Electric Scotland News
Electric Canadian
The Flag in the Wind
Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
Scottish Poets in America
Calendar Of Documents Relating to Scotland
Northern Notes and Queries
Songs of Robert Burns
The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
Between the Ochils and the Forth
Biggar and the House of Fleming
Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside
Knights Templar - St James Priory, Toronto
Robert Burns Lives!

Electric Scotland News
Over this past week we've discovered that the site was not accesible for certain periods. On investigating this problem we monitored the site closely and discovered that indeed this was the case and we have been able to prove this issue with our new telco, Comcast. They have been very dilligent in tracking this problem. In fact they discovered that our bandwidth useage on our circuit exceeds all other companies useage put together on the curcuit.

They have now traced the fault and they now believe they have fixed the problem. To fix it they almost camped out at our place to do continuous monitoring. As a result of this issue they have greatly increased the bandwidth available to us and we're also on the fast track to get new and better modems. The problem was at their "head end" and seems that a lot of reconfiguration was involved and upgrades of equipment needed to fix the issue.

We noted that our monthly visitor reports showed a 30% fall in traffic which is certainly very serious. This has thus consumed a lot of our time to get this problem fixed. This of course has impacted our efforts on other matters but hopefully we can now progress on these in the coming week.


Our longtime accommodation advertiser which is accessible through our "Accommodation" link in our menu have asked us to change the link on their button advert [Scottish Accommodation]. This now points to a specific part of their site on Edinburgh appartments. You can see this particular part of their site at http://www.scottishaccommodationinde...burghfifth.php

They belive that due to all the major events coming up in Scotland that they needed to focus on their Edinburgh properties. We do have the Commonwealth Games, Ruder Cup Gold, Homecoming 2014 and much more and of course Edinburgh is a good base from which to explore all these events.


I am continuing to collect information on the Scottish referendum and to that end I have got in a new paper which explains EFTA (European Free Trade Association). As you may know there is some confusion as to whether an independent Scotland should remain in the EU and there is a growing case for us not to join and instead join EFTA. However there is still a lot of confusion about EFTA and frankly a fair bit of incorrect reporting about it. This paper goes a long way to explaining what EFTA is and why it is a better choice for Scotland. You can get to this information through our Electric Scotland Community at

In actual fact there is a ton of information each week on matters to do with Independence and it's really impossible to point to it all. I am just picking selected issue to highlight in the hope that it will clarify various points.


As you will know over the years we plan to implement new facilities and upgrades to existing ones. We seldom seem to manage these in a timely manner so I guess I can call this "My Hope List". Steve tells me what he hopes to do and I faithfully report that to you.

The current plans are to try and transfer our ScotCards site to ElectricScotland and so we intend to drop this domain. It is a long time since we did anything with our ScotGenealogy site. Our plan is to install a bang up to date version of the program and again on ElectricScotland thus also dropping this domain. These two changes "should" take place this coming week.

We still haven't fixed the comment system as their technical support people have still not got in touch to help us with the email issue. we are however bound and determined to get this working as soon as possible.

There is a new upgrade available for our Electric Scotland Community which will make it easier for us to implement the mobile suite and thus the new Facebook app. This is still work in progress as we are still in the approval process for getting our iphone and android apps approved.

And so hopefully we'll see progress on all these issues shortly.


I am working on new books about places in Scotland. Due to all the extra work I've been doing recently my work in progress has been reduced significantly so I'm now once again focussing on this. That has meant my work on the ElectricCanadian site has fallen off and it will likely be a month or so before I can get back to working on that site.

Electric Canadian
Have now completed the book "Past and Present" by adding Part II of the book which you can read at

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 and also

This weeks issue has been Compiled by Gary Knox in which he has some interesting articles both in his own compilation and in the Synopsis.

You can read this issue at

Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language
We've added more to this dictionary...

Scottish Language Letter R

You can read this at

Scottish Poets in America
With Biographical and Critical Notices by John D, Ross (1889)

Now added...

Sturoc, Hon. William Cant

This is a new entry for this week and can be found at

The other entries can be found at

Calendar Of Documents Relating to Scotland
By Joseph Bain

Our thanks to John Henderson for compiling this for us. This week we've added...

Volume 4
1394 to 1407

You can get to this at

Northern Notes and Queries
Edited by Rev. R. W. Cornelious Hallen (1886)

We now have up the next entry of this publication. "June Quarterly Edition 1888", which you can read at

Songs of Robert Burns
We added "Jacobite" to this book.

You can get to this book at

The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
By William Walker

Added the chapter on "Barclay of Cruden".

You can read this at

Between the Ochils and the Forth
We now have up the entire "Along the Great North Road" section...


Chapter I - From Logie Church to Alva and Tillicoultry
The Ochil Hills—Road along their base from Bridge of Allan —Logie chureh and Blair Logie—Ascent of Dunmyat— Menstrie and its glen—Alva and its silver-mines—Ascent of Ben Clench—Tillicoultry and its glen,

Chapter II. - From Tillicoultry to Dollar and Yetts of Muckhart
The Colville family as Lords of Tillicoultry—Harvieston and its associations with Burns—Town of Dollar—Castle Campbell and its surroundings—Road from Dollar to the Yetts of Muckhart.

Chapter III. - Glen Devon, Crook of Devon and Rumbling Bridge
General account of the Devon and its vale—Glen Devon and Glen Eagles—Parish of Fossoway—The Crook of Devon and Titllicbale—The Devil's Mill, Rumbling Bridge, and Cauldron Linn,

Chapter IV. - Aldie Castle and South Fossoway
Read from Powmill to Cleish—AIdie Castle and its traditions —Ancient connection of the Athole family with Fossoway —Blairingone— The "Monk's Grave".

I might add that chapters 1-3 are very familiar territory for myself as for 7 years I attended Dollar Academy as a border. Also tramped all over the Ochil Hills as both a Scout and as part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. There are some excellent wee mills all along the hillfoots road where you can get great bargains from the mill shops. I might also say that Dollar Glen is one of those hidden gems and a great place to have a picnic and then climb up the glen to visit Castle Campbell from where you can get superb views over the Devon Valley.

Chapter II starts...

The present house of Tillicoultry is a modern square mansion, situated on the slope of the Kirk-hill, about a quarter of a mile to the east of the town, and near it is the old churchyard, though the old church is almost obliterated. On a terrace at the north end of the Kirk-hill there remained till the end of the seventeenth century a venerable thorn, beneath which the Laird of Tillicoultry, the first Lord Colville of Culross, was wont to repose. He had served with great distinction in the wars of Henry of Navarre against the Catholic League, and continued a great favourite with that prince throughout the remainder of his life. He was sent afterwards on various missions to France front the English Court, and was always received there with the utmost honour and respect. During his latter days he resided almost constantly at his house of Tillicoultry. Standing on the terrace one day, and looking up to bis favourite thorn, whilst he was recounting his military adventures to some friends, his foot slipped, and the old man fell down the bank, never to rise again. His son, the Master of Colville, had predeceased him, and his grandson, Lord James Colville of Culross, sold the Tillicoultry estate, as already mentioned, to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie.

Going due south from the Kirk-hill, we arrive at its conmuation "the Cuninghar," at the extremity of which, where it abuts on the public road, may still be seen the fragment of a circular rampart. There were some standing-stones here at one time, and the locality was regarded as the site of a Druidical circle; but with the exception just mentioned, almost every vestige of antiquity has disappeared, in consequence of the excavations that have been made in the bank for the digging of sand. A number of bones have been found at this place.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Biggar and the House of Fleming
An Account of the Biggar District, Archaeological, Historical and Biographical by William Hunter (1862)

We now have up...

Chapter I
Prehistoric Remains nr the Biggar District
Chapter II
Invasion of the Upper Ward of Clydesdale by the Romans and supposed traces of the Invaders at Biggar
Chapter III
The Town of Biggar
Chapter IV
Biggar Burn
Chapter V.
Sunnyside and Candy
Chapter VI
The Castle of Boghall
Chapter VII
Biggar Churchyard
Chapter VIII
Biggar Kirk
Chapter IX.
Biggar Kirk—Continued

Chapter VI starts...

THE House or Castle of Boghall was one of the largest and most imposing edifices in the south of Scotland. It stood, as its name imports, in the midet of a bog, which in former times was impassable, even on foot, and which contributed greatly to its security. The habitable part of it was on the south; and, as the bog stretched behind it for several hundred yards, it had been deemed unnecessary to surround the back of it with a separate wall for the purposes of defence. An area in front, extending about two hundred yards both in length and breadth, and capable of holding all the grain and cattle in the barony, was enclosed by a square wall, three feet thick and thirty feet high, on the top of which ran a bartizan, and at each corner was flanked by a circular tower, with embrasures and loop-holes for small arms and cannon. The court was entered on the north by a spacious gateway, with two posterns, and above the gateway was a tower for the warder. The whole was surrounded by a broad and deep fosse filled with water, and spanned by a stone bridge opposite the gate. The ground, between the walls and the fosse, was planted with trees, and some very aged ones were standing within the last forty years.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be readt at

Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside
By John Christie (1892)

This week we've added...


Here is the entry for Crannich...

TO the west of the lands of Lawers is the district of Crannich, now in the parish of Kenmore, but formerly in a detached part of Weem. It comprises the possessions of Balnasuim, Balnahanaid, Cragganester, Craggantoll, and Easter and Wester Tombreck. The eastern boundary runs up the hillside in a north-westerly direction to the summit of Ben Lawers, the western boundary following the Tombreck burn for the greater part of the way. The boundaries gradually narrow towards the watershed, where the lands of Roro, also formerly in Weem (now in Fortingal Parish), and extending up the northern slope of Ben Lawers, march with those of Crannich.

Anciently a thanedom or thanage, Crannich was, along with the lands of Auchmore and Kenknock, granted to Robert de Meygnes, ancestor of the family of Menzies of Weem, by the Earl of Athole, whose title was forfeited in 1327. The “Tosach-doreship ” of the thanedom went along with the lands, and the Menzies family held both for nearly three centuries.

Sir Duncan Campbell, second laird of Glenorchy, obtained “takis of the tuelf-mark land of Cranduich.” Sir Colin, the sixth laird, gave to his second son, Colin, by his second wife, Katherine, daughter of William, Lord Ruthven, the tack of these lands, along with the eight-merk land of Kingarth, and the twelve -merk land of Ardbeich. In 1602, Crannich was purchased from the then laird of Weem, by Sir Duncan Campbell, the seventh laird, together with the lands of Morenish, Auchmore, and Kenknock, for which he paid down eight and twenty thousand merks. Sir Duncan also succeeded to the whole rights and privileges of the Tosachdoreship, an office he was well qualified to fill.

The meal mill of the property stood at Balnahanaid on the west side of Allt-a-Choire Chireinich. At the south-east corner of Balnasuim, close to the lochside, was Cladh Phobuil, the burying ground of the district, but neglected in the last century, almost every trace of the sacred spot has been obliterated. There was an older place of burial, in front of Balnahanaid farm-house. Stone coffins have been unearthed there. For a number of years there was a school in Crannich. It was one of three established in the end of last century by the Rev. Archibald Campbell, minister of Weem, in outlying portions of that parish, belonging to Lord Breadalbane, the others being at Roro in Glenlyon, and Duncrosk in Glenlochay. The teachers of these were granted an annuity of over £5 each by Mr. Campbell, which lapsed when the schools were discontinued.

You can read the other chapters at

Knights Templar - St James Priory, Toronto
We have made available the March 2012 newsletter of St James Priory. A lot of information on the persecution of Christians in this issue. Note also there is a link in this newsletter to information on the Grand Convent of the Knights Templar OSMTH which is held this year in Texas. It also includes a tour of the Alamo with a BBQ after. You can read this newsletter as a pdf file at

Stewart / Stuart of Nova Scotia Newsletter
We got in a copy of their newsletter which you can read at

Robert Burns Lives!
Edited by Frank Shaw

The Mitchell Burns Collection: The Best in the World? By Gerry Carruthers

Gerry Carruthers is no stranger to the pages of this web site nor to Burnsians around the globe. I am always honored when he submits one of his articles for our readers and this particular one will be a treat for all. Susan and I have been to The Mitchell Library in Glasgow in days gone by, and I cannot recall if our small town baseball court in Mullins, SC was any larger than The Mitchell. Naturally we were impressed with the library, and I could very easy designate it the “Mother Library of Robert Burns”.

I have found Gerry’s scholarship to be of the highest quality. He is the author of many books on Burns, four which grace the shelves of my library.* He co-edited Reliquiae Trotcosienses, “a guide to Abbotsford and to its collection”, with Alison Lumsden on Sir Walter Scott that I particularly enjoy and value since Scott was a hero of mine long before Burns. His book, Scottish Literature, is one every Burnsian should own since it deals topics like The Rise of Scottish Literature, Scottish Literature in Scots, Scottish Writing in English and Literary Relations: Scotland and Other Places.* Gerry’s research in all of the above is self-evident and places him among the top Scottish writers around the globe.

It has been a pleasure to work with Gerry on projects at the Burns Club of Atlanta and at The Centre for Robert Burns Studies at University of Glasgow. I must admit I was overwhelmed and honored over a year ago when I was invited to become a member of the Centre’s Business Board.
With great pleasure, once again, I present Dr. Gerard Carruthers!

You can read this article at

Other articles in this series can be viwed at

And finally...

In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal.. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

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