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Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
History of Glasgow
The Scottish Historical Review
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Sketches of North Carolina
John Knox, A Biography
Scientists and Inventors from Scots in America
Robert Burns - The Lassies (New Book)
Beth's New Fangled Family Tree
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
Been away in Toronto for a couple of days and was able to pick up
some of these haggis pies that Mrs Bridges makes. They are like
Scotch Pies but with haggis, neeps and tatties and are very good :-)
Was delighted to get in some pictures and some information on the
old days in Glen Etive. My thanks to Robert Allan for sending them
in and you can see the pictures at
I was also told about a new build in Scotland, The Tower of
Craigietocher, which is being built by Phill Plevey. We're going to
follow the project until it is completed and to start off we have
two drawings showing what it will look like and also some photos of
how the project is going to date. You can see this at
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.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jennifer Dunn. Jemmifer is reflecting
on credit card debt in this issue.
In Peter's cultural section he's telling us about the Daft Days...
December sees once again the approach of The Daft Days (24 December
to 6 January) and its great highlight, in Scottish terms, which is
Hogmanay (31 December). There is great debate over how the last day
in the year gained that name in Scotland, most answers lean towards
a French connection, but there is no doubt that it has played a
significant part in Scottish life over many centuries. But why, for
example in Burghead on the Moray Firth, is Hogmanay not celebrated
until the 11th of January? It all goes back to 1752 when the
Westminster Government decided to harmonise Britain’s calendar with
the continental Gregorian one, which required eleven days to be
dropped from the calendar. Consequently eleven days were simply
drooped from the calendar in September of that year. The public were
incensed and calls were made to be given back the eleven days which
they felt had been stolen from them. In many areas people just
ignored the government decree and stuck with the Old Style calendar
– hence in Burghead their New Year Clavie burning is still held on
the old date.
Burghead and its fire-burning ceremony is a reminder of how
important fire was to our fore-bears as a sign of renewal. Fire
continued to play a large part in welcoming the New Year up to the
first quarter of the 20th century and in towns and villages
bone-fires were a common sight the length and breadth of Scotland.
Nowadays fire ceremonies can still be enjoyed in Biggar, Comrie and
Stonehaven on 31 December, and as noted eleven days later in
Another Hogmanay tradition was to supply a hugh copper kettle of Het
Pint, basically mulled ale, which was carried through the streets
for the benefit of revellers. Our recipe this week is non-alcoholic
but is like Het Pint, a warming refreshment, and in its own right
another Hogmanay tradition. Ginger Wine is a great favourite of
bairns of all ages and it packs a punch but without the fear of a
Ginger Wine or Cordial
Ingredients: 2oz (50g) root ginger; 2 lemons; 2 oranges; 1 gallon
(3.8 litres) water; 3 1/2 lbs (1.5 kg) sugar; small pinch of cayenne
Method: Break the ginger up, .and boil it with one gallon of water
and the rind of the oranges and lemons. Add a small pinch of cayenne
pepper during boiling. Strain the liquid into a container holding
the sugar. Add the juice of the lemons and oranges. Strain and
bottle, Makes approximately one gallon – if you wish a milder brew
use rather less ginger and miss out the cayenne pepper.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We're now onto the W's with Willison, Willock, Wilson, Winram and
Wintoun this week.
An interesting account of Wilson which includes a number of people
of that name. Here is the first Wilson mentioned...
WILSON, FLORENCE, known among contemporary scholars by his Latin
name of Florentius Volusenus, a learned writer of the sixteenth
century, was born on the banks of the Lossie, near Elgin, about
1500. He was educated in his native place, and prosecuted his
adademical studies in the university of King’s college, Aberdeen.
Repairing afterwards to England, his talents recommended him to the
notice of Cardinal Wolsey, who appointed him preceptor to his
nephew, and he accompanied the latter to Paris, where he went for
his education. On Wolsey’s death, in 1530, Wilson lost his pupil,
but he soon after found another patron in the learned Cardinal de
Bellai, archbishop of Paris. Intending to proceed to Rome with this
prelate, he travelled with him as far as Avignon, where he was
seized with an illness, which caused him to be left behind, and
prevented his father journey.
Having neither money nor friends, he resolved to apply to the
celebrated Cardinal Sadolet, bishop of Carpentras; and, arriving at
his house at night, was readily admitted into his library, where the
bishop was then engaged at his studies. Wilson’s skill in the
learned languages strongly prepossessed the cardinal in his favour,
and he procured for him the appointment of teacher of Greek and
Latin in the public school of Carpentras. During the time that he
held this situation, he composed his excellent dialogue, ‘De Animi
Tranquillitate,’ first printed at Leyden, by Gryphius, in 1543. In
this work, which displays throughout a vast compass of learning, and
an intimate acquaintance with all the Greek and Latin classics,
there are interspersed several little pieces of Latin poetry of his
own composition, which in elegance are little inferior to the
production of his contemporary Buchanan.
About 1546, after residing at Carpentras for ten years, Wilson felt
a strong desire to revisit Scotland, and accordingly set out on his
return home; but was taken ill on the road, and died at Vienne in
Dauphiny about 1547. He maintained a high character for learning in
the age in which he lived, and Buchanan paid a tribute to his genius
and virtues in an epigram which he wrote upon his death.
I might add that I post up a story or two each week about things
happening in Scotland.
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
We have now added the Parish of Dunsyre to the Lanark volume. Here
is a bit from it...
Historical Notices.—Many distinguished characters have been
proprietors in this parish. So early as the year 1147, William de
Sommerville, the third of that noble family, afterwards Lord
Sommerville, married Margaret, daughter of Gualter, who is designed
of Newbigging, and Lord of Dunsyre. Sir Patrick Hepburn of Hales
was, during his father's life, designed of Dunsyre, in the year
1450, who, on account of his great merit and fortune, was by King
James III. created a Baron or Lord of Parliament, ante ,annum 1456.
Adam Second Lord Hales succeeded his father, during whose life lie
had been designed Adam Hepburn of Dunsyre. His successors were
created Earls of Bothwell on the 5th of October 1488, and the last
of the family was created Duke of Orkney by Queen Mary, whom he had
afterwards the honour to marry.
Archibald the Sixth Earl of Angus exchanged his castle and lands of
hermitage in Liddesdale, with Hepburn Earl of Bothwell, for the
castle of Bothwell in Clydesdale; and hence this property fell into
the hands of the Douglases. It has since belonged to various
Sir Norman Macdonald Lockhart of Lee and Carnwath, Baronet, is now
proprietor of almost the whole parish. The valuation of the parish,
as fixed in 1733, amounted to L. 1450 Scots money; of which Sir
Norman Lockhart has L.1383, 13s. 4d., and the remainder L. 66, 6s.
8d. belongs to the Rev. Mr Aiton, which was bequeathed by the late
Rev. Mr Bowie, minister of Dolphin-ton, to the minister serving the
cure of that parish.
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Unlucky Top Boots
This is chapter 1 of a 2 chapter story and here is how it starts...
Top Boots, as everybody must have remarked, are now  nearly
altogether out of fashion. Their race is all but extinct. An
occasional pair may indeed still be seen encasing the brawny legs of
a stout elderly country gentleman on a market day, or on the
occasion of a flying visit to the metropolis; but with this
exception, and with probably that of some hale obstinate bachelor
octogenarian, who, in full recollection of the impression which his
top boots had made on the public mind some fifty years since, still
persists in thrusting his shrivelled shanks into the boots of his
youth ;—we say, with the first positive, and the last probable
exception, this highly respectable-looking, and somewhat flashy,
article of dress has entirely disappeared.
Time was, however, and we recollect it well, when matters stood far
otherwise with top boots. We have a distinct vision of numberless
pairs Hitting before our eyes, through the mazes of the various
thoroughfares of the city; but, alas ! they have vanished, one after
another, like stars before the light of approaching day. Rest to
their ‘soles’ - they are now gathered to their fathers—their
brightness is extinguished—their glory is gone. The Conqueror of
Waterloo hath conquered them also. The top boots have fallen before
We have said that we recollect when it was otherwise with top boots,
and so we do. We recollect when a pair of top boots was a great
object of ambition with the young, whose worldly prosperity was all
yet to come—whose means of indulging in such little vanities of the
flesh were yet to be acquired. To them a pair of top boots was a
sort of land-mark in the voyage of life; a palpable, prominent, and
desirable object to be attained; a sort of Cape Horn to be doubled.
Nor were they less objects of ambition at the time we speak of—say
about 40 years since—to the more advanced, whose circumstances
required a long previous hint to prepare for such an event as the
purchase of a pair of top boots. In short, top boots were the rage
of the day. The apprentice, the moment he got "out" of his time, got
"into" his top boots. The first thing the young grocer did was to
get a pair of top boots. No lover then went to woo his mistress but
in top boots, or at least if he did, the chance was, that he would
go to very little purpose. The buckishly-inclined mechanic, too,
hoarded his superfluous earnings until they reached the height of a
pair of top boots, in which to entomb his lower limbs. Although
their visits now, as we have already hinted, are "few and far
between," we have seen the day when, instead of being but
occasionally seen, like solitary points of light as they are now, on
the dusky street, they converted it by their numbers into an
absolute ‘via lactea’,—a perfect galaxy of white leather,—or shot,
frequent, pale, and flitting, like northern streamers, through the
dark tide of humanity as it strolled along.
The History of Glasgow
By Robert Renwick LL.D. and Sir John Lindsay L.D. in 3 volumes
We are now onto the final 3rd volume and added this week are the
The Year of the Great Frost
The Elzevirs of Scotland and the Foulis Academy
Prince Charles Edward and Glasgow
The Rise of Banking and the Deepening of the Clyde
The First Glasgow Strikes, Trade Unions, Fire Brigade, and Theatres
Here is how Chapter XXII starts...
JOHN GIBSON, in his History of Glasgow, after recounting how the
printing of books was first begun in the city in 1638 by George
Anderson, and how Robert Sanders settled here about 1661, and,
followed by his son, carried on a printing business till after 1730,
says there was no good printing in Glasgow till 1735, when Robert
Urie began the production of books "in a very good taste and
manner." He adds, "How far it has been improved since that time the
many elegant and splendid editions of books in different languages,
printed by Robert and Andrew Foulis, who began in 1740, are a
sufficient testimony." [History, p. 245.]
The progress of printing was of course dependent to a considerable
extent upon progress in the art of typefounding. This art also was
late in coming to Glasgow. The pioneer of typefounding in Scotland
was Peter Rae, minister of Kirkbride. At his press in that quiet
parish, and afterwards in Dumfries, Rae printed some sixteen works,
including a "History of the Rebellion of 1715." He was followed by
James Duncan, letter-founder in Glasgow, who has already been
mentioned in these pages, and who, with his family, continued to
print and sell books in the city for something like a century.
According to the Burgh Records, "James Duncan, printer and
type-maker," was appointed "the toun's printer" in October 1719.
Duncan printed many chapbooks, as well as Dougal Graham's rhyming
chronicle of " the '45," the first and second editions of which are
much sought after. [Dougal Graham was of course himself a printer,
issuing from his press a series of chapbooks, mostly of his own
writing, which, coarse but vivid, reflected the rustic life of his
time, and enjoyed an enormous popularity. For the authorship of
these he has been called the Scottish Rabelais.] A departure on a
higher and more artistic level was made, however, by Alexander
Wilson, Professor of Astronomy in Glasgow University. Beginning to
practise the craft of type-founding in his native city of St.
Andrews about 1740, Wilson removed shortly afterwards to Camlachie,
then a village near Glasgow, and the types produced there by him and
his sons attained before long a European reputation. His "Scotch
type" was spoken of throughout the kingdom as a sine qua non for
excellence of printing, and in France was known as the "style
Ecossais." In Glasgow itself his services to printing were
recognized by the Town Council, which made him a burgess " upon
account of his great ingenuity in typefounding, by which printing
has been advanced in this city within these few years to a great
degree of perfection." [Burgh Records, 3rd Oct. 1757; Cleland's
Annals, ii. 467; Coutts' list. University of Glasgow, p. 230.] He
was also appointed "Type-founder to the University."
The Scottish Historical Review
I have added a couple more articles from these publications...
Sir Archibald Lawrie's Charter Collections
BORN at 48 West Nile Street, Glasgow, 8th September, 1837, oldest
child of Professor James Adair Lawrie, M.D., and of Janet Finlay of
The Moss, the future Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie was fated to win
high distinction as an advocate, judge and historical scholar.
St. Helena in 1817
THE following account of a short visit to St. Helena is extracted
from a MS. diary which was purchased at the recent sale of the
Sketches of North Carolina
Historical and Biographical, illustrative of the Principles of a
portion of her Early Settlers by Rev. William Henry Foote (1846)
We've now added several more chapters to this book...
Chapter XIII - Hugh M'Aden and the Churches in Duplin, New Hanover
The first Presbyterian Minister that visited North Carolina.
Missionaries sent by the Synod. The oldest Presbyterian Congregation
in the State in Duplin. The Welsh Tract. Their position on the Map.
M'Aden's parentage, &c. DPADEN'S JOURNAL. The earliest Missionary
Journal in Carolina that has been preserved. Passes through Berkeley
and Frederick Counties in 'Virginia. Stops at Opecquon. Stays some
time in Augusta. Visits John Brown of Providence. Keeps a day of
Fasting on Timber Ridge. At Forks of James River receives news of
Braddock's Defeat. Crosses the mountain and goes to Mr. Henry's
Congregation. Enters North Carolina. Commences his Mission proper.
Visits Eno and Tar River. Returns to Eno. Goes to the Hawfield, to
the Buffalo Settlement. Goes to the Yadkin. Crosses Yadkin and
passes slowly on to Sugar Creek. Sets off for South Carolina. Lodges
out for the first time. Destitution in the upper part of South
Carolina. Retraces his steps to the Yadkin, and then turns down the
country towards the Cape Fear. Visits the Scotch settlements. Goes
to Wilmington. Goes to the Welsh Tract, and is detained by their
entreaties. Visits Goshen. Calls made out for him from Goshen and
the Welsh Tract. Sets out for home. Meets Governor Dobbs. Crosses
Pamtico. Goes to the Red Banks. Stops at Fishing Creek. Goes to
Nutbush. Revisits Hico, Hawfields and the Eno. Journal ends abruptly
and leaves him at McMessaer on James River. M'Aden's labors as
Pastor in North Carolina. His residence in Duplin. Removes to
Caswell. Extract from letter from Dr. M'Aden. House plundered by the
British Army. Place of Burial. Churches in Duplin and New Hanover
after his removal. Rev. Messrs. Dr. Robinson, Mr. Stanford, Mr.
Hatch, Mr. McIver. Mr. James Tate; his visits up Black River; his
character. William Bingham. Colin Lindsey; difficulties removes;
suspended; his wife. Rev. Robert Tate. M'Aden's places of Preaching
while residing in Caswell. Formation of Upper, Middle, and Lower
Hico. Bethany or Rattlesnake. A Preaching place in Pittsylvania. The
Chapter XIV - Church of Sugar Creek: Its First Minister, Alexander
The third Minister in Carolina. His ancestry. Rev. Thomas Craighead.
First Ecclesiastical notice of Alexander Craighead, in connexion
with Mr. John Paul. They adopt the Confession. Mr. Craighead's
manner of preaching. Gets into difficulties with his brethren.
Defends himself. Case carried up to Synod. He withdraws with the New
Brunswick Presbytery. Removes to Virginia. A Member of Hanover
Presbytery. Flies from Virginia and is settled in Carolina. Here
ends his days, 1776. His love of Liberty. His Pamphlet. His
situation in Mecklenburg. Sows THE SEEDS OF THE MIECKLENBURG
DECLARATION. The Settlement of this Upper country. The two tides of
Emigration. The line of settlement. Location of Sugar Creek Meeting
House. THE PARENT OF THE SEVEN CONGREGATIONS. The Prairies. Extent
of the Congregations. The bounds of the SEVEN settled in 1764. A
visit to the old grave-yard. Craighead's Grave. His Family. Joseph,
Alexander. Grave-yard at the Brick Church S. C. Caldwell; his
Services, Character and Manner. The Alexanders. Their Emigration.
Lord Stirling. Mrs. Jackson and her son. Buford's Defeat. Mrs. Flinn.
Chapter XV - Hopewell and the Records of the Convention
Situation of Hopewell. Capt. Bradley. General Davidson. John M'Knitt
Alexander. Settlement of the Country. Anecdote of Alexander and Dr.
Flinn. State of Society. The papers of the Convention. Judge
Cameron's Statement. Reasons for the temporary obscurity of the
Convention. The Convention called in question. Dr. Alexander
vindicates it. Testimony of different persons; Dr. Hunter, General
Graham, and Major Davidson, and Dr. Cummins, and Mr. Jack, and Col.
Polk, of Raleigh. Obituary of Dr. H. M'Knitt Alexander. Rules of
Union between the Churches of Hopewell and Sugar Creek in 1793.
Chapter XVI - The Rev. Henry Pattillo and the Churches in Orange and
Mr. Davies becomes acquainted with Pattillo. Mr. Pattillo goes to
reside with him. His reasons for commencing a journal. Extracts from
it; his birth; becomes a merchant's clerk; removes to Virginia;
commences teaching school; his religious convictions; oral
meditations; an error; his desire to preach the Gospel; his
Licensure; How sustained while preparing for the Ministry; his house
struck with lightning. Extracts from Records of Hanover Presbytery.
Goes to Hawfields, N. C., 1765. Removes to Granville, 1771. Member
of Provincial Congress, 1775. Extracts from the records of
Provincial Congress. The Churches in Granville. First Sacrament.
Anecdote of Tennant. Extract from a Will made 1782. Act of the
Congregations. Mr. Pattillo's marriage; his College Degree; his
writings and publications; his death. Extract from Mr. Lacey's
funeral sermon. Extract from a letter respecting his death. His
successors, John Matthews, M. Currie and S. L. Graham. Origin of
Congregations of Hawfields and Eno. Visits of Missionaries; M'Aden's
visit in 1755 and '56; Mr. Debou, William Hodges, William Paisley.
FIRST CAMP MEETINGS IN THE SOUTHERN STATES. Mr. E. B. Currie, Samuel
Paisley; other supplies. Death of John Paisley. The Regulators not
Chapter XVII - David Caldwell, D.D., and the Churches in Orange
Unusual time of Ministerial services. Birth and parentage of Dr.
Caldwell. His admission to the Church. Takes his degree in College
at the age of thirty-six. Prepares for the ministry. His frankness
and perseverance. Extract from minutes of Synod of New York and New
Jersey. The Congregation of Buffalo. Caldwell visits Carolina.
Alamance organized. Mr. Caldwvell's commission as Missionary. Is
ordained July, 1765; installed, 1768; married, 1766; opens a
Classical School; his'success in educating youth. Mrs. Caldwell's
influence. Revivals in his school. He practises Medicine. Is a close
student. Orange Presbyter • formed. The character of the Regulators.
Mr. Caldwell's intercourse with them. His suflerings in the war. His
labors and influence after the Revolution. Section of the
Constitution. Harmonizes with Dr. Brevard in his paper of 1775.
Public favor seeks him. Appointment of Clerk of a Court. His sermon
during the last war with England. Degree of D.D. conferred on him by
the University of N. C. His death. Death of Mrs. Caldwell. Their
Burial-place. Dilly Paine, or the Tradition about Mrs. Paisley.
Chapter XVIII - New Providence and its Ministers
Situation of New Providence. Few manuscripts left. Wallis' grave.
First Minister of Providence. His nephew. W. R. Davie, Major and
Colonel. Rev. Robert Henry. Articles of agreement with Clear Creek.
Thomas Reese. The sufferings of the Congregation. James Wallis'
birth and education. His contest with Infidelity. The character of
the Revolutionary soldiers in Mecklenburg and Upper Carolina.
Anecdote of old Mr. Alexander. The discussion about the Bible. An
Infidel Debating Society. Cause of dissatisfaction about Psalmody; a
division follows. Great Camp Meeting. He teaches a Classical School
Is made Trustee of the University. Sharon set off as a Church.
John Knox, A Biography
By D. MacMillan M.A. (1905)
Now making progress on this biography with several chapters up this
Chapter I - Early Years
Chapter II - Beginning of Mission
Chapter III - St. Andrews and the Galleys
Chapter IV - Religious Views
Chapter V - In England
Chapter VI - Friendships
Here is how Chapter VI starts...
WE have seen the influence that Knox had upon the Church of England.
The form which the Reformation took in that country was not a little
due to him. It may be true that his arrival on the scene was too
late to give it that cast which he himself chiefly favoured, and
which he was afterwards able to impose upon the Church of Scotland;
all the same, he impressed the leaders of Church and State at the
time with his personality, and introduced certain features into the
doctrine and ritual of the Church of England that have characterised
it ever since.
But it may be asked in turn if England had no influence upon Knox.
It should never be forgotten that he spent five years of the best
part of his life in that country, and that the next five years were
passed on the Continent, but in ministering to an English
congregation. The experience which he gained as a consequence was
most valuable, and stood him in good stead in after years when he
had to carry through the Reformation in his own country. But there
are those who think that that experience was not the only benefit
which he received from England and Englishmen. They imagine that his
natural asperity was somewhat softened by fellowship with men and
women who belonged to an older civilisation, and that the amenity of
life which prevailed in the sister country across the border toned
down his innate tendency to sharpness of temper and harshness of
This, of course, is very flattering to England, and not very
complimentary to Knox. We fail to see the truth of it. Knox's
character was all of a piece. The friendships which figure
prominently in his life at that time, and which were made
immediately after his appearance in England, show that by nature he
was not the rough, rude, self-contained man that some imagine him to
have been ; for beneath a rugged exterior there was a depth of
affection and tenderness which drew to him those who felt the need
of support and comfort while waging the battle of life.
It may appear singular that his English friends were for the most
part women. His relations toward them form one of the most charming
features of his life. Knox before and after this time had many men
friends, but his attitude towards them was quite different from that
which existed between him and his women friends. The men joined with
the Reformer in the great public work which the times demanded.
Their friendship was largely a matter of intellectual and political
sympathy, but his relations to women were quite different. They
looked to him for spiritual comfort and leaned upon him for
religious support, and this is all the more remarkable because, in
his First Blast against the Monstruous Regiment of Women, he is not
slack in declaring his poor opinion of the gentler sex. "Women," he
said in that remarkable and imprudent production, "women are weak,
frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish"; and yet he in turn would
seem to have leaned upon women and to have found them the most
helpful of friends. The truth is that in Knox's case, as in that of
many others, the head and heart were at war, and his practice was
better than his belief
Scientists and Inventors
Another chapter from "The Scots in America".
Here is how this chapter starts...
IT would be singular if a country whose genius gave to the world the
art of logarithms, the steam engine, the knowledge of chloroform,
illuminating gas, and a host of other universally renowned
inventions, discoveries, and appliances would not be represented in
scientific pursuits and the higher mechanical sciences in America.
We specify higher mechanical because what might be termed actual
mechanical work can have no share in our inquiries. Scotch mechanics
are found all over the country, and are generally held in the
highest regard for their thorough mastery over their work, their
intelligent manipulation of details, their readiness to grasp new
ideas, even when they do not evolve them, and their conscientious
devotion to whatever matter may be in hand. There is not a railway
machine shop in America, or iron shipbuilding establishment, where
Scotch mechanics may not be found. The same, in fact, might be said
of every extensive mechanical establishment on the continent. Into
the story of this great army of toilers, hard at work, every (lay
doing something that is to aid in the further development of the
country's resources or comforts, we cannot enter. We must perforce
confine ourselves to the higher departments of science—to examples
selected from among what may be called professional workers.
Without at all attempting to take away from any one the credit of
being the first to make the science of telegraphy a success, we must
claim that the first publicly to express the idea that electricity
could be so utilized was a Scotsman who ended his days in Virginia.
This was Charles Morrison, a native of Greenock. Very little is
known about his life history beyond the fact that he was a surgeon
by profession, a man of extreme modesty, and that, unable to make a
living in Scotland, he crossed over to Virginia and died there. Many
efforts have been made in America and Scotland to discover some
additional information about his life and death, but without avail.
His claim to have demonstrated that electricity could be utilized
for conveying intelligence is based upon a letter which he sent from
Renfrew to the Scots Magazine, and which appeared in that once
famous periodical in 1753. The essential portion of the letter is as
Robert Burns - The Lassies
By George Scott Walker
Some wee time ago George gave me permission to scan in this book and
make it available on the site. I have at last managed to get the
time to do this and so the entire book is now availabke for
downloading as a 15.5Mb pdf file.
Here is the book summary to read here...
Was Robert Burns the philanderer and rake he was purported to be? Or
was he simply a common man of his time when it came to the female
sex? In Robert Burns - The Lassies George Scott Wilkie looks at the
letters, poems and songs that Burns penned in praise (and sometimes
not!) of the women in his short yet remarkable life. This is a
revealing collection portraying over 80 women from his first
romantic stirring at 15 to his encounter with a haughty laird's
daughter, through some of the women who fathered his children to the
delectable, yet unattainable Clarinda and beyond. Burns wrote a
great deal to or about women. Some of this took the form of love
poems or songs, intended to sway the heart of whoever had caught his
eye, some in honour of a more casual acquaintance whose beauty or
talents had impressed him in some way. But he also wrote
compositions simply as a form of saying thank you for gifts or
hospitality that he had received and occasionally he railed against
women who had spurned or ignored him. Robert Burns - The Lassies is
a collection of all these musings, and each one is accompanied with
the background to Burns' relationship with the woman in question.
This is an essential part of any bookshelf on Scotland's national
GEORGE SCOTT WILKIE became a fan of Burns as a Leith schoolboy and
has retained his passion for the bard throughout his adult life. He
is the author of Select Works of Robert Burns and Understanding
Robert Burns. He wrote the screenplay for Scotfilms 'In search of
Robert Burns' presented by James Cosmo. He is retired and lives near
Beth's New Fangled Family Tree
The December issue is now available but only Part 1 at time of
writing. Hopefully Part 2 will be available in the next 24 hours.
Beth did send Part 2 to me but I didn't receive it so have emailed
her and so hopefully it will come in later tonight or tomorrow.
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