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

Electric Scotland News

Society of Antiquaries, Scotland: Our Fellows are a diverse group of people with one common passion – the past. The majority of our Fellows are based in Scotland and across the UK, along with a growing number from continental Europe and overseas.

You should join and find out more about what you receive as a Fellow at:

And on the subject of history I note in the recent exam results from Scottish Education. Pass rates for English, Maths and all three main science subjects all declined, While there was an astonishing drop of almost 10 points for history. I guess more of these students should be encouraged to visit my site?


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.

UK plans to create up to 10 freeports to boost post-Brexit trade
Britain plans to create up to 10 freeports to boost trade and manufacturing by cutting cost and bureaucracy after it leaves the European Union, the government said on Thursday

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Popular hotel unveils Edinburgh’s largest fish supper
A popular hotel in the capital has announced the introduction of Edinburgh’s largest fish supper to its menu and is challenging diners to polish off the massive dish in its entirety.

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Work starts on preserving secret seminary site in Moray
Work is under way on a 400,000 project to preserve the history of buildings on a site which once housed a secret Roman Catholic seminary.

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Tory grassroots turn on Ruth Davidson as popularity plummets
Ruth Davidson’s popularity among Tory grassroots members has plummeted since Boris Johnson’s entry into Downing Street, a survey by an influential website suggests.

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President Macron should realise it’s in his interests to facilitate a quick and amicable clean-break Brexit
When Boris Johnson addressed the House of Commons as Prime Minister for the first time last month, the scene from a packed Parliament was broadcast to France.

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EU officials: No basis for further UK Brexit talks
EU negotiators told European diplomats changes suggested by the new UK government, such as scrapping the Irish border backstop, were unacceptable.

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A media which misinforms
The contrast between the way much of the conventional media reports on the European continent compared to their reports on the USA and UK has never been starker.

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Nicola Sturgeon accused of complacency as Higher pass rate drops for fourth year in a row
More than 136,000 pupils across Scotland received their results on Tuesday, with pass rates declining for every qualification except National 5.

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How to make Scotland a place we're proud to call home
Gerry Hassan's Commentary in the Scottish Review

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Scary German output figures propel recession fears
German industrial output fell more than expected in June driven by weaker production of intermediate and capital goods, in a further sign that Europe’s biggest economy contracted in the second quarter as exporters get caught in trade disputes.

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Slaughter of the lambs all because of Brexit
At some point as we close in on leaving the EU the Remoaners would come up with something so absurd that the lunacy of their argument could only be appreciated at distance.

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After Brexit, Canada and the UK will become even closer friends
Words such as friend and ally somehow fall short in describing the relationship between Britain and Canada. The ties that bind are so strong, the affinity between us so deep, that I prefer to think of our countries as different branches of the same family.

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Teenager in care almost starved to death
A severely brain-damaged teenager who was in local authority care almost starved to death, a BBC Scotland investigation has found.

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National Records for Scotland reject claim family records destroyed by leaks
A vast amount of Scotland’s birth, death and marriage details for 1986 are among those completely destroyed by rainwater

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Electric Canadian

The Canadian Horticulturist
Volume 38 (1915) can be read at:

Sir Oliver Mowat
A Biographical Sketch by C. R. W. Biggar, M.A., in two volumes (1905)

Ontario has her Grand Old Man in Sir Oliver Mowat,—a man who was born in the year in which George III. died, and Queen Caroline was under trial; who came into the world as the great Napoleon went out, and when Canada was under its first Governor General, Earl Dalhousie, and Lieutenant Governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland, was a familiar personage in what is now Ontario. Sir Oliver has seen the forest transformed into field and farm, and the land peopled by thousands where scores once lived. Such a man is, in truth, growing old, but the growth is so gradual and youth so tenacious in its hold of Ontario’s premier, that Father Time may well be disconcerted. Even in these days of high-pressure civilization, Sir Oliver might justly claim that his life, though comparatively long, has not only been active but resultful. He has filled a great variety of positions, including those of ensign in a Kingston Militia Company, a practising attorneyship, the positions of school trustee and alderman, Queen’s Counsellor and Vice-Chancellor, LL.D, and M.P.P., Provincial Secretary and Postmaster General, and Premier and Attorney-General for twenty-one years.

You can read about him at:

Early Days at York Factory
By Beckles Willson

In the year 1682 the Honourable Company of Merchants-Adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay decided to establish a second factory, to be situated on the western side of the Bay, in the vicinity of Fort Nelson. For this purpose John Bridgar was appointed resident Governor and despatched in the Prince Rupert, his arrival in those regions taking place some days subsequent to that of two French-Canadian fur-traders, formerly in the service of the Company, named Radisson and Groseilliers. This pair had set their hearts on defeating the purpose of the English in effecting a settlement in the locality; and probably, if they had had to deal with the Company's forces alone, might not have been compelled to resort to quite so much labour and strategy as is related in the narrative.

You can read this article at:

Canadian Recipes
I found this pdf file on the Internet archive which is a scan of a hand written book of recipes. Some are not that easy to read but thought it worth making available for those collectors of recipes.

You can read this at:

The Canadian Settler's Guide
Seventh Edition by Mrs. Traill (1857) (pdf)

We have another book by Mrs. Traill so I added this to that page which you can get to at:

Canada's Great War Album
Found this site and thought I'd make a note of it in out Armed Forces page and you can get to it at:

Electric Scotland

Pickle the Spy
By Andrew Lang (third edition) (1897) (pdf)

As was to be expected, some Highlanders have declined to believe that Pickle was Young Glengarry. Probably these gentlemen do believe in the authenticity of Macpherson’s Ossian. I ought perhaps to have said before that I did what I could, before publication, to obtain rebutting evidence, from the best source known to me, but without success.

You can read this at:

Lays O' The Hameland
By James H. Murdoch (1911)


In all our long experience, never have we published a book that has given us more pleasure in the doing of it, than “Lays o’ th’ Hameland.” The Scottish people here and everywhere are being done a distinct service in the publication of such a volume of poems, and are to be congratulated that we have in our midst such a gifted Scottish bard with a mission in life which he is trying to fulfill to the best of his ability. That this first great work of Mr. Murdoch will be appreciated by those for whom it is primarily intended, we confidently predict; not only so, but all those who love really good poetry with an entertaining and uplifting purpose in it, will revel in these verses.

There is no doubt whatever that these “Lays” will very soon permeate “wherever Scotsmen gather,” and that they will reap increment with the passing years—a reasonable prediction. Indeed, many of them will in due season be household words among our people. There is no Scottish poet living to-day, that we know of, who can approach Mr. Murdoch in his incomparable, simple, homely style, which reaches the heart; and there is no book published at present just like this one, depicting the sweet, pure, natural life of the Scottish people and their beautiful country. When the merits of these poems are more understood and appreciated (and this is sure to happen) there will spring up a demand for them that will be hard to keep pace with.

Like all other really worthy Scots, Mr. Murdoch is modest; but the urgent solicitation of his many friends prevailed with him to set these poems before the people in book form. There should be no qualms as to the result, and it is to be hoped that he will be induced and encouraged to keep on edifying and entertaining us in his own happy and gifted way.

This collection will make a very suitable Christmas present to send a brother or sister Scot anywhere; indeed, is suitable as a gift at any time. The pleasure these beautiful poems will afford cannot be computed. We ask for the author a generous supply of that encouragement which true Scots everywhere, of ^whatever station in life, never were known to withhold to a worthy thing or cause, and that they will do all in their power to help along the sale of the book. Mr. Murdoch, like many others who have benefited the world by their presence and work, is not a rich man, so far as this world goes, and cannot hope to make anything out of this volume except the appreciation of his grateful fellow-countrymen, for whom he has labored so long and earnestly in this special field for which his natural gifts are so eminently fitted. Yet, financial stimulus is also a necessary thing in this world; and such a form of encouragement, along with the heart’s appreciation, should make a combination that would go far towards perpetuating and even further enlarging his work among and for us.

In Mr. Murdoch we have a helper. He is trying to benefit the world by his labors. Shall we not also do our part by him?

You can read this at:

A recording of the 4 Ardmore Whisky poems
Stan Bruce has recorded his 4 poems in audio and you can listen to them and read them at:

Note that the link to the audio recording is at the top of the Doric version or you can listen to it directly at:

A History of the Highlands and the Highland Clans
With an extensive selection from the hitherto inedited Stuart Papers by James Browne, LL.D., Advocate, a new edition with Numerous Illustrative engravings in 4 volumes (1850)

You can read this at:

Calendar of the Stuart Papers
Belonging to His Majesty the King, preserved at Windsor Castle in seven volumes.

As the previous volumes refer to these papers I thought I'd search for them and found the 7 volume collection which I've now made available at:

The papers included in the following Calendar belong to his Majesty the King, and are preserved in the Royal Library at Windsor. They were formerly the property of the titular King James III, otherwise the old Pretender, and his sons, Charles Edward, and Henry, the Cardinal Duke of York.

An account of the Acquisition of the Papers can be read at:

I just found out that I omitted this name from The Scottish Nation so have now remedied this and you can read their Account at:

The MacLeods of Arnisdale
Compiled from Family and Other Documents by Rev. Donald MacKinnon (1929) (pdf)

This can be read at:

An Essay on the Improvements to be made in the cultivation of Small Farms
By the introduction of Green Crops and housefeeding the Stock thereon with a Preface by William Blacker (fifth edition) (1837) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Story

How do I prevent computer viruses?
Preventing computer viruses from infecting your computer starts with situational awareness.

“Situational awareness is something law enforcement and militaries have practiced for decades. It refers to a police officer or a soldier’s ability to perceive threats and make the best decision possible in a potentially stressful situation,” said Malwarebytes Head of Security, John Donovan.

“As it applies to cybersecurity, situational awareness is your first line of defense against cyberthreats. By staying on the lookout for phishing attacks and avoiding suspicious links and attachments, consumers can largely avoid most malware threats.”

Regarding email attachments and embedded links, even if the sender is someone you know: viruses have been known to hijack Outlook contact lists on infected computers and send virus laden attachments to friends, family and coworkers, the Melissa virus being a perfect example.

If an email reads oddly, it’s probably a phishing scam or malspam. When in doubt about the authenticity of an email, don’t be afraid to reach out to the sender. A simple call or text message can save you a lot of trouble.

Next, invest in good cybersecurity software. We’ve made a distinction between computer viruses and malware, which now begs the question, “Do I need antivirus software or anti-malware software?” We’ve covered this topic before in great detail so checkout our article on antivirus vs. anti-malware. For now, though, here’s a quick gloss on the subject.

Antivirus (AV) refers to early forms of cybersecurity software focused on stopping computer viruses. Just viruses. Anti-malware refers to all-encompassing threat protection designed to stop old-fashioned viruses as well as today’s malware threats. Given a choice between traditional AV with limited threat detection technology and modern anti-malware with all the bells and whistles, invest in anti-malware and rest easy at night.

As mentioned previously in this piece, traditional AV solutions rely on signature-based detection. AV scans your computer and compares each and every file against a database of known viruses that functions a lot like a criminal database. If there’s a signature match, the malicious file is thrown into virus jail before it can cause any damage.

The problem with signature-based detection is that it can’t stop what’s known as a zero-day virus; that is, a virus that cybersecurity researchers have never seen before and for which there is no criminal profile. Until the zero-day virus is added to the database, traditional AV can’t detect it.

Malwarebytes’ Multi-Vector Protection, conversely, combines several forms of threat detection technology into one malware crushing machine. Amongst these many layers of protection, Malwarebytes uses what’s called heuristic analysis to look for telltale malicious behavior from any given program. If it looks like a virus and behaves like a virus, then it’s probably a virus.

How do I remove computer viruses?
Going back to our virus analogy one final time—removing a virus from your body requires a healthy immune system. Same for your computer. A good anti-malware program is like having a healthy immune system. As your immune system moves through your body looking for and killing off invading viral cells, anti-malware scans for files and malicious code that don’t belong on your system and gets rid of them.

The free version of Malwarebytes is a good place to start if you know or suspect your computer has a virus. Available for Windows and Mac, the free version of Malwarebytes will scan for malware infections and clean them up after the fact. Get a free premium trial ofMalwarebytes for Windows or Malwarebytes for Mac to stop infections before they start.

Note: I use both Trend Anti-virus software and Malawarebytes on my system and it's been a very long time since I had a virus or issue with my computer. I also do a daily backup of my system to an external hard drive (Clickfree) so even if I got a virus or ransomware attack I can totally restore my system in just a few hours.

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