian symbol and the Hot Cross Bun became a feature of Good
Friday - this year 14 April. In Scotland the Hot Cross Bun is usually more
highly spiced than the English variety and has a kenspeckle cross of pastry
on the glossy brown surface. Marilyn's recipe makes twelve Hot Cross Buns in
readiness for Good Friday.
Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients: 1/2 level teasp sugar: 5 tablesp lukewarm water: 3 level teasp
dried yeast: 1 lb strong plain flour: 1 level teasp salt: 1 level teasp
mixed spice: 1/2 level teasp cinnamon: 1/2 level teasp nutmeg: 2 oz butter:
2 level tablesp castor sugar: 4 oz mixed dried fruit: 2 oz chopped mixed
peel: 5 fl oz lukewarm milk: 1 large egg, beaten: a little extra milk: 2 oz
shortcrust pastry: Glaze - 2 tablesp milk: 2 level tablesp sugar.
Method: Dissolve sugar in the water, sprinkle yeast on top. Leave in a warm
place until frothy, about 20 minutes. Sift flour, salt and spices. Rub in
fat lightly. Stir in castor sugar, fruit and peel. Hollow the centre. Pour
milk, egg and yeat liquid into hollow. Mix to soft dough. Knead on floured
surface until smooth and no longer stickie, about 10 minutes. Cover and put
in a warm place until double in size - about 2 hours. Turn on to floured
surface, knead until smooth. Cut into 12. Knead each piece into a smooth
ball, place on greased baking sheet, cover and leave until almost double in
size. Preheat a hot oven ( 220 deg C, 425 deg F, Gas 7 ), centre shelf. Roll
pastry out thinly, cut into narrow strips 2 to 3 in long. Brush buns with
milk, place pastry crosses on top. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until they sound
hollow when tapped on base. Dissolve sugar in milk, boil 1 minute. Brush hot
buns with glaze. Cool. Eat and enjoy on Good Friday.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us. She was telling me
that she gets the cast of this coming week so hopes to resume doing the
Scottish Nation for us shortly :-)
Now moved onto the G's and added this week are Fulton, Galbraith and Gall.
Here is the Galbraith entry for you to read here...
GALBRAITH, a surname derived from two Gaelic words, Gall Bhreatan, strange
Britain, or Low country Briton. Nisbet renders the meaning the brave
stranger, but the former appears the more correct. The Galbraiths were once
a powerful family in the Lennox. The first known is Gillespick Galbrait,
witness in a charter by Malduin, earl of Lennox, to Humphry Kilpatrick, of
the lands of Colquhoun. In the beginning of the reign of Alexander the
Second, the same Earl Malduin gave a charter to Maurice, son of this
Gilespick, of the lands of Gartonbenach, in Stirlingshire, and soon after,
in 1238, the same lands, under the name of Bathernock, (now Baldernock,)
were conveyed to Arthur Galbraith, son of Maurice, with power to seize and
condemn malefactors, on condition that the culprits should be hanged on the
earls gallows. From the Galbraiths of Bathernock, chiefs of the name,
descended the Galbraiths of Culeruich, Greenock, Killearn, and Balgair. In
the Ragman Roll occurs the name of Arthur de Galbrait, as one of the barons
of Scotland who swore fealty to Edward the First in 1296. The family were
afterwards designed of Gartconnell.
William Galbraith of Gartconnell is noticed as a person of good account in
the time of David the Second, about the middle of the 14th century.
[Crawfords Peerage, p. 159, note.] This William had three daughters,
coheiresses, the eldest of whom married John de Hamilton, a son of the house
of Cadzow, predecessor of the Hamiltons of Baldernock and Bardowie, who in
consequence adopted in their arms a boars head, part of the arms of
Galbraith; the second, Janet, married, in 1373, in the reign of Robert the
Third, Nicol Douglas, fourth son of James first lord of Dalkeith, grandson
of William lord of Douglas, the companion in arms of Sir William Wallace; by
which marriage he acquired the estate of Mains and other lands in the
Lennox, still in the possession of his descendant. The third daughter became
the wife of the brother of Logan of Restalrig, from whom descended the
Logans of Gartconnell and Balvey, long since extinct. In the reign of James
the Second, one of the name of Galbraith was governor of the upper castle of
The family of Galbraith of Machrihanish and Drumore in Argyleshire, of which
David Steuart Galbraith, Esq., is the representative (1854), is sprung from
the Galbraiths of Gigha, descended from the Galbraiths of Baldernock. They
fled from the Lennox with Lord James Stewart, youngest son of Murdoch, duke
of Albany, after leaving Dumbarton, in the reign of James the First, and
held the island of Gigha from the Macdonalds of the Isles till after 1590.
The Galbraiths, in the Gaelic language, are called Breatanuich or
Clann-a-Breatannuich, Britons, or the children of the Britons.
The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.
Added this week are...
The History of Missouri - Chapter I
The Provincial Period, 1682 - 1804
The History of Missouri - Chapter II
The Territorial Period, 1804 - 1820
Here is how The History of Missouri - Chapter I starts...
Early Explorations of Missouri.
THE name "Missouri," of doubtful origin and meaning, was applied first to an
Indian tribe near the mouth of the river, then to the river, and finally to
the territory and state. During the French and Spanish period the
settlements within the present state boundaries were ordinarily spoken of as
the Illinois country, or, with all the posts north of the Arkansas, as Upper
Louisiana. "Missouri" was restricted to the settlements on that river. The
scope of the present chapter, however, will be determined by the present
meaning of the term.
If the more than doubtful visits of De Soto and Coronado be omitted, and the
early explorations of the Mississippi be referred to Louisiana history, it
may be said that the history of Missouri begins with the founding, about
1700, of Kaskaskia on the eastern bank of the Mississippi. This settlement
of French Canadians developed from a mission and trading station into a
prosperous agricultural district of several villages and perhaps 1,000
inhabitants, and was the headquarters for the earlier explorations and
settlements in Missouri.
The incentives for the earlier explorations westward were twofold; the
Indian trade on the Missouri River, and the lead mines on the Meramec and
the St. Francois. For the most part these explorers were independent
adventurers of the familiar French-Canadian type and left very fragmentary
evidence of their activities. The only regular expeditions of importance
were those of Du Tisne, who in 1718 ascended the Missouri beyond the mouth
of the Osage, and later crossed southern Missouri to the great plains, and
of Bourgmont, who two years later established Fort Orleans on the Missouri.
This post, intended barrier to the Spanish, was located probably near the
mouth of Grand River; it was abandoned in 1726. Meanwhile traders and miners
from Kaskaskia were ascending the Missouri every year at least as early as
1705. Little is known of the individuals, but by 1720 the Missouri and its
chief tributaries were known as far west as the present site of Kansas City.
Marble Mountain and Malagawatch
Here is how the account of Creignish starts...
This district lies on the coast between the district of Port Hastings and
that of Judique. A bold and bleak looking country this, reminding one at
once of Scott's "Caledonia, stern and wild". It is hard, hilly and rocky,
but far from being repulsive in its frowning glories. From all its various
parts, and especially from the elevated heights behind it, there is a wide
view of the sea which, in summer, is satisfying and grand. When the stones
and boulders are removed, the soil is good; but so difficult of cultivation
that only the Highland "hearts of oak" would be willing to try it.
Comfortable subsistence among these "crags and peaks" would scarcely be
possible by means of farming alone. Consequently, from the time of the
earliest settlements, the strong young men of this place "went down to the
sea in ships". Thus the sea and its perilous pursuits became a charm for the
doughty and dauntless sons of Creignish. In the years of their prime
physical strength it was their lot to have
"A house upon the ocean wave,
"A home on the rolling deep."
They fished at home and abroad, along the local shores, in the Bay, on the
coast of the New England States, or on the treacherous Grand Banks of
Newfoundland. In all their marine experience they were obliged to live and
work with all classes and conditions of associates. They followed their fare
to the markets of Gloucester, where they usually spent their idle winters.
They were among the very ablest men this province ever produced. Some of
them acquired the name of being famous fighters. It could not well be
otherwise, in such environments. We are told that, "when we are in Rome, we
must do as the Romans do". Far more domineering and insistent are the
driving desperation of the winds, and the wild welter of the waters. Yes;
those redoubtable men of Creignish had the reputation of being wild. But
that was when they lived in the storms, and mingled with the minions of
disorder. The true test of their character is found in their subsequent
lives, after the storms had ceased and a calm had fallen on their path.
They, then, settled down into homes of peace and good will. In these homes
they found fresh air for their souls; they found rest and human sympathy,
they found themselves, these noble natives of Creignish. There was love in
Always something interesting in this newspaper and here is a wee article I
Scotland is noted for the simplicity of its marriage ceremony; but, however
simple, people always recognize that by its forms husband and wife are
firmly bound together for life. There was once prevalent in Scotland,
however, a marital tie of a considerably easier description one which we
are afraid would not universally commend itself nowadays, though it might be
much use to those unhappy individuals of both sexes who are constrained to
invite the assistance of the Divorce Court in loosening their bonds.
By this custom the two persons were not united for life, but only for a
twelve month. This peculiar usage prevailed chiefly in the remote district
of Eskdalemuir, where there was little communication with other places. A
fair was held every year at a spot at the foot of the parish, close to the
junction of the Black and White Esks, at which it was the custom for
unmarried persons of both sexes to choose a companion according to their
liking till the same period next year. This was called handfasting, or
hand-in-fist. If both were pleased with each other by the time the next fair
came round they continued together for life; if not they separated, and were
free to make another choice, as at the first. The children born under this
engagement were reckoned lawful children though the parents did afterwards
resile. It is not known when the custom commenced, but it seems to have
continued for a long period. In the end of last century an old man was
living near Langholm who had been acquainted with an individual named Beaton,
and this man was grandson to a couple married in that fashion. This
primitive kind of union was entered into on occasion by the higher classes,
for it is related in some Scottish histories that Robert II. was thus wedded
to Elizabeth More.
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
by Henri Hubert (1934).
Our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning this in for us.
The End of Celtic Britain and Ireland. Saxons, Scots and Norsemen at
I. The Germanic Invasions. II. The Occupation of Brittany. III. The
Independent Celts of Scotland and Ireland. IV. The Inroads of the Scots. V.
The Scots in Scotland. VI. Christian Ireland to the Scandinavian Invasions.
VII. The Scandinavian Invasions. VIII. The Wars of Independence; 1. Wales;
2. Scotland; 3. Ireland. IX. Conclusion of this History.
These are .pdf files for which you need the Acrobat reader.
THE INDEPENDENT CELTS OF SCOTLAND AND IRELAND
The unceasing inroads of the Picts which disturbed Britain in the fourth and
fifth centuries seem to point to a renewal of vitality. But, though we know
the dates of their expeditions, we have no information about the Picts
themselves or the Caledonians of Scotland. We only know that the Picts had
been founding settlements in Ulster since the fourth century, and that they
were formidable fighters. [MacNeill, CCCCXLI, p. 141.]
Different kinds of Gulls: Large Collections of Breeding-places Islands
on a Loch Eggs of Gulls Young Birds Food and Voracity of Large Gulls:
Salmon-fry killed by Boatswain-Gull - Manner of procuring Food.
Woodcock's Nest: Early Breeding of; Habits of, in Spring; First Arrival of;
Anecdotes of; Manner of Carrying their Young Habits of Snipe Number of
Jack-snipes Solitary Snipe.
Seals Destruction to Fish and Nets Shooting Seal in River and Sea
Habits of Seals Anecdotes Seal and Dog Seal and Keeper Catching
Fox-hunting in the Highlands
The Badger: Antiquity of, Cleanliness; Abode of; Food; Family of Trapping
Badgers Anecdotes Escape of Badger Anecdotes Strength of Cruelty
Autumn day on the Mountain Stags and Hinds A Bivouac Death of the
Here is a wee story from the chapter about the seals...
My man, one day while we were waiting in our ambuscade for the seals, gave
me an account of a curious adventure he had with one near the same spot a
few years back.
He was lying at daybreak ensconced close to the water's edge, waiting in
vain for a shot at some grey geese that frequented the place at the time,
when he saw a prodigiously large seal floating quietly along with the tide,
not thirty yards from the shore. Donald did not disturb the animal, but went
home early in the day, and, having cast some bullets for his gun and made
other preparations, retired to rest. The next morning he was again at the
shore, well concealed, and expecting to see the seal pass with the flowing
tide; nor was he disappointed. About the same period of the rise of the
tide, the monster appeared again. Donald cocked his gun, and crouched down
behind his ambuscade of sea-weed and shingle, ready for the animal's head to
appear within shot This soon happened, but instead of swimming on with the
tide the seal came straight to the shore, not above ten yards from where his
mortal enemy was lying concealed. The water was deep to the very edge, and
the great unwieldy beast clambered up the steep beach, and was very soon
high and dry, a few yards from the muzzle of Donald's gun, which was
immediately pointed at him, but from the position in which the seal was
lying he could not get a shot at the head, the only part where a wound would
prove immediately fatal.
Donald waited some time, in hopes that the animal would turn or lift his
head, but at last losing patience, he gave a low whistle, which had the
immediate effect of making the animal lift its head to listen. The gun was
immediately discharged, and the ball passed through the seal's neck, close
to the head. Up ran Donald, and flinging down his gun, seized one of the
immense fins or flippers of the beast, which he could scarcely span with
both hands. The seal was bleeding like a pig at the throat, and quite
stunned at the same time, but though it did not struggle, it showed a kind
of inclination to move towards the water, which obliged Donald to stick his
heels into the ground, and to lean back, holding on with all his strength to
prevent the escape of the enormous beast. "'Deed, sir," said Donald, "if you
believe me, he was as big as any Hieland stirk in the parish." Well, there
the two remained for above an hour motionless, but always straining
against each other, Donald's object being to keep the seal in the same place
till the tide had receded to some distance, and then to despatch him how he
best could. Many a wistful glance he cast at his gun, which he had so rashly
flung down without reloading; the said gun being, as he said, "but a bit
trifling single-barrelled thing, lent him by a shoemaker lad, who whiles
took a shot along the shore" in other words, who poached more hares than
he made shoes.
After they had remained in this uncomfortable position for a long time, till
Donald's hands had become perfectly cramped and stiff, the seal suddenly
seemed to recover himself, and turning round to see what was holding him,
looked the man full in the face, with a bewildered air of astonishment; then
seeing what kind of enemy he had to deal with, he gave a tremendous shake,
casting Donald off like a "bit rag," as he expressed it, and leaving him
prostrate in the pool of blood that had come out of the bullet-hole, moved
slowly into the water, and quietly went down to the bottom. Donald, in utter
disgust and wretchedness at losing his prize, walked straight home, and went
to bed to sleep off his disappointment. The next morning, however, on
considering over the matter, he came to the conclusion that the seal must be
dead, and would probably, as the tide ebbed, be grounded on one of the
adjacent sandbanks; so he returned to the bay at low water, and the first
thing he saw was his seal lying dead on a sandbank, and looking like a
cobble keel uppermost. And a perfect argosy did it turn out, producing more
pints of oil and a larger skin than ever seal produced before or since.
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 now completed this book with...
Chapter IX - Language and Literature at
Origin and formation of Scotch language At first the same language as the
English English south and north of Trent The Northern a well cultivated
speech The separation and progressive diversity of Southern and Northern
English The latter called Scotch Earliest written Scotch As found in
charters Earliest literary compositions Lays or ballads Ossianic
poetry Never influenced our national literature Early Northern romances
Remaining Scotch of fourteenth century in writing of that period
Barbour's poem composed then Earliest copies extant not written for a
century after Scotch used in Parliament at end of fourteenth century
Letters of correspondence then written Wyntoun's chronicle written about
1420 Preserved in MS. almost of that date Progress of Scotch literature
in poetry and prose How far the people capable of appreciating it
Education of the people Scarcity of books Modes of instruction
Universities The pulpit AElfric's homilies of the eleventh century
Library of the Culdees of Lochleven of the twelfth century Catalogue of
Glasgow Cathedral library 1432 Burgh schools Act of Parliament 1496
Old grammar schools Grammar school of Aberdeen 1520 Andrew Simpson's
school at Perth before the Reformation Introduction in Scotch schools of
Greek and Hebrew Scotch Universities St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen
Founded in the fifteenth century Popular tendency of our authors.
Chapter X - Dwellings - Architecture and Arts Connected with it at
Early dwellings Caves Subterranean built chambers Galleries in Orkney
Early strongholds of wood Circular hill forts Some very remarkable
Cathertun Barmekyn of Echt Vitrified forts Picts' houses "Druid's
circles" Some of their purposes Sculptured monuments Symbols of
unknown meaning Limitation of the sculptured monuments, as to place
(Lowland Scotland) and time (eighth and ninth centuries) Earliest
Christian buildings Round towers History of art depending on
architecture Attempt to fix eras of architectural style Old Whithern and
Iona quite gone First style extant, Norman or Romanesque Its date Next,
"First Pointed" Third, "Middle Pointed" Later style Collegiate
churches Ornamental arts subserving architecture A word about heraldry
Stained glass Symbolical meaning of church architecture Workmanship in
iron and wood Timber roofs Stucco ceilings Wood carving Dunblane
King's College, Aberdeen Tiles Ancient seals, baronial and
ecclesiastical Coins A charter of 1159 with portraits of David I. and
Malcolm IV. Hoard of silver ornaments found in Orkney Its date fixed to
the ninth century Architectural art as applied to domestic buildings
Scotch castles of the time of David I. and earlier, all gone Remains of
those of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Kildrummy Lochindorb
Bothwell Baronial tower of the fifteenth century Causes of its poor
style Subsequent additions Ornate style introduced by James IV. and
James V. Stirling Linlithgow New style of castle mansion Lord
Dunfermline and Earl of Strathmore its leaders Fyvie Pinkie Glammis
Spread especially in Aberdeenshire Castle Fraser Craigievar Crathes
Craigston, etc. Dwellings of the people Never retrograding Change and
improvement Constant and still continuing Burgh domestic architecture.
I. Capitular of Charlemagne, De villis imperialibus
II. Aelfric's homilies in Anglo-Saxon .
III. Library of the Culdees of St. Serf's
IV. Lease between the Abbot of Scone and Hay of Leys
V. Catalogue of Books in Glasgow Cathedral
VI. James Melvill's Diary
To trace the origin of the language which we call Scotch, we must go back to
a period when it was known by another name. Long before the Anglo-Saxon
government and language had come to an end, the language and literature of
the great and more enlightened kingdom of Northumbria were distinguished
from the Saxon of Southern and Western England; and when the language of
England passed by that strangely rapid transition from the cultivated,
grammatical Anglo-Saxon, into the rude unformed English, the northern people
still kept a peculiar and very distinct dialect. Down to the end of the
fourteenth century, this Doric dialect of English extended all over the
ancient province of Northumbria, which included Lothian, and beyond even
those bounds, along the whole east coast and lowlands of Scotland. It would
be a mistake to suppose it a mere patois or vulgar spoken tongue,
uncultivated by men of learning. Not to mention the wealthy abbeys which
studded the valleys of Yorkshire and our own Teviotdale each a little
school of good letters the great Episcopal Sees of York . and Durham, and
the Royal Court of Scotland which, down to the fourteenth century, enjoyed
more peace and prosperity than fell to the lot of the English monarchs, were
the centres of some intellectual cultivation. The northern tongue, so formed
and cultivated, possessed a literature which we become acquainted with, in a
state of rapid growth, and bidding fair to rival or excel that of the South
spoiled and depressed as it was by the courtly use of French until the
genius of Chaucer turned the balance. Within those wide bounds, from Trent
to the Moray Firth, there were, doubtless, numerous small varieties of
language and accent, distinguishable among themselves; while to the Kentish
man or the Londoner, the epithet "Northern" comprehended the whole; and it
is certain that, down to the fourteenth century, a uniform language was used
and cultivated, and written by men of education, and for purposes of
literature, through that wide district.
Starting from a point of time, a little before Chaucer had given shape and
life to the southern dialect a little before Barbour had composed his
national epic, popular from the first among all classes of his northern
countrymen, the languages of the northern and the southern were distinct
indeed, and marked by recognised peculiarities, but the people of each
country understood the speech of the other. This soon ceased to be so. The
disputed succession at the end of the thirteenth century interrupted the old
friendly communication between the sister nations, and Scotch nationality
required her to abandon the English standard of taste as well as policy. The
dialects of the two courts, still in their infancy, grew up in independent
and separate growth, and differing at first slightly, but both in a state of
progress in different directions, came in the course of three centuries to
be almost different languages, and that of the one people scarcely
intelligible to the other. In this change the southern court naturally drew
with it all the district of ancient Northumbria which was not subject to
Scotland. London was necessarily the model of speech, from the Land's End to
the Tweed; while Lothian and Saxon Scotland looked to the Scotch court as
the rule of propriety; and that which had been long known as the northern
speech began sometimes to be called "Scotch." Thus it continued, the
difference and breach still widening, until the Reformation drew the
sympathies of one great class of Scotchmen towards England and English
writers as well as statesmen.
Scotch-Irish in America
By John Walker Dinsmore (1906)
Have now completed this book with the last three chapters. Here is how
Chapter 13 starts...
These Scotch-Irish were uncommonly "set in their ways." This is often said
to their discredit. They are described as a bigoted, stubborn, pigheaded
breed; as much given to contentions and quarrels about trivialities; as
extremely quick to take offense, and very reluctant to be reconciled, and
hence it is said, they were a hard people to live with, and that there were
among them many life-long alienations and feuds arising out of matters
utterly unimportant and even contemptible. There is a color of truth in
this. Their blood was very red and their temper very hot, their heads were
hard and their hands heavy, but they were by no means a quarrelsome people.
They were not of kin to Paddy at the Donnybrook fair, strutting about with a
chip on his shoulder and provoking a fracas. They seldom invited trouble or
picked a quarrel, but once in, they could be depended upon to stay in to a
finish. They were bound to have room for themselves, and refused to be too
much crowded; hence they were sturdy fighters, and not likely to run away
till the trouble was over. This was their way when contending for their
civil and religious liberties in other lands; they showed the same trait in
the struggle for American Independence, and continued to show it in all
things. This mood, temper, or trait of the race was a very marked and
persistent one. No doubt there was in the typical Scotch-Irish a vein of
what may fairly be called asinine obstinacy. He sometimes thought he was
governed by principle and conscience when in fact it was only prejudice and
stubbornness. Consequently, many of the alienations in families,
neighborhoods and congregations were silly, contemptible and wicked. But it
was this very trait in its nobler manifestations, that gave them their
strength and heroism.
The very men who were sometimes misled into making battle where there was
nothing worth while at stake were precisely the men who were ready to stand,
and who did stand unto death for the rights of man and the truth of Christ.
The noblest qualities are sometimes the most easily perverted, and they are
the very worst when so perverted. It was the conscience and fiery zeal of
Saul of Tarsus, perverted, that made him the scourge and the terror of the
early Church. An earnest and determined man is always dangerous if he is
misled. This is the snare of all able, conscientious and resolute people.
Every strong and overcoming man is "set in his ways;" else he would not be
strong and overcoming at all. Only the weak and willowy give way when they
are challenged. The important thing to be seen to is, that the position
taken is right, and that the matter at issue is worth contending for. Herein
was the weakness, and sometimes the wickedness of my people.
As a Scotch-Irishman by birth and breeding, in blood and marrow, I call them
mine, and claim the right to speak of them freely. I have an honest pride in
my race, but not in all their traits and doings. They often made themselves
small and contemptible before God and all high-minded men, by their
squabbles over things of no importance. Most frequently these contentions
were concerning matters of doctrine, or worship, or church administration,
for by far the most important interest of life to these people was their
religion. Just here is the explanation of the manifold divisions of the
common Presbyterians. All branches of this common Presbyterianism hold
substantially to the same doctrines and policy, and yet they have been
broken up into many divisions by differences of opinion touching a more or
less strict construction of some points of doctrine, worship, or
administration. This gave us two or three kinds of Covenanters, of Seceders,
and of those who called themselves Regulars. These separated branches were
not only alienated, but for most of the time, actively belligerent. If the
Presbyterian Jew did not openly curse the Presbyterian Samaritan in his
synagogue, he at least unsparingly denounced him, and warned his flock
against his perilous wiles and pernicious delusions. This was in keeping
with the temperament of the people, and we cannot boast of it.
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11,
This is a new book I've started which will be the first of 8 volumes
completing accounts of the first 8 congresses. It has always been my
intention to do more on the Scots-Irish and especially in North America. I
feel these first 8 volumes will give us a really good start at building
knowledge of the race. In each volume you will find transcriptions of the
addresses and historical papers presented at each congress which make
As this is the start of a major volume of work for the site I feel it would
be worth while for you to read the Introduction to set the scene and here it
is for you to read here...
The Scotch-Irish Congress, it's Objectives and Results
By A. C. Floyd.
The Scotch-Irish people have been second to none in their influence upon
modern civilization. Their impress upon American institutions has been
especially strong. They have been leaders in every sphere of life, both
public and private. They were the first to declare independence from Great
Britain, and foremost in the revolutionary struggle; leaders in the
formation and adoption of the Constitution, and its most powerful defenders;
most active in the extension of our national domain, and the hardiest
pioneers in its development.
The associations suggested by a few of the illustrious men of the the stock
are sufficient to outline the extent of their influence. Among them were
Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Witherspoon, John Paul Jones, James
Madison, John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan,
Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant.
That they have been no less conspicuous in the material development and
intellectual progress of the country, is evidenced by the names of Robert
Fulton, Horace Greeley, Robert Bonner, and the McCormicks.
These men are but types of the Scotch-Irish, and their achievements are but
examples of the numberless illustrious deeds of the race; and yet no
distinct and connected history of this people has ever been written. Their
marked and distinctive impress upon the country and their proverbial race
pride renders this passing strange, especially in this history-writing age,
when the Puritan, the Huguenot, the Dutch, and every other class and
nationality composing our population, have recorded their deeds with
minutest care. In this, they have done nothing more than perform their duty,
for it is the duty of all to study great examples and hold their virtues up
for the emulation of on-coming generations. Thus is patriotism cultivated
and every noble endeavor stimulated. Thoughtful men, indeed, knew the wealth
of Scotch-Irish achievement and keenly felt the poverty of its recognition.
Where else could nobler types of manhood be found? The hand of the
historian, brushing away the dust of time, was alone needed to reveal the
grandest figures of the world. The greatness of the fathers still lingered
in the traditions of the children, but the delay of a few more years would
consign them to an oblivion from which they could never be recovered.
If the work was ever to be done, it was necessary that it should be
commenced without further delay. These facts were recognized and discussed,
but the demand resulted in nothing definite until it took form in the
Scotch-Irish Congress held at Columbia, Tennessee, last May.
The objects to be attained were not new; but the Congress, as a means of
their accomplishment, was altogether original. The projectors of this
gathering fully realized the extent of the work they had undertaken, and
desired that it should be done in the most thorough and comprehensive manner
possible. A convention composed of representative members of the race from
all quarters of the country commended itself to them as the best means of
beginning the work.
The addresses of the distinguished speakers, the historical papers
submitted, and the reminiscences recounted would form a nucleus for the
complete collection of data which it was hoped to accumulate in the course
of time. Important as this meeting was expected to be, however, its
promoters realized that it could only begin the great work. A permanent
organization was necessary to continue it. Besides, a Scotch-Irish
association was desirable for social as well as historical purposes. In
this, as in the matter of history writing, they were behind all others.
Every other people in America had banded themselves together for purposes of
mutual pleasure and assistance. When properly directed, these societies had
accomplished much good. Why should not the Scotch-Irish organize in a
similar manner? Why should not their proverbial and well warranted race
pride serve to focus their great energies upon purposes of common good?
Among the many great objects to which this organized power could be applied
was the collection of the desired historical data and the promotion of
The one would contribute in the highest degree to the cultivation of
patriotism; the other would promote the warmest fraternal feeling. A better
acquaintance between the northern and southern members of the race would
bring a better understanding and a broader sympathy, binding the two
sections together in the strong and enduring bonds of real friendship. To
effect such an organization was the second great object of the Congress.
Among all the states of the Union, none could have been more appropriate for
the gathering than Tennessee, both on account of her geographical position
and the blood of her people. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North and
South Carolina received the first great accessions of Ulster immigration;
but swarms from these parent hives, moving westward since colonial days, now
make Tennessee about the center of the blood in the United States. Besides,
her intermediate position between the extreme North and the extreme South
makes her people freer from sectional prejudice than either of these
quarters, and, therefore, better fitted to promote the fraternal spirit
which the convention was intended to foster. In no other state is the
Scotch-Irish blood purer. They were the earliest and most numerous of her
pioneers. On the banks of the Watauga, they made the first American
settlement west of the Alleghanies, and it was they who led the vanguard in
the march of civilization westward through her territory. They filled the
armies that subdued the savages of the West and South-west. It was their
stern, unalterable courage and determination which prevented Great Britain
and Spain from confining the Americans to the Atlantic slope, and secured
the Mississippi valley to the Union.
Their numbers and valor in every war in which the country has been engaged
has won for Tennessee the proud title of "The Volunteer State." They stamped
their predominant characteristics upon their descendants, and gave the
prevailing type to the character of the whole people. It was but natural
that a convention called to do them honor should meet with warmest approval.
Columbia, the place chosen for the first Congress, lies in the very center
of Tennessee, and her Scotch-Irish population, surrounded by a country
widely known as "the garden spot of Tennessee" a country unsurpassed for
salubrity of climate, richness and variety of products, and advantages of
geographical position. This heart of the Middle Tennessee Basin, now
carpeted with a rich growth of blue grass, was originally covered by
luxuriant cane-brakes, the infallible sign of a fat soil. It is not strange
that the Scotch-Irish should have occupied it first. Always in the foremost
ranks of the pioneers, the richest lands became theirs by right of discovery
and first occupation, while the poorer country was left to the more timid
people, who followed at a later and safer period. The advantages thus
acquired, and the characteristic tenacity with which they have been held, go
far to explain why the race has ever since been the wealthiest and most
influential of the people in the countries first settled by them. The
strength of their influence in Maury county is illustrated in Judge
Fleming's sketch of Zion Church, and Dr. Kelly's address, published in this
volume. Among the distinguished men of this stock whom Maury county has
produced was James K. Polk, who went from Columbia to the President's chair.
Another thing that recommended Columbia was her railway facilities. These
roads, running north, south, east, and west, make her easily accessible from
every quarter of the country. Arrived here, visitors, especially those from
the North, occupy an excellent vantage point from which to visit and study
the best parts of the South. Within short reach by rail are some of the most
famous battle-fields of the late war Franklin, Nashville, Murfreesboro,
Shiloh, and others. In easy communication, also, are Florence, Sheffield,
Birmingham, and other manufacturing cities of the celebrated coal and iron
fields of the South, affording the finest illustrations of the marvelous
industrial progress which this section is now making. These advantages and
associations rendered Columbia a peculiarly appropriate place for the
Having decided that the Congress should be held, and that Columbia was the
place to hold it, the initial steps in the arrangements for it were taken in
October, 1888. This action was prompted by Colonel T. T. Wright, now of
Nashville, Tennessee. To him belongs the honor of having originated this, as
well as many other great ideas, which have resulted in much public benefit.
He not only originated the idea and inspired the first action for carrying
it into effect, but gave the movement, at every stage, the invaluable aid of
his advice, time, and means.
The date fixed for the beginning of the Congress was May 8, 1889, the most
perfect season of the year in Tennessee. Arrangements for the Congress were
vigorously and systematically pushed from the beginning. Some of the most
distinguished men of the race accepted invitations to deliver addresses and
to prepare historical papers. A thousand leading newspapers published the
general invitation to the race issued by Governor Taylor and the Secretary;
also, the reports sent them from time to time, as events developed, together
with extensive and favorable editorial mention.
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