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Newsletter for 5th August 2022

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  • Newsletter for 5th August 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    Introducing Photo Tagger: tag multiple photos instantly
    We’re delighted to introduce Photo Tagger, a free new feature on the MyHeritage mobile app that lets you easily tag multiple photos of the same individual in one go. Previously, tagging photos meant reviewing and tagging them one by one, which was time consuming. Photo Tagger makes organizing your family photos easier and accelerates your productivity, enabling you to tag hundreds of photos in minutes. You can still tag your photos individually as before, but Photo Tagger adds convenient and accurate bulk tagging.

    Photo Tagger scans the photos that you’ve uploaded to MyHeritage, and groups together the faces believed to belong to the same individual, so you can review and tag them in one tap.

    Photo Tagger does an excellent job of identifying faces as they change over time, such as from childhood to adulthood, and even spots changes in individual appearance, such as facial hair.

    Watch this short video to see Photo Tagger in action:


    Scottish Diaspora Virtual Issue
    Some good free content is available at the Edinburgh University Press 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.

    Could the Great Lakes solve US shipping woes?
    Lake Erie - one of five connected bodies of freshwater that make up the Great Lakes system along the US-Canada border - might not seem like a solution to America's supply chain issues. But it might just be exactly that, writes Stephen Starr for the BBC.

    Read more at:

    Britain blessed with new excellent source of cheap, reliable energy
    THE UK is full of untapped potential when it comes to geothermal energy, with a number of different sites across the country where this resource can be harnessed, was told.

    Read more at:

    Look at first ever women’s community custody unit in the UK opens in Scotland
    The Bella Centre has no bars on the windows, nor barbed wire or high walls.

    Read more at:

    Conservative Leadership - who to vote for?
    From Lawyers for Britain

    Read more at:

    The Greggs licensing battle is a symptom of everything that’s wrong with London
    A bizarre row over Greggs the baker's plans to open a 24-hour branch in Leicester Square reveals everything that's wrong with London. Swathes of its economy shut down at 11pm thanks to fun sapping licensing laws that wouldn't be accepted in most global cities.

    Read more at:

    Media in Scotland
    By Hamish Mackay in the Scottish Review.

    Read more at:

    91-year-old islander’s joy as she sees footage from her wedding 50 years ago for first time
    The retired nurse, who lives on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides features in new documentary D¨thchas (Home), which gives viewers a glimpse into the forgotten world of the island in the 1960s and 70s.

    Read more at:

    Susie Wolff: The Scot quietly making a noise in Formula E
    Wolff is the chief executive of Venturi Racing, one of 11 teams who are making a noise, quietly, in the world of motorsport.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Barren Ground of Northern Canada
    By Warburton Pike (1917) (pdf)

    In some respects the most fascinating book that has been written about adventure in the Northwest.

    You can read this book at:

    Emigration to Canada - The Province of Ontario
    Its Soil, Climate, Resources, Institutions, Free Grant Lands, &c, &c., for the information of intending emigrants issued by Authority of the Government of Ontario (1869) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Hints to Settlers in Northern Ontario
    By the Ontario Department of Agriculture, Bulletin 244, December 1916 (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Ontario Government Office in England
    From the April 1932 edition of the O.A.C. Review (page 20) (pdf)

    You can read this article on page 20 of this publication at:

    Canada as seen through Scottish Eyes
    Being an account of a trip taken across the Dominion by the Scottish Agricultural Commission in the Autumn of 1908 published by the Authority of the Minister of the Interior, Ottawa, Canada (1909) (pdf)

    You can read this account at:

    Northeastern Ontario

    Watched a video of a 7 day canoe trip by husband and wife to this are and thought I'd profile it for you. You can watch this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 31st day of July 2022 - Simcoe Day
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    A story of the French and Indian Wars by John R'Musick (1898) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    August 3rd, 2022 - The Scot who saved the American Buffalo

    You can view this talk at:

    Scottish Banner
    Got in the August 2022 issue which you can view at:

    William Watt
    Added a lot more material on him and his son sent in by his great grand son, Professor Graham Watt has been added and here is a wee sample...

    As a journalist he wrote “miles” of copy for the Aberdeen Free Press over a period of 34 years, which is accessible via the British Newspaper Archive but not identifiable as none of his copy carried a by-line.

    However, his last article gives a flavour of his work, reporting a House of Commons debate on the Sugar Convention.

    “But this country has to pay more for its sugar than it did in the days before the Convention. Mr Chamberlain disliked the statement of these facts, but he could not show them to be wrong. Mr Lloyd George had deprecated the passing in the meantime of a resolution declaring it expedient to withdraw from the Convention, on the ground that we are bound by it for two years and a half, that the time for giving the required year’s notice of withdrawal is eighteen months after this, and that to announce at the present moment an intention of withdrawal would embarrass our representatives at the conference to be held in May. Mr Chamberlain seized upon this deprecation of the passing of a needless and embarrassing resolution for the purpose of suggesting that the Government has not the courage of its convictions. Arguments were scarce with him, and as usual the statistics were dead against him. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman made short work of this miserable piece of “tactics”. The country had been committed in this direction and in that, he said, to a policy to which the present Government entirely object. And were this Government free it would “make short work” of the policy in question, but it declines to respond to a demand, for no reason whatsoever, to make a premature announcement of its policy. Though no specific declaration has been made, there can be no reasonable doubt that the Convention is doomed so far as this country is concerned.”

    Three days later William Watt was dead, from peritonitis following a ruptured appendix. He was 59.

    You can reach all this at:

    The National Piping Centre
    A new YouTube channel and have added the second video to the foot of our Pipes of War page which you can watch at:

    Research Guide
    A brief history of emigration & immigration in Scotland (pdf)

    You can read this article at:

    Chambers's Journal
    Nos. 1 To 25. January - June 1854 (pdf). I ocr'd in one of the articles from this as our Story for this week.

    You can read this issue at:

    An Index to the Papers Relating to Scotland
    Described or Calendared in the Historical MSS. Commission's Reports. The Index displays the materials for Scottish History in the volumes published by the Historical Manuscripts Commission from 1870 to the end of 1907, including the single volume so far published in 1908 (the Marquis of Bath’s MSS., Vol. III.). The House of Lords’ MSS. are also included, though their publication is no longer undertaken by the Commission. The last volume of the Lords’ MSS. indexed here is Vol. IV., New Series (1908). The Subject-Index focusses the materials bearing on individuals, incidents, institutions, and reigns contained in the collections reported on by the Commission. Where materials have been published by Clubs and Societies the fact is indicated. Edited by Charles Sanford Terry, M.A. (1908) (pdf)

    An excellent research resource which you can get to at:

    The Jacobites and the Union
    Being a narrative of the movements of 1708, 1715, 1719 by several contemporary hands edited by Charles Sanford Terry (1922) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Scottish Society of Indianapolis
    Got in the July 2022 issue which you can read at:

    Bullying in Scottish Secondary Schools
    By Andrew Mellor (1990) (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    The Battle of Jutland Bank
    May 31-June 1, 1916, the dispatches of Sir John Jellicoe and Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty edited by C. Sanford Terry, Burnett-Fletcher of History in the University of Aberdeen (1916) (pdf)

    You can read this 94 page book at:

    The Albemarle Papers
    Being the Correspondence of William Anne, Second Earl of Albemarle, Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, 1746-1747, With an Appendix of Letters from Andrew Fletcher, Lord Justice-Clerk, to the Duke of Newcastle, 1746-1748 Edited with Introduction and Notes by Charles Sanford Terry, M.A., Lecturer in History in the University of Aberdeen (1901) (pdf)

    They've combined volume's 1 and 2 into just this single publication and the Introduction at the start of volume 2 gives a very detailed account of Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape after Culloden.

    You can read this at:


    From Chambers's Journal

    I am far frae being clear that Nature hersel’, though a kindly auld carline, has been a’thegither just to Scotland, seeing that she has sae contrived that some o’ our greatest men, that ought by richts to hae been Scotchmen, were born in England and other countries, and sae hae been kenned as Englishers, or else something no quite sae guid.

    There's glorious old Ben Jonson, the dramatic poet and scholar, that everybody taks for a regular Londoner, merely because he happened to be born there. Ben’s father, it’s weel kent, was a Johnston o’ Annandale in Dumfriesshire, a bauld guid family there to this day. He is alloo’t to hae been a gentleman, even by the English biographers o’ his son; and, dootless, sae he was, sin’ he was an Annandale Johnston. He had gane up to London, about the time o’ Queen Mary, and was amang them that suffered under that sour uphalder o’ popery. Ben, puir chield, had the misfortune first to see the light somewhere aboot Charing Cross, instead o’ the bonnie leas o' Ecclefechan, where his poetic soul wad hae been on far better feedin’-grund, I reckon. But, nae doot, he cam to sit contented under the dispensations o’ Providence. Howsomever, he ought to be now ranked amang Scotchmen, that’s a’.

    There was a still greater man in that same century, that’s generally set down as a Lincolnshire-man, but ought to be looked on as next thing till a Scotchman, if no a Scotchman out and out; and that’s Sir Isaac Newton. They speak o’ his forebears as come frae Newton in Lancashire; but the honest man himsel’s the best authority aboot his ancestry, I should think; and didna he say to his friend Gregory ae day: ‘Gregory, ye warna aware that I’m o' the same country wi’ yourael’—I’m a Scotchman.’ It wad appear that Sir Isaac had an idea in his head, that he had come somehow o’ a Scotch baronet o’ the name o’ Newton; and nothing can be better attested than that there was a Scotchman o’ that name wha became a baronet by favour o’ King James the Sixt (what for aye ca’ him James the First?), having served that wise-headed king as preceptor to his eldest son, Prince Henry. Sae, ye see, there having been a Scotch Newton wha was a baronet, and Sir Isaac thinking he cam o’ sic a man, the thing looks unco like as if it were a fact. It’s the mair likely, too, frae Sir Adam Newton having been a grand scholar and a man o’ great natural ingenuity o’ mind; for, as we a’ ken right weel, bright abilities gang in families. There’s a chield o’ my acquentance that disna think the dates answer sae weel as they ought to do; but he ance lived a twalmonth in England,and I’m feared he’s grown a wee thing prejudiced. Sae we’ll say nae mair aboot him.

    Then, there was Willie Cowper, the author o’ the Task, John Gilpin, and mony other poems. If ye were to gie implicit credence to his English biographer ye wad believe that he cam o’ an auld Sussex family. But Cowper himsel’ aye insisted that he had come o’ a Fife gentleman o’ lang syne, that had been fain to flit southwards, having mair guid blude in his veins than siller in his purse belike, as has been the case wi’ mony a guid fallow before noo. It’s certain that the town o' Cupar, whilk may hae gi’en the family its name, is the head town o’ that county to this day. There was ane Willie Cowper, Bishop o’ Galloway in the time o’ King Jamie—a real guid exerceesed Christian, although a bishop—and the poet jaloosed that this worthy man had been ane o’ his relations. I dinna pretend to ken how Hie matter really stood; but it doesna look very likely that Cowper could hae taken up the notion o’ a Scotch ancestry, if there hadna been some tradition to that efieck. I’m particularly vext that our country was cheated out o’ haeing Cowper for ane o’ her sons, for I trow he was weel worthy o* the honour; and if Providence had willed that he should hae been born and brought up in Scotland, I haena the least doot that he wad hae been a minister, and ane, too, that wad hae pleased the folk just extrornar.

    There was a German philosopher in the last century, that made a great noise wi’ a book o’ his that explored and explained a’ the in-throughs and out-throughs o’ the human mind. His name was Immanuel Kant; and the Kantian philosophy is weel kent as something originating wi’ him. Weel, this Kant ought to hae been a Scotchman; or, rather, he was a Scotchman; but only, owing to some grandfather or great-grandfather having come to live in Konigsberg, in Prussia, ye’ll no hinder Immanuel frae being born there—whilk of coorse was a pity for a’ parties except Prussia, that gets credit by the circumstance. The father o’ the philosopher was an honest saddler o’ the name o’ Cant, his ancestor having been ane o’ the Cants o’ Aberdeenshire, and maybe a relation o’ Andrew Cant, for onything I ken. It was the philosopher that changed the C for the K, to avoid the foreign look of the word, our letter C not belonging to the German alphabet. I’m rale sorry that Kant did not spring up in Scotland, where his metaphysical studies wad hae been on friendly grund. But I’m quite sure, an he had visited Scotland, and come to Aberdeenshire, he wad hae fund a guid number o’ his relations, that wad hae been very glad to see him, and never thought the less o* him for being merely a philosopher.

    Weel, we’ve got down a guid way noo, and the next man I find that ought by richts to hae been a Scotchman is that deil’s bucky o’ a poet, Lord Byron. I’m no saying that Lord Byron was a’thegither a respectable character, ye see; but there can be nae manner o’ doot that he wrote grand poetry, and got a great name by it. Noo, Lord Byron was born in London—I’m no denyin’ what Tammy Muir says on that score—but his mother was a Scotch leddy, and she and her husband settled in Scotland after their marriage, and of coorse their son wad hae been born there in due time, had it no been that the husband’s debts obliged them to gang, first to France, and after that to London, where the leddy cam to hae her downlying, as has already been said. This, it plainly appears to me, was a great injustice to Scotland.

    My greatest grudge o’ a’ is regarding that bright genius for historical composition, Thomas Babington Macaulay, M.P. for Edinburgh. Aboot the year 1790, the minister o’ the parish o’ Cardross, in Dumbartonshire, was a Mr M‘Aulay, a north-country man, it’s said, and a man o’ uncommon abilities. It was in his parish that that ether bright genius, Tobias Smollett, was born, and, if a’ bowls had rowed richt, sae should T. B. M. But it was otherwise ordeened. A son o’ this minister having become preceptor to a Mr Babington, a young man o’ fortune in England, it sae cam aboot that this youth and his preceptor’s sister, wha was an extromar bonny lass, drew up thegither, and were married. That led to ane o’ the minister’s sons going to England—namely, Mr Zachary, the father o’ our member; and thus it was that we were cheated out o’ the honour o’ having T. B. as an out-and-out Scotsman, whilk it’s evident he ought to hae been, sin’ it’s no natural to England to bring forth sic geniuses, weary fa’ it, that I should say sae. I’m sure I wiss that the bonny lass had been far eneuch, afore she brought about this strange cantrip o’ fortune, or that she had contented hersel’ wi’ an lionest Greenock gentleman that wanted her, and wha, I’ve been tauld, de’ed no aboon three year syne.

    Naebody that kens me will ever suppose that I ’ra vain either aboot mysel’ or my country. I wot weel, when we consider what frail miserable creatures we are, we hae little need for being proud o’ onything. Yet, somehow, I aye like to hear the name o’ puir auld Scotland brought aboon board, so that it is na for things even-down disrespectable. Some years ago, we used to hear a great deal aboot a light-headed jillet they ca’ Lola Montes, that had become quite an important political character at the coort o* the king o’ Bavaria. Noo, although I believe it’s a fact that Lola’s father was a Scotch officer o* the army, I set nae store by her ava—I turn the back o’ my hand on a’ sic cutties as her. Only, it is a fact that she comes o’ huz—o’ that there can be nae doot, be it creditable or no. Weel, ye see, there’s another very distinguished leddy o’ modern times, that’s no to be spoken o’ in the same breath wi’ that Lady Lighthead. This is the new empress o’ France. A fine-looking quean she is, I’m tauld. Weel, it’s quite positive aboot her, that her mother was a Kirkpatrick, come o* the bouse o’ Closeburn, in the same county that Ben Jonson’s father cam frae. The Kirkpatricks have had land in Dumfriesshire since the days o’ Bruce, whose friend ane o’ them was, at the time when he killed the Red Cummin; but Closeburn has lang passed away frae them, and now belangs to Mr Baird, the great ironmaster o’ the west o’ Scotland. Howsomever, the folk thereaboots hae a queer story aboot a servant-lass that was in the house in the days o’ the empress’s greatgrandfather like. She married a man o’ the name o’ Paterson, and gaed to America, and her son cam to be a great merchant, and his daughter again becam Prince Jerome Bonaparte’s wife; and sae it happens that a lady come frae the parlour o’ Closeburn sits on the throne o’ France, while a prince come frae the kitchen o’ the same place is its heir-presumptive! I’m no sure that the hale o’ this story is quite the thing; but I tell it as it was tauld to me.

    I’m no ane that taks up my head muckle wi’ public singers, playactors, composers o' music, and folk o' that kind; but yet we a’ ken that some o’ them atteen to a great deal o’ distinction, and are muckle ta’en out by the nobility and gentry. Weel, I’m tauld (for I ken naething about him mysel’) that there was ane Donizetti, a great composer o’ operas, no very lang sin-syne. Now, Donizetti, as we’ve been tauld i’ the public papers, was the son o’ a Scotchman. His father was a Highlandman called Donald Izett, wha left his native Perthshire as a soldier—maist likely the Duke o’ Atholl pressed him into the service as ane o’ his volunteers—and Donald, having quitted the army somewhere abroad, set up in some business, wi' Don. Izktt over his door, whilk the senseless folk hereabouts soon transformed into Donizetti; and thus it cam aboot that his son, wha turned out a braw musician, bore this name frae first to last, and dootless left it to his posterity. I ken weel that Izett is a Perthshire name, and there was ane o’ the clan some years sin’ in business in the North Brig o’ Edinburgh, and a rale guid honest man he was, I can tell ye, and a very sensible man too. Ye’ll see his head-stane onyilay i’ the Gray-friers. And this is guid evidence to me that Donizetti was, properly speaking, a Scotchman. It’s a sair pity for himsel’ that he wasna born, as he should hae been, on the braes o’ Atholl, for then he wad nae doot hae learned the richt music, that is played there sae finely on the fiddle—namely, reels and strathspeys; and I dinna ken but, wi’ proper instruction, he micht hae rivalled Neil Gow himsel’.

    Ye’ve a’ heard o’ Jenny Lind, the Swedish nightingale, as they fulishly ca’ her, as if there ever were ony nightingales in Sweden. She’s a vera fine creature, this Jenny Lind, no greedy o’ siller, as sae mony are, but aye willing to exerceese her gift for the guid o’ the sick and the puir. She’s, in fact, just sic a young woman as we micht expeck Scotland to produce, if it ever produced public singers. Weel, Jenny, I’m tauld, is another o’ that great band o’ distinguished persons that ought to hae been born in Scotland, for it’s said her greatgrandfather (I’m nopreceese as to the generation) was a Scotchman that gaed lang syne to spouss his fortune abroad, and chanced to settle in Sweden, where he had sons and daughters born to him. There’s a gey wheen Linds about Mid-Calder, honest farmer-folk, to this day; sae I’m thinkin’ there’s no muckle room for doot as to the fack.

    Noo, having shewn sic a lang list o’ mischances as to the nativity o’ Scotch folk o’ eminence, I think ye’ll alloo that we puir bodies in the north hae some occasion for complent. As we are a’ in Providence’s hand, we canna of coorse prevent some o’ our best countrymen frae coming into the world in wrung places—sic as Sir Isaac Newton in Lincolnshire, whilk I think an uncommon pity—but what’s to hinder sic persons frae being reputed and held as Scotchmen notwithstanding? I’m sure I ken o’ nae objection, except it maybe that our friends i’ the south, feeling what a sma’ proportion o’ Great Britons are Englishmen, may enterteen some jealousy on the subjeck. If that be the case, the sooner that the Association for Redress o’ Scottish Grievances taks up the question the better.


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