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History of Curling
Chapter I. The transition period - 1800-1838

Part II - Modern Curling

HREE words describe the curling; of the period now to be considered—progress, enthusiasm, confusion. What with excitement caused by fear of French invasion up to the peace of 1815, political agitations previous to the Reform Bill of 1832, and the introduction of Free Trade, and with the bitter conflict within the Scottish Church on the question of Church and State which led to the Disruption of 1843, the country was anything but quiet. John Frost, however, did his best to draw all classes and conditions together on the ice by giving them many fine hard winters, and if beyond the Grampians the people did not yet pay him much attention, the Gallovidian poet's words were true of his own and of the southern districts of the country

In Auld Scotlan' whan winter snell
Bin's up the fosey yirth,
Then jolly curlers ha'e a spell,
O' manly fun and mirth;
Whane'er the ice can har'ly bear
A Name lie hurkling nane,
Wha liketh independent cheer,
And can a channel-stane
Owr hog that day."

In most parishes the curling club became a recognised necessity. Masons, weavers, and workpeople generally were never more devoted to the game, and the nobility and gentry gave it their heartiest support. Literary men extolled its praises in song and story, and at last we get one genuine blink of Royal patronage in the fact that His Majesty King William IV.,

"Through Sir Andrew Halliday, gave a commission to Principal Baird to send several pairs of curling-stones to Bushy Park."

With all this progress and enthusiasm there was, however, much confusion. Curlers are conservative, and the advanced methods and rules of 1)uddin ;stun were only slowly adopted: the barbarous tribe of natural boulders, crunching crampits, and movable triggers lingered on. The local mason did his best to ridge the local block, but there was neither beauty nor uniformity anion; the stones. Many players still used only one stone, and the number in a rink ranged from 4 to 16. The style of play was altogether more varied than in the previous century, and before parish battles could be fought a number of questions had generally to be settled, and numerous conditions made by which to regulate the play.

The progress of curling in the period and its distribution throughout Scotland may be understood from the following list:-

AYR [CIubs printed in ordinary type either are or have been affiliated wk the Royal Club, and an asterisk distinguishes those that joined the Roy at its formation in 1838. Clubs in italics have not been so affiliated.]

A great many of these were no doubt soi-clisant clubs, without any regular constitution, or stated business to transact, but they fairly indicate the popularity of curling in their several counties. Most of the old clubs of last century continued their work, and of these the minutes of Doune, Strathallan Meath Moss, Ardoch, Jedburgh, Bridge of Allan, which were formerly silent, begin at this period to give us their news. 'Their imperfect organisation no doubt accounts for the fact that among the numerous clubs in the above list we have only been able to find the records of twenty-four, viz.:—

With such information as these various records furnish, and the added light of the curling literature of the time, we may arrange' the various counties into groups, where they appear to have some bond of connection, and in this way we may survey the curling of what we have called the transition period in the history of the game.

I. WESTERN GROUP.—Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, Dumbarton.

Curlers may well keep their eye upon AYR, as the county that contains within itself the chief storehouse to which future generations must come for their implements of war. Besides, no other county is richer in curling literature or more honourably associated with the development of the national game. Of its three divisions, Cunningham had the lead, with its memories of Covenanter Guthrie, who as far back as 1644 used the "innocent recreation," and of Tam Samson, who with his retainers kept court in Sandy Patrick's a century later. Tangy was now "deid," but Tam the second was the honoured preses of one of the many clubs that bound the curlers of Kilmarnock together at this period. Their curling made them long-lived—so their historian. [Archibald M'Kay, history of Kilmarnock, third edition, p. 114.] tells us. And no wonder, for the young men of the Morning Star .net on the ice at 7 AM, and had two hours' play before they began work. Keen as they were, they spared some of their time to the literary side of their game, and from the Kilmarnock press a collection of curling songs, with a treatise on the game based on the work of Ramsay, was issued in 1828. [A Descriptive and Historical Sketch of Curling; also, Rules, Practical Directions, Songs, Toasts, and a Glossary. Kilmarnock: Crawford, Book-seller. One of the compilers of this publication also contributes an interesting account of Kilmarnock curling to Cairnie's Essay, pp. 68-77.] Most of the songs are by Ayrshire bards, and though all the singers are not deacons at the business, even Solomon might have been a wiser and a better man if he had been privileged to hearken to such experience as one of them gives in these anonymous lines:-

"I ha'e tried love, I ha'e tried war,
I've tried to play the warldling,
But, 'boon a' crafts or joys, to me,
Is winter's darling--curling.

"There's aye sic glee around the tee,
Ilk man's a social brither,
Blyth morn and e'en, a curler keen
In snell, swell, frosty weather."

The Craufurds of Craufurdland have always done their utmost to keep alive the enthusiasm of the Kilmarnock players, and a silver trophy given by the lady of the castle in 1829 brought Kilmarnock into competition with Fenzcick, whose players were then in possession of the scientific secret which has made them famous. Mauchline, Galston, Sorn, Loudon, and such parishes could at this time each turn out a quota of 130 or 150 players. From these and the other Ayr parishes we have no written records, but the minutes of the Ayr Club formed in 1820 are before us, and may be held to illustrate the customs of the county clubs. Here the rules were those of Duddingston, but the usual number of players was eight in a rink—it was never to exceed ten. The use of crampits attached to the feet was forbidden, as they injured the ice, but a pair was placed at each end to be used there, and in order to perform his sweeping duties with safety, the player was to have "carpet shoes or something similar." The Ayr Club had its court for initiation—new members receiving the "word," and old ones being examined in their knowledge of it. The Earl of Cassillis was a member, and the number of members being limited to fifty there was consequently keen competition for admission. The Ayr curlers—" honest men "—remembered the "bonnie lasses," as the Kilmarnock and other clubs were wont to do, and annually gave a ball which made them and their club popular in the "auld toun." It is to them also that the Burns Club owes its existence—they having resolved themselves in 1821 into "a club to commemorate the birth of Burns, that the stigma of their having no such club, while almost every other place in Scotland had one, might be removed from Ayr."

Auchinleck—the parish of Sir Alexander Boswell (17751822)—had its club, and here the distinguished patriot and song-writer celebrated the praises of the game with as much applause as he did at Duddingston, till he was slain in a duel by a Fifeshire curler—James Stuart—an event which is one of the saddest in our annals. Pity indeed that political hatred overcame curling fellowship, and that Ayrshire and Scotland lost so early one of the most amiable and accomplished of men.

That patron of all manly sports, the Earl of Eglinton, was by this time leading Kilaainnin y curlers with his redoubtable henchman, Hugh Conn. In Beith there were then, as there are now, many keen and good curlers who flocked down to Kilbirnie when the "icy chain" was safely thrown over it. Another member of the Duddingston Club—the Rev. James Muir—was minister here. His song, When chitterin' birds on flichterin' wing, is one of the best we have, and Leith may ever be proud of its author. Dalmellington, too, had its poet----Robert Hetrick, who wrote some good verses.

"From the lochs at Straiton to the flushes at Largs," curling was as popular then as "Rockwood" found it at a later day, and among the Ayrshire curlers there were many noted names. Chief among them all, and even among the curlers of Scotland at this period, we place John Cairnie, the inventor of the system of artificial pond-making which has done so much for curling, and of the foot-iron now in common use. A native of Neilston, Cairnie served a period of faithful duty as surgeon in the H.E.I.C.S., and in 1813 he settled down at Largs —"the Montpelier of the North," as lie called it--where lie built Curling Hall. (He had no wife and children to whom he might have attached curling names.) From this time he threw aside his doctor's toga and made curling his hobby. He introduced it at Largs and other places, and at the annual dinners of the Duddingston Club, of which club lie also was a member, his new pavement-pond system was first explained and discussed. In 1833 he published his Essay on Curling, which was written to vindicate his claim as an inventor against that of I)r Somerville of Currie, but the work will remain valuable for its information about the game as it was then practised in different districts of Scotland, and for the pleasant glimpses it gives us of the writer and his friends in the west, on the ice, and by the social board. Here is his account of one of the dinners of the Noddle Club (so called from the Noddle Turn on which they curled).

"On 10th December 1823 the gentlemen of the club dined at the King's Arms Inn, when they were honoured with the company of no less than 11 visitors. The bill of fare is mentioned in the club-book, consisting of hare soup, fried whitings, a large turbot, a joint of corned beef, roasted beef, corned pork, two tongues, chickens, a fine goose, four grouse, and vegetables, dumpling, pudding, custard, jam, and jellies; a moderate proportion of wince was given, and the charge to each person present amounted to 7s. 8d., including ale, porter, and a modicum of drams; the dinner was excellent."

Like George Ruthven of happy memory, Cairiiie was "a bonnie little man," keen to win, and difficult to beat; kind to the poor, and a favourite with all his friends. lie had lost his left arm by a gunpowder explosion, but what his right arm found to do was done with all its might, and whether on his yacht or on the paved pond at Curling Hall, he was always happiest when making others happy. An elegy written in 1844 by his friend Captain Paterson makes fitting reference to his worth and to the sense of grief occasioned by his death.

"Why droops the banner half-mast high,
And curlers heave the bitter sigh
Why throughout Largs the tearful eye,
So blear'd and red?

Oh! listen to the poor man's cry!
John Cairnie's dead!'

"While winter's breath as waters freeze,
Lays waste the fields and bares the trees,
Or well-rigged yachts in joyous breeze
For prizes ply,
Cairnie! thy name by land or seas
Shall never die."

[The banner referred to is the flag which used to be hoisted on a high mast when the ice on Cairnie's pond was ready for sport. One room in Curling Hall was decorated with the numerous trophies Cairnie had carried off by flood or field, yacht or curling-stone. The initials "J. C." at once attracted our attention when we lately visited the place, but they turned out to be those of Mr John Clark, Anchor *Mills, Paisley, who has made of Curling Hall a palatial residence, and whose splendid steam yacht was lying where Cairnie's cutter appears in the frontispiece to the Essay. The pond has disappeared, but the ship's bell and figurehead of the Semiramis, on which Cairnie was surgeon, are to be seen in the beautiful grounds adjoining the Hall, and the stone pillar erected in the garden by Cairnie, on the spot where Haco is said to have fallen in the battle between the Scots and the Norwegians in 1263, is still there. It has a Latin inscription, of which we give a translation: "Here took place the fury of the Goths. Here lies buried Haco of Denmark, and everywhere around the earth covers his Norwegian comrades. Hither they carne seeking a kingdom. Here victorious Scotland gave to her enemies—graves, their jiist reward, on the 4th day after the nones of October, A.D. 1263. Large, on the very kalenda of June 1823, John Cairney set me up and commanded me to commemorate that event to thee. Commemorate thou it to others."

In the county of RENFREW, the chosen home of curling; has always been the safe and beautiful loch of Castle Semple or Lochwvinnoch, as it is usually called. The famous match [An account of this match is given by Dr Andrew Crawford, the eminent antiquary, in Cairnie's work (pp. 91-93). On the first day the game was all even, and '' the ladies tried to raise his Grace's thoughts in vain; "his mind was so chained on his fate next day, that he could not ''keep his spirits up within the limits of courtesy at Castle Semple, where a large party of the neighbouring gentry were present to meet him." The Duke won—thanks chiefly to the warlock Tam Pate, ''who never missed a single shot," and never gave a smile or uttered a cheep in the general joy after the Victory was won by his solitary shot. The Duke, for all that, should have lost, but one Dalgliesh, draper and doupar, who had laid a bet of 1000 guineas on the match, is said to have missed a shot which lay open, ''by the private hint of Garthland, that his Grace might gain the game." If the match did good to curling in the district, it was not because of its commendable features, and the Paisley manufacturer who vented his indignation against the Duke was not untrue to his curling principles when he said, ''It wad be weil dune to gar his feet meet the lift." ] between the Duke of Hamilton and M`Dowall of Garthland popularised curling here, and led to its introduction by Mr Cunningham of Craigends into the district of Strathgryffe, Kilbarchan, Houston, and Bridge of Weir. From the time of that laird, who in the end of last century was constantly with the curlers, and in Strand's Inn "paid all their drink, baiks, buns, &c.," and who was "beloved and even adored at Lochwinnoeh," the curlers there have always enjoyed the patronage and support of the M'Dowall family. They have also, it appears, a supernatural patron and friend of whom we have some account in Dr Crawford's Crune of the Warlock of the Peil (1838). This was auld Ringan Sempill, "a camshench and capernoytit carl," who, when he was in the flesh, dwelt in a "wee isle" in the loch called the Peil. The PeiI was destroyed, and its occupier died of grief, but auld Ringan's wraith thereafter "haunts his lanelie abode," and when the curlers linger too long on the loch, now that the thow is cum," and "the snaw is meltin' on Mistilaw," the oracle crones to them this salutary counsel:-

"Curlers, gae hame to your spedds or your plews,
To your pens, to your spules, or your thummills
Curlers, gae hame or the ice ye'se faw throu',
Tak' your ellwands, your elsins or wummills."

At Greenock a flourishing club existed which no doubt owed its origin to Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, who was always promoting the best interests of the citizens of Sugaropolis, and whose curling inclinations are evident in the dedication to him of Cairnie's Essay, and in the fact that an artificial pond was formed by him at Ardgowan on Cairnie's system.

In Paisley the game must have been popular in those days, for John Good, weaver (Johnny Gude), had in his time —he had curled for fifty years—supplied the curlers with no less than 200 pairs of stones. Garthland selected some Heigh Linn curlers to play against the Duke of Hamilton—a sufficient proof of their reputation. A club also existed in the town whose members went into the name "keenly and scientifically." They had ten rinks of seven players each, and their watchword was the worthy and appropriate one—"Meet friends and part friends."

In the county of LANARK, where Graeme described the game so early as 1771 (vide p. 100), we have few literary productions of this period by which to judge of its progress. The poem of Captain Paterson already referred to, and some songs by Walter Watson, Chryston, of average merit, are all that we can discover. The list of clubs is small for the population, but it must be remembered that those strongholds, Douglas, Lesmahagow, Cambusnethan, and Hamilton, still existed and manfully upheld the cause. Inventive genius must at this time have been very busy iii this district improving or trying to improve the stones. An advanced type of stone seems to have been used at Hamilton as far back as the Hamilton v. Garthland bonspiel in 1784, for Dr Crawford says that at Lochwinnoch they took to improving their stones after the Duke's visit:

"In imitation of the Hamilton fashion, for Lanarkshire stones were bored through the centre admitting a screw. Hence these stones were called at this village Duke-hand for many years afterwards."

The hollowed-bottom, now so common in Canada and at home, was here introduced, and at Wishaw they tried a peculiar style of stone, one sole of which ran on three projecting points, and the other on a circle of about one inch. Some of the stones had steel bottoms (a Dalry invention, for a time popular also at Beith), and some stones were of cast-iron (if the Irishman may be pardoned), made with bottoms of steel or of brass by the Shotts Iron Co. No wonder, indeed, that the men of Bathgate—as their poet relates—quailed at the sight of the Cam'nethan men's artillery when they came against them in 1831.

"Before the icy war began
Our hearts had well-nigh failed us
As we surveyed their famous stanes
Prepared to assail us.

"For some were big as ony cheese,
And some had bright steel bottoms,
Some ran on feet, some ran on nave,
Ours looked like bits o' totums."

It will be seen from the list that many clubs existed in the proximity of the city of Glasgow. Anderston, one of the oldest, was formed "for the healthful, cheering amusement of curling; no cursing or swearing was allowed, and the club required of all the members polite, kindly behaviour as brothers." The others were doubtless quite as sound in their constitution. We meet our friend Cairnie in the records of the Willowbank Club, disposing of Conserve and Radical, and other Largs worthies (vipe p. 65) to the members, and arranging a match. A pond constructed by this club cost 287, and when it had to be abandoned soon after as insufficient, the society nearly "lagged on the hog-score," but some financial "soopin" put matters right, and it is now strong and flourishing. The records of North Woodside [Sixty-six Years of Curling: Being the Records of the North Woodside Curling Club from 1820—1886, with Biographical Notes and List of the Members. Glasgow, 1886.] published at the instance of Colonel Menzies, the present popular president, introduce us to the makers of Glasgow in the first quarter of this century, setting an example to future generations of the citizens by playing on the ice. Such names as Napier, Baird, Edington, Lumsden, Dalgliesh, Graham, Orr, Crum, Fleming, and Henderson are found on the list, and we watch with interest the movements of the club from the time they curled on the Kelvin, then a clear and unpolluted stream, when the revenue of the Clyde was only C6 0 0 0, and the city of Glasgow, with its then population of 147,000, did not ex tend beyond Jamaica Street, till after shifting their rendezvous from time to time before the city's advancing strides, they pitch their tents at Frankfield in the Glasgow of to-day, with its river revenue of 300,000, and its population of well-nigh one million inhabitants—the second city of the empire. Let Glasgow flourish, but do not let her forget the example of the curlers to whorl she owes so much of her success, and who owed so much of their success to the curling by which they lightened the burdens of civic and commercial care.
When we cross from the county of Lanark into DUMBARTON, We find the ancient Kirkintilloch Club, still farther up the reaches of the Kelvin, uniting lairds, farmers, shopkeepers, and wabsters at the roaring game. The old records of the club were unfortunately burnt some years ago. A club was also formed at Waterside in 1820. It seems to have been the custom for curlers to resort to that quiet little stream the Luggie, which poor David Gray has made classic by his beautiful poem. There are no finer lines in curling literature than those in which the amiable poet describes the ways of the Waterside curlers of his day, and as we read them and revert to those of Graeme, we see the features that are common to curlers and curling in every generation, and which never cease to touch the poet's heart.

"Now underneath the ice of Luggie growls,
And to the polished smoothness curlers come
Keenly ambitious. Then for happy hours
The clinking stones are slid from wary hands,
And barleycorn, best wine for surly airs,
Bites i' th' mouth, and ancient jokes are crack'd.
And oh, the journey homeward, when the sun,
Low-rounding to the west, in ruddy glow
Sinks large, and all the amber-skirted clouds,
His flaming retinue, with dark'ning glow Diverge!
The broom is brandished as the sign
Of conquest, and impetuously they boast
Of how this shot was played—with what a bend
Peculiar—the perfection of all art—
That stone came rolling grandly to the Tee
With victory crowned, and flinging wide the rest
In lordly crash; Within the village inn,
What time the stars are sown in ether keen,
Clear and acute with brightness; and the moon
Sharpens her semicircle; and the air
With bleakly shivering sough cuts like a scythe,
They by the roaring chimney sit, and quaff
The beaded ' squeba' with sugar dash'd.
Oh, when the precious liquid fires the brain
To joy, and every heart beats fast with mirth
And ancient fellowship, what nervy grasps
Of horn-hands o'er tables of rough oak!
What singing of Lang Syne till teardrops shine
And friendships brighten as the evening wanes!"

[The Poetical Works of David Gray. Edited by Henry Glassford Bell. Maclehose, 1874. Pp. 16-17.]

The rules of a club which then existed at the town of Dumbarton were the Duddingston set with a few unimportant changes. Their social meetings were usually held in the Hammerman's Tavern, when "excellent songs were sung, and toasts apropos and eloquent were delivered "—so the minutes relate, and on one occasion their secretary bursts into verse, which for amusement may be compared with the
lines above:-

"The dinner was good
And the club right hearty,
And altogether 'twas
An excellent party."

When the Dumbarton curlers lost a match they did what was next best—praised their conquerors, and this extract of minute after they had been beaten by Glasgow is not the worst inheritance that Glasgow curlers have Banded down to them.

"DUMBARTON, 29th January 1838.

"Inter alia.—The curlers from Dumbarton are very happy to speak as to the politeness and gentlemanly conduct of their [Glasgow] opponents."

A great bonspiel took place between Dumbarton and two rinks from Bonhill and Kilmarnock, on Loch Lomond, 16th February 1837, an account of which, from the Glasgow Herald, as inserted in their minutes, describes the scene as

"Beyond measure grand; such, indeed, as we are sure was never before seen, and may perhaps never again be displayed. For besides the roaring curlers and their numerous admirers, there was a crowd of skaters and sliders, whirling, frisking, and moving about in all directions on the crystal bosom of the loch—some of them visiting Inchmurrin and the neighbouring islands—some calling at Balmahed, and others walking across from the Cameron shore to Balloch, Aber, and the vicinity, and vice versa, even for many miles."

II. SOUTHERN GROUP.—Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigton.

In the county of DUMFRIES curling was as popular at this period as in 1772, when Pennant crossed the border and found it a favourite sport in "these parts." No county in Scotland—we may safely say—had so many curlers in proportion to its population. From Criffel to Queensberry when the ice held the roar of the channel-stave was everywhere heard. For the number of clubs and curlers the written records are, however few. Sanquhar, which helped its so much in the last century, is silent most of this time, and the Queen of the South has no message till 1831, when the Dumfries Club (afterwards called Rowley Powley) was formed, with William Thomson, Sheriff-Clerk, president, and Alexander Young, Procurator-Fiscal (father of the present Lord Young), vice-president. None of the others have anything to say. At Dumfries the rules of the game cannot have been very well defined, for in 1833 it was resolved

"That the mode of play in the choice of skips and other matters respecting the game shall be settled by a majority of those present on the ice-board at commencing the play."

Parish bonspiels in the frost season were everywhere the order of the day. Nearly every parish had a contingent of 100 or 130 players ready to go to battle, but the 40 best were usually picked, and the play was "jist perfection," if such accounts as we have before its are true—e.g.,

"Mofat v. Kirkpatrick-Juxta at Loch Hopper, 5th February 1831. The skips on both sides displayed excellent generalship, and the men executed their orders to a nicety."

Nothing can go beyond that, and as these parishes were rio better than their neighbours our conclusion is easily formed. Closeburn was particularly favoured by having as president Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, who had been president of the Duddingston Club, and after him Sir C. S. Menteath, another Duddingstonian, who in 1831 presented the club with what is described as "the most splendid silver medal of the kind extant, with a, superb design of the loch crowded with curlers, and the old baronial tower in the distance amid surrounding scenery." Terregles, too, had its medal—a gift from the president, the Rev. G, M. Burnside, with the excellent motto, .Palmam qui meruit feral. A letter from William Broun to his brother at Coalstoun, which has not before seen the light, gives a most (graphic account of a match between this club and the county town, and of the evening of rollicking mirth that succeeded. The Terregles "character" is sketched with inimitable humour.

"1st February 1831.

"On Saturday an annual match betwixt 15 Dumfries choice players and 15 Terregles was played on Maxwelltown Loch. I was one of the former. It was a close canter—a rink on either side gained, and the receding one was 20 all. Dumfries had in the winning shot, invincibly guarded, when the last stone on the opposite side was, through desperation, dashed up, and miraculously displaced it by hammering one stone against another until it was reached. We afterwards all dined together, and had a great deal of fun. There was a curious character amongst us from Terregles—a tall thin fellow, more than six feet—his face like a cheese-cutter, and an enormous nose about four inches long and one and a half deep, which formed the segment of a circle. After a tumbler or two, it was the richest treat I ever saw to see him. He was an elder, and serious withal, yet liked a joke. Had you seen him when Murray began to tell one, stretching out his neck—his mouth beginning gradually to widen and open—till at last he shook his head and grinned like open day— his mouth reaching from ear to ear, and his nose completely curved. .I laughed till my shirt stuck to my back. Some were asking for respite, as they were quite done out. Big Kerr sat near me—I saw the sweat hailing off him.

If written records are scarce, the literature of this period, which adorns the story of curling in Dumfries county, is plentiful and interesting. What many deem the finest of all our curling songs, The Music o' the Year is Hushed, was composed about the beginning of the second decade of the century by the Rev. Henry Duncan, D.D. (1774-1846), president of Ruthwell Curling Club, whose name is known far and wide as the founder of Savings Banks. What curler does not know and love that song, and especially the final stanza, into which the word has been so deftly woven?

"Now fill a bumper to the brim,
And drink wi' three times three, man,*
May curlers on life's slippery rink
Frae cruel rubs be free, man.

* Dr Duncan signed himself "A Curler in all Weathers," but he (lid not (five temperance lectures out of season, and his reputation for good sense has been wounded in the House of its friends by these lines being thus transformed-

"Now fill a bumper—fill but ane-
And drink wi' social glee, man."

In his Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons Duncan also refers to curling as "a game peculiarly prized."

Or should a treach'rous bias lead
Their erring course ao ee, moan,
Some friendly inwick may they get
To guide them to the tee, roan."

John M'Diarmid (1700-1832), who, after assisting; to start the Scotsman, returned to Dumfries to conduct the Courier newspaper at Dr Duncan's desire, contributed to that paper from time to time interesting notes on curling and his essay on the subject in his Sketches from Nature (pp. 250-261) (1830) is able and interesting. It contains a good account of Cairnie's rink, to which attention was then being directed.

"So much was Dumfries imbued with a desire to advance the manly and exhilarating game," that a cheap Curler's Magazine was actually about the close of this period started in the town. Its first number seems to have been its last, but the worthy venture deserved a longer life.

In the February number of .Blackwood's Magazine for 1820, under the title Horae Scotao,No. I., a clever jeua d'esprit from the pen of Professor Gillespie of St Andrews (an old Closeburnian) appeared, giving an account of an imaginary bonspiel between the curling clubs of Closeburn and Lochmaben in which the Ettrick Shepherd plays the part of the Prince in "Hamlet." The article is full of rollicking mischief, but it displays, at the same time, an intimate knowledge of the game. This highly humorous production had something to do with the publication in 1830 of Sir Richard Broun's Memorabilia Crcrliana Mabenensia. Sir Richard, after having been absent from Lochmaben (his birthplace) for fifteen years, was fortunate, on his return, to have a long, memorable, and successful campaign with his curling confreres during the winter 1829-1830, and it then occurred to him to put into shape "the feats of the Lochmaben ice, where curling was practised in all its proficiency and enthusiasm." With unpardonable want of judgment, Broun took up the Professor's article as a serious publication, and attacked its author most fiercely as "the anonymous vilifier and traducer of a whole population." Gillespie, according to his friend Christopher North, "was one of the warmest and kindest hearted of men that ever lived, with a heart as full of benignity as an egg's full of meat, and not a drop of rancour in his whole composition." Broun's attack upon him was therefore, and must ever be, an ugly blot on the :Memorabilia. There is also a forbidding amount of confusion in the volume it is in many respects like a dictionary of adjectives favourable to the ;ante jumbled together without alphabetical arrangement; but spite of unworthy invective and annoying disorder, it is a. work by the reading of which every curler must profit. It may be because it recalls the scenes of our youthful years, when the enthusiasm of Dumfriesshire curlers first inspired us with a love for the game, but we must certainly confess to our high admiration of the Memorabiliae, and award its author the first place in the temple of literary curling fame. "Marjory o' the mommy lochs," as Burns called Lochmaben, has no need of other chronicler than Broun to exalt the fame of such old heroes as Deacon Jardine, Captain Clapperton, "Buonoparte," and "The Tutor." Her souters and her "invincible board " are for ever associated with her fame as truly as the illustrious Bruce ; and when shall Mousicald wipe out the stain of her defeat when, after twenty-eight years of victory, she in an evil hour challenged Lochrnaben?

They were as nothing in our hands; and would have been soutered outright, but for one of our party who was bribed by the promise of noose for dinner, and a black lamb for his daughter, to let them get a shot or two. One of our party encountered at the commencement of the spiel a huge red crag, which he struck with such force that he sent it 20 yards distance from the tee, and made it tumble over the dam-dyke (the ice played upon being a temporary pond). This bold stroke quite discomfited them. Another of our players incurred the displeasure of the worthy clergyman, who upon the occasion headed his parishioners, by the cant phrase convert ye boys, soop! and by asking, with it peculiar gravity of countenance, when the aspect of the day was completely overcast for Mouswald, how the game went. Thy dinner cost 5d. per head. These were the good oil beef-and-greens times; but the drink was (shame fa' them!) in the proportion of Falstaff s gallon of sack to the pennyworth of bread!"

The Lochmaben rules, which were drawn up by Broun, are based upon the rules of the Duddingston Society. Unlike Cairnie, Broun of course orders crampits, but in other respects the Lochmaben and Largs lists are much alike, and when they deviate from Duddingston it is not to much advantage.

[Of Sir Richard Broun's life—his defence of his own and other baronetcies, his many Utopian projects, and the "real service" he rendered to the nation by establishing a national mausoleum and a necropolis at Woking in 1849—a full account is given in the Dictionary of National Biography; but why does our college friend, who writes the same, omit all notice of the "real service" Sir Richard rendered to our national game? To our regret we have been unable to secure a portrait of Sir Richard in time for insertion here, but we promise it in our second edition, so that curlers who with ourselves lament this defect in our work have the remedy in their own hands.]

It cannot be from any Boeotian defects in the curlers of GALLOWAY that the world hears so little about their doings in this as in other periods. We must ascribe their silence to the fact that they are too intensely devoted to the game to spare time for talking, about it, or for giving to future generations documentary evidence of their doings. We are not, however, helplessly ignorant of the condition of matters in that district at the period now under review. A short journey from Dumfries brings us to Kirkean, in the Stewartry of KIRKCUDBRIGHT, where a club existed which could then turn out forty picked players to give a good account of themselves in a bonspiel with any neighbouring parish. The Rev. Thomas Grierson, [This gentleman, like many other brethren of the cloth, must have had curling on the brain. He was an ardent pedestrian and mountain-climber, and in his Autumnal Rambles (p. 108), as he bids adieu to the Coolins, he remarks that curling clubs "might engage in a worse speculation than establishing a manufactory at Loch Scavaig for furnishing the heroes of the broom with their implements of war. Hypersthene is so renowned for hardness, closeness of texture, and specific gravity, that there can be no doubt of its capabilities; the only fear is that, if it does not belie its name, the weapons may last for ever and thus injure the stone-market. Joking apart, might not some wind-bound vessels lay in a store of good sound blocks, and establish a curling-stone mart at the Broomielaw?"] minister of the parish, employed his pen in praise of the game and composed a few songs [Afterwards published under the title Four New Curling Songs, with a Dissertation on the Game of Curling. By an Old and Keen Curler. James Hogg, Edinburgh.] which are still popular, in one of which we have a spirited address to Kirkbean curlers on their way to meet Newabbey.

"Come, cheer up, my lads, to Loch Kindar we steer,
To strive for those laurels we all hold so dear,
'Tis to glory we call you, where curlers are seen,
With their tramps all so bright, and their besoms so green.
Hearts of oak are our skips, light and sure are our men
We always are ready—steady, boys, steady!
We'll draw and we'll guard, boys, again and again."

Crossmichael parish had a strong and formidable club, which was in the habit of challenging its neighbours to frequent combat. This habit was an inheritance from the Rev. Nathan M'Kie, an eccentric divine and a keen curler of pugilistic taste, between whom and Lord Kenimure an amusing, system of challenge and counter-challenge in metrical form was kept up, a specimen of which is given in the Memorabilia (pp. 95-91).

A copy of one of M'Kie's declarations of war has just come into our hands, which, though of older date than our present period, may here be given; for the spirit of it lives on among the Galloway clubs as fresh and strong as in the days of Nathan.

"CROSSMICHAEL MANSE, 17th January 1767.

"DEAR Sir,—W e make no doubt but your bosom glows with ambition, and we take this opportunity of challenging You and all your brave icy warriors in the parish of Balmaghie to engage the parish of Crossmichael against Tuesday first to come to the Boat of Livingston. For your encouragement we shall tell you that the last time you appeared on the field your army happened to work wonders, and to do more in a single year than for anything known to us they could boast of for ages. If you have true skill and valour, we expect a discovery of them at the determinate season; otherwise it is but fair to be silent for ever. If you shrink back from the field and value yourselves in a single victory, the impartial and unprejudiced world will conclude that you have no confidence in your own strength and that you tremble to think Of the military glory of Crossmichael.

"If you refuse to accept a new challenge we will regard it as a defeat, and publish it to the world, that you are all made up of cowardice, cunning, and pusillanimity. So far as we can judge we think we have the power, and it is our firm design, to adorn our heads with laurels, and to reduce you to your former state of littleness, insignificancy, and obscurity. We will bring twelve warriors to the field, and let it be your care to have the same number, such as your great Goliath, Alexander Smith, James M`Millan, Slogairie, the M`Lellans, the Carsous—in a word, the best you can choose for your arduous enterprise. We are to fight under the banner of a brave young general, Mr David Gordon of Druinrash, and we will do what we can in order to secure to him and ourselves an immortal fame and glory.

"We design to dine at Bridgestone, and at your cost if our hands serve us.—We are, with due regard,
" Yours sincerely,
(Signed) " NATHAN M`KIE."

"P.S.—We are to meet you at the aforementioned place precisely at 10 o'clock forenoon."

Mactagaart in his Gallovidian Encyclopccdia (1824), to which we have before referred, gives us (in a raither coorsr style) valuable information about the curling of the period in the south of Scotland. Borgue, Sorby, and Closeburn, according to him, were then "among the first of curling communities." Compared with the curlers of Borgue (his native parish), those of "Kirlcudbrie, Twinholm, and Girthon" were "a shilpit crew," "pewtring bodies at bonspiels." This was just another way of challenging them to fight in the style of the famous Nathan M`Kie, and we are not to suppose that bounce would save Borgue from the fury of these clubs when the day of icy vengeance arrived.

By far the worthiest successor of the Kirkcudbright poet Davidson was the minister of Balmaclellan and laird of Troquhain—the Rev. George Murray, who began in this period to celebrate in song his love of the game and the deeds of his curling compeers. Let us have part of the biography of "Dean Swift," the name he gave to his channel-stane. It gives us a good account of the preparation of the curling-stone of the period, when Rabs had it all to do, and the fine poetic feeling in which, as a true curler, his affection for his friend the "Dean" is expressed is beyond praise.

"Where lone Penkiln, mid foam and spray,
O'er many a linn Ieaps on his way,
A thousand years and mair ye lay
Far out of sight:
My blessings on the blythesome day
Drought thee to Iight.

"Though ye were slippery as an eel,
Rab fished ye frae the salmon wieI,
And on his back the brawny chiel
Has ta'en ye hame,
Destined to figure at the spiel
And roaring game.

 Wi' mony a crack he cloured your croun,
Wi' mony a chap he chipped ye doun,
Fu' aft he turned ye roun' and roun',
And aye he sang
A' ither stares ye'Il be aboon
And that ere lang.

"Guided by many a mould and line,
He laboured next with polish fine,
To make your mirrored surface shine
With lustre rare
Like lake, reflect the forms divine
Of nature fair.

"A handle next did Rab prepare,
And fixed it with consummate care—
The wood of ebony so rare,
The screw of steel--
Ye were a channel-stare right fair,
Fit for a spiel.

"Ye had nae name for icy war-
Nae strange device, nor crest, nor star
Only a thread of silver spar
Ran through your blue
Ilk curler kenned your flinty scar
And running true.

"A time will come when I no more
May fling thee free from shore to shore
With saddened heart I'll hand thee o'er
To some brave chiel,
That future times may hear thy roar
At ilka spiel."

From the minutes of Kelton Club—the only written records which we can discover in the Stewartry at this period—we infer that Dumfries and Kirkcudbright had here a bond of connection, the Lochinaben rules vein; adopted and entered verbatim in the Kelton records. Duddingston, through Lochmaben, was therefore making its influence felt in Galloway as in other districts. When a county bonspiel with Dumfries was proposed, Kelton issued circulars to the other parish clubs to gauge their playiu ; strength and their sentiments. Mr Sinclair of Redcastle, the Kelton president, gave in 1832 a medal to the club, as a proof of "his great anxiety that the ancient and truly manly amusement ought to be encouraged and kept up in this his native parish." If curlers throughout Galloway were at this time as strict and exemplary as they were at Kelton, no Early Closing Act was required in those parts; the evening's diversion must have borne the morning's reflection in triumph, and neither secret nor open sin can have marred the beauty of their brotherhood. Who thinks this impossible may carefully read the Kelton bye-laws.

"1. The convivial meetings of the club shall on every occasion be dissolved at 10 o'clock p.m., and the chairman shall leave the chair at that hour.
"2. At any club dinner the expense shall not exceed 2s. 6d.—viz., dinner, 1s. 6d.; spirits, 8d.; beer, 3d.; water, 1d.
"3. As this club has been formed to promote the manly game of curling, and to unite the members in a social bond of union and good fellowship, any member who shall, either secretly or openly, create dis-union among the members or disturb the harmony of the club in any manner of way, shall be instantly expelled and declared incapable of being again admitted a member of the club."

The favourite meeting-place of this and other clubs seems to have been Carlingwark Loch, the most beautiful sheet of water in the south of Scotland, on which Ben o' Tudor and Glenbuck "met merry" in Davidson's day; but at Milton Loch, Glen Too, Loch Brack, Loch Ken, and Mossroddoch, many famous bonspiels were fought of which the Gallowidians in time to come may read with delight in Murray's. Poems. [Sarah Rae, and other Poems. By the Rev. George Murray of Troquhain, J.P., Minister of Balmaclellan. Greenock, 1883. Vide also The Bards of Galloray. Fraser, Dalbeattie, 1880.]

Of curling in WIGTONSHIRE at this time we hear little, and therefore cannot say much. Between Wigtown and Loch Connel many clubs must have flourished, and of the renown of Sorbie we have already heard, but of none of these have we any authentic records. At Penninghame a club was formed in 1828, at the instance of Captain (afterwards Admiral) Sir Houston Stewart, R.N., who resided for a time at Penninghame house, and who constructed there an artificial pond to which he was in the habit of inviting some of the keenest curlers. After the day's play he entertained theme all to a beef-and-greens dinner with plenty of grog, and sent them home happy. In the Penninghame Club the number in each rink was fourteen, and seconds were appointed to assist the skips in managing such large squads of players. Like the Ayr curlers, the members propitiated the favour of the fair sex (a wise thing, to do) by an annual ball, which must have been a grand affair as they usually ordered "150 cards of invitation, 100 ball tickets, and 4 sets of contra dances," and made elaborate provision in the way of music and " refreshments for the ladies." This club had a serious crisis to come through. Their dam burst on one occasion and flooded a tannery in the valley below, the owner of which insisted on skinning them to the extent of 176, 10s. 10d. damages. His claim was eventually settled for 50, but the Penninghame experience was not dearly bought if all clubs see to it that in the annals of curling such an accident shall never occur again. With apologies to their clever countryman Mactaggart, we leave our southern brethren to follow the game which has become endeared to them by so many pleasant associations, with this parting wish—"Heaven ever smile on the curlers of the south of Scotland, for a better race of beings is nowhere to be found between the sea and the sun."

III. EASTERN GROUP.—Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Peebles, Selkirk, Haddington, Berwick, and Roxburgh.

In the city of EDINBURGH the national game has always been recognised and encouraged in a manner worthy of the Scottish capital. The magistrates, as we have seen, graced the opening of the winter sport on the Nor' Loch, and if the curlers had not the support of a civic procession when they afterwards moved to Canonniills and thence to Duddingston, as the development of the city forced them, many of the most distinguished citizens were found among their ranks as they gathered round the tee. In Curlers' Ha' the "wit and wisdom" of the capital, and men of mark in every profession and from every district of Scotland, united by their devotion to the national game, celebrated its praises and helped its progress. Duddingston was at this time a centre of light, and to this remarkable club the transition of curling from the imperfect methods and ungainly implements of the past century to the better and more scientific style of the modern game was mainly due. Of the influence of Duddingston at this period we shall have further proof as we proceed. It is at this stage that we must award honour to the Rev. John Ramsay, at that time minister of Orimston, who in 1811 wrote the first historical account of curling. We have had to differ from some of Ranisay's views, and to correct some of his statements, but we cannot too highly value the work he did in collecting all that was then known about the past, and publishing it with the rules of the Duddingston Club and the songs that enlivened the club's social meetings. The influence of that club can never be estimated apart from Ramsay's book, which for nearly twenty years acted as "guide, philosopher, and friend" to the curlers of Scotland. [Any one who desires to hear more about Ramsay may refer to our account of his life in The Channel-slane, Vol. IV., ph. 27-32.]

Curling had the benefit of some attention at this period on the part of journalistic writers. Johnston's Edinburgh Magazine (Vol. 1., 1834) has a long review of Cairnie's Essay from a Lochwinnoch point of view. When the Memorabilia appeared, Professor Wilson took an opportunity of recommending it to the Moral Philosophy Class in the University of Edinburgh as an excellent work on the subject: He also gave the substance of it in an article in Blackwood (December 1831). Christopher, "like Grey Goshawk, stared wild "when he read Broun's attack on Gillespie's jeu d'espprit of 1820—he had been dreaming that "thje early sins of Maga had passed into oblivion, and that her reputation was pure as a vestal virgin," but he soon recovers himself, and before proceeding to praise the better part of the book, soundly rates the Baronet for his foolishness. We have said much about clubs and curlers, but let Christopher North give us his description of the curlers' dinner of the period. Our tastes are surely simpler nowadays, for it is only in fractions that we get a feast of the kind. Listen to the learned Professor of Moral Philosophy

"Look at that dinner

"The table is all alive with hot animal food. A steam of rich distilled perfumes reaches the roof, at the lowest measurement seven feet high. A savoury vapour: The feast takes all its name and most of its nature from—beef and greens. The one corned, the other crisp —the two combined, the glory of Martinmas. The beef consists almost entirely of lean fat—rather than of fat lean—and the same may be said of that bacon. See! how the beef cuts long-ways with the bone—if it be not indeed a sort of sappy gristle. Along the edges of each plate, as it falls over from the knife-edge among the gravy-greens, your mouth waters at the fringe of fat, and you look for `the mustard.' Of such beef and greens there are four trenchers, each like a tea-tray; and yet you hope that there is a corps-de-reserve in the kitchen. Saw you ever anywhere else, except before a barn-door where flail or fanners were at work, such a muster of how-towdies! And how rich the rarer roasted among the frequent boiled! As we are Christians—that is an incredible goose—yet still that turkey is not put out of countenance—and `as what seems his heal the likeness of a kingly crown has on' he must be no less than the bubbly. Black and brown grouse are not eatable—till they have packed; and these have been shot on the snow out of a cottage window, by a man in his shirt taking vizzy with the lang gun by starry moonlight. Yea—pies. Some fruit—and some flesh—that veal—and this apples. Cod's head and shoulders, twenty miles from the sea, is at all times a luxury—and often has that monster lain like a ship at anchor off the Doggerbank—supposed by some to have been a small whale. Potatoes always look well in the crumbling candour of that heaped-up mealiness, like a raised pyramid. As for mashed turnips, for our life when each is excellent of its kind we might not decide whether the palm should be awarded to the white or the yellow; but perhaps on your plate with the butter-mixed bloodiness of steak, cutlet, or mere slice of rump, to a nicety underdone, both are best—a most sympathetic mixture, in which the peculiar taste of each is intensely elicited, while a new flavour or absolute tertium quid is impressed upon the palate, which, for the nonce, is not only invigorated but refined."

Beyond Duddingston we have no written records of any of the city curling clubs formed about this time, though Merchiston figures favourably in several county bonspiels. The minutes of the Penicuick Club, transcribed in beautiful style by John M`Lean, a boy of thirteen, and carefully preserved at Penicuick House, extend onward from 1812. The secretary must have been a man of many superlatives, for in nearly every minute it is difficult to say which subject he praises most—the game of curling, the Penicuick curlers, or the patron of the curling club, Sir George Clerk, Bart, M.P. for Edinburgh. Perhaps Sir George gets the largest allowance; and no wonder, for he was not only a keen, keen curler like his ancestor Sir John, the friend of Allan Ramsay and Dr Penicuick of Newhall, but he took such an active interest in the curlers, who had been so "bad that nobody would play with them," that in time they received from Merchiston, over which they had triumphed, the title "Champions of the icy world." Every year Sir. George gives them a silver medal, and, as if the gratitude of adjectives were insufficient to express their feelings, they present him in turn with "a pair of brass crampits," and, later on, their distinguished president, Dr Renton, is cornmissioned to convey to Sir George a silver Horn. [The Penicuick family hold their estate from the Crown by a charter, which obliges the heir to repair to Buckstane, parish of Colinton, Midlothian, and to blow a horn when the king passes that way a-hunting; hence the motto of their crest, "Free for a blast." Reference is made to old curling-stones at Penicuick, p. 63.] As may be supposed, the Duddingston rules were obeyed at Penicuick, Mr Clerk Maxwell having been one of the counsellors, and Sir George Clerk a president of the Duddingston Club. At their annual dinner they were examined in the "word," and, if deficient, fined; "two bowls of punch" were drunk the reckoning was then called, and every member allowed to depart.

The rule of some other clubs of the period which prohibited the introduction of political subjects does not appear to have been part of the constitution of the Penicuick Club. A few years after Waterloo had been fought and won, we find in the club minutes an indication of the social discontent and disorder which prevailed among certain classes at this time, and which threatened revolution. The curlers, who were all tenants and feuars of Sir George Clerk, could not fail to see how the agitation affected the position of their patron, and, "faithful among the faithless," they determined to comfort him with the confession of their loyalty. When Mr Maxwell, Sir George's brother, was doing duty as one of the gentleman volunteer corps which was then stationed in the Castle of Edinburgh—the regular troops being called to Glasgow owing to the disorder of the time—the club adopted "with rapturous applause" the following letter to Sir George Clerk, which is interesting as a specimen of their secretary's power of language, if it is not valuable as a unique document among curling records of the period:-

"PENICUIK, 14th December 1819.

"To Sir George CIerk, Bart., M.P.

"We are inclined to believe that a practical attachment to the manners and amusements of our native country has a moral effect of retaining in our minds a reverential regard for those envied institutions, sacred and civil, which the patriotism and valour of our ancestors has transmitted to us, and that those days which the nature of our climate has devoted to a secession from rural labour are much more rationally spent in that innocent rivalry of manual exertion and mathematical nicety which our national pastime affords, than in poring over imaginary wrongs and studying the blasphemous and treasonable publications of the disappointed, the intention and tendency of which is to subvert that national spirit of loyalty, patriotism, and prowess which embellishes the pages of our national history and in the late tremendous contest has so eminently exalted our national character."

Sir George in his reply, dated 22nd December 1819, promises "to encourage and promote our national amusement," and proceeds "I trust that it is a more innocent mode of spending any leisure hours than in reading or listening to the seditious and blasphemous publications that have been so industriously circulated by wicked and designing men, who for their own ends endeavour by exciting a spirit of discontent to excite those who suffer themselves to be led by them to acts which must inevitably plunge them and their families into the greatest miseries. The period would, by undermining their religious principles, deprive then) of all hole hereafter. I hope that none such are to be found in our neighbourhood, and that every man there will exert himself as fax as his influence extends to check their progress."

The minutes of the Rosslyn Club cover the period 1820 - 1836, but do not contain much of general interest. Along with Penicuick, the chub gained distinction in a great bonspiel between Midlothian and the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire in 1831, which was played on Slipperfield Loch, Peeblesshire, an account of which is found in their minutes, with a testimony added in favour of such matches:--

"As they tend to strengthen the rivalry which is peculiar to the game, promote dexterity in the art, and enlarge the sphere of social intercourse by bringing together kindred spirits that but for such occasions would never meet."

The Rosslyn Club have been fortunate in the support of the Wedderburn family. The mother of Colonel Wedderburn, a thorough enthusiast, knitted worsted vests and presented them to the members of the five rinks of the club. O si sic omnia!

The Currie Club, formed in 1830 "in order to promote and keep alive the genuine spirit of the most ancient, manly, and exhilarating; game of curling," at the very outset of its career took up a prominent position among contemporary clubs. The ability of its founders entitled it to distinction. The Rev. Dr Somerville, first president of the club. the inventor of what was called the safety gun, was one of the most enthusiastic curlers that ever lived. In the controversy with Dr Cairnie as to the invention of artificial ponds, the Ayrshire curler had the best of it, and Sir Richard Broun, who acted as arbiter in the matter, awarded to Cairnie the merit of the discovery, the difference between the doctors amounting to this, that Cairniehad made clay and Somerville pavement the basis of the shallow-level pond, the one holding that the water froze from its surface downward to the clay, the other that it froze upward from the surface of the pavement. The shallow-level principle seems, however, to have first suggested itself to Cairnie. There call, however, be no doubt that Somerville conducted a series of long and expensive experiments with the object of obtaining for curlers greater facilities for play than were available on water-borne ice, and it is even said that he carried his experiments so far as to have practised on his drawing-room floor the effect of soft soap and other slippery materials as a, substitute for ice. His crampits and toe-see we have already noticed. The Justice and The Counter we notice later on. Dr Somerville is also said to have suggested the alteration' of handles from the old rectangular to the present form. He had much to do with the improvement of curling and its implements at this period, and was regarded as an authority on all matters connected with the game, while none ever extolled it more highly than lie did. [Poor Dr Somerville! Life's burden became too much for him to bear, notwithstanding his curling enthusiasm, and his end was sad; but surely it is not worthy of our brotherhood to leave his grave (as we were lately surprised to find it) unmarked by any memorial stone. We should be glad to be the means of raising, with the help of the fraternity, a simple monument to one who so much loved and improved the national game.]

Another of the founders of the Currie Club—Robert Palmer, schoolmaster—was a typical curler of the period. Of great force of character, full of enthusiasm, and possessing abilities that would have made him in any profession a man of mark, he was one of the most noted parish teachers of his time. His leisure hours he gave to the advancement of curling, and Isis fame as a slip is indicated in Lees' painting of the Grand Match, where Palmer is seen anxiously welcoming with outstretched arm the stone that males its way to the tee. He was the inventor of the tee-ringer, one of the most useful of curling appliances. His literary power, combined with the most thorough knowledge of the game, fitted him to be, as he afterwards was, one of

the most efficient office-bearers of the Grand Club. before its is a set of diagrams for the point game drawn up by Dr Somerville, Mr Palmer, and Mr Cunningham of Harlaw, in 1836. All the points now played are there illustrated, and while we occasionally meet with additions by other clubs to the Duddingston three points, we must assign to Currie the honour of completing the present system of point competition. The families of Scott of Malleny and Gibson-Craig of Piccarton have done much for the prosperity of this important club.

In the county of LINLITHGOW many a merry bonspiel was fought on the grand old Castle Loch, but of the two clubs which then existed in the historic town of Linlithgow we cannot give any account. Under the care of Sir William Baillie of Polkemmet, "a noble specimen of the good old county gentleman," the Whitburn Club was noted for its prowess. About the close of this period five Duddingston rinks made a bet of 100 guineas to 50 against any that dared to meet them. Major Hamilton Dundas (uncle of the present popular Baronet of Polkemmet), then of Duddingston, and a member of the challenging club, brought forwar(l five rinks of Whitburn players, who knew nothing about the bet, and the gallant Major saw with satisfaction his venturesome Duddingston friends "gently let down" at Drumshoreland Pond, 155 to 56. He had, of course, much pleasure in entertaining both losers and winners to beef and greens, &c., in Uphall Inn.

The life and soul of the Bathgate Club was Thomas Durham Weir of Boghead, under whom the club was, in 1829, roused from a dormant state, and made "the champion club of the whole surrounding country." Accomplished, active, and of a most generous and unselfish disposition, the. Laird of Boghead was always at his best at the head of the curlers, and with his enthusiastic "bravissimo" he led them on to many a gallant victory. A celebrated rink of the club, under the best skip, William Gordon, builder and stonemason, is said never to have been beaten. [An interesting account of the Bathgate Club is found in The Channelstane, Vol. IV., pp. 1-26. A neat little volume, privately printed, gives an account of the presentation to Mr Weir of his portrait in 1S62 by the Bathgate curlers.]

When we turn to the county of PEEBLES to see what they are doing at this time with the "manly Scottish exercise" of their ancient Laird of Romanno, we find a club in existence at the county town in 1821. At a meeting on 24th December, in that year, Mr James Turnbull laid before the club a set of regulations which was unanimously adopted. The regulations are introduced by a preamble or "whereas," in which Mr Turnbull (he must have been a limb of the law) does the part of devil's advocate before introducing us to the good character of the game. As the Peebles regulations are unique of their kind, we give them as they stand in the sederunt-book of the club:-

"None of the pastimes in which Scotchmen indulge have given occasion to such a diversity of opinion as our national manly game of curling. By some it has been reprobated as an encouragement to idleness, a temptation to profane swearing, an incitement to quarrelling, and an inducement to dissipation. By others it has been extolled in the language of unqualified panegyric, and declared to be friendly to innocence, conducive to health, favourable to temperance, and contributive to social intercourse.

For our part, without minutely discussing its merits or demerits, but weighing them in a strict balance, we can state from experience that curling-, so far from promoting idleness, is an active and laborious recreation, an enemy to every spirit of sensual indulgence, debarring those who engage in it for the time being from tippling in taverns, lounging lazily and effeminately at a fireside, or devoting themselves to worse employments; peculiarly adapted also to the preservation of a sound constitution by favouring its votaries with these two grand preventatives of disease and restoratives of health—air and exercise.

"At a season of the year when the plough is arrested in the furrow, when masonic and many other handicraft employments are laid aside, and when the mill-wheel refuses to revolve on its axis, what can be more harmless, what more salubrious, what more social, than for those who are in possession of health, endowed with muscular strength, blessed with a keen eye and a steady hand, to repair to the still river, Cuddies pool, or the flooded Bytes, the waters whereof are bound in icy fetters, and the surface smooth as the polished mirror, and transparent as the crystaliain cup, and there give a display of strength, dexterity, and skill, united in it game the darling of our forefathers?

"Viewing the, Bane of curling as completely legal, taxation having not vet reached her stones, as bracing to the nerves by keeping the muscles in natural play, as diffusing brotherly kindness by bringing friends and neighbours together, and as promoting a spirit of honourable emulation by an energetic competition for the prize of victory, we the members have agreed to form ourselves into a society by the name, style, and title of the Peebles Curling Club, and to adopt the following regulations :-

"1. Every member shall be able to prove himself the lawful owner of at least one stogie.
"2. The number of stones to be played with at any particular time shall be determined by the whole body when the members are all standing ready for the game near by the dog-see.
"3. When ladies come near the rink and are disposed to play, the skips shall have the privilege of instructing then to handle the stones agreeable to the rules of the game.
"4. When a member falls and is hurt, the rest shall not Iaugh, but render him every assistance to enable him to regain his former erect position.
"5. When the club, according to use and wont, beat their opponents they shall not exult too much so as to wound the feelings of a fallen foe, but consider the victory merely as the chance of war.
"6. Every member shall also provide himself with a broom or besoin and a pair of trickers.
"7. The club to dine annually by subscription on the 13th day of January, the expense of the dinner and drink not to exceed 2s. or 2s. 6d., and any member subscribing and not attending the dinner he is to forfeit one shilling.
"8. The club dinner shall be restricted to beef and greens, and whisky toddy."

In 1823 (January 13), Tweeddale met Midlothian at Penicuick with fifteen rinks, each with fourteen players. Tweed-dale won by ninety-two shots. According to the Peebles minutes this was the largest meeting of the kind that had then taken place, and "was attended by many of the gentlemen and others of the two counties and city of Edinburgh, anxiously awaiting the fate of the day." Dr Penton of Penicuick had the burden of carrying out arrangements for this bonspiel, and the doctor some years after proceeded to Peebles to arrange a return match. His experience, as recorded in the Penicuick minute-book, shows that the Peeblesianis were as careful of their laurels as the doctor was original in his resources

"He found them more anxious to start obstacles to retard it than arrangements to forward the match. In order to obviate all objections started, Dr Renton, in the pure spirit of gallantry, proposed for the accommodation of all parties to commission a steam-packet to convey the whole curlers to Iceland, where, unless they were disturbed with a shower of fire and sulphur from the burning Mt. Hecla., they would find ice 4000 years old in readiness for then, and they might return with the pillars of a former world for curling stones—viz., the fine stupendous basaltic columns of IceIand."

When we cross over into the county of SELKIRK, we do not escape from the shadow of Duddingston, for there we find a member of that distinguished club president of the Et1ric/ Curling Club. This is no other than the Ettrick Shepherd himself. James hogs (1772-1835) was as devoted to the channel-stane as he was to the fiddle. "So uniformly smooth," he says, "has my married life been, that on a retrospect I cannot distinguish one part front another, save by some remarkably- good days of fishing, shooting, and curling on the ice." [Poetical Works of the Ettrick Shepherd, Vol. II., p. 84. Blackie & Sons.] Up till 1823 the curlers in the district used to meet on the Loch o' the Lowes. In that year the stones were all thrown into the loch by some wicked boys, and they were Never recovered. James Hoag, however, made a pond at Altrive Lake, and another at Mount Yenger. He was a ubiquitous curler, for, besides Duddingston, Peebles had his name on her roll, and on one occasion there is added to a. minute—"The meeting was enlivened by the Ettrick Shepherd telling his queerest stories and singing his drollest songs." Then we hear of him among the Tynron curlers, when he had a farm "up the Skarr." "Skin them, skin them," was his only remark, as his shepherd kept coming with news of fresh disasters among the sheep, and on be went with his game, " always happiest when he was most unfortunate." Doubtless Selkirk had many other curlers at that day-, hut it was enough for one county- to give us such a man. [That most popular of all curling songs, 0 for the Channel-stone, is generally ascribed to Hogg. No doubt he could have written it, but we are inclined to think it was written, not by Hogg, but by his friend Pro- fessor Gillespie. The Shepherd, with his knee-breeches, blue coat, and plaid transformed into a sprite in yonder sky, and curling with a comet against the moon and starlets, is a companion-portrait to that in the Professors jeu d'esprit, Closeburn v. Lochmaben; and to put the song above Hogg's own name was quite in keeping with the usual treatment the Shepherd received from the Ebony writers, who, according to his own account, made it a principle "never to deny a thing that they had not written, and never to acknowledge one that they had."]

In the county of HADDINGTON it is likely that curling was known previous to this period (ride p. 45), hut it seems to have been for a time forgotten. The sons of Anak at Cockburnspath had a club, but they said nothing till the day of jubilee arrived, and then they silenced the world with their stone of might. The farriers in the neighbourhood formed a club at Gladsmuir, and the historian Ramsay, being now minister of the parish, naturally prescribed for them the Duddingston rules, with the addition that Somerville's Justice was to be used in measuring disputed shots, and that "the stones produced by each new member were to be examined, and admitted or excluded ur a majority." This club was not altogether in bondage to curling. If the feelings of the members when they met preferred the dinner-table to the icy-board, that alternative was open, and they went for it, seeing they had enacted that the president, or secretary, or any three members shall have power "to call a meeting of the club either to curl or to dine, as the weather may permit or the members incline."  [This club has in its possession a curious snuff-box, in the shape of a curling-stone, presented by Alex. Bruce. The stone is of Peterhead granite; the box of wood from the old pulpit of the ruined kirk of Gladsmuir; the sides of the box of oak from the Royal George, sunk at Spithead and the wood of the handle from the room in which the Gowrie conspiracy is alleged to have been attempted to be carried out in the year 1600.]

When we cross the Lammermuirs to survey the curling of BERWiCK, we find as usual that "Duns dings a'," and in our list stands "alone with its glory," though, doubtless, there were other clubs of which we hear nothing. It is only in 1822 that the Duns Club gives heed to its ways by writing, and then we find them agreeing to drink William Hay of Drumelzier's health at every meeting of the club, for indulging it with the use of the Hen-poo Pond. The Duns curlers had a philosophy of clothes, for we find that a certain match was lost because Mr M'Watt, one of the players, "wore a pea-jacket," and another because one of the losers "wore a greatcoat." For not appearing on the ice "at least once in a season" members were fined 1s. In some cases they had better have paid time fine than have made the appearance they did—e.g.,

"Ice tried by Messrs Bell and Jamieson, the welter weights of the club. The former made an attempt to bathe by diving through the ice, but only succeeded in getting his extremities, &c., immersed, while the latter was so amused at the attempt that he failed to make one."

Of a musical friend from Edinburgh who "tried his hand it is recorded:-

"He had evidently been accustomed to play quoits, as the first stone he tried he pitched into the ice, instead of along the rink, and terminated the play."

One of the old Duns players (James Cunningham), in far-off Queensland, recalls in these stanzas the pleasant memories of happy meetings on "the Hen-poo " in the bygone times:-

"The auld Tien-poo', the auld Hen-poo',
Eh! man, I mind it weel,
The Brunton Well, the Witches' Knowe,
The Law, the Sergeants' Shiel.
The Mains Gate, wi' its lime-trees grey,
And beans sae white wi' bloom,
The Skartin Kames abune the brae,
Whar grows the yellow broom.

"The auld Hen-loo', I lo'ed it best
When caulcl the wintry blast,
Wi' drivin' suave an' bauld Jock Frost,
Had lock't her waters fast.
E'en yet I hear the birrin' stane
Row roarin' to the tee;
The Poo's the same, the men are gane,
And changed are you an' me.

"Now fare ye weel, thou auld Hen-poo'
Whar happy we hae been,
An fare ye wee-, ye curlers a',
Wha aye were true and keen.
My channel-stane's owre the hog-score,
'Twill sane be owre the tee,
Hen-poo, Duns Law, an curlers a',
Farewell, farewell to thee."

In the county of ROXBURGH there were, as we have noticed, curling clubs established at Kelso and at Jedburgh in the end of last century. Of the former we have no records, and in the case of Jedburgh the records are very meagre. Curlers seem up till then to have played with natural boulders from the River Jed; a pair of cramps cost 2s. 8d.; five, common brooms, 1s. 3d.; and a big heather broom for cleaning the ice reached the figure of 5d. We .are here first introduced to a system of little matches and little bets, which we do not meet with in any other early records, and which seems to have been common among the curlers in the Borderland from the time of the introduction of the game. A little match of eleven or thirteen points having been made up for beef and greens, or a mutchkin of toddy, the members not engaged in it began to put some "dross" on the event - 2s. to 1s., 1s. per stone, or a level shilling, as the case might be.

This system of little matches and little bets seems to have been carried to its height at Jiawick. Indeed, one of the old written records of that club, beginning in 1812, appears to have been used for the sole purpose of registering the bets of the Hawick curlers and their results. The transactions of the "deil's dizzen" begin with this minute:-

"HAWICK, 14th December 1812.

"The curling club having met this evening, being a full club of 13 members, resolved that all wagers in future shall be paid to the clerk of the club as soon as they are played for, and to be expended when the preses shall think proper, it being understood that he (the preses) shall make it known to all concerned with said wagers and as many more of the club as the preses shall think proper—play or pay."

Some years after this we find the club enacting that on and after that date "no bet shall be taken under a. mutchkin of whisky toddy." Not for imitation (for our ideas of Border curling are not exalted by these records), hut to shew how not to do it, we take a leaf out of the Hawick book :—

In various other forms the "ruling passion" manifests itself. Two curlers, "whose united ages amount to 115 years," challenge any other two "for a bottle of whisky made into punch," and "the old boys gained." James Oliver bets William Millar "a mutchkin of whisky toddy" that he will throw a stone further—the best of three throws—and on this there are several side bets. Then----

"10th January 1826.

"R. Wilson bet Jas. Millar that the Dove Mount Well is 2() feet higher than Hassendean Pond. R. W. lost. Thereafter Millar bet Wilson that the Dove Mount Well is no higher than Hassendean Pond, but Mr Thomson (who decided the former bet offhand) could not decide this without a great deal of trouble."

Beyond this dark circle there seems to have been a club of much larger proportions--there were in all sixty members, who enjoyed the roaring game without any speculation in their eyes, Elliots, Olivers, Rutherfords, and Scotts being numerous, and the Duke of Buccleuch, [One of the best contests we ever engaged in was on a rink made up at Newbattle Abbey against a rink from Dalkeitlh Palace, skipped by the late Duke, who entered into the fight with the utmost keenness, and came out of it better than we desired.] himself a curler, and ever the generous friend of Hawick, gave them a pond and encouraged them in every way he could.

IV. NORTHERN GROUP.—Stirling, Fife, Kinross, Perth, Forfar.

Stirling county, true to her ancient traditions, kept careful watch over the progress of curling. It was meet that the game of freedom and independence should be played at Bannockburn. A part of the Serbonian bog, where the English cavalry were ensnared and defeated, was accordingly transformed into a curling pond, and the bore tone, in which Bruce planted his standard before the battle, was the name under which the oldest club in Stirling continued to "curl the channel-stane." In many a keen encounter did the old Bridge of Allan test the mettle of time newer clubs on Airthrey Loch. When Cairnie got his queer Waterstoups at .Falkirk, that place could turn out a hundred good curlers for a bonspiel, and it is said (Annual, 1843, pp. 136-138) that about the dawn of the present period the farmers of the Carse and the tradespeople of the town got into a curling feud which could not be settled for days and days, and was only ended by "the thow;" The bitter combatants have all "ta'en their gate," but here is the picture of one good old soul whose memory is worth preserving in our pages

"Regularly as nine o'clock came round was 'Meg Weir,' the worthy old housekeeper of a bachelor of the party, whose residence was. at a short distance from the scene, seen threading her way through the snow, with her coffee-kettle in one hand, and the other necessaries of a curler's breakfast in a basket over the other arm; and loath they frequently were to stop their game even for so necessary a duty, and many a time was Meg's voice raised in angry expostulation at their pertinacity in continuing to play till the coffee, as she said, would be `as cauld as the ice they were staunin' on.' Roused by her entreaties,. they at length formed a circle on the ice, and discussed a hasty meal, with noble appetites and small ceremony, grudging every moment which it kept them from the play, Meg bustling about meanwhile, helping each to the contents of her well-filled basket, and entertaining them with shrewd and caustic remarks, for she was a privileged character among the band of friends. `My certy,' she would say, `gentlemen, but it's a pity ye canna get curlin' a' the year through had ye no better tak' a passage in ane o' the whale-ships to Greenland,. whar they say they ha'e ice a' simmer, an' finish out yer game there when this frost lifts!' and, turning to her employer, would ask, 'Is your side winnin' the day, maister? Stick till them,' she would add for Meg took almost as keen an interest in the success of her master's party as they did themselves. Occasionally, too, would Meg vary their repast with a `cog o' the kail-brose o' auld Scotland,' and a right good and fitting breakfast it is for those who are to engage in `Scotland's ain game."'

Of the old clubs at Kilsyth, Grahamston, Gargunnock, and Camelon we have no information, and the same has to be said of the Stirling Club, formed in 1820; but a memorable bonspiel seems to have been fought about the close of this period (25th January 1838) on Airthrey Loch, in which the Banknock Club, which had then existed for seven years, figures to disadvantage. This club, in its brief course, had often been on the warpath, and after challenging and beating Slamannan, Larbert, Kilsyth, Falkirk, and Denny, it could find nothing better to do than to "divide itself " and enjoy the luxury of civil war to keep its curling blood In circulation. This was better than sitting down, like Alexander, to cry for want of something to do, but it became tiresome, and so the Banknock heroes issued a final challenge to "any club in the county of Stirling for thirty players, as also the Dunblane Club, in the county of Perth." [The formal challenge appeared in the Stirling Journal, 26th January 1838.] Dunblane took up the challenge and won - 121 to 69. This battle of Airthrey excited the greatest interest in the whole district, and its incidents are not forgotten to this day.

In the kingdom of FIFE the first club to attract our attention is the Otterston, so called from Otterston Loch where the members played. The minutes open with the motto:-

"Interpone this interdum gaudia curls
Ut possis animo quemvis sufl'erre laborem,"

and their dry record of annual meetings is relieved by a selection of curling songs inserted in the blank spaces by a later hand. Dr William Bryce, minister of the parish, was long secretary, and among the early members were the Earls of Moray and Morton, Admiral Sir Philip Durham (who was one of the few rescued from the Royal George), the Marquis de Riario Sforza, a friend of the preceding, Mr John Philip, Commissioner for Lord Moray, Mr Stuart of Dunearn, in a duel with whom Sir Alexander Boswell was fatally wounded, [Mr Stuart was tried for murder before the High Court of Justiciary, Jeffrey and Cockburn appearing for his defence. The jury acquitted him on the ground that he could not have acted otherwise than he did. He survived his acquittal fifty-two years.] Captain Mowbray of Otterston, Mr Wemyss of Wemyss Castle, and Captain Bogle, who fought iii the Peninsular war, and was five years confined in a French prison. The social meetings of these worthies seem to have been conducted in great style, for we find a professional singer receiving one guinea for "singing a variety of songs during the sederunt." Here is one of the dinner bills thus set to music, the responsible parties being two earls, one honourable, one captain, two ministers, two doctors, and seven esquires.

At Dunfermline, Markinch, Leven, and Kilconquhar curling was then popular, and at the last-named place we are told (Annual, 1843) "it was no uncommon thing for the curlers after playing a whole day on the ice to retire at twilight for a little refreshment, then start to it again quite fresh, and play by the aid of lanthorns until the crowing of the cock warned them to stop."

"Though curling ne'er in Eden was essay'd,
Yet glorious spiels, no great way off, are played."

This couplet introduces a "Recitative" by Professor Gillespie, called The Jolly Curlers, which appeared in 1821 in The Caledonian, a quarterly journal published at Dundee. Gillespie was then minister of Cults, in succession to the father of Sir David Wilkie. Along with Mr Dingwall of Ramornie and some neighbouring farmers, he used to enjoy the game on the same spot as that now played on by the Pitlessie Club. In the evening the party met in rotation at each other's houses, and it was a rule that if any hostess put more on the table than the orthodox beef and greens, she had to provide the next dinner. The "Recitative" gives the songs sung by the individual members of the company after dinner, but before the song goes round the bowl has to be produced, and as the Edinburgh Professor of Moral Philosophy has described the beef and greens, we may now ask the Professor of Humanity at St Andrews to tell us how our curling fathers prepared their toddy.

Now comes the bowl,—an heirloom old,
Which three good quarts of punch can hold.
We hate your tumblers, brittle ware—
They want the jolly social air;
And jugs are our abhorrence too—
They hide the beverage from our view.
Show me the man of heart and soul,
And I'll produce his three-quart bowl.
A horse looks bare without a saddle—
A bowl looks cou'd without a ladle:
So, from his den of deep recess,
The twisted serpent seems to hiss;
His tongue all brandish'd for the fight—
All rampant he--beware the bite!
The water smokes; the whisky-bottle
Emits his soul, through burgling throttle
Amidst the board he takes his place—
Vast `moderator' of his race:
The spoon is motioned knowingly
The punch is ready—taste and try
The smack is o'er; the sentence passed—
We've hit the very thing' at Iast.
And now, around the fire we gather—
A fire looks well in frosty weather.
Our half-moon table suits our numbers
And neither wife nor care encumbers.
Lolling at ease, with haunch on high,
We haflins sit and haflins lie
Our eyes all beaming full of glee
The happiest of the happy we.

[The half-moon table that was used by the jolly curlers, the ladle with spirally grooved handle (likened in these lilies to a serpent), and the punchbowl, are still preserved as heirlooms by the present Mr Dingwall of Ramoruie. The "Laird" of the company in the ''Recitative" is not gifted with musical power, and Brother Clapper sings for him The Channel-stane. From the presence of the popular song here, and its absence from the Ettrick Shepherd's works, we incline to think it was Gillespie's and not Hogg's (vide p. 204).]

On the beautiful Loch of Lindores the Abdie Club, a revival in 1830 of an old club which had long been dormant, kept up the sport, and their amusing and profitable use of the licence of the Curling Court must be noticed later on. The first president of the revived club was Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland of Rankeillour, K.C.B., who, as commander of the Bellcropon, frustrated the attempt of Napoleon to escape by sea after Waterloo, and to whom the defeated Emperor yielded up his sword, 15th July 1815. The gallant admiral was a keen curler, and took a personal interest in the success of the club. Mr Ogilvie Dalgleish, of whom we shall hear again, was also prominent among its early friends and supporters. By a decree of this society, every member (the chaplain excepted) was bound to wear the club uniform at play, the coat thereof being blue, the vest buff. Sixteen large buttons were to figure on the coat, eight small ones on the vest; the cost of buttons and die being 5, 2s., which the members had to pay. Dr Burton, the first secretary of the club, who afterwards practised for a time at Haddington, is still alive, aged ninety, a splendid testimony to the medical effect of that bane which the little Perth doctor so long ago recommended to the faculty.

In the county of CLACKMANNAN we have no less than two clubs on our list at this time—a respectable number for a county of such small dimensions. If they were good players they were like Tam Pate—they did not give a single cheep; and we cannot say of what stuff the Dollar and Devonvale and the Tullibody clubs were made. We can only infer from the prowess of such modern clubs as the Alloa and Alloa Prince of Wales that the curlers of old were worthy sires of such sons; and Clackmannan has sufficiently atoned for her silence by giving us in our day Lord Balfour of Burleigh, whose eloquence has more than once exalted the praise of the game, and whose devotion to the highest interests of his country has led him to advocate and befriend the curling cause. It is to such men we look to extend the popularity of our national winter sport.

In the small and compact county of Kinross we have two most efficient clubs, both with interesting records, to guide us in tracing the history of curling and finding out the nature of its secrets. Kinross Club was the creation of an awakened conscience among the Lochleven curlers of the time, who felt that they had not been doing their duty toward their ancient and valuable inheritance. Since it was started in 1818 it has, under faithful rulers from the time of Sheriff Skelton to that of Mr Burns Beag, its present enthusiastic president, made its influence felt in the curling world, and done much to uphold the best traditions of the national game. In its minute-book in "pristine purity" the sacred Eleusinian mysteries of the Curling Court are carefully guarded by the warning voice, "Procul, oh procul este profani!" and much that is interesting and valuable about the curling, of the past is there treasured up.

A fine type of the keen Kinross curler of this period was John Wright Williamson, writer and banker, who, from the time he settled at Kinross in 1818 till the day of his death, [Mr Williamson died in 1879, at the advanced age of eighty-six. His portrait is given in a subsequent chapter of our volume.] never ceased to take an interest in the Kinross Club, and in all that concerned the game. It was the delight of his life to curl, and among the Lochleven band there was no better player. When infirmity forced him to lay down his channel-stane, he would still trudge many a weary mile against a blinding snowstorm to follow the fortunes of his club; and to the very last he appeared at their social meetings, enlivening them by his sprightliness and humour. "Nothing," says Mr Begg, "could have been more enjoyable than the spirit and effect with which The Channel-stave was sung by this veteran curler, even after the touch of extreme old age had woefully impaired his power of expression."

In the Orwell Club, which is also honourably identified with the progress of curling, Mr Black of Tillywhally, with the gift of a. pond, appears as the friend of its youth. The most notable name, however, is that of George Walker Arnott, LL.D., who resided at his estate of Arlary from 1831 till 1846, when he was called to Glasgow as Professor of Botany in the University. Dr Arnott's hand is everywhere visible in the early records of Orwell Club, of which he was for a time president. He seems to have found in curling a pleasant pastime amid severe application to his professional studies, and with all that earnestness and vigour which characterised his life and work [A notice of Dr Arnott's life and his distinguished career as a botanist, written by Dr Hugh Cleghorn, F.L.S., is found in the Transactions of the Botanical Society, Vol. IX., 1867-68.] he played the game, investigated its history, and studied its science. His Lazes of Curling, published in 18318, succeeds the publications of I^amsay, Broun, and Cairnie in their order. The Laws of Arnott are "principally founded on those framed by Lochmaben," but they contain some interesting amendments; and, as winding up the story of the diversities and differences among the clubs of this period, and suggesting the new tale of order and uniformity, the little volume will always be worthy of attention.

For the number of clubs existing; there in the last century, and the great extent of the county, the clubs of PERTH which come under our notice at this period are, in proportion, very few. Of the renown of the Dcnblane Club we have already had proof. Patrick Stirling of Kippendavie and several others had been "brothered and entered " as far back as 1815, but we have no minute previous to 1820. Ramsay's account of the game is then inserted almost verbatim as an introduction to the records of the club, so the influence of Duddingston must have been felt here as elsewhere. Entrance to the club was obtained for 2s. 6d., 1s. of which went "to the bowl" and 1s. 6d. to the funds for the earlier race of curlers always insisted on drinking a new member's health at his own expense. If a member did not appear on the ice once in a season he was fined 2s., and if he did appear lie must have his "besom neatly tied." Every oath cost 1d. If repeated, the price was doubled and the doubling process went on with each new offence, so that an ill-tongued member might swear himself out of a large fortune in a small space of time. If a member refused to pay he was not allowed to play, and if he appeared in a state of intoxication lie was at once expelled the club as a disgrace to the company. Long live Dunblane!

The Doune Club, with 1732 as the year of its nativity, does not begin to speak till 1312, when seven masons, two slaters, and a cattle-dealer draw up an elaborate set of rules. These gentlemen were more drouthy than their friends at Dunblane, for of the new member's entry-money 2s. 6d. went to the bowl and 1s. to the funds. They had a yearly examination of all their members in the knowledge of the "word," and each member found deficient received the diploma of rusty, and was charged is. for his ignorance. The accounts of their social gatherings are brief but pointed, as---e.g.,

"Rustys were condemned. and over a jug or two of toddy natural goodwill and harmony- prevailed, and a pleasant evening was spent.

The snuff, the sang, the cup gaed roun',
The crack, the joke, an' a', man."

On match days the usual refreshment was "pyes and porter;" but they must have had a corps-de-reserve of a stronger liquor, for we find in 1831, when they meet Dunblane, and the contest could not be proceeded with owing to a blinding snowstorm:-

"The respective clubs pledged each other's health in a bumper of mountain dew, and hoped to meet again on some more favourable day."

The patronage of the Earls of Moray has been of great benefit to the club, and though they themselves have said it, the Dounites were keen and good curlers from the time their forefathers frightened the followers of Prince Charlie, who mistook their stones for cannon-balls and their besonis for swords, till the present day.

"The lads o' Doune are ill to beat,
Their stanes they handle weel,
And gave among the best o' clubs
They're racked as true as steel."

Of equal antiquity with Doune, the Ardocit Club is a good deal older before it has anything to say. Up till 1828 they curled with natural boulders, each with one stone, and nine players on a rink. From tee to tee the distance was 30 yards. The two foremost players barleyed the others. At the above date the stones were improved by being nidged into roundness, the usual size being 10 inches diameter by 5 in depth. Two "brothering masters" were appointed annually to look after the initiation of new members. Here are some interesting rules from the records which illustrate the ways of this club:-

"1. Only one member shall speak at a time, and in addressing the president the speaker shall rise to his feet.
"2. Whisky punch to be the usual drink of the club in order to encourage the growth of barley.
"3. No politics of Church or State to be discussed.
"4. No member to speak of the faults of another member in curling, nor deride the office-bearers, nor disobey the order of the day.
"5. Any member convicted of robbery or reset of theft shall have his name erased from the roll of members.
"6. Any member appearing at a meeting the worse of liquor shall be obliged to leave immediately for the day.
"7. Any member who swears, dictates to another how to vote, or persists in trifling motions without being supported, shall be fined.
"8. The amount of each fine to be 6d."

The Auchterarder Club was formed in 1830, and was open to "all the male inhabitants of the parish," while "none but those of good character were admitted." Once admitted, "members were accountable to the club for their conduct, not only upon the ice, but while going to or returning from a game." It was a graceful custom in this club to exact no annual dues "from members who had attained to the age of sixty years, unless it were their own pleasure to pay them." Each rink of five players was presided over by a leader, who determined the length of the rink and directed the game. It was the leader's duty to fix the grips so that players sent their stones over the tee. The front grip was to remain fixed, but the "hinder grip" might be shifted after one player had sent up his stone. With all our keenness, it is quite possible to have "too much of a good thing" in the way of frost, as this experience of the curlers of Auchterarder, dated 31st October 1830, clearly shews :-

"The fields adjacent to the pond being then covered with corn, uncut or in the stook, it will readily be supposed that there was little taste for curling in any member of the club."

One of the oldest and most interesting clubs in Perthshire is the Strathallan Meatlt Moss, but it is only near the close of this period that its records begin, when we find the factor on the Strathallan estate drawing up rules and regulations for the club. Through all its course the Strathallan family have treated the club as a darling child, and the annual meetings are like pleasant family gatherings, with Viscount Strathallan, the Master of Strathallan, or some member of the house generally presiding laird, tenant, and cottar meeting together in mutual confidence and esteem. The annual dinners seem to have been held in the Boo-hall. Sometimes "Lady Strathallan sent sundry viands that are not included in ordinary curlers' fare," but usually the dinners were models of simplicity. The bills are carefully preserved in the minutes, and every detail is entered. In one we find "mustard, 6d.; pepper, 3d.; salt, 1s. ; dram-glasses broke, 1s. 2d." But we shall give one of the oldest in full, that our brethren may see how in the days of old forty-seven curlers dined sumptuously and drank plentifully at a cost of 1s. 6d. per head, etceteras included, and handed over a surplus to the funds of the club. O tempora! O mores! Here is the bill :-


The youngest knight of the broom we have heard of crosses our path in Strathallan Meath Moss, when a son of the Master of Strathallan is "entered" at three years of age. His initiation and subscription were, however, judiciously postponed till the young idea could send a channel-stane over the hog. The Strathallan players seem to have stuck out longer than others against fitting their tee, and as long as they used grips it was permitted, as at Auchterarder, that the foremost grip might "be turned but not moved out of its place after the first leader has sent his stone up." in their point game they added guarding to the Duddingston list, and in a competition for a pair of curling-stones presented by the Hon. W. H. Drummond, 31st October 1836, out of four shots at the four points, John Houston won the coveted prize with one point. For each rink a leader and a skipper (or principal,) were appointed to direct the play—" no other being allowed to say one word," and any person "finding fault with the direction was liable to be fined one shilling—a rule that is worthy of universal adoption. As we shall see, the ancient mysteries of curling were here carefully preserved, and no member was allowed to play who was not brothered. The late Lord Strathallan used to relate at the curling dinners that in the early part of this century, and in the previous period of its existence, the Strathallan Club was never known to be beaten, for if losing; at the curling they "called out" their enemies on the bank of the pond, where they never failed to come off victorious at fisticuffs. It was not thought advisable to continue this habit after the close of the first quarter of the century, and it is now quite safe for southerners to meet his Lordship's retainers at a Grand Match and beat them on their curling merits—a difficult thing, we believe, to do.

The ancient club at Muthill was still to the fore, and we hear of a club at Crief, but of curling at this time in George Ruthven's Perth we hear nothing, though we have no reason to suppose that it had been forgotten there. At Methven the game had been carried on for a century, and there was a club there in 1831 which kept records. These were lost forty years ago. The great patron and friend of this club was Robert Smythe of Methven, a gentleman much beloved and respected by all in that district. His enthusiasm for the national game, and his generous disposition toward the curlers and their club, will ever be remembered.

When we come to the Clunie Club we again find the influence of the Duddingston Club strongly manifesting itself. One of the presidents of Duddingston, Principal Baird, had formerly been minister at Dunkeld, where he introduced the game, and when he removed south he still kept up an intimate friendship with the curlers. In recognition of his kindness we find him receiving from "his friends in the Stormont" a fluted silver tea-kettle, and in return the Principal sends them the Kilmarnock Treatise on Curling, and a pair of Copinsha stones (vide p. 89) to be competed for according to Duddingston point rules. It is only in 1831 that we find this club giving up the use of natural boulders and agreeing to play in future with made stones. They had continued the boulders for a while to accommodate other clubs, but owing to the trouble of collecting them, in consequence of the quantity of water in the burns and rivers, they determined to do this no longer, and to play no matches with clubs that did not use made stones." The Doune Club had an official peculiar to itself---a handlemaker, who was no doubt useful. One entry describes a match between the chaplain and the president for a bottle of whisky, which the chaplain lost, as he deserved to do. Two charity snatches (luring this period took place with Dunkeld, the losing side paying five shillings per player for the boor of the parish of the winners. Little is said about the club's festive gatherings, except that "the evening; was as usual spent in true curler fashion." This covers a good deal—curlers all know how much.

Coupar-Angus and Blairgowrie, as in the previous century, keep faithful records of their doings, and remain true to the old traditions of the game. The latter was a special centre of light and leading in the north, to which pilgrims came from far and near for illumination its the "word" and the mysteries, and for instruction in the art.

Farther north, again, the Duke of Athole was setting an example to the Scottish nobility, as his successors have continued to do, by taking a personal and sincere interest in our national game. His Grace, it seems, was the inventor of a new style of curling which is thus described by Sir R. Broun in 1830 :-

"The late Duke of Athole suggested a new mode of curling—viz., upon skates, and with long poles forked at the end. The player fixes this upon the handle of the stone, and then retires ten or twelve yards from the tee. He next swiftly pushes it forward, humouring its motion, and having his eye fixed upon the object to be aimed for at the further end. When the stone reaches the tee he gives it the requisite impulse. This is described as an elegant mode, and makes a highly interesting game." [Cairnie remarks on this (Essay, p. .59) "Wanting the skates, and with firm footing, this contrivance may be introduced with advantage, if a little modified. The missiles, perhaps, might be formed of hardwood, with steel-plate bottoms; and were it possible, by means of a pole of wood, which might be called the ice-mace, to move the stones in every direction, and to disengage it from them when the aim was taken and the propelling power applied; in that case we conceive the improvement might be considerable, for we should he able to take better aim, and there would be no necessity for stooping; the curling-mace would operate in the same way as a mace on a billiard ball, and, perhaps, could give a more forcible impetus to the projected materiel than could be done by the present mode of throwing it."]

This new plan does not seem to have been accepted to any great extent by curlers, who do not generally care for fanciful deviations from the orthodox methods, but we are inclined to think that the bent-down handles on many of the old stones that have come under our notice, as in the collection at present to be seen at Blair Castle, indicate that the Duke's plan had been tried in a good many places, and more especially with the old implements that were at the time falling into disuse.

III the year 1815, Thomas Dick and William Patullo, two pilgrims from Alyth, got the "word" from Blairgowrie, and on their return home they initiated thirteen others and formed the Alyth Club. Grateful for its creation, the Alyth Club soon after entertained the twelve Blairgowrie curlers who had received their deputation to a dinner, which cost 14, 3s. This was, no doubt, a special feast of fat things, and its nature is not recorded; but at Alyth, as at Strathallan, the ordinary annual dinners of the curling club are all preserved, and we may give the two first for comparison with those which we have already noticed, and with the "reckoning" that awaits us nowadays after an evening's enjoyment:—

27th January 1815.


The society at Alyth seems to have been particular in the matter of securing suitable stones, arid, like others, it had an examining committee. At one meeting in 1822 four suitable pairs were purchased at Gs. per pair; six pairs that were found unserviceable were "broke, and the handles laid up for future use;" one pair, belonging to David Ogilvy, was condemned as unfit for service. In 1825 two pairs were approved of "only on condition that the owners of said stones shall give the bottoms of them a better polish, and dress the sipper part of them with a hammer as curling-stones ought to be." George Crochet, for not providing proper stones as required by the regulations, was given "a charge before the Baron Bailie of Alyth;" if he appealed by reclaiming petition against the bailie's decision; answers were to be presented to the Supreme Court of Scotland—all this to be at the instance and expense of the society. If the said George Crochet appealed to a higher court, "Mr Moncur shall then bear the expense as a private individual."

So much disappointment was caused by the committee's decisions, and so much trouble brought upon the society, that it was at last decided that the society should provide all stones required by the members, each member thereafter to pay 15s. per annum to cover costs, and to be left with Hobson's choice. Here is a brief minute extracted from the Alyth record which gives a delightful little picture, from one of the most northern points that curling had their reached, of that gentle, genial, brotherly fellowship which always attends the game.

"ALY'H, 17th December 1827.

"The society having now discussed the several matters which came under their consideration and got all the important business settled, spent the remainder of the night in that kind, social, and orderly manner which ought to distinguish all keen curlers, and by the hour of 12 settled their tavern bill and departed, much delighted with one another's company, and taking an affectionate good-night of each other."

The last Perthshire club which falls to be noticed is the Strathmore, established in 1826. This club met at .1Seigle, the annual gathering being held on Auld Handsel Monday —a day on which several other clubs in the north were accustomed to meet. For a long period the Rev. Patrick Barty acted as secretary of the club, and David Nairn of Drumkilbo as president—the latter securing the gratitude of the curlers by making a pond for them at his own expense. The rules and regulations at Strathmore were like many which we have already noticed. "Giving bad names to any member" was held to be as bad as swearing, and the same fee was charged for both, viz., 2d.; the morale of the game being further protected by a rule (No. 12) which was to this effect :-

"No political toasts nor discussions, and no improper toasts whatever to be permitted."

Though there was a Strathmore Club in the county of Perth, we do not hear much of curling in the Strathmore of FORFARSHIRE when we cross into that county. This was one of the counties where, in fact, curling was only partially known in the period now under review. At the town of Forfar a club was instituted in 1797. In that year the club played on a natural pond at Carseburn, with stones of a very rough description, and two-legged iron handles. The two leading skips were the Rev. John Skinner, D.D., Episcopal minister, Forfar, and the Rev. Mr Eadie, Secession minister, who uniformly skipped the opposing rinks. They both played with stones weighing 65 lbs. each, which were known by the name of "The Jannies." The club has had to shift its curling tent several times since it was first pitched on Carseburn—playing at Cow-loch, Southmuir, and Loch of Forfar in succession; but under the kindly patronage of the Earl of Stratlinlore, a keen supporter of the ancient game, they have finally found a place of rest where they may curl undisturbed. The Dundee Club dates back to the last year of last century. Kirriemuir had also a club in 1809, and the game appears to have been known at Brechin in early times, but from none of them all have we any written records till we come to a later stage. The secretary of the

Strathmartine Club informs us that up till 1867, when his club was formed, the game was quite unknown in the district comprised in Mains and Strathmartine, Auchterhouse and Tealing parishes. Sir John Ogilvy, Bart., one of the most respected landlords of this county, who was Member of Parliament for Dundee during four Parliaments, 1839-1874 deserves gratitude and honour from curlers in the North, and from all who love the game. He became, as we shall see, one of the wisest counsellors and staunchest supporters of the Royal Club, of which he was president more than once. At this period he was a keen curler, and doing; what., he could to strengthen the cause in his native county. Even now, at the advanced age of eighty-six, Sir John's heart is in the game, and in the progress of our work we have had from his lips and from his pen—for he is still " clear and keen "—interesting reminiscences of curling and curlers in days so long gone by that few besides himself are able to tell their story. Between the present and the past we have no more interesting link of connection to-day than this good Old Baronet of Baldovan. His last letter to us (October 10, 1889) contained these words—"The pleasantest days of my life have been spent on the ice." We receive them as the benediction of a venerable patriarch, and hand them on to the brotherhood of the future as the legacy of a long and honourable life.

It appears from the survey we have thus given of the curling of Scotland during the period 1800-1838, that the game was most popular in the counties of the western and southern districts—such as Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright. In the eastern counties—such as Haddington, Berwick, and Roxburgh—it had not yet made great progress. In such counties as Edinburgh, Fife, Kinross, and Perth, we hear of many notable clubs and players at this time; but among the people generally the game cannot be said to have been so popular as in the counties we have mentioned. Beyond Perth and Forfar curling appears to have been at this time little known. Its benign influence had not extended to the Highlands. The fact that the clergy of the period were not able to employ themselves like the minister of Tibbermore accounts for many things that have happened since then. [Vide Mrs Oliphant's Life of Prineipal Tulloch, third edition, p. 18. ] When some Ayrshire sheep-farmers started a curling club at Laggan, in Inverness county, about 1855, the shinty-players — finding, like Othello, that their occupation was gone—did all they could to oppose the game ; and some of theiii actually carried off" the club-house of the curlers, which has not since been heard of. Perhaps the shinty had to do with the expulsion of curling from some places in the North where it had been known in a previous century ; for Scotia's darling must some time or other, with her broom on her shoulder and her crampits bound on her snowy feet, have taken a highland trip ; and if she then failed to gain the affection of the lovers of shinty, there were sonic among the North men who were won by her loving countenance, and yielded to her charms. There are memories of curling in the Buchan district 150 years ago. It is certain the game was played on the loch of Kininmonth towards the close of last century. The late Dean Ranken, Old Deer, used to relate that the Rev. Mr Cumming, Longside (born 1770), the grandson and successor of the Rev. Mr Skinner (Tullochgorum), once described to him how farmers from all quarters assembled together on the ice clay after day when the frost lasted, and specimens of old curling-stones since found in this and other Highland districts are proof of the fact that curling was not unknown in the North at an earlier time.

Explain it as we may, the game hail, however, been forgotten, and there are no reminiscences of its presence north of Perth and Forfar at this time. It was even in danger of languishing in the South, if we are to believe Christopher North in this eloquent passage of his Winter Rhapsody [Blackwood's Magazine, Vol. XXIX., February 1831, pp. 303-4.]

"A change has come over the spirit of the curler's dream. They seem to our ears indeed to have `quat their roaring play.' The cry of `swoop, snoop' is heard still—but oh! a faint, feeble, and unimpassioned cry, compared with that that used on the Mearns Brother Loch to make the welkin ring, and for a moment to startle the moon and stars—those in the sky as well as those below the ice—till again the tumult subsided—and Jo! all the host of heaven above and beneath serene as a world of dreams. Is it not even so, Shepherd  Oh! what is a rink now on a pond in Duddingston policy, to the rinks that rang and roared of old on the Loch o' the Loges, when every stone, circled in a glorious halo of spray-, seemed instinct with spirit to obey, Tong all its flight, the voice of hint that launched it on its unerring aim, and sometimes in spite of his awkward skill-lessness, when the fate of the game hung on its own single crank, went cannonading through all obstacles till it fell asleep, like a beauty as it was, just as it kissed the Tee!"

The Professor was unnecessarily alarmed. Scotland stood where she did in her devotion to the game. But it is not easy for curlers to keep up enthusiasm when the winters are damp, as they had so often been in the decade that preceded the Professor's wail. A few fine frosty winters, and then there carne a rush of clubs, the war-cry was keener and clearer than ever, and the old enthusiasm returned like a giant refreshed, to make Scotland's game more truly national than it had been before. How this was done we shall see in our next chapter.

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