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Weekly Mailing List Archives
20th March 2009


Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
Electric Scotland's Article Service where you can add your own stories and articles  Send a postcard from our ScotCards service

 

Dear Friend

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at http://www.electricscotland.com/rss/whatsnew.php and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/calendar_help.htm

CONTENTS
--------
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
New Statistical Account of Scotland
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
Social Life in Scotland
Robert Burns Lives!
Banffshire
Crofting Agriculture
The Writings of John Muir
Home and Farm Food Preservation (New Book)
Parish Life in the North of Scotland (New Book)
Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde (Complete New Book)


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
----------------------
More of the South Loch Ness advertiser group have sent in write ups about themselves and more great pictures as well. You can see these at
http://www.electricscotland.com/travel/lochness/index.htm

The local Golf Course has sent in their entry and it's good to know they serve up breakfast and then meals throughout the day and evening. They even have a flood light driving range! You can read more about them at
http://www.golflochness.com/

I also got sent in a great wee link to a 10 minute video of the Great Glen which you can view at
http://www.highland.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/what-to-see/longdistancepaths/great-glen-ways-video.htm

-----

it's been all paperwork this week as I dealt with my US taxes and local Canadian taxes. I hate paperwork but it's got to be done [sigh]

I'm also struggling with our ISP Verizon... I had a two hour phone call with them this week trying to resolve issues. I said that this was my 11th phone call to them and did they not think this was costing their support people a fortune. Strikes me if they were better able to sort out problems on the first phone call they could save their company millions!!! I simply asked them how they thought I could pay their bill if they didn't send it to me [sheesh]

-----

I got an email in asking if I could provide information on the "Kirkin' o' the Tartan" church service. They are being asked to arrange such and as this will be the first they were asking if I could help. So... I thought if anyone had a copy of the church service if they could either scan it in and send it to me or supply me with text on the normal program for the service I'd appreciate it.

I thought I'd post it up on the site so that anyone else looking for guidance could find it.

------

One of the things I love about history is to follow Scots around the world and see how they touched people's lives in the countries they went to and to see what they contributed to their new country. That is why in part I've enjoyed working on the John Muir writings. There was a young Scot brought up in Scotland but he ended up touching millions of peoples lifes in America and around the world and at home in Scotland and he still does today.

I will be doing a similar project based on the McDougall family where the father emigrated to Alberta in Canada. We're going to follow in his footsteps through a biography his son wrote about him and then we're going to follow his son on his exploits of growing up in Alberta. This is a family that also touched many lives including the native Indian tribes. I'm looking forward to introducing them to you.

I will admit that these are the kinds of stories that I enjoy reading... learning to handle a dog sleigh, learning to handle a canoe, how to navigate in the wilderness, how to get food and provide a shelter. And all while making a living.
 

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 Mark Hirst and I enjoyed and learned a lot from all his articles... best yet from Mark :-)

In Peter's cultural section he is telling us about Robert Burns in Kilmarnock...

The death of Robert Burns in 1796 was followed over the next century by statues and buildings, both at home and abroad, in his honour. Monday past (16 March 2009) saw the reopening of one such historic building in Kilmarnock – five years after being devastated by fire. The Burns Monument Centre in Kay Park, Kilmarnock, collapsed after vandals set it on fire in 2004. It had been closed to the public since 1988. A restoration project, costing some £4 million, saw rebuilding work on the A-listed structure start in 2007. The new centre has an archive store, a family and local history research room, conference and function facilities and also is the new venue for the Kilmarnock Registration Services. Visit
http://www.burnsmonumentcentre.com for full details of the new building.

Kilmarnock was, of course, very important in the story of Robert Burns. In 1786 local printer John Wilson printed the first-ever poetry book by the Ayrshire Bard – the 612 copies of the Kilmarnock Edition. This set Burns on course for national fame if not eventual fortune. Kilmarnock was among the towns to honour his memory. At an anniversary meeting to pay tribute to the poet on 27 January 1877 in the George Inn Hall, Kilmarnock, attended by up to 250 people, it was unanimously agreed that a statue should be erected of Robert Burns in an appropriate spot in the town. A committee was set up to raise funds for a statue but the plans were eventually widened to include an ornamental building as £2,488 was raised in only 18 months. Plans for the building drawn up by Kilmarnock architect, Robert Ingram, were accepted for the building design. The Burns Monument Centre building was in the Scottish Baronial style, with two storeys and a tower and the overall height was 80 feet. It was constructed around an iconic statue of our National Bard commissioned from Edinburgh sculptor W Grant Stevenson. The statue was unveiled on 9 August 1879 by Colonel Alexander of Ballochmyle in front of a vast number of spectators.

Following the fire in 2004, an appeal was launched to raise funds for reconstruction and planning permission given by the then Scottish Executive. Building work began in March 2007 and the completed facility, complete with cleaned up statue, reopened on Monday, appropriately in the Year of Homecoming and 250th anniversary of Burns’ birth. Kilmarnock has once again given us a suitable tribute to Ayrshire’s greatest son in this important year.

An Ayrshire recipe is just the ticket for this week – Ayrshire Shortbread is splendid with a cup of coffee or indeed a dram to toast those who carried out the rebuilding and the Bard him-self, Robert Burns.

Ayrshire Shortbread

Ingredients: 8 oz (225g) plain flour; 4 oz (100g) butter; 1 egg yolk; 4 oz (100g) rice flour; 4 oz (100g) castor sugar; 2 tablespoons cream

Method: Sift the flour and rice flour into a basin and lightly rub in the butter. Add the sugar and mix the ingredients to a stiff paste with the beaten egg yolk and cream. Roll out thinly, prick with a fork, and cut into rounds with a small cutter. Bake the cakes on a baking sheet lined with buttered paper at 325 deg F for about 15 minutes until pale golden. Cool and then enjoy!

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at
http://www.scotsindependent.org

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/mckelvie/090319.htm


New Statistical Account of Scotland
-----------------------------------
Being accounts of the Parishes of Scotland produced in 1845.

This week have added the Parish of Hamilton to the Lanark volume.

Name.—THE ancient name of this parish was Cadzow, commonly pronounced Cawgo or Caygae, the etymology of which is uncertain. From " Acts of Parliament published by command of his Majesty," we learn, that the name of this parish was changed from Cadzow to Hamilton, by virtue of a charter granted by James Second of Scotland, to James first Lord Hamilton, dated 3d July 1445. In the above carta erectionis we have the following words, " Et manerium dicti Jacobi, (i. e. of Lord Hamilton,) quod nunc le Orcharde norninatur, jacen. in baronia de Caidzhow, erit in futurum principale capitale messuagium onmium baroniarum, superi oritatis, et terrarum prenominatarum, cum pertinen. totius dominii predicti, et Hamilton vocabitur et intitulabitur;" from whence it appears that the manerium or manor-house of the Hamiltons, situated near where the palace now stands, was formerly called the Orchard.

Boundaries, Extent, &c.—The parish of Hamilton is situated in the rniddle ward of the county of Lanark, (of which the town of Hamilton is the capital) between 55°48' and 55° 43' 18" north latitude. From Maidenlee in the south to Bothwell Bridge in the north, it is six miles in length; and from Rottenburn, where it meets with the parish of Blantyre on the west, to the bank of the Clyde opposite Carbarns, where it comes into contact with the parish of Dalserf, on the east, the distance is exactly the same across. The Clyde forms the north and north-east boundaries for about five miles, separating it from the parishes of Bothwell, DaIzel, and Cambusnothan. On meeting with Daiserf, at the above point opposite Carbarns, the boundary line takes a south-west direction, cutting off one house in the north-west end of the village of Lark- hail, crossing the Carlisle road about a furlong and a-half above the fourteenth milestone from Glasgow; and reaching the Avon opposite Fairholm, it runs along the banks of that water to Millheugli Bridge. After this, the parish of Stonehouse forms the south-east boundary for a mile and a-haif. Between the farms of Langfaugh and Craigthorn hill, the parish of Glasford coming in, forms the south and south-west boundaries, as far as Rottenburn. From this point to Bothwell Bridge, the parish of Elan- tyre forms the western boundary. Thus we have Bothwell on the north, Daizel, Cambusnethan, Daiserf, and Stonehouse on the east, Glasford on the south and south-west, and Blantyre on the west. The figure of the parish is an irregular polygon. It contains 22.25 square miles, or 14,240 standard imperial acres.

You can read this account at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/statistical/hamilton.htm

All the other Parishes we have up so far can be found at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/statistical/


Clan and Family Information
---------------------------
Got in the Clan Leslie International Newsletter which can be viewed at
http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/newsletters/leslieint/index.htm


Poetry and Stories
------------------
John sent in another poem, "Dumptee-Dummin It The Nicht" at
http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/doggerel307.htm

And of course more articles in our Article Service from Donna and others at
http://www.electricscotland.com/article 


Book of Scottish Story
----------------------
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.

This week have added a new story...

A Passage of My Life

Here is how it starts...

Maiden aunts are very tough. Their very infirmities seem to bring about a new term of life. They are like old square towers—nobody knows when they were built, and nobody knows when they will tumble down. You may unroof them, unfloor them, knock in their casements, and break down their doors, till the four old black walls stand, and stand through storm and sunshine year after year, till the eye, accustomed to contemplate the gradual decay of everything else, sickens to look at this anomaly in nature. My aunt, dear good soul, seemed resolved never to die,—at least to outlive her hopeful nephew. I thought she was to prove as perdurable as a dried mummy, —she was by this time equally yellow and exsiccated as any of the daughters of Pharaoh.

I had run myself quite aground. But my extravagances, as well as my distresses, I had the policy to conceal from my aged relative. She, honest lady, occasionally had pressed me to accept of some slight pittances of two or three £50’s at different times. which, after much difficulty and entreaty, I made a merit of accepting, stoutly asserting that I only received them to avoid hurting her feelings—that my own income was amply sufficient for the limited wants of a scholar, or to any one who could put in practice the rules of wholesome economy; but this trifle certainly would enable me to purchase a few rather expensive publications which I could not otherwise have hoped to do, and which would prove of essential use in furthering the progress of the two great works I had commenced while at college, and had been busy with ever since, viz.: "A History of Antediluvian Literature, Arts, and Sciences," and "A Dissertation on the Military Tactics of the Assyrians," which I intended should appear along with the last volume of Valpy’s Greek Dictionary, or the first of Sir James Mackintosh’s History of Great Britain.

The rest of this story can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/books/story/story81.htm

The other stories can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/books/story/index.htm


The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
-----------------------------------
Added four more pages which include information on Conjuring, Consequences, Conservatory, Console, Console Table, Consommé, Constantia, Constipation, Consumption, Contagion, Contagious Disease, Contract, Contract Bridge.

You can read about these at
http://www.electricscotland.com/household/c.htm


Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children' s Songs, Children's Stories
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk by Robert Ford (1904).

The pages we have up this week are...

Children's Songs and Ballads
The Old Woman and her Pig
A Frog be would a-wooing go
The Carrion Crow
My Pretty Maid
Can ye Sew Cushions?
Hush-a-ba Birdie, Croon
Dance to your Daddie

Here is the Hush-a-ba Birdie, Croon for you to read here...

We see continually how dear to the songs of child-life are the mention of birds and all things sweet in the round of everyday life. Here now:-

Hush-a-ba birdie, croon, croon,
Hush-a-ba birdie, croon;
The sheep are gane to the silver wood,
And the coos are gane to the broom, broom,
And the coos are gane to the broom.

And its braw milking the kye, kye.
It's brave milking the kye;
The birds are singing, the bells are ringing.
The wild deer come galloping by, by,
The wild deer come galloping by.

And hush-a-ba birdie, croon, croon,
Hush-a-ba birdie, croon;
The gaits are gane to the mountain hie,
And theyll no be hame till noon,
And they'll no `be hame till noon.

You can read the other pages at
http://www.electricscotland.com/kids/bairns/index.htm


Social Life in Scotland
-----------------------
From Early to Recent Times by Rev. Charles Rogers in 3 volumes (1884)

I now have up this week the first chapter from Volume II...

Chapter X.
The Parliamentary and Juridical

Here is how the chapter starts...

During that period of the monarchy which preceded the eleventh century the revenues of the State were derived from the rents of demesne lands, export and import customs, fines, and escheats. These revenues were collected on the unsupported authority of the sovereign by officers whom he personally named. Up to the reign of Malcolm Canmore there is no record of any national convention or other legislative assembly. Subsequently legal procedure in Scotland began to assume an English impress. Scottish sovereigns became familiar with Anglican modes. Margaret, Queen of Malcolm Canmore, whose pious and useful life closed in the Castle of Edinburgh on the 16th November 1093, was daughter of Edward, last of the Anglo-Saxon kings. A connection with England was renewed when in the year 1100 Maud, daughter of Malcolm and Margaret, espoused Henry I., and so became the English queen. At the court of his sister Maud, David I. mainly resided, till in 1124 he succeeded to the Scottish throne. A national convention was held in the reign of his brother and predecessor Alexander I., when in 1107 it was declared that Turgot was chosen bishop of St Andrews "by the king, the clergy, and the people." William the Lion, who commenced his reign in 1165, assembled several conventions, which transacted business as representatives of the clergy, the barons, and probo homines. These last were vassals of the crown, who, bound to render suit and service at the king's court, were on this account included in legislative announcements. Practically they took no part in public concerns, leaving these to be conducted by the sovereign, the clergy, the officers of State, and the great barons.

At a, National Council held in 1230 there were present one bishop, one prior, two earls, one of these being one of the two Justiciars, the High Steward, and one other baron. The Assembly of Nobles which on the 5th February 1283 acknowledged the Maiden of Norway as heir to the throne, consisted of thirteen earls and twenty-four great knights and barons. And the Convention at Brigham of March 1280, relative to the proposed marriage of the infant queen, included about fifty earls and barons and a like number of ecclesiastics. The first Scottish Parliament met at Scone in 1292 on the summons of the king, John Baliol.

Burghs were first recognized in connection with national affairs, when on the 23rd February 1295 the seals of six burghs were affixed with those of the nobility and barons to an instrument relative to an alliance with France. In the Parliaments of Robert I. are named along with the clergy and barons, "the chief persons of communities," till, at a Parliament held at Cambuskenneth on the 13th July 1326, were voted to meet war and other costs, "a tenth penny of all rents" by those described as earls, barons, burgesses, and free tenants of the realm.

You can read lots more from this chapter at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/sociallife/chapter10.htm

You can get to the index page of the book at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/sociallife/index.htm


Robert Burns Lives!
-------------------
By Frank Shaw

I should first say that the Inaugriation article I mentioned last week had the wrong link and should have been
http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns_lives39.htm

This week we have "Alex Salmond Speaks at Burns Symposium in Washington, D.C."

Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister gave his talk and gave his permission for Frank to include it in his Robert Burns Lives! section. Here is how Frank introduces the talk...

If my column today had a dateline, it would be February 24-25, 2009, Washington, D.C. The occasion was a symposium entitled Robert Burns at 250: Poetry, Politics, and Performance. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Burns, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in collaboration with Library’s Center for the Book, the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, and the Scottish Government, found over 150 people from both sides of the Atlantic gathered in our nation’s Capitol to pay homage to Scotland’s National Bard. Burns himself would have been so proud, as well as full of himself, for the recognition and of knowing it was a free event! This conference was in addition to the 280 events listed in the Homecoming Scotland 2009 Events Guide which began on December 30 of last year and will end on November 29, a year in which many thousands from around the globe will travel back to the auld country to pay their respect to Burns.

Leading scholars, poets, and musicians from both countries participated. Familiar people like Margaret Bennett, Peggy Bulger, Valentina Bold, Ted Cowan, Robert Crawford, Nat Edwards, Billy Kay, Ed Miller, Cate Newton, Patricia Gray, First Minister Alex Salmond, and Poet Laureate of the United States, Kay Ryan, were among the speakers.

Susan and I made our way to the District of Columbia via Delta and enjoyed two days of speeches and songs regarding Burns. The symposium was one of the best ones we have attended over the years, both here in the States and Scotland. The folks responsible for putting on the program are to be congratulated on a job well done. It was a joy to finally put names with faces of those I have known via email or read about for years. And, of course, it was a special treat to have Sir Sean Connery in attendance and to hear First Minister Alex Salmond address the group. Connery may be a wee bit older, but you can still see 007, James Bond, written all over him.

At the concluding reception, one of the speakers said to me, “If you’ll buy me a ticket to Atlanta, I’ll speak at your Burns Club.” Believe me, this particular speaker would be worth every penny, but I do not speak for the club. However, I did come close to replying, “If you buy me an airline ticket to Scotland, I’ll speak to one of your classes!”

I come now to a great honor for Robert Burns Lives! and a tip of the hat to my wife for making it happen. The symposium’s keynote address was delivered by the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond. She inquired if a copy of the speech could be sent to her and it showed up the following week at Waverley House, our wee home by the lake. With the permission of the First Minister, it is a pleasure to share his speech with our readers. Many of our self-professed Burns experts and speakers would do well to sit at the feet of Alex Salmond and learn from him about Robert Burns, the world’s Bard! It was as good a discourse on Burns as I have ever heard. One could tell that our speaker was familiar with Burns and “at home” while talking about him. Here is the Honourable Alex Salmond speaking about Robert Burns.

You can read Alex's talk at
http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns_lives40.htm

All other articles by Frank can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/index.htm


Banffshire
----------
By W. Barclay (1922)

Added more chapters this week...

Chapter 19. Architecture—(c) Domestic
Chapter 20. Communications—Roads and Railways
Chapter 21. Administration
Chapter 22. Roll of Honour
Chapter 23. The Chief Towns and Villages of Banffshire

And this now completes the book.

Here is how "Roll of Honour" chapter gets under way...

Of distinguished Banffshire families whose names are connected with national as well as local history, we may mention the Duffs, the Seafield family, the Sinclairs of Findlater, the Gordons, the Abercrombys, the Grants of Ballindalloch. The noble family of Duff has an ancient and influential connection with Banffshire and the adjoining counties. The ducal line is descended from Adam Duff of Clunybeg, in Mortlach, who died in 1674, and in course of a few generations they became owners of extensive territories in the north of Scotland. In 1879 when the late Duke of Fife succeeded as Earl, the estates exceeded a quarter of a million of acres. Ten years later he married H.R.H. Princess Louise of Wales, now Princess Royal. The Duke died in 1912. Next year his elder daughter, Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, married Prince Arthur of Connaught and has one son, Prince Alistair Arthur of Connaught, Earl of Macduff.

The Seafield family represents the Grants of Strathspey as well as the Findlater branch of the Ogilvys. It was 'a Seafield who in 1707, as Chancellor of Scotland, affixed his signature to the Act of Union with England and is said to have exclaimed, "Now, there's ane end of ane auld sang."

The fifth Earl was known as the largest planter of trees in Great Britain in the last century. By 1847 nearly 32 million young trees, Scots fir, larch and hard wood, had been planted under his direction over an area of 8223 acres. That work was continued by his successors. In 1877, in the time of the seventh Earl, in the Duthil district alone 14 million fir trees had been planted since 1866. The last Earl died of wounds in France, 1915. His only daughter became Countess of Seafield in her own right.

Banffshire was one of the districts where Roman Catholicism remained powerful after the Reformation. The north-west corner, the Enzie, has been extraordinarily fruitful in vocations to the priesthood and, small though its area be, most remarkable for the number of bishops it has supplied to Catholic Scotland. Lewis Innes, born at Walkerdale, Enzie, in 1651, became, in 1682, Principal of the Scots College at Paris. That post he resigned in 1713 to act as confidential secretary to James III, the Old Pretender. James Gordon (1664-1746) of Glasterim, Enzie, Vicar-Apostolic of Scotland from 1718, was in 1731 appointed to the Vicariate of Lowland Scotland. James Grant was born at Wester Bogs, Enzie, about 17og. While serving in the Island of Barra he was taken prisoner in 1746 as a Jacobite; but no accusation having been lodged against him and the Protestant minister of Barra and others having borne testimony to his peaceful behaviour during the insurrection, he was liberated in May 1747. In 1755 he was consecrated Bishop of Sinita and in 1766 he became Vicar-Apostolic of the Lowland District of Scotland. He died at Aberdeen in 1778. Another son of the Enzie, recognised at home and abroad as a brilliant and versatile genius, was Dr Alexander Geddes, born in 1737. Educated for the priesthood at Scalan in Glenlivet, and at the Scots College in Paris, he became priest at Auchenhalrig in Western Banffshire, where he showed such a breadth of sympathy with the Protestants that he was deposed. Aberdeen University, however, made him LL.D., the first Roman Catholic since the Reformation to receive such an honour. Between 1792 and i 800 he published a translation of the Bible into English for the use of Roman Catholics, together with Critical Remarks thereon, which exposed him to the charge of infidelity. He died in London in 1802. His poetical writings include "Oh, send, my Lewie Gordon hame"—"It needs not a Jacobite prejudice," said Burns, "to be affected with this song"—and those most amusing lines "The wee Wifukie." He translated Horace's Satires, calling the volume The Roman Soul transfused into a British Body. John Geddes, his cousin, horn in 1735, was President of the Scots College in Madrid, and in 1780 became Bishop of Morocco. One of his works is A Life of St Margaret Queen of Scotland.

Yu can read the rest of this chapter at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/moray/chapter22.htm

You can read the other chapters at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/moray/index.htm


Crofting Agriculture
--------------------
Its practice in the West Highlands and Islands by F. Fraser Darling (1945)

Have added more chapters to this book...

Chapter XI. The Crofter's Sheep
53. Some Thoughts in General
54. Fleece Types
55. West Highland Wool in the Future
56. The Shetland Sheep
57. Sheep Diseases

Chapter XII. Agricultural Arithmetic
58. Calculating Manuring for Row Crops
59. Calculating Yields and Quantities
60. Books to Read

And this now completes this book.

Here is how the account from Chapter XI starts...

53. Some Thoughts in General

Most Highlanders who have to do with the land know a good deal about sheep. In the crofting districts sheep are almost the mainstay. When everybody is a professor of the job, what is there for me to say? I do not propose that it should be much beyond a few comments from my own observation over a wide field and the contact of almost a lifetime with hill sheep.

West Highlanders were not sheep men two hundred years ago, but after the Rebellions, when Lowland flockmasters turned their eyes to Highland hills, they took to shepherding with remarkable ease and without customary objection to this newfangled notion. The Highlander tends to take to the pastoral life much easier than he does to the clodhopping monotony of arable cultivation, with its attendant work of bullock fattening and pig feeding. I, who am not a Highlander but a Borderer by breeding, have much sympathy with this delight in a pastoral husbandry, but my personal opinion is that sheep have been the curse of the West Highlands—sheep and hoodie crows.

To begin with, the coming of the sheep was responsible for many more clearances and more cruel ones than was the rise of the deer forests at a later date. Hill sheep farming employs the least man power of any form of husbandry in Britain. Hill pastures and glens under sheep deteriorate faster than under any other class of stock. The early sheep men cut down an immense amount of cover, and since then the sheep have effectually prevented regeneration of patches of woodland over large areas. At the present time, I should say, there are quite twice as many sheep in the West as there should be for the health of both sheep and ground, and it is concern for sheep, more than anything else, which is holding up any considerable advance in husbandry in the crofting areas. When a township is in such case that its sheep stock cannot be kept outside the head dyke and that ewes and lambs are nipping the heart out of the enclosed grass parks until the end of May, that township is grossly overstocked with sheep. The crofters of such a township are year by year lessening their stock-carrying capacity by reducing the possibilities of growing winter keep.

There is also a queer distribution of breeds in the West. There is a good green ground on volcanic soil carrying Blackfaces which could carry Cheviots quite well, and there is a stretch of country in the North-West trying to maintain Cheviots though it is the poorest hill ground in the whole of Scotland. Even Blackfaces would not be robust on such ground. When an area cannot maintain its ewe stock from its own breeding it is obvious that it is not good sheep country ; yet such is the position in parts of the North-West. I suppose the reason for Cheviots being kept in such country is that it is not far away from the good Cheviot ground in mid-Sutherland. The shotts have filtered over to the West.

I have heard from crofters in such poor areas that they make a better price from Cheviot lambs than from Blackfaces, and down-country farmers have told me that the Cheviot lambs they buy from these crofting areas always do well with them. Quite so : but the price of lambs is not the sole criterion for judging the profitableness of sheep. There is the question of mortality to be considered and the cost of wintering the sheep stock as a whole. Similarly, the fact that a down-country farmer makes a good thing out of these lambs on better land is no reason for suggesting the crofter also made a profit out of rearing them. Those lambs represent the final survival from a long line of death. The mortality among tups is very high in the West, there are winter losses among the ewes, losses at lambing among both ewes and lambs and the first winter losses in the hoggs. Those wether lambs which come into the little township sales certainly ought to fetch a high price. If a breed is kept in which mortality is much less, then a lesser price for a larger number of lambs may show a greater profit.

The rest of this chapter can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/crofting/chapter11.htm

The other chapters can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/crofting/index.htm


The Writings of John Muir
-------------------------
This week have up...

The Story of my Boyhood and Youth
Chapter VII. Knowledge and Inventions
Chapter VIII. The World and the University

A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf
Introduction
Chapter I. Kentucky Forests and Caves
Chapter II. Crossing the Cumberland Mountains
Chapter III. Through the River Country of Georgia

Here is how the Introduction starts of the "A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf"...

"JOHN MUIR, Earth-planet, Universe." These words are written on the inside cover of the notebook from which the contents of this volume have been taken. They reflect the mood in which the late author and explorer undertook his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico a half-century ago. No less does this refreshingly cosmopolitan address, which might have startled any finder of the book, reveal the temper and the comprehensiveness of Mr. Muir's mind. He never was and never could be a parochial student of nature. Even at the early age of twenty-nine his eager interest in every aspect of the natural world had made him a citizen of the universe.

While this was by far the longest botanical excursion which Mr. Muir made in his earlier years, it was by no means the only one. He had botanized around the Great Lakes, in Ontario, and through parts of Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. On these expeditions he had disciplined himself to endure hardship, for his notebooks disclose the fact that he often went hungry and slept in the woods, or on the open prairies, with no cover except the clothes he wore.

"Oftentimes," he writes in some unpublished biographical notes, "I had to sleep out without blankets, and also without supper or breakfast. But usually I had no great difficulty in finding a loaf of bread in the widely scattered clearings of the farmers. With one of these big backwoods loaves I was able to wander many a long, wild mile, free as the winds in the glorious forests and bogs, gathering plants and feeding on God's abounding, inexhaustible spiritual beauty bread. Only once in my long Canada wanderings was the deep peace of the wilderness savagely broken. It happened in the maple woods about midnight, when I was cold and my fire was low. I was awakened by the awfully dismal howling of the wolves, and got up in haste to replenish the fire."

You can read the rest of this chapter at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol1_chapter9.htm

The rest of the chapters can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol1.htm


Home and Farm Food Preservation
-------------------------------
By William V. Cruess (1918)

A new book I've started which I thought might be of use in these hard economic times. Here is the Preface to read here...

Since early historical time food preservation has been second only in importance to food production. Grapes and other fruits were dried by the ancients to preserve them; fruit juices were fermented to make wines and vinegars; cereals and vegetables were stored to protect them against moisture and decay; olives were preserved by salting; and meats were salted, dried, and smoked. The use of sugar and vinegar in preserving fruits and vegetables came later. The preservation of foods by sterilization in sealed containers is a development of the nineteenth century and dates from its discovery by Nicholas Appert in France about 1800. Cold storage, as a means of preserving all perishable products, has, during the past century, developed into a very great industry.

Three billion cans of food, valued retail at $600,000,000, were sold in the United States in 1916. The meat packing and cold storage industries compare favorably with the canning industries in size. The wholesale value of the raisin crop in California is over $10,000,000 annually. The other dried fruit industries are smaller but their aggregate value amounts to many millions of dollars yearly in the United States. From this, the importance of commercial food preservation may be seen.

Commercial food preservation cares for the bulk of the food products but beside the food so preserved, there are many millions of jars and cans of fruits and vegetables, glasses of jellies, jams, and marmalades and many thousands of hams and bacons "put up," by the housewife and farmer. Much food that would otherwise be wasted is saved and in addition a varied diet throughout the year at low cost is made available in many homes.

Usually this work is done over a hot kitchen stove-during the rush of the fruit or vegetable season and, added to other household duties, becomes a heavy burden. The methods are empirical and by "rule of thumb"; consequently they are not well understood and not especially interesting.

This book aims to tell the "why" of the various methods of food preservation, to present labor saving methods and to give simple and explicit directions that may be easily followed. When the principles of the various methods are understood the directions given can be modified to suit changed conditions and the work will prove very much more interesting because the reasons for the various steps will be known.

The book is divided into three sections, namely: "The Theory of Food Preservation," "Methods of Food Preservation," and "Food Preservation Recipes." By reading the first two sections, the fundamental principles and an understanding of the general application of these principles will be obtained. This will be of great assistance in intelligently carrying out the specific directions given in the recipes in the third section.

The material presented is designed primarily for the housewife and farmer, to assist them in preserving surplus farm products for their own use. however, in many places, the food products, if carefully and attractively prepared, can be sold at a good profit, in this way affording an extra source of income. Often commercial factories develop from such small beginnings.

It is hoped also that the material presented will be of value and interest to domestic science teachers and canning demonstrators.

The aim has been to so present the principles and practices of preservation of food in the home that the work will appear more fascinating and less burdensome and that the results obtained will be more successful.

The author wishes to express his appreciation of the many valuable and helpful suggestions given by Professor F. T. Bioletti during the preparation of the manuscript for this book.

W. V. CRUESS.

I have the first 6 chapters up...

Chapter 1 - Why Food Spoils
Chapter II - Ways of Preventing Spoiling - A. Temporary Prevention of Spoiling
Chapter II - Ways of Preventing Spoiling - B. Permanent Prevention of Spoiling
Chapter III - Canning Fruits
Chapter IV - Canning Vegetables
Chapter V - Canning of Meats
Chapter VI - Storage and Spoiling of Canned Foods

All of those can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/food/preservation/index.htm


Parish Life in the North of Scotland
------------------------------------
By Rev. Donald Sage A.M. (1899)

Another new book we've started and here is the Editor's Preface to tell you about it...

This volume is issued in response to numerous enquiries regarding manuscripts of reminiscences which it was known the late Mr. Sage, minister of Resolis in Ross-shire, had left, complete but unpublished. The author's modest and retiring character had made him shrink, as is seen in his own preface, from bringing his "Memorabilia" before the public eye. Repeated requests for its perusal, and the knowledge that the information here recorded was derived from original and authentic sources, are the editor's apology for its present appearance in print. What has weighed with him also is, that these pages delineate Christian life and social manners, as they existed in northern Scotland, during a period of which hitherto little has been known except by tradition.

The graphic sketches of prominent people, and of manners and customs prevailing in various localities, are drawn from personal observation which the author had the best opportunities of exercising. The many-sided characters of persons of all ranks and professions are here vividly portrayed; picturesque districts of country, hitherto comparatively unvisited and unknown, are minutely described; changes, which have altered the face of the Highlands, are pointed out and traced to their original causes; the state of religion and morals, as connected with the persons who mainly influenced the people for good or evil, is brought under review; and all these are woven into a connected narrative, held together by the continuous thread of the author's autobiography.

While thus portraying what passed around him, the author at the same time supplies sufficient material to enable thoughtful readers to form a correct estimate of his personal character and ministerial qualifications. Warm-hearted and lovable; endowed with a well-furnished and cultivated mind; keenly interested in the public events of his time; and having great conversational powers, he was regarded by his friends as a most fascinating and instructive companion. His theological attainments were extensive, accurate, and profound. As a preacher he displayed a personality peculiarly his own ; all classes of hearers felt and acknowledged his originality in exposition and illustration ; while the more distinguished and discerning Christians agreed that he was worthy of a place in their regard alongside of his many eminent contemporaries in the north. His taste for literature continued with him through life, and many of his leisure hours were devoted to study and research. During the sittings of the first Disruption Assembly he passed much of the time at home alone in prayer. Followed by his large and attached congregation, he joined the Free Church of Scotland, in connection with which he continued to labour with the same zeal, ability, and success for which he had been always distinguished. For a few years, however, before his death, owing to bodily infirmity, he was unable to preach. On the 31st of March, 1869, in the 80th year of his age and 53rd of his ministry, he "fell asleep," longing to be with Christ, that lie might "see his face." He left a widow, who has since passed away, and a large family of sons and daughters, to mourn his loss.

The MSS., in their original proportions, were too voluminous to be printed in full. The work of the editor has been to eliminate repetitions and irrelevant matter, and here and there to condense the narrative. He hopes that, by the division into chapters, and the addition of notes derived from various authorities, most of them acknowledged, and by a table of contents, he has contributed what will facilitate the use of the book for reference, and make it more interesting for general reading.

DONALD FRASER SAGE.
FREE MANSE OF KEISS, CAITHNESS,
July 1889.

We have several chapters up already and they can be read at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/parishlife/index.htm


Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde
--------------------------
I came across this considerable account from a book I was reviewing and as it was so interesting thought I'd publish it on the site.

It starts by saying...

COLIN CAMPBELL, Lord Clyde, is said to have been very fond of children, and, as a natural consequence, to have had very many little people to love him, and be his friends, in return. And now, surely, many another who gazes at the kind, anxious-looking face, the wrinkled brow, the mass of curly hair, which the portrait of this Scottish warrior shows, will want more and more, as he learns to know the history of the good and brave deeds that won for Lord Clyde the name of hero in the battles of the Peninsula, the Crimea, and Indian Mutiny, to be allowed to count among his friends and admirers too.

You can read this account at
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/colin_campbell.htm


And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 

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