LIST OF OFFICERS      898
   1979 RALLY  909
   MEMBERSHIP AT 31 DECEMBER 1979      921



No. 32


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE ANNUAL OF




The Chief

Hon. Vice-Presidents

Officers of the Association

1295Cumnock Cresent, Oakville, Ontrio, Canada

Fleenasmore, Ardclach, Nairn

Hon. Secretary
39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh, 10

Hon. Treasurer
MRS. EDITH McPHERSON, 62 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh EH9 2AD

Mrs D. MACPHERSON, Sunnybrae, Newton Terrace, Blairgowrie

EOIN MACPHERSON, FSASCOT, Clan House, Newtonmore, (Telephone 332)

Piper                                                                                                     ROBERT PEARSON
Hon. Auditor                                                                                                     R. W. G. MACPHERSON

Editorial Committee
A.C. MACPHERSON, M.A., LL.B (Editor),
46 Ambrose rise, Dedridge, Livingston West Lothian
JOHN M. BARTON, W.S. (Secretary) and T.A.S. MACPHERSON, A.R.I.C.S. (Advertising)



TOM MACPHERSON (Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. Died 1965)                                   1947-1952
NIALL MACPHERSON (Lord Drumalbyn) 1952-1954
LT. COL. ALLAN I. MACPHERSON (Died 1958) 1954-1957
HON. J. GORDON MACPHERSON(Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) 1960-1963
A.I.S. MACPHERSON 1969-1973

Branch Representatives




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 of Creag Dhubh, Archy Macpherson, M.A., LL.B., 119 Huron Avenue, Howden, Livingston EH54 6LQ, West Lothian, Scotland.

PLEASE NOTE -- In order to meet publications dates for the current year, it is essential that all matters for publication in Creag Dhubh be received not later than 31st December in each year.



      I am very glad to be able once more to send a message of greeting to all members of the Association. And as we come into 1980 we all look forward to another decade of Badenoch Rallies and to meeting more and more members and families.

      August 1979 was very much up to the standard of previous years, and it was very good to see many younger members involved and enjoying the Ball, the Games and the Ceilidh, and all the events of our traditional weekend.

      To Kenneth and Edith, who have had such a very successful and excellent 'tour' in the Chair and as Treasurer together, we all send most grateful thanks; as we do to all who help to maintain the aims and standards of the Association.

      And of course we welcome Donald (and Betty as well) to guide us for the next three years. Underlining as this does our strong connection with the thriving overseas Branches. It is always good to see how many 'regulars' and new arrivals from overseas make the journey each year. Monroe and Phyllis from Michigan, Lloyd from Ontario, Gordon from Australia, leaders in the first category; and Stuart and Ann from South Africa in the second category. Everybody equally welcome at what is certainly regarded by our family as the weekend of the year.

      In August too we had the visit to Perth and Braemar (via Blairgowrie) of the Canadian Legion pipe bands from Ontario, of which three have (in Hugh's words) the good sense to wear the Red Macpherson tartan. And we have a fine green Collingwood china elephant at home to commemorate their visit!

      Sheila and I have made no special journeys this year on Clan affairs, but in November I was again in Hong Kong and met the only resident Macphersons (according to the telephone book). They are Ian and Ophelia. Ian is the son of Lady Joan Macpherson and of the late Sir John (Jock) Macpherson. We hope they with their family may be at the 1980 Rally; and if you ask her to do so, Ophelia will write the name Macpherson in its Chinese form! It is a great pleasure to welcome more generations of a fine Macpherson family.


      It all goes to show that the Clan and Septs are worldwide, and that many still have their eyes on Scotland and feel strongly the ties of the Clan.

      In August 1980 it will be interesting to see what Newtonmore and Kingussie are like without the usual heavy traffic. Those who are unwise enough to speed past on the new road will surely regret such a decision which deprives them of the great welcome and interest shown to every visitor to the Museum by Eoin and Phosa, to whom we are all so grateful for their devotion to the Clan House and Museum.

      Once again the whole of our family send greetings to all for 1980 and the future.



      The portrait, the sculpture, the play, the TV performance on an outstanding personality, give only a glimpse. But they are all lacking in that they show the person only from the outside, struggling to come out to meet us.

      With the book, we are invited into the soul of our sitter to share his innermost being. The richness of the experience is only on a par with the finest music when we are welcomed in by such a gracious, warmhearted, colourful, sincere, able, affectionate and cultured fellow Clansman as our own Hugh Macpherson. Hugh takes us tenderly by the hand and we walk through each chapter with wonder and delight.

      There really is no other book like this one. All human emotions and feelings, sights, smells, dreams, sounds, touch and tastes are heaped high to give a shimmering pageant of pictures as one glides, entranced, from picture to picture; from page to page. Pathos is present when he tells of his father's heart-rending experience in 1916 when he was leading his men forward along a communication trench to relieve a company of the 8th Argylls, when he met a stretcher party carrying the body of Captain John Lauder, son of the famous Scottish singer, Sir Harry Lauder. He had been on the point of leaving the battlefield to go home to get married. But John never got home. A German sniper watched the scene. John's fiancee, Mildred Thomson remained true to him till she went to meet him aged, 83, in 1975.

      Yet typically, we brush aside our tears for laughter. He tells of how several barrels of cider had been made and lined up in a vacant room directly below his parent's bedroom. His father, keen to have a strong brew, added yeast, raisins and goodness knows what else to the concoction. The result -- powerful medicine.

      Midnight! A terrific explosion, followed by another, and another. I'm My God! I'm shot!" shouted the old man, as he fell out of bed, Three of the barrels had blown, the bungs striking the ceiling of the room . . . The place was flooded, and what an odour! Thus ended the cidermaking episode, much to his mother's relief.

      We always hear the sound of Gaelic in our ears and the stirring notes of the pipes. Tartan in all its rich hues flashes before your eyes. We are always aware that we are in the company of Scots, often Macphersons. Yet there is no sense of being hemmed in. We move effortlessly from Canada to South Africa, to France, to the United States of America; always, as in a dream we see the Scottish dancers, the kilts, the tartans. As effortlessly we rub shoulders with heads of state, the high and mighty of this world: so as easily we are wafted into the cottage of the shepherd in his remote glen.

      Those who only know of Hugh as the fear-an-taigh at the annual Duke of Gordon ceilidh, the past master of ad libbing while an elusive performer is found, only see one side of the many facets of his personality. In his autobiography, The Wandering Highlander, he gives a fascinating account of his varied life, the upbringing in the


family croft in Rogart, schooling in Golspie, a move with the entire family to Canada, and finally on to an honoured position in Scotland's capital city.

      What a splendid and varied list of scenes are described -- from ceilidhs in the Highlands, Canada and South Africa, to Edinburgh's Town Council Chambers, and a sad visit to the battlefields of Flanders. Personalities galore -- crofters, Royalty, pipers, rich and poor, all linked by the Happy Wanderer. The prevailing themes running through the book must be those of pipe music and a great sense of fun. Anyone who enjoys either of these will like this book -- a volume typical of its author.

      The Wandering Highlander by Hugh Macpherson, published by Hugh Macpherson (Scotland) Ltd., Highland Outfitters, 17 West Maitland Street, Edinburgh EH12 5EA, Scotland. Price �95 at bookshops; UK �30 including postage; Canada $8.50 including airmail; USA $7.50 including airmail.

* * *

Chairman of the Clan Macpherson Association

      In keeping with its international character, the Clan Macpherson Association once again goes outside the United Kingdom for its new chairman. The Association welcomes to the office a Canadian, J. Donald MacPherson of Oakville, Ontario.

      Donald will bring to the office experience that is rich in the Canadian-Scottish tradition. Despite a removal from Scotland for five generations, Donald's background has remained thoroughly Scottish. He was born in the small village of Duart, Ontario, which was in the heartland of early Scottish settlement in Canada and named in honour of the MacLeans of Duart. In fact, the area has been home for Donald's family for the five generations. His forefathers had emigrated there after leaving Scotland at the time of the Clearances in Sutherland.

      Donald's active involvement in the Clan Macpherson has not taken away his interest in another clan, the MacDonells of Keppoch. His feelings for the MacDonells he comes by honestly as his mother's family are McKillops which is a sept of that clan. His interest in the Macphersons as a CIan Association was sparked by his father, Dr. J. R. Macpherson, an early member of the Canadian branch.

      Prior to his election as Chairman of the parent Association, Donald held the office of Vice-Chairman for the past three years. On the local or Canadian level, he held the position of Chairman of that branch for eight years.

      His interest in the Association was increased after attending his first Macpherson rally in Scotland in 1972, where he was accompanied by his wife, Betty, and daughter, Cluny. A highpoint of that trip was visiting the Kildonan Strath, where Donald's ancestors, John Macpherson and wife, Grace Bannerman, set sail for Canada in the early nineteenth century. This has now become a regular feature in their five subsequent visits to Scotland to attend Macpherson rallies.


      Following his early years in Duart, Donald later went on to study at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and then the University of California, Los Angeles, in aeronautical engineering. For the past 25 years, he has been associated with the building industry in North America and presently is a vice-president of a building supply company. As a result of his business he has held offices in international trade associations.

      Home for Donald and Betty for the past 25 years has been Oakville, where they have raised two sons, Peter and Douglas, as well as Cluny. The longevity of residency in Oakville has meant for Donald involvement in local organisations and community affairs.




      Twenty years ago the writer, when editor of the magazine, wrote a 12-page article on the history of the man, the book, and the controversy to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Fingal. In the ensuing twenty years of almost compulsive reading of everything old and new relating to the subject, with the help of the British Museum (now British) Library and the London Library and also the privilege of access to the archives of the Highland Society of London, covering almost the same two hundred years, much new knowledge has come to light, but no evidence to refute anything said in that article. [To access that article, click here and 'page down' to page 4 which sets the stage for the discussion of the 'Ossian' controversy.]

      What did become increasingly evident in the more recent writings was how very little the critics knew about the facts of the case and its background. No one appeared to know, for example, that Macpherson refused to undertake the task of producing the book, mainly on the grounds that he could not do the poems justice in English, and that they were of a barbaric age, not suited to the elegant letters of the eighteenth century.

The Reluctant Translator
      For months he persisted in his objections and it took all the weight of the rank and taste of public-spirited proto-Golden-Age Edinburgh to make him give way. Those who took more or less active parts in the operation included Dr. Hugh Blair, the silver-tongued orator of High St. Giles, about to be appointed Professor of Rhetoric at the university, the historians David Hume and Principal Robertson, Lord Elibank, the law lords, Hailes, Kaimes, and Monboddo, Professors Adam Ferguson and Adam Smith, and John Home, the author of Douglas, A Tragedy, recently staged at Drury Lane and in the Canongate of Edinburgh. Slightly later the Earl of Bute, to whom the book was dedicated, became a member of the team. Those, except the last, and the whole Faculty of Advocates, including one named James Boswell, all contributed their guineas to pay for the banquet arranged to put pressure on Macpherson. Two extracts from Dr. Blair's testimony to the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland summarise what followed.


      "It was not till after much and repeated importunity on my part, and representing to him the injustice he would do to his native country by keeping concealed those hidden treasures, which, I assured him, if brought forth, would serve to enrich the whole learned world that I at length prevailed on him to translate and bring to me the several poetic pieces he had in his possession."

      This was at an early stage, when they were considering publishing a few poems to test the public reaction. It shows that if anyone at all foresaw the possibility of the phenomenal success of the book, it was Dr. Blair.

      The second extract shows the effect of the banquet.
           "I remember well, that when the company was about to break up, and I was going away, Mr. Macpherson followed me to the door, and told me that from the spirit of that meeting, he now for the first time entertained the hope that the undertaking to which I had so often prompted him would be attended with success; that hitherto he had imagined they were merely romantic ideas which I held out to him, but he now saw them likely to be realised and should endeavour to acquit himself so as to give satisfaction to all his friends."

      Johnson suggested that Macpherson had deceived Dr. Blair, but he failed to take into account that, as the correspondence clearly shows, Blair was held not only in the highest respect but in the highest regard by the Gaelic-speaking Highland ministers, a number of whom he met each year in Edinburgh at the General Assembly. Considering the affection he inspired as shown in the enthusiastic responses to his letters, it is inconceivable that they would not have warned him of even the slightest suspicion that he was being deceived in any way whatsoever.

      Here is his own commentary with his interesting description of the 24-year-old Macpherson:
           "For my own part, from my perfect knowledge of all the circumstances of their discovery and translation, it was impossible for me to entertain any doubts on the subject of their authenticity. Of all the men I ever knew, Mr. Macpherson was the most unlikely and unfit to contrive and carry on such an imposture, as some people in England ascribe to him. He had none of the versatility, the art and dissimulation, which such a character and such an undertaking would have required. He was proud, high-spirited, and disdainful; irritable to a degree when his honour and veracity were impeached; not very apt on any occasion to listen to advice; and when unjust censures were thrown out against him, obstinate in his purpose of disregarding and condemning them, without the least concern of giving any satisfaction to those who opposed or cavilled at him. "

      It is well known that Blair, with the Highland ministers, many of whom had supplied material for the book, considered the criticisms baseless. Here is the ending of Blair's testimony, written in December, 1797, a year after Macpherson's death and thirty-six years after the events he describes. It is given by him as "now among the oldest persons alive who had any hand in the discovery and publications".


            "I confess I cannot avoid considering the discovery of the works of Ossian as an important area in the annals of taste and literature; and the share which I have had in contributing towards it, as a part of my life, by which I have deserved well both of this age and of posterity." Another Strange Idea
      In the criticism emanating from the southern part of the island it appears to be thought that Macpherson was the first and only collector of the old poems. His was in fact the tenth in order of time of those which survive, as shown in the list below.

(  1) 1512-1532 The Book of the Dean of Lismore. The property of the Highland Society of Loudon, now on loan to the National Library of Scotland. The poems were written in a phonetic script.
(  2) 1690 The Ardchonaill Collection.
(  3) 1739 The Rev. Alexander Pope's Collection.
(  4) ---- The Turner MSS. Not discovered till 1872 in the Advocates' Library, but collected very much earlier, contains 14 Ossianic pieces.
(  5) 1751 Alexander Macdonald, a Gaelic poet himself, published a collection of his own poems, and in an English preface proposed to publish his collections of ancient Gaelic pieces with translations into English verse. Unfortunately the public did not respond.
(  6) ----Eobhan Macdiarmid's Collection.
(  7) 1755Rev. Donald Macnicol's Collection, one of the best.
(  8) ----Rev. James Maclagan of Amulree's Collection from which he sent a number of ballads to Macpherson.
(  9) 1759 Jerome Stone, a Fifer who graduated at St. Andrews, learned Gaelic, became rector of Dunkeld Academy, published some of his collection in the Scots Magazine and drew attention to the large quantity of verse that existed as well as to the beauties they contained.
(10) 1761 James Macpherson's Collection -- the largest of all.
      After Macpherson, stimulated by the renewed interest, over a dozen collections were published between 1774 and 1816.

Ignorance of Highland History
      Very little was known in the southern part of the island of the history or the literature of the Highlands. With no basis of knowledge Johnson's rash assertions were, as Bailey Saunders put it "a mere piece of ignorant dogmatism". He proceeds, "It is surprising how English opinion allowed itself to be formed by Johnson, probably the least qualified of them all to express one." Professor Derick S. Thomson adds that, "It seems a pity . . . that Dr. Johnson's sweeping assertion that there were no Gaelic MSS above a hundred years old was not refuted. "

      Only a few years ago appeared in a review in a national newspaper of yet another book on Johnson, a reference to his rash statements, quoting him as saying, "Nobody at times talks more laxly than I do", a confession with which we agree, but the reviewer proceeds, "In spite of his severe notions about literary imposture (remember his annihilating letter to Macpherson about his fraudulent Ossian) he was guilty of quite a few." Again we agree, but the word 'annihilating' is a


new one in the controversy. The letter was written in 1775 before the letter bomb came into fashion, and 14 years after the publication of the book. In that time, far from being annihilated, Macpherson had become wealthy and powerful. As Bailey Saunders wrote of him in 1895, "He was baulked of his particular ambition (to be a poet) but he obtained a brilliant success in another sphere, unexpected, and greater than the wildest dreams of his youth had ever conceived."

The Days of Wealth and Power
      From 1762 a large income flowed in from edition after edition of the book, in language after language. In 1764 he was appointed secretary to the Governor of 'the Floridas', but after disagreements with Governor Johnstone returned to England, being granted a pension of �0 a year. His translation of the Iliad was not liked by the critics, but his Introduction to the History of Great Britain and Ireland and an Enquiry into the Origin, Character, Manners, . . . Commerce, Language, Government . . . etc., of the Britons, Scots, Irish, and Anglo-Saxons went into a third edition in 1773.

      At this time he was becoming involved in Indian affairs through his young protegé, John Macpherson, later Sir John and Governor General of India. That piece of history is recorded in Creag Dhubh No. 6, 1954 pp. 12-15, Sir John Macpherson Bart. and do. No. 7, 1955 Sir John Macpherson and Warren Hastings. It led to James becoming parliamentary agent for the Nabob of Arcot, an ally of the British crown, in his fight against persecution by the East India Company. So important were the 'John Company' debates in Parliament that it was deemed necessary for the Nabob's agent to have a seat in the Commons and one was found for him at Camelford in Dorset, which he held for ten years. His work for the Nabob led to his writing a History of the East India Company.

      He had long got over his Angry Young Man stage when he had been amazed and furious at being accused of deception, and was thoroughly enjoying his very full life.

The Putney Dinner Parties       After some time at Kensington Gore, where the young John shared his quarters, and at Manchester Buildings, now the site of Westminster Underground Station and the proposed site for the new Parliamentary secretarial buildings, he settled in Norfolk Street, Strand, with a (then) country villa at Putney, where his frequent dinner parties became the talk of the town. His carriage, decorated in brighter colours than most was frequently to be seen in the small hours conveying his guests back from Putney to Westminster. When he appeared at Ranelagh Gardens or Vauxhall, tall and handsome, gregarious and extrovert, popular, surrounded by friends, he was not averse to being greeted in friendly terms as. 'Ossian' by the fashionable crowds which certainly did not regard him as in any way 'annihilated'.

Public Relations Officer       He had been appointed by the government as what would now be called public relations officer at a salary of �0 a year to make the


overnment's policies more palatable to the public, and for his next book The History of Great Britain from the Restoration, owing to his position was allowed access to French government secret papers. The book earned him �000, but as it exposed Whig intrigues it did not endear him to that party.

      In view of some suggestions and some distortions of obvious meanings, perhaps it should be made clear that Macpherson never, at any time in his life, claimed to be the author of the poems, and his son-in-law, Sir David Brewster, FRS, Chancellor of Edinburgh University, who inherited his papers, including the missing diary, testified that nowhere in them was to be found the slightest suggestion of such a claim.

The Highland Society of London
      Between his literary and his parliamentary work he was able to spend little time on the poems, beyond writing an occasional preface for a new edition, and he employed for a time as assistant Captain A. Morrison of the American Loyalists, a native of Skye and well known Gaelic scholar. His testimony occupies four pages in the Committee's Report.

      In 1784, when he was notified by the Highland Society of London then in its heyday, of which he was one of the earliest members, number 66 on the original list, that it wished to send a deputation headed by the Hon. Archibald Fraser of Lovat to propose a Gaelic version of the poems, he replied that he would not trouble the Society to have a deputation wait upon him, but would undertake to devote his first leisure to the task, but adding that it would have to be a considerable leisure.

The Historical Dictionary       The writer is not unaware of the expected publication in a few years' time by the Celtic Department of Glasgow University of its Historical Dictionary of the Gaelic Language. As its several volumes will find a place in the library of every centre of learning in the civilised world, all the reliable information available should be at its disposal and many current wrong impressions corrected.

      For our purposes we would like to find Macpherson's diary, supposed to have been stolen from Balavil by a dismissed servant in 1868, and any information regarding the Red Book of Clanranald, last reported some ten years ago to be in Australia. Very little is known of Macpherson's dispute with the Governor of 'the Floridas' and still less of the item of baggage containing Ossian MSS which was lost. Perhaps the American branch can help. The place-name Pensacola may help. The Introduction to the History of Great Britain is eminently readable and a descriptive review of it would be interesting to readers.

      It could be added that if any reader with a few years to spare really wishes to delve into the sheer mass of material accumulated in the controversy, the best guide is that published in 1926 by the New York Central Library, entitled Macpherson's Ossian and the Ossianic Controversy: A Contribution towards a Biography by George F. Black, PhD. Its two-line motto fairly summarises its contents:

                                            "Ossian, sublimest, simplest bard of all:
                                            Whom English infidels Macpherson call."



      The weekend in Badenoch heralded the annual influx of Clan Macpherson members for the 33rd rally of their Association. Celebrations started on Friday evening when members and guests were welcomed to an opening reception in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie, by the Clan Chief, William A. Macpherson, and the association chairman, Mr. Kenneth McPherson, from Edinburgh. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Highland Ball and buffet meal and the opportunity to renew old friendships and strike up new ones.

      At the association's annual general meeting, in Newtonmore Village Hall, on Saturday, the chairmanship of the association was handed over to Donald Macpherson, of Oakville, Ontario. In his opening address the new chairman thanked his predecessor and all other officials for their hard work and promised good leadership for his period of office. Mr. Kenneth Macpherson was then elected as honorary vicepresident of the association.

      In the afternoon Clan members struck out behind the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band and their chief for their annual march from the Old Ralia to the Newtonmore Highland Games. The association's green banner was carried by Hugh Macpherson, of Edinburgh, while Cluny's personal banner was borne by Eoin Macpherson. curator of the Clan Museum.

      On Saturday evening clan members were treated to another feast of entertainment -- this time a ceilidh in the Duke of Gordon Hotel. The artistes providing the evening of music and song were: Pipe Major Fraser; Shiona Macpherson; Ruth Macpherson McDougall; Alasdair Urquhart; Dougal Campbell; James Mathieson; Helen Macpherson; Andrew Gillies; Phyllis Henderson; John Macpherson Martin and the Laggan Junior Pipers. The piano accompaniment was ably handled by Duncan Sinclair.

      The Sunday service was held in St. Columba's Parish Church, Kingussie, and conducted by the Reverend Stewart Macpherson, from Dunfermline Abbey. The lessons were read by the Chief and the new chairman.       In the afternoon members visited Cluny Castle grounds and were entertained by Mr and Mrs Euan Macpherson of Glentruim, at Glentruim House, providing a suitable and memorable climax to an eventful weekend.



The Clan House Museum was open from 1st May to 29th September. During this period 4,434 visitors passed through the museum, an increase of 633 on the attendance last year. The recorded addresses show that they came from the following countries: England and Scotland (3,386), Isle of Man (4), USA (154), Canada (110), Australia (113), New Zealand (23), Argentine (4), India (6), Austria (4), Switzerland (36), France (79), Belgium (79), Austria (4), Rhodesia (2), Holland (187), South Africa (11), West Germany (121), Norway (4), Sweden (23), Denmark (10), Italy (48), Israel (12), Spain (10), Japan (6), Puerto Rico (2). In all, 167 Macphersons and septs of the Clan visited us, a decrease of 141.

      Donations received in the collection boxes amounted to �2 compared with �7 for the previous year, an increase of �. Membership fees amounted to �.50. Sales of publications realised �1.15.

      The increase of visitors, 633, compared with a decrease of 797 last year is encouraging and we hope the upward trend will continue. In common with other organisations, last year's attendance was not very good, bad weather and reports about petrol shortages in the Highlands affected us.

      Our main concern now is how we can combat any loss in trade through being bypassed by the new A9 trunk road. We are cooperating with the Newtonmore Community Council who are seeking a composite sign at the Newtonmore and Kingussie turn-offs. The museum has been included in the application forwarded to the Regional Planning Officer.

      Resulting from the de-trunking of the road between Newtonmore and Kingussie and the relaxing of restrictions regarding road signs we have received permission from the landowner, Mr. Michael Haywood of Banchory to erect a suitable sign at each end of the village. Formal application will, in due course, be made to the Planning Officer.

      To cover visitors from the Fort William area, Mr. John M. Barton, Secretary of our Editorial Committee, has suggested that we erect a sign in our own ground at Creag Dhubh. We hope that through these efforts passing tourists to the village will include a visit to our museum.       In addition, we intend sending placards advertising the museum to a greater number of tourist organisations, hotels, etc.
      We in our small way will continue to encourage visitors to the museum where a cordial welcome always awaits them.



Gold Watch Chain Seal with Coat of Arms also Gold Signet Ring with initials belonging to Osborne Cluny Macpherson, MBE.
      On Loan Colonel John D. Macpherson (nephew), Vancouver Island, Canada.

'Beaknose' Basket Hilt Sword from the Earl of Graham's collection.
      On Loan Dan W. Gillies, Gilliosa House, Wheatley, Ontario, Canada.

Salad Side Plate from a dinner set made in England for Alexander Macpherson of Garbity whose Arms are beautifully depicted on the centre of the plate. The plate was found in an antique shop in a small town in Michigan by the
      donor W. Monroe Macpherson, Chairman of the USA Branch of the Clan Association and presented to the museum.

Scottish Swords and Dirks by John Wallace 1970.
      From George A. Gordon, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Clan Chattan Journal 1979. From Robert B. McGillivray, Edinburgh.

Framed Photograph containing Dr. James Macpherson Jarrett's 'famous' two dollar bill depicting General James Birdseye Macpherson who was his ancestor. The frame also contains a group of: Cluny, Lady Cluny, and members of the American Branch standing below the statue of the General at Macpherson Square, Washington, D.C.       Presented by William Jarrett (son of Dr. J. M. Jarrett).

Framed Photograph of Dr. Charles Macpherson, Mus. Bac. (1870-1926), organist of St. Paul's Cathedral, taken in Amen Court, St. Paul's. The photograph depicts Dr. Macpherson fencing with his son. He holds a basket-hilt sword given to him by a former Chief of the Clan Macpherson (Old Cluny). Dr. Macpherson spent many holidays at Cluny Castle.
      Presented by Wilfred Russell (nephew of Dr. Macpherson), 19 Eaton Place, London. Gaelic Bible.
      From M. Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, 58 Lutterell Avenue, Putney, London.


Not included


(The 15th year of this series)

Leabhraichean Gaidhlig

      This is the name of a booklet meaning 'Gaelic Books' which has just been published. It is entirely concerned with the culture and language of our fathers and that of our clan when we lived together in Badenoch. In case its title sounds too difficult and off-putting, we hasten to add that this brochure is written in English. The only difficulty is its embarrassment of riches. For this reason a gentle selective walkaround through its pages, from the point of view of the reader who knows little or no Gaelic.

      The first section is on Vocabulary (page 3), the natural entrance for the learner to the language. Dwelly's Dictionary (1) is a superb tour de force covering 1,034 pages of close printed material on every aspect of the language -- a truly great work of genius. Not only did Dwelly compile it himself, but on finding that no publisher would accept it, had to print it himself. Half way he found his resources insufficient, and had it not been for the generosity of King Edward VII (who provided funds out of his own private purse), Dwelly would have been most unlikely to have reached beyond the letter M!

      On the other hand, I. A. R. R. (2) (meaning 'ask') is a pocket dictionary which shows the inflections of nouns and lists the ten irregular verbs. Under this section is a good 'pronouncing' dictionary -- Maclennan's reissued by Acair and Aberdeen University Press, available in hardback or paperback -- which appeared too late to be included in this booklet. Before we leave this part we might suggest that the 'verb wheel' (10) is very worthwhile. The 'Gaelic Courses' section (pages 4-5) is exciting. The National Extension College which J. A. Macdonald compiled (13) (Gaidhlig Bheo) can be got by writing them at 18 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, CB2 2HN, England. This is a superb chance to learn the basis of Gaelic in any part of the world, by post, with tuition. Donald John Macleod's Can Seo (18) is equally good and a perfect partner to number 13 is Gaidhlig Bheo. Blasad Gaidhlig (17) and Gaelic Made Easy (20) are acceptable supplementary material to these two giants (numbers 13 and 18).

      The Text Book Series (page 7) gives a list of inexpensive graded readers of which the Tir nam Blath (47) and Tir nam Meala (48) are delightful Number 49 in the Great Battles of the World series is a fresh translation.

      In the Children's Books, starting on the same page, there is the ever-verdant Pilgrim's Progress (50). This is a good section for the learner to obtain a library of elementary reading. All are excellent, but (61) Fionnlagh MacLeoid's Na Balaich air Ronaidh is outstanding when it comes to practice with the spoken word.

      Poetry (page 11) is often a difficult subject for the learner to understand but this section should not be skimmed over. There is a good selection with translations in English, and these will be pointed out. These bilingual books begin at No. 101 with Nua-Bhardachd


which is a selection of contemporary Gaelic poetry with English translations. Another five books with translations in English are John Macdonald's (106), Sileas Macdonald's (108), Roderick Morison's (123) and Mary Macleod's (114) poetry is that of the 17th century. That of Duncan Ban MacIntyre (112) is of the 18th century. As if this selection were not enough, the Scottish Gaelic Texts Society have put out a bilingual book of Eachan Bacach and other Maclean Poets obtainable from their treasurer, who can supply details of cost -- Mr. William Hume, 8 Buchanan Street, Glasgow 1, Scotland.

      If we are to maintain a critical path which caters for the reader whose command of Gaelic is not yet good enough to allow him to dispense with a translation in English, we can still note Watson's Scottish Verse from the Book of the Dean of Lismore (No. 127, page 19) and the Anthologies of Poetry. We must pass silently over the Fiction, Biography, Essay and Other Prose, which is a pity.

      The section on 'The Oral Tradition' on page 18 is entirely bilingual (except for Nos. 161, 163 and 166) and all worth considering. From our own point of view John Macpherson's Tales of Barra (164) strikes a particularly close chord. His daughter is in charge to this day, of the aircraft that land on the famous cockle strand at Barra.

      As far as Music and Song are concerned, on page 21 we would recommend No. 183 -- Ceol na Gaidhlig -- Gaelic Music and Poetry - as a superb potted history in booklet and cassette. The Museum of Man, Ottawa, Canada has brought out a Nova Scotian songbook of mostly Gaelic songs; like Donald A. Fergusson's songbooks (Nos. 197 and 198), it is obtainable from Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2, Scotland. Numbers 182 and 200 are collections of Hebridean Folksong, and Margaret Fay Shaw (215) offers us a delightful mixture of song and folklore with English translation. The best way of getting acquainted with Gaelic is to go to, or listen to, ceilidhs, but if that is impossible then your gramophone record shop will sell you all the discs and cassettes that you want, if their stock is wide enough for your needs; otherwise 23rd Precinct Record Shop, 23 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland offer to help, and Calum Macleod, secretary, An Comunn Gaidealach, 65 West Regent Street, Glasgow, will supply the words of any Gaelic song that takes your fancy. But whatever arrangements you make, consider the Scottish Tradition Recordings mentioned on page 23.

      Bibles in Gaelic are available, even bilingual New Testaments (page 25).

      Apart from No. 267, all under Studies from page 27, are in English or have translations. The two outstanding items are Francis Collinsons's book (260) on Scottish Music, and Derick Thomson's Introduction to Gaelic Poetry (273).

The most rewarding item among the Serial Publications is Tocher (288), in both languages. If you are learning the language, then the all-Gaelic Gairm (281) could be bought up for the day that you will have a good grip of our old tongue. The Studies (285 and 286) and the Transactions (289 and 290) are an intellectual delight and run to many volumes (if one be lucky enough to come across them).

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      Finally, all the Miscellaneous Publications at the end are acceptable to one and all. The list of Publishers and Distributors at the back on pages 43 and 44 will meet all your needs, if used in conjunction with each item. Probably the greatest specialists are An Comunn Gaidhealach and Gairm, but many of the others are not far behind.

      It has been a delight to walk hand in hand with you cousin, through the pages of this little booklet, but there is another book that might charm you too, though it does not appear in Leabhraichean Gaidhlig. It is wholly in English, yet in its strange way breathes something of our remote past -- James Macpherson's Fragments of Ancient Poetry available from Clarsach Publications, Nethergate Studios, 143a Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DP, Scotland.

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Highlighting the year of 1979 for the Macpherson Clan Association's new Chairman, J. Donald MacPherson, was the marriage of his daughter, Cluny, to Mr. Marek Zawadzki.

      The wedding took place at St. Cuthbert's Church in Oakville, Ontario, where the bride and groom were piped down the aisle at the conclusion of the service by Pipe-Major John MacLeod, Cluny's former vice-principal. Following the wedding, a garden reception was held at the home of Chairman, Donald, and wife, Betty.

      Among those present at the wedding and reception was a kilted representation of Macphersons. They included former Association Chairman, Lloyd C. Macpherson, of Aurora, Ontario; the Canadian Branch Chairman and his wife, Gordon and Nancy Macpherson, of Burlington, Ontario; and the honorary Canadian Branch Chaplain and his wife, the Rev. Ewan and Powo Macpherson, of Toronto, Ontario.

      Cluny and Marek accompanied Donald and Betty in their 1977 excursion to England and Scotland to attend the Macpherson rally. While visiting England, the high point was staying with former Association Chairman, and his wife, Ronnie and Betty Macpherson, of Dorking, Surrey. They then proceeded up to Kingussie to participate in the rally.



Mr. Robert MacPherson who died on 3rd March 1979 was born at West Taieri, Otago, New Zealand. He began working in dairy factories at 15 at Seaward Downs and retired after fifty years when at Menzies Ferry.

      Robert and his wife, Allison, were original members of the Clan Macpherson Association Southland (New Zealand) Branch and Robert served as President, representing Clan Macpherson with unfailing interest. It was through his efforts that the annual bowling competition between the various Clan associations in Invercargill was instigated.

      Hobbies enjoyed by Mr. MacPherson were making of furniture and stone polishing which led to making of jewellery.

      The Presbyterian Church at Richmond Grove, where he had been an elder, was filled with friends who paid tribute to his high principles.

      Mr. Macpherson is survived by his wife, Allison, daughters Dawn and Mary, and five grandchildren.


Miss Mary F. Galt died at her home, 69 Alice Street, Invercargill, New Zealand, on I st November 1979. Miss Galt, whose mother was a Macpherson, had been an extremely keen member of the Association, and was a committee member since 1955. She frequently made her home available for annual and committee meetings, and Clan Macpherson interests were close to her heart.

      The Southland Chairman, Mr. Hector Macpherson, represented the Clan at the funeral service, which was attended by a number of other clansfolk, and a large number of persons from the many groups to which Miss Galt had belonged.

On 10th December 1979 in Edinburgh, Miss Kathleen Chinney Macpherson, aged 87, eldest daughter of the late C. E. W. Macpherson, CA. She was Matron, Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, 1941-55, and subsequently secretary of the Benevolent Fund for Nurses in Scotland, 1956-72.

Lochside, Newtonmore, Scotland.

Claytons, Beeches Hill, Bishop's Waltham, by Southampton, England.

Chattan, Tintagel, Cornwall, England.

11 Metropole Court, Eastbourne, Sussex, England.

Archibald Avenue, North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

c/o The Highland Motel, North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

10 Vantage Hill Court, Silver Springs, Maryland, USA.

Port Dariel, Quebec.

Montreal West, Quebec.

Willowdale, Ontario.




      On 1st August 1979 to Diana, wife of Charles William Grant Macpherson, a son, Thomas Rowan Grant. A grandson for Ronnie and Betty, and a sister for Katie.




      On 25th May 1979, Lorna Jean McPherson was married to Mr. Douglas Ian Roxburgh, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Malcolm Roxburgh in Ryerson United Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Lorna is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Davidson McPherson of Vancouver.



Badenoch Branch    44
North of Scotland Branch   65
East of Scotland Branch  176
West of Scotland Branch   60
England and Wales Branch  348
Canadian Branch   332
U.S.A. Branch  498
New Zealand Branch   72
New South Wales Branch   38
South Australia Branch   64
Victoria Branch   83
Queenland Branch   18
Western Branch   85
Europe Branch .    19
Asia Branch     5
Africa Branch   23
South America Branch     7





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      Names tend to linger on, here in the Highlands. So it is not really surprising to hear the Clan House in Newtonmore called still by the name which it bore when it was a dwelling-house and was known as 'Dochanassie'. Thereby hangs a tale.

      Far too often we hear the English and absentee landlords blamed for all the ills that have beset the Highlands in the years since the '45. Much lies to their address, certainly. It is only reasonable and just, though, to remind ourselves that Lowland Scots were responsible for many of the most abominable atrocities which followed the failure of the Rising; that Highlanders in Government service were responsible for such disgraceful happenings as 'The Battle of the Braes'; and that the legal profession, whether from Edinburgh or from Inverness, controlled much of what happened -- and, indeed, may frequently be accused of maintaining a similar, blameworthy control even today.

      From the middle of the 17th century, Edinburgh's Writers to the Signet were vested with the management of many large estates throughout Scotland. It was their custom to place young solicitors in local offices and these men acknowledged the patronage and recommendations that they had been given by, in return, passing on to their sponsors such business as came their way and which required to be conducted in the Law Courts of the capital.

      It was in this way that Mr. (later 'Sir') Duncan Cameron is reputed to have come to the fore in Inverness, whence he despatched Andrew Belford, an eccentric and miserly protegé, to conduct affairs in Lochaber, on the borders of Badenoch. Belford was described as possessing no more than moderate talents and few manners. He was, though, correct in his conduct, plodding and attentive in business. Withal, though, a contemporary remarked of him, "Our friend Andrew, in his love for money, has now and then a great struggle to keep on the right side of the law". Joseph Mitchell, the great engineer of roads and railways through the Highlands, told of a friend who had called on Belford one morning and had found him sitting in his parlour, eating his breakfast and dressed in his outdoor clothes, topped off with a hat and greatcoat. Asked if he was dressed to go out, he remarked that it was winter and the weather was cold, he had a fire burning in his office below and that made it quite unnecessary to light another one upstairs -- hence his clothing.

      Whether it was by such strict economies in living or whether, perhaps, it was by acute legal dealings, Belford was a wealthy man before he had attained to middle-age and, when the last Duke of Gordon's estates in Lochaber were offered for sale, Belford acquired Glenfintaig, running along Loch Lochy, for �,000 which was no small sum of money in those days of the 1830s. The estate included all the lands of Dochanassie, which are about a mile wide and four miles long, running in a rough parallelogram, bounded by Loch Lochy and by the modern A82 and B8004 roads. It included, too, one of the nine shares into which the common grazing was divided on the hillsides above.


      The "Dochanassie Men" made up some eight or nine families who were reputed to have occupied the same lands from time immemorial. They were distinguished throughout Lochaber and the surrounding districts on account of their gentle disposition, their unusual tallness and their athletic prowess. Belford proceeded to grant nine-year leases to nine of these men and, by so-doing, he hoped to acquire nine certain votes under the provisions of the Reform Act. It is possible that he might indeed have received the votes of his tenants. When the Election was held, however, all their votes were invalid. Following his principles of strict economy, Belford had for once gone outwith the law. He had neglected to pay stamp-duty on the leases which caused them to be of no legality.

      Sheep yielded �0 for each of the nine shares in the Dochanassie pastureland. Knowing his regard for money, it is not surprising to learn that Belford decided that �0 would be far better disposed of by being put in his own pockets instead of being divided with his tenants, himself receiving no more than a single share. At the expiration of the leases which he had granted, he refused to permit a renewal. Every man was given notice to remove and, in the event, all of them were forcibly ejected together with their families. There is a measure of wry amusement to be gained from reading the records of Belford's first winter as sole owner of the land. The weather proved to be the worst in living memory and he lost more than six hundred sheep in a single storm.

      Even after his death, Belford's money was turned against him by reason of his own misdeeds. He had amassed the huge fortune of �,000 and, determined that no kinsman nor anyone else should profit from it, he left it all to provide the endowment which should establish a hospital in Fort William. The hospital was built and remained unoccupied until, eventually, it was demolished. The reason was explained simply in an Inverness newspaper which declared that the whole thing was "unfortunate" but had been inevitable "owing to the depopulation of the country". 'Nuff said!

      There remains the problem of discovering what happened to the Dochanassie Men, who were described by a man who knew them as being the beau idéal of Highlanders. The same problem exists with regard to the inhabitants of Crathie Village which lay within a few miles of Newtonmore and which has been emptied within living memory.

      Crathie's site is still apparent in the foundations of houses and, too, in the uninscribed stones of the village graveyard. Dochanassie is no more than a name on the ordnance survey map, surviving too in the still-remembered name of what is now the Clan House in Newtonmore.


In the summer of 1979 the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, played host to the Second International Gathering of the Clans to be organised in recent years. Scots and people of Scottish descent travelled to this maritime province to take part in the many stirring events planned for the occasion.

      The opening ceremony on June 28th was most graciously performed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Seated at her side was Mr. A. Gordon Archibald, Chairman of the Gathering, wearing Highland evening dress with Macpherson tartan kilt. Following the opening, the 9,000 spectators in Halifax's Metro Centre were entertained by the most thrilling event of the Gathering, the Nova Scotia Tattoo, performed by hundreds of pipers, dancers, singers and soldiers.

      During the next six weeks, thirty clans held their own gatherings at various places within the province. The Clan Macpherson Gathering was planned for July 19th, in Halifax, and took the form of a Wine and Cheese Party in the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Museum. One hundred clansmen and women attended the highly successful event. Names in the guest book included, as well as Macpherson, Gillis, Gillespie, Murdoch, Currie and Archibald. Chairman for the evening and main organiser of the Gathering was Mr. Wallace Macpherson, Halifax, who welcomed the assembly and introduced a special guest, Mr. A. Gordon Archibald, who took time out from his busy schedule as Chairman of the International Gathering to attend his 'own' clan meeting, as a member of a Macpherson sept. Mr. Archibald told us that the Gathering was extremely successful, and that a strong spirit of kinship was evident amongst the clan members from near and far.

      Wallace next introduced Mr. Lloyd Macpherson, Aurora, Ontario, a past chairman of the Clan Association, who brought greetings from the Canadian Branch and unfurled a clan flag to decorate the meeting place.

      The writer, Mrs. Margaret Macpherson Hambleton, showed slides of the Clan Macpherson House and Museum and the Badenoch countryside. It was a great thrill to show these clanspeople, many of them third and fourth generation Canadians, the honoured relics of their clan and the scenes which were familiar to their Scottish ancestors so many years ago. The slide show ended with pictures of the Canadian Branch Rally held at Antigonish in 1978, including, of course, our honoured Chief, Cluny, and his delightful Lady, Sheila.

      The groups mingled and made new acquaintances with other clanspeople and visitors from Vancouver, B.C., Calgary, Alberta, Ontario and Fredericton, New Brunswick, to the strains of the pipes played by Miss Janet Macdonald and Mr. David Hjalmorsen, a member of the Clan Chattan Association from Iceland. A guest who brought greetings from New Zealand, Mr. Bill Craig, was a descendant of Scots settlers in Nova Scotia who had subsequently reemigrated to New Zealand.

      Many clanspeople completed applications to join the Association, and thirty copies of the Clan History were sold. Following the success


of the event, plans are underway to hold regular Clan Association meetings in the Halifax area.

      The final event of the International Gathering to be held in the Halifax area was the "Kirkin' o' the Tartan" church service in St. Andrew's United Church on Sunday July 22nd, when Mr. Wallace Macpherson represented the Clan and carried a sash of Red Macpherson tartan to be blessed along with the tartans of many other clans.

      Many people are now looking forward to the Third International Gathering of the Clans, to be held in Scotland in 1981, and to visiting their clan country. It is to be hoped that the enthusiasm aroused in Halifax in 1979 will encourage many Canadian Macphersons to be among that company.



Once of warmth the receipt of the Clan Chattan Journal provides a welcome note of warmth during the chill of mid-winter. Its now customary dapper little package, printed on good quality paper and very well illustrated, contains much fascinating material for any Highlander in addition to the Association subscriber.

      Pride of place in the articles must be given to Robert McGillivray's deep and scholarly study of the officers of the Mackintosh Regiment, who fought at Culloden, the majority of whom were killed in that gallant but hopeless action; we look forward to the continuation of the story in the next issue.

      Another feature of great interest is contributed by John Shaw of Tordarroch, the new Chief of his Clan, writing about his family, both ancestors and contemporary, together with his reflections on his role in Scottish life today.

      There are many other items in this issue, ranging from historical notes to current events in the Association, the note being set by a thought-provoking Editorial, which should be compulsory reading for all Clan Society members.

      All success, Clan Chattan, here's to the next time!


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