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Weekly Mailing List Archives
4th May 2007

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

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at 

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Southern States of America
Poems and Stories
Clan Newsletters
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
History of Scotland
Highlanders in Spain

I've actually held back this newsletter a wee bit so I could get a wee flavour of the Scottish elections. Up to around 5am in the morning in Scotland it looked like the SNP had a chance of being the largest single party but it will be around 2pm in Scotland before we'll know the final results. Then of course well have to see how they work out who's going to lead the Scottish parliament :-)

I got in an email from Ranald McIntyre in Scotland telling me of the availability of "The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Condition of Crofters and Cottars in the Highlands and Islands" which was published in 1884.

The commission was set up as a response to crofter and cottar demonstrations against excessively high rents, lack of security of tenure on land that had been in families for generations and the forced evictions of crofters.

The demonstrations started in Wester Ross and Lewis in the 1870's, and by the early 1880's had moved to Skye. Local police forces were called upon by the landlords to enforce what they believed to be their rights. However, with limited resources, the police found it difficult to cope with the increasing demands put upon them. Therefore, it became an issue needing the attention of Prime Minister Gladstone’s government and he ordered the appointment of the commission.

Under the orders of William Gladstone, and backed by Royal approval, the commission was appointed in 1883, by the Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt. Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier, was selected as chairman, with five other members - Sir Donald Cameron of Locheil; Sir Kenneth MacKenzie of Gairloch; Charles Fraser – MacIntosh MP; Sheriff Alexander Nicolson of Kicudbright and Professor Donald MacKinnon of Edinburgh university – making up the panel.

The commission began its work in Braes on the Island of Skye and travelled the length and breadth of the Highlands and Islands (including Orkney and Shetland) gathering evidence from crofters, landlords and others who were familiar with the plight of the indigenous population.

The final report was hastily published in 1884 and led obliquely to the 1886 Crofters’ Holding Act.

The Napier’s Report is a valuable piece of documentary evidence from the Highlands and Islands (including Orkney and Shetland) in 1883, presenting facts and information on the population, as well as the political, historical and social climate of the time.

You can read this report at

I have just acquired the book, "The Civil and Ecclesiastical History of Scotland A.D. 80 to A.D. 818" by Thomas Innes.

Going by the very expansive Preface of the book the author was highly regarded for his painstaking research and so I hope this will contribute to our understanding of early Scottish history. Not sure when I'll get to this book but likely sooner rather than later.

I've also found the missing 3 volumes of the History of Scotland by Tytler meaning that I'll now be able to put up all 9 volumes :-)

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and others.

Two books to feature this week...

I just wanted to let you know that my first fiction novel is now being published and will soon be available at Borders Bookstores (in addition to, etc). It is called Castle Dreams Book One of the Highland Lairds Series by Cheryl MacMillan (my pen name).

The following is on the back cover of Castle Dreams:

This spellbinding fiction is filled with adventure, exciting history and
romance. The characters leap off the page with vibrant, emotional, and
sensual power. Enriched with wit and passion, this dramatic story brings
to life moving and meaningful moments in history. It vividly weaves
the tale of vast fortunes, wars, loyalty, and cherished relationships.

Malcolm Lochlan MacMillan
Handsome nobleman split between two countries and two cultures, England
and Scotland, circa 1748. Heir to the title of Earl of Kilford through his
English mother and Laird of Clan MacMillan through his Scottish father, he
faces an impossible situation. Educated as an English Lord, however
he found joy, excitement and ultimately love among his fathers clansmen.
Loyalty and responsibility...which destiny will he chose?

Catherine Leslie MacArthur
The Scottish lass who stole Malcolm’s heart when he was only twelve, has
now grown into a beautiful, free-spirited and fiercely loyal young woman
who has once again captured his attention...perhaps his heart. Courageously
surviving the aftermath of the Scottish uprising of 1745 when British soldiers
burned and pillaged their ancient castle and village in the Highlands.
Will she give Malcolm a chance to recapture her heart?

Castle Dreams is the first book in this series of five I have written - I hope to have Highland Dreams Book Two of the Highland Lairds Series published in late fall of this year - my publisher has already requested it. It is the story and adventures of Malcolm and Catherine's eldest son John. You can visit my website at: to learn more about this forthcoming series.

Thanks for your time and consideration of my request. By The Way - I do happen to list you and ElectricScotland on my acknowledgements page - as I did part of my research on the Highlands from your website - which as you know is FULL of great information! Thank you!

Also, FYI - I have taken out an AD in the Program at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games announcing Castle Dreams and an Author Booksigning in the Clan MacMillan Tents. I will also be doing a Booksigning at the Greenville Scottish Games in June (if the book is in my hands by then.) I am attending regardless, since our Clan Chief George MacMillan will be the guest of honor at our Clan MacMillan Ball held on Saturday evening during these games. (We visited with him at Finlaystone - near Glasgow - this past May 2006 during our trip to Scotland.)


Dark Birthright was recently reviewed in "The Urlar", the magazine of the Clan MacPherson Association, US Branch.

Here is what Becky Dodge had to say:

"Once I started, I could not put it down. It has many different facets, not only the history but also legend, myth, and a touch of ancient Celtic beliefs, characters that really seem to be from that period, family intrigues and the mystery of how the relationships developed to create the personalities of the principal characters. I actually felt anger, sympathy, and several other emotions as I got to know the characters. There is sadness or cheerfulness at the events and emotions whenever certain characters enter the scene again – some of those happy and some a bit sad. One really becomes a part of this book quickly and it is a very good read! I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to visit and be a part of Scotland in the early seventeenth century."

Jeanne Treat will be a featured author on May 5-6, 2007 at the Celebration of Celts near Albany, NY. Join her in the Spoken Word tent for readings, signings, and a chance to be a sketch in the next book.

You can read more about the book at

Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

The Flag is being delayed one day so they can announce the results of the Scottish elections.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at

The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

Now on the G's and added this week are Gibson, Gifford, Gilchrist, Gilfillan and Gillespie.

I thought I might remind you that this is the story of Scotland through looking at the names of the people of Scotland. So the general format of an entry is general information on the name followed by mini biographies of persons of that name.

To illustrate this here is the entire entry for Gibson...

GIBSON, a surname common to both Scotland and England, evidently having its root in the baptismal name of Gilbert, among the son-names, nurse-names, and diminutives of which are Gib, Gibbs, Gibbie, Gebbie, Gibson, Gibbons, and similar appellations. [Lower’s Essays on English Surnames, vol. I. P. 168.] The name of Gibson is of great antiquity in Scotland, and no less than five families of this surname, branches of the same stock, have been raised to the dignity of baronet.

The progenitors of the Gibsons of Durie, in Fife, were free barons of that county and Mid Lothian before the fourteenth century. Their immediate ancestor was Thomas Gibson, who lived in the reign of King James the Fourth, and is particularly mentioned, with several other barons of the county of Fife, in a charter by Sir John Moubry, of Barnbougle, knight, in favour of his son, William de Moubry, in 1511. He left two sons, George his heir, and William, successively vicar of Garvock, rector of Inverarity, and dean of Restalrig. By James the Fifth the latter was appointed one of the lords of session, at the institution of the college of justice in 1532, and by that monarch he was frequently employed in embassies to the Pope, who honoured him with the armorial bearing of three keys, as being a churchman, with the motto Caelestes pandite portae, and as a reward for his writings on behalf of the church, he obtained the title of Custos Ecclesiae Scotiae. [Douglas’ Baronage, p. 568.] In 1549, Cardinal Bethune conjoined the dean of Restalrig with himself as his suffragan, that he might have the more leisure to attend to the affairs of state. He was to retain the benefices which he already held, and to receive, from the cardinal and his successors, a pension of £200, during his life.

George, the elder son, had a son, also named George, who succeeded him. The son of the latter, George Gibson of Goldingstones, was a clerk of session, and died about 1590. By his wife, Mary, a daughter of the ancient family of Airth of that ilk, in Stirlingshire, he had two sons, Sir Alexander Gibson, Lord Durie, the celebrated judge, first baronet of the family (1628), of whom a memoir is subjoined; and Archibald, who was bred to the church, and obtained a charter, under the great seal, of several lands near Glasgow, dated 22d May, 1599. Sir Alexander, Lord Durie, purchased the lands of that name, anciently belonging to the family of Durie of that ilk, and had a charter of the same in 1614. He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton, lord advocate of Scotland, and, with 3 daughters, had 3 sons, Alexander, 2d baronet, Sir John Gibson of Pentland, who carried on the line of the family, and George, of Balhouffie.

The eldest son, Sir Alexander Gibson, younger of Durie, was appointed one of the clerks of session on 25th July 1632, and as such was one of the clerks of parliament. On the attempt of Charles I. To impose the service book on the people of Scotland, he protested, with others, at the market cross of Edinburgh against the royal proclamations, on 8th July and 22d September 1638. He was also one of those who presented the petition against the bishops to the presbytery of Edinburgh and the General Assembly, in November of that year. As clerk of parliament he refused to read the royal warrant for the prorogation of parliament from 14th Nov. 1639 to 2d June 1640. In the latter year he was appointed commissary-general of the forces raised to resist King Charles I. On 13th November 1641, he was nominated lord clerk register by the king, who, on the 15th of the previous March, had conferred on him the honour of knighthood. He was also appointed one of the commissioners for the plantation of kirks. On 1sat February 1645, he was named one of the commissioners of exchequer, and on 8th March following, a supernumerary member of the committee of estates; as also of the committees of a similar nature appointed in 1646, 1647, and 1648. On 2d July 1646, he was admitted a lord of session, on the favourable report of that court to the king. Having joined “the ‘Engagement,” he was deprived of his offices by the act of classes, on 13th February, 1649, and in the following year, as an entry, in Lamont’s Diary states, “both Durie and his ladie was debarred from the table because of their malignancie.” In August 1652, he was one of the commissioners chosen for Scotland to attend the parliament of England; and he again went to England in January 1654. He died in June 1656.

His son, Sir John Gibson of Durie, 3d baronet, sat in the first Scots parliament of Charles II. In 1660. His only son, Sir Alexander Gibson of Durie, having died without issue, n him ended the male line of the eldest son of the 5th baron, Sir Alexander, Lord Durie, the eminent judge, and the title and estates devolved upon the grandson of Sir John Gibson of Pentland, his lordship’s 2d son. A steady loyalist, Sir John Gibson of Pentland attended Charles I. In all his vicissitudes of fortune, and in 1651 accompanied King Charles II. To the unfortunate battle of Worcester, where he lost a leg, and for his gallant behaviour was knighted by the king. He had, with 2 daughters, 3 sons: 1. Sir Alexander Gibson of Pentland and Adiston, one of the principal clerks of session, and clerk to the privy council of Scotland; 2. Sir John Gibson, Bart., colonel of a regiment of foot, and governor of Portsmouth; 3. Sir Thomas Gibson of Keirhill, created a baronet in 1702.

The eldest son, Sir Alexander Gibson, with five daughters, had four sons, namely, Sir John, who succeeded Alexander, progenitor of the present family; Thomas Gibson of Cliftonhall; and James, a lieutenant-general in the service of the queen of Hungary.

Sir Alexander’s eldest son, Sir John, 5th baronet, m. Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis Craig of Riccarton, and had, with two daughters, two sons; Sir Alexander, 6th baronet, and John, merchant, London. Sir Alexander, the elder, leaving no male issue, was succeeded by his nephew, Sir John, 7th baronet, son of John Gibson of London. He also dying without male issue, was succeeded by his brother Sir Robert, 8th baronet. At Sir Robert’s death in America, without issue, the title reverted to the descendant of Alexander Gibson, of Durie, 2d son of Sir Alexander Gibson, clerk of the privy council, above mentioned. This gentleman, Alexander Gibson, one of the principal clerks of session, obtained from his father, the lands of Durie in 1699. His eldest son, John Gibson of Durie, married Helen, 2d daughter of Hon. William Carmichael of Skirling, (son of John, 1st earl of Hyndford, and father of 4th earl,) by his first wife, Helen, only child of Thomas Craig of Riccarton, and had, by her, with 3 daughters, 5 sons, viz., Alexander; William, merchant, Edinburgh, father of James Gibson, W.S., created a baronet in 1831, and on succeeding to the estate of Riccarton, Mid Lothian, assumed the additional name of Craig (see CRAIG, Sir James Gibson); Thomas, lieutenant- colonel 83d regiment; and two who died young. John Gibson of Durie, the father, sold the estate of Durie to the ancestor of Mr. Maitland Christie, the present proprietor. His eldest son, Alexander, had two sons, John and Thomas.

Sir John, the elder, succeeded Sir Robert as 9th baronet, and assumed the name and title of Gibson Carmichael of Skirling, on inheriting the estates, as heir of entail, of the 4th earl of Hyndford, his grand-uncle. Having only a daughter, he was succeeded in 1803 by his brother, Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael of Skirling, 10th baronet of the Gibson family. By his wife, a daughter of General Dundas of Fingask, Sir Thomas had 7 children. The eldest, Alexander, born at the family seat, Castle-Craig, Peebles-shire, June 6, 1812, succeeded his father in 1849. Educated first at Harrow, and subsequently at Cambridge, immediately after leaving the university, he entered upon public life. At the election of 1837 he contested the county of Peebles, but was defeated by a small majority. He subsequently became private secretary to the Hon. Fox Maule, wh in 1852 succeeded his father as 2d Lord Panmure. Sir Alexander Gibson Carmichael died 1st May 1850. He was remarkable for his piety, and a brief memoir of him is inserted in the volume of the Christian Treasury for 1850, p. 376. He was succeeded by his brother, Sir Thomas, 12th baronet, who died Dec. 30, 1855, when his next brother, Rev. Sir William Henry, born Oct. 9, 1807, became 13th baronet. The latter married, in 1858, Eleonora-Ann, daughter of David Anderson, Esq. of St. Germains.

GIBSON, SIR ALEXANDER, Lord Durie, an eminent lawyer, was the son of George Gibson of Goldingstones, one of the clerks of session. On 14th December 1594, on a commission from the lord clerk register, he was admitted third clerk of session. King James in person was present at his admission, and for the readiness with which the first and second clerks complied with his desire that he should be received, he promised in presence of the court to reward them with “ane sufficient casualtie for said consents.” On 10th July 1621, he was appointed a lord of session, when he took the title of Lord Durie, his clerkship being conferred upon his son, to be held conjunctly with himself, and to devolve on the longest liver. In 1628 he was created by Charles the First, a baronet of Nova Scotia, on which occasion he received a grant of land in that province. In 1633 he was named a commissioner for revising the laws and collecting the local customs of the country. In 1640 he was elected a member of the committee of estates, and on 13th November, 1641, his appointment as judge was continued under a new commission to the court.

While the office of president continued elective in the senators of the college of justice, Lord Durie was twice chosen head of the court, namely, for the summer session on 1st June 1642, and for the winter session of 1643. This able and upright judge died at his house of Durie, June 10, 1644. Having, from 11th July 1621, the day after his elevation to the bench, to 16th July 1642, preserved notes of the more important decisions, these, known as ‘Durie’s Practicks,’ were published by his son, at Edinburgh, in 1690, in one volume folio, and are the earliest digested collection of decisions in Scottish law.

Of this judge the following remarkable circumstance, highly illustrative of the unsettled state of the country at that period, is recorded. The earl of Traquair, lord high treasurer, having a lawsuit, of great importance to his family, depending before the court of session, and believing that the pinion of Lord Durie, then lord president, was adverse to his interests, employed Willie Armstrong, called Christie’s Will, a noted and daring moss-trooper, to convey his lordship out of the way until the cause should be decided. Accordingly, one day when the judge was taking his usual airing on horseback on Leith sands, without any attendant, he was accosted by Armstrong near the then unfrequented and furzy common called the Figgate Shins, forcibly dragged from his saddle, blindfolded, and muffled in a large cloak; in which condition he was carried to an old castle in Annandale, named the Tower of Graham. He remained closely immured in the vault of the castle for three months, debarred from all intercourse with human kind, and receiving his food through an aperture in the wall. His friends, supposing that he had been thrown from his horse into the sea, and been drowned, had gone into mourning for him, but upon the lawsuit terminating in favour of Lord Traquair, he was brought back n the same mysterious manner, and set down on the very spot whence he had been so expertly kidnapped.

GIBSON, PATRICK, an accomplished artist and able writer on art, was born at Edinburgh in December 1782. After receiving an excellent classical education at the High school, and at a private academy, he was placed as an apprentice under Mr. Alexander Nasmyth, the celebrated landscape painter, and about the same time attended the Trustees’ academy, then taught by Mr. Graham. Besides mathematics he carefully studied architectural drawing, and acquired a thorough knowledge of perspective and the theory of art in general. Many of his landscapes are valuable from the masterly delineations of temples and other classical buildings which he introduced into them. He distinguished himself also by his criticisms and writings on art. Having been appointed professor of painting in the academy at Dollar, he removed from Edinburgh to that village in 1824. He died there, August 26, 1829, in his 46th year. He had married in June 1818, Isabella, daughter of Mr. William Scott, the eminent teacher of elocution, and had three daughters and one son, the latter of whom died in infancy.

Mr. Gibson published,

Etchings of Select Views In Edinburgh, with letterpress descriptions. Edin. 1818, 4to.

Report, purporting to be by a Society of Cognoscenti, upon the works of living artists, in the Exhibition of 1822, at the Royal Institution, Edinburgh, Anonymous.

A Letter to the Directors and Managers of the Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland. 1826.

To the Encyclopedia Edinensis he contributed the article on Design, comprising the history, theory, and practice of the three sister arts of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving, concluding with an able treatise on Linear Perspective; illustrated by drawings. He also furnished the articles Drawing, Engraving, and Miniature-painting to Dr. Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopedia. The paper entitled A View of the Progress and Present State of the Art of Design in Britain, in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1816, was written by Mr. Gibson. To the New Edinburgh Review, edited by Dr. Richard Poole, he contributed an article on the Progress of the Fine Arts in Scotland.

A short practical work on Perspective, written shortly before his death, was printed, but never published.

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

I completed the third volume of this publication by adding...

Declaration of Independence
Knights of the White Camelia
Ku Klux Klan
Union League of America
Governors of the Southern States

As I only heard back from one person about continuing this publication I've decided to hold to what I had originally intended which was to publish the general histories in the first 3 volumes. I am adding a few biographies from the final two volumes and this week have added...

James Blair

BLAIR, James, clergyman and educator: b. Scotland, 1656; d. Williamsburg, Va., Aug. 1, 1743. He graduated at the University of Edinburgh in 1673 and became an Episcopal clergyman. In 1685, at the earnest persuasion of the Bishop of London, he went to Virginia as a missionary. He was minister at Henrico City, Jamestown, and Williamsburg. In 1689 he became commissary of Virginia, the highest ecclesiastical post in the colony. Realizing the lack of educational facilities, in 1690 he resolved to establish a college in Virginia; and in the face of the opposition of the colonial officials he obtained the charter of William and Mary College on Feb. 14, 1692, having previously solicited subscriptions to the amount of £2,500. He was president of the institution until his death, although he did not formally enter upon the duties of his office until 1729. In spite of bitter opposition, the lack of wealthy patronage and the burning of the building in 1705, his tireless energy gave success to the enterprise. After 1693 Blair was a member of the Council of Virginia, of which he was for some time president. He was instrumental in securing the removal of Governors Andros, Nicholson, and Spotswood. He probably did more than any other one man for the intellectual advancement of Virginia during the colonial period, and was truly the founder of Southern culture. His works are: Our Savior's Divine Sermon on the Mount (1722, republished 1740), containing 117 discourses; The Present State of Virginia and the College (with Hartwell and Chilton, 1727), one of the best accounts of Virginia in the latter part of the Seventeenth century.


Hugh Henry Brackenridge

BRACKENRIDGE, Hugh Henry, jurist and author: b. Campbeltown, Scotland, 1748; d. Carlisle, Pa., June 25, 1816. In 1753 he accompanied his father to America, and settled in York county, Pa., near the Maryland border. He supported himself by farming and teaching while preparing for Princeton, where he graduated in 1771, a classmate of James Madison and Philip Freneau. The graduating exercises included a poetical dialogue, The Rising Glory of America, written by Brackenridge and Freneau, and published in 1772. He taught for a time at Princeton, obtained license to preach, went back to Maryland, and became both teacher and clergyman. In 1776 he removed to Philadelphia as editor of the United States Magazine. After a short service as chaplain in the Revolutionary army, he studied law at Annapolis, Md., went to Pittsburg in 1781, and in 1786 was sent to the legislature. In 1794 he was prominent as a mediator in the whisky insurrection, and in 1799 was appointed to the supreme bench of Pennsylvania, in which position he remained until his death. Other works are: The Battle of Bunker Hill (1776), a drama written for his pupils; The Death of General Montgomery (1777), a drama in which he portrays the English as the acme of all that is bad; Six Political Discourses, Founded on the Scripture (1778), some of his "gunpowder" sermons; Incidents of the Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania (1795); and Modern Chivalry (in two parts, 1796 and 1806), a political satire - the best known of his publications, and the only one of present literary interest.

The book index page is at

Poems and Stories
Donna has completed her stories about her 93 year old Mother which can be seen at

Donna also sent in a Frugal story, I’m Not Depressed at

Clan Newsletters
Added the Dunardry Heritage Association Newsletter at

Added the Clan Gregor newsletter at

Added the May/June 2007 newsletter for the Utley family at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another issue of this newspaper...

July 2, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Culzean Castle on the front page.

You can see all the issues to date at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania May 29 to June 1, 1890.
Continuing this volume on the Second Congress.

Added this week are...

The Scotch-Irish of New England. By Prof. Arthur L. Perry, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.
General Sam Houston, the Washington of Texas. By Rev. Dr. D. C. Kelley, Gallatin, Tenn.
The Scotch-Irish of Western Pennsylvania. By Hon. John Dalzell, of Pittsburg, Pa.

The addresses and historical papers are substantial with much good information.

Here is how The Scotch-Irish of New England starts...

Mr. President and Brethren of the Society—

The Scotch-Irish did not enter New England unheralded. Early in the spring of 1718 Rev. Mr. Boyd was dispatched from Ulster to Boston as an agent of some hundreds of those people who expressed a strong desire to remove to New England, should suitable encouragement be afforded them. His mission was to Governor Shute, of Massachusetts, then in the third year of his administration of that colony, an old soldier of King William, a Lieutenant-Colonel under Marlborough in the wars of Queen Anne, and wounded in one of the great battles in Flanders. Mr. Boyd was empowered to make all necessary arrangements with the civil authorities for the reception of those whom he represented, in case his report of the state of things here should prove to be favorable.

As an assurance to the governor of the good faith and earnest resolve of those who sent him, Mr. Boyd brought an engrossed parchment twenty-eight inches square, containing the following memorial to his excellency, and the autograph names of the heads of the families proposing to emigrate: "We whose names are underwritten, Inhabitants of ye North of Ireland, Doe in our own names, and in the names of many others, our Neighbors, Gentlemen, Ministers, Farmers, and Tradesmen, Commissionate and appoint our trusty and well beloved friend, the Reverend Mr. William Boyd, of Macasky, to His Excellency, the Right Honorable Collonel Samuel Suitte, Governour of New England, and to assure His Excellency of our sincere and hearty Inclination to Transport ourselves to that very excellent and renowned Plantation upon our obtaining from His Excellency suitable incouragement. And further to act and Doe in our Names as his prudence shall direct. Given under our hands this 26th day of March, Anno Dora. 1718."

To this brief, but explicit memorial, three hundred and nineteen names were appended, all but thirteen of them in fair and vigorous autograph. Thirteen only, or four per cent of the whole, made their "mark" upon the parchment. It may well be questioned, whether in any other part of the United Kingdom at that time, one hundred and seventy-two years ago, in England or Wales, or Scotland or Ireland, so large a proportion as ninety-six per cent of promiscuous householders in the common walks of life could have written their own names. And it was proven in the sequel, that those who could write, as well as those who could not, were also able upon occasion to make their "mark."

I have lately scrutinized with critical care this ancient parchment stamped by the hands of our ancestors, now in the custody of the Historical Society of New Hampshire, and was led into a line of reflections which I will not now repeat, as to its own vicissitudes in the seven quarter-centurys of its existence, and as to the personal vicissitudes and motives, and heart-swellings and hazards, and cold and hunger and nakedness, as well as the hard-earned success and the sense of triumph, and the immortal vestigia of the men who lovingly rolled and unrolled this costly parchment on the banks of the Foyle and the Bann Water ! Tattered are its edges now, shrunken by time and exposure its original dimensions, illegible already some of the names even under the fortifying power of modern lenses, but precious in the eyes of New England, nay precious in the eyes of Scotch-Irishmen every-where, is this venerable muniment of intelligence and of courageous purpose looking down upon us from the time of the first English George.

It is enough for our present purpose to know that Governor Shute gave such general encouragement and promise of welcome through Mr. Boyd to his constituents, that the latter were content with the return-word received from their messenger, and set about with alacrity the preparations for their embarkation. Nothing definite was settled between the governor and the minister, not even the locality of a future residence for the newcomers; but it is clear in general, that the governor's eye was upon the district of Maine, then and for a century afterward, a part of Massachusetts. Five years before Boyd's visit to Boston, had been concluded the European treaty of Utrecht, and, as between England and France, it had therein been agreed that all of Nova Scotia or Acadia, "according to its ancient boundaries," should remain to England. But what were the ancient boundaries of Acadia? Did it include all that is now New Brunswick? Or had France still a large territory on the Atlantic between Acadia and Maine? This was a vital question, wholly unsolved by the treaty. The motive of Massachusetts in welcoming the Scotch-Irish into her jurisdiction was to plant them on the frontiers of Maine as a living bulwark against the restless and enterprising French of the north, and their still more restless savage allies; the motive of the Ulstermen in coming to America was to establish homes of their own in fee simple, taxable only to support their own form of worship and their strictly local needs—to escape in short the land lease and the church tithe; the bottom aims, accordingly, of both parties to the negotiation ran parallel with each other, and there was in consequence a swift agreement in the present, and in the long sequel a large realization of the purposes of both.

August 4, 1718, five small ships came to anchor near the little wharf at the foot of State street, Boston, then a town of perhaps 12,000 people. On board these ships were about one hundred and twenty families of Scotch-Irish. They reckoned themselves in families. It is certain that the number of persons in the average family so reckoned was, according to our modern notions, very large. There may have been, there probably was, at least seven hundred and fifty passengers on board. Cluttered in those separate ships, not knowing exactly whither to turn, having as a whole no recognized leader on board, no Castle Garden to afford a preliminary shelter, no organized Commissioners of Immigration to lend them a hand, the most of them extremely poor—the imagination would fain, but may not picture the confusions and perplexities, the stout hearts of some and the heartaches of others, the reckless joy of children and the tottering steps of old men and women. One patriarch, John Young—I know his posterity well—was ninety-five years old. And there were babies in arms, a plenty of them!

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

History of Scotland
In 6 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

I have now completed the 2nd volume and made a start at the third.

The sections in the 2nd volume...

Section I - General Appearance of the Country (Pages 197 - 224)
Section II - Distinct Races in Scotland (Pages 225 - 260)
Section III - Ancient Parliament of Scotland (Pages 261 - 282)
Section IV - Early Commerce and Navigation (Pages 283 - 336)
Section V - State of the Early Scottish Church (Pages 337 - 398)
Section VI - Sports and Amusements of Ancient Scotland (Pages 399 - 435)
Notes and Illustrations (Pages 436 - 486)

... are full of great information and well worth a read.

The first two chapters in the 3rd volume are...

Chapter 1 (Pages 1 - 67)
Robert the Second (1371)
Chapter 2 (Pages 68 - 132)
Robert the Third (Part A) (1390)

Here is how State of the Scottish Church starts...

IN reference to any efforts for the religious instruction or improvement of the people, the Scottish Church was equally cold, idle, and useless, as the rest of the Catholic churches in Europe. Her services were performed, and the Bible was shut up, in an unknown tongue, whilst a system of masses and homilies, sometimes not understood even by the priests who performed them, and a blind adoration of relics, saints, and images, usurped the place of that holy and spiritual worship which can alone be acceptable to God. So far, therefore, as regards these paramount objects, there is nothing in our ecclesiastical annals at this period but a dark void; yet another subject remains upon which it will be necessary to say a few words; I mean the civil influence which the church exerted upon the character of the government and of the people. And here I cannot help observing, that the history of her early relations with Rome, is calculated to place our clergy in a very favourable light as the friends of liberty. The obedience which, in common with the other churches in Christendom, they were disposed to pay to the great head of the Catholic religion, was certainly far from partaking of that obsequious servility, which it was the main object of the Papal throne to impose upon its subjects; and it is singular that the same fervid national spirit, the same genuine love of independence, which marks the civil, distinguishes also the ecclesiastical annals of the country. The first struggles of our infant church were directed,however, not against the encroachments of the Papal power, but against the attacks of the metropolitan sees of York and Canterbury. It was, at an early period, the ambition of one or other of these potent spiritual principalities to subject the Scottish primate, the Bishop of St Andrews, to the dominion of the English church, by insisting upon his receiving the rite of consecration from the hands of one of the archbishops of England ; and nearly the whole reign of Alexander the First was spent in a determined resistance against such an encroachment, which concluded in the complete establishment of the independence of the Scottish church.

To introduce civilisation and improvement amongst his subjects, and to soften the ferocity of manners and cruelty of disposition, which characterised the different races over whom he ruled, was the great object of Alexander's successor, David the First; and he early found that the clergy, undoubtedly the most enlightened and learned class in the community, were his most useful instruments in the prosecution of this great design. Hence sprung those munificent endowments in favour of the church, and that generous liberality to the ecclesiastical orders, which has been too rashly condemned, and which was, perhaps, necessary, in another point of view, in providing something like a counterpoise to the extravagant power of the greater nobles. Under this monarch, the individual freedom of the Scottish church was rigidly maintained; while, at the same time, it declared itself a willing subject of the Papal throne, and received the legate of the Supreme Pontiff with much humility and veneration. Individual independence, however, was esteemed in no degree incompatible with a general acknowledgment of subjection to the Chair of St Peter ; and it is remarkable, that, at this remote period, there are traces of a freedom of discussion, and a tincture of heretical opinions, which, if we may believe an ancient historian, had, for a long time, infected the faith of the Scottish clergy.'

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As all the chapters are .pdf files I'll just point you at the index page of this publication where you can read the other chapters at

Highlanders in Spain
By James Grant (1910)

Now up to Chapter 21 of this book so 6 more chapters added this week. Here is a wee bit from Chapter 15...

THE patron of Ronald's billet could not give him any information about Donna Catalina, or any of the inmates of her mansion,—the Hotel de Villa Franca, as the citizens named it. He knew that it had been occupied by the French, whose commanding officer quartered himself upon it as the best house in the place, and that his soldiers had burnt it when they saw that they should be compelled to abandon Merida, on the second advance of the British. From the first occupation of the town by the enemy, none of the Villa Franca family had been seen. This was all the information he could obtain ; and Ronald was led to conclude that Catalina and her cousin had escaped, and might be at Majorga, or some other town on the Spanish frontiers.

The poor patron was a potter by trade, and made brown earthenware crocks and jars, which he retailed through Estremadura, in panniers slung on the back of a mule; but he earned barely sufficient to support his wife and family. Nevertheless, to show their loyalty to King Ferdinand, and their gratitude to his allies, the patrona had, by dint of much exertion, procured for Ronald, on the morning of his departure, what was considered in Spain a tolerable breakfast.

On the wooden table was placed a large crock full of boiled pork and peas, opposite to which stood a jar of goats'-milk, plates of eggs, dried raisins, and white bread,—even coffee was on the table; a display altogether of viands that raised the wonder and increased the appetites of the six hungry children who crowded round the board, holding up their little brown hands with many exclamations of wonder, and cries to their madre and padre to help them; but their parents were intent on doing the honours of the table to the noble caballero.

In one corner of the miserable apartment lay the glossy hide of an English horse. Ronald, by some particular spots, recognised it to be that of Evelyn's charger, about the flaying of which the host had been employed since daybreak, intending, as he said, to make it into caps and shoes for his children. The latter were all swarthy and active, but sadly disguised by rags and filth, which obscured the natural beauty of their Spanish faces and figures, excepting one little girl, about ten years of age, who appeared to be her mother's pet, and' consequently was more neatly dressed. Ronald was often amused at the looks of wonder with which this little creature watched him while eating—keeping at a distance, as if he were an ogre ; but when she became more familiar, venturing to touch the black feathers of his bonnet, and other parts of his glittering-dress, though always keeping close to the short skirt of the madre's petticoat, as if she feared being eaten up, or carried off for some future meal, by the strange caballero, the richness of whose uniform fined the little boys with wonder and envy.

At last, by dint of much entreaty, she permitted herself to be drawn towards him. Raising up her radiant eyes, she took a copper crucifix from her bosom, and asked him if the people in his country wore a thing like that. On his telling her no, she broke away from his arm, and crying, 'O mi madre—the heretic! the devil!' hid her face in her mother's skirt; while the rest of the children shrunk around their father, grasping his legs for safety, and even he seemed much discomposed. Not liking the idea of being regarded as a bugbear, Ronald, in the gray daylight, finished his breakfast as speedily as possible, and was hurried in doing so by the warning bugles for the march.

Ronald Dhu and his six pipers blowing the gathering, in concert with the drums of other corps beating the 'assembly' in the Plaza, soon followed, and he left the house of the hospitable but superstitious potter, who would not accept a single maravedi for the entertainment he had given,—a circumstance which Ronald did not regret, his pecuniary affairs not being then in a very flourishing condition, as the troops were three months' pay in arrear.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

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


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