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Weekly Mailing List Archives
22nd June 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
Raiderland, All about Grey Galloway
Marie Fraser
Poems and Stories
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
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.
Doug Ross's pictures from his Scottish Tour
The Crofter in History (New Book)
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month in North Carolina

Found myself entertaining Nola and Harold this week as they came down to their Port Crewe home for a wee break from Toronto. I'd been talking about the traditional Scottish High Tea and so had a go at giving them a variation of that.

For those that don't know a traditional Scottish High Tea is usually served between 4 and 6pm. You usually get a choice of fish and chips or bacon, sausage links, fried eggs and chips. With that you get a 3 tier stand with bread and butter on the bottom tier, scones in the middle and cream cakes on the top tier. All that with a pot of tea or coffee and of course jam for the scones. In these healthy days you may also get offered a salad instead of a cooked meal.

I mind back in Scotland when I had meetings with Jim, Peter and Marilyn of the Scots Independent we seemed always to have haddock and chips for our lunch meetings :-)

The one item I have yet to find in Canada is Ox Tongue. Back in Scotland every local grocery shop stocked "Lunch Tongue" and every major supermarket had "Ox Tongue". Considering all the Scots in Canada I'm amazed that I've yet to find this meat.

I'm hoping this will be the week that my house steps will get done. They appeared at the end of last week with the wood so that's a start but we then got a lot of rain on the day they were going to make a start on construction. My next door neighbour is working hard on clearing up the house. Am amazed at the sheer amount of junk that's come out of their house and yard. There was so much that someone complained to the local council about it which seemed a wee bit over the top considering he was clearly doing a clean up job. He's intending to sell the house instead of renting.

Got myself a new cleaning lady who will start on Monday and come in for a couple of hours per week. She has seven children and the number 1 son is a big lad so likely able to help with any heavy jobs :-) Have been told she is also known to cut lawns and do gardens so will explore possibilties there as well.

Been in touch with Michael Craig and he's going to be my press agent at the Grandfather Highland Games this year in North Carolina. The idea is to take both photographs and videos of the event. So if you are visiting the event and see him around with his wife Jeanne do make yourself known to him and he'll take your photograph! The idea is to post all this up on the web site but Michael is also going to create a CD which he'll make available for some small cost should you want to have a copy.

In the Memoir of Norman MacLeod there was mention of his publication "Good Words" and these annual publications spanned many years. I have obtained the 1860 edition of this publication which he edited and will post it up on the site. This publication is of course nearly 150 years old! Anyone interested in getting copies of this publication, which I think spanned some 50 years, will find many copies in the antiquarian books shops and dare say also second hand books shops or indeed in the libraries.

I have posted up the index page and the initial first story which was authored by Norman MacLeod at

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 Richard Thomson in which he gives an amusing account of taking some school children around the Scottish Parliament. Here is how his account went...

I was tasked with showing a group of Primary Sixes round Holyrood last week. I’ve never really considered myself to be all that old, but I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder if the musical ‘Good-mor-ning-Mis-ter-Thom-son’ they greeted me with was anything to go by :-)

Not having any kids of my own, I’m never very sure how to pitch things to children. You don’t want to bore them, but equally, make it too simple and they’ll have you for breakfast. Luckily, though, this lot had been studying the Scottish Parliament, and were about to hold their own mock elections. I say luckily, but once they had been shown round and we were waiting for First Minister’s Questions to finish so that Shona Robison could join us, they had some pretty penetrating questions to ask me:

Who’s the best MSP? – “Er... It's hard to say. Some make good speeches, some are good in the committees, others are good at constituency work. Everybody brings something to the place in their own way”.

Is Alex Salmond the best MSP? – “He’s very good, but as the First Minister he does a different job to all the other MSPs, so it’s quite hard to compare, really”.

Do MSPs have any fun? – “Well, it’s hard work, but they do sometimes get a good laugh in the chamber if someone says something daft or funny".

Do MSPs get jealous of each other? – “Um.. Good question. They’re just ordinary people, so I suppose they must!”

How much does Alex Salmond get paid? – “Oh, about £120,000. More than me, anyway. Probably more than your teacher as well!”

How much do you get paid? – “Erm… I’m not sure. More than I did for my first paper round, anyway…”

So what do you do? – “I’m a researcher for Shona Robison, the lady who’s your MSP. I write speeches and meet people for her and things like that”

(I kid you not) Does that mean you do all the work, and she gets all the credit? – [Nervous laugh] “Er, no. Did you know that Shona had to be up before 5 this morning to get to work?”

Fortunately, when Shona arrived, they still had plenty questions left. And did the same boy who asked whether I did all the work not follow up straight away by asking whether or not I was a good assistant? Shona, ever the pro, answered that all of her assistants did different jobs, and that all of them, myself included, did them very well. I’ll buy her a glass of wine for that reply before I head off to London.

I predict a bright future ahead in politics or journalism for that boy if he wants one. However, by far the best question of the day came earlier on from from a wee girl, who on seeing Brian Taylor getting ready for the cameras, asked innocently if the lady applying his make-up was his personal beauty therapist. I’ll never be able to watch Brian again in quite the same light…

Also... I note that Richard is moving to London so if anyone is interesting in renting out his flat in Edinburgh and/or can help him find a place to stay in London with good access to Westminster please get in touch with him. An email to Shona should get to him.

In Peter's cultural section he talks about...

Scots are renown for being sweet-toothed! This probably explains why Scottish housewives generally make more jam than their English counterparts. Raspberry and strawberry being the most popular varieties. Nine-tenths of Scotland's raspberry crop is grown in the Strathmore area and along the coastal districts of Angus. The Carse of Gowrie, a narrow plain stretching from Perth to Dundee is where the most intensive production of raspberries, strawberries and peas takes place. Low rainfall, freedom from Spring frosts, prolonged Summer sunshine and rich soil all contribute to the success of this industry. In many areas pick-your-own is now the order of the day. This weeks recipe for Strawberry Sweet should satisfy the sweetest of tooths! A delicious Summer sweet when strawberries and redcurrants are plentiful.

Strawberry Sweet

Ingredients: 1 lb ( 500 g ) strawberries; 1 lb ( 500 g ) red currants; 1 lb ( 500 g ) caster sugar; 1/2 pt (125 ml ) whipping cream

Method: Spread out the strawberries on a large plate and sprinkle over them half the sugar. Leave in a cool place overnight. Next day put the red currants into a pan with a little water and cook gently till they are soft. Strain off juice and add the other half of the sugar to it. Put in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes until you have a thick syrup. Add the strawberries and their syrup and leave to cool. Before serving pour into individual dishes, chill and top with some whipped cream.

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 onto the H's with Hales, Halkerston, Halket and Hall added this week.

Here is how the Halket entry starts...

HALKET, a surname generally considered to be derived from the lands of Halkhead in Renfrewshire. In ancient writings, however, it is spelled Haket, Hacat, and Hacet, and a family of a different name have always been in possession of the estate so called. The Halkets of Pitfirrane in Dunfermline parish, were settled in Fifeshire before the fourteenth century. In the reign of David the Second, David de Halket was proprietor of the lands of Lumphennans and Ballingall in that county. He was the father of Philip de Halket, who lived in the reigns of Kings Robert the Second and Third, and acquired the third part of the lands of Pitfirrane fro his cousin, William Scott of Balweary, in 1399. His eldest son, Robert de Halket, was, in 1372, appointed sheriff of Kinross-shire for life. The sheriff’s son, David, the first of the family that can be traced with the designation of Pitfirrane, is mentioned as early as 3d June 1404. He had two sons; James, his successor; and William, who, by his marriage with Janet, daughter and coheiress of Walter Fenton of Balry in Forfarshire, became the progenitor of the Halkets of the north. His grandson, Sir William Halket, received in 1472, a charter under the great seal, of the lands of Peternothy. In 1473, there is a commission by King James the Third to William Halket of Bisset, appointing him justice-clerk, during life, north of the river Forth, and within the lordship of Galloway, Arran, and Cowell; but there is no certainty that he was of this family.

Sir William’s direct descendant, in the reign of Queen Mary, George Halket of Pitfirrane, had three sons. Robert, the eldest, succeeded him; John, the second, was knighted by King James the Sixth, and entering the army of the States of Holland, rose to the rank of colonel. He had the command of a Scots regiment in the Dutch service, and was likewise president of the grand court marischal in Holland. He was the ancestor of the Halketts in Holland, represented by Charles Craigie Halkett of Hallhill and Dumbarie, Fifeshire. Of the Holland branch was Charles Halkett, who died at his house near the Hague, 16th October 1758, in his 75th year, being then a lieutenant-general, and colonel of one of the Scots regiments in the Dutch service. Appointed an ensign in 1700, he was wounded at the battle of Ramillies in 1706, in which battle also his father, then lieutenant-colonel of Colyear’s regiment, received a dangerous wound, and died at Liege. From this branch also descended Major-general Frederick Halket, who had two sons, who both distinguished themselves in the army, namely, General Sir Colin Halket, K.C.B., and G.C.H., who received a cross for his services as colonel in command of a brigade of the German legion at Albuera, Salamanca, Vittoria, and Nive; and was severely wounded at Waterloo; and General Hugh Halket of the Hanoverian service. Patrick, the third son of George Halket of Pitfirrane, above mentioned, was progenitor of the Halkets of Moxhill in Warwickshire.

You can read the rest of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

Raiderland, All about Grey Galloway
by S. R. Crockett (1902)
Our thanks to John Snyder for ocr'ing in this book for us

Added chapters XIX through to XXI this week. Here is a bit from chapter XX...


IF it had not been my fate to be born upon Loch Grenoch, I would have desired to be born on Loch Ken-side–in some herd's house up towards the Tinkler's Loup, past Mossdale, and looking across to the Shirmers. Here, however, are the impressions of one actually born to this heritage of loch and moor and wide blowing air.

“So, during my father's absence, my brothers and I had the work of the farm to attend to. No dawn of day, sifting from the east through the greenery of the great soughing beeches and firs about the door, ever found any of the three of us in our beds. For me, as soon as it was light, I was up and away to the hills–where sometimes in the full lambing-time I would spend all night on the heathery fells or among the lirks and hidden dells of the mountain fastnesses.

A Fit Birthplace.

"And oh, but it was pleasant work, and I liked it well! The breathing airs; the wide, starry arch I looked up into, when night had drawn her nightcap low down over the girdling blue-black hills; the moon glinting on the wrinkled breast of Loch Ken; the moor-birds, whaup and snipe, plover and wild duck, cheeping and chummering in their nests, while the wood doves' moan rose plaintive from every copse and covert–it was a fit birthplace for a young lad's soul, though indeed at that time none was farther from guessing it than I. For as I went hither and thither, I pondered on nothing except the fine hunger the hills gave me, and the glorious draughts of whey and buttermilk my mother would serve out to me on my return, calling me meantime the greatest and silliest of her calves, as well as tweaking my ears at the milk-house door, if she could catch me ere I set my bare legs twinkling down the loaning.”1

But Loch Ken is more than a paradise for playing children. Yonder on its knoll is historic Kenmure Castle, where have dwelt many generations of the brave and the generous–bold barons, stout Lords of Lochinvar, indomitable Covenanters, sweet dames with souls that have “won far ben" in the mysteries of the faith. From that door Claverhouse rode forth on his quests. In that keep he held his garrison, with Colvin his right-hand man getting ”His Honour” from all and sundry, while on a stone by the waterside Jean Gordon of Earlstoun sat writing her piteous epistle. Over the hills. to the east, “Kenmure is up and awa” on that ill-fortuned riding of his which ended under the headsman's axe at Tower Hill.

It is a wondrous loch to watch, say from the bare side of Bennan on which the heather is conquering the space where I remember only the green waving of the fir, and the cushie-doos making moan under the dense branches.

Now for a moment Ken is clear and blue like an Italian sky.

You can read more of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Marie Fraser
Marie Fraser sent in an article on Andrew Fraser - Megantic County.

There is a story behind every family that settled in Canada in the early 1800s. Researching your roots may be difficult if your immigrant ancestors came from Scotland, but what if they came from Ireland?

That’s a question asked by a descendant of Andrew Fraser and Mary Gillanders. It turns out that Andrew was actually a son of Archibald Fraser, and a grandson of Andrew Fraser and his wife Sarah from County Donegal, Ireland who came to Canada about 1826 but, after two years of drought, moved to Broughton, Megantic County, Quebec.

You can read this at

Poems and Stories
Added Chapter 39 to Donna's Paddle Your Own Canoe series at

Donna sent in Chilocco, Alaska and Hope and here it is for you to read here...

Dan Jones, Chairman of the Ponca Tribe, who is also my brother stopped in for a short visit with our Mother. In a box of ice, under his arm he carried a frozen steak of salmon. How beautiful it was, this piece of orange-red filet is in its package of vacuum packed, heavy plastic.

“I must show you these pictures of the beautiful Alaskans I met.” He told me as he was slipping a disk into the computer.

Dan’s mission to Alaska was to attempt to bring the Alaskan Natives into a unity with the five owning tribes and Chilocco Alumni as far as searching for funds to develop a museum there on campus.

As slide after slide appeared on the computer I was enthralled with the display of this culture so far and away from our prairie lands. To see the skilled craftsmanship of useful articles simply bowled me over, whether it was hand carved oars, striking articles of clothing including gloves, parkas (they have another word and I didn’t catch it), or designs hand painted in such rich colors.

Why wouldn’t these people be sensitive to saving the schools history? Many of them came from their ice-covered places to attend classes in what must have been like a foreign land to them. With careful manipulations as was used with other tribes, homesickness was stayed off by methods dedicated employees exercised. The experiences for the Alaskan students created joyful remembrances and, like us, they naturally want to see their school’s history, saved.

The duty of caring for Mother is of greatest importance at the moment and I just go from day to day on that. She, after-all, still has a mind of her own and will do what she wishes to do, as far as that goes.

However, at this time, time is scheduled with hearth and home. Although the work of writing has brought interest to this needed project I am not at liberty to get into the politics of pushing to see what I have envisioned, done. What I can do now, is to start all over at the beginning and send these stories out, one by one, and maybe, the issue will continue to be in the forefront. In this way I won’t be getting into a plan, those above me are working through. They have their values and I have mine. The way of the Joneses is to take a small bite at a time until the whole pie is devoured which is the way “little poor people” have to do anything. When we are talking of giant entities, well, they have their way of doing things, because of having the where-with-all to do it.

Actually, my plate is pretty full right now directly on my own home front but by sending out these little stories of mine, possibly, more good, will be done than can be understood. Anyway, the by-gone history
of a light and lovely time can be enjoyed by anyone.

Note: Over the years Donna has sent in a vast amount of information, poems and stories and you can read it all at

John sent in two doggerels, A Sitootery, at

and also Gaan Saft in The Heid? at

And also another chapter of his Recounting Blessings series, Chapter 56, where is now travelling to Copenhagan. You can read this at

Stan sent in a .pdf of the Barthol Chapel War Memorial at

Clan Newsletters
Added the June 2007 Newsletter for the Clan MacKenzie of Canada which is always a great read at

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

August 20, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Tantallon Castle, the vast stronghold of the Douglas family.

You can see all the issues to date at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Third Congress at Louisville, Kentucky May 14 to 17, 1891
Now working on the Third Congress and this week as well as completing the summary proceedings have added...

The Scotch-Irish in Canada.
By Rev. Stuart Acheson, A.M., of Toronto.

Our Pledge to Posterity.
By Rev. John S. Macintosh, D.D., of Philadelphia, Pa.

The Scotch-Irish.
A poem by Mrs. Kate Brownlee Sherwood, of Canton, O.

The Scotch-Irish in the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
By Rev. David Steele, D.D., Philadelphia, Pa.

The Scotch-Irish of South-Western Pennsylvania.
By Mr. S. T. Wiley.

Here is the poem, The Scotch-Irish, for you to read here...

From Scot and Celt and Pict and Dane,
And Norman, Jute, and Frisian,
Our brave Scotch-Irish come;
With tongues of silver, hearts of gold,
And hands to smite when wrongs are bold,
At call of pipe or drum.

By king and priest and prelate racked,
By pike and spear and halberd hacked,
By foes ten thousand flayed;
They flung Drumclog and Bothwell Brig
An answer to the gown and wig,
And freedom's ransom paid.

They fell, alas! on marsh and moor;
They signed their covenants firm and sure
With letters writ in blood;
With sword and Bible on their knee
They taught their sons of liberty,
And felt the foeman's thud.

Upon the sodden heath they lay,
Hard harried like the beast of prey,
In hunger and in pain;
Their goods and gear were scattered sore,
The exile ship its traffic bore;
But Scotia lived again.

The Cameronian cry arose
Above the jeers of friends and foes:
"Scotland forever free!
No priestly yoke, no tyrant's chain,
Christ's crown and covenant again
Upon our banners see!"

And some set sail across the sea
To lift the flag of liberty,
At Derry and at Boyne;
The slopes of Ulster and of Down
To people with the bold renown
Of Cleland and Lochgoin.

Heaven speed the Caledonian Scot!
The land is lean that knows him not,
His banners bright unfurled;
For hark! the Bruce and Wallace cry:
"For liberty we dare or die! "
He echoes through the world.

So Patrick Henry sped the word
That thoughts of revolution stirred
In forum and in school;
And Carolina's Irish-Scot
His burning declaration brought,
Defying kingly rule.

Heaven speed the Caledonian Scot!
He bears free speech, he bears free thought,
He manumits the soul;
Beneath his feet let error die,
Above his head God's guidons fly,
The while the seasons roll!

Canton, O., May 30, 1890.

You can read more of this volume at

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

Completed the fifth volume with...

Notes and Illustrations (Pages 433 - 474)

Also made a start at Volume 6...


Chapter 1 (Pages 1 - 68)
Mary from 1545 to 1554 (1545)

Chapter 2 (Pages 69 - 134)
Mary from 1554 to 1561 (1554)

Here is a bit from Chapter 1 of Volume 6...

The murder of Cardinal Beaton was followed, as might have been anticipated, by the most important consequences. It removed from the head of affairs a man, whose talents for political intrigue, and whose vigorous and unscrupulous character, had for some time communicated strength and success to the government - it filled with alarm that party in Scotland which was attached to the Romish faith, and interested for the support of the freedom and independence of the country, whilst it gave new spirit to the powerful faction which had been kept in pay by Henry the Eighth, and through whose assistance this monarch confidently looked forward to the accomplishment of his favorite schemes; the marriage of the youthful Queen of Scotland, to his son, the Prince of Wales, the establishment of the Reformation, and the entire subjugation of this country under the dominion of England. If the fact had not been already apparent, the events which immediately succeeded the assassination of the cardinal rendered it impossible for any one to escape the conclusion that the conspiracy had been encouraged by the English monarch.

Scarcely was the act perpetrated when letters were despatched to Lord Wharton, the English warden, by some of those numerous spies whom he retained, describing the consternation which the event had produced in the capital, the change in affairs which was likely to ensue, and the necessity for immediate exertion on the part of his master.

On the other hand, the conspirators, who had seized the castle of St. Andrew's, were soon joined by many adherents, previously the most zealous supporters of the English interests; and who, although not present at the murder, believed that it would subject them to suspicion and persecution amongst these the most noted were John Knox, the great advocate and supporter of the Reformation, Mr. Henry Balnaves of Hallhill, and the Laird of Grange.

Whilst such was the conduct of the English faction, the Governor Arran, and the Queen Regent, exerted themselves to maintain the cause of order, and to bring to punishment those bold and daring men, who had so unscrupulously taken the law into their own hands. A convention of the nobility, spiritual and temporal, was held at Stirling, on the 10th of June; and nothing was left unattempted by which a cordial union might be promoted amongst the parties which separated and distracted the state.

The meeting was attended by the chief persons of both factions, by the Earls of Angus, Cassillis and Glencairn, to whose devotion to the English interests many of the late disorders might be attributed, as well as by Huntly, Argile, and the Lords Fleming and Elphinston, who were the leaders in the faction attached to France, and interested in the support of the Romish faith to conciliate the lords of the Eaglish party, Arran, the Governor, solemnly renounced the contract for the marriage of the young Queen to his son; the "bands" or feudal agreements by which many of the nobles had promised to see this alliance carried into effect, were annulled, and at the same time the Queen Regent released from their written obligations all such barons as had stipulated to oppose the ambitious matrimonial designs of the Governor. On the other hand, the Earl of Angus, Sir George Douglas, and Lord Maxwell cordially embraced the interest of the Queen Regent, approved of the late act of the Scottish parliament, which had dissolved the peace with England, derided all idea of a marriage between Prince Edward and the young Queen; and renounced for ever all those "Sands" by which they had tied
themselves to Henry, and which had been repeatedly renewed, or forgotten, as their private interest seemed to dictate: Maxwell, who was now made warden of the West Marches, once more took possession of the strong castle of Lochmaben; and twenty peers were selected, out of which number four were directed to remain every successive month with the Governor as his Secret Council.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

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

Highlanders in Spain
By James Grant (1910)

Now up to Chapter 54 and here is how chapter 54 starts...

Chapter 54 - Cameron of Fassifern

As soon as the military traveller presented himself before the cathedral of St. Gudule, the lustre streaming from the sixteen illuminated chapels of which filled the surrounding streets with a light rivalling that of day, a dense crowd gathered around him, barring his passage on every side, and clamorously demanding, 'What news from the army?'

It was with the utmost difficulty that he could make these terrified cits understand that he was bound for the field, and wished to know which way the British troops had marched. His only reply from them was, 'The French—the French are coming on!' Fear had besotted them. He told them they would serve Belgium better by getting arms and joining her allies, than by thronging the streets like frightened sheep. This was answered by a groan, and the feeble cry of 'Vivat!'

Cursing them for cowards, in his impatience to get on, he spurred his horse upon the crowd, and drove them back. By their increasing number, an officer of the Brunswick Oels corps, who was riding down the street at full speed, was likewise stopped; and having a little knowledge of the English language, he learned Ronald's dilemma, and invited him to be his companion, as he was following the route of the army. They galloped through the Namur gate, and in five minutes Brussels, with its lights and din, fear and uproar, was far behind them. They were pressing at full speed along the road leading to the then obscure village of Waterloo. It wound through the dark forest of Soignies; the oak, the ash, and the elm were in full foliage, and, for many miles of the way, their deep shadows rendered the road as dreary as can be conceived.

The speed at which the travellers rode completely marred any attempt at conversation, and the only sounds which broke the silence were their horses' hoofs echoing in the green glades around them. When at intervals the moonlight streamed between the clouds and the trees, Ronald turned to survey his companion, whose singular equipment added greatly to the gloomy effect produced by the dark forest, which stretched around them for many miles in every direction.

The cavalry officer belonged to the Brunswick troops, who, with their duke, had made a vow to wear mourning until the death of their late prince and leader should be avenged. His horse, his harness, his accoutrements and uniform, were all of the deepest black, and a horsehair plume of the same sable hue floated above the plate of his shako, which was ornamented by a large silver skull and cross-bones, similar to the badge worn by our 17th Lancers. A death's head was grinning on his sabretache, on his holsters, his horse's forehead, and breastplate, and the same grim badge looked out of every button on his coat. He was rather stately in figure for a German, and a tall and sombre-looking fellow, with large dark eyes, lank moustaches, and a solemn visage. His tout ensemble rendered him altogether as ghastly and melancholy a companion as the most morbid or romantic mind could wish to ride with through a gloomy wood at midnight, with strange paths and darkness behind, and a battle-field in front.

After riding for about six miles in silence, a muttered ejaculation from both announced their observation of a flash which illuminated the sky. It was ' the red artillery,' and every instant other flashes shot vividly athwart the firmament, like sheet lightning ; and soon afterwards the sound of firing was heard, but faint and distant. It was a dropping fire, and caused, probably, by some encounter of stragglers or outposts.

At daybreak, on approaching the village of Waterloo, they met a horse and cart, driven along the road at a rapid trot by a country boor, clad in a leathern cap and blue frock, having his shoes and garters adorned with gigantic rosettes of yellow and red tape. His car contained the bloody remains of the brave Duke of Brunswick, who at four in the evening had been mortally wounded, when heroically charging at the head of his cavalry in front of Les Quatre Bras. The hay-cart of a Flemish clodpole was now his funeral bier. The bottom was covered with the red stream, forced by the rough motion of the car from the wound, which, being in the breast, was distinctly visible, and a heavy mass of coagulated blood was plastered around the starred bosom and laced lapels of the uniform coat. An escort of Black Brunswickers, sorrowing, sullen, and war-worn, surrounded it with their fixed bayonets. The boor cracked his whip and whistled to his horse, replacing his pipe philosophically, and apparently not caring a straw whether it was the corse of a chivalric prince or a bag of Dutch turf that his conveyance contained.

Ronald reined up his horse, and touched his bonnet in salute to the Brunswick escort; but the rage and sorrow of the cavalry officer, on beholding the lifeless body of his sovereign and leader, were such as his companion never beheld before. He muttered deep oaths and bitter execrations in German, and holding aloft his sabre, he swore that he would revenge him or perish. At least from his actions Stuart interpreted his language thus. He jerked his heavy sabre into its steel scabbard, and touching his cap as a parting salute, drove spurs into his horse, and dashing along the forest pathway, disappeared. Ronald followed him for a little way, but finding that he was careering forward like a madman, abandoned the idea of attempting to overtake him.

Daylight was increasing rapidly, but he felt that dreamy and drowsy sensation which is always caused by want of sleep for an entire night. He endeavoured to shake off these feelings of weariness and oppression, for everything around announced that he was approaching the arena of a deadly and terrible conflict. His heart beat louder and his pulses quickened as he advanced. Dense clouds of smoke, from the contest of the preceding evening, yet mingled with the morning mist, overhung the position of Quatre Bras, and, pressed down by the heavy atmosphere, rolled over the level surface of the country. At every step he found a dead or a dying man, and crowds of wounded stragglers, officers, rank-and-file, on horse and on-foot, were pouring along in pain and misery to Brussels, bedewing every part of the road with the dark crimson which trickled from their undressed wounds. These were all sufferers in the fierce contest at Quatre Bras on the preceding evening. The village of Waterloo was deserted by its inhabitants, for, like a pestilence, war spread desolation with death in its path, and the fearful Flemings had fled, scared by the roar of the distant artillery.

The wounded were unable to give any account of the engagement, save that Brunswick was slain, and the British had not yet lost the day. He was informed that his regiment was in the ninth brigade of infantry, commanded by Major-general Sir Dennis Pack; and that he would find them, with their kilted comrades the 42nd, and 44th English Regiment, somewhere near the farm of Les Quatre Bras, bivouacked in a corn-field.

The speaker was an officer of the 1st Regiment, or Royal Scots. He was severely wounded on the head and arm, and was making his way to Brussels on foot, bleeding and in great agony, as his scars had no other bandages than two hastily-adjusted handkerchiefs. He leant for support on the arm of a soldier of the 44th, who was also suffering from a wound. The Royal Scot begged of Stuart to lend him a few shillings, adding that he had spent all his money at Brussels, and would be totally destitute when he returned thither, as he had not a farthing to procure even a mouthful of food.

Stuart gave him a few guineas, nearly all the loose change in his purse, but rendered a greater service in lending his horse, which could be of no further use to himself, as he was now close to the arena of operations. The officer mounted with many thanks, and promised to return the animal to the headquarters of the Highlanders—a promise which he did not live to fulfil; and the steed probably became the prey of some greedy boor of Soignies. By his accent he knew the officer to be his countryman, and he looked back for a short time, watching him, as his horse, led by the honest Yorkshireman of the 44th, threaded its way among the straggling crowd that covered the road.

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)

Have now completed this book with...

Appendix B
Appendix C & D
Appendix E

Appendix B contains a long story which is most interesting called...


Here is how it starts...

First Crack.

Saunders. Are ye gaun to lee' the Kirk, John?

John. Deed, Saunders, I am no vera keen about it; are ye gaun to lee't yoursel'?

S. No yet, I am thinkin'; what for should I? I ha'e been an elder in't for twenty years come the winter sawcrament, and it's no a waur Kirk but a hantle better ane syn' I cam' till't, and until it gets waur, I'll bide and end my days in't, and if it gets waur, I can aye lee't whan I like.

J. Ye'll no ha'e heerd the deputations I'se warrant?

S. Wha me? Did I no! if we are no wise it's no for want o' tellin.' It puts my auld head in confusion a' this steer!

J. They're surely desperat' keen o' the fechtan thae ministers wi' a' their crack about britherly love and peace!

S. Ye may say sae John, but ye ken, as the auld sayin' haes't, "the best men are but men at the best."

J. Na', that's a truth! But pity me, could they no maun to reform the kirk withoot sic a bizz? sic a fetchin' in sessions, presbyteries, synods, and assemblies. Na, tha'll no do, thae maun ha'e a Convention like the Chartists.

S. A Convocation, John.

J. Weel, weel, it's no the richt Parliament, that's a'. And that's no eneuch, for they maun haud meetin's every ither day in their ain parishes, and ower and aboon, they maun tak' their neebours' parishes in hand. Na, they're no dune yet, for they maun ha'e committees o' a' the impudent, speaking, fashious, conceited chiels, that are aye first and foremost in every steer; and tae keep them hett, they're aye bleezing at their. wi' circulars, newspapers, and addresses, and gif ony o' them change their mind, be he minister or man, or daur to think for himsel', he is cry'd doon for a' that's bad and wicked! Na, it's desperate wark, Saunders!

S. Deed, John, the speerit that's abroad 's gien me unco concern for the welfare o' the Kirk o' Scotland, but mair especially for the Church o' Christ in the land. It's richt that men should ha'e their ain opinions, and if they think them gude, to haud them up and spread them in a richt and Christian way; but this way the ministers ha'e enoo o' gaun to work, I carina persuade mysel' is in accordance wi' the speerit o' the apostles, wha gied themselves wholly tae prayer and the preaching o' the word, and were aye thankful' whan they had liberty to do baith, and wha said that "the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle towards all men," and "that tho' we should gi'e our bodies to he burned, we were nothing, unless we had that love that thinketh no evil, that beareth all things, that hopeth all things."

J. They put me in mind o' bees bummin' and fleeing aboot and doin' little wark, and makin' nae kame in their ain skaip just afore castin', or like thae writer bodies at an election gaun gallopin' aboot the kintra, keepin' the steam up wi' speeehes, and newspapers, till the poll be bye.

S. I canna weel understaun't, for there are gude gude men amang them. They are surely sair mislaid? for nae doot they think they're richt. I think that pledging way is a sad snare tae the conscience; it baith keeps a man frae seein' that he's wrang, or when he sees himsel' wrang, frae puttin' himsel' richt.

J. It wad he Faither Matthews, maybe, that pit that plan in their head?

S. Oo, the men are perfect sincere, and gaun aboot, doubtless, to pit folk in mind o' what they think their duty, and o' their richts and preeveleges.

J. Sincere! It's nae comfort tae me tae tell me whan a man's gaun to cut my throat that he's sincere; and as tae stirrin' up the folk to mind their ain richts, they needna think that necessar', for if the folk are wronged, they'll fin't oot wi' oot the ministers tellin' them. If a man has a sair leg or a sick body ye needna keep prokin' at him and roarin' in his lug a' day that he's no weel; or if he's in jail, or turned oot o' his hoose tae. the streets, ye needna be threepin' doon his throat that he canna be comfortable, he kens that better than you ; but if ye get haud o' a nervish need waik body a doctor can persuade him that he's deean, and mak' him ruin himsel' wi' pooders and bottles ; and if he's hett tempered and proud, a Chartist can, maybe, persuade him that he's a slave, and hound wi' airns. Noo, a' this mischief comes frae gabby speakers wha mak' the evil, and then lee' decent folk tae reform it.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page for the book is at

Doug Ross's Pictures from Scotland
Doug and Pat Ross have sent in five more chapters in their tour...

Kirkwall, Orkney
Smoo Cave
Ullapool in Wester Ross
Portree in Skye
Cuillin Hills, Eilean Donan Castle
Northern Sutherland
Kylesku Bridge
Corrieshalloch Gorge and Achnasheen
Dunvegan Castle & Gardens on Skye

You can see these at

The Crofter in History
By Lord Colin Campbell, son of George, 8th Duke of Argyll (1885)

Here is how Chapter 1 starts...

Not quite a hundred years ago, on a summer's day, a large herd of cattle might have been seen gathered in front of a Highland steading in the heart of Inverness-shire, and some seventy or eighty people—men, women, and children—congregated on the same spot. From the windows of a neighbouring manse the wife of the parish minister watched the preparations with absorbing interest.

The cattle are driven on to the road; the people, with pipers playing in front, fall into procession, and march by. As they pass, they raise their bonnets, the good lady waves her hand, and her husband, a white-haired minister, standing at the door, bids them "God speed!" On they pass towards the head of the glen, and before long a turn of the road hides them from view. Ere the sound of the music has died away, the words which follow have been penned.

"One of the great concerns of life here is settling the time and manner of these removals. Viewing the procession pass is always very gratifying to my pastoral imagination. . . . The people look so glad and contented, for they rejoice at going up; but by the time the cattle have eat all the grass, and the time arrives when they dare no longer fish and shoot, they find their old home a better place, and return with nearly as much alacrity as they went."

Thus wrote Mrs Grant of Laggan, the accomplished authoress of those "Letters from the Mountains," that have come down to us as one of the best examples of a literary style no longer in fashion. What a picture of Highland life is this! Who will not turn with pleasure from the dreary and monotonous labour of reading the five thick octavo volumes embodying the labours of a Royal Commission, appointed to inquire into the condition of the Highlanders of the present day, to those epistles which bring before us here and there vivid descriptions of a mode of life of which in many places scarcely a vestige remains? So utterly different is it from what we are familiar with, that it is hard to realise how comparatively short is the time which separates it from us. That life seems some Utopian dream. There is no mention of the grinding poverty, that semi-starvation which the advocates of Highland improvement point to as the invariable concomitant of a pastoral life. Can we wonder that the picture exerts a fascination on the mind of the people, and that, in less fortunate circumstances, they look back to the days when their ancestors went up to distant shielings and tended the herds on the mountain tops, or beguiled the hours in fishing and shooting, or singing and dancing through the long summer evenings? No monstrous sheep-farms engulfed them—apparently not even game-laws restrained their liberty. It would be strange if the traditions of such a time served not to keep alive a spark of feeling that requires but little art and knowledge of human nature to fan into a flame. Mrs Grant's testimony is not only trustworthy, but it is peculiarly valuable. To arrive at the exact truth about the condition of the people in the past is not easy. Those who are in favour of emigration and sheep-farming are apt to exaggerate the poverty and misery of the people under the old system. On the other hand, their opponents are tempted to depict in too glowing colours their former prosperity. But Mrs Grant's letters were written without any controversial object. She was under no temptation to exaggerate. The following description of the daily life on a Highland farm at the end of the last century is not without interest:—

"As they must carry their beds, food, and utensils, the housewife who furnishes and divides these matters, has enough to do when her shepherd is in one glen and her dairymaid in another with her milk cattle ; not to mention some of the children, who are marched off to the glen as a discipline, to inure them to hardness and simplicity of life. Meanwhile his reverence, with my kitchen damsel and the ploughman, constitute another family at home, from which all the rest are flying detachments, occasionally sent out and recalled, and regularly furnished with provisions and forage. . . . I shall, between fancy and memory, sketch out the diary of one July Monday. I mention Monday, being the day that all dwellers in glens come down for their supplies. Item, at four o'clock Donald arrives with a horse loaded with butter, cheese, and milk. The former I must weigh instantly. He only asks an additional blanket for the children, a covering for himself, two milk tubs, . . . two stone of meal, a quart of salt, two pounds of flax for the spinners, for the grass continues so good that they will stay a week longer. . . . All this must be ready in an hour, before the conclusion of which comes Ronald from the high hills, where our sheep and young horses are all summer, and only desires meal, salt, and women with shears to clip the lambs, and tar to smear them. . . . Before he departs the tenants who do us service come; they are going to stay two days in the oak wood, cutting timber for our new byre, and must have a competent provision of bread, cheese, and all for the time they stay." The farm is thus described elsewhere:— "We hold a farm at a very easy rent, which supports a dozen milk cows and a couple of hundred sheep, with a range of summer pasture on the mountains for our young stock, horses, &c. This farm supplies us with everything absolutely necessary: even the wool and flax which our handmaids manufacture to clothe the children, are our growth!"

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page of the book where you can read the preface and chapter 2 can be found at

Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
My thanks to Nola Crewe for typing these up for us.

We got two bios in this week and the first is...

HARRY FORBES, a very extensive farmer of Jeannette’s Creek, township of Tilbury East, and the originator of the “Forbes Drainage Scheme,” was born October 7th, 1836 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where he grew to manhood and followed farming. Hoping to better his condition, he, in 1868 came to Canada, and located on Lot 4,Concession 7, township of Tilbury East, in the County of Kent, where he purchased a farm of 100 acres. There he engaged in general farming until 1892, when he sold his property to Alexander Gracy, and bought 700 acres of plains land near Jeannette’s Creek. In the vicinity of that village he built a fine brick residence and has since made the place his home, giving his attention largely to farming. He now owns 300 acres, and has planted considerable land in fruit, there being 1,300 peach trees in his orchard. In addition to his other interests Mr. Forbes, in company with P.T. Barry, operated a stave mill at Fletcher for some four years, and then sold out.

Mr. Forbes is more generally known throughout the county for the part he has taken in drainage matters. Some twenty-five years ago he planned extensive ditching to reclaim a large part of the marshy land in the township, but only after years of untiring effort and litigation were his plans adopted and put into operation. Now after so many years of discouragement he has the satisfaction of being recognized as an unquestioned authority upon all matters pertaining to drainage. The original cost was $52,000, and to the present time about $25,000 more has been added, but it is money well spent, for the system of drains, tanks, and pumping stations known as the “Forbes Drainage Scheme,” has redeemed thousands of acres of useless land and made the entire community much healthier, while the value of land has increased from$2 to $40 and $50 per acre. Mr. Forbes has been twice married, first to Miss Priscilla Kiever, by whom he had the following children: Isabella, now Mrs. Alexander Stewart, of Detroit; Jennie, at home; Fannie, Mrs. Shaw, of Jeannette’s Creek; Charles, a ranchman in the Northwest Territory; and a son that died in infancy. For his second wife, Mr. Forbes married Maria L. Stewart, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, and two children have been born to this union, namely: Stewart and Elizabeth, who attend the Chatham high school.

In politics Mr. Forbes is a Reformer, and he has been active in local affairs for the past twenty-five years, having always been interested in seeing good men in office. For eighteen years he served as trustee of the Fletcher school, and he has acted in the same capacity for the No.7, Jeannette’s Creek school. He and his wife are consistent members of the Presbyterian Church of Tilbury Village. Upon his arrival in the township Mr. Forbes started a Sunday-school, of which the present Mrs. Forbes was the first teacher. Socially he is a member of the Fletcher’s Workmen of Valetta and a trustee of the Order. He is among the leading farmers of his vicinity, and he and Mrs. Forbes have a large number of friends whom they make welcome in their beautiful home.

The second bio is of Joseph Hornal which can be read at

The index page of this publication is at

National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month in North Carolina
There is an effort to get a National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month in North Carolina and I've been asked to help with this by prooviding a page on the site that can be updated as progress is made. You can read this at

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


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