Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


Since education is always a topic under discussion I thought you might be interested in the following article.

I was given a copy of an annual examination set by the Highlands and Islands Commission granting a Grammar School Bursary to the sons of crofters, enabling them to go on to further education viz. Secondary School  and ultimately University These were the papers set in 1886, seven papers in all

1) Gaelic

2) Bible and Shorter Catechism

3) English, covering Grammar, History and Geography

4) Arithmetic and Euclid

5) Latin Grammar

6) Latin Translation

7) Greek

Apart from Gaelic each paper was allowed one hour and valued 100 marks. Gaelic was also awarded 100 marks but the time allowed to complete was only half an hour.
In 1883 six pupils earned more than 500 marks, the top one being a crofter's son from Gairloch gaining 599 marks.

I have selected some questions for you to try.

From the English Paper

Write down the present indicative, past tense and past participle of  blow, choose, burst, say; write out fully the future indicative active and the future perfect indicative passive of any one of these verbs.

From the Geography Paper

Where are the following towns and for what are they noted: Quebec, Calcutta, Cork, Melbourne, Dunedin, Sheffield and Bristol?

From the History Paper

What happened on the following dates 1174, 1263, 1297, 1314, 1513 and 1603?

From the Arithmetic and Euclid Paper

What is a composite number? Find the greatest common measure of 849 and 1132. Find also their least common multiple.

Tell what the following terms mean in Geometry: a point, a line, a plane superficies, an acute angle, a right angle, an obtuse angle. How many acute angles must a triangle have?. How many may it have ?

The questions on language are mainly passages for translation, the Greek one mainly written in Greek script which would be impossible for me to transcribe, however if anyone is interested I can show you a copy of the original paper.

I decided not to reveal the Bible and Shorter Catechism questions just in case someone got higher marks than  Rev. Stan.

Return your examination papers to The Crier before the 30th April 2020 and take note


This is written at the top of every paper.

Hilda Clow