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30th May 2008

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site Aois - The Celtic Community
The Electric Scotland Article Service

Dear Friend

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

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Article Service
The Scottish Nation
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
Household Encyclopaedia
The History of the Highland Clearances
Scotland's Influence on Civilization
Arbroath and its Abbey
History of Curling
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Annals of Garelochside (New Book)
Shinty's Place and Space in World Sport
Scottish Week in Toronto
Scottish Memorials in Rome
Scots Rabbi creates world's first Jewish Tartan
Betsy Miller, Scotland's first Ship Captain
Gazetteer of the United States of America
A Chat with Jim Hewitson
Scottish Studies Foundation AGM
$10,000 Phone Call

Haven't managed to get up our new site search engine that I mentioned last week but hopefully this coming week we'll have it up for you to try out.

We've purchased a new web server on which we'll run our Aois Celtic Community and we have the next component ready to install once it arrives. The server won't arrive until around this time next week so it will be a couple of weeks or so but we aim to have it available prior to our move to Michigan.

A good friend of the service actually donated us the money to enable us to purchase the new server for which we were most appreciative :-)

We had some downtime this past week which affected some. There was a DNS attack from Russia and some of you were seeing a new screen saying the domain had just been registered / purchased and asking you to fill out a form if you wanted to get in touch with the owners. I hope none of you completed the form. Anyway... it seemed to hang around for around 36 hours and then went away. Seeing this screen really depended on what ISP you were using. We also were down for around 5 hours due to an Internet cable problem with our own ISP.


I see the High Scores in our Arcade section is getting a bit tighter... St. Monance with 19, Knight Templar with 14... so the race is getting tighter... will Knight Templar make up the difference by next week or will St, Monance extend the lead? Tune in to find out :-)

Newest Champions
Knight Templar is the new WOW Connect champion! 05-27-2008
Knight Templar is the new Christmas DIY champion! 05-27-2008
Knight Templar is the new Floats champion! 05-25-2008
Knight Templar is the new Umbrella Trick champion! 05-25-2008
Euan is the new Ball A Track champion! 05-25-2008

Threads: 37, Posts: 127, Members: 39, Active Members: 39
Welcome to our newest member, Seamus1745

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.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Richard Thomson and I noted a wee piece on the EU seemingly wanting to do away with mince. Now Scots love their mince and tatties and their mince pies so the SNP government are looking to get an exception for Scotland.

In Peter's cultural section we get another new visitor destination...

Isle of Man

Montrose Basin Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve is The Flag visitor destination for this week, which has something for all age groups. A 4-star visitor attraction centred around the Montrose Basin. The Basin is an enclosed estuary of the South Esk and covers 750 hectares. A daily tidal cycle brings in a rich supply of nutrients that attracts over 50,000 migrating birds each year. High powered telescopes in the wildlife centre provide magnificent opportunities to view wildlife. Three television cameras bring the surrounding wildlife literally into the centre.

The reserve attracts pink-footed geese from Iceland and Greenland, common eels swimming across the Atlantic from the Sargasso Sea, knots on their way from Siberia to West Africa, salmon travelling thousands of miles from Artic Canada and Greenland and sedge warblers which return to the Basin in the spring after watering in West Africa. The centre, run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust is open all year round apart from 25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January, and has interactive displays for all ages, bird-viewing areas and a gift shop offering light refreshments with free parking.

Angus is part of Scotland famous for soft fruit and in season there is nothing better than Scottish raspberries – the basis of this week’s recipe – Raspberry Pavlova.

Raspberry Pavlova

Ingredients: Meringue – 280 g (10 oz) caster sugar: 5 egg-whites

To serve: 100 g (3 ½ oz) white chocolate, melted; 250 ml (9 fl oz) double cream, whipped; 350 g (12 oz) fresh raspberries; icing sugar for dusting: 4 mint sprigs to garnish

Method: Preheat oven to 120 deg C/ 250 deg F/ Gas Mark ½. Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment. Boil 100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) of water and the caster sugar till it gets to the soft-ball stage (115 deg C/ 239 deg F). Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg whites. Pour in the liquid sugar while beating. Whisk until cool. Divide the mixture into four circles on the tray. Using a spoon, make an indentation in each one. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 3-4 hours. Remove from oven and cool. Spread the chocolate on top of each one and leave to set. Serve with whipped cream, raspberries, a dusting of icing sugar and a spring of mint.

We also learn that...

Peter and Marilyn Wright continue to enjoy the delights of the Isle of Man – food and beer excellent, hills climbed and glens visited with never a dull moment. Next stop the City of Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands and a visit to the new exhibition centre at Culloden.

So I hope Peter will take lots of pictures of the new Culloden center and send in some for us to enjoy :-)

And finally in this issue Peter has again profiled "The Amateur Barber" which is a classic funny story of the time and Marilyn has also recorded it in real audio so you can listen to it while you read it and thus get the hang of the Scots vernacular.

And you can now purchase a Scots Independent T-Shirt, Scottish Flags and books at

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's weekly diary for this week can be found at

The Article Service
Donna has sent in some more articles and you can see them at

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

We have now completed the O's with Ogilvey, Oliphant, Ormiston, Orkney, Ormond, Orr, Orrok, Oswald, Oxfurd, and now move onto the P's with Panmure.

I note in the Panmure page that...

PANMURE, Earl of, a title (attainted) in the peerage of Scotland, conferred 3d August 1646, with the secondary title of Baron Maule of Brechin and Navar, on Patrick Maule of Panmure, (see MAULE). He was a faithful adherent of Charles I., and attended that unfortunate monarch in his imprisonment at Holdenby and Carisbrook till compelled to leave him by the orders of parliament. By Cromwell he was, in 1654, fined in the exorbitant sum of £10,000 sterling, and £2,500 on account of his younger son, Henry, who had the command of a regiment in the duke of Hamilton’s army, raised for the rescue of the king in 1648, and who, at the battle of Dunbar in 1650, also commanded a regiment. The earl’s fine was mitigated to £4,000, and that for his son, Henry, to £1,000. His lordship died 22d December, 1661.

Under the Ogilvey name we find...

OGILVY, a surname derived from a barony in the parish of Glammis, Forfarshire, which, about 1163, was bestowed by William the Lion on Gilbert, ancestor of the noble family of Airlie, and, in consequence, he assumed the name of Ogilvy, (see AIRLIE, earl of). He was the third son of Gillibrede, maormor of Angus, or, as some say, of Gilchrist (Gille Chriosda, the servant of Christ), maormor of Angus. In the charters of the second and third Alexanders there are witnesses of the name of Ogilvy. Sir Patrick de Ogilvy adhered steadily to Robert the Bruce, who bestowed upon him the lands of Kettins in Forfarshire. The barony of Cortachy was acquired by the family in 1369-70. For notices of this family, see AIRLIE. The “gracious gude Lord Ogilvy,” as he is styled in the old ballad of the Battle of Harlaw, in which battle the principal barons of Forfarshire fought on the side of the earl of Mar, who commanded the royal army, was the son of Sir Walter Ogilvy of Auchterhouse, slain in a clan battle with the Robertsons in 1394.

You can read these entries at

Clan and Family Information
Clan MacKenzie have posted up their June newsletter at

Poetry and Stories
Donna has created a new story called "Chief" and we now have another 4 chapters for you to read at

Another doggerel from John Henderson called The Fustle [The Whistle] which you can read 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 Ellon

The name Ellon is generally supposed to be a corruption of the Gaelic word Aileann, which signifies an island. Its appropriation as the name of this parish may be accounted for by the circumstance that a small island in the river Ythan, adjacent to the site of the village of Ellon, marks the position of the ferry formerly used on the principal line of road leading from Aberdeen to the north-eastern districts of Scotland.

The kirk and kirk lands of Ellon belonged to the Cistertian abbey of Kinloss in Moray. It is probable that they were conferred on this abbey at its foundation, in the middle of the twelfth century. They certainly belonged to it in the thirteenth century, as we find that, at an early period of the century following, Robert I. confirmed to the abbot of Kinloss, the advocation and donation of the Kirk of Ellon. The Kinloss monks probably acquired Ellon from one of the earliest Earls of Buchan. The Buchan family seem to have been partial to the Cistertian order, as they founded and endowed an abbey of this order at Deer.

In former times, Ellon, from its belonging to the abbey of Kinloss, was frequently designated "Kinloss Ellon." From an early period, the Bishop of Aberdeen also had lands of considerable extent in this parish.

Ellon appears to have been, from the most ancient period to which record extends, the head place of jurisdiction of the Earldom of Buchan. Among other proofs in evidence of this point, is a charter now in the possession of Captain Ferguson of Pitfour, granted before the year 1206, by which Fergus Earl of Buchan, in conveying certain lands to John, the son of Uthred, takes him bound to yield, along with his other vassals, suit and presence thrice a year at the Earl's head court of Ellon. The court in question was held, according to primitive usage, in the open air. Its sessions took place on a slight eminence, rising up from the left bank of the Ythan, about eighty or ninety yards below the site of the bridge of Ellon.

You can read more of this quite large account at

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

I might add that Alan McKenzie has volunteered to start on the Edinburgh Statistical Account for us so watch for that in the weeks ahead.

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

This week have added...

A Highland Feud by Sir Walter Scott and here is how it starts...

The principal possessors of the Hebrides were originally of the name of MacDonald, the whole being under the government of a succession of chiefs who bore the name of Donald of the Isles, and were possessed of authority almost independent of the kings of Scotland. But this great family becoming divided into two or three branches, other chiefs settled in some of the islands, and disputed the property of the original proprietors. Thus, the MacLeods, a powerful and numerous clan, who had extensive estates on the mainland, made themselves masters at a very early period, of a great part of the large island of Skye, seized upon much of the Long Island, as the isles of Lewis and Harris are called, and fought fiercely with the MacDonalds and other tribes of the islands. The following is an example of the mode in which these feuds were conducted:—

You can read the rest of this story at

The other stories can be read at

Household Encyclopaedia
Got up another four pages this week which contained...

Cane, Cane Sugar, Canker, Canna, Cantaloup, Canterbury Bell, Cantharides, Canvas, Canvas Shoes, Capacity, Cape, Cape Gooseberry, Caper, Caper Sauce, Capercailzie, Capon, Cappings and Cornices, Capping, Capsicum, Carafe, Carambola, Caramel, Caramel Pudding, Caramel Sauce, Carat, Caravan, Caraway, Carbide, Carbolic Acid, Carbolic Soap, Carbonic Acid, Carbonic Acid Snow, Carbonic Monoxide, Carbon Paper.

You can read these at

Should you wish you can check out previous pages at

The History of the Highland Clearances
By Alexander MacKenzie (1914)

This week we've added...

The Hebrides
North Uist
Boreraig and Suisinish, Isle of Skye
A Contrast
South Uist and Barra
The Island of Rum
The Island of Mull

Here is how the chapter on The Island of Mull starts...

In many parts of Argyllshire the people have been weeded out none the less effectively, that the process generally was of a milder nature than that adopted in some of the places already described. By some means or other, however, the ancient tenantry have largely disappeared to make room for the sheep farmer and the sportsman. Mr. Somerville, Lochgilphead, writing on this subject, says, "The watchword of all is exterminate, exterminate the native race. Through this monomania of landlords the cottier population is all but extinct; and the substantial yeoman is undergoing the same process of dissolution." He then proceeds:-

"About nine miles of country on the west side of Loch Awe, in Argyllshire, that formerly maintained 45 families, are now rented by one person as a sheep farm; and in the island of Luing, same county, which formerly contained about 50 substantial farmers, besides cottiers, this number is now reduced to about six. The work of eviction commenced by giving, in many cases, to the ejected population, facilities and pecuniary aid for emigration; but now the people are turned adrift, penniless and shelterless, to seek a precarious subsistence on the sea-board, in the nearest hamlet or village, and in the cities, many of whom sink down helpless paupers on our poor-roll; and others, festering in our villages, form a formidable Arab population, who drink our money contributed as parochial relief. This wholesale depopulation is perpetrated, too, in a spirit of invidiousness, harshness, cruelty, and injustice, and must eventuate in permanent injury to the moral, political, and social interests of the kingdom. . . The immediate effects of this new system are the dissociation of the people from the land, who are virtually denied the right to labour on God's creation. In L— ., for instance, garden ground and small allotments of land are in great demand by families, and especially by the aged, whose labouring days are done, for the purpose of keeping cows, and by which they might be able to earn an honest, independent maintenence for their families, and whereby their children might be brought up to labour instead of growing up vagabonds and thieves. But such, even in our centres of population, cannot be got; the whole is let in large farms and turned into grazing. The few patches of bare pasture, formed by the delta of rivers, the detritus of rocks, and tidal deposits, are let for grazing at the exorbitant rent of £3 10s. each for a small Highland cow; and the small space to be had for garden ground is equally extravagant. The consequence of these exorbitant rents and the want of agricultural facilities is a depressed, degraded, and pauperised population."

Note: I might add here that when you see an amount of money mentioned it doesn't really make any sense to us today. Should you want to get a better handle on that worth then go to

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

Scotland's Influence on Civilization
By The Rev. Leroy J. Halsey, D.D., LL.D.

We've added the following chapters this week...

Chapter XII
The Churches of Scotland

Chapter XIII
Scottish Art and History

Chapter XIV
The Scot Abroad: or, Influence of Scotland on America and Other Lands

Chapter XV
Retrospect and Conclusion

and this now completes this book.

Here is how Chapter XIV - "The Scot Abroad" starts...

THE picture of what the Scotsman has been and of what he has done on his native soil would not be quite complete without some description, however brief, of his achievements abroad. It would be a curious chapter indeed which should tell us of all his doings and all his migrations—his adventurous wanderings over sea and land, his daring inquests after fortune wherever fortune might be found, his enterprising industries in all civilized nations and his thriving colonies on many an inhospitable and savage shore. It would be difficult to say where the Scotsman has not gone, and wherever he has gone, as a general rule, he has gone to stay—at least, until he was able to return full-handed. He has acted on the principle that our planet was made to be possessed and improved by civilized men, and there are not many climes, however uninviting at first, in which he has not found a lodgment and taken root, and which he has not made the better by reason of his being there.

The whole story of what Scotsmen have done abroad would, in fact, widen itself out into the colonial, political, missionary and commercial history of modern times; for there are not many trading-posts in British America, or missionary stations on continent and island, or flourishing colonies within the wide migrations of the English-speaking race, where the bold and hardy sons of Scotland have not lent a helping hand. They are to be found in all parts of India; they have pushed their exploring way through and through the Dark Continent and founded missionary stations on its eastern and southern coasts. They have built up flourishing communities and churches in Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and other provinces of Australia, and have borne a part in the civilization and colonization of New Zealand and the scattered Polynesian world. From an early period they have formed a constituent element in the settlement and development of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canadas. In the whole history and growth of the United States no European nationality has contributed a more important part than the Scotch and their nearest kindred, the Scotch-Irish.

Of course, Scotland could never have held within its narrow bounds an athletic and enterprising race like this when once it had tasted the tree of knowledge and gotten hold of that intellectual and moral power which fitted it for a wider sphere. It was inevitable that so confined a territory should lose its educated sons and daughters, and that they should find their way to all parts of the earth where fortune was to be made by industry, or battles won by valor, or where power and distinction were to be gained by intelligence and character. A hive so full of life and active energy could not help swarming.

One of the most prominent characteristics of the Scotch emigrant in every land is that he has always carried his Christian principles with him. They were too deeply inwrought by the home-training into every fibre of his being to be easily laid aside. Hence, in every country where he has made his dwelling-place, he has sought to plant his own ideas and to build up his own institutions of religion and education. By the law of his being he has been a propagandist, a teacher, a missionary, as well as a worker. From his youth he has been a believer in the Bible, the church, the school, the college. What was good for Scotland he has held to be good for other lands. Hence, among heathen tribes, to the extent of his influence and example, he has always appeared in the character of a teacher and civilizer. And the civilization introduced by him has not been more distinctly Scottish than it has been Christian.

Nothing could better illustrate the Christian and educational influences carried by Scottish emigrants and missionaries to the ends of the earth than the history of the British colonies in the great island-continent of Australia. There a grand Christian empire, whose geographical area is nearly equal to Europe, has been rising within the southern hemisphere since the opening of the present century. Its principal growth has been by English-speaking colonists and missionaries of Christian churches in the British isles, and in that colonization Scotland has borne no inconsiderable part. "One hundred years ago," said a delegate from Australia to the Edinburgh Pan-Presbyterian Council of 1877, the Rev. Alexander J. Campbell, "when the American States were separating themselves and their destinies from Great Britain, God put into Scotland's hands the continent of Australia. 'Go there,' he seemed to say to her, 'to that vast habitable land; fill it with men, and, instructed by the experience of the past, rear there a Christian nation self-controlled and free.'" The first Presbyterian minister who .made a permanent settlement in the country, in 1823, was from the Church of Scotland, and he for many years stood alone. This was the Rev. John Dunmore Lang, D. D., an eminent scholar and divine, who by his faithful toil and repeated visits to the mother-country did much to place the new colony on a career of successful development.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page of the book where you can read the other chapters is at

Arbroath and its Abbey
By David Miller

This week we've added...

Chapter IX - Church of St. Vigeans
1. Fabric of Church and Old Monuments. 2. Altars of St Vigian and St Sebastian. 3. Priests and Ministers of St Vigeans since A.D. 1200.

Chapter X - Possessions of the Abbey
1. Lands, Baronies, Villages, &c.—In Angus, Mearns, Perthshire, Fifeshire, Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Inverness-shire. 2. Tenements in Burghs. 3. Fishings. 4. Ferryboats. 5. Woods and Forests. 6. Saltworks. 7. Churches, Tithes, &c. 8. Original Annual Rents. 9. Burghs. 10. Rents at Dissolution of the Abbey.

Chapter XI - Subordinate Officers of the Abbey
1. Sub-Prior. 2. Steward. 3. Chamberlain. 4. Terrarius or Land-Steward. 5. Sacristan. 6. Granitor. 7. Cellarer. 8. Master of Works. 9. Judge or Deemster. 10. Justiciar or Bailie. 11. Mair and Coroner.

Chapter XI starts...

IT is not very easy at this period, and in this country, which now possesses no original monasteries, to define the positions and duties of the various officers who are from time to time mentioned in the Abbey writings. In such an establishment these officers were numerous ; although it is probable that the same office may have sometimes borne different names in earlier and later periods, while new offices may have been created as older offices became extinct or degenerated into sinecures. The writings of Arbroath Abbey allude to the Sub-Prior, the Steward, the Chamberlain, the Terrarius or Land Steward, the Sacristan, the Granitor, the Cellarer, the Master of Works, the Judge (or Deemster), the Justiciar or Bailie, and the Mair and Coroner.

1. The SUB-PRIOR was the Abbot's depute in religious and strictly monastic matters; and during the early period of the Abbey history appears to have borne the simple designation of Prior. He acted sometimes the part of a chamberlain; and rents and lands are stipulated to be paid to him. In the Abbot's absence he occasionally granted charters, and acted as his vicegerent in other matters. Sub-Priors of the name of Richard Guthrie were successively elected Abbots in 1450 and 1471, if these do not both denote the same person. The latter was also styled Professor of Sacred Theology. The Sub-Prior presided ex officio at elections of the Abbots ; and during the late degenerate time of commendams, pluralities, and absenteeism, the actual domestic government of the Abbey seems to have been practically left to him.

2. The office of STEWARD or Senescallus was held by John de Pollok about 1202, and then during a long period by a person named Adam, who is witness to numerous charters granted by Gilchrist Earl of Angus, and others. Rayner the son of Allan, was Steward in the time of Abbot Bernard. In 1387 the office was held by "Alexander Skrymchur of Aberbrothoc our Stewart;" and seven years afterwards this "Alexander Skyrmechur" is designed Justiciar of the Regality.

3. The CHAMBERLAIN is repeatedly alluded to in the monastic writs from the foundation of the Abbey till about the year 1521, as distinct from the bailie or justiciar. During the earlier period he seems to have been an officer of importance. He had charge of the Abbey rents, many of which are stipulated to be paid to him. For example, the rents of the teinus of Arbroath were on 30th April 1501, provided to be payable to the "Sub-Prior, Chamberlain, and Master of Works, for the sustentation of the fabric of our place." Afterwards certain rents are ordered to be paid to the Chamberlain, having the special mandate of the Abbot for that effect. The Bailie was sometimes styled Chamberlain; but it is probable that the duties of the office were actually performed by one bearing the title of Chamberlain, either as deputed by the Bailie, or appointed by the Abbot and chapter. The duties of the Chamberlain, like those of the Sacrist, Cellarer, and some other offices, were generally, if not always, performed by a monk.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

History of Curling
By John Kerr (1890)

Added another chapter this week...

Chapter III. Historical and poetical references

Here is a bit from Chapter 3...

"In ancient days fame tells the fact
That Scotland's heroes were na slack
The heads o' stubborn foes to crack,
An' mak the feckless flee, boys !
Wi' brave hearts beating true and warns,
They aften tried the curling charm,
To cheer the heart an' nerve the arm
The roarin' rink for me, boys!"

Alexander Maclagan.

TO leave no stone unturned that might illustrate the History of Ancient Curling has been our endeavour in the foregoing chapter. By a study of the different types thus brought under notice, the development of the game may be distinctly traced. The testimony of the rocks is not, however, to be too much depended on. Curlers who worship antiquity may hesitate before making Stirling; their Mecca, because of the venerable black Caaba-stone that is enshrined in the Macfarlane Museum there. The stone itself is old, but the date (1511) inserted in it seems comparatively new; and this may be the case with other specimens that put in claims to great antiquity. We must now look beyond words of doubtful origin that are used in play, and stones of doubtful age that are preserved in museums, to historians and poets, whose works may be expected slowly but surely to reflect the customs and amusements of the people. Such information as these convey cannot but prove valuable, and we are therefore dealing with the records of the game in the order of their importance, when we proceed to notice the evidences of its origin and progress that are found in our literature. Supposing that what we have stated as to the obscurity of this form of winter amusement before the invention of the circular-stone is correct, we do not expect to find much notice taken of it in its earlier staves. In this we are not disappointed, for

No mention is made of the game of curling by any of our Scottish historians and poets previous to the year 1600,

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Have added The Improvement of Hill Pasture and here is how it starts...

A TREATISE on such a subject as the above requires no lengthened introduction. It is presumed that pastoral farmers do not require to be told at this time of day that the improvement of hill pasture is a matter of national importance. It must be as apparent to all of them, as it is to us, that a large extent of the thirteen million acres of Scottish mountain-land might be converted into useful and remunerative pasture. True, some good work has been done within the past ten or fifteen years in the direction of "making two blades of grass grow where only one grew before," but this only goes to show more forcibly the importance of further improvement. The land that has been drained and limed, and so increased in fertility and value, affords, by the additional support it gives to the sheep stocks of the country, sufficient foretaste of the good that would flow from greater enterprise in the improvement of pasture. Pastoral farmers have had and are having their share of the deep-seated and protracted agricultural depression, but they are not far removed from a lengthened succession of tolerably good and prosperous years. In view of this fact, it cannot be said that they made the most of their time for twenty or thirty years previous to 1880 in improving the value of their holdings. Though we venture this remark, however, it might be too much to assume that tenant-farmers are solely responsible for the neglect. Owners as well as occupiers—and in some cases the owners occupy their own land—are to blame, for it could hardly be expected that a tenant with probably only the security which the terms of a nineteen years' lease provides, would show great enterprise in the fertilisation of mountain-land. Such an operation involves a considerable outlay, and this outlay should, in our opinion, be mutually borne by landlord and tenant. By landlords advancing their tenants sufficient means upon stipulated interest, say 4 per cent., a powerful impulse would be lent to the development of pastoral resources of the country. The Agricultural Holdings Act (1883), defective though it is in many respects, will impart greater confidence to tenants in the expenditure of money in the fertilisation of pasture lands; but the low price of wool, combined with the recent fall of from 15 to 30 per cent. in the price of sheep, debars them from taking advantage of the security thus extended them. For the present they have difficulty in making ends meet with the utmost economy; and while this lasts there can be little hope of the increased attention being directed to the improvement of hill pasture which it so well deserves.

It may not be out of place to mention that there are at present (1886) close on a hundred pastoral farms unlet in Scotland—in addition to those in the owners' occupation—representing an acreage of about 52,076, a fact mainly attributable to the long-continued agricultural depression.

You can read this account at

Other accounts can be read at

Annals of Garelochside
By W. C. Maughan (1897)

We have now started on another new book and here is part of the Preface to set the scene...

THE success which attended his book Rosneath: Past and Present, has encouraged the author to attempt a larger work treated in a similar style. There is so much of interest in the whole neighbourhood of the Gareloch, and it is such a favourite resort in summer, that it is hoped that a careful topographical study of the parishes of Row and Cardross, as they existed in the latter part of last century, and coming down to the present day, will secure approval. It is thought desirable to incorporate Rosneath with the other parishes, because the author has gained much additional information upon the subject. Many noble families have owned the lands near the Gareloch, and played their part in the affairs of the nation, although in some instances, they no longer are connected with Dunbartonshire.

The first part of the book treats of the County of Dunbarton as a whole, and gives some details as to the life and pursuits of the inhabitants of that part of Scotland.

Particulars regarding the old industries and occupations, as well as about the social habits of the landowners and peasantry, and the many changes in the ownership of the estates, form an interesting and instructive picture.

In discoursing upon the separate parishes of Row, Cardross, and Rosneath, the author wished to point out the ancient holdings of the various families, and to specify what they did to bring out the resources of the soil. The old ecclesiastical divisions are noted, and details given which will be acceptable to the student of Church history.

In various instances the author was fortunate in being able to draw upon the recollections of very aged persons, whose memories happily retained a wonderful vigour, and who could give graphic pictures of scenes and customs of over eighty years ago. The favourite town of Helensburgh demanded a full and careful account, and its gradual rise, from a single row of thatched houses on the shore to its present extensive boundaries, cannot but be of interest to many.

Though some of the family matters given may seem rather minute, still, as a picture of men and manners, they have a value of their own. The ecclesiastical details, taken from authentic sources, characterise a state of matters now passing away.

The notes and anecdotes as to the agriculture, ornithology, and natural history of the Gareloch, indicate that much may be gleaned in this department. Until within a few years, the district of the Gareloch was rich in specimens of game, aquatic, and sea-birds, and some account is given of their various haunts and habits.

The first chapter is now up at

Shinty's Place and Space in World Sport
I aim at doing some pages on Sports in Scotland and as I am working on Curling right now I've been hunting for information on other sports and during this search found this text on Shinty which I thought you'd enjoy reading.

It starts...

Shinty - iomain or camanachd in Scottish Gaelic - was introduced to Scotland along with Christianity and the Gaelic language nearly two thousand years ago by Irish missionaries. Indeed, it is worth noting, 1,400 years after St Columba's death, that the venerable Saint is said to have arrived on these shores as a result of a little local difficulty at an Irish hurling match. (2)

While shinty's place in world sport has been recognised in terms of its historical pedigree and connection with its cultural cousin of hurling in Ireland, its provenance world-wide and its significance as one of the cultural anchors which emphasised the "Scottish-ness" of Gaels forced abroad has been consistently under-estimated, if not ignored completely.

Shinty, or some similar version of stick and ball games, has been played through time virtually UK-wide, from wind-swept St Kilda to the more hospitable and gentler plains of the Scottish Borders; from the Yorkshire moors to Blackheath in London. It is a game of great antiquity. It is linked (not always with complete accuracy) to golf and ice hockey, and is also to be found in a much wider space from the plains of Montevideo in the mid-nineteenth century, to Toronto and Canada's Maritime Provinces; from the blistering heat of New Year's Day in Australia 150 years ago, to Cape Town and also the war-ravaged wastes of Europe through two World Wars.

Shinty, as with many other aspects of Highland heritage (notably the Gaelic language) has been frequently threatened: by Statute, the influence of Sabbatarianism following the Reformation, the savage dislocation of the Highland Clearances and in more modern times, by harsh economic reality and a falling birth-rate.

This paper will, in defining shinty's place and space in world sport:

And you can read the rest of this article at

Scottish Week in Toronto
David Hunter, the President of the Scottish Studies Foundation, has arranged a set of 3 videos of this years "Scottish Week" at the CN Tower in Toronto. An interesting show if you have the time to watch it. You can see this at

Scottish Memorials in Rome
I quite by chance came across a book that has this chapter in it so thought I'd publish it on the site for you to read. It starts...

AN old tradition relates that Christianity had not long been established over the Roman Empire when one day a youth, weary and footsore, entered one of the gates of the Imperial City. He came from a land in the far north which few had heard of, and he had long travelled "per mare et per terras" in his desire to study the truths of faith by the tombs of the Apostles. How long Ninian remained in Rome is not stated; however, by command of the Pope, he eventually retraced his steps home, preached the gospel to his fellow-countrymen, and founded the church of Galloway, about two hundred years before St. Augustine landed in England.

Scotland, however, was too far away and the difficulties of travelling too great for many to follow in Ninian 's footsteps, and so the clergy was trained, not in Rome, nor on the Continent, but in the local monastic schools, which in Scotland, as elsewhere, were then the homes of learning and the nurseries of science. After the monastic schools came the universities, and St. Andrews and Glasgow and Aberdeen became the great centres of intellectual work. It was only after the religious troubles of the sixteenth century that the project of instituting a Scots college in Rome was formed.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Scots Rabbi creates world's first Jewish Tartan
Got this article in which I thought you might enjoy...

It's finally arrived!

For over 300 years Scots Jews have waited for their own tartan and now - here it is!

The official Jewish Tartan is an authentic Scottish made tartan created by Heritage Experts and Rabbis. It is the only Scottish Jewish Tartan approved and registered by the Scottish Tartans Authority and it is available direct from or internationally renowned weavers Lochcarron of Scotland.

Initiated by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs - the only Scottish born Rabbi living in Scotland, it's 100 per cent Kosher - being a non wool-linen mix, and as it incorporates many aspects of Scottish-Jewish cultural and religious history, it is the perfect representation of our heritage.

Rabbi Mendel said: "For over 300 years Scots Jews have waited for their own tartan and now here it is. Scotland has a rich tapestry of culture and history and for many years has welcomed other people into its midst.

You can read the rest of this article and see the tartan at

Betsy Miller, Scotland's first Ship Captain
Got in an email which led to this article which starts...

Betsy Miller achieved the unparalleled distinction of being the first woman ever to be registered as a ships captain and named as such, in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Betsy was the eldest daughter born to Captain William Miller and his wife Mary, who lived in Saltcoats, a small coastal town on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Captain Miller ran a shipping company carrying cargo across the waters to Ireland.

As a young child, Betsy would accompany her father on his journeys. Betsy was totally captivated by the sea and dreamed of being master of her own ship one day, following in the footsteps of her father.

However, in those early days it was unthinkable that a woman would work on board a sailing vessel let alone be ‘Master of the Ship’. Yet, how young Betsy would dream …

You can read the rest of this article at

Gazetteer of the United States of America
This is a gazetteer published in 1853 and I believe is a valuable resource seeing as this is a time when many Scots would have arrived in the USA. And so from an historical perspective it's interesting to match a time period of a lot of our history of Scots in America. The publication is in pdf format and can be viewed at

A Chat with Jim Hewitson
Frank Shaw had a chat with Jim Hewitson, the author living in the Orkney Islands, and here is what they had to say.

Q: Usually I begin by asking an author how long it took to write his/her book but, in your case, it took over forty years before this book became a reality. So I’ll move to asking what gave you the inspiration to compile a good portion of your life’s work into this beautiful book.

A: Doors opening and closing – it happens all through your life, doesn’t it.

I had been gathering my bits and pieces for years and even though publishers did not reckon it was commercial, I decided to press ahead. I think the work is an interesting mix of journalistic observation, short stories, poems, university essays and miscellaneous items and comes together quite neatly. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

You can read the rest of this article at

Scottish Studies Foundation AGM
7th June 2008 (Saturday)
Emmanuel College, Toronto

And a real International group from New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, USA and Canada and you get lunch and coffee within the price!!!  Look forward to seeing you there!

9:30 a.m.         Registration
10:00 a.m.       Welcome from the Presidents
10:30 a.m.       Shannon O’Connor, University of Guelph, read by Maya Holson
                       Andrew Hinson, University of Guelph
11:20 a.m.       Tanja Bueltmann, Victoria University of Wellington
                       Kim Sullivan, University of Otago
                       Kyle Hughs, University of Ulster
12:30 p.m.       Lunch and Scottish Studies Foundation AGM
1:30 p.m.         Keynote Address
                       R. J. Morris, University of Edinburgh
2:20 p.m.         Catherine Bourbeau, University of Aberdeen
                       Kevin James University of Guelph
3:30 p.m.         Coffee Break
3:45 p.m.         Gus Noble, Chicago
                       Greg Gillespie, Brock University       
                       Graeme Morton, University of Guelph
4:55 p.m.         Closing Remarks

75 Queen’s Park Crescent E, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7 (Rm 1)
Registration fee (including lunch): $40 for members of the Scottish
Studies Foundation and any St Andrew’s Society, $45 for non-members,
(cheques payable to ‘Scottish Studies Foundation’).
Special $15 Student Rate. To help us arrange catering, please confirm
attendance in advance to:
Centre for Scottish Studies
Department of History, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1
Tel: 519 824 4120, ext 53209
Email: Web:

$10,000 Phone Call
And in conclusion, Alastair Campbell kindly sent this into us...

An American decided to write a book about famous churches around the world. So he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to Orlando, thinking that he would start by working his way across the USA from South to North.

On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read '$10,000 per call'.

The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for.

The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God.

The American thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Atlanta .

There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orland and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was.

She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God.

'O.K., thank you,' said the American.

He then travelled all across America, Africa, England, Japan, New Zealand. In every church he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same '$US10,000 per call' sign under it.

The American decided to travel to Scotland to see if Scots had the same phone.

He arrived in Scotland and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same looking golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read '40 pence per call.'

The American was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign.

'Father, I've travelled all over the world and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in all of them the price was $10,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?'

The priest smiled and answered,

'You're in Scotland now, son - it's a local call'.


If you are proud to be a Scot pass this on!

Or be proud to know one!!!!!!!!!

And that's it for now and hope you all have an enjoyable weekend :-)


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