You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
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-------- 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
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
Scotland's Influence on Civilization (New Book)
Arbroath and its Abbey (New Book)
Homilie by Nola Crewe
Highlander and his Books
Scots in Michigan
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
This week I noted that Google had improved their site search
offering and so thought I'd try it out. It actually looked very good
and all seemed to work fine. I then did a search of the site using
it and was a touch unhappy with the results. Like doing a search for
"Cunningham" it display 1-10 results but didn't tell you how many
total results it had found.
I then got an email asking me if I had any information on a place
name. So I used the new Google search for that name and it didn't
find anything. I thought just out of curiosity that I'd use our old
Live Search to see what it could find and it found one entry.
Mmmm... so I then went on to do a search with Google for another
name and it found 8 results. Using the Live Search it found 342
results. I then did a number of other searches using both search
engines and without exception Live Search found many more than
And so I've decided to stick with Live Search for our site search
"Aois - The
Celtic Community" - is our new community site which we've been
working on for some time now. I should explain the whole system is
made up of a variety of modules to which we'll eventually add an
overall interface to bring everything together.
week we're able to announce the first stage of this project is now
ready for use which is the vBulletin message forum system. While
we're still working on adding more functionality we figure it's now
solid enough to let you try out the messaging system. Also included
you'll find the picture gallery, project planning facility,
calendar, blog and rss feed. There are also elements of social
networking and you can create a buddy list and your own private
message forum. We have created a few public message forums to get
While you test
out all the features we will be adding new facilities during the
next few weeks and we've still to customise it to our own branded
look. We have a variety of plugins and templates to add to it such
as an arcade system and others such as delivering your own horoscope
and even a Radio and TV player :-)
The index page is on our Scotchat domain where you'll see a very
different type of page from our normal one. Should you decide to
make this your new homepage you can still get to lots of the
Electric Scotland menus from within our new menu system. Things will
also change on that page as well as we get ramped up.
I might add that a new header has been produced for the Electric
Scotland site with a button included for the Aois community so it
will always be easy to find.
I hope you will enjoy this new system and we'd certainly welcome
your feedback. We have created a forum "Ask the Seneschal" where you
can report any problems and suggest added features. Steve May will
mostly be monitoring this forum seeing as he's the techie :-)
In compliance with safety for children we ask for your birthday when
you register and that's to allow us to catch any children entering
the system. Where we find them we'll ask that they provide a parents
email address and we'll then email the parent telling them of the
service and asking for their approval before we allow their child to
use the system.
There is also a Spam feature so if you report that someone is
spamming then we'll be able to quickly remove their posts and ban
them from the system.
We can also add
Moderators to help manage the system so if someone that posts
regularly in our public forums would like to help moderate one of
them do let us know.
To join the
service you will need to register as a new user and once completed
we will email you at the email address you provided asking you to
click a link in the email to verify you are who you say you are.
This email will get to you within seconds or at worst within 5
minutes so do look for that and if it doesn't appear check your spam
folder. Should you still not get it feel free to email me and I can
manually verify you but hope that won't be necessary. This is just
our attempt to ensure only genuine people get into the community.
Two new books started this week, "Arbroath and its Abbey" and
"Scotland's Influence on Civilization" for which see below.
I might add that these new books are really hard to ocr into the
site as they're using a slightly different font and so there are
many errors which all have to be manually corrected and I'm sure
I'll have missed a number of errors. Hopefully this won't prevent
you from enjoying them.
We've done a large upgrade to our ScotGenealogy web site adding many
new features and in the days ahead we'll also be customising this
site to make it a little friendlier to use. You can see this site at
This is a Family Tree program and we've also created a couple of
forums within Aois specifically for that site.
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do
check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the
link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this
newsletter or on our site menu.
Medics of the Glen is a series made for stv (Scottish Television)
just a few years ago. It's currently being shown on
www.scotlandontv.tv - we're up to episode six of fifteen right now.
The remit of the series was to cover the challenges facing medicine
in the remote, beautiful area of north-west Scotland and over a
period of four months the production team was based on the Isle of
Skye working with a GP practice and the local hospital. Whilst
there, they soon appreciated that both the distance from specialist
facilities at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and the harshness of
the terrain and the climate - made for dramatic medicine. For
instance, if you live in a city and have stomach pains, a GP (family
doctor) may undertake a time of careful watching but if you're many
miles away, then the chances are an air ambulance will be called!
The action in Medics of the Glen is played out against a background
of dramatic and stunning scenery - so even if programming with a
medical theme is ' not your thing', it's worth taking a look, just
to get a feel for life in remote Scotland in the twenty-first
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch and as always lots of
interesting articles. He mentions that he's got another two young
compilers for The Flag so we'll look forward to seeing what they
bring to our attention :-)
In an article in The Flag was quoted...
Welcoming the publication of opinion poll data in the Daily
Telegraph which shows the SNP Government enjoying approval ratings
of a majority and Alex Salmond far and away the favoured choice for
First Minister SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said: "A year into government
and the honeymoon continues, on the back of solid policy delivery.
"Earlier this month, some of our key measures took effect ~ez_ndash~
including freezing the Council Tax to deliver relief for hard
pressed households, cutting business rates to boost the economy and
jobs, abolishing prescription charges to end the tax on ill health
in this 60th anniversary year of the NHS, and scrapping the graduate
endowment to restore free education in Scotland.
"We have also abolished bridge tolls and are delivering 1,000 more
police officers on Scotland's streets.
"These latest poll figures show that the people of Scotland trust
Alex Salmond and the SNP government to deliver.
"We are repaying that trust by breathing new life into Scottish
democracy, and strengthening our public services.
"With the vast majority of people viewing Alex Salmond as standing
up for Scotland, and as a strong leader in touch with the concerns
of the people of Scotland, it is clear that as we approach the first
anniversary of the SNP's election success, the Scottish people know
they made the right decision."
In Peter's cultural section we get...
May has finally
brought a spell of warm sunshine and the promise of better weather
to come and with holidays on the arising ~ez_ndash~ modern Scots enjoy far
more than their forebears ~ez_ndash~ we will look at a variety of Scottish
visitor attractions over the next few weeks. This week we start in
the heart of the Borders with a house, built and made famous by the
great Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) ~ez_ndash~ Abbotsford -
which lies two miles of Melrose (a town well worth a visit). Sir
Walter bought the farm of Cartleyhole on the southern bank of the
Tweed in 1811. The building of Abbotsford took six years and was
completed in 1824. The result obviously well-pleased Sir Walter
Scott as he wrote in his journal on 7 January 1828 ~ez_ndash~
is a kind of Conundrum Castle to be sure and I have a great pleasure
in it for while it pleases a fantastic person in the stile and
manner of the architecture and decoration it has all the comforts of
a commodious habitation.~ez_rsquo~
The house was opened to the public in 1833, five months after the
death of Sir Walter and has been open to visitors ever since. The
house contains an impressive collection of historic relics, weapons
and armour, including Rob Roy~ez_rsquo~s gun, dirk and sword, and an
extensive library containing over 9000 rare volumes. Visitors are
able to see Sir Walter~ez_rsquo~s Study, Library, Drawing Room, Entrance
Hall, Armoury, Dining Room and the private Chapel which was built in
1855, after the writer~ez_rsquo~s death. The visit extends to Sir Walter
Scott~ez_rsquo~s garden and grounds and the chance to wander down to view his
beloved Tweed. Visit
http://www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk for full details of opening
times and charges.
The recipe this week was a great Border~ez_rsquo~s favourite and probably
enjoyed by the great man himself ~ez_ndash~ enjoy the flavour of the Borders
in a heaped plate of Rumblethumps.
Ingredients: 1 lb potatoes; 1 lb white cabbage, spring cabbage or
kale; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 3 oz butter; a little single
cream; 2 oz mature cheddar cheese; chopped fresh chives; black
pepper and salt to taste
Method: Slice the potatoes thickly and boil in a little salted
water. Once cooked, drain and mash. Slice the cabbage and boil
gently in slated water, do not over cook! Melt the butter in a heavy
bottomed pan and cook the onions. Once soft through, add a little
cream, season to taste and heat together. Place the mixture in an
oven safe dish and cover with grated cheddar and place under a hot
grill or oven to brown. Serves 4.
Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary didn't make it in this week.
The Article Service
Enjoyed another wee story added to our Article Service this week and
thought I'd include it here...
Tea time wi~ez_rsquo~ Angus:
The North East of Scotland delicacy of the deep fried Mars bar and
where it was invented:
The Deep Fried Mars Bar was invented in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire,
Scotland by the chippie, or chipper as they say in Grampian, Carron
Fish and Chip Shop at Allardice Street in 1995.
In 2007 the deep fried Mars bar was named as the 10th most unhealthy
food ever. This hasn't stopped many regulars at the Carron Fish and
Chip Shop from ordering their favourite deep fried Mars bar snack.
The owner, John Wilson, still sells about 100 deep fried Mars bars
of the deep fried Mars bar have appeared throughout Scotland and the
UK. Examples are deep fried Snickers bars and deep fried creme eggs
at Easter time.
In December 2004 the doctor's magazine The Lancet published a study
by Glasgow doctors Dr David Morrison and Doctor Mark Petticrew into
the phenomenon of the deep fried Mars bar and found that 22% of chip
shops in Scotland sold deep fried Mars Bars. Three quarters were
sold to children whilst fifteen percent were sold to adolescents.
The average price was 60 pence.
An easy deep fried Mars bar recipe that you can try at home, though
it really is not good for your health, is to beat a raw egg with 1/2
a tsp of water. Dip the Mars bar chocolate into the egg and ensure
all of it gets covered in egg. Then put this into a batter mix (used
to fry fish) and deep fry until the batter turns golden. In parts of
Scotland you can also get deep fried ice cream.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We are now onto the N's with Nairne, Napier, Nasmyth, Newall,
Newark, Newburgh, Newhaven, and Newton added this week.
There is a very good account of Napier with an interesting wee story
NAPIER, a surname of considerable antiquity both in Scotland and
England. It is principally, however, Scotch. There is a charter of
the 44th of King Henry III. (1259), ~ez_ldquo~Johes le Naper, venator Regis
Haveringe, Maner, 18 acres terre messuag. Essex.~ez_rdquo~ According to an
old tradition, mentioned in a MS., temp. Charles I., written by Sir
W. Segar, Garter king of arms, quoted in Burke~ez_rsquo~s Commoners, the
surname arose from the following event: -- One of the ancient earls
of Lennox had three sons; the eldest succeeded him in the earldom,
the second was named Donald, and the third Gilchrist. The then king
of Scots being engaged in war, and having convocated his subjects to
battle, the earl of Lennox was called on, amongst others, to send
such force as he could collect to the king~ez_rsquo~s assistance, which he
accordingly did, keeping his eldest son at home with him, but
putting his men under the command of his two younger sons. The
battle went hard with the Scots, who were not only forced to lost
ground, but were actually running away, when Donald snatched his
father~ez_rsquo~s standard from the bearer, charged the enemy with the
Lennox-men, changed the fortune of the day, and obtained a victory.
After the battle, as the custom was, every one reported his acts,
when the king said, ~ez_ldquo~You have all done valiantly; but there is one
amongst you who had ~ez_lsquo~Nae Peer,~ez_rsquo~~ez_rdquo~ (that is, no equal); and, calling
Donald to him, commanded him to change his name from Lennox to
Napier, and bestowed upon him the lands of Gosford, and lands in
Fife, as a reward for his service. This is just a specimen of the
old legends with which is worthy of the slightest credit. The name
was originally Le Naper, and seems most likely to have been derived
from an office attached to the court, such as Le Botiler, Le Gros
Veneur, &c. In England, says Lower, (English Surnames, vol. ii. p.
206,) William de Hastings, temp. Hen. I., held the manor of Ashele,
co. Norfolk, by the service of taking charge of the napery
(table-cloths and linen) at the coronation of the English kings.
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 Longside
Here is a wee bit from the account...
Eminent Characters.~ez_mdash~-The Rev. John Skinner, though a native of a
distant parish, was for sixty-four years minister of the Episcopal
congregation here. An ecclesiastical history and some letters or
dissertations by him, on theological subjects, have been published;
but he is perhaps better known as a correspondent of the poet Burns,
and as the writer of several popular songs, viz. Tullochgorum, John
o' Badenyon, Ewie wi' the crooked horn, &c. A handsome monument to
his memory has been erected in this churchyard, in which he lies
interred. His residence at Linshart has been, and still is, occupied
by his successor. [No offence is meant by introducing here the name
of an individual who had a county (if not a national) reputation,
and whose printed memorabilia have gone through several editions.
This was Jamie Fleeman (or Fleeming), "the Laird of Udny's fool,"
who flourished here about the middle of last century. His name
appears frequently in the session's list of paupers ; and his
sayings and doings have been a theme of wonderment to a generation
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Monkey by Robert Macnish and here is how it starts...
A second passage in the life of William M~ez_rsquo~Gee, Weaver in Hamilton
I dinna think that in a~ez_rsquo~ nature there~ez_rsquo~s a mair curiouser cratur than
a monkey. I mak this observe frae being witness to an extraordinar~ez_rsquo~
event that took place in Hamilton, three or four days after my
never-to-be-forgotten story of the ~ez_lsquo~Battle of the Breeks.~ez_rsquo~ Some even
gaed the length to say that it was to the full mair curiouser than
that affair, in sae far as the principal performer in the ae case
was a rational man, whereas in the ither he was only a bit ape. But
folk may talk as they like about monkeys, and cry them down for
being stupid and mischievous, I for ane will no gang that length.
Whatever they may be on the score of mischief, there can be nae
doubt, that, sae far as gumption is concerned, they are just
uncommon; and for wit and fun they would beat ony man black and
blue. In fact, I dinna think that monkeys are beasts ava. I hae a
half notion that they are just wee hairy men, that canna or rather
winna speak, in case they may be made to work like ither folk,
instead of leading a life of idleness.
But to the point. I ance had a monkey, ane of the drollest looking
deevils ye ever saw. He was gayan big for a monkey, and was hairy a~ez_rsquo~
ower, except his face and his bit hurdies, which had a degree of
bareness about them, and were nearly as saft as a lady~ez_rsquo~s loof. Weel,
what think ye that I did wi~ez_rsquo~ the beastie? 'Od, man, I dressed him up
like a Heelandman, and put a kilt upon him, and a lang-tailed red
coat, and a blue bannet, which for security~ez_rsquo~s sake I tied,
woman-like, below his chin, wi~ez_rsquo~ twa bits of yellow ribbon. I not
only did this, but I learnt him to walk upon his twa hinder legs,
and to carry a stick in his right hand when he gaed out, the better
to support him in his peregrinations. He was for a~ez_rsquo~ the world like a
wee man in kilts~ez_mdash~sae much sae, that when Glengarry, the great
Heeland chieftain, wha happened to be at Hamilton on a visit to the
Duke, saw him by chance, he swore by the powers that he was like ane
o~ez_rsquo~ the Celtic Society, and that if I likit he would endeavour to get
him admitted a member of that body. I thocht at the time that
Glengarry was jokin~ez_rsquo~, but I hae since had gude reason for thinking
that he was in real earnest, as Andrew Brand says that he and the
Celts hae been like to cut ane anither~ez_rsquo~s throats, and that he micht
mean this as an affront upon them. Hoosomever I maun do Glengarry
the justice to say, that had he got my Nosey (that was his name)
made a member, he wadna hae pruved the least witty or courageous o~ez_rsquo~
the society, and would hae dune nae disgrace to the chief ~ez_rsquo~s
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...
Was it Spirit-Knocking? (Pages 477-479)
Good Words for Every Day of the Year (Pages 479-480)
Dr. Wichern and The Rauhe Haus (Pages 481-486)
Summer Sadness (Pages 486-488)
Lady Somerville's Maidens (Pages 489-492)
Life and Death (Pages 492-493)
The "Lady Somerville's Maidens" is a continuing series in this
publication so if you haven't been reading it you should go to the
index page of this volume and find the other chapters.
Here is a wee bit from the current chapter...
Those were pleasant days when Madam Romieu was in a measure
recovered, but Euphame Napier still made one in the clockmaker's
household. They were strangers and not rich, they occupied a few
close rooms in a noisy street of the old town of Edinburgh, in the
summer season. They had no attendant, no show, no state, and very
simple indulgences; but they had their enjoyments, and one of them
not to be had in the exchange of green meadows, and babbling brooks,
and forest trees, was this street, this curious thronged street,
with its giddy gables; its masses of building; its unequal
chimney-stalks, and stairs and turrets, and hanging storeys; its
various and suggestive groups; under the glory of a pearly dawn, ere
the smoke, dust, and noise of common day filled it, when the
fragrance of flowers from distant pleasances searched even into its
stale and noisome nooks~ez_mdash~under the brooding heat of noon~ez_mdash~beneath the
soft rosy stain of sunset, lingering like the last blush of
innocence. But the chief heart's-ease within the walls was within
the godly, elevated, loving minds and hearts of the heads of the
family. "True happiness is of a retired nature," writes Addison,
"and an enemy of pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from
an enjoyment of one's-self, and in the next from the friendship and
conversation of a few select companions." The highest happiness
extends beyond self, but Addison will write with a reservation; he
adds, "False happiness loves to be in a crowd to draw the eyes of
the world upon her;" proceeds to contrast the true by the examples
of the virtuous Aurelia, spending her time usefully with her husband
in retirement, and the meretricious Faustina, calling every woman of
a prudent, modest, and retired life, a poor-spirited and unpolished
creature, to whom, in her own person, ''the missing of an opera the
first night would be more afflicting than the death of a child."
No pages added this wee due to working on the Aois Community site
but will return next week. Should you wish you can check out
previous pages at
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 Black Book of Taymouth and Other Papers
From the Breadalbane Charter Room (1855)
There is a very long Preface to this book which starts...
The materials of the present volume, all taken from the charter-room
at Taymouth, have been selected more with the view of illustrating
the antiquities of the Central Highlands, and the modes of life and
thought of their inhabitants in the old time, than for any purpose
of public national history, or for the genealogy and antiquities of
the family of Breadalbane. But that family having so long borne sway
in the district, their personal affairs are to some extent mixed up
with all local history; and a general acquaintance with the early
descents of House of Glenurchy is necessary for the full
understanding of the materials now brought together first article.
It is here brought together as the first article of our collection.
The "Black Book ok Taymouth," has been long known and used as an
authority in the Highlands. It is now for the first time printed
from the MS. of its author, Master William Bowie, who seems to have
discharged the double duty of family notary and pedagogue to the
grandsons of Sir Duncan Campbell, the seventh laird of Glenurchy. He
dedicates his work to his patron, in the month of June 1598, and
though he lived to add some matter of subsequent date, the
conclusion, coming down to 1648, seems written by a different hand.
His chief object was to record the successive acquisitions of
I might note that it was in this book that Ranald McIntyre told me
he found a reference to another McIntyre who was told that while he
may shoot a deer he was only entitled to the entrails and the rest
belonged to the Duke :-)
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the
By James T. Calder (1861)
This week we completed this book by adding the Postscript which
Colonel George Sinclair~ez_mdash~Caithness proprietors and wadsetters in
1668~ez_mdash~Liberties of the Town of Thurso~ez_mdash~The Caithness Fencibles~ez_mdash~Lord
Caithness's steam carriage~ez_mdash~The Battle of Artimarlach~ez_mdash~Gleanings from
Douglas Peerage of Scotland, and other sources.
The Intellectual Development of Scotland
By Hector MacPherson (1911)
We have now completed this book by adding the final Chapter XII -
The Evolution of Fiction
and here is how it starts...
With the suppression of the rising of the '45 the history of
Scotland, from a purely national point of view, may be said to come
to an end. The Rebellion was something more than an attempt to
restore the Stewart dynasty. It was the dramatic and final stage in
the inevitable conflict between two antagonistic ideals~ez_mdash~the feudal
and the industrial. At the Union Scotland had entered into
partnership with England in commerce and industry; but sentiment
dies hard, and many, while alive to the superiority of the new days,
gazed regretfully upon the days which were vanishing. At the Union
Scotland gained much, but it paid a heavy price in the loss of its
individuality, which meant the loss of the sharp dramatic contrasts
and the vivid heroisms which make the sixteenth and seventeenth
The History of the Highland Clearances
By Alexander MacKenzie (1914)
This week we've added...
Mr. James Loch on Sutherland Improvements
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe on the Sutherland Clearances
Reply to Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe by Donald Macleod
Trial of Patrick Sellar
The Eviction of the Rosses
Here is how the chapter on the Trial of Patrick Sellar starts...
For his action in connection with the Sutherland Clearances, Patrick
Sellar was placed on trial at a sitting of the Circuit Court at
Inverness in 1816. The bench was occupied by Lord Pitmilly. We give
the indictment, defences, judge's summing up, and other particulars,
but omit the evidence, as no authentic record thereof is available.
PATIRICK SELLAR, now or lately residing at Culmaily, in the parish
of Golspie, and shire of Sutherland, and under factor for the Most
Noble the Marquis and Marchioness of Stafford. You are indicted and
accused, at the instance of Archibald Colquhoun of Killermont, his
Majesty's Advocate for his Majesty's interest: That albeit, by the
laws of this and of every other well-governed realm, culpable
homicide, as also oppression and real injury, more particularly the
wickedly and maliciously setting on fire and burning, or causing and
procuring to be set on fire and burnt, a great extent of heath and
pasture, on which a number of small tenants and other poor persons
maintain their cattle, to the great injury and distress of the said
persons; the violently turning, or causing and procuring to be
turned out of their habitations, a number of the said tenants and
other poor people, especially aged, infirm, and impotent persons and
pregnant women, and cruelly depriving them of all cover or shelter,
to their great distress, and the imminent danger of their lives; the
wickedly and maliciously setting on fire, burning, pulling down, and
demolishing, or causing and procuring to be set on fire, burnt,
pulled down, and demolishing, the dwelling-houses, barns, kilns,
mills, and other buildings, lawfully occupied by the said persons,
whereby they themselves are turned out, without cover or shelter, as
aforesaid, and the greater part of their different crops is lost and
destroyed, from the want of the usual and necessary accommodation
for securing and manufacturing the same; and the wantonly setting on
fire, burning, and otherwise destroying, or causing and procuring to
be set on fire, burnt, and otherwise destroyed, growing corn,
timber, furniture, money, and other effects, the property, or in the
lawful possession of the said tenants and other poor persons, are
crimes of a heinous nature, and severely punishable. Yet true it is,
and of verity, that you the said Patrick Sellar are guilty of the
said crimes, or of one or more of them, actor, or art in part ; in
so far as you the said Patrick Sellar did, on the 15th day of March,
1814, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of April and
May immediately following, and on many occasions during the said
months of March, April and May, wickedly and maliciously set on fire
and burn, or cause and procure John Dryden and John M'Kay, both at
that time shepherds in your service, to set on fire and burn a great
extent of heath and pasture, many miles in length and breadth,
situate in the heights of the parishes of Farr and Kildonan, in the
county of Sutherland
Scotland's Influence on Civilization
By The Rev. Leroy J. Halsey, D.D., LL.D.
This is a new book we're starting and as there is no preface to this
book here is how the first chapter starts...
THE land of the thistle and the heather, the castle and the crag, is
at best but a narrow land~ez_mdash~two hundred and eighty-eight miles between
extremes from north to south, and fifty-two from east to west. Its
place in history, however, is well assured, and its influence is
wide as the world. Its physical aspect is exceedingly diversified
and picturesque. The sky bends in beauty, the soil teems with
verdure, the air rings in elastic tension, the waters sparkle with
life and health. It is a land where youth may drink in exhilaration
with every breath, manhood find food for high endeavor in every
battle of life, and old age flourish like the evergreen pine. With a
coastline of twenty-five hundred miles so deeply indenting the main
land on three sides as to bring every foot of it within forty-five
miles of the sea, with nearly eight hundred islands closely
environing it and furnishing many a quiet inlet and many a bold
outlook to the ocean, and with an alternating panorama of highland
and lowland, of lake, river and mountain, through all its
borders,--Scotland would seem to be the spot of all the earth
ordained by Providence for the dwelling-place of a hardy, athletic,
Such, in fact, have been its destiny and its history. It is not the
country, but the heroic people inhabiting it, that has given
Scotland its name in history and its influence on the world's
civilization. And the object of this monograph is to sketch in
briefest outline a few salient points in the character of the
people, the work they have done and the influence they have exerted.
Who has not admired the genius and gloried in the heroism of that
long line of "Scottish worthies" who fought as if they were fighting
the battles of all mankind and gave their names to history as an
everlasting remembrance? Who has not followed them down from century
to century and often felt his indignation ablaze at the recital of
their wrongs and their sacrifices for truth and for conscience'
sake? What associations crowd upon us, what memories awake, what
inspirations kindle, at the mention of such names as Bruce and
Wallace, Knox and Melville, Argyle and Murray, rray, Gillespie and
Henderson, Erskine and Chalmers, Scott and Burns, Livingstone and
Arbroath and its Abbey
By David Miller
Another new book and of course Arbroath Abbey is where the
Declaration of Arbroath was signed and so a most interesting
There is quite an extensive Preface to this book which starts...
following pages have been published chiefly for those who take an
interest in the locality of the ancient and now flourishing town of
Arbroath, and also with the view of removing the obscurity which has
hitherto involved the history of its once magnificent monastery.
Among other sources of information the Chartulary of the Abbey is
entitled to stand first in rank. The most interesting portions of
these monastic writings have been digested and arranged in this
volume. An endeavour has thus been made to bring out the points in
which they, along with other authentic documents, tend to illustrate
the history of the district.
In alluding to the history of past times, our ancestors have been
allowed as far as possible to appear in their own dress, and speak
in their own words. This will account for the number of quotations
in the antique style, which may probably render the perusal of some
portions of the book a little difficult to readers otherwise well
educated. But if months or years are spent in the endeavour to
acquire a knowledge of dead languages two or three thousand years
old, some trouble ought to be taken with the view of being able to
read with facility our own living mother tongue, in the garb which
it wore two or three centuries ago, so that it may not be
unintelligible unless expressed according to our present
conventional orthography. Many details, which to general readers not
acquainted with the locality may appear sufficiently minute, are
inserted in the text, instead of being placed in foot-notes, as it
was considered desirable to avoid that distraction of attention
which numerous notes invariably occasion. For the same reason
references to the pages of the Arbroath Chartulary have not been
made, as these, if introduced, would have become innumerable and
cumbersome. They would, at the same time, have been of no use to
those who do not possess that collection of writings ; and those, on
the other hand, who may wish to verify any statement founded on it,
will be at once able to do so, by the names and dates referred to,
with the help of the tables of contents and indices of the published
Highlander and his Books
By Frank Shaw
Frank has done an excellent book review on the book "Boulders at
Hirti Geo" By Jim Hewitson and among other things we learn that Jim
runs a B & B on the Island of Orkney and apparently has a huge
collection of animals :-)
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