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Scottish Culture

Flower of Scotland

This is the unofficial national anthem, written by Roy MB Williamson (1936-1990), and sung at many sporting events and Scottish festivals.

'O Flower of Scotland
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for
Your wee bit Hill and Glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

The Hills are bare now
And Autumn leaves lie think and still
O'er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
That stood against him
Proud Edward's Army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.

Those days are past now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be a nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward's Army
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

O Flower of Scotland
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for
Your wee bit Hill and Glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.'


Trying to Understand the History of the Churches
in order to find records.

Rather than simply write about Glasgow, in which the answer would be "It was a Parish in its own right." I thought I would write an answer which would help all those who get confused by the complicated History of the Kirk.

Those of you who are across the pond often have and especial difficulty with the idea of an Established Church. It is this however, which has to be seen as being at the basis of the Parish System.

There are in fact two kinds of parish, the Quod Omnia, and the Quod Sacra.

A Quod Omnia parish is a parish for everything. It is the registration district. A Quod Sacra Parish is only a parish for sacred things, and has often been taken out of a Quod Omnia Parish.

However just to make things complicated the terms Quod Omnia and Quod Sacra also are different ways of administering the Church. The Old way of doing it - because the Church itself did not have responsibility for either paying the Minister or keeping the Building in order (tasks which were carried out by the Heritors) There was only the Kirk Session. The more modern way is to have a financial court, and this kind of arrangement is described as a Quod Sacra.

Basically the Parishes go back to pre Reformation times.
Take for example the history of my Church. The Building itself is on the site which was given land (endowments) to pay for Masses to be said for the repose of the Souls of the founder's family. Later, because the people didn't see why they should have to ford rivers and fight their way through bogs to get the Parish Church they persuaded the Archbishop to change the status of the Church to that of a Parish (this happened mid 15th Cent). The priests were not only paid by what boiled down to a Church Tax, the Tiends, but also from the endowments. The Church as a Collegiate Charge, had several priests. At the Reformation most of the Endowments were lost, and the Minister was basically paid from the Tiends.

Thus it was that the Parish was an area under one Minister, and later a Kirk Session the minister being paid the Tiends. In Dalkeith the Minister's Stipend was paid from the Tiends until 1957.

From the 18th Century there had been the various splits in the Kirk - see Chart at These Churches - of which there were several in the town were not Parish Churches. However, after a number of Reunions by 1929 all the Church of Scotland Churches were Parish Churches.

In Edinburgh, and in Glasgow there was the one parish. In Edinburgh St Giles it was taken over by the Provost, Ballies and Council. Scotland did not see all that much social change until into the 18th Century, and the old system was able to cope not only with the demand for Church sittings, meet pastoral need, and provide for the relief of the poor. Many of the larger Churches had more than one minister.

The rapid Urbanization of Scotland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century meant that it was necessary to provide new Churches. Some Churches were built by the Town Councils and became known as Burgh Churches. The old Parishes were incorporated into the new cities, For example the Churches of St Cuthbert's and the Canongate ended up as Burgh Churches There were 14 in Edinburgh, 8 in Glasgow, 6 in Aberdeen 4 in Dundee 3 each in Paisley and Perth, 2 in Greenock and Stirling 1 each in Queensferry, Dumfries and Kilmarnock. In other areas where there was massive population increases new Churches were built. They were known as Chapels of Ease, Eventually they were made Quod Sacra Parishes.

It was because of the multitude of Churches and the possibility of confusion, tied in with the deepening inter denominational rivalry (we also must remember the influx of Irish Roman Catholics in the 19th Century, and the revival of Episcopalianism) which was partly responsible for the move to civil registration in 1855.

From the strict Genealogical point of view, therefore roughly before the end of the 18th Century The parish was the town, though the surrounding area could be in another parish. You then had an increasing number of Parishes.

An example would be in Argyll, where there was the Parish of Knapdale. which was divided up into North and South Knapdale. South Knapdale was then divided up into South Knapdale QO and Ardrishaig QS.

The Presbytery Records would either be in The Scottish Record Office or in the the Local Archive office; often, but not always in the local County or district Library.
All Church of Scotland records which are over 50 years old and not in use have to be lodged with the Public Record Office. They do however allow the records to be held locally if there are suitable storage. As I work in Edinburgh and have never had to access the ones like Orkney, I just don't know what the score is with them.
They will be Catalogued under CH2/something.
If you are looking for details of an ancestor's alleged misdemeanours, you will be sadly disappointed.
To keep the ordinary records of the courts, which have to be consulted .... free from the presence of undesirable matter ... the Principle of a record apart shall be adopted in all cases where moral delinquency is alleged .... When a case has ended in an entire acquittal, if there be a record apart ... it be kept in retentus for five years. Herron p258.
This has been the process since 1707, though over the years it has been slightly modified.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is not the National Church, therefore its Churches are not Parish Churches.
While It could be argued that the Knoxian Reformation was Episcopalian (It certainly was not Presbyterian), and while the Church of Scotland from 1572 Until 1638, and 1660 to 1689 was definitely Episcopalian, the identification between Scottish Episcopalianism and the Jacobites brought the Church to a very low ebb in the late 18th Century. At that time it was so Anti-English, or anti-Monarchist that they ordained a Bishop for service with the rebellious colonies.

In the Nineteenth Century, the growth of the Romantic and Tractarian movements, gave the Church new life. Given that one of the results of the Rebellions had been that the Aristocracy went to school in England, many of them had been confirmed as Anglicans at Public Schools, and the Scottish Episcopal Church became very much an Upper Class Church. English people who came to Edinburgh were so horrified by its position that they founded their own Church which they put under the Diocese of Carlisle.

The Church is locally strong in some areas, but overall is about 39,000 members nationally. Some of the figures of the decline in the Church of Scotland are given in my article in Life and Work.
About 27% of the population claim Church membership, of them about 35% attend Church on the average Sunday. The most recent survey published in 1995 as Prospects for Scotland 2000 Brierley & MacDonald Christian Research London ISBN 1 85321 127 3, does not paint a particularly encouraging position.

I hope that this helps.
Edward Andrews. (Used with permission)
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith


Presbyterian Historical Society and
Historical Foundation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

History of the Early American Presbyterian Church


Men with special responsibilities had to be certificated. The hierarchy went Colliery Manager, Under Manager, Oversman, Deputy, Shotfirer(dynamiter) with men progressing upwards in responsibilities as they passed various examinations. The records of these examinations and issue of certificates or tickets as they were called was supervised by the Mining Qualifications Board and issued by the relevant government department responsible for safety in the coal and quarrying industries at that time. It also involved the support branches of Surveying, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering who could not hold any position of responsibility unless they had also passed the relevant examinations.


Burns Supper, traditionally held on January 25th.

Proceedings begin with the Selkirk Grace. - Some ha'e meat...

The Haggis is then piped in, and there is the Address to the haggis - Fair fa your honest sonsie face Great chieftain o the pudding race. ... during which the haggis is ceremonially opened with a skiendub. The Haggis is then piped out, to reappear on plates, with Swede and mashed potatoes.

There is then a toast the Immortal memory, during which someone gives a talk on Burns.

This is followed by a recitation, a toast to the Lassies, followed by a reply, followed by singing ald lang syne.

At various places songs and dances are worked in.

Iron Bru, Scotland's other national drink is used.

There are, also, much more elaborate Burns suppers.

These can be held by just about any kind of organization in Scotland. Firms, Clubs, Masonic Lodges, Political Party branches, Sports clubs.

There is a recognized Burns Circuit. with recognized Speakers reciters, singers. Some people will do 50+ Burns Suppers per year.

The form is Always the Selkirk Grace, followed by the address to the (piped in and out).

The Cook and the piper are rewarded with a dram.

The meal may well consist of Cock O'Lekie Soup, the Haggis as an entrée, followed by Turkey and trimmings- described as bubbling Jock. followed by trifle and perhaps cheese & biscuits.

On the top table whisky will be provided at the rate of a bottle for every 3 or 4 guests. there may be wine.

The Immortal memory, and lassies are always given, there are other possibilities especially the recitations, and songs.

Some Burns nights are men only, others are mixed. If mixed there may be dancing.

Edward Andrews (used with permission)

The Black Watch was (and still is) an infantry regiment. It was originally numbered 43rd of Foot but was renumbered as 'The 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment of Foot' on 3 July 1758, some days before it was involved in the desperate but unsuccessful attack on Ticonderoga. The "Watch" companies were originally raised for service in Scotland in the period 1725-9 and employed in an internal security role. They wore a dark tartan to distinguish themselves from the "Red Soldiers" and became known as The Black Watch".


The term Fencibles is short for Defensibles. These were forces raised in the Highlands after the 45 to help protect and police the Highlands. Most of if not all soldiers had stated in their contracts that they would not have to leave Scotland, thus the distinctive title above of Rangers as this bit of the contract had been deleted.

It was this clause in the Highland Defencibles/Fencible's contract that led to the Highland Mutinies that took place in and around Edinburgh and Glasgow when they tried to march the Highlanders south to England and then to the feared Island of Mann where soldiers were embarked for the Indies and Americas.

Here is a short list of some of the Highland Regiments:
  • The 42nd Highland Regiment (Black Watch) 1740 6 independent companies of Highlanders raised in 1729 added to by 43rd, became Royal Highlanders in 1758. In 1881 Dropped numeral and became 1st Batallion The Black Watch. (The Grand Auld Forty Twa)
  • Loudon's Highlanders 1745 - 1748 Raised to fight on the continent Fought with Government side (English) at Culloden and at Flanders. Reduced 1748
  • Montgomerie's Highlanders or 77th (1757 - 1763) Raised for service in America" Served also in Martinique, Havana and many took the offer of crown land in America and settled there . At the out break of the revolution many who had chosen land Joined The Regiment of Emigrant Highlanders.
  • Fraser Highlanders or The Old 78th and 71st. Regiments. (78th 1757 - 1763) Fought in Quebec with General Wolfe (Note this had been Lt. Wolfe at Culloden with Butcher Billy's army) Many who joined the regiment settled in and around Loiusburg and Quebec. In 1755 most of these also joined the 84 Royal Highland Emigrants.
    (71st) (1775 - 1783) Raised for service in America during "THAT SPOT OF BOTHER" (that was in a dispatch from a British Officer to describe US war of independence.) Served at Brooklyn, Savannah, and York River reduced in 1783.

  • Keith's and Campbells' Highlanders (1759 - 1763)
  • 89th or Gordon Highlanders 1759 - 1765
  • 101st, or Johnstones Highlanders. 1760 - 1763
  • 71st Highland Light Infantry, formed as the 73rd or Lord MacLoud's Highlanders 1777 - 1881( Gibralter/India/Waterloo/S.America/N.America/Crimea/ Linked to the 74th Highland Light Infantry
  • Argyle Highlanders (See also Argyle & Southerland --Old 74th Regiment)
  • MacDonald's Highlanders (76th Highland Regiment 1777 - 1783) (NOTE: some disputes about using Catholic Clans)
  • Athole Highlanders (Old 77th Highland Regiment 1778 - 1783 NOTE: Raised to serve 3 years or Duration of war (America) Served also in Ireland when marched to Portsmouth to be sent to India Mutinied. Disbanded 1783.
  • 73rd. Duke of Albany's Own formed as the 78th or Lord Seaforths 1778 -1881 Mutinied at Keith prior to embarkation to India. Gave up the KILT in 1809 Trews worn 1823 1881 became the 1st Battalion of The Seaforth Highlanders NOTE: ROSS-SHIRE BUFFS) The 78th Highlanders becoming the 2nd Battalion and RETURNED to the KILT
  • The Aberdeenshire Highland Regiment or Old 81st. 1777 - 1783 In 1783 about to be embarked to the East Indies CONTRARY TO TERMS OF ENGAGENET they heard of the mutiny of the Athole Highlanders and refused to go.
  • Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment or old 84th. Highland Regiment 1775 - 1783. Was raised in 1775 from the Highland emigrants in Canada, the discharged men of Montgomies Highlanders, and later the Frasers.

The Scottish Highlanders and Their Regiments by Michael Brander ISBN 0-7607-0399-X


The Regimental Museum of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), The Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2YT, Scotland Phone: (0131) 3105016 Fax: (0131) 3105019 offers displays of weapons, uniforms, medals, colours, pictures, silver and campaign trophies of the oldest (1633) regular infantry regiment of the British Army; the 1st Regiment of Foot, also known as "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard". Open Apr - Sep Mon to Sun 0930 - 1730; Oct - Apr Mon to Fri 0930 to 1600. Disabled access throughout Edinburgh Castle.

But the museum will not hold many personnel records such as pay and muster lists. Regimental archives will be with the rest of the War Office archives in the Public Record Office, Kew, Surrey.

At the PRO, Kew the main series of personnel records for soldiers are the attestation and discharge papers. These survive for most men who did not die in service and were discharged to pension. These records are held at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU under the Group letters WO97 arranged by discharge date as follows:
  • 1750 - 1872 by regiment;
  • 1873 - 1882 alphabetically, by name within groups (e.g. cavalry, artillery, infantry and corps);
  • 1883 - 1913 alphabetically by name for the whole army.

There are also pension records held under WO116 and WO117.

If the soldier died in service, then the muster rolls and regimental pay lists under WO12 and WO16 may be searched. But these records were not kept until after the mid 1890s.

If the soldier died during his service, unless he was killed during a campaign (for which casualty records will exist), it can be difficult to trace a soldier since he was not discharged or entitled to a pension.

Note that the PRO do not undertake any research for personal or postal enquirers. They will, on request, provide you with two names from their list of professionals who undertake work at the PRO - but they do not check these people out.


Whipping out the SWRI Cookery Book, we find:
2 eggs
1/4 lb pork sausage meat
1/2 tablespoonful seasoned flour
bread crumbs

Boil eggs for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep yolk in centre.
Remove shell and dip egg in seasoned flour. Roll in sausage meat, taking care to cover all the egg. Coat with beaten egg and bread- crumbs, and fry until a nice brownin smoking hot fat. Serve hot cut in half on fried bread, or cold with salad.


Finnan Haddie

The haddock (unsmoked or smoked) continues to be the most popular fish in Scotland today. It is often served in a thick cream sauce, over mashed potatoes.

Findon (pronounced Finnan) is a fishing-hamlet in the Mearns, about six miles south of Aberdeen. It stands on an exposed hillside. looking out to the North Sea and a rocky coastline. Here the now widely renowned Finnan haddie originated. The fishwives cured their husbands' catches of inshore fish, some for home consumption and some to be packed and despatched by stage-coach to Edinburgh. In the eighteenth century, the hard, salty, peat-cured haddock were known as Findrums. In the early nineteenth century they were modified to the Finnans we know today.

Although peat is no longer used, and large quantities of haddock are smoked elsewhere, the Finnan haddies have maintained their reputation for an excellent and distinctive flavour. The taste for them spread to the United States, where they were manufactured in enormous quantities in Portland and Boston (and where, apparently, they were sometimes erroneously called Finland haddock).

In fact, the process does not consist simply in smoking. After being cleaned and split open the fish are brined for a while and then hung up to drain. The swelling of the protein, which results from the brining, and the drying of the surface combine to give the fish a good gloss at this stage. The smoking comes next and is continued until the fish develop a straw colour. They are then taken out, after which the colour will darken further.

The above was culled from 'The Scots Kitchen' by F Marian McNeill and 'North Atlantic Seafood' by Alan Davidson. For the adventurous, here is how to smoke your own Finnan haddies (from McNeill, who wrote in 1929 and credited the instructions to a Mrs Dalgairns).


Clean the haddock thoroughly and split them, take off the heads, put some salt on them, and let them lie two hours, or all night if they are required to keep more than a week; then, having hung them two or three hours in the open air to dry, smoke them in a chimney over peat or hardwood sawdust.

When there is not a chimney suitable for the purpose they may be done in an old cask open at both ends, into which put some sawdust with a red-hot iron in the midst; place rods of wood across the top of the cask, tie the haddock by the tail in pairs, and hang them on the sticks to smoke; the heat should be kept as equal as possible, as it spoils the fish to get alternately hot and cold; when done, they should be of a fine yellow colour, which they should acquire in twelve hours at furthest. When they are to be drest (sic), the skin must be taken off. They may be boiled or broiled, and are generally used for breakfast."


In the beginning, The Lord , sitting on His throne on high, turned to His pal, the Archangel Gabriel and said:"Gabby, today I'm going to create Scotland. I will make it a country of dark beautiful mountains, purple glens and rich green forests. I will give it clear swift flowing rivers and I will fill them with salmon. The land shall be lush and fertile, on which the people shall grow barley to brew into an amber nectar that will be much sought after the world over. Underneath the land I shall lay rich seams of coal.

"In the waters around the shores there will be an abundance of fish and beneath the sea bed there will be vast deposits of oil and gas".

"Excuse me Sire", interrupted the Archangel Gabriel, "Don't you think you are being a bit too generous to these Scots"?

"Not really", replied the Lord, "wait 'til you see the neighbours I'm giving them".


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Last updated March 7, 1999