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
Clan and Family Information
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the
The Intellectual Development of Scotland
The History of the Highland Clearances
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry Leaving Uig in Skye for the Isle of
I attended a meeting on Monday evening at the Governor-General's
residence in Toronto where he was hosting an event for the
University of the Highlands & Islands. It seems the UHI is now
within 2 years of being a fully fledged University and they already
can offer degree courses. We went on to have dinner after the event
which I must say was one of the better meals I've had :-)
While it is always good to hear about progress being made I and
others at the meeting were puzzled once again on what they wanted to
achieve with the meeting. You'd think they'd produce some paperwork
that might suggest what we could do to help. Like if we raised X
then this could happen and if we raised Y then that could happen. It
seems our Scottish institutions are not too good at asking for
We're almost finished a couple of books and so next week you can
look forward to us starting a couple of new ones.
As to our Forums... we're making good progress. The 3.7.0 version
has now been released and we've already downloaded it and will be
getting it installed over the weekend. As there are some excellent
new facilities in this release it does mean there is more to
configure. We've already set up the initial public forums and we've
tested out the blogs, RSS and Calendar facilities and all those are
now working properly. We need to configure the personal picture
gallery and then customise the look and feel of the service. So
we're getting near the initial launch.
There are a lot of social networking facilities in this product and
likely lots to learn as we work through all the facilities. At the
end of the day we want to offer a really unique look and feel to
this service which we hope you will enjoy.
We certainly hope that this service will become a huge meeting place
on the web for the Scots Diaspora around the world. Should you have
an organisation, clan society or have a group that would benefit
from having your own public forum then feel free to tell us about it
and we'll consider adding a forum in for your group.
The Calendar program is very powerful and we're considering if it
would be possible to use it as a replacement for our current
calendar program to record Scottish events around the world.
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.
It's the beginning of May and the Scottish tourist season is now
well and truly underway. One attraction which is growing in
popularity, year on year, is the Castle of Mey.
The Castle of Mey (formerly Barrogill Castle) is in Caithness, close
to the most northerly point of the Scottish mainland.
For almost half a century, until her death in 2002, it was the
Scottish retreat for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
It's said that she first saw what was Barrogill Castle in 1952 when
she was mourning the death of her husband, King George VI. At that
time it was a ruin but The Queen Mother restored it and she spent
many a summer there, enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the
views across the Pentland Firth.
In 1996 it was gifted to the Castle of Mey Trust and six years ago
the Castle of Mey was opened to the public. Today, May 1st, the 2008
visitor season starts. Its popularity continues to increase every
year, with a record number of more than 29.000 visitors enjoying its
grounds and famous gardens in 2007.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch and as always lots of
In Peter's cultural section we get...
The John Mann
Park in Carnwath should be a colourful spectacle on Saturday 22 June
2008 as the town celebrates the 500th anniversary of the famous Red
Hose Race. The race usually restricted to Carnwath and the adjoining
parishes has been expanded this year to everyone over the age of
sixteen living in South Lanarkshire – but the three-mile race will
be restricted to 150 runners. A Fun Day has been organised around
the race and those attending are encouraged to wear medieval dress
in order to mark the event’s origin which goes back to a Charter by
James IV, King of Scots, to John, third Lord Somerville ordering
that the race winner should be given a pair of red hose. A fast
runner, easily identified, was a military necessity, as the runner
could quickly bring word to Edinburgh of the approach of any
invading English army. The race has continued down five centuries
and in 2006 was entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the
‘Oldest Road race’ in the world.
Among the competitions surrounding the race this year will be the
opportunity to become the official Red Hose Knitter. This is open to
all knitters in South Lanarkshire, and all you have to do is take
your pair of red knitted hose along on the 22 June 2008.
Carnwath has a long history – in the middle of its golf course the
Libberton Motte is an impressive relic of the earthworks of a
fortification possibly built by William de Sommerville (d 1160) who
came from Yorkshire, England, to Scotland in the train of David I,
King of Scots. The Sommervilles went on to live in the ruined
Couthally Castle and founded a collegiate church of which the north
aisle (15th century) survives next to a later parish church. A burgh
of barony since 1451, Carnwath underwent industrial development in
the 18th century when two brothers from London called Wilson
established an iron foundry (1779) and coalmining followed in the
19th century. The town’s Market Cross dates from 1516, shortly after
the famous Red Hose Race was run for the first.
Red Hose is not on the menu this week but Red Cabbage is – a
delicious accompaniment to dishes such as venison or pork,
Red Cabbage and Apples
2 lb (1 kg) red cabbage; 1 lb (450 g) cooking apples, peeled, cored
and chopped small; 1 lb (450 g) onions, chopped small; 1 clove
garlic, chopped very small; ¼ whole nutmeg, freshly grated; ¼ level
teaspoon ground cinnamon; ¼ level teaspoon ground cloves; 3 level
tablespoons brown sugar; 3 tablespoons wine vinegar; ½ oz (15 g)
butter; salt and freshly milled black pepper
Method: Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).
First discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into
quarters and remove the hard stalk. Then shred the rest of the
cabbage finely, using your sharpest knife (although you can shred it
in a food processor, I prefer to do it by hand: it doesn't come out
so uniform). Next, in a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of
shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of
chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and
sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in.
Now pour in the wine vinegar, lastly add dots of butter on the top.
Put a tight lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the
oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during
the cooking. Red cabbage, once cooked, will keep warm without coming
to any harm, and it will also re-heat very successfully. And, yes,
it does freeze well so, all in all, it's a real winner of a recipe.
Enjoyed a wee story added to our Article Service this week and
thought I'd include it here...
How to get rapid action from the police in rural Scotland:
Jock Mackenzie lived on a wee croft just outside of Alness. One
night as he was going up to bed, his wife complained to him that
he'd left the light on in the shed, which she could see from the
Jock opened the back door to go out to the shed to turn off the
light but saw that there were villains in his shed stealing things.
He dialled 999 to get the police, identified himself and reported
what he had seen. Sergeant Wallace responded, "Have they broken into
yer hoose house then, Jock?' Jock replied, "No." Sgt. Wallace then
stated that the police patrols were busy on other calls and that
Jock should simply lock his door and a constable would be along when
available. Jock hesitantly said, "Alright" and hung up.
Jock sat down, poured himself a wee dram, slowly drank it, then
telephoned Sgt. Wallace once again. "Hello, Sergeant, I called a
while back to tell you that there were people stealing things from
my shed. Well, you needn’t bother about them noo ‘cause I just shot
them both with my fowling piece." Then he hung up.
Within five minutes three police cars, and an ambulance came racing
up to Jock’s croft with lights ablaze and sirens wailing. The
constables and Sergeant Wallace caught the burglars red-handed.
Sergeant Wallace marches up to Jock, standing in his doorway and
exclaims to him: "I thought you told me that you'd shot them!" Jock
replied with a smug grin "And I thought you told me that there was
Ye can’t beat a canny Highlander!
Also got in an interesting book review by the author which you may
well find interesting.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now onto the M's with Morton, Morville, Motherwell, Moubray,
Mowat, Mudie, Munro, Mure and Murray added this week.
The account of Murray includes some excellent biographies of
noteable people of that name including, Sir Robert Murray, William
Murray, Lord George Murray and others.
MURRAY, LORD GEORGE, lieutenant-general of the rebel Highland army
in 1745-6, was the fourth son of the first duke of Athol, and
brother of the second duke. Born in 1705, he took a share in the
insurrection of 1715, though then but ten years old, and he was one
of the few persons who joined the Spanish forces which were defeated
at Glenshiel in 1719. He afterwards served several years as an
officer in the king of Sardinia’s army; but having obtained a pardon
he returned from exile, and was presented to George I. by his
brother the duke of Athol. He joined Prince Charles at Perth in
September 1745, and was immediately appointed lieutenant-general of
the insurgent forces. The battle of Preston, where he commanded the
left wing of the prince’s army, was, in a great measure, gained
through his personal intrepidity. “Lord George,” says the chevalier
Johnstone, in his ‘Memoirs of the Rebellion,’ “at the head of the
first line, did not give the enemy time to recover from their panic.
He advanced with such rapidity that General Cope had hardly time to
form his troops in order of battle when the Highlanders rushed upon
them, sword in hand, and the English cavalry was instantly thrown
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 Clatt
Here is a wee bit from the account...
Name.—The name Clatt, or, as it was formerly written, Clet or Clett,
is obviously derived from the Gaelic word Cleith, pronounced Cleit,
which signifies concealed. This etymology of the word is in strict
accordance with the locality of the parish. It is concealed from the
view on every side.
Situation.— This parish is situated in the western extremity of
Garioch,—one of the five divisions or districts of the county of
Extent.—It is about 4 English miles in length, and varies from 2 to
3 English miles in breadth, comprehending a space of nearly 9 square
The history of this parish at a remote period is involved in much
obscurity. It appears, however, by the privileges conferred upon the
town and village of Clatt by one of our Scottish Kings, that it was
not deemed unworthy of the exercise of the royal prerogative. By
letters of gift and donation from King James IV. of Scotland, "the
village of Clatt was erected into a free burgh of barony, with all
the rights and privileges thereof; with power to the proprietor at
that time, and in all time thereafter, to constitute and appoint
bailies and other officers necessary for guiding, governing, and
ruling the said burgh; and to have, hold, and keep therein a cross
and market upon Tuesday every week, and public fairs and markets
every year, for the space of eight days, with the liberties,
profits, duties, and commodities thereof, in terms of the foresaid
grant and donation." In virtue of this royal grant, letters of
publication have been issued at different times by warrant of the
Lords of Council and Session in Scotland; and the powers thereby
conferred have been exercised by successive proprietors for the
improvement of the burgh. Of the nature and extent of some of the
baron's powers in the maintenance of his jurisdiction, there still
exist distinct vestiges. On the summit of a rising ground contiguous
to the village, there is pointed out the site on which the gallows
stood, at the period when justice was summarily executed; and the
eminence still bears the name of the Gallows Knoll.
Proprietors.—The whole parish of Clatt belongs to two landowners ;
James Adam Gordon, Esq. of Knockespoch, who has a family seat in the
parish, but whose principal residence is in England, where his
extensive estates are situated; and Sir Andrew Leith Hay of Rannes,
whose mansion-house is in the neighbouring parish of Kennethmont.
There is no plan of the whole parish extant, but correct surveys, by
professional men, have been made at different times, for the private
use of the landed proprietors.
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
Lady Jean: a Tale of the Seventeenth Century and here is how it
The Earl of Wigton, whose name figures in Scottish annals of the
reign of Charles II, had three daughters, named Lady Frances, Lady
Grizel, and Lady Jean, — the last being by several years the
youngest, and by many degrees the most beautiful. All the three
usually resided with their mother at the chief seat of the family,
Cumbernauld House, in Stirlingshire; but the two eldest were
occasionally permitted to attend their father in Edinburgh, in order
that they might have some chance of obtaining lovers at the court
held there by the Duke of Lauderdale, while Lady Jean was kept
constantly at home, and debarred from the society of the capital,
lest her superior beauty might interfere with and foil the
attractions of her sisters, who, according to the notion of that
age, had a sort of "right of primogeniture” in matrimony, as well as
in what was called "heirship."
It may be easily imagined that, while the two marriageable ladies
were enjoying all the delights of a third flat in one of the
"closes" of the Canongate, spending their days in seeing beaux, and
their nights in dreaming of them, Lady Jean led no pleasant life
amidst the remote and solitary splendour of Cumbernauld, where her
chief employment was the disagreeable one of at tending her mother,
a very infirm and querulous old dame, much given (it was said) to
strong waters. At the period when our tale opens, Lady Jean’s
charms, though never seen in the capital, had begun to make some
noise there; and the curiosity excited respecting them amongst the
juvenile party of the vice-regal court, had induced Lord Wigton to
confine her ladyship even more strictly than heretofore, lest
perchance some gallant might make a pilgrimage to his country seat,
in order to behold her, and from less to more, induce her to quit
her retirement, in such a way as would effectually discomfit his
schemes for the pre-advancement of his elder daughters. He had been
at pains to send an express to Cumbernauld, ordering Lady Jean to be
confined to the precincts of the house and the terrace-garden, and
to be closely attended in all her movements by a trusty domestic.
The consequence was that the young lady complained most piteously to
her deaf old lady-mother of the tedium and listlessness of her life,
and wished with all her heart that she was as ugly, old, and happy
as her sisters.
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...
On the Atlantic (Pages 457-461)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 461-463)
Good Words for Every Day of the Year (Pages 463-464)
God's Glory in the Heavens (Pages 465-468)
Highlanders at Home and Abroad (Pages 468-472)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 473-476)
Here is how the second chapter of "Highlanders at Home and Abroad"
Why is the mountaineer so attached to his Highland home? We do not
say that the home-sickness, or mal du pays, is peculiar to the
mountaineer, but only that in him it is peculiarly intense and
passionate. This cannot always be accounted for by the grandeur of
the scenery among which he lives. The inhabitants of most parts of
Switzerland, for example, are notoriously obtuse to the beauty and
magnificence which constantly surround them. From our own
observation, we agree with Mr Buskin in what he says regarding the
poor peasants of that glorious land :—" They do not understand so
much as the name of beauty or of knowledge. They understand dimly
that of virtue, love, patience, hospitality, truth. These things
they know. . . . For the inhabitant of these regions the world is
vapour and vanity. For him neither flowers bloom, nor birds sing,
nor fountains glisten ; and his soul hardly differs from the gray
cloud that lives and dies upon his hills, except in having no fold
of it touched by the sunbeams." Yet these men cling with
enthusiastic fondness to their mountain-home.
It is true, that the Scottish Highlander possesses much more than
the Swiss peasant of that mental culture which seems necessary in
order to relish the beautiful in nature or in art. His superiority
in this respect is owing, probably, to the education he has acquired
from the parish school, with which his country has been blessed
since the Reformation; to those social habits which make the upper
and lower classes mix so much together in the Highlands; to the
intellectual, as well as spiritual, training of the pulpit; and to
the historical traditions, the interesting moral tales, and
singularly pure and beautiful poems which are recited to the groups
around the fireside when shut up in their secluded valleys during
winter. There is, accordingly, often found in the Scottish
Highlander a keen appreciation of the natural beauty of his
mountain-land; and among no people have more local poets been found
who, in devout hymns, tender songs, and romantic ballads, have
described the varied aspects of nature with more truth, or in more
Thought you might like to see a recipe from these pages...
Gingerbread. A good plain gingerbread is prepared as follows: Melt
1/4 lb. sugar, 1/2 lb. margarine, and 3/4 teacupful of golden syrup
in a saucepan over the fire. Beat up 2 eggs, and when the melted
syrup is cool, add them to it and beat all together. Sieve together
1 lb. flour and 2 teaspoonfuls of ground ginger, make a well in the
centre, and into it pour the syrup, etc.. mixing and beating the
Dissolve 1/2 flat teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda in 1/2 gill of
milk, mix it with the other ingredients, and turn the mixture into a
greased cake-tin. Bake the cake in a moderately hot oven for 1 to
1/2 hours, then turn it on to a sieve and leave until cold.
The temperature of the oven should always be fairly high before
cakes are put in. In a gas oven the burners should be left full on
for about 10 min. previously and turned down about half way when
cake is put in, i.e. rather less than half way for a 'brisk' oven
and rather more than half way for a 'slow' oven. The oven door
should not be opened for at least 20 min. after a cake has been put
in, and when baking sponge cake, not until cake is likely to be
done. The oven, it is to be noted, should be hotter for small and
light cakes than for fruit cakes.
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
How to Learn Gaelic
By Alexander MacBain LL.D. and John Whyte
The Preface start...
THE demand for a third edition of "How to Read Gaelic" has afforded
the Authors an opportunity of making a few alterations on the
earlier editions. The Title has been altered at the suggestion of
some who considered that the work was well adapted for a somewhat
wider purpose than that of a mere collection of Reading Lessons. The
various sections of the work have also been arranged in a more
natural and convenient order for practical use. Beyond this the book
is substantially a reproduction of the former editions.
The specific pieces--"Coire-na-Sithe," and "Finlay's Letter to his
wife"—provided to meet the requirements of the first stage of the
Gaelic Scheme adapted to the Code by Mr Robertson, H.M.I.S., have
been retained, notwithstanding the changes recently introduced by
the Education Department. These pieces, and indeed the whole work,
are still suitable for the first year or more of Pupil Teachers'
work, the P.T.'s being still liable to examination under the Code,
and retaining the benefit of taking Gaelic at the King's Scholarship
Of the two lessons—"Calum Seoladair" and "Am Mac Strodhail"—which
are given with an interlinear literal English rendering, it may be
remarked that they contain a variety of practicable and convenient
phrases and idioms, the possession of which by the pupil will form
an important basis uponn which to build his acquisitions in Gaelic
INVERNESS, April 1902.
And so as I've been many times asked if I could provide something
that would help people learn Gaelic I hope this will find a ready
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the
By James T. Calder (1861)
This week have added Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15 and Appendix
John Sinclair of Murkle succeeds to the earldom—Duel between
Sinclair of Olrig and Innes of Sandside—Lord Macleod, son of the
Earl of Cromarty, enters the county with a party of rebels for the
purpose of procuring men— Head quarters in Thurso—Several of the
proprietors in the county keen Jacobites—Alexander, now Earl of
Caithness, and George Sinclair of Ulbster, staunch supporters of the
Hanoverian dynasty—Lord Macleod, having got only a few men to join
him, leaves the county—Achgillan and his band of robbers—Plot to
murder and rob the Laird of Freswick—Story of Marshall, the Robber
of Backlas— French Revolution and rebellion in Ireland—The Caithness
Prelature of Caithness—Bishop's lands—Tradition regarding the Lewis
chieftain and the Bishop's daughter—Caithness intensely Popish
before the Reformation—Dr Richard Merchiston of Bower, long after
the Reformation, falls a martyr to his zeal against popery—State of
education in Caithness—Edinburgh Caithness Association,
Memoirs of distinguished Caithness clergymen—Different religious
persuasions in the county—Anecdote of Sir William Sinclair of Keiss,
Memoirs of distinguished laymen, natives of the county,
Ancient state of husbandry, handicrafts, etc., in
Caithness-Memoranda connected with public roads in the county of
Caithness—Extracts from old inventories of the titles of the estate
of Malcolm Groat of Warse—Valuation of the county in 1760 and
1798—Earls of Caithness of the Sinclair family after Caithness was
disjoined from Orkney, and erected into a separate earldom—Armorial
bearings of the Earls of Caithness—Pedigree of the Mey family—
Pedigree of John Sinclair, Esq. of Barrock—Letter of Mr Sinclair of
Forss to the Author—Pedigree of the Forss family—Testimony of
Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath, in Caithness—Mutiny of the High
School Boys—Young Sinclair of Mey,
The Intellectual Development of Scotland
By Hector MacPherson (1911)
We've now progressed with this book by adding chapters...
The Scientific Movement (continued)
The Economic Movement
The Literary Spirit
Burns and His Epoch
The German Influence
Here is how Chapter X starts...
Before attempting to define the place of Burns in Scottish
literature it may be well to clear away some misconceptions to which
Taine, the great French critic, has given currency. In his English
Literature, he traces the inspirational ideas of Burns largely to
German and French sources. In the words of Taine: "Thus rises the
modern man impelled by two sentiments, one democratic, the other
philosophic. From the shallows of his poverty and ignorance he rises
with effort, lifting the weight of established society and admitted
dogmas, disposed either to reform or to destroy them, and at once
generous and rebellious. These two currents from France and Germany
at this moment swept into England. The dykes were so strong they
could hardly force their way, entering more slowly than elsewhere,
but entering nevertheless. The new spirit broke out first in a
Scotch peasant, Robert Burns."
Taine's tendency to sum up historic epochs in neat portable
generalizations never led him farther astray than in his attempt to
define the intellectual environment of Burns. Till Carlyle began to
write, Scotland knew next to nothing of German speculative
philosophy. True, De Quincey and Coleridge had dabbled in
transcendentalism, but it will hardly be contended that these
writers lived in the Burns period. There is more plausibility in the
view that Burns was subject to French influence, notably Rousseau.
Between Burns and Rousseau there is undoubted resemblance. Both
sprang from the people, both were at war with the conventionality of
their time, and both broke away from the classical standard of
literature. But it is surely going beyond the mark to argue from
resemblance to dis-cipleship. It does not follow that because both
writers adopted a new attitude towards Nature, for instance, that
Burns took his keynote from Rousseau.
The truth is, Scotland before France showed a tendency to naturalism
as opposed to classic artificiality. This fact is admitted by Taine
when, in dealing with the poetry of Thomson, he says: "Thirty years
before Rousseau Thomson had expressed all Rousseau's sentiments,
almost in the same style. Like him, he painted the country with
sympathy and enthusiasm. Like him, he contrasted the golden age of
primitive simplicity with modern miseries and corruptions. Like him,
he praised patriotism, liberty, virtue; rose from the spectacle of
Nature to the contemplation of God, and showed man glimpses of
immortal life beyond the tomb." Clearly we must look elsewhere than
to Rousseau for the intellectual environment of Burns. Suppose we
look nearer home. We can fairly well account for the intellectual
outlook of Burns without going outside our own island. Burns
appeared upon the scene when two antagonistic theories of man and
society were contending for mastery —Calvinism and Moderatism.
The History of the Highland Clearances
By Alexander MacKenzie (1914)
This week we've added...
Alexander Mackenzie on the Clearances
The Rev. Donald Sage on the Sutherland Clearances
General Stewart of Garth on the Sutherland Clearances
Hugh Miller on the Sutherland Clearances
Here is how the chapter Alexander Mackenzie on the Clearances
TO give a proper account of the Sutherland Clearances would take a
bulky volume. Indeed, a large tome of 354 pages has been written and
published in their defence by him who was mainly responsible for
them, called "An Account of the Sutherland Improvements," by James
Loch, at that time Commissioner for the Marchioness of Stafford and
heiress of Sutherland. This was the first account I ever read of
these so-called improvements; and it was quite enough to convince
me, and it will be sufficient to convince anyone who knows anything
of the country, that the improvement of the people, by driving them
in the most merciless and cruel manner from the homes of their
fathers, was carried out on a huge scale and in the most
inconsiderate and heartless manner by those in charge of the
Sutherland estates. But when one reads the other side, Macleod's
"Gloomy Memories," General Stewart of Garth's "Sketches of the
Highlanders," and other contemporary publications, one wonders that
such iniquities could ever have been permitted in any Christian
country, much more so in Great Britain, which has done so much for
the amelioration of subject races and the oppressed in every part of
the world, while her own brave sons have been persecuted, oppressed,
and banished without compensation by greedy and cold-blooded
proprietors, who owed their position and their lands to the
ancestors of the very men they were now treating so cruelly.
The motives of the landlords, generally led by southern factors
worse than themselves, were, in most cases, pure self-interest, and
they pursued their policy of extermination with a recklessness and
remorselessness unparalleled anywhere else where the Gospel of peace
and charity was preached—except, perhaps, unhappy Ireland.
Generally, law and justice, religion and humanity, were either
totally disregarded, or, what was worse, in many cases converted
into and applied as instruments of oppression. Every conceivable
means, short of the musket and the sword, were used to drive the
natives from the land they loved, and to force them to exchange
their crofts and homes—brought originally into cultivation and built
by themselves, or by their forefathers—for wretched patches among
the barren rocks on the sea shore, and to depend, after losing their
cattle and their sheep, and after having their houses burnt about
their ears or razed to the ground, on the uncertain produce of the
sea for subsistence, and that in the case of a people, who, in many
instances, and especially in Sutherlandshire, were totally
unacquainted with a seafaring life, and quite unfitted to contend
with its perils.
What was true generally of the Highlands, was in the county of
Sutherland carried to the greatest extreme. That unfortunate county,
according to an eye-witness, was made another Moscow. The
inhabitants were literally burnt out, and every contrivance and
ingenious and unrelenting cruelty was eagerly adopted for
extirpating the race. Many lives were sacrificed by famine and other
hardships and privations; hundreds, stripped of their all, emigrated
to the Canadas and other parts of America; great numbers, especially
of the young and athletic, sought employment in the Lowlands and in
England, where, few of them being skilled workmen, they were
obliged---even farmers who had lived in comparative affluence in
their own country---to compete with common labourers, in communities
where their language and simple manners rendered them objects of
derision and ridicule. The aged and infirm, the widows and orphans,
with those of their families who could not think of leaving them
alone in their helplessness, and a number, whose attachment to the
soil which contained the ashes of their ancestors, were induced to
accept of the wretched allotments offered them on the wild moors and
barren rocks. The mild nature and religious training of the
Highlanders prevented a resort to that determined resistance and
revenge which has repeatedly set bounds to the rapacity of landlords
in Ireland. Their ignorance of the English language, and the want of
natural leaders, made it impossible for them to make their
grievances known to the outside world. They were, therefore,
maltreated with impunity. The ministers generally sided with the
oppressing lairds, who had the Church patronage at their disposal
for themselves and for their sons. The professed ministers of
religion sanctioned the iniquity, "the foulest deeds were glossed
over, and all the evil which could not be attributed to the natives
themselves, such as severe seasons, famines, and consequent disease,
was by these pious gentlemen ascribed to Providence, as a punishment
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