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

Electric Scotland News

Well the big news this week was obviously the Royal wedding. You can watch the wedding at where it is estimated that some 2 billion people watched it.

The other major topic discussed this week is the forthcoming Growth Commission report which is due out on Friday and I'll bring you details on this next week. In the news items we do have a report from the Chokka Blog on the leaks that have appeared prior to its release.

Here is the video introduction to this newsletter...

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

Warning over Highlands shellfish due to toxins
Commercial shellfish harvesting sites have been closed at a number of lochs in the Highlands due to the level of algal toxins in the water.

Read more at:

17th Century Scots soldiers to be reburied in England today
The remains of 17th century Scottish prisoners of war will be reburied today in England after their skeletons were discovered during building work at Durham University.

Read more at:

How the SNP has turned truth on its head
I read the transcript of the Holyrood debate and its striking feature was the complete absence of real-life examples of why all this matters.

Read more at:

Trump - Countries not meeting NATO obligations will be dealt with
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that NATO members that do not contribute fully to the group would be dealt with, and singled out Germany as a country he said was not doing enough.

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Scots salmon producers report difficult start to year
Strong prices for Scottish salmon have failed to compensate for low harvests and problems with sea lice and disease.

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U.S. bishop wows royal wedding with impassioned sermon on love
African-American bishop Michael Curry electrified the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a barnstorming sermon on the power of love that won smiles in the ancient British chapel and praise across the internet.

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Revive the Commonwealth Relations Office as an antidote to the EU
Our Parliament has proved itself shallow and inadequate, a real challenge beyond them.

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Support Finn’s Law and campaign
To that end, I have launched our own campaign in Scotland to persuade the Scottish Government to introduce a new law to make it a criminal offence to harm or kill a service animal.

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The post-Brexit opportunities of CANZUK are considerable
And should be especially attractive to young people

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Growth commission will 'restart' independence debate
Nicola Sturgeon will restart the debate on Scottish independence this week as her party's economic growth commission report is published.

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Rocket to make Scottish space history
Plans are in place for the first rocket launch dedicated to a Scottish satellite.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg attacks government over Brexit weakness
Outspoken Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg launched an astonishing broadside against the government last night, accusing it of abject weakness over Brexit negotiations.

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Senators take lead in post-Brexit trade deal
The US Congress has taken its first significant step towards a post-Brexit free-trade deal by setting up a committee seeking an expeditious agreement with the UK.

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New Zealand happy to forget the UK's betrayal
It was a story of break-up and betrayal, and of a long-distance relationship that went sour.

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Sustainable Growth Commission: Jam Tomorrow, Gruel Today
I'm writing this before the Sustainable Growth Commission is published and on the basis only of the press releases that have foreshadowed its publication tomorrow.

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Electric Canadian

Transactions of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers
I discovered a lot of volumes of these transaction which are very detailed and note that they are very popular downloads so assume civil engineers are enjoying the details given in these transactions.

I've added the 1939 volume and will add others each week. You can view these at

Some of the topics discussed include British-American Engineering Congress at New York, Canadian Nickel, Construction Methods and Equipment, Development of Meteorological Science, Ecole Polytechnique, Electricity in Canada, The Engineering Journal, Fundamentals of Pile Foundations, Imperial Airwavs Flying Boat, Instrumental Aids to Photogrammetry, The Manufacture of Wire for Use in Wire Ropes, Military Engineer and Canadian Defence, Navigation, Obituaries, Radio Broadcasts, Research in the Evolution of the Automobile, Ship Construction, Water for the Prairie Grassland, etc.

Edward William Thomson
Posted up a bio of him to our Makers of Canada page along with a poem and some of his short stories.

You can get to this at:

The Real Canadian
By J. A. T. Lloyd (1913) (pdf)

An estimate of the Canadian people as a whole, regarded, as they must always be regarded as a powerful and self-conscious nation.
You can read this book at:

Rambles of A Canadian Naturalist
By S. T. Wood (1916) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Conrad Black

The Arabs have abandoned the Palestinians. They should accept any deal they can get

The Collapse of the Collusion Narrative

Electric Scotland

Commonwealth of Australia
Historical Records of Australia published in 1914 in 19 volumes. Intending to put up 1 volume a week until complete.

Added Volume 9 - January, 1816—December, 1818

You can get to this at:

Practice of the Criminal Law of Scotland
By Archibald Alison, Advocate (1833) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Poetical Works of Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount
Lyon King of Arms (1871) (pdf)

We already have a page about him in our Significant Scots section so have added these 2 volumes as a link at the foot of his page.

You can read these at:

An Account of he Life, Lectures, and Writings of William Cullen, M.D.
Professor of the Practice of Physic in the University of Edinburgh by John Thomson, M.D., F.R.S.L.& E. in two volumes first published in 1832 now re-issed along with a second volume, and having prefixed to it a biographical notice of he author.

You can read about him at:

Dr Allen Thomson
From the Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow (pdf)

You can read this at:

Celtic Folk and Fairy Tales
Selected and Edited by Joseph Jacobs

You can read these at:

Celtic Tales
Told to the Children by Louey Chisholm with Pictures by Katherine Cameron.

One of my friends tells me that you, little reader, will not like these old, old tales; another says they are too sad for you, and yet another asks what the stories are meant to teach.

Now I, for my part, think you will like these Celtic Tales very much indeed. It is true they are sad, but you do not always want to be amused. And I have not told the stories for the sake of anything they may teach, but because of their sheer beauty, and I expect you to enjoy them as hundreds and hundreds of Irish and Scottish children have already enjoyed them—without knowing or wondering why.

Added a link to this book from our Children's Stories section and it can be read at:

The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots & Anglo Saxons
Discovered by Phoenician & Sumerian Inscriptions in Britain by Pre-Romans Briton Coins & A mass of New History by L.A. Waddell (1924) (pdf). Also added a 2 part video to this page.

You can read this at:

Proceedings of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society
Contents include Ancient Egyptian Religion ,Botanical Records for 1896, The Antiquities of Eskdalemnir, Antiquities of Buittle, Notes on Rerrick, Report on the Meteorology of Dumfries for 1896, The Martyr Graves of Wigtownshire, Hoddom Old Churchyard (Illustrated), Notice of a Pamphlet by the late Mr John Anderson on the Riding of the Marches, Emu and Ostrich Farming in the Highlands of Dumfriesshire, Ruins and Stones of Holywood Abbey, History of the Dumfries Savings Bank, The Ancient Burial recently discovered at Locharbriggs, The Antiquities of Girthon, Some Historical and Antiquarian Notes on the Parish of Cummertrees, Notes of a Naturalist in West Africa, The Castle of Greenan, Children's Singing Games and Rhymes Current in Kirkbean, The Old Clock of Kirkcudbright, Glencairn Folk Riddles, The Battle of Sark, The Influence of Habitat on Plant Habit, Field Meetings.

You can read these at:

The Story

This story was taken from the above book

Notice of a Pamphlet by the late Mr John Anderson on the Riding of the Marches, 1827.

Mr W. Dickie read a humorous account of the riding of the marches by the Dumfries Trades on 23rd April, 1827, by the late Mr John Anderson, bookseller. He prefaced it by observing that when the system of trade incorporations was in full operation no person was allowed to carry on any handicraft or trade within the royal burgh unless he was either a freeman by birth or family relationship or purchased the privilege. Hence the boundaries to which this valuable monopoly extended were carefully guarded, and it was the custom every year to perambulate the marches, in order to impress them firmly in the minds of the generations as they grew up. The boundaries also marked the limits within which the burgh magistrates had a certain exclusive jurisdiction, and they likewise took part in the perambulations. It was a custom which had died out with the old trades system; but in some towns, as in Langholm and Hawick, a holiday pageant of a somewhat similar nature was still regularly observed. He read the following reference to the custom which is embodied in the Rev. Dr Burnside’s manuscript history of Dumfries, and copied from an earlier record, known as “Edgar’s Manuscript,” viz. :

On the last day of October every year the whole Town Council, Incorporations, with all the freemen belonging to them, accompanied by the boys and school and other attendants, rode the marches. They began their march from the Market Cross, or Laigh Sands, proceeding up to the Castle, down the Friars’ Vennel, up the Green-sands, along the High Haugh to the Moat. There they stopt till the town officers threw among the crowd a bag of apples. They then proceeded by the grounds called Longlands and Lochend, on the north side of the old chapel [viz., the chapel on the site of the present St Mary’s Church] to the Stoup, or horse course, where there was a race for a saddle and spurs. Thence they went eastward and northward, betwixt the town's property and the estates of Craigs and Netherwood, traversing the marches that they might be able to decide in case of dispute. Thus they proceeded to Kelton Well, where the burgh’s superiority terminated. There the Clerk called the roll of the heritors and burgesses, that the absents might be fined. From thence they returned to town, with haut-boys, ancient trumpets and drums, sounding before them. Some old people now living (1792) remember to have seen this procession frequently.

"The Laigh Sands,” the reader explained, would be the White-sands. The Greensands and Whitesands used to be commonly distinguished as the Over Sandbeds and the Under Sandbeds. The flat land in the neighbourhood of the village of Stoop was for a long time the racecourse of the town and was the scene of many mounted contests. In 1827 the route of march was somewhat different from that mentioned in the extract just read. He learned from another contemporary account that “in the morning the trades, particularly the younger members, headed by the Convener and Deacons, with drums beating, fifes playing, and colours flying, proceeded along the Whitesands, Bridge Street, Greensands. Moat, &c., as far as Puufield Burn. From thence they went to Nunfield, Marchhill, Stoup, and Gasstown. From this point they crossed the country to Kelton Thorn, where refreshments were provided. The Provost and Magistrates, with the Town Clerks, followed in two chaises the main battalion of the marchers.” It was said that from six to eight hundred persons took part in that march. To his knowledge there were at least two of the survivors now resident in the town. They had a very vivid recollection of the proceedings, which were carried through in the midst of a violent snowstorm. The extract from Dr Burnside shewed that even towards the close of the last century the riding of the marches was falling into disuetude; and it was stated that before the year 1827, to which Mr Anderson’s account referred, they had only been ridden three times within the memory of any then living. Mr Dickie then proceeded to read the narrative, which bore to be printed for private circulation, and was in form a parody of the narrative books of the Old Testament, after the manner of “the Caldee Manuscript” associated with the name of James Hogg. The pageantry of the day was described in burlesque terms; a humorous enumeration of the various trades was given; and the third and closing chapter was occupied with an account of the banquet that followed in the Trades Hall, the premises now belonging to Messrs Moffat & Turner.

In course of a conversation which followed Mr Thomson said in some places a sound whipping used to be administered to the children at the various turning points, to impress them upon their memory. Mr Dickie said he had inquired at one of the survivors of the march of 1827 whether any such custom was observed here, and the reply was—> "No. That belongs to the ages of barbarism; centuries ago.” The Chairman said it might be possible to administer the whipping once, but hardly a second time. The children would next year be conspicuous by their absence.

The thanks of the society were tendered to Mr Dickie, and also to Mr Anderson, bookseller, for the loan of the pamphlet.

And that's it for this week and hope you have a great weekend.