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

Electric Scotland News

It seems to me that Care Homes in most countries is where most of the deaths are occurring during this pandemic. The report from the Canadian army on their experience helping out at 5 care homes in Ontario and some in Quebec shows how terrible we are in looking after our elderly relatives. Frankly it is disgusting and I doubt any enquiry will do anything much. What is needed is a root and branch upgrading of care homes and a thorough inspection regime of them to fix the problem. On the whole the private sector has not been good at delivering the care that is needed.

I think everyone is to blame from relatives to staff to the companies themselves. I mean given what the army found how is it that no relatives knew of those conditions? Did they not visit their relatives?

See the first three stories in our Scottish News below...


I spent some time this week is going through the Clans and Families section of our site and updated a few pages where there were dead links and also did some edits on various pages. I intended to do another video on this section of the site but due to running out of battery power have delayed this to next week. I also forgot about having so much content in there and spent several hours re-reading some of the articles. I noted a good coverage of the Fergus Highland Games and noted I mustn't have gotten a media pack from them and so I was apparently rather annoyed with them from my comments at the time.

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.

Hancock’s claim that care homes were wrapped in a bubble of care has a hollow ring to it
This week, we learned that in March and at the beginning of April hundreds of patients, or maybe even thousands, were transferred from hospitals into care homes without being tested to ascertain whether they were Coronavirus-free.

Read more at:

Health secretary signals care home review
Scotland's health secretary says there should be a review of social care in light of the devastation caused by coronavirus.

Read more at:

Deeply disturbing report into Ontario care homes released
The Canadian armed forces report found instances of insect infestations, poor hygiene practices, and neglect, among other concerns.

Read more at:

Jocky Wilson: From filleting fish in Fife to darts & TV stardom
Sid Waddell, the darts commentator to beat all darts commentators, saved some of his best lines for Jocky Wilson.

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Political battle looming over UK China relations
Across the green benches the mood against China appears to be hardening, in part because of the way Beijing handled the coronavirus pandemic, but also now as a result of its plans to impose tough new security laws in Hong Kong.

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The really radical solution to educational inequality is fewer universities
Post-18 education used to produce skilled tradespeople, now it produces graduates with near worthless degrees

Read more at:

J.K. Rowling unveils new kids tale The Ickabog as free online serial
Harry Potter author calls on young fans to create illustrations for new story

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Media plays the man while ignoring the lockdown rules
The media meltdown over Dominic Cummings is a textbook example of the media throwing off any vestige of prudence in order to try and destroy someone who is now seen as a demon figure by much of the political class.

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Contrary to expectations, the UK may have the upper hand as Brexit negotiations intensify
The next round of UK-EU negotiations begins on June 1, the final talks before a high-level conference attended by the Prime Minister to assess progress before the end-of-year deadline.

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Electric Canadian

Canadian Vanishing Communities
Cultivators and Traders of the Eastern Woodlands by Winifred Ferry. This book is about a Huron family who lived in the Eastern woodlands of what is now Southern Ontario. It describes the main activities of this family during one year. No longer do the Huron live as they once did. This book will help you understand how these cultivators and traders lived in the area known as Huronia. (pdf)

You can read this at:

2016 Canadian Public Opinion on Aboriginal Peoples
An interesting mostly up to date survey which can be read at:

101 Helpful Hints for the Visually Impaired
Our thanks to Chrissy Miller for providing this information in pdf format which can be read at:

Canadian Investments and Opportunities
Issued by Canada General Investment Corporation, Limited (1909) (pdf). An interesing look at the opportunities available at the start of the 20th century which you can read at:

Canadian Geographic
January/February 2020 edition which you can read at:

Canadian Forces Attrition Forecasts
What One Should Know (Dec 2008) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Cree Nation
Did a major update on the videos for the Cree Nation as many were no longer available but also some really excellent ones have become available.

You can view these at:

Cannabis Cultivation
A new legal industry in Canada and thought it was time to bring you some information on it which you can now read at:

Electric Scotland

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Hi Everyone. Here's Section A for June. I am amazed at the material I am able to find without the games. It is amazing how the various clans are utilizing the Internet and other technologies to stay in touch and to keep everything on track. Creativity is a huge mark of Scottishness...and we have bazillions of creative folks in our Scottish community.

We all hope the games get going again...but, I don't think anyone wants anything to happen until we are ready for it to happen...and are safe when we attend where there are large crowds of people.

I have always been very impatient. However, this is one time, when both Tom and I agree, we'll hang in there until we are safe to "mingle" again.

You will be astounded at the article on book curses. I never knew of such a thing, did you? On the other hand, I never took several years to copy an entire book - by hand - without anything but me and ink, pen, and paper. I reckon I would be hard on anyone who purloined my book as these folks were.

There's an interesting article on Flora MacDonald in North Carolina. I've known about her all my life and in fact, had an Aunt Flora McDonald. I learned much about this lady from this article and think you will enjoy reading. Have you been to her grave in Scotland? We went, once. I learned then, that she was buried in a sheet that Bonnie Prince Charlie had slept upon.

Don't forget to let me know when your email changes, please.

Don't forget to send me your genealogical queries. Those little bits of questions about an ancestor really do work.

Please everyone, stay safe and be careful.

You can get this section at:
Watson, William J.
Professor and A toponymist, one of the greatest Scottish scholars of the 20th century, and was the first scholar to place the study of Scottish place names on a firm linguistic basis.

Added a page for him at:

Dr Peter Marshall
Creator the Kirkin' of The Tartan. Added three videos to his page at:

Scotland and the Americas 1600 to 1800
Among the general benefits of the study of history is the attention it draws necessarily to the importance of precision and specificity in all discourse. Dig into almost any subject in the past. and it will surely turn out that the way things happened was more complex than one had assumed at the beginning. This exhibition on “Scotland and the Americas, 1600 to 1800" is in good part the result of such a concern for proper differentiation.

You can read this at:

William Robertson’s Unfinished History of America
The Foundation of the British Empire in North America and the Scottish Enlightenment by Florence Petroff (pdf)

You can read this at:

Songs in the Night
By Malcolm James McLeod who was a Canadian born of Scots parents. Very last chapter is perfect to accompany Home Preacher's list of hymns.

You can read this at:

Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - The 24th of May 2020 by the Rev. Nola Crewe.
You can view this and her accompanying letter at:

Clan Henderson Newsletter for June 2020
This can be read at:

A Collection of the Public General Acts relating to Railways in Scotland
Including the Companies, Lands and Railway Clauses Consolidation (Scotland) Acts 1830 - 1861 with General Index (Fifth edition) (1847) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Preacher and his Sermon
By Rev. J. Paterson Smyth B.D., LL.D., LITT.D., D.C.L. (1922) (pdf)

THE subject to be dealt with is "The Preacher and his Sermon." I want to do all that in me lies to help you to be good preachers and to preach good sermons. You can read this at:

3 wee videos sent in by Stan Bruce which I hope you will enjoy and can be viewed at:

Historic Scotland
Found a nice slow video on historic Scotland places which you can watch. We know just how important exploring historic places and immersing ourselves in the past can be for our mindfulness and well-being. This #MentalHealthAwareness Week we're unable to get out and about as we normally would, so we're bringing a relaxing tour of Scotland's stunning historic sites to you. Take a breather and allow yourself some time to unwind with some historic slow TV... at:


The Scalacronica of Sir Thomas Gray

IN August, 1355, Sir Thomas Gray of Heton, son and heir of a knight who bore the same name with great distinction in the Scottish Wars of the first and second Edwards, was Edward III.’s constable, or warden, of Norham Castle. This fortress, standing just within the English Border, and commanding an important ford on the Tweed, was a perpetual offence to the Scots, and the object of their incessant attack. In the month aforesaid, Patrick, Earl of March, laid an ambuscade on the Scottish side of the river, and sent Sir William Ramsay of Dalwolsey (which we now write Dalhousie) with a party of four hundred spears to raid the English farms. Ramsay, in returning with his booty, rode within view of Norham Castle. Sir Thomas sounded ‘Boot and saddle!’ sallied out briskly in pursuit, with a following of only fifty men, and fell into the trap prepared by March. The English being taken in front and rear, defended themselves stoutly, but were overpowered by superior numbers. Gray, with his son, also called Thomas, was taken prisoner, and, being unable to raise the ransom demanded, lay for two years a captive in Edinburgh Castle. Luckily for him, and for us, he had the run of the library there, which was better furnished than might have been expected. He found such good and suggestive material there that he undertook to compile a history of Britain, an enterprise which very few knights in that age were competent to attempt. He offered in his prologue the usual apology of an inexperienced writer.

‘How it was that he [the author] found courage to treat of this matter, the story tells that when he was prisoner in the town Mount Agneth (formerly Chastel de Pucelis, now Edynburgh), he perused books of chronicles, in verse and prose, in Latin, in French, and in English, about the deeds of the ancestors, at which he was astonished; and it grieved him sore that, until that time, he had not acquired a better knowledge of the course of the age. So, as he had hardly anything else to do at the time, he became curious and thoughtful, how he might deal with and translate into shorter sentences the chronicles of Great Britain and the deeds of the English.’

Then follows the description of a dream, in which the Sibyl and a Cordelier Friar appeared to Gray, and provided him with a ladder to scale a great wall withal. Arrived at the top, he obtained access to a mighty city, and beheld a number of allegorical phenomena with which we have no concern, save that they inspired him with the resolve to carry out the project of a chronicle. The Sibyl bade him call his work Scalacronica—the Ladder Chronicle; but whereas one can only regard this fanciful introduction as purely fictitious, the real allusion probably is to the crest adopted by the Gray family—namely, a scaling ladder.

The scheme of the work was a survey of history from the Creation to the date of compilation; and, as may be imagined, the earlier part is not worth much attention, being merely, as Gray candidly explains in his prologue, a transcript of passages in the writings of Gildas, Walter of Exeter’s translation of the Brut, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, the Historia Aurea of John of Tynemouth, Higden’s Polychronicon, and such like. Coming to the reigns of the Norman Kings, there are passages of undoubted value, describing events not recorded elsewhere; such as the means whereby King John caused the death, in 1203, of his inconvenient nephew, Arthur of Brittany, whom he had supplanted on the throne of England. But it is when Gray is dealing with a period covered by the actual experience of his father and himself that the chronicle has been recognised as being of incomparable value to the student of Scottish and English history during the reigns of the first three Edwards. Incomparable— because, alone among the chronicles of the time, it was written by a soldier, who naturally viewed affairs from a different standpoint to that of the usual clerical annalist. Even Froissart, prince of chivalrous writers, was a priest—cure of Lestines— though it must be admitted that his survey of men and manners was of more than parochial breadth.

Knowledge of the Scalacronica and its treasures was scarcely to be obtained, except through the brief English abstract made by John Leland in the 16th century, until Joseph Stevenson edited, from the original MS. in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, the portion of it beginning with the Norman Conquest, and this was privately published, with a masterly introduction from the editor, by the Maitland Club in 1836. Even so, it cannot be considered easy of access to general readers, first, because the edition consisted of only 120 copies; and second, because it requires some application' to master the obscurities and ambiguities of the Norman French in which Sir Thomas Gray wrote. ‘ It seems, then, that it may be interesting, and perhaps useful, to those who care for the history of their country, to have a translation of the portion of Scalacronica covering the reigns of Edward I., IL, and III., when the author either was personally engaged, in the scenes described, or heard of them from those who had been actors in the same.

The Cambridge MS. being the only copy known now to exist, we have to deplore its mutilation, which has taken place since Leland made his abstract, supposing that it was from this copy that he worked. The loss of some of the earlier folios might be borne with equanimity, but it is exceedingly tantalising that the missing sheets covered the period of the author’s chief activity, namely, from the capture of Roxburgh Castle by Sir Alexander Ramsay, in 1342, down to the capture of Gray himself by the Earl of March, in 1355. Of Gray’s observations upon these eventful years we can only judge by Leland’s exceedingly succinct notes.

For the purpose of the present translation the Maitland Club edition has been carefully collated by Miss Bateson with the original. Words of obscure or ambiguous meaning are given in footnotes.

Herbert Maxwell.

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.