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Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

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With the closing date for new Fellowship applications only a few months away (1 September) please could you help the Society increase the number of Fellows by encouraging and supporting somebody you know to join? A family member, friend or colleague who you know has a genuine interest in Scotland’s past. More information on how to apply and the benefits of Fellowship are found on the Society’s website at

I would be happy to sign your membership application if you need a signature.


You can view a video introduction to this newsletter at:

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.

Forgotten Battle of Glenshiel to be remembered
The Jacobite side was largely made up of the Clan Mackenzie, along with Camerons, and Macdougalls, as well as group of MacGregors, whose numbers included Rob Roy MacGregor

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Watchdog concern over response to deaths in custody in Scotland
A watchdog has warned that delays in holding inquiries into deaths in police custody are having a profound impact on the families affected.

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Merkel's conservatives hit new low, piling pressure on coalition
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives slumped to a record low and fell further behind the resurgent opposition Greens in a survey published on Saturday, reflecting growing disillusionment with the ruling coalition.

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We don’t owe the EU any money
That is the conclusion that Martin Howe QC, Chairman of Lawyers for Britain, and Charlie Elphicke MP have come to after an exhaustive analysis

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Australian nurses fill Scots shortages after NHS Grampian recruitment drive
Almost 100 Australian nurses could be working in hospitals in the north east of Scotland by the end of the year after a successful recruitment drive to tackle shortages.

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Inverness cyclist Jenny Graham a new world record holder
Scottish endurance cyclist Jenny Graham has been named a Guinness World Record holder for setting a new time for circumnavigating the globe on a bike.

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Peterborough was a watershed everyone can learn from
PETERBOROUGH was a watershed by-election. First-off it returned Labour's first out of the closet anti-Semite MP this century and that alone makes for grim reading.

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Introducing Britain Beyond Brexit
Policies for post-Brexit Britain should promote and expand enterprise, ownership and prosperity

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Global Britain: The GREAT partnership
Britain has been responsible for plenty of positive change in the world

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A healthier, wealthier nation
Britain should be leading the world in the cutting edge by embracing the potential of tomorrow

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A vision for a prosperous post-Brexit Britain
Brexit carries risks. All change does. But it will also bring enormous opportunities

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Jeremy Corbyn lambasted by Labour MPs in worst meeting as leader
MPs criticise Labour’s handling of Brexit and complaints of harassment and antisemitism

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The Internet Thrives Without Net Neutrality
It’s been a full year since the FCC repealed net neutrality. And how have the predictions of doom and gloom held up?

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UK unemployment falls again to its lowest level since 1974
And pay is up too - despite Britain's Brexit paralysis.

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Stupid pointless annoying malware?

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Change A View
One Scottish man's idea to fix the broken world of online debate

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Ayrshire dairy is cream of the crop at BBC awards
An Ayrshire farm once worked by Robert Burns has won a top award at the BBC Food and Farming Awards.

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Boris Johnson tops first Tory leadership ballot as three hopefuls eliminated
Boris Johnson has secured the highest number of votes in the first ballot to select the Conservative party leader and next prime minister.

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Electric Canadian

The Canadian Horticulturist
Volume 30 (1907) can be read at:

Wentworth Historical Society.
Added volume 5 which you can download at:

O.A.C. Review
Added Volume 1 at

Links to many other copies can be found on our Magazine page at:

Sessional Papers
Second Session, Fourteenth Legislative Legislative Assembly of Manitoba Session 1915 (pdf) and you can read this at:

The City of Nelson
The Metropolis of the Far Famed Mineral District of Kootenay (pdf) which you can read at:

Electric Scotland

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Hi. Here we are again! Think you will enjoy this first section for July. Lots of nice photos of the Glasgow Highland Games and interesting articles, too.

Be sure and see the You Tube "Farm Diaries." You'll not forget single mother, Mary MacGregor!

June is a lovely month for us...our 12th wedding anniversary, Tom's birthday on the 8th and mine on the 18th. A happy birthday too, to friends, Maureen Fraser Boyd, Judy Eaton and Angela Jeter who also celebrate birthdays on the 18th. Anyone else? Let me know. My all-time favorite country singer, Don Williams, also celebrated his birthday that day.

It's the month that many of my old school friends also celebrate birthdays...Happy Birthday Marti and Audrey!

When I was in radio, each and every day, I always played our "Daily Dose of Vitamin Don Williams" - and was told by so many folks that everyone loved it! I was fortunate to interview him many, many times and found him to be always delightful. He'd say, "Well, here's our sweet girl from the MOP." I worked for WMOP in Ocala, Florida for a long time. Great fun.

Please remember to let me know if and when you change your email address. Just email


PS. the video link didn't work on the Battle of Culloden video but I have a copy on our Bonnie Prince Charlie page at:

Memorials of Peter Smith
Here is the book I promised you last week which I started as the story for last week.

You can read this at;

Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Oral Histories. Added the audio tracks from the CD's and this now completes all the CD's I was given.

You can listen to these at;

Trooping the Colour
Added the BBC video of this years Trooping the Colour for 2019 and you can view this is our Comunity at:

A few words anent the "Red' Pamphlet
By one who has served under the Marquis of Dalhousie. The 'Red' Pamphlet, entitled 'the Mutiny of the Bengal Army, by One who has served under Sir Charles Napier' is so full of gross misrepresentations that One who has served under Lord Dalhousie feels constrained to contradict some of them and to ask the Public to distrust more (1858) (pdf)

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The withdrawal of the UK from the European Union
Analysis by Charlie Elphicke MP and Martin Howe QC of potential financial liabilities and of the jurisdiction to enforce them

You can read this at;

Memoirs of the Caledonian Horticultural Society
In 4 volumes.


At the end of the second year, from the first establishment of this Society, we are now assembled for the annual election of our Office Bearers. It is my duty to officiate as your Vice President : And it has been recommended to me, to give a short account of what has already been done by the Society, and also to state some future objects which your Council have in contemplation. I trust, therefore, I shall be favoured with your indulgence, while I submit to your consideration, a few remarks on these subjects.

I need not detain you with any account of the views of those who first suggested this institution. It is sufficient to observe, that the Kingdom of Scotland has been long and justly celebrated, for supplying useful practical Gardeners to every part of the British Empire. This, perhaps, has in some degree been the effect of our climate. We are not: blessed with the same genial heat, particularly during the spring, as our brethren in the South. To produce, therefore, the same delicious fruit, greater attention and greater skill are required. By these, however, the experience of ages has now demonstrated that many difficulties may be overcome; that, by the aid of artificial heat, and the protection of glass, the fruits of our gardens may vie with those of any part of the habitable world; that, by proper management, almost every vegetable useful in the diet of the human species, may be reared in the greatest perfection, and in the greatest plenty.

But whether our skill in gardening, is to be ascribed to our unfavourable climate or not, certain it is that Scotland has long been famous, both for intelligent professional Gardeners, and •zealous amateurs. That men of rank and fortune should have dedicated some portion of their time and their wealth, to the improvement of gardens, is not surprising: For, without the hazard of contradiction, I may venture to assert, that, among all the rural amusements, gardening is one of the most innocent, the most rational, and the most healthful. Hence, to have obtained pre-eminence in this art, is creditable and honourable to the country.

Read more and the volumes at:

Memorials of the Aldermen, Provosts and Lord Provosts of Aberdeen 1272-1895
By Alexander M. Munro FSA Scot (1897) (pdf)

You can read this at;

Northern Scotland
The Journal of the Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen edited by David Stevenson (1990) (pdf)

You can read these articles at:

The Last Battle, the Threat to Culloden
Half hour film produced for the Historians' Council on Culloden by award winning film maker Deborah Dennison, takes you through the facts of the battle and the struggle to stop development activities on the battlefield in recent years.

View this at:

The Story

History of the Scottish Regiments in the British Army
Author: Archibald K. Murray (1862)


In the present Work, the Author, without pretending to submit anything very startling or original, has endeavoured to gather from the records of the past such facts as may enable him, avoiding the tedium of detail to present to the reader a brief and, it is hoped, at the same time, a comprehensive narrative of the origin and principal events in which our Scottish Regiments have so largely and honourably been distinguished.

It is wholly foreign to the purpose of the Author in any way to overlook the valorous achievements of the English and Irish Regiments in Her Majesty’s Service, which have alike contributed to build up the military renown of the British Army; he only trusts he shall receive that same charitable indulgence, in his present undertaking, which in like circumstances he, with every right-hearted Scot, should cordially extend to brethren of either a sister land or sister isle. It is in these pages, as a Scotsman, he ventures to give expression to the nation’s gratitude and honest pride—awards, in the name of friend and foe, the meed of praise justly due to the brave soldier who has fought his country’s battles in almost every land—ofttimes victoriously—at all times honourably.

The Author gratefully acknowledges the assistance freely rendered him in this compilation by many Officers of the Regiments described. He feels also considerably indebted to many very valuable works, on the same and kindred subjects, for much of his information. Unfortunately, many of these volumes are now very ancient, others nearly extinct, and nearly all so expensive as to fail in answering the purpose of the present Work, by bringing before the public, in a cheaper and more popular form, the records of those heroic deeds, the narrative of which ought to be as “household words,” infusing a thrill of living patriotism and loyalty into the soul.

It is hoped, as the grand result of the Work, that Scotsmen, considering the rich legacy of military glory bequeathed them by their heroic forefathers, specially registered in these Scottish Regiments, will be more impressed with the duty devolving on them to maintain and emulate the same. Whilst these records may afford knowledge, it is also hoped that they may awaken a larger sympathy and deeper interest on the part of the people in those, their brave countrymen, who so well represent the nation; and if circumstances preclude us from accepting the “Royal Shilling,” and so recruiting the army, let us be ready to accept, for the expression of our thoughts and feelings, that grand channel which, in our time, has been revived as the exponent of the people’s patriotism and loyalty—the Volunteer Movement—whether as active or honorary members, giving effect to our sentiments, and demonstrating, “by deeds as well as _words_” that we are in earnest.


Nature has been aptly represented as a fickle goddess, scattering her bounties here and there with a partial hand. Some spots, like very Edens, are blessed with the lavish profusion of her favours—rich fertility, luxuriant vegetation, warm and delightful climates. Some, on the other hand, which have not so shared the distribution of her gifts, represent the barren wilderness, the sterile desert, the desolate places of our earth—entombed in a perpetual winter—a ceaseless winding-sheet of snow and ice seems for ever to rest upon these cold, chilly, Polar regions: or parched, fainting, dying, dead, where no friendly cloud intervenes, like the kindly hand of love and sympathy, to screen the thirsty earth from the consuming rays of a tropical sun. But, as if by “the wayside,” we gather from the analogy, that as in the world of man there is a Scripture proclaiming comfort and blessing to the poor and needy—whilst it tells the rich how hardly they shall enter into “life”—so in the world of nature there is an over-ruling, all-wise, all-just Providence, “Who moves in a mysterious way,” making ample amends in the result upon the peoples of these climes, so as yet shall cause “the wilderness to rejoice.” Thus we find that lands enriched by nature ofttimes produce a people who, rich in this world’s good things, acquired without much effort, allow their minds to become so intoxicated with present delights and indolence, as to fail in cultivating the virtues of the man. Too frequently the fruits are these—ignorance, lust, passion, infidelity, and general debility. Whilst the barren, dreary wilderness, the bleak and desolate mountain-land—like the poor and needy upon whom Nature has frowned—enjoy the smile of Providence “in a better portion;” for there, amid a comparatively poor people, are nurtured all the sterner, the nobler, the truer, the God-like qualities of the man, the soldier, and the hero. There, too, hath been the birth-place and the abiding shrine of freedom—the bulwark and the bastion of patriotism and loyalty. Ascending higher, these—the peoples of the rejected and despised places of the earth—have ofttimes begotten and been honoured to wear the crowning attribute of piety. Turning to the history of Scotland or of Switzerland, for illustration, and taking merely a military retrospect, there it will be found. All centuries, all ages, all circumstances, are witness to the bravery and the fidelity of their mountain-soldiers.

Scotland, the unendowed by Nature, has been thus largely blessed by Nature’s God, in yielding a long line of valiant and illustrious men. Perhaps no nation engrosses so large and prominent a place in the temple of military fame—none can boast so bright a page in the history of the brave. Her stern and rugged mountains, like a vast citadel, where scarce a foeman ever dared to penetrate, have been defended through centuries of war against the advancing and all but overwhelming tide of aggression; besieged, too, by the countless hosts of Tyranny, they have still remained impregnable. Her wild and desolate glens, like great arteries down which hath flowed the life-blood of the nation, in the living stream—the native and resistless valour of her clans. Her bleak and dreary heaths have written on them one dark history of blood—“the martyred children of the Covenant.” Faithful unto death; “of whom the world was not worthy.” Her crown oft crushed beneath a tyrant’s heel—her freedom trampled on—her people betrayed—all lost but honour. Unscathed, unsullied, she has triumphed, and still lives to write upon her banner, the mighty, envied, and thrice-glorious word, “Unconquered.”

Armies have a very ancient history. Their origin might be traced to the very gates of Paradise. When the unbridled lust and wrathful passions of man were let loose like Furies, to wander forth upon the earth, then it was that lawless adventurers, gathering themselves together into armed bands for hostile purposes, to live and prey upon their weaker brethren, constituted themselves armies. Passing down the stream of time, through the Feudal Age, we find one among the many greater, mightier, wealthier—a giant towering above his fellows—exercised lordship, levied tribute, military and civil, over others as over slaves. These were the days of chivalry,—the Crusades—when cavalry constituted the grand strength of an army. Here we might begin the history of cavalry as an important constituent in armies, were such our purpose. The comparative poverty of our ancient Scottish nobility prevented them contributing largely to the chivalry of the age. Almost the sole representative we have of our Scottish Cavalry, is the Second Regiment of Royal North British Dragoons, or Scots Greys—a most worthy representative. The wars of the Interregnum in Scotland—the times of Wallace and Bruce—when the feudal lords had nearly all either deserted or betrayed her, introduce us to a new force, more suited to the independent character and patriotism of the Scottish people—the formation of corps of infantry, or armed bands of free burghers. These were the fruit, to a large extent, of the Magna Charter in England, and of the struggle for liberty in Scotland. Hence the wars of Edward the Black Prince with France, distinguished by the victories of Poitiers, Agincourt, and Cressy, may be viewed not merely as the epitome of the triumphs of England over France, but more especially as illustrating the success of this new force—represented in the English yeomen, burghers, citizens, and freemen—over the old force, sustained in the chivalry, the cavalry of France. The result of these successive defeats, we find, was most disastrous to France. The jealousy and fear of the nobles and feudal lords had denied the people the use and the knowledge of arms; so that when themselves were defeated, France was ruined—since they could expect no support, as in Scotland, from an unarmed and unskilled people. They had done what they could to quench rather than foster the spirit of free patriotism, which in the nation’s extremity should have been the nation’s refuge—the soul burning to deliver their land from the yoke of the stranger. In not a few cases, the French rather sympathised with, as they sighed for the same blessings of our free-born English yeomen. Here we would mark, respectively in the English and Scottish armies, the first formation of that branch of the service for which the British army has ever been specially distinguished—the Infantry.

Our reader is no doubt aware of the calamitous results which flowed from the short-sighted policy of these privileged orders—the old feudal lords; whose love of a petty despotism laboured to postpone the day of reckoning “till a more convenient season”—and so refused the timely surrender of those privileges and that liberty which the growing wealth and intelligence of the people claimed. Long, bloody, and unavailing civil wars have desolated and vexed many countries as the consequence; and in France the contest attained a fearful crisis, and the people wreaked a cruel retribution in the awful horrors of the Revolution.

The increasing importance of commerce, and the growing desire for wealth in preference to the uncertain and doubtful lustre of the battle-field, induced men to gather themselves together, not as formerly for war, but rather for the prosecution of trade; thus constituting themselves into trade-unions, communities, burgherates, free townships. Disowning the bondage of feudalism, as a system peculiarly adapted for war, and hostile in its spirit to a more peaceful vocation, they sought and obtained, in their earlier history at least, royal protection. Independently of their engagements and allegiance to the throne, these trading communities, aware of the restlessness, rapacity, and necessities of the old feudal lords around them, formed themselves into trained bands of free yeomen, or sort of militia, for the purpose—first, of defending their own industry, property, and lives; and, secondly, for the service of their sovereign and country in times of need. These are amongst the earliest ideas we have of a regiment. At an earlier age, we find many of the monarchs of Europe retaining in their service a body of foreign guards, specially entrusted with the defence of the royal person, so often threatened through the ambition of the nobles and the turbulence of the people. In nearly every instance these were composed of Scottish emigrants, driven from their country by the cruel and desolating wars which then disturbed her peace, and had proscribed many of the honourable and brave. We know no exception in which these corps of guards have not maintained the Scottish character, nay, been specially distinguished for the valour and fidelity with which they fulfilled their duty. Thus originated the First Royals, or Royal Scots Regiment of the present British army. The free citizens, continuing to prosper and proportionably growing in power and influence, gradually insinuated themselves into State affairs. As they grew in wealth, so unfortunately they increased in pride and arrogance, forgetting altogether their early humility. They essayed to be a political as well as a trading community. Having overthrown the power of feudalism, they threatened to shake the foundations of the throne. These murmurings speedily awakened the royal jealousy, and broke in upon the peaceful harmony of their hitherto successful alliance. The prosperity and support of these freemen had elevated the might and majesty of the throne, with which they had been early leagued, and these together had compelled the old feudal nobility to exercise their rule in something more of a constitutional way. Gladly, therefore, did these last avail themselves of these dissensions to restore their long-lost power. Uniting with the crown, whose interests were more peculiarly their own, they called upon their still adherent tenantry to muster around them;and thus commenced the sanguinary civil wars, already in a previous paragraph referred to, between king and people, which have devastated so many lands. These tenantry, thus raised, ultimately taken into the royal pay, as regiments, have gone far to constitute the armies of their several states.

In conclusion, we would remark, that the wars of the past have been as it were material contests—wars of matter rather than of mind—by which we mean that might has been understood as right; not as now, when right is acknowledged as might. Formerly it was he who excelled in physical strength and prowess that was crowned victor; now-a-days the appliances of mind, the inventive genius of man, have so improved the art of war, that upon these the result of the contest must largely depend. Skill and science, developed in a thousand ways, are the weapons with which our battles are to be fought and won; and this, too, at a time when man has been dwarfed in his bodily might by the bloody and protracted wars of the past, and enervated by the ease and indolence found in cities, so as to be no longer able for a contest as of old; and so the providence of God steps in to supply the vacuum occasioned by decay, and from the rapid march of civilisation, and the wonderful development of the mind, represents to us a better state of things—the triumph of the mind of the present over the _matter_ of the past. The victories of the battle-field are being superseded by the triumphs of the Cabinet. The first Napoleon conquered by the sword—the present Napoleon conquers by superior craft and intrigue, whilst we, as a nation, are sitting by to register with an occasional growl his successes. It has been the knowledge of these facts—this new system of warfare—that has aroused the nation to see its danger in time; to feel that “our glory” is but an ideal security; to know that steam and electricity have comparatively bridged the sea, and so done away with our best defence; to learn that the inventions of men comparatively equalise combatants. It has been the knowledge of these things, along with indications of a coming struggle casting its shadow before, that has called the nation, with one enthusiastic voice, to arms—in our present Volunteer force.

You can read the rest of this book in text format at:

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