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Thread: Newsletter 16th November 2012

  1. #1

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    Jun 2010
    Chatham, Ontario, Canada
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    Newsletter 16th November 2012


    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Canadian
    Memoir of the Rev James MacGregor D.D.
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    The Flag in the Wind
    Electric Scotland
    Northern Notes and Queries
    Sketches of Virginia
    Robert Burns Lives!
    A Significant Scot - William Sharp
    Kilsyth, A Parish History
    The Little White Bird by James Barrie
    Strathmore Past and Present
    The Isle of Skye in 1882-1883 (New Book)
    George Douglas Brown

    Electric Scotland News
    Well the bad news this week is that our Electric Scotland Community got hit with a peculiar problem which seems to do with the Facebook add-on. It started to give problems on Wednesday and we figured all we needed to do was to remove the add-on but to our horror we found we were not able to load our admin to remove it.

    We could have simply restored from backup but as we'd only just completed our daily backup we were sure we'd just backed the problem as well. The data is quite safe so nothing will be lost. At time of writing we're spending time to overwrite the main program files to try and get us back into the program. There are other issues that might cause problems so my current best guess is that it could be Friday morning before we have a final solution. Such is life and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

    I might add that the community can still be used but it is painfully slow and is subject to going down from time to time while we try and resolve the issues.

    As a result of this problem the newsletter will only be available as a pdf file this week although once we're back up I will add it to the forum.


    On a more positive note we have a new advertiser "House of Tartan". Here is a wee introduction about them...

    Established in 1994 and proud home of the World's First Tartan Database. Leading-edge Tartan Designers, innovative industry specialists and inventors of the other world first, online Tartan Design software. House of Tartan ® was the first company ever to make ribbon available in any tartan. We are suppliers of custom-woven tartans and products to private and corporate customers worldwide. Including Tartan essentials, Kilts and Highland Dress. Our extensive Tartan range is complemented by a selection of Scottish accessory items, many available for prompt shipment worldwide. We are the definitive Tartan Industry experts and if we can’t help, or refer you to someone who can, what you want is probably not to be found. So please phone +44 (0) 1764 679 000, e-mail, or contact us via the Enquiry box on our website. But whatever help you need, be assured we at the HOUSE of TARTAN ® don’t just talk about service. We go to astonishing lengths for our customers. We are also delighted to be working with Alastair of Electric Scotland, the largest online historical resource on the history of Scotland and the Scots. Alastair is in fact a customer of ours having purchased two kilt outfits from us when he visited us in Comrie prior to moving to North America. Put us to the test.

    And they now have a special feature in our Shopping Mall and a button advert in our header so do check them out at just in time for Christmas!


    I've been tasked by the Grand Prior of the Knights Templar of Canada to suggest ways to improve their web site, help with developing better communications between the Knights and Dames of the Order and to be their newsletter editor. This all means I have a busy month ahead. At the same time they are being supportive of my Electric Canadian site and so as well as raising money for charity they are going to see if they can't raise information for the site so that's very good news. In return for that help I've now got a banner advert for them in the header of the Electric Canadian site.

    I will say that this work has already had an impact on my usual work on the site so haven't been able to get as much up as I usually do but still plenty to read.


    I got two emails in this week asking about the same thing and that was... when I click on a link to view the Northern Notes and Queries I can't find that weeks volume. So I thought I'd better explain that my habit is to add things to the bottom of the page so anything new will always be found at the foot of the page. So that means you need to scroll down to find the latest addition. I also try not to point to pdf files directly as some people have trouble loading them so I tend to point to the basic web page where there is a clickable link to download the pdf file. So hope that explains things.

    Electric Canadian

    Memoir of the Rev James MacGregor D.D.
    Missionary of the General Associate Synod of Scotland to Pictou, Nova Scotia with Notices of the Colonization of the Lower Provinces of British America, and of the Social and Religious condition of the Early Settlers by his Grandson The Rev. George Patterson (1859).

    We have now completed the main book and next week I will be adding the appendices to complete it.

    You can read this book at

    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    I thought it would be worthwhile to add this document as all Canadians should really be aware of its contents. It might actually be of benefit to Scotland when they try to come up with their own Charter of Rights and Freedoms for an Independent Scotland. You can find this at:

    I have acquired a lot of information on the Iroquois Nation but simply had no time to put it up but hopefully will next week. I will also be starting a new book next week "Roughing it in the Bush or Forrest Life in Canada" by Susanna Moodie (1871).

    The Flag in the Wind

    This weeks edition was Compiled by Clare Adamson in which she is highlighting some rather disturbing information from North Lanarkshire Council

    You can read this issue at

    Electric Scotland

    Northern Notes and Queries
    This weeks issue is for April 1897 and can be found at the foot of the page at:

    Sketches of Virginia
    Historical and Biographical by The Rev. William Henry Foote D.D. (1856)

    We're now up to Chapter XLIII of this book. Next week will see us completing it.

    You can read the new chapters at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    Edited by Frank Shaw

    This week we have a Book Review "Robert Burns & Friends", Essays by W. Ormiston Roy Fellows presented to G. Ross Roy. Edited by Patrick Scott & Kenneth Simpson.

    You can read this interesting review at

    A Significant Scot - William Sharp
    Scottish poet, literary biographer, and romantic story-teller.

    We've now started on adding volume two of his memoir and this week we've added Chapter 3 - The Washer At The Ford. I will say that it is books like this that can open new areas for study by providing information on a topic and also highlighting the major players which certainly helps with further research. For example here is how this chapter starts...

    Owing to the publication of The Sin-Eater by a firm identified with the Scoto-Celtic movement the book attracted immediate attention. Dr. Douglas Hyde voiced the Irish feeling when he wrote to my husband: "I think Fiona Macleod's books the most interesting thing in the new Scoto-Celtic movement, which I hope will march side by side with our own." This movement was according to William Sharp "fundamentally the outcome of Ossian, and immediately of the rising of the sap in the Irish nation." Following on the incentive given by such scholars as Windische, Whitly Stokes, Kuno Meyer, and the various Folklore societies, a Gaelic League had been formed by enthusiasts in Ireland, and in Scotland, for the preservation and teaching of the old Celtic tongue; for the study of the old literatures of which priceless treasures lay untouched in both countries, and for the encouragement of natural racial talent. Wales had succeeded in recovering the use of her Cymric tongue; and the expression in music of racial sentiment had become widespread throughout that country. Ireland and the Highlands looked forward to attaining a similar result; and efforts to that end were set agoing in schools, in classes, by means of such organisations as the Irish Feis Ceoil Committee, the Irish Literary Society and the Irish National Theatre. Their aim was to preserve some utterance of the national life, to mould some new kind of romance, some new element of thought, out of Irish life and traditions. Among the most eager workers were Dr. Douglas Hyde, Mr. W. B. Yeats, Mr. Standish O'Grady, Mr. George Russell (A.E.), Dr. George Sigerson, and Lady Gregory.

    In Scotland much valuable work had been done by such men as Campbell of Islay, Cameron of Brodick, Mr. Alexander Carmichel; by the Gaelic League and the Highland Mod and its yearly gatherings. There were writers and poets also who used the old language and were consequently known within only a small area.

    You can read this chapter at

    Kilsyth, A Parish History
    We're now up to Chapter XIX. In chapter XVII we learn of a Significant Scot...

    William C. Burns was the son of Dr. Burns of Kilsyth. He was born in the manse of Dun, 1st April, 1815. From the sequestered retirement of Dun, where the wheels of life moved slowly and quietly, he came to Kilsyth with his father when, in 1821, he was inducted minister of the parish. Dun was never a real part of William Burns’ life; it lay behind him rather like a happy dreamland or as a golden haze on the verge of his existence.

    The town of Kilsyth then contained 3000 inhabitants, and the landward 2000. The boy attended the parish school, and soon felt the stimulus of the more active life amid which he had now been cast. Among the sons of the farmers, weavers, and miners, he grew up, if not a tall, still a strong, ruddy lad, with a capability of going his own way and holding his own part Books were not entirely neglected, but for his natural instincts the Kilsyth hills and Carron water had irresistible attractions. The ambition of his heart was to be a farmer. At this period an uncle took him to Aberdeen, and placed him under Dr. Melvin, the famous classic. The doctor’s frown, on the occasion of his having perpetrated a maxie, William never forgot. If he had murdered his father, the teacher could not have looked upon him with greater scorn and indignation mingled with pity!

    From the Aberdeen Grammar School he went to the university. In the bursary competition he stood fifth, and at the end of two sessions he entered the office of his uncle, Mr. Alexander Burns, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh. That the young man, up to this time, had been leading a life of vicious self-indulgence is most highly improbable. Men of the temperament, and occupying the theological standpoint of William Bums, are prone to paint their spiritual condition before conversion in the blackest colours, erroneously imagining that by so doing the grace of God is magnified. That there had, however, been some wanderings in the paths of folly on the part of the young man seems to have been the case. It was, consequently, happy for him that through the interposition of the Holy Spirit he was arrested in these questionable courses before they had blossomed out into irretrievable transgression. He awoke to the consciousness that his heart was spiritually dead, on the occasion of receiving a letter from his sisters, in which they spoke of going as pilgrims to Zion* and leaving him behind them. That he should be parted from Christ gave him not the least concern, but the thought of being separated from his father and mother and sisters touched him to the quick.

    As he mused one evening over Pike’s Early Piety, a holy fire began to burn. In a moment, whilst he gazed on a solemn passage, his inmost soul was pierced as with a dart. God had apprehended him. Retiring to his bedroom, with many team, he besought God to blot out his transgressions, and to have mercy upon him. His prayers'.* were answered, and he felt that the Almighty had visited him with His salvation. So the conversion of the lawyer’s clerk was accomplished. That it was a real turning of the heart unto God his after life bears the most ample witness. Thenceforward his path was as the shining light which shines more and more unto the perfect day. From that time his piety burned with an unfluttering flame. When his Peniel wrestling was over, his new name was William Bums, Missionary and Evangelist.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    You can view the other chapters at:

    The Little White Bird by James Barrie
    We've decided to serialize this book as part of the reason is that his famous Peter Pan first appeared in it which led to the play.

    We've now added the next 5 chapters...

    Chapter XI - The Runaway Perambulator
    Chapter XII - The Pleasantest Club in London
    Chapter XIII - The Grand Tour of the Gardens
    Chapter XIV - Peter Pan
    Chapter XV - The Thrush's Nest

    The Peter Pan chapter starts...

    If you ask your mother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a little girl, she will say, ' Why, of course I did, child '; and if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days, she will say, 'What a foolish question to ask; certainly he did.' Then if you ask your grandmother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a girl, she also says, 'Why, of course I did, child,' but if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days, she says she never heard of his having a goat. Perhaps she has forgotten, just as she sometimes forgets your name and calls you Mildred, which is your mother's name. Still, she could hardly forget such an important thing as the goat. Therefore there was no goat when your grandmother was a little girl. This shows that, in telling the story of Peter Pan, to begin with the goat (as most people do) is as silly as to put on your jacket before your vest.

    You can read this at

    Strathmore Past and Present
    By The Rev. J. G. M'Pherson (1885)

    We've now completed this book by adding the following chapters...

    Eassie and Nevay

    I've always thought that books like this can enhance your holiday should you go to these places. By reading up on them before heading there you'll have a great wee store of information on places to visit and stories of the area.

    You can read this book at

    The Isle of Skye in 1882-1883
    Illustrated by a full report of the trials or the Braes and Glendale Crofters at Inverness and Edinburgh and an Introductory chapter by Alexander MacKenzie, FSA Scot. (1883). This is a new book we're starting.

    THE body of this book was in type before the Royal Commission to inquire into the grievances of the Highland Crofters began its labours, but its publication was delayed to enable me to glance at its proceedings in an Introductory Chapter. Some of the statements made in the book itself were described by certain interested individuals as exaggerations; others hesitated not to apply even stronger terms, without the slightest pretence to a personal knowledge of the facts. Keeping this in view, I resolved to await the result of the Inquiry of the Royal Commissioners in Skye before publishing this volume. The first portion of the work has appeared in my “History of the Highland Clearances,” now nearly out of print, but I felt that Skye deserved a volume specially dealing with itself, during a period in its history when the eyes of the whole of the British people, and indeed of the civilized world, were upon it The Social Unrest which has exhibited itself in the Island during the last two years, will prove the turning point in a long reign of oppression in the Highlands. To the Men of Skye will be due the honour of securing a complete change in the system of land tenure which has hitherto kept the Highlands under the foot of the oppressor; and this fact alone will give an interest to what might otherwise appear comparatively trifling incidents, but which, in the circumstances, I deemed worthy of record in the following pages.

    You can start reading this book at

    George Douglas Brown
    Journalist, Teacher, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Critic

    John Henderson very kindly produced an account and genealogy of this person and in the process discovered that details of his genealogy are incorrect and so for the first time we now have his true genealogy. He has also produced a copy of one of his famous books "The House with the Green Shutters". for us to read.

    As John said in his introduction - 'The 'Green Shutters' novel gives a strongly outlined picture of the harder and less genial aspects of Scottish life and character, and was regarded as a useful corrective to the more roseate presentations of the kailyard school of J. M. Barrie and Ian Maclaren. Reprinted frequently throughout the twentieth century, it was most recently re-issued by Birlinn of Edinburgh. An annual event in Brown's memory, The Green Shutters Festival of Working Class Writing, is held in Ochiltree, the town believed to be the model for the village of Barbie.

    In 1980, the BBC filmed a version of the novel as a play written by Bill Craig, called, 'The House Of Green Shutters; and in 1983, the Communicado Theatre Company toured Scotland with Gerry Mulgrew's adaptation of it called, 'House Of Green Shutters'.

    In December 2004, the house in which he was born was gutted by fire. As of August 2007, the house in which he was born in Ochiltree has been re-opened as "The Green Shutters Pub" and a memorial plaque to George is located on its outside wall.

    You can read this at

    And finally...

    Traveller's Tale

    "I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. 'Now,' she asked me, 'Has your plane arrived yet?"


    Now And Then

    "My husband is a man of rare gifts," said the woman ordering a glass of cava with her friends on Friday night.

    "The idiot forgot my birthday last week."

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


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Re: Newsletter 16th November 2012

    Thanks Alistair

    I really value my weekly newsletter although I do not always respond on on the forum.
    Electric Scotland is awesome - it keeps me up with Scottish History, my clan and Scotland.

    We have just come back from Ballarat in Australia - and what did we find there - Scots influence
    in the early history of this town, the railway opened in 1862. Was lucky enough to meet a cousin
    whose family also hailed originally from Scotland.

    It was great to get home and find newsletter ( even though late ) delivered in email box. Yes
    technology has made us more exposed sometimes to glicks in the system.

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