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12th December 2008

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
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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
The Scottish Nation
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
History of Glasgow
The Scottish Historical Review
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Sketches of North Carolina
John Knox, A Biography
Merchants and Municipal Benefactors from Scots in America
Robert Burns - His Life In His Letters (New Book)
The Herring Lassies (New Book)
Polar Bear attack in Canada!
Calum Colvin, Scottish Artist
Electric Scotland's 2009 Calendar

Bit the bullet this week and have arranged to get my house re-roofed! Not an insignificant cost but needs doing. As the US/CAN dollar is in my favour right now I figured this was the time to get it done.


As you know I like to work on different subjects and am currently working on "Children's Rhymes. Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories
A Book for Bairns and Big Folk" by Robert Ford (1904).

I will say that this book is well worth having on the site but it's a monumental pain to do as the font is not friendly to my ocr software so I'm almost having to type it all in.


I've been very interested in noting the large amount of comments coming into our comment service from school children. One commented that the page he was reading was going to help him with a test he was doing. He later came back to say he'd received an A+ :-)

Quite a few are also reading our children's stories and also commenting on them.

While there are some daft comments coming in there have been some really interesting comments as well and so this looks to become a good service for the site. I note that some of the children like experimenting with the smilies :-)


I put up a Christmas graphic on our index page and if you click on it you'll get to our special Christmas page we post up every year. You can get to this at


We were up and down during Wednesday evening. This was due to a faulty power supply and since being replaced we've been fine.

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 Mark Hirst. Mark has done two indepth articles this week, one on "Calman Commission proves damp squid, but what’s next on the menu?" and "More than a game". The first article explores what the commission said about an Independent Scotland and the second is about whether there should be a GB football team.

In Peter's cultural section he's telling us about Fishing Boats...

One of the most interesting programmes on the new digital Gaelic television channel BBC Alba was a weekly visit to different museums such as Fort William and The Smith in Stirling. The one that really caught my eye started at sea and featured the Fraserburgh registered Fifie Reaper. The Reaper was built at Sandhaven near Fraserburgh in 1902 as a 70 foot two-masted lugger and was first registered at Fraserburgh in the same year (FR958). In 1916 she had an engine fitted for the first time – a Gardner 75 hp. She was purchased by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstuther, Fife, in 1979 and restored to her original appearance and now proudly occupies a berth at Anstruther, just in front of the Museum. The museum which is open all-year round was founded in 1969 and has considerably expanded over the years. The site has connections to fishing going back over 600 years when the land was owned by the Abbey of Balmerino and rented to local fishermen. The collection of over 65,000 objects includes historic boats, such as the Reaper, paintings, fishing gear, costumes, photographs, domestic items and much more. The museum has been rightly recognised by the Scottish Government as being of ‘National Significance’. The Fisheries Museum also includes a ‘Memorial Room’ which tells the ‘real price of fish’ – the lives of the many fishermen lost around the Scottish coast. Visit for full details including visiting times.

Only a fish recipe would be appropriate for a week when we visit the Fisheries Museum and mackerel fresh from the Forth is just the ticket. Enjoy Mackerel Baked in Foil but remember that the real price of fish is paid in blood.

Mackerel Baked in Foil

Ingredients: 2 whole mackerel; 1 lemon; 4 fresh rosemary sprigs; 2 garlic cloves, sliced; 1 small red onion, thinly sliced; 4 tbsp cider or apple juice; boiled potatoes; roughly chopped parsley, to serve; salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 or fan oven 180C/350F/Gas 4 from cold. Put each fish on a large square of tin foil or baking paper on a baking sheet. Season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Slice the lemon, then cut each slice in half. Tuck the lemon slices inside each fish with a couple of rosemary sprigs and a few garlic slices. Scatter over the onion and pour 2 tbsp of cider or apple juice over each fish. Wrap tin foil or baking paper loosely around each fish to make a parcel, and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with parsley.

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

we've got another diary entry from Christina McKelvie MSP at

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

We've now completed the W's with Wishart, Witherspoon, Wodrow, Wood, Wyntoun and Wynzet and onto the Y's with Young.

An interesting account of Wood which starts...

WOOD, SIR ANDREW, of Largo, a celebrated Scottish admiral of the 16th century, is generally stated to have been born about the middle of the 15th century at the old Kirkton of Largo, Fifeshire, and was originally a merchant trader of Leith. His genius for naval warfare had been cultivated by his frequent encounters with French, English, and Portuguese pirates in defence of his ships and merchandise. By James III. he was employed in several warlike and diplomatic missions, which he executed with fidelity and honour. He possessed and commanded two armed vessels, of about 300 tons each, called The Flower and the Yellow Caravel. With these he made voyages to the Dutch and Hanse towns, whither in those days the Scots sent wool and hides, bringing “therefrom small mercery and haberdashery ware in great quantities; moreover, half the Scottish ships came generally laden from Flanders with cart wheels and wheelbarrows.” He bravely attacked and repulsed a squadron of English ships which appeared in the Firth of Forth in 1481, and the same year gallantly and successfully defended Dumbarton when besieged by the fleet of Edward IV. James III. granted to him, as master of the “Yellow Kerval,” (Alexander duke of Albany being then lord-high-admiral,) a tack or lease of the lands of Largo to keep his ship in repair, and the same monarch, on 18th March 1482, conferred on him for his eminent services by land and sea, in peace and in war, a charter under the great seal, to him and his heirs in fee, of the lands and village of Largo. He also knighted him. This charter was confirmed by James IV. in 1497.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can read all these entries at

Poetry and Stories
Another poem from John Henderson called "Faither an Dochter" which you can read at

We also have some new poems and articles from Donna, Alastair and others in our Article Service at

I might add that I post up a story or two each week about things happening in Scotland under the category "Current Affairs".

One of the stories from Donna this week is...

Gramma's True Confessions, Depression Memories - Page 14

Gramma’s True Confessions - Depressions Memories

“What’s a depression, Gramma?” My grandchild asks.

“Do you mean when a person is sad?” My younger siblings, children and now grandchildren hate it when I answer their question with a question, but, oh well. Can a leopard change its spots? There I go again.

“No Gramma, not that kind of depression.” The child’s wary expression tells me what they are thinking. “Gramma is trying to make us think, and I’m not gonna’.”

“Oh you mean the one that has to do with economy?” I acknowledge their inquiry.

“Yes, that one. The one everyone is talking about. I don’t know what they mean.” This innocent child is honestly asking for understanding.

“I remember when I was your age,” my grandchild is well aware of my story telling ways and comfortably rests their chin on hands in readiness for the forthcoming tale.

“It seems my memory of that time period is all in greys, black white and browns. Even the colors were drab and dull. Unlike our home in the Osage the house of my Ponca grandmother held severely plain furnishings, clean, but definitely of no particular style. Her lifestyle and regimen went to cooking and very little time was spent on decorating the house. Dark green, blackout, window shades were behind the colorless, shallow folds of curtains. Today that kind of decor might be found in a television show back drop for a terror movie. Nevertheless, my Native American grandmother was gentle and kind. Her pleasant ways off set the severity of her surroundings.

I suppose my personality might be called precocious, today. Events going on around me were what were of interest to me. Quietly, lest I be discovered, I observed many of the adult’s activities. Those were the days of “children should be seen and not heard.”

Persons of curiosity for me, were what Gramma called Tramps, who came to her door with quite some regularity. The tattered men, some young and some quite aged held a humble, quiet attitude.

“Please Mam, I’m hungry?” Their request was always the same. Gramma kept something warm in the oven at all times so that she could hand the sad eyed men, something to eat. No napkin or paper towel was available so short on rations were the people of the United States. She handed them the food with nothing but her hand and they willingly accepted the gift with a humble, “Thank you, Kindly Lady.”

Once I broke my cover of quiet observance by asking an uncle, “How do they know to come to Gramma’s door and none of the other neighbors.”

“They have a code they use, and a place to put up informative marks. The symbols tell of the location of a house where a kindly woman will have food for them. These may be scratched on a telephone pole, or someplace where they, in advance, have agreed with their fellow wandering men to look.”

So this was the way of that family. The uncle who took time to explain to a child the goings on of the world in depression and the grandmother who took time to share a bit of her food supplies with the hungry, pitiful men, who came to her door. And this is all I can tell you about The Great Depression at the moment. Go on the computer and read about it yourself.,0,1456860.story 

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
We have now added the Parish of Carnwath to the Lanark volume. Here is a bit from it...

Name, Extent, &c.—THE parish of Carnwath is situated in the upper ward of Lanarkshire, 27 miles S. E. of Glasgow, and 25 miles S. W. of Edinburgh. In some of the old writings belonging to the family of Lockhart of Lee, who is now the proprietor of the estate, I find it frequently written Cairnwath. The name is descriptive of the situation of the place, as there is a cairn immediately west of the house and village of Carnwath, (which will be noticed more particularly afterwards,) and near the bottom of that cairn there is a wath, which, as my predecessor remarks, means in the Saxon language a ford. Such is probably the derivation of the name. The oldest people in the place report, that the wath or ford at the cairn was almost the only pass across the burn of Carnwath at all practicable before it was confined by a cut being made within a narrower space, and bridges thrown over it. The parish is very extensive, being 12 miles from south to north, and 8 from east to west. Its form is pretty regular, (an oblong square,) and it is bounded on the west by the parish of Carstairs; on the east by Dunsyre; on the south by the parishes of Libberton and Pettinain; and on the north by West Calder.

You can read this account at

The index page for the New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845) can be found at

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

This week have added...

The Unlucky Top Boots

This is chapter 2 of a 2 chapter story and here is how it starts...

About four miles distant from the town in which Mr Aikin lived, there resided an extensive coal-mine proprietor of the name of Davidson; and it so happened that he, too, had a predilection for that particular article of dress, already so often named, viz., top boots; indeed, he was never known to wear anything else in their place. Davidson was an elderly gentleman, harsh and haughty in his manner, and extremely mean in all his dealings—a manner and disposition which made him greatly disliked by the whole country, and especially by his workmen, the miners, of whom he employed upwards of a hundred and Fifty. The abhorrence in which Mr Davidson was at all times held by his servants, was at this particular moment greatly increased by an attempt which he was making to reduce his workmen’s wages; and to such a height had their resentment risen against their employer, that some of the more ferocious of them were heard to throw out dark hints of personal violence; and it was much feared by Davidson’s friends—of whom he had, however, but a very few, and these mostly connected with him by motives of interest—that such an occurrence would, in reality, happen one night or other, and that at no great distance of time. Nor was this fear groundless.

You can read the rest of this at

The other stories can be read at

The History of Glasgow
By Robert Renwick LL.D. and Sir John Lindsay L.D. in 3 volumes (1921)

We are now onto the final 3rd volume and added this week are the following chapters...

Chapter XXVII
"The Tobacco Lords"

Chapter XXVIII
Borrowing and Bridge Building

Chapter XXIX
A Typical Glasgow Family

Chapter XXX
Prosperous Years

Chapter XXXI
James Watt: Canals and the Steam Engine

Chapter XXXII
Revolt of the American Colonies

Chapter XXXIII
Manufactures and Manufacturers

Here is how Chapter XXIX starts...

THE change of mind towards a more liberal view of life and more generous habit of living which became obvious in the city after the middle of the eighteenth century was a result not only of the tide of wealth which came flowing there from overseas, and the close communication with continental countries brought about by the tobacco trade, but of the closer relations with London which had gradually grown up since the Union. Already Glasgow business men were finding their way to the south, and establishing themselves in leading positions in the English capital.

Outstanding among these pioneers was a member of a family whose story strikingly illustrates the rising fortunes of that time. The Oswalds were of Orcadian descent, having migrated from Kirkwall to Wick, where their representative was a bailie in the seventeenth century. The bailie had two sons—James Oswald, Episcopal minister of Watten in Caithness, and George, Presbyterian minister of Dunnet in the same county. Each of these ministers, again, had two sons. The sons of the Episcopal minister, Richard and Alexander Oswald, came to Glasgow in time to profit by the development of the tobacco trade. They evidently also carried on a large business as wine merchants, for they appear frequently in the city records in receipt of payments for wine supplied for Communion in the city churches, as well as for gifts to "the town's friends" and " treating of nobility." [Burgh Records, 6th June, 1746. The " nobility " were treated to " claret wine " at 26s. sterling per dozen. On an occasion like the celebration of the King's birthnight, in October 1738, when the Town Councillors and their friends managed to put away seventeen and a half dozen "claret wine" and one dozen white wine, they were content with a less expensive vintage. Richard Oswald's charge was £18 18s. sterling for the consignment.] Richard was the more active of the brothers, and very soon took a leading part in industries outside the partnership. In 1741 he was a partner in the rope factory at Port-Glasgow which undertook, for certain concessions, to perform such public services as the repair of the quay and the dredging of the harbour [Ibid. 30th June, 1741, ]; and three years later, having become a partner in the bottle-work at the Broomielaw, he proceeded to put new energy into the business and extend the size of the factory. [Ibid. 17th Jan. 1744.] The brothers were suspected of Jacobite leanings, on account of their Episcopal connection, and, probably for that reason, Richard was employed as one of the six commissioners to treat with Hay, Prince Charles Edward's emissary, regarding the demands made upon the city in 1745. Alexander was one of the "sea adventurers" mentioned by McUre in his History in 1736, and his adventures were not confined entirely to the matters of peaceful trade.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The index page of the book is at

The Scottish Historical Review
I have added a couple more articles from these publications...

The Scots in Ulster
A close connection has existed for nearly a thousand years between the west of Scotland and the north of Ireland, and a stream of migration has for eight hundred years flown as strongly from east to west as from west to east.

Medical Folk-Lore in the Highlands of Scotland
The writer, Dr. Fortescue Fox, Strathpeffer Spa, and the Editor of The Lancet, have most kindly permitted us to reprint the following paper, which we are sure will prove most interesting to many of our readers.

You can read these articles at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
This week have added...

Four more pages which include, Chicken, Chickenpox, Chickweed, Chicory or Succory, Chiffon, Chiffonier or Cheffonier, Chignon, Chilblaines, Child: Its Care and Training, Childbirth.

You can see these at

The index page for this publication is at

Sketches of North Carolina
Historical and Biographical, illustrative of the Principles of a portion of her Early Settlers by Rev. William Henry Foote (1846)

We've now added several more chapters to this book...

Chapter XIX - Major-General Joseph Graham
His place of residence. His employment. His habits of intercourse. His origin. Time and place of his birth. His education. Enters the army, 1778. In various expeditions. Taken with a fever. At work in the field when the news of the enemy's approach reached him. Takes the field as Adjutant. The attack on Charlotte. The enemy three times repulsed. The Carolina forces retreat. Locke killed. Graham left for dead. Revives and is conveyed away. Taken to the Hospital. After his recovery raises a company of fifty-five men at his own expense, Dec., 1750. Battle of Cowpens, Jan. 1781. Posted at Cowan's Ford. Davidson killed. Graham follows the enemy. Surprises Hart's Mill. At the surprise of Col. Pyles. The time of enlistment expiring, his men return home. Rutherford raises a force and Graham becomes Major. Marches to Wilmington. His last engagement. Sheriff. Member of Assembly. Marries. Removes to Lincoln county. Appointed General. Marches against the Indians. Basis of his political creed. Extract from Judge Murphy's Oration. His religious creed. His moral and religious character and intercourse with men. Death and burial. His Portrait.

Chapter XX - Battle of King's Mountain
By whom drawn up. Situation of the country after Gates's defeat, 1780. Cornwallis sends out Col. Ferguson. His march. The increase of his force. Their arms. His threats to the Mountain Men (Tennesseeans and Kentuckians). McDowell, and Sevier, and Shelby, in consultation. Raise forces. The number in camp at place of rendezvous. Ferguson retreats and sends a dispatch to Cornwallis. His march to King's mountain. The Colonels send for a General Officer. In the meantime Col. Campbell commands. Col. Williams of South Carolina joins them on their march. Approach Ferguson's Camp. Plan of Battle. Come in sight of the enemy. Position of the enemy's camp. Order of the troops. The battle begins. Ferguson charges and is driven back; second and third charge. Fire all round the mountain. Ferguson charges repeatedly and is driven back; is wounded; is killed. Bearer of the flag shot down; another is raised. They throw down their arms. The killed and wounded. The court-martial. Executions. Monument to Major Chronicle and others. Col. Williams. Colonels DM'Dowcll, Hambritc, Sevier and Cleveland. Col. Campbell, of Virginia; his burial place. Anecdote of Col. Ferguson. Anecdote of Campbell. Anecdote of Preston.

Chapter XXI - The Battle at Guilford Court-House
Plan of the battle. Circumstances of the pursuit. Its end. Burning of M'Aden's library. The preludes of the battle. Col. Webster's escape. Cornwallis in Buffalo Congregation; in Alamance; at Dr. Caldwell's. The sufferings of the family. The burning of his library. The commencement of the battle. The battle-ground. The situation of Greene's army. Extract of a letter showing the effects of the first fire. Extract from a soldier's diary. Death of Col. Webster. The militia.

Chapter XXII - Minutes of the Synod of the Carolinas from 1783 to 1801, Inclusive with the Roll of the Members
Formation of the Synod. The Presbyteries and their members. The first meeting in Centre Rowan. An overture respecting the Catechism. Second meeting. The report respecting the Catechism taken up again. Overture on horse-racing, card-playing, dancing and revelling. Overture on attending on divine worship. Ordered that the overtures and answers be read in all the churches. Marriage with wife's sister's daughter condemned. Third .Meeting. Overtures for printing part of Dr. Doddridge's works. Day of Thanksgiving. Fourth Meeting. Preparation made for printing Dr. Doddridge's work on Regeneration, and his Rise and Progress. Decision respecting Psalmody. Question respecting Universalists sent up to the Assembly. Question respecting admitting Members, are they to assent to the Confession of Faith? &c. Commission of Synod appointed. Steps taken to collect materials for history of the Presbyterian Church. Domestic Missions commenced in earnest. Four Missionaries appointed. Statistical reports from the Presbyteries of Orange and South Carolina. Fifth Meeting. Decision of the General Assembly on the question sent up the last meeting respecting admitting Universalists to communion, in the negative. Printing of Doddridge's work. Report from the Commission of Synod on Missionary operations. A peculiar instruction to the missionaries. Their report on judicial business. Synod approved their doings. Sixth Meeting. Erring members to be speedily called upon. Letter from the Rev. Henry Pattillo; his request that it be admitted to record. Propose to send out laymen rather than seize upon foreigners. Report concerning Doddridge's works. Commission of Synod report concerning the Missionaries. Seventh Meeting. Synod direct the Presbytery of Orange to decide on the case of Mr. Archibald; which they forthwith did, and he was suspended. Directions respecting materials for history of the Church. Commission of Synod report respecting the Missionaries; full report. Mutual reports from Ministers and Sessions to Presbyteries. Eighth Meeting. Direct the Presbytery of Orange to ordain Mr. McGee sine titulo. Presbytery of Orange divided and Concord constituted. Report to Synod respecting the printing of Doddridge's works. Day of fasting appointed. Xinth Meeting. Failure of printing Doddridge's work. Hopewell Presbytery set off. Question respecting the evidence of baptized slaves. Injunction to give slaves religious instructions. Attention of Synod taken up by the difficulties in Abingdon Presbytery; a new Presbytery constituted there. Mr. Gilleland's memorial about his course respecting slavery. Synod agree with his Presbytery. Tenth Meeting. A Commission of Synod appointed; suspend the Independent Presbytery. .Minutes of the Commission of Synod. Its members; 14 ministers and 12 elders. The Commission restore the suspended members. Charges against Hezekiah Balch. 1st charge; of this he was cleared. 2d charge; false doctrines. This referred to the General Assembly; a curious statement. 3d charge; in part sustained. 4th charge; on this he was condemned by the Commission as irregular. Abingdon Presbytery divided, and Union Presbytery set off. Overture on promiscuous communion. Eleventh Meeting. Suspension removed from Mr. Crawford. Charges against Mr. Balch read. Mr. Balch brings charges against the old session. Extraordinary Session, 1799. Thirty folio pages of evidence produced and read. 3d and 4th charges against Mr. Balch not sustained. On the 5th charge the Synod decided against Mr. Balch. The two other charges not sustained. Synod suspend Mr. Balch and four elders. The matter settled. Twelfth Meeting, 1799. Overture on the subject of marriage in the forbidden degree. Mr. Bowman's case taken up. Reports from four of the Presbyteries. South Carolina Presbytery divided. Thirteenth ..Meeting. Two independent Minis'ers invited to a seat. Overture respecting a petition to the Legislature on Abolition dismissed. The Missionary business. Two Missionaries sent to the Patches. Will a private acknowledgment of wrong be taken for a public confession? Negative. Mr. Balch complains of, the Presbytery of Abingdon. Greenville Presbytery set off. Complaint about Mr. Witherspoon. Fourteenth Meeting Reports from the Missionaries to the latches. Case of incestuous marriage. -Mr. Balch's complaints taken up. Mr. Wither-spoon's case decided. Synod's solemn recommendations. Synod ordered the subject of Missions to be laid before the Congregations, and collections to be taken up. Case of Green Spring and Sinking Spring. Missionaries to Mississippi Territory.

Chapter XXIII - Emigration to Tennessee
Tennessee settled early from Carolina. Meaning of Mountain Men, &c. Emigration from other States. The first Minister in Tennessee. The Rev. Samuel Doak. Martin Academy. Washington College. His early life and his usefulness. Rev. Samuel Houston. Rev. Messrs. Hezekiah Balch and Samuel Carrick. Mr. Craighead. Abingdon Presbytery. Trustees of Washington College, of Blount College, and of Greenville College.

Chapter XXIV - James Hall D.D., and the Churches in Iredell
Clergymen in the army; some gave up their ministry. James Hall served as a soldier and continued a preacher. Birth-place. Place of Emigration. Names of families emigrating. Minute of Synod of Philadelphia in 1753. Minute in 1754. Minute in 1757. Minute of Synod of New York in 1755. Minute from the Synod of New York and Philadelphia. Efforts for Ministers. Salary promised; eighty pounds for half the time. Hall's early instruction. The coming of a Missionary. Minute for 1764 by Synod. Mr. Hall unites with the church. His early habits and desires as a Christian. Devotes himself to the Ministry. A perplexing incident the cause of his remaining single through life. His age when he commences the Classics. His taste for Mathematics. Is graduated at Princeton. Dr. Witherspoon's opinion of him. Licensed to preach the GospeI. Ministers in Carolina at that time. Mr. Hall installed Pastor. His Elders. Espouses cause of the Revolution. Raises a company of cavalry to go to South Carolina. An incident reconnoitreing. Raises a second company. A third company raised and Mr. Hall goes with them. A novel scene in preaching. His qualifications as a commander. General Greene proposes him for General to fill the place of Davidson. A revival of Religion in his charge. His first attendance on the Synod. Commences his Missionary excursions. A pioneer to the Natches. His reports of his Missions. His attendance on the General Assembly. His journeys to the Assembly. An incident. Trains men for the Ministry. Clio's Nursery. Opens an Academy of Science at his own house. Prepares a Grammar for his young people. A circulating library. List of preachers educated by him. Favors the establishment of a Theological Seminary. Member of the Bible Society. Anecdote. His boldness and independence, an anecdote of. His manner of preaching. His occasional melancholy, anecdote of it. His tenderness for the suffering of others under it. Made Doctor of Divinity by Nassau Hall and University of N. C. His death and burial.

Chapter XXV - Rev. Lewis Feuilleteau Wilson
The successor of Dr. Hall in his charge of Concord and Fourth Creek. Origin and birth. Is sent to England. Emigrates to New Jersey and enters College. Revival in Princeton College in 1772. His religious experience. Great opposition. Anecdote. Becomes convicted, hopefully converted. His succeeding course. His view of College Honors. Visits England. Wishes to enter the Ministry. His Father's wishes. His Father offended and disinherits him. He returns to America. Commences Theological reading with Dr. Witherspoon. His perplexity of mind. Commences the study of Medicine. Enters the Army. His father's death. A Legacy. Settles in Princeton. His deportment in the Army. Mr. Hall persuades him to remove to Iredell, N. C. His marriage. Desires to enter the Ministry. The people also desire it. Licensed by Orange Presbytery in 1791. Becomes Pastor of Concord and Fourth Creek. The Revival of 1802. His views of it. Leaves Fourth Creek. His successors there. His death. His character by John M. Wilson of Rocky River. His manner of preaching. His dying exercises.

You can read these at

John Knox, A Biography
By D. MacMillan M.A. (1905)

Now making progress on this biography with several chapters up this week...

Chapter VII - Knox on the Continent

Chapter VIII - Visits Scotland

Chapter IX - Political Writings

Chapter X - Preparing for Scotland

Chapter XI - The Revolution Begins

Chapter XII - The Revolution Continues

Chapter XIII - End of the Revolution

Here is how Chapter XI starts...

KNOX'S arrival in Edinburgh (2nd of May 1559) was the signal for renewed activity on both sides. The Queen Regent was in Glasgow, and on the third day after his arrival she ordered him to be "blown loud to the horn." It will be remembered that after his departure in 1556 he was excommunicated and burned in effigy, and outlawry was involved in the sentence then passed. He remained only two nights in Edinburgh, for hearing that the brethren had assembled in force in Dundee he hastened to join them. "I am come," he writes to his friend Mrs. Locke, "I am come, I praise God even in the brunt of the battle, if God impede not I shall present myself" before the Queen and Council, "there by life, by death, or else by both, to glorify His godly name who thus mercifully hath heard my long cries."

The Protestants who had assembled at Dundee were incensed by the preachers being summoned to appear before the Queen Regent at Stirling on the 10th of May, and they determined to march in a body on Perth, Knox accompanying them. It being their object to avoid every sign of rebellion, they sent Erskine of Dun to lay their demands before the Regent. She promised to delay the summons, but almost immediately afterwards she broke her promise and proclaimed the preachers as outlaws. "The multitude," says Knox, "on learning this was so inflamed that neither could the exhortation of the preacher nor the commandment of the magistrate stay them from destroying of the places of idolatry."

We here touch on a question that has been much and even hotly debated: Whether the Protestant preachers, and notably Knox, were responsible for the destruction of the numerous rich and beautiful Religious Houses that then adorned Scotland? One fact at least is clear, that the beginning of the iconoclastic work was due to the perfidy of the Queen Regent, whose breach of faith in the case of the preachers incited the populace to their task of destruction. Still there can be no denying the fact that Knox, and those who thought with him, preached against image worship of every kind, and he himself states that immediately before the first considerable attack on the Religious Houses of Scotland was made, he had from the pulpit been stirring up the people against idolatry of all sorts. Indeed, it would seem that the very next day after the preachers were outlawed he himself delivered a vehement discourse against idolatry. At its close a priest, in contempt, attempted to celebrate the Mass. Among the audience was a young boy who rebuked the priest for thus violating the Word of God. The latter 44 struck the child a great blow, who in anger took up a stone, and casting at the priest did hit the tabernacle and broke down an image, and immediately the whole multitude that was about cast stones and put hands to the same tabernacle and to all other monuments of idolatry." That was the beginning of a general attack on the Religious Houses of Perth, and the "rascal multitude," as Knox calls them, rejoicing in the opportunity for riot which the occasion gave them, very soon demolished the three most notable ecclesiastical buildings in the city, including the Charter House, an edifice of "wondrous cost and greatness"; so thorough was the work of destruction that only the walls remained of these glorious buildings. This was the beginning of trouble, and all over the country sacred edifices that had been erected at great labour and much expense shared the same fate as those of Perth.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

Merchants and Municipal Benefactors
Another chapter from "The Scots in America".

Here is how this chapter starts...

It may safely be laid down as a self-evident truth that every Scotsman in America who has gained position or eminence or wealth, or all three, has worked hard. Among the Scotch community, even in the fourth or fifth generation removed from the "Land o' Cakes," there are no idlers, no "gilded youth," no merely empty loungers on the face of the earth. We find Scotsmen and their famihes moving in the very highest social circles in each community—among the "Four Hundred," to use a ridiculous expression that has come into use in recent years—but they all seem to engage in business of some sort. They do not figure much, if at all, in what loves to be distinguished as the "smart set," the butterflies whose only object in the world seems to be to derive pleasure from it, pleasure sometimes innocent, sometimes brutal, sometimes silly, always extravagant, and a standing menace to the peace of the community. The main purpose in life, if there be any purpose, after all, of such creatures is to draw themselves into a class apart from the common herd, to ape the manners of the aristocracy of the Old World, and this latter purpose they accomplish in such a way as to win the disgust of every honest citizen and the contempt of every honest aristocrat.

If we designed to devote a chapter to titled personages in this book, it might easily be done. The adventures of the members of the British peerage alone in America would fill many pages and would include soldiers, statesmen, sightseers, hunters and adventurers—for even the latter class are found legitimately occupying a line, at least, in the standard peerages. Such a chapter would, however, include names like that of Lady Macdonald, who enjoys a Peerage through the services which her late husband, Sir John A. Macdonald, rendered to the Empire; and of Lord Mount Stephen, who won his peerage by his own successful and eminently useful life, as well as those of many baronets and knights. It would also refer to an old title, that of Baron de Longueuil, a French title of nobility originally granted by Louis XIV., but recognized by Great Britain. The dignity was first conferred on a French subject, Charles Le Moyne, but as might, somehow, be expected, the present holder of the title, Charles Colman Grant, is more entitled to be regarded as of Scotch descent than the representative of a French family. The chapter would also chronicle the story of an olcl Scotch title which has been so long held by residents of this country that they pride themselves as much from their descent from Colonial ancestors as from their Saxon forbears—Saxons who were prominent in England before the advent of the Romans. The title, Baron Cameron of Fairfax, in the peerage of Scotland, was bestowed by Charles I. in 1627 upon Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, an Englishman. The family never had an connection with Scotland, however, beyond the title, but the name yet stands on the roll of the Scottish peers and is still called at each assemblage of these peers in Holyrood to elect their representatives in the British House of Lords. The representative of the family, the holder of this ancient title, still resides in Virginia, but so far as we can trace he and his immediate progenitors, as soldiers, preachers, or physicians, have done something to justify their existence, have pursued some recognized profession.

But all this reference to nobility is merely a digression by way of variety in the opening matter of a new department of our story. Here we have to deal with what may be called the nobility of business. To acquire eminence in trade, finance, or commerce, especially in view of the ever-watchful and sometimes unscrupulous competition which prevails in all large business centres, a man needs rare qualities, and a successful merchant is generally an individual possessing not only a clear head, but a large heart. If we could enumerate the practical charitable institutions of the world, group together the art galleries, museums, and halls of learning, we would find that successful business men, when not their founders, were their most liberal benefactors. We will get abundant evidence of this as the present chapter proceeds, and will find also that these same business, moneymaking, men were sterling and self-sacrificing patriots whenever occasion arose for the display of that quality. Such men are entitled to be called nature's noblemen—men who hold their patents of nobility from Almighty God.

We could place the life, for instance, of Alexander Milne, an Edinburgh man who was long a merchant in New Orleans, as a pattern—one which could be surpassed by the product of no other class. After a noteworthy and commercially irreproachable career, he became distinguished for his philanthropy, although the world never knew its extent or imagined the amount of thought and care he exercised in trying to do as much good as possible to his fellow-men. Even the good he did lived—and lives—after he had passed away, for when he died, in 1838, at the age of ninety-four years, it was found that he left most of his fortune to endow the Milne Hospital for the orphan boys of New Orleans.

You can read the rest of this at

Robert Burns - His Life In His Letters
This is a currently unpublished book by George Scott Wilkie which he's kindly allowed us to publish on the site. 433 pages and 1.1Mb download.

The Introduction starts...

Burns’ fame as a poet and song-writer is unquestioned, but hidden behind that fame lies another Robert Burns. Not only was he a great Bard, but he was also a man with a phenomenal ability to write letters, letters that reveal him to be a man of erudition, as well as of great compassion.

He loved the written word and wrote hundreds of letters to an assortment of people on a wide range of subjects. His introduction into Edinburgh’s bourgeois society opened up opportunities for him to correspond with people of good education and allowed him to develop his writing technique as he wore out quill after quill in his unending desire to commit his thoughts to paper.

This collection of letters, arranged chronologically, offers an opportunity to discover the inner Burns in his own words as he describes the many twists and turns in his eventful, but tragically short life. They illustrate how his life arched upwards from his poverty-stricken childhood, rising to his fame and fortune before sliding downhill once again to poverty and ill-health. They also show clearly how his character altered from being a pupil hungry to learn, to that of a young man desperate to find true love, and of his many liaisons in the pursuit of such, becoming eventually that of a hard-working and conscientious husband and father, forced by circumstances to accept employment within the establishment that he had so often mocked and scorned in his poetic works.

Unfortunately the great majority of letters received by Burns have been lost to us forever owing to them having been stored in damp conditions. Only a few have survived. However, one or two of his early biographers have included some in their works, so we have access to a small number.

Just how did a country lad from an extremely humble background become such a prolific figure in the world of literature? What drove Robert Burns to see far beyond the furrows of his plough and become one of the world’s finest wordsmiths?

To try to find an answer to that question we will delve into the the early life of the Bard and we start by referring to a letter, written not by Robert, but by his brother Gilbert, sent to Dr James Currie after the death of the poet.

You can read the rest of this Introduction and download the book at

The Herring Lassies
Stan Bruce sent in a slide show which goes through the history of the Herring Lassies in 133 pictures. I've built that into a single pdf file which I hope you'll enjoy. It is a 13.8Mb download. You can download this at

Polar Bear attack in Canada
You just need to see these awful pictures... just terrible :-)

Calum Colvin, Scottish Artist
Artists Statement

My work is a hybrid of concerns and practices from the disciplines of Sculpture, Painting, Electronic Imaging and Photography. I use painting and lighting techniques in the construction of elaborate narrative tableau, which are photographed and exhibited as large-scale colour photographic prints. I am interested in the process of transformation that occurs when everyday objects are juxtaposed with painted images (often) appropriated from the annals of Western Art History. The visual illusions/allegories are intended to draw the viewer into a creative dialogue as the images are interpreted, touching on themes of gender, art, history and national identity.

We have up an interview with him and also some pictures of his artwork at

Electric Scotland's 2009 Calendar
Decided to design a one page calendar for 2009 which I did for myself but then thought that some you may be interested in using it and so you can print it off from

Probably not a bad idea to print it onto light card if you can or better quality paper.

I also designed a company version with our contact information which you can see at

And that's it for this week and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend :-)


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