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Newsletter 2nd December 2011

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  • Newsletter 2nd December 2011

    Electric Scotland News
    What's new on
    The Flag in the Wind
    Through the Long Day
    Nether Lochaber
    The Cottagers of Glenburnie
    Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
    Scottish Poets in America
    The Parish of Longforgan
    Poems by John Henderson
    Elsie Inglis (New Book)
    George Millward McDougall (New Book)
    Robert Burns Lives!
    Clan Munro of Australia Newsletter
    Thomas McKean (1734-1817)
    History of the Burgh and Parish Schools of Scotland (New Book)
    Memories Grave and Gay (New Book)
    Other Memories Old and New (New Complete Book)
    Recommended Bibliography for the study of the History of Scottish Education
    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University
    Remember the guy who wouldn't take the flag down?

    Electric Scotland News
    I must confess trying to run 2 country web sites is a lot of work but there are times when the two come together quite nicely. I learnt this week of a new Canadian Scottish friendship group that has been started. It was the idea of Dr Kirsty Duncan MP in Ottawa and Fiona Hyslop MSP from Scotland came over to kick it off. It's a Government friendship group to help promote more trade and cultural activity between Scotland and Canada.

    Likewise I heard that the Elgin papers are being archived in both Scotland and Canada. Lord Elgin, when Governor-General of Canada, made a huge contribution to the political success of Canada and the family has donated many papers of this Canadian part of his life to the Canadian archives

    You can learn more about both these stories at

    I will say I did learn about both these stories from Scotland and not from Canada.


    We've of course celebrated St Andrews Day in various parts of the world and hope you managed to get a copy of the iPhone and Android app for St Andrews Day. It is held on 30th November but often there are St Andrews Day dinner and dances held on the following weekend so do look out for those wherever you are.


    Given the time of year we should all likely look at how we might help with our local food bank. Here in Canada I was learning that some 20% more people are using these food banks but donations to them are down due to the economic climate. It was suggested that you might look through your cupboards to see if you have any tins and packets that are not being used and donate them. Every little bit helps. And of course with Christmas on the horizon it's good to donate a toy for a child.


    We got the first fall of snow in Chatham yesterday. While it didn't stay long it reminded me I needed to get in some special winter supplies such as Scotch Bridies. I confess that I enjoy a good bridie, baked beans and fries. Great warming and filling meal although perhaps not the best for the waist line <grin>.

    You can make them yourself if you wish and we have a recipe at


    I was hunting through some old boxes of books and discovered a couple which I'd never put up on the web site and noted that neither are avaiable on the Internet archive so have started to work on getting them up on the site. One is "A Scots Boy's World Sixty Years Ago" which would be around the 1850's. The other one is "Homespun, The Story of Simple Folk" by Annie S Swan. The first book is being ocr'd in but not yet sure how to tackle the second one as I was thinking I might donate that to the Internet archive and so might just do it as a pdf file.


    And as you will see below we've been working on the Education front this week with the help of John Henderson.

    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 in our site menu and at and also

    Most of my work this week was on Electric Scotland but I did manage to squeeze in another Maker of Canada.

    Egerton Ryerson
    By Nathanael Burwash (1909)


    This weeks Flag was compiled by Jennifer Dunn.

    You can get to the Flag at

    Christina didn't manage to get us the diary entry but says next week for sure! <grin>

    Through the Long Day
    Or Memorials of a Literary Life during half a century by Charles MacKay LL.D. (1887)

    This week have added...

    Chapter VI - Visits to America

    You can get to this at

    Nether Lochaber
    The Natural History, Legends and Folk-Lore of the West Highlands by Rev. Alexander Stewart FSA Scot, (1883)

    We're now completed this book by taking us up to Chapter 63.

    The other chapters can be read at

    The Cottagers of Glenburnie
    By Elizabeth Hamilton (1898)

    we have now added...

    Chapter XIV.
    Chapter XV.
    A Marriage and a Wedding
    Chapter XVI.
    An Unexpected Meeting between Old Acquaintances
    Chapter XVII.
    Receipt for Making a thorough Servant
    Chapter XVIII.
    Concerning the Duties of a Schoolmaster
    Chapter XIX.
    Chapter XX.
    Extract of a Letter addressed to the Author

    And this now completes this book.

    These chapters can be read at

    Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
    We've added more to this disctionary...

    Scottish Language Letter Da to Del
    Scottish Language Letter Del to Doc
    Scottish Language Letter Doc to Dre
    Scottish Language Letter Dre to Dyu
    Scottish Language Letter D from the Supplement

    You can read this at

    Scottish Poets in America
    With Biographical and Critical Notices by John D, Ross (1889)

    Now added...

    Harper, Dr. John M.

    You can read this at

    The Parish of Longforgan
    A Sketch of its Church and People by Rev. Adam Philip (1895)

    We've now completed this book which has the following chapters...

    Chapter I. Longforgan.
    Chapter II. Historic Memories.
    Chapter III. Ecclesiastical Traditions and History.
    Chapter IV. Early Notices of the Land.
    Chapter V. At the Hundhil of Langforgrund in 1385.
    Chapter VI. Castle Huntly.
    Chapter VII. A Longforgan Laird in the Seventeenth Century.
    Chapter VIII. The Pre-reformation Church, etc.
    Chapter IX. A List of Ministers in Longforgan, with biographical notes and glimpses of parish life.
    Chapter X. Three Longforgan Worthies.
    Chapter XI. Appendix.

    You can read this book at

    Poems by John Henderson
    John has sent us in 5 new poems which you can find at the foot of the page at

    Elsie Inglis
    By Eva Shaw McLaren A new book we're starting.

    Those who worked with her point again and again to a characteristic that distinguished her all her life, her complete disregard of the opinion of others about herself personally, while she pursued the course her conscience dictated, and yet she drew to herself the affectionate regard of many who knew her for the first time during the last three years of her life.

    What her own countrymen thought of her will be found in the pages of this book, but the touching testimony of a Serb and a Russian may be given here. A Serb orderly expressed his devotion in a way that Dr. Inglis used to recall with a smile: "Missis Doctor, I love you better than my mother, and my wife, and my family. Missis Doctor, I will never leave you."

    And a soldier from Russia said of her: "She was loved amongst us as a queen, and respected as a saint."

    You can read this book at

    George Millward McDougall
    The Pioneer, Patriot and Missionary by John McDougall (1888)

    To the Canadian public and the Christians of every Church this humble volume is respectfully presented, the writer apologizing that he did not earlier detail the facts herein given. The subject of the following sketch was a true patriot, and one of the pioneers of our great Dominion He was a faithful missionary, and his whole life was spent in the vanguard of Christian work. That this short recital of the events of his life may stir someone to go and do likewise is the earnest wish of his loving son,

    Mokley, Alberta, 1888.

    You can read this book at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    By Frank Shaw

    Added Chapter 127 - A Review of "Robert Burns in Global Culture" Edited by Murray Pittock

    You can read this at

    Clan Munro of Australia Newsletter
    Got in their December 2011 edition which you can read at

    Thomas McKean (1734-1817)
    By John Shepherd

    An interesting article on this Scots-Irishman which you can read at

    History of the Burgh and Parish Schools of Scotland
    By James Grant M.A. (1876).

    The History of Educational Progress in any country, presenting the gathered experience of centuries, can hardly fail to be interesting to the historian, and instructive to the student of education, and it is certainly matter of surprise that, while other and leas important institutions have found abundance of historians, an historical account of our famous Burgh and Parochial school system—the most ancient, and still in many respects the most successful in existence—should not hitherto have been attempted.

    The Scottish School-Book Association, composed chiefly of burgh and parochial Schoolmasters, having long felt such a work to be a great desideratum iu the history of education, and the want of it even a matter of reproach to their profession, if not to the country generally, resolved at a general meeting of their body, held several years ago, [Mr Robert Somers of Collessie gave notice of a motion, on 16th September 1884, at a general meeting of the schoolmasters held in the high school of Edinburgh,' that a abort historical account of our burgh and parochial schools be prepared.' This motion was adopted at the general meeting held next year. ] to supply this want by providing an authoritative History of their Schools, embracing all that is known regarding them from the earliest period. For this purpose, they applied to the late Mr Cosmo Innes, in the hope of prevailing on him to undertake the preparation of the work. Mr Innes, who always entered enthusiastically into any proposal calculated to elucidate the past history of his native country, frankly told the Schoolmasters, important subject entrusted to me, I must be allowed to express my grateful acknowledgment to the Association for their generous confidence in a person wholly untried in the kind of work which they wanted—confiding to one who was a stranger to them a trust in which their whole body was deeply interested. I have specially to thank the Committee, consisting of Mr John Macturk, late of Tillicoultry, now of Glasgow, Mr Robert Somers of Collessie, and Mr William Duncan of Inchture, who were appointed to superintend the work, for their liberal assistance and kind forbearance during its progress. The professional brethren of these gentlemen can form no idea of the trouble and anxiety occasioned to their Special Committee in connectipn with this history—a trouble and anxiety which only enlightened interest and affectionate zeal for the honour and welfare of the profession could have enabled them to sustain.

    You can read this book at

    Biography of John Kerr HMI
    By John Henderson

    John has done a short biography of this person who did so much for schooling in Scotland. You can read this at

    Memories Grave and Gay
    Forty Years of School Inspection by John Kerr LL.D.

    In the Introduction it starts...

    Since my retirement from the public service five years ago, suggestions have been frequently made to me by a number of my friends about putting into shape reminiscences of my official life, extending over more than thirty-six years. To these suggestions I have till now turned a deaf ear, from a feeling that my experience presents few events of sufficiently outstanding interest to warrant my adopting them. This feeling is not materially changed, and I have grave doubts as to whether I am acting wisely in at length agreeing to do what my friends advise. They urge that my service has been the longest of all who have been inspectors of schools in Scotland ; that I am the only one now alive who has had a share in the almost countless alterations and improvements in the work of the Education Department, from what may fairly be called its infancy, when only embryo codes had as yet existence, up to the present time; that, in addition to strictly official work, I have examined almost all the secondary schools in Scotland;
    that every county in Scotland has been more or less immediately under my charge, as either a district or chief inspector; that I have been classical examiner for degrees in Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, and have given evidence before all the important Education Commissions, the last being the recent one on Secondary Education in England. This is quite true, but I am far from feeling certain that it is sufficient to warrant my rushing into print at a time when, more than ever before, it is true that of making many books there is no end.

    You can read the rest of this at

    The book which is going up in 5 chapter pdf files can be viewed at

    Other Memories Old and New
    By John Kerr

    An account of his many memories of his life as an Inspector of Schools in Scotland.

    You can read this at

    Recommended Bibliography for the study of the History of Scottish Education
    A good reference source for those studying Scottish education which we felt would make an excellent research document and this can be viewed at

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    The December 2011 edition is now available which can be viewed at

    I hear Beth and her husband are near to selling their land and buying their new home. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they complete the sale and purchase and be able to start afresh in their new home.

    Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University
    Got in a copy of their third quarter 2011 newsletter which you can read at

    Remember the guy who wouldn't take the flag down?
    Van T. Barfoot

    Got an email and some pictures about this person that got coverage in the US News media who was apparently born in Edinburgh and which you can view at

    And finally...

    It is widely accepted that us Home Scots don’t do enough to celebrate St Andrew’s Day.

    Tom Shields made these resolutions for the 30th of November ....

    "I will start the day with a square sausage fashioned into the shape of a saltire. The tattie scone as lion rampant is a more difficult effect to achieve.

    I will celebrate our culture with readings from 'The Best Way to Walk', the collected sayings and aphorisms of comedian Chic Murray.

    Like the conversation which went: “Do you know the Battersea dog’s home?” “I didn’t know he had been away.”

    I may go on the Glasgow Underground and ask why the train has no buffet car.

    I may fall off a bus and say: “It’s alright. I was getting off anyway.”

    I will watch Denis Law on YouTube, especially the 3-2 victory over England at Wembley in 1967.