Another very good morning all! The speed these chapters are getting posted is making me feel super productive of late. That’s another six chapters for your reading/viewing pleasure; Plate XXXI., Falkland Palace, from the Court-yard, Plate XXXII., Roslin Glen and Castle, Plate XXXIII., Roslin Chapel, Plate XXXIV., Burntisland, Plate XXXV., Loch Winnoch, and Plate XXXVI., The Falls of Bruar. I’ve been enjoying the accompanying pictures immensely for the detail they contain. Contents Page is updated as usual.

17/11/2018   05:51

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Good morning! Five chapters uploaded for you last night; Plate XXVI., Invermay, Plate XXVII., Loch-Eck, Plate XXVIII., Dura Den, Plate XXIX., Loch Oich, and Invergarry Castle, and Plate XXX., Town of Falkland and Palace. I was going to go on and do a sixth but I thought stopping at Chapter 30, page 60, was a nice place to stop for the morning as it appealed to my OCD for anything 3-related.

The Contents Page for ‘Scotland Illustrated’ (1845) is looking fairly healthy for the small amount of time I feel like I’ve spent with this publication. Hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

16/11/2018   05:05

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Another seven chapters uploaded tonight; Plate XVIII., Habbie’s How, Plate XIX., Ballendean, Plate XX., Loch Doon, Plate XXI., Duddingston and Arthur’s Seat, Plate XXII., Craighall, Plate XXIII., Castle Urquhart, and Plate XXIV & XXV., The Twa Brigs O’ Doon.

Also Alex has done us some wee cartoon characters of four of the more obvious Scottish folk from history. ‘Warring Wullie’ Wallace, Robert ‘Balshie Bruce’ , Queen ‘Mary Doll’, and Rabbie ‘Bardie Burns’ (provisionally). We’ll see how we can make use of them later on.


13/11/2018   06:51

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More chapters uploaded tonight; Plate XI., Borthwick Castle, Plate XII., Jedburgh Abbey, Plate XIII., Interior of Jedburgh Abbey, Plate XIV., Crail, Plate XV., Loch Maben and Castle, Plate XVI., Linlithgow Palace, and Plate XVII., Balcarres Craig. I have to say I’m not stoked about how the scans are turning out on this one. They seem a bit dark and I didn’t want to edit them too much but if I find a better way to scan them in I’ll be sure to replace them all. This is a great book though with nice wee chapters that should make it a fairly speedy process to upload.

12/11/2018   05:52

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Over the last few nights we’ve got right in about ‘Scotland Illustrated’ (1845). Professor Wilson’s rather lengthy introduction, Remarks on the Scenery of the Highlands, took a couple of nights but the chapters themselves are fairly short; Plate I., The City of St. Andrews, Plate II., Loch-Lomond, Looking North, Plate III., Abbey of Balmerino, Plate IV., Dunstaffnage Castle, Plate V., Scone Palace, Plate VI., Ancient Gateway of Scone Palace, Plate VII., Loch-Leven Castle, Plate VIII., Dunfermline, Plate IX., Dunfermline Palace, and Plate X., Harbour of Dundee, have all been uploaded for your perusal. The pictures are as good as I can get them with the hand scanner as the pages are very tightly bound and this has made the pages a wee bit warped and bumpy. I do what I can and hope it’s enough.


11/11/2018   04:53

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Apologies for my absence for the last 11 days. I absconded to Crete with Alex, RSH’s illustrator, to immerse ourselves in Greek history. My interest in history began with Classical Greece, leading me to do Arts and Humanities at the Open University with a view to learning ancient Greek in order to read Homer’s original works without the need to rely on, say, Alexander Pope’s translations. In changing my field to Scottish history it turns out Latin is of more use to me though of a less interesting nature.

We covered a fair amount of the island’s places of historical interest, though we’d have needed maybe a month to get through everything there was to see.


Aptera Fortress.
Agia Triada Monastery.
Statue of Spiros Kayales, Akrotiri.


Venetian Lighthouse at Chania Harbour.
Arkadi Monastery.


Mosque turned Church in Rethymno.
Palace of Knossos Archaeological Excavation Site.


Morosini Fountain, Heraklion.
St. Peter & Paul Church, Heraklion.
Wooden Model of the Palace of Knossos, Phaistos Disc (both sides), and Skeletal Remains in a Jar at Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum.
Palace of Phaistos Archaeological Excavation Site.


Carved Tree at Matala.
Wee Windmill at Elounda, with our Artist, where we boarded the boat to Spinalonga Island. We had our picture taken as we boarded. The resulting keyring. The Island itself.
Round Spinalonga Island a former Leper Colony or Lazar House.
Europa Sitting on Zeus as a Bull (both sides) and Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos.

We captured a fair number of Crete’s wildlife on camera. A skink was the first in Skaleta. We were told it was basically a lizard that didn’t use its legs, to the point of being basically a snake. The praying mantis I caught by the pool, in Hersonissos, was striking as it appeared to be albino though this is how they are just after molting. There were also what I took to be geese, though they’re apparently large ducks, by Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos happily co-existing with the local cat population.

There’s also a kind of moth that mimics hummingbirds called the Hummingbird Hawk Moth which I was lucky to catch on video in Hersonissos.

Plenty of cats. I’ll not bore you with all the pics and vids. The island is overrun with them but every one I came across seemed clean, without fleas or injuries, and were super friendly, if a little skinny in most cases. In our wanderings through varying residential areas we were happy to see plenty of folk left containers of water and food out indiscriminately for any wandering animals requiring them.

Cat in a plant pot at the Agia Triada Monastery and kittens at Arkadi Monastery.
Kittens with their mum at the Palace of Phaistos.

Also lots of fish. Super close to the shore in most cases, which is not something I’ve seen before, as well as trout and a Sturgeon in a decorative pool at the Argrypolis Waterfalls.

At the Rethymnon Harbour.
At the shore of Agios Nikolaos.

This is obviously only a taste of the 485 photos and 30 videos I uploaded as my holiday diary to Facebook but you’d need to send me a wee friend request in order to see them if you’re not already in my contacts.

Back to transcribing Professor Wilson’s Introduction to ‘Scotland Illustrated‘ (1845) which should be published tomorrow morning.

06/11/2018   06:10

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Over 8000 words typed up from the introduction to ‘Scotland Illustrated‘ (1845) and I’m just about halfway through. So nothing to post this morning I’m afraid. Professor Wilson, the author of said introduction, is another one of those we’ve become so used to, a Scottish historian who can’t help but compare everything they come across to its supposed counterpart in England. He spends an entire paragraph extolling the virtues of the Borrowdale scenery in Cumberland and begins the subsequent paragraph with the sentence, “No – there is no glen in all the Highlands comparable with Borrowdale.”, well gee thanks love…

It’s striking how often authors felt the need to do this as I would think it a fairly uncommon occurrence for French historians to devote entire sections of their writings to how incredible a random bit of Spain of Germany is, or the difference in the currency exchanges at different points of their histories between the countries… Anyways, it is how it is and we make do with the information we can get our hands on.

26/10/2018   06:54

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MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ (1880) is now complete, with the exception of the appendix which I’ll decide on later. A whole 4 chapters typed up and posted this morning; Literary History, Value of Property, Price of Commodities and Labour, and Contrast Between Former and Present Condition of the City. As per usual the Contents Page has been updated too.

There’s an excellent map of Glasgow that’s part of the last chapter showing how the city changed in a century but I’ve tried scanning it in and the binding of the book makes it impossible. When an A3 scanner is obtained (we’ve obtained 2 of the same type we couldn’t get working in the last 2 weeks) it shall be done and will be included in the Maps from Books section  as well. I’ve included a photo of it in its spot in the chapter as a placeholder for the time being.

Scotland Illustrated‘ will be joining me in my place of employment tonight so I can get started on that wee gem.

25/10/2018   08:34

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Another couple of chapters typed up and published this morning for you; Education – Amusements – Fairs and Police, Water Supply, &c.. Some nice information in the latter chapter on Glasgow’s publishers. Contents Page for ‘Old Glasgow’ has been updated.

I’m afraid I’ve still not heard from anyone with regards M’Ure’s ‘View of the City of Glasgow’ and I don’t know that I’ll feel comfortable with it until I know where it originated. So please contact me – I’m happy to retain your anonymity – it’s really for my own peace of mind.

We’ll be done with MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ (1880) as of tomorrow morning I’m thinking. On Thursday night I’ll make a wee start on uploading ‘Scotland Illustrated‘ (1845) before we disappear abroad for a wee break to immerse ourselves in Greek history.

24/10/2018   06:41

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Back to work and two more chapters uploaded for you this morning; The River and Harbour and Sanitary Condition of City – Habits of the People.

On a strange and confusing note, M’Ure (McUre) has been mentioned and cited quite a number of times in MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ so far but he’s as much an author I’d go after as Tytler, in that you can expect originals of their work to cost far too much to be feasible for this project (maybe when I’m rich in my next life). A copy of John M’Ure’s ‘A View of the City of Glasgow’ was delivered to my humble abode yesterday morning and has me perplexed as to where it’s come from. It has a date of 1830 on the initial publisher’s page and a date on the second of 1733. I can only assume it’s been a wee fan of Random Scottish History but if you could contact me and let me know who you are so I can thank you (so much and forever), I think I’d feel better about it.

23/10/2018   06:40

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The last two nights have been spent on 3 chapters from ‘Old Glasgow‘; Municipal and Social History, Distinction of Classes, and Trade and Commerce. I felt it was necessary to add a few of my own footnotes at the bottom of the chapter on Trade to give a more rounded perspective of the information offered.

Alex has very kindly illustrated a wee sketched likeness of John Glassford taken from the tobacco lord’s family portrait for the ‘Municipal and Social History’ chapter.

20/10/2018   03:56

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Only just the one chapter uploaded this morning. I’m thinking I should’ve split it into two parts but as it was Ecclesiastical History I thought I’d just batter on and get it done.

Some numbers for you from tonight’s work; 26 pages, just over 10,000 words, in approximately 9 hours, with roughly 90 appearances of varying incarnations of the word “Presbytery”. Even typing it again there was painful. 65 Footnotes, to the point I ran out of symbols and resorted to those Greek Letters most dissimilar to our’s.

You may want to brush up on your yoghs (ʒ) and thorns (þ/y) for this one 😉 If in doubt I’ve explained these defunct letters at the start of the Glossary.

All in all just glad it’s done. Not my favourite chapter of MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ so far.

18/10/2018   06:04

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Back to work and right back into the swing of things with MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ (1880).

Three chapters uploaded for you this morning; The City Ports and Military Defences, Early State of the Land near Glasgow, and The People, and How They Lived. Lots more footnote links taking you to ‘Scots Lore‘ (1895) and Grant’s ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ (1880).

17/10/2018   06:11

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I know  it was supposed to be my night off but I though I might as well post the recently obtained ‘Directory of Ladies of Pleasure in Edinburgh‘, originally anonymously authored and published in 1775, this facsimile edition published in 1978 as I could obtain no pre-1900 copies, into Scanned Images. I’ve decided not to type up the descriptions given though I’ve included searchable type-ups of the Preface in which the author really attempts to defend prostitution and its “virtues”. The contemporary engravings included at the end are very nice and swung my decision to publish it to Random Scottish History.

15/10/2018   04:30

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I’ve been steadily continuing with MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘. Since my last wee break I’ve managed to get six chapters uploaded with their respective pictures. The last of the said six chapters, Old Streets and Buildings, I’ve divided up into four parts as it was a little long for one post.

For your reading pleasure we now have; Tenure of Property, Rule of Bishops, Armorial Insignia and City Seals, Cathedral, Castle and the Manor Houses of the Bishops, Old Streets and Buildings Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

I’m off for another couple of nights. Enjoy all.

14/10/2018   04:46

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A very good morning to you. In the last 4 nights I’ve managed to get a whole 7 chapters of MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ typed, scanned, and published. I wasn’t kidding when I said this book has me excited. I can’t get through it fast enough though the author’s comparisons with the English way of things got tiring fairly quickly. I assume this was his way of attempting to make the information relatable, though I’d have preferred to have the comparisons made with the other cities in Scotland to give  an idea of how the country evolved as a whole in relation to its fastest growing city. That and the Latin-heavy text are my only complaints, otherwise this makes for a fascinating read.

Covered so far are Glasgow’s; First Bishop, Bell and Miracles, Name, Early Church, Early Inhabitants, Early Language, and Early Houses which leads nicely to the Thomas Fairbairn Lithographs already posted.

Time for a couple of days off methinks.

08/10/2018   08:05

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I was hoping to have Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals‘ (1885) completed within the space of a couple of nights. I’m very pleased, having had a night to myself, to declare my transcription of this book completely ended already. The last three chapters uploaded for your reading pleasure are; the Reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714), Reign of George I. (1714-1727), and Reign of George II. (1727-1745). Contents pages and Bibliography are up to date.

I’ll be taking the next couple of nights off to reset and prepare for MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘ (1880), which I’ve already mentioned has me very excited 😃

02/10/2018   06:14

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Good morning all,

A few additions over the last few nights to bring to your attention.

In Maps from Books I’ve added Maps of Edinburgh (Varying Years) which have been taken from James Grant’s ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ (1880), volume 1, already uploaded in full.

The second of Charles II.‘s chapters, from Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals‘, is uploaded, as is James VII., William & Mary, and William III. Only 3 wee chapters left to finish this book and allow us to get on to MacGeorge’s ‘Old Glasgow‘.

In the Interregnum chapter of ‘Domestic Annals’ is mentioned something called the ‘Caldwell Papers’ which I’d never heard of and being a Caldwell from Greenock I thought I’d seek out more information. To that end I obtained the London Quarterly Review’s write-up of the Caldwell Papers for those interested.

Also mentioned, in the first of Charles II.‘s chapters (‘Domestic Annals’) and Chapter 34 (‘Old and New Edinburgh’), is Scotland’s first newspaper the ‘Mercurius Caledonius‘ of 1661. I managed to obtain the “Fac Simile” copy of this edition in a disbound copy of the 200th celebration of the ‘Caledonian Mercury’. I’ve typed up the 1661 Edition and the 1861 Historical Sketch.

So I’ve not had too much time for a life recently but the upside is you’ve lots to look through 😉

01/10/2018   06:43

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Firstly tonight, the first of Charles II.‘s chapters has been uploaded and the Contents Page has been updated.

I’ve populated the Maps from Books section with Map of Glasgow (1879), which must be one of the very last maps of the city published before Central Station opened in the middle of that year, Maps of Glasgow & Edinburgh (1847), and Maps of Edinburgh and the Wider Suburbs (1884).

24/09/2018   02:55

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As I’m in receipt of all the books donated recently to Random Scottish History’s library I tried to have them all speedily scanned and uploaded to Scanned Images. They’re fantastic and I can’t wait to get properly into them. As you’ll be aware by now, I don’t get to read them until I’m typing them up for the site so I’m very excited.

To begin with a long-time friend, who would like to remain anonymous, has donated:

Pictorial History of Scotland‘, J. Taylor (1859), Vols. 1 & 2.

Old Glasgow‘, A. MacGeorge (1880). This will be the next book uploaded after ‘Domestic Annals‘.

Then my wonderfully supportive parents-in-law, Julie and Hilton Eeles have donated:

Edinburgh Almanack‘ (1794). This is so information-heavy with statistics and costs for various that it seemed wiser to scan in as much of the book as related to Scotland as possible instead of typing it all out for the Book List.

History of Glasgow‘, A. Brown (1795). I may have this bound at some point.

History of Scotland‘, Rev. J. MacKenzie (1894).

Scotland Illustrated‘, Prof. Wilson (1845). This book is so tightly bound and full of beautiful pictures it will be the next book uploaded after ‘Old Glasgow‘.

The Scanned Images menu has been updated as has the Bibliography.

23/09/2018   03:59

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Last night I completed the most recent chapter, Interregnum (1649-1660), of Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals‘ and the contents page has been updated. As mentioned previously in the Updates here, Chalmers has been doing my head in a bit with his constant picking of majoritively negative quotes from our history, though he made quite the error in having a go at our tradesmen ancestors apparently adulterating booze in the 17th century. I’ve cleared up his error in the footnotes with an excerpt from James Greenwood’s excellent ‘Seven Curses of London’ (1869) detailing the publicans, in England’s capital, doing the same, perhaps even worse, in the mid to late 19th century. This is backed by the article, also cited in the footnotes, from Punch.

With a view to scanning in large newspapers, maps, &c. I went online and searched for an A3 scanner to purchase. One came up that I figured was a super reasonable price and so I went for it. The thing arrived only for us to quickly realise it was A4 size, which we already have… So I’ve made a shortlist of (definitely A3) flatbed scanners which I’ll whittle down to one as soon as Currys accept the return of their very badly marketed small one.

20/09/2018   07:46

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No more hospital for me for a while, fingers crossed, I may be able to tell you about it shortly, all very exciting.

For now though, that’s the last chapter of Charles I. uploaded and the Contents Page for ‘Domestic Annals‘ has been updated too.

I’ll be going through the books this morning looking for maps to upload into the Maps from Books section as near everyone I’ve ever met is a fan of old maps. I know I have a nice 1847 reproduction of a Glasgow map from 1650 that’ll need to be scanned in an innovative way, as you can see here:


I’ve scanned in Guthrie’s ‘General History of Scotland‘ (1767), vol. 2, which is where the Map of Scotland came from and added it to the site’s Bibliography.

Also Random Scottish History has been in receipt of a few donated books recently. A 2 volume illustrated set I’m very much looking to get stuck into and one on Glasgow I’ve been after for a wee while. I’ll elaborate on what they are with scans when I have them both. My donor of these fine publications is looking to remain anonymous though they are fully aware of my gratitude for these additions to the library.

18/09/2018   10:35

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It’s been a wee while since I wrote an update. I’ve been going through a series of medical procedures that have left me lethargic, uncomfortable, and incapable of completing anything quickly I’m afraid.

On Saturday, 8th of Sept., after a week of tracking down and typing out sources, I uploaded Curious and Interesting Deaths for those of you morbidly inclined like myself. This I was inspired to do from a post on the A Grave Announcement page.

The next night I spent fixing and ironing a very detailed Map of Scotland that had separated from its book, the 2nd volume of ‘A General History of Scotland’ by William Guthrie (1767). I then scanned it into the computer in 6 pieces due to its size and spent a few hours on Photoshop straightening and jigsawing said map back together again to post on Monday the 10th.

Monday night was spent typing up and scanning in Charles I.’s chapter, 1625-1637, from Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals of Scotland‘ (1885), which was posted yesterday morning.

Last night was used in uploading my collection of the few miscellaneous postcards, photos, newspaper pages, and other Scotland-related ephemera, into the Miscellaneous Collected Pictures post for this morning. The Miscellany Contents menu has been updated.

12/09/2018   05:33

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Instead of giving myself the short-breathed chest pain the anxiety of trying to get a chapter done within as few nights as possible gives, I took my time over this one. Made for a far more pleasant experience.

So, the next chapter of Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals‘, James VI. (1603-1625), has been uploaded.

Will go through my miscellany of pictures from various sources over the next couple of days and get them uploaded into the Scanned Images tab.


02/09/2018   08:21

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Thought I’d get something accomplished before I went to bed this morning. I’ve uploaded the ‘Royal Scottish Album of Glasgow and the Clyde‘ (undated). They seem to be drawings of Valentine & Son’s photos but there’s really no information within the book and I’m unable to find out more online. It doesn’t seem as though very many were made. I love these pictures though and if I can find out more I’ll update the post.

29/08/2018   10:26

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Had a wee bit of time on my hands and thought I’d upload scans of my copies of Valentine & Sons’ view books of Stirling (1890ish) and Glasgow (undated, end of 19th century). Stirling‘s done though the scanner stopped working halfway through Glasgow so I’ll finish it later. Scanned Images Content page has been updated.

28/08/2018   13:27

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James VI.’s third chapter (1591-1603) has been published. Was set on having it up and done before my days off. There were still 12,000ish words to type up in order to successfully do that, so I ended up having to bring it home to finish, apparently it’s not possible to do in 8hrs (ended up taking me 10). Content page has been updated. Still it’s done and I can treat myself to an early morning.

Good night all.

27/08/2018   09:09

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I’d mentioned, previously, the Glasgow Gallivanter inspiring me to post my Dundee pictures along with relevant information. Last night was spent organising the few that were of any use to the page and finding out more about the buildings featured therein. I’ve made the names of those pictured links to take you to websites that explain a wee bit more about them. The Miscellany Contents page has been updated.

It’s a beautiful city full of history and fantastic architecture and we’ll be back again in the future, if only to see if the interior and exhibits of the V & A Museum justify the exterior choice of design, as it would seem to be a little incongruous with its surroundings.

I’ll be continuing with James the VI.’s third chapter from Chambers’ ‘Domestic Annals‘ (1885) tonight.

24/08/2018   08:22

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The second of James VI.’s Chapters has been published for your perusal. Is super witchcraft heavy this one, but of course our author couldn’t resist finishing with a plague.

Have messed about, reordered and added to the Miscellany menu option in order to give space to our new guest author Mr Tam McCann of the Parkhead History Group and the new Wanderings folder.

Contents pages have been updated for both ‘Domestic Annals‘ and Miscellany.

Off for a couple of nights now and looking forward to meeting an active participant of Random Scottih History, in the form of the Glasgow Gallivanter, on one of my days off which I’m really looking forward to.

Enjoy guys!

21/08/2018   01:51

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So I was somewhat overconfident in my ability to complete everything last night. I’ve posted my own pics of Glasgow’s City Necropolis with the epitaphs that can be read, which may aid those in search of relatives. Still 7 pages short of completing James VI., however, when time ran out this morning.

I promise I tried.

20/08/2018   07:36

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I’ve been recovering from a minor medical procedure this week. Though I’ve made a start on the next chapter of James VI., it seemed like the break was a good opportunity to introduce Mr Tam McCann of the Parkhead History Group. He sent me a couple of articles he’s written about both the Eastern (Janefield) and City Necropolises in Glasgow. So I’ve typed them up and added the pictures he’s included. They’re full of super interesting information that would be of possible use to folk tracing their genealogy.

James VI.’s next installment will probably be published early bells tomorrow.

19/08/2018   09:20

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I forgot to update you on Sunday (05/08) night’s work, so that was the Regency of Morton. Last night was the Reign of James the Sixth, from 1578-1585. Contents page has been updated.

09/08/2018   09:05

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More of an update for this morning. Two more chapters uploaded; Regency of Moray and Regencies of Lennox and Mar, with illustrations. Contents page has been updated.

This Updates section was a page but that was annoying me so it’s now a post. and the menu options have been messed with a wee bit. C’est tout.

03/08/2018   08:32

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Morning all, just. Mary’s second chapter has been uploaded and Content page updated. Already! I know! These are nice quick chapters with beautiful wee illustrations.

Also, Random Scottish History’s very own illustrator, Alex, had entered a portrait of your’s truly into the Scottish Portrait Awards. He spent a good 3 months on it and used a mixed media of paint, pastels, pencils and even nail polish. He didn’t make the final pick but it’s something I’ll certainly treasure, regardless of his being sick of the sight of it 😆.


03/08/2018 00:04

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Afternoon. I was so relieved at finishing a number of things I’d been putting off with Random Scottish History that I nearly forgot to write an update.

The first of Queen Mary‘s chapters has been uploaded with illustration, taking us from 1561-1565. Contents page has been updated. There was a discrepancy with dates for the two factions seen fighting in the sky by thousands of people. Balfour claims it was 1529, during James V.’s reign,

“In Agust, this same zeire, light candells appeire one the topes of the mountans, neir Stirling, befor the sune; and 2 battalions of armed men seeme to skirmishe, in order of batell, in the firmament, to the grate astonishment of maney thousands that did behold the same.”

whereas Chambers has it occurring in 1564, as told by Knox, a man he obviously admires,

There were seen in the firmament (Feb. 15 and 18), says he, ‘battles arrayit, spears and other weapons, and as it had been the joining of two armies. Thir things were not only observed, but also spoken and constantly affirmed by men of judgment and credit.’ Nevertheless, he adds, ‘the queen and our court made merry.’

The Reformer considered these appearances as declarations of divine wrath against the iniquity of the land. Most probably they were resolvable into a simple example of the aurora borealis.

I’m inclined towards the latter as Balfour had a tendency to get dates slightly wrong.

The Scanned Images section had the books listed oldest uploaded first where the Book List was vice-versa, so I amended that. Firstly I’d realised, however, that the scans were pages instead of posts and they hadn’t shared when posted, so I copied them into new posts and reordered them in line with the other list. Now the OCD’s satisfied I can get on with the rest of Chambers’ somewhat biased Annals.

02/08/2018 13:03

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I created this site due a love I have of my country of origin. I wanted to know more about it and put the information I was coming across out there for others with a similar interest. It, therefore, saddens me when I come across an author, Scottish by nationality, who seems so set on putting Scotland down due to their own prejudices. Unfortunately some found the need to pander to the rest of the island’s population. A large proportion of Scotland’s population wasn’t overly enamoured with the union with England and so a faction arose of historians set on making the case for said union, for justifying it. This they did, mainly, by being derogatory about Scotland and its capabilities. If we were to only take their word for it, we’d wonder how Scotland managed to remain self-sufficient and independent as long as it did. Fortunately we have the Chalmers and McLeods of this nation to rely upon for a more balanced, investigative, take on our histories.

Chambers fulfils this ‘British-perspective’ role in our new [old] book, ‘Domestic Annals of Scotland’. It’s already hard going and we’re only the introduction and half a chapter in. For Queen Mary’s first arrival in Leith after her husband Francis’ death he chooses a quote, out of all the high-profile witnesses to that landing, from John Knox. Literally akin to her step-brother in being vindictive and a close contender for position as her nemesis. He very carefully chooses who’s quotes will lend themselves to his narrative and, as you’ll find out in reading his produce, relies heavily on hearsay and conjecture, from people who, from their own quotes, held super sectarian views heavily against Catholics and their religion. It’s difficult to see through the bias these are coloured with. A straight-forward, here are the facts, history would have been so much more useful to the generations that have been since. I’ve tackled a few of what’s said with footnotes but don’t have the will to take it sentence by sentence, as is probably needed.

Bibliography, Contents and Book List pages have been updated, and “tulyie/tulʒie” added to the Glossary.

Good luck history lovers.

01/08/2018 06:09

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It may have taken an entire week but James VI.’s updated Companion copy is now published for your enjoyment, the Contents page has been updated, and that’s us now finished Volume 1 of ‘Balfour’s Historical Works‘.

In my researches, of which there were many for this chapter, I came across both a 16th century Ritchie Rich and an English lawyer of Italian descent by the name of Julius Caesar. I also found my sister [granddaughter of a MacLean from Tobermory, Mull] had continued a trend from history of the MacLeans marrying Campbells in order to mitigate the feuds between the two families, though I doubt that was behind the decision.

I’m keen to upload the ‘Domestic Annals of Scotland’, Robert Chambers (1885), so no doubt that’ll be started tonight.

31/07/2018 09:19

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Good morning.

The Original version of James VI.’s chapter has been typed up and published and the Contents page updated.

Couple of days off now so you can expect the Updated version by the middle of next week. Then we’re done with Volume 1 of Balfour’s ‘Historical Works‘. Already deciding on the next random book to upload for the interested.

22/07/2018 04:24

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Apologies history fans. It took 3 nights to type up Mary’s Companion copy and 3.5 nights to complete the research of who/where/what was being talked about. Loads of fun. I almost feel like these guys are family now I know them so well, though I’m sure my shocking memory’ll cure me of that soon enough.

It is, however, complete for your enjoyment/research purposes. Contents page has been updated and more words have been added to the Glossary.

Next up, James VI., Mary’s son and first monarch of both Scotland and England.

20/07/2018 00:37

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Mary, Queen of Scots’, chapter (Original version) is finished and published complete with her portrait, thanks to the very talented Mr Alex Eeles. Contents page has been updated.

I have to say, though, that Balfour failed somewhat to really get into the intriguing done Mary Steuartby Elizabeth in her bid to oust Mary and deny her the birthright owed to her (the English crown) should Elizabeth fail to produce heirs. He does hint at it some, though completely ignores Mary’s brother the Earl of Murray’s part in Darnley’s murder and her downfall. He makes the Earl of Bothwell out to be some kind of lone wolf acting for the Queen when Chalmers provides us with evidence he was fully in league with Murray, Morton & Elizabeth. Darnley also wasn’t the “innocent Prince” Balfour makes him out to be as he would seem to have been behind the murder of David Rizzio, Mary’s personal assistant and confidant, through jealousy and the urging of the faction out against her.

It doesn’t correlate with the mountain of evidence George Chalmers provides us with in his ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘. Though does give us the extra interesting detail, I failed to notice in his dissection of her life, of Darnley having been strangled and tossed out into the courtyard before the building he had been residing in was blown up.

I’ve also added links to the bottom of the updated Companion chapters for this book as anyone looking to quote the information should do so from the Original versions. I’ll get onto the Companion updated copy and have it posted in the next few days. Enjoy.

10/07/2018 04:10

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Morning all,

So I guess I could’ve foreseen Mary having a chapter that outweighed her counterparts to this point, yet I was still hopeful of having it finished by this morning. Nope, ‘fraid not. I spent 9hrs working on it and have typed up 50% (and a page) so it’ll definitely be done for tomorrow (everything crossed). Alex has just about finished her portrait too which I’m excited for you to see, as I am about everything he does, I guess.

09/07/2018 08:05

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Good morning,

Still on holiday for our 12th anniversary but was getting super antsy about not having finished researching James V. for the Companion copy, so I spent last night doing just that and it’s now published for your perusal, Contents page is updated and more words have been added to the Glossary.

Next up is Mary, Queen of Scots, James’ daughter, who has already been fully written about by George Chalmers in his ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ (1822). So there shouldn’t be any surprises to followers of Random Scottish History. Back to work tomorrow night so the Original version of her chapter should be typed and uploaded for Monday morning. Alex, our resident artist, has done a fantastic illustration of Queen Mary, using her death mask as its basis.

07/07/2018 05:29

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Has been a wee while, my apologies. Working out kinks. So videos can now be uploaded which was an issue before, in light of YouTube plans. The first tester vid has been posted below (update of 21/06) of the location of my sister’s wedding and it seems to have appeared fine.

James V.’s Companion copy is fully typed up but still has about 150 names and references that need researching before I can happily publish it. Will hopefully happen later on this morning.

28/06/2018 01:12

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Good morning.

James V., Original, was uploaded yesterday. Have been covering a supervisor shift tonight so I’m afraid the Companion copy is only done up until 1523, so I estimate it’ll be tomorrow morning at the earliest for it to be posted.

Thank you for your patience.

23/06/2018 06:51

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Good morning and a beautiful Summer Solstice to you.

Back from the continent, well and truly sunburned & skint. It was a very nice well-planned event with fantastic scenery. Here’s my album of the few pics/vids I took for those of you able to view them.

I’ve resumed Balfour’s ‘Historical Works‘. The Companion for James IV. has been typed and uploaded this morning, finally. Sorry if you were waiting for it with bated breath.

21/06/2018 08:11

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A very good morning to you.

The Original version of James IV. is freshly typed and published for your perusal. Contents page has been updated to show the chapter. It records varying events, as you might expect if you’ve been following Balfour’s Histories, including another “fearfull comett”, an earthquake, peace, death, and the battle of Flodden which, of course, ends James’ story for us.

I’ll not be able to get round to typing up the Companion version of this chapter until the start of next week, I’m afraid. My weekend starts in about 3 hours. Headed to France to witness a joining of the Caldwells and the Campbells as my sister gets married.

Take care all.

14/06/2018 04:56

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It may have taken all night (and an hour after I got home) but the Companion copy of James III.’s chapter is now available. The Contents page is also updated and many words have been added to the Glossary.


13/06/2018 09:12

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Good morning,

The Companion to James II. was uploaded on the morning of Friday 8th. I apologise for the lack of update. I’ve uploaded the Original of James III. The rest of tonight, and probably tomorrow night, will be spent updating the text and adding information for the Companion copy.

It’s been suggested to me that a YouTube channel might be a good addition to the page. I figure if I take the ‘Gazetteer of Scotland’, William and Robert Chambers (1847), and work through it alphabetically by city, it’ll give a good overview of the country as a whole. It would just be wee 5 minute episodes.

I’ve started with Aberdeen, which I have typed out, but I think it may take me some time to eke out the details that’ll be of interest to everyone as well as getting the artwork, music, &c. ready. We’ll see if it comes to anything.

03:36 12/06/2018

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Today’s update is to let you know that, regardless of almost 9 hours work having been done, there is no update. I’ve only made it halfway through James II.’s companion copy. I now remember what this was like while doing this book for the Facebook page. My previous joke about it taking 3 hours to track down who was being talked about in one sentence, wasn’t so much of a joke. I ended up getting stuck at 4am trying to work out who 6 people mentioned along with Mary of Guise on her journey to Scotland are. Had to give up at 7am as I had to get home. So, hopefully, this chapter will be completed tonight.

Thanks for your patience.

P.S., I also added options to Donate because the image cache is starting to push me out of the plan & I really don’t want to have to compromise between which pics to include on the site. I want them all out there as they’re as much a part of the information as the text. Thank you in advance for any consideration you give to helping.

07/06/2018 08:17

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We’re now up to date with where we were on the FB page for ‘Balfour’s Historical Works’, meaning I’ve run out of what I’ve already typed of the book. James I. has been posted, both Original & Companion, and James II., the Original, was typed up last night and has also been posted, it includes notice of the founding of Glasgow University by William Turnbull, Glasgow’s Bishop.

I’ll be spending tonight translating and typing it into its Companion option.

06/06/2018 07:01

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Lots accomplished tonight. We have 3 Roberts, two kings (one who changed his name from John) and a governor; Robert II. (Original & Companion), Robert III. (Original & Companion), and Robert, the Duke of Albany (Original & Companion). The respective contents pages have been updated. There was a naked religious sect mentioned in the text for Robert II. called the “Turelupins”. It took me a wee while but I found them finally mentioned in an obscure Dictionary and have added the information I found to the Companion copy as it was really interesting as well as being a pretty funny read.

Off the topic of history I have also been attempting the Dark Crystal font in preparation for its return to our screens in the form of a Netflix prequel series. Very excited.

05/06/2018 07:22

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This mugginess has no been of much use, proper migraine weather. Feeling a bit better this morning so have uploaded David II. into Original and Companion options.

04/06/2018 06:26

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We’ve come to Scotland’s Guardians. The run down of the events of this era, per Balfour, go something like:

Scotland Finds Itself Monarch-less as Foretold – 6 Protectors Chosen – 1, the Earl of Fife, Dies – Bruce or Balliol for King? – Bruce has Stronger Claim – English King Edward Chooses Bailliol for Scotland – Many Absent Themselves from his Coronation – King John Balliol Stripped of Royal Garb and Delivered to Edward – William Wallace Made Protector of the Kingdom – Defeats English at Stirling Bridge – 12 Protectors Chosen – Dunbar Castle Traitorously Handed to Edward; Earl of Ross, Earl of Menteith & Many Others Killed – Battle of Falkirk – Wallace Reclaims Dundee Castle – Wallace Destroys Northumberland – Battle of Black Earnside – Galloway Rebels Dealt With – Wallace Drowns English by Breaking Bridge – Wallace Resigns his Government – English Run of Bad Luck – Scottish Castles Reclaimed from English Occupation – Scots Victory in Battle Near Rosslyn – Robert Bruce Takes Control Against Oppression – Bruce Kills a Comyn and his Cousin – Wallace Betrayed & Delivered to Edward, Executed for Defending his Own Country.

Then Robert Bruce becomes king and carries on Scotland’s right to independence by drawing up the Declaration of Arbroath. It was an interesting time to be alive and in Scotland.

I’ve uploaded Six Protectors or Governors (Original & Companion) and King Robert I. (Original & Companion). The companion copy of Robert I.’s write up includes Dr Alan Borthwick’s translation of the Declaration of Arbroath. Contents pages for both Original and Companion have been updated.

Pictures for both are thanks to Alex Eeles who is on DeviantArt if you’re interested.

01/06/2018 07:30

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Another two Scottish kings uploaded. Alexander II. (Original & Companion) and Alexander III. (Original & Companion). Next up are Scotland’s Guardians, William Wallace steps up, and the Bruce.

Deliberating over venturing out for a day in Maybole. Weather’s looking dreich and fairly unwelcoming. I figure, if it doesn’t clear up by midday, I’m heading to bed. See you on the other side.

31/05/2018 08:33

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Three more of Scotland’s kings added from ‘Balfour’s Historical Works‘; David I. (Original & Companion), Malcolm IV. (Original & Companion), and William the Lion (Original & Companion). That’s all for this morning.

30/05/2018 08:12

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A few things accomplished last night. With regards ‘Balfour’s Historical Works‘, there are 3 more of Scotland’s kings uploaded in the form of Donald Bane & Duncan (Original & Companion), Edgar (Original & Companion), and Alexander I. (Original & Companion).

Remember the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition (1894)‘? I know, I’ve kind of let it languish unfinished for a while. I apologise. So in a bid to get it completed I spent some time typing up Gallery 1‘s articles for Case P, Q, & R, that’s item Nos. 2582-2685. Woo, yeah, &c…

29/05/2018 08:04

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A new (old) book has been officially started! Yay, &c.! Scans of ‘Balfour’s Historical Works‘ have been posted. Also, the text from the Advertisement, Prefatory Memoir, and Testimonials in Regard to Sir James Balfour have been uploaded into the Original section for volume 1 and Malcolm III.‘s life has been uploaded both into the Original section and the updated write-up of his Life is in the Companion section.

Finding quotes, names, &c., will be easier to do from the updated text though the sharing of quotes probably should be from the original text.

I really hope you get a lot from the information Balfour left for us.

28/05/2018 08:50

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Good news everybody! ‘Select Views on the River Clyde has come to an end with the last four chapters completed last night; Dunure Castle, Colzean Castle, Pladda Light House, and Campbeltown. Contents Page updated.

I actually don’t know what I’ll pick next for your enjoyment. I’m super tempted to go back to James Haig’s ‘Historical Works of Sir James Balfour: Annales of Scotland’ (1824), the first volume of which, I had been in the middle of when I took the notion to create this page in order to make the information searchable.

On the FB page I had to upload the transcriptions into 2 separate folders as I felt that along with the Original information folk might quite like it written out in a readable format. If you’re not used to reading old Scots it can be a hard slog what with all the yoghs (ʒ/z), e.g., “zeire” – year. So in order to have a document that had not only the updated text but also had the added forenames/surnames and additional info I created a Companion copy that was posted at the same time as its root document. I found I was having to search ancestry, genealogy and gravefinder sites to find out who was who (there was a lot of GoogleTranslate use going on, especially of Scandinavian languages & latin) which has given me the idea it might be the most comprehensive version of Balfour’s Historical Works but I could be wrong. I certainly haven’t found the info all in the one place outside of its original state. So I figure it’d be a good idea to make it so I know it’s findable and all in the one place for others like myself who want to know this information.

I’m afraid I’m shattered after busy 12 hour shift so I’ll not upload the scans for it this morning but I’ll start uploading the text tonight. I’ll work out the format when I get to it. Take care all.

27/05/2018 08:38

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7 chapters of ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’ uploaded this morning, the result of last night’s 12 hour shift. You now have the option of perusing 1830s; Kelly House, Skelmorlie Castle, Largs, Kelburne House, Saltcoats, Eglinton Castle, and Ayr. Contents Page has been updated.

Bedtime for me. Enjoy.

26/05/2018 08:27

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Good morning,

Four more chapters added to ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’; Port-Glasgow, Roseneath House, Laven Castle, and Innerkip and Ardgowan House. The Contents Page has been updated.

I’m away now to enjoy a couple of nights off. Take care all.

23/05/2018 08:29

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I’ve made a few wee changes to the site this morning. Well, firstly I did my “chores” and typed up the Bothwell Castle, Blythswood House, View from Dalnotar Hill, and Dunglass Castle chapters for ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’, scanned in their engravings, got those posted and updated the Contents Page.

Now, the Book List menu option would annoyingly take you to just a list of my posts here with the most recent at the top like this. I didn’t want that but wasn’t sure how to change it. I spent time this morning and worked it out so now that information is in a page marked Recent Posts and can be found as an option under this Updates tab. Now the Book List option has what I was wanting all along, a Contents Page for the books.

I have also added a menu option entitled ‘Miscellany‘. The first addition, and reason for creating this option, is What Happened to the Scottish Monarchy? It was a question I was asked on Facebook a wee while ago and allowed me to lay out the history of the Scottish monarchy through the ages until it amalgamated with the British monarchy with James VI & I.

Hope everyone’s happy with these changes. Enjoy all!

22/05/2018 09:17

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More completed last night for ‘Select Views’. Lee House, Craignethan Castle, Mauldslie Castle, and Cambusnethan House are typed up in full with their accompanying engravings. Contents Page for the book has been updated.

21/05/2018 08:38

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Super busy 12hr shift last night so not too much accomplished. Something about a high-profile wedding and a folk celebrating a sport?

I typed up Corehouse & Falls of Stonebyres, got home, scanned & added pics, and posted. The Contents Page for ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’ has been updated. Info table within the text of Greenock has been fixed (not that you noticed it was messy, right?🙄).

20/05/2018 08:31

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Continuing with ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’, last night, I typed up Carstairs House, Bonnington Lyn, Cartlane Craigs, and Fall of Corehouse. Got home this morning and have scanned and added their respective engravings and added them to the Contents Page too.

19/05/2018 09:09

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Last night I began ‘Select Views on the River Clyde’ (1830) by John M. Leighton. I’d posted a poll on the Random Scottish History FB page to find out which places folk’d be most interested in reading about. A mere 1 vote guaranteed a town the right to be transcribed and scanned in to the page. I ended up with 13 places; Hamilton Place, Glasgow, Govan, Erskine House, Dumbarton Castle, Helensburgh, Greenock, Gourock, Dunoon, Cloch Light House, Castle Toward, Rothesay, and Millport. I have uploaded them all with scans of their respective engravings. I did, however, come straight in from work and rescanned the entire book, cos I wasn’t happy with how they’ve turned out after using the hand scanner. The pages are quite tanned and spotted and I don’t feel enough of the detail has come through in the final products, so there we are. I’m not really up for swapping them for the new ones this morning. Bed’s a-callin’ me. I will do it tonight along with getting started on the text for the other chapters. I’ll sort out uploading the cover and publisher’s page into the Scanned Images section tonight too.

The Contents page for the book is populated with what’s available at present and it’s been cited in the Bibliography.

15/05/2018 10:06

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I have finally finished ‘Punch‘ magazine’s Almanack for the year 1857. So much to read, so much to discard as irrelevant (or just too insulting to varying demographics), but it’s done. The random Miscellany offered has been sifted through and articles chosen because they’re curious, perhaps shocking, funny, or just bizarre. Typed, scanned, and published for your perusal. It’s in its own new menu option ‘Non-Scottish Publications‘. To which other publications will be added on occasion, though naturally, not nearly as often as Scottish-relevant ones.

Enjoy and please don’t let some of the more on-the-nose articles get to you too much. It’s difficult, I grant you, but it is possible and there’s always the next article to move onto (if your blood’s not boiling too much).

14/05/2018 08:37

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Volume 1 of Chalmers’ ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ is now available in full to the interested readers who stop by.

I’ve added the ‘Punch Almanack for 1857’ to the Bibliography and begun to type up a few of the more interesting articles to make them available. There are some great wee cartoons but I want to choose some of the best as I’m not intending on scanning or typing it all.

30/04/2018 16:14

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A very good Saturday morning to you all.

Last night was more hectic, therefore, less accomplished. I received a year’s worth, January-December 1857, of ‘Punch’ magazines bound in a book yesterday. Though neither a Scottish publication, nor one to do with Scottish history, it enabled me to find and add a photo (too big to scan easily) of the cartoon described by Donald McLeod in his ‘Gloomy Memories’ chapter, ‘Willing Hands for India‘. So that’s done.

This purchase, along with another few I have in the collection, not Scotland related, has me considering another menu option specifically for those texts. I have one of the first translations of ‘Thousand and One Nights’, E. W. Lane (1841), 3 volumes, where “Alá ed-Deen Abu-sh-Shámát” sounds a lot like it’s popular fictional character Aladdin, and even contains a flying couch (rather than rug/carpet), the Italian ‘Nights of Straparola’, W. G. Waters (1894), 2 volumes, which, along with ‘Punch’, all provide hundreds of excellent illustrations throughout. There’s also Sir G. W. Dasent’s Icelandic ‘Story of Burnt Njal’ (1900) and ‘Popular Tales from the Norse’ (1904). So, if any of these grab your attention, watch this space.

Last night Chalmers’ ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ was almost completed. Chapters 22, 23 & 24 are complete and the final Chapter, 25, will be completed tonight.

28/04/2018 08:37

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Morning all!

Last night was mostly spent typing furiously. I forgot to bring lunch with me, of course, so I had my breaks to work with too. So you have Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21, of the ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots’, to peruse at your leisure. The Content Page has been updated to reflect this.

27/04/2018 08:09

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Good morning. I feel as though I got lots accomplished last night. Let me see if I can remember the things…

I uploaded Scans of volumes 1 & 2 of Chalmers’ ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘, finished Chapter 3, and typed up and posted Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8.

I also added the items from Case O in Gallery 1 of ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition’.

26/04/2018 08:20

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After the long weekend I figured I should get on with some stuff. To that end I’ve typed up ‘Rab and His Friends‘. I feel I need to emphasise just how sad this wee story is. The idea was to record it so it was available as audio too but I genuinely don’t think I could make it all the way through. Scans of the book can be found here.

I’ve also started adding a new book for your perusal. ‘Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘ by George Chalmers (1822). Scans will be uploaded tonight (probably). The Preface and Chapters 1 & 2 (and half of Chapter 3) have been typed up. It’s also been added to the page’s Bibliography.

25/04/2018 07:58

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Good morning!

That’s Cases H, I, J, K, L, M, & N complete for Gallery 1.

I’m now away to enjoy a weekend away for friends’ birthdays. Enjoy!

20/04/2018 07:50

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So the night of Monday 16th into Tuesday 17th I finished typing up ‘Gloomy Memories‘ which is now complete. The last two chapters are ‘Well Done, Brave Highlands.‘ and ‘Eviction by Fire in Sutherland.‘ It’s a difficult and sad read but we’ll worth it.

Tuesday 17th into Wednesday 18th I finished typing up Case D from Gallery 1 of ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894.’ and added Case E, F, and G in full to the same Gallery.

Last night I had typed up Case H, I, and J, at which point the computer glitched and the webpage I was typing the information to became unresponsive. I thought, it’s all good as WordPress offer a “more recent copy” when you go in to edit it again. So I went in to do that and it turns out the computer glitch has made it so my “more recent copy” is Gallery 1 with NO INFO whatsoever on it. Nothing. Not even the old stuff. So I’ve spent an entire night typing for what appears to be no reason at all. Complete waste of my time. So there we are.

19/04/2018 07:14

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For something a little more light-hearted, this morning I scanned in and uploaded ‘Rab and His Friends‘ which is a mid-19th Century story set in Glasgow. My copy is undated but the illustrations suggest late 19th Century. I’ll type it up so everyone can enjoy it as much as I did. It’s a sad wee tale with lots of lovely wee Glaswegian-isms throughout.

Scanned Images Content Page and Bibliography updated.

15/04/2018 08:35

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‘Gloomy Memories’ is now only a few pages away from being completely transcribed here. That’s ‘The Beloved and Great Hugh Miller on Sutherland as it Was and Is‘, ‘Willing Hands for India’, ‘The Freehold Movement and Highland Clearances‘, ‘3 Related Poems‘, and ‘Lord Palmerston’s Scheme & the Massacre of the Rosses‘, complete. The Contents Page has been updated to reflect this. Please be warned, those with a sensitive disposition may want to prepare themselves, as the descriptions in the ‘Massacre of the Rosses’ is disturbing and fairly graphic but I refuse to edit out anything. You get the whole book or none of the book and I’ve not come across a book I’m not prepared to share as yet.

I’m away to enjoy a well-deserved (I feel) long weekend. Take care all.

13/04/2018 08:32

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I’m very sad to say a very dear friend who was more of a book collector than I can ever hope to be passed away this morning. Some of the books I was fortunate enough to flick through, due to his desire to share what he had with others, were truly incredible and of the like I may never see in person again. I learned so much from him and I’d like to think I imparted some knowledge of my own in return. Every time I obtained a new book my first thought would go to what Harry might think of the acquisition. I believe it’ll be a while before that instinct leaves me.

I found a couple of the first posts I wrote on Facebook on meeting him and it gives you an idea of how attached I was to become to him:

“Yesterday thanks to Richard I met the most extraordinary gentleman, Harry, who has a book collection, the like of which I’ve never encountered. We spent 10 hours discussing and reading varying examples of literature. I was stoked he was impressed by a couple of the books I brought from my own burgeoning collection. Harry gifted me a book many would think was not to my taste but if anything was to inspire me to read the New Testament it’s the Scots edition. I cannot get over the amount of preparation Mr Lorimer dedicated to the creation of this book. Unfortunately he died before he could complete his effort. Let me give you a short example from the introduction, written by his son,

‘In December 1946 he asked the National Bible Society of Scotland to provide him with copies of several modern translations of the New Testament, including one Frisian, two Flemish, one Afrikaans, and three Roumanian. During the next ten years he scrutinised a great many translations of the New Testament in many different languages;(2)
‘2. Thus not content with having “read through” 72 different versions of Jude, Hebrews (11.32-8), and James (1) in 14 languages, including 4 Latin, 2 Scots, 22 English, 9 German, 3 Swedish, 4 Danish, 4 Norwegian, 2 Dutch, 2 Flemish, 11 French, 4 Italian, 3 Spanish, 1 Catalan, and 1 Rhaeto-Romaunsch, he also “read through” at least 174 versions of Philemon in 23 different languages, including 8 Latin, 2 Coptic, 2 Syriac, 2 Platt-Dutsch, 23 German, 7 Danish, 5 Norwegian, 3 Swedish, 1 Faroese, 6 Dutch, 2 Flemish, 22 French, 1 Occitanian, 2 Catalan, 14 Italian, 4 Rhaeto-Romaunsch, 4 Modern Greek, 2 Scots, 48 English, and (for good measure) 1 Esperanto.’

What a guy.” (13/02/2016 14:58)


‘The New Testament in Scots’, W. L. Lorimer (1983), The writing on the front cover (if it can be made out) is the Lord’s Prayer in Scots.

I openly expressed my desire to be a regular visitor of Harry’s:


A gentleman I’ve recently become friends with Harry through Richard and a mutual love of old literature had me round for tea this afternoon. Every visit is a revelation. I truly cannot think of another description. The amount of differing antique publications I’m allowed to read and flick through makes me genuinely anxious sometimes. Today I had the pleasure of going through a Greek/Latin book dated 1699, as you can see in the pic I insisted on taking. I felt like it was almost a guarantee a page’d tear or fall apart in my hands but it was surprisingly well bound.” (31/03/2016 19:19)


“This is a wee bit about ancient burial practices in Rutherglen. This book itself was published 1793 so is kinda ancient by our standards. It’s ‘The History of Rutherglen and East-Kilbride’. Thanks to Harry again for the ability to read such a thing 1st hand.” (comment within the post dated 31/03/2016 19:19)


Our friendship was interrupted by a falling out with the before-mentioned Richard over a disagreement in politics and how he treated a fragile friend of mine due to his beliefs. I was warned in no uncertain terms by him I wasn’t to meet with “his friend Harry” again. After finding more out about this person I acceded to that demand in order to avoid some real trouble. The threats were more than I could handle.


As I said before, every time I obtained a new volume of something I thought Harry would love, my thoughts went in his direction. So in the end I decided to deal with whatever came of it and wrote him a letter of explanation for my absence from his life. Thanks goes to my friend Dan for convincing me to do just that. On receipt of my correspondence he immediately called me and told me I was to visit him as soon as I was able. He, of course, found the situation between two of his friends ridiculous but, after I explained my concerns, our meetings were prearranged in order to avoid any confrontation.

Richard Convo

Of course the next meeting we had I was accompanied by a suitcase full of all the more interesting works I’d accumulated in our time apart.

“Getting ready to go see a book collector friend I’ve not seen in a year. Bringing a few choice books I’ve obtained in the meantime. His collection takes up most of the free space he has in his house and I can’t wait to see what he has that relates to Random Scottish History. I always come back with a list of books I’m determined to find.” (04/04/2017 12:36)


A tiny portion of the books I encountered in my time with this extraorindary man:


I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more about this book than what you can see in the pictures. It’s a 17th Century Froben publication.


This is Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. And what a copy. The cover was this excellent fiery orange and really soft. It’s a 1928 Nonesuch edition.


Not a particularly old book this. Picture taken so I could obtain my own copy as the wee bits I read from it were exactly suited to Random Scottish History. J. A. Balfour’s ‘Book of Arran’ (1910).

My visits weren’t just a couple of hours worth either. So many times I found I was ordering a cab to go home 10 hours after I’d arrived. There was no end to the stories and knowledge he possessed. He will be greatly missed.

I haven’t the will to add to the page tonight I’m afraid. Take care all and remember to treasure those around you.

09/04/2018 23:17

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Another chapter, Glen Tilt and Stories of Those Who Emigrated, completed for’ Gloomy Memories’, last night. Chapter Page updated. “Disinterested” added to Glossary as it became clear folk were assuming it was the same as “Uninterested”, which really changes the meaning and tone of some of the information within Donald MacLeod’s work. That’s all for today people.

09/04/2018 10:19

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On finishing Mr. Alister’s 1st Letter in Response to the Marquis of Breadalbane, I felt I should take the opportunity, last night, to scan in and upload my copy of the Kilchurn Heritage’s ‘Black Book of Taymouth; With Other Papers From the Breadalbane Charter Room‘ (1855).

Today I also completed the transcription of Mr. Alister’s 2nd Letter in Response to said Marquis. The man really has a way with words. He presses his points, rather more forcefully than I think the Lord would have been happy with, making for a superb read.

Enjoy all.

07/04/2018 21:48

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Good afternoon. Just finished typing up Mr. Alister’s Response to the Marquis of Breadalbane, and what a response! I would have thought someone calling out a member of the aristocracy in quite the way he does, in 1853, might fear for his continued safety thereafter. It really makes for quite the read.

Enjoy all.

06/04/2018 16:51

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Still not quite 100% physically but I wasn’t about to let that put me off. At least typing gives me something to take my mind off it.

So last night I finished ‘Exiled Barramen and Their Calumniators‘. I also typed up the ‘Marquis of Breadalbane’s Refutation‘ and will get started on Letter 1 answering his claims tonight. The Chapter Page for ‘Gloomy Memories’ has also been updated.

For ‘Gallery 1‘ of the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894‘ I completed Case C., and almost finished Case D.

I’m away to get comfy so I can get started on enjoying my days off.

Take care all.

05/04/2018 10:39

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I’m afraid I’ve not been very well recently but I felt recovered enough to finish off Donald McLeod’s ‘Address to Harriet Beecher Stowe‘ and even almost completed ‘The Exiled Barramen and their Calumniators‘ (“calumniators” being folk who lie about something or someone and the “calumniated” are those who’ve been lied about) which will be completed tonight.

I had also posted a few holiday-appropriate posts to the Random Scottish History Facebook Page on Sunday there; the first was from Robert Chambers’ ‘Book of Days’ (1886) and explained April Fool’s Day, the second was Easter Terms from Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary, and the third was Easter Occurences from the books I’d posted so far to the page; George Chalmers’ ‘The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots’ (1822), James Grant’s ‘Old and New Edinburgh’ (1880), and a book review from the ‘Literary Examiner’ (1860) detailing John F Campbell’s gathering of Gaelic folklore for his ‘Popular Tales of the West Highlands’.

That’s it for just now. I’m away to my bed to finish recuperating.

04/04/2018 08:30

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Hi all. Last night was spent adding more articles of information to Gallery 1 of the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894‘. ‘Portraits’ (nos. 1-110), ‘Domestic and Miscellaneous Articles’ (nos. 1982-1992), ‘ Arrangement of Cases Containing Literature’ (list), ‘Literature., Case A.: Books Printed in Glasgow Before 1700’ (nos. 2030-2060), ‘Case B.: Sir William Wallace’ (nos. 2061-2063), ‘Case B.: Robert the Bruce’ (nos. 2064-2066), ‘Case B.: Sir David Lindesay’ (nos. 2067-2071), and ‘Case B.: The Rebellion’ (nos. 2072-2076) are all complete.

The morning will now mostly consist of freaking out until the dentist. See you on the other side.

28/03/2018 08:45

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Good morning. Spent last night sorting out the Chapter page for the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894’. I also decided, as you’re referred to “See No. X” SO often, it would take way too long to work out all the item nos. you need to be able to refer to in order to only type up those. Instead I’ve decided to type it all out. All of it. I think there are about 2800 articles in all but as I don’t know what bits would be useful or interesting to whoever might stumble upon it, I feel it needs to be done. So I’ve almost finished the Portrait section of Gallery 1.

It’s a good thing I enjoy it.

27/03/2018 11:20

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Afternoon history lovers. More has been added to the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894‘. The additions with pictures included are:

Gallery 1 – Domestic and Miscellaneous Articles,

Gallery 2 – Domestic and Miscellaneous Articles,

Gallery 3 – Silver in Case No. 1, Silver of Present Century in Case No. 2, Old Silver in Case No. 1, Case No. 8, and Case No. 12, and

Gallery 4 – Domestic and Miscellaneous Articles.

I’m going to put the numbers they refer you to within the descriptions of articles, that don’t have an image attached, in their own chapter at the end.

25/03/2018 12:25

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Good morning. Headed out to a 4-weekly history group meeting this morning so I’m using that as an excuse to take time out.

Last night, however, I added a lot more from the ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894’. I figured it would have been a gallery per section, e.g., a Portraits Gallery, Views Gallery, Charters Gallery, &c. Apparently not, so the galleries have been renamed to just Gallery 1, Gallery 2, &c., and as they seem kind of randomly placed throughout the catalogue it’s a case of updating each as I come across them. So, you’ll find each containing, as of this morning;

Galleries 1 & 2 still have only Portraits (illustrated) assigned to them,

Gallery 3 has Portraits (illustrated), Miniatures (not illustrated), Medallions & Sculpture (illustrated),

Gallery 4 has Portraits (illustrated), Views & Charters (including that cited in ‘Scots Lore‘), Burgess Tickets, &c. (illustrated),

Gallery 5 has Portraits (not illustrated), Sculpture (not illustrated), On the Staircase (not illustrated), & Views (illustrated), and

Gallery 6 has Portraits (illustrated), Views (illustrated), Maps, Plans, &c. (not illustrated).

I’ll go through them all adding any and all text you’re referred to “see” once all the pictures are posted into their relevant Gallery along with links to make referring to each source easier.

24/03/2018 08:27

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Evening all. I chose to spend last night uploading the first few Galleries of Portraits from ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894‘. We were super under-staffed last night and doing pictures makes me happy and the night seem to pass faster. I began by uploading them into scans but realised there was way too much information involved and text to cross-reference for it to fit in there so I spent time, when I got home this morning, putting it all in with the Book List items with the Galleries divided into chapters. This one could take a while but the wealth of information, with regards family ties & genealogies especially, has already been interesting.

I also progressed ‘Gloomy Memories‘ by another 10 pages. It’s now past my bedtime so I’m away. Enjoy all.

20/03/2018 18:05

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Good morning! So, finally, I’m pleased to inform everyone that James Grant’s excellent work, ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘, is finally complete with all illustrations uploaded.

Then I spent the rest of the night typing furiously in a bid to finish Donald McLeod’s Address to Mrs. Harriet B. S. and failed about 14 pages short. There’s a LOT and I don’t want to deprive you of any of it as it makes for super informative read. It’s very funny in some places due to the author’s dry wit and liberal use of sarcasm. This one chapter in itself really outlines the whole situation and takes it apart in depth using quotes and relating it to examples from the wider world, for example, the Slave Abolitionsts find themselves criticised for the efforts and vast amounts of money spent in Britain to this end when worse was happening on their own doorstep. That the Duchess of Sutherland was a large proponent and patron of the movement spoke to the outward hypocrisy of this class at that time.

I will finish it tonight, I promise. Also I may start scanning and uploading some of the more interesting pictures and information from ‘Memorial Catalogue of the Old Glasgow Exhibition 1894’, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (1894), where the picture from the ‘Scots Lore‘ article “The Friars Preachers in Glasgow. – An Old Indenture” came from. But you’ll find out tomorrow if I was able to find the time, what with being only 60ish% through ‘Gloomy Memories‘.

19/03/2018 11:27

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Not too much time to myself last night but the pictures have been added to chapters 40-49 of ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘, strangely chapters 30, 37, 38, & 39 have apparently absconded. They will be found or rescanned in the next day or so. I didn’t get much of ‘Gloomy Memories‘ done either. Letter 25 and the Appendix are complete and have been added to the Contents page. I’m about half-way through McLeod’s response to Mrs. B. S. but there’s a lot of text. I’ve taken to breaking it up into manageable chunks within the post with titles. These will, hopefully, make navigating the post to points of particular interest easier.

I’m away to get ready for a guided tour of Glasgow’s City Necropolis. Photos will follow later, no doubt, including of the Cathedral.

17/03/2018 10:51

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No update yesterday, as nothing was done, so I thought I’d catch up last night. For those following Donald McLeod’s ‘Gloomy Memories‘, Letters 6-24 have been typed up and posted, contents page updated, and the book’s been added to the Bibliography. The rest of it should be published by tomorrow morning (well, a good chunk of the rest of it anyway).

Also happily, the scans from James Grant’s ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ have been edited and are ready to upload tonight. So, assuming there are no pictures that were missed during the scanning spree, that should complete volume 1 of this set.

16/03/2018 12:21

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Updated ‘Gloomy Memories‘ by adding the Introduction and Letters 1-5. Think happy thoughts 😉

14/03/2018 15:03

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Couple of things done this morning. Pictures added up to Chapter 39 of ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘, it’s slow work I’m afraid, and the RandomScottishHistory Instagram page has been populated, now I finally have my phone back, from the scans already here. I’m off now to enjoy not having any plans or work.

13/03/2018 12:28

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So what did I get done last night and this morning? I’m a bit sleep deprived. Got maybe an hour and a half’s kip yesterday between night shifts, so I thought to keep myself busy and make it seem to pass faster I should choose a simple, yet time-consuming, task. To that end I have created the ‘Gloomy Memories‘, Donald McLeod (1892), menu option with all its chapters ready to populate with the most heartbreaking stories, testimonies, and revelations from the darkest era of our nation’s history.

To begin with I’ve spent the morning typing up the Prologue, which in itself makes for a truly eye-opening read. Prepare yourself for it to be a more difficult read than you expect. If you’re prone to bouts of rage, or are sensitive to the pain of others, maybe take a few breaths. Good night and good luck.

Tired but Working JenWhat’s the last thing you do before you pass out?
12/03/2018 13:18

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Not much of an update this afternoon ’cause Sunday’s are for chatting to friends for hours on the phone and arranging to get books to others. Far more sedate than my nights have been recently, working on the page (ya wee dirties).

Last night I uploaded the rest of the text for Chapters 41-49 and finished the contents page for it, completing that stage for volume 1 of ‘Old and New Edinburgh’. I have bad news however. My scanner is apparently feeling overworked as the rest of the scans for the book, I got last night, are either blank white or black, with the exception of 2 (out of 58). So I’ll be having to do the scans at home cutting the amount of time I have to get complete posts out, or I could just continue uploading mounds of text and let the pictures catch up when they can. I don’t know which would be less annoying, so comment if you have thoughts on how you’d like to see the information put out there until I’ve sorted my picture problem.

I have also create an Instagram page, for the scans I guess, on the advice of a friend and colleague, so when my phone’s fixed and back in my possession I’ll sort that out. Why is tech so unreliable? Honestly, I recommend a good book.

11/03/2018 12:52

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Finishing up a wee bit earlier this morning, I’m afraid, as I’m finding it difficult to keep my eyes open. I have managed to get some stuff done in the form of adding pictures to chapters 16-26, so they’re finished. Also I’ve added text to chapters 27-40, pictures are pending, so they’re about done, and I’ve added those as links to the ‘Old and New Edinburgh’ Chapters Page. I’ve gone through the footnotes of both books and those that can be cross-referenced to other posts have had links added to them to make this easier.

Finally, I wanted to add a search field, again to make navigation of the site easier for visitors, but found this more difficult than I figured it’d be. I’m not HTML literate and even when I found easy to follow steps to do it it just posted as the script text rather than becoming a search field. So… This is my compromise. You can find the Search link at the bottom of the Homepage as you can see below and it’ll take you to a Search Field for the page.

Screenshot-2018-3-10 Random Scottish History

10/03/2018 10:18

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Before I head to bed for work tonight I thought I’d let you know what’s new. Last night I decided to change the goals I’d set myself in order to get ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ uploaded as quickly as possible. So I posted chapters 16-25 last night, without the pictures, deciding I’d edit as many as possible when I got home this morning. So there are 65 pictures ready to be added to the chapters tonight.

Also, as Allan Ramsay came up in one of the chapters posted, I thought I’d upload scans of ‘Tea-Table Miscellany: or, A Collection of Scots Sangs‘, by the man himself. It’s where I found Scotland gave the world the word “wow”. The Bibliography has been updated to include this book. Enjoy the sunshine we’re being treated to today and I’ll see you tomorrow.

09/03/2018 12:24

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I came across this article from yesterday’s ‘Scottish Legal News’, Campaigner’s appeal against Edinburgh Old Town development dismissed“, which would have James Grant, author of ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘, weeping into his whisky. He mentions in his 1880 publication how annoyed he was by the Victorian desire to “improve” the city by demolishing some of Edinburgh’s oldest and most historic structures. It would seem that desire has continued to the present day.

09/03/2018 05:50

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Afternoon all,

Last night in work I scanned up the next lot of chapters for ‘Old and New Edinburgh’, finished up James I. chapter for ‘Historical Works of James Balfour‘ and its updated Companion copy, which gave me a few more words to add to the Glossary. When I got home just before 08:00 I was straight on the computer to post those, and have spent the rest of the time since then straightening, cropping and uploading scans for chapters 11-15 of ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ which is now done. So I leave you for another day as I’m headed to ma kip. I hope you enjoy these recent offerings from James Grant.

08/03/2018 12:51

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Good morning.

I’ve been up and on the computer sorting out the scans for chapters 6-10 of ‘Old and New Edinburgh‘ since 03:30 this morning, which have, as you can see, all been fully uploaded. The chapter links have been added to the book’s content page too. I expected this to be a fairly quick process but the cropping and wee edits to the scanned pictures are keeping me chained to Photoshop for hours, mind that’s due to there being such a plethora of images to upload into the posts. I’m really pleased at how they look and hope you get as much enjoyment from them.

07/03/2018 09:12

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Hi everyone. I didn’t think to update you on progress and what was new to the site because I was so focused on getting as much added for your perusal as possible while still riding the initial momentum that had me setting up the site to begin with.

I’ve had the Random Scottish History page on Facebook for just over a year, and was half-way thru uploading ‘The Historical Works of James Balfour’, James Haig (1824), but felt the format was too restrictive for the content. The main issue being that the posts were jpeg screenshots of the information, in an effort to maintain a format as close to the original text as possible, but I really wanted the documents to be searchable. After a chat with a very good friend it was decided that this was the way forward (and yes I owe them a very nice bottle of whisky ;-P).

Having the word documents already to hand from almost 3 years of transcribing the book collection, in an effort to make them fully searchable for a personal project, I found the aim of the project shifting. The more I shared the weird, horrific, funny, obscure anecdotes I was finding, the more I realised none of us seemed to be aware of our own country’s history, which was made obvious during Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum and was the reason for my collection itself changing from that of Victorian London Newsprints to Scottish texts. I didn’t feel like I was informed enough to make a decision then and the feeling was mirrored by friends and throughout social media comments.

So the project became about helping the Scottish population, those with Scottish heritage around the world, and the interested, to find more information on as many different fields of Scottish history as I was able to afford and lay my hands on. There are no political or religious views expressed here. It’s purely information for the sake of itself.

Anyway, this is supposed to be an update page and the most recent update is that all the pictures for ‘Old and New Edinburgh’, James Grant (1880), from the introduction to chapter 5, have been reuploaded. I felt they came out a bit blurry for some reason before so I’ve rescanned them. I hope you enjoy and I’ll see you here again soon.

04/03/18 11:48


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