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Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Books of John McDougall
Clans and Families
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Robert Burns Lives!
Oor Mither Tongue
John's Scottish Sing-Along
Songs of Lowland Scotland
"Curdies" a Glasgow Sketch Book
The Black-Bearded Barbarian
The Life and Public Services of Henry Wilson
The 48th Highlanders of Toronto
A Voice in the Wilderness
The Story of Scottish Rugby (New Book)
Folk Lore in Lowland Scotland (New Book)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The Very Rev. Professor John McIntyre
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
This Saturday the site will be down for a wee while as we migrate
our data drive to a new and faster hard disk. We will also be
installing the new Arcade system to our Aois Community. Saturday's
see the least number of visitors to the site and so is the best day
to do all this.
On the domestic front the carpentry repairs have been completed on
my porch and the painter has completed the preparation work and so
next week should see the final painting. The painter actually spent
4 days just on the preparation work!
I'm also puzzling over how to get feedback on Scottish Clan
Societies around the world. I keep getting told that a lot of
societies are not doing well at retaining members and attracting new
ones. That said I have had reports in that some clan societies are
doing quite well. I noted Clan MacKenzie did well at Fergus in
Canada and also at the Clan Gathering in Scotland.
I have a view that when seeking new members that clan societies
should have a one off joining fee in addition to their annual fee.
The joining fee should be sufficient to provide a book about the
clan, a lapel/tie clan pin, 2 x t-Shirts (1 with the clan crest and
another with a more basic clan design that might be more attractive
to younger members, and also a signed picture of the Clan Chief with
a welcome letter on the back. They should also issue a membership
card each year.
In addition to this I believe that societies should issue a special
clan pin every 5th year so at 5, 10, 15, 20 with the 25th being a
special version of the pin. They would build that into the price of
I also wondered if clan societies should also build in the price of
a wee gift with each years membership.
How about a birthday greeting? You just need to get the birth date
on the sign up form. This can even be automated online with a
birthday card being emailed to each member.
I have opened up a thread within the Clans and Families Forum in our
Aois Community and would welcome feedback in there.
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 or on our site menu.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks issue was compiled by Ian Goldie and his single story is
about THE MEGRAHI DECISION and no Synopsis this week.
Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available as the
Parliament are now on the Summer recess.
Books of John McDougall
We've now added more chapters to the first book, Forest, Lake and
Establish a fishery - Breaking dogs - Dog-driving, etc.
Winter trip to Oxford - Extreme cold - Quick travelling.
Mother and baby's upset - My humiliation.
From Norway House to the great plains - Portaging - Pulling and
poling against the strong current - Tracking.
Enter the plains - Meet a flood - Reach Fort Carlton.
The Fort - Buffalo steak - "Out of the latitude of bread".
New surroundings - Plain Indians - Strange costumes - Glorious
gallops - Father and party arrive.
Here is chapter XIV as it's quite short...
THIS was just at the beginning of the fall fishing, and as the
Indians were scattered for miles in every direction, my school was
broken up, and my father sent me to establish a fishery.
So with a young Indian as my companion we went into camp across the
lake, and went to work setting our nets and making our stagings on
which to hang the fish, as all fish caught before the ice makes are
hung up on stagings.
You put up good strong posts on which you lay logs, and across these
you place strong poles about two and a half feet apart; then you cut
good straight willows about an inch in thickness and three feet
long. You sharpen one end of these, and, punching a hole in the tail
of the fish, you string them on the willows, ten to a stick, and
with a forked pole you lift these to the staging, hanging them
across between the poles; and there they hang, and dry, and freeze,
until you haul them away to your storehouse.
After ice makes, the fish freeze almost as soon as you take them out
of the water, and are piled away without hanging.
When the fish are plentiful you visit your nets two and three times
in the night, in order to relieve them of the great weight and
strain of so many fish.
Overhauling the nets, taking care of the fish, mending and drying
your nets—all this keeps you busy almost all the time. In taking
whitefish out of the net, one uses teeth and hands. You catch the
fish in your hand, lift it to your mouth, and, taking hold of its
head with your teeth, you press down its length with both hands
meeting, and thus force the fish from the net without straining your
net. When the fish is loose from the net, you give a swing with your
head, and thus toss the fish into the boat behind you or away out on
the ice beside you.
All of this, except mending the nets in the tent, is desperately
cold work. The ice makes on your sleeves and clothing. Your hands
would freeze were it not that you keep them in the water as much as
In my time hundreds of thousands of whitefish were thus taken every
year for winter use, the principal food for men and dogs being fish.
When the lakes and rivers are frozen over, you take a long rope
about a quarter of an inch in thickness, and pass it under the ice
to the length of your net. To do this you take a long dry pole, and
fasten your rope at one end of this; then you cut holes in the ice
the length of your pole apart in the direction you want to set your
net; you then pass this pole under the ice using a forked stick to
push it along, and in this way bring your line out at the far end of
where your. net will be when set. One pulls the rope and the other
sets the net, carefully letting floats and stones go as these should
in order that the net hang right.
My man and I put up about two thousand white-fish, besides a number
of jack-fish. These were hauled home by dog-train.
My four pups which I bought from Mr. Sinclair over a year since were
now fine big dogs, but as wild as wolves. I had put up a square of
logs for a dog-house, and by feeding, and coaxing, and decoying with
old dogs, I finally succeeded in getting them into it. Then I would
catch one at a time, and hitch him with some old and trained dogs.
Father would go with me, and fight off the other three while I
secured the one I was breaking in, and by and by, I had the whole
four broken, and they turned out splendid fellows to pull and go.
Very few, if any, trains could leave me in the race, and when I
loaded them with two hundred hung fish, they would keep me on the
dead run to follow.
I was very proud of my first train of dogs, and also of my success
in breaking them.
Many a flying trip I gave father or mother and my sisters over to
the fort or out among the Indians. Sometimes I went with father to
visit Indian camps, and also to the Hudson's Bay shanties away up
Jack River, where their men were taking out timber and wood for the
fort. What cared we for the cold Father was well wrapped in the
cariole, and I, having to run and keep the swinging cariole right
side up, had not time to get cold.
Book of Scottish Story
Thanks to John Henderson for sending this book into us.
This week he's sent in chapter 5 of "Basil Rolland" which completes
this story. Chapter 5 starts...
Basil Rolland was conducted into one of the cells of the common
prison, and, notwithstanding his excitement, fell into a profound
slumber; but it was of that troubled kind which nature obtains by
force when the mind is disposed for watchfulness. He imagined
himself by the sea, on a beautiful summer evening, walking with his
love by the murmuring shore. On a sudden they were separated; and
he, in a small boat, was on the bosom of the ocean. The tempest was
raging in all its grandeur, and the unwilling bark was whirling and
reeling on the mountainous waves ; it struck upon a rock, and was
dashed into a thousand pieces. He felt the waters rushing in his
ears; he saw the sea-monsters waiting for their prey; and his
bubbling screams filled his own heart with horror. He sank--but the
waters receded and receded, till he stood firmly on a dry rock. A
vast plain was around him--a black and barren wilderness, without
one plant, one shrub, or one blade of grass. It lay stretched before
him, as far as his eye could reach, the same dismal, monotonous
scene of desolation. On a sudden, the mists that covered its
termination were dispelled, and piles of rocky mountains, whose tops
touched the clouds, began to close around him. A vast amphitheatre
of smooth and perpendicular stone surrounded him, and chained him to
the desert. The rocky walls began to contract themselves, and to
move nearer to the spot where he stood. Their summits were covered
with multitudes of spectators, whose fiendish shout was echoed from
rock to rock, until it fell upon his aching ear. Wild, unearthly
faces were before him on every side; and fingers pointed at him with
a dernoniacal giggle. The rocks still moved on. The narrow circle on
which he stood was darkened by their height—he heard the clashing of
their collision—he felt his body crushed and bruised by the gigantic
pressure. He raised his voice to shriek his last farewell; but the
scene was changed. The grave had given up her dead; and the sea, the
dead that were in her. He was among the companions of his childhood;
and not one was wanting. The jest and the game went on as in the
days of his youth. His departed mother awaited his return; but her
kiss of welcome blenched his cheek with cold. Again he was involved
in a scene of strife. The death-bearing missiles were whizzing
around him; but he had not the power to lift an arm in his own
defence. A supernatural energy chained him to the spot, and
paralysed all his efforts. A gigantic trooper levelled his carbine
at him ; the aim was taken deliberately; he heard the snap of the
lock ; he saw the flash of fire ; he gave a loud and piercing
shriek, and awoke in agony, gasping for breath.
The sun was shining through the grated window when he awoke, weak
and exhausted by his unrefreshing sleep. He found the sober form of
the Covenanting preacher seated beside his pallet, with a small
Bible in his hand.
"I thought it my duty,” said the preacher, "to visit thee, and mark
how thou bearest thyself under this dispensation, and to offer thee
that consolation, in the name of my Master, which smoothes the
passage to the tomb."
"You have my thanks,” said the unfortunate youth. "Have you waited
long in the apartment?"
"I came at daybreak; but often was I tempted to rouse thee from thy
slumbers, for thy dreams seemed terrifying.
"I have indeed passed a fearful night. Fancy has chased fancy in my
scorching brain till it appeared reality. But I can spend only
another such night.”
"I grieve to tell thee, young man, that thy days are numbered: all
the intercession of thy father and his friends hath been fruitless.
I also talked to James of Montrose concerning thee; for I hold that
he hath overstretched the limit of his power, and that there is no
cause of death in thee: but he treated me as one that mocketh, when
I unfolded the revealed will of God, that the earth will not cover
innocent blood; wherefore turn, I beseech thee, thine eyes to the
Lord,—for vain is the help of man. Look to the glory on the other
side of the grave. Fear not them which can kill the body, but after
that can have no power; but fear Him that can cast both soul and
body into hell.”
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for sending these into us.
DUNCAN P. McPHAIL, M.D., physician and druggist of Highgate, Orford
township, County of Kent, came to that place in 1887 from his
birthplace, Iona Station, Dunwich township, County of Elgin,
Ontario. He is a son of Hugh and Mary (Paterson) McPhail, of the
County of Elgin the father, now (1904) eighty-one years of age,
living retired on the homestead. The mother died April 1st, 1902,
aged seventy-five years. Hugh McPhail has been a justice of the
peace many years, and was also township councillor for several
Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw
Haggis is a great dish if it is prepared correctly. I love it when
it is and want more than my share! It is a dish that conjures up
several responses - one is outright dislike, another is outright
love, and usually the third draws a blank stare at which point you
know your audience does not know what you are talking about. Usually
there is no middle ground on the subject of haggis. The paper below
was delivered by Dr. Colin Blyth during the “Robert Burns at 250”
international conference hosted earlier this year by the University
of South Carolina. As always, it is a joy to introduce a fellow
Burnsian to our readers.
This is the second of three articles over the last few weeks on the
Robert Burns Lives! web site regarding haggis. The first was by the
“King of Haggis”, James Macsween of Macsween of Edinburgh,
third-generation haggis makers in the auld country. The final
article will be by yours truly and much less formal. The three
articles are a blend of thoughts with regard to Scotland’s national
dish and the man who made it so - Robert Burns. Yet again, there is
no way this man will ever die! (FRS: 8-27-2009)
Songs of Lowland Scotland
From the times of James V, King of Scots, A book of c. 600 pages of
songs published in Scotland in 1870, and arranged in episodic form
by John Henderson.
The Black-Bearded Barbarian
The Life of George Leslie Mackay of Formosa by Marian Keith
we have now completed this book with chapters...
Chapter 9 - Other Conquests
Chapter 10 - Re-enforcements
Chapter 11 - Unexpected Bombardment
Chapter 12 - Triumphal March
Chapter 13 - The Land Occupied
Here is how Chapter 9 starts...
Away over on the east of the island ran a range of beautiful
mountains. And between these mountains and the sea stretched a low
rice plain. Here lived many Pe-po-hoan,-- "Barbarians of the plain."
Mackay had never visited this place, for the Kap-tsu-lan plain, as
it was called, was very hard to reach on account of the mountains;
but this only made the dauntless missionary all the more anxious to
So one day he suggested to his students, as they studied in his
house on the bluff, that they make a journey to tell the people of
Kap-tsu-lan the story of Jesus. Of course, the young fellows were
delighted. To go off with Kai Bok-su was merely transferring their
school from his house to the big beautiful outdoors. For he always
taught them by the way, and besides they were all eager to go with
him and help spread the good news that had made such a difference in
their lives. So when Kai Bok-su piled his books upon a shelf and
said, "Let us go to Kaptsu-lan," the young fellows ran and made
their preparations joyfully. A Hoa was in Tamsui at the time, and
Mackay suggested that he come too, for a trip without A Hoa was
robbed of half its enjoyment.
Mackay had just recovered from one of those violent attacks of
malaria from which he suffered so often now, and he was still
looking pale and weak. So Sun-a, a bright young student-lad, came to
the study door with the suggestion, "Let us take Lu-a for Kai Bok-su
There was a laugh from the other students and an indulgent smile
from Kai Bok-su himself. Lu-a was a small, rather stubborn- looking
donkey with meek eyes and a little rat tail. He was a present to the
missionary from the English commissioner of customs at Tamsui, when
that gentleman was leaving the island. Donkeys were commonly used on
the mainland of China, and though an animal was scarcely ever ridden
in Formosa, horses being almost unknown, the commissioner did not
see why his Canadian friend, who was an introducer of so many new
things, should not introduce donkey-riding. So he sent him Lu-a as a
farewell present and leaving this token of his good-will departed
The Life and Public Services of Henry Wilson
A new book we're starting about the Late Vice President of the
United States by Rev. Elias Nason and Hon Thomas Russell (1876)
We have now made more progress on this book by adding chapters...
Journey to Natick. -Visits Bunker Hill and the Office of "The North
American Review." - The Town of Natick. - Shoemaking. - Lets himself
to learn the Trade.—Makes Forty-seven Pairs and a half of Shoes
without Sleep. - Forms a Debating Club. - Improves In Speaking. -
Deacon Coolidge. - Health impaired. - Visits Washington In 1836. -
Opposition to Slavery. — Williams's Slave-Pen. — His Own Account of
his Visit. — Attends Academies In New Hampshire. - School-Teaching.
- Studies. - Attends an Antislavery Convention at Concord. N.H.—Loss
of Funds. — Returns to Natick. - Improvements in the Village.- He
begins to manufacture Shoes. - Character as a Business-Man. - Amount
of Business done.— His Regard to Principle
The Rev. E. D. Moore: his Views, and Regard for Mr. Wilson.—The Rev.
Samuel Hunt: his Influence.—Bible-Class.-- Presentation of a Watch.—
Marriage. - Mrs. Wilson's Character. —Her Influence over her
Husband.- Their house and Home.—Birth of a Son.—Mr. Wilson's Regard
for Tern. perance. — Speech. — Candidate for General Court.—Defeated
on the Fifteen-gallon Law. - Enters the Harrison Campaign. - General
Enthusiasm of the People. —He makes his first Political Speech.
—Addresses more than Sixty Audiences. - His Manner. - Elected to
General Court. - Story of the Farmer. - His Industry. - This Views
of Slavery. - Advocates Repeal of Law against Intermarriage of
Blacks and Whites. - Defeated as Candidate for Senate—Elected to
that Body the Next Year, and for 1845. -Contends for the Right of
Colored Children to a Seat In the Public Schools. —Remarks thereon.
-Advance in Public Sentiment.—Mr. Wilson's Mission
ills Military Turn of Mind, -Reading. -Views of War. —Views of the
Militia System. —Election as Major, 1543.—Colonel and
Brigadier-General, L846. - Regard for Discipline. - Popularity with
Soldiers. - Speech in the Senate. - Peace and War. - Preparations
for more Important Duties. - His Regard for Temperance. - Speech at
Natick, 1845.— A Citizen at Home. - Appreciated by his Townsmen
Southern Efforts to annex Texas to the United States.— Mr. Wilson's
Amendment to Resolutions against Annexation in the Senate adopted.—Cali
for a Convention. —Opposed by Whigs.—Held in Faneun Hail, Jan.
27.—Address to the People.—The True Reformer. —Meeting at
Waltham.—Mr. Wilson's Views. — Convention at Concord, 1845.—Mr.
Hunt.—Meeting at Cambridge, Oct. 21.—Address of Mr. Wllson. —
Persistent Efforts—Carries Petitions to Washington. -Refuses to take
'Wine with Mr. Adams. - State Representative in 1846.— Introduces
Resolution on Slavery. - Eloquent Speech thereon. —Mr. Garrison's
View of it.—Regard for the Constitution
Regard of the People—Delegate to the National Convention.—Withdraws
from that Body.—Origin of the Free-soil Party.—" Boston Republican."
—Editor of—Its Principles and Influence. —Chairman of Free-soil
State Committee.—Member of the house, 1850.—Mr. Webster's
7th-of-March Speech—The Coalition.—Election of Mr. Sumner to the
United-States Senate, 1851.—Mr. Sumner's Letter.—Mr. Wilson made
Chairman of the Senate that Year—Address on taking the Chalr.—A
Contrast.—" The Liberator."— Harvard University.—Thanks of the
Senate, and Closing Address. —Delegate to Pittsburg. — Candidate for
Congress, 1852.—Chairman of the Senate, 1S5'2.—Ills Course in the
Senate.— Welcome to Kossuth.—Sympathy between them.— His
Punctuality. —Gold Watch
A Friend of his Pastor,— hard Study.—Temperance.—Books and Authors.
—The Source of Civil Liberty. —No "Back-Blows."—Cheerful Spirit.—
Home. - Gift to his Minister. - Revision of the State Constitution.
- Elected by Natick and Berlin. - Punctuality. - His Course. - how
he looked at a Legal Question. - Chairman pro tern. - Speech in
Favor of Colored Troops. —On the Death of Mr. Gourgas of Concord.—On
the Course of Harvard College in Respect to Prof. Bowen. - Address
to his Constituents.- Reason for Defeat of the Amendments. - Cost
and Influence of the Convention
Candidate for Governor. - Defeated. - Not disheartened. - Visit to
Washington. — His Grand Idea. — Ready to surrender Party for
Principle.—Convention at Worcester, 1854. - Again nominated for
Governor, and defeated. - State goes into the American Organization.
- His Views. - Southern Domination. - Antislavery Sentiment
increasing. Sumner. - If 'Wilson nominated United-States Senator. -
His Firmness. - His Election. - United. States Senate-Chamber. - His
Fitness for the Place. - His Personal Appearance.—His First Speech.
—Letter from Mr. Ashmun.—Extract from Mr. Parker's Sermon, and
Letter from the Same.
The 48th Highlanders of Toronto
By Alexander Fraser, M.A. (1900)
We've now completed this book by adding...
Chapter 2 - The Regiment Organized
Chapter 3 - Drill and Discipline
Chapter 4 - Work at the Rifle Ranges
Chapter 5 - Regimental Organizations
Chapter 6 - List of Officers
Chapter 7 - Roll of Honour
Chapter 8 - Highland Laddie
Here is how Chapter 2 starts...
In the spring of 1892 the regiment had emerged from its chrysalis,
and had the appearance of it completed organization. The uniforms
had been by this time received—modelled on that of the Gordon
Highlanders, and manufactured in Inverness. Scotland. The strength
of the battalion had reached about 350 and much hard work had been
put on drill.
John Irvine Davidson was born on the 17tl) November, 1854, at Wartle.
Aberdeenshire. His father was Dr. Samuel Davidson, of Wartle. He was
educated at Aberdeen, and as a young man began his business career
in London, England. Coming to Canada shortly afterwards he rose
rapidly in business, and besides becoming the head of the firm of
Davidson & Hay, merchants, he soon occupied other important business
and public positions. He was president of the Board of Trade
1890-91, was vice president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, is
president of the St. Paul's Mining Company, and a director of
several commercial and financial institutions. His military career
has been varied and uniformly successful. It began by a service of
two and one-hall years as a private iii the 7th Aberdeenshire
Volunteers. He next served as a private for one and ,le-half years
in the London Scottish; one year in the Uxbridge yeomanry, and six
years as lieutenant and captain in the 10th Royal Grenadiers. He
holds a R.S.I. first-class certificate, and was formally confirmed
in the command of the 48th Highlanders on the 25th March, 1892. No
happier choice could have been made. His experience, his great
capacity for work, his knowledge of human nature, his judicious
management, are qualities he possesses more than ordinarily, and
from which the organization of the regiment had every advantage.
When he retired from the command in 1898 he was made honorary
Lieut.-Colonel of the regiment.
The Story of Scottish Rugby
By R. J. Philips (1925)
I've been gradually adding histories of sports in Scotland and so
this book will add to our knowledge on yet another sport.
The purpose of this outline of the establishment and development of
Rugby Football in Scotland is to place on available record
information which may be generally lacking, and the imparting of
which, it is felt, ought not to be deferred until the generation
which founded and built up the game has passed away and the subject
has entered the region of myth and tradition.
Much of the fabric of present-day Rugby Football was built on
foundations laid in Scotland. Many of the greatest exponents of the
game were Scottish players, and the influence of the judicial bent
of the Scottish mind, as well as the exertion of the spirit of
independence, are monumentally recognised in the International Board
established on the demands of Scotland for orderliness and equality.
The present-day Scottish Rugby faculty has therefore succeeded to a
goodly heritage, no part or parcel of which they should allow to be
filched from them.
I have to express my thanks for permission to utilise a series of
articles on the subject which appeared in the Edinburgh Evening
Dispatch last winter, and at the same time I wish to acknowledge
with gratitude the kindly assistance rendered by a number of
old-time international players in verifying and adding to the
information in my own possession.
Folk Lore in Lowland Scotland
By Eve Blantyre Simpson (1908)
This is an interesting book and we have the first two chapters up...
Beltane and the Vanished Races
The Romans and Wells of Water
Here is how Chapter I starts...
"On the wind-swept moors and tranquil valleys I have felt, by some
secret intuition, some overwhelming tremor of the spirit, that here
some desperate strife has been waged, some primeval conflict
enacted; an uncontrollable throb of insight, that here some
desperate stand was made, some barbarous Thermopylea lost or won."
—House of Quiet.
THE study of the folk lore of Lowland Scotland reveals to us in
scanty uncertain glimmers some shadowy conception of the aboriginal
inhabitants of what was in sober truth a stern and wild Caledonia.
Ancient haunts of men have numberless tongues for those who know how
to hear them speak. But it is not the uncouth monoliths like giant
mile-stones, looming forth on heights and dark moorlands, but the
place names our deluvian ancestors bequeathed to us, which guide us
to the knowledge from whence they had wandered to the north. Those
that run may not read, but those who pause, and with careful
patience clear away the dust of bygone ages, can decipher, despite
the obstructions of centuries of progress, traces which, like a
blazed trail, lead us beyond the even track of written history into
the forest primeval of Scotland's story. Amid all our vaunted
complicated civilisation is it not somewhat startling to find we,
who consider ourselves so advanced in religious knowledge, adhere to
usages descended to us frorn the sanguinary creed of our blue-woaded
One chief and most abiding indication of their, and consequently of
our, Oriental origin, are the relics left by these extinct races of
their worship of the great lights of heaven. Fire has had a
fascination for the human species from time immemorial. Naturally,
those who were forced to dwell in the north craved the most for
warmth, but whether the blaze is lit by a hearth-stone, or in the
open under the roof of heaven, man, civilised or savage, is allured
by and gathers round a fire. The glowing flames for the time being
become the home centre. In far past ages the inhabitants of Scotland
wielded weapons of stone, but later, when the hidden metals had been
tracked to their lair, the natives learned to forge bronze swords,
the sun, moon, and stars above them were all important mystic
factors in their lives—gods to be propitiated. They had to live
preying, and being preyed upon by the four- footed people who shared
the woods with them. Their roof was a tree, and in winter they
sought, like the foxes, shelter in Mother Earth. For all their
weather-hardened skins, or robes of deer hide fastened with horn
pins, they were a-cold. They looked on the forces of nature as the
smiles or frowns of a beneficent or an angered Being. They sought to
curry favour with the Power above that gave to them light and heat.
From the East they had brought along with them their language, as
well as their reverence for Baal.
Fire was his earthly symbol, and from his name Baal, Lord, and the
Celtic lein, fire, comes Beltane - a word which lingers as a beacon
light in Scottish place names. Beltane is also linked with our
traditional customs, legends, and poetry. To he nearer to their God
on the mountaintops, they built up fires to do him honour. As
Solomon says, "It is a blessed thing for the eyes to behold the
sun." When the drear-nighted winter was over, the heat of the great
orb's rays were doubly welcome. We read in the Old Testament of this
worship of Baal, and the manner in which sacrifices of men and
beasts were offered to appease or pleasure him. The rites were the
same in North Britain as in Tophet, the Valley of Slaughter, when
the Lord complained they broke His law. The Druids, those
all-powerful priests who swayed the people of this country,
appointed certain seasons in which to pay their chiefmost deity
homage. These days have remained our national festivals, 1st May,
Midsummer, the eve of November, and Yuletide. Besides the white
bulls slain in honour of Baal, the Men of the Oaks decreed that a
huge wicker cage in the form of a colossal mortal should be woven,
and in it were cast a holocaust of human victims. These were not
only prisoners, but the worshippers' hearts'-blood, for parents gave
their best beloved. Rude music made by striking tightly-stretched
hides deadened their dolorous cries. When they had thus paid
sanguinary homage to their god, when the lurid flames, lit in his
honour, had devoured the giant cageful of their choicest and
fairest, the assembled company held high revel, danced and caroused,
partaking of peculiarly-prepared food and drink. The foregoing is a
brief outline of how the ritual of the sun-worship of the Druids was
conducted on the high-placed rude altars on the moorlands, and by
others who lived in the old time before them.
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
In the September issue Beth tells us how well the American Heavy
Athletes did in the Scottish Highland Games in Edinburgh and other
The Very Rev. Professor John McIntyre
Posted up a brief biography of this person.
John McIntyre, theologian and minister of the church: born Glasgow
20 May 1916; ordained minister 1941; Minister, Parish of Fenwick,
Ayrshire 1943-45; Hunter Baillie Professor of Theology, St Andrew's
College, University of Sydney 1946-56, Principal 1950-56, Honorary
Fellow 1990; Professor of Divinity, Edinburgh University 1956-86
(Emeritus), Dean of the Faculty of Divinity 1968-74, acting
Principal and Vice-Chancellor 1973-74, 1979; Dean of the Order of
the Thistle 1974-89; Extra Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland
1974-75, 1986-2005, Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland 1975-86;
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1982;
married 1945 Jan Buick (two sons, one daughter); died Edinburgh 18
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