LIST OF OFFICERS        2
   EDITORIAL        4
   CONTRIBUTIONS TO Creag Dhubh     5
   BEN ALDER     7
   THE CLAN RALLY 1964    41
   THE CLAN RALLY 1965    43
   CLAN CHATTAN VOL. V. NO. 1    51
   REVIEWS    52
   POEMS -- "The Song of the Shield"    56
                  "Land of the Macphersons    57
                  "Salute to the Cattanachs    57
Price to Non-Members, and for additional Copies. 7/6
Contributions and all Branch Reports for the 1966 Number should reach the Editor as early as possible and certainly not later than 1st December 1965.


No. 17                                                         1965

VOLUME 3                                     NUMBER 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE ANNUAL OF




Hon. President
Chief of the Clan

Hon. Vice-Presidents
Lt.-Col. A. K. MACPHERSON OF PITMAIN, M.V.O., D.L. Senior Chieftain in the Clan

Officers of the Association

Tigh Tiorail, 32 Crown Drive, Inverness

St Andrew's College, Aurora, Ontario

Hon. Secretary
32 Lockharton Avenue, Edinburgh, 11

Hon. Depute Secretary and Editor of Creag Dhubh"
Capt., the Chevalier J. HARVEY MACPHERSON, K.L.J.,
Dunmore, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire

Hon. Treasurer
62 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh 9.

West High Street, Kingussie

Correspondence on Association Affairs

For convenience, correspondence writing to any of the foregoing Officers of the Association regarding matters concerning the affairs of the Association may address their letters to them,by their office, to:
Clan Macpherson House and Museum, NEWTONMORE, Inverness-shire


Branch Representatives

Mrs.FAUCETT-FARQUHAR, Farr House, Kincraig
ALASTAIR W. MACPHERSON, The Park, Lhanbryde, Morayshire
Balnagarrow, Glebe Road, Cramond, Midlothian
ROBERT MACPHERSON, M.B.E. 41 Dovecot Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh, 12.
EWEN MACPHERSON,Lochburn Crescent, Glasgow, N.W.
ENGLAND & WALESRONALD W.G. MACPHERSON,T.D., 29Ennismore Avenue, Guilford, Surrey London SW 1
JOHN MACPHERSON MARTIN, 85 Grove Avenue, Muswell Hill, London, N. 10
CANADALt.-Col. CLUNY MACPHERSON, C.M.G., M.D., St John's, Newfoundland
LLOYD C. MACPHERSON, BSC, MS. IN ED., St Andrew's College, Aurora, Ont
SOUTHLAND, N.Z. E.M. MACPHERSON, 64 Louisa Street, Invercargill
U.S.A. Vacant


Curator. Capt. J. MACDONALD, O.B.E. Clan House, Newtonmore
Senior PiperANGUS MACPHERSON, Inveran, Sutherland
Junior Piper DONALD MACPHERSON, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
8 Featherhall Grove, Corstorphine, Edinburgh



      The Council appeals to members to support the Annual by contributing articles of historical, genealogical, or topographical interest, and by forwarding news of themselves and other clanmen, honours, appointments, etc. Photographs, prints, etc., of places or people and 'Letters to the Editor' on matters of Clan interst are also welcome. All communications should be addressed to the Editor at Clan Macpherson House, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire.



      "This is your Journal and we need you to give it life. Please write . . .

      The appeal, here quoted, concluded the Editorial remarks last year, and it is again repeated expressly. It has been most disappointing that, once again, the number of contributors to the pages of Creag Dhubh is, for the greater part, limited. to those stalwarts, "A.F.M" . . . "R.G.M." and "J.M.B." It has again been encouraging, though, to receive quite a large number of tributes to the Journal, both written and verbal. Still more encouraging that several of these tributes have been accompanied by cash donations to assist the work of the Association. It remains, however, saddening to note that, amongst the many hundreds of Members of the Association, so few contribute actively to our pages although so many profess to find interest and enjoyment in what we print.

      It is earnestly hoped that the article, "Contributing to Creag Dhubh", may inspire and assist other Members of the Association and other of our readers to submit material for future publication. It is hoped, too, that the reference in that article to our latest date for receiving matter for printing may be observed and acted upon.

      This is a most earnest cri de coeur. In the present instance, the Editor emerged from hospital towards the end of the autumn, and found his files almost empty of material, and practically the whole of this issue had to be prepared during the early days of December amongst all the rush of preparation for Christmas and the New Year. This is not submitted as an excuse for shortcomings in the present number of Creag Dhubh, but as a possible explanation of any inadequacies that may be apparent.

      One closing note: no article which we have printed in the past three years has brought in more enthusiastic comment than last year's introductory notes on learning and using Gaelic. It is hoped that this year's "follow up" will prove of value to the many people who seek to stave off the disuse and eventual loss of our ancient language.







      Several people have remarked, in conversation, that they would be glad to contribute to the pages of the Clan Journal but that they do not know what is acceptable nor how to set about writing. The Editor submits this article in the hope that it may resolve doubts on the first point and give help on the second,

      The only way to be certain of what is of value to Creag Dhubh -- or indeed to any other publication -- is by study of what has been written in former issues. This study will always supply an idea of what is acceptable. In our own case, we are delighted to receive any news or any history which bears on the Clan in particular, on members of the Clan, on the Highlands in general and Badenoch in particular, and on matters affecting Scotland at the present day. The best way in which to set about writing is just to put down the words that would come most readily to the tongue if the matter was being discussed verbally.

      The length of the articles is a matter of importance. As an example of what must be avoided, an article was submitted last year with the writer's insistance that it be printed in full as submitted. This article dealt with an interesting piece of genealogical research and would have found ready acceptance had it not been for the fact that it continued over a length which would have occupied almost a quarter of the article-space of one issue of the journal. Considerably cut, it would have been excellent for our purposes. As it stood, though, it just could not be printed -- much to the Editor's regret.

      The topics introduced in articles are, as said above, those which deal with Clan affairs in especial. Some potential contributors may be shy at attempting to write specifically for the pages of the Journal. They need not be reticent. If a thing makes interesting reading in a letter, it will be equally interesting when put in the form of a contribution to the magazine. In this regard it may encourage possible contributors to know that two of the articles published this year were not written as such but are compilations of news items that were written in the course of correspondence.

      It is not essential in a "family journal" of the nature of Creag Dhubh that all contributions be submitted in the strict form laid down by commercial editors. It is, however, of the very greatest help if contributors will send their articles in typescript, double-spaced and written on one side only of quarto-sized paper.       Finally, and most important, is the matter of when contributions should be sent in. A date has to be arranged with the printers in order that their work may be done in time to meet our publication date which is early in each year. To that end, every year sees an appeal for all contributions to be sent to the Editor by the 1st December. This date must be strictly adhered to, of necessity. Anything sent later than that date may, possibly, find space in the current issue -- but this can only be achieved if it arrives very closely after the beginning of the month.


Anything arriving later than, say, 10th December must necessarily be held over to the subsequent year. Not only contributors, but also Branch Secretaries and other people submitting reports on various activities, are asked please to observe this need for punctuality.

The Routine of Publication
      Readers may wonder why early submission of material for the journal is required. An explanation of what is involved in publication may, it is hoped, make this clear.

      When contributions are first received by the Editor, they are read -- always with interest -- and then are, in many cases, edited. Some, of course, require more editing than others! The Editor is no more anxious than anyone else to incur extra work, and so he keeps his editing to the minimum that appears necessary. After the editing, the material must in many cases be re-typed or, if submitted in manuscript, be typed for the printer. The Editor of Creag Dhubh is obliged to do this work for himself, for he has not the services of a secretary -- and all this takes time!

      After the closing-date for the receipt of contributions. the various papers are assembled, re-edited where necessary, and passed to the printer who, in due time, produces the galley-proofs. These proofs are the first essay in type-setting for the journal and are made up on long sheets of paper, measuring some three-feet in length. They are distributed amongst members of the Association's Executive, when practical they are sent to individual contributors, and the Editor himself goes through them with the greatest care in an effort to eliminate such errors in print as may appear.

      When the printer receives the corrected galley-proof, he proceeds to the production of a "paged proof" which is a mock-up of the finished journal, though with articles printed on one side only of each sheet. The paged proof of is sent to the Editor who, once again, reads everything through with care, trying to spot and eliminate any errors which may have survived the former editing. The whole production is then returned to the printer who goes ahead with the final printing of the actual magazine in its finished form.

Despatch of the Journal
      Our printers undertake, very kindly, to post the Journal to our members and subscribers. This is, of course, of the greatest assistance. It would not, however, be possible were it not for the work done, unobtrusively and behind-the-scenes, by our Registrar who every year addresses all the envelopes for despatch of Creag Dhubh. This is a very arduous and time-consuming task which she performs, year after year, on behalf of the Association, in spite of being an extremely busy person. It is only right and proper that her work should be mentioned in this present instance, in order that Members may know to whom their thanks are due for the fact that they receive their copy of Creag Dhubh regularly and on time.


      It is not inappropriate when writing of the Registrar's work to mention the fact that a fair number of copies of the Journal are returned every year, and this because the Member has left a former address without notifying the Association. Verb. sap.

"How Can I Help?"
      Apart from submitting material for publication, from notification of changes of address and from punctuality in communicating with the Editor, there is much that individual Members can do to assist the annual publication of the Association's Journal. In no field is this more important than in the obtaining of advertisers to take space in Creag Dhubh

      The Journal is a costly item in the Clan's annual budget. The costs are necessary if the standard of our pages is to be maintained. They can, however, be very greatly off-set by receipts from advertisements. The cost of inserting advertising notices in Creag Dhubh is noted on the inside of the back-cover, and every Member of the Association is most earnestly requested to canvass possible advertisers and to obtain their support. This is a task within anyone's power, need not be in any way arduous, and it remains most important to the continuing production of the Journal and to the maintenance of its cost at its present level, which is the lowest that it can be held to.


by JOHN M. BARTON (Edinburgh)

      Ben Alder lies to the west of Loch Ericht in the extreme south of Badenoch, and in one of the most remote parts of Scotland. It can be seen when looking down Loch Ericht from Dalwhinnie and it is usually reached by walking along the shores of the Loch, or else by traversing the hills from Loch Laggan or Loch Rannoch. From a distance its rounded shape belies its actual size, but its height is, in fact, over 3,750 feet above sea level and its extent is over an area of many square miles.

      To Clan Macpherson the main interest of Ben Alder lies in the famous "Cage" which was erected as a shelter and a refuge by Ewan, the 18th Chief, after the battle of Culloden. A number of Cluny's friends joined him in the Cage, and they included Prince Charles himself, who stayed there for a week between the 5th and 13th September, 1746, shortly before his escape to France. Sir Walter Scott referred to the Cage in his Tales of a Grandfather, but the popular interest in it was largely aroused by Robert Louis Stevenson's account in Kidnapped, wherein he describes an imaginary visit paid by David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart to Cluny. This visit is described in considerable detail and is supposed to have taken place in 1751 and to have lasted for three days. During the course of it, Cluny played cards with Alan for much of the time and he managed to win all Alan's money as well as David's.


There is now no trace of the Cage on Ben Alder, but when one examines the Ordnance Survey one-inch map of the area there is a reference to "Prince Charlie's Cave" on the southern slope of Ben Alder, near Benalder Cottage. This reference has appeared on Ordnance Survey maps for more than a century, and both the Name-book of the first six-inch survey (1870) and the Ordnance Gazeteer (1898) refer to this cave as a place in which, according to tradition, Prince Charles lay hidden in September 1746. The writer has been able to trace two other early references to a cave on Ben Alder. One is in a letter written by Ewan's son, Duncan of the Kiln, the 19th Chief. It is dated 9th June, 1817, and addressed to Colonel Stewart of Garth and was quoted in part, in Creag Dhubh of 1958.

      In this letter, Duncan describes a number of the hiding places which his father used between 1746 and 1755 and he refers to the "Natural caves in Benalder, Mealchuach (Meall Chuaich) and other high mountains". This reference makes a direct contrast between the natural caves in the hills and the artificial hiding places at Ralia, Biallidmore, Nessintully and Strathmashie.

      The other reference is in Alexander Macpherson's Church and Social Life of the Highlands (1893). " . . . In a cave at the southern extremity to (Loch Ericht) Prince Charlie, after the Battle of Culloden, sought refuge from his pursuers," and, in a quotation which follows, " . . . he found protection only in a cave full of chilly damps with nothing but a bare rock for a pillow." Surprisingly, Alexander Macpherson makes no attempt to contrast this natural cave with the Cage erected by Cluny, although there are three separate quotations in the book which describe the Cage in some detail.

The Cage
      The earliest description of the Cage is contained in a letter written by John McPherson of Strathmashie to the Rev. Robert Forbes, dated 1st May, 1750. This letter is published in The Lyon in Mourning (1895/96). Strathmashie did not disclose the source of his information, but it is believed that it may have originated either from Cluny himself or else from Donald, his youngest brother.

      The account is vivid and merits quotation in full:
      "It was really a curiosity, and can scarcely be described to perfection. 'Twas situate in the face of a very rough high rocky mountain called Letternilichk which is still a part of Benalder, full of great stones and crevices and some scattered wood interspersed. The habitation called the Cage in the face of that mountain was within a small thick bush of wood. There were first some rows of trees laid down in to level a floor for the habitation, and as this place was steep this raised the lower side to equal height with the other; and these trees, in the way of jests or planks, were entirely well


levelled with earth and gravel. There were betwixt the trees, growing naturally on their own roots, some stakes fixed in the earth, which with the trees were interwoven with ropes made of heath and birch twigs all to the top of the cage, it being of a round or rather oval shape, and the whole thatched or covered over with foge. This whole fabrick hung as it were by a large tree, which reclined from the one end all along the roof to the other, and which gave it the name of the Cage; and by chance there happened to be two stones at a small distance from other in the side next the precipice resembling the pillars of a bosom chimney, and here was the fire placed. The smock had its vent out there, all along a very stonny plat of the rock, which and the smock were all together so much of a colour that anyone coud make no difference in the clearest day, the smock and stones by and through which it pass'd being of such true and real resemblance."

      This description was written before Cluny escaped to France and it is probable that the Cage had been abandoned by 1750, as Strathmashie would not otherwise have taken the risk of describing it to the Rev, Robert Forbes.

      The place which Strathmashie calls 'Letternilichk' is correctly spelled Leitir na Lic. This place, where the Cage was built, is said to be on the East side of Ben Alder, overlooking Loch Ericht and about half a mile north of Alder Bay. The mountainside is very steep at this place and would provide a very suitable hiding place for the Cage.

The Cave
      The cave, on the other hand, is only a few hundred feet up the southern slopes of Ben Alder, overlooking Alder Bay and the whole of the southern part of Loch Ericht. Below the cave is Benalder Cottage which is now uninhabited, and which provides "open house" to all the fishers, hikers and mountaineers who frequent the area.

      It is most unlikely that anyone would consider spending a night in the cave, for it is neither a hollow nor a tunnel in the rock, but is no more than an empty space amongst enormous upturned boulders lying at various angles. It was described by an early Ordnance Surveyor as "resembling a huge bi-valve gaping for air, and it is altogether impossible for even a child to walk in upright, and when in, you can occupy no other but a sitting or lying position".

      The floor is mainly of damp earth and measures about ten feet square. There are no signs of occupation to be seen, with the exception of a few large stones which have been placed along most of the length of the opening, presumably to serve as added protection to an occupant.

      There is also a small opening into the back of the cave, but it is too small to use as a means of access and gives little extra light to the inside. The entrance to the cave can be recognised from a distance by a very small tree, growing out of the rocks -- there being no other trees on this part of the mountain.


The Cave is not "Cluny's Cage"
      It is curious that so many writers have referred either to the Cage or to the Cave without having any concern for the other. The few who have referred to both of them have either confused them or have regarded the cave as having no Jacobite associations. Certainly, if one considers Strathmashie's description of the Cage in detail, it cannot have any connection with the present cave.

      The Scottish Mountaineering Club Guide endeavoured to solve the problem by explaining that the cave "is the concrete embodiment of the tradition of the Cage of Cluny Macpherson". This, one feels, is begging the question altogether.

      Prince Charlie was in Badenoch for a number of days before he came to the Cage. It may be possible that he did, in fact, spend a night in the cave before the Cage was completed. However, unless some new account comes to light of the wanderings of the Prince or Cluny, the full story of the cave on Ben Alder may never be known.



      Four and a half centuries ago the Dean of Lismore collected and transcribed a wonderful compilation of Gaelic verse which, fortunately, has survived to the present day. The work was undertaken in collaboration with his brother. Both men were natives of Fortingall, in the Perthshire Highlands, and it is a fair surmise that it was in the Central Highlands that they collected most of the poems that they so diligently wrote down in a commonplace book.

      Many of the poems thus preserved are attributed to Ossian himself. It is not of these, however, that the present article will speak but of an epic tale attributed to Caoch O'Cluain, an otherwise unknown poet.

      The poem tells the tale of Fraoch Mac Fithich, young and handsome, who was loved by the daughter of a woman named Maoibh -- which is pronounced "Maiv". In spite of her daughter's declared love for Fraoch, Maoibh determined that it was she herself who would marry him -- and if she did not do so, then nobody else would. When she found that Fraoch paid no attention to her attempts to wile him away from her daughter, she planned to kill him and adopted a most subtle scheme to do so. She pretended to be ill and sent a messenger to Fraoch, asking him to obtain rowan berries from a special tree which grew on an island in a loch. These berries alone, she said, would cure her.

      Fraoch received the message and swam out to the island where he found a monster sleeping at the foot of the rowan tree. He was able, however to pick a cluster of berries without awakening the beast, and


he swam ashore and brought them to Maoibh. She would not accept them. She declared that nothing but the whole tree, uprooted and brought ashore, would cure her illness. So Fraoch again swam out to the island.

      Uprooting the tree was, of course, a much heavier task than the mere gathering of the fruit and his efforts to do so aroused the monster which followed him to the shore, seizing his arm and mauling it. The girl was waiting at the lochside and brought him a golden knife with which he fought the creature. His efforts were in vain, and he died at the girl's feet. From that day onwards, says the poet, the Loch was called Loch Maoibh in order that the wicked mother's name might be preserved and her infamy remembered for all time.

      Fraoch was buried in Cluain Fraoich (Fraoch's Meadow) and a cairn was raised over his grave. We are told, too, that a nearby hill was called Carn Laimh and the poem tells moreover of how the maiden mourned for her lost love towards the east, she living in Cruachan.

Where is Loch Maoibh?
      There is no loch in Scotland which today bears the name of Maoibh. It is an interesting problem in detection to find out the scene of the drama. There are several clues to help in solving the mystery, and it is the writer's belief that these all point directly to Loch Laggan.

           1. We must find a loch whose name has been changed. Loch Laggan fills this requirement, for it obtained its name in historical times after Saint Kenneth had cultivated his lagan beside the loch at Aberarder, when the whole district, and the loch too, came to be known as Lagan Choinneach. The former name of the loch is lost -- but it must have been called something.
           2. The loch must have at least one island within easy swimming of the shore. Loch Laggan has two such islets.
                     3. The site of Fraoch's burial must be to the east of Cruachan. Laggan fulfils this requirement.
           4. Carn Laimh, named as the scene of Fraoch's interment, is strikingly similar in name to Dun Da Lamh -- whereon stands the prehistoric fort which overlooks all the parish of Laggan.
           5. If the identification of Laggan with the scene is correct, one would hope to find other names reminiscent of the story. This actually occurs in several instances. Within the radius of a few miles from Dun Da Laimh and the head of Loch Laggan are found Gleann Fraoch, Cluain Fraoich and Ruigh an Fhraoich. The attribution of these names to Fraoch, the hero of the poem, will be mocked by people who say -- and rightly so -- that Fraoch is no more than the Gaelic word for Heather. But heather is so common on the hillsides in all Badenoch that its growth on any particular hill would hardly be a distinguishing mark,


calling for a distinctive name to draw attention to it. A scanning of the large-scale O.S. map, moreover, shows no other such concentration of fraoch names anywhere in the district. Moreover, two miles to the south, are Creag a' Mhaigh and Coire a' Mhaigh -- and both these names may well hold an echo of the name of the wicked mother. Once more people will argue that maigh is no more than the Gaelic for 'pleasant' and, again, they are quite correct. But names get very much changed through time and by 'rationahsation' as their original meaning is lost or forgotten -- Applecross has nothing to do with apples, and Pennycomequick has nothing to do with £ s. d.!

           6. Finally, the name of Strathmashie has been for long a problem to philologists who have advanced several theories for its origin. Srath Maisibh (pronounce it "ma-i-shiv") could derive from many sources -- Professor Derick Thomson quotes W. J. Watson as deriving the name from math, 'good', and insi, the old dative of innis, 'a meadow'. This might well be so, but equally well so may be any one of the several other derivations. It is suggested -- and no more than suggested -- here that the name may, possibly, hold a echo of Maoibh.

      Taken singly, none of these points is in any way convincing. Taken altogether, however, they arouse at least a circumstantial case, leading to the belief that the story of Maoibh and Fraoch is a tradition which may, fairly reasonably, be located by the side of Loch Laggan. It is at least as good as many philological theories and a lot better than many others. The whole subject may be neither profitable nor of more than passing interest. It makes amusing and interesting speculation, though.



      On a December afternoon, shortly before Christmas, the Editor received a call from Mrs. Mary Guthrie, Newtonmore. She brought with her a letter which is one of the most exciting discoveries that have been made regarding Clan history in recent years, concerning the part taken by Cluny of the '45 at the commencement of the Rising. This letter, written by Ewan Macpherson, is dated at Cluny on 19th August, 1745 -just under a month after Prince Charles had landed on 23rd July -- and addressed to Lord President Forbes of Culloden.

      The circumstances of the discovery and preservation of this remarkable letter are worth recording. Mrs. Guthrie had received it from' her cousin, Mrs. Anderson, Innellan. Both these ladies are descended from John Roy Macpherson of Balgown in Laggan, who was "Old Cluny's" batman in the Army and a close, personal friend of the Chief. John Roy's son, Ewen, had a son named Neil who, a good number of years ago, bought a second-hand book to give to his father as a present.


From amongst its pages, folded and apparently used as a bookmark, fell the letter which Mrs. Guthrie has now, at the suggestion of Mrs. Anderson, handed to the Editor for the Clan's information. The circumstance of its thus falling into the hands of a Macpherson, and a Macpherson so closely connected with the Chief, is both romantic and extraordinary. The Association -- indeed, the whole Clan -- cannot be sufficiently grateful to Mrs. Guthrie and to Mrs. Anderson for their magnificent gesture in thus making so historic a document available to us.

Records of the Letter
The letter, together with a draft of a proposed note on the subject, was passed to A. F. Macpherson for his comments and he has traced its origin and former mention of it. Whilst agreeing that the acquisition of the original letter is of great importance, he observes that this is not its first discovery. Its contents were apparently known to Menary when he wrote his book on Lord President Forbes, and according to his notes it must have been part of the Culloden Papers.

      A most extraordinary coincidence in the present case is that Menary quotes another letter from Cluny to Forbes, dated 30th August -- eleven days later than the present letter -written when he was being held by the Jacobite Army. It is printed as an Appendix, and it is noted that this second letter was also discovered in use as a bookmark in a book which came into the hands of the National Library. It is very strange that both these letters should have been used as bookmarks, and it would appear that whoever used them had access to the Culloden Papers.

      A. F. Macpherson continues his observations by pointing out that he knows, from some notes left with him by Professor Alan G. Macpherson, that Cluny had been in touch with the Jacobites through Breakachie, at the instigation of Forbes. He had also been in touch with the Government through Killihuntly, who was a Government supporter, so the letter which has now been received is evidently a report from Cluny following upon Breakachie's report to him. "I imagine," he continues, "the contact Cluny had with the Jacobites was his cousin Lochiel, and I think the opening sentences of the letter refer to the latter's decision to support the Prince. I take it that the 'prints' referred to are brochures or proclamations issued by the Jacobites. Menary goes into the whole of Cluny's difficulties at this time at some length in his book, referring to various correspondence, including a letter from Lady Cluny written after her husband had been taken by the Jacobites, appealing for assistance. The reference in the letter to Breakachie having been informed that Sir Alexander Macdonald and McLeod would be at the 'displaying of what they call the Royall Standard' on 19th August is taken up, apparently, in a later letter from Forbes who pointed out to Cluny that neither of these prominent Chiefs had in fact joined the Prince. Cluny held a Commission in Lord Loudon's Highlanders, which Unit was being raised at the time, and he was engaged in raising a Company for this Regiment, most of whom may probably have joined the Macpherson Contingent in the Prince's forces."


Cluny's Letter
      Cluny's letter is written in ink upon paper of very fine quality which, unlike many papers of such age, still remains flexible and untorn.

      That the writer was in great perturbation in thus reporting to Lord President Forbes is apparent, and the degree of his disturbance of mind is shown by the cancellations, by the hasty script and by the insertions which mark its whole course. It is evident, through every phrase, that Cluny was deeply concerned for his people and his country. There is no mention made of his own personal danger. All is for his country and its inhabitants. It is indeed a moving document.

      Cluny begins his letter by reporting to the Lord President, as was his duty, the intelligence that had come to him regarding the movements and intention of the Prince's army. It is apparent that this information had been brought to him by Breakachie who had been in touch with a reliable agent whom Cluny had, either in contact with or actually inside the Jacobite force. Evidently the information had also been passed by him to General Cope, whom he understood to be in camp at Stirling. It may well have been the receipt of, Cluny's despatch which prompted Cope to accelerate his march northwards, to arrive at Dalnacardoch on 25th August, six days after the writing of the letter. At Dalnacardoch, Cope was met by Captain Sweetnam of Guise's Regiment, who had been a prisoner in Prince Charles' hands since the skirmish at Letirfinlay, had witnessed the raising of the standard and had been released on parole on the 21st. Cope then continued his march, arriving at Dalwhinnie on 26th August, there holding a council of war which decided to march to Inverness on the following day, deeming that the Corrieyarrick road would be too strongly held to be passable. He marched, then, to Blargie Beg (where the Forestry Commission's houses now stand) and, with his rearguard at Catlodge, turned about and proceeded to Inverness by way of Ruthven, arriving at the Highland capital after two days.

      Cluny's concern is, throughout, for the country of Speyside. He foresees that the arrival of the Jacobite army will surely lead to "burning, herrying and killing" and he expects, too, that many of the inhabitants will be compelled to take up arms in the Prince's cause for no other reason than to save themselves and their families from a worse fate. At no time does he ask for anything personal for himself -- and this is typical of a man whom we know to have been unselfish, modest and gentle in the extreme.

      His modesty is shown, in fact, in the way in which he insists that he does not, himself, profess to give advice as to how the emergency should be met, but does no more than "humblie beg leave to give my oppinion". He allows himself only one, very mild boast to the effect that it was only his presence, together with his Company, that had persuaded his "next Nighbours" from immediately marching to join the Jacobite army, taking with them their Clansmen and dependents.


Cluny's Own Position
     This remarkable letter throws great light upon Cluny's own attitude towards the Rising, both at the time of writing and later. His duty, he knows, is to the established Government from whose King he had received a Commission in the armed forces. It was therefore in accordance with this duty that he now reported both to the Lord President and to General Cope, giving a summary of the intelligence that had reached him.

      Cluny's responsibility, as he sees it, lies toward his people and to his own countryside, and he seeks protection for them from the horrors, foreseen and unforeseen, of civil war, of pressing and of enforcement. In this regard, it is significant that he does not propose to join his Company to the Government forces advancing northwards. His intention seems to have been to retain his men in Badenoch to ensure that the people of the country shall remain quiet and uncommitted, leaving the fighting to the regular army.

      It is notable, as a possible hint towards Cluny's personal leanings, that at no time does he refer to the Jacobite army as "rebels" as was general practice amongst supporters of the Government. He evades the point in several circumlocutions. The present writer feels that this indicates that his own sympathies were towards the Prince in spite of the fact that, as A. F. Macpherson points out, there is no doubt that, like nearly all the Highland Chiefs, Cluny viewed the Prince's adventure as misguided and unfortunate. He believes, too, that the fact that Cluny continued to correspond with Forbes, even after his being held by the Jacobites, shows that he felt that the Rising would ultimately fail and that the true interest of the country was in supporting the status quo.

      Cluny's only concern at this stage is clearly to fulfil his duty as a commissioned officer -- but to do it in a static manner with a view to maintaining peace in Badenoch and on Speyside. To this latter end he subordinated his own feelings in his deeply-felt responsibility towards his own people. In so doing he manifested himself in the true and traditional role of a Highland Chief, the father and protector of his Clan.

Was Cluny Right?
      In his assessment of the correct course that the Government should have taken, Cluny was correct and General Wolfe's correspondence in the National Library is one of the contemporary views which supports him. His later decision to follow the Prince was obviously taken when he was brought under the influence of the Prince's amazing personal charm which had compelled the allegiance of so many other men in all walks of life. Had he failed to bring out the Clan, the result of "Charlie's Year" would have been the same, and the Rising would surely have been shorter in duration and its resultant horrors possibly less monstrous. It may be argued, too, that his maintenance of peace in Badenoch would have kept the Clan intact and unscattered, so that Macphersons and their allied people would still remain a majority in their homeland.


It would certainly have saved Cluny Castle. These possibilities must be assessed in the light of the fact that the Macphersons were not present at Culloden, handed in their arms peacefully and did not suffer any considerable loss of life in the course of the Rising.

      Whether the Macphersons would have continued to hold majority rule in Badenoch remains, too, a matter for conjecture in view of what happened throughout the remainder of the Highlands, in the lands of the Hanoverian supporters no less than in those of the Jacobite Clans. In this regard, though, one must confess that it is hard to see Cluny of the '45 taking such action or committing such atrocities against his own clansmen as were effected by such people as Gordon, Seaforth and Chisholm. With his example, too, one cannot conceive of any of his immediate successors following the examples of so many unworthy Chiefs in subsequent years. All this, however, is pure supposition and here we can only deal with facts.

Historical Light
      The recovery of this wonderful letter is a matter of very great importance to the Clan's history, for it sheds a revealing light upon one of our greatest heroes. It goes far to rebut accusations that have been made against him by people not fully acquainted with the facts, and it shows him in his true character as conscientious, loyal and above all concerned with his Clan's safety and welfare. To this last he was prepared to sacrifice his own personal feelings in order that he might preserve his people in peace. That subsequent events led him on a different course can be blamed upon two things only. These were the failure of the Government to make any adequate provision for the protection of the Highlands -or, indeed, for any part of the realm -- and, secondly, the personal magnetism of the Prince, which prevailed upon Cluny to sink his loyalty to his Clan beneath his higher loyalty to his de jure King.

      Our debt of gratitude to Mrs. Guthrie and Mrs. Anderson can hardly be measured. This document, that they have so generously made available to us for preservation, ranks high amongst the historical papers bearing on the long tale of the Clan and on the life of its most outstanding and noble Chief.

      The writer must, in conclusion, express his own, personal debt of gratitude to A. Fraser Macpherson for his great kindness in reading and commenting on the original draft of this paper, for deciphering some of the less legible parts of the letter and also for arranging for its photographic reproduction.



My Lord
     Breakachie just now return'd and the enclosed prints is all the answer I have from my friend, As he's now dip'd far enough I find the fate of the Gentleman that publishes these papers (be what it will) he resolves will be his. In the meantime


My Lord I wish you wou'd take my Case and that of my poor Country to consideration, probablie this Army more or less as it is, will March Immediately southward, this Country as you know lies directly in their way, And if the Government does not forthwith protect us, they must either be brunt or Join, I have this from undoubted authoroty, And there is no reason to doubt of it, At the same time I hear that the King's forces are to Incamp at Stirling, that is a help for from us, and what to do, so as to save this poor Country from Immediate ruin, is a very great question to me, all on Speyside have a great Chance of runing the same Risque to this Country, tho' Its very certain we must be the first sufferers. But be it as it will, I have Nothing more for it than to run this express for your advice, And at the same time to aske of you that you may represent our situation to the Government, that they may fall on means for our preservation, Our Case being so very bad I may say w'in a days March (of the Invaders) to ruin for my part I cannot pretend to give advice in ane affair of so very great moment, but I humblie beg leave to give my oppinion, which is that the King's troops shou'd Immediately march Northward, so as to Intercept this body which is I take to be the only way not only to Crush this Invation and Conjunction, Which promisses to be pretty formidable if not prevented in the bud. My friend told Breakachie that Sir Alexr. McDonald and McLeod will be at displaying of what they call the Royall Standard this day, And if so that their men will join will be depended upon, what this Country, the rest of Speyside, or even more Countries in this North of the Kingdom may do, when force is at their doors, I leave your Lo'p to Judge, as force has often made people to committ that, what was no Choice, but to save them from a Necessity that may be fatall, I heartily wish the Government did in time for their own good, and ours look to our and the Country's safety. In a word, it is hard to Judge what burning, herrying, and killing, may determine a defenceless people to do, for their Immediate Safty, All this (and worse if worse can be) is dayly threatened in the event of not Joining W'out compulsion. Our next Nighbours whom you'll find out W'out nameing them, had if I had not been in the Country With the few of my Company, brought all that have here of such as they call their Namesakes or followers to them, but by my being at home, they are yet mostly disappointed tho' a few fellows have stoll away. I have write to Generall Cope per express of this date a Coppie of which your Lo'p has Inclose.

      I still am to great truth and sincerety

My Lord
                                                                                           you Lo'ps most obliged &
                                                                                            most fathfull servant
                                                                                            EWAN McPHERSON

Cluny 19th August
6 in the afternoon



      The Forfeited Estates Papers in the Register House, Edinburgh, are records of the administration by the Government of Great Britain of the Estates which had been confiscated in consequence of the participation by their owners in the 1745 Rising. Although Lachlan, the Chief of the Clan Macpherson at that time, did not himself join the Rising, being in any event advanced in years, his eldest son and heir apparent, Ewen, after considerable hesitation, did so and led a contingent of the Clan to the Jacobite Standard. As he did not surrender himself to the


Government after the collapse of the Rising he fell under the Act of Attainder of June 1746, and as the Cluny Estates (other than the Lands of Kinlochlaggan) had been made over to him by his father on Ewen's marriage to Janet Fraser, daughter of Lord Lovat, some years earlier, these Estates were forfeited to the Crown as from 18th April, 1746, in spite of a plea put forward that the Attainder was vitiated by the naming of the person attainted therein as "Evan" instead of "Ewen". It was held, however, that the identification was sufficiently clear. Lachlan, the Chief, survived his son's Attainder for a short time but died without making a settlement, and, Ewen, being unable to succeed under the Attainder, the lands of Kinlochlaggan retained by the Chief fell to the Crown for lack of an heir. The Estates remained in the hands of the Government Commissioners (Barons of Exchequer in Edinburgh) until they were returned in 1784 to "Duncan of the Kiln", largely, it is understood, through the influence in Government circles of James (Ossian) Macpherson.

      The Papers relative to the Cluny Estates consist of Petitions by the Factors and Tenants to the Commissioners relative to rents, improvements, repairs and similar matters and the supply of educational facilities; Rental Statements; Leases and Reports by the Factors; Decrees by the Commissioners; Proceedings by the Factors against Tenants and Correspondence between the Factors and the Secretary of the Commissioners. These Papers, therefore, give a varied view of the way in which ordinary affairs were carried on from day to day in Badenoch after the Rising. It appears from Grant Francis' book, [Romance of] the White Rose, that he and Mrs. Albert C. Macpherson, wife of the last Chief in possession of Cluny Castle, destroyed many papers in the Charter Chests which they considered of no value, and in this way Leases, Rentals and other records of administration of the Estates before forfeiture and since their restoration by the Government, being of little political value, are not to be found among the Cluny Papers now lodged in the Register House. The only information available on these affairs of everyday business is that contained in the Records of the Government administration between 1746 and 1784. Before passing to copies made of some of the Forfeited Estates papers a few items may be mentioned which reveal some interesting aspects of the times.

      William Ramsay, the Government Factor, petitions the Commissioners on behalf of Andrew Macpherson who had been appointed Ground Officer in 1751. This man had displeased some of the inhabitants who had reported him for carrying a gun against orders. The Factor represented to the Commissioners that the Crown officials required arms to protect themselves as there had been recent cases of violence in the neighbourhood.

      Among the documents there is a Petition by the Presbytery of Abernethy applying to the Commissioners for payment from the Cluny Estates rents of the portion of Schoolmaster's salary, formerly paid by Cluny but in arrear since the Rising. Failure in the payment would


result in there being no means of education or religious instruction in the district. The Factor recommended that this should be granted, and in 1751 an order was made for payment of arrears and for continuation in future. It is mentioned that the school at Cluny had 47 scholars, and it appears that the Cluny Estates' contribution to the salary of the Schoolmaster at Kingussie was 18/7d. per annum.

      In 1775/6 a Competition was held in Laggan under the auspices of the Commissioners to encourage the growing of potatoes. Prizes were awarded as follows:

James Tolmie, Gaskbeg1st £2   2   0
James Tolmie, Gaskmore 2nd £1 11   6
Donald Macpherson, Drumgask3rd £l    1   0
James Tolmie, Gaskbeg, for the largest potato £l    1   0
TOTAL    £5  15   6

      At this time there was a ferry over the Spey at Catlodge (Catlaig) and William Macpherson at Catlodge was paid for supplying a new ferry boat and undertaking to maintain it in good repair in future.

      The Accounts show allowances granted to tenants for expenditure on improvements as part of the official policy of encouraging such efforts by the occupants of the ground.

      Other salaries appearing in the Factor's Accounts 1778 are:

Factor£11 13 5
Clerk   4  0  0
Baron Bailie (John Macpherson)   4  0  0
Baron Bailie's Clerk   2 10  0
Wood Keeper (William Macpherson)   2 10  0
Ground Officer   1  5  0
Schoolmistress (Annabel Macpherson) for in-
struction in sewing and knitting to 15 pupils,
certified by the Master at Catlodge
    2   2  0
Schoolmaster at Gaskinloan (Ewen Macpherson)    2   0  0

      An explanation should perhaps be given at this stage of the social structure prevailing at the time of the Rising. The Cluny Estates were held by the Chief, subject to payment of a feuduty, as a feudal vassal of the Duke of Gordon who was the Overlord of Badenoch which formed a Barony under the Crown. Cluny in turn let to tenants known as Tacksmen who were usually kinsmen of the Chief, and they sub-let holdings to numerous small tenants, normally several joint tenants to each piece of ground let, whose rents were paid in kind and services, i.e., so many days' work on the Tacksmen's own farms. The administration of Justice was in the hands of the Feudal Overlord, his vassals and their tenants being bound to attend the Barony Courts which were presided over by a legal official called the Baron Bailie. Fines were


paid to the Baron. After the Rising, the Government passed in 1747 the Heritable Jurisdictions Act which drastically reduced the powers of the Feudal Barons so that their Courts, so far as Civil matters were concerned, could only deal with disputes among tenants, questions on the terms of Leases, payment of feuduties and other Estate matters not exceeding 40 shillings sterling in value, and in Criminal matters they could only deal with assaults. Even within these limits various restrictions were imposed, and ultimately the Baron Courts became completely superseded by the more efficient Sheriff Courts with their wider powers under the Crown. Prior to the Act of 1747 the Barons had wide jurisdiction, including the rights of "fossa et furca" which entitled them to put criminals to death -- in the case of women by drowning and in the case of men by hanging.

      The Feudal Overlord of Badenoch, the Duke of Gordon, not having been "out" in the Rising, did not suffer Forfeiture and after the passing of the Act continued to administer Justice in his lands on the restricted scale through his Baron Bailie, the only difference caused by the Forfeiture of Cluny being that the latter's tenants became liable for their rents to the Crown in his place, and out of these rents the Duke received payment of his feuduty. The Duke actually claimed that in consequence of the Forfeiture the lands he had granted in feu to Cluny reverted to him, but the Crown resisted this successfully, and, as mentioned above, returned the Estates to Duncan of Cluny in 1784.

      The abolition of the Feudal Heritable Jurisdictions by the British Government after the Rising virtually destroyed the power of the Duke of Gordon along with other Crown Vassals who formerly, exercised these jurisdictions, but the power of the Chief as such disappeared not by legislation but by social change and economic developments, though, in the case of Cluny at least, he continued to exercise power over his tenants as a landowner.

      The following documents have been selected from the Forfeited Estates Papers relative to the Cluny Estates as shedding some light on the lives and problems of the Clansmen who were engaged in maintaining themselves and their families by cultivation of the soil under tenancies granted by the Chief and the Tacksmen. The choice of documents has been influenced by interest of the writer in the holding of Drumgaskinloan of which his forbears were among the group of small tenants in a common lease and ultimately became the last Macpherson tenants of the Farm and Inn at Drumgask which they left in 1835 for Inverness.

      In explanation of the first document (a Petition for permission to have firearms) it must be kept in mind that after the Rising the Highlanders were forbidden to have weapons of any kind. As appears from the Application by the Factor for a gun for the Ground Officer already referred to, permission was required before the Petitioners in this case could have a gun to destroy the vermin which preyed on their flocks and poultry.


      The second document, which is a Petition for educational facilities for the children of the small tenants of Gaskinloan, refers to one Alexander Macpherson, "a pensioner who had lost an arm in Admiral Byng's Action". Some of the men in the Black Watch who participated in the "Mutiny", of which two of the leaders were Samuel and Malcolm Macpherson, were punished by being detached from their Regiment and sent to Minorca. Admiral Byng was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Minorca. It seems a reasonable deduction that Alexander Macpherson, the pensioner, was one of the Black Watch men mentioned -- particularly, as being resident in Catlodge, he would, no doubt, be connected with Samuel Macpherson who was of the family of Breakachy which adjoins. The list of "Mutineers" in the records includes two Alexander Macphersons, and it would seem quite probable that the volunteer teacher was one of these, Further, in the investigation made by the Baron Bailie at Catlodge in connection with attacks on James Macpherson of Killihuntly at the instigation of the Cluny family in 1764/5 mention was made of Alexander Macpherson, a Chelsea Pensioner and tenant of the Inn at Catlodge -perhaps the same man who seems to have been active in advancing the interests of the community and himself in the educational sphere.


Unto Ensign James Small Factor on the Estate of Cluny

      The Petition of John McPherson in Midletown of Gaskanloan Angus McDonald
      there William McPherson in Lag of Cattlag Thomas McPherson in Drumgaskanloan
      & Lachlane McPherson there and Grigor McPherson alias McGrigor in Cattlag for
      themselves & in Name of the otherTennants of the Davoch* of Gaskanloan


          That your Petitioners for severall years past have suffered a Great deal of lose by the
      destruction of the Fox and Eagle & particullarly that Alexr. McDonald in Cattlag part of
      the said Davoch had nine of his Lambs killed by the Fox in One Day. The above William
      McPherson had five Lambs belonging to him killed in One day, That the above William
      McPherson after haveing severall Hens of his killed & by hearing the noise got out of
      his Bed & got the Fox within his Dwelling House but made his escape, and that he
      had no less than Twenty four of his Ewes & lambs killed within this twelve moneth, That
      the above Grigor has had severall of his Sheep Lambs & Hens killed by the Fox & that
      he has often Hounded him with Collie Dogs from the House

           May it therefore please you to Grant Warrant to such of the Possessors of this part
      of the Estate as you shall think proper to nominate to carrie a Gun for killing the Fox &
      Eagle & your Petitioners will ever pray &c

                                                                    John McPherson
                                                                     William McPherson
                                                                     G McP
                                                                     A MP
                                                                     T MP
                                                                     L MP


*A Celtic division of land of varying extent [pronounced 'dock']


Cattlag 18th Janry. 1758. The Within Named persons & severaH others Tennants
      of the Davoch of Gaskanloan being conveened in Court Mr Small craved they
      should be Deponed to the Verity of the Within Petition by the Barron Baillie:
      AND they having Deponed not only on what is sett furth in the Within Petition,
      but that they have suffered more lose than what is within specified
      THEREFOR the Baillie recommends to Mr Small to lay this Petition Before the Honable.      
      Barrons of His Majestie's Exchequer in Scotland, AND in the mean time thinks Mr Small should lend the Tennants one of his Own Guns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Signed) ROt. MENZIES B:

Docquet endorsed on Petition by Commissioners.
the Tennants of
23d. Febry. 1758

Read & Referred to the Factor to employ such persons as he shall think proper & necessary in destroying the vermin mentioned in the Petition & to authorise them to use arms for that purpose he being answerable for the persons he shall so employ.


                 Unto James Small Factor on the Forfeited Estate of Clunie
           The Petition of the Poor Tennents on that part of the said Estate called Gaskenloan


                Whereas the Right Honourable the Barons of Exchequer were pleased to
           allow fourty shillings yearly to a Person for teaching the Children on said
           Estate which has proven of great use and Benefite to the Poor Petitioners But
           the Allowance being so Small their Teacher seldom remains any longer with
           them than untill he finds more proper Encouragement and these Changes
           become hurtfull to the Children And the Petitioners are so very poor that they
          are unable to send them to any Stated School on Account of the distance.

                That Alexander McPherson who lost an Arm in Admiral Bing's Action at
           Sea has now come to the Country & promises to Reside in the Country & Teach
           the Children provided an Addition was made to the Allowance And as you
           are Sensible of what great use this would be The Petitioners are hopefull you
           will lay their case before the Right Honble. Barons praying they would be
           pleased to make some further allowance for these necessary purposes.

Dond. McPherson
for the Tennents.



      We Scots are a peculiar nation in more than one way, and our peculiarities are nowhere more marked than in our passionate devotion to the twin subjects of kinship and of history. Both of these find an outlet in the science of Heraldry. Thanks to the strong legal position of a long series of enlightened and active holders of the office of Lord Lyon, King of Arms, heraldry has remained purer in Scotland than in almost any other country. This fact has not, however, prevented many popular misconceptions arising as to the meaning and interpretation of what is implied by the use of armorial ensigns.


      First of all it must be realised that the legal possession of a right to wear and display armorial bearings can only be granted in Scotland by the Lyon Court. Any arms displayed without a Grant from that Court are illegal and may be destroyed by order of the Court, with their illadvised user subject to quite severe penalties. There is no such thing as a "family" or "clan" coat-of-arms. Arms are individual to each and every person who has been granted them, and their owner's position in the family or clan is clearly shown by the differencing and the marks of cadency which appear thereon.

      Secondly, the right to bear Arms is still, in Scotland, a mark of the nobility. This is expressly declared in the wording of every Grant of Arms issued by the Lyon Court, which declares, in reference to the owner of the arms and his successors in their ownership, that "amongst all Nobles and in all Places of Honour, to be taken, numbered, accounted and received as Nobles in the Noblesse of Scotland".

      The arms which popular misconception calls "the Clan Arms" are, in most cases, those of the Chief. They can, in fact, be displayed legally by the Chief alone -- except, of course, when they are used as part of a scheme of decoration. Any Clansman who believes himself to be entitled to the privilege of displaying Arms must make petition to the Lord Lyon. If his petition is approved he will obtain either a Grant of Arms or else a Matriculation, which latter confirms and establishes an ancestral right.

      In Scotland, the great Lowland Houses and the Highland Clans form close-knit family associations and every Clansman is entitled to consider himself cousin to his Chief. Arms granted to him will, therefore, usually be based upon the Chiefly arms which will be suitably differenced. If anyone displays the Chiefly arms as being his own personal achievement-of-arms then he is guilty of grave presumption because he thereby declares tacitly that his is himself the Chief of the Clan -- or else he merely shows disgustingly bad manners and displays complete ignorance of the whole subject!

      The display of the Crest, too, is all too often the subject of ignorance. There is no such thing as a "Clan Crest" though there is indeed such a thing as a "Clansman's Crest" -- which latter is a very different thing. It is deplorable that tailors and Highland outfitters in Scotland impose widely upon the gullibility of their customers by, self-seekingly (and illegally, too!) giving currency and support to the contrary assumption.

      Historically, the follower of a Chief could go into action with his Chief's Crest or Badge strapped to his forearm or to any other place that served to display it. So today a Clansman's Badge, worn in the Highland bonnet, shows the Chief's Badge in a surround of a strap-and-buckle which often bears the Chief's motto.


      An armiger, from Chief to Duine Uasail wears his own badge, but shows it in a plain circlet. The Chief, moreover, wears a further mark of distinction in affixing three eagle's plumes to his headdress; a Chieftain (who is a subordinate Chief) wears two plumes, and a Duine Uasail wears one. This privilege is extended in each case to the son or heir of the wearer, but this is done by courtesy and not of right. All other members of the family must wear the strap-and-buckle.

      The Clan Macpherson possesses many armigers in its ranks. Some of the arms are of very ancient usage, others are of more recent matriculation. The number of armigers is constantly increasing, and this is only right and proper and serves, too, to show that people still consider that value lies in the use of traditional forms of heraldic display. That value, however, can only be maintained if it is not allowed to be cheapened by an improper use of its insignia. Correspondingly, a correct use of arms will serve to enhance their value.

      Summarising, therefore, we know that there is no such thing as "a Clan Coat-of-Arms" and no such thing as "a Clan Crest". But there is no reason why each and every Clansman should not wear and display his Clansman's Badge -- and do it, too, with pride. He can do it in many ways, not only by wearing it in his bonnet but by using it on his notepaper -or in a hundred other ways, all of which are highly to be commended.


First of a series of articles concerning the Armorial Ensigns of members of the Clan Macpherson
      The basic heraldic design upon which all Macpherson cadet Arms are patterned is that which forms the Arms of the Chief of the Clan, Macpherson of Cluny.


      These Arms were first recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, Lyon Court, by Duncan Macpherson of Cluny, 16th Chief, on the 12th March, 1672, although there is evidence that the Arms existed much earlier than this date. Our illustration depicts the shield only, the most important part of an armorial achievement, and omits the wildcat crest, supporters and motto, "Touch not the cat but a glove", which comprise the complete coat-of-arms. The Arms are described in heraldic terms as follows:
      "Parted per fess (divided horizontally) Or (gold) and Azure (blue), a lymphad (ancient galley ship) of the first (of the first colour mentioned, viz. gold), sails furled, oars in action, mast and tackling all proper (in their natural colours), flag and pennon flying Gules (red); in dexter canton (the upper right hand side of the shield as viewed from behind) a dexter hand fessways (horizontal) couped (cut off at the wrist) holding a dagger erect, in sinister (left) canton a cross crosslet fitchee (pointed) all of the third (the third colour mentioned, viz. Gules or red)."

      The principal charge in the Arms is the gold "lymphad" or galley. The galley suggests a western origin and rather supports the view that the ship device represents a "differenced" version of "The Galley of Lorne". Leading clansmen of the 17th and 18th centuries, however, subscribed to the belief that it commemorated the voyage of the Catti tribesmen from Germany to the North of Scotland in the 1st century A.D. This view was largely based upon an uncritical comparison of tribal and place names in Scotland and the continent. The galley is a common Scottish charge and may be found in the Arms of many Highland Chiefs.

      The red crosslet, by a 17th century version, commemorates a pilgrimage to the Holy Land by the legendary Muireach, name-father of the Clan. Another view is that it simply indicates an ecclesiastical origin


for the Clan, either from Muireach's office as Parson of Kingussie or from an association with the service of one of the two St. Chattans who appear in the Celtic calendar.

      The "bloody hand and dagger" signifies the part played by the Clan in overthrowing the Cummings of Badenoch, enemies of King Robert the Bruce.

      There is, of course, no such thing as a "Clan coat-of-arms" which anyone bearing the Clan surname may assume and use. The Arms of the Chief of the Clan are a form of individual heritable property and should not be displayed by anyone other than the Chief. The present bearer of the "undifferenced" Cluny Arms is Ewen George Macpherson of Cluny who lives in Australia. The Arms are recorded in Lyon Register Vol. 1, p. 185; Vol. 9, p.45; Vol. 37, p. 10; and Vol. 42, p.33.

      The Arms of Macpherson of Pitmain were first recorded in the Lyon Register (Vol. 1, p.361) in 1672 in the name of Lachlan Macpherson of Pitmain. This Grant is of particular interest because Lachlan himself had died four years previously (vide his Will in Register House) leaving four quite young children of whom the eldest, Alexander, was in his early teens. It is presumed that Lachlan had lodged his Petition before his death and, his successor being a minor, the Arms were granted in the name of the deceased applicant.

      The Arms are identical with Cluny's, save for the horizontal line of partition which divides the shield. In Pitmain's Arms this line is "invected" instead of being perfectly straight, and it is this partition which "differences" Pitmain's shield from that of his Chief.

The Motto is a Gaelic rendering of "Touch not the Cat but a Glove" and it has particular significance as showing that it is the Cat which is dangerous when ungloved (i.e. with its claws out) and it is not the


person touching it who is warned to wear a glove. If the latter meaning had been intended, the Gaelic would have been Na Nean gun Lamhain do'n Chat. A literal translation, conveying the correct meaning of the Chief's Motto, as adapted and varied for use by other Armigers in the Clan, is therefore, "Touch not the Ungloved Cat" -- which is another way of saying, "Wha Daur Meddle wi' Me!"

      The present representative of this, the Senior Chieftaincy in the Clan, is Lieutenant-Colonel A. K. Macpherson, m.v.o., who resides in Edinburgh. He re-registered the original Grant by Matriculation on 27th February, 1940, when his brother, a Barrister, acted on his behalf.

(NOTE: Thanks arcedue to Pitmain who kindly amplified the original notes on his Arms, in particular drawing attention to the posthumous Grant of the original Arms and also to the correct meaning of the Motto. -- ED.)


by Mrs. AGNES M. BOYLE (Victoria)

      Macpherson is a very much honoured name in Melbourne. The Emily MacPherson College of Domestic Economy and the Tessie Mac- Pherson Community Hospital are known to everyone.

      Sir Macpherson Robertson was very famous and a warm-hearted, generous man who did much for Melbourne and, indeed, for all Australia. He was born in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1860 and I understand that he spent his boyhood from 1868 to 1874 in Scotland, living with his mother in Leith with her family there. It was during these years that he first tried his hand at sweet-making, in which occupation he eventually made his enormous fortune.

      His mother's maiden name was Macpherson, and he was extremely proud of the fact that this name was given to him as a Christian name. He shortened his name to "Macrobertson" for business purposes, and it is by this combined name that he is best remembered. His sons still use it.

      He was interested in Antarctic exploration, and it was his great generosity that made possible the British-Australian-New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition of 1929-1930. As a result of this, the land to the east of Kemp Land in Australian Antarctica, then discovered by Sir Douglas Mawson, was named Macrobertson Land in his honour. This land lies on the Antarctic Circle, due south from Heard Island and the Kerguelen Islands, with Princess Elizabeth Land to the east and Kemp Land on the west. Its shores are washed by the Mackenzie Sea -another link with Scotland -- and it lies about 90 degrees east in the south of the Southern Ocean, which is south of the Indian Ocean.

      Sir Macpherson Robertson also founded the Macrobertson-Miller Aviation Company which, until quite recently, ran an air service from Perth, in Western Australia, to Darwin.

      Already noted for his generosity and philanthropy, in 1933 he gave £100,000 to the Government of Victoria in connection with the centenery


celebrations. This sum was used to build a herbarium at the Botanic Gardens, a bridge over the Yarra River at Grange Road and to endow a wonderful Girls' High School, the best in Melbourne, which has for long been noted for the excellence of its teaching.

      In addition to all this, Sir Macpherson Robertson initiated the International Air Race from London to Melbourne in 1933, giving £15,000 in prizes and towards the other costs. He gained the Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in 1932, in which year he was knighted. He became K.B.E. in 1935 and enjoyed his honours until his death in 1945, being survived by two sons.

      A further link which he provided between Clan Macpherson and Australia is still manifest whenever the Victoria Police Pipe Band goes on parade. Sir Macpherson Robertson donated the funds which equipped them with their uniform and instruments, and it is in his honour that they all wear the heart-warming Macpherson tartan. Our Australian policemen look well in the kilt -- and the Macpherson kilt looks well on them!



      An article in Creag Dhubh No. 16, called "Learning and Using Gaelic", prompted more people to write encouragingly than did any other single item in the whole journal. It seems that there is a very real interest in the ancient language of Scotland amongst our Members, and there is no doubt that this interest is one to be encouraged and developed as far as possible. This article is intended for just that purpose, and it is proposed to develop the theme in future issues of Creag Dhubh and to go ahead with it just as far as the Members of the Association wish it to be taken. This, of course, invites correspondence on the subject, and the Editor will be very glad indeed to hear from anyone and everyone who cares to write whether they write critically, constructively or merely interrogatively!

      The theme of these articles is contained in the title. There are many books on learning Gaelic and they are of many sorts. Most of them suffer from the fact that they savour more of the classroom than of casual conversation. For example, the book which is probably more used than any other one devotes much of its early "lessons" to such subjects as the lame dog being lost in the park, and the slow horse being with the shepherd. (These are not actual examples, but are illustrative). Such phrases are undoubtedly useful as grammatical exercises, but they are of very little help in conversation. It is, therefore, towards the using of Gaelic in daily life that these articles will be devoted. There will be a minimum of grammar and a minimum of rules. An attempt will be made to keep the vocabulary limited to words that are in everyday use and, as far as possible, to give the greater part of space to the normal phrases of ordinary conversation -- starting with greetings and going on to remarks about the weather, and developing the subject from thence.


Gaelic Spelling
      The spelling of Gaelic discourages many people who are used only to reading and writing English. It is worthwhile, therefore, to discuss this subject right at the start, just to explain something of it and to try to remove misconceptions.

      English is, of course, probably the most difficult language to spell. It is completely illogical. People, therefore, who find no difficulty in reading that language should give second thoughts to their criticism of Gaelic spelling which is both logical and also follows very strict rules which allow for little, if any, variations in pronunciation of the same group of letters. English readers find no difficulty in applying the letters "--ough" to no fewer than seven different ways of pronunciation. Even so common a word as "read" can be used either as "reed" or as "redd" -- present or past tense! Nothing like that can possibly happen in Gaelic.

      The Letter "H": The 'aspirate' is what probably worries Gaelic learners most of all -- and this for the simple reason that its use is not properly explained at the outset. "H" is not a letter in the Gaelic alphabet. It occurs frequently in writing, but it is not used as a letter in its own right, but merely as a 'tool' to "plain that there has been a change in the use of the letters that it follows.

      Most languages that English-speaking people are acquainted with are inclined to alter the end of words in grammatical usage and in the differentiation of 'masculine' and feminine'. Gaelic, on the other hand, makes the difference by altering the sound at the beginning of the word.

      Spelling phonetically would thus make it extremely difficult to use a dictionary. The problem is solved by using the letter "h" to modify the preceding letter. It is not a letter to be pronounced. It is merely a sign that there has been a change elsewhere. (The Irish, in their writing of Erse, put a dot over the changed letter to serve the same purpose).

      So don't be put off by the occurrence of an "h" -- just realise that it is not a letter of the alphabet, but is a conventional sign. Once that is understood, everything else becomes fairly straightforward.

      One simple example will serve to illustrate what is meant. Sgian Dubh is pronounced Skee(a)n Doo(v) -- the letters in brackets being muted and more or less elided. Sgian is a 'masculine' word and Dubh agrees with it. Literally the translation is Black Knife -- Sgian means knife, and Dubh means black -- the adjective usually follows the noun in Gaelic. Take now the title of this Journal. Creag (a crag) is a feminine word and the adjective must be modified to 'agree' with it. Nobody who has learned Latin, French or any other European language will fail to understand this. Dubh in the feminine is pronounced Ghoo(v). It is spelt Dhubh -- and thus the initial "D" is preserved for anyone who needs to look it up in the dictionary. It's all just as simple as that. -----------------------------------------------------------------29---------------------------------------------------------------

Our Own Phonetics
      It is not, of course, possible to give exact pronunciation of Gaelic by using ordinary English equivalents. An attempt will be made, however, to give as close an approximation as possible.
           GH pronounce as the English in disgust, "Ugh!"
           CH pronounce as in Scots "Loch"
           EE pronounce as in English "Thee"
           AI pronounce as the "y" in English "My"
          AY pronounce as in English "Hay"

      And that is about all the explanation that is needed. The remainder should be simple to follow. The rule to be kept in mind is that the phonetic rendering is approximate only and that the nearest English equivalent will be used throughout.

The Verb "To Be"
      The present tense of the verb meaning "to be" is very simple in Gaelic. It consists of the one word Tha (ha) which means "is", "am", "art" and are.

      The personal pronouns come after the verb and they are:

Mi (mee)  I
Thu (oo)  Thou
E (ay)  He
I (ee)   She
Sinn (sheen)  We
Sibh (sheev)   You (plural)
Iad (eeatt)  They

      Tha Mi (ha mee) means "I am". Tha Thu (ha oo) is "Thou art" -- and so on.       And that is quite enough for grammar at present. We can get down to using simple phrases.

Maduinn mhath!  (matcheeng vah) Good morning!
Feasgar math!  (fays-kar mah)Good evening!
Oidche mhath! (o-ichy vah) Good night!
Beannachd leibh!  (pee-an-nacht leev) Goodbye! (A blessing with you.")
Cia mar a tha thu?   (kya mar a ha oo) How are you? (thou)
 Cia mar a tha sibh  (kya mar a ha sheev) How are you" (ye)
Tha math  (ha ma) Well. (Literally, "(It) is good")
Tapadh!   (ta-pagh) Thankyou!
Tha an la   (ha an llah) The day is . . .
. . . briagh   (bree-agh) . . . fine (bright)
. . . fuar   (foor) . . . cold
. . . blath  (plah) . . . warm
. . . fluich   (flooch) . . . wet
An (Am)     The (singular)
Na   The (plural)

      With that to start with, we can vary our remarks as regards the weather by suiting them to the time of day.

Ha an oidche blath! The night is warm! (It's a warm night)
Tha am feasgar briagh! The evening is bright!
Ha am maduinn fluich! The morning is wet!

      NOTE: There is no indefinite article in Gaelic. Thus oidche means "a night" as well as meaning "night".

Blessing Beannachd   pee-an-acht    ColdFuar foor
Evening Feasgar   fayskar     Fine Briagh bree-agh
DayLa   llah     Good Mathmah (masc.)
            Good Mhathvah (fem.)
How is (are)? Cia mar a   kya mar a     Is (are) Thaha
MorningMaduinn   matcheeng     Night Oidche o-ichy
WarmBlath  plah

      And that, coupled with the phrases that you learned last year, are quite enough to be going on with for now -- and, in any case, space is limited in these pages! Gu'm a math a bhios sibh!


      In February 1746, when Prince Charles was retiring northwards after the Battle of Falkirk, he left Cluny and his Regiment in Badenoch to guard the mountain passes from Atholl.

      At about the same time the Duke of Cumberland, with his Hanoverian Forces, had reached Perth and, before continuing his march up the east coast of Scotland, he sent forward Lieutenant-Colonel Leighton with Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew into northern Perthshire. Lt.-Col. Leighton was directed to Castle Menzies with a force of 200 foot, and Sir Andrew Agnew received orders to take 500 foot soldiers (mostly Campbells) and possess "the Duke of Atholl's House at Dunkeld, and from thence send out such parties as you shall judge proper, to annoy the Rebels".

      By the middle of February, Sir Andrew had established his headquarters in Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl, and had established outposts in the district. In accordance with Cumberland's instruction, his troops seized arms, cattle and grain from the local population and also set fire to houses throughout Atholl.

      At the end of February, Prince Charles had set up his headquarters in Inverness and, a few days later, he was joined by his Lieutenant, Lord George Murray. News of Sir Andrew Agnew's activities was soon reported to the Prince, and it was decided that Lord George Murray should make a surprise attack on the Hanoverian forces which were


garrisoning Atholl. He was an admirable choice for the task, for he had been born and brought up at Blair Castle and knew the surrounding country well. He left Inverness early in the morning of 15th March, taking with him 400 men of the Atholl Brigade. On arriving in Badenoch on the following day, he was joined by Cluny with 300 Macphersons.       The march was continued to Dalnaspidal, where Lord George explained his plans to attack Sir Andrew Agnew's outposts at Bun Rannoch, Faskally, Kyncahan, Blairfettie, Lude, Bridge of Tilt and elsewhere. The attacking forces were divided into small parties in each of which the Atholl men and the Macphersons were proportionally mixed. As an encouragement, Lord George promised a guinea to every man who should surprise a guard on duty. At the same time it was arranged that the various parties should meet at the Bridge of Bruar, about three miles west of Blair.

      The parties set off to their appointed destinations and, early on the morning of 17th March, they made almost simultaneous attacks on the outposts. Only at Blair Inn, where most of the Hanoverian officers were billetted, was there any serious resistance. All the officers managed to fight their way thence into Blair Castle. Elsewhere the Highland force succeeded in taking nearly 300 prisoners without themselves suffering any losses either killed or wounded.

      The arrival of the officers at Blair Castle was Sir Andrew Agnew's first intimation that there had been any fighting, and he quickly left the castle with a party of soldiers to find out what was going on. Lord George and Cluny were already at the Bridge of Bruar with only 25 men, awaiting the return of the various parties, when an inhabitant of Kirkton of Blair brought news of Sir Andrew's approach. By this time it was daylight and retreat was impossible as all the returning parties would thus have fallen piecemeal into Hanoverian hands. The position was clearly desperate.

      Lord George, looking about him, observed a turf dyke nearby and ordered his small party to draw up behind it at widely spaced intervals, with their Colours flying to give a great show of strength. The subsequent events have been vividly described by an early historian of the 'Forty-Five. "He (Lord George Murray) then gave orders to the pipers, for he had with him all the pipers, both of the Athollmen and the Macphersons, to keep their eyes fixed upon the road from Blair, and at the moment they saw the soldiers appear, to strike up all their bagpipes at once. It happened that the troops came in sight just as the sun rose, and that instant the pipes struck up all together. Lord George and his Highlanders, both officers and men, drew their swords and brandished them above their heads. Sir Andrew after gazing awhile at this spectacle, ordered his men to the right about and marched them back to Blair Castle."*


*Home's History of the Rebellion.


      Shortly afterwards, some of the various detachments rejoined Lord George Murray and Cluny at Bridge of Bruar and they all proceeded to Blair Castle. Sir Andrew Agnew and his troops remained outside the castle for a short while, but he soon appreciated the growing strength of the Highland forces and withdrew into the castle. A siege began.

      In the evening, two cannon arrived in the Highland camp and, on the following morning, they were placed in position and opened fire on the castle. The walls of Blair Castle, however, were about eight feet thick and the cannonballs made no impression. The guns were then taken 100 yards up the hill and red-hot shot was fired at the castle roof in the hope that this would either set the timbers afire or else put the garrison in such fear of fire that they would surrender. But the shot which landed on the roof did no more than char the timbers, was quickly picked up with an iron ladle from the castle kitchens and was quenched.

      Lord George Murray had such numerical superiority that he was able to set up a close blockade of the castle, thus preventing any supplies from being brought in. No doubt he had heard that the garrison was already short of supplies even before the siege was begun. For this reason he was presumably in no great haste to attack the castle.

      The garrison became desperate within a few days and the Duke of Argyll's gardener, a man named Wilson, agreed to try to break through the Highland lines and to take a message to Lord Crawford, who was believed to be at Perth or Dunkeld in charge of the Hanoverian forces in that area. At about one o'clock on the morning of 29th March, Wilson slipped out of the castle, mounted on a horse belonging to one of the officers, and made for the mainroad. He was seen by the Highlanders and was fired upon but the garrison hoped that he had made good his escape. On the following morning it appeared that their hopes were groundless, for one of the Highlanders was seen riding the same horse. However, as the event proved, Wilson had only been thrown from the horse during the firing, and had managed to reach Dunkeld on the following day. Lord Crawford was handed his message, but he was unable to persuade his troops to advance into Atholl, so great was their fear of being attacked by the Highlanders in the Pass of Killicrankie.

      Lord George Murray, meanwhile, had asked for reinforcements in order to attack the Hanoverian forces in Dunkeld. However Prince Charles refused his request and ordered him to return to Inverness as it had been reported that the Duke of Cumberland was on the point of marching from Aberdeen to Inverness. Accordingly, early on the morning of 2nd April, Lord George raised the siege and made his way north in a forced march, reaching Inverness -- 80 miles! -- on the following day.

      Cluny and the Macphersons were detached from Lord George on the march, and were ordered to guard Badenoch from possible incursions by Hanoverian forces from the south. When Cluny did receive


orders from Prince Charles in Inverness, it was too late. He was still on the way northwards when the Highlanders, escaping from the field of Culloden, told him of the tragic result of the action.

      The siege of Blair Castle was the last action in which Cluny and the Clan were involved. The Clan Regiment dispersed at Ruthven, shortly afterwards, never to fight again.

History of the Siege of Blair Castle in 1746 -- Atholl, 1874.
Lyon in Mourning, Vol. 11, pp.356-7 -- Forbes, 1895.
Lord George Murray and the '45 -- Duke, 1927.


      Waitaki Boys' High School is in Oamaru, some eighty miles north of Dunedin in North Otago. The school is one which enjoys great prestige in the Dominion. The Clan name figures on several occasions in its history. From about 1883, a Sergeant-Major McPherson was responsible for the drilling of the School's Cadet Corps and he continued as instructor until about 1900. C. W. Gillies was golf champion in 1914 and was shooting champion in the following year. Amongst the guests at a school gathering in 1923, it is noted that one was Mr. J. A. Macpherson, a Member of Parliament. The school's Roll of Honour for the Second World War includes the name of 1. D. McPherson. Another I. D. McPherson was in the school cricket eleven in 1948 and also was the swimming champion in both 1948 and 1949.

      The records of early Dunedin show that the original members of the Faculty of Medicine at Otago University included a Dr. Macpherson. It is also recorded that J. McPherson passed a medical examination there in 1879. This may, perhaps, be the same man.

      Southwards, across one of the world's roughest straits, from Southland lies Stewart Island. No one visiting it can fail to be impressed by its old-worldness and by its relatively untouched bushland. The beaches are of varied-coloured sand, birds are many, islands lies scattered all around and the native bush is mostly virgin. A particularly beautiful part is that which lies just over the hill from the main village of Oban. This district is named Thule where, on a promontary commanding a magnificent view of a large inlet, a Macpherson from Paisley has recently acquired a guest-house.

      Auckland is New Zealand's largest city. In it there is a Macpherson who is a J.P. and another of the name who is a doctor. The new harbour bridge is under the charge of yet another member of the Clan.

      In a recent harriers' race from Gore to Invercargill, no fewer than three Macphersons took part. What is more, they ran the longest laps!


      Two of the best-known sheep-runs in early days in Otago were those of Strode and McPherson, and in 1862 a McPherson was appointed manager of the Mount Ida sheep-run.

      Perhaps the most distinguished member of the Clan, living in New Zealand, would be the late Sir Harold Gillies, who was a very eminent plastic surgeon with a fame running far beyond the Dominion. He was a native of Dunedin.

      Another notable bearer of a Clan name was Robert J. Gillies, who was Inspector of Police in the Canterbury District from 1902. He landed in Auckland in 1874 and travelled on many special missions through most parts of New Zealand. At Te Awamutu, in North Island, he carried out one of the smartest arrests ever made. A young man named Pecker had been brutally murdered by a Maori who escaped into King County and remained there for several years. He was ultimately traced and arrested by Inspector Gillies in the wild, bush-clad and hilly parts of the remote region where he was hiding. Gillies was presented with an address, subscribed to by the residents of Waikato, setting out the details of his work and expressing appreciation of his courage. His services were also recognised by the government. In 1889 he was in charge of the Thames goldfields, in which sub-district he served for nine years. In 1898 he was Inspector in Wanganui and on the West Coast of North Island, and in 1902 he was appointed to the Inspectorship of Canterbury.

      The Reverend W. Gillies was the first chairman of the Board of Governors of Timaru High School in 1880.

      When the Otago University Council met, in 1879, to select staff for the first Medical School in Dunedin, they included Dr. John Gillies who had been appointed Lecturer to the Medical Clinic in 1876. It appears that the University of Aberdeen recognised his qualifications, deriving from Otago University which was, of course, then in its infancy. It appears, too, that other Universities would not give recognition!

      A family of Gillies was very distinguished in early Dunedin.

      John Gillies (born 1802) landed in New