Electric Scotland News
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Early Scotch History
Book of Scottish Story
Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site (New)
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Poetry and Stories
History of Ulster
Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander
Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
Scottish Art Trading Cards
Electric Scotland Article Service (New)
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format (New)
Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt. obitury
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
Got in an email....
I wonder if it would be possible to call on you and your readers for some
help in locating a poem that a great uncle of mine used to narrate. All I
remember is the title - and even that is sketchy!! The poem I think is
called Rabbie Duke At The Bools (Robert Duke At The Bowling). I know it
isn't much to go on, but hopefully some of your readers might have heard
this and will be able to help with the actual poem.
So if you can help please send an email to Ann at
do copy me into it if you do and I can include it on the site :-)
Been a bit swamped this week with lots going on.
We've launched a new section under our Books menu where we offer a new link
"Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format" for which see more
Also added the "Electric Scotland Article Service" again for which see more
I am also working on a new Recipe program and while I have it configured I
need to work on the various categories, courses, dish types and ingredients.
And having done that I will then need to get at least some recipes up to get
you started. This means it will likely be a few weeks before it is launched.
Mind you if any of you out there have a collection of recipes you'd like to
share I'd be happy to give you early access so you can input them for us :-)
On top of that we're also working on the Scotgames site and hope to be
bringing you some new games to play soon. We're currently working on the
programs as for some reason this site was flagged as a "System Directory"
and thus I wasn't able to access it. This has meant Steve having to in
effect delete all the programs and then reinstall them so is taking a wee
bit of time.
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
Grower Flowers [Advert]
Grower Flowers grow their own flowers in both Canada and the USA and offer a
next day delivery service and a FREE vase. As Valentine's Day is approaching
you might wish to check out their offerings at
They have a huge range of gift baskets for all occasions including special
Valentine's baskets and so if you're too busy to do personal shopping for
that special occasion then Grower Flowers is an excellent resource.
Electric Scotland has been working with Grower Flowers for over 3 years now
and we've had many emails from our visitors saying how pleased they were
with the service.
Located on Sauchiehall Street right in the heart of Glasgow city centre, the
Willow Tearooms - a Glasgow institution - opened for business in October
1903. As the temperance movement grew in popularity in the city, a local
businesswoman named Kate Cranston opened four tearooms for people to
socialise without the temptation of alcohol. Local designer and architect
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was engaged by Miss Cranston to design all four of
her tearooms, which he did in his own distinctive style.
The Willow Tearooms were incorporated into a department store in 1928, but a
number of the tearooms were faithfully restored to their former glory and
were reopened in 1983.
Scotland on TV visited the Willow Tearooms this week to take high tea and
have a look around. The current owner, Anne Mulhern revealed how this
venerable institution came into being. Commercial Manager, Margaret Daly
details Miss Cranston's continuing legacy and her forward-thinking business
sense in commissioning world-renowned architect and artist Charles Rennie
Mackintosh to design both the interior and exterior of this remarkable
building. And manager, Joanne Murray dispels the myth that it's just a venue
for 'ladies who lunch'.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch and he is showing his pleasure at
the first Scottish budget passing in Parliament. Also lots of words on the
problems of labour leader Wendy Alexander and lots more to read.
In Peter's cultural section he tells us...
This week sees two notable anniversaries – one sad, one happy. The sad event
took place on 13 February 1692 when government troops, under orders from
King William carried out the notorious Massacre of Glencoe, the attempted
ethnic cleansing of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. Thanks to a snowstorm,
although 38 died, the majority of the clan escaped the government swords,
and the Glencoe MacDonalds were able to supply a healthy number of blades on
the Jacobite side in both the 1715 and 1745 Risings.
The second date is, of course, far happier and is engraved on the hearts and
minds of romantics world-wide, St Valentines Day on 14 February. Scotland is
in a position to claim a close affinity to the Saint as his remains lie in a
Glasgow church – the Church of Blessed John Duns Scotia in the Gorbals. But
note, the notorious ‘Glasgow Kiss’ has, of course, nothing to do with either
the saint or romance, indeed quite the opposite!
Scotland’s most romantic poet, Robert Burns, wrote of St valentine’s Day in
his poem ‘Tam Glen’ –
“Yestreen at the valentines’ dealing
My heart to my mou’ gied a sten’;
For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written – Tam Glen!”
And our most famous novelist, Sir Walter Scott, wrote of St Valentine’s Day
in ‘The Fair Maid of Perth’ –
“Tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day, when every bird chooses her mate. I will
plague you no longer now, providing you will let me see from your window
tomorrow when the sun first peeps over the eastern hill, and give me right
to be your Valentine for the year.”
A romantic time of year as reflected by romantic writers surely requires a
romantic recipe – love and chocolate traditionally go together so why not
treat your Valentine to some delicious handmade Chocolate Truffles.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now on the Mac's with MacKnight, MacLachlan and MacLaurin
Here we find an interesting article on MacKnight...
MACKNIGHT, JAMES, D.D., a learned biblical critic, the son of the Rev.
William Macknight, minister of Irvine in Ayrshire, was born September 17,
1721. He received his academical education at the university of Glasgow, and
afterwards studied theology at Leyden. On his return to Scotland he was
licensed to preach by the presbytery of Irvine, and after officiating for
some time at the Gorbals, in Glasgow, he acted as assistant at Kilwinning.
In May 1753 he was ordained minister of Maybole in his native county. In
1756 he published a ‘Harmony of the Gospels,’ which met with such a
favourable reception, that he was induced in 1763 to bring out a second
edition, with considerable improvements and additions. The same year he
produced his ‘Truth of the Gospel History,’ which still farther advanced his
reputation as a theologian. From the university of Edinburgh he received the
degree of D.D., and he was in 1769 chosen moderator of the General Assembly
of the Church of Scotland. During the same year he was translated to the
parochial charge of Jedburgh, and in 1772 he became minister, first of Lady
Yester’s, Edinburgh, and in 1778 of the Old church in that city, where he
had for his colleague Dr. Henry the historian. For upwards of thirty years
he was engaged in the preparation of his last and most important work, ‘The
New Literal Translation from the Greek of all the Apostolical Epistles, with
Commentaries and Notes, which was published in 1795, in 4 vols. quarto. He
died January 13, 1800. – His works are:
Harmony of the Four Gospels, in which the
natural order of each is preserved; with a Paraphrase and Notes. Lond. 1756,
2 vols, in one, 4to. 2d edit.; with six Discourses on Jewish Antiquities.
Lond. 1763, 4to. 3d edit. Edin. 1804, 2 vols. 8vo. This has long been
regarded as a standard book among Divines. It was translated into Latin, by
Professor Ruckersfelder, and published at Bremen and Deventer. 1772, 3 vols.
The Truth of the Gospel History shewn, in
three books. London, 1763, 4to.
The Translation of the First and Second
Epistles to the Thessalonians: with a commentary and Notes. London, 1787,
A new Literal Translation, from the original
Greek, of all the Apostolic Epistles; with a Commentary and Notes,
Philological, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical. To which is added, A
History of the Life of the Apostle Paul. Edin., 1795, 4 vols. 4to. 2d edit.;
with the Greek Text, and an account of the Life of the Author. 1807, 6 vols.
8vo. Also without the Greek Text. 3 vols. 4to. and 4 vols, 8vo. This is a
work of theological diligence, learning and piety not often paralleled.
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
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.
There is considerable account of antiquities and here are a few to read
Heritors.—Of these there are five; Gordon of Newton; Fraser of Williamston;
Leith Lumsden, of Tullymorgan; Gammel of Sheelagreen; and Leith of Cairnhill.
The valued rent of the parish is L.2100 Scots, the real rent supposed to be
upwards of L.4000 Sterling. In 1790, it was rated at L.1150.
Antiquities.—There is, in this parish, part of an ancient highway. It
crosses the hill of Culsamond, near its top, from the north-west, and had
formerly been the road which people took when travelling on their way to St
Lawrence Fair, at Old Rayne, It still retains the name of the Lawrence Road,
and is, to all appearance, nearly in the same state in which it had
originally been, many hundred years ago. In times long since past, when the
woods were haunted by ferocious wild beasts, and the valleys overrun with
rivers and swamps, it was dangerous to travel in low-lying grounds. Hence,
the most ancient roads traversed the tops of the hills, and, from this
circumstance, were properly termed highways. There appear to have been at
least three sacred fountains in this parish; St Mary's Well, on the farm of
Colpie; St Michael's, at Gateside; and another, at the foot of the Culsamond
Bank, a little west of the Lady's Causeway. On the first Sunday of May,
multitudes resorted to them from distant parts, in the full faith that, by
washing in the stream, and leaving presents to the saints, as their heathen
ancestors did to the spirit presiding over the well, they would be cured of
all loathsome or otherwise incurable diseases. Pieces of money were always,
accordingly, left in the wells, corresponding to the ability of the diseased
person. In digging a drain, at the foot of the bank, some years ago, when
the workman struck his pick into the bottom of the well which had been
there, a large quantity of water sprung up into the atmosphere, in which he
observed a shining substance, which proved to be a gold piece of James I. of
Scotland, in as good preservation as when it came from the mint. It is now
in the Freefield Cabinet.
The standing-stone in the woods of Newton, near Pitmachie, has an
inscription upon it, supposed to be in Runic characters, Some drawings of it
have been published in the Monthly Magazine, and also by Pinkerton, but they
are far from being accurate. There is another standing-stone, near the house
of Newton, with figures upon it.
Several arrow heads and axes have been found in this parish and
neighbourhood. In one of the cairns on the farm of Moss-side, in this
parish, was found a large stone-axe, which is now in the possession of Sir
A. Leith of Freefield. These axes were of different sizes, and made of
different kinds of stone. A small one of flint was found in the parish of
Insch about 1827, and is now in the Freefield cabinet. The finest were of
flint. They were used by our Celtic ancestors, in ages long prior to the
Roman invasion, as battle-axes, spears, or tools for domestic purposes. The
largest were generally made of coarse, but very hard, grey stone, for home
use. The smallest were manufactured from the finest flint, and used as
warlike instruments, and in different ways. Druidical Temples.—Two of these
were on the farm of Colpie, although now almost obliterated. Several urns
were dug up in making a road near one of them.
A Druidical place of worship anciently stood on the spot which is now the
church-yard or burying-ground, and about the middle of it. It consisted of a
circle of twelve upright large granite stones from Benochee, which were
overturned when the first Christian temple was erected. One of these stones
was taken out of the ground in 1821, and now remains above ground, near the
spot from which it was dug up. The other eleven are still under ground. This
is a proof that the first Christian missionaries, in this country, erected
their places of worship as near as possible to the holy hills of the
heathens, that the people might be more easily persuaded to assemble there.
In digging out the foundation stones of an ancient but small building, to
which the last kirk of Culsamond had been attached, there were found below
them, side by side, and at right angles with the wall, the skeletons of two
men in perfect preservation. This happened in the year 1821, when the new
kirk-yard dikes were building.
Early Scotch History
By Cosmo Innis and our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning this in for us.
This week Alan has sent in the account of Aberdeen University. This account
includes information on...
Circumstances of the district—Early schools of Aberdeen— Scarcity of books —
University founded 1494 — Bishop Elphinstone; the Events of his Life and his
Character—Hector Boece, the first Principal—William Hay—Vaus—First Scotch
printing—The Reformation—Conference on Doctrine —Purging of the
University—Wandering Scotch scholars— Barclay, Florence Wilson, John
Cameron, etc.— Principal Arbuthnot—The new foundation—The University in the
seventeenth century—Bishop Patrick Forbes—The Aberdeen Doctors—-Cultivation
spreading in Aberdeen—Secular learning—Gordon of Straloch—The Johnstons and
the Poets— Raban's Printing-press—Aberdeen Academic prints and their dates—
Universitas Carolina—Rowe, Principal—Collegiate Life—Changes of Life, and of
Teaching—General University Court of Scotland—The College
fabric—Benefactions— Mace; Seal; Bells; Spoons; Plate—Number of Students —
Some degrees abolished—Reforms suggested—Union of the Universities of
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this is for us.
This week have added "Traditions of the Old Tolbooth of Edinburgh" by Robert
Here is how this story starts...
Whosoever is fortunate enough to have seen Edinburgh previous to the year
1817—when as yet the greater part of its pristine character was entire, and
before the stupendous grandeur, and dense old-fashioned substantiality,
which originally distinguished it, had been swept away by the united efforts
of fire and foolery—must remember the Old Tolbooth. At the north-west corner
of St Giles's Church, and almost in the very centre of a crowded street,
stood this tall, narrow, antique, and gloomy-looking pile, with its black
stancheoned windows opening through its dingy walls, like the apertures of a
I hearse, and having its western gable penetrated by sundry
suspicious-looking holes, which occasionally served—horresco referens—for
the projection of the gallows. The fabric was four stories high, and might
occupy an area of fifty feet by thirty. At the west end there was a low
projection of little more than one story, surmounted by a railed platform,
which served for executions. This, as well as other parts of the building,
On the north side, there remained the marks of what had once been a sort of
bridge communicating between the Tolbooth and the houses immediately
opposite. This part of the building got the name of the "Purses," on account
of its having been the place where, in former times, on the King's
birth-day, the magistrates delivered donations of as many pence as the King
was years old to the same number of beggars or "blue-gowns." There was a
very dark room on this side, which was latterly used as a guard-house by the
right venerable military police of Edinburgh, but which had formerly been
the fashionable silk-shop of the father of the celebrated Francis Horner. At
the east end there was nothing remarkable, except an iron box, attached to
the wall, for the reception of small donations in behalf of the poor
prisoners, over which was a painted board, containing some quotations from
Scripture. In the lower flat of the south and sunny side, besides a shop,
there was a den for the accommodation of the outer door-keeper, and where it
was necessary to apply when admission was required, and the old gray-haired
man was not found at the, door. The main door was at the bottom of the great
turret or turnpike stair, which projected from the south-east corner. It was
a small but very strong door, full of large headed nails, and having an
enormous lock, with a flap to conceal the keyhole, which could itself be
locked, but was generally left open.
Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
I'm very much in support of this project that is trying to preserve the farm
as a living historical demonstration of how the ordinary settlers came into
the country and started to clear the woods and create farms. They would love
to have your support for this project and emails to them showing support
would be great and of course if you can make any donations even better :-)
Here is how the account starts...
If you walk the Bruce Trail near Georgetown and go to trail 13, you will be
walking on the land of the Fallbrook Farm, until 1943 known as the McKay
farm or Uncle Sandy’s place. It is an idyllic setting renowned for its
natural beauty and the fact that the original pioneer log cabin stills
stands in mint condition, hidden discretely by wooden siding until 1999. It
looked exactly like you see in this picture. But, tragically, the original
barn was torn down and since 2001, the home has been abandoned after 150
years of sheltering the farm families who cleared and developed that
inhospitable land, first settled in the 1850's. The SilverCreek area,
bordering on the Niagara Escarpment was not well suited to profitable
farming. The toil and struggles of the Scottish immigrants, many crofters
expelled from their homeland, who opened this region has never been told or
even recognised as historically significant. The battle for Fallbrook is not
only a quest to resurrect the homestead as a living teaching museum but also
as a memorial to these farm families, of whom we are the descendants. The
heritage site consists of the homestead, an icehouse, classical highlander
stone walls and an arch bridge over SilverCreek and finally Providence
cemetery on William McKay’s land where Donald, his wife and son William are
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...
A Summer's Study of Ferns (Pages 321-322)
Here is how it starts...
A long holiday was before me, which I was going to spend in various visits
among friends and relatives residing in different parts of England. I was
very anxious to gain some improvement during this "play-time," something
that in future periods of sickness or weariness might be a resource to me,
but in what direction I should seek this advantage I found it difficult to
decide. As the railway train sped onward, bearing me far from the great
capital, I continued to revolve various plans in my mind, but I reached my
journey's end, a sequestered domicile in one of the most remote of the
Yorkshire dales, before coming to a decision. The long drive in the dark
from the railway terminus had left me in total ignorance of the sort of
country I was visiting; so it was with eager impatience that I drew up my
blind on first awaking in the morning. The window commanded a view of a wide
valley, the prevailing feature of which was far-spreading moors. On the
hill-sides were deep clefts, where noisy brooks foamed down, and nourished
birch-woods along their banks. Three villages and two churches were visible
on the left, while on the right the valley became more narrow and the
country more wild. The river Swale wound serpent-like along the dale, and
the morning sun turned its waters to gold. I stood for a time in a trance of
delight, rejoicing in the beauty that surrounded me; and then I hastened to
perform my toilet, that I might go forth and taste the freshness of the
morning. As I sat at breakfast with my cousin, his wife, and their daughter
Esther, I mentioned my immature plan, in which my young cousin expressed
"Take up the study of ferns," she said; "I want to do so. I have got a book
about them, and I want to understand them from the very beginning. There are
numbers of them in our woods and pastures, and it is a perfect waste of
objects of interest to neglect them."
"Be it so," I replied; "get your book, and we will hie away to the woods."
The History of Ulster
Have now completed volume 3 of this 4 volume set and have added this week...
XXIV. Tyrconnell, Lord of Misrule
XXV. Londonderry and Enniskillen Revolt
XXVI. The Brave Inniskillings
XXVII. King James in Ulster
XXVIII. The Siege of Londonderry
XXIX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)
XXX. The Siege of Londonderry (Cont)
This is how "The Siege of Londonderry" starts...
Londonderry invested - Commanders of the Various Jacobite Regiments -
Disposition of the Jacobite Forces - Divided Counsels - Arrival of Captain
Adam Murray - He supports the Citizens - Lundy and the Council defeated -
Lundy deposed and Baker elected Governor - Rev. George Walker, Assistant
Governor - James and his Army greeted with Cannon-balls - He leaves for
Dublin - Surrender of Culmore Fort and Castlederg - First Sally from the
City - Maumont killed - The Jacobites lose 200 Men and some Officers -
Murray rescued by Walker.
Londonderry was now surrounded, except on the water side, by horse and foot,
which presented a most formidable appearance to a garrison to whom warfare
was unfamiliar, and who were distracted by fierce faction fights within the
city walls. The Council, led by Lundy, signed an offer of surrender and
entrusted it to Captain White for delivery to General Hamilton, instructing
him at the same time to stipulate that the besieging army should not, until
its conditions were fulfilled, advance within four miles of the city. Rosen
had, in the meantime, distributed his forces in such a way as to invest the
city from the river under Ballougry to the shore at Culmore.
The commanders of the various regiments included Colonel Richard Hamilton;
Lord Galmoy, at the head of a troop of guards; Sir Michael Creagh, Lord
Mayor of Dublin and paymaster of the Jacobite army, who held the rank of
Colonel of the 33rd regiment of foot; Donough, Earl of Clancarty, Colonel of
the 4th regiment of foot, who on James's arrival in Ireland received and
entertained him, and was made a lord of the bedchamber; Jenico Preston, Lord
Gormanston, premier Viscount of Ireland, Colonel of the 9th regiment of
foot; Sir Maurice Eustace (son of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland), Colonel
of the iQth regiment of foot; Edward Butler, related to Viscounts Ikerrin
and Mountgarret, and to Lord Dunboyne and other Butlers of the Barrow,
Colonel of the 27th regiment of foot; Charles Cavanagh of Wicklow, Colonel
of the i6th regiment of horse; Ramsay, Colonel of a Scottish regiment which
bore his name and which had served with distinction in Holland; Nicholas
Fitzgerald, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 12th regiment of foot, of which Lord
Bellew was Colonel; Dudney Bagnal, Colonel of the 30th regiment of foot; and
According to a map of Londonderry, drawn at |the time of the siege by
Captain Francis Neville, the order in which the troops of the Jacobite army
were stationed was as follows: Lord Galmoy's horse and Sir Michael Creagh's
regiment of foot extended from Ballougry hill to the water; then came the
regiments commanded by Colonels Barrington, Butler, Ramsay, Lord Slane,
Hamilton, and Gormanston. Sir Maurice Eustace and his regiment had charge of
the magazine, between Hamilton's quarters and a mill a little to the north
of the Bishop's demesne. The Bishop himself had left the scene of battle and
was now officiating in a chapel in London.
In Hamilton's front was a strong post, and between it and Pennyburn mill
were Cavanagh and his regiment. Butler's was encamped near Charles-fort, and
round to the bank of the river, and on the opposite side a little lower
down, was a regiment of dragoons under the command of Sir Neill O'Neill.
Lord Clancarty and his men occupied a position on the road to Greencastle,
about half-way between Charles-fort and an old chapel on the rising ground
above Culmore; and between this chapel and the river Fitzgerald's and
Bagnal's regiments shut out all communication by land between Culmore and
the city. The fort had a mound of sod-work for its protection on the land
side, and the batteries on the side towards the water were very formidable
to vessels coming up the river.
Londonderry at this juncture presents the strange spectacle of a city
divided against itself, and it would undoubtedly have succumbed to the fate
to which all so situated are destined, had not a succession of deliverers
arrived to avert the catastrophe. The first to appear on the scene was
Captain Adam Murray, a brave officer in command of one of the outposts of
the city, who, on learning the state of affairs, advanced at the head of a
strong body of horse, followed by his infantry, determined to oppose the
surrender. Lundy and the Council immediately sent him orders to retire out
of sight of the citizens; but seeing soldiers and civilians beckoning from
the walls he marched to one of the gates, which was at once thrown open to
him by Captain Morrison, who commanded the guard. As Murray rode through the
streets he was greeted by the populace with enthusiastic shouts of welcome,
to which he responded by declaring that his life and his sword were at their
service, and calling upon all who cried "No surrender!" to tie a white band
on the left arm as a badge betokening their principles. In adopting this
plan he was joined by other officers, and the white sign soon appeared on
Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander
By Duncan Campbell (1910)
This week we've added the following chapters...
Visitors of many Nations and Races
The Position of the Ruling Race
At Thwaites House
Here is a bit from "At Thwaites House"...
A political era closed with the death of Lord Palmerston and the going to
the House of Lords of old Lord John Russell. The leaders who came after
them, Mr Disraeli and Mr Gladstone, had began public life, the former as a
flashy, philosophical Radical, and the latter as a High Church Anglican
Tory. After Mr Disraeli's democratic Reform Bill, establishing household
suffrage in boroughs, and ten pound suffrage in the counties, and Mr
Gladstone's disestablishment of the Irish Church, the old designation of
parties as Whigs and Tories lost their meaning ; and the new ones of
Liberals and Conservatives became more appropriate. As for the
disestablishment of the Irish Church, the only thing I deeply regretted
myself was that the confiscated ecclesiastical funds were not retained and
proportionately shared among Catholic parish priests and Protestant
ministers of all denominations for permanent endowment purposes as far as
they would go. The Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland was in very truth
"A garrison church," which represented English domination, and a half
conquest, which was much more irritating and ten times less beneficial than
a settlement on complete conquest might have been. 1 had read all Mr
Disraeli's published works, and while fully aware of the genius displayed in
them, I did not like their foreign-like glitter, superlatives, and class and
caste limitations in regard to his subjects and the way he treated them. But
on questions of foreign and colonial policy his views seemed always to be as
far- seeing and truly patriotic as those of Mr Gladstone were hazy and
unreliable. It was after the time I am writing about that Mr Gladstone took
to having special revelations like Mahomet, which suited personal and party
interests. When he disestablished the Irish Church, he was yet far enough
from Irish Home Rule, and from the passionate claptrap of the Bulgarian
atrocity agitation. He had, with wonderful gifts of oratory and financial
talents, the singular faculty of persuading himself as well as others that
on every occasion of his making a new departure in politics he was acting on
the highest motives, as if he had a revelation and order from heaven. No one
could listen to his glowing oratory without being to some degree mesmerised,
but when his speeches, with their bursting sentences so troublesome to
reporters were read in print, the mesmerism of tone and personality
disappeared, and one wondered how the sought-for impression could have been
produced at the public meeting or in the House of Commons by a flow of
words, which were in sense frequently elusive, however imposing in form. 1
think I must admit that I got an early prejudice against Mr Gladstone,
because he was the only House of Commons member of Sir Robert Peel's
Government in 1842-3 who understood the dispute which ended in the
Disruption, and who, instead of doing all he could to prevent the
catastrophe, joined with Manning and others in setting up the Glen- almond
College, for Anglicanising the sons of the Scotch nobility and gentry.
Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of
by Major-General David Stewart (1822)
This week we've completed the appendix which completes volume I of this 2
volume set. Added were...
DD, Letting Lands by Auction, Advertisements, or Private Offers
EE, Influence of Public Opinion
FF, Religious Education—Gaelic Schools
GG, The best Soldiers destroyed by inattention to their Feelings and
HH, Remarkable Instance of Military Talent exhibited both in the Plans of
the Commanders; and in their Execution
II, Earl of Crawfurd, Colonel of the Highland Regiment
We have now moved on to Volume II which starts with an account of the
History of the Royal Highland Regiment which is in 2 sections. It is
actually a continuation from Volume I and here is how the first section
The soldiers soon recovered from their wounds, and from the fatigues of the
march to Corunna. No officer of this regiment died except Major Campbell,
whose constitution, previously debilitated by a service of twenty-five years
in the regiment, sunk under the severity of the weather to which he had been
exposed on the march. He died a few days after landing at Portsmouth. [Major
Archibald Argyle Campbell was son of Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Campbell, who
had served in the Royal Highland Regiment during the Seven Year's War, in
the 84th, or Highland Emigrants in the American war, and as
Lieutenant-Colonel in the Breadalbane Fencibles in the last war. Major
Campbell died honoured and lamented by his regiment. So sensible were the
officers of his value, that they subscribed a sum of money, in which the
soldiers requested to join, to erect a monument to his memory in the Calton
Hill burying-ground in Edinburgh, where it now stands as a mark of respect
to a brave soldier, whose courage was guided by judgment and prudence, and
whose prudence was warmed by the best heart and the kindest disposition.]
The regiment was marched to Shorncliffe, and brigaded there with the Rifle
corps, under the command of Major-General Sir Thomas Graham. In these
quarters the men were again equipped, and soon ready for further service.
The second battalion, which had been quartered in Ireland since 1805, was
now under orders to embark for Portugal, and could therefore spare no men to
supply the loss sustained by the first battalion on the retreat to Corunna.
In the last day's march of forty-five miles from Lugo, numbers of the men
being without shoes, and all half famished and exhausted, orders were issued
that " the rear guard cannot stop, and those who fall behind must take their
fate." Upwards of 6000 men of the army had already, from disease and
fatigue, dropped behind. The loss of the Royal Highland Regiment, from the
same causes, was also considerable. Including those killed and dead of
wounds, and prisoners, the number amounted to 136 men. Of the prisoners who
dropped behind on the march, and fell into the hands of the enemy, numbers
were released and sent to England, and rejoined their regiment.
It was supposed by some that the soldiers of the 42d, 79th, and 92d
regiments, suffered from the Highland dress. Others again said, that the
garb was very commodious in marching over a mountainous country, and that
experience had shown that those parts of the body exposed to the weather by
this garb, are not materially affected by the severest cold; that, while
instances are common of the fingers, toes and face, being frost-bitten, we
never hear of the knee being affected; and that, when men, in the Highland
garb, have had their fingers destroyed by frost, their knees remained
untouched, although bare and exposed to the same temperature which affected
other parts of the body.
[An extraordinary instance of the degree of cold which the human body can be
brought to sustain, is exemplified in the instance of a man of the name of
Cameron, now living on the estate of Strowan, in the county of Perth. This
man showed an aversion to any covering from the time he was able to walk,
always attempting to throw off his clothes. Being indulged by his mother in
this, he went about at all times, even in the deepest snows, and during the
hardest frosts, in a state of nudity, and continued the same practice
without the smallest detriment to his health, till increasing years made it
necessary, for the sake of decency, to give him some covering. His parents,
wishing to send him to a neighbouring school, a loose kind of plaid robe
descending to his knees was made, and thrown over his shoulders; but he was
fifteen years of age before he wore the usual dress. There is nothing
remarkable in his character; disposition, or constitution, nor does he
appear to be stronger than other men, but he is perfectly healthy.]
The warmth which the numerous folds of the kilt preserved round the centre
of the body was a great security against complaints in the bowels, which
were so prevalent on this occasion among the troops; and it may be supposed
that men who are in a manner rendered hardy by being habituated, at least
from the time they joined Highland corps, to a loose cool dress, would be
less liable to be affected by violent and abrupt changes of temperature.
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
This week have added The Blackfaced Breed of Sheep by Alexander MacDonald
and here is how it starts...
Beyond vague tradition, we have no reliable indication of the origin of the
blackfaced or heath breed of sheep. It is a common belief in Scotland that
it is not indigenous to Britain, and many circumstances tend to confirm this
opinion. Dr Walker, who is acknowledged to have been a high authority on the
subject, supposes that it is of foreign origin, and that the forest of
Ettrick was selected as its first locality in Scotland. He mentions that a
flock of some 5000 sheep was imported by one of the Scottish kings for the
use of the royal household, and from that stock the whole of the blackfaced
race, it is supposed, succeeded. The opinions of other writers, however,
combined with the natural character of the breed, indulge the belief that
there is some truth in the conjecture that it originated among the mountains
of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire, and that it was introduced into
Scotland at an early date. Some people hold, on the other hand, that the
blackfaced sheep originated among, and were the earlier inhabitants of, the
mountainous parts of the south of Scotland. There is no breed of sheep
existing in Britain at the present time to which this breed bears much
resemblance, and this, coupled with the fact that the only similar sheep
known is Wallachian, goes to support Dr Walker's argument.
The comparatively valueless character of the fleece, as well as the whole
figure and general independent bearing of the blackfaced sheep, suggests, or
in fact points it out, as the native of a high and stormy region. This
peculiarity, says a writer, may in all probability have been derived from
the character of the hills where the breed originated. The influence of the
soil and climate on the covering of animals is well known, and has been
strikingly exemplified in the natural history of the sheep in this and other
countries. A humid atmosphere has the effect of lengthening the covering of
sheep as well as of other animals. The cattle in the west coast have, as a
rule, longer hair than those of the east, because of the dampness of the
atmosphere. The depth and quality of the soil are also supposed to exercise
a considerable influence on the growth and character of the wool and general
development of the sheep.
History of the Breed.
Notwithstanding the inferior quality of the wool, and other defects of this
breed in its aboriginal and unimproved condition, its peculiar adaptability
to withstand severe climate, and to fatten on the coarsest herbage,
commended it to occupiers of large tracts of heath and mountain land; and to
quote Hector Boethius, who wrote about the year 1460, and speaking of the
sheep in the vale of Esk, says—"Until the introduction of the Cheviots, the
rough-woolled blackfaced sheep alone were to be found." From this, it would
seem that the blackfaced or heath breed of sheep had been the prevailing
breed at an early date. After the introduction of the Cheviot and other
fine-woolled breeds, it was supplanted by them in many districts, at
different periods during its history-—a circumstance regulated by the prices
of wool—but the race has never been allowed to die out. The germs of its
early fame had never been entirely extinguished, and for many years past
they have been gradually regaining strength. It is only within the past
century and a half, or little more, however, since flockowners began to
direct attention to the improvement of the breed, but during that time many
defects have been removed. Since the advent of the present century, an
enthusiasm has been manifesting itself among sheep farmers to raise the
value of their flocks, and a healthy emulation has existed among breeders
for upwards of sixty years.
Scottish Art Trading Cards
Margo has done some Scottish Art Trading Cards which you can print out on
2.5" x 3.5" cards and build them into a collection. These are great for kids
and also anyone interested in collecting cards. We have the fourth page of
10 cards up at
Electric Scotland Article Service
Over the years I've had many people send in articles for the site and
thought it was time that I gave you a method of adding your own articles and
hence this service.
Once you post an article in here it is also available to search engines and
so you may well get additional readers than just those using this service.
The way it works is that when you load the service you'll be able to select
"Add Article" and you then get to put up your name along with a wee
description about yourself. You can also leave those field blank and your
article will be marked "Anonymous". You then give your article a title and
then select an appropriate category or sub category in which to place it.
You then get a WYSIWYG editor where you type in your article. You can of
course prepare the article offline in a text editor and then just paste it
in. There are formatting options where you then select the font, font size,
etc. We usually default to Arial font and size 2 but you can use others if
you wish. You can also add a picture but it needs to be on the web currently
and so you simple click on the "Insert Picture" icon and then you can
provide a url to the picture.
There is also an opportunity to use a spell checker for your article if
you've just typed it in. I did trial on that and if you don't have the spell
checker installed you are offered a link to download one.
While I have a number of categories up do feel free to email me if you think
there should be another category or sub category. Like anything that is
brand new I'm sure there will be changes :-)
So... how it can be used is really up to you. The main categories are...
Clan & Family...
Food & Drink
Highland Games &...
History of Scotland
Travel and Tourism
Under most will be further sub categories. You can also search for articles
by key word and also by author.
Perhaps useful for Clan and Family Societies to post some regular goings on
of your society. Should you wish to do this on a regular basis then if you
email me I could create a sub category for your society under "Clan &
I have added a couple of articles to the site with one as an introduction to
the service and the other as an article I copied from our site.
There is also the opportunity to add comments to articles and so it can end
up being like a discussion board.
To be frank there are huge possibilities for this program but as always it
is up to you to figure out how best to use it to your advantage. I think
this is one of those services where you are only limited by your imagination
I hope you'll enjoy and use this new service and look forward to seeing your
articles and note a few have been added already :-)
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
Over the years Electric Scotland has acquired many antiquarian books with
the intention of adding them to the site. However in very recent times we
have seen a start made by various libraries to scan in copies of their
books. Also, companies like Microsoft and Google are now busy scanning in
books from libraries around the world. We note that some of the books that
are appearing in Internet archives have been taken from ourselves and we
really don't mind that being done. The purpose of Electric Scotland is to
make a body of work available so people can learn about the History of
Scotland, the Scots and people and places of Scots descent.
The files in here have been downloaded from various sources and we have then
optimised them for the web. For example one book was 525Mb in size but after
we optimised it we got it down to 85Mb and so making it much easier to
download. Many of the books in here we have purchased ourselves but see
little point in duplicating work already done by others.
Each link goes to a web page where we endeavour to provide an introduction
to give you a better opportunity to decide if you wish to download it. At
the foot of the page you'll find a link to download the book and information
on the file size.
Here is a list of the books that we've made available so far...
Dictionary of the Gaelic Language
A Highland Tour
We'll be adding to this over time and likely one book per week. As there is
a lot of reading in those books we don't see any point in doing more than
one a week.
Sir Ivar Iain Colquhoun of Luss, 8th Bt. obitury
It is with sadness that we note the death of Clan Chief Sir Ivar Colquhoun
of Luss on January 31. He died peacefully at home at Camstraddan on his
beloved Loch Lomondside just outside the village of Luss.
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