Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Weekly Mailing List Archives
18th 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 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania May 29 to June 1, 1890.
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Third Congress at Louisville, Kentucky May 14 to 17, 1891
History of Scotland
Highlanders in Spain
Memoir of Norman MacLeod, D.D.

Spent Thursday through to Monday in Toronto this week attending a Knight Templar's reception and also watching Nola getting her Master of Divinity degree and other prizes. Harold and I also found a new curry restaurant which was excellent and quite near their house :-)

Good to get a couple of days off to relax and the weather was great.

Now back in Chatham and have made a start at the Memoir of Norman MacLeod of which more below.

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.

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

This weeks Flag is compiled by Ian Goldie and is reporting that Alex Salmond has been elected as First Minister. Here is the account...

At 11.11 a.m. this morning, Wednesday 16 May, Alex Salmond became First Minister by 49 votes to 46.

The speeches from his political opponents were generous, and Alex’s own speech was conciliatory in tone.

He reminded MSPs that the Scottish Parliament was created through a referendum.

He wants to grow the economy faster, make Scotland still smarter and greener. He believes that Scotland is diverse rather than divided and wants to rely on the strength of argument in parliament and not the argument of parliamentary strength.

He wants, he said, a fundamentally more reflective model of democracy in Scotland. And with other phrases such as ‘we, all of us’ and ‘leadership on all sides’, he reached out to other parties in the chamber, calling for patience and maturity.

He said he would appeal for support ‘policy by policy'. That is the parliament the people of Scotland elected and that is the government that I will be proud to lead’.

In Peter's cultural section we find...

There is no finer sight for any visitor to Scotland than to see a pipe band in action, and a car banner spotted during the recent victorious Scottish Parliament Election campaign – ‘Pipers do it with Amazing Grace’ – acted as a reminder that the pipe band contest season is once again underway. Many competitions are held in conjunction with Highland Games, such as Markinch Highland Games on Sunday 3 June 2007 in the John Dixon Park but this week we aim to highlight the major competitions run by The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Starting this Saturday (19 May 2007) with the Scottish Championships which will take place in the Levengrove Park, Dumbarton. Like all four competitions to be mentioned these cover All Grades and Drum Major competition. The British Championships will cross the Irish Sea and be held at Ballymena in the north of Ireland on Saturday 23 June 2007. Back on home soil the European Championships takes place in Inverness on Saturday 28 July 2007. Finally the high-point of the pipe band year – The World Championships – will once again be held on Glasgow Green, Glasgow, on Saturday 11 August 2007. So popular are The World Championship that tickets are already on sale. Basic admission tickets for 2007 are £7 with concessions at £4. Visit for full details of what is happening on the Scottish pipe band scene.

In honour of the European Championships this week’s recipe is for Continental Fingers – a delicious traybake.

Continental Fingers

Ingredients: 4oz margarine; 1oz sugar; 3 tsp cocoa; 1 egg; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 6oz crushed digestive biscuits; 2oz coconut; 2oz chopped walnuts

Filling: 2oz butter; 9oz icing sugar; 2 level tsp custard powder;

Topping: 6oz chocolate; 10 oz butter

Method: Put margarine, caster sugar and cocoa into saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Do not boil but keep on heat for one minute. Remove and add biscuits, coconut and walnuts and mix well. Spread on greased Swill roll tin (12” x 8”) and harden in fridge. For filling beat butter, icing sugar and custard powder and add 2 tbsp of boiling milk. Spread on top of base and leave to set. For topping melt chocolate and butter and spread on top of filling. Allow to cool and cut into fingers.

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

We also got in a diary entry from Linda Fabiani MSP which you can read at

You can email Linda at

You can read her other diary entries at

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

Now on the G's and added this week are Glencairn, Glendonwyn, Glenelg, Glenie, Goodal and Gordon.

The Gordon entry is around 36 pages and here is how it starts...

GORDON, the surname of an ancient and distinguished family, originally from Normandy, where their ancestors are said to have had large possessions. From the great antiquity of the race, many fabulous accounts have been given of the descent of the Gordons. Some derive them from a city of Macedonia, called Gardonia, whence they went to Gaul; others find their origin in Spain, Flanders, &c. Some writers suppose Bertrand de Gourdon who, in 1199, wounded Richard the Lion-Heart mortally with an arrow, before the castle of Chalus in the Limoges, to have been the great ancestor of the Gordons, but there does not seem to be any other foundation for such a conjecture than that there was a manor in Normandy called Gourdon. It is probable that the first persons of the name in this island came over with William the Conqueror in 1066. An old tradition states that in the reign of Malcolm Canmore a knight arrived in Scotland, at a time when the borders were infested by a wold boar, which he killed, or gored down, and that, for this service, that monarch gave him a grant of land in the Merse, or Berwickshire, which he called by that name, taking also the boar’s head for his armorial bearing. If he was an Anglo-Norman knight, however, he is more likely to have styled himself “de Gordon,” after his lands. According to Chalmers, (Caledonia, vol. Ii. P. 387,) the founder of this great family came from England in the reign of David the First, (1124-53) and obtained from that prince the lands of Gordon, (anciently Gordun, or Gordyn, from, as Chalmers supposes, the Gaelic gor din, “on the hill,” a derivation as fanciful as the other). He left two sons, Richard, and Adam, who, though the younger son, had a portion of the territory of Gordon, with the lands of Fanys on the southern side of it.

The elder son, Richard de Gordon, a person of considerable distinction in the reigns of Malcolm the Fourth and William the Lion, granted, between 1150 and 1160, certain lands to the monks of Kelso, and died in 1200. His son, Sir Thomas de Gordon, confirmed by charter these donations, and his son and successor, also named Thomas, made additional grants to the same monks, as well as to the religious of Coldstream. He died in 1285, without male issue, and his only daughter, Alicia, marrying her cousin, Adam de Gordon, the son of Adam, younger brother of Richard above mentioned, the two branches of the family thus became united.

This Adam de Gordon was one of the Scots barons who joined King Louis the Ninth of France in his famous crusade for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre in 1270, and he died during the expedition. His son, also named Sir Adam de Gordon, appears to have had some property in England, but whether his own inheritance, or in right of his wife, an Englishwoman, cannot now be determined. During the disputes between Henry the Third of England and his barons, he joined the latter, and was for some time governor of Dunster castle. After the battle of Evesham, so fatal to the rebellious barons, he maintained himself with eight horsemen in the woods between Alton and Farnham, plundering the counties of Berks and Surrey, until surprised by Prince Edward. In the single combat which ensued between them, Sir Adam’s foot slipping, he fell to the ground, when the prince not only granted him his life, but admitted him into his service, and he continued ever after a faithful friend to the English monarch’s cause. He was a firm adherent of Baliol, as he held most of his lands either of that prince, or of the earls of March, his fast friends; but he died before King John, as he was called, resigned the sovereignty of Scotland to King Edward, in 1296, as in 3d September in that year Margery, his widow, obtained restitution of the estates, having sworn fealty to the English king.

An additional entry in this long account includes...

GORDON, a clan, at one period one of the most powerful and numerous in the north. Although the chiefs were not originally of Celtic origin, as already shown, they yet gave their name to the clan, the distinctive badge of which was the rock ivy. The clan feuds and battles were frequent, especially with the MacIntoshes, the Camerons, the Murrays, and the Forbeses. Their principal exploits will be noticed under the head of HUNTLY, earl of. The Gordons adhered to the cause of Queen Mary, while the Forbeses upheld that of her son, King James. The fine old ballad of ‘Edom O’Gordon’ took its rise from the following event. Sir Adam Gordon of Auchindoun, brother of the earl of Huntly, and his deputy as lieutenant of the north of Scotland for the queen, committed many acts of oppression on the Forbeses, and in November 1571, he sent a party under one of his retainers named Captain Ker, to reduce the castle of Towie, in the parish of that name, one of the chief seats of the rival clan. Alexander Forbes, its proprietor, was then absent, but his lady, whose maiden name was Margaret Campbell, not only gave Ker some abusive language from the battlements, but fired upon, and slightly wounded him in the knee. Transported with rage, he ordered the castle to be set on fire, when the whole inmates, thirty-seven persons in all, were burnt in the flames. In the ballad Sir Adam is represented as the principal actor in this disastrous proceeding. The Forbeses, it appears, afterwards attempted to assassinate him on the streets of Paris. “Forbes,” says Gordon, in his History of the Gordons, (vol. I. Page 381), “with some desperate fellows, lay in wait in the street through which he was to return to his lodgings from the palace of the archbishop of Glasgow, then ambassador in France. They discharged their pistols upon Auchindoun, as he passed by them, and wounded him in the thigh. His servants pursued, but could not catch them; they only found, by good chance, Forbes’s hat, in which was a paper with the name of the place where they were to meet. John Gordon, lord of Glenluce and Longormes, son of Alexander Gordon, bishop of Galloway, lord of the bedchamber to the king of France, getting instantly notice of this, immediately acquainted the king, who forthwith despatched le grand provost de l’hotel, (or the great provost of the palace,) with his guards, in company with John Gordon, and Sir Adam’s servants, to the place of their meeting, to apprehend them. When they were arrived at the place, Sir Adam’s servants, being impatient, rushed violently into the house, and killed Forbes; but his associates were all apprehended, and broke upon the wheel.” It was this same Sir Adam Gordon who, in a rencontre with the Forbeses in 1572 at Clatt, killed the master of Forbes’ brother, styled “Black Arthur.”

The duke of Gordon, who was the chief of the clan, was usually styled “The Cock of the North.” His most ancient title was the “Gudeman of the Bog,” from the Bog-of-Gight, a morass in the parish of Bellie, Banffshire, in the centre of which the former stronghold of this family was placed, and which forms the site of Gordon castle, considered the most magnificent edifice in the north of Scotland (see above). The Marquis of Huntly is now the chief of the clan Gordon.

In Berwickshire, the original seat of the Gordons, the gipsies still retain the surname; and the natives of the parish of Gordon in that county, from their simplicity of manners, were usually styled “the Gowks of Gordon.”

You can read the rest of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

As I've only had two requests to do more with this publication I have concluded this publication by adding a biography of Alexander Spotswood. I may return to this publication at a later date. Here is the final bio...

SPOTSWOOD, Alexander, colonial governor: b. Tangier, Africa, 1676; d. Annapolis, Md., June 7, 1740. He was the only child of Robert Spotswood and his wife Catherine Elliott. His father was resident physician to the governor and garrison of Tangier. He was descended from an ancestry which went back to the time of Alexander III. of Scotland in 1249, and which was settled at that time in the parish of Gordon and shire of Berwick on the Scotch border. Alexander Spotswood grew up among military surroundings. He served with distinction under the Duke of Marlborough, and was severely wounded at the battle of Blenheim. His military talents and his high courage procured for him the appointment of lieutenant-governor of the colony of Virginia under the Earl of Orkney, the governor and commander-in chief; and in June, 1710, he arrived in Virginia to discharge the duties of his office. His military experience enabled him to subdue the pirates and bucaneers, who at that time infested the Virginia coast, and he quelled the insurrection of the Tuscarora Indians on the Southern border. He sought to develop the mineral resources of the colony, and opened iron mines and constructed a furnace above the Falls of Rappahannock, at Germanna, where he resided. He organized and led an expedition westward to explore the then untraversed Shenandoah Valley, and crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains. On his return he presented to each of his companions a miniature golden horseshoe, engraven with the motto: "Sic juvat transcendere montes." He built the famous "Powderhorn" at Williamsburg, and he established an Indian school at Fort Christiana in Southampton county. In 1730 he became deputy postmaster-general of the American colonies, and he made Benjamin Franklin postmaster of Pennsylvania. His removal was effected by the Virginia clergy in September, 1722. He died at Annapolis, Md., June 7, 1740, when on the eve of embarking with the expedition for Cartagena, and is said to have been buried at "Temple Farm," his country residence near Yorktown, where later Lord Cornwallis signed the articles of his capitulation to General Washington. Governor Spotswood's administration was wise and beneficient, and he left an enduring fame as one of the greatest and best of the colonial governors. He married, in 1724, Anne Butler Brayne, daughter of Richard Brayne, Esq., of Westminster, England, and from them were descended some of the most prominent and distinguished of the later Virginians. His letters were purchased by the Virginia Historical Society in 1882 and published in their collection as the official letters of Alexander Spotswood, lieutenant-governor of Virginia in 1710-1722 (1882-85).

The book index page is at

Poems and Stories
Donna sent in a copy of a newspaper article about NOC receives memorial painting at

John added Chapter 54 of his Recounting Blessings at

Added a poem, West Coast Story, by Hugh Smith at

Clan Newsletters
Added the May 2007 newsletter of the Clan Amcu at'07.pdf

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

July 16, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Loch Lomond on the front page and also an account of the Royal Caledonian Ball.

You can see all the issues to date at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania May 29 to June 1, 1890.
I have concluded this Second Congress...

Added this week are...

The Closing Service, including the Sermon of Rev. John Hall.
Appendix, containing List of Members.
Officers and Members of State Societies

Here is how the closing service starts...

Held at Exposition Building on Sunday evening. Presided over by General Aiken and addressed by Rev. Dr. John Hall and others.

General Aiken said:

Delegates to the Scotch-Irish Congress:

I beg to say to you and to the gentlemen of the Committee who have assigned to me the duty of presiding at this magnificent assemblage to-night, that I am deeply grateful for the honor conferred upon me. There are times when the lips fail to give expression to the sentiments of the heart and the thoughts and words of the mind. That feeling is upon me at this moment. I thank you with all my heart, and I trust that this grand building will be filled for the glory of God.

The Rev. Dr. McCallister then led in prayer. The 72d Psalm was then sung, after an exposition of the lines by Dr. McCallister, beginning with "The city shall be flourishing: her citizens abound in numbers like unto the grass."

Rev. Dr. Steele then read the scripture, "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered." After which, prayer was offered by the Rev. Dr. McMillen.

The 146th Psalm, beginning with the seventh verse, was then sung.

General Aiken here announced that the Rev. Dr. John Hall would preach the sermon, adding, "This is all the introduction of him that is necessary before an American audience."

Dr. Hall then spoke as follows:

My dear friends, I take three words out of the Book of Psalms to bring to your attention this evening. In the 96th Psalm, at the tenth verse, it is written, "Say among the heathen, the Lord reigneth;" and at the beginning of the 99th it is written, "The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble;" at the beginning of the 97th it is written, "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." I know how difficult it will be for many of you to hear the words that are spoken from this platform. I shall therefore endeavor to make my sentences brief. I shall not attempt to preach the whole of the sermon. I shall point out to you the lines that would be followed if it were proper to speak at greater length, and I believe that many of you will be able to follow these lines in your own way, and the spirit of God, I trust, will bless both you and me with so much of the truth as is brought to our attention.

"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." The style of that is impressive. It is concentrated truth. It has sublimity. It is like the well-known words, "God said let there be light and there was light."The words are interesting to us because of this grandeur of style. The thought that is present is attractive. It gives us a clear statement of the truth such as we can understand. It is concise. It is emphatic. It is practical in the highest degree. It is not the statement of an elaborate theory. It is simple. It is direct. It is memorable.

"The Lord reigneth, say you to the heathen the Lord reigneth." That is the message that the Church has to carry to the world. That is the message that the Hebrews were to give to the Gentiles. That is the message that the Christian Church is to proclaim to-day to all the nations of the earth. I think we can understand in some measure how the Lord reigneth. Sometimes we speak about nature reigning. Men say causes produce certain effects in a regular way, and they believe they have found the law of nature; then they personify nature, which is powerless; and the next tiling they do is to speak as if nature were deified. Nature can not reign, nature can not rule, for God rules nature and all things else. We can not understand the meaning of the statement such as "Nature reigns." It is the God of Nature that is the true reigning power. We can not understand the meaning of the statement that chance should reign. Chance can not make worlds. It can not shape things in order. It is the absence of law. It is disorder. It is anarchy. If we leave our matters to chance our efforts and our lives would come to nothing. It is impossible to think of the world being ruled by chance. In olden times, when men had not revelation, they saw all sorts of forces in seeming conflict with one another. They saw things happening that they did not expect. They saw things happening that didn't seem to accomplish any thing.

"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice." God is the spirit, infinite, eternal in his wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. You learned that when you were children in the catechism. Now we can understand how this being can reign. We look to the sun, moon, stars, and earth ; God made all these. He who was capable of making them must have them within his reach. He is omnipresent as well as omnipotent. As he is omnipresent and omnipotent, he must be omniscient. He is omniscient, and reigns over all things ; reigns and rules over the material world, just as we rule ourselves. Your will is spiritual, and your muscles are matter; consequently the will reigns over the man. It is the same with God and the material world. He rules the beast of the field and the strongest and meanest of his creatures. God rules them all. He has adapted some of these low creatures to the wants and comforts of man, but these creatures are dependent upon the grass of the field. The grass of the field is dependent on other influences, which are dependent upon God himself. It is one power, therefore, that is ruling over this material world. "The Lord reigneth over this world, let the earth rejoice." There are many questions which come up which we can not answer. We are asked why one land is fertile. Why is another land barren? Why is the crop so beautiful in one place and wasted in another by storms in the night? Many can discover secondary causes for all these things. They can tell you about the secondary cause, but never the primary. They can charge the changing of the weather to the changing of the course of the gulf stream, but who caused the gulf stream to change its course they do not know. There may have been excessive rains, but by whom were they caused? Thus, to get at the first cause of all these things, we must fall back on the text, "The Lord reigneth."

You can read the rest of this sermon at

The book index page is at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Third Congress at Louisville, Kentucky May 14 to 17, 1891
I have also made a start at the Third Congress and here is how the initial address starts...

Part I - The Third Congress


It is the intention of our Society that our annual volumes shall contain a complete record of all the important facts relating to the organization. Many of these facts cannot well be included in the formal report of proceedings, and, therefore, it is necessary that each yearly volume shall contain a supplementary article similar to this.

The origin and objects of the Society, and its history up to . the time of their publication, were included in our first and second volumes. It is unnecessary, therefore, that this sketch should deal with those subjects.

The report of the Executive Committee for the year ending with our Louisville Congress contains a general review of our progress during the period which it covers. From this report, it will be seen that our executive plans have been reduced to a satisfactory system, and that our advancement has been very gratifying in every respect. It will also be seen why Louisville was chosen as the place for holding our third Congress in preference to San Francisco, Charlotte, or Atlanta—all of which sent us pressing invitations. Louisville is about the center of our membership, and, indeed, of the whole Scotch-Irish population of this country.

In Kentucky, as in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, the Scotch-Irish constitute the most numerous and influential part of the population. Daniel Boone, the first explorer and settler of the State, and the people who followed him to Central Kentucky, were from the Scotch-Irish settlements of North Carolina. The great body of the immigration which poured into the State during the years immediately following this original settlement were of the same stock. Living as the race did, on the western frontiers of the original States, from Pennsylvania to Georgia, it was natural that they should constitute the first wave of population which overflowed the Alleghanies and poured into the fertile lands of the Mississippi Valley.

The course of this immigration was mainly on east and west lines. The great body of Tennessee's first settlers were from North Carolina; those of Kentucky were most largely drawn from Virginia. Being the first coiners and the boldest, hardiest of all pioneers, it was natural, also, that they should take possession of the fairest portions of the land. They were the people, moreover, above all others to retain what they had acquired; and their descendants to this day hold the vantage-ground which the courage and enterprise of their fathers gained for them. The men of this race have been the leading spirits at every stage of the State's history. This fact was never more strikingly manifest than now. No State in the Union has more distinguished statesmen and orators, and they are Scotch-Irish almost to a man. Among them are Carlisle, Blackburn, Breckenridge, Knott, Watterson, Lindsay, Buckner, and McKenzie. What is true of her public men is equally true of her private citizens. The leading element in every business and profession is of this stock. They constitute the predominant element in Louisville, as in other parts of the State.

You can read more of this at

History of Scotland
In 9 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

I am now on the fourth volume and the sections added this week are...

Notes and Illustrations from the third volume and from the fourth volume...

Chapter 1
James the Second (Part A) (1436)
Chapter 1
James the Second (Part B) (1445)
Chapter 1
James the Second (Part C) (1455)

Here is what the Preface in the fourth volume says...

The period which embraces the reigns of James the Second and James the Third, has been justly considered one of the most obscure portions of Scottish history. Even in Pinkerton, the latest, and certainly not the least acute of our historians, the narrative, from the want of access to authentic and then undiscovered materials, is often meagre, abrupt, and contradictory. Sensible of this, Mr Thomson, Depute-Clerk Register for Scotland, began, many years ago, to collect all the original muniments, and fragments of contemporary history which related to the reign of James the Second, with the laudable design of giving them to the public. This intention he afterwards abandoned, but not before he had printed the valuable Chronicle quoted so frequently in the following volume, under the title of the Auchinleck Chronicle. To this circumstance, and to the liberal communication of several other manuscript papers which he had collected, the following volume owes not a few of its facts and illustrations. I have yet another obligation to acknowledge. The Bannatyne Club, an institution which has already done much for Scottish history and antiquities, determined, some time ago, to print, from the most ancient manuscripts, a new edition of Lindsay of Pitscottie's Chronicle of Scotland. As this author, however, although one of the most amusing of our early writers, did not enjoy a high character for authenticity, it was resolved to correct and illustrate his text by notes and chronological tables, drawn up from original sources. This task was committed to the Reverend Mr Macgregor Stirling, a gentleman, whose talents for abstruse and accurate research had already been exercised on similar subjects. He enjoyed also the advantage of Mr Thomson's superintendence, and the result has been a voluminous and valuable collection of notes and extracts from original documents, drawn up by Mr Stirling in chronological order, and compiled principally from manuscript sources. To these, which are still in manuscript, I have had unlimited access during the composition of this part of the history. They have facilitated my labour, and often alleviated the irksomeness of minute research; whilst from their materials I have frequently been enabled to derive a gleam of light, or to supply a link in the narrative, which, but for such assistance, must have remained as obscure and as defective as before.

Melville Street, 6th June, 1831.

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 34 of this book so 6 more chapters added this week. Here is a wee bit from Chapter 33...

Chapter 33 - The March to Toledo

Sir Rowland Hill, finding that the French marshal lacked determination to attack his strong position at Albuera, resolved to assail his legions in their quarters at Santa Martha, for which place the whole division marched on the morning of the 1st July. The enemy retired as usual before him, their rear-guard skirmishing with the cavalry advance of the British, who suffered some loss at forcing the passage of the Guadacia, upon the ford of which the French brought their flying artillery to bear; and against Berlenza some fighting ensued, and Ronald Stuart narrowly escaped being cut in two by an eighteen-pound shot from the enemy's guns. Many weeks were consumed in tedious marching and skirmishing, in which there was neither glory nor gain to be acquired ; and right glad were the second division when the route for the gay city of Aranjuez, the Windsor of Spain, reached them while stationed at the dull and uninteresting town of Don Benito.

At Llerena, a town romantically situated at the base of the huge Sierra San Bernardo, they received intelligence of the glorious victory won by Lord Wellington's army over that of Marshal Marmont on the field of Salamanca; and learned that Joseph, the ci-devant king of Spain, had been driven from his usurped throne, and compelled to establish his headquarters in the city of Valencia.

A Spanish peasant, who had witnessed the battle, brought the tidings to Llerena, which was illuminated in consequence; and a huge bonfire, lighted by the 36th Regiment, blazed from the summit of San Bernardo.

When news of the victory obtained at Salamanca reached Marshal Soult, he raised the siege of Cadiz, and retreated towards Cordova, leaving his cannon and ammunition in the hands of the British. He drew off all his troops from Estremadura, in consequence of which the presence of the second division was no longer requisite in that province; hence the unexpected route for Aranjuez. Gladly they bade farewell to Don Benito, turning their faces towards Castile—the famous and romantic Castile,—of old the land of the warrior and troubadour, of love and chivalry, 'of battle and of song.'

At Truxillo Ronald had the pleasure of again seeing his friend the Captain Conquesta, who presented him to his newly-wedded bride, Donna Maria, with whose history the reader is already acquainted. Ronald spent a very pleasant evening with the cavalier, who for his edification fought over again the campaigns of Buenos Ayres, enriched with many episodes, in which he himself, and ' that stout and honourable cavalier the General Liniers,' acted prominent parts.

At Truxillo, Stuart was appointed one of the lieutenants of the light company, an alteration which he considered no small compliment, as the smartest fellows alone are selected for the flank companies. On march' ing past the convent walls of Jarciejo, they were greeted by many a viva from the nuns, who waved their white kerchiefs from the grated loopholes to the troops, who replied to them by loud cheers, each corps making the old walls shake as they came up in succession. Ronald's heart was, perhaps, the saddest there among thirty thousand men. It was impossible to be otherwise than sorrowful, when so near the tomb of the high-souled and noble Catalina. The same evening they crossed the Tagus, at Almarez, by a pontoon bridge. It was with mingled feelings of pride and veneration that the three regiments of the first brigade passed the spot where so many brave comrades had found a soldier's last resting-place. The ruined forts were now overhung with wild weeds and grass; the wallflower, the honeysuckle, and ivy clung to the embrasures of Fort Napoleon, and nodded on the remnant of the old tower of Ragusa. In some places a fleshless bone projecting from the sod bore witness of the hasty interment received by the dead. On descending from the pass of Miravete they came in sight of Almarez, its rocks and woods and winding river, just as the broad setting sun went down in all its glory. A loud and exulting cheer burst from the bonneted Highlanders, and was carried along the column to the rear, reverberating a thousand times among the splintered peaks and frowning craigs of the Lina. The bands of the 50th, the 71st, and 92nd Regiments struck up the 'British Grenadiers;' and thus they passed in their glitter and pride, with drums beating and colours flying, above the sod that covered the breast of many a gallant comrade. It was a proud time for the first brigade; and while their hearts throbbed quicker to the 'spirit-stirring' roll of the drum, or swell of the merry bugle, they forgot not that they trod near the tomb of those who heard their notes no more.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Memoir of Norman MacLeod, D.D.
Minister of Barony Parish, Glasgow; one of Her Majesty's Chaplains; Dean of The Chapel Royal; Dean of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle.
By his brother The Rev. Donald MacLeod, B.A. (1876)

This is a most interesting book which I hope you will enjoy. Norman MacLeod met many important people around the world and it was interesting to read of his meetings with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He visited America, Canada, India, Russian and throughout Europe.

His early life was also of interest and here is a bit from the first chapter about his parentage...

AT the end of last century there were two families residing on opposite shores of the Sound of Mull, in Argyllshire, their houses fronting one another across the blue strait which winds in from the Atlantic. From the windows of the Manse of Mr. Macleod, the minister of Morven, on the mainland, could be seen the dark ruins of the old castle of Aros, in the island of Mull, frowning from its rocky eminence over the Bay of Salen, and behind the castle appeared the house of Mr. Maxwell, the chamberlain of the Duke of Argyll, and "tacksman" [There are few now remaining of the class called "Gentlemen Tacksmen," who ranked between laird and farmer, and once formed the bone and sinew of the Highlands.] of Aros. These were the homes where the father and mother of Norman Macleod were then enjoying their happy youth.

This memoir must begin with a sketch of these families, and of the early life of that youthful pair; for on few men had early influences a more permanent hold than on Norman Macleod. What he was to the last, in some of the most conspicuous features of his character, could be easily traced to the early associations which clustered round Morven and Mull. The Highlands of those days no longer exist, but he inhaled in his childhood the aroma of an olden time, and learned from both father and mother so much of its healthy and kindly spirit, as left about his life, to the last moment, a fragrance of the romance of which it was full.

Except to those immediately concerned, genealogies are uninteresting, and those of Highland families, with their endless ramifications, eminently unprofitable. It will be sufficient to state that I have before me a family "tree,"—such as used to be so common in the Highlands— in which are the names of the Camerons of Glendessary, scions of Lochiel; of the Campbells of Ensay and of Saddell; of the MacNeils of Crear; of the MacNeils of Drumdrissaig; and of the Campbells of Duntroon—names once well known in their own country, although now, alas! in some instances only found there on moss-grown tombstones.

Not far from Dunvegan Castle, in Skye, a roofless house,—its garden weed-grown and abandoned to utter solitude,—marks the place where lived Donald Macleod, the tacksman of Swordale, who married Anne Campbell, a sister of Campbell of Glensaddell. He was the great grand-father of Norman, who used to repeat with grateful memory the tradition of Swordale, "having been a good man, and the first in his neighbourhood to introduce regular family worship." The eldest son of this good man, and the grandfather of the subject of this memoir, was called Norman. He was educated for the Church, and in the year 1774 was ordained minister of the parish of Morven, in Argyllshire, that "Highland Parish" so affectionately described in the "Reminiscences." The house of Fiunary, as the Manse was called, has given place to a better and more ornamental dwelling. Pleasant woods now cover the green bank beside the bright burn where stood the square house of orthodox Manse architecture—a porch in the centre and a wing at each end—and where grew up the happiest of families in the most loving of homes. Norman thus describes Morven:—

"A long ridge of hill, rising some two thousand feet above the sea, its brown sides, up to a certain height, chequered with green strips and patches of cultivation, brown heather, thatched cottages, with white walls; here and there a mansion, whose chimneys are seen above the trees which shelter it;—these are the chief features along its sea-board of many miles. But how different is the whole scene when one lands! New beauties reveal themselves, and every object seems to change its size, appearance, and relative position. A rocky wall of wondrous beauty, the rampart of the old upraised beach which girdles Scotland, runs along the shore; the natural wildwood of ash, oak, and birch, with the hazel-copse, clothes the lower hills, and shelters the herds of wandering cattle; lonely sequestered bays are everywhere scooped out into beautiful harbours; points and promontories seem to grow out of the land; and huge dykes of whinstone fashion to themselves the most picturesque outlines; clear streams everywhere hasten on to the sea; small glens, perfect gems of beauty, open up entrances into deep dark pools, hemmed in by steep banks, hanging with rowan-trees, ivy, honeysuckle, and ferns; while on the hillsides scattered cottages, small farms, and shepherds' huts, the signs of culture and industry, give life to the whole scene."

This minister of Morven was in many ways a remarkable man. Noble-looking and eloquent, a good scholar, and true pastor, he lived as a patriarch among his people. He had a small stipend, and, as its usual concomitant, a large family. Sixteen children were born in the Manse, and a number of families—a shepherd, a boatman, a ploughman,—were settled on the glebe with others who had come there in their need, and were not turned away. Never was a simpler or more loving household. The minister delighted to make all around him happy. His piety was earnest, healthy and genial. If the boys had their classics and the girls their needlework, there was no grudging of their enjoyments. The open seas and hills, boats and dogs, shepherds and fishermen, the green height of Fingal's Hill, the Waterfall roaring in the dark gorge, had lessons as full of meaning for their after-life as any that books could impart. The boys were trained from childhood to be manly, and many an hour taken from study was devoted to education of another kind—hunting otters or badgers in their dens, with terriers whose qualities were discussed in every cottage on the glebe; shooting grouse, and stalking the wary black-cock (for no game laws were then enforced in Morven); fishing through the summer nights; or sailing out in the "Sound" with old Rory, the boatman when the wind was high, and the Roe, had to struggle, close-hauled, against the cross-sea and angry tide. In the winter evenings old and young gathered round the fireside, where songs and laughter mingled with graver occupations, and not unfrequently the minister would tune his violin, and, striking up some swinging reel or blythe strathspey, would call on the lads to lay aside their books, and the girls their sewing, and set them to dance with a will to his own hearty music. Family worship, generally conducted in Gaelic, for the sake of such servants as knew little English, ended the day.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page for the book is at

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


With Electric Scotland's new site design it is now possible for you to advertise your company on all 150,000+ pages of our site. Email address and contact information can be found at 

You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

For only $10.00 per year you can have your own email account with both POP3 and Web Access. For more details see 

To manage your subscription or unsubscribe visit and select "Manage Subscriptions" at the foot of the Application box.

Return to Weekly Mailing List Archives


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus