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Newsletter for 29th July 2022

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  • Newsletter for 29th July 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    The average home in England costs 8.7 x the average disposable household income, up from 4.37 x in 1999.

    I noted this stat in a recent copy of the CapX newsletter and am wondering how the USA, Scotland and Canada fare in this. I remember in my early years c1970 I could get a maximum mortgage equal to 3.5% of my annual salary. How young folk these days can even afford a mortgage in beyond me.

    And as mortgage interest rates are heading up quite a bit this means credit card bills will also be causing issues. While I use a credit card myself I have always paid the total bill by direct debit so have never had to pay interest thank goodness.

    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.

    Let’s stuff the House of Lords with Trade Envoys
    We don't hear much about their work, but Britain's trade envoys are the unsung heroes of recent years, helping to bring in billions of pounds of business to the UK. The next PM should build on their work by appointing a fresh slate of envoys. And where better to look for them than our ever-expanding House of Lords?

    Read more at:

    Scottish benefits system branded 'expensive disaster' as IT costs soar to £250m
    EXCLUSIVE: Parts of the social security system were devolved to Holyrood following the 2014 referendum but the roll-out has been marred by delays and cost overruns.

    Read more at:

    Lord Advocate publishes indyref2 legal argument to Supreme Court.
    The arguments will be put to judges at the Supreme Court in October by Scotland's Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain. Ms Bain said a referendum vote would only demonstrate the views of people about independence and would not have the legal outcome of ending the union.

    Read more at:

    Full scale of Tayside and Fife’s NHS waiting times crisis laid bare in new Courier project
    The alarming extent of the health crisis facing Tayside, Fife and the rest of Scotland has been exposed in a landmark project from DC Thomson's data team.

    Read more at:

    Ministry of Defence sells up more than half of its land in Scotland in 24 months
    The Ministry of Defence has sold off more than half of its land in Scotland in 24 months while slashing the number of regular armed forces personnel by almost 10%, we can reveal.

    Read more at:

    New evidence uncovered about Battle of Culloden
    New research has reshaped historians' understanding of the battlefield landscape of Culloden 275 years ago.

    Read more at:

    Commonwealth: Seven things you might not know
    The 22nd Commonwealth Games begin in Birmingham on Thursday 28 July. More than 5,000 athletes will compete, representing states from around the world which are part of the Commonwealth group of nations.

    Read more at:

    The ambitious quest to map every cell in our body
    The human body has 37 trillion cells. If we can work out what they all do, the results could revolutionise our healthcare.

    Read more at:

    Germany and the End of Globalization
    The number of democratic countries around the world is shrinking steadily, and autocratic countries are registering more patents than the West. A new era is dawning and it could have dramatic consequences for our work, our money and our lives.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Pope Francis visits former Residential School site in Edmonton
    Pope Francis meets with residential school survivors in Maskwacis, Alta., where he issued an apology on his 'penitential pilgrimage.'

    You can watch this video at the foot of page at:

    The History of Grand-pré
    By John Frederic Herbin, B.A., (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 24th day of July 2022 - Changing Perspectives
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa and the humors of the valley
    By Anson A. Gard (1906) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    History of the County of Perth
    From 1825 to 1902 by William Johnston (1903) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    July 27th 2022 - The Horned Helmet

    You can view this talk at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Hi Everyone. Be happy that you do not have a camera on me today. I was out working in the garden this morning and pulling out the finished crook neck yellow squash and cucumbers. I guess it's just been so hot, they didn't produce very long. (Yes, I will replant seeds and hope to have time for another go-round.) Anyway, it was really hot, so, I just turned the lovely cold water hose on my head. That was just wonderful. I had my hair pinned up and haven't done anything else with it so far. I know I am glamorous. Ha.

    This is the Section A for August. Once again, I am surprised at the articles that turned up for you to enjoy. Did you ever hear of the "year there was no summer?" I was amazed to read that the strange weather in 1815-1816 was caused by a volcanic explosion. And, the almost unbelievable fact was that nobody figured out the cause of the strange year until the 1920s or so. Goodness. That's almost as amazing to me as when I learned that in the 2nd World War there was a very long time that they had dogs at the air bases to alert them when the fighter planes were returning. No radios, nothing to communicate with.

    I guess that solves my personal mystery as to why nobody in my family talked about winter in the summertime back then. They just didn't know.

    The important thing for me is that as soon as I finish sending this BNFT to everyone on my email list...and it is about 500 friends and cohorts long...I will immediately do my bookkeeping for the BNFT ads. I am determined to keep them in good shape now.

    During the last year, I am guilty of not even thinking about the books as Tom and I have had an interesting and scary 15 months with him in bed and going to medical appointments in an ambulance. I did them last month and was appalled at the mess. Hopefully, everything is straightened out now and I will do this each month as soon as I complete the monthly publication.

    Please don't forget to keep me up to date with your email address. Just email with changes or edits. Use that same address to let me know about your Flowers of the Forest or stories and articles.

    I've heard about more friends with Covid in the last week than in the last year. Please folks, be careful.


    You can read this issue at:

    William Watt
    Joint proprietor and editor of the Aberdeen Free Press from 1872-1906.

    I will be getting more information about this person so decided to add a new page for him to our Significant Scots section. You can see this new page at:

    Memoir of John Miller of Sheardale
    By Rev. Andrew Thomson, D.D., (1876) (pdf)

    John Millar was born in Edinburgh, October 13th, 1805, and was the youngest of nine sons. The family home was Dunbar, where his father owned a small coasting vessel, and traded with it.

    You can read about him at:

    Life of Andrew Thomson, D.D.
    By Jean L. Watson (1882) (pdf)

    You can read about him at:

    Scottish & Newcastle plc
    Company Profile

    You can read about this company at:

    Life of Ebenezer Erskine
    It was he who struck the first blow against ecclesiastical despotism, and that blow resounded throughout the utmost borders of Scotland. By Jean L. Watson (1881) (pdf)

    You can read about him at:

    Books, manuscripts and documents dating before 1901
    In the library collections of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The following is an index in alphabetical order of principal author or title of printed books, manuscripts and documents that date from ca.1252 to 1900 in the libraries of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in London and in Edinburgh. It covers items originally published before 1901 so some later published facsimiles and modern reprints of early texts are also included. (pdf)

    You can study this reference source at:


    Sir James Miller, Bart., of Manderston
    By William Bertram

    IT was fitting acknowledgement of magnificent service that Berwickshire accorded Major Sir James Miller, Bart., on his return home a few weeks ago from South Africa after close on a couple of years’ fighting and hardship, when it made him the recipient of numerous public presentations. It was during the autumn of 1899 when things in South Africa looked black and uninviting that the Government, in casting their eyes around them, went so far as to appeal to the Yeomanry of Great Britain, a branch of the service which had always been looked upon as expensive and almost unavailable for men, to take part in their country’s battles.

    The conditions laid down were most exacting, but these in no way deterred thousands of brave fellows from answering to a call which most certainly was urgent and demanded instant response. The Lothians and Berwickshire Yeomanry were amongst the very first to come forward, willing to proceed anywhere and anytime on this dangerous mission, and in an incredulously short time the requisite strength was selected from the many hundreds who volunteered. The very responsible command of this 19th Company Imperial Yeomanry was entrusted to the subject of this article, who at the very outset had offered himself for service abroad, and again and again in the many months gone by the wiseness of this choice by the War Office has been abundantly proved. To again recount the toil, the dangers, the hardships, and the battles which the 19th Company have had to undergo is quite unnecessary here, as these are now pretty well a part of history, and for all time will remain green in the memories of every loyal Scot, suffice it to say that Lord Roberts made special mention of the tact, ability, and conspicuous bravery of this body of typical Scotsmen, of whom the regiment at home, and the Empire at large, might rightly feel proud.

    Raised in 1797, the regiment comprised five troops among which were the "East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry" and the "Berwickshire Yeomanry". After disbandment in 1838 and re-raising in 1846, the unit became the "Lothians and Berwickshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry" in 1888 and "Lothians and Berwickshire Imperial Yeomanry" in 1901. In 1908, the regiment was named "The Lothians and Border Horse TF (Dragoons)".

    In the Second Boer War, the regiment sponsored the 19th Company of the Imperial Yeomanry, which served in the 6th (Scottish) Battalion in South Africa from 1900 until 1902. The regiment was based at Dundonald Street in Edinburgh at this time.

    Such an honour, coming as it did from the head of the army in South Africa, is to be coveted and gives ample indication of the superior military abilities of Sir James Miller, who, in the eyes of countless thousands, is looked upon in the truest sense of the word as “a Soldier and a Man.” Some adequate conception of what the Company has passed through can be realised from the fact that seven per cent, have succumbed either to wounds or disease. Promotion compelled Sir James last month to relinquish command and return home some weeks before the contingent, a body who had come to esteem and value, nay, even worship, their commandant and friend. His arrival in Berwickshire in May last was greeted by tenantry and friends with all that cordiality which such noble self sacrifice so richly deserved. At his beautiful mansion-house of Manderston, near Duns, of which we give a portrait, addresses of welcome were presented by the tenantry and work-people on the estates of Manderston and Doddingston, and by Duns Town Council, expressing admiration for the courage and patriot ism which had impelled him to leave the comforts and joys of his home to fight in defence of the Empire amid all the hardships and dangers of the battlefield.

    Sir James, in accepting the address of the Town Council, remarked that as he had been a soldier (14th Kings Hussars) in the time of peace, he felt it his duty to volunteer for active service in a time of need. As is well known, Sir James Miller is a keen sportsman, is Master of the Berwickshire Foxhounds, and has also for a number of years figured prominently in the racing world.

    As far back as 1889 he was successful in winning the Derby with Sainfoin, and in 1895 in La Sagesse he secured the Oak Stakes of £4500 at Epsom. In 1899 he gained as many as eighteen wins, including the Caesarewitch and Manchester Handicaps, the amount of money for that season alone reaching the handsome figure of £7000, and indeed not a year since then has passed without its quota of victories.

    Two years ago the magnificent range of stables, of which we also give a portrait-, were erected at Manderston, and these will bear comparison with any other establishment of the kind in this country. Provided as they are with all the latest appliances in sanitation and ventilation, apart from having accommodation which only a gentleman like the Laird of Manderston could require, they cost something like £20,000. In public and philanthropic matters associated with the town of Duns, Sir James has always evinced especial interest, and of both the Burgh School Board and Parish Council he has for several vears discharged the onerous duties of chairman, not only with dignity and grace, but in a thoroughly business-like fashion.

    Several years ago a piece of ground covering thirteen acres was gifted to the town by Mr Andrew Smith of Whitchester for the purpose of a public park, and Sir James, with that munificence for which he has ever been noted, came forward with the handsome offer to lay out the grounds and erect a gateway and railings along the frontage, wholly, at his own expense, an offer which was very gratefully accepted by the Local Authority. Operations were at once proceeded with, the grounds were laid out in really artistic style, provision being made for a park, gardens, bowling green, and tennis ground, besides a large central park skirted by a carriage drive of nearly half a mile in length and bordered with plots of flowering shrubs and ornamental trees. This Public Park has added greatly to the amenity of the Burgh, and is very largely taken advantage of by all sections of the community. A more zealous, disinterested, and magnanimous worker in all that pertains to the welfare and success of the town and district could not possibly be. Sir James Miller is esteemed as a landlord, valued and trusted as a man of business, and beloved os a friend. It is therefore little wonder that he has won for himself a lasting place in the regard of all with whom he has come in contact.

    In Lady Miller the War Fund has fonnd a true and courageous worker, and one who has spared herself no pains to help what has proved to be one of the most laudable objects of recent years. Several entertainments organised by her realised very handsome sums, and throughout the campaign not only the 19th Company but numerous other regiments have been the fortunate recipients of parcels of comforts, which reached their destination just when most needed. Such noble consideration has been justly cherished, and is only a solitary instance of the ready response which Lady Miller has made to the countless calls made upon her.


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.