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10th July 2009


Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

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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. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

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

CONTENTS
--------
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Clans and Families
Poetry and Stories
The Writings of John Muir
Robert Burns Lives!
The Scottish Church
John Stuart Blackie
Memoirs of a Highland Lady
Old World Scotland
MacRaes in America
Old Scots Humour


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
----------------------
I spent some time this week exploring our Aois community and I'm finding more that I can do with it. This week we added forums for the Scottish Studies Foundation where they now have 1 public forum and 2 private forums. One of the private forums is for members of the Foundation and the other is for the board. We also did a similar job for Clan Ross of Canada. We're now going to sit back a wee while and see how they get on. Should it work the way we hope we'd be happy to offer this type of service to other clan societies.

I also noted that when you go to a forum you can, through the "Forum Tools", select to subscribe to the forum by getting either a daily email sent to you with new messages or a weekly digest. I've subscribed to the Electric Scotland Newsletter just to see what it will look like as I will be posting that up each week.

I also tried the Blog and was surprised how easy it was to setup. I admit I mostly used the defaults and didn't try out the customisation features but it worked just great. I decided to create 2 categories... Scottish and Non-Scottish. I also liked the preview before posting as that way up came my blog entry and I noted a couple of spelling mistakes but just below the preview screen was my actual message so I was able to correct the spelling. Then when I was happy I just posted the entry. You automatically get the option to get the blog through an RSS feed.

When you post a message in the forums you also get the opportunity to add an attachment. This also came in handy as I was able to add a pdf file attachment to one message I put up. You can also add a poll to a message to get people to vote on things.

One other feature which surprised us all was when you add a url to a YouTube video the system automatically converts that to a in-message video viewer for the video so you don't actually need to go to YouTube to watch it. It also surprised Ranald who put in the url :-)

We're hoping to get a genealogist to help moderate our Genealogy forum and to answer any questions going into it. In the fullness of time we hope to expand on this type of forum where an expert will be available to answer questions and offer advice.

Overall I am delighted with the functionality of the Aois Community and know it can only get better :-)

You can sign up for a free account at http://www.scotchat.org/vbull

-----

My progress towards getting Canadian Citizenship moved forward a bit this week and so next week I head down to Windsor to a meeting with the immigration folk to show proof of me settling in Canada. That actually happened a wee bit earlier that I expected so nice to see things moving forward.

I note that here in Canada you can retain dual citizenship and so with my British European passport I can visit any of the European Union countries as a local so well worth retaining that. I understand that in the USA you need to renounce your current citizenship to get USA citizenship.

-----

I found a book this week called "The Land of Heather" which has numerous pictures in it. I'm really looking forward to making this book available to you. I purchased the book so I could get some quality scans of the many pictures illustrating Scottish life at the end of the 19th century.

-----

In the coming week we'll be starting work on three more books on the site...

The Bark Covered House
or, Back in the Woods Again

This is about a pioneering family in Michigan. You'll note I have at last found a book about pioneering in the USA :-)

The Sailor Whom England Feared
Being the Story of John Paul Jones, Scotch Naval Adventurer and Admiral in the American and Russian Fleets By M. Mac Dermot Crawford

The father of the American Navy should be of interest to everyone but especially our American friends. I have to confess I didn't know too much about him so this was a bit of a revalation to learn about all that he got up to.

Recollections of a Long Life 1829 - 1915
By Isaac Stephenson (1915)

This is about a lumberman of Scots and Scots-Irish descent who ended up being a very wealthy person and a US Senator. In particular it tells a very good story of the lumber trade and all its aspects.

As we'll be completing two books this coming week the first two mentioned above will be appearing this coming week.

-----

I note that things are changing a bit on the top visiting countries to Electric Scotland...

1. United States 44.14%
2. United Kingdom 21.66%
3. Canada 9.11%
4. Australia 5.44%
5. Ireland 1.88%
6. New Zealand 1.60%
7. Germany 1.59%
8. India 1.30%
9. Philippines 1.09%
10. France 0.83%

11. Netherlands
12. Spain
13. Italy
14. South Africa
15. Russia
16. China
17. Singapore
18. Malaysia
19. Sweden
20. Poland
21. Japan
22. Belgium
23. Brazil
24. Argentina
25. Norway

In particular India has moved up and the Philippines have appeared for the first time in the top 10. Canada has also grown by a full percent as has Australia while the USA has fallen by around 7%. Of course this is all a reflection on the general growth in Internet useage around the world but it is interesting to see where people are coming from.

I confess I'd really like to split out the UK so that I could get stats on Scotland but so far no-one is doing that. They do list the main towns that people come from and so the top 25 are...

1. London 32.51%
2. Glasgow 9.40%
3. Edinburgh 7.06%
4. Manchester 4.80%
5. Birmingham 2.40%
6. Belfast 1.70%
7. Falkirk 1.24%
8. Sheffield 1.07%
9. Bristol 1.05%
10. Aberdeen 0.93%
11. Leeds 0.84%
12. Newcastle 0.78%
13. Dundee 0.74%
14. Salford 0.68%
15. Reading 0.56%
16. Bucksburn 0.55%
17. Nottingham 0.48%
18. Milton Keynes 0.45%
19. Inverness 0.44%
20. Wembley 0.43%
21. Liverpool 0.41%
22. Uddingston 0.41%
23. Coventry 0.41%
24. Oxford 0.40%
25. Walton 0.39%

Based on the top 25 this shows 20% or so come from Scotland and so possibly 5% of our visitors.

Looking at the USA the top 10 States are...

1. California 11.61%
2. New York 8.56%
3. Texas 7.16%
4. Georgia 5.21%
5. Florida 4.77%
6. Pennsylvania 3.62%
7. Virginia 3.39%
8. North Carolina 3.35%
9. Illinois 3.26%
10. Washington 3.17%

While I would have expected North Carolina to be in the top 10 I was a touch surprised that South Carolina was 26th on the list. Not sure if this is a reflection on where the Scots spread out in the USA.


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 Richard Thomson in which he was talking about Scottish Independence and the recent Calman report.

There is also a very interesting poll about the intentions of the Scottish people towards a referendum for independence.

You can read the Flag at http://www.scotsindependent.org

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available as the Parliament are now on the Summer recess.


Clans and Families
------------------
INVITATION
Please join the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow and representatives from the Clan Currie Society and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for a reception celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Clan Currie Society as we announce the establishment of the COL. WILLIAM MCMURDO CURRIE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE CLARSACH

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
12 Noon
City Chambers
Glasgow
Finger Buffet & Refreshments will be served
RSVP – The Clan Currie Society – clancurrie@mail.com
http://www.clancurrie.com

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Got in the July/August 2009 newsletter of the Utley Family which you can read at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/newsletters/utley/12_4_JulyAugust2009.pdf

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Clan Wallace Newsletters
We have in the 2008 quarterly newsletters and the first 2 from 2009. These can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/newsletters/wallace


Poetry and Stories
------------------
I should add here that John is taking 4 weeks off to enjoy a summer holiday so no poems or Short Story for the next few weeks.

Margo has sent in a children's poem "Pink Bubblegum" which can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/kids/poems/poem67.htm

You can read other stories in our Article Service and even add your own at http://www.electricscotland.com/article

I might add that you can read an article about Royce Neil McNeill of Charlotte, North Carolina, who is the recipient of the National Tartan Day Award for 2009.


The Writings of John Muir
-------------------------
We're now onto our 8th volume - Steep Trails - California, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, The Grand Cañon with...

Chapter XIV. Nevada's Timber Belt
Chapter XV. Glacial Phenomena in Nevada
Chapter XVI. Nevada's Dead Towns
Chapter XVII. Puget Sound
Chapter XVIII. The Forests of Washington
Chapter XIX. People and Towns of Puget Sound

Here is how the chapter on Puget Sound starts...

WASHINGTON TERRITORY, recently admitted [November 11, 1889; Muir's description probably was written toward the end of the same year. Editor.] into the Union as a State, lies between latitude 46° and 49° and longitude 117° and 125°, forming the northwest shoulder of the United States. The majestic range of the Cascade Mountains naturally divides the State into two distinct parts, called Eastern and Western Washington, differing greatly from each other in almost every way, the western section being less than half as large as the eastern, and, with its copious rains and deep fertile soil, being clothed with forests of evergreens, while the eastern section is dry and mostly treeless, though fertile in many parts, and producing immense quantities of wheat and hay. Few States are more fertile and productive in one way or another than Washington, or more strikingly varied in natural features or resources.

Within her borders every kind of soil and climate may be found -the densest woods and dryest plains, the smoothest levels and roughest mountains. She is rich in square miles (some seventy thousand of them), in coal, timber, and iron, and in sheltered inland waters that render these resources advantageously accessible. She also is already rich in busy workers, who work hard, though not always wisely, hacking, burning, blasting their way deeper into the wilderness, beneath the sky, and beneath the ground. The wedges of development are being driven hard, and none of the obstacles or defenses of nature can long withstand the onset of this immeasurable industry.

Puget Sound, so justly famous the world over for the surpassing size and excellence and abundance of its timber, is a long, many- fingered arm of the sea reaching southward from the head of the Strait of Juan de Fuca into the heart of the grand forests of the western portion of Washington, between the Cascade Range and the mountains of the coast. It is less than a hundred miles in length, but so numerous are the branches into which it divides, and so many its bays, harbors, and islands, that its entire shore-line is said to measure more than eighteen hundred miles. Throughout its whole vast extent ships move in safety, and find shelter from every wind that blows, the entire mountain-girt sea forming one grand unrivaled harbor and center for commerce.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol8_chapter17.htm

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


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

Frank is now back from his holiday and hopefully we'll get a report on his trip in the coming weeks. In the meantime he has sent in another article for his Robert Burns Lives! series which is a Speech given by Robert Carnie...

Sometimes the term “Burns scholar” is used unwarrantedly when describing someone who is a Burnsian, particularly if he or she is a speaker. Usually people who use the term are trying to be kind or they just don’t know what else to say. A Burns scholar, to me, is someone who has dedicated his or her life to studying and teaching Burns, usually in the role of a professor. Such a person is Robert Carnie who was a Burns scholar of the first degree. He studied Burns. He taught Burns. He loved Burns. He spent his entire life doing all three. Bob Carnie was a true Burns scholar.

I regret having never met Robert Carnie as I feel we would have gotten along fine as friends, particularly regarding Burns. As you read his speeches, you will find that this 18th century Scottish literature professor possessed not only remarkable knowledge of the Bard but also the ability to convey that knowledge to his students and audiences, in the classroom and on the Burns Night circuit. The following is a portion of some questions posed to his son, Andrew Carnie, a few months back.

FRS: How old was your dad when he became interested in Burns?
AC: It was a life-long interest fostered by his father.

FRS: Why was Burns such a big influence in his life?
AC: It was his profession: he was a professor of 18th Century Scottish literature. He also greatly enjoyed the social aspect of the two Burns clubs he belonged to (Calgary Burns Club and the Schiehallion Club).

FRS: Did his love of Burns impact your life in any way? If so, how? Give examples.
AC: Dad's influence (and the Burnsian component of that influence) and love for his Scottish Heritage affected both me and my two sisters. We are all bibliophiles, and we all enjoy research. My sister Morag is a professional archivist and avid book collector. My other sister Fiona is a professional musician, but she is also a Scottish Country Dance teacher. I'm a professional linguist. I don't work on the language of Robert Burns, but my expertise is on the grammar of Scottish Gaelic (http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~gaelic). As a kid I did Highland dance and played the bagpipes -- all because of my Dad's love of his home. To this day, I hold a small Burns supper with my work colleagues every year.

FRS: Why did your father feel compelled to write his book, Burns Illustrated, on the Bard?
AC: He wanted to share his love and knowledge of Burns and his interest in the artists involved in the book trade.

This interview or chat with Andrew Carnie will continue as more of his father’s speeches are put online. The following presentation by Professor Carnie is marked in his computer files as Schiehallion Club and is printed as received, unedited. This is the third speech by Robert Carnie placed on Robert Burns Lives! (FRS: 7.8.09)

You can read the rest of this article at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns_lives58.htm

And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns.htm


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...

Lecture X
The Church of the Nineteenth Century to 1843 By the Rev. A. H. Charteris, D,D., Professor of Biblical Criticism in the University of Edinburgh; one of Her Majesty's Chaplains.

It starts...

IT is not too much to say that no previous period in the eventful annals of the Church of Scotland is more memorable than the three-and-forty years with which this lecture has to do.

It is not a period rendered remarkable by a literary galaxy, such as that of which the previous lecture took note. When we look to the Church from 1800 to 1825, we can see among its leaders only one name associated with the highest success in any department of general literature. That one exception is Principal Hill, who, as a leader of the Church, was strangely deaf to the voice of the people, and strangely flexible in the hands of some of the silent leaders of his party; but, as a lecturer on theology, has left a treatise which is a noble monument of fairness, clearness, and learning. Dr John Erskine, who ended his honoured life in 1803, and Sir Harry Moncreiff, who followed Erskine as the head of what was known as the
Evangelical party, were ministers and ecclesiastics of the highest stamp, upright, wise, and consistent; but—unlike Carstares or Robertson—they draw more repute from the Church than they give to it. Its annals must record their names with honour, but they do not lend it a lustre from their fame won in other fields. So, too, it was in the later years. The historical works of Dr George Cook, who succeeded Hill in the leadership of the Moderate party, are candid and clear, but they are chiefly remembered because, as we shall see, their author was a prominent actor in memorable scenes. I do not know that any one of even Dr Chalmers' books is likely to have permanent value, although a select few of his greatest sermons will probably always be known and quoted. Other names will occur as we proceed ; but this much we may say at the outset, that our period is not remarkable from a literary point of view.

You can read the rest of this lecture at http://www.electricscotland.com/bible/scottishchurch/kTheChurchOfThe19thCenturyTo1843.pdf

The other pages can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/bible/scottishchurch/


John Stuart Blackie
-------------------
By Anna M. Stoddart (1895)

Added more chapters this week...

Chapter XIX. Egypt 1876 - 1879
Froude on the Gaelic language—A morning budget of letters —The shrine of St Ninian—Heresy hunt of Dr William Robertson Smith - "Lay of the Little Lady" - Lady Breadalbane—Leave of absence—Arrival in Egypt—The Pyramid of Khufu—A visit to Tarsus—The Celtic Chair endowment - The "Nile Litany" - Banquet of the "Blackie Brotherhood"—In Rome—Death of Professor Kelland—The Splugen Pass - Home again - A Skye school inspection.

Chapter XX. Retirement from the Greek Chair 1880 - 1882
Laleliam girls' school - A contemplated "flitting"-Excursion to Iona—Mr Herbert Spencer's visit—Lecture on "The Sabbath"—The 'Lay Sermons' - Exploration of Colonsay—Farewell to Altnacraig—A consecration banquet—Failing strength—Lecture at Oxford—Sonnet on Frederick Hallard—Preparing for the close—The retirement confirmed—The new Professor of Greek—History of the Celtic Chair.

Chapter XXI. Class-Room and Platform 1841 - 1882
Mr Bob Melliss—The Professor and his "classes"—An Irish student—A true Grecian—Tributes from old students— Services rendered to education—Appearances in Oxford —A modern reformer - Embarrassing civilities - The Hellenic. Society - Widespread fame - An independent politician.

Chapter XXII. Recreations or an Emeritis Professor 1882 - 1887
The 'Wisdom of Goethe'—The Crofters' Commission—A visit to Browning—A midnight banquet—A rectorial election —The 'Scottish Highlanders'—A Crofter inquiry cruise —The Crofter question—A visit to Knebworth—Church and State—Hospitality to Greek students—At Lansdowne House—A "talking tour "—At Selkirk.

Chapter XXIII. "Living Greek" 1888 - 1891
'Life of Burns '—The Greek scholarship—Scottish Universities Reform—" Praise of Kingussie "-'Scottish Song '—A verdict on 'Romola '—At St Mary's Loch—" Tibbie Shiel's in Yarrow "- Modern Greek literature - Presentation from Hellenic Society—Lecturing at Oxford—The 'Greek Primer'—At Palermo—Sight-seeing in Constantinople— Greek newspapers.

Chapter XXIV. Closing Years 1892 - 1895
The light of eventide - The Travelling Scholarship - The golden wedding—Portrait by Sir George Reid—A birthday celebration—Looking forward—A Hellenic meeting— Visits in England—At Pitlochry—Leeturing at Aberdeen -'Self-Culture' in Italian—Two invalids—"The Happy Warrior"—At Tom-na-monachan--Visit from Sir Henry Irving—A last Christmas-party—The Blackie Scholarship —Nearing the end—His death and funeral—At the grave.

This actually completes this book but we're also going to do an additonal 3 chapters of one his famous short books.

Here is how the account of "Living Greek" starts...

CONCERNING the 'Life of Burns,' Dr Stodart Walker, the Professor's nephew, writes :-

I asked him once why he wrote this book. "Well," he said, "I was asked to do it, and at first I refused, for I can never do work to order. But then I thought a little, and I said to myself, There are two kinds of persons who may write that life. First, the blind hero-worshipper, who will write a useless blatant kind of work; and then another much worse person, who will play the righteous uncharitable moralist with Burns, and probably look at him through his own myopic lenses. I felt that I understood Burns, and that righteousness and mercy could guide my course."

How he succeeded can best be understood by reading the book. It has been accounted "a tender and yet masterly review of the greatest lyric poet of his native land." He neither suppresses nor extenuates the wrong done by Burns, but he teaches us to understand the man's temperament, with its glow of genius, its self-respect, its temptations, its deep remorse, its unassailable dignity in presence of his dull accusers.

The author lectured on the subject of Burns in Kilmarnock at the time of its publication, and records how he was treated with great hospitality of a teetotal character, out of keeping with the place and the occasion.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/blackie/chapter23.htm

You can read these chapters at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/blackie/


Memoirs of a Highland Lady
--------------------------
The Autobiography of Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus afterwards Mrs Smith of Baltiboys 1797-1830.

Added more chapters to this book with only one more to go...

Chapter XVII. 1818-1819
Chapter XVIII. 1820-1822
Chapter XIX. 1822-1826
Chapter XX. 1826-1827
Chapter XXI. 1827-1828
Chapter XXII. 1829-1830

Chapter XVIII starts...

THE length of time that has passed since we made this pleasant little tour in the Netherlands has caused forgetfulness of a thousand details which always add so much to the interest of any account of the first impressions of a foreign country. In talking over our travels with our good friend Miss Bessy Clerk, we used to keep her laughing by the hour at several of our adventures. This winter in Edinburgh was our last, passed much as other winters; the same law dinners before Christmas, the same balls after it. My mother was very kind to me and did not press me to go out. Jane, who delighted in company, and who was the most popular young lady in our society, was quite pleased to have most of the visiting. I was a good deal with Miss Clerk and the Jeffreys and the Brewsters, at whose house one day at a quiet dinner I met Sir John Hay and his daughter Elizabeth, looking so very pretty in the mourning she wore for her betrothed. He had died of quinsy while on circuit at Aberdeen the year before. She afterwards married Sir David Hunter Blair.

There were serious riots in the West country this spring of 1820, the yeomanry called out, troops sent to Glasgow—a serious affair while it lasted. Jane was out at dinner, my mother was reading to me, when with a grand fuss in came William Gibson to tell us the strife was over, and to show himself in all the bravery of his yeomanry uniform; very handsome it was. He and I had fallen out before we went abroad, and we never rightly fell in again. He was a little spoiled, known to be the heir of his wealthy father and still wealthier cousin, Mr Craig of Riccarton; the idea, therefore, of his studying for the Bar struck us all as absurd. Of course he did not spend much time on his law books, and his father determined to send him to travel. My father and mother were sorry to see him go; he was a favourite, and has turned out so as fully to justify their partiality.

There were many public rejoicings although private affairs had been gathering gloom. The old Queen Charlotte had died and George III.ditto. The Princess Charlotte had married and had died with her baby, and this had set all her royal uncles upon marrying to provide heirs to the throne. One after the other German princesses came over, and in this year began the births, to the supposed delight of a grateful country We had long tiresome mournings and then the joy-bells —the old tale. But there were other losses more felt. Madame de Staël died, to the regret of Europe. We had heard so much of her through the Mackintoshes that we almost fancied her an acquaintance. I think the Duke of York must have died too, and Mrs Canning —but maybe this was later. I am confused about dates, having never made any memoranda to guide me. Altogether my recollections of these few last months in Edinburgh are rather confused and far from pleasant.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/highlandlady/chapter18.htm

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


Old World Scotland
------------------
A new book we're starting giving Glimpses of its Modes and Manners, By T. F. Henderson (1893).

Added further chapters this week...

Chapter II. Usquebagh
Chapter III. The Staff of Life
Chapter IV. On Kale and Beef
Chapter V. Scots Vivers
Chapter VI. Feasting and Fasting
Chapter VII. In Praise of the Horn Spoon

Chapter II starts...

WHAT about whisky during the centuries when ale and claret were the chief handmaids to Scottish mirth? Had it no existence? Were its virtues really unknown? Or did the Scot, in Burns's phrase, ''twist" at it "his gruntle [Snout] wi' a glunch [frown] o' sour disdain"? If it was unknown, who was its discoverer, or how was it introduced? At least a fairly satisfactory answer is possible. So far as the bulk of the Lowlands is concerned, whisky was virtually nonexistent as a beverage till near the close of the sixteenth century, and did not come into general use till very much later. The name of its creator does not survive even in national myth; the circumstances attendant upon its entrance on the stage of time are involved in such a mystery as that which shrouds the origin of species. The probability is that the general benefactor was some mighty "medicine man" of the ancient Celts; but who he was and when or where he first set up his still and called spirits from the yeasty malt remains unrecorded.

It is, however, well-nigh indubitable that in Scotland the original manufacturers of whisky were the Celts of the Highlands. Usquebagh was made as early as the twelfth century by their cousins the Celts of Ireland, and the presumption is that the art was known to their common ancestors before the migration. Distillation is mentioned by the Arab Geber, who flourished about 800; but whether Geber was known or not to the inhabitants of mediaeval Britain, it is unlikely that a mere hint from him would, as some writers have loosely and carelessly suggested, inspire the British Celts to the production of usquebagh. No doubt the art of distillation may have been discovered spontaneously by different nations, but it is entirely inconsistent with facts to theorise that the manufacture of whisky in Scotland originated in times comparatively modern through the introduction of the art of distillation from England or elsewhere. On the contrary, it is beyond question that usquebagh figured in the rude orgies of the Celtic clans long before modern influences had penetrated to their fastnesses. For centuries it may have remained wholly unknown to their Lowland neighbours dammed up, as it were, by the barriers of alien custom and foreign speech. Hector Boece, who wrote about the beginning of the sixteenth century, says of the ancient customs of the Scots, that " at such times as they determined to be merry, they used a kind of aqua nice void of all spice, and only consisting of such herbs and roots as grew in their own gardens. Otherwise their common drink was ale; but in time of war, when they were enforced to lie in camp, they contented themselves with water, as readiest for their turns." Boece is rather incorrect and credulous, and many of his statements must be taken cam grano salis; but his native district bordered on the highlands, and not improbably the Highland custom of drinking usquebagh was occasionally indulged in there, although himself appears to have had a very indistinct and imperfect knowledge of the character of the liquor.

The rest of this chapter can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/oldworld/chap2.htm

The book index page can be found at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/oldworld/index.htm


MacRaes in America
------------------
Cornelia Bush sent in some information on her book "MacRaes in America" which also includes all known spellings of the name through her research in Scotland, Ireland and the USA.

You can read her account and a short history of the clan at http://www.electricscotland.com/cornelia/macraes.htm


Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
----------------------------------------------------------------
I got a few more biographies sent in by Nola Crewe for which many thanks. I will be adding them to the site over the next week or two. In this week is one of Duncan Galbraith.

The list of biographies can be seen at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/kent/index.htm


A wee bit of old Scots Humour
-----------------------------
A Process of Exhaustion
A Scotch minister was asked if he was not very much exhausted after preaching three hours. "Oh, no," he replied; "but it would have done you good to see how worried the people were."

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A Highland Chief and His Doctor
Dr. Gregory (of immortal mixture memory) used to tell a story of an old Highland chieftain, intended to show how such Celtic potentates were once held to be superior to all the usual considerations which affected ordinary mortals. The doctor, after due examination, had, in his usual decided and blunt manner, pronounced the liver of a Highlander to be at fault, and to be the cause of his ill-health. His patient, who could not but consider this as taking a great liberty with a Highland chieftain, roared out, "And what business is it of yours whether I have a liver or not?"

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"Kaming" Her Ain Head
The late good, kind-hearted Dr. David Dickson was fond of telling a story of a Scottish termagant of the days before Kirk-session discipline had passed away. A couple were brought before the court, and Janet, the wife, was charged with violent, and unduti-ful conduct, and with wounding her husband, by throwing a three-legged stool at his head. The minister rebuked her conduct, and pointing out its grievous character, by explaining that just as Christ was head of his Church, so the husband was head of the wife ; and therefore in assaulting him, she had in fact injured her own body.

"Weel," she replied, "it's come to a fine pass gin a wife canna kame her ain head."

"Aye, but Janet," rejoined the minister, "a three-legged stool is a thief-like bane-kame to scart yer ain head wi'!"


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

Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 


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