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Newsletter October 29th, 2010

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  • Newsletter October 29th, 2010

    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Scotland Community
    The Flag in the Wind
    Book of Scottish Story
    Scottish Loch Scenery
    Geikie's Etchings
    Town Council Seals of Scotland
    Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
    Robert Chambers - Songs of Scotland
    Notes and Reminscences of Partick
    Travel article
    History of the Gipsies
    The Long Glen
    Lays of the Covenanters
    The Scottish Reformation
    Essays of Hugh Haliburton
    History of Scotland
    Glencreggan: or A Highland Home in Cantire
    Views of Ben Nevis
    Clan Wallace Society
    The Family of Crewe
    Henry Francis Lyte
    Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site

    Electric Scotland News
    I did a lot of work this week in trying to get information on Scottish businesses and yet again I came up blank. I did contact Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Scottish Chamber of Commerce and other organisations.

    This has been a problem now for some 15 years that I've been trying to do something on Scottish businesses. I've been running my own businesses for some 30 years now and if anyone wanted to do a story of my business I'd have been more than happy to provide information. They do say any publicity is good publicity. I simply can't understand why no Scottish business or organisation is willing to tell us about themselves.

    I think after all these years of trying I'm really about ready to give up. How on earth Scotland are going to raise these extra exports they are saying we need I just don't know.

    I even talked to the Vice President of one of the SDI's incubator units in the USA and she said getting information from the Scottish companies based there to give them some good PR was like drawing teeth. She said she guessed it was a "Scottish Thing".

    I have to admit that steam was coming out of my ears with this last round of trying to do something and I really got quite angry. I really don't how we get people like these running our major organisations.


    I'd think twice about using the Greyhound bus service to get a package to someone. A package was sent to me by Greyhound on Friday morning that should have got here by Friday evening. Didn't arrive on the Saturday or Sunday and eventually arrived on Monday.

    Mind you I think I might have tried the ViaRail service as I note they carry packages so one could have gone out on the train from Toronto and got to Chatham on the same day.


    We are coming toward the end of a few books we've been featuring on the site over the past many weeks which have been provided by John Henderson and so are now starting to look for some more new works that we can bring you. John sent me an email...

    Searching for Scottish poetry (as usual!) I came across some of the works of this significant Scot in America – Colonel James Grant Wilson and was most impressed by his two volumes, totalling c.1000 pages - 'The Poets And Poetry Of Scotland: From The Earliest To The Present' (1876).

    So after checking what we have on ES at,

    I decided to improve on what is there on ES by digging more deeply into the family’s genealogy via and ‘google’ etc etc ….

    Merging what I discovered with existing scattered brief references on ES to [Scot] James and his father [Scot] William, I composed what is in the txt file attached, plus attached jpgs for insertion in their story.

    James is without doubt a SIGNIFICANT SCOT, not yet featuring on that ES page!

    We could invite readers to request the works of any poet of their choice and the mini biogs of each choice also?

    I would try to honour any such requests as jpgs from the 2 huge .pdfs that I have on file for 'The Poets And Poetry Of Scotland: From The Earliest To The Present' (1876).

    What do you think?


    And so what do you think of this idea?

    You can read the info on this author that John sent in at

    I might add as we are now looking for new books to bring you this would be an excellent time for you to email me about any subjects or topics that you'd like to learn more about.

    Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section in our site menu and at

    Electric Scotland Community
    As some of you may know I do have diabetes but recently went from Type 2 to Type 1 and so having to get used to a new regime. In many respects this is something that I'd like to chat about in the forums and we do have a Health forum. While specialists will give you good advice it would also be interesting to get real world advice from real people that actually live with it day to day.

    This is partly what the forums are all about to exchange information as well as being a meeting place for friends to keep in touch. To me the problem with social networking is that most communications are small bits of information and so likely not suitable for really good conversations.

    I'm also trying to figure out how we can show posts from the last week rather that just the last 24 hours. I believe a lot of you do come in once a week to read this newsletter and so it would be good if at the same time you can view the messages from the previous week to see if there is anything of interest. Mind you if you click on "New Posts" it should reveal any new posts since your last visit.

    Also noted a few new messages with videos this week. Donna Flood gave us a good one of people playing The Good, The Bad, The Ugly which most of you will know. Gordon put up a couple on car racing in Australia. And I posted up 3 recipes using Pumpkin as the main ingredient seeing as we're getting to Halloween.

    Our community can be viewed at

    This weeks issue has been compiled by Ian Goldie and he includes an excellent link to a video about our new aircraft carriers which you can get to at

    In this particular compilation are a number of very interesting articles in the Synopsis which are well worth a read and you can get to the Flag at

    Christina McKelvie's weekly diary is available at

    Book of Scottish Story
    We've added "The Fight for the Standard" which is the penultimate story from this book which can be read at

    The other stories can be read at

    The Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life

    Our final story from this publication is "Helen Eyre" which can be read at the above index page.

    Scottish Loch Scenery
    From drawings by A F Lydon with descriptive notes by Thomas A Croal (1882)

    This week we added "Falls of the Garravalt" which you can read at

    The other entries can be read at

    Geikie's Etchings
    This week we've added more articles...

    The Blind Fiddler
    I Am Na Fou, I Just Hae Plenty
    A Merry Meeting

    You can read these at

    Town Council Seals of Scotland
    Historical, Legendary and Heraldic by Alexander Posteous

    Added this week...

    Tain To Turriff
    Whitburn To Wishaw

    And this now completes this book.

    You can read these at

    Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
    And of the Border Raids, Forays and Conflicts by John Parker Lawson (1839). This is a new publication we're starting on which is in 3 volumes. We intend to post up 2 or 3 stories each week until complete.

    This week we've added...

    Battle Of Inverlochy - 1431
    Conflict Of The Mackays - 1431

    You can read these at

    Robert Chambers
    Robert Chambers is a famous author and publisher and we do carry a few of his publications on our site such as the 3 volume Domestic Annals of Scotland and his 4 volume Biographical Dictionary of Significant Scots.

    John Henderson found his 2 volume Songs of Scotland which we both agree is a fabulous resource and so we are going to add this to the site in small chuncks in pdf format for you to enjoy.

    This week we added...

    Pages 276 to 298

    You can read this at

    Notes and Reminscences of Partick
    By James Napier (1873)

    This is another of those books that don't have any chapters and is around 300 pages. We're splitting this book up into a logical sequence of pdf files for you to read and will be easier to download. Partick is now a suburb of Glasgow.

    We have up this week...

    Part 8 (Pages 133 - 154)

    This can be read at

    Travel Article
    We have been getting in some wee articles from Holiday Cottages and you can read these at

    The article this week is about Pets in Scotland.

    History of the Gipsies
    By James Simson (1866)

    All these chapters are a substantial read but certainly most interesting. There are a huge amount of footnotes in this publication so have done my best to incorporate them into the text.

    This week we have added...

    Chapter IX - Language

    Here is how the chapter starts...

    The Scottish Gipsies appear to be extremely tenacious of retaining their language, as their principal secret, among themselves, and seem, from what I have read on the subject, to be much less communicative, on this and other matters relative to their history, than those of England and other countries. On speaking to them of their speech, they exhibit an extraordinary degree of fear, caution, reluctance, distrust, and suspicion; and, rather than give any information on the subject, will submit to any self-denial. It has been so well retained among themselves, that I believe it is scarcely credited, even by individuals of the greatest intelligence, that it exists at all, at the present day, but as slang, used by common thieves, house-breakers and beggars, and by those denominated flash and family men.

    [Before considering this trait in the character of the Scottish Gipsies, it may interest the reader to know that the same peculiarity obtains among those on the continent.

    Of the Hungarian Gipsies, Grellmann writes: "It will be recollected, from the first, how great a secret they make of their language, and how suspicious they appear when any person wishes to learn a few words of it. Even if the Gipsy is not perverse, he is very inattentive, and is consequently likely to answer some other rather than the true Gipsy word."

    Of the Hungarian Gipsies, Bright says: "No one, who has not had experience, can conceive the difficulty of gaining intelligible information, from people so rude, upon the subject of their language. If yon ask for a word, they give you a whole sentence; and on asking a second time, they give the sentence a totally different torn, or introduce some figure altogether new. Thus it was with our Gipsy, who, at length, tired of our questions, prayed most piteously to be released; which we granted him, only on condition of his returning in the evening."

    Of the Spanish Gipsies, Mr. Borrow writes: "It is only by listening attentively to the speech of the Gitanos, whilst discoursing among themselves, that an acquaintance with their dialect can be formed, and hy seizing upon all unknown words, as they fall in succession from their lips. Nothing can be more useless and hopeless than the attempt to obtain possession of their vocabulary, by enquiring of them how particular objects and ideas are styled in the same; for, with the exception of the names of the most common things, they arc totally incapable, as a Spanish writer has observed, of yielding the required information; owing to their great ignorance, the shortness of their memories, or, rather, the state of bewilderment to which their minds are brought by any question which tends to bring their reasoning faculties into action; though, not unfrequently, the very words which have been in vain required of them will, a minute subsequently, proceed inadvertently from their mouths."

    What has been said hy the two last-named writers is very wide of the mark; Grellmann, however, hits it exactly. The Gipsies have excellent memories. It is all they have to depend on. If they had not good memories, how could they, at the present day, speak a word of their language at all? The difficulty in question is down-right shuffling, and not a want of memory on the part of the Gipsy. The present chapter will throw some light on the subject. Even Mr. Borrow himself gives an ample refutation to his sweeping account of the Spanish Gipsies, in regard to their language; for, in another part of his work, he says: " I recited the Apostles' Creed to the Gipsies, sentence by sentence, which they translated as I proceeded. They exhibited the greatest eagerness and interest in their unwonted occupation, and frequently broke into loud disputes as to the best rendering, many being offered at the same time. I then read the translation aloud, whereupon they raised a shout of exultation, and appeared not a little proud of the composition." On this occasion, Mr. Borrow evidently had the Gipsies in the right humour—that is, off their guard, excited, and much interested in the subject. He says, in another place: "The language they speak among themselves, and they are particularly anxious to keep others in ignorance of it." As a general tiling, they seem to have been bored by people much above them in the scale of society; with whom, their natural politeness, and expectations of money or other benefits, would naturally lead them to do anything than give them that which it is inborn in their nature to keep to themselves.—Ed.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    Other chapters can be read at

    The Long Glen
    This is a story I found in old copies of the Celtic Magazine so I extracted it over a number of issues and now bring you the story.

    This week we've added...

    Chapter XXIV - The Disruption
    Chapter XXV - Taming the Bull
    Chapter XXVI - The Maor Enlightened
    Chapter XXVII - Duncan Nam Mogan

    The chapter on Taming the Bull starts...

    MUNDANE matters did not come to a stand-still in consequence of the Disruption, which with all its fervour did not produce the millennium, but rather strife and bitterness even among men of goodwill.

    It was a great event for the Glen and the fanciers of high-bred Highland cattle far and wide when the Castul-nam-Fiann stock came to the hammer.

    The owner, one might say the creator of this celebrated stock, died some years back, and as the lease was now on the point of expiring, the executors were disposing of the cattle by public roup, the incoming tenant being as usual bound to take the sheep stock over at a valuation.

    A fold for the sale was fenced in close to the steadings and in front of the homestead. There was a great gathering of people round the fence, but the judge of the sale, the auctioneer, the clerk, the executors, and some of the gentlemen who had come from a distance and were guests at the house, occupied places within the enclosure. Bread and cheese and whisky drams circulated freely among the bidders, and those who were not bidders as well. The sister-in-law and housekeeper of the deceased breeder had a host of servants and neighbourly assistants cooking and attending to the duties of a general dispensation of hospitality in the house.

    You can read the rest of this at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Lays of the Covenanters
    By James Dodds (1880)

    This week we've added...

    The Aged Covenanter

    You can read this at

    The Scottish Reformation
    A Historical Sketch by Peter Lorimer D.D. (1860)

    As some of you will know there is to be a special celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation during November in Scotland. I thought that this would be a good time to make this book available so you can read up on it.

    We have up this week...

    Chapter II.—The Wishart Period, a. d. 1543—1554

    Section 4. Wishart's Preaching in Dundee and Ayrshire. 1544—1545
    Section 5. Wishart's Last Labours. 1545—1546
    Section 6. Wishart's Apprehension, Trial, and Martyrdom. 1546
    Section 7. Assassination of Beaton, and siege of the Castle of St Andrews. 1546—1547

    In section 5 it starts...

    Wishart continued his labours in Dundee till the plague ceased. The date of his departure has not been given, but it was probably late in the year 1545. "God," he remarked on leaving, "has almost put an end to the battle in Dundee, I find myself called to another."

    The new battle he alluded to was a public disputation which he expected soon to maintain with the Romish bishops and doctors in Edinburgh. A provincial Council was to assemble there, in January, 1546, and "the Gentlemen of the West," including the Earl of Cassilis, had resolved to appear before the council -and demand a public disputation between the Romish theologians and Wishart They had previously written to the Reformer, and obtained his consent The risks, or rather the certain dangers of such a "battle," to a man who was under the ban of the church, were indeed obvious; but the effects of a public discussion could not fail to be beneficial to the cause of truth. The battle, however, soon proved to be of another kind; not a public disputation, but a public martyrdom. Every day that such a man was suffered to live, was a day of new losses to the church, and the cardinal was on the watch for the first opportunity of seizing his prey.

    This book is available at

    Essays of Hugh Haliburton
    I am extracting some of his essays that detail Scottish Life and Character from his various works. This week we've added...

    About Foys
    Hansel and Hansel Monday

    About Foys starts...

    Hundreds of foys are held on hundreds of farms north of the Forth on the night of the 21st of November, the evening preceding the great service term of Martinmas. The society of rustic labourers is then on the eve of a great change. There is to be a rearrangement of its units which the next four-and-twenty hours will effect. And, meanwhile, the occasion is seized of parting company with the old arrangement and bidding it formally farewell. The custom—a time-honoured one—though no longer retaining its ancient vigour, is still far from destitute of vitality. To a town-dweller the name and the nature of the institution will scarcely now be known. ["If you're my friend, meet me this evening at the Rummer. I'll pay my foy, drink a health to my king, prosperity to my country, and away for Hungary to-morrow morning."— Farquhar's Constant Couple Act i. sc. I. The word is French—-foi, faith. Leigh Hunt's edition of Farquhar gives 'way'—a misinterpretation.] Briefly described, a foy is a farewell entertainment given to former associates by the person or persons leaving. It is of rural growth, and is in an especial sense a ploughman's institution. It originated, doubtless, in the shifting nature of his employment. Fee'd by the year, the young ploughman at the end of his term longs for change of scene; the monotony of life oppresses him; he is eminently social, and has little outlet for his social instincts; he seeks service on another farm, but not till he has taken kindly leave of his last year's companions on the farm he is quitting. He is besides in a position, pecuniarily, to give the leave-taking entertainment: his year's money is (or rather was—tempora mutantury) paid down to him at the end of his service in a solid and unbroken sum.

    Though primarily a ploughman's institution, it is not confined to farm servants. It is occasionally observed by gardeners, hedgers, and foresters, on the occasion of their leaving one district for another. There used also to be 'prentice foys in the homes of blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and such-like country craftsmen. Tam or Wull had "served oot his time;" he was now "getting up his indenture," preparatory to starting for himself as a free journeyman. In his case the master, to whom he had been bound from boyhood, provided the entertainment; and reason-ably. He had made considerable profit by his apprentice, especially during the last two years or so. The system of apprenticeship by indenture is now pretty rare. It was a legal bond by which the master undertook to instruct his apprentice in the methods and mysteries of his handicraft, the apprentice on his part undertaking to make out and conclude the period of his apprenticeship. The length of apprenticeship varied, according to the nature of the craft, from four to seven years. Each party provided caution to the amount of from £10 to £20 that he would fulfil his part of the contract. The cost of the stamped indenture, thirty shillings or so, was borne mutually His indenture saved a wayward apprentice from the grasp of the recruiting officer, but only while it ran If he had imprudently taken the shilling at some market or merry-making, he was liable in military service as soon as his term of apprenticeship was up. The lifted indenture, of course, relieved both master and apprentice; their mutual agreement was satisfactorily concluded, and they were in a position to appreciate the simple festivity of the foy.

    You can read the rest of this at

    The other essays can be read at

    History of Scotland
    By Wm Robertson

    This is part of the Works of Wm. Robertson and it's actually my intention to bring you all his works over time but to start we're doing his "History of Scotland" which got very favourable reviews at the time and so much so he was asked by the King to do a History of England.

    The History is now going up and this week we've added...

    Book 4 which starts in the year 1566.

    These can be read, along with a small biography of him at

    Glencreggan: or A Highland Home in Cantire
    By Cuthbert Bede (1861)

    This week we put up Chapter. V - The Land's End of Scotland

    You can read this at

    Views of Ben Nevis
    From David Hunter

    David has kindly sent in some of his great photographs of Ben Nevis and surrounding area for us to enjoy and you can see those at

    Clan Wallace Society
    The society kindly sent in copies of there last 3 newsletters for us to read. They include Winter 2009, Spring 2010 and Summer 2010 and you can read these at

    They also sent in a picture of their new clan crest which you can see at

    The Family of Crewe
    I got sent in a scanned copy of a book about the Family of Crewe...

    Elizabeth J Marshall (1913 - 2000) lived her dream. She started her interest in family trees from high school until her death and wanted to put her findings into print for her nieces and nephews. Her husband Walter Marshall joined her in this endeavor. She is admired for her hard work and has provided many hours of enjoyment and discussion through her books. Some of the other books in hard cover are Our Family Heritage which includes the families of Mervins, Goodisons, Toomers, Nicoles and a book entitled The Brown Family.

    This book has included fCrewe Crewe Carew families from the 1770 - when the book was put into publication. it was thought that Samuel Crewe Sr. was a master craftsman in County Cork, Ireland only a few miles from Blarney Castles and its famous blarney stone. This Samuel went to Tetbury, Glousestershire, England to take care of and service the building on a Duke’s large estate. Samule and his wife, Roseann, had a family of 12 sons and one daughter. The daughter married Lord Ellards and went to Dublin, Ireland to live. It is thought that all twelve sons found their way to North America. Some relatives have been traced to the Pennsylvania area and Canada, particularly Southwestern Ontario.

    The spelling varies from Crew, Crewe and Carew and in the book you will find the believed various reasons.

    In this book you will find some information and pictures on the following families: Samuel and Ann Crew, Ypsilanti 1840 census, Crew Homestead, Crests of Carew, Crewe and Carew; Henry Crew, John Crew, Mayme Carew, Harris Carew, Samuel 11, Edward Crew, Henry J Crew, Nellie Chase, Mollie Whalen, Richard Crew, George Crew, Middleton, Morley, Alex Crewe, Dexter Crewe, Minnie Hyatt, Annie Goodison, Will Crewe, Milton Crewe, Port Crewe, Erosion, Wheatly, Wesley Church, S.S. #2 E. Tilbury East and Raliegh, Royal Acorn, Port Alma, Merlin, Glenwood, Baddertown, Erie Cemetary Chart and various pictures of Port Crewe Fishery.

    You can read this book which is in pdf format at

    Henry Francis Lyte
    Three of his best known hymes are all paraphrases of psalms, taken from Lyte’s book “The spirit of the psalms”, published in 1834. “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven” is Lyte’s version of Psalm 103. “God of Mercy, God of Grace” is based on Psalm 67. “Pleasant are thy courts above” is a paraphrase of Psalm 84. His last hymn, written only a few months before his death, was “Abide with me”. Lyte’s health was failing. This famous hymn was written by Lyte after watching the sun set over Torbay. He wrote a tune for it himself, but since 1861 it has been sung to “Eventide”, composed by Dr Monk, Director of Music at King’s College, London.

    You can read more about him at

    Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
    We got in another update on this project which you can read at

    And to finish...

    Choose Your Medic-care Carefully!

    Two patients limp into two different medical clinics, with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking, and appear to require a hip replacement.

    The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day, and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

    The SECOND sees his family doctor, after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled, for a month from then.

    Why the different treatment for the two patients?

    The FIRST is a Golden Retriever.

    The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

    Next time take me to a vet!

    And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)