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Electric Scotland News

Dear members and friends of the Scottish Studies Foundation,

I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Kevin James has accepted the position of Chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph effective June 1, 2020.

After completing his BA in 1996 at McGill University in Montreal, Kevin was awarded the Governor-General's Medal for highest standing in the undergraduate Arts program. Still at McGill, he completed an MA in 1997 under Professor John Zucchi and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for PhD study in the United Kingdom, which he took up at the University of Edinburgh in order to work with Professor R.J. Morris in the Department of Economic and Social History.

Kevin joined the University of Guelph's Department of History in 2000 and has been a great advocate of Scottish Studies ever since. In 2002 and 2003, Kevin was Vice-President of the Scottish Studies Foundation and played a key role in its efforts to establish the actual position of Chair of Scottish Studies at Guelph, which culminated in the appointment in 2004 of Dr. Graeme Morton who served as the first chair until 2013.

Kevin takes over from Dr. James Fraser who took up the position in 2014 but stepped down early this year for health reasons. James continues to teach and to supervise graduate students in Scottish history at the University of Guelph.

In issuing the announcement about Kevin, Dr. Sofie Lachapelle, Department Chair and Professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph, stated, "I know I speak for all of us when I say that I look forward to working with and supporting Kevin in his new role as Chair of Scottish Studies, which has been and continues to be a real strength of our department. He will now bring his professional and scholarly expertise as well as his extensive experience in community and external relations to the position."

All of us on the Board of Directors are delighted with this well deserved appointment and are looking forward to hearing Kevin’s plans and wish him the best of success in this exciting new chapter in his career. He sends you this message of appreciation for your support:

"Thank you for your work over many decades to realize our vision of Guelph as the world's leading centre of Scottish Studies outside Scotland. It is humbling but exciting to be entrusted to carry that mandate forward in partnership with you in the years ahead. Thank you also for your commitment to our community of scholars; please rest assured I will spend my term working to continue to advance the profile and important work of Scottish Studies at Guelph."

The Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph is the oldest and most eminent academic unit in North America to carry out research, graduate training and teaching on Scottish history and Scottish culture, with special emphasis on the history of the Scottish Canadian community. It is thanks to your steadfast and generous support that the reputation of the Scottish Studies Program at Guelph continues to gain an enviable reputation both nationally and abroad, and is helping countless scholars in the pursuit of their academic goals.

So thank you for all your contributions and encouragement. I do hope you keep safe and secure at this challenging time.


David Hunter
Scottish Studies Foundation



I might add that I'm starting to add some miscellaneous texts that I've had for some time which I always swithered about making available. Like "West Coast of Scotland Pilot", "Chronological List of the Royal Company of Scottish Archers" and "Sir Titus Salt, Baronet". In the case of the second text it is just a list of names but figured it might be useful for genealogical reasons. In the case of the Pilot the information does change over time but I thought it might be useful on a research basis to include one of these publications and finally the biography of Sit Titus Salt is about an Englishman but I enjoyed reading it and he did have a number of Scots who were in business with him and as friends so I decided to add this as well into our English section.

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.

Q&A, Faeries & Folklore in Gaelic Culture We Love History Live
Added this video to the foot of our Folklore page.

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Culloden faces new threat from holiday park plan, warns National Trust
NTS opposes a new attempt to develop part of Culloden Moor as a holiday complex

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Diabetics make up a fifth of Scottish hospital Covid-19 deaths
The statistics have sparked calls for protection and guidelines for those with the condition as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

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Scottish growth patterns over 20 years
Due to the impact of coronavirus and the related lockdown, the latest official figures for Scottish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are likely to be the last properly comparable ones available for some time to come

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The UK must stand firm and reject the EU’s level playing field
The EU knows that its rules are uncompetitive, that's why it wants us to keep them

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SNP Government in secrecy row after refusing to publish chief medical officer minutes
Nicola Sturgeon's administration was asked for documents relating to meetings between Catherine Calderwood and Chris Whitty

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Here’s the Summer Forecast Across Canada
According to AccuWeather

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The idea the SNP is having a good pandemic is preposterous
As well as mishandling the pandemic, the SNP are jeopardising Scotland's recovery

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Uncommon Scottish wisdom from a Galloway shore
Red Rag to a Bull: Rural Life in an Urban Age, by Jamie Blackett

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Face masks could become mandatory, Nicola Sturgeon says
The Scottish Government is prepared to force the majority of people to wear protection in public but has not made a final decision on whether to implement the policy.

Read more at:

Electric Canadian

Crazy Canadian Trivia 2
Even though the title of this book is Crazy Canadian Trivia 2, the people you'll meet here, and the things they did, aren't crazy — at least, not most of them. But some of them are pretty wild and wacky, and all of them are really interesting, at least in my opinion. That's why I can't resist filling up my trivia files with clippings about them and about all sorts of neat facts about Canada. Here's hoping you have as much fun reading about them as I do - Pat Hancock (pdf)

You can read this at:

Electric Scotland

The Grievances of the Working Classes
And the Pauperism and Crime of Glasgow with their Causes, Extent, and Remedies by J. Smith, M.A. (1846) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Sir Titus Salt, Baronet
His Life and its Lessons by Rev. R. Balgarnie (1875) (pdf)

Although an Englishman he had many Scottish friends so thought I'd add this to our England pages and you can read this at:

Modern Gaelic Bards By Malcolm Chisholm Macleod (1908) (pdf)

Modern Gaelic Bards: Second Series By Malcolm Chisholm Macleod (1913) (pdf)

Poetry is in Gaelic but all Biographies are in English and you can read these at the links above.

The Golden Staircase
Poems and Verses for Children chosen by Louey Chisholm with pictures
by M. Diboin Spooler (1907) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Sun Ovens
Added a video about Sun Ovens to the foot of our Crofting page.

This can be viewed at:

I was struck how you can use these free sources of energy to cook and dry herbs, etc. While you do need to purchase them it seems that you'd get your money back on them pretty quickly.

Launch of the Eddystone,
A poem by Stan Bruce.

Donna's 2020 Journal May 31
You can read this at:

Scottish Society of Indianapolis
Got in there Newsletter for June 2020 which you can read at:

Thoughts for Sunday 31st May 2020 from the Rev Nola Crewe
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West Coast of Scotland Pilot
Comprising the West Coast of Scotland from the Mull of Galloway to Cape Wrath including the Inner and Outer Hebrides (Tenth Edition) (1958) (pdf)

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Scottish Surnames
Contribution to Genealogy by James Paterson (1866) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Chronological List of the Royal Company of Scottish Archers (pdf)
This can be read at:

Q&A, Faeries & Folklore in Gaelic Culture We Love History Live
Added this video to the foot of our Folklore page which you can view at:

Trews - the oldest form of dress and not the Kilt
WHEN the Baron of Bradwardine complimented Waverley upon the handsome figure he presented when fully attired as a Highland gentleman, he incidentally drew a comparison between the respective merits of the kilt and the trews, giving his decision in favour of the latter. ‘Ye wear the trews,’ he observed, ‘a garment whilk I approve maist of the twa, as mair ancient and seemly.’ There may be a difference of opinion at the present day as to which of these two varieties of Highland garb is the more seemly, but there is no doubt as to the antiquity of the trews, regarded as a part of the Celtic dress. Scott himself, speaking in his own person, states that Waverley had ‘now fairly assumed the “garb of old Gaul,”’ and there is sufficient evidence that this statement is correct, making due allowance for some modifications in vogue in the eighteenth century, and introduced at one time or another during that period and the immediately preceding centuries.

The dress of the Celts of Western Europe, about 2000 years ago, has been described by Mr. Charles Elton; his statements being drawn from such authorities as Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, and Pausanias, and from such evidences as the pictures on the medals of the Roman emperor Claudius. Mr. Elton writes as follows:

‘The men and women wore the same dress, so far as we can judge from the figures on the medals of Claudius. When Britannia is represented as a woman the head is uncovered and the hair tied in an elegant knot upon the neck; where a male figure is introduced the head is covered with a soft hat of a modern pattern. The costume consisted of a blouse with sleeves, confined in some cases by a belt, with trousers fitting close at the ankle, and a tartan plaid fastened up at the shoulder with a brooch.’ This form of Celtic dress is of special interest to all who are connected with the Scottish Highlands. Because, while it may have been worn by Continental Celts for many centuries after the date of Claudius, it eventually vanished from the Continent, and from all other parts of the British Isles except the Scottish Highlands, where it continued to be worn without any radical variation down to our own times.

The authority whom I have just quoted continues thus, with reference to the Celts of 2000 years ago: ‘ The Gauls were experts at making cloth and linen. They wove their stuffs for summer, and rough felts or druggets for winter-wear, which are said to have been prepared with vinegar, and to have been so tough as to resist the stroke of a sword. We hear, moreover, of a British dress, called guanacum by Varro, which was said to be ‘woven of divers colours, and making a gaudy show.’ They had learned the art of using alternate colours for the warp and woof so as to bring out a pattern of stripes and squares. The cloth, says Diodorus, was covered with an infinite number of little squares and lines, ‘as if it had been sprinkled with flowers,’ or was striped with crossing bars, which formed a chequered design. The favourite colour was red or a ‘ pretty crimson.’ In the words of Pliny ‘Behold the French inhabiting beyond the Alps have invented the means to counterfeit the purple of Tyrus, the scarlet also and the violet in grain; yea, and to set all other colours that can be devised, with the juice only of certain herbs, such colours as an honest-minded person has no cause to blame, nor the world reason to cry out upon.’ ‘They seem to have been fond of every kind of ornament,’ continues Elton. ‘They wore collars and “torques” of gold, necklaces and bracelets, and strings of brightly-coloured beads, made of glass or of “a material like the Egyptian porcelain.” A ring was worn on the middle finger [at one period, but in a later generation] the fashion changed, and that finger was left bare while all the rest were loaded.’

Such, then, was the attire of the Celts of 2000 years ago in time of peace. Of their armour, offensive and defensive, it would be out of place to speak here.

The accounts just cited, therefore, show us that the tartan was in full swing at that period in all its varied colours ; red or crimson being chiefly preferred. And the dress was a sleeved blouse, often belted, with a tartan plaid thrown over it; the lower limbs being clad in trews, closely fitting at the ancle.

This last item requires to be emphasized, owing to popular misconceptions, not only among illiterate Cockneys, but also among many educated people in England, Scotland, and elsewhere. The Celtic people whom Pliny styles (in Holland’s words) ‘the French beyond the Alps’ were remarkable in the eyes of the Romans from the circumstance of their wearing the trews, an article of apparel of which the Romans were innocent. At Rome the word transalpine or ‘ a person living beyond the Alps,’ was a synonym for ‘a person wearing breeches or trousers.’ The Celtic druids were nicknamed ‘the long-trousered philosophers’ and the Celts as a people were further nicknamed Bracati or Gentes Braccatae, ‘the trousered people.’ On the other hand, the Roman dress was the toga, or mantle, and the belted tunic, a garb very closely resembling the plaid and kilt which in later centuries became associated with at least one branch of the Celtic nation. So averse, indeed, was the early Roman to the restrictions of the nether garments of the Celts, that the first Roman emperor who so far forgot himself as to wear breeches at once raised against him a perfect storm of popular indignation. In fact it would seem to be the case that the wearing of these articles of apparel is a custom which the people of Europe have inherited from the Celts.

Whatever may have been the custom in the days of the Emperor Claudius, the trews has long ceased to be worn by Celtic ladies, unless occasionally in a metaphorical sense. One exceptional instance, it is true, is that of Miss Jeanie Cameron, whose name is so much associated with that of Prince Charles Edward; for she is pictured as attired ‘ in a military habit— tartan doublet and trews—fully armed, with a gun in her hand.’ But then, it was understood that she was dressed as a man.

The earliest representation of a trews-wearing Highlander which I am able to indicate seems to date from the sixteenth or possibly the seventeenth century, although the picture upon which this supposition is based was only printed in 1767. Curiously enough, it comes from Germany, having been printed on one of a pack of playing cards published in Nuremberg. It is entitled ‘ Ein baser Berg-Schott,' ‘a fierce Scottish Highlander.’ The figure is that of a man wearing what is clearly meant to be a tartan plaid and tartan trews, with a cap or bonnet, in which may be discerned the tail feathers of a black-cock. His face is clean-shaven, except for a small moustache. His right hand is engaged in drawing his sword, and with his left hand he is holding a pike, slanting over his shoulder. The butt of a pistol is seen projecting from his belt. One cannot say with certainty when the original of this picture was drawn, but it seems to contain inherent evidence that it describes a Highlander of at least a century before 1767.

The Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland show us, from entries made in August, 1538, the dress then worn by James the Fifth during a hunting excursion in the Highlands. He wore a ‘short Highland coat’ of parti-coloured velvet, lined with green taffety, trews of ‘Highland tartan,’ and a long and full ‘Highland shirt’ of holland cloth, with ribbons at the wrists. I have here used the word ‘trews,’ but the entry in the accounts is: ‘Item for 3 ells of Highland tartan to be hose to the King’s grace, price of the ell 4 shillings and 4 pence.’ This, I think, clearly indicates the trews. Stockings were known as ‘short hose,’ to distinguish them from ‘hose’ or trews.

‘Defoe, in his “Memoirs of a Cavalier,” written about 1721, and obviously composed from authentic materials, thus describes the Highland part of the Scottish army which invaded England in 1639, at the commencement of the great Civil War. . . . “They were generally tall swinging fellows; their swords were extravagantly and I think insignificantly unmeaningly or needlessly] broad, and they carried great wooden targets, large enough to cover the upper part of their bodies. Their dress was as antique as the rest; a cap on their heads, called by them a bonnet, long hanging sleeves behind, and their doublet, breeches, and stockings, of a stuff they called plaid, stripped across red and yellow, with short cloaks of the same. These fellows looked, when drawn out, like a regiment of Merry-Andrews, ready for Bartholomew fair. There were three or four thousand of these in the Scots army, armed only with swords and targets; and in their belts some of them had a pistol, but no musquets at that time among them.” ’

The uncomplimentary comparison between these Highland soldiers and ‘Merry Andrews’ is obviously due to the resemblance between a man dressed in tartan trews and a Pantaloon, or Harlequin, in his chequered, tight-fitting suit. It is by no means unlikely that the Harlequin’s dress is a survival of the dress of the Celtic juggler. The prevailing colour in the tartan of these troops of 1639 is described as red and yellow. This suggests the MacMillan Clan. The M‘Leods, however, are most prominently associated with the Royalist cause during the English campaigns, and it is well known that, owing to the heavy losses sustained by them when fighting for King Charles at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, the M‘Leods were held exempt from warfare by the other western clans until time had tended to increase their numbers.

The portrait of Andrew Macpherson of Cluny, of the year 1661, gives one a good idea of the trews-wearing Highlander of this period. Somewhere about this period, also, ought to be placed the portrait of Fraser of Castle Leathers, which hangs in the Town Hall of Inverness. This chieftain is dressed in a slashed coat and waistcoat, with tartan trews, and he has also a small sporran or purse. The sporran seems to have been frequently worn with the trews.

If Defoe is right in picturing the whole of the 3000 or 4000 Highlanders in the Scottish army of 1639 as wearing the trews, he indicates that that garment was then common to all ranks. Such, however, was not the case in later years, as may be seen from many references.

Lord Archibald Campbell gives1 a reproduction of the two supporters of the arms of Skene of that Ilk, as these were pictured in Nisbet’s Heraldic Plates in 1672. The dexter supporter shows a man wearing a flat round cap or bonnet, a short plaid crossing his chest from the left shoulder to the right hip, its under fold coming from the right arm-pit down to the basket-hilt of his broadsword, which hangs at his left hip, suspended from a long shoulder-belt, apparently of ornamented leather, put on above the plaid. The plaid was fixed by a brooch or a silver bodkin, at its point of crossing on the breast; but this is not visible in the picture. The shoulder-belt is of course suspended from the right shoulder. He wears a short coat or jacket, having the sleeves slashed about halfway up, and with ruffs at the wrist. Possibly, however, these are the edges of his gauntlets. His costume is completed by a pair of tartan trews, with garters, the bows of which are very prominent, and his feet are encased in high-heeled shoes. In his right hand he holds a drawn dirk, the point downward; and his left supports the dexter side of the shield. It may be added that his hair hangs down to his shoulders, his upper lip is shaven, as also his chin; but he either has a pair of whiskers coming right down to his jaws, or else his cheeks are clean-shaven, and what looks like whiskers is merely shadow.

The sinister supporter is a counterpart of the one just described, so far as regards head-dress, hair, and character of face. He wears a short jacket with plain sleeves, and above it is a plaid which, apparently crossing both shoulders, is belted in at the waist and then hangs as a kilt, coming down to about half-way between his waist and his knees. He has a pair of tartan stockings, whose vandyked tops reach to his knees, below which they are fastened by plain garters. He wears a pair of plain, low-heeled shoes. On his left arm he bears a round Highland target, studded with nails, and at his right hip there hangs a large quiver, full of arrows, which is suspended from a shoulder-belt coming from the left shoulder. His right arm supports the sinister side of the shield.

Nisbet himself states that the supporters of the shield of Skene of that Ilk are ‘two heighlandmen he on the dexter side in a heighland gentlemans dress holding in his right hand a skeen point dounward and the other on the sinister in a servants dress with his Darlach [quiver] and a Target on his left Arm.’ Referring to these seventeenth-century figures, and to Nisbet’s definition of them, Lord Archibald Campbell observes ‘It is impossible to conceive of evidence of a more conclusive and satisfactory character than that here adduced of the existence of both modes of dress at this period; and of the rank of the respective wearers.’

Cleland, the Covenanting colonel who was killed while in command of the Cameronians in their defence of Dunkeld against the Jacobite Highlanders in 1689, clearly regarded the trews as a sign of rank, and not as a dress of the common people.

This appears in the doggerel verses which he wrote in 1678, describing the ‘ Highland Host.’ After referring in slighting terms to the half-clad appearance of the ordinary clansmen, he goes on to say:

‘But those who were their chief Commanders, As such who bore the pirnie standarts, Who led the van, and drove the rear, Were right well mounted of their gear ; With brogues, trues, and pirnie plaides, With good blew bonnets on their heads, Which on the one side had a flipe Adorn’d with a tobacco pipe, With durk, and snap work [pistol], and snuff mill, A bagg which they with onions fill, And, as their strick observers say, A tupe horn fill’d with usquebay; A slasht out coat beneath her plaides, A targe of timber, nails and hides; With a long two-handed sword, As good’s the country can affoord ; Had they not need of bulk and bones, Who fight with all these arms at once?’

Martin refers to the trews as worn by some of the Western Islanders in the reign of Queen Anne. ‘Many of the people wear trovjis] he says, ‘some have them very fine woven, like stockings of those made of cloth; some are coloured, and others striped: the latter are as well shaped as the former, lying close to the body from the middle downwards, and tied round with a belt above the haunches. There is a square piece of cloth which hangs down before.’

It will be seen that Martin does not speak of the trews as peculiar to any one class. Captain Burt, however, writing a little later, regards this variety of the Highland dress as almost, if not altogether, a mark of gentry. He remarks thus:

‘Few besides gentlemen wear the trowze, that is, the breeches and stockings all of one piece and drawn on together; over this habit they wear a plaid, which is usually three yards long and two breadths wide, and the whole garb is made of chequered tartan or plaiding; this, with the sword and pistol, is called a full dress, and to a well-proportioned man, with any tolerable air, it makes an agreeable figure; but this you have seen in London, and it is chiefly their mode of dressing when they are in the Lowlands, or when they make a neighbouring visit, or go any where on horseback; but those among them who travel on foot, and have not attendants to carry them over the waters, vary it into the quelt.’ Burt then goes on to describe the kilt or ‘ quelt,’ which he speaks of as ‘ the common habit of the ordinary Highlanders.’

Another writer, J. Macky, who made a ‘Journey through Scotland ’ sometime in the reign of George L, gives a companion picture to Burt’s. Macky writes as an Englishman, and apparently he was one, in spite of his name. Of the dress of the people of Lochaber and the Great Glen he writes as follows:8 ‘ The universal Dress here is a striped Plad, which serves them as a Covering by Night, and a Cloak by Day. The Gentry wear Trousings, which are Breeches and Stockings of one piece of the same striped Stuff; and the common People have a short Hose, which reaches to the Calf of the Leg, and all above is bare.’

A little later, Macky found himself in CriefF, with regard to which visit he makes the following observation :9 ‘ The Highland Fair of CriefF happening when I was at Stirling, I had the Curiosity to go see it. . . . The Highland Gentlemen were mighty civil, dress’d in their slash’d short Waistcoats, a Trousing (which is, Breeches and Stockings of one Piece of strip’d StufF) with a Plaid for a Cloak, and a blue Bonnet. They have a Ponyard Knife and Fork in one Sheath, hanging at one side of their Belt, their Pistol at the other, and their SnufF-Mill before; with a great broad Sword by their side.’ He then goes on to describe the common men who followed these gentlemen: ‘ Their Attendance were very numerous, all in Belted Plaids, girt like Womens Petticoats down to the Knee ; their Thighs and Half of the Leg all bare. They had also each their broad Sword and Ponyard, and spake all Irish, an unintelligible language to the English. However, these poor Creatures hir’d themselves out for a Shilling a Day, to drive the Cattle to England, and to return home at their own Charge.’

It is noteworthy that Macky, who (like Captain Burt) writes as an Englishman, finds it necessary to explain to his English readers (as Burt also does) what trews or ‘trousings’ are; the fact being that Englishmen then wore knee-breeches, and did not use trousers until about a century later.

It has been seen that the portraits of Cluny Macpherson of 1661, and of a Fraser chieftain living about the dawn of the seventeenth century, represent each as attired in what Nisbet calls ‘a heighland gentleman’s dress.’ Other portraits bearing similar testimony are the following, all representing gentlemen of the eighteenth century: James, 6th Earl of Perth and Duke of Perth (the original being preserved in Drummond Castle), Normand, 19th Laird of MacLeod, painted by Allan Ramsay (preserved in Dunvegan Castle), one of the young sons of MacDonald of the Isles (the original, painted in 1750, being in Armadale Castle), and Sir John Sinclair, Bart., of Ulbster, painted by Raeburn in 1795. This last picture is here reproduced. These are only some notable instances illustrating the attire which had long been specially associated with the gentry of the Scottish Highlands; and it is worth pointing out, as a fact not sufficiently realised, that a man may be of unimpeachable Highland lineage without any of his ancestors having ever worn the kilt.

Among civilians, the fashion of wearing the trews may be said to have ceased with the eighteenth century. The last Macdonell of Glengarry wore the trews (elegantly finished in a fringe above the ancle) when he was a boy; but he appears to have decided in favour of the kilt in later life. In our kilted regiments the trews is still the dress of mounted officers; and in its ungraceful form of modern trousers it constitutes part of the undress uniform of the junior officers and the men. In this form, also, it is worn on all occasions by a few Scottish regiments of Highland origin. It is not unlikely that the modern use of the trews, or of tartan trousers, by privates as well as officers, is in some measure due to the influence of Sir John Sinclair, who insisted on the trews as the dress of all ranks in his Caithness Fencibles, which regiment was raised by him in 1794. In spite of the fact that the trews was then or previously regarded as characteristic of the upper class in the Highlands, Sir John did not recognize such a distinction. Of its superior antiquity to the kilt he had no doubt, and strenuously asserted this doctrine in a pamphlet referred to in the Memoirs by his son (1837, vol. i., p. 257). David MacRitchie.

Note.—Since the preceding article was written, I have seen M. D’Arbois de Jubainville’s Les Celtes (Paris, 1904), a chapter of which is devoted to the history of Le Pantalon Gaulois. The author makes it quite clear that he refers to trousers reaching down to the ancle; and not to culottes, or knee-breeches. He points to the use of trousers by the Gauls as early as the third century b.c., at which time they also wore mantles, or plaids, for the upper part of the body. But he asserts that the Gauls derived this nether garment from the Germans, who in turn had derived it from the Scythians, and these from the Iranians of Persia. He also shows that the Amazons are represented as wearing trousers. The Gaelic word triubhas (Anglicised as 'trews’) he derives from Old French trebus, Mediaeval Latin tributes and tribucus, and Low Latin tubrucus,—analysed by him as tu-brucus, i.e. ‘thigh-breeches.’ Braca he derives, through German, from an Indo-European root bhrag. He is wrong, however, when he states that ‘the trews or breeches, in Ireland and among the Gaels of Scotland, was borrowed from the English in recent times.’ Shakespeare, who, like the rest of his countrymen, wore knee-breeches, speaks of the ‘strait trossers’ of the ‘kernes of Ireland.’ {King Henry V., Act iii., Sc. 7.)

I would also add that the two Highlanders who figure in the ornamental title of Blaeu’s map of Scotia, published in 1654, are both represented as wearing tartan breeches. But as, in each case, the tartan of the legs differs from that of the thighs, it is evident that they are supposed to be wearing knee-breeches, not trews.

D. McR

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.