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Thread: Newsletter 13th May 2011

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    Newsletter 13th May 2011

    CONTENTS
    --------
    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Scotland Community
    The Flag in the Wind
    Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland
    Glencreggan: or A Highland Home in Cantire
    Kay's Edinburgh Portraits
    A Highlander and His Books
    Places of Interest about Girvan
    Poems of George Alexander Rodger
    William and Louisa Anderson
    The History of Fettercairn (New Book)
    Annals of a Publishing House
    George Thomson, the Friend of Burns
    Scott, Nimrod Whitfield
    The Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland


    Electric Scotland News
    ----------------------
    Well the Scottish elections sure turned out to be an amazing result with the SNP getting an overall majority by a useful margin. This of course means there will be a referendum for Independence.

    It will be interesting to see what transpires in the months ahead.

    -----

    Another landmark for myself this week in that I got my Canadian passport. I'd been meaning to apply for it for some time but just hadn't got around to getting photographs taken. One advantage of having a Canadian passport is that I can now spend up to six months at a time in the USA and if driving through the border it is much quicker. I've only ever gone into the USA with my British passport and you always need to complete a special form and pay a fee. This way I can now be waved through!

    -----

    I have been doing some additional work on the council areas of Scotland this week checking links and adding some additional information. I took the opportunity to email all the councils asking if they'd please check their page on our site to see if all the information is correct and I asked them...

    Please advise if we have the correct major towns listed and if there are any others that we have missed please advise there names.

    We are also looking for antiquarian books on any towns in your council area or areas within it. These must have been published at least 75 years ago. If you can provide the book title and author we'd appreciate it.

    Should you have any texts we can use to bring the history up to date we'd be pleased to accept them for publication on the site.

    We are also looking for any pictures of your council area that we can use on the site. We'd like them to be of high resolution and if you can provide some text to inform us of what the picture is about we'd appreciate it.

    We're also looking for any link to local businesses where we can learn about those businesses and what they offer. A simple list of companies is not required as we're looking for some information on the businesses themselves. And so if you have a directory listing where there is also a description of those businesses we'd be happy to get that web address.

    In the event you can think of anything else that you'd like included we'd be pleased to receive your suggestions.

    So it will be interesting to see if any of them take up the offer.

    -----

    I received an email in telling me of an event in Spain which had a good Scots presence...

    28-04/01-05-2011 Feungirola Spain



    The sound of bagpipes bellowed through the streets of Fuengirola as the majestic Scots step foot on Spanish soil, sounding their entry into one of the most important world stages for culture. Flying the flag for Alba was the Royal ladies, bodyguards, Piper, Celtic dancers, Picts and kilted models…all with one thing on their minds…to make the Scottish contingent the most successful country visited by the one and a half million visitors in four days. Like attracts like, as other visiting Scots flocked to the Scottish cassetta giving their homage and to gab in the old tongue. Waving Saltires and Lion Rampants adorned the street accompanied with Royal banners, pipe music and the smell of home made haggis in tempting the Spanish and other visiting foreign taste buds.

    As the troops marched up the main street of Fuengirola, tens of thousands mobbed either side of the streets, waving and cheering in acceptance of our Scottish mini invasion. Non-stop photographers snapped away constantly throughout the week and the Artizans were only too happy to pose and chat with the crowd. Newspaper photographers and interviewers mingled in with Artizans and the cherry on the cake was live Fuengirola TV interviewing the Artizans, beamed out to all of Spain, a great coup for the Robert the Bruce Heritage Centre.

    On one of the days the Artizans were invited to a local school for teenagers and about four hundred kids showed up looking forward to their visit from Scotland. As usual the visit was a success and we would like to thank the kids and teachers for their invite and their warm welcome. A very special visitor, the Mayoress of Fuengirola popped in to the Scottish Cassetta for some pictures and a refreshing drink on a very warm day and of course the paparazzi were there in force.



    On our free days a visit to our Belgian friend Big Dean’s family bar at the beach was called for, where we thanked our loyal friend from the Artizans for all his work past and present. A few of the group visited the nearby medieval Muslim built castle not far from the hotel, surrounded by stunning sea views and snapping some photos for the Heritage Centre site. All in all it was a fantastic effort from our team who were great ambassadors for our country and should be very proud of their achievements and for the way they carried themselves as Scots abroad.

    HAIL THE ARTIZANS!!

    HAIL THE BRUCE !!
    By Paul Hunter

    You can see some pictures of the event at http://www.strathlevenartizans.com/feung11.htm


    ABOUT THE STORIES
    -----------------
    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 http://www.electricscotland.com/rss/whatsnew.php


    Electric Scotland Community
    ---------------------------
    I have just been advised today that a mobile suite is now available for our community. I will be purchasing it but it is likely to take up to two months before we can make it available. Part of the process is registering our own app both with iTunes and the Android operating system. I noted the instructions for iPhone and there are eight steps to go through which takes around 6 weeks to complete.

    Our community can be viewed at http://www.electricscotland.org but of course if you are reading this you're already in it :-)


    THE FLAG IN THE WIND
    --------------------
    This weeks issue is now available compiled by Jamie Hepburn in which he heralds the new SNP majority government.

    You can get to the Flag at http://www.scotsindependent.org


    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...

    Seige of St Andrews Castle - 1546

    You can read this account at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/wars/


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

    This week we're on the Appendix with...

    Dermid: A Poem


    You can read this at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/glencreggan/


    Kay's Edinburgh Portraits
    -------------------------
    A Series of Anecdotal Biographies chiefly of Scotchmen, Mostly by James Paterson and Edited by James Maidment (1885)

    This week we have added...

    The Forty-Second Regiment, or Royal Highlanders
    Lord Balmuto, of the Court of Session
    Mr. James Cooper, Jeweller
    Sir John Marjoribanks, Bart., Lord Provost of Edinburgh
    Hugh Macpherson, sometime Clerk to the Perth Carriers
    Henry Johnston, Actor, at the Edinburgh Theatre
    The Rev. John Jamieson, D.D., Author of "The Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language,"

    An interesting account of The Forty-Second Regiment, or Royal Highlanders, which starts...

    The Forty-Second Regiment, or, as it is commonly called in Scotland, the "Forty-Twa," was originally formed about the year 1729, and obtained the name of the "Black Watch," from the nature of the duty, and the appearance of the soldiers, whose Celtic dress was of a more sombre description than the showy scarlet uniform of the regular troops.

    The services of the "Black Watch" were strictly local. The corps consisted of six independent companies, raised by gentlemen favourable to constitutional principles, and was scattered over the Highlands in small detachments, for the purpose of overawing the disaffected, and checking plunder and "lifting" of cattle. The ranks were filled by persons of the utmost respectability, and were open to all who chose to enrol themselves; but the officers were selected from among those who were known or supposed to be zealous in favour of the Hanoverian succession.

    In 1740, these bands were formed into a regular regiment of the line, with the addition of four new companies. The uniform at that period consisted of a scarlet jacket and vest, with "buff facings and white lace, tartan plaid of twelve yards plaided round the body, the upper part being fixed on the left shoulder, ready to be thrown loose and wrapped over both shoulders and firelock in rainy weather. These were called belted plaids, from being kept tight to the body by a belt of strong thick leather." The arms were a musket, a bayonet, and a large basket-lnlted sword, which were furnished by Government; but the men were at liberty to carry pistols and dirks, if they chose to provide them for themselves.

    In 1743, the regiment was ordered for England, a circumstance which excited considerable alarm in the minds of the men, who, notwithstanding the late change, still considered that their services were limited to Scotland ; but they were flattered by the assurance that they were merely to proceed to London, for the purpose of being reviewed by the King, who had never seen a Highland regiment.

    You can read the rest of this entry at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/kays/vol251.htm

    The other entries can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/kays/index.htm


    A Highlander and His Books
    --------------------------
    By Frank Shaw

    THE GREATEST GAME, The Ancyent & Healthfulle Exercyse of the Golff, By Hugh Dodd & Prof. David Purdie
    With A Foreword by Colin Montgomerie.

    This is a fun book, very enjoyable. To describe it as hilarious is not a stretch since the book is extremely amusing and boisterously merry! It is also a beautiful book – one of the best and I am proud to own it! Its subject is one of Scotland’s greatest discoveries, and I am not talking about penicillin, television, telephone, or whisky. I’m talking about the game of golf! The book was conceived, illustrated and written by two very successful men, one a Scottish artist and the other a current “disused medical academic” who writes, lectures, and broadcasts. One will paint you as beautiful a scene as you ever imagined and the other will write you a speech worthy of Parliament. Both will have you in stitches throughout this cleverly written and illustrated publication. Meet Hugh Wood and David Purdie, as irreverent a pair as you will ever find. They have reached the point in their lives that nothing between the first and last green is sacred. I can only surmise that they have a very healthy respect for the game of golf. Each one’s creativity compliments the other, and you’ll find humorous prose and illustrious illustrations offering a view of golf never seen before.

    You can read more of this book at http://www.electricscotland.com/fami...atest_game.htm


    Places of Interest about Girvan
    -------------------------------
    By Rev. R. Lawson (1892).

    We put up this week...

    King Robert the Bruce

    This is the final chapter and so now concludes this book.

    You can read this at http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...rvan/index.htm


    Poems of George Alexander Rodger
    --------------------------------
    Added another poem, Farewell to the Rev. D. A. Tosh, which you can read at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/rodger09.htm

    The other poems can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/rodger.htm


    William and Louisa Anderson
    ---------------------------
    A record of their Life and Work in Jamaica and Old Calabar by William Markwick (1897)

    we now have up...

    Part II
    Jamaica Period, 1839-1848

    Chapter 3
    The Proposed Mission to Africa—Mr. Anderson's Marriage to Miss Louisa Peterswakl—Prevailing Mortality in Jamaica —1841
    Chapter 4
    1842 - Formation of a Congregation at Rose Hill—Mr. Anderson's Ordination as an Elder
    Chapter 5
    In charge at Canon Hill, 1843-44—License and Call to Rose Hill, 1844
    Chapter 6
    Pastor at Rose Hill, 1845
    Chapter 7
    Appointment to Old Calabar, 1846—Transference of the Agents of the Scottish Missionary Society to Board of Missions of United Presbyterian Church, 1847— Call to succeed late Rev. W. Jameson—Departure from Rose Hill, 1848.

    Part III
    Old Calabar Period, 1849-1889, and Closing Years, 1889-1895

    Introduction and Chapter 1
    Voyage and Arrival at Old Calabar
    Chapter 2
    First Impressions and Beginning of Work

    Mr. and Mrs. Anderson spent only a few months in Scotland before leaving for Old Calabar. Mr. Anderson was busily employed along with Mr. Waddell in pleading the claims of the African Mission, and had very little time to spend with his old friends, or to revisit the scenes of his youth.

    He and Mrs. Anderson were now about to enter on the most important period of their career. Mrs. Anderson was spared to labour for thirty-three years in connection with the Calabar Mission. Though known as "the silent woman," her recorded deeds are eloquent of self-sacrifice on behalf of native and European without distinction, and, like the ointment of spikenard poured forth, their sweet odour reveals their character to all. But the best portion of a good woman's as of a good man's life are "the little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love" done so that the left hand knows not what the right has done. The records of her work are scanty and fragmentary, but there remains enough to show the manner of woman she was.

    Mr. Anderson for forty years did yeoman service in Calabar. The following pages tell the story almost wholly in his own words, and reveal his character and describe his labours better than any other pen could do. Further introduction is needless.

    You can read these chapters at http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...rson/index.htm


    The History of Fettercairn
    --------------------------
    A Parish in the County of Kincardine by Archd. Cowie Cameron (1899)

    This is the book I mentioned last week which is now going up on the site.

    The writing of this History of Fettercairn was first suggested to the author in 1882, after delivering a public lecture on the subject. He hesitated very much to take up the suggestion, from the fear that the task would prove too formidable for his time and resources; but on the other hand, from a sympathetic feeling towards all that concerned the past and the present of the parish, he resolved to proceed and do his best to collect and record in a permanent form such details as could be gathered from the various sources of information. Had the idea of collecting materials for such a work been entertained forty or forty-five years ago, the author could have given with greater fulness and accuracy a record of local history and traditionary incidents now forgotten, by committing to writing the recollections of old people living, many of whose traditionary tales have now escaped his memory.

    While the indulgence of the reader is craved for errors detected or mistakes discovered, neither pains nor labour have been spared to make the History as full and correct as possible. The main object has been to preserve and diffuse a knowledge of the history, antiquities, and traditions of the parish; and it is hoped that the effort will be favourably received.

    The author offers no apology for mixing up the narrative of events with anecdotes and with minute details of local matters which may appear of little interest to general readers, because the work has been prepared chiefly for the people of Fettercairn. He may be charged with trespassing on the parish of Fordoun by having included a general account of the Castle and lands of Kincardine; but from their proximity to and connection with Fettercairn, no history of it could be otherwise complete.

    We have several chapters up now and this can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...airn/index.htm


    Annals of a Publishing House
    ----------------------------
    William Blackwood and His Sons: Their Magazine and Friends by Mrs. Oliphant.

    I would imagine that many of you will have heard of Blackwood's Magazine. As well as producing this magazine they also published many books and this is an article which reviewed the first 2 volumes of this publication. A third volume was later produced and so once you've read this article you will be able to download all 3 volumes in pdf format.

    THE history of a great publishing house is practically a part of the history of literature. The two bulky volumes before us, therefore, though containing only a part of the history of the publishing house of Messrs. William Blackwood & Sons, have not only a commercial and a biographical interest, they have also a measure of that larger and more permanent interest which belongs to literature as the reflection of the thoughts, sentiments, and opinions of the human mind which constitutes its chief value for the history of a nation or of the race. In this latter respect these two volumes are specially important. Almost from the first the history of the house whose transactions they record, has been bound up with the history of a great and popular Magazine which during a long series of years has been conducted with remarkable success, and has had for its contributors some of the most brilliant writers of the period, who, while seeking in its pages to gratify the tastes of its numerous readers, have done much to shape their opinions. As indices to the thoughts and sentiments of a nation there is perhaps none surer than that which is afforded by the magazines it reads. With few exceptions, they are first, if not chiefly, commercial undertakings ; they may aim at a high standard of literary excellence; but their success and their existence are measured precisely by the extent to which they meet and satisfy the tastes and literary requirements of the public for which they cater; and perhaps there is no surer guide to the literary history of the English speaking race during the greater part of the present century than the pages of Maga when read in the light thrown upon them by the two volumes to which we are now referring.

    I have also made available Volume 2 of this magazine in pdf format, October 1817 to March 1818. That said there are well over a hundred volumes on the Internet Archive should be interested in reading more.

    You can get to this review at http://www.electricscotland.com/hist.../blackwood.htm


    George Thomson, the Friend of Burns
    -----------------------------------
    By J Cuthbert Hadden from The Scottish Review.

    'MUSICAL Thomson (memorable, more so than venerable, as the publisher of Burns's songs): him I saw one evening sitting in the Reading-room; a clean-brushed commonplace old gentleman in scratch-wig; whom we spoke a few words to, and took a good look of.' Such is Carlyle's reference to George Thomson, speaking of his own visits to Edward Irving at Annan, somewhere about the year 1821. To any one who did not know the circumstances of the case, there would be something misleading in the description of Thomson as 'the' publisher of Burns's songs; for Burns's songs were being published before Thomson had anything to do with the poet, and Thomson's collection contained, after all, but a very small proportion of the lyrics which make up the Burns total in that department of verse. But Thomson has been rather unfortunate in the matter of designations. In Mr. W. K. Leask's recent monograph on Boswell he is referred to as 'the composer' (it is Mr. Leask who buries John Knox in St. Andrews!) while in Sir George Grove's Dictionary of Music he figures as 'the music-publisher of Edinburgh.' In the strict sense of the terms, he was neither composer nor music-publisher: he was an enthusiastic amateur musician, whose hobby was the collection and preservation of national music and song; and it was for this, as well as for the connection with Burns to which it led, that he desired and expected to be remembered. Having recently had his correspondence placed in my hands for editing with a view to publication, I propose in this article to revive his memory and to tell some things about him which will probably give a new interest to the well known letters of Burns addressed to him.

    And so another interesting article which you can read at http://www.electricscotland.com/hist...ge_thomson.htm


    Scott, Nimrod Whitfield
    -----------------------
    A mini bio of a Scots descendant in America.

    We got sent in this mini bio by his grandson which you can read at http://www.electricscotland.com/webc...ott_nimrod.htm


    The Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland
    -------------------------------------------
    In 4 volumes by John MacCulloch, M.D.

    Containing descriptions of their Scenery and Antiqities with an account of the Political History and Ancient Manners, and of the Origin, Language, Agriculture, Economy, Music, Present Condition of the People, &c. Founded of a series of annual journeys between the years of 1811 and 1821, and forming an Universal Guide to that country in letters to Sir Walter Scott, Bart. by John MacCulloch, M.D., F.R.S., L.S., G.S. (1824)

    From time to time I come across a publication that I feel is well worth a read and especially if you are trying to understand Scotland and the people. This is a 4 volume publication which was created through letters to Sir Walter Scott. It was at a time when Scotland was emerging as a world force and so is also interesting from the time perspective. I've acquired a pdf version of this publication and so make the volumes available for you to download.

    I have included the contents page for each volume so you can select which volumes you'd like to read.

    You can get to this at http://www.electricscotland.com/travel/highlands.htm


    And finally...

    Pearls of Scottish Wisdom

    1. Money cannot buy happiness but...somehow, its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

    2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the bastard's name.

    3. Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

    4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

    5. Alcohol never solved any problem, but then neither does milk.


    And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend.

    Alastair
    http://www.electricscotland.com

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    Re: Newsletter 13th May 2011

    Postscript
    ---------

    This just came in too late for the newsletter so adding it now...

    National Scots, Scots-Irish Heritage Month - H.RES 238

    We're looking for folk in the United States to help with this resolution.

    You can read it at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill...bill=hr112-238

    and if you'd like to support it and send a message to your local representative and you can do that here...

    http://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hres238

    Alastair

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    Re: Newsletter 13th May 2011

    Along with all the rest, I particularly liked the Scottish Wisdom! And they say Scots don't have a sense of humour!! :-)

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    Re: Newsletter 13th May 2011

    Hey Alastair,
    As always, loved your Newsletter. What did you mean when you said "there will be a Referendum for Independence"? Scotland is a country. England couldn't possibly think that you are part of them in this day and age, right? When you do come to the US, where do you like to visit most? And as everyone here has said already, I really laughed when I read "Pearls of Scottish Wisdom" Thanks for your hard work.

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    Re: Newsletter 13th May 2011

    Hi Diane... As Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom through the Union of the Crowns in 1707 we are ruled from Westminster. That means our tax money goes to Westminster as part of the UK tax system.

    Scotland got what is called a Devolved Government which means we now have some control on how money is spent on some areas. The UK Government thus makes available a lump sum for us to spend on these devolved matters.

    What some in Scotland are seeking is to become a totally independent country where we control everything. That means we'd be recognized as an independent country by the United Nations. Right now for example we are represented around the world by the UK Government so if you go to the British Embassy they will also handle Scottish affairs. The question is does Scotland actually get a decent focus as in population terms we're only 10% of the UK.

    Also... as Britain is part of the European Union Scotland has lost an estimated 100,000 jobs in the Fishing Industry thanks to EU policies. Yet when fishing matters are being discussed in the EU it is a British minister that is involved in the talks and Scotland is excluded. It's matters like this that make some want an independent Scotland.

    As I understand it right now around one third of Scots want an independent Scotland. One third do not want it and one third are undecided. The idea of a referendum is to ask the people two questions (1) If they would like to have more power for the Devolved Scottish Government such as greater borrowing powers, control of the Corporation tax raised in Scotland, control of the Crown Estates, etc. (2) If the Scottish people would like Scotland to be an independent country and thus split from the UK.

    In the event the vote is to split from the UK to become an independent country then that would trigger a process toward making that split happen.

    In some ways many English people would like to see that split. In Westminster politics it was actually Scottish MP's that kept the UK Labour party in power. So if we did split then it's likely England would become a Conservative country as they've always had a majority in the South of England where the greater part of the population is located.

    In 1707 the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England meant that James the VI of Scotland became James I of Great Britain. There is a lot of debate about that but in history it does seem to have been advantageous for Scotland as we got access to areas of the world where we'd previously been excluded and to my mind we did very well indeed as a result.

    And so that's what I mean by a referendum... it's to see if the Scottish people would like to become in independent country once again.

    As to traveling to the USA. Mostly I went there to work with Beth Gay of the Family Tree. I was at her Scottish Weekend for a couple of years. They paid for my flight from Scotland and arranged to put me up with folk in the area. I also worked in Kentucky as Steve May my techie lived there with his family so stayed with them. One year I went to Florida as I was the official guest of the Jacksonville Highland Games.

    It's like I spent six months in Canada but I was put up by friends of the web site that also had broadband Internet access. I of course still have to work even thought I'm travelling. In that six months I got introduced to many people and the local chamber of commerce or the local council would take me around so I could take photographs of there area and do a write up on it. Like when in Canada the local council in Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario paid my expenses to go stay with them for a week and they paid for me to stay in the local hotel. I was thus taken around by them so I could photograph and write about there area. While there I met a fellow Scot who lived there and he put me up for an extra couple of weeks and through him I got to go further afield.

    So it's really more that I like to travel around to try and get a handle on the Scottish contribution to an area. Like as you'll know I was recently in Vancouver where I was giving a talk for the Scottish Studies Dept. at Simon Fraser University. That let me see that part of Canada and as I'd already put up a history of British Columbia it allowed me to take many pictures which I was able to add to the site. I'd previously been refused any help with pictures by British Columbia tourism.

    I have had a bit of a tour of Georgia, North and South Carolina, when I visited Beth Gay and her husband around 3 years ago now. I drove down from Canada and stayed with them for a couple of weeks. Likewise North Carolina had refused any help with pictures for the history I put up on North Carolina.

    I'm not travelling as much these days as I have been settling into my new home in Canada and working on doing up my house. I might be going to Quebec later this year but still to decide on that. There is one person that is prepared to put me up and give me a hand at finding the Scottish roots there. As he's a native French speaker that will be useful as about all I know of French is to say "Bonjour" <grin>

    Glad you all liked the Pearls of Scottish Wisdom. I'll have to see if I can find more of these.

    Alastair

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    Re: Newsletter 13th May 2011

    Hey,
    As I eat a garlic bagel with cream cheese and chives :), I want to thank you for your in-depth explanations. Now I need to research the "Union of the Crowns in 1707" to understand the reasons for their decision. Thanks for taking the time to respond, I know your busy.

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