Monday, 31 March 2008
George Kidd Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This memorial cross can be found in Meigle Parish Church Graveyard, Perthshire, Scotland. In loving memory of George Kidd, who died at Drumkilbo.
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Buckie Ancestry Tours of Scotland. Buckie in 1846, a post-village and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Rathven, county of Banff, four miles East from Speymouth; containing 2420 inhabitants, of whom 2165 are in the village. This place is at the mouth of the burn of Buckie, where it empties itself into the Moray Frith; the portion called the Sea-town has been a fishing-station for nearly 200 years, but the New-town portion, though also a fishing-station, is of much more recent origin. There is a small harbour, used principally by fishermen; but, in calm weather, coal and salt are occasionally landed. The white-fishing is prosecuted by thirty-two boats and above 300 men; seven houses have been established for curing haddock; and in 1844 not less than 154 boats went from this shore to the herring-fishery. A chapel accommodating 800 persons, was built in Easter Buckie, in the year 1835, at a cost of £800, raised chiefly by subscription; a clergyman was ordained in 1837, who had a stipend of £80 per annum, and a quoad sacra district attached, comprehending the whole of the village, and a small part of the parish southward. There are also a Roman Catholic, and an episcopal chapel.
Tour Buckie, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Crawfordjohn Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Crawfordjohn in 1846, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark; including the post-village of Abington, and containing 993 inhabitants, of whom 137 are in the village of Crawfordjohn. This place, of which the name is supposed to have been derived from some proprietor of lands within the district, appears to have been originally a chapelry in the parish of Wiston. It was granted, together with the church of that place, to the monastery of Glasgow, and subsequently to that of Kelso, which retained it till about the year 1450, when it became a separate and independent parish. The lands coming into the possession of two co-heiresses, were for a considerable time held in moieties, till, in the reign of James V., Sir James Hamilton of Finart obtained them. After his decease, they descended to the Hamiltons of this place and Avondale, from whom, together with the patronage of the church, they were purchased by James, Marquess of Hamilton, about the year 1620. In the reign of Charles II., the village of Crawfordjohn was, by charter granted to Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, made a burgh of barony, and the inhabitants were endowed with the privilege of a weekly market and several annual fairs, which have long been in disuse. Few events of historical importance are connected with the place: part of the rebel forces passed through it on their march to Glasgow, in the year 1745.
The parish is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Duneaton, which partly separates it on the north from the parish of Douglas; it is bounded on the south by the river Glengonner. On the east flows the river Clyde, and on the west are the counties of Dumfries and Ayr, which unite with that of Lanark on the border of the parish, at a point where a stone has been erected called the Three-shire stone. The length of the parish is nearly twelve miles, and its breadth, which may be averaged at nine, varies from two to ten miles, comprising an irregular area of 26,600 acres, of which 4200 are arable, about 60 plantations, and the remainder pasture for sheep. The surface is sometimes flat, and inclosed by gently sloping hills of various elevation, forming a spacious glen, through which the river Duneaton winds its course for nearly nine miles, receiving in its progress the waters of the Snar, Blackburn, and other streams. The rivers abound with trout, and the Blackburn is celebrated for a dark-coloured species, which excel in quality, and are in great request, and also for eels, of which some are of large growth.
The soil is extremely various; on the banks of the river it is a rich black loam, except in those parts which are subject to inundation, where it becomes mixed with sand and gravel. The sides of the hills are in some places a deep red clay, capable, under proper management, of producing excellent crops; and in several parts is a deep moss, which, after judicious draining, has in many instances been converted into fertile arable land. The principal crops are, oats, bear, potatoes, and turnips. The pastures are very rich; the meadows afford abundant crops of clover and rye-grass, and the hills yield good pasturage for sheep, of which the average number permanently kept in the parish exceeds 10,000. There are several large dairy-farms producing butter and cheese, which are of excellent quality, and find a ready market at Edinburgh and Glasgow; and a peculiar kind of cheese compounded of cows' and ewes' milk obtains a high price, and is in great demand. The average number of cows exceeds 1000, chiefly of the Ayrshire breed, to the improvement of which much attention has been paid; the sheep are of the black-faced kind, except a few of a mixed breed between the Cheviot and the Leicester. The plantations, which are chiefly at Glespin, Gilkerscleugh, and Abington, are Scotch fir, spruce, beech, lime, chesnut, and oak. Some advance has been made in draining and inclosing the lands; and a society for encouraging the improvement of live stock has been established by the farmers of this and the parish of Crawford, which has been sanctioned by many of the heritors in both. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6329.
The substratum of the soil and the bases of the hills are mostly whinstone and freestone, of which several quarries are worked; limestone is also prevalent, and works have been established at Whitecleugh and Wildshaw. There are indications of coal in several parts of the parish, though no works have been opened; leadore has been found at Craighead, and near the source of the Snar, at which latter place it is wrought. Some vestiges remain of a work opened at Abington for the discovery of gold; and in repairing a road some years since, several pieces of spar, in which copper was imbedded, were found among the rubbish. There is also a tradition that silver-mines were formerly wrought in the parish, though probably it might have originated in finding small portions of that metal in combination with the lead-ore. A subscription library has been established in the village of Crawfordjohn, and there is likewise one supported at Abington. The parish is in the presbytery of Lanark and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister's stipend is £233. 13., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £16 per annum; patron. Sir T. E. Colebrooke. The church, which is conveniently situated, was enlarged in 1817, and will accommodate 300 persons. The parochial school is attended by about seventy scholars; the master has a salary of £32, with £26 fees, and a house and garden. There were formerly the remains of the castles of Crawfordjohn, Mosscastle, Glendorch, and Snar, the last of which was celebrated for the exploits of its proprietor during the border warfare. On a hill near Gilkerscleugh are traces of a circular encampment consisting of two concentric circles, the innermost of which is about thirty yards in diameter, and has between it and the outer an interval of ten yards. There are vestiges of a similar intrenchment near Abington; and on the bank of the river Clyde is a moat, in the centre of which is a mound about fifty yards in circumference at the base, and thirty feet in height. In the peat-bogs are frequently discovered alder-trees and hazel in a prostrate position, and, at various times, coins of Antoninus, and others of the reign of Edward I.
Tour Crawfordjohn, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland.
Rankinston Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Rankinston is a small ex-mining village in East Ayrshire, Scotland. It is situated twelve miles southeast of Ayr.
Tour Ayrshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
William Scrimgeour Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone is located in New Scone Cemetery, Perthshire, Scotland. Erected by Jane Jackson, in memory of her affectionate husband, William Scrimgeour, Forrester, New Scone, who died 29th October 1870, aged 52 years.
Tour New Scone, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Friday, 28 March 2008
Alexander Nicol Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This old gravestone can be found in Little Dunkeld Churchyard, Dunkeld and Birnam, Perthshire, Scotland. In memory of Alexander Nicol who died the 22nd of November, in the seventeenth year of his age, 1796. John Nicol, his brother, caused this stone to be erected in 1797.
Tour Scotland from Dunkeld, Perthshire, an ideal base for unique small group tours of Scotland.
Crathes Castle Seat of the Burnett Family. Welcome to the official website of the Burnett family. These pages are for all those associated with or interested in the name of BURNETT, its origins in Great Britain, (Scotland in particular), and its history and traditions throughout the world. It will enable discovery of related matters and advice on activities which may be of interest. The Burnett family is one of the most illustrious of Scottish families, with a history going back to before the Norman Conquest, an ancient coat-of-arms and a record of many distinguished members in the church, in letters, in the law and in the military. The principal historical seat of the Burnetts is Crathes Castle which is now in the possession of the National Trust for Scotland.
This website seeks to provide advice on matters such as genealogy, history, heraldry and tartan. It exists to assist with in the organisation of Burnett gatherings and the provision of Burnett merchandise. I would hope that it facilitates communication between Burnetts worldwide. This website includes access to the details and activities of The House of Burnett. This society plays an important role in the promotion of the name of Burnett throughout the world and to a large extent in the United States of America. There is a House of Burnett presence at many of the leading Highland Games in the US and this is made possible by the support of its members.
James C. A. Burnett of Leys, Chief of the name of Burnett. Variant spellings of the name include but are not limited to the following: Burnett, Burnet, Burnette, Bernat, Burnat, Bernet, Burnap, Burnard, Barnard, Barnett, Barnette, Barnet, Bornet, Bornat, Mac Burnet etc.
This website is frequently being updated or subject to further construction. We welcome any relevant information which might be included on the website or added to the family archive. We also welcome suggestions as to how the website might be changed to accommodate the wishes of viewers. Burnett, St Nicholas House, 68 Station Road, Banchory, Kincardineshire, AB31 5YJ, Tel: 00 44 (0)1330 823343, Fax: 00 44 (0)1330 823749. email@example.com
John Wilson Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Newburgh Graveyard, Fife, Scotland. In memory of John Wilson, Parochial Schoolmaster of Newburgh for 50 years, who died 29th January, 1826, aged 67 years.
Tour Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
George Speed Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Newburgh Cemetery, Fife, Scotland. Erected by George Speed, Mariner, Newburgh, in memory of his father, George Speed, who died 22nd September, 1870, aged 61 years.
Tour Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Alexander Craighead Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Newburgh Cemetery, Fife, Scotland. In loving memory of their father and mother, Alexander Craighead, for thirty three years Pastor of the Baptist Church, Newburgh, who died 1865, aged 69 years. And of Isabella Robertson, who died 1857, aged 65 years. The memory of the just is blessed.
Tour Newburgh, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Robert Gourlay Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone is in St Andrews Cathedral Graveyard, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Sacred to the memory of Robert Gourlay, late convener of the Seven Trades of St Andrews, who died the 6th day of September 1811, in the 60th year of his age. Commercial life in medieval St Andrews was dominated by the Trade Guilds. St Andrews had the famous seven trades: Bakers, Fleshers, Shoemakers, Smiths, Tailors, Weavers, and Wrights. They set the quality standards to be expected and their terms of employment.
Tour St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
John Graham Ancestry Tour of Scotland. An interesting gravestone in Forgandenny Graveyard, Scotland. Here lies the dust of John Graham, late tennant in Cluckinghen, who departed this life the 24th of May 1777, aged 49 years.
Catherine McGregor Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Dunbarney Churchyard, Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland. With Christ. Sacred to the memory of Catherine McGregor, beloved with of James Deas, Merchant Bridge of Earn, who died 12th May 1884, aged 64 years. And his sister Elizabeth Ann Deas, who died 11th February 1896, aged 64 years. The above James Deas, who died 27th December 1896, aged 66 years.
Tour Dunbarney, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Friday, 21 March 2008
William Simmie Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Tibbermore Parish Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. Erected by Thomas Fraser, in memory of William Simmie, late farmer Peel, who died at Annatland 22nd December 1831, aged 75 years.
James Ritchie Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This monument can be found in Tibbermore Parish Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. James Ritchie farmed at Cairney and died in 1840. His monument depicts his prize bull and curling gear.
Tour Tibbermore, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
James Stewart Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Kettins, Perthshire, Scotland. Erected to the memory of James Stewart, Blacksmith, who died at Ley of Hallyburton, 2nd March, 1890, aged 63 years. And his wife Margaret Glovard Davidson, who died at Ley of Hallyburton, 27th June 1913, aged 87 years. Also their daughter, Jane Smith Stewart, who died at Dundee, 14th February 1917. Also Jane McIntosh, wife of Charles Stewart, Ley of Hallyburton, died 26th March 1929. The above Charles Stewart, died 25th September 1936, aged 71 years.
Alexander Mackinlay Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Kettins Parish Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. In memory of Alexander Mackinlay, gardener at Lintrose for 52 years, and who died there on 28th May, 1898, in his 76th year. Also of Janet Myles Mackinlay, his widow, who died at Townhead, Coupar Angus, 25th November 1900, aged 74 years. And their son Robert Myles Mackinlay, who died at Millhaugh, Kettins, 19th October 1902, aged 33 years.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Dewar Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This memorial can be found in Aberdalgie Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. 1885, John Dewar, 2nd Lord Forteviot of Dupplin, O.B.E., M.C., Lord Provost of Perth, 1922 to 1925. Deputy Lieutenant of Perthshire. Brigadier King's Body Guard for Scotland. The Royal Company of Archers. Served with The Scottish Horse in The First World War. Colonel 6th Perthshire Battalion of The Black Watch.
Tour Aberdalgie, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Coldstream Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Coldstream is situated in the Borders of Scotland. It lies on the north bank of the River Tweed in Berwickshire, while Northumberland in England lies to the south bank. The town is well known as the home of the Coldstream Guards British Army regiment, and is also noted as the location where Edward I of England invaded Scotland in 1296.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Abbotsford Ancestry Tours of Scotland. Abbotsford is a historic house in the Scottish Borders, near Melrose, on the south bank of the River Tweed. It was formerly the residence of the famous Scottish novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott.
Crathie Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Crathie Kirk is a small Church of Scotland parish church in the Scottish village of Crathie, best known for being the regular place of worship of the British Royal Family when they are holidaying at nearby Balmoral Castle.
Ferniehurst Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Ferniehurst Castle is the original seat of the Kerrs of Ferniehurst, who subsequently became Earls and Marquesses of Lothian, and whose principal seat is now Monteviot House. Ferniehurst is a Z plan house of the late 16th century.
Captain Alexander Buchan Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Coupar Angus Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. In loving memory of Captain Alexander Buchan, Master Mariner, who died 26th January 1938. Also his wife Elsie Robertson, who died 4th March 1961. And their daughter Helen Riddoch Buchan, who died 5th January 1982. And their son Leslie Alexander John Robertson Buchan, died September 1985, aged 88.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
An old view of Springburn Cross, Glasgow, Scotland. The origins of Glasgow origins are said to lie with the arrival of St Kentigern, St Mungo, in the 6th century. His church was established on the site of the present Glasgow Cathedral, a Gothic building dating largely from the 13th century.
Susan Smith Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Abernyte Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. In affectionate rememberance of Susan Smith, Littleton, wife of William Rtchie, who died 28th April, 1889, aged 40 years. The above William Ritchie, died 12th May, 1905, ages 62 years.
William Henry Liddell Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Coupar Angus Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. Sacred to the memory of William Henry Liddell. Late bookseller Cupar Angus.
Friday, 14 March 2008
George Coupar Ancestry Tour of Scotland. This gravestone can be found in Collace Churchyard, Perthshire, Scotland. Erected by George Coupar in memory of his wife Agnes Duncan, who died 2nd September, 1883, aged 72. Also his daughter Ann, who died in infancy, and his son James, who died 23rd March, 1895, aged 40. The above George Coupar, died April 7th, 1901, aged 88. And of Janet Bruce, beloved wife of their son Robert Coupar, who died 5th February, 1926, aged 79, and his son James, who died 13th january, 1944, aged 57. Also Lilias Isabella Tod, wife of the above James Coupar, who died 9th December 1953, aged 59.
Tour Collace, Perthshire, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Thomas Aird Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Thomas Aird, Scottish poet, born August 28, 1802, died April 28, 1876, he was born at the Old Post Office, Bowden, Roxburghshire, Scotland.
Tour Bowden, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland. Tour Roman Scotland.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Monday, 10 March 2008
Rothesay Ancestry Tour of Scotland. The town of Rothesay is the main town on the Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. During the Victorian era, Rothesay developed as a popular Scottish tourist destination.
Tour Rothesay, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Golf Scotland.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Scotstounhill Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Scotstounhill is a small area between south Knightswood and Scotstoun situated in West Glasgow. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. Situated on the banks of the River Clyde, it became a burgh in 1175.
Balfour Ancestry Tour of Scotland. The lands of Burleigh were held by the Balfours from 1446, when they were granted by James II to John Balfour of Balgarvie, and a tower house was erected in the late 15th or early 16th century. Sir James Balfour of Pittendreich extended the Burleigh Castle in the late 16th century, adding a curtain wall with a corner tower, and other outbuildings. In 1607 his son Sir Michael Balfour was raised to the peerage as Lord Balfour of Burleigh. Legend tells how Robert Balfour, before his accession as 5th Lord, narrowly escaped death when, in 1707, he was sentenced to beheading for the murder of the schoolmaster of Inverkeithing, who had the misfortune to have married Balfour's childhood sweetheart. Escaping from Edinburgh tolbooth, Balfour joined the Jacobite cause, proclaiming the 'Old Pretender' James Stuart king at Lochmaben, and fighting in the 1715 rising. Following the defeat of the Jacobites, Balfour was attainted, dying in France in 1757. The castle was forfeit to the Irwins, then passed to the Grahams of Kinross.
St Kilda Island Street, Scotland. Imagine being told the life you and your ancestors have lived for thousands of years doesn't work any more. Secluded and peaceful, your island community has honored it's ancient traditions of hunting and gathering, ritual and socicety, and they've seen you through good and bad times, where life has been tough but meaningful. And now your simply told it doesn't fit with how outsiders think you should live. Steel's magical account of the sacred island of St.Kilda, far out from the Scottish mainland and the straggle of archipeligo's that surround it, is both heart-warming and heat-breaking. He tells the tale of men and women whose lives are toyed with by authorities that felt they knew better than a people who for generations had lived almost completely isolated from what we call civilization. This book describes St.Kilda when it thrived as a small, close-knit team, and when it worked together for the common good. It describes how St.Kildans hunted and gathered like prehistoric communities had thousands of years ago, and how they dealt with disasters and diseases that threatened their existence time and again. And ultimately, the story of a community that the world forgot for hundreds of years and then remebered again, just long enough to change forever the lives of the people of St.Kilda. The Life and Death of St Kilda (Fontana Original).
St Kilda Island Women, Scotland.
St Kilda Island, Parliament, Scotland.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Kirkpatrick Macmillan Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Kirkpatrick Macmillan and His Dandy Horse Photographic Print, 16" x 12".
Kirkpatrick Macmillan, born in 1812, died on 26 January 1878. In Dumfries Museum stands a replica of the world's first pedal bicycle. A notice states that it was exhibited at the Crystal Palace, London, in the 1890s and that it was made by Thomas McCall, wheelwright, to the same design that Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the inventor, used for his first velocipede around 1840.
The velocipede is longer and heavier than the modern bicycle (it weighs 57 Ib), the rear wheel is 40 in in diameter, the front wheel 30 in. It mainly differs from the bicycle as we know it in that the wheels are of wood with metal tyres and the non-rotating pedals are connected by rods and cranks to the rear wheel. It is clearly superior to the later, short-lived, front-wheel drive bone-shaker.
'Pate' Macmillan was born and spent his life at Courthill smithy in the village of Keir, fourteen miles north of Dumfries. He had three elder brothers, all of whom prospered in Glasgow, one as senior classics master at the High School, another as vice-rector at Hutcheson's Grammar School. Pate preferred the country life. He was a born blacksmith. Long after he invented the pedal bicycle he invented two ploughs that were superior to anything in use at the time, and his son John, who became a Liverpool policeman, recalled seeing him make eight pairs of shoes for horses in an hour, a formidable rate of output to anyone familiar with the farrier's trade. He was also a self-taught vet, a dab hand at dentistry and a member of the Free Kirk who frowned on drinking and smoking but thoroughly enjoyed playing his violin at dances.
Hobby-horses, two wheels joined by a wooden bar with a saddle, had been in use since 1817, but it was Pate who had the brilliantly simple idea of pedal propulsion. His velocipede, with carved horse's head in front, was completed in about 1840. Not appreciating the significance of his strange machine, his neighbours nicknamed him Daft Pate. On 6 June 1842, to his parents' consternation, Pate set out on an historic 70 mile ride to Glasgow. Huge crowds cheered and jeered him on his way. In the Gorbals, while riding on the pavement, he knocked over but hardly injured a small girl. He was arrested and charged, and was probably the first cyclist to be fined for a traffic offence. There is a story, without proof, that a lenient magistrate fined him five shillings, afterwards asking Pate to give him a demonstration of cycling and refunding the fine out of his own pocket. Pate made no attempt to capitalise on his invention; but others did, and it was not until 1892 that he was universally recognised as the inventor of the bicycle.
John Ross Ancestry Tour of Scotland. DUGDALE c1845 PORTRAIT SIR JOHN ROSS ANTIQUE PRINT.
On any map of Canada the northern part of that huge country appears as a vast area with few place names, but a number of these were inspired by Wigtownshire, a tiny county in southwest Scotland. The reason can be attributed to one man, Rear Admiral Sir John Ross, who was born at Balsarroch, near Stranraer, Wigtownshire, in June 1777. Sir John was the fourth son of the Reverend Andrew Ross, minister of the nearby Inch parish and, while nothing is known of his boyhood, it is on record that he joined the Royal Navy at the age of nine. After a few years he transferred to the merchant service, but by 1799 was back with the navy. Experience on many ships, combined with honourable war service, brought promotion to commander and a posting to the Baltic. By 1816 he was married and had started to build a house in Stranraer.
A year later Ross was invited by the Admiralty to command an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a route that would transform shipping and the discovery of which had occupied many minds for three Centuries. Ross accepted the invitation eagerly. His ships, the Isabella and the Alexander, sailed in 1818, when he was accompanied by his nephew, Midshipman James Clark Ross, later to gain even greater fame than his uncle, but in the Antarctic. This expedition lasted until October of the same year, and although it failed to find the passage, there were other encouraging results. Many of the earlier discoveries of William Baffin were confirmed, other claims were disproved and valuable contributions in many scientific fields were made. An account of all these discoveries was contained in the book Ross published after the expedition. Unfortunately, the results did not please John Barrow, secretary of the Admiralty, who developed an intense antipathy towards Ross and bitterly attacked him in a review of the book. For the next 10 years Ross was kept in semi-retirement on half pay until, in 1828, he persuaded a wealthy friend, Felix Booth, to support another search for the passage using steam vessels. Booth put up most of the cash, Ross contributed some of his own, and the expedition sailed in 1829 in the Victory, with the belated blessing of the Admiralty.
Unfortunately, the expedition encountered problems almost from the beginning. The steam engines proved to be virtually useless and in the first of what turned out to be four incredibly harsh winters in the Arctic, Ross had the machinery completely taken out and dumped out on to the ice. In 1833, long after they had been given up for lost, Ross and his intrepid explorers finally escaped the grim grip of the Arctic ice and returned to Britain. Many miles of new coastline had been surveyed and his nephew James Ross had discovered the North Magnetic Pole in June 1831. On his return John Ross was the man of the moment and received a knighthood from William IV.
In 1839 Captain Sir John Ross was appointed consul at Stockholm but nine years later, because of a promise made to Sir John Franklin, whose expedition had disappeared, he returned to the Arctic to search for the missing men. He sailed from Stranraer in 1850 on what was to be a fruitless errand. However, despite the failure, he earned great public admiration on his return the following year and was then appointed a rear -admiral at the age of 73. Sir John was a restless man and spent the few remaining years of his life either in London or at his home in Stranraer, which he had named Northwest Castle. He died in London in 1856, one of the greatest British explorers of his time.
Sir John Ross on His First Expedition: Meeting a Tribe of Eskimos. Sir John Ross on His First Expedition: Meeting a Tribe of Eskimos Art Giclee Poster Print, 18x24.
Whaling During Sir John Ross's First Arctic Expedition in Melville Bay. Whaling During Sir John Ross's First Arctic Expedition in Melville Bay Art Giclee Poster Print, 18x24.