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
7th March 2008

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
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Clan Information
Poetry and Stories
Recipe Program
History of Ulster
Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1881
Household Encyclopaedia
Scottish Art Trading Cards
Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Sketches of Early Scotch History
St Meddens Kirk restoration discussion
Fallingbrook Farm
2008 Painting Competition

Thanks once again for helping with my efforts to find out why many of you are not getting the newsletter. We are still working with new software for the newsletter and hope that this will resolve some of the problems associated with sending it out. It does appear that if you add my email address into your address book and/or safe senders list then that can improve your chances of getting the newsletter.

It also appears that mentioning Electric Scotland and/or Newsletter in the subject line may also have something to do with it so will be using a different subject line this week to see if it makes a difference.

And finally it was pointed out to me that those of you that provided an email address in our survey could be read in clear text if you clicked on "Read Answers? Well I got what I needed from the survey and that has now been deleted to ensure your privacy.

On another note I am quite concerned about how unreliable email is getting. This week I have had two phone calls from people that tried to send me email and just got a message back saying it couldn't be delivered. I have in fact added another email address which can be used if you are having problems with my own email address and have added this to our Contact page.

Our Article Service is going to get a wee upgrade within the next couple of weeks. I have paid the company a fee so that in future when adding an article you will be able to add an image to it from your local hard disk. The other option is for people that submit an article where you will then have an option to edit any of your own articles.

We are also working on the new Community web site which replaces the Forums we were using. This will actually be a massive upgrade with tons of new features. You might say this will be YouTube, MySpace, Odeo, Flickr, Match and Facebook all rolled into one :-)

There is so much work going on with this that it is likely that new content will slow down a bit. I might add however that by introducing the Adobe pdf books we're actually posting up considerably more content.

At the end of the day the goal is take Electric Scotland to the next level. To do that means loads of work as we install new code, scripts, programs, etc to handle all this. We need to test and test and test to ensure all will work well. We also need to crash the system and see if we can restore it 100%. So hopefully exciting times ahead :-)

And as I've often talked about Scotland's famous dish of Clootie Dumpling over the years you can read the recipe and watch a video of it being prepared 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 or on our site menu.

Scotland on TV
Visit their site at 

This week: the Scotland on TV team trace their Scottish roots...

If you’re interested in Scottish family history or don’t know where to start with tracing your own Scottish roots, then the resources of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow are for you. Wherever your family is from in Scotland, the Mitchell could just have what you are looking for - and you can even access it online.

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow's Charing Cross area is one of Europe’s largest public libraries with a book stock of 1.3 million books, 35,000 maps, plus thousands of photographs, newspapers and microfilms. The Library opened in 1877, funded by a tobacco manufacturer, who donated most of his fortune to create a public library for the people of Glasgow.

The Mitchell contains a massive collection of documentation on the people of Scotland, making it the perfect place for Scottish family research. And the library's facilities are not only available to visitors to the building - many are now accessible online, meaning that they can be accessed all over the world.

The Library holds many archives and special collections, some of which are unique resources if you want to know more about your ancestors. Amongst the documents included in the collection, you will find Scottish newspapers, census records, military records, directories, gravestone inscription records, sasines (records of property ownership), school admission registers, police force registers, church registers and Kirk session minutes, plus many more records covering the whole of Scotland.

The Library employs a number of genealogy experts who can help with searches, host courses, talks and tours, and also offer online support.

In these new videos - exclusive to Scotland on TV - Elizabeth Carmichael, Education Officer and Dr Irene O’Brien, Senior Archivist at the Mitchell Library, give some tips and advice on the resources available to anyone researching their Scottish roots and how they can be accessed either at the library.

So, if you’re interested in finding out more about your own Scottish ancestors, then these videos are a great place to start learning. And, even if you think you’ve studied your Scottish roots as far as you can, the team at the Mitchell may offer up more avenues for research. But, be warned - you never know what you might find out!

This weeks Flag is compiled by Lim Lynch, the editor of the Scots Independent Newspaper, and he's telling us about the Lockerbie smokescreens. Also in this issue we have a wee collection of articles from Donnie MacNeill and also the Gaelic and Scots Language columns.

In Peter's cultural section he tells us...

This week sees the anniversary of the deaths of two Scots who did much to enrich our treasure of traditional music and song. The Tarland-born fiddler Peter Milne, known as ‘The Tarland Fiddler’, died 100 years ago and although only some thirty of his compositions for the fiddle survive, they are of an extremely high standard and an important part of Scotland’s rich fiddle heritage. The Blairgowrie-born folklorist Dr Hamish Henderson died six years ago and was the man mainly responsible for the Scottish Folk Revival of the 1950s and 60s. He did invaluable work for the School of Scottish Studies, including the discovery of great traditional singers from the Travelling People such as Jeannie Robertson and Belle Stewart. In the 1960s, throughout Scotland, you could just about visit a different folk club every night and the expansion of folk clubs and the interest in our rich heritage of music and song marched hand in hand with the emergence of the modern Scottish National Party.

Tonight (Friday 7 March 2008) sees a reminder of those days as the 18th Milnathort Crackin’ Ceilidh Weekend gets underway. Milnathort is fortunate on being able to call on local folk artistes who all played a major part on the folk revival – Gaberlunzie, John Watt, Tich Frier, Wildfire, Colin Ramage and Neil Paterson, as well as calling upon the very best of visiting talent. Milnathort is a crackin do in every sense and includes The Orwell Gird championship and Bairn’s street games on Saturday in the Milnathort Primary School playground at 12 noon. The Saturday night concert in the Thistle Hotel at 9pm featuring top Scottish folk duo Gaberlunzie (Gordon Menzies and Robin Watson) will in particular recall many happy memories for old folkies of a certain generation! Youth is also well catered for at Milnathort, and the Youth Concert on Sunday (2pm) in the Thistle Hotel showcases the up-and-coming talent on whose shoulders the carrying on of the tradition depends.

Folk Nights and a wee refreshment go hand in hand and this week’s recipe – Meat Ball Casseroles – contains a drappie yill and is guaranteed to warm you up during these cold March days.

Meat Ball Casserole

Ingredients: 1 lb/450 g beef, minced; ½ lb/225 g sausage meat; 1 egg; 1 teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon pepper; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 3 tablespoons oil; 1 oz/15 g flour; 1 pint/600 ml brown ale (Newcastle Brown or Scotch Ale); 4 tablespoons tomato paste; small tin tomatoes; 1 dozen sliced stuff green olives

Method: In a bowl mix together the beef, sausage meat, egg, salt, pepper and onion. Shape into small balls. Heat the oil in saucepan and brown the meat balls. Remove and put in a warm oven. Leave a little oil in the saucepan and stir in the flour into it over a low heat. Add the beer gradually, stirring the whole time. When it boils stir in the tomato paste and the tomatoes. Then add the meat balls. Cook for about 15 minutes. Season to taste and add the olives. Serve with rice or noodles.

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary has not been received for this week at the time of completing this newsletter.

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

We have now completed the Mac's with MacRory, MacSorley and MacVuirich

And have started on the M's with Mair, Maitland, Malcolm and Mallet

The Malcolm entry contains accounts of our Kings and starts...

MALCOLM, a surname originally Gilliecolane or Gillechallum, derived from two Gaelic words signifying the servant of St. Columba. Somerled, thane of Argyle, had a son of this name, who was slain with him near Renfrew in 1164.

The chief of the clan Challum or the MacCallums, an Argyleshire sept. originally styled the clan Challum of Ariskeodnish, is Malcolm of Poltalloch, whose family has been settled from a very early period in that county. One of this house, called Zachary Und Donald Mor of Poltalloch, was killed May 25, 1647, at Ederline, in South Argyle, in single combat with Sir Alexander Macdonald, called Allaster Mac Collkittoch, or left-handed. He was in the force of the marquis of Argyle when General David Leslie advanced into Kintyre to drive out the royalists, and was renowned in his day for his great strength. It is alleged that he slew seven of his assailants before he was himself slain. He was getting the better of Colkitto, when a Maclean came behind him with a scythe and hamstrung him; he was then easily overpowered.

In 1414, Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow granted to Reginald Malcolm of Corbarron, certain lands of Craignish, and on the banks of Loch Avich, in Nether Lorn; with the office of hereditary constable of his castles of Lochaffy and Craignish. This branch became extinct towards the end of the 17th century, as Corbarron or Corran is said to have been bequeathed by the last of the family to Zachary MacCallum of Poltalloch, who succeeded his father in 1686.

Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch, who inherited the estate in 1779, appears to have been the first to adopt permanently the name of Malcolm as the family patronymic. Besides Poltalloch, the family possesses Kilmartin house and Duntroon castle, in the same county.

John Malcolm, Esq., of Poltalloch, born in 1805, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Argyleshire and Kent, succeeded his brother, Neill, in 1857. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, he became B.A. in 1827 and M.A. in 1830. He married 2d daughter of the Hon. John Wingfield, Stratford, son of 3d Viscount Powerscourt, with issue. Heir, his son, John Wingfield.

You can read the rest of this account at cquarriep://

You can read the other entries at

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeenshire. There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.

This week have added...

Parish of Monquhitter at

Here is a bit from the account...

Name. —The name Monquhitter signifies the place for ensnaring the deer, and was derived from the farm on which the church was originally built.

Extent, &c.—From east to west, the parish extends about 8 miles, and from south to north, about 10½ miles. It is bounded on the east, by the parish of New Deer; on the north, by King-Edward ; on the west, by Turriff and Fyvie; and on the south, by Fyvie and Methlick. The surface is generally of an undulating and monotonous character. The hills present a bleak and barren appearance. Nevertheless, they are of much value in their present state, from the great abundance of excellent peat fuel which they supply to the neighbourhood, and more especially, as the nearest sea-port, Macduff, from which coals can be procured, is, from some parts of the parish, upwards of twenty miles, and, upon an average, fifteen miles distant.

The parish of Monquhitter was disjoined from that of Turriff in 1649, and Mr William Johnstone, the first Presbyterian minister after the Revolution settlement, was ordained to Monquhitter on the 15th November 1727. Till about that period, this district was one of the strongholds of Episcopacy in Scotland. It is true, that, some time previous to this, Presbyterianism had again become the established form of worship in Scotland, but wherever Episcopal ministers, holding cures, were peaceably disposed, they were allowed to retain their emoluments during their lifetime, which was the case in this parish. Mr Adam Hay, the last Episcopal minister of Monquhitter, has left a substantial memorial of the kindly spirit which existed between him and the people of his time, in a pair of silver communion cups, and a mortification of 200 merks, (L.11, 2s. 2d. Sterling,) on his lands of Assleed, the proceeds of which to be applied to any poor persons residing on these lands.

Parochial Registers. — The parochial registers commence in 1670 for baptisms, and in 1693 for marriages, and, with the exception of one or two chasms, have been kept regularly down to the present time.

You can read the rest of this account at

On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and also a map at 

Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.

This week have added...

Benjie's Christening

And here is how the story starts...

Ay the christening of our only bairn, Benjie, two or three remarkable circumstances occurred, which it behoves me to relate. It was on a cold November afternoon ; and really when the bit room was all redd up, the fire bleezing away, and the candles lighted, every thing looked full tosh and comfortable.

It was a real pleasure, after looking out into the drift that was fleeing like mad from the east, to turn one's neb inwards, and think that we had a civilised home to comfort us in the dreary season. So, one after another, the bit party we had invited to the ceremony came papping in; and the crack began to get loud and hearty; for, to speak the truth, we were blessed with canny friends and a good neighbourhood. Notwithstanding, it was very curious that I had no mind of asking down James Batter, the weaver, honest man, though he was one of our own elders; and in papped James, just when the company had hafflins met, with his stocking-sleeves on his arms, his nightcap on his head, and his blue-stained apron hanging down before him, to light his pipe at our fire.

James, when he saw his mistake, was fain to retreat ; but we would not hear tell of it, till he came in, and took a dram out of the bottle, as we told him the not doing so would spoil the wean's beauty, which is an old freak (the smallpox, however, afterwards did that); so, with much persuasion, he took a chair for a gliff, and began with some of his drolls—for he is a clever, humour-some man, as ye ever met with. But he had not got faron with his jests, when to! a rap came to the door, and Mysie whipped away the bottle under her apron, saying, "Wheesht, wheesht, for the sake of gudeness—there's the minister!"

This room had only one door, and James mistook it, running his head, for lack of knowledge, into the open closet, just as the minister lifted the outer-door sneck. We were all now sitting on nettles, for we were frightened that James would be seized with a cough, for he was a wee asthmatic; or that some, knowing there was a thief in the pantry, might hurt good manners by breaking out into a giggle. However, all for a considerable time was quiet, and the ceremony was performed ; little Nancy, our niece, handing the bairn upon my arm to receive its name. So we thought, as the minister seldom made a long stay on similar occasions, that all would pass off well enough. But wait a wee.

You can read the rest of this story at

The other stories can be read at

Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod

You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger articles are continued week by week.

This week have added articles on...

Aspects of Indian Life During the Rebellion (Pages 356-360)
Coming Summer (Page 360)
What has been Done in the Fiji Islands (Pages 361-364)
The Evils of Great Cities, and Some Recent Remedies (Pages 364-366)

Here is how the account of "The Evils of Great Cities, and Some Recent Remedies" starts...

Man was once a bird, and he is now an insect. In the early, free, nomadic days, while as yet cities were not, he roamed at will over the world; civilisation has clipped his wings. The nineteenth-century man burrows in crowded homes, and crawls through narrow streets.

Whether this constant "congestion to the metropolis," so characteristic of our modern times, is an inevitable accompaniment of civilisation, and whether the advantages gained by it overbalance the evils which it certainly occasions, we need not too carefully inquire. Much might, probably, be said on both sides—as the kindly knight of Queen Anne's reign loved to remark, with the leisurely good nature that belonged to his age. It does certainly seem as if our countrymen generally, until the last few years, had been forgetting the one half of the great primal command, to "multiply and replenish the earth." They have multiplied, in millions, but they did not even think of replenishing the earth, whose huge continents stretch around us, with fat harvests sleeping in their unwrought and unbroken soils. The waste lands far away have been crying out for the advent of their long-expected master, "to till the earth and subdue it;" and meanwhile, whole generations have, in our own country, been crowding into existence, and fighting for room to live in their narrow natal spot. The truths which Malthus pointed out fifty years ago, as to the inevitable tendency of population to outgrow the means of subsistence, should have had a more important practical result than a barren and useless controversy as to whether men should, in these days, continue to obey the fundamental laws of their nature. Men had split up God's commandment, and had forgot to replenish the earth; and finding, as they generally find, that such a proceeding did not work well, and that the truncated ordinance of their Creator avenged itself upon them in famine and penury, they took counsel of the philosophers.

The philosophers, having ripely and well considered the matter, and judging truly that vast mischiefs were sure to arise from the continuance of the present state of things, advised mankind, not to obey the whole command, but rather to leave off complying with that other portion of it which they had hitherto obeyed. So that great and good man, Dr Chalmers, writes a book of Political Economy, in which he eloquently urges the raising of the moral character of the people, and the disseminating of the truths of the gospel, as a means—to what?—to diminishing reckless marriages, and improvident increase of the population. So Mr John Stuart Mill, in his late work on " Liberty," makes it one of the few exceptions to toleration for which he is willing to find room, that penal or repressive measures may be used to prevent rash men burdening the country with too many hungry mouths. The precepts of the philosophers have turned out to be futile; and it might have been foreseen that they would. The Creator has too well "laid the deep foundations" of the social system in the complex nature of man, to allow of its being appreciably affected by the apparent demonstrations of prudential calculators. The true remedy for over-population was too obvious for wise men to look at; but it has forced itself upon the attention of all. Emigration is the great national fact and social blessing of our day. The wastes of the world are being occupied. The surplus of our home population flows continually away. The choking reservoirs of civilisation are broken up, and humanity flows down to find its natural level over innumerable plains. Our country has already felt the benefit largely. Men stand more in open rank; there is more leisure for the brain to work, and more room for the heart to play.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read the other articles at 

Clan Information
Added the February 2008 newsletter from Clan Ross at

Added the March 2008 Newsletter from Clan MacKenzie in the Americas at

Poetry and Stories
Further articles have been added to our Articles Service where the likes of Donna have been adding poems and recipes at 

John sent in two doggerels...

The Fleggin o Drouthy Tam at
A Hunner Years This Third o' Mairch at

John also sent in an update to his father's Cairngorm Diary which is in 5 .pdf files which you can see towards the of the page at

I might add that he has added maps of the routes should anyone wish to try this route for themselves.

Recipe Program
Our Recipe Database is now running at 

While we still don't have too many recipes up we'd be more than happy for you to visit and add your own favourite family recipes should you have a few minutes to spare :-)

The History of Ulster
We are now working on Volume 4 being the final volume. Added this week are...

XX. After the Union
XXI. Catholic Emancipation
XXII. Reforms in State and Church
XXIII. Early Victorian Years
XXIV. "The Ulster Custom"
XXV. First Home Rule Bill
XXVI. The Second Home Rule Bill

This is how "First Home Rule Bill" starts...

The Liberal Government formed under the Premiership of W. E. Gladstone included for the first time members of the Advanced Liberal or Radical party. Chief of these was John Bright, who became President of the Board of Trade. An Irish Land Act was the chief legislative work of the session of 1870. So rapidly had opinion ripened on the question that Gladstone's Bill passed through Parliament without meeting any very serious opposition. The Act, which received the royal assent in August, gave legal recognition to tenant-right in Ulster, and to a similar custom in other parts of Ireland. It conferred on tenants rights of compensation for being turned out by the landlord and for improvements made by them during their tenure. "In appearance", said Professor Richey, "it gave the tenant no new rights, nor in anywise deprived the landlord of any; but attempted to effect its object in a circuitous manner by affixing what was essentially a penalty to the exercise of rights which it admitted to be legal."

A Ballot Act was one of the achievements of the session of 1872. The House of Lords inserted a clause limiting its operation to eight years; but when the time came for renewing the Act it was made permanent. The Ballot Act abolished the ancient custom of the public nomination of candidates on the hustings.

A ministerial crisis was brought on in 1873 in connection with an Irish University Bill introduced in the House of Commons by Gladstone. The Bill proposed the erection and endowment of a non-denominational university in Dublin, from which the teaching of mental and moral philosophy, of theology, and of modern history should be excluded. On the second reading the Bill was thrown out, and Gladstone resigned. As the Conservatives were not prepared either to carry on the Government with a majority of the House of Commons against them, or to appeal to the country at once, Disraeli declined to take office, and Gladstone returned to power.

Gladstone's Irish measures had produced quietness in Ireland but not contentment. It was seen, however, that the Fenians had gone too far in demanding total separation from England. A more moderate demand was made towards the close of 1870—a demand for legislative independence under a federal scheme. To carry out the scheme there was formed in Dublin the Home Government Association of Ireland, a body in which Conservatives and Liberals, Protestants and Catholics, were brought together by their common belief in self-government as the remedy for Irish evils. The scheme of the association (which was reconstituted in 1873 under the name of the Home Rule League) provided for an Irish Parliament, which should manage the internal affairs of Ireland, and have control over Irish resources and revenues, subject to the obligation of contributing a just proportion towards imperial expenditure, Ireland continuing to be represented on imperial questions in the Imperial Parliament.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at 

Sketches of The Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland
by Major-General David Stewart (1822)

We have now moved on to Volume II and the next several chapters are now covering the Fencible Regiments.

This week we've added...

Ninety-second, or Gordon Highlanders, 1794
Sutherland Highlanders, or Ninety-third Regiment, 1800
Seventy-eighth Regiment, or Ross-shire Highlanders, Second Battalion, 1804
Queen's Highlanders, &c. and List of Independent Companies raised in the year 1745

And have now moved onto the Fencible regiments with...

Argyle, 1759
Sutherland, 1759

Here is the account of Argyle...

In 1759 the spirit of the nation, which had been roused by the danger of our Colonies, and exasperated by the disasters and defeats of our fleets and armies in the years 1756, 1757, and 1758, loudly called to arm in order to retrieve the national character. The direction of the hostile operations was intrusted to an illustrious statesman, whose vigorous measures, and successful prosecution of the war, laid the best foundation for an honourable peace.

The family of Argyll, which had exhibited so many eminent examples of patriotism and loyalty, was now called upon to exert the great influence which it enjoyed in the Highlands. So soon as the system of raising Fencible corps was determined upon, (as will be mentioned in the next article), the Duke of Argyll received Letters of Service for raising a regiment within the county of Argyle. As the attempt was experimental, and to be confined to the Highlands, only two,—the Argyle and Sutherland regiments, were raised. At that time the Duke of Argyll, as has been already noticed, was very powerful in Scotland. Few appointments were disposed of without his recommendation or knowledge; and consequently, his regiment, in this instance, had a priority of rank,—the commissions of the Argyle officers being dated in July, and those of Sutherland in August 1759. But this priority extended only to the date of the commissions. "While the Sutherland men flocked round the standard of Morar Chattu, [The name of Sutherland is unknown in the Gaelic. The Highlanders call that country Chattu, and Lord Sutherland Morar Chattu. Caithness is also unknown in that language; that county is Gallu, or the land of strangers. That this northern point of Scotland was occupied by strangers, is evident from the language, &c. of the inhabitants, differing in every respect from that of the Gaels who surround them.] much in the same manner as a Highland clan of old assembled round their chief, it was more than three months before the ranks of the Argyle regiment were completed to 1000 men.

It has been said, that although the gentlemen of Argyle-shire have always shown a strong predilection for a military life, the common people are more inclined to the naval service. The reason assigned is the insular nature of the country, and the number of inlets of the sea, which run far up and intersect the country; thus accustoming them, from their youth, to seafaring habits. If there be any foundation for this remark in the case of the Argyleshire-men, it does not extend to the northern isles of Ross-shire and Inverness-shire, nor to the Mainland districts, which are in a manner inclosed by arms of the sea. No people in the North are better or more willing soldiers than those of the Isles of Skye, Lewis, &c, [In the Island of Lewis, Lord Seaforth's estate alone furnished 732 men for one regiment (Seaforth Highlanders) in the first twelve years of the late war. In like manner, upwards of 1600 men enlisted in the Isle of Skye an North Uist for the regiments of the line and fencibles; and more than 2000 men entered for the regular militia, volunteers, and local militia, of the same Isles, and Rasay.] or the men of Kintail, and similar districts on the Mainland, which are so much indented by deep bays and salt water lakes, as to be almost surrounded by them, and to assume a peninsular form. But, whether the common people be more inclined to the sea than the land service, there can be only one opinion as to the military disposition of the gentlemen of Argyle, and the chieftain-like and paternal support they have always received from their chief and protector. Of thirty-seven officers in the Argyle regiment, twenty-two were of the name of Campbell.

This regiment consisted of 1000 men, and was quartered in different parts of Scotland till the peace of 1763, when it was reduced.

You can read the other chapters at 

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland 1884
This week have added a large account of The Woods, Forests, and Forestry of Ross-Shire and here is how it starts...

The counties of Ross and Cromarty are now combined for parliamentary and other purposes, and the joint county includes the barony of Ferintosh belonging to Nairn, the whole district being popularly known as Ross-shire. Together, they form the third largest county in Scotland, and the fourth largest in the United Kingdom, and stretch from sea to sea across the Highlands.

The county of Ross is situated in latitude 57° 7' and 58° 7' north, and between 3° 45' and 5° 46' west longitude. Its greatest breadth from south to north is nearly 70 miles, from Lake Luing to the rivulet Fin; and its length from east to west is 67 miles, measured from Tarbat Ness to the north of Applecross Sound. The greatest length of the county is, however, 84 miles, as its outline gradually contracts towards the N.E. and S.W., and it is between these extreme points that, like the county of Aberdeen, its greatest length is found to be. The mean breadth from N.W. to S.E. is upwards of 40 miles.

Ross-shire is bounded on the north by Sutherlandshire, on the south by Inverness-shire, on the east by the German Ocean, and on the west by the Atlantic. Its outline is in the main triangular (though in many places it is very irregular), the apex of the triangle resting on its north-west corner at Ru Mone. It presents, perhaps, a greater variety of surface than any other county in Scotland, and it has, since the Dingwall and Skye Railway was opened, become a favourite haunt of English and foreign tourists, who find that over its vast extent an ever-changing panorama of gorgeous landscapes, embracing mountain and glen, wood, loch, and river, may be met with; while it can boast not a few of the most charming characteristics pertaining to the finest agricultural districts, arable and pastoral, both in Scotland and England.

Along the east coast are the peninsulas of the Black Isle, Nigg, and Tarbat, the surface of which, though at one time bleak and much exposed, is now varied by considerable tracts of arable land and wood; and much has been and is still being done, by planting and otherwise, to bring this formerly sterile district into a state of comparative fertility. Backwards from these peninsulas stretches a magnificent richly wooded and cultivated plain, through which the Highland Railway passes, and which may be termed the Lowlands of Ross-shire. Westward from this fine agricultural border run a number of fertile straths, terminating in the Strathconon, Gairloch, and Loch Broom mountains, which form the central watershed.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other articles can be read at

Household Encyclopaedia
I have added a few more pages to the B's which you can see at

The index page of this publication can be seen at 

Scottish Art Trading Cards
Margo has done some Scottish Art Trading Cards which you can print out on 2.5" x 3.5" cards and build them into a collection. These are great for kids and also anyone interested in collecting cards. We have the seventh page of 10 cards up at

Antiquarian Scottish Books in Adobe Reader format
I said I'd do my best to add a book each week and so this week I've added...

Out On The Pampas

There is no Preface or Introduction to this book but I can tell you I read the entire book online and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had published books about Scots in Argentina on my web site and I was keen to try and find a publication that would explain what it might be like to settle on the Pampas.

This book is actually about an English family that decides to move from England to settle on the Pampas as they are convinced there is a better life to be had. The book starts by introducing us to the family and then explores the preparations they are making to be as well prepared as possible for the move. There are the mother and father and two sons and two daughters.

The sons are sent out to work with gardners, carpenters and farmers and also get shooting lessons. The daughters also get shooting lessons, riding lessons and are also given teaching in cooking and sewing and they hire a Spanish maid to help teach them the local language.

So they are preparing as best they can for the move and we follow them through this process and then onto the ship that takes them to their new lands. We see the decision by the father on what land to purchase and see them building their first house and at the same time buying the sheep, cattle and crops that they'll need to prove the land. Certainly some failures but much more success.

You also see them organizing defence against the Indians and there are several Indian attacks. There are in fact two Scotsmen that are near neighbours along with some other families.

So all in all I found this to be a great read and it helped me understand more of what settlement was like on the Pampas.

You can read this book at

The index page for this section can be reached at

I might note that I have found the 5 volume set of the "Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, From the Twelfth to Eighteenth Century" By David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross (1887). That is to say I found volumes 1,2,3 and 5. Through the University of Guelph's McLaughlin Library I found the 4th volume but it was a reprint. That said I emailed the Mercat Press to see if they might allow me to scan in the 4th volume to put it on the web site and am delighted to say that they agreed. And so I've ordered the 4th volume through the Inter-Library loan service and should be getting this in the next two to three weeks when I'll start scanning it in. This of course means we'll have the full set and so you'll be able to see plans of pretty well all the castles in Scotland :-)

The Scottish Tradition in Canada
Edited by W. Stanford Reid

This week have added two chapters...

The Scottish Background by W. Stanford Reid
"The Auld Alliance" in New France by Henry B. M. Best

Here is how the first chapter starts...

Scots have played an important part in the development of Canada, as the subsequent chapters in this book will show, but in order to understand why this has been the case we must look beyond Canada to Scotland itself. The traits of character, the ways of thinking, the prejudices and the biases with which the Scottish immigrants came to this country and which they passed on to their descendants even to the third and fourth generations, found their origins in the homeland which they had left. It is therefore necessary that we should commence our survey of the Scottish tradition in Canada by looking at the Scottish background in order to gain some comprehension of the place which the Scot has made for himself in Canada.

Two basic forces which have made the Scot what he is are Scotland's geography and Scotland's history. The physical character of the land itself has wielded a powerful influence on Scottish development; along with that has gone the influence of its geographic position in the world. At the same time, history which includes the human development in this environment has played an even more important role in shaping the Scottish character. We must, therefore, take both these factors into account when we attempt to understand the Scot and his contributions to the New World.

Scotland, like Caesar's Gaul, is divided into three geographical areas: the far north, including Caithness, Sutherland and the Orkneys, which are flat, windblown and not very fertile; the middle portion, containing the Highlands lying north of the Firth of Forth-Firth of Clyde line, which are mountainous, rugged and on the west coast come down to the sea's edge with cliffs sometimes over two hundred feet high, with long coastal indentations or sea-lochs, deep valleys and poor soil; the southern area or Lowlands with a broad belt of fertile land running between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the more southerly portion having low hills or uplands and relatively good soil. The Lowland area has always been the wealthiest part of the country, and since the eighteenth century and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution it has tended to dominate Scotland, drawing off much of the population from the northern areas to its factories and workshops. It has also had a further advantage in that it has the best ports on both the east (Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Leith) and west (Ayr, Ardrossan, Glasgow) coasts, and is closer to England than the other regions, which means that its opportunities for commerce are considerably greater.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Early Scotch History
By Cosmo Innes

Thanks Alan McKenzie for sending this into us and this week we have...

Breadalbane Papers,
The Black Book of Taymouth — Sketch of Family History — Black Colin of Rome — Sir Duncan; slain at Flodden — Colin built Balloch — Sir Duncan; "Black Duncan of the cowl" — His rural improvements — Building of houses and bridges — Travels — Cultivates Literature — Romances, Poetry — Sir Colin — Fond of Latin, French, and Italian — Cultivates Art — A German painter — George Jamesone — Jamesone's prices and speed of work — List of his works at Taymouth.

You can read this at

St Meddens Kirk restoration discussion
Compiled by Stan Bruce

I'm really enjoying this developing conversation about restoring St Meddens Kirk. Stan has sent in the latest chapter and we see Scotland's First Minister getting involved. Should you have missed this you can find each chapter of the ongoing discussion at

Appendix G is the latest one.

Fallingbrook Farm
This is a project trying to preserve an old pioneers farm from demolition. There will be some regular updates to this page from time to time. I might also note that we had an incorrect email address for them which has now been corrected. Should you have tried to email them from the page then they wouldn't have received your email but this link has been corrected.

You can see their page at

2008 Painting Competition
A children's painting competition organised by the Banffshire Maritime and Heritage Association and open to children from anywhere in the world. You can download a .pdf file giving details of the competition and the rules and application form at

And that's it for now and I hope you all have a great 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 

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