Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
New Statistical Account of Scotland
Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach
Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's
Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs (New Book)
Robert Burns Lives!
Parents Learning & Speaking Gaelic With Their Children At Home
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
I spent most of a day this week creating the newsletter for the St.
James Priory in Toronto. As this is the first issue of the
newsletter I thought it might be of interest to make it available
for you to read. I won't normally make others available but as this
is a first thought it might be interesting. You can view this at
Here is a list of the books I am working on that will make it up
onto the site in the weeks ahead...
- The Gateway of Scotland
East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse By A. G. Bradley (1912)
As we don't have much information on the site of this area of
Scotland I thought it would be interesting to put up this book.
- The Social and Economic Condition of the Highlands of Scotland
By A. J. Beaton (1906)
This is actually quite a short book but I thought the information
contained within it was unique in many aspects so a worthwhile
By W. Barclay (1922)
As the Bard of Banff has sent us in lots of poems I thought it would
be good to feature his area of Scotland :-)
- Parish Life in the North of Scotland
By Rev. Donald Sage A.M. (1899)
Thought this would make interesting reading from a person that
ministered in the area and whose father also was a minister serving
within it. This means he's got lots of stories to tell.
- The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk
This autobiography is often quoted in other works about Scotland and
is also thought to be one of the three best publications created in
Scotland. And so I thought I'd make this available for you to read.
- Social Life in Scotland
From Early to Recent Times by Rev. Charles Rogers D.D., LL.D., FSA
in 3 volumes (1884)
I've always been interested in the Social life in Scotland and in
these three volumes we're presented with considerable information.
What also makes this book so good is that there are plenty of
references to other works in each chapter and if you wanted to study
a particular subject within the social life of Scotland this would
make a great starting point.
- Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth and Legend
By Donald A MacKenzie
We all like to read stories of adventures from the mist of time and
so these are some of the ones that are told in Scotland.
- Among the Forrest Trees
or How the Bushman Family got their Homes, by being a book of facts
and incidents of pioneering life in Upper Canada, arranged in the
form of a story, by Rev. Joseph H. Hilts (1888)
The author was a Minister in the back wood of Canada for some 4/5ths
of his life and so this is his story born out from his practical
experience. He says in the introduction that he wanted to preserve
the work of the pioneers for future generations as already he was
finding the young people did not know of all the hard work their
ancestors had put in to build the farms and towns that they now took
- The Writings of John Muir
Father of the National Park Service
I mentioned these writings in the last issue of this newsletter and
have now made a start at ocr'ing them into the site. If you like the
far off places and are interested in wildlife and plants then you're
going to enjoy reading these books. There are in fact 10 volumes of
his writings so not entirely sure if I'll do them all but will say
these are probably the best books I've ever ocr'd onto the site.
There is hardly a single mistake and so it's going very fast for a
- Crofting Agriculture
Its practice in the West Highlands and Islands by F. Fraser Darling
I have always been interested in crofting but can never find
anything that goes into sufficient detail so having found this book
thought I'd put it up on the site. The author also runs his own
croft so is able to suggest practical methods of farming it. This is
a book from 1945.
Have added a new advertiser to the site - InfoHub - which
supplies brochures and other information on holidays in Scotland and
around the world.
So if you click on their button in our header you'll go to our own
landing page. From there you can select "Europe" and then "Scotland"
and you'll get a listing of all the holidays that take in Scotland.
One entry looks like...
Spirit of Scotland - Mystical Islands and Highlands: July 7 - 19,
Take a life-changing voyage through Mystical Scotland with Celtic
Spirituality author, teacher, storyteller and ritualist, Mara
USD 3795 Per person
Then you get a link for...
- View Details
- Request Free Brochure
Clicking on "View Details: gives you a lot more information such
Join Mara Freeman, renowned teacher of Celtic Spirituality and
magical traditions, and author of "Kindling the Celtic Spirit," on
this exciting journey to Scotland's Islands and Highlands. From the
majesty of mountain peaks to the gentle curves of island shores, we
will follow the ancient tellers of Scotland's unfolding story, who
have left their signatures on the land in the form of Neolithic
stone circles and cairns, Celtic settlements, medieval abbeys, and
splendid castles. As the landscape reveals the sacred ways in which
our ancestors honored the many and varied faces of Spirit, our
journey will truly be a pilgrimage of the soul.
The holy isle of Iona; extraordinary temples of stone at Kilmartin
Glen; the sacred groves of Glen Lyon; the faery glens of Skye; the
ancient yew-tree of Fortingall; the renowned neolithic stones at
Callanish on the isle of Lewis; the Faery Hill of Aberfoyle; the
Templar Chapel of Rosslyn. Plus much, much more...
and then several more paragraphs. While on this page you can apply
for a free brochure or contact the organisation for further details.
You can also use this service for any part of the world you're
In actual fact this looks to be a worthwhile service any time you
are considering a vacation anywhere and so I hope it will be a good
resource for you.
And while Steve didn't manage to make available our community system
last weekend as he promised I have been advised that it is now
installed. It's not yet available as he's working on the
customisation of it and also bringing in the new Arcade system. So
looks like he's nearly there... say I keeping my fingers crossed :-)
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 Jim Lynch and he always has a great
range of topics to discuss as well as having an article both in the
old Scots language and in Gaelic. Some interesting poll results in
favour of the SNP since the budget was rejected by the opposition
parties and as a result the budget has now been passed.
In Peter's cultural section we get a real good fitba' story from the
This Saturday (7 February 2009) I return to my cauf-kintra, the
Granite City of Aberdeen, on Scottish Cup business with two football
scarves Aberdeen FC and East Fife FC. As I will be sitting in the
away kit-men seats at Pittodrie, the Dons scarf will remain firmly
in my pocket! Jim Corstorphines excellent preview of the game (our
thanks to Jim for permission to use it on The Flag) refers to the
East Fife victory over Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup in 1938. For
that replay, on their way to winning the Scottish Cup (the only
lower league ever to have achieved that distinction), The Fife
played in a red strip instead of their normal black and gold.
Aberdeen were so impressed by the red strip that from the next
season onwards The Dons changed from black and gold to the now
familiar Pittodrie red jerseys. On Saturday East Fife will be
playing in green and white but I dont think that will inspire
Aberdeen to change again!
Can Baikie's Boys Disappoint the Dons?
The team that knocked Aberdeen out of the Scottish Cup in 1965
All roads lead to Aberdeen this weekend as the East Fife faithful
make the journey north to face Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup.
Incredibly, its almost THIRTY-FIVE YEARS since the Methil men
played at Pittodrie, and it goes without saying a fair percentage of
the clubs present day supporters have never seen their favourites
line up to face the Dons!
The Bayview faithful have been buzzing ever since the draw was made,
and all are eagerly anticipating Saturdays match.
So do Second Division East Fife have any chance of causing an upset
at Pittodrie? On paper, the answer would have to be no; but then
again, the same would have been said when the two clubs were first
paired together in the competition back in 1927!
Back then, the Fifers were only in their sixth season as a Scottish
League club, and were sitting in the top half of the Second
Division. Aberdeen, on the other hand, were a firmly established
First Division club who were more than capable of beating the best
in the land. A few eyebrows were raised, therefore, when the Fifers
forced a replay following a 1-1 draw at Bayview; surprise then
turning to shock when the Methil men finished the job with a 2-1 win
Eleven years later, in March 1938, the two clubs were drawn to face
each other once again. Not even the most optimistic follower of the
men in black and gold would have dared predict a repeat of the
events of 1927, but thats just what happened; East Fife knocked the
Dons out of the competition with a 2-1 win at Pittodrie following a
1-1 draw at Bayview! That year, however, the Fifers went on to
emulate the class of 27 by going on to win the cup just over a
After the Dons had gained a little revenge by knocking the Fife out
of the cup with a 2-1 victory at Pittodrie in 1959, the Methil men
were presented with another giant-killing opportunity in 1965.
After holding out for a no-scoring draw at Pittodrie, the men in
black and gold used home advantage to the full in the replay at a
packed Bayview to make it a hat-trick of Scottish Cup wins against
the Dons with a single goal victory.
Will history repeat itself yet again? The circumstances are very
similar to 1927, 1938 and 1965; but is the gulf that exists between
the top-flight clubs of today greater than it was back in the
At quarter-to-five on Saturday, weather permitting, we will know the
answer. One thing is certain, however; if the present East Fife team
adopt the traditional cup-battling qualities of their predecessors,
were in for an enthralling afternoon!
Although Aberdeen have more than matched both halves of the Old Firm
in recent weeks, Pittodrie holds no fears for the Fifers according
to manager Dave Baikie. The management team have done their
homework, and this week have been busy trying to assess all areas of
the Aberdeen team in order to identify any possible weaknesses that
could be exploited. The players will all be very aware, however,
that a very difficult task lies ahead.
The Bayview boys will have to be at their very best on the day, but
it is perhaps worth remembering that several members of the present
squad were in the team that knocked SPL side St Mirren out of the
CIS Cup on their own soil last season.
On the injury front, only Jonathon Smart is doubtful for the big
match, and a decision will be made on the big central defender
towards the end of the week.
Hopefully the match wont be affected by the weather weve been
experiencing recently, and with both clubs having agreed on a
reduced admission price for visiting supporters of just £15 for
adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for under 12s, why not take full
advantage and have a great day out following the Fife!
Aberdeen Butterie Rowies
Ingredients: 1 lb flour; 1 oz yeast or 1/2 tablesp dried yeast; 1
tablesp sugar; 8 oz butter; 4 oz lard; 3/4 pt tepid water; a pinch
All utensils should be warm before starting. Makes about 15.
Method: Mix the sifted flour and salt into a basin, then cream the
yeast with the sugar. When it has bubbled up add it to the flour
with the water, which must be blood heat only. Mix well, cover and
set in a warm place until double the bulk, about thirty minutes.
Cream the butter and lard together and divide into three. Put the
dough on to a floured board and roll out into a long strip. Put the
first third of fats in dots on to the top third of the pastry strip
and fold over like an envelope, as if making flaky pastry. Roll out,
and do this twice more until all the butter mixture is used up. Then
roll out and cut into small oval shapes ( or small rounds ). Put on
to a floured baking sheet with at least 2 in. between each one to
allow for spreading. Cover, as above, and leave to rise for
three-quarters of a hour, then bake in a moderate to hot oven ( 375
degrees - 400 degrees/ Gas mark 5 - 6 ) for 20 minutes.
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Since the last newsletter we've added to the Supplement...
Mercer, Miller, Morville, Murchison, Paton, Rae and Rattray.
Here is how the account of Rattray starts...
RATTRAY, a surname derived from the barony of that name in
Perthshire. So far back as the reign of Malcolm Canmore (1057-1093)
the family of Rattray of Rattray and Craighall are said to have
existed in that county (Nisbet, vol. i. p. 130). In the reigns of
William the Lion and Alexander II., lived Alanus de Rattrieff, as
the name was then spelled, whose son, Sir Thomas de Rattrieff, was
knighted by Alexander III. By Christian, his wife, the latter
acquired part of the lands of Glencaveryn and Kingoldrum, in
Forfarshire. In the Register of the Abbacy of Arbroath, there is a
perambulation, of date 1250, between that convent and Thomas de
Rattrieff, about the latter lands. He left two sons, Eustatius and
John. The former was father of Adam de Rattrieff, who, in 1292, with
other Scots barons, was compelled to submit to Edward I. He is
mentioned both in Prynnes Collections and Rymers Faedera. In 1296,
he was again forced to swear allegiance to the English king. He died
before 1315. His son, Alexander de Rattrie, was one of the barons of
the parliament held at Ayr that year to settle the succession to the
crown. Dying issueless, he was succeeded by his brother, another
Eustatius de Rattrie, who, in the parliament of Perth, August 1320,
was falsely accused of being concerned in the conspiracy of Sir
William Soulis and Sir David Brechin against Robert the Bruce, but
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Snowing-up of Strath Lugas
Here is how it starts...
Jolly old Simon Kirkton! thou art the very high-priest of Hymen.
There is something softly persuasive to matrimony in thy contented,
comfortable appearance ; and thy house,why, though it is situated
in the farthest part of Inverness-shire, it is as fertile in
connubial joys as if it were placed upon Gretna Green. Single
blessedness is a term unknown in thy vocabulary; heaven itself would
be a miserable place for thee, for there is neither marrying nor
giving in marriage !
Half the county was invited to a grand dinner and ball at Simons
house, in January 1812. All the young ladies had looked forward to
it in joyous anticipation and hope, and all the young gentlemen,
with considerable expectationand fear. Everything was to be on the
greatest scale: the dinner in the ancient hall, with the two family
pipers discoursing sweet music between the courses, and the ball in
the splendid new drawing-room, with a capital band from the county
town. The Duke was to be there with all the nobility, rank, and
fashion of the district; and, in short, such a splendid
entertainment had never been given at Strath Lugas in the memory of
man. The editor of the county paper had a description of it in type
a month before, and the milliners far and near never said their
prayers without a supplication for the health of Mr Kirkton. All
this time that worthy gentleman was not idle. The drawing-room was
dismantled of its furniture, and the floors industriously chalked
over with innumerable groups of flowers. The larder was stocked as
if for a siege; the domestics drilled into a knowledge of their
duties; and every preparation completed in the most irreproachable
style. I question whether Gunter ever dreamt of such a supper as was
laid out in the dining-room: venison in all its forms, and dish of
every kind. It would have victualled a seventy-four to China.
The day came at last,a fine, sharp, clear day, as ever gave a
bluish tinge to the countenance, or brought tears to "beautys eye."
There had been a great fall of snow a few days before, but the
weather seemed now settled into a firm, enduring frost. The laird
had not received a single apology, and waited in the hall along with
his lady to receive the guests as they arrived.
Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
By George Anderson and Peter Anderson of Inverness (1850)
Making more progress with this book and have added the following
Branch E. From Bonar Bridge to Loch Inver of Assynt, and from Assynt
From Assynt to Duirness
Branch F. Tongue to Thurso
Note to Route Fourth.
(1.) Dunrobin Castle
(2.) Herring, Cod, and Ling Fisheries
(4.) Meikle Ferry and llornoch ; Errata and Addenda
(5.) Steam Communication to the West of Ross and Sutherlandshire
The Western Isles and Cantyre
A. Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig
B. Knapdale and Cantyre.
From Fort-William to Campbelltown and the Mull of Cantyre, by land,
along the coast
(1.) Fort-William to Oban
(2.) Do. to Lochgilphead
(4.) Cantyre. 1. West Side
(4.) Cantyre 2. East Side.
C. Islands of Islay and Jura, Colonsay and Oronsay
Colonsay and Oronsay
D. Mull, Iona, and Staffa
Sound of Mull
Here is a bit from the Islay chapter...
2. The sound of Islay is in the centre about a mile in width, and is
lined by abrupt but not very high cliffs. It is remarkable for the
close correspondence of the opposing shores, and the great rapidity
of its tides; and the navigation is rather dangerous. On entering
the Sound, a strong current is perceptible, which, in a spring tide,
if it happens to be adverse, with any considerable strength of wind
also a-head, will impede very considerably even the power of steam,
while the cross and short sea raised by the current, may even create
alarm to an indifferent sailor. The island of Islay now becoming
"tangible to sight," presents no very interesting or promising
appearance. The coast seems bleak and bluff, without rising into the
dignity of real hill or mountain, and presenting little else than
the stunted and heathy vegetation of Alpine scenery. Here the eye is
more relieved by the scene presented in the offing of the Sound,
which seems studded with a lively group of islands, being Colonsay,
with its smaller tributaries. The landing-place of Port Askaig is
soon made, where there is a secure haven and a good pier; and a
tolerably comfortable and commodious inn greets the passenger's
arrival. After the dreariness which threatened the stranger's
approach, he is surprised, on landing at Port Askaig, to find
himself at once nestled securely among well-grown trees and,
planting; the face of the hill above the inn, and some of the
adjoining grounds, which rise abruptly from the sea, being well clad
3. Islay is about thirty miles long by twenty-four in extreme
breadth. On the south it is deeply indented by an arm of the sca,
called Loch-in-Daal, extending about twelve miles in length, and
terminated by the Point of Rinns on the west, and on the east by the
Moille of Keannouth, or Mull of Oe. This opening has no great depth
of water, but is much resorted to by shipping. About midway, on the
east side, Loch-in-Daal widens out greatly towards the Mull of Oe,
which is opposite the Point of Rinns, forming a capacious bay called
Laggan. Port Askaig is situated about the centre of a high tract of
micaceous schist. From either extremity of this tract, a broad ridge
of hills of quartz rocks extends southward; on the east, to the Mull
of Oe, and on the west, to Loch Groinart, not reaching much further
than the head of Loch-in-Daal. The northern central portion is
composed of fine limestone rock, disposed in rocky eminences or
irregular undulations. An ample and fertile alluvial plain
encompasses the upper portion of Loch-in-Daal from Laggan Bay, with
the exception of a stripe of clay-slate, bordering the west side of
the loch and this level ground, which, where not cultivated, is
covered with peat, extends in a broad belt, along the termination of
the western hilly range, to that side of the island. The rest of the
adjoining peninsula declines from the ridge of low hills which
skirts the western coast, in fine arable slopes to the shores of
Loch-in-Daal. The northern and western hills are of moderate height
and easy inclination, and are covered with heath, pasture, and fern.
Those on the east are more elevated and rocky. There is a great
variety of soil throughout the island, but it is generally fertile
and well cultivated. Islay, of all the Hebrides, is, beyond
comparison, the richest in natural capabilities, and the most
Perhaps more than one half of its whole surface might be
advantageously reduced to regular tillage and cropping. The
facilities for improvement are great ; and in no portion, probably,
of Scotland, have these advantages of late years been more
successfully cultivated; and a steady pursuit of the course of
improvement is still in progress in Islay. This island is celebrated
for its breed and numbers of cattle and horses. It belonged chiefly
to Mr. Campbell of Islay and Shawfield, but is now under the
management of trustees, and the estate is in the market,
bond-holders and personal creditors having claims upon it to the
amount of upwards of £700,000. The coast, especially about
Portnahaven, abounds with fish. To the north-west of Port-Askaig,
lead-mines were at one time wrought, and with success. The ore is
said to have been unusually fine, and the late proprietor of Islay
could use the rare boast of having a proportion of his family plate
manufactured from silver found on his own domains. But the mines
here have partaken of the fatality that seems incident to all mining
speculations on the north and west coast of Scotland, and they have,
accordingly, been abandoned for many years. Whisky is a great staple
commodity of this island. Its distillation has for some years been
carried on to a very large extent, and there has, of late, been a
yearly revenue of fully £30,000 realised to government from
distilleries in this island alone. More than the half of the grain
producing this sum in duties is imported.
Loch Etive and The Sons of Uisnach
By R. Angus Smith (1885)
Moving ahead with this book and added this week are chapters...
Chapter XVI - Bardic Satire
Chapter XVII - Tain Bo Cuailgne
Chapter XVIII - The Cairn of Achnacree
Chapter XIX - Connel Moss - Lake Dwelling
Chapter XX - Hill of Ledaig and Cromlechs
Chapter XXI - Lochnell and Glen Lonain
Here is how the chapter on "Lochnell and Glen Lonain" starts...
As the conversation was not well remembered on this excursion, one
of the party was requested to write an account of a day at Lochnell
and its neighbourhood. They had all heard of Lochiel, but who of
Lochnell? Even the guide-books connect the name with the wrong
place, namely, the land over near Keills, beyond Connel Ferry,
instead of with its own region, surrounded by its own hills,
draining its own fields, and sending its own river Feochan down to
the sea at Loch Feochan. It is a very small lake, not a sea loch,
for we may make the distinction, which, however, is not made in
Gaelic, or even by the English, between lake and loch. The name is
poetic, Locla-a-ncala, the lake of the swans; there may have been
many such birds here once, but they are gone. Still there is left a
pleasant memory of airy life, and the low land where the stream
falls out of the lake is called Dalineunthe valley of birds. Here
is the report of the excursion.
The road from Oban to the loch itself is steep, but it is good, and
only about four miles long. To go by land to the other side of the
loch would make four or five more round, so that it needs a good
walker to traverse in a day all the ground to be visited. Glen
Lonain itself needs some ten miles of walking to and fro if it is
all to be visited. We preferred, therefore, to have a conveyance to
take us to the ground, and to help us at need. As the party drove
out of the glen leading from Oban south-east, the rugged heights
showed themselves more than on the other side, and the strange
shapes of the hills seemed more and more the playthings of
numberless streams and violent submarine currents. But soon we came
to a not extensive moor, and saw before us the isolated but
warm-looking, because wooded valley, with its couple of good
country-seats and the manse of Kilmore. The valley goes to the
right, and below is Loch Feochan, the entrance of the sea; but we
went to the left, and immediately came to a house or two, poor
enough looking, and with a desolate kind of name, Cleigla. This name
signifies a burying-place, and one of the younger of us naturally
asked, "Why do you take us to burying-grounds? We never visit such
at home, unless it be to see the tomb of a relative." The answer was
easy: "We are here to see the memorials of the people who have long
passed; history is among the dead; at home we live among the active
men. Besides, here are our distant forgotten relatives." And here,
certainly, there are few and scattered dwellings to see, but the
name seems to indicate that many persons, living or dead, were
brought here, if they did not live and die here.
It is not hard to imagine all this pleasant valley filled with
houses, small of course; there is much good grass, and there is
still some corn. People pass the road and see nothing, but Cameron
stopped us at the little farm-house of Molee before arriving at
LochnelI, and, walking to a field on the left, we saw the remains of
a great cairn sixty feet in diameter. Now, it must have been an
important person who had such a burying-place. Who of the men of
this century, has such a great space to rest in? Such cairns are at
first a dozen feet high or more, and yet the stones are gone,
probably to build the neighbouring house and byres. The stones had
been gathered from the fields, probably old rounded boulders, and
thus the land was cleared ages ago, doing good to the living by
remembering the dead. And now we have the benefit, because these
fields show a good crop of oats. The people, probably, were not very
irreverent when demolishing the heap in later years to form
habitations for the living. Tradition has no knowledge of the inmate
of this cairn, but an inmate there was, and, as soon as the stone
kist was seen, no more theft was perpetrated there; the nearly
square box remains in the centre, formed of the best of the stones.
The body had been burnt, and the urn containing the ashes had been
removed and given to a lady living for the time in the valley lower
down. It will go to make up some unknown collection, and people will
say, "It was probably a Celtic urn." Who knows if the body was not
bent up and buried, dissolved long ago, whilst the urn was only a
water or food vessel, deposited by the friends, according to some
ancient custom, and alone remaining undecayed. The kist or cist is
small for this mode of burial.
Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904).
The pages we have up this week are...
Bab at the Bowster
The Wadds and the Wears
The Widow of Babylon
The Jolly Miller
Here is the London Bridge rhyme for you to read here...
"London Bridge;" is a well-known and widely played game, though here
and there with slightly different rhymes. Two children - the tallest
and strongest, as a rule--standing face to face, hold up their
hands, making the firm of an arch. The others form a long line by
holding on to each other's dresses, and run under. Those running
sing the first verse, while the ones forming the arch sing the
second, and alternate verses, of the following rhyme:-
London bridge is fallen down,
Fallen down, fallen down;
London bridge is fallen down,
My fair lady.
Question.What will it take to build it up? (With repeats.)
Answer. Needles and preens will build it up.
Question.Needles and preens will rust and bend.
Answer.Silver and gold will build it up.
Question.Silver and gold will be stolen away.
Answer.---Build it up with penny loaves.
Question.Penny loaves will tumble down.
Answer.Bricks and mortar will build it up.
Question.--Bricks and mortar will wash away.
Answer.We will set a dog to bark.
Question.--Here's a prisoner we have got.
At the words "a prisoner," the two forming the arch apprehend the
passing one in the line, and, holding her fast, the dialogue
Answer. Here's a prisoner we have got.
Question. What's the prisoner done to you?
Answer Stole my watch and broke my chain.
Question. What will you take to set him free?
Answer A hundred pounds will set him free.
Question A hundred pounds I have not got.
Answer.--- Then off to prison you must go.
Following this declaration, the prisoner is led a distance away from
the rest by her jailers, where the questions are put to her, whether
she will choose "a gold watch" or "a diamond necklace." As she
decides she goes to the one side or the other, When, in like manner,
all in the line have chosen, a tug-of-war ensues, and the game is
or Tales of the Central Highlands
We have now completed this book with the following chapters...
Chapter III.Under the Shadow of Ben Tigh
Misapplied VengeanceMiss Jenny CameronKilfinnan Cattle-liftingThe
Battle of the Shirts
Chapter IVThe Raven's Rock ("Creag an Fhithich")
The Well of the Seven HeadsGlengarryA Highland FuneralAberchalder
Chapter V.Saint and Sinner (Cummin and Curnberland)
GIen MorCille-CumminFount AugustusA Salubrious ClimateCumberland
the ButcherThe Traitor Lovat - Roualeyn Gordon-CummingThe First
Chapter VI.Round about Kilcumein
"The Prisoner's Landlady"KilcumeinMusie: and MinistersMontrose's
MarchThe "Dairy Glen"Corri Arrick The "Old King's Inn""His
Majesty's Galley"Baile FriseilBattery RockCherry IslandAn
Open-air Kirk KilmalomaigAllan of the Red ShirtA Vitrified Fort -
Corrie's CaveLoch NessGlenrnoristonUrquhart Castle
Here is how Chapter IV starts...
AT Invergarry station we reach the west end of Loch Oich, which
forms the highest point of the Caledonian Canal, little more than a
hundred feet above sea level. Looking back across the little strip
of land that separates the waters of Loch Oich from those of Loch
Lochy, we see a stream coursing down the hillside which is one of
those curious instances met with in watersheds where a man with a
spade might in a few moments turn aside the waters of the stream so
that instead of being discharged into Loch Linnhe on the west coast
they would ultimately find their way into the German Ocean, far on
the other side of Scotland.
A similar example is found in the headwaters of the Clyde and Tweed,
it being quite a question whether the stream will flow east or west,
and in times of spate salmon fry are frequently washed from the
headwaters of the Tweed into the upper reaches of the Clyde, above
the Falls of Cora.
In the present instance a very practical old lady turned this
singular formation of nature to good account. She lived just on the
march or boundary between Locheil and Glengarry, the dividing line
being formed by the stream. As often as the Cameron factor came to
collect his rent he found the stream flowing merrily between him and
the old woman's house, and whenever she saw Glengarry's officer
approaching on a similar errand she diverted the water to the other
side of her little property and defied him to lift his dues. By this
ingenious plan she maintained her house and land for a long number
of years free of all rent and taxes.
Directly opposite Invergarry station on the edge of the loch there
stands a small monument commemorating one of those deeds of blood so
common in the Highlands. Beneath the monument there bubbles up a
little spring of clear, cold water, whilst the top of the shaft is
crowned by a hand grasping seven heads transfixed with a dagger. Few
stories are better known in the Highlands than this tale of the
seven heads, yet seldom has so well-known a fact been confused with
such a mass of conflicting details.
Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs
by James M. Mackinlay (1893)
This is a new book we've started and those that visit Scotland might
want to take in a visit to one of these :-)
Chapter 1 starts...
IN glancing at the superstitions connected with Scottish lochs and
springs, we are called upon to scan a chapter of our social history
not yet closed. A somewhat scanty amount of information is available
to explain the origin and growth of such superstitions, but enough
can be had to connect them with archaic nature-worship. In the dark
dawn of our annals much confusion existed among our ancestors
concerning the outer world, which so strongly appealed to their
senses. They had very vague notions regarding the difference between
what we now call the Natural and the Supernatural. Indeed all nature
was to them supernatural. They looked on sun, moon, and star, on
mountain and forest, on river, lake, and sea as the abodes of
divinities, or even as divinities themselves. These divinities, they
thought, could either help or hurt man, and ought therefore to be
propitiated. Hence sprang certain customs which have survived to our
own time. Men knocked at the gate of Nature, but were not admitted
within.. From the unknown recesses there came to them only tones of
In ancient times water was deified even by such civilised nations as
the Greeks and Romans, and to-day it is revered as a god by
untutored savages. Sir John Lubbock, in his "Origin of
Civilisation," shows, by reference to the works of travellers, what
a hold this cult still has in regions where the natives have not yet
risen above the polytheistic stage of religious development. Dr. K
B. Tylor forcibly remarks, in his "Primitive Culture," "What
ethnography has to teach of that great element of the religion of
mankind, the worship of well and lake, brook and river, is simply
thisthat what is poetry to us was philosophy to early man; that to
his mind water acted not by laws of force, but by life and will;
that the water-spirits of primeval mythology are as souls which
cause the water's rush and rest, its kindness and its cruelty; that,
lastly, man finds in the beings which, with such power, can work him
weal and woe, deities with a wider influence over his life, deities
to be feared and loved, to be prayed to and praised, and propitiated
with sacrificial gifts."
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
A Warm Welcome to Professor David Purdie, MD, FRCP ED, FSA (Scot)
Celebrating the 250 anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns is a
thing of beauty, and a thing of joy, particularly for those of us
who are proud to be called Burnsians! With all of the Immortal
Memories, songs, and toasts honoring Burns this anniversary year, it
is evident that his popularity continues to grow by leaps and bounds
year after year. Our poet is more popular today that ever before. He
is truly a man for all seasons. I cannot think of Scotland without
thinking of Robert Burns. With these thoughts in mind I have asked
Dr. Purdie to allow me the privilege of presenting this article on
Burns that first appeared on The Scotsman.com earlier this month.
For those of you who do not know Dr. Purdie, he is a Fellow of the
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Society
of Antiquaries of Scotland. As a celebrated public speaker, his
highly amusing speeches are in great demand for charity and
corporate functions. As an experienced speech writer, Professor
Purdie is also available as a speech writer and a speech editor. He
is well known for documentary voiceover and narration.
He has but one golden rule as an after dinner speaker Leave them
wanting more .
Those who should know have endorsed him as
Arguably our finest after-dinner speaker of the moment Lewine
Mair in The Daily Telegraph
Articulate, funny and spot-on with content and delivery one of the
most magnificent speakers I have ever heard. Sam Torrance in Sam,
As important as all of his accomplishments are, Dr. Purdie is proud
to have the opportunity to serve as the current Secretary of the
Edinburgh Burns Club.
Dr. Purdie and I have exchanged emails in the past regarding Sir
Walter Scott and it is a pleasure to do the same now regarding
Robert Burns. It is my distinct honor to present to our readers his
Parents Learning & Speaking Gaelic With Their Children At Home
In todays gloomy world, how good it is to have some happy news to
share with your readers. I am of course referring to the fact that
over the past 3 years and largely due to the highly popular and very
effective language tool known as Gaelic In the home Course, ever
more parents are enthusiastically taking up and conversing in Gaelic
with their children, in their own home environment.
In addition it is also worth noting that the useful CNSA Family
Language Plan manuals, played an equally important part in this
decisive move forward.
While still in this congratulatory mood, one must also acknowledge
the crucial role parents played in reaching this high point, which
in my opinion, is nothing short of magnificent.
Of course, CNSA readily accept that there is still a very long way
to go in reaching the target of having 3000 new families each year
making a similar commitment to those mentioned above. However, it
does reveal two important and undeniable facts and the first being,
that it can be done by any parent who has the will and energy to
have a go.
And secondly, given good strong support and the wherewithal it is
possible to have ones whole family fluent in Gaelic and it
comfortably contained within their own lifestyle.
May I say once again, well done everyone.
In conclusion, if you or any member of your family or any of your
friends are fluent in Gaelic, then please get in touch with us, as
we are always in need of people to help and support us with our
On the other hand, if you are interested and would very like to have
your family Gaelic speaking and want to find out more, just contact
me, Finlay, on email at
email@example.com. I would really like to hear from lots of
people and what they have to say, as to how best we can take this
Parents would also do well to consider that if they are keen to have
their children speaking Gaelic, it is best to begin the process as
early as possible in their life, it does make an enormous difference
to the learning process.
If you do join the growing band of Gaelic speaking families, I
promise you will find the experience both enjoyable and pleasantly
Who knows, 2009 might not be so bad after all. Here are my contact
Finlay M. Macleoid
92 Academy Street
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