Photo Hunt: “Written”

This week’s Photo Hunt challenge is “Written”.

My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister in Dumfries, Scotland. After his death, when my mother and grandmother moved from the manse, amongst the many things in his office was a collection of documents from the General Synod. How they came into his possession, I don’t know. They were originally sent out in 1842 by The Reverend Dr. Henry Duncan to the ministers in the parishes in Dumfrieshire to collect information about incidents of “Fornication or Adultery between April 1, 1841 and April 1, 1842”.

Quite apart from their social import, the person who sent them is a fascinating historical character.

The Reverend Dr. Henry Duncan (1774-1846) was not just a parish minister (Ruthwell Parish). a few facts about Dr. Duncan

  • As a boy he met the poet Robert Burns, who visited Dr. Duncan’s father at Lochrutton Manse. Duncan was educated in Dumfries at the Academy.
  • In 1810 Duncan opened the world’s first commercial savings bank, paying interest on its investors’ modest savings. The Savings Bank Museum tells the story of early home savings in Britain.
  • In 1818 Duncan restored the Ruthwell Cross, one of the finest Anglo-Saxon crosses in Britain, now in Ruthwell church. This late 7th/early 8th century cross is remarkable for its runic inscription, which contains excerpts from The Dream of the Rood, an Old English poem.
  • In 1828 Duncan presented a paper to the Royal Society of Edinburgh describing fossil footprints found in Permian red sandstone at Corncockle Muir, Dumfriesshire. The paper, published in 1831, was the first scientific report of a fossil track. A cast of the tracks of Chelichnus duncani can be found in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
  • In 1839 Duncan became Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and at the time of the Disruption of 1843 became one of the founding ministers of the Free Church of Scotland.
  • Henry Duncan was visited by Robert Murray M’Cheyne during his vacations in Ruthwell

It’s snow cold!

We had snow last night (and freezing rain). Time to get out the snow shovel and by some salt ‘n sand. ‘Tis the season!

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Police Chase – Midas Commercial

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