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Newsletter for 9th April 2021

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  • Newsletter for 9th April 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    Public Safety Alert for my home area of Ontario...
    Issued at 11:00 Thursday 08 April 2021

    Recommended Action
    A stay-at-home order is in effect. Only leave home for essential purposes such as food, health care, vaccines, exercise or work. It's the law. Stay home, save lives. Learn more at


    As I have concerns about the news media and the seeming lack of general news that can affect Scotland I am making it a point to extend my Scottish news in this newsletter to cover world events and those that impact the EU.

    I have also been concerned about the English take on the continual sniping at them by the SNP and their supporters and so have brought you a wee story entitled... "Scotland is the burden. UK to thrive without Scotland as nation would see heavy loss". .SCOTLAND has been dubbed a burden on the rest of the UK as dreams of a thriving independent nation have been rubbished by an expert. See below in the news section for this article.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    Canada Covid horror
    Canada is still lagging behind most Western nations in vaccinations. It is currently ranked 44 in global rankings of vaccinations per capita, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Read more at:

    Britain is starting to thrive freed from EU shackles and Brussels is terrified
    THE past two weeks have continued to show the world the true colours of the European Union, with the continuation of threats over vaccine export bans by the EU Commission. However, this pales in comparison to the EU's desperation to try and blame others for their own failings.

    Read more at:

    Scotland is the burden UK to thrive without Scotland as nation would see heavy loss
    SCOTLAND has been dubbed a burden on the rest of the UK as dreams of a thriving independent nation have been rubbished by an expert.

    Read more at:

    UK's top hymn-writers hail global resurgence in Christian faith
    A YEAR of lockdown has been an opportunity for two of the UK's most celebrated hymn-writers to champion the excitement of making music at home.

    Read more at:

    Massive earthquake strikes North Island
    A MAJOR earthquake has struck the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island. Here are all the latest updates as the situation develops.

    Read more at:

    UK plan to develop life-saving drug for those who test positive
    MINISTERS are setting up a taskforce to create pioneering new Covid treatments, including a pill that could be taken straight after testing positive.

    Read more at:

    New Brexit deal with Turkey 'on the horizon' as trade with Ankara soars after EU split
    TURKEY and the UK are set to have closer trade ties after Turkish trade with Britain increased by 12 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

    Read more at:

    Germany facing epic identity crisis as Chancellor Angela Merkel outstays her welcome
    GERMANY is facing an epic identity crisis as Europhile Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to leave office, according to a top political commentator.

    Read more at:

    Scotland under the SNP is now officially the Sick man of Europe
    Even a cursory glance indicates the appalling state of health in Scotland. A Glaswegian man has a healthy life expectancy of just 54.6 years.

    Read more at:

    Hundreds of millions wasted by SNP incompetence
    FAILING AND DELAYED procurement projects are burning a very big hole in Scottish taxpayers’ pockets - SNP ministers can’t seem to stop themselves from scuppering contracts they oversee themselves.

    Read more at:

    EU blasted as French standard of living plummets from 5th to 26th in world
    FREXIT campaigner Florian Philippot shamed Brussels' devastating impact on France's rate for standard of living, as he called for the country to leave the bloc as soon as possible.

    Read more at:

    World War 3 fears
    Israel retaliates with mine attack on Iranian ship - vessel in flames

    Read more at:

    South China Sea
    US scrambles to Taiwan as China deploys battle group as tensions rise

    Read more at:

    US on alert as Russia deploys 'Doomsday Nuke' in Arctic military build-up - conflict fears
    RUSSIA is deploying an underwater drone designed to inundate US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis as part of an unprecedented military build-up in the Arctic.

    Read more at:

    Being Good Isn't Always Great in Foreign Policy
    Joe Biden has been playing nice on the international stage. But now China has agreed an investment deal with Iran that will pump billions of dollars into its economy, undermining America's negotiating position for a new nuclear deal, the game has changed - and states don't always do well by being good.

    Read more at:

    UK vaccine rollout 'breaking link' between infections and death
    Increasingly strong evidence shows that the UK's vaccination programme is breaking the link between Covid-19 cases and deaths, scientists tracking the epidemic have said.

    Read more at:

    Exciting Stone Age discoveries in the Cairngorms
    New research has uncovered rare evidence of people living in Scotland's mountains after the end of the last Ice Age. Archaeologists found stone tools and traces of firepits and possible shelters in Deeside in the Cairngorms.

    Read more at:

    Belfast: Rioting was worst seen in Northern Ireland in years
    During several hours of violence, police officers were attacked, petrol bombs were thrown and a bus was burnt.

    Read more at:

    Mind The Gap: Critiquing the FT's Fiscal Gap Analysis
    The FT recently published a figure of 1.8k per person pa. as the tax rises or spending cuts an independent Scotland would need to achieve sustainable deficit levels. By failing to quantify the impact of border friction and Scotland's need to create its own currency, this figure drastically understates the true scale of the longer-term economic challenge an independent Scotland would face - taking into account those factors, a longer-term figure of 4k per person would be more realistic

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Wild Scenes of the Forest and Prairie
    Sketches of American Life by C. F. Hoffman in two volumes (1843)

    You can read these volumes at:

    Standing Orders for the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (1966) (pdf)
    Added this to our collection of information on the Armed Forces of Canada which you can read at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - the 4th day of April 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    To Canada with Emigrants
    A record of actual experiences by James Ewing Ritchie (1885) (pdf)

    Very interesting accounts which can be read at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's weekly video
    April 7, 2021 - Chief's candlesticks No. 1

    You can view this at:

    Musings of a Tank Commander
    Part 32 Learning how to fight the American way

    You can read this at:

    The Best of 25 Years of the Scottish Review
    Added books 4 - 6. which you can read at:

    Clan Munro of Australia
    Got in a copy of their April 2021 newsletter which you can read at:

    Currencies and Banking
    By Ronnie Morrison (April 2021) (pdf)

    Got this interesting article sent in to me by the author which you can read at:

    Clan Lachlan Association of Canada
    Got in their Spring 2021 newsletter which you can read at:

    Further research proves above paper incorrect
    By Michael Stroker (pdf)

    Got a second article in from Michael where he admits he got it wrong in his research and explains why at:
    where you can refer to the origional article at the foot of the page.

    Quaker Women | “Ahead of Their Time”.
    A video talk given by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Embedded this video around half way down our page on Women in History of Scots Descent which you can view at:

    Colonial Experiences
    Sketches of People and Places in the Province of Otago, New Zealand by Alexander Bathgate (1874) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Sculptured Stones of Scotland
    Printed by the Spalding Club in two volumes (1856)

    The Sculptured Stones of Scotland may be considered the earliest existing expressions of the ideas, and the most genuine records of the skill in art, of the early inhabitants of Scotland; but they have been so long neglected, that now, when attention has been awakened to their interest, we find them diminished in number, and, in many cases, mutilated in their form.

    You can read these at:

    Added a wee article about Ogham which you can read at:

    Scottish Society of Indianapolis
    Got in the March 2021 newsletter and you can also watch the video of the March meeting which features a talk about Kentucky and the Scots influence.

    You can read and view this at:


    Jottings from the records of a Farming society


    Nearly eighty years ago, namely on the 4th July 1803, was held, under the auspices of Mr. George Dempster of Dunnichen, the initiatory meeting of "The Lunan and Vinney Water Farmer Society." Invitations had been issued to twenty-six persons, but such was Mr. Dempster’s popularity, that thirty-four attended, of whom eleven were landowners. Among those who met was the Rev. James Rogers, author of the Agricultural Survey of the County, father of the present writer. On Mr. Dempster’s proposal, he was chosen secretary, and the records were afterwards kept by him. It is from the Minutes which he prepared, under Mr. Dempster’s approval, that these present jottings are drawn.

    In the minute which records Mr. Dempster’s appointment as "Perpetual Preses," that gentleman is described as possessing "the same ardour of patriotism, as when he filled a public station." [Mr. Dempster was in early friendship with David Hume, John Home, author of "Douglas," Principal William Robertson, and Dr. Adam Ferguson. He latterly associated at London with Dr. Samuel Johnson and other literary notables. He represented in Parliament the Fife and Forfar burghs from 1762 till 1790, and latterly devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. His sterling independence as a politician procured him the designation of "Honest George;" he is as such celebrated by Burns, who deemed him worthy of a title. He was an ardent and successful promoter of the Scottish Fisheries. His long career of ardent patriotism and active usefulness was terminated by death on the 13th February 1818, when he had reached his eighty-fourth year.] In opening the Society’s business, he expatiated on the importance of maintaining superior breeds of cattle and horses, on the duty of extirpating weeds, on the necessity of a stern resistance to smuggling, and on the desirableness of upholding the constitution. With his cordial approval, it was arranged that the Society should assemble at least once a year, that its proceedings should be accompanied by a modest feast at 1s. 6d., afterwards 2s. 6d. a head, arid that on each occasion liquor of native manufacture should be used exclusively. The only practical business of the first meeting consisted in adopting the recommendation of a committee, that no member should hire a servant without obtaining a recommendation of him from his former employer.

    At the second meeting, held in July 1804, Mr Dempster invited attention to the rotation of crops; suggesting various methods, and maintaining that by a proper alternation of green and grain crops, fallowing might be dispensed with. To each member he handed a slip of rules, which he termed golden; they consisted of injunctions to keep the land rich and clean and dry, to use efficient manure, and to avoid two grain crops in succession. Poultry and hogs, he maintained, should be largely reared. The Secretary read an essay on the rearing of horses and cattle. Prior to the reign of James I., he said Alexander, Earl of Mar, imported horses from Hungary; while James I. was himself a promoter of farm stock, by introducing on his lands at Falkland a superior species of milch cows. In reference to grazing, he remarked that one of the members had recently sold farm cattle of three years old at 18 each, while another member had reaped from about an acre a quantity of red clover which produced 154 lbs. of seed. At the meetings held in August 1805, and in July 1806, Mr Dempster recommended the cultivation of Swedish turnips, and suggested that the tops of the carrot should be used in feeding milch cows. His former proposal as to the disuse of fallow ground was disapproved, it being strongly held that the land required rest at least every tenth year. It was agreed, on his recommendation, that wheat should be more extensively cultivated, and that it should be sown late in August or early in September. At the close of the meeting an indigent person, formerly a farmer, and then said to be in his 106th year, was awarded a little money.

    The fifth meeting, held in August 1807, was attended with an exhibition of live stock. Various subjects were discussed. Gypsum as a manure, recommended by the Board of Agriculture, was, on the motion of the Rev. James Headrick, [This reverend gentleman was then assistant in the parish; he was ordained to the cure 11th August 1807. He had recommended himself to Mr. Dempster by his agricultural papers in the Farmer’s Magazine. His best known work, "View of the Mineralogy, &c. of the Isle of .Arran, entitles him to special notice. He died on the 31st March 1841, in his eighty-third year.] disapproved. Flax-raising was commended by several members, and by others styled unprofitable. The question as to whether carcasses of meat might be transmitted to distances packed in ice, was mooted and generally affirmed.

    In his address to the meeting in July 1808, Mr. Dempster recommended the cultivation of vetches, to be sown in drills. The Chinese method of economising manure was explained and urged by Mr. Headrick; while the importance of draining marshes, described as "magazines of mischief," was duly maintained. At the meeting in 1809, the President remarked that he had lately been making trial of kale, with a view to its more extensive use. He regarded the sowing of spring wheat as worthy of consideration, and exhibited a sample of naked barley, resembling wheat, imported from Egypt, and commended by Sir John Sinclair. By individual members different agricultural topics were submitted for discussion. Mr. Guthrie of Craigie, an important landowner, held that the Swedish was much inferior to the yellow turnip, especially as the latter might be reared on a greater variety of soils. Mr Scott of Reswallie recommended a more general cultivation of barley, and suggested the erection in the district of woollen mills. He condemned the disuse of "the Scottish" or woollen bonnet, and hoped that at next meeting all the members would discard hats and appear bonneted. To this proposal Mr. Dempster expressed an objection. The hat, he held, was not cumbrous, as the bonnet was; it protected the face, and did not retain moisture. As to woollen manufactories, these had been established in East Lothian and elsewhere, and had failed. Manufactories of sailcloth and coarse linen, long common to the district, were, he maintained, worthy of encouragement, and no others. It was suggested that a donation should be presented to Mr. Meikle, inventor of the threshing-machine, who was represented as aged and indigent.

    The Society’s roll in September 1810 was seventy-four; it increased to eighty. At the anniversary then held, Mr. Dempster remarked, that sixty years ago, the district was covered with furze and broom, while bogs were to be found at every turn; now the fields were clean and well drained, roads were abundant, and wheat was largely cultivated. The establishment of local farming societies he believed was most beneficial, as they brought pleasantly together landlord and tenant, and enabled them to be mutually helpful. Respecting the destruction of weeds, a member remarked that in Strathmore, a riding committee inspected farms every summer, and, as authorised in the leases, imposed fines on those who permitted weeds to grow unchecked. Of spring wheat Mr. Guthrie expressed his disapproval; the grain was inferior, and the straw discoloured and feeble.

    There was a competition among exhibitors of live stock in 1811, Mr. Dempster presenting several gold and silver medals to be used as premiums. In his presidential address, he recommended wheat-sowing in drill rather than in broadcast; suggested the use of single-horse carts, and remarked that cattle might be trained for use in the thrashing mill. These proposals were generally approved, especially the drill-sowing of wheat. But naked barley was unfavourably reported upon—a third only of the seed being found to germinate, while the grain could not be thrashed without difficulty. Some members discussed the respective merits of "Angus" and "Potato" oats, but the subject was left open.

    In July 1812, the Society held its tenth anniversary. At this meeting wheat-sowing in drill was warmly commended, a member remarking that the produce of wheat sown in this manner was one-third more than under the broadcast system. At the following meeting Mr. Dempster, who had formerly congratulated the members on the general disappearance of field weeds, recommended drainage as "the most necessary of agricultural operations." He pleaded on behalf of crows, that they destroyed grub, and ought to be encouraged, a view strongly supported by Mr. Guthrie, but objected to by Mr Headrick. Fiorin grass had at a former meeting been brought under discussion; the subject was revived, and among those who took part in the discussion was Mr. John Pinkerton, the antiquary, who, being Mr. Dempster’s guest, was present as an honorary member. Mr. Pinkerton remarked that Camden had referred to a field of form grass which was so fertile as to be cut four times a year.

    At the Society’s twelfth anniversary, held in July 1814, Mr. Dempster complimented the clergy as early promoters of agriculture. "Around the monasteries," he said, "the best soil was a garden and the worst a grave." It was remarked by a member that while the Roman Catholic clergy largely cultivated and made use of wheaten-flour, it had since the Reformation been generally disused. This sentiment was confirmed by Mr. Headrick, who stated that his father, who was a farmer in Ayrshire, had endeavoured to introduce wheaten-flour, but without success. A return to the use of oxen in tillage was suggested; the blight in barley, some held, might be prevented by pickling the seed; and the yellow turnip was unanimously ruled to be preferable to the Swedish.

    The Society did not re-assemble. Having attained his eightieth year, Mr. Dempster was probably unable longer to discharge the presidential duties, and as his election was for life it may have been deemed ungracious to choose a substitute. It is even probable that Mr. Dempster believed that the object he had in view by the Society’s establishment had been attained, and that little if anything remained worthy of special discussion. Perhaps these familiar notes of agricultural proceedings and speculations seventy or eighty years ago, may not be deemed, even in point of antiquarian interest, unworthy of our Society’s notice.


    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.


  • #2
    Great story Alastair. My great grandparents came from the villages in Dempster's sphere of influence to southeastern Saskatchewan in the early 1900s and brought some of those agricultural practices with them. Sadly, they did not become commonplace until North American farmers learned hard lessons in the "dirty '30s".


    • #3
      I have lots of information on agriculture especially on but also a growing collection on I believe the first Secretary for Agriculture in the USA was a Scot and he started up a number of research facilities and set the standards that still exist today.