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

Electric Scotland News


Boston, Massachusetts, October 15, 2020 – Colorado resident George Russell (74) has completed a 3,000+ mile cycle across the United States and has so far raised a massive $50,000 for conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland.

Completing his coast-to-coast journey one day ahead of schedule, George arrived in St. Augustine, Florida yesterday (Wednesday, October 14), just 49 days after setting off from San Diego, California.

From the Pacific coast to the Atlantic, George overcame challenging terrain and steep inclines as well as strong winds and even hurricane warnings - but took everything in his stride and had continued support from his wife Mary, who drove a support vehicle with him.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, George is now based in Colorado. With strong ties to the National Trust for Scotland, this was a very personal journey for the cyclist – his grandfather was the charity’s first Secretary and Treasurer and was key in negotiating the purchase of Glencoe to be held in trust for future generations. His father also worked for the Trust for many years.

George’s support for the charity was in response to a major international fundraising campaign – Save Our Scotland – launched to protect Scotland’s historic and natural treasures after lockdown measures due to the coronavirus crisis put the charity into an extremely challenging financial period.

George said: “I can’t quite believe I’ve finished – and that I only had to repair two flat tires on the way! There were so many moments where we had to rethink our route after seeing poor weather forecasts, but more often than not the sun shone for us and it has been an amazing experience.”

He added: “Crossing eight US states on two wheels has been a totally eye-opening and a liberating journey and I never lost sight of the reason for it all. I was constantly reminded of Scotland and Trust-owned places like Glencoe and Ben Lawers when I was on the mountain paths and I’m proud that I’ve achieved this - not only for myself, but for my father and grandfather and everyone in Scotland that cherishes its heritage.”

Russell also expressed gratitude to his supporters, saying: “The messages of support that I received along the way was what really kept me going and I’d like to thank everyone that reached out and made a donation.”

Kirstin Bridier, who directs The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, said: “I am inspired by George’s epic journey – in awe of his physical effort and grateful for his commitment to helping the National Trust for Scotland weather the financial challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. George connected individuals across the US and UK with the Trust’s conservation mission through his cycle, and we cannot thank him enough for his vision and generosity.”

George’s fundraising pages are still live and Americans who would like to make a donation to help conserve historic sites such as Bannockburn and poet Robert Burns's birthplace can make a tax-deductible gift via The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA here:


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.

The long journey of the West Highland Way
Tens of thousands of people walk the West Highland Way every year. The route is celebrating its 40th anniversary - but the creation of the first trail of its kind in Scotland was itself a long journey.

Read more at:

Does Scottish independence matter more than lives blighted by child poverty?
Almost one in four of Scotland’s children live in poverty. The Resolution Foundation says the child poverty rate will rise to 29 per cent by 2023, and Scottish Government statisticians fear that it will reach 38 per cent by the end of this decade.

Read more at:

Walk away! Figures show 99.3% percent of all UK businesses do NOT export to EU
This means just 0.7 percent of British businesses benefit from sending their goods to EU member states. Brexit Facts4EU.Org spokesman David Evans urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to walk away and repudiate the Withdrawal Treaty based on the EU’s lack of good faith in all its negotiations with the UK to date.

Read more at:

BUTT OUT PELOSI! UK doesn't need lessons on peace from terror-sponsoring Americans
FOR a nation conducting a seemingly endless War on Terror it is a slightly embarrassing fact that the United States of America basically paid for the IRA to murder a little over 1,800 people, mostly on British soil, in three decades of the so-called Troubles.

Read more at:

A better rule of six - to help see Scottish nationalism for the mirage it is
SOME NUMBERS have given me pause for thought recently about Scotland’s future.

Read more at:

Scottish Enterprise: a head rolls, but why?
There's anger and frustration within the business community, and it extends into the Scottish government's lead agency on the economy.

Read more at:

A British Premiership? It's a match-winner
By George Galloway

Read this at:

What will end first, the Covid lockdowns or Sturgeon’s leadership?
NICOLA STURGEON is on the ropes as never before. If Scotland’s media and opposition were dogged and savage enough, her interview on Sunday morning with Sky’s Sophy Ridge would have gone down as her Prince Andrew moment.

Read more at:

Nicola Sturgeon announces 13 coronavirus deaths in Scotland as 1351 new cases recorded
The First Minister announced the daily figures at her daily briefing.

Read more at:

Electric Canadian

James Brown
Businessman and Politician. His importance lay instead in his contributions to the social and economic development of the province through his concern for education, agriculture and land policy, transportation, and immigration. Perhaps it was inevitable that the practical Scottish immigrant should give leadership as a builder rather than as a constitutional authority.

You can read about him at:

Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 11th October 2020
You can view the Rev. Nola Crewe's thoughts at:

The Beaver Magazine
Published by the Hudson's Bay Company. Found a good page from which you can find old copies of this magazine. [External Link]. All copies of the magazine can be read at the Canadian History site BUT the text is so small I can't read them personally which is why I don't provide a link to them.

You can get to this page at: https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.ed...l?id=beavercdn

New Brunswick Scottish History [External link]
You can get to this web site at:

NBSH Lecture 2 William Davidson The First Scots on the Miramichi
Added a video of this talk to the foot of our Scotland page at:

Electric Scotland

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Got in the November 2020 section 2 issue at:

Hi Everyone.

I hope everyone made it through the hurricane last weekend safe and sound. Even this far away (North Georgia) we had almost six inches of rain in maybe 4 hours overnight. I measured in Piper's feed bucket, but our neighbour has a real rain gauge and that's what his fancy gauge said.

The mystery of the critter in the photograph we were talking about last time is solved. The animal is a cat. The wildlife man told me about it being a cat. My own eyes tell me it is a big cat. I'm thrilled to have the photograph! The photo was taken so long ago, that cat has probably had multiples of great-grand-cats by now or has moved on to far away from where it was those years ago. The wildlife man was NOT talking about a pet kitty cat.

We were so thrilled to have another instalment of Dr Pete Hylton, Ed. D. and his travels about Scotland for this publication. If you squint your eyes at the pictures and go outside in the woods and breathe in the woodsy air, you can ALMOST imagine you are in Scotland, too! Dr. Hylton, you were missed!

The last of The Desert Rats has died. Jimmy Sinclair lived to be 107. His Flower of the Forest is on page 3.

The Lord Lyon Sir Malcolm Innes of Edingight has also passed away. He was 82. You'll find his Flower of the Forest on page 7.

It is always astounding and amazing at the interesting things that can be found during this time of pandemic!

It is also always astounding and amazing how the Scottish folk figure out how to have games and AGMs and anything else they wish via the Internet. Creativity is a part of being a Scot and it has surely come to the fore during this time of "sit and stay" for all of us.

Please continue to take care and be careful. Tom and I are going to go see the fall leaves on the Blue Ridge Parkway tomorrow. What fun! I'll take my camera, so maybe we'll have some pictures for those of you who can't, for one reason or another, go see them in person.

As always, send me changes in your email address.

Send me genealogical queries and I'll print them for free.

Of course, you may always send this publication to as many people as you wish. No charge a'tall.

Happy November!

New Brunswick Scottish Journal
Got in the April 2017 issue which you can view at:

Highland Society of London
Includes a link to a pdf article on Building the Highland Empire.

This dissertation explores the development of charitable networks by the Highland Society of London (est. 1778) in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries—a period of rapid social and economic change in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The Highland Society of London (HSL), a voluntary association, was formed exclusively for elite Highlanders living, working, and visiting in London. At this time, members of the HSL were able to exploit the expanding British fiscal-military state through active political lobbying, socializing, charity work, and the development of an institutional network for elite Highlanders. This was achieved first by attaching to sister societies, notably the Highland Society of Scotland (est. 1784), opening subsidiary joint-stock companies to undertake specific improvement projects, such as the British Fisheries Society (est. 1786), and developing a network of branch societies throughout the British Empire linking Highlanders in London to Highlanders in Scotland, India, and British North America. Through the development of these networks members of the HSL and their colleagues were able to lead social and economic development projects in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, help to preserve Highland culture, and provide charity for members of their own communities on their own terms. In the process, Highland elites found in HSL circles developed the notion of a ‘Highland Empire’, which linked the charitable networks they formed to a wider conceptual Imperial framework. This framework was one in which Highland Scots influenced their own communities, whether in Great Britain or abroad, as well as the broader sociopolitical British imperial community through political lobbying and garnering subscriptions for improvement projects from the general public that both supported Highland culture and Highland people. This directly challenges the idea that Highland Scottish elites were more than willing to sacrifice their own culture in order to integrate themselves into the dominant Anglo-Scottish elite in order to benefit from participation in the British Empire.

You can view this at:

The House of Fraser Archive
The Archive is an outstanding source for the history of British design, fashion, tastes, lifestyles, consumerism and consumption from the early nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century.

You can view this at:

James Fraser, Laird of Brea
Parish Minister of Culross, Bass Rock, Blackness, and NewGate Prisoner, and author of 'The Book of the Intricacies of my Heart and Life', By Alexander Whyte, D.D., LL.D. (1911) (pdf)

You can read about him at:

The housekeeper's handbook of cleaning
by Sarah Josephine MacLeod (1915). Also includes a link to "How to Cook and Why".

You can read this at:

The History of the European Commerce with India
By David MacPherson (1812) (pdf)

You can read this at:


Highland Society of London
he Highland Society of London is a charity, which exists to promote and support the traditions and culture of the Highlands of Scotland, whilst maintaining a Membership of individuals to support the Society’s activities. The trustees of the Society form the Committee of Management, which meets four times per year to administer the Society’s affairs. The Membership of the Society meets twice per year to discuss the activities of the Society in General Court and to elect the Committee of Management; each General Court is followed by a dinner, and the Society also arranges a cocktail party each May.

The Highland Society of London was originally formed on 28th May 1778, when twenty-five Highland gentlemen met at the Spring Garden Coffee House in London, in order to form a Society that “might prove beneficial to that part of the Kingdom”. The first President was Lt-General Simon Fraser of Lovat and the Society was subsequently incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1816. Since 1965, the Society has been registered as a charity with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, number 244472. Her Majesty The Queen is Chief of the Society and the current President is Duncan Byatt.

For over two hundred years, the Society has been influential in matters relating to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In 1782, the Society procured the repeal of the Disarming Act (passed after the Rising of 1745 and which, amongst other things, prohibited the wearing of Highland Dress); and from 1784, secured the restoration of forfeited Highland Estates. The Society was also instrumental in setting up the forerunner of the British Fisheries Society in 1786, leading to the founding of fishing villages at Ullapool, Tobermory and others. In 1815, the Society established the Royal Caledonian Asylum (now Royal Caledonian Schools), to educate needy children of Highland descent living in London. In 1859, the Society took a prominent part in forming the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers; and in 1902, successfully opposed an attempt to abolish the Kilt as the field dress of Highland Regiments. The Society’s subsidiary charity, the Baroness Von Wilczek (née Mackenzie) charity, founded in 1911 to help Scottish Regiment war widows in need and whose funds were finally exhausted in 2014, has now been wound up; its remaining obligations are being met from a separate fund within the Society.

During this time, the Society gathered a large collection of Gaelic manuscripts and other historical artefacts. Many of these manuscripts (including copies of the Poems of Ossian, published in Gaelic by the Society in 1807) are available to view at the National Library of Scotland, in Edinburgh; and the Society’s unique collection of ancient tartans is on view at the National Museum of Scotland, also in Edinburgh. There are other items on display at the Caledonian Club in London and at the The Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Centre, at Armadale on Skye.

The current focus of the Society is to support traditions and culture particular to the Highlands and Islands. The Society awards the prestigious Gold Medal for the best player of Piobaireachd at each of the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting, annually; and awards prizes at various other Piping competitions. Each year the Society also gives an art prize through the Royal Scottish Academy; Gaelic singing prizes at the Royal National Mod; the Gaelic Singer of the Year award at the Trads; Highland Dancing prizes at the Glenfinnan Games; a dissertation prize through the University of the Highlands and Islands; the Highland Book Prize; and the Fiction prize at the Gaelic Literature Awards. In addition, the Society makes financial grants to a number of related charities and organisations that promote and support Highland traditions and culture, and Members are encouraged to contact the Committee of Management with suggestions for suitable beneficiaries. The Society is funded through Life Membership fees, income on its investments and charitable donations.

The Rules and Bye-laws of the Society currently state that: “Persons qualified for being proposed Members are natives of the Highlands of Scotland, Descendants or Spouses of Highlanders, Proprietors of Land in the Highlands, Individuals who have done signal service to that part of The Kingdom, or Officers serving or who have served in Highland Corps.” Candidates for Membership must be proposed and seconded by two existing Members (neither of whom is the candidate’s parent) for approval by the Membership at a General Court. There is a Life Membership fee due on joining (currently £250), but no annual subscription; although Members wishing to make ongoing donations can do so via the Society’s Justgiving site.

The Society’s regular activities in London include the General Court and Annual Dinner in March, celebrating General Sir Ralph Abercromby and all Scotsmen who have fallen in defence of their country, with the focus of the evening on the piping of the Society’s Honorary Piper; the Spring Cocktail Party in May, generally held in conjunction with members of the Northern Meeting and the Argyllshire Gathering; and a second General Court and Dinner in either November or December, followed by a selection of Highland music and entertainment. Members are encouraged to attend these events, and to bring guests. The Highland Ball takes place at the beginning of March each year, under the auspices of the Highland Society of London.

You can view this at: where you'll get a link to the book "Building the Highland Empire" By Katie Louise McCullough. The Highland society of London and the Formation of Charitable Networks in Great Britain and Canada, 1778-1857.

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. Don't be stupid or selfish and instead be considerate of others and wear a mask if going shopping or into a crowded place and consider whether you should indeed go into a crowded space in the first place.

Also there are no free lunches. While we are spending billions on this pandemic it will need to be paid back by the tax payer in the years ahead.