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Thread: Newsletter for 17th April 2020

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    Chatham, Ontario, Canada
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    Newsletter for 17th April 2020

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

    Electric Scotland News

    On reflecting my own work during this pandemic I can see that in effect I have for many years been self isolating as I work from home and run three web sites mostly to do with Scotland and her history but also more recently on Canadian history as some 16 years ago now I decided to leave Scotland for Canada.

    More recently I have been working with Pat in North Carolina on bringing my readers a publication called "The Home Preacher", A Book of Prayer, Praise, & Homilies for every Sunday in the Year with Daily Meditations & a service for Children by Eminent Divines edited by the Rev. Norman MacLeod, D.D., that I realised I'd only touched on what he wrote and there was much more to be learned.

    Let me set the scene for this eminent Scot and Devine...

    NORMAN MACLEOD was of Highland descent, and was not without genealogical glories, but rejoiced more in a father and grandfather who were worthy ministers of the Scotch Church, than in being able to trace connection with the ancient lords of the tartan and the claymore.

    There is in Argyleshire a wide romantic parish, named Morven, which has a loch on each side, and the Sound of Mull in front. The general outline of the parish is bold and rugged, but it is not without features of beauty. With dark precipices and sombre moorlands, there are bright melodious burns, lovely glens and rounded hills to which the oak, the ash and the birch, lend the grace of their foliage. On one of the hills, there was a number of years since an unpretending building known as the Manse, or the House of Finuary. The glebe on which it stood, consisting of about sixty acres, was broken into green terraces, and terminated in a grassy flat in a line with the beach, distinguished as “the Duke of Argyle’s Walk". The House of Finuary was occupied by Norman Macleod’s grandfather, who was minister of the parish. A family of sixteen sons and daughters enlivened the manse, and sported about the glebe. The sons were taught by a tutor, who had gained honours in one of the Universities, and the daughters by a kind-hearted governess, who stumped from room to room on a wooden leg. But the minister and his wife attended to the religious education of their children, and in a loving manner strove to imbue their minds with thoughts of Christ the Mediator, in Whose name they were to seek the pardon of their sins, and as the King to whom they were always to hold themselves in submission. Truthfulness, integrity, generosity, sympathy with the suffering were affectionately urged upon and exemplified before them, in character and action.

    About two thousand souls, spread over an area of one hundred and thirty square miles, constituted the pastor’s flock. For their accommodation there were two churches, but with the exception of one or two pews intended for the principal people of the parish, there was not a seat in them. So primitive was the diet of the parishioners that a man had to be sent over moors and stormy lochs, for a distance of sixty miles, to obtain wheaten bread for the Sacrament. When the minister had nearly attained his fourscore years he became blind. His youngest son had been appointed his assistant and successor, but to the last his heart was in the work in which he had been so long employed. The closing scene of his ministry was very affecting. The Lord’s Supper was about to be dispensed, and he went to the church to give his people a farewell address. He was guided to the pulpit by his old servant Rory, but mistook the side for the front. Seeing this, Rory stepped back and taking his trembling hand, placed it on the book-board, so as to put him in the right position for speaking to the people. He stood before them majestic even in decay, high in stature, with face beautiful in its saintly venerableness, and with long white locks which streamed down to his shoulders. His words were few but pathetic, and the stout hearts of the Highlanders were melted, and low sobs broke from them, when he told them that they would “see his face no more.”

    His death, which took place a little while after, was calm as Loch Sunart when reflecting the lovely hues of a sunset in July. His wife, and sons, and daughters, and the faithful old Rory, were grouped about his bed. Rory, who had legs of unequal length and only one eye, but was a skilful boatman, and useful in many ways on the land, and who had been “minister’s man” for fifty years, did not long survive his master. He had been laid aside for some weeks, when one evening he said to his wife, “Dress me in my best; get a cart ready; I must go to the manse and bless them all, and then die.” His wife thought he was delirious, and hesitated, but he insisted on being obeyed. He was taken to the manse, and with his Sabbath tartan wrapped about him, tottered into the parlour, and as the family gathered round him, announced his errand: “I bless you all, my dear ones, before I die.” Raising his withered hands, he offered a short prayer for their welfare, then shaking hands with each of them, and kissing the hand of his beloved mistress, he bade them farewell. He died the following day.

    The holy influences of the old manse life were felt in succeeding generations. One of the sons born on the glebe was settled as minister of Campbeltown in Argyleshire. He was the father of Norman Macleod, who was born June 3rd, 1812.

    I give this background to show you how a good biography can teach us so much about how other people live their life. Scots at this period of time were blessed with simple religion and when you think that Norman went onto be the founding editor of "Good Words" which was after his death continued by his brother you'll see how essentially a Christian book can also contain much on science, poetry and literature and you'll get a sense on how much good he did. He sums up his first year with the words...

    I cannot allow Good Words to close the first year of its existence without addressing a few Editorial words to its numerous Readers.

    When I accepted the Editorship of this Magazine, my principal motive was the desire to provide a Periodical for all the week, whose articles should be wholly original, and which should not only be written in a Christian spirit, or merely blend "the religious" with "the secular," but should also yoke them together without compromise. As I have said in a former Number, it was my earnest wish that our pages should, as far as possible, reflect the every-day life of a good man, with its times of religious thought and devotional feeling, naturally passing into others of healthy recreation, busy work, intellectual study, poetic joy, or even sunny laughter! The tens of thousands who buy the Magazine confirm me in the opinion, that I have not misinterpreted the wishes or the wants of the great mass of our Christian community. There are now, I hope, few who will sympathize with the old Scotchwoman who remarked to her son whom she found reading a "religious" book on a week-day, "O Sandy, Sandy! are ye no' frichtened to read sic a guid buik as that, and this no' the Sabbath-day?"

    On researching him further he wrote a whole variety of books such as "The Starling", "The Old Lieutenant and his Son", "Wee Davie", "Eastward", "Northern Lights" and "Character Sketches" and for some 10 years editor of "The Edinburgh Christian Magazine" to name but a few.

    However I was lately contacted by Pat in North Carolina who was looking for an online copy of his "Home Preacher" book.

    Due to church services being cancelled due to the virus I thought this would be useful material for anyone wishing to attend a church service but not able to and so together we agreed to make this available online. Pat is typing in the book and emailing it to me so I can publish it on my web site and thus make it available to everyone to read. Once complete we'll also upload it to the Internet Archive. We're on week 45 of 54 weeks worth of content at time of writing.

    Then as the schools closed I also found that he'd also written "The Home School Or, Hints on Home Education" in 1857 and so have also made this available to read. The contents of the following volume are made up chiefly of papers contributed at different periods to the Edinburgh Christian Magazine, and addresses delivered to meetings of parents held in the school districts.

    You can get to our information about him and his writings at:

    I mentioned this to my friend the Rev. Nola Crewe who is the Grand Prior of Canada (OSMTH) and an Anglican minister and lawyer and she decided to do a weekly video service for "Thoughts for a Sunday" and this can now be found on YouTube by searching for Rev Nola Crewe but you can also find her various videos at:

    I have also found myself watching some self reliance videos on YouTube where people are trying to become more self sufficient and again I find myself with great resources for such people to learn from and enjoy. I've always been interested in Crofting and in my own research I found that the many landlords and clan chiefs would have been far better of if they'd only taught their crofters and tenants on how to better look after their lands rather than replace them with sheep as they did in the Highland Clearances.

    On the site I have a Crofting page where I feature a book, "Crofting Agriculture", Its practice in the West Highlands and Islands by F. Fraser Darling (1945). Again another man who has much to teach us and it was himself that showed how to operate a small croft that would make the crofter a good living, able to pay his rent and feed the family and even give them some extra cash.

    In the introduction to the book we read...

    This book is the result of an experiment in agricultural journalism. When a series of articles first took shape in my mind as an accompaniment to personal travels in the crofting areas, I knew that its success would not be wholly dependent on such knowledge, and ability to impart it, as I might possess. The fortunes of the weekly articles would depend largely on the co-operation of the Highland newspaper editors: with their paper supplies being cut and increasing official demands being made on their space, would they be prepared to print an additional 600 to 700 words? Every editor resident in the Highlands who was approached replied that he would do his best, and that he has done. The weekly articles still could not be called a success unless it was known that they were widely read. The crofter's readiness to read them was just as important as my willingness to write and the editor's kindness and public spirit in printing them.

    Just having read this brief paragraph in the introduction I saw that like today space is limited in the newspapers and editors had their own challenges back then (at the end of the war) just as they do today. You can read this book and other crofting information along with viewing a number of videos at:

    And so I am personally proud to have made such resources available to anyone with Internet access and I have only touched on what I have to offer during this pandemic.

    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 world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in a number of newspapers 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 which I do myself from time to time.

    Why does President Trump want to mine on the Moon?
    The US president recently signed an executive order stating America has the right to explore and use resources from outer space.

    Read more at:

    Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September
    Researchers are ready to begin human trials in the next fortnight with the team working around the clock to develop the vaccine.

    Read more at:

    Boris Johnson says it could have gone either way
    Mr Johnson said two nurses - Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal - stood by his bedside for 48 hours at the most critical time and named several other hospital workers who cared for him this past week that he wanted to thank.

    Read more at:

    Brexit and why the transition period must not be extended beyond December this year
    Transition is extremely unfavourable to the UK for a number of reasons, and while it might be justifiable for a short period, the UK cannot afford to be under these terms for a moment longer than necessary.

    Read more at:

    The Feelgood Feed
    Stories to lift your day

    Read more at:

    Capt Tom Moore's NHS fundraiser hits 14m
    A 99-year-old war veteran has walked 100 laps of his garden to raise 14m and counting for the NHS.

    Read more at:

    Australia's economy faces unprecedented setbacks
    For many in Australia, the bushfire catastrophe now seems a distant memory as the coronavirus pandemic takes this country deeper into the unknown.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    An Article about the Hudson's Bay Company
    From the Canadian History Magazine which you can read at:

    Sketches of Lower Canada
    Historic and Descriptive with the author's recollections of the Soil and Aspect; the Morals, Habits, and Religious institutions of that isolated country; during A Tour of Quebec in the month of July 1817 by Joseph Sansom, Esq. (1817) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Added a video on the Rev. Nola Crewe's Thoughts for Easter Sunday

    Bungalow Camps in Canada
    By various authors (1923) which you can read at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Got up the May 2020 Section 2 at:

    Hi Everyone. I'm a few days early because the weatherman has forecast very scary weather for tonight. In case we get zapped and have no power, I would much rather have already sent this section of BNFT and not have to chew table legs hoping that power will be restored in time for it to be on schedule.

    I have two housekeeping items this time. First, national Scottish columnist, Lesley Riddoch, and filmmaker, Charley Stewart, teamed up at the last minute before the actual anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (That celebration has been postponed until 2021.), to create a half-hour video for web release so that the anniversary would not go completely unmarked. To be honest, I do not really know if the video is still available, but I think it is. Thinking about whether or not to use that in BNFT, I decided I'd rather let everyone know about it in case it is still on the web. You will find an article and the address to access it on pages 36 and 37. A friend of mine had to "Google" it to make it work the other, try that if you need to. It is a most excellent video.

    Second, while scanning this publication, I found a typo in the headline on page 11. Please realize that both Tom and I had proofed this publication several times...and there was a typo in large type. Arghh. With only seconds to "fix it" without starting the scanning over, I simply tucked the missing "r" in place with a pen. I had to laugh a bit hysterically when the scanning was finished and I was checking the scan. I had put the "r" in the wrong place. The misspelled word is "searching." I guess this is proof that I am very much a human and not even a little bit of an alien. I goofed. I apologize. Some days are like this.

    There are lots of interesting things in this section of BNFT. As always, I hope you find it enjoyable.

    Please remember to send me your new email address if you change your address. Just send to <>

    If you are working on your genealogy, you're welcome to send me queries regarding your kinfolk. They are free, no strings. Just be sensible about length, please. Send those to <> as well, please.

    Hoping you and your family have a joyful and blessed Easter and that you all are careful and stay safe and well.
    Aye, beth

    Home Preacher
    Added Services 42 - 45 which you can read at:

    Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
    Digital Books for free. See

    The Home School
    Or, Hints on Home Education By Rev. Norman MacLeod (1857) (pdf)

    Read this at:

    Video of Stan reciting his poetry to do with Shipbuilding
    You can view this at:

    Public General Acts
    Passed in the Fifty-Second and Fifty-Third Years of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria being the Fourth Session of the Twenty-Fourth parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. (1889) (pdf). Lot of very good Scottish information in this publication. For example...

    On page 47 is An Act to explain the Secretary for Scotland Act, 1887. On page 57 is An Act to amend the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1883. On page 72 is An Act to amend the Herring Fishery (Scotland) Acts; and for other purposes relating thereto. On page 79 there is An Aot to extend and amend the Law relating to the recovery of Small Debts in Scotland. On page 85 is An Act to declare the Boundaries of the Province of Ontario in the Dominion of Canada. On page 106 An Act to amend and extend the Law relating to Judicial Factors and others in Scotland, and to unite the Offices of the Accountant of the Court of Session and the Accountant in Bankruptcy in Scotland. on page 206 An Act to amend the Laws relating to Local Government in Scotland. on page 268 is An Act to amend the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act, 1862. On page 273 An Act to regulate the Number and Duties of the Clerks of the Court of Session and Bill Chamber iu Scotland, and for other purposes. On page 277 An Act for the better Administration and Endowment of the Universities of Scotland. On page 384 An Act to amend the Law in regard to Annual Parliamentary Grants in the Counties of Caithness and Sutherland.

    You can read this at:

    Police in Scotland
    Did some special research on the Police in Scotland and as a result have added...

    The Scottish Police
    An outline of their Powers and Duties by James Mill, M.A., LL.B. City Prosecutor, Edinburgh (1944) (pdf). This can be read at:

    Scotland Yard
    By Joseph Gollomb (192?) (pdf). This can be read at:

    Higher Police Training in Scotland
    Report of a Working Party of the Police Advisory Board for Scotland (1968) (pdf). This can be read at:

    The arms of the baronial and police burghs of Scotland
    By Bute, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, Marquess of, 1847-1900; Stevenson, J. H. (John Horne), 1855-1939; Lonsdale, H. W. (1903) (pdf). You can read this at:

    City of Glasgow Police
    A Wikipedia article which can be read at:

    The Glasgow Police Museum
    The museum of Britain's first police force 1800 - 1975 with a good history of the police service. You can reach their web site at:

    The Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892
    With notes thereon and references to Scottish and English decisions elucidating the same and relative statutes and an Appendix containing the Schedules to the Act, Forms for carrying the Act into operation, unreported Cases on the Act of 1862, and opinions of Counsel on Acts referred to by James Campbell Irons, M.A., S.S.C. (1893). You can read this at:

    A Plea for the Appointment of Police Matrons at Police Stations
    By Florence Balgarnie, Superintendent of the Department for the Appointment of Police Matrons of the National British Women’s Temperance Association (1894) (pdf). While this is about England and Wales there are a couple of mentions of Scotland where it seems we were well ahead of them in our appointment of Police Matrons. You can read this at:

    You can get to our base research page at:

    Rev Robert Balgarnie
    A biography of him can be read at:

    Domestic Scenes
    Sketches of Noted Characters and of Fortunate and Unfortunate Families in Different Shires of Scotland edited by J. Smith, M.A. (1847) (pdf). This can be read at:

    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and mind and keep your distance, wash your hands and stay safe.


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  3. #2

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    Re: Newsletter for 17th April 2020

    Got sent in some great pictures so thought I'd share...

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