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Newsletter for 6th August 2021

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  • Newsletter for 6th August 2021

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

    Electric Scotland News

    Just thought I'd mention that you can take out a free account at My Heritage which would enable you to try out their picture editing options and also try out their family tree services. When searching for connections in Europe they do have a larger database than Ancestry. I'm also told their DNA services do also provide more European connections in their results.


    Knights Templar of Canada
    Since the new Grand Prior of Canada took over all he has produced is a copy of the US newsletter so obviously not doing a very good job of motivating his people. I've also been told that he has been critical of the Prior of Ottawa whereas from what I understand she has done an exceptional job of organising the 2022 International gathering whereas the Grand Prior had done little or nothing to help. I've been told that many Knights and Dames have volunteered to help with the 2022 event but not even one volunteer has come from his own local Priory in Toronto.

    When elected he stated that his aim would be to bring in 1,000 new members but to date it appears he hasn't got even one new member. So this is the reason you haven't received any notification about what is happening with the order in Canada. It seems he promised much but has delivered nothing.


    New Chicago Scots Free Membership
    Did you know Chicago Scots has a new Free Membership Program? They’ve eliminated all barriers to nourishing Scottish identity. Its easy to sign up today and it's free!

    Kinship for All — Join 1251 Members in Supporting Chicago Scots!

    In honor of our 175th Anniversary, as the oldest nonprofit in Illinois, we are launching a free membership program to celebrate Scottish identity with you in mind.

    In their communication they say...

    COVID-19 taught us we are stronger together. Chicago Scots free membership program is open to everyone who is Scottish by birth, heritage, or simply inclination. Come join our growing community. Membership helps transmit the proud assurance of what it means to be Scottish, from one generation to the next.

    When you join as a free member or select a higher level of membership engagement, you will become an invaluable part of Chicago Scots’ history and mission. Becoming a Chicago Scot is the best way to get involved, connect to the Scottish community in Chicago, and ensure that Scottish culture and values live on for generations to come. It’s also a great way to support our principal charity Caledonia Senior Living.

    Sign up at:

    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.

    Brexit Britain to launch rockets from UK soil for first time
    THE UK has fully taken back control of its spaceflight operations in a 4billion boost for post-Brexit Britain.

    Read more at:

    Scotland remains overdose capital of Europe
    Opposition parties have hit out at the government over its handling of the drugs crisis in Scotland.

    Read more at:

    A tourist's guide to Culloden Battlefield
    Everything you need to know about the site of one of the bloodiest and most famous Scottish battles.

    Read more at:

    Kinloch Castle loved by Prince Charles on sale for 1
    One of Prince Charles' favourite castles, Kinloch can be found on the remote Isle of Rum.

    Read more at:

    Blood clot rates in people getting AstraZeneca and Pfizer Covid vaccines similar
    ASTRAZENECA has faced considerable pushback during the pandemic due to its vaccine being linked to a rare blood clot complication. Despite the attention, a new study found similar rates of blood clotting in those receiving the Pfizer jab.

    Read more at:

    Scotland's growing sewage spill problem
    The number of recorded sewage spills in Scotland's rivers and seas has increased by 40% over the last five years, new figures show.

    Read more at:

    Scotland's gas pipelines sold to Canadian consortium
    A vital part of Scotland's infrastructure, its gas supply pipeline network, has been wholly bought over by a Canadian consortium.

    Read more at:

    Franco-British ties in the doldrums
    Paris and London are struggling to find a post-Brexit rhythm.

    Read more at:

    Wake up Scotland: 1,339 deaths and counting
    By Gerry Hassan in the Scottish Review

    Read more at:

    Raab signs Britain up to 10-nation trade club in major win after leaving EU
    THE UK is being signed up to a 10-nation trade superclub in a major boost for Brexit Britain as the country becomes the first new partner of the Southeast Asian bloc with a combined GDP of 2.3trillion in 25 years.

    Read more at:

    Brexit Britain in driving seat as new project tipped to rival EU
    BREXIT BRITAIN is now in the driving seat as a huge project between OneWeb and Airbus has the potential to rival the European Union's Galileo programme, can exclusively reveal.

    Read more at:

    Wizards of Oz
    Brits imagine there is a binary choice between nationalised healthcare and an insurance dystopia with 'Ryanair care' for the poor. But that doesn't have to be the case. For an example of a public-private system that doesn't discriminate and does provide better care, just look at Australia

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - the 1st day of August 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    The Fight for Canada
    A Sketch from the History of the Great Imperial War by William Wood (1908)

    FROM the very day it was fought the world-renowned Battle of the Plains has been a subject of undying human interest; because it is one of those very few memorable landmarks which stand at the old cross-roads of history to guide us into some new great highway of the future. It is true that this battle was not by itself the cause of such momentous change; and it is also true that there were bloodier fields, in three successive years, at Ticonderoga, Minden and Ste. Foy. But those were barren battles, and never helped to bring about any decisive change in national destiny. What makes Wolfe’s consummate victory immortal is, first, that it was directly based upon the British command of the sea, and hence both vitally important in itself and most far-reaching in its results; next, that it was the culminating feat of arms in one of the greatest of imperial wars; and, finally, that it will serve to mark for ever three of the mightiest epochs of modern times—the death of Greater France, the coming of age of Greater Britain, and the birth of the United States. And, as it was thus in the very core of things during that hour of triple crisis, it may be truly called the most pregnant single event in all America since Columbus discovered the New World.

    You can read this at:

    In the Heart of Old Canada
    By William Wood (1913) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    Beth has another video for you for August 4th 2021 - Wedding traditions Gaelic

    You can watch this at:

    Peeps at the Far East
    A familiar account of a visit to India by Norman MacLeod (1871)

    These reminiscences first appeared in the pages of "Good Words," and are now republished with several additions and alterations. In determining to write them at all, my desire was to increase the interest of people at home in that great country placed by Providence under the British Crown, and in the noble and trying labours there of so many of our countrymen; and also to quicken a sense of our individual duty to aid to the utmost of our power — if by intelligent sympathy only — in advancing the true civilisation of two hundred millions of the human race.
    The object of my journey with Dr. Watson was to report to the Church of Scotland regarding her missions in India. That comparatively little is said here upon this subject, is due to the fact that it has been fully dealt with by both of us in other forms for the information of those who sent us. In these pages I confine myself to such topics as could not well find a place in an official Missionary Report.

    I must here express my obligations to Messrs. Shepherd and Bourne, of Calcutta, for the right kindly accorded to me to copy from their large and splendid series of photographs — the best that exists of Bengal; and also to Mr. Grant for the privilege of making use of the fine pictures in his two interesting volumes, "Anglo-Indian Domestic Life," and "Rural Life in Bengal."

    You can read this at:

    Northern Memoirs calculated for The Meridian of Scotland
    To which is added, the Contemplative and Practical Angler, writ in the year 1658 by Richard Franck. THE following reprint of a scarce book will afford, it is hoped, amusement as well to the topographical antiquary as to the lover of the angle, since it contains some curious particulars respecting the state of Scotland during the sixteenth century. (1821) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Muniments of the Royal Burgh of Irvine
    By John Shedden Dobie in two volumes (1890)

    You can read these volumes from our Gazetteer page on Irvine at:

    The North British Review

    Scottish periodical

    The North British Review was a Scottish periodical. It was founded in 1844 to act as the organ of the new Free Church of Scotland, the first editor being David Welsh. It was published until 1871; in the last few years of its existence it had a liberal Catholic editorial policy.


    Major Hugh Fraser
    From the University of St Andrews, Institute of Scottish Historical Research

    Hugh Fraser served in the Swedish army reaching the rank of Major (some secondary sources erroneously claim lieutenant colonel). He was the younger son of Hugh Fraser of Culbokie.

    Hugh Fraser returned home from service in the Swedish Army by the spring of 1640 with the rank of Major and the ‘200 muscats firlocks guns and picks’ he provided to his clan chief, Hugh Fraser, 7th Lord Lovat. The Lovat Frasers, were ‘probably the most loyal Covenanters in the Highlands outside of Argyll and Sutherland’ according to Edward Furgol, but this ‘expert soldier’, did not serve the Covenanting cause in his clan regiment. Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and second in command of Major-General Robert Monro’s Regiment of Foot [SSNE 94], Hugh would have played a leading part in Monro’s punitive campaign in north-east of Scotland from May to September 1640 and in his regiment’s subsequent policing of the south-east of Scotland and the eastern Borders.

    On the domestic front, Hugh used the ‘considerable fortune’ he had reputedly made in Swedish service, to secure the heritable tenure of the Lovat properties of Fanellan and Kiltarlity in July 1640, before he bought ‘the toun and lands’ of Kinerras from Thomas Chisholm. Hugh’s newly acquired baronial status combined with his wealth, his military standing and his acceptance as a leading Lovat Fraser, secured his election as a Commissioner for Inverness-shire in the Scottish parliament, taking the Parliamentary oath on 15th July 1641 along with his fellow Inverness-shire Commissioner, Sir James Fraser of Brae, Lord Lovat’s younger brother and the dominant figure in Fraser of Lovat affairs. Kinerras’s election would suggest that he was politically acceptable to Brae, a staunch Presbyterian and firm supporter of the Argyll faction in Covenanting politics.

    Kinerras’s involvement in politics did not interrupt his military career, however, as he retained his position as Lieutenant Colonel in Major General Robert Monro’s Regiment and landed at Carrickfergus in March 1642 in the first wave of the Scots Army sent to Ulster to suppress the Catholic Irish Rebellion. Little is known of Hugh’s career in Ireland apart from the brief period in May 1642 when he was in command of Dunluce Castle following the capture of the castle and the detention there of the Earl of Antrim, but, in late 1643, he was appointed Colonel in command of the first regiment of Dragoons to be raised in the Covenanting Armies. Better known as Fraser’s Dragoons, Hugh’s regiment advanced with Leven’s army [SSNE 1] into northern England in January 1644. Following action in Northumberland and Durham, his Dragoons were described as the ‘stoutest regiment’ in the Covenanting Army during the siege of York and enhanced their reputation further at Marston Moor on 2nd July 1644. In 1645 Hugh’s Dragoons were involved in operations on both sides of the Pennines before they returned to Scotland as part of Lieutenant General David Leslie’s force [SSNE 2920] which defeated Montrose at Philiphaugh on 13th September 1645. The following month they accompanied Major General John Middleton’s cavalry [SSNE 6698] in a rapid advance through Aberdeenshire and Buchan before being dispersed in various garrisons north of the Forth for a short time. They returned to England as a cavalry regiment and established their headquarters at Tickhill in South Yorkshire by 30th January 1646. It was whilst they were there, that Hugh’s Regiment achieved a notorious reputation in England for not only imposing an unauthorised cess and threatening to quarter troops in towns which refused to comply but also for carrying out acts of theft, murder and rape which went unpunished.

    Ironically enough, it was during the time his regiment was in South Yorkshire, that Hugh’s lands and property in Inverness-shire would have suffered at the hands of a detachment of Montrose’s troops on 29th April 1646, who left ‘not a sheep to bleet, or a cock to crow day, nor a house unruffled’ …‘betuixt the bridge end of Inverness and Gusachan’ and who forced the local population to seek refuge in strongholds such as the sconce at Kingillie which was built by William Fraser of Culbokie, Hugh’s eldest brother, to Hugh’s design.

    Shortly afterwards, Hugh’s regiment moved out of South Yorkshire in early May 1646 with no apparent setback to Hugh’s Covenanting career. In November 1646 he attended the sixth session of the first triennial Parliament and was appointed to the Inverness-shire War Committee, while, on 29th January 1647, he was retained in military service as Rutmaster of a Troop of Horse in the Covenanters’ New Model Army.

    Unfortunately nothing is known of Hugh’s Horse Troop and its activities, but we do know that Hugh was able to raise 53,000 merks Scots to purchase Kinmylies and other Lovat properties on 20th January 1647 and that he took on additional local responsibilities with his appointment to the Inverness-shire Revaluations Committee on 15th March 1647. That Hugh seems to have remained close to Brae throughout 1647 and into 1648 is clear from the evidence of 7th March 1648 that the Scottish parliament rejected ‘the two commissions produced for the sheriffdom of Inverness, the one granted to Sir James Fraser [of Brae] and Colonel [Hugh] Fraser [of Kinneries (sic)], and the other to Sir John MacKenzie of Tarbat and Hugh Rose of Kilravock’ and ordered a re-run of the Inverness-shire election. But, at some time in 1648, Hugh changed political allegiance to become one of only two Lovat Fraser gentry to support the Engagement. It might seem from his nomination to the Inverness-shire War Committee on 18th April 1648 and his appointment by the ‘Engager dominated Estates’ as ‘colonel of a troop of eighty Inverness-shire horse’ on 4th May 1648, that Hugh had changed sides by then. But this does not seem to have been the case, as the Committee of Estates, ‘with the advice of the General’ on 12th May 1648 ordered that Callendar should have ‘the troop commanded for the last year by Colonel Fraser’, a decision that was ratified by the Scottish Parliament in an Act of 12th June 1648 ‘disposeing Generall Leslie's troupe to Duke Hamiltoune and Rutemaster Fraser's troupe to Callander’. But if Hugh had not moved into the Engagers’ camp by mid-June 1648, he must have done so very soon afterwards as it is more than probable that he was the officer in command of Fraser’s Flintlocks, whose role was to provide the baggage guard for Hamilton’s invasion force which entered England on 8th July 1648.

    No information is available about Frasers’ Flintlocks until their surrender at Warrington Bridge on 19th August 1648 following the defeat of Hamilton’s Army at Preston and Winwick, and no evidence has been found to tell us of Hugh’s whereabouts or his actions thereafter until he was stripped of his military rank and public offices in the purges of the autumn of 1648. We do know that Hugh went on to become one of the leading figures in Pluscarden’s Rising and played his part in the seizure of Inverness on 22nd February 1649. Hugh’s participation in this Rising marked an even more significant break from his kin and clan as his actions placed him in direct armed opposition to his erstwhile political ally Brae, to the great majority of the Lovat Fraser gentry and to his three brothers who had stayed loyal to Argyll and supported the Anti-Engager regime. We will never know why it was that Hugh decided to throw in his lot with Pluscarden [SSNE 135], but in the rapidly changing and uncertain political circumstances surrounding the execution of Charles I and the unilateral proclamation by the Scottish Parliament of Charles II as King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, perhaps it is not irrelevant to note that, in some important respects, Hugh’s decision to support Pluscarden parallels that of Major-General George Monro who had recently returned to Ireland to join with Royalists to wrest back control of Ulster from New Model Army domination in a move intended as a precursor to launching an attack on the New Model Army’s tacit ally, the Anti-Engager regime in Scotland.

    But whatever Hugh’s hopes and motivations may have been, Pluscarden’s Rising was wracked by internal division from the outset and failed to attract much in the way of local support. On 2nd March 1649 Hugh and the other leading figures were declared rebels and traitors by the Scottish parliament and, on 8th March 1649, Lieutenant General David Leslie was ordered north with instructions to ‘use all means to divide them amongst themselves. And if Colonel Fraser, [John Monro of] Lemlair and their friends (who have been formerly employed in our service and now out of weakness are misled) will be instruments to bring in and deliver Pluscarden in your hands and others of the chief ringleaders, then you shall grant them conditions as you think fit.’ On 21st March 1649 Leslie agreed lenient terms with Hugh, Lemlair and Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie which ‘devyd[ed] them from Pluscardin’. In return for the payment of a fine Hugh wasallowed to retain his freedom and his lands and properties. Hugh lived out the reminder of his life at Kinmylies, where he died on 30th September 1649, and was buried with suitable ceremony and honour in "Lord Lovat’s Isle" in the Fraser Mausoleum at Kirkhill on 6th October 1649. If the Chronicler of the Frasers is to be believed, ‘the Colonels joining with the Mackenzies to attack the garrison of Inverness, of quhich Sir James was govenour, broke [Brae’s] heart’. Brae did not long outlive Hugh, dying at Lovat two months later on 6th December 1649. Brae was given ‘a most glorious funeral’ before he too was laid to rest in the ‘Chapell of Kirkhill’ not so very far from Colonel Hugh Fraser of Kinerras, a man whose expertise as a professional soldier in the wars of his time had secured his rise from obscurity and had secured him his last resting place there.


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