Electric Scotland News
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Poetry and Stories
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the
The Intellectual Development of Scotland (New Book)
Augustin Fraser [c1734-1779]
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
Been a quiet week albeit having to deal with a leaking water heater.
I found it's not fun washing in cold water :-)
I am working on a new book which was published in the USA about
Scots influence on Civilization. I have regularly remarked on how
religion was important to Scots and I read with interest this
section from one of the chapters which shows the huge impact one
Scot had on the USA. The picture below is his statue at Princeton.
illustrious example of patriotic devotion will ever stand in the
historic annals of our country to tell coming generations of the
service rendered to her cause. It is that of the venerable Dr. John
Witherspoon. If Scotland had done nothing more than contribute this
eminent scholar, teacher, statesman, patriot and divine to the young
and suffering country at the most important crisis of its destiny,
Scotland had thereby done enough to entitle herself to the nation's
grateful remembrance for all time to come. Among all the great men
with whom he stood associated during an eventful and hazardous war,
and with whom he acted, when the war was over, in laying the
foundations of our free institutions, there were but few who filled
a more essential and important place than did Dr. Witherspoon. He
had won a high distinction in his native land, both as a preacher
and as a writer, when he was called to America in 1768, at the age
of forty-six, to fill the presidency of Princeton College, New
Jersey. The services he rendered to the college, both as an
administrator of its affairs and as a practical instructor, were of
the highest order. The institution at once entered upon a new and
enlarged sphere of usefulness. He also, during the whole of this
presidency, sustained the office of pastor to the Princeton
Presbyterian church, preaching regularly twice on the Sabbath. When
the crisis of the struggle for national independence came, he threw
his whole influence, as a man and as a minister of God, on the side
of the country, preaching and writing in its defence. In 1776 he was
elected a member of the provincial Congress of New Jersey, and then
of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. Soon after taking his
seat in the latter body he put his signature to the Declaration of
Independence, for which measure his mind had been previously fully
The memorable occasion, with its far-reaching results, has been
portrayed in glowing and impressive terms by Dr. John M. Krebs, as
related in an interesting volume by Dr. W. P. Breed: "When the
Declaration of Independence was under debate in the Continental
Congress, doubts and forebodings were whispered through the hall.
The Houses hesitated, wavered, and for a while the liberty and
slavery of the nation appeared to hang in an even scale. It was then
an aged patriarch arose, a venerable and stately form, his head
white with the frost of years. Every eye went to him with the
quickness of thought, and remained with the fixedness of the polar
star. He cast on the assembly a look of inexpressible interest and
unconquerable determination, while on his visage the hue of age was
lost in the flush of a burning patriotism that fired his cheek.
`There is,' said he, 'a tide in the affairs of men, a nick of time.
We perceive it now before us. To hesitate is to consent to our own
slavery. That noble instrument upon your table, which ensures
immortality to its author, should be subscribed this very morning by
every pen in the house. He that will not respond to its accents and
strain every nerve to carry into effect its provisions is unworthy
the name of freeman. For my own part, of property I have someof
reputation, more. That reputation is staked, that property pledged,
on the issue of this contest. And, although these gray hairs must
soon descend into the sepulchre, I would infinitely rather they
should descend there by the hand of the executioner than desert at
this crisis the sacred cause of my country.' Who was it that uttered
this memorable speech, potent in turning the scales of the nation's
destiny and worthy to be preserved in the same imperishable record
in which is registered the not more eloquent speech ascribed to John
Adams on the same sublime occasion? It was John Witherspoon, at that
day the most distinguished Presbyterian minister west of the
Atlantic Ocean, the father of the Presbyterian Church in the United
These brief but weighty words, pregnant with the vitality of a young
nation just struggling into existence, though uttered by one who had
scarcely been a decade in the country, yet expressed the prevailing
sentiment of the whole Presbyterian population of the land. To a man
the Presbyterians of every colony were for the Declaration. Through
the momentous struggle the Presbyterian Church re-echoed the ardent,
determined, patriotic and uncompromising sentiments of that
venerated and noble leader Dr. Witherspoon. He served in this high
capacity for six consecutive sessionsfrom 1776 to 1782and acted a
most important part not only on the floor in public debate, but on
many of the most important committees. Many of the important state
papers were from his pen, and some of the most prominent measures
adopted by Congress had their origin with him. Says Dr. Sprague,
"Neither his courage nor his confidence ever faltered in the darkest
day, being sustained not only by a naturally heroic spirit, but by
an undoubting conviction of the rectitude of his country's cause.
During the whole period in which he was occupied in civil life he
never laid aside his ministerial character, but always appeared in
every relation as became an ambassador of God. The calls for the
observance of days of fasting and prayer were commonly, if not
always, written by him. He preached always on the Sabbath whenever
opportunity offered, and when for a short period he visited his
church and family at Princeton."
Besides his great services to the nation, this eminent man was
called to act a leading part during the formation periodfrom 1785
to 1788when the Presbyterian Church of the country was reorganized
under a General Assembly and the present standards of doctrine and
polity were revised and adopted. The committee selected from our
most distinguished Presbyterian fathers and entrusted with this
business were Drs. Witherspoon, John Rodgers, John Woodhull, Robert
Smith, Samuel Stanhope Smith, James Latta, George Duffield, Patrick
Alison, Robert Cooper and Matthew Wilson. When the first General
Assembly under the new organization met, in Philadelphia, in
1789the year of the first meeting of our National Congress under
the new ConstitutionDr. Witherspoon preached the opening sermon and
presided until the first moderator of the body, Dr. Rodgers, was
chosen. Since then we have had an unbroken succession of Assemblies
and moderators every year to the present time; the Church has spread
across the continent; several new organizations, with their annual
Assemblies and moderators, have been formed; the oldest division of
it---that under the Northern Assemblyhas swelled to 24 synods, 190
presbyteries, 5516 ministers and licentiates, 19,968 ruling elders,
6287 deacons, 5973 churches and more than 615,000 communicants. To
this vast development in a single line of our Presbyterian
succession no one man, probably, of all the great men of a hundred
years ago, contributed more than Dr. Witherspoon. And what is true
of our Northern division of the Church is equally true of the
Southern Presbyterian Church, and to some extent also of all the
other branches of the Presbyterian family claiming descent from the
mother-churches of Scotland and the North of Ireland. The population
of the United States now represented by all the branches of our
Presbyterian family in the land would number several millions of
people, and those amongst our most intelligent and influential
classes. And who can estimate the value of the influence of these
educated classes upon the life and character of the nation?
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 or on our site menu.
Scotland on TV 'Conquers the Castle' in scenic Perthshire
Were very excited to announce that a new weekly series has just
started on Scotland on TV. Conquer the Castle was filmed at Blair
Castle and the Atholl Estates in picturesque Perthshire and features
six townies who will be competing to be crowned the King or
Queen of the Castle.
In each episode, the six contestants, who hail from cities across
Britain and have very little experience of even visiting the
countryside, will go head to head in countryside challenges which
will test their rural skills. Tasks awaiting the competitors vary
from rabbit-catching, nature rambles and gardening to a public
performance with the Atholl Highlanders at Blair Castle, stag
hunting, sheep-shearing and competing in the Braemar Highland Games.
How will these city-dwellers cope with the Perthshire climate, farm
animals and, of course, lots of mud? And who will be the eventual
winner? To watch the first episode, click here:
And check back to Scotland on TV each week for the next eleven weeks
to see how they adjust to Scottish country life - as well as for
fantastic views of scenic Perthshire.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Ian Goldie. He starts by telling
Well that will teach me. I thought that I could take a short
five-day break away from Scotland without missing too much. So what
do I find on my return?
Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexanders husband launches a
broadside against London Labours increase in whisky duty.
One poll shows a dramatic increase in support for the idea of
independence neck and neck with the status quo. And a second poll
then shows independence in the lead.
London Times headline: Brown hits new low as voters desert Labour.
Labour MPs revolt over axeing of 10p tax band.
Scottish Daily Mail front page headline: ALARM AT THREAT TO THE
Scottish Daily Mail headline: Honeymoon goes on for Salmond.
Daily Mail article: Brown could face revolt if local polls ago
Sunday Herald headline: 41% of Scots back the break-up of the union.
(This compares with 35% last August, and puts independence ahead of
the status quo by 1% compared with being 15% behind last August.)
And all that is just for starters! We do indeed live in exciting
In Peter's cultural section we get One battle which continues to
haunt the Scottish soul after 260 years is the Hanoverian defeat of
the Jacobites at Drummossie Moor on 16 April 1746. This was not a
straight-forward battle between Scotland and England but a civil war
between relations the ruling Hanoverians on one side and the
deposed Stewarts on the other. The Jacobite Cause and their demise
at the Battle of Culloden has been romanticised over the years the
Bonnie Prince as against his Butcher cousin Cumberland has produced
countless arguments and books. The Highlands, in particular, paid a
terrible price for The Year of the Prince.
Thousands of visitors from all over the world take time every year
to visit the site of the battle which is looked after by the
National Trust for Scotland. The numbers alone would have merited a
new visitor centre but recent archaeological and historical research
carried out by the Trust revealed that the now - previous visitor
centre stood on the third Hanoverian line. As the Trust is
determined to restore the battlefield to as close as it was on that
fateful day 260 years ago, a new centre was the answer. In one of
the largest projects carried out by the Trust some £9 million was
spent on building a new visitor and exhibition centre which was
opened to the public on 20 December 2007, a few months later than
planned but just before the end of the 2007 Highland Year of
Culture. The official opening by Scott Hay, aged 11, and
six-year-old Philip Nicol, whose forebears fought in the battle, was
carried out on 16 April 2008, the 260th anniversary of the battle.
Prior to the official opening a piper played for one hour the time
the battle lasted. The new centre has already proved to be very
popular and the Trust have strived to allow the whole Culloden story
to be told, shorn of any romantic notions, in an innovative and
interactive way to appeal to visitors of all ages.
At the end of the battle, it is said that Lord Elcho shouted at the
defeated Prince Charles as he left the field Run you damnd
Italian coward reminding us that the ill-fated Prince was born in
Rome. In memory of the Princes birthplace this weeks recipe is an
Italian one which has become very popular in Scotland.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil or sun-dried tomato oil from the jar;
6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped; 2 large onions, chopped;
3 garlic cloves, crushed; 1kg/2¼lb lean minced beef; 2 large glasses
of red wine; 2x400g cans chopped tomatoes; 1x290g jar antipasti
marinated mushrooms, drained ; 2 fresh or dried bay leaves, 1 tsp
dried oregano or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped; 1 tsp
dried thyme or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped; drizzle
balsamic vinegar; 12-14 sun-dried tomato halves, in oil; salt and
freshly ground black pepper; a good handful of fresh basil leaves,
torn into small pieces; 800g-1kg/1¾-2¼lb dried spaghetti; lots of
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve.
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the bacon
until golden over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, frying
until softened. Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry it
until it has browned, breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden
spoon. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced in volume by
about a third. Reduce the temperature and stir in the tomatoes,
drained mushrooms, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and balsamic vinegar.
2. Either blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in a small blender with a
little of the oil to loosen, or just finely chop before adding to
the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and
simmer the Bolognese sauce over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until
it's rich and thickened, stirring occasionally. At the end of the
cooking time, stir in the basil and add any extra seasoning if
3. Remove from the heat to 'settle' while you cook the spaghetti in
plenty of boiling salted water (for the time stated on the packet).
Drain and divide between warmed plates. Scatter a little parmesan
over the spaghetti before adding a good ladleful of the Bolognese
sauce, finishing with a scattering of more cheese and a twist of
Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary is not available at this time.
The Article Service
We continue to get more articles up and I'd encourage you to add
some yourself. While we are a Scottish site this article service is
not designed to be just for Scottish information. You can even
discuss the Presidential race if you wish.
The purpose of adding this service was to let people add their own
information to the site without needing to submit it for us to put
up. The service is fully indexed on our site and on various search
Donna has been adding some regular articles and others have added
some interesting recipes. You can also add book reviews, interesting
information on Highland Games and even add some old family history.
Press releases can also be added and so if your company is doing
something of interest then tell us about it. Should you be part of a
society or organisation then make up an article and submit it to the
In the event you can't find a suitable category or sub category then
feel free to suggest one to us and we'll certainly look at adding
this to the service.
Remember also that when you submit articles you can add a url to all
the articles you've submitted either on a web page or in an email.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now onto the M's with Monboddo, Moncreiff, Moncur, Monro,
Monteith, Montgomery, Montrose and Monypenny
Some good information on the Montrose name...
MONTROSE, Duke of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred by
James III. on David, fifth earl of Crawford, by royal charter, dated
18th May, 1488, to himself and his heirs. On the 19th September
1489, a new patent or charter, under the great seal, was granted to
him by James IV., conferring the dukedom upon him for life only. He
died at Finhaven at Christmas 1495, and the dukedom is said to have
then become extinct. In 1848 a petition was presented to the queen
by the earl of Crawford and Balcarres, claiming it on the ground of
its being vested in the heir male. This petition was referred to the
House of Lords, and the claim was opposed by the Crown and the duke
of Montrose, on the ground that the charter of 18th May 1488, was
annulled by the act of the first year of the reign of James IV.,
called the Act Rescissory, and that the grant of the dukedom, made
in 1489, was never registered. After hearing parties, on Aug. 5,
1853, their lordships adopted a resolution to the effect that the
claimant had not made out his right to the dignity. Soon after, Lord
Lindsay, son of the earl of Crawford and Balcarres, addressed a
letter to the Times newspaper, protesting against the resolution of
the House of Lords, and stating that he had published a full Report
of the Montrose Claim, containing, among other documents, an
Address to her Majesty, in humble remonstrance against the opinion
reported to her Majesty. Lord Lindsay submits that the principles
on which the decision of the peers is founded are, one and all,
wholly repugnant to the understanding and practice of past times,
and to plant equity and justice. The opinion, he farther asserts, is
entitled to less than usual weight in respect to the unwonted and
strange departure from established forms of procedure the decision
having been given before the voluminous evidence was ordered to be
printed, and the evidence thus arbitrarily degraded to a mere
cipher or phantom. He adds, in conclusion: I therefore now, on
these and various other grounds, formally protest, before her
majesty and the country, against the opinion or report (which, be it
observed, is certainly not in law a sentence or final judgment)
delivered by the House of Lords on the 5th of August 1853 as unjust
in itself, proceeding on error and misrepresentation throughout, and
as having, in its principles, and in its application of those
principles, a direct tendency to revolutionize the whole system of
peerage law, and, indeed, to innovate on other departments of law,
and certainly of justice, hitherto sacred from such encroachments.
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.
This week have added...
Parish of Kincardine O'Niel
Name.In old registers the name is uniformly written Kincarden
O'Neal. Kincarden is said to be derived from Gaelic words signifying
"the head of the hill." The village of Kincardine O'-Niel, in which
the church and manse stand, is situated in a valley at the
south-west comer of a hill of considerable height, named Ordfundlie.
A rivulet, named Neal or Niel, running by the village, gives, it is
supposed, the addition of O'Niel to Kincardine.
Extent, &c.The average length of the parish from south to north is
seven miles, and the breadth from east to west five. The form
resembles that of a parallelogram, with some projections and
indentations in its sides. As the extreme length in some places is
fully eight miles, and the breadth above five, the area is probably
about thirty-five square miles. On the west, the parish is bounded
by those of Aboyne and Lumphanan; on the north, by the parishes of
Tough and Cluny; on the east, by Midmar and Banchory-Ternan; and by
the river Dee on the south, which, in its windings, divides it from
the parish of Birse and part of Aboyne.
This parish may be said to be divided into three great straths or
portions, by hills of considerable extent and height; one of which,
the hill of Learney, may not improperly be regarded as a
continuation of the hill of Fare. It runs in a circuitous direction
north-west by west, cutting off a considerable portion from the
other two divisions of the parish. The hill of Fare, which
intervenes betwixt Midmar and Banchory-Ternan parishes, forms a part
of the east boundary of this parish. It furnishes good peats to the
tenants around its base,the circumference of which is reckoned
fourteen miles. It is in height nearly 1600 feet above the level of
the sea, and is a landmark to ships on the east coast near Aberdeen.
The other hills in the parish are cultivated or wooded to the tops.
Ordfundlie divides the south from the mid, dle or centre division of
the parish. The level ground in these two divisions is betwixt 400
and 500 feet above the level of the sea; the northern division of
the parish a degree higher.
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
Love at one Glimpse and here is how it starts...
Some years ago, there used to be pointed out, upon the streets of
Glasgow, a man whose intellect had been unsettled upon a very
strange account. When a youth, he had happened to pass a lady on a
crowded throughfarea lady whose extreme beauty, though dimmed by
the intervention of a veil, and seen but for a moment, made an
indelible impression upon his mind. This lovely vision shot rapidly
past him, and was in an instant lost amidst the commonplace crowd
through which it moved. He was so confounded by the tumult of his
feelings, that he could not pursue, or even attempt to see it again.
Yet he never afterwards forgot it.
With a mind full of distracting thoughts, and a heart filled
alternately with gushes of pleasure and of pain, the man slowly left
the spot where he had remained for some minutes as it were
thunderstruck. He soon after, without being aware of what he wished,
or what he was doing, found himself again at the place. He came to
the very spot where he had stood when the lady passed, mused for
some time about it, went to a little distance, and then came up as
he had come when he met the exquisite subject of his reverie -
unconsciously deluding himself with the idea that this might recall
her to the spot. She came not; he felt disappointed. He tried again;
still she abstained from passing. He continued to traverse the place
till the evening, when the street became deserted. By-and-by, he was
left altogether alone. He then saw that all his fond efforts were
vain, and he left the silent, lonely street at midnight, with a soul
as desolate as that gloomy terrace.
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...
Good Words for Every Day of the Year (Pages 431-432)
The Song of Antioch (Pages 433-438)
The Railway Station (Page 438)
True Commentaries (Page 438-439)
A Summer's Study of Ferns (Pages 439-440)
Here is how the "True Commentaries" starts...
During the great fire, which nearly destroyed Konigsberg in the year
1764, a pastor of that city, ninety years old, lost his church, his
house, his valuable library, and all his wordly goods. One of his
grandsons rescued him from the flames, carrying him on his
shoulders. When asked afterwards, by a village pastor who visited
him, to tell him the result of his long and varied experience, he
replied, "I have just been meditating on the 91st Psalm. I have
experienced that every statement it contains is true, every promise
sure. I lived in times of pestilence; I dwelt in the secret place of
the Most High, and abode under the shadow of the Almighty. I have
lived in times of war and bloodshed; He covered me with his
feathers, His faithfulness was my shield and buckler. I was in
danger by fire; He gave his angels charge over me to bear me up in
their hands. He has honoured and satisfied me with long life. There
remains now only one promise unfulfilled, and for this I am now
waiting: ' I will show him my salvation!'"
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
I said I'd do my best to add a book each week and so this week I've
The Scots Peerage
Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of
Scotland, containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the
Nobility of that Kingdom, Edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord
Lyon King of Arms with Armorial Illustrations.
This is a 9 volume publication and I've added the preface and an
index of the 9 volumes so you can decide which volume to download
should you just be interested in a particular name.
An Editorial note in the final volume states...
the concluding volume of the Scots Peerage, completes a work, the
first volume of which was published in 1904. It contains, in the
first place, a long list of addenda et corrigenda: the latter may,
it is hoped, serve to put right some at all events of the actual
errors which have occurred in the work; the former, and they are the
larger class of the two, contain a good deal of information which
has come to light since the publication of the several articles. The
editor has to thank many kind correspondents and contributors for
information supplied, and especially he may name his friends Mr. J.
Maitland Thomson, LL.D., and Col. the Hon. B. E. Boyle, both of whom
have been unremitting in their helpful endeavours to increase the
usefulness and accuracy of the Peerage. Nobody is more aware of the
many shortcomings of this work than the editor himself, but perhaps
he may be allowed to claim that at all events it is an advance on
what has gone before. No doubt, with increased facilities of
investigation and the further publication of national records and
the contents of private charter-chests, a future generation may be
able to produce a fuller and still more accurate account of
individual families, but it is hardly probable that a history of the
Scottish Peerage on a scale similar to that of the present work will
be attempted for many years to come. The full and elaborate Index,
with which the greater part of this volume is occupied, is the work
of Mrs. Alexander Stuart, who has brought towards its completion an
enthusiasm, energy, and ability which are beyond all praise. Not
only does it contain a list of between forty and fifty thousand
names, but each person is definitely described by the mention of his
or her title, occupation, or relationship. In itself, indeed, the
Index forms a valuable compendium of Scottish family history, which
will be found useful even without reference to the pages of the
Peerage. But it goes without saying that such an Index doubles the
usefulness of a work like the present. It is not often that an
editor meets with a compiler who is so fully in accord with him as
to the standard to be aimed at in an index, and who is so capable of
carrying it to a successful conclusion. It is difficult for the
editor adequately to express the obligations he is under to Mrs.
Stuart for her services in this matter.
The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Edited by W. Stanford Reid
This week have added...
The Scottish Tradition in Higher Education D. C. Masters
The Scot as Politician A. Margaret MacLaren Evans
Here is how "The Scot as Politician" starts...
The first task of Scottish emigrants to the New World was to acquire
a home and means of livelihood. As soon as it was accomplished, many
of them, accustomed to years of struggle for economic and political
freedom in their own land, began to turn their attention to public
affairs. Politically articulate Scots made their appearance in the
British colonies which are today Canada towards the end of the
eighteenth century. In 1789, James Glenie, a brilliant St. Andrew's
graduate recently turned lumberman in New Brunswick, was elected to
the Colonial Assembly. There he rapidly came to the front by his
fearless attacks on what he called the "Governor's pitiful Junto"
for their system of land granting, their policy in military matters,
their favouritism toward the Anglican Church, and their obstruction
of measures passed by the Assembly. He lost support, however, when
he went so far as to attempt a vote of censure of the governor, and
the popular movement which he had begun collapsed for want of a
leader when he left New Brunswick. Glenie was far from being the
"violent Democrat and Jacobin" that the government had labelled him.
He and his supporters had been motivated less by principle than by
envy of the power and patronage of office. Yet they had made some
claims concerning the constitutional rights of an assembly which
were forerunners of the Reformers' claims of the next century.
In the politics of Quebec in the same period, a Scot from Edinburgh,
Dr. Adam Mabane, was prominent on the side opposing reform. After
arriving in 1760 in the lowly position of surgeon's mate in the
army, he had risen steadily in his profession, and in 1764 Governor
James Murray had made him a councillor and a judge in the Court of
Common Pleas. "Possessing marked ability, a strong character, and a
warm Scottish heart," Mabane was one of the individuals with the
most weight in the administration from these first civil
appointments until his death in 1792. With his natural sympathy for
the French Canadians, and his suspicion of the British merchants in
Montreal and Quebec whom he regarded as republican innovators, he
was the favoured adviser not only of Murray but also eventually of
the next governor, Guy Carleton, and of his successor, Frederick
Haldimand, who both believed in conciliating the French. Mabane left
a dual imprint on Canadian politics. He was a reactionary who
opposed immigration into Quebec and supported the old system,
including seigneurialism. His warnings of the dangers in American
democracy and of the need for resistance to political change were
echoed in later Toryism. At the same time, as the chief builder of
the "French party," Mabane expressed the vague hopes of
French-Canadian nationalism which were given substance by the
French-speaking reformers in the Assembly after 1791. Thus "the two
parties to the constitutional struggle of the nineteenth century
shared the political heritage of this half-forgotten leader."
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the
By James T. Calder (1861)
This week have added Chapters 6, 7 and 8.
The rule of the Norwegian Earls in Caithness terminates The
Sinclairs of RoslinWilliam Sinclair, the Chancellor, invested with
the earldom of CaithnessHis son William, second Earl of Caithness,
killed at FloddenTradition respecting what is termed the "drum head
charter"John, Earl of Caithness, invades OrkneyBattle of
Summerdale Earl and all his men slainCurious Orkney tradition
Sutherland of Duffus assassinated in Thurso,
George Sinclair, fourth EarlBanishes William and Angus Gunn of
Berriedale, and seizes their castleThe Earl of Sutherland and his
lady poisoned at HelmsdaleThe Earl of Caithness becomes curator of
Alexander, Earl of Sutherland then a minorAlexander marries his
Lordship's daughterFlies afterwards to StrathbogieSiege of Dornoch
by the Master of Caithness and Mackay of StrathnaverThe Sutherland
hostages cruelly put to death-Master of Caithness imprisoned and
starved to death at GirnigoeGeorge, Earl of Caithness, dies at
Edinburgh His character,
George, the fifth Earl of Caithness, kills with his own hand Ingram
and David Sinclair, the keepers of his late fatherSeries of fights
and raids between him and the Earl of SutherlandTown of Wick
burntBattle of Clyne Story of Arthur Smith the CoinerDesperate
skirmish in Thurso between the Sutherland Commissioners and the
friends of the Earl of Caithness, in which John Sinclair of Stirkoke
is slain Criminal process instituted by both partiesMeleé in the
High Street of Edinburgh,
The Intellectual Development of Scotland
By Hector MacPherson (1911)
In the preface the author tell us...
About the various phases of the intellectual life of Scotland much
has been written, but so far as I know there has been no attempt to
deal with the subject as a connected whole. In regard to the
scientific side of the national development, I have been greatly
indebted to the Principal of Edinburgh University, Sir William
Turner, who in his recent address to the Royal Society of Edinburgh
sketched in masterly manner the rise and progress of scientific
study in Scotland. This department of the national life has been
somewhat overshadowed by our theological and ecclesiastical
controversies; and, judging from Sir William Turner's illuminating
survey, an entire volume is needed to do justice to the subject.
In my book I have not aimed at exhaustive-ness of treatment; the aim
has been the more modest one of noting the salient points in the
evolutionary process, and my reward will be great if the reader is
sent to study in detail the subjects with which the volume deals.
Much of the material has appeared in various public prints, the
Glasgow Herald, T. P.'s Weekly and the late Scottish Review, the
editors of which I cordially thank for their permission to reproduce
I now have up the first chapter of this book about The
Starting-Point: The Reformation and here is how it starts...
In dealing with a nation's Intellectual Development the historian
has two courses open to him. As the present writer has elsewhere
remarked, an historical student may content himself with splitting
his subject into sections and dealing with each section in the
spirit of a narrator pure and simple. On the other hand, he may
essay the more difficult task of seizing the dynamic principle of
intellectual development and tracing its working through the various
sections of thought and life. The value of the latter method, if
successfully applied, is that history, instead of being a chaos of
unrelated facts, is seen to be an intelligible and luminous
evolution. We discover the relations which exist between the various
factors in a nation's history: theology, philosophy, science,
literature, by means of the dynamic principle, are seen to be bound
together in organic unity.
What, then, is the dynamic principle of historical evolution? In the
opening chapter of the present writer's Century of Intellectual
Development an answer was given to this important questionan answer
which as being applicable to the subject under consideration may
fitly be reproduced: "Taking a large view of history it will be
found that man's intellect is mainly occupied upon three great
problemsGod, the universe, and man as an individual and a social
being. The controlling factor in the process is man's conception of
the Unseen Power upon which all things rest, and of which nature and
man are manifestations. If we conceive of the Unseen Power as a
supernatural Being, who by revelations has made known his will to
man, then philosophy, science and literature will be moulded by, and
permeated with, that conception. Even the social order will feel its
powerful influence. Society will be framed on theocratic lines on
the principle of authority." There comes a time when the principle
of authorityvaluable at a certain stage in civilizationweighs
heavily on the social order, and by stereotyping ideas and
institutions results in intellectual and social stagnation. In the
sixteenth century, under the sway of Romanism, the intellectual and
social life of Europe suffered what may be termed arrested
development. In the interest of humanity it was necessary that the
barriers to progress should be thrown down. The great liberating
movement which changed the current of European thought and activity
is known in history as the Reformation. From it we date the
beginning of Scotland's intellectual evolution.
Augustin Fraser [c1734-1779]
By Marie Fraser
Augustin Fraser is a name not easily forgotten. During the World
Scottish Festival, held in conjunction with the 350th anniversary of
Montreal in 1992, a visitor to the Clan Fraser/Fraser Highlanders
tent at Ile Ste-Hélène produced a pedigree chart tracing her
ancestry to the Fraser Highlander who, she told us, had fought at
Québec in 1759 and married a French woman when the regiment was
disbanded in 1763. Since then we have collected a mountain of
information on the 78th Fraser Highlanders and Augustin Fraser, but
his name cannot be found in the muster rolls.
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