Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter
Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)
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See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world and add your
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
The Writings of John Muir
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Robert Burns Lives!
The Scottish Church
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Pioneer Life in Zorra
The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910
Characteristics of Scotland and Scots
The Scot in New France
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
As we are likely all aware "Scots" are the people and "Scotch" is
the drink. However this is a more modern acceptance whereas in the
old days "Scotch" were the people.
I only say this as when doing research it is interesting to see how
many valuable historical texts have "Scotch" or "Scotchman" in the
title and so if you restricted your search to "Scots" you would be
missing quite a collection of material.
Indeed two of the articles this week came due to my own searching
for "Scotch", one being a talk given about the Scotch in New France
and the other from the book "Makers of America". Both these articles
I found have interesting information in them and so I put those up
on the site and for more details about them see below.
Should you have followed the writings of Donna Flood you'll know of
her interest in her old Chilocco Indian School and her work to help
preserve it. She sent me a cd with pictures taken from the "1931
Chiloccoan" school annual. These are obviously great ways to
preserving genealogy and so hunting up any school annual for your
ancestors may well reveal interesting information not to say
pictures of them.
You can see this annual at
And if you are new to Donna's work you can get to her index page at
Got in an email from Jim Lynch saying...
The word may take a while to get to Canada, but the SNP won the
European election hands down; we got 29% of the vote Labour got 21%,
the Tories 17% and the Liberals 11%.
Our aim was to come first in Scotland and this we did. Despite the
vast difference, Scotland is only entitled to 6 seats , the
electoral system means we get 2 seats, Labour 2, and the Tories and
Liberals 1 each; very, very difficult to get 3.
I was in Toronto this week attending a couple of meetings one of
which was the Scottish Studies. I thought I'd just remind folk in
Ontario that the Sail Past is on the first Sunday of September and
you can see a video of the first Sail Past in 1992 at
on that page is also a link to book your tickets.
The afternoon sailing is often fully booked but the morning sailing
at 11am normally has a few places spare. So... best to get your
booking in quickly for this very popular event :-)
I'm delighted at the regular articles coming from Frank Shaw in his
column, "Robert Burns Lives!" as it is after all the 250th
anniversary of his birth and a full year of celebration in Scotland.
He has some amazing contacts amongst the very top Burnsians and it's
great that he's sharing all the information he gets in from them
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 in which she gives two
small articles about Scottish and European elections. There is an
interesting article on "MSP advocates greater consideration of
social impact in public procurement".
You can read the Flag at
Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at
I thought for a change I'd give you the full text of this newsletter
so you can get a better idea of what is included although you'll
need to see the version on the web to see the pictures...
After all the excitement
Just in case you’ve seen her on the telly, our friend Linda Fabiani
has her arm in a sling and is taking painkillers. She was
apparently in serious pain earlier in the week and had to go to
hospital but she assures me that it’s not as bad as it was and that
she’s getting better. I have told her not to play on the circus
trapeze, but she never listens…
Cracking result for the SNP in the European election – SNP wins in
South Lanarkshire – including winning Hamilton – showed that we had
made the breakthrough in areas that would never have been described
in the past as our traditional heartlands. We won the popular vote
in Edinburgh, winning in three Westminster seats out of five – Kenny
MacAskill’s Edinburgh East performing well again, closely followed
by Edinburgh North & Leith and Edinburgh South West – Alistair
Darling’s constituency. We were close in Glasgow as well, winning
two of the Westminster seats there, and we won in 22 of Scotland’s
32 local authorities. We are a party of government, delivering well
and being rewarded for that delivery with an incredible performance
in the middle of our first term. Mid term boosts for Scotland’s
Government and Scotland’s Party. I suppose that means that there’s
everything to play for in the coming Westminster election.
Anyway, it was back to auld claes and parritch after all that
excitement and enjoyment and I was off to Dublin with the SNP Trade
Union Group (I’m a member) to look at the way that the Irish
Government and trade unions work together in the best interests of
Ireland and the Irish people. There are some very interesting
differences between the way we do things and the way they do them,
some things we can learn from and some things we might think about
copying. I’m keeping it all under my hat just now while I think it
through a bit, of course, but all will out in due course! All of
the TUG members who made the trip paid for it themselves, showing a
level of commitment that should stand us all in good stead in the
years to come. This supplements the work that we’re doing in the
TUG to connect the SNP group in Parliament to the trade unions
around Scotland to make sure that our work properly engages the
unions wherever possible. Good Government is about trying to take
everyone down the same road at the same time as much as it is about
creating a vision and delivering on the promises we made in our
election campaign. Changing Scotland for the better is done
bit-by-bit and day-by-day; there is no magic bullet and no quantum
Back into Parliament this week and Wednesday saw the passing of a
very important piece of legislation – the Sexual Offences Bill. I
think we should stop referring to these crimes as sexual offences
since they have little or no relationship to sex – they’re about
power, mistreatment, disregard for our fellow human beings. They’re
offences of violence whether that violence is physical,
psychological or emotional. We should call them for what they are.
Leaving aside the terminology that should be changed, the actual
passing of this legislation was excellent, tidying up and tightening
up the law relating to rape and clandestine injury, introducing new
categories of offence which should help to protect vulnerable groups
in our society, new measures to make clear how offences against
children are unacceptable. I think that we may have put some of
these offences in statute for the first time – but I don’t know.
It’s sad that we need laws like this but I’m more than happy to play
my part in making sure that the laws we do have are adequate and I
pay some tribute to the work done on that legislation by the Justice
team under Kenny MacAskill, but especially to Eilish Angiolini and
her team; separate from Kenny’s beat but parallel. It’s been a long
and hard slog to bring these changes right through the system but
we’ve reached the point at which it passes from the legislators to
the police and the courts. We’ll have to wait and watch and see
what the results are.
Thursday we heard about reforming the school qualifications
framework. Under Fiona Hyslop’s leadership, we’re bringing forward
improvements in our qualifications, changing the ways in which
pupils can challenge themselves, making it possible for pupils to
raise their sights to whatever level they choose. There are some
serious changes here, Fiona seeking to make sure that Scotland has
the best possible system, the best possible choice of qualification
for all of our pupils. Keeping that system under review is the only
way to make sure that we are always offering the best choices to our
children – the people who will have the responsibility for the next
part of building a better Scotland. There will be more on that in
the next wee while as we continue to press forward, looking to
realise the ambitions of Scotland professional educationalists to
have the very best education system possible.
Last Saturday had a fun bit in the middle of it – I was invited to
the Oliver Brown Awards, a lunch hosted by the Scots Independent
every year to honour someone who has made a valuable contribution to
Scots life and culture. This year it was Phil Cunningham who was
honoured – one of the few people these days who can admit to being
close friends with a fiddler and no-one thinks he’s an MP. With Aly
Bain Phil Cunningham has carved an impressive swathe through
Scottish cultural life, adding flair and swagger in a style that has
given fresh life to our traditional music. It’s interesting to see
that people with real talent like Phil Cunningham can act with an
impressive degree of grace – he encourages new talent, reminisces
with those who remember earlier times, laughs with honesty, applauds
others and always keeps a healthy dose of humility in his armoury.
I remember him at the Traditional Music awards wearing a pink shirt
that almost glowed in the dark and being genuinely surprised to be
given one of the awards but accepting it with the memorable line “if
I’d known I was going to be getting an award I wouldn’t be wearing
The award was presented by Mike Russell as Culture Minister and the
toast to Oliver Brown and the Scots Independent was given by Linda
Fabiani – in sparkling form as always. A good lunch and a good
laugh and an excellent cultural ambassador for Scotland honoured in
memory of a fine Scottish humourist and nationalist.
I missed telling you a few things last week because I was desperate
to get off and get campaigning in the European election. One of
them was the relaunch and tenth anniversary of the North Lanarkshire
Handyperson service at Summerlee where I met Ruby Campbell who, at
81 years old, is still a member of the Board of CVS North
Lanarkshire. A fine and inspirational woman and with buckets and
buckets of energy.
Craig Pringle was in my office that week as well. He’s not famous
yet but he might be soon, he was in doing some work experience and
seemed to be pretty good at just getting down to work and getting
something out of it. There’s a picture of Craig hard at work
attached to this week’s diary, I look forward to seeing him make
waves in whatever career he chooses in the future.
John Ogilvie High School ran a citizenship week, teaching the pupils
a bit about how their country and their world works. I had the
privilege of going to the school on the 1st of June to see how it
was going and I was fascinated by how the teachers and the pupils
had integrated citizenship into every subject and every class for
the week. They studied Peace Education and Restorative Justice;
Global Citizenship and Fair Trade; and Child Labour in South
America. They looked at Active Citizenship with their twin school
in Sierra Leone; they studied rainforest destruction, citizenship
during WWII, and Human Rights; they did a workshop based on The
Apprentice TV programme; they looked at responsible
cyber-citizenship and staying safe on the internet, drama workshops,
poetry an short stories.
From the effects of science to foods
of the world, sports to photography, composing music to construction
techniques in different countries, this school covered an enormous
amount of ground in just one week. I’m impressed, and I was
impressed by the passion they showed for the way in which Scotland
once led the world in promoting individuals’ rights and how they
believed that Scotland can, should and will go back to that leading
position. I left John Ogilvie’s feeling inspired – I think the
pupils will have got a huge amount out of it and I congratulate the
staff on their imagination, talent and dedication in creating that
It’s been a busy wee time, and there’s more to come. I’m off to
another meeting and there’s a rally for the 1820 society in
Strathaven on Saturday.
Interestingly, one of the American interns we have in Parliament
just now is a direct descendant of one of the Strathaven weavers – I
wonder if she’s going on Saturday?
Poetry and Stories
John sent in another poem this week...
"Aye! [Always!]" at
You can also read other stories in our Article Service and even add
your own at
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Meal Mob
Here is how it starts...
During the winter of 18 - -, there was a great scarcity of grain in
the western districts of Scotland. The expediency of the corn laws
was then hotly discussed, but the keen hunger of wives and children
went further to embitter the spirits of the lower orders. The
abstract question was grasped at as a vent for ill-humour, or
despairingly, as a last chance for preservation. As usual,
exaggerated reports were caught up and circulated by the hungry
operatives, of immense prices demanded by grain-merchants and
farmers, and of great stores of grain garnered up for exportation.
As a natural consequence of all these circumstances, serious
disturbances took place in more than one burgh.
The town of ——, in which I then resided, had hitherto been spared,
but a riot was, in the temper of the poor, daily to be expected.
Numbers of special constables were sworn in. The commander of the
military party then in the barracks was warned to hold himself in
readiness. Such members of the county yeomanry corps as resided in
or near the town were requested to lend their aid, if need should
I was sitting comfortably by my fire-side, one dark, cold evening,
conversing with a friend over a tumbler of toddy, when we were both
summoned to officiate in our capacity of constables. The poor
fellows who fell at Waterloo sprang from their hard, curtainless
beds with less reluctance. We lingered rather longer than decency
allowed of, buttoning our greatcoats and adjusting our comforters.
At last, casting a piteous look at the fire, which was just
beginning to burn up gloriously, we pressed our hats deeper over our
eyes, grasped our batons, and sallied forth.
The rest of this chapter can be read at
The other stories can be read at
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added 3 more pages which include Dahlia, Dairy, Daisy, Daisy Creams,
Dalmatian, Damages, Damask, Damask Rose, Dame's Violet, Damp, Damp
Course, Damper, Damping-off, Damson, Dance.
You can read about these at
The Writings of John Muir
We are now on the 7th volume, The Cruise of the Corwin, and this
week have added...
Chapter VI. Eskimos and Walrus
Chapter VII. At Plover Bay and St. Michael
Chapter VIII. Return of the Search Party
Chapter IX. Villages of the Dead
Chapter X. Glimpses of Alaskan Tundra
Chapter XI. Caribou and a Native Fair
Chapter XII. Zigzags among the Polar Pack
Here is a bit from villages of the Dead...
East Cape, Siberia, July 1, 1881.
After getting our search party on board at Tapkan, we found it
impossible, under the conditions of ice and water that prevailed, to
land our Chukchi dog-driver, who lives there, and who had come off
with the party to get his pay. He was in excellent spirits, however,
and told the Captain that since he had received a gun and a liberal
supply of ammunition he did not care where he was put ashore Cape
Serdzekamen, East Cape, or any point along the shore or edge of the
ice-pack would answer, as he could kill plenty of birds and seals,
and get home any time. The dogs and sledges were left in his care at
Tapkan, to be in readiness in case they should be required next
Speeding southward under steam and sail we reached East Cape
yesterday at seven in the morning. By this time the wind was blowing
what seamen call a "living gale," whitening the sea, and filling up
the air with blinding scud. We found good anchorage, however, back
of the high portion of the Cape, opposite a large settlement of
Chukchis. East Cape is a very bold bluff of granite about two
thousand feet high, which evidently has been overswept from the
northwest. I eagerly waited to get off and to climb high enough to
make sure of the trends of the ridges and grooves, and to seek
scratches, bossed surfaces, etc. But the howling, shrieking norther
blew all day, and had not abated at eleven o'clock last night.
This morning Mr. Nelson and I went ashore to see what we could
learn. The village here, through which we passed on our way up the
mountain-side, consists of about fifty huts, built on a small,
rocky, terminal moraine, and so deeply sunk in the face of the hill
that the entire village makes scarcely more show at a distance of a
few hundred yards than a group of marmot burrows. The lower portion
of the walls is built of moraine boulders, the upper portion and the
curving beehive roof of driftwood and the ribs of whales, framed
together and covered with walrus hide or dirt.
During the winter the huts are entered by a low tunnel, so as to
exclude the cold air as much as possible. The floor is simply the
natural dirt mixed into a dark hairy paste, with much that is not at
all natural. Fires are made occasionally in the middle of the floor
to cook the small portion of their food that is not eaten raw.
Ivory-headed spears, arrows, seal nets, bags of oil, rags of seal or
walrus meat, and strips of whale blubber and skin, lie on shelves or
hang confusedly from the roof, while puppies and nursing mother-dogs
and children may be seen scattered here and there, or curled snugly
in the pots and eating-troughs, after they have licked them clean,
making a kind of squalor that is picturesque and daring beyond
You cab read the rest of this chapter at
The rest of the chapters can be read at
Fraser's Scottish Annual
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish
Annual. This week we've added...
Strathcona and Mount Royal
On the Scottish Dialect and its Influence on English
The Parishes of Scotland
The Gael in Canada
Here is a bit from "Strathcona and Mount Royal"...
AMONG the many Scotsmen who have begun in a humble way and risen to
honor and power, perhaps no one occupies a loftier place in the
esteem of the nation to-day than Lord Strathcona. He began life as a
clerk in the employment of the Hudson's Bay Company, and by slow
degree rose to the highest post that great corporation could bestow
upon him—the office of Governor. He is the High Commissioner of the
Dominion of Canada in London, and so thorough is the confidence
reposed in him by all parties that a Dominion Liberal Government
confirmed the appointment which had been made by its Conservative
predecessor. Queen Victoria conferred upon him four years ago a
peerage and a seat in the House of Lords, after having bestowed
minor honors in recognition of his public work in Canada. When the
Boer war broke out, and the colonies were invited to assist the
Mother Country, Lord Strathcona raised and equipped, at his own
charge, a mounted corps of five hundred men from among the
North-West police and the riders of the great plains where most of
his own life was spent. As Strathcona's Horse they have done
brilliant service in many parts of South Africa. This was, so far as
I know, the largest individual contribution to the cost of the war
that was made at the time of stress, and it entitled Lord Strathcona
to the gratitude of his native land and the home of his adoption. It
proved, too, that his empire-building was of that substantial
quality that backs up enthusiasm with personal sacrifice.
The rest of this article can be read at
The other articles can be read at
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
Address to Robert Burns given by Clark McGinn at Westminster Abbey
I believe Robert Burns knew he was destined to be remembered as a
great poet and song writer. Yet, he could playfully talk about his
“bardship” and poke fun at himself. But, I wonder if he ever
realized just how ordinary people and scholars alike, in their own
way, would celebrate and honor him all around the globe. One friend
reported over 700 in attendance at his club’s Burns Night and
another friend had 37 people in his home to celebrate the poet. Yet,
can you imagine Robert Burns in Westminster Abbey, that grand old
building dating back to 1065? Make your way to that beautiful
edifice, go back to the Poets’ Corner, and you will find him in bust
form elevated slightly above the full figured William Shakespeare.
Freeze that moment as you find Burns looking ever so slightly on the
English bard. Yes, Burns is looking down on William Shakespeare.
Don’t make too much of it, but I have to smile when I see the two
My wee family of six, consisting of three generations, will make our
way to London on June 29 after spending a week in Scotland. We will
make our way to Westminster Abbey to view the statues of the two
bards. As soon as I point toward the Burns bust and ask, “Who is
that?” both grandchildren will answer, almost in unison, “Robert
Burns”! These kids, Ian (named for my father and grandfather) and
Stirling (named after the famed Scottish city), 9 and 7 years old
respectively, have been taught over the years by their “Papa” to
recognize Burns on Scottish money, coin and paper, statues, and
paintings. I look forward to this little exercise all over Scotland
during our trip. Robert Burns, I believe, would be amused but proud,
as I am!
Once again it is an honor to welcome Clark McGinn, one of the
world’s greatest ambassador’s for Robert Burns, as our guest writer.
To read more from Clark in the pages of Robert Burns Lives!, go to
the index and click on Volume 1, Chapter 39 and Volume 1, Chapter
50. More in depth information on Clark can be found at
Here you will find 2,480 sites about our guest! (FRS: 6.10.09)
You can read the rest of this article and the address given at
Westminster Abbey at
And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series
The Scottish Church
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers (1881)
Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending this into us.
we've added another Lecture...
Episcopacy, Presbytery, and Puritanism in Scotland, 1572 to 1660
A.D. By the Rev. John Cunningham, D.D., Minister of Crieff.
THE sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were times of fierce
religious conflict. In the period immediately preceding 1572, the
struggle was between old Romanism and nascent Protestantism. In the
period following 1572, and stretching on to the very close of the
next century, the struggle was between Presbyterianism and Prelacy.
The first of these conflicts was short, sharp, and decisive. The
second was protracted and indecisive, and, like a slow fever, simply
kept the country in a state of continual unrest.
You can read the rest of this lecture at
The other pages can be read at
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social (Second
Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish By Charles
Fraser-Mackintosh, FSA Scot. (1897)
This week we've added the following chapters...
Chapter XXIV. Laggan
Its Gordon, Grant, Macdonald, Mackintosh and Macpherson Proprietors
The Gordon Rentals in 1677
The Gordon Rentals in 1829
Heads of Families in 1679
The Macphersons appear as Land Owners, and their after succession
John Gordon of Glenbucket as Gordon Factor
Evan Macpherson of Cluny of the 'Forty-five, and the Management of
Cluny Castle and the War Cry of the Clan
The Macphersons of Breackachie
The Macphersons of Ovie and MacCoul
The "Gentlemen" of Badenoch, their Feuds and Fracas
Chapter XXV. Kingussie
Ruthven Castle— Its ancient and Modern Possessors
Names of Householders in the Parish in 1679
The Gordon Rentals and Feus in 1667
The Gordon Rentals and Feus in 1828
The Macphersons of Phoness
The Ossian Macpherson Purchases and Evictions
One of the "Three Curses" of Badenoch—Violent Proceedings
Invertromie, Etterish, Invernahaven, etc.
Chapter XXVI. Alvie
The Invereshie Macphersons
The Gordon Rentals and Removals
Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon and her Doings before and after the
The Inscription on her Tomb
The Ossian Macphersons
Their Alvie Evictions—List of Names
The Dr Johnson Correspondence
Traces of the Ossianic "Originals"
James Macpherson's Morals, Successors, and Fortune
The Mackintoshes, and the Duchess of Bedford's Glenfeshie Huts
Chapter XXVII. Rothiemurchus
The Mackintoshes, Shaws, and Grants
Chapter XXVIII. Kincardine and Abernethy
The Stuart Barons, John Roy, and the Count of Maida
The Abernethy Removals
Chapter XXIX. Duthil
John Beg MacAndrew and his Exploits
Chapter XXX. Moy and Dalarossie
The MacQueens of Pollochaig
An Ancient Deer Forest
Here is a wee story from them which shows yet another Scottish
connection with foreign parts...
A branch of the Stuarts settled at Inverness, and was represented in
1745 by Bailie John Stuart, a noted Jacobite, frequently referred to
in the Jacobite histories. The Bailie's grandson, I understand, was
Lieutenant-General Sir John Stuart, Count of Maida; a most
distinguished officer, regarding whom the following notice appeared
in the London Gazette -
"Whitehall, May 14, 1813.
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent has been pleased, in the name
and on the behalf of His Majesty, to grant unto Lieutenant-General
Sir John Stuart, Count of Maida, Knight Companion of the Most
Honourable Military Order of the Bath, His Majesty's royal license
and permission, that, in compliance with the desire of His Majesty
Ferdinand the Fourth, King of the two Sicilies, he may accept, and
that he and his descendants may bear the following honourable
armorial augmentation, viz., in chief of his and their arms the
Royal Scilian Eagle, with the royal cypher, ensigned with the Crown
of his Sicilian Majesty on the breast thereof; and as a crest the
same Eagle charged as aforesaid ' ; the said distinction having been
granted by His Sicilian Majesty to the said Sir John Stuart, as a
signal mark of his royal favour and esteem, and in order to
perpetuate in his family and to posterity the remembrance of the
great, important, and highly distinguished services rendered by him
to the Crown of Sicily on divers occasions whilst commanding the
British Army, serving in defence of his dominions, and particularly
in the year 1810, (an era to be ever memorable in the annals of
Sicily) when a most formidable attempt upon that Kingdom, by a
powerful enemy, was repelled by the valour and firmness of the
British forces in co-operation with the faithful and zealous
exertions of His Sicilian Majesty's own brave and loyal subjects ;
the said armorial distinctions being first duly exemplified
according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Herald's Office."
The book index and other chapters can be found at
Pioneer Life in Zorra
By Rev W. A. MacKay, (1899)
Added further chapters from this book...
Chapter III. The Pioneer and the Sabbath
Chapter IV. Gangin' tae the Kirk
Chapter V. The Men's Day
Chapter VI. An Old Communion Sabbath
Chapter VII. The Old Communion Sabbath—"Doing the Word"
Chapter VIII. The Catechising
Chapter IX. Pioneer Politics
Here is how Chapter III starts...
I am now in my 87th year, and I ascribe my physical and mental
activity largely to my strict observance of the Sabbath."—HON. W. E.
AT the present day it has become popular in certain quarters to
characterize the fathers as narrow and bigoted, and especially to
charge them with Puritanical strictness in their observance of the
Sabbath. Herein we have powerful, though unconscious testimony to
their loyalty to the truth. In a day when avarice combines with
licentiousness and infidelity in trampling under foot the most
sacred truths, and especially the Sabbath law, it is refreshing to
call to mind the integrity, the fearlessness, the adherence to
principle exhibited by our fathers. They felt that there was a vital
and eternal difference between truth and error, and as they believed
so they lived.
Some of the fathers may have erred on the side of literalism, but
their error has been greatly magnified by scoffers. The following
beautiful description of a home in Scotland, with its reverent and
happy Sabbath, will call up in the mind of many a Zorra man and
woman to-day equally happy scenes in years gone by:
"We had special Bible readings on the Lord's day evening, mother and
children and visitors reading in turns, with fresh and interesting
question, answer, and explanation, all tending to impress us with
the infinite grace of a God of love and mercy in the great gift of
His dear Son Jesus, our Saviour.
"I can remember those happy Sabbath evenings; no blinds drawn and
shutters up to keep out the sun from us, as some scandalously
affirm, but a holy, happy, entirely human day for a Christian
father, mother, and children to spend. How my father would parade
across and across our flag floor, telling over the substance of the
day's sermons to our dear mother! How he would entice us to help him
recall some idea or other, rewarding us when we got the length of
'taking notes,' and reading them over on our return ; how he would
turn the talk ever so naturally to some Bible story or some martyr
reminiscence, or some happy allusion to the Pilgrim's Progress!
"And then it was quite a contest which of us would get reading
aloud, while all the rest listened, and father added here and there
a happy thought, or illustration, or anecdote. There were eleven of
us brought up in a home like that; and never one of the eleven, boy
or girl, man or woman, has been heard or ever will be heard saying
that Sabbath was a dull or wearisome one for us, or suggesting that
we have heard or seen any way more likely than that for making the
day of the Lord bright and blessed alike for parents and for
You can read the rest of this at
The other chapters can be read at
The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910
By James H Rutherford, W.S. (1911)
We've now added more chapters to this book...
The Regency and the Young Squire of Barnton
The Laird of Wallhouse
Major William John Wauchope of Niddrie, Mr James Russel of Dundas
Castle, Mr John Graham Menzies
Captasin George Clerk Cheape of Wellfield, Mr Adam Paterson Cross
Mr Robert, Mr Fred, and Mr Frank J. Usher
Sir Robert Usher and Mr Andrew Gillon
Here is how Chapter VI starts...
As a tribute of respect to the memory of Mr Ramsay, the hounds were
not taken into the field during the short part of the season which
remained after his death, and on the lapse of a fitting interval Mrs
Ramsay received an assurance of the sympathy felt with her by those
then connected with the Hunt. Subsequent events indicate that she
was now the owner of the pack, and consequently was in a position to
dispose of it as she chose. But any alteration in the arrangement
which had previously existed did not commend itself to her, and most
generously she resolved that the establishment should be conducted
upon the same footing as it had been during her husband's lifetime.
Thus she probably carried out to the full what would doubtless have
been his wishes, without in any way lessening the possibility which
she may then have had in view, of her son's eventually filling the
position which both his father and grandfather had already occupied.
In so disposing, Mrs Ramsay, who could not well have undertaken the
entire management of the establishment, delegated her authority in
the field to her brother Captain Sandilands and, owing to his
frequent absence, to Captain Fleeming also.
Captain Sandilands, who was the youngest son of the tenth Lord
Torphichen, was born on the 21st of October 1821, and as already
shown, had hunted with the pack during Mr Ramsay's mastership. At
this time, however, he was with his regiment, the 8th Hussars, which
he had joined in the year 1839, and the duties connected with the
mastership therefore fell to Captain Fleeming. The latter, who was
born on the 11th of December 1819, and had joined the 71st Highland
Light Infantry, succeeded to the estate of Cumbernauld in
Dumbartonshire on the death of his father, Admiral Charles
Elphinstone-Fleeming, in 1840. After his succession he served with
the Inniskilling Dragoons, and the 17th Lancers, but leaving the
army in the spring of 1850 now began, as his uncle the twelfth Lord
Elphinstone had done nearly half a century before, to undertake the
active part of the management.
Rintoul continued to occupy the huntsman's place, and, although he
was about fifty years of age and had seen no less than twenty-four
seasons service with the pack, was still capable of showing sport.
On the 19th of November the hounds met at Calder House, and ran for
over an hour and forty minutes. This much is recorded on one of the
shoes of Jack Sheppard, which forms an ornament in the library at
Sauchie, and which besides giving this information, bears that the
horse he had probably distinguished himself that day-was foaled in
1840 and died in 1851. On the 16th of the following month of January
there occurred a run in Linlithgowshire which, taken as a whole, it
would be difficult to find an equal to on that side of the country,
for hounds found by the Almond and finished by the Avon, after
having traversed nearly the entire breath of the county. Calder
House was again the place of meeting, but the day being wild and
stormy,-it was blowing a hurricane, with rain and sleet from the
south-west—Calder wood and all the high- lying coverts in the
adjoining district were drawn blank. In the afternoon Rintoul threw
his hounds into the then famous gorse covert of Elliston,' which had
already that season afforded two good runs. The wind was still
strong, but the weather had improved, and after the pack had been in
covert for a short time, first one hound spoke and then another, and
in a few minutes every hound was throwing its tongue. The fox had
broken to the west, and hounds hunted his line slowly, but with
steadiness and perseverance, across the open fields lying between
Drumshoreland and the Almond.
Nevertheless they checked and checked again, and Rintoul had to cast
them more than once before they finally hit off the line across the
Uphall and Midealder road, and settled down to run northwards over
the grass to Houstoun wood. Thence, with an improving scent, they
ran up to the Edinburgh and Glasgow turnpike road, and crossing it
near Dechmont, went on over West Binny, pointing for Riccarton. They
were now able to press their fox, and the pace, which had been so
slow at first, became such that the few who had the good fortune to
see this run had to do all in their power to live within sight of
the pack, which, swinging left-handed, drove forward across the high
grounds of Bangour and, again bearing northwards, sped over the old
rough grass by Tartraven and Wairdiaw into B'ormie. The scent had
become breast-high, and silently as hounds had probably run in the
open for the last mile or two, the crash with which they entered
that covert, and the way in which the rocky head of Cockleroi must
have seemed to rattle and shake as it re-echoed the crash, can be
better imagined than described. But in B'ormie they dwelt not a
moment, and taking the line right through it, away they went to
Bowdeuhill, the open earths on the northern face of which received
the fox, now no doubt arched in back, drooping as to brush, and much
bedraggled, just in front of them. The point appears to be eight and
a half miles, while the distance covered was probably not less than
from twelve to fifteen.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The other chapters can be read at
Characteristics of Scotland and Scots
A Chapter Extracted From ‘Travellers Tales of Scotland’ (1913) By
Robert Hay Coats, M.A. (1873, Paisley - 1956) and our thanks to John
Henderson for sending this in.
This is actually a good summary of the progress of Scotland which I
hope you'll enjoy reading and here is how it starts...
If we would understand fully the characteristics of Scotland and
Scotsmen to which travellers have so frequently alluded, and of
which the preceding pages have given abundant evidence, we must go
back some way into the story of the country's past, to see how those
characteristics have come to be evolved. The ancient Scots were a
people in whom Pictish, Norse, Celtic, and Teutonic elements
combined to produce a free, hardy, vigorous, and independent race,
stubbornly attached to the rude uncultivated country they had made
their home. It was the aim of the Norman and Plantagenet kings to
subdue this nation in the interests of a vast empire that should be
continental as well as English, and of which Scotland should be a
remote and unimportant province. But in so dreaming, the English
showed that they "knew not the stomach" of the people with whom they
had to deal. Scotsmen were resolutely determined from the first to
resist this southern aggression, and throw off this foreign yoke. It
was the national policy for three centuries to court a French
alliance, to promote the independence of both France and Scotland,
and to curb the ambitions of England abroad by a watchful and
provocative enmity at home. The war of independence, the ancient
league with France, the incessant border raids, the conspiracies of
the Reformation, the struggle with Episcopacy, the opposition to the
Union, and the enterprises of Jacobitism were all of them inspired
by one animating principle, an inveterate hostility to the usurping
power of England. As William, Earl of Douglas, put it to the French
warrior De Vienne in 1385, "The Scottish people will endure pillage,
and they will endure famine, and every other extremity of war; but
they will not endure an English master."
You can read this account at
The Scot in New France
An Ethnological Study, by J.M. LeMoine 1881.
This is a talk given about the Scots in New France but it also talks
about the old historical ties between France and Scotland. Here is
how the scene is set...
Before opening as President the winter course of lectures, I have a
pleasant communication to make. Since we last met, His Excellency,
Lord Lorne, has honored this Society, by becoming its Patron, daring
his term of office.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,—In a paper headed "The Component Parts of our
Nationality," we strove some time since to place on record the
results of our researches in Canadian History, and thus to dispel
some of the prejudices, entertained as to the origin of the first
settlers on Canadian soil. We felt a sincere pleasure in laying
before an enlightened public, the evidence which reliable historians
furnish, as to the birth and formation of the nationality of the
majority in the old Province of Quebec, in order to demonstrate that
the colonists sent out by the French Monarchs and French Companies,
unlike those of St. Christophe and other French Islands, were
singularly free from blemish.
These ethnological studies, superficial as they may be, we intend to
prosecute, with respect to other factors in our nationality: this
evening we have selected a branch of the subject, which though less
familiar to us, is quite as worthy of your attention; the Scottish
element in and round Quebec.
A mark of distinction, as unexpected as it was unsolicited recently
bestowed on your humble servant, by the Ethnographical Society of
Paris, [Mr. LeMoine, the bearer of a Diploma, as "Delegué Regional"
for Quebec, of the Institution Ehnographique de Pane, wore for the
first time, the Inezgnia of this learned Society.] renders still
more appropriate he imagines, the selection of an Ethnographical'
subject, like the one which will engage our attention this evening;
without further preamble, we will venture to- discuss this subject.
Under the title "Les Ecossais en France," &c., there- appeared, some
time since, a French work, in two robust quarto volumes—the result
of twenty-five years of conscientious research by a French savant,
Monsieur Francisque Michel. It purports to recapitulate, among other
things, the career on French soil of Scotchmen, ever since the days
of Wallace, ambassador to France, down tomodern times. Monsieur
Michel, of a certainty, has succeeded in investing with deep
interest the enquiry he- has originated.
With your permission, we will, to-night, attempt to investigate a
cognate portion of his subject, from an ethnological point of view,
using the light he has thrown on the aims and aspirations of
Scotchmen in old France to. follow the footsteps of their
compatriots in New France— we mean, in the present Province of
Quebec—heretofore, that of Lower Canada.
One paragraph I particularly noticed...
Monsieur Michel tells us that the Scots, in 1420, landed by
thousands in France, to fight the English. In 1756, we shall also
find some thousands in America, enlisted to fight the French. About
that time great changes had taken place in Scotland. The disaster of
Culloden, in 1745, had opened out new vistas. Fate had that year set
irrevocably its seal on a brave people; the indifference of France
had helped on the crisis. Scotchmen had had occasion to test the
wise saying, "Put not your faith in Princes." The rugged land of the
Gael had been left to itself to cope with the Sassenach. Old France
was forgetful of her pledged friendship—of her treaty of 1420; what
was worse—of more recent promises. This memory had rankled in the
breast of the fierce "children of the mist," remarkable for their
short tempers and long rapiers. Vain had been the appeal for
assistance of the Scot, so liberal himself in the past of his blood
on French battle-fields, to uphold the French banner;—vain the cry
for help uttered by the descendants of those faithful life-guards of
Charles VII. Sandy has got the cold shoulder from his once cherished
ally; his Highland blood is up; revenge, he will have. Where is the
time, when one of the royal line of Stewarts, John Stewart Earl of
Buchan, at the head of 7,000 Scots and some French landed at
incredible hazards at Rochelle, at the call of an ally, to meet the
English at the battle of Beauge, killing the English King's brother?
where, in the words of John's Monatrelet, "the Duke of Clarence, the
Earl of Kyme? the Lord Ross, Marshal of England, and in general the
flower of the chivalry and esquiredom were left dead on the field,
with two or three thousand fighting men." France, in those days,
knew how to prize the warlike Mountaineers.
You can read this talk at
Taken from the book, "The Makers of the American Republic" by David
This is a talk delivered in Baltimore, Md., before the Presbyterian
Union of that City and here is how it starts...
THE commemoration of the deeds of our civil fathers is a perpetual
duty. There come to us exhilaration and inspiration and vitality of
holy purpose from living with the heroes of God who have glorified
the past by their loyalty to the right. Macaulay says, "No people
who fail to take pride in the deeds of their ancestors will ever do
anything in which their posterity can take pride." Especially is
this true when their ancestors have stood in the front ranks of
human progress and, like our ancestors, have fought and won the
battles of the ages.
Honoring ancestors should prove a large trade in the American
commonwealth, and that because we are rich in ancestors. We can
truthfully claim kinship to every line of human nobility that has
done anything grand by way of sacrifice in the uplift of the world
in these last centuries. The best of a score of the leading races of
the earth focalize right here. And this is to our national
advantage. A great people is stronger and more fertile from the
variety of its component parts and from the friendly play of the
electric currents which have their origin in the diversity that is
held in friendship.
I look upon our country as God's great loom for the interweaving of
the peoples of the earth. The noble men and noble women from the
different races of the Old World are the threads of silk and of
silver and of gold, and the fabric woven is the American Republic,
beautiful with its holy freedom, its constitutional rights, and its
magnificent and elevating institutions, both civil and religious.
The fabric of our national civilization, which is distinctively
American, is complex, and the credit for its beauty and strength and
value should be as manifold as its contributing constituents are
multifold. There should be honest recognition and praise given all
around. Let the Pilgrim be praised where the Pilgrim should be
praised; let the Puritan be praised where the Puritan should be
praised let the Hollander be praised where the Hollander should be
praised ; and let the Scotch and their descendants be praised where
the Scotch and their descendants should be praised. Let the highest
type of manhood built into the construction of our civic personality
be admired, no matter from what race it has come. The only
restriction I would lay down is this: choose only the best manhood
to honor, because the type of manhood which you honor is the type of
manhood which you will inevitably seek to perpetuate. Admire only
the best and choicest threads in the fabric. Up to this point in our
national history we have not been impartial in our admiration of our
ancestors. New England has created a monopoly here.
The large-talking Yankee, true to his pedigree, has talked himself
into a largeness out of all proportion with the facts. Hitherto he
has written the history of the country, and he has so put himself
into history that there has been little room there for others. He
has not done justice to the Hollander; he has not done justice to
the Huguenot; he has not done justice to the Scot. All of these were
first- class believers in human liberty and not one whit behind
either Pilgrim or Puritan in the sacrifices which they made for our
Republic. The eyes of the public are being opened, and the result is
there is an honest and a popular demand that American history be
rewritten from alpha to omega, and that the uncredited heroes be
enthroned in the midst of their lawful rewards, and that every
omitted chapter be inserted in full. My fellow-men, American history
has yet to be written. The Yankee has yet to hold fellowship on the
historic page with the men of other races from whom he received his
best ideas and who led hi in up to the alpine heights of
republicanism in colonial days. He must yet lift his hat with
respect to both the Dutchman and the Scotchman. It is our duty to
reach a full and all view of our American nationality.
To-night we are to speak of the Scotch and their descendants as
makers of America. They were the first on soil openly to advocate
American independence. We wish to do for them what the famous poet
and novelist, Sir Walter Scott, has done for the physical beauties
of the landscape of Scotia, viz., make them known. Scott has not
added one particle of beauty to a single sprig of heather he has not
put a single additional touch of color upon a single blue bell he
has not created one added glint of light on beloved lakes; he has
not changed a particle of the country concerning which he so
beautifully wrote. He has simply looked at Mid-Lothian, Lomond, and
the Trosachs with his own eyes, has seen for himself the beauty and
grandeur of nature's handiwork in Scotia, and has told ill and
poetry just what he has seen. What Scott has done for the physical
country we must do for the noble actions of the Scotch, viz., take
them ill tell them out.
You can read the rest of this at
And finally a wee bit of old Scotch humour...
Caring for Their Minister
A minister was called in to see a man who was very ill. After
finishing his visit, as he was leaving the house, he said to the
man's wife: "My good woman, do you not go to any church at all?"
"Oh yes, sir; we gang to the Barony Kirk."
"Then why in the world did you send for me? Why didn't you send for
"Na, na, sir, 'deed no; we wadna risk him. Do ye no ken it's a
dangerous case of typhus?"
And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)
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