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Newsletter for 16th September 2022

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  • Newsletter for 16th September 2022

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

    Electric Scotland News

    I created a page for King Charles III on which I've been adding various videos of the happenings after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I'll be adding material up to the Funeral on Monday at:

    Serving for some 70 years is a remarkable feat and dealing with the red box every day for that period is awesome. And just two days prior to her death appointing the new Prime Minister (her 15th) is also amazing. Watching the various TV and Internet reports has also been great as so many people are now able to relate stories about her and in my opinion you can't be but amazed at just how well she did for this country and the Commonwealth. As an example of service it's extraordinary and for such a long period. Hopefully this will encourage our politicians and other world leaders to step up their game.

    I do believe the new King will do well but of course time will tell but I wish him all the best for the years ahead.


    MyHeritage publishes 74 new collections with 130 million historical records
    We have been growing our content team and ramping up our pace of publishing new collections of historical records, to help our users progress in their family history research and make incredible discoveries. In this post, we’re excited to share our largest collection update yet. The 74 new collections we’ve published include 130 million records of many different types, including birth, marriage, death, census, immigration, civil, military, newspapers, will and probate records. Showing MyHeritage’s commitment to advance genealogy globally, the new records come from many countries: the U.S., the U.K, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, and Spain. Following this update, MyHeritage’s database of historical records has now grown to 18.6 billion records.

    Read more 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.

    Toronto Film Festival
    Awards season begins as Hollywood stars arrive

    Read more at:

    Pierre Poilievre elected new leader of Conservatives
    In his first speech to party members as the new Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre took the opportunity to outline some of his main commitments in his quest to become prime minister, reminding Canadians that the Conservatives are 'one party, serving, one country.'

    Learn more at:

    By Hamish Mackay in the Scottish Review

    Read more at:

    A Queen for all Britons
    Critics of the monarchy love to frame it as an outdated, unrepresentative institution, out of touch with the diverse country the UK has become. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to the late Queen's warm, respectful approach to Britons of all ethnicities and faiths.

    Read more at:

    The Queen came to Ballater after the disaster.
    She was there for us for when we needed her most.

    Read more at:

    Scots fondly remember meeting the monarch
    A schoolgirl who presented the Queen with a painting of them both revealed how she promised to store it among the priceless artworks in the Royal Collection.

    Read more at:

    Ukraine's Blitzkreig
    In one week, the Ukrainian military has liberated 1,100 square miles of territory, more than Russia managed to seize in months of costly attritional warfare in the Donbas region. So how did Ukraine’s outgunned forces achieved this stunning, little-anticipated victory?

    Read more at:

    Problem drinking surges in lockdown and keeps surging
    Soaring numbers of Scots needed help for alcohol abuse during the pandemic and the spike in problem drinking has remained since restrictions were eased, we can reveal today.

    Read more at:

    Tearing up the Treasury rule book
    Liz Truss and her Chancellor can expect howls of criticism from establishment economists and their cheerleaders when they hit the accelerator on their reforming agenda at next week's expected mini-budget. They shouldn't listen. The idea that there's going to be a 'sterling bond market crisis' is for the birds.

    Read more at:

    Tracking Trump's extraordinary endorsement spree
    Over the past several months, candidates endorsed by Mr Trump have pocketed victories across the country, winning 92% of the time

    Read more at:

    Michelin awards first stars to 13 Toronto restaurants
    Some 74 restaurants across 27 cuisine types in the country's largest city received a Michelin nod.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    New Days in Old India
    By Frank H. Russell (1926) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 11th day of September 2022 - The Queen
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada
    By Mrs. Jameson (1838) in three volumes

    You can read this at:

    The death of Queen Elizabeth
    Special news report by CBC which you can view at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    September 14th, 2022 - If a gorilla sticks his tongue out

    You can view this talk at:

    Oliphant Family
    Added a file about Carel Naret Oliphant to our Oliphant page kindly sent in by Tony Oliphant.

    You can view this at:

    Biography of Calum Iain Maclean (Folklorist)
    From the Calum Maclean Project at Edinburgh University

    You can read about him at:

    The Secret of a Warm Heart and other Papers
    By the Rev. Norman MacLeod Caie (1925) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    Highland rogues and the roots of Highland Romanticism
    By Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhart (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    Murder in Barra, 1609
    The Killing of the ‘Peursan Mór’ by Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    Harpers in Scotland’s Outlying Communities in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
    By Thomas Brochard (pdf)

    You can read this report at:

    Exile and Return from the Far North of Scotland
    From the Reformation to the Revolution by Thomas Brochard, University of Aberdeen (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Integration of the Elite and Wider communities of the Northern Highlands, 1500–1700
    Evidence from visual cultures by Thomas Brochard (pdf)

    You can read this report at:


    The North and the Navy by J. M. Bulloch

    The contribution of the North of Scotland to the Navy has never been tackled, yet Mr James Grant, the county clerk of Banff, has made a good start in his book on the “Old Scots Navy,” recently issued by the Navy Records Society. But the attitude of Scotland to the Navy after the Union have scarcely been touched. While it is true that Scotland has not been represented in the Navy as some parts of England have been, yet some Scotsmen, like Duncan and the northern Sir Charles Middleton, and like Lord Barham (1726-1813)— a descendant of the Middletons of King’s College—who was the real strategist at the back of Nelson, played a great part. The future historian of shipping at Aberdeen will include a chapter on the Navy. Meantime it is well to preserve all references to the Navy as affecting the north.

    One of the most interesting items I have come across is from the minutes of the Town Council of Banff, transcribed for me by Mr James Grant. This reference is peculiarly interesting as it throws light on Captain George Duff, one of Nelson’s captains, who fell at Trafalgar. Duff, who was born in 1764, was the second son of James Duff of Banff (1729-1804), who was the fourth son of the first Alexander Duff of Hatton (1688-1753). He joined the Navy at the ago of 13, on H.M.S. Panther, then commanded by his grand uncle. Commodore (afterwards Admiral) Robert Duff, and in the course of his career served on the Martin (1790), the Ambuscade, the Vengeance, and the Mars (1804), on board which he was killed at Trafalgar. A full account of Duff will be found in the Taylers’ “Book of the Duffs,” pp. 260-7.The following minute in the Banff Town Council minutes, April 3, 1794, gives us a glimpse of Duff: —

    “The Council, having got information of Capt. George Duff of the Navy, his being appointed to the command of the Ambuscade frigate, and also considering that Capt. Duff, as being a townsman, is entitled to every respect the Magistrates and Council can show him, as well as for promoting his Majesty’s service,

    "Do therefore agree to offer a bounty of three guineas to every able-bodied seaman or two guineas to every able-bodied landsman who shall voluntary enter with Capt. George Duff on board the Ambuscade or any other ship to which Capt. Duff may be appointed, and residing within this burgh and liberties, or within the town of Macduff or parish of Gamrie, and that over and above every other bounty given by Government, upon such seaman 'being passed by. Capt. Duff or. approved off by any regulating officer appointed.

    “And the Council appoint an advertisement to be drawn up; and that the same be transmitted to Capt. Duff himself, to be insert in the Edinr. papers when he finds it proper, the expense of which shall be paid by the agent for the town. And in the letter to be transmitted to Capt. Duff to request him to write him so soon he means to insert the advertisement in the Edinr. papers, that the Council may order the like advertisement to be published in the ‘Aberdeen Journal.’”

    “Banff, 8th April, 1795.—The Provost laid before the Council a printed copy of a Bill at present depending in Parliament for raising a certain number ot men, in the several counties and Royal boroughs of Scotland, for the service of his Majesty’s Navy; upon which it was resolved by the Council that they will use their utmost endeavour to raise the number of men which shall be rated on this borough, how soon the said Bill shall pass into a law; and in the meantime they authorise the chamberlain to publish advertisements in their names offering a bounty of fifteen guineas to each able-bodied man who shall enlist with him as a landsman in his Majesty’s Navy, one-third thereof to be paid in hand, and the other two-thirds how soon such men shall be mustered on board the ships to which they may be ordered.

    “The Council recommend to the Provost in their name to write to Mr Brodie, their representative in Parliament, to attend to the passing of the said Bill into a law, and to take care that this borough shall not be rated at a higher proportion than conform to other boroughs in the district, which the Council think should be regulated by the same division as the public cess payable to Government by the Royal boroughs

    “Mr Robinson laid before the Council a letter from Major Munro, commanding the second Battalion of the fourth regiment of Fencibles, offering a man to this Burgh to serve as one of their quota on the same terms as allowed to other landsmen; the Council recommend to the Provost to write Major Munro thanking him for this offer, and that they will accept thereof, but requesting the Major in the meantime to keep the man alluded to upon the strength of the regiment until the Bill shall pass into a Law. whereby they can be enabled to receive him.”

    “Banff, 12th May, 1795.—The Provost laid before the Council a letter received by him from Mr Brodie, their Representative in Parliament, concerning the men appointed to be raised by this town for the Navy with a letter from the Lord Advocate to him on the same subject, the Council request the Provost to write Mr Brodie and to return him their best thanks for the trouble he has taken in the matter, but at same time to inform him that they cannot think of accepting his generous offer of paying any part of the bounty which must be given to the said men.”

    Men for the Navy from the North

    We do not, as a rule, connect the Navy with our part of the world; but at the end of the 18th century the North had to contribute its quota of (forced) men to the service. One of the earliest examples comes from Banff. On November 7, 1779, a town officer from Banff was sent to Aberdeen with a man “under guard" named John MacQueen, sent “as a sailor allotted for serving on board His Majesty's Navy on account of a man required from the Fishermen of this place." The magistrates asked a receipt for him, which duly came from William Scott, lieutenant commander of the tender Swan at Aberdeen, November 9, 1779. Scott calls the man M‘Ewen (not M’Queen), and his receipt runs thus:— “Received John M'Ewen in lew of fisherman's from Banff by ye hards of a Toun Officer from said place."

    In a covering letter he adds— “I wish he had been a sailor, but will keep him now for His Majesty’s Service."

    In 1795 an Act was passed “for raising a certain number of men in the several counties, stewartrics, royal burghs, and towns in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, for the Service of His Majesty’s Navy.” Under it, for instance, each burgh had to produce (under heavy penalties) a certain number of men, of which the following are excerpts:—

    Inverurie, one man; Kintore, one man; Banff, seven men; Cullen, one man; Elgin, four men. The measure was administered on behalf of the Navy by a “regulating officer.” The official for Aberdeen and Banff in 1795 was Captain Alexander Mackay. Here is a list of the seven men produced by Banff, with the date of entry:—

    William Kivkton (21), labourer, Banff (May 20); James M'Currach (22), weaver, Rathven (May 18) James Main (28), seaman, Rathven (May 11); William Monro (17), labourer, Rathven (May 26); Alexander Robertson (36), flax-dresser, Rathven (May 14); John Robs (22), labourer, Grange (May 20); James Thain (20),fisherman, Rathven (May 11).

    On August 11, 1803, the Navy was represented by Lieut. John Sousby. Writing to the Provost of Banff on this date from the Osenburgh revenue vessel at Montrose, he said: —

    “Having received orders to enroll all the fishermen, passage-boatmen, ship carpenters, and shipwrights on the eastern coasts of Scotland, and to demand one man for every six of them for manning His Majesty’s Fleet, I am to beg you will have the kindness to communicate the same to those men that I shall be there on or about the 21st inst. for the above purpose.”


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you and God save the King!