Electric Scotland News
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure
Poetry and Stories
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Book of Scottish Story
History of Ulster
A fisherman’s Reflections on a beautiful but troubled world
Ocean to Ocean, Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 1872
Sketches of Early Scotch History
Sir James Hector
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
I forgot how much work it takes to move to a new computer and from that
you'll gather that my new notebook has at last arrived. I've likely lost an
odd email in the move over so if you emailed me and haven't got a reply then
please email me back.
I'll be starting a new book next week "Bonnie Scotland". There are a number
of interesting things about this book...
First the book is one where the landscape paintings were commissioned and
once arrived they were given to an author to write a background to them and
thus create the book. The second point of interest is that the text is
actually very interesting and the author has done a good job on telling you
about all kinds of things about Scotland and the Scots. The third point is
in his use of words. Harold Nelson was down with me for a couple of days and
took the opportunity to read the book. He noted that there were a number of
words used by the author which just aren't in use today. Harold took a note
of a lot of these words and will be supplying us with a wee glossary of them
to put with the book.
I am also hoping to use these pictures in our new postcard program when it
arrives and so keep an eye out for this book in the coming week.
And just as an amusing aside... I have a new cleaning lady starting with me
on Friday and I just caught myself cleaning my office before she arrives :-)
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
See the Royal Scots Dragoons Guards showcase their new CD, Spirit of the
Glen, at Edinburgh Castle.
The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Scotland’s only
remaining tank regiment, has entered the perennial UK music battleground
over who will have the Christmas No 1 in the music charts.
We filmed with the Pipes and Drums this week at Edinburgh castle (on a
glorious winter morning when Edinburgh looked at its very best) as they
launched their brand new CD Spirit of the Glen. The CD has a variety of
tracks ranging from traditional melodies to new arrangements of contemporary
classics and is released on November 26th, but we’ve got a sneak preview of
it on Scotland on TV.
The 24 pipers and drummers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are all
part-time musicians and full-time soldiers, so the new album was recorded
during time off from their tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The
regiment is currently busy training for future operations, having just
completed an exercise in Canada.
You may remember the band reached the top of the UK charts back in 1972 with
their single, Amazing Grace and a new recording of this tune features on the
new CD as well as contemporary compositions, such as Mull of Kintyre and
Sailing, and a number of classic film themes. As well as the releasing the
CD, the band is looking forward to touring the USA after Christmas.
Spirit of the Glen is released by Universal Music (Catalogue Number:
1747159) on 26th November 2007, with all of the regiment’s royalties going
to services charities.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Donald Bain and he starts off with telling us
that the news that the 2014 Commonwealth Games are to be staged in Glasgow
gives a major boost to Scotland’s international profile. He goes on to tell
you something about the Commonwealth in the event you don't know about it.
He also noted that Scotland has produced its new Economioc Strategy which
you can read at
In Peter's cultural section I thought I'd share his famous Dates in History
with you this week...
16 November 1891
Colonel William Frederick Cody’s, ‘Buffalo Bill’, Wild West Show opened in
the East End Exhibition Building, Dennistoun, Glasgow, with stars such as
sharp-shooter Annie Oakley. The show ran until 27 February 1892.
16 November 1956
The last tramcar ran in Edinburgh – driver James Kay and conductor Andrew
16 November 2006
The Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeill won the award for Best Scot at
Westminster, for instigating a police inquiry into possible abuse of the
honours system, at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year Awards. It was
his second award of the day as ‘The Spectator’ named him ‘Inquisitor of the
Year’. Labour’s Andy Kerr, the health minister, was named Scottish
Politician of the Year for his work in bringing in the smoking ban in public
places. The Labour MSP was the eighth winner of the prize following in the
footsteps of Donald Dewar, Jim Wallace, Jack McConnell, Malcolm Chisolm,
Margaret Curan and George Reid, who had won the honour twice.
16 November 2006
Buckhaven welterweight Kevin Anderson’s bout with Young Muttley was named as
Contest of the Year at the British Boxing Board of Control’s awards night in
Picadilly, London. In the come-back of the year Kevin Anderson overcame a
second round knock-down and fourth round cut to force a stoppage in the
tenth round to win the British welterweight title and successfully defend
his Commonwealth crown.
17 November 1843
Birth of Dr William Wallace, editor of the Glasgow Herald (1906-19909), at
18 November 1795
The River Clyde, in spate, flooded the centre of Glasgow and brought down a
recently erected bridge at the foot of the Saltmarket.
19 November 1960
National Service in Britain ended.
20 November 1725
The horse-post from Edinburgh to London vanished after passing through
Berwick; both horse and rider were thought to have perished on tidal sands
near Holy Island.
20 November 2006
The Isle of Man coroner, Michael Moyle, criticised the refusal of Richard
Gidney to attend an inquiry into the Solway harvester tragedy in January
2000. The planned five-day inquest was postponed because of the
unavailability of Gidney, the Scottish scallop dredger’s owner.
21 November 2006
A stunning goal from Japanese player Shunsuke Nakamura ensured that Celtic
reached the last sixteen of the Champion’s League for the first time. In
front of a crowd of 60,632 at Parkhead his 80th minute 28 yard free kick saw
off England’s Manchester United 1-0.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now onto the L's with Lauder, Lauderdale and Law
In Law we have an interesting account of International finance...
LAW, JOHN, of Lauriston, a famous financial projector, the son of a
goldsmith, was born in Edinburgh in April 1671. At the end of this memoir
will be found some particulars of his family. He was bred to no profession,
but early displayed a singular capacity for calculation. On his father’s
death he succeeded to the small estates of Lauriston and Randleston, but
having acquired habits of gambling and extravagance, he soon became deeply
involved, when his mother paid his debts, and obtained possession of the
property, which she immediately entailed. Tall and handsome in person, and
much addicted to gallantry, he was at this time familiarly known by the name
of Beau Law. Having gone to London, he there had a quarrel with another
young man, one Edward Wilson, whom he had the misfortune to kill in a duel,
for which he was tried at the Old Bailley, and being found guilty of murder,
was sentenced to death, April 20, 1694. Though pardoned by the Crown, he was
detained in prison in consequence of an appeal being lodged against him by
the brother of the deceased, but contrived to make his escape from the
King’s Bench, and immediately proceeded to France, and afterwards to
Holland. About 1700 he returned to Scotland, and, having directed his
attention to the financial system of the French and Dutch bankers,
particularly of the latter, in 1701 he published at Glasgow, ‘Proposals and
Reasons for constituting a Council of Trade in Scotland.’ He also had the
address to recommend himself to the king’s ministers, who employed him to
arrange and prepare the Revenue Accounts, which were in great confusion at
the time of settling the equivalent before the Union. With the view of
remedying the deficiency of a circulating medium, for the want of which the
industry of the country was in a languishing condition, he proposed to the
Scottish legislature the establishment of a bank, with paper issues to the
amount of the value of all the lands in the kingdom. The principles on which
this scheme was founded are fully explained in his work, published at
Edinburgh in 1705, entitled ‘Money and Trade Considered, with a Proposal for
Supplying the nation with Money:’ but the project was rejected by
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 Aberdeenshire.
There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.
Name, Boundaries, &c.—The original name of this parish was Invernochty, so
called from the church being situated at one period, it is said, at the
confluence of the Nochty and the Don. The etymology of the modern name is
sufficiently obvious, and descriptive of the locality of the parish, which
lies chiefly in an extended strath stretching from the source of the Don
down its course, from west to east, to the influx of the Kindy with that
Strathdon is the most westerly parish in the synod and county of Aberdeen,
and conterminous on the west with Kirkmichael, and the district of that
parish now allotted to the Government church at Tomantoul; on the south,
with Glenmuick and Coldstone; on the east, with Migvie now annexed to
Tarland, and Towie; and on the north, with Glenbucket, Cabrach, and
Inveraven. It is about 23 miles in length, and from 3 to 8 in breadth.
The parish is extremely irregular in its figure, both from the mountainous
nature of the country, and from being intersected by other parishes. A
portion of Tarland parish, 4 miles long and 2 broad, containing a population
of 231, is situated in the very centre of it. At the junction of the Bucket
with the Don, Glenbucket intersects Strathdon for about three-quarters of a
mile; and where the Deskry falls into the Don, Migvie juts in, scarcely
three miles from the church.
Topographical Appearances.—The appearance of the surface of this parish is
singularly diversified, and, at many points, of great beauty—now presenting
all the luxuriance of a fertile strath, and again all the wild and rugged
scenery of the Highlands. One feature of beauty is the river Don winding
prettily through the main strath. Along its banks, there is a considerable
extent of arable land, including some fine haughs subdivided into well
cultivated fields; while, in the lower half at least of the parish, the
sides of the hills are covered with thriving plantations. Farther up, the
scenery is of a different, but not less beautiful character. The strath
becomes narrower, the mountains rise up precipitously, and on their sides,
reaching almost to the river, here and there are clumps of coppice-woods,
composed chiefly of birch, interspersed occasionally with pines and aspens,
which are in fine contrast; and in spring and autumn the whole is
beautifully tinged with shades of almost every varied hue. The highest
district consists almost entirely of moorland and mountain, and is of a
bleak and barren appearance, particularly toward the source of the Don.
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.
This week have added articles on...
John Evangelist Gossner (Pages 177-182)
Christian Counsel and Teaching for Young Men (Pages 182-184)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 185-188)
When the Night and Morning Meet (Page 188)
Here is how the account of John Evangelist Gossner, Born 1773, Died 1858
"Ora et labora," writes Dr Wichern, in one of his pleasant papers, " is
carved in a peasant's house in the Vierland. 'It must be French,' said a
neighbour's wife, as I stood looking at the legend; ' but it just means:—
Pray with one hand, work with t' other, God will bless them both together!'
The translation made up for any deficiency in language, and presently she
ran in to praise the good old time when people believed in ora et labora."
The honest woman was right; such faith belongs to a good old time, the time
of St Paul and St John. The much-decried Middle Ages knew something about
it. But the world has long since lost sight of it in any public way, save in
a pretty motto. To work is honest enough; nay, work has been exalted into a
kind of deity in our day, and a kind of service has been promulgated for the
worship. But prayer over and above the work is treated as a courteous
superfluity. Let the work be done manfully, to the best of your ability, it
is preached; let it be even blundering, provided it be sincere; but prayer
is somewhat a waste of energy, and cannot really mend what is good already.
The tendency of our time has been to exalt the lower and visible agencies,
to depreciate the higher and spiritual. The height to which mechanical skill
has been carried, and the aid which science has been made to render it,
until itself has become mechanical, have bred in men a contempt for any work
which is not mechanical. Not many years ago a clever writer suggested that
the time was coming when grave, common-sense Englishmen would fall down
before the spindle and the steam-engine. And may there not be something of
that idolatry traceable in the national review of itself, in the thorough
quiet materialism in which it ends. Is there not more than ever the
disposition to throw over upon praying men, who believe in an invisible
power, and skill, and law, and presence, the charge of folly, enthusiasm,
fanaticism? Is there not the notion that the world is only what the world
sees itself to be, and that if you take other than worldly forces you will
come to no result? Praying men may not always have been judicious; there may
be some plausible foundation for separating the worker from the prayer;
foolish things may have been attempted by well-meaning but unwise people.
Let the world have the credit of this admission. It does not touch the power
and reality of prayer, as a force of which, though the world knows nothing,
yet it establishes greater than the world's works. The man who prays best
will be the man who works best. The man who prays that he may do a work for
which he has no possible aptitude or fitness, is praying against the laws of
prayer. If, on the one hand, it may be said, not in Carlyle's but the
Christian sense, that, true work is prayer ; so, on the other, it may be
said that true prayer is work. They run into each other, not as things
arbitrarily joined, but as different aspects of the same man. And it so
happens, that in our own generation, there is a singular group of men, who,
somewhat about the same time, and without the least knowledge of one
another, and in very different spheres, took for their watchword that French
puzzle of the honest Vierlander, and over whose lives might be written as
their clearest exponents, ora et labora. They are men who maintain that God
exercises some direct influence in the affairs of the world; who therefore
appeal to Him in any puzzle or difficulty; who expect His help, and as they
believe that He has the hearts of all men in His hand, do not know any
special circle or class of men, or any special type of actions, within which
that help must be limited. They distinctly believe in God as their Father,
and never care to realise Him either as a pure infinite Intelligence, or as
an Eternal Law. They believe, also, that prayer is not an arbitrary
provision for temporary circumstances, but that it is fixed in the ways of
God, and in harmony with the settled relations of the world and the laws of
human conduct. And they believe that if in God's name they begin a fitting
work, God will establish it; answer their prayers regarding it; enable them
to deal wisely, and righteously, and prosperously by it; and that behind
every other means to its success, and as the very highest means, and often
supplanting the other, there in prayer itself. Each of them has done
something very remarkable in its way, quite independent of the mode of
operation. It may be interesting to trace these several works, ascending to
the principle asserted by their working. It will be necessary in doing so to
dwell at some length upon the character and history of the workers
themselves. If they are right, they read a very earnest lesson to our times
and to ourselves.
Any time within the last few years strangers who visited Berlin may perhaps
have met in Potsdam Street, and especially if they ever took an early ramble
out through the Potsdam Gate, an old and venerable clergyman, walking with a
firm and sometimes rapid step, with unbent shoulders, towering, like Saul,
above the crowd, a few white hairs straying from under his broad-brimmed
hat,—a man of so unusual and commanding a presence as to be easily
remembered. There was a peculiar blending in his face of a loving, gracious
kindliness with the deep-scored lines of a strong, resolute will. One or two
might doff their caps to him; the children might whisper, "There goes the
old father;" but beyond this natural respect to his years, there was nothing
to betray that he was of more note than his simple seeming. His name did not
appear among the ministers of the town; it was seldom spoken in the circle
in which strangers moved; those who pricked out their Sunday's round in the
service-list and went over the preachers, fashionable or famous or only
good, never saw him in the pulpit. On the 30th of last March he died. The
Bethlehem Church could not contain the mourners. A blow was felt to have
fallen on the city. The sorrow penetrated the palace. Divines and statesmen
met at his tomb. The courtliest preacher and the most popular dropped common
wreaths of fairest words upon his coffin;—a member of the cabinet wrote a
long oration on his death. Who was he? What had he done?
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have
On the Old and Remarkable Sycamores in Scotland
On the different methods of Making and Curing Butter in this country and
The Physiological Distinctions in the Conditions of the Scottish Peasantry
And on this last article here is how it starts...
In Scotland, till a comparatively recent period, there were three distinct
races of men inhabiting different parts of the country, which could be
clearly defined. The Lowlands, except Caithness, were inhabited by that
mixed race to which the name of Anglo-Saxon is generally applied. This is an
energetic race, sprung from a mixture of the bold and hardy natives which
have at different times invaded the country, and settled among its original
inhabitants. These were the Goths, the Romans, the Gauls or Celts, the
Saxons, the Danes, the Normans, and the Norsemen. In Galloway in the south,
and in the north-east from Forfar to Banff, there was probably a larger
admixture than elsewhere of the old Pictish element. The Highlands were
occupied by a purely Celtic race, retaining their ancient language, and
showing in their configuration and general character the peculiarities of
the Celt. In the islands of the north, in Caithness, and in the fishing
villages as far south as Newhaven, the majority of the inhabitants are of
purely Norse descent, but they have adopted the language and generally the
customs of the country in which they live. Till the year 1820 these were the
three races of men in Scotland, but during that year began an invasion or
immigration of Irish, which slowly increased, till it attained large
dimensions about 1840, when the making of railways began, and now in many
towns the Irish are from five to fifteen per cent. of the whole population.
If we include children born to Irish parents in this country, there is
probably thirty per cent. in some towns of Irish extraction. The immigration
of such a body of labourers of the lowest class, with untidy habits, and
with scarcely any education, has exerted a prejudicial influence especially
in the west. The great bulk of the Irish have not improved by contiguity
with the native Scots, but the earlier inhabitants have become deteriorated
by associating with their new neighbours.
Understanding the term peasant as denoting a countryman, a rustic, or one
whose occupation is rural labour, the class, in many parts of Scotland,
differs materially in physiological condition, as well as in other respects,
from its state in past times. Three hundred years ago the peasantry in the
south of Scotland, especially on the great estates of the church, consisted
of several distinct grades. One class, known as bondsmen or serfs, occupied
a position little superior to the oxen of which they had charge, and were
often transferred, along with other stock on the land, from one proprietor
to another. Besides the hereditary bondsmen, over whom the feudal lords of
the manor exercised large powers of compulsory servitude, there were other
classes who might properly be designated peasants. In particular, there were
the cottars, usually collected in hamlets, and corresponding in position to
the crofters of modern times. Each cottar occupied from one to nine acres of
land, the rent of which varied from one to six shillings yearly, with
services not exceeding nine days' labour. There was another grade called
husbandmen, of whom there were many on the lands of Kelso Abbey, and who
held from the Abbey, by a yearly tenure, a definite quantity of land called
a husbandland, estimated at 26 Scotch or 32 English acres, "where scythe and
plough may gang." Every tenant of a husbandland kept two oxen, and six of
them united to work the common plough, a ponderous machine drawn by a team
of twelve oxen. The husbandmen were bound to keep good neighbourhood, and
were specially compelled to furnish the requisite pair of oxen to work the
common plough. In the barony of Bowden the monks of Kelso had twenty-eight
husbandmen, each of whom paid 6s. 8d. of money rent, besides considerable
services in harvest and sheep-shearing, in carrying peats and carting wool,
and fetching the abbot's commodities from Berwick. Still another class who
might be included among the peasantry, were the yeomen or "bonnet-lairds,"
who held their land in perpetuity, paying only a moderate quit-rent, besides
giving certain services in ploughing and harvest.
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 Alehouse Party
from "The Odd Volume"
Auchindrane; or, the Ayrshire Tragedy
by Sir Walter Scott
Here is how the Alehouse Party starts...
A chapter from an unpublished novel,
By the Authors of "The Odd Volume."
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter,
And aye the ale was growing better.—Burns.
On the evening of that day which saw Mrs Wallace enter Park a bride, Robin
Kinniburgh and a number of his cronies met at the village alehouse to
celebrate the happy event. Every chair, stool, and bench being occupied,
Robin and his chum, Tammy Tacket, took possession of the top of the meal
girnel; and as they were elevated somewhat above the company, they appeared
like two rival provosts, looking down on their surrounding bailies.
"It's a gude thing," said Tammy, "that the wives and weans are keepit out
the night; folk get enough o' them at hame."
"I wonder," said Jamie Wilson, "what's become o' Andrew Gilmour."
"Hae ye no heard," said Robin, "that his wife died yesterday?"
"Is she dead?" exclaimed Tammy Tacket. "Faith," continued he, giving Robin a
jog with his elbow, "I think a man might hae waur furniture in his house
than a dead wife.
"That's a truth," replied Jamie Wilson, "as mony an honest man kens to his
cost.—But send round the pint stoup, and let us hae a health to the laird
and the leddy, and mony happy years to them and theirs."
When the applause attending this toast had subsided, Robin was universally
called on for a song.
"I hae the hoast," answered Robin; "that's aye what the leddies say when
they are asked to sing."
"Deil a hoast is about you," cried Wattie Shuttle; "come awa wi' a sang
without mair ado."
"Weel," replied Robin, "what maun be, maun be; so I'll gie ye a sang that
was made by a laddie that lived east-awa; he was aye daundering, poor chiel,
amang the broomie knowes, and mony's the time I hae seen him lying at the
side o' the wimpling burn, writing on ony bit paper he could get haud o'.
After he was dead, this bit sang was found in his pocket, and his puir
mother gied it to me, as a kind o' keepsake; and now I'll let you hear it,—I
sing it to the tune o' 'I hae laid a herein' in saut.'"
It's I'm a sweet lassie, without e'er a faut;
Sae ilka ane tells me,—sae it maun be true:
To his kail my auld faither has plenty o' saut,
And that brings the lads in gowpens to woo.
There's Saunders M'Latchie, wha bides at the Mill,
He wants a wee wifie, to bake and to brew;
But Saunders, for me, at the Mill may stay still.
For his first wife was pushioned, if what they say's true.
The next is Tarn Watt, who is grieve to the Laird,—
Last Sabbath, at puir me a sheep's e'e he threw;
But Tarn's like the picters I've seen o' Blue Beard,
And sic folk's no that chancie, if what they say's true.
Then there's Grierson the cobbler, he'll fleech an' he'll beg,
That I'd be his awl in awl, darlin' and doo;
But Grierson the cobbler's a happity leg.
And nae man that hobbles need come here to woo.
And there's Murdoch the gauger, wha rides a blind horse,
And nae man can mak a mair beautifu' boo;
But 1 shall ne'er tak him, for better, for worse,
For, sax days a week, gauger Murdoch it fou.
I wonder when Willie Waught's faither 'll dee;
(I wonder hoo that brings the bludc to my brow:)
I wonder if Willie will then be for me;—
I wonder if then he'll be coming to woo?
"It's your turn now to sing, Tammy," said Robin, "although I dinna ken that
ye are very gude at it."
"Me sing!" cried Tammy, "I canna even sing a psalm, far less a sang; but if
ye like, I'll tell you a story."
The History of Ulster
From the Earliest Times to the Present Day by Ramsay Colles (1919)
This week we've made a start at Volume II with
Martial Law in Ulster
Tyrone becomes "The O'Neill"
Wars and Rumours of War
Here is how the chapter "Martial Law in Ulster" starts...
Lest the reader may be puzzled by the number of O'Neills who now appear upon
the scene of action, it may be well to define as clearly as possible the
position of the various members of this great Ulster family. The first Earl,
it will be remembered, was Con Bacagh (The Lame), who died in 1588. Con's
illegitimate son Ferdoragh (called by the English Matthew) was, by a grave
error of judgment, created, at his father's request, Baron of Dungannon. He
was killed in 1557, leaving four sons, the eldest of whom, Brian, succeeded
him. He was known in the correspondence of the period as "the young Baron",
and, as we have seen, was murdered, when still a very young man, in 1561, by
Turlough Lynnah. Brian was succeeded by his brother, Hugh, who, on
petitioning the Irish House of Commons in 1585, was created Earl of Tyrone.
Con Bacagh, the first Earl, was also the father of the famous Shane O'Neill,
who claimed the title of Earl of Tyrone, but eventually affected to despise
it. He was murdered by the Scots of Antrim in 1567. Shane's seven sons,
known as the MacShanes, created at this time (1588) much trouble by claiming
to be the leading members of the O'Neill family. Their names were Hugh
Gavelagh, Con, Brian, Henry, Arthur, Edmund, and Turlough. Of these the
first three were the most formidable. But there was still another claimant
to the title of The O'Neill, and he was Turlough Brasselagh, a brother of
Con, the first Earl of Tyrone. In addition to this somewhat bewildering
number of "Richmonds in the field", we must include the now aged Turlough
Lynnagh, the actual chief, who was the grandson of Art Oge O'Neill, also a
brother of Con Bacagh.
It can easily be realized that Ulster, while all these turbulent chieftains
of the O'Neill blood were struggling for supremacy, was no peaceful
Having, we hope, cleared up the ramifications of the O'Neill family, it may
be well also to define those of the O'Donnells. It will be remembered that
Calvagh O'Donnell, who was married to a half-sister of the Earl of Argyll
(known to the Irish Annalists as "the Countess of Argyll"), was, with his
wife, captured by Shane O'Neill and imprisoned for years, while "the
Countess" became Shane's mistress. Calvagh fell from his horse and died on
the field of battle in 1566. His son, Con, who was described by Sussex as
"assuredly the likeliest plant that can grow in Ulster to graft a good
subject on", died in 1583, leaving nine sons, of whom Nial Garv was the most
formidable. The actual chief of Tirconnell at the time of the defeat of the
Spanish Armada was Sir Hugh O'Donnell (a brother of Calvagh), who, ever
since he had helped the English to crush Shane O'Neill, had been a persona
grata with the Government at Dublin. He had the questionable pleasure of
being known as "Ineen Duive's husband". Black Agnes (as her name signifies)
was a MacDonald, and an Irish prototype of Lady Macbeth. By her orders,
Hugh, son of Calvagh O'Donnell (her husband's nephew), was murdered, because
he had the temerity to claim the succession in Tirconnell. Nor was this the
only murder of which she was guilty, for one of the sept of O'Gallagher
annoying her by his independent bearing, she promptly had him removed by a
violent death. Ineen Duive had many sources of annoyance, but the chief
source for many years was an illegitimate son of her husband, named Donnell.
He appears to have been older than Ineen's son, and married a daughter of
Turlough Lynnagh. In 1588 he was made sheriff by Fitz William.
FitzWilliam himself, by his iron rule and his treacherous methods of
administration, had earned the hatred of all classes and creeds. When he
notified Maguire of Fermanagh that he was sending a sheriff to his
territory, the Irish chieftain, knowing the Deputy's ways, offered a big
bribe, writing at the same time: "Your sheriff will be welcome, but let me
know his eric, that, if my people cut off his head, I may levy it upon the
country". The bribe was accepted, and Maguire was assured that no sheriff
would be sent. Notwithstanding this promise a sheriff was sent, "who brought
with him 300 of the scum of creation and who lived on the plunder of the
A fisherman’s Reflections on a beautiful but troubled world
By David B. Thomson
We are getting a lot of interest in this book and this week we've added
Chapter 16 - The South Pacific
Chapter 17 - Latin America
Chapter 18 - Indo-China
Chapter 19 - Global Economic Structures
Chapter 20 - War, Peace and Truth
Chapter 21 - Justice, Crime and Punishment
Chapter 22 - Welfare, Health and Education
Here is how the Chapter on Israel starts...
Indo-China is a vast territory, 40 times the size of France, extending 1,200
miles north to south, and 1,000 miles east to west. It is bounded on the
west by the Andaman Sea, to the south by the Straits of Malacca, and on the
eastern side by the Gulf of Tongkin and the South China Sea. It comprises
the lands of Burma, Siam, Malaya, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. These
countries are each blessed with a soil capable of producing any kind of
crop, free of barren, desert lands, richly watered by innumerable rivers,
lakes and streams, possessing mineral wealth, situated before an ocean of
vast islands, and (apart from Laos), endowed by nature with numerous,
superb, natural harbours which are the rendezvous of traders from west and
east. Francis Garnier the explorer, compared the peninsula to a human hand
with extended fingers which roughly indicate the course of five great
rivers, - Song Koi, the ‘red’ river through Tong-king, Me-kong through Laos
and Cambodia, Me-nam through Siam, and the Salwini and Iriwadi through
Burma. The upper basins of the rivers are separated by mountain ranges.
From the Catholic Encyclopaedia, Indo-China, 1910
Phalla Song was secretary to the UN FAO Representative in Phnom Phen at the
time I was leading a project there for that organization. Her attractive,
pleasant, quiet demeanor gave no hint of the personal traumas she had
endured in her youth. On a car trip together to a reception by the Mekong
River, I asked her (as I had asked other Cambodians of her generation) about
the period of the Khmer Rouge and the notorious rule of Pol Pot.
Her father had been a Professor of Languages at the University in Phnom Phen.
Like all others in the city, the family was driven out when the Khmer Rouge
entered in 1975. They were sent to work on rice paddies not too far from the
city. Being an educated person, her father would have been marked out for
elimination, no matter how the family may tried to conceal their former role
in society. So it was not long before the soldiers came and took him off “to
attend a meeting”. Both young Phalla and her mother had a good idea of the
real intent of the Khmer Rouge. When a soldier returned later with his
clothes, she knew for sure he had been shot or otherwise killed. But no-one
dare show pity or sorrow in front of the army which would have punished or
killed them for the display of sympathy for the victim. Phalla, just eleven
years old, waited for an opportunity and in the late afternoon went away
from the paddies to a Mango tree nearby. She climbed up into the tree, and
suitably hidden, wept for her father. When she had no more tears to shed,
she returned to the commune where she showed no emotion in front of the
Shortly after, Phalla’s mother was moved to a different commune, and she was
left to care for her infant sister. The child still needed nursing, but this
was not possible. Just getting food for the baby was extremely difficult.
Sometimes Phala got a little bit of rice porridge, and on a rare occasion a
sympathetic worker would give her a sliver of sugar cane for the child to
suck. But Phalla persevered against all odds. She said that the attitude of
the workers at the start of each day, was, - “if only we can survive till
night-time, it will be something”. And each morning they would thank God
they were still alive. I asked Phalla if her baby sister survived the
prolonged ordeal. She turned to me with a beautiful smile, and responded,
“Yes, - and she was married, just last month”.4
Ocean to Ocean, Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 1872
by The Revd. George M. Grant (1873).
As some of you may know Sandford Fleming, a Scot, was the chief engineer for
the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and this book is a diary of his
survey of the line. Quite apart from being a Scot this is a most interesting
account and I hope you'll enjoy reading it.
We have now completed this book with...
Chapter X - Along the North Thompson River to Kamloops
Chapter XI - From Kamloops to the Sea
Chapter XII - The Coast, and Vancouver's Island
Chapter XIII - Conclusion
Here is how the account of The Coast, and Vancouver's Island starts...
October, 6th. Before any of us came on deck this morning, the good Sir James
Douglas had steamed out of Burrard's Inlet, and past the lofty mountains
that enclose the deep fiords of Howe Sound and Jervis Inlet, into the middle
of the Straits of Georgia. Our first sight was of the Island of Texada on
our right, and the bold outline of Vancouver's Island farther away on our
After breakfast, divine service was held in the cabin. On those inland
waters of the Pacific that, folding themselves round rocky mountain and
wooded island, looked to us so lovely, we, who had come four thousand miles
from the Atlantic, united our voices in common prayer with fellow subjects
who call these shores of the vaster Ocean of the West, their home. Again,
all found that prostration before Him, who is our Father, and also King of
Nations, not only evokes the deepest feelings of the human heart, but also
purifies them. The tie of a common nationality, especially if the nation has
a great history, is holy. The aim of our work was to bind our country more
firmly together, and this thought elevated the work; while worshipping
together made us feel more powerfully than any amount of feasting and
toasting the flag—that inhabitants of the same Dominion, subjects of the
same Sovereign, and heirs of the same destinies, must ever be brothers.
Towards mid-day, our course took us out of the Straits of Georgia,
north-easterly up into Bute Inlet, another of those wonderful fiords of
unknown depth that seam this part of the Pacific coast. The chart makes it
40 fathoms deep, with a mark over the figures signifying that the naval
surveyors had sounded to that depth without finding bottom.
The object of going up this Inlet, another of the proposed termini for the
Railway, was to enable the Chief to get such a birds-eye view of it as he
had already obtained of the prairie and the mountain country, and at the
same time to meet two parties of the C. P. R. Survey, who had been at work
in this quarter all summer.
On the question of which is the best western terminus, there are two great
parties in British Columbia, one advocating the mainland, the other
Vancouver's Island. On the mainland, New Westminster, Burrard's Inlet, and
other points are proposed. If a harbor on Vancouver's Island be chosen, then
the railway must cross to the shores of Bute Inlet, and follow the easiest
possible route from its head through the Cascade Mountains. The advocates of
the island termini, Victoria, Esquimalt, and Alberni, always asserted that
it was a simple matter to cross the Straits of Georgia to the mouth of Bute
Inlet by Valdes Island, which on the map does seem to block them up almost
completely; then, that the line could be made along the shore of the Inlet
to the mouth of the Homathco River, and up its course, through the Cascades,
to the Chilcoten plains. Two main routes had therefore to be surveyed : one,
from the mouth of the Fraser River, and up the Thompson ; the other, from
Vancouver's Island across to Bute Inlet, and, up the Homathco to the Upper
Fraser, from whence the line could be carried by the North Thompson valley,
if no direct passage across the Gold-range to the Canoe River, or Tete Jaune
Cache could be found.
Sketches of Early Scotch History
By Cosmo Innes (1861)
Our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning in this book for us.
Have added Part III this week which is summary is about...
Melrose, Old feudal tenures—Scotch jurisprudence—Galloway customs— State of
cultivation—Pasture—Forest—Game—Old boundaries—Old roads—Early spoken
language—Prices of land and value of money—Old families extinct—Seals, Arms,
Early Heraldry—The Monks as landowners and patrons— Fair play to the Monks.
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