It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning
the weekend is nearly here :-)
You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
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this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.
See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at
Electric Scotland News
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Poetry and Stories
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Book of Scottish Story
History of the County of Bruce
History of Ulster
Andrew Melville by William Morrison (1899)
That new advertising option of a pop under quickly did my head in so removed
it although the odd one still comes up for some reason. Have converted the
advertising to an advert in our left border but am not happy with that
either as I can't see the relevance of these adverts to the site. Seems I'm
getting free cursors, free screensavers and poker adverts. I'll give it
another week but if I don't see any better relevance I'll remove it. Such is
the life of a webmaster seeking advertising opportunities :-(
I dithered about attending next Monday's meeting in Toronto where Jim Mather
MSP, the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism in the Scottish
Goverrnment will be speaking. After getting several emails and a phone call
I decided to attend after all. I'll report on what happened in the next
As I've been working on the transactions of the Highland and Agricultural
Society of Scotland I came across one of the transactions that listed lots
of farmers in Argyll. I noted in partcular that the Mac names were spelt M'
and I also noted that in my case there was a listing of some 17 M'Intyre's.
I only mention this as if you were searching for Mac or Mc you would have
missed these names on the page. And so where you are searching for names
starting Mac it is important to include Mc and M' as well.
Just as a matter of interest I decided to look for all three when I looked
for MacDonald and found...
So if you'd just searched for MacDonald you'd have missed some 404 mentions
of the name. This by the way is using our own Google search engine which
defaults to just searching our site.
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
Scotland on TV
Visit their site at
Scotland on TV at the Golden Spurtle
Sunday 7th October 2007 was a gorgeous day throughout Scotland, but
seemingly, Carrbridge has its own micro-climate. Thank goodness, then, that
we were indoors at Carrbridge Community Centre, which was packed to the
gunnels with locals, and plenty of foodie types who'd travelled from as far
afield as America, Russia and Sweden - all intent on witnessing the glory
that is the 14th Annual Golden Spurtle Awards.
Scotland on TV arrived just as the competition was getting under way, with
the first round of 'cook offs'. The participants were all earnestly stirring
their spurtles and adding the basic ingredients: oats, water and salt, in
tiny increments so as to build the subtle flavours slowly, before their
spurtle-stirring efforts were quickly handed over to the judges.
It was quite a surprise to see just how basic porridge can differ from one
bowl to the next. Some pale, some grainy, some fluffy, some dry, some wet...
but none lumpy! The expert judges, drafted from some of the finest eating
establishments in Scotland really had their work cut out, as the bowls of
steaming oat based goodness came thick and fast.
After the judges had looked, tasted, commented on and marked the plethora of
porridges, the still steaming bowls were passed on to the eager and hungry
punters in the kitchen, so they too could savour the delights of porridge
made properly by keen enthusiasts and professionals alike.
We spoke to the judges, the competitors, and our fellow porridge devotees,
and eventually built a full picture of just why this event attracts such
worldwide interest. Scotlandontv asked 'Just what are the tricks of the
trade in making the perfect bowl of porridge'.
Congratulations must go to Speciality Winner, Al Beaton and the winner of
the Golden Spurtle, Maria Soep, who cooked the best porridge on the day.
Worthy winners of their titles.
You can see more about the contest in the finished film at
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Richard Thomson where he is talking about
Gordon Brown and the decision not to set an early election.
In Peter's cultural section he talks about the Gaelic Mod...
Today (Friday 12 October 2007) sees the official opening of the 104th Royal
National Mod in Fort William and the Gaelic festival runs to Saturday 20
October 2007 as Gaels, young and old, enjoy Gaeldom’s premier event. Fort
William lies on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe, at the southern end of The
Great Glen and at the foot of Ben Nevis. It is the largest town in the West
highlands and is the commercial centre of Lochaber.
An Comunn Gaidhealach was formed in 1891 to promote the use and teaching of
Gaelic and held its first Mod in Oban the following year. Now the Royal
National Mod, it is the Scotland’s premier festival of the Gaelic language,
arts and culture, and is held annually in October at different venues
throughout Scotland. Next year the Mod moves to the Central Belt when
Falkirk will be the host-town from 10 to 18 October 2008. The Mod is
competition-based festival which celebrates the Gaelic language through
music, dance, arts and literature. The Children’s competitions, in
particular, attract great attention, and are obviously much enjoyed by the
young Gaels taking part.
Mod 2007 will be on a far greater scale than its 1892 counterpart which was
restricted to a one day event and like all modern festivals, The Mod has its
own fringe! Visit
http://www.the-mod.co.uk for details of all activities at Fort William.
Some unfair commentators dismiss The Mod as the ‘Whisky Olympics’ and while
it is true that a dram or two will oil the success of the event, there is
much more to The Mod and Gaeldom would be much the poorer without its
showcase. The annual Mod acts as a reminder of our Gaelic heritage and acts
as a visible reminder to all Scots of the important part Gaelic still plays
in Scottish life and what it means to be Scottish. The recent opening of a
new Gaelic-medium primary school in Inverness, Bunsgoil Ghaidlig Inbhir Nis,
shows that Gaelic is not yet, thankfully, a dead language.
But Whisky does play a part in this week’s recipe as you can enjoy a drop of
your favourite Malt in Whisky Pears.
Ingredients: 1 tin pear halves; 2 tablespoons Highland Malt Whisky; vanilla
ice cream; grated walnut; chocolate sauce
Method: Strain the juice off the pears and mix in the Whisky (the cook is
allowed a sample!). Mix the grated walnut into the ice cream. Put two scoops
of ice cream on to each plate either side of a pear half and top with
chocolate sauce. Pour on the Whisky juice before serving. Delicious!
You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and
lots more at
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Onto the K's with Kennedy, Kerr, Kilmarnock, Kilsyth and Kincardine
Here is how the account of Kerr starts...
KER, or KERR, a word signifying strength, the English form of which is Carr,
the surname of two noble families of Anglo-Norman lineage, Roxburghe and
Lothian, descended from two brothers, Ralph and Robert, sons of the family
of Kerr of Kerrshall in Lancashire, originally of the Kerrs of Normandy, who
came over at the Conquest. Which of the brothers was the elder has not be
ascertained. They are said to have come to Scotland in the 13th century, and
settling in Roxburghshire became the founders of two separate races of
warlike border chieftains, the Kerrs of Ferniehirst and the Kerrs of
Cessford. Of the former the marquis of Lothian is the male representative,
(see LOTHIAN, Marquis of), and of the latter the duke of Roxburghe is the
head (see ROXBURGHE, Duke of).
Several barons of this name appear in the Ragman Roll as having sworn fealty
to Edward I. in 1296.
KER, JOHN, third duke of Roxburghe, a celebrated bibliomanist, was born in
London April 23, 1740, and succeeded his father, the second duke, in 1755.
Having acquired an extraordinary taste for old publications, he formed the
largest private collection of rare and curious books in the kingdom. He
died, unmarried, March 19, 1804, and was buried at Bowden, near Melrose. The
public sale of his extensive library, which consisted of nearly ten thousand
books, and was particularly rich in old romances of chivalry and early
English poetry, took place in May 1812, and created an unprecedented
excitement among book collectors. The catalogue was made out principally by
Mr. G. Nichol, bookseller to the king. The prices paid for some of the works
were enormous. A copy of the first edition of the Decameron of Boccaccio,
printed at Venice by Valdarfar, in 1471, was bought by the marquis of
Blandford, afterwards duke of Marlborough, for £2,260 sterling; a copy of
the first work printed by Caxton, with a date, ‘Recuyell of the Historyes of
Troye,’ (1461, folio,) was sold for one thousand guineas; and a copy of the
first edition of Shakspeare (1623, folio), for one hundred guineas. In
commemoration of this event, the Roxburghe club, was formed for the
collection of rare books, the preservation of curious MSS., and the reprint
of scarce and curious tracts, for the use of the members of the club.
You can read the rest of this entry at
You can read the other entries at
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for
a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen.
There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.
This week have added...
Added the United Parishes of Auchindoir and Kearn at
Name, &c.—The parishes of Auchindoir and Kearn were united by the annexation
of Kearn to Auchindoir in 1811. Previous to this period Kearn was in union
with Forbes; but circumstances of local conveniency having led to a
disjunction of these parishes, Forbes was united to Tullynessle, and Kearn
annexed to Auchindoir. The name Auchindoir, by which both these parishes are
now usually designated, is of Gaelic origin, and is said to signify the
"field of pursuit." This derivation is supported by the historical fact
mentioned by Buchanan, that "Luthlac, son of Macbeth, was slain by Malcolm
in the valley of Bogie." Tradition refers to several tumuli on an extensive
moor (now improved), about two miles south of the church, as the scene of
battle where Luthlac was defeated, and also points out the spot, about four
miles northeast from this, in the parish of Rhynie, where he was overtaken
and slain. The circumstance of his being pursued through the valley of
Auchindoir to the place of his death, may have given rise to its present
appellation. Kearn is understood to be a corruption of cairn, there being a
remarkable cairn or tumulus in that parish; but of the history of which
there is no tradition.
Extent, &c.—These united parishes form an irregular figure, the length of
which is about 7 miles, and the breadth about the same extent. They are
bounded by Kildrummy on the south; Rhynie on the north; Cabrach on the west;
and Clatt and Tulleynessle on the east. Auchindoir is the much larger parish
in point of superficial extent. Their general aspect is varied and uneven.
This characteristic is particularly applicable to the eastern portion,
comprehending the whole of the parish of Kearn, and the northern extremity
of Auchindoir. The surface here is either raised into long undulating ridges
of extremely dissimilar elevation, or depressed into deep valleys of every
variety of breadth; several of which are marked with features of a very
striking and picturesque appearance. Towards the southern extremity, the
parish is of a more level description, with a gradual ascent to the
surrounding mountains, particularly Correen, round whose base it sweeps for
a distance of five miles. The altitude of Correen is about 1350 feet. On the
west of the parish stands the Buck, or "Buck of the Cabrach," as it is
usually termed, the elevation of which, according to Ainslie, is 2377 feet.
It lies partly in Auchindoir and partly in Cabrach parish. It is of a very
elegant form when viewed from the north and east, presenting a pyramidical
shape, tapering beautifully towards the top, and crowned with a cluster of
rocks placed as if in studied artificial regularity, by the gigantic efforts
You can read the rest of this account at
On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and
also a map at
A History of Munro by Michael Munro.
Michael continues to work on this history both to correct errors and to add
new information. When he figures there are enough changes to warrant an
update he sends it into me. You can read this at
Poetry and Stories
Donna has sent in four articles this week...
An Art Lesson at
An article, Propellers, at
Another article, Economics for our Home Management, at
And a poem, Gramma's Lament for a Lost Sunday, at
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
Kindly typed in for us by Nola Crewe
WILLIAM D. SAMSON, a leading business man of Blenheim, County of Kent, is a
member of one of the early pioneer families of that county, being descended
from James Samson. The latter was born in Scotland, where he lived and died,
and for many years was the manager of a large estate. He was twice married,
and from James, a child of the second marriage, descends the branch of the
family treated of in this article, he being the grandfather of William D.
You can read this at
Other biographies of this area can be read at
Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod
You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger
articles are continued week by week.
As an aside this week.... I got a phone call from Ranald McIntyre from
Falkirk, Scotland this week and he mentioned how he was enjoying the
articles. He mention one of the article which he felt you could have made a
sermon out of and he took the opportunity to phone up a local minister to
tell him about the book. He suggested that he might find it worthwhile to
visit each week to read the articles in there.
Ranald also mentioned how well the Religion section had built up. The reason
for having this religious section is primarily because of how the Scots in
history valued religion in their way of life. You can't really read about
Scots without learning of their love of religion and so no really important
history site about the Scots can fail to have decent information about our
And so next time you attend church you might give your minster the url of
our religious section at
This week have added articles on...
Home Verses (Page 128)
Kentigern (Pages 129-132)
1515 versus 1860 (Pages 133-134)
Meditations on Heaven (Pages 134-135)
"He's Risen!" (Page 136)
Here is how the account of Kentigern starts...
Of Kentigern there is no contemporary record. Adamnan's "Life of Columba,"
written eighty-years after his death, mentions him as friend and
contemporary of Columba. Bede is wholly silent regarding him. All that we
can tell concerning him is gathered from a monkish life of him written in
1180 by Monk Joceline of Furness, at the bidding of Joceline, then Bishop of
Glasgow. He too must build his new cathedral; and he sets about it in the
approved way of the time, not so unlike our own plan. "He published," says
an antiquarian writer already quoted, ''a book, and set an association on
foot. The book was a new 'Life and Miracles of St Kentigern,' written by one
of the most popular biographers of the day, Brother Joceline of Furness.
Besides other claims to interest, the skill with which it addresses itself
to its object challenges praise. Nothing is omitted which could excite the
faithful to be generous, nothing which could magnify the see of Glasgow."
This book, then, of Monk Joceline may be regarded as the "brief put forth by
the members of the Glasgow Cathedral Building Society" in order to raise the
wind. In his preface, Brother Joceline tells us that he had seen two older
lives of Kentigern, one in barbarous Scottish style, the other of doubtful
orthodoxy,—that is, in the eyes of an ecclesiastic of the twelfth
century,—and that from them he had collected much material, which he dresses
up in his own rhetorical garb. We have been thus minute in describing this
life, from which our facts are taken, that our readers, knowing exactly
whence they come, may take them for what they are worth, and no more.
The life opens with a strange, wild legend of our saint's birth: how that
his mother, having been sent afloat in a small boat all alone, was drifted
from the East Lothian coast up the Forth, till the boat came ashore at
Culross, in Fife. There she brought forth her son on the open shore, and
mother and child were found in the morning by the embers of a dying fire,
and brought by shepherds to St Serf. This old saint is said to have been
ordained by Palladius, in his youth to have gone as missionary to the
Orkneys, in his old age to have lived near Culross, instructing children in
the Holy Scriptures. A gentle old man, from whose hand robins would feed,
and sit beside him as he prayed. His name still clings to an island in Loch-leven,
on which he is said to have lived. St Serf sheltered the mother and her
bairn, and in due time baptized both, calling the mother Taneu, the boy
Kyentyern, or Kentigern. Taneu, in after ages, had a church dedicated to her
in Glasgow, which the moderns have, ludicrously enough, corrupted into St
Enoch's. The boy lived on with him, and was educated by him, till in time
the old man got to love him beyond all his pupils, even as his own
son—another Samuel under another Eli. Apt to learn, loving, loved by all, he
was called by the people no longer Kentigern, but Mungo; that is, Dear
You can read the rest of this account at
You can read the other articles at
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have
On the Polled Angus or Aberdeen Breed of Cattle
On Implements selected for Trial
Agricultural Statistics of Scotland, 1876
Proceedings at Board Meetings
Proceedings at General Meetings
I found the Proceedings at General Meetings very interesting and there was a
real discussion on one point...
Chemical Department.—Mr C. J. Mackenzie of Portmore read the following
report as to the Chemical Department:—"On behalf of the Committee in charge
of the Chemical Department, I regret to have to report that Sir Thomas
Buchan Hepburn has resigned the Chairmanship of that Committee. The
Directors were unanimous in requesting Sir Thomas to reconsider his
resignation; but as he adhered to it, the Directors were reluctantly obliged
to accept it, and appointed me to discharge the duties of that office. The
Committee at their first meeting thereafter passed the following
resolution:—'The Committee cannot commence their report without expressing
their regret at the loss of the valuable services of Sir Thomas Buchan
Hepburn, who took so lively an interest in the Chemical Department, and who
has for many years devoted so much time to the duties devolving upon him,
first as a Member, and latterly as Convener of the Committee. This
resolution was cordially approved by the Board, and will, I am sure, be as
warmly passed by you. (Applause.) I have now to report that, in consequence
of the remit from the last General Meeting regarding the appointment of a
chemist, the Directors, on the 2d of February, referred the matter to the
Committee in charge of the Chemical Department. The Committee reported, on
23d February, that the best means of carrying out the instructions of the
General Meeting was to advertise for a chemist qualified to organise and
conduct the agricultural experimental stations about to be established, and
who should devote his whole time to the Society; and they also prepared a
note of the duties of the chemist in accordance with the directions of the
General Meeting. This course was approved of by the Directors, who issued
advertisements, in answer to which ten applications, besides various
letters, were received. These were carefully gone over by the Committee, who
reported on the 31st of May that they had considered all the applications
and relative documents, and had come to the conclusion that none of the
applicants combine all the qualifications necessary for the post of chemist
to the Society. They considered, however, that some of the gentlemen who had
applied were possessed in a considerable degree of those qualifications.
Under these circumstances the Committee could not recommend the Directors to
appoint any of the gentlemen who had made application. The Committee also
considered the letters received on the subject, and which were included in
the remit to them ; and they were of opinion if the restriction in regard to
the entire services of the chemist being devoted to the Society were
removed, that much more eligible candidates would be induced to come
forward. The Committee also drew the attention of the Directors to the
question of the absence of laboratory accommodation, which was a serious
complication in the matter. The Committee's report having been submitted to
the Directors at their meeting on the 7th instant, they approved of it, and
resolved to report in terms of it to this meeting." I have now to move—"That
the Society approve of the report of the Directors, and agree to rescind the
restrictions imposed at last General Meeting in regard to the services of
the chemist to be appointed being entirely devoted to the Society."
Sir Alexander Jardine of Applegarth seconded the motion.
Mr D. Milne Home of Wedderburn said he was sorry to say that he could not
agree to the motion proposed by Mr Mackenzie—in the first place, because,
looking at the proposal, he considered it highly inexpedient, irrespective
of anything that had been done by the Society before, and also because it
was entirely inconsistent with the resolutions that had been come to at the
last two General Meetings. The proposal was that the Society should appoint
a chemist with a salary of L.300, and be allowed to take other employment
from other parties, and at the same time to receive remuneration from them.
That was exactly the position of the late Dr Anderson. They were aware that
that appointment was universally condemned, because when a chemist had L.300
a year, and also got remuneration from those who chose to employ him, it was
very natural that a great deal of the Society's work should be neglected,
and that as much as possible of the work of the public should be received.
Afterwards, Professor Dewar was appointed, with a salary of L.150, to assist
Dr Anderson. He would ask what was ever done by Mr Dewar for the Society for
the L.150 he received! The proposal was that he was to give lectures, engage
in field experiments, and make researches in agriculture. Now, did he ever
carry out these things? They knew that for years Dr Anderson was unable to
do anything for the Society. There was a sum of L.450 a year paid to two
chemists—these being allowed to work for the public; and the result was that
the Society got no benefit at all from the employment of these parties. How
could they make such an injudicious appointment as was proposed? Every one
complained against a continuance of the system followed by Dr Anderson, and
the last two General Meetings adopted resolutions to the effect that the
chemist should be paid with reference to the work he should do. At the last
January meeting, the Directors came forward and asked that they should have
leave to make an appointment of a permanent character. On the motion of
Colonel Innes of Learney leave was given only to appoint a chemist in
connection with the experimental stations of the Society, and who would give
his whole time to the work of the Society. That was unanimously carried. The
Directors concurred in it, and he was surprised that they, without any
previous notice that he was aware of, should have made the proposal they had
now done, and that at this meeting they should suddenly propose to rescind
the resolution adopted at the last General Meeting and ask the Society to
allow them to appoint a chemist without giving them his whole time. The
resolution adopted at the previous meeting said that it was only in the
event of experimental stations being established that a chemist was to be
appointed. What did the Directors do? They advertised for a chemist before
they knew that there were to be any experimental stations. He was surprised
to hear in the report reference to stations "about to be established." These
were not the words of the resolution. It declared that the whole time of the
chemist was to be devoted to the Society, and he was to be appointed if the
experimental stations were to be established------
Mr C. J. Mackenzie read the resolution which had been adopted at the
previous meeting, which stated that the employment of the chemist would be
limited to the organisation and management of the stations.
Mr Milne Home said that there had been no stations established by the
Mr Mackenzie said that they had not yet been organised.
Mr Milne Home said there was as yet no prospect of having stations
established. He had asked the Secretary if there was any prospects of having
them, but he understood that there was no land offered------
Mr F. N. Menzies (Secretary)—On the contrary, I mentioned that there had
been offers made.
Mr Milne Home—Then why has that not been mentioned? The very first thing
that the Directors should have done was to say whether the stations were to
be established. He would ask, if they appointed a chemist to-day, what work
was he to do? By the resolution the work he was to be allowed to do was in
connection with the experimental stations. He thought it was most
inexpedient to get into the old track, and especially as it was utterly
inconsistent with the resolution come to that it was only after the stations
were to be arranged that a chemist should be appointed. The Aberdeen farmers
found that they could get five stations, and after that, and not till then,
they employed a chemist. He firmly believed that the Society would not get
stations. In the first place, there was no money for them. The Directors
stated that there was to be a sum of L.700 for a chemist and the stations.
They proposed to give L.300 to a chemist, and where was the other L.400?
They had already struck off L.200 of the L.700, and there was only L.200
left. Was that enough to carry on the work? He did not think so. They ought
first to get the stations, and then make the appointment------
The Chairman—Do you make any motion?
Mr Milne Home—No; I only enter my protest. I warn the Directors that if they
agree to the proposal now made they will hear more of it at next meeting.
You can read the rest of this at
You can get to the other articles at
Book of Scottish Story
Kindly sent in to us by John Henderson
The Book of Scottish Story - Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative
by Standard Scottish Writers Published by Thomas D. Morison, 1896
This week we have...
The Progress of Inconstancy
OR, THE SCOTS TUTOR.
and here is how it starts...
"Sweet, tender sex! with snares encompassed round.
On others hang thy comforts and thy rest."—Hogg.
Nature has made woman weak, that she might receive with gratitude the
protection of man. Yet how often is this appointment perverted! How often
does her protector become her oppressor ! Even custom seems leagued against
her. Born with the tenderest feelings, her whole life is commonly a struggle
to suppress them. Placed in the most favourable circumstances, her choice is
confined to a few objects; and unless where singularly fortunate, her
fondest partialities are only a modification of gratitude. She may reject,
but cannot invite : may tell what would make her wretched, but dare not even
whisper what would make her happy; and, in a word, exercises merely a
negative influence upon the most important event of her life. Man has
leisure to look around him, and may marry at any age, with almost equal
advantage ; but woman must improve the fleeting moment, and determine
quickly, at the hazard of determining rashly. The spring-time of her beauty
will not last; its wane will be the signal for the flight of her lovers ;
and if the present opportunity is neglected, she may be left to experience
the only species of misfortune for which the world evinces no sympathy. How
cruel, then, to increase the misery of her natural dependence! How
ungenerous to add treachery to strength, and deceive or disappoint those
whose highest ambition is our favour, and whose only safety is our honesty!
William Arbuthnot was born in a remote county of Scotland, where his father
rented a few acres of land, which his own industry had reclaimed from the
greatest wildness to a state of considerable fertility. Having given, even
in his first attempts at learning, those indications of a retentive memory,
which the partiality of a parent easily construes into a proof of genius, he
was early destined for the Scottish Church, and regarded as a philosopher
before he had emerged from the nursery. While his father pleased himself
with the prospect of seeing his name associated with the future greatness of
his son, his mother, whose ambition took a narrower range, thought she could
die contented if she should see him seated in the pulpit of his native
church; and perhaps, from a pardonable piece of vanity, speculated as
frequently upon the effect his appearance would have upon the hearts of the
neighbouring daughters, as his discourses upon the minds of their mothers.
This practice, so common among the poorer classes in Scotland, of making one
of their children a scholar, to the prejudice, as is alleged, of the rest,
has been often remarked, and sometimes severely censured. But probably the
objections that have been urged against it, derive their chief force from
the exaggerations upon which they are commonly founded. It is not in general
true that parents, by bestowing the rudiments of a liberal education upon
one of the family, materially injure the condition or prospects of the rest.
For it must be remembered that the plebeian student is soon left to trust to
his own exertions for support, and, like the monitor of a Lancastrian
seminary, unites the characters of pupil and master, and teaches and is
taught by turns.
But to proceed with our little narrative. The parish schoolmaster having
intimated to the parents of his pupil, that the period was at hand when he
should be sent to prosecute his studies at the university, the usual
preparations were made for his journey, and his departure was fixed for the
following day, when he was to proceed to Edinburgh under escort of the
village carrier and his black dog Caesar, two of the eldest and most
intimate of his acquaintance. Goldsmith's poetical maxim, that little things
are great to little men, is universally true; and this was an eventful day
for the family of Belhervie, for that was the name of the residence of Mr
Arbuthnot. The father was as profuse of his admonitions as the mother was of
her tears, and had a stranger beheld the afflicted group, he would have
naturally imagined that they were bewailing some signal calamity, in place
of welcoming an event to which they had long looked forward with pleasure.
But the feelings of affectionate regret, occasioned by this separation, were
most seasonably suspended by the receipt of a letter from Mr Coventry, a
respectable fanner in the neighbourhood, in which that gentleman offered to
engage their son for a few years, as a companion and tutor to his children.
This was an offer which his parents were too prudent to reject, particularly
as it might prove the means of future patronage as well as of present
emolument. It was therefore immediately agreed upon, that William should
himself be the bearer of their letter of acceptance, and proceed forthwith
to his new residence. On this occasion he was admonished anew; but the
advices were different from those formerly given, and were delivered by a
different person. His mother was now the principal speaker; and, instead of
warning him against the snares that are laid for youth in a great city, she
furnished him with some rude lessons on the principles of good-breeding,
descending to a number of particulars too minute to be enumerated here.
William listened to her harangue with becoming reverence and attention, and
on the following morning, for the first time, bade farewell to his
You can read the rest of this story at
The index page of the book where you can read the other stories is at
The History of Bruce County
By Norman Robertson, published in 1906
This week sees us adding histories of the various townships and villages...
Township of Culross
Village of Teeswater
Township of Elderslie
Town of Chesley
Village of Paisley
Township of Greenock
Township of Huron
Which you can see at
Here is a bit from the Village of Paisley...
In Chapter V. reference is made to the settlement made at Paisley by its
pioneer settlers, Simon Orchard and Samuel T. Rowe. Although in a measure
repeating what was there said, the author feels that the story of the
settlement prepared by Mr. Rowe, and which was published in the Port Elgin
Times, should here appear, at least in part. Messrs. Orchard and Rowe were
among the pioneer settlers who took up land in 1842 on the Garafraxa Road,
in the townships of Egremont and Normanby.
After the opening up of the free grants along the Durham Road, they learned
of the superior quality of the soil in Brant, and Rowe decided to settle
there and start a tavern at the locality afterwards known as Gaffaney's
Corners, but before he reached the place the land had been taken up by
another. Orchard sold his farm in Egremont, while Rowe rented his on a
ten-year lease. During the winter of 1850-51 they teamed their effects to
Walkerton, ready for the opening of spring.
About the middle of April, 1851, Mr. Orchard brought his family to
Walkerton. Learning of desirable lands located down the river, he decided to
try his fortune in that direction. With the help of a hired man, he made a
raft of cedar logs. On this he placed his family and household effects and
started, unappalled by the dangers and difficulties that lay before them, on
a voyage down the Saugeen. Mr. Orchard had some information about the land
and the appearance of the locality at the mouth of Mud River, as it was then
called. He said he had had a dream about it, and if it were like what he saw
in the dream he would stay there, and he wanted to be there first. It turned
out, so he found when he arrived, to be just like what he dreamed about.
Mr. Rowe was delayed owing to the sickness and death of his son, and was
unable to start with Mr. Orchard. He was also further detained for a few
days at Walkerton, to be "corner man" at the putting up of a two-story log
house, owned by his cousin, Wm. Jasper. While there, on the first day of
May, a foot of snow fell, but by night the logs were swept and the building
raised. Mr. Rowe engaged William Walker, W. Jasper, George Neeley and Alex.
McIntyre to build two large rafts and take him down the river. They started
on the 9th day of May, and landed safely at the site of what was afterwards
to be known as the village of Paisley early that afternoon.
The two pioneers were well pleased with the look of the land. Mr. Orchard
was satisfied with his choice on the north side of the river, and so was Mr.
Rowe with his on the south side. Mr. Rowe's hired men returned next day.
leaving the two families with one hired man alone in the forest, miles from
the nearest settler. Mr. Orchard had already erected a good shanty of poles.
In three days after the arrival of Mr. Rowe and family the three men and two
women, with the help of oxen, put up a large shanty for the newly arrived
family. Mr. Orchard then cut logs for a new house.
At this time the party of surveyors under Mr. (afterward Senator) A. Vidal,
engaged in the survey of the township of Saugeen, happened to come along,
and helped to raise it. This building will be remembered as the store that
Mr. Samuel Steel occupied for some time. The winter of 1851-52 was a notably
severe one. Mr. Orchard had four cows and Mr. Rowe fourteen head of cattle
to winter that season, with nothing to feed them on but tree tops. The two
settlers each hired a man to chop all winter. Mr. Rowe hired his man on the
12th of October. The first snow fell that night. For months it had an
average depth of five feet, and was to be seen in the swamps in the
following June; but the cattle got through well.
When the ice began to break up on the river Mr. Orchard's four cows came
down to the river for a drink, as usual. Standing on the rotten ice, it
broke beneath them, and the cows were never seen again.
In the summer of 1852 Mr. Rowe, with the assistance of hired help, cut the
logs and built what was known for years as Rowe's tavern. Its site was
opposite the present Town Hall, and it stood projecting on the street at an
angle thereto. Its measurements were thirty by twenty-four, with a lean-to
for a kitchen, and another lean-to for a dining-room. The families of the
two settlers were separated by the Teeswater River. To overcome this
inconvenience one of the first things they undertook was to erect a
foot-bridge over the stream. Unfortunately, the next spring freshet washed
it away, and for a while they depended upon a dog, which was trained to swim
across and carry small things from one shanty to the other.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
And the other chapters at
The History of Ulster
From the Earliest Times to the Present Day by Ramsay Colles (1919)
This week have added another 6 chapters to the first volume...
The Betrayal of Ireland
The Anglo-Norman Invasion
King Henry in Ireland
The Earldom of Ulster
King John in Ulster
Ulster and the Bruce Invasion
Here is a bit from "Ulster and the Bruce Invasion"...
There was, as we have seen, a Scottish settlement in Ulster which grew in
number and in power under the fostering care of the representatives of the
Crown, the Earls of Athol and of Galloway being given, on one pretext or
another, large grants of land, the real reason for these grants being that
they were rewards for services rendered to the English against the Irish. As
time went on the Scots and their Irish neighbours, having much in common,
settled down more or less amicably; and finally, by intermarriage and the
sympathy which springs from a common origin and similarity in language and
in habits, the Scots were merged in their surroundings. The connection
between Ireland and Scotland by means of this Scottish colony in Ulster
became strengthened, while the wars carried on in Scotland by Edward I
tended to make both Scotch and Irish look on him as their common enemy. Such
was the sentiment in Ulster when, in Edward II's reign, the overthrow of the
English King at Bannockburn in 1314 seemed to point to the possibility of
Ireland being enabled to throw off the yoke of the conqueror. Ulster had
afforded a sanctuary to Robert Bruce in his hour of adversity, and she now
appealed to the victorious king for the dispatch to Ireland of his brother
Edward, to whom they offered the crown.
Edward Bruce landed near Carrickfergus, in May, 1315, at the head of 6000
men. He was immediately joined by the O'Neills, and later by Felim O'Conor,
King of Connaught. Donald O'Neill, who had been the first to invite Edward
to Ireland, swore allegiance to him, other chiefs, Irish and Scottish,
following his example. The English settlers in Ulster became the first
objects of attack, a hastily formed combination of the various leaders being
defeated and driven to take refuge in Carrickfergus. Bruce now proceeded
southwards to Dundalk and Ardee, both of which he took.
In the meantime Richard de Burgh had not been idle. He was in Galway at the
time of Bruce's landing, and he at once made preparations to stop the
depredations in Ulster, by summoning his retainers throughout the west to
assemble at Athlone. Here a huge army was formed, at the head of which the
Red Earl placed himself, and proceeded northwards to meet Edward Bruce. On
the way he came up with the forces of Sir Edmund Butler, Lord Deputy, who
was also marching north. De Burgh, desiring to have all the honour and glory
of the victory he anticipated, told the Lord Deputy that he had better
return to Dublin, as the Earl of Ulster was quite able to defend his
possessions unaided. Butler accordingly returned south, and De Burgh,
proceeding, met Bruce at Ardee. Seeing the numerical strength of the Red
Earl's forces, O'Neill advised Bruce to fall back and take up a position on
the River Bann, which he did, being closely followed by De Burgh. Here the
opposing armies faced each other on opposite banks of the river, and
commenced hostilities by shooting arrows across the water. This strange
situation remained unchanged for some days, during which O'Neill and Bruce
opened secret negotiations with O'Conor, promising him that, in the event of
Bruce's success, Connaught should be his once more, freed from the overrule
of the hated English, and that to secure this desirable end he should
withdraw from his alliance with De Burgh. Felim was impressed by these
overtures from so powerful a prince as Edward Bruce, and he therefore
represented to De Burgh that he could no longer linger, and hastily took his
departure. The Red Earl, when he saw the departing hosts under the banner of
O'Conor, came to the conclusion that he could not cope alone with the enemy,
and he therefore began to retreat; but having got as far eastwards as
Ballymena, he was overtaken, and compelled to stand his ground. On 10th
September a battle was fought at a village four miles south-east of
Ballymena, the result being an utter defeat of De Burgh, who lost the flower
of his army and fled south, with the foe in hot pursuit.
Ulster was thus lost, not a town in the whole province remaining loyal to
the English, while Bruce marched from victory to victory as he proceeded
through Louth and Meath until he reached Kells, where he was met by a fresh
opponent in the person of Roger Mortimer at the head of 15,000 men. Despite
this large force, Mortimer seems not to have been able to cope with Bruce's
troops, who, flushed with success, scattered their enemies and continued
their march through Westmeath and Longford. Finally Bruce settled for a time
at Loughseudy, in Westmeath, making it his head-quarters, and spending there
the winter of 1315. In the spring of 1316 Bruce met near Athy a force of
nearly 30,000 men under the command of Butler, and defeated them; and,
finding that his own troops were growing restive, he marched northwards, and
set up fresh quarters in Dundalk. Here, on the 1st of May, he was crowned
King of Ireland in the presence of a huge assembly of Irish and Scottish
You can read the whole chapter at
The rest of the chapters can be read at
by William Morrison (1899)
I came across this book at Guttenberg anf thought it would be worth while
adding it to the site. We do indeed have a good account of him in our Famous
Scots section which concludes with the paragraph...
The benefits which Melville conferred on his country in the department of
its literature are thus spoken of by Dr M’Crie: "His arrival imparted a new
impulse to the public mind, and his reputation for learning, joined to the
enthusiasm with which he pleaded its cause, enabled him to introduce an
improved plan of study into all the universities. By his instructions and
example, he continued and increased the impulse which he had first given to
the minds of his countrymen. In languages, in theology, and in that species
of poetical composition which was then most practiced among the learned, his
influence was direct and acknowledged." The services which he rendered the
civil and religious liberties of his country are recorded by the same able
author in still stronger terms. "If the love of pure religion," he says,
"rational liberty, and polite letters, forms the basis of national virtue
and happiness, I know no individual, after her reformer, from whom Scotland
has received greater benefits, and to whom she owes a deeper debt of
gratitude and respect, than Andrew Melville."
If you wish to read this summary before reading the book you can find it at
and in the introduction of this book it states...
But Melville was not only the greatest ecclesiastical controversialist of
his day; his name is pre-eminent in another sphere. He was the most learned
Scot of his time; and our Universities never had a teacher within their
walls who did so much to spread their reputation. His fame as a scholar not
only checked the habit among the "élite" of Scottish students of resorting
to the Continental Universities; it drew many foreign students to Glasgow
and St. Andrews. His academic distinction has been overshadowed by his fame
as the leader of the Church in one of the most momentous struggles in her
history, but it was equally great in its own sphere. A Scottish
historian--John Hill Burton--has sought, with a singular perversity, to
belittle Melville as a scholar, and
speaks of M'Crie as having "endeavoured" to make out his title to
distinction in this respect from the natural ambition to claim such an
honour for one of his own ecclesiastical forebears. The chapter which
follows will show the value of such a judgment.
There is still another and a higher ground for our interest in Melville,
namely, his massive personality. It is not so much in the polemic or in the
scholar we are interested, as in the man. The appreciation of his character
by his countrymen has suffered from his proximity to Knox. Had he not stood
so close on the field of history to the greatest of Scots, his stature would
have been more impressive. In historic picturesqueness his life will not
compare with that of Knox, although it had incidents, such as his
appearances before the King and Council at Falkland and Hampton Court, which
are unsurpassed by any in Scottish history for moral grandeur. There were
not the same tragic elements mixed up with Melville's career. His life fell
on duller times and among feebler contemporaries. He had not such a foil to
his figure as Knox had in Mary; there was not among his opponents such a
protagonist as Knox encountered in Mary's strong personality. And yet it may
be justly claimed for Melville that in the highest quality of manhood, in
"moral nerve", he was not a whit behind his great predecessor. He never once
wavered in his course nor abated his testimony to his principles in the most
perilous situation; in the long struggle with the King and the Court he
played the man, uttered fearlessly on every occasion the last syllable of
his convictions, made no accommodation or concession to arbitrary authority,
and kept an untamed and hopeful spirit on to the very end. The work a man
may do belongs to his own generation; the spirit in which he does it, his
faith, his fortitude, to all generations. Melville conferred many signal and
enduring benefits on his country: the one which transcended all others was
the inspiration he left to her in his own rare nobility of character.
You can thus read this book at
One of our regular visitors is involved in helping to provide clean water
for Cambodian people and their children and so I added a page to tell you
more about this which you can view at
And that's all for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)
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