Craig & Rose Advertisment







      In 1987, the Cluny Wildcat Award was set up in USA under the inspiration of Dave Murdock, of Texas and Arizona. The Award is not limited to USA, although it sprang from there, and I thought that it would be a good idea to publish its tenets and its holders this year.

      All salutes to all our cousins and members from Blairgowrie!


1 . The Wildcat Award is given exclusively by Cluny Macpherson, the Chief of the Clan Macpherson.
2. The Award was founded at a Clan Macpherson Association Gathering at Williamsburg, Virginia, in September 1987.
3. The Award consists of a silver Wildcat, worn on a ribbon on formal Clan or Association occasions, and as a lapel badge on less formal Clan and Association occasions.
4. The Award is given only to those who have in Cluny's opinion made an exceptional contribution to the affairs, the spirit, the honour and the amity of Clan Macpherson, and/or the associated septs and families of the Clan, and/or the Clan Macpherson Association. The Award is not an Association Award, and could therefore be given to a person unconnected with the Association, should circumstances so ordain.
5. There is no strict limit on the number of Awards to be given in any one year, nor a limit on the number of persons who may at any one time hold the Award. But Cluny recognises fully that the Award's rarity represents and underlines its prestige.
6. Only holders of the Award may nominate persons for consideration by Cluny as candidates for the Award. Such nominations will be made in writing personally and confidentially to Cluny.
7. Preferably all or most of the present holders of the Award will join together or agree as to a nomination. But it must be accepted that there is no veto and no requirement for unanimity in connection with a nomination. Experience has already shown that such provisions would be impracticable. Cluny simply hopes that his judgment can be trusted.
8. Cluny hopes that the existence and policies of the Wildcat Award will be acceptable to all. Its ideals are high, and must remain so. Neither personal, nor Clan, nor Association "politics", (if such undesirable things exist!), must be allowed to tarnish the Award.
9. The present holders of the Award are as follows:


      The Clan Association continues to thrive, both at home and abroad, and it is our earnest hope that many of our members will be able to attend at least one Clan Rally in Badenoch. Each year, the committee works very hard to make the gathering as attractive as possible for visitors and anyone travelling to the clan country could not help but be impressed by the many enjoyable activities -- the Ball at the Duke of Gordon, the A.G.M. on Saturday morning, the famous Clan March at the Newtonmore Highland Games, the "At Home" (otherwise known as "The Happy Hour") at the Clan Museum, the Ceilidh on Saturday evening, the Church Service at St Columba's, Kingussie, and the traditional afternoon tea at Glentruim House. If you are unable to come to Scotland this year, why not plan to attend a future gathering such as our 50th anniversary celebration in 1996. Ewen and his committee have already started to make arrangements for special events so it promises to be a memorable occasion.

      Members will be interested to learn that a 4th edition of our Clan History, "The Posterity of The Three Brethren" by Alan G. Macpherson, has been published and is now available from the Clan Museum. It is very gratifying to the editorial committee that this little book has met with such success over the past 27 years that a 4th edition of this work has become necessary and it is certainly a book that every clansman and clanswoman will wish to have.

      In conclusion, let me say what a very great pleasure it has been to serve as your Chairman for the past three years and, for me, it has been both an honour and a richly rewarding experience. Nancy and I send good wishes and warmest greetings to all our fellow members with the hope that we may meet in Badenoch in 1994.


      The 48th Rally will be held in Kingussie and Newtonmore between 5th August and 7th August 1994, and it is hoped to have a large representation of Members from all Branches. A summary of the programme is set out below and it will be noted that the various functions follow the same successful pattern as in previous years.

      All kilted Members are particularly encouraged to support the March from Old Ralia, which precedes the Gathering at the Newtonmore Highland Games on Saturday afternoon.

      At the reception before the Highland Ball on Friday evening, each member and guest will be served with a refreshment of their choice and thereafter a bar will be available at which further refreshments may be purchased. The cost includes a Finger Buffet served from approx 9.30pm.

      A booking form for Highland Ball Tickets is enclosed for use by UK based members. Overseas members should obtain advance tickets in person from the Clan Museum.

      Before the Ceilidh it is hoped to have a fork supper in the Duke of Gordon Hotel.

      Following the Monday expeditions on foot to places of interest, as in previous years, provided there is sufficient support, there will be a Monday walk in the Badenoch area.



      The jubilee Committee have been considering a list of ideas for the Association to celebrate our 50th Annual Clan Rally. It is intended that events will take place during the year both at Branch and Association level. The Rally, with several special events, will be the focal point of 1996. Again you are encouraged to start making your preparations to be there now!

      One of the main projects we have in mind is to recognise the major role that the Clan Macpherson had during the 1745 Uprising and to erect a cairn with an appropriate plaque near the site of the famous Cluny's Cave on Creag Dhubh as a reminder of the part played by the chief, Ewan of Cluny, and clansfolk at that time.

      The role of the Clan Macpherson at the skirmish at Clifton in Cumberland, the leading of the Jacobite army into Derby some 115 miles north of London and the carrying of the Royal Standard en route together with the subsequent Battle of Falkirk have been well documented. These, and the many other historic events of that time, which so magnificently demonstrate the courage and leadership of Cluny and the equally courageous and loyal support given by his clan followers can be read in such books as "The Posterity Of The Three Brethren", "The Clan Macpherson Past And Present", "In The Glens Where I Was Young" and "The Chiefs Of Clan Macpherson".

      Following the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Jacobite clans, including the Macphersons, rallied at Ruthven in Macpherson territory to carry on the struggle. It was here that they received the disappointing news that Prince Charles Edward Stuart had given up and gone on the run. The fact that Ruthven was chosen as the rallying point must say something about the prestige the Clan Macpherson held at that time. We intend to celebrate this event at our 1996 Rally by spending a short time visiting Ruthven Barracks and having the historical background explained.

      In 1746 the fugitive Prince was protected by Cluny in Ben Alder in the famous 'Cage' depicted by R. L. Stevenson in "Kidnapped". It was here that he remained until word was received that ships had arrived to take him to France when he then escaped via the west coast of Scotland, in a grey plaid probably woven of Macpherson tartan. For nine long years Cluny remained in hiding in various places, including Cluny's Cave on Creag Dhubh. He was loyally protected by his clansmen, despite the reward of a Thousand Guineas and a Company, offered to any person that would take him, Dead or Alive. His hunters included at one stage Colonel James Wolfe of subsequent Quebec fame. Cluny eventually escaped to Dunkirk in France where he was joined by his wife and children and died in exile at the age of fifty-eight in 1764, far from his native Badenoch. Both the 'Cage' and the 'Cave' will be visited during the 1996 Rally.

      1996 will be the 250th anniversary of these events as well as our Association's 50th Annual Clan Rally. At the present time there is nothing in the Badenoch area to commemorate this important part of our clan history and the'Jubilee Committee'intend to erect a cairn with an appropriate plaque which will be unveiled by Cluny of today at the 1996 Rally. The cairn will be made from local stone and also stone donated from all parts of the world which will symbolically recognise the dispersal of our clan since 1746. Obviously this ambitious project will need finance and it is asked that a donation of least �, or the dollar equivalent, should accompany each stone. The Jubilee Committee appreciate that the sending of a stone may not always be possible and therefore cash only would be equally well received.

      The erection of a cairn to Cluny of the '45, a brave and respected clan chief, and to his faithful and fearless clansfolk, our forebears, will be a lasting testimony of respect by the present generation 250 years after the events. In order that full recognition is given to those subscribing to the cairn a 'Book of Gold' will be kept for posterity in the museum with the names entered of those who have so generously assisted with this venture. This will be the first occasion that the Clan Macpherson Association has been involved in such a project.


Cheques should be made payable to Clan Macpherson Association jubilee Account and sent to the address below: Ewen S.L. MacPherson, Vice-Chairman, Clan Macpherson Association, Talla-Shee, Straloch, Enochdhu, By Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland PHIO 7PH.

Margaret Hambleton
      When your Editor, the redoubtable Archy Macpherson, asked me to prepare the Editorial for this year's issue of "Creag Dhubh", my first reaction was to say "Help!". I hadn't expected to be thrown in at the deep end, so to speak, when I agreed to be Assistant Editor at last year's AGM. However, on thinking the matter over, I decided I might have something of interest to say to my fellow clanspeople, so here goes.

      Those of you who glanced over my potted biography in last year's issue (and may have wondered why it was there, but now you know!) will know that I have been a member of the Clan Macpherson Association since about 1949. During that period of about forty-five years, I have seen many changes in personalities and priorities in the society. The early years were dominated by the commanding figure of Lord Drumochter, "Lord Tom" as he was known, and the quest for a permanent home for the clan's memorabilia, which had been saved from dispersal by a perspicacious band of clansmen at the sale of Cluny Castle's contents.

After the museum site had been secured in Newtonmore, there was a period when fund-raising was of paramount importance, and the talents in this direction of the late Hugh Macpherson were much in evidence.

The succession of the Chiefship then came to the fore, and the eventual elevation of William Alan Macpherson (now Sir) to the title of "Cluny" has heralded a new era when the Clan has rallied round one who happily combines the talents of leadership with the ability to communicate at every level. These later years have also seen the emergence of the American Branch as a strong positive force in the Association.

I have singled out only a few obvious examples of the people and events that have shaped the Association over these last years, and could think of many more whose stories could fill the pages of this issue. The thread which runs through them all is the steady flourishing of the friendship and lively spirit of Clan Macpherson, which makes all our endeavours worth while and satisfying.

The bright and cheerful atmosphere of the Clan Rally in Badenoch each year is the most obvious outward sign of this friendly spirit. I hope that, like me, you will look forward to spending the first week-end in August in your Clan country, and adding your own personal contribution to the wonderful combination of characteristics which makes up Clan Macpherson!



An Australian Tennis Star:
David Macpherson, grandson of Kenneth A. Macpherson, Tasmania, Australia, has had a very successful career in tennis, after leaving home at the age of 12 to join the John Newcombe Tennis School. David, who now resides in Sarasota, Florida, was the only Tasmanian to be seeded at this year's Wimbledon. He had an outstanding year in 1992, when he won five doubles tides, three with his US doubles partner Steve DeVries. The pair made the World Doubles Championships held in Johannesburg last year for the ATP's top eight combinations.

Patriotic Cluny:
The "Edinburgh Evening News" reported on I December 1993 that 'MrJustice Macpherson gave lawyers at the High Court in London a St Andrew's Day surprise by turning up in scarlet robes instead of traditional black'.

According to a report in The Scotsman of 25 November 1993, the supreme cattle championship at the Perth Winter Fair was awarded to the intermediate steer Sheridan, from Ewan MacPherson, Miff Farm, Oban. A further report on 1 December recorded that Mr Macpherson's intermediate and overall steer champion, Lord of the Isles, was awarded the reserve championship at the Royal Smithfield Show, London. The steer was led by Donald MacPherson, who was a shade disappointed to miss the supreme championship.

'McPherson Day':
25 August 1992 was proclaimed 'McPherson Day' in the city of Clyde, Ohio, where General James B. McPherson spent his boyhood. A group of residents of McPherson, Kansas, travelled to Clyde to participate in the Day's activities. Several of the travellers planted a bald cypress tree beside the statue of General McPherson, located close to land once owned by the McPherson family, now the city cemetery. The trip was organised by Kathryn Frantz and the Bank IV McPherson Status banking group. Following ceremonies at the cemetery, the group was addressed by Civil War historian Roger Lang on Gen. McPherson's life and career. He noted, as others have, that if fate had shot down Ulysses Grant instead, Gen. McPherson might have become President.

Visit to Scotland:
Six couples from McPherson, Kansas, led by Linn Peterson, visited Scotland this summer, and made the journey to Newtonmore, where they toured the Clan Museum, being piped in by Bruce Macpherson and afterwards entertained to tea and shortbread. The group were impressed by the friendliness of the local people and the interest they took in the visitors. They also toured the Badenoch countryside and visited Cluny Castle.

McPherson Scottish Society journal:

The Editor has received a copy of the December 1993 issue of the above lively journal, which is the magazine of the McPherson Scottish Society 'dedicated to the development and appreciation of the Scottish Arts' in McPherson, Kansas. The issue features a report on the US Branch gathering held there in September, including a


photo and brief life history of Cluny. Other topics covered include the City of McPherson Pipe Band, a description of its Main Street banners 'with a Scottish flair', and the existence in the Hickenlooper family of General J.B. McPherson's ceremonial sword. Congratulations to the Society for an interesting production!

To Robert and Angeliki Macpherson in Leeds, West Yorkshire on 3rd July 1992, twins, George Kennedy and Athina Mary. Grandchildren for Gavin and Jeane Macpherson.

Robert and Lisa McPherson of Beckenham, Kent, are proud to announce the birth of a daughter, Lucy Roberta, on 4th January 1994.

DEATHS Mrs Rosemary Thomas, daughter of the late Francis Cameron Macpherson of Cluny, 25th Chief, died on 4th March 1992, aged 57. She and her sister Mrs Anne Springman (nee Anne Macpherson of Cluny) were Honorary Secretaries of the England and Wales Branch.

Mrs Cameron Macpherson of Cluny, widow of Francis Macpherson of Cluny, 25th Chief, died in the Isle of Wight on 28th September 1992.

John (Jack) W. Macpherson died at Tacoma, Washington, USA on 3rd February 1993, aged 64. He trained as a baker, becoming the third generation of Macphersons to manage the Federal Bakery in Tacoma. He later joined Lucks Co. as a designer and builder of machinery used to produce cake decorations, his career there spanning 27 years. Jack had a special love of sailing and canoeing. He attended the Clan Rally at Newtonmore a few years ago. He is survived by his wife Susan, son John W., daughters Mary Lee and Annie, sisters Juliana, jean and Donna, grandchildren and step-family.

George Kenneth Macpherson, a life member of the Association, died in April 1993 in Canada, in his 95th year (see letter from his son D. Ian Macpherson).

Mrs Minnie Teller Macpherson (nee Fraser), widow of A. Fraser Macpherson, WS, died in Edinburgh on 27th June 1993. Minnie was a long-time member of the East of Scotland Branch of the Association. She and her husband Fraser, Hon. Secretary of the Association for many years and later Hon. Vice-President, were very active in promoting the Clan. In recent years, Minnie kindly provided sprigs of white heather from her garden for members attending the Rally. Minnie is survived by sons Ewen and Sandy and four grandchildren.

Raeburn Forster Macpherson, born 20th November 1912 in South Australia, died 6th July 1993 in that State, in his 8 1st year. He was a life member of the Clan Association, a teacher and a keen sportsman. He is survived by his wife Ruth Macpherson, children Airlie Jarrett and Robert Macpherson, and five grandchildren.

W. Monroe Macpherson (1929-93). The sad news of Monroe's tragically sudden death was passed on with great speed around his many friends in Britain, tribute being paid by the lowering of the saltire flag outside the Clan Museum in Newtonmore to half mast on the day of his funeral.

Monroe was as well known and liked in Scotland as he was in his own land of the United States, a state of affairs which would have given him great satisfaction, his Scottish ancestry being a matter of great personal pride. Monroe was born in Ionia in the State of Michigan, an area occupied by his family since


his ancestors settled there after leaving Laggan in the 1830s in search of a better life.

His family origin in the Highlands was a factor which meant a great deal to Monroe, and he made no secret of his love and affection for Scotland and its people. He joined the Clan Macpherson Association in 1971 and became a staunch member of the North American Branch until the formation of the United States Branch. becoming its second Chairman from 1977 to 1984 and then moving on to be the first American Chairman of the Association from 1986 to 1988.

Monroe's many visits to Scotland always took him to Newtonmore, where he spoke of the Museum being his Mecca, the generosity of his donations being made in a quiet and unobtrusive manner.

He was a splendid optimist, at a time when optimism was greatiy needed, and will be remembered for a long time in many ways. The Association owes a great deal to Monroe for his wisdom, kindness and humanity, and as a friend and Clansman who left his mark on all whom he met.

Our sincere sympathies are extended to Phyllis and his family.

Kenneth N. McPherson, CA. The Clan Macpherson Association has suffered a great loss in the sudden death of Kenneth in Edinburgh at Christmas time. Kenneth was born in Edinburgh on 23rd May 1919, educated at Daniel Stewarts College and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Thomas Webster and Company, Edinburgh in 1946. Owing to a severe attack of polio in his young days he was not eligible for war service during 1939-45 but was able to carry out his duties with the Home Guard and A.R.P.

He then joined Craig and Rose PLC in August 1946 and worked with them for over 40 years. At the time of his death he had just retired as Finance Director, a position he had held since 1966.

On the formation of the Clan Association he became a member in 1946 and was appointed Honorary Auditor from 1947 to 1960. He was Honorary Treasurer of the East of Scotland Branch from 1948 to 1960. Kenneth was appointed Honorary Treasurer of the Clan Association from 1960 to 1972 when he was elected Vice-Chairman. He was Chairman of the Clan Association from 1976 until 1979 when he was made a Vice-President. This is a tremendous record of service to the Clan and not easily equalled.

During his business visits to London he was able to make contact with members of the England and Wales Branch and along with his wife, Edith, attended their annual Dinner Dances.

His knowledge and experience of the Clan Association was much appreciated. His wise counsel at Committee meetings was of great assistance to the Chairman and other members. On the registration of the Clan Museum he was appointed one of the Trustees.

In all his activities in the Clan he has had the devoted support of his wife, Edith, to whom along with his daughter Fiona and family we extend our deepest sympathy.

Andrew Cattanach, long time life member of the South African Branch, died in September 1993.

Gordon Macpherson, RM, 45 Commando Royal Marines was killed in action at Two Sisters Mountain, the Falkland Islands in June 1982 at the age of 20.

Memorials bearing his name are at 45 Commando in Arbroath; Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth; St Paul's Cathedral, London; the cemetery in the Falkland Islands; on a cairn at Two Sisters Mountain and on the War Memorial at Oban. His name has now been added to the Clan Memorial in our clan museum at Newtonmore.

Gordon's mother, Mrs Dorothy Macpherson, and his brother, David, reside at Oban in Argyll.


By Archy Macpherson, KGCT, MA, LL.B, NP, FSA(Scot)

      There are many languages available to learn but for us Gaelic must be the one we set out to master before all others. But why the Scottish language of Gaelic? Quite apart from its delights in song, poetry and prose, it is the tongue of all our Clan Macpherson forebearers and their septs . . . it is the language of our people.

      Last year's issue (1993) of "Creag Dhubh" went into much greater detail than is envisaged in this account. Instead, a gentle stroll will be taken along the paths of what is readily available.

      In the first place, membership of Comunn Luchd-lonnsachaidh (the Gaelic Learners' Society), 5 Mitchell's Lane, Inverness IV2 3HQ, Scotland should be sought. They put out newsy newsletters and are very pleased to tell you where your nearest Gaelic class is to be found and any other questions you might have in your quest to obtain fluency in "ar cànain Is ar ceòl" (our language and our music).

      The TV series "Speaking our Language" has galvanised the people of Scotland into understanding that they indeed have a language; 20,000 enquiries in connection with this Gaelic learning programme have been received by CANAN who put it together. To date 9,000 people across the country have purchased learning packs of it and the Gaelic medium college in Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, head of studies, John Norman MacLeod, described the figure as "quite phenomenal".

      A complete set of "Speaking our Language" is available from CANAN, PO Box 345, Isle of Skye, IV44 8XA, Scotland for �. It consists of 2 full colour study packs, 3 long-playing audio tapes and 4 video tapes of the TV series. Their telephone number is (04714) 345 and their fax (04714) 322.

      From the same source a formidable English-Gaelic dictionary or Database with over 30,000 English headwords with over 93,000 Gaelic equivalents is obtainable. But for the learner three or four smaller dictionaries would suffice as:
          1 . Owen's Modern Gaelic-English Dictionary which has a reasonably easy system of pronunciation (buth with kh as in loch). It also contains valuable idiomatic phrases.
          2. Owen's dictionary is intended to be used along with Thomson's New English- Gaelic Dictionarywhich is equally essential.
          3. A third paperback pocket dictionary, ABAIR, contains excellent examples of the use of "the" (the definite article) in Gaelic.

      Although not in this first list for the beginner, three other dictionaries are of interest, namely: (A) the old schoolroom favourite, so famous for its exposition of the inflections of the Gaelic noun, that is Maceachan's Gaelic-English Dictionary. The second and third dictionaries on this second list are by Douglas Clyne and contain a vast and useful list of phrases, (B) his Gaelic Verbs with their Prepositions and (C) his English-Gaelic Dictionary of Expressions, Idioms and Phrases.

      All these books and their booklist are obtainable from Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ, Scotland. Indeed, should one be in Glasgow, a visit to Gairm Publications' shop on the top floor of 29 Waterloo Street, no distance from the Central Hotel, is worthwhile. There one has access to the finest collection available of Gaelic books for sale in the world. The idea of a shop far above the street may be novel to many who do not know Glasgow, but the climb will handsomely repay the effort.

      Messrs Hodder & Stoughton have brought out a new edition of their Teach Yourself Gaelic, this time by Boyd Robertson and one of his colleagues. This grammar is most valuable as a cassette can be supplied with it.

      Lastly, where an individual tutor is sought who can be contacted no matter where one is on earth, the National Extension College, 18 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 2HN, England will provide Gàidhlig Bheò;: Living Gaelic course coded L024. Their tutors on


this course are fluent Gaelic speakers, The College telephone number is (0223) 316644. There are 15 marked assignments and the course helps you to develop very gently at a pace you can keep up with.

      There you are, a gentle guide! As one says in Gaelic, Sin agad e. There you have it! All one requires to gain mastery of the Gaelic language and fluency in its use is sheer doggedness, no matter how many months or years it will take. Not surprisingly, the same is true of any other language! Once one has triumphed there is the realisation that a great achievement has been won of which one can be justifiably proud.

By Andrew MacPherson, Curator
      1993 was not a good year for visitors but is it only numbers we want? We are a clan museum and our aim should be to get as many clansmen as possible to visit the museum and if possible become members of the Association. Other visitors are, of course, always welcome, but as I wrote last year we are not in the numbers competition. From 1 st October 1992 until 30th September 1993, 3328 visitors went through the museum and donated directly to the upkeep of the museum through the contribution boxes � 1,491, which was an increase on last year.

      The selection of books and souvenirs available for sale has again increased and so sales have also increased, to gross � 2,452. 1 think we can say that the museum has had a successful season.

      I must once again acknowledge with thanks and appreciation the treatment carried out on, so far, seventeen of our "pictures" by Helen Creasy, Paper Conservator, of Scottish Museum Council Conservation Services and her staff, grant-aided by the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust and Scottish Museum Council. I probably have the almost daily privilege of seeing the exhibition but all interested members should join me in gratitude to the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust who made the treatment possible.

      I thank the following members for their direct donations -- Reginald J. Ellis, Reigate, Surrey (�); Carol A. Ellis, Reigate, Surrey (�); James Macpherson, Kinnell Avenue, Glasgow (�); Ronnie W.G. Macpherson, "Kilmuir", Comrie (�); Elizabeth R. Cromarty, Arden Street, Edinburgh (�); Kenneth A. Macpherson, Tasmania, Australia (�); Malcolm Macpherson, New Zealand (�; Ian Macpherson, Vancouver (�0); Helen Cattanach, Woking (�); Lindsey Rousseau, Wimbledon, in memory of Maralyn Fairservice (� 140).       Items for exhibiting in the museum are still coming in and there have been many this last year. I have to acknowledge the following:
      From R.G.M. Macpherson, Association Chairman, on behalf of the Canadian Branch:
           (1) Extract of matriculation of the Arms of Sir William Alan Macpherson of Cluny. August 1984.
          (2) Extract of matriculation of the Arms of Colonel Duncan Macpherson of Clunie. March 1672.
           (3) The Banner of Cluny Macpherson.
           (4) Ewen Macpherson of Cluny (print).
           (5) Photograph of a wildcat at the Wildlife Park and a Zoological Society Certificate indicating Clan Macpherson Sponsorship of the wildcat.

      Also from R.G.M. Macpherson seven shields on which the heraldic arms of the following are painted:
          Lord Drumochter
           Colonel Sir Thomas Macpherson
            Norman Douglas McPherson (Aus.)
          Graham Ross McPherson (Aus.)
          Rev. Ewen Macpherson


           Archy Macpherson
          T.A.S. Macpherson (Sandy).
All painting and graphic work done by R.G.M. Macpherson, Burlington, Canada.

      Blue China Coffee Mug inscribed McPherson, College. Donated by Rothrock Tours, McPherson City, Kansas.
      Large Banner of McPherson, Kansas. Donated by McPherson City, Kansas.

      Photograph of Donald Macpherson, champion piper (see article on p9, "Creag Dhubh" No. 45, 1993). Donated by Donald Macpherson, Perthshire.

      Sword and Scabbard belonging to Major R.N.M. Macpherson, 2nd i/c 40th Pathans India Army, killed at Behobeho, Tanganyika, 1917, also 40th Pathans cap badge and medal commemorating the Yourighusband Expedition to Tibet 1902-03, and also an athletics medal for association football awarded to R.N.M. 1897 inscribed Woolwich v Sandhurst. Donated by his son, M.R.N. Macpherson, Richmond, South Africa.

      Framed artist's impression of a Badenoch Township in 1730. Donated by LindseyJane Rousseau and Family in memory of Maralyn Fairservice 1949-1993.

      The Balmoral Reel Book, some traditional Scottish Dances, and the Scottish Country Dance Book. Donated by the Rev. Norman McPherson, Meggetland Terrace, Edinburgh.

      Prince Charles Medallions (3). Donated by J.C. Macpherson, Hudson, NY.

      "Bail Up", an abridged biography of James McPherson, Queensland's only Bushranger, alias "The Wild Scotchman". Donated by the Gin Gin and District Historical Society and Museum, Australia.

      The forty-nine armorial shields have been grouped together in correct order and displayed in the Drumochter Room along with the two matriculation extracts and the new painting of Cluny's Banner. The painting of the Standard of Cluny Macpherson has been brought in to take its place in the display. On behalf of the Museum I must convey my thanks to the Canadian Branch for bearing the cost of creating the display and to Bill Sharpe for erecting it as his contribution to the Museum. I hope now that it will become a place of interest to visitors, especially those whose arms are displayed, as it is clearly a worthwhile asset to the Museum.

[These shields are now displayed in the Heraldic section of the main Museum at Panel H03.]

A number of books and souvenirs are available from the Museum and can be ordered by post.

Terms: Payment with order in cash, by money order or cheque in pounds sterling or US dollars. If you pay in dollars, please add $8 for cheques and $4 for cash or money orders, to cover bank charges. Prices include postage by overseas surface mail, or UK second class --so visitors to the Museum pay less!

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By Roderick W. Clarke, Dìonadair

      In "Creag Dhubh" No. 45 (1993), I introduced you to Na Dìonadairean Clann Mhuirich (The Guardians of Clan Macpherson). In summary, we are a group of clansfolk who have demonstrated our support for preserving our heritage by making a substantial financial contribution to the Clan Macpherson Museum at Newtonmore. In my article, I explained how an unfortunate set of circumstances had required the Museum Trustees to take a mortage on the Museum after all of the Association's reserve funds had been expended for emergency repair of the building. Na Dionadairean was formed to raise sufficient funds to retire that mortgage and to initiate a fund to ensure that future emergencies would be dealt with internally. The article told of the goal we adopted which was to raise $50,000 by 1 January 1993 and how achievement of the first step -- retirement of the mortgage -- was greatly aided by the transmittal of $15,000 to the Hon. Treasurer in June 1992. In addition, the article reported similar efforts by the Canadian Branch and invited other Branches to participate in the programme by either joining Na Dìonadairean or acting independently.

The Record
      As of the Autumn of 1993, the US Branch has transmitted in excess of $25,000 to Na Dìonadairean Fund with pledges for $2000 more being paid over time. Although we did not meet our initial goal, we are confident that we will eventually greatly exceed the interim goal because membership in Na Dìonadairean will never be closed. From the beginning we recognised that our campaign to guarantee financial security for our Museum was more like a marathon than a hundred-yard dash. Making good on this guarantee will require much more than $50,000 and acquiring such a large amount will take more time than a year. In addition to US and Canadian contributions, individuals in Britain have contributed or pledged over �00. This figure is expected to grow as news of the appeal spreads.

      The entrance fee for joining Na Dìonadairean is a minimum contribution of $1000 US or the equivalent in other currencies. To date, 21 individual families and 4 groups of individuals have made this commitment. Their names are shown in the list shown below arranged chronologically. Each of the individuals and groups have been awarded a certificate signed by our Chief and Chairman and a handsome replica of the Na Dìonadairean crest badge done in multi-coloured cloisonne.

      Sometime next year or so I expect to be present at the unveiling of a plaque that will be installed in the Museum bearing the names shown below plus some others who will be appointed in the interim. Several designs for the plaque have been submitted to the Museum Trustees for their consideration. These designs have provisions for additional names to be added at a later time as still more dedicated clansfolk join our ranks. However, there is still time to be among the earliest of those who were able to contribute to this essential cause.


Na Dionadairean Clann Mhuirich
1993 AD

Helen McPherson Thompson of Harlingen, TX
Roderick & Marian Clarke of Alexandria, VA
James & Doris Macphearson of Dallas, TX
Robert & jean McPherson of Fern Park, FL
John C. Macpherson of Hudson, NY
David R. & Eugene W. McPherson of Sturgis, SD
Sir William & Lady Macpherson of Cluny
Charles McPherson Bright of Jackson, TN
Lillian McPherson Rouse of Watsonville, CA
Ruth Rouse & Roger Dennis of San Jose, CA
The Southeast Region, CMAUS
The Northern California Chapter, CMAUS
Wiliam F. Jarrett Sr and Jr of Alexandria, VA
Richard & Alice Carson of Napierville, IL
Thomas & Susan McPherson of Valpariso, IN
The Canadian Branch
Harry & Barbara Smith of Ft Smith, AR
Evelyn McPherson of San Jose, CA
Larry Lee & Lillas McPherson of Grand Rapids, MI
Jack, Frances & Alexander Carson of Atlanta, CA
Kenneth & Edith McPherson of Edinburgh
Leonora M. Fish of Hudson, NY
William R. & Barbara McPherson of Washington, DC
The England & Wales Branch
Alastair & Penelope Macpherson of Pitmain

By Sir Thomas Macpherson
      Moving house is always traumatic. Moving after 25 years from a house where you have brought up your family, a house which you have restored from a ruin set in a wilderness to modest splendour in a colourful garden is an unenviable experience.

      We have already described in "Creag Dhubh" how we were persuaded to take up the challenge of restoring Balavil to its former glory, on a lease from the trustee of the estate, handed down from its founder James Macpherson of Ossian fame. The restoration involved first of all the collapsing fabric of the house, and then a careful study of museum drawings and of work in other Adam buildings to reproduce the style and colours; which made Robert Adam such a master architect and designer. You don't turn your back easily on such an achievement, but a family with an eye to subsequent generations does not want to stay indefinitely in rented property. We had been seeking for some time a house of our own in Clan country, and in 1993 two possibilities suddenly emerged, of which one was as suddenly withdrawn. But Craig Dhu House was available, and we snapped it up. Sad as it is to see Balavil passing out of Macpherson hands and bloodline after 200 years, it is a joy to bring back Craig Dhu House, a former Cluny family estate, into Macpherson ownership after a long gap.

      Craig Dhu House was built under the shadow of the Clan's special mountain, by the cliff that harboured Cluny's cave, by Old Cluny in or about 1830 as a Dower House for the Cluny estate. Later he gave it to his daughter Caroline on her marriage to George Fitzroy, which linked the leading family of Badenoch with one of the leading families of England.

      The Fitzroys, descended from King Charles II, hold great estates in East Anglia under


the title of Duke of Grafton. George Fitzroy was great-grandson of the third Duke. His father was in the Royal Navy, becoming not only an Admiral but Governor of New Zealand as well, and he is also celebrated as the inventor of the barometer. But his greatest place in history comes from his five year mission in 1831-1836 to survey the coasts of South America and run a chronometric line round the world. His vessel was the ship HMS "Beagle" and on board as naturalist was Charles Darwin, who from the experience of this voyage wrote the revolutionary "Origin of Species".

      George Fitzroy was also in the Royal Navy, retiring as a Captain. He and his wife planted all the trees at Craig Dhu House, and they both lie buried facing the Spey Valley in the garden which they created and loved. The tombstone inscriptions record the memory of George Dartmouth Fitzroy of Craig Dhu, Captain R.N. born 22nd May 1832 died 7th December 1890 and his wife Caroline Catherine Macpherson of Cluny, born l7th June 1839 died l8th November 1929. The reader will see that Caroline lived to a great age and had a long widowhood, during which she was a quiet, almost reclusive person, but taking a great interest in the affairs of the Clan of Cluny under her uncles, the last two chiefs to live there. She was among other things responsible for the siting of the monumental cairn to her mother, Sarah Justina of Cluny, on the knoll above Craig Dhu House looking across the valley to the cairn of her husband "old Cluny", above Laggan.

      So to the precise month 64 years after her death, Craig Dhu House becomes a Macpherson property again.



      On his 2 1st birthday, Arms were matriculated for James Brodie Macpherson, second son of Sir William Macpherson of Cluny & Blairgowrie, Newton Castle, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. They are recorded on the 15th page of the 76th volume of The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, Lyon Court, Edinburgh.

      The Public Register was established by Statute in 1672 to provide for a single register of all Armorial Ensigns. Statutory power was given for Lyon and his heralds in 1592 to "visit the whole Arms used in Scotland, and to matriculate the same in their Registers, to fine in �0 all who have unjustly usurped Arms, to escheat (confiscate) all such goods and geir as shall have unwarrantable Arms engraven on them". The Register now extends to 76 volumes of parchment and may be examined by anyone who visits the Court of the Lord Lyon, H.M. New Register House, just across Princes Street from the old North British Hotel (now the Balmoral Hotel), Edinburgh.

      As a second son of the Chief of Clan Macpherson, James bears the plain Cluny Arms "within a bordure Argent charged with three Mullets Azure". In Scots heraldry, the "bordure" is usually a sign of cadency and the three "mullets" or stars are taken from the Arms of the Chief of Clan


Brodie to commemorate the armiger's mother's family name. The Wildcat Crest also holds a similar "mullet" and the motto, "Touch not the cat", is a "differenced" version of the famous motto of Macpherson of Cluny.

By Edna MacPherson Sabato
      James McPherson was born at Duthil, Inverness, on 27th August, 1841, the son of John McPherson and Elspeth Bruce, who emigrated to Australia with their ten children, arriving in Brisbane in 1855. They went to live on Cressbrook Station, in the Brisbane Valley, where the older boys learned to ride horses, and became adept at bushcraft. The girls did domestic duties, and the young children went to school, on the station, with the Station Manager's children.

      James became apprenticed to John Petrie in Brisbane, as a builder, and learned many facets of the trade. He became interested in debating. On two occasions, he saved Charles Lilley, a Member of Parliament, who was trying to bring in an unpopular Militia Bill, from angry mobs. Lilley was later Attorney-General, when James was tried for his crimes.

      James met up with two itinerant young men, and went shearing with them. There are many versions of what caused James to turn to a life of crime. One was that the squatter refused to pay James and his two mates, at the end of the shearing season, claiming they mutilated the sheep. (Why did he wait till the shearing was all finished, and not stop them on day one?) James asked for his pay, holding a rifle in his hand, not aimed at anyone, just happened to have it with him. Another story concerns a man being accidentally shot at the Cardington Hotel near Bowen, and after that, James turned bushranger, holding up lone mailmen and stealing money from the letters.

      For three years, 1863-1866, he roamed a wide area in Queensland, holding up mailmen, stealing the mail, and sometimes a saddle or bridle, or even a horse, when he needed one. He was honest enough to return some items, cheques he couldn't negotiate, a saddle, with a note saying "This is Pat McCallum's saddle -- see that he gets it back". He left a horse on the road, where he knew the mailman would pass by and find it.

      He only stole the finest horses from each station, and rode extremely well. Once he entered a stolen horse in a country race meet, but the owner was present and recognised the horse, and James had to leave in a hurry.

      On 30th March, 1866, he was captured by Station Managers and stockmen from Monduran and Gin Gin Stations, and a 17-year-old mailman. He was held overnight at Monduran Station, tied to a red cedar tree, and taken to Gin Gin Station the next day. Police arrived from Maryborough to take him into custody the next day.

      He was tried at Assizes at Maryborough on 13th September, 1866, and sentenced to twenty-five years jail on two counts, to be served concurrently.

      After eight years, he was released, following petitions from several important people, Somerset, Petrie, Rev. Gilmore Wilson, his father, and I think Charles Lilley might have helped a bit on the quiet.

      Four years later, he married a seventeen-year-old girl of German descent, Elizabeth Ann Horszfeldt. They had seven children, one of whom died as an infant, all born at Hughenden. The family moved to Burketown, near the Gulf of Carpentaria, where James conducted a carrying business, and was a respected member of the community.

      James attended a friend's funeral, and on the way home his horse was spooked by another rider, and fell on him, injuring him so grievously the doctor could only administer morphine. He died three days later, on 23rd July, 1895, leaving a 34-year-old widow, with six children, aged from 15 to 3 years.

      Only two of his children married, the youngest son having one daughter, and the youngest daughter, having one son and six daughters.

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      Some poems written by the Wild Scotchman while he was in jail have come to light, in the possession of his great-grand-daughter, and will soon be published. Notations amongst the poems are in Latin and Chinese. James seems to have been a well-educated man, having five languages. He named his first-born son James Ossian, who was killed by aborigines in Cooktown, in February, 1911.

      Every year, in March, the town of Gin Gin celebrates the Capture of James McPherson, the Wild Scotchman, Bushranger -- not his lifestyle, just his capture, and many descendants of James' brothers and sisters gather to enjoy the celebrations.

By Rory Mor

      Nearly six hundred years ago the representatives of two Highland clans met on the North Inch of Perth to redress the wrongs that each perceived the other to have inflicted upon them. They met there in September 1396 at the invitation of King Robert III for a trial by combat within a stockade where thirty men on each side were to battle to the death. Ten survived the melee -- nine on the victorious side; the tenth, apparently recognising that discretion was the better part of valour, climbed over the stockade wall and escaped.

      No one knows for sure who these clans were. However, A. I. S. Macpherson (Archie the Surgeon) in his article that appeared in "Creag Dhubh" No. 40 (1988) makes a convincing case for the winning nine being of Clan Mhuirich or the Macphersons 1 and the losers being of Clan Dhai or the Davidsons. Of course, one of the surviving winners was Nial Crom, the bandy-legged metal worker who agreed to take the place of one of the Muirichean who was unable to participate for some good reason. He thus became the first Smith to cast his lot with the Macphersons.2

The Post-battle Davidsons
      Archie's article provides the background for the bitter feud that led to such a desperate means of settling differences. He mentions that at the time of the battle much of the land around what is now Newtonmore was in the possession of the Davidsons. In fact, the farm of the chief of the Davidsons was located at Invernahavon, which is where the River Truim joins the Spey, the site of a caravan park in recent years. However, his article doesn't deal with what happened to the Davidsons after the battle. As it turned out, many of them continued to live side by side with the Macphersons in Badenoch for centuries after the battle. One can only imagine the magnitude of the calamity of having lost the flower of a generation but we do know that the Davidsons never gained a separate clan identity as the Macphersons were able to do. Rather they remained a component of the Clan Chattan under the leadership of the Mackintosh and many of them drifted away to other parts of Scotland.

      In spite of their losses in 1396 many Davidsons prospered over the succeeding centuries and today they are a widespread, talented and accomplished family. When Duncan Davidson, VI of Tulloch, died in 1917 without a male heir, the chiefship of Clan Davidson became dormant. A Clan Davidson Society was formed in 1909 and met until 1939. In addition, Davidsons were among those who formed the Clan Chattan Association in 1933 along with the Macphersons, Mackintoshes, Macgillivrays, Shaws and others. Although until recently there has been no Clan Davidson Association in the UK, Davidson societies have existed in North America and Australia for several years. In 1991 a group in Britain met and resurrected the earlier society. The Hon. Lord Davidson, FRSE of Edinburgh was elected President and Charles J. (Dave) Davidson of Bromley, Kent was chosen to be Hon. Secretary. 3

The Real Point Of This Story
      Dave Davidson is a familiar figure at Macpherson gatherings as well as at Clan Chattan activities, although illness prevented his being among us in 1993. In the 1992 (first) issue of

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"The Pheon", the Davidson Association journal, Dave announced Project 1396.4 He described this Project as "an attempt to commemorate the Clan 'Trial by Combat' on the North Inch of Perth by a march by 29 [Davidson] Clansmen from Ruthven Castle [later Barracks] to Perth. The Davidsons, according to tradition, were led by a Shaw (making 30), the brother-in-law of the last Davidson Chief, as there was no armiger left alive in the Clan Davidson to legally represent them in the Trial by Combat. 1996 will be the six hundredth anniversary of the event. It is hoped that at Perth they will engage in battle with 29 Macphersons who will march from Cluny Castle and pick up a Smith armorer at Perth (making their 30 according to tradition) . . . 5 Favourable replies have been received from the civic authorities at Perth and this will be discussed as an item [at] the next [Davidson] AGM. The Australians are anxious to send a contingent from their Clan Davidson Society to help make up the thirty clansmen."

      There you have it -- the Davidson challenge to meet them on the North Inch of Perth for a rematch in 1996! I must confess that I am not completely innocent in the issuing of the challenge but certainly I was not the challenger. Dave and I begun discussing the Trial by Combat anniversary in 1986 which was the six hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Invernahavon which was also described in Archie's article.

      The Davidson challenge was brought to the attention of the Clan Macpherson Association Council at its meeting on 6 August 1993. After some discussion, it was referred to the committee planning the events in connection with the celebration of the Clan Macpherson Association's Golden Jubilee which also falls in 1996. This was clearly the correct thing to do and I'm sure that the committee under the leadership of our Vice-Chairman, Ewen MacPherson, would welcome your thoughts on how the challenge should be answered. As the challenged party, Clan Macpherson clearly has the choice of weapons and the other amenities that have traditionally devolved on the challenged. Some have suggested that the anniversary trial be settled by a tug-of-war; one person has suggested "thumbed noses at thirty paces." Neither of these methods appeals to me but they are clearly in the right direction as opposed to a re-enactment involving claymores. And I'm not too keen for a march from Cluny to Perth along the A9 where motor traffic could conceivably wreak more havoc than claymores. One suggestion that seems to have received a fair amount of acceptance is a thirty-a-side golf match to be played at Perth sometime that Summer. Whether thirty-a-side is the correct number is open to discussion and, of course, there are a host of other possibilities for our consideration. I'm sure that the traditional resourcefulness of the Macphersons will lead us to the appropriate solution.

      I invite you all to think about how we should respond to this challenge and to submit your suggestions for consideration by the CMA Golden Jubilee Committee to Ewen S.L. MacPherson, Talla-Shee, Straloch, Enochdhu, Perthshire PHIO 7PH.

1. Duncan the Parson, 8th Chief of Clan Mhuirich (according to the Ardross and Invereshie MSS), was probably living at that time but was likely not yet chief of the clan. It was his sons who sometime after 1430 started calling themselves 'Mac a' Phearsain' or son of the parson. 2 There are some (mostly of the Mackintosh persuasion) who claim that the combatants were Clan Chattan vs the Camerons. Archie's article effectively dispelled that notion but for those who are still not convinced, consider the following. Recently, while paging through Dwelly's illustrated Gaelic to English Dictionary, I came across the following comment on page 304 which addresses the Gaelic pronunciation of the letter D when aspirated (i.e., dh)
      "(4) Dh, when broad, is very soft and resembles a soft English g. Thus, MacDhonnchaidh, a son of Duncan, usually Englished as Robertson, has crept into English as MacConachy. MacDhaibhidh, a Davidson, has also been Englished as MacKay, so that some suppose that it was the MacKays who fought on the North Inch of Perth, whereas a little knowledge of Gaelic would have shown that it was the Davidsons."
3 Among the accomplishments of the new Clan Davidson Association was the formation of an ad hoc committee to recommend a candidate for the Chief of the Clan to the Lord Lyon, King of Arms. As a result of their search efforts another Duncan Davidson was located living in New Zealand. He is an electrical engineer and descended from the fourth son of Duncan, IV of Tulloch. He agreed to being nominated and his name has been submitted.
4 A pheon is the name given to the heraldic arrow head; two pheons appear at the top of the Clan Davidson armorial shield.

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5 Dave's article covers much of the same background and description of the battle as Archie's did. However, he provides some additional details that I found very interesting. He suggests that the surviving 'Davidson' was the Shaw brother-in-law who led the Davidson party. The tradition has it that the Macphersons didn't follow him over the wall because he was a Shaw and not a Davidson. His grave is in the old Doune churchyard at Rothiemurchus and is marked by five special stones that carry a curse on anvone that would dare to remove them. The original grave marker bore the inscription that he was a survivor of the Clan Battle at Perth; the modern stone claims that he was the victor. As Dave remarks about the curse, "Hardly the work of a victorious survivor."

By Ewen S.L. MacPherson
Part I
      If you have read the book or seen the film of Alex Haley's best-seller 'Roots' you may think that you know what it must be like to discover your past! Believe me there is no substitute for doing the real thing. To spend hours poring over the population census and other registers in the New Register House in Edinburgh and suddenly to strike that 'piece of gold' that takes you back another generation is a most wonderful feeling of discovery and achievement! I would like to share that journey of discovery with you and tell you something about Shielfoot, its people, history, traditions, legends and some personal anecdotes experienced on the way.

      It all started twenty years ago when I attended, as a visitor, the Annual General Meeting of the East of Scotland Branch of the Clan Association in Edinburgh. Also present that evening was our Clan Genealogist, Alan G. Macpherson, on sabbatical from his position as Professor of Geography at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John's. "Where do you hail from?" was his opening remark. "I now live in Surrey but I was born at Inverlochy, Fort William, not far from the foot of Ben Nevis. I do believe, however, that my ancestors hailed from a wee place called Shielfoot in Argyllshire," was my fairly modest reply. "Ali, tell me more. I am very interested in you Argyll folk." His body language indicated that he was indeed paying more than casual attention to what I had always considered to be of little interest to anyone apart from my immediate family. The conversation concluded with my agreeing to find out and send to him a few details of my Shielfoot background. I was hooked!

      Looking back over the years, I can now see that Alan G started me off on my long journey which although it undoubtedly became something of a hobby did not necessarily consume all of my energy and time. The paperwork was taken out occasionally, worked on and then put away; sometimes for a good many years! Indeed, at one stage, I mislaid all of my manuscript notes but thanks to Annie Macpherson in her capacity as Secretary of the England & Wales Branch they were discovered buried deep amongst that Branch's treasures, accidentally filed by me whilst I had been performing that same task a number of years before.

      Shielfoot, in Gaelic, Bun na h-aibhne, says what it suggests, that it was situated at the foot of the beautiful River Shiel, where if flows into Loch Moidart, and is about a mile from the parish village of Acharacle (Ath Tharracail or Torquil's Ford) at the boundary between Ardnamurchan and Moidart. Legend has it that Torquil was a 12th century Viking Lord who was slain by Somerled, a Scottish chieftain of that time. Standing on the opposite shore from Shielfoot is Castle Tioram, which means 'dry' and refers to the islet which can be reached over a sandy area at low tide. The ancient spelling is Tirrim but both are pronounced 'Cheerum'. The castle was the stronghold of the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the original building was in existence probably from the mid 13th century. The remains of the old building can still be seen today. (Castle Tioram in Moidart 1993). The

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area can trace its history even further back by the site of an iron-age fort on the ground above Shielfoot.

      Why should anyone want to research the Macphersons of Shielfoot -- a place not large enough to warrant being recorded on many maps? To an outsider it may appear at first glance a small, rural, hard-working and close-knit community. Although people have different reasons for doing such research, the underlying drive is usually the human desire to know about their roots and background. For a few it may be the financial reward of discovering that some rich relation has passed on without issue and left a castle and fortune! For others, it is to acquire greater knowledge of the socio-economic factors that existed at the time their forebears lived. For most it is simply genealogical or a desire to know more about the patterns of migration within families. My own reasons, quite simply, fell within the latter categories. I wanted to find out more about the Shielfoot Macphersons and thus myself. How did they live and work? Where did they come from before Shielfoot and where are the kinsfolk today that descended from them? Are they part of or separate from, the Badenoch Macphersons? Most importantly, I wanted to make available any knowledge I discovered for the benefit of other interested clansmen, now or in the future. Certainly, some of my aspirations have been fulfilled but many questions still remain unanswered.

      I started my trail of discovery by probing my father (Donald, b. 1900) and various uncles and aunts, all of whom were born at the turn of the century at either Oban or Kilchrenan in Argyll, for their knowledge of the previous generation. This proved an excellent foundation as I was able to obtain a surprisingly detailed account of births, deaths, marriages and occupations for most of them and their offsprings. I was given a copy of my Grandfather Dugald's birth certificate dated 1857 which showed he was born in Shielfoot. His parents were recorded as Archibald, a tailor, and Ann Macpherson whose maiden name was also Macpherson. Dugald was a cattle dealer and drover -- being one of the last veterans of the Falkirk Tryst -- that great annual sale to which drovers took thousands of cattle on foot from all parts of Scotland. The droving days ended over a hundred years ago when the railways and growth of marts throughout Scotland killed the Tryst. Dugald travelled widely in Argyll and the Western Isles and met my grandmother, Catherine MacKenzie,


daughter of Donald (a weaver) and Maggie (M.S. MacLean), in Broadford on the Isle of Skye. There was believed to be a connection with MacKenzie of the North West Territories fame. At the beginning of this century, as a cattle dealer, Dugald can be recalled sealing a deal with the shake of a hand and the exchange of a luckspenny (half a crown). His photograph hung proudly for many years in the cattle market at Falkirk. The Argyll Macphersons are known to have been involved in drovering as it is stated "The drovers of these old days were the Camerons of Lochaber, the Macphersons of Arisaig, Corrachoille, etc" . (Skye: Iochdar-Trotternish 1931).

      I anxiously waited several months until I was able to visit the New Register House for the first time. I spent three days there going through the various registers and extracted the population census from their start in 1841 to 1871. It was relatively easy to find Dugald aged 13 living with his parents Archibald aged 56 and Ann aged 34 in 1871 together with four sisters and one brother.

      Over the next few years my research continued in the New Register House in the limited time I had available during holidays in Scotland. I discovered that Archibald, who was married at least twice, was born in 1813 in Shielfoot of John Macpherson, a tailor, and Mary MacNaughton. Whilst collating details of my own family I also extracted particulars of all the other families living in Shielfoot. In addition, I considered it worthwhile to note down the details of other Macphersons that lived in the surrounding area. This, I think is a good tip to pass on to others who may consider the genealogy route as it gives a much wider picture of what was happening at that time. An interesting feature was the common use of such names as Alexander, Allan, Archibald, Donald, Dugald, Duncan, Hugh, John, Ann,

Continued on p.27







Catherine, Christine and Marjory. These names were generally popular throughout Argyll and still exist within my own family today. The absence of such names as James, William, Andrew and Robert was noticeable and these may be more associated with Badenoch where they seem to reflect the names of Scots Kings or our Patron Saint.

      The research by now was becoming fairly voluminous and many hours were spent trying to place everyone into their respective family branches and even twigs. In Highland Scotland, intermarrying was fairly common practice. A person at Shielfoot did not travel too far to find their spouse and the records show marriages between families living at the nearby Ardtoe (high burial ground); Gortoneorn (little field of the barley); Gortenfern (little field of the alder) and Arivegaig (the shieling of the little bay). Macphersons married Macphersons or Camerons who were 1st, 2nd or 3rd cousins -- these being the two most prominent names in the area. The 1841 census lists the families residing in Shielfoot as eight Macpherson, six Cameron, one MacMillan and one McInnes.

      I was being encouraged and guided in my endeavours by Alan G. We were both fairly convinced that the four older Macpherson men listed in the 1851 census, including my John, were probably all related and descended from two brothers. I struck my 'little bit of gold' by finding the death certificate for John dated 2nd September 1858 aged 87 at Shielfoot with an Island Finnan burial. It showed his father as Donald but his mother as unknown. I now knew that John was born in 1771 in the parish of Acharacle and that his father was Donald who would have been born in the first half of the 18th century. Unfortunately, I could find no trace of the deaths of the other three older male Macphersons and they must, therefore, have died just before the requirement to register deaths in 1855.

      The unexpected bonus of discovering John's death certificate helped Alan G to fit in a little bit of his enormous Argyll Macpherson jig-saw puzzle! He was absolutely thrilled and responded by return of post pointing out that he was sure that Donald, the father of John, was the son of Donald Macpherson in Drumnasallie (Kilmallie near Kinlocheil) and known as Donald Og (the younger). Alan G's analysis was that Donald Og's eldest son Ewen was in Garvan, Ardgour and his two sons, Martain (eldest) formed the Macphersons of Ardgour and Duncan (youngest), married Anne Henderson who had eight children at Ormsaybeg, Kilchoan. Donald Og's younger sons became the Macphersons of Shielfoot and were known as 'The Drovers'. Donald Og would have served in Cameron of Lochiel's regiment and was probably a survivor of Culloden. Only one Macpherson is known to have fought under Lochiel's banner and he is recorded as alias McColvain, i.e. MacDhòmhnaill Bhain (son of Fair Donald), a tenant of Lochiel. Alexander Cameron of Drumnasallie, a Captain in Lochiel's regiment, was killed at Fort William and his brother Ewen taken prisoner and subsequently transported. (Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's Army 1745-46: 1984).

      At this point, Alan G pointed out to me that there was evidence of Macphersons in Western Ardnamurchan in the 1620s in connection with the unfortunate Clan Ean Macdonalds of Ardnamurchan. They had names which appeared in the Acharacle data that I had collected. In the period 1619-25 one Allan McAllan VicPherson in Okill was involved in the piratical reactions of the Clan Ean to Donald Campbell of Barbreck's acquisition of estates in Ardnamurchan and Suinart, while in 1628 the Earl of Huntly was empowered to arrest certain Lochaber men for rape in Morvern, among whom appears Donald McCoull McFersoun in Suinart, all of them "servitors and tenants of Mr Donald Campbell of Barbreck, Lochow". So we have Allan, son of Allan McPherson and Donald, son of Dougald McPherson, and both connected historically with Barbreck!

      The 1851 census was the first to record occupations and these in the main are shown as farmers or salmon fishermen. In common with the rest of the highlands, most families lived and worked on their crofts but very often performed other functions. However, at that time it appears that crofting (farming) was given prominence in the census. By 1881, however, the occupations had widened to include weavers, domestic servants, housemaids and gardeners. In the surrounding area the jobs included labouring, domestic cook, dairy


maid, tailor, shepherd, teacher, blacksmith and postmaster. The elderly remained at home and were cared for by other members of their family, very often those who had not married.

      A considerable amount of the effort in trying to place the names of yesteryear into various family branches was done by spreading the information out on a large table. This produced many surprises. Imagine my delight to find that Archy (Editor of "Creag Dhubh") was directly related to me, as his forebear, Lachlan, was also the father of my G.G.Mother Ann ("Creag Dhubh" 1973, p.588). Thus, that popular figure at Clan Rallies with his great sense of fun and myself somehow have the same genes running through us!

      Archy's grandfather, Archibald (b 1839), who was also a drover and cattle dealer in his time, could recall that in his youth he had met men who in their youth had met men who had been out on the 1745 Rising. Archy has a vivid memory of when he was very young sitting on his grandfather's knees, gazing into his intensely blue eyes and white beard, and being told about the persecution the children were subjected to when his grandfather, Archibald, was a boy at school for speaking in Gaelic. They were severely belted and a tessera board (maide-crochaidh) was hung round their neck and if they had not betrayed another Gaelic speaking class-mate by 4pm they got another belting. If the child had not handed over the board by the morning attendance at school another belting was administered and so on. Like many such barbarous persecutions, rather than intimidate, it made Archy's father and subsequently himself dedicated upholders of the language of their forefathers. The 1841 census shows that all the children between the ages of six and fourteen were scholars.

(To be continued)


By Sandy Macpherson
      In September of 1993 Catherine and I attended the United States Branch Gathering in McPherson, Kansas, a wonderful experience which we thoroughly enjoyed and which gave great credit to all involved in the organisation.

      As the town of McPherson is not well known outside Kansas, the local officials provided a large amount of literature giving details of the community. Among the information provided was the fact that the town was named by its founders in honour of the famous


General James Birdseye McPherson, who lost his life in the Civil War in 1864, and then added that it was the only town of that name in the United States. This fact attracted my attention and I felt surprised that Macphersons had not left more of a mark on the world than just one town.

      As we left McPherson at the conclusion of the Gathering on the long straight prairie road which ultimately led home I noticed on the road map which we were following that in the neighbouring state of Nebraska to the north there was another Macpherson place name, this time that of a county.

      As the district in question was surrounded by other counties bearing the names of other Civil War military leaders, eg, Sheridan, Grant, Hooker, etc, it seemed certain that it would have been named about the same period as McPherson, Kansas and for the same reason.

      When I returned home I was still intrigued by these thoughts and turned for assistance to the most expensive book in my possession, The Times Atlas of the World, a volume I could never have afforded to buy, the price being totally prohibitive, but was fortunate enough to win in a competition.

      On examining the index, I really struck gold and found, not just several other Macpherson names in widely differing parts of the world, but a huge variation in the geographical features named.

      Starting with the furthest from home, Australia showed two entries, firstly, Macpherson's Ridge, a range of hills on the borders of New South Wales and Queensland, the highest point being Mount Lindesay, being 1194 metres; high. I know that the Chief had ancestors who pioneered in that part of Australia, did they name that range of hills?

      Also in the same continent, but this time on the other side in Western Australia, there is Mount Macpherson, part of the Throssel Range, situated south-west of the Great Sandy Desert. Perhaps some Australian Macpherson could enlighten us on details of the wandering Scot who gave his name to this feature.

      The most surprising Macpherson place name came from the Indian Ocean. In the group of Andamans, that isolated and somewhat exotic group of islands south of Burma, the island of South Andaman is separated from Rutland Island by Macpherson's Strait. Could some reader with a good knowledge of that part of the orient enlighten us on the Macpherson navigator who first charted and named this feature so far from home?

      The final Macpherson place name was one which has been well described in the Spring Edition 1993 of "The Urlar" by Robert Macpherson of Stanfield, Oregon. This concerns Fort McPherson, in the far north-west of Canada, which was for many years the most northerly European outpost in all Canada. It was founded by the Hudsons Bay Company nearly one hundred and fifty years ago and named after Murdoch McPherson, a pioneer who did much to develop trade in that area, a most important aspect of life there at that time.

      All these place names add up to the fact that Macphersons, in common with many other Scots, travelled far from home and left their mark on the landscape.       I would be very interested in hearing from readers who know of any other Macpherson place names and look forward to a flood of letters to the Editor giving details.

[Sandy missed finding Fort McPherson at Atlanta, Georgia USA (now closed) and McPherson Ridge which was part of the Gettysburg battlefield in July 1863. Perhaps these names were submitted --RM]

ENA MAERTENS DE NOORDHOUT -- 18-6-1906 -- 31-10-1992

By Rev. Norman F.W. McPherson
      Ena Maertens was a life member of the Clan Macpherson Association and frequently attended the rally with her husband Rico. She lived in Brussels and was the only child of Fernand De Smedt and his wife Beatrice Mary Irene McPherson (Trixie), born Windsor, November 9th 1883, the only daughter of William McPherson and his wife Mary Heath.

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      Ena was a most accomplished dancer who taught ballroom and Scottish dancing in her father's academy in Brussels to an international circle of pupils including members of the Belgian royal family. She lived through two German occupations of her country and during the second war she and her husband used their home as a "safe house" for escaping Allied servicemen. She was decorated for this service by the King of the Belgians, the Resistance Movement and the Red Cross.

      She and Rico had no children but they took great pleasure in visiting and entertaining their McPherson cousins, the Rev. Norman and Margaret McPherson, Sybil Pearce, Isobel McPherson, along with second cousins Rev. Dr Ian McPherson, Professor Andrew McPherson, Stuart McPherson, Dr John Pearce, Dr Ann Bond, Elizabeth Davenport and their spouses.

      Ena's father, Fernand De Smedt, who was one time Professional Champion of the World with foil and épée and Fencing Master to the Belgian Court, met his wife while on an exchange visit as a pupil at McPherson's Fencing Academy (see below). Her (Ena's) grandfather was William McPherson, born 1850 on the Dava Moor. He left his first job with the railway service and enlisted in the Royal Horse Guards (Blues) in 1868 and served for 21 years during which time he was champion swordsman of the British Army in 1880. On retirement in 1889 he founded McPherson's Fencing Academy in Sloane Street, London, where his pupils included members of the British Royal Family, the one time Queen of Spain and the late Lord Louis Mountbatten.

      William died in 1912 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. He was the sixth child and only son of William McPherson and his wife Ann Cruikshank from Cromdale. They were married in Cromdale on January 6th 1835 and lived variously in Edinkillie Parish.

      This William, Ena's great-grandfather, was born on 20th October 1807 at Gergask, Laggan and was the son of Angus McPherson of Achadoul, Laggan, and Margaret Macpherson of Blargie, Laggan, who were married at Laggan Parish Church on October 9th 1787.       Angus, Ena's great great grandfather, was born circa 1761 at Ardmureg(?) -- Achadoul, Laggan, and was the second son of Alexander and Florence McPherson of Strathmashie. He enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders when that regiment was first raised. The records of the regiment show that Angus joined at Pitmain on 5th March 1794. He served for 21 years in Europe, Egypt and, of course, throughout the Peninsula War, finishing at Waterloo. He was discharged at Edinburgh Castle in 1816 "worn out in His Majesty's service through no fault of his own" and his certificate was signed by the then Sir John Hope. Angus then became an out pensioner of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea and lived at Grantown-on-Spey. He died April 18th 1847 but his burial place has not yet been found. His mother was Florence, daughter of Captain John McPherson of Strathmashie.

      So we trace Ena from Strathmashie to Brussels and remember her as a lively, vivacious and very busy person. Whether she was dancing on the sands at La Panne in the thirties with the Margaret Morris School of Dancing Summer School or arranging quadrilles for the younger Belgian socialites at their annual ball in Brussels in the eighties she was in her element right up to the last.

      We give thanks for her and have no doubt that she dances still in the presence of the Lord of the Dance.

By Rory Mor
A standard feature of our annual Gatherings in Badenoch is the Monday-after expedition to some local point of interest. The expedition consists primarily of a healthy trek on foot although it sometimes entails using an automobile to get to and from the start and end points. This year's expedition provided a variation -- two different routes to the objective


-- to view the cairn erected to the memory of John Macpherson of Ballachroan, the famous Black Officer. The cairn stands at the head of Glen Tromie just a little to the south-east of Gaick Lodge. The area is known as the Gaick Forest but the word forest connotes a place for ,stalking the deer' rather than one of trees. The cairn bears a plaque of stainless steel inscribed as shown below.

      The present plaque was installed in recent years to augment the stone original of 1902 because it had become obliterated by the elements. The few words inscribed on it tell only part of the fascinating story of a tragedy of huge proportion in the eyes of the local inhabitants and even less of why its most noted victim was known as An t-Othaichear Dubh, The Black Officer. This mystery should become clearer as my tale unfolds; so should the views of those who think that the modern media are the inventors of the art of slandering and vilifying public figures.

      The opposite photo was taken from a contemporary portrait of Captain John Macpherson in the Clan Museum. There are a host of the popular tales that are told about him, but in hearing them we should bear in mind that he was much respected and admired both in the district and beyond. Affleck Gray, that grand old man of our Clan who wrote about him in his book 'Legends of the Cairngorms', tells us that "there is not a single instance on record of his ever having forfeited their regard for him". Among those who wrote favourably about him were Mrs Grant of Laggan, whose 'Letters from the Mountains' are famed far beyond the Highlands, and Malcolm MacIntyre, a bard of whom Gray thinks quite highly. To commemorate the loss of his friend of many hunting expeditions he wrote a moving elegy in the Gaelic that ran to fifteen stanzas of verse. Another admirer, Captain Lachlan Macpherson of Biallid, was fully conversant with the details of the tales and wrote of him in glowing terms in 'Lays of the Deer Forest' published in 1848.

The Two Routes to Gaick
      John Macpherson's cairn can be reached by a serviceable road that follows the east bank of the River Tromie that flows northerly into the Spey just opposite Kingussie. Or you can get there the hard way -- overland by way of an unmarked easterly trail that leaves the A9 about a mile or so north of Dalwhinnie and follows the course of Allt Cuaich for a while, then Allt Coire na Cuaich and finally climbing up to the summit of Bogha-cloiche (2945 ft) and then down into Glen Tromie (1500ft), crossing the River Tromie to reach the cairn.

      Provision had been made for both routes to be followed that day. The River Tromie route was to be led by Sandy Macpherson; the Allt Cuaich path by his son, Bruce. Looking at the map, I noted that the 1445-ft difference in elevation was almost straight up and down.


      I'm still adventurous but not that much, so I opted to go with Sandy. Joining us were Neil and Myrna MacPherson of Oakville, Ontario; Ruth McPherson of Loveland, Colorado; Ewen and Margaret MacPherson of Straloch, and 'Tokyo Bill' McPherson of Washington, DC. The intrepid band that went with Bruce were John and Iris Macpherson of Montrose; Andrew Macpherson and Sarah Jemison of Newcastle and Chris and Iris Clarke of Frenchtown, Maryland. I heard someone refer to the former group as the 'old fogies' but I can't remember who it was now. My reaction at the time was, "Thank goodness that we have an alternative."

A Visit to Ballachroan
      Both groups departed the Museum around 9am. It turned out that there was an additional bonus in store for the 'old fogies'. They were to stop at Ballachroan House enroute to the cairn. The ruins of this old Macpherson farmhouse lie just above the main road that runs between Newtonmore and Kingussie. It is not visible from the road because it is situated just back from the edge of a fairly steep embankment that parallels the road. The driveway that leads to the top of the embankment is quite steep and runs at an angle that favours travellers from Kingussie in gaining access to it. However, it is quite negotiable and the side journey is quite worthwhile because of the magnificent view of Strath Spey and Monadh Ruadh that it provides when you get there.

      Ballachroan House had long been the residence of Captain John Macpherson at the time of his death in 1800. He was a member of the Sliochd (shlook-it = descendants of) Ghilìosa (the Invereshie Branch) and this farm had been worked by the family for centuries. The name is derived from the Gaelic Bail'-a-Chrodhain meaning 'Town of the Sheepfold'. But now sadly it lies in ruins as is seen in the photograph. Nevertheless, despite its fallen roof and the surrounding sea of nettles, its former functional integrity and solid baronial style are still evident.

      The farm is still productive, as was evidenced by the combine harvester that was operating in the adjacent grain fields on the day of our visit. Captain John had retired there after a long and distinguished military career. According to Gray, "Macpherson became totally engrossed in agricultural pursuits and hunting. He introduced new methods of farming, and better types of grain and root crops which resulted in crops superior to any


others in the district. His cattle were fatter and sleeker, and produced rich milk in quantities previously unknown in the district. His methods were so far in advance of the primitive husbandry of the time that they gave rise to much speculation . . . in Badenoch especially. This added fresh fuel to the conviction already held that he was 'deisciobul an Diabhail' (a disciple of the Devil).

      That diabolical conviction of his neighbours had grown from another of his activities -- Recruiting Officer for Badenoch. Gray tells us that he was quite successful at the task but "earned a black reputation among the people. It was claimed that his methods were not entirely ethical. It was said that he attended every market, ball and gathering in the district, mingling with the young men and treating them to as much whisky as they could drink. When they became tipsy, he would press a shilling in their hands, and declare them enlisted in the King's Army. In the case of the more wary who declined to drink beyond a certain point, he would slip a shilling into their glass or pocket and, with dire threats claim them as willing recruits." Tales about him were legion and they grew to the point where with each retelling they became more embellished and exaggerated. I'll leave it to you to enjoy these yarns by reading them directly in Gray's delightful book.

Up the Glen to Gaick Forest
      It's a good ten miles from the Museum to the cairn and should you think we walked all the way, I'll confess that we drove about half the distance. Even the 'young bucks' who went via Allt Cuaich drove to where the stream crosses the A9. As is so often the case in Badenoch, the weather alternated between sun and rain with broken cloud cover when it wasn't raining. The drive up Glen Tromie was very scenic and well worth the journey even if you never reach the cairn. At one place along the way we encountered a locked gate but there was a way around it so that we weren't prevented from driving on. just north of Loch an t-Seilaich we came to a gate that couldn't be avoided and it was here that we began our trek on foot.

      Our route took us along the eastern shore of the loch and, as we were walking up the glen, I accepted the fact that it was an uphill slog. I thought to myself that the "return journey would be easier." But when we retraced our steps I found that in these parts it's uphill no matter which way you travel.

      As we approached the cairn my thoughts turned to that day in the closing hours of 1799 when Captain John and his four companions approached the place of their demise.

Call Ghaidhlig (The Loss or Catastrophe of Gaick)       Gray tells us that Captain Macpherson frequently went to Gaick Forest on hunting expeditions where he stayed in a bothy that was located on the site where the cairn now


stands. It was of sturdy stone construction strongly reinforced below the foundation and roofed with heather sods. It was here that the five hunters came and Gray provides us with many details about how the victims spent the hours that preceded the catastrophe that befell them. These details he garnered from the folklore of Badenoch and make delightful reading; but I must leave most of these for you to read about directly from the original. Space does permit providing a short sketch of the events that occurred there.

      On the evening of January 2, the calm, frosty weather that had prevailed their first two days there was replaced by a terrific storm that continued with unabated fury until the afternoon of the 4th. The whole district was covered with a blanket of deep snow and when the hunting party didn't return at the expected time, a scout was sent the next morning to determine why. On arrival at the site where the bothy had previously stood, he could find no trace of it but the site was covered with snow to a depth of several feet. He quickly returned with the news and on the following day a work party returned to the scene. They began to clear away the snow and had made substantial progress when darkness fell and they had to return home for the night. They returned the following day and when the site was finally cleared of snow they found the bothy completely demolished. The bodies of the hunting party were discovered thus -- Ballachroan was lying on his face in a heather pallet; James Grant and John MacPhail were lying on another pallet with their arms stretched over each other; Donald MacGillivray was in a sitting position on the floor reaching towards his foot as if to be removing his shoes. Duncan MacPharlane's body was found later by another hunter some three hundred yards from the bothy site. it was lying in a snow drift with one hand pointing upwards.

      The assumption was that MacPharlane had been standing when an avalanche struck the bothy and had been carried away with the walls and roof of the building; the others had been lying or sitting and had been shielded by the base of the bothy walls. The debris of the bothy was carried for a distance of four hundred yards or so and part of the roof nearly a mile. The party's guns were found mangled by the stones and timber of the building. And the bothy wasn't the only structure that was demolished that night. A sheep fank and a poind fold located near Loch an t-Seilaich were also swept away.

      The hunters' bodies were placed in rough coffins that the party had brought with them, which suggests that rescuers had expected the worst. A contemporary scribe wrote that Glen Tromie was subject to terrific avalanches in snowstorms and cited several other examples to illustrate the phenomena. Perhaps that is why the area is known as Gaidhig dhubh nam feadan fiar--Dark Gaick of the twisted ravines.

      You can get a sense of what might have happened to the party from the photograph that shows the cairn standing in the centre of the rubble of the bothy. Behind it rears a 'twisted' ravine that may well have been the one that spawned the avalanche that demolished the Black Officer's bothy. To the right you can see 'Tokyo', Ewen, Myrna, Ruth, Margaret and Neil. This was taken before Bruce's party arrived. They were an hour late in getting there having found that the going was somewhat rougher than had been expected. We were becoming anxious when finally we spotted a figure on the crest of Bogha-cloiche to the west Fifteen minutes later we spotted Iris Clarke who was wearing a bright yellow rain jacket -- quite a wise garment to wear in such wild country.


      You can get an idea of the difficulty of descending Bogha from the photograph of it to the right of Sandy's party just as they started up the road from the car park. Note also the absence of trees and the loose scree on the slopes. It took about forty-five minutes for Bruce's party to negotiate the zig-zag path down the 'hill', to cross the Tromie and reach the cairn. Tokyo and I scouted for the best way to get there and went part way up the'hill' to show them that the 'old fogies' weren't completely out of it by leading them back. That exercise reconfirmed the wisdom of my original decision.

      After eating the lunches we had brought with us we all started back to the cars some four miles away. It was at this stage I found that the road is always 'uphill' in these parts. But the journey wasn't over yet -- we had one more stop before our search for the Black Officer was complete -- his grave site in old St Columba's churchyard at Kingussie. There under Flatstone 18 (as numbered by Alexander Macpherson in his book Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands of Long Ago lies the body of John Macpherson. The inscription reads:

"Sacred to the memory of Captain JOHN MACPHERSON,
late of the 82d Regiment, who died 2d January 1800, aged 76 years."

      Viewing this gravestone provides no inkling of the controversy that surrounded this gentleman during his lifetime or the catastrophe of Gaick that ended his career as the Black Officer. You may have wondered about the Gaelic verse that is inscribed on the plaque on the cairn. It is the last stanza of an elegy written by Donnchadh Gobha (Duncan 'Smith' MacKay), a contemporary bard, who mourned the loss at Gaick. Its English translation should give us all pause to think.

(Oh waken before you grow grey,
Quicken your foot towards the moor,
See that your shelter is made
Ere the sun sets on you.)

I write to you reading this clan journal, who may or may not be active members of the Clan Association. Each and every year a programme of events is given and I have often thought it needs to be brought into perspective for anyone considering the events listed but who has not yet attended a Rally. For instance, "Friday 5th August 8 pm. Reception members and their guests, etc." This is, in fact, the perfect way to meet our Chief and his family and for you to join in a most friendly meeting of the Clan in an atmosphere of gaiety and good humour. It matters not if you do not dance, you will still be part and parcel of the affair, and


you will meet and, if you wish, dance with, your cousins from many distant parts of the world. Many lasting friendships are started here at the Ball, and many names given to faces you read about in the clan journal. All members of the family, new or old, are most welcome.

      On the morning after you will enjoy your breakfast and step out into the pure fresh air with a wonderful vista all around, and for some, a hazy remembrance of the night before. At 10 am you are welcome to attend the Annual General Meeting, where you can rekindle those new friendships of the night before, and learn of the ways and means relevant to running the Clan Association.

      At 2 pm for 2.15 the men and boys gather at the Old Ralia to begin the Clan March. With pipers playing, banners flying, swords in hand we march down to the sports field. This is your opportunity to be famous for 15 minutes. It stirs the blood, for you, and those looking on. The ladies of the Clan gather to photograph the men, who yesterday were mere boys!

      The Highland Games are well attended with something for everyone, including a dram or two. After the games you are most welcome at our Clan Museum to see and to learn of the artifacts and treasures of the family, and of our past history. You could even join the Association that binds us all into one family. In the evening, after a friendly supper, you can relax at a Ceilidh, a feast of music, song and verse, and should you wish, a glass or two.

      On the Sunday morning those who wish can attend the Church where we meet to give thanks for what we have, to remember our departed and, for some, to take leave of our new friends and family. At 3.30 pm we are invited to the home of Glentruim and his family, for a splendid tea, a wonderful vista, and even a cannon shot or two. All in all, an experience of a lifetime.

      I and my cousins look forward to meeting you this and coming years.
Your truly,


      1993 is the Centenary year of the Camanachd Association, the ruling body of shinty. It is, of course, not the Centenary of shinty itself as a game, as was made clear in the special exhibition launched in Newtonmore in April. That exhibition traced the game back to the heroic days of Fingal and Ossian in Ireland, commemorated in traditional Bardic song and reproduced photographs of sixth century tombstones in Ireland which showed, carved in the stone, clear reproductions of something very close to the modern shinty stick. Indeed it is reputed that St Columba fled from Ireland to Scotland following an accident with his club on the shinty field which unfortunately led to the death of a member of the then Irish Royal House, so that it could be said that the game of shinty was directly responsible for the spread of Christianity in Scotland.

      However it was in 1893 that the modern Association was formed and the rules formalised for the clubs that were beginning to flourish at that time, of which Kingussie was perhaps the leader. The rules were drawn and the Association formed in Balavil House, Kingussie and it is interesting to note that of the four men who formed the founding committee, three were members of the clan: namely C.J. Brewster Macpherson of Balavil, Macpherson of Cluny and Macpherson of Corriemonzie.

      The launch of the Centenary year was appropriately held at Balavil House on 2nd April 1993 as close as possible to the date of the original meeting and hereunder is the statement which the Camanachd Association issued for that occasion:
           "Through the courtesy of Sir Thomas and Lady Macpherson, the Camanachd Association held their Centenary Reception at Balavil House to mark the drafting there of the Constitution of the Association.


           Sir Hector Monro, the Minister responsible for sport in Scotland, was the principal guest. Sir Russell Johnston, the only former shinty playing Member of Parliament, and our equally staunch friend at Westminster, Charles Kennedy, were present along with Graeme Simmers, Chairman of the Scottish Sports Council.

           A distinctive item during the evening was the first performance by Pipe-Major John MacDougall of 'The Camanachd Association Centenary March' composed by Willie Lawrie of Kinlochleven for the occasion."

      Sir Thomas Macpherson's connection as host for the occasion was particularly appropriate as his father, Sir Stewart Macpherson, was recognised as the developer in Kingussie and Newtonmore of the new strategy and tactics of the modern game, and his two uncles, Lord Strathcarron and Captain John Macpherson, are both shown in the Centenary exhibition pictures as members of successful teams. The Centenary launch was followed by a reproduction at Kingussie of the first game under the modern rules, namely Kingussie vs Glasgow Cowal, where on this occasion Kingussie was victorious, reversing the result of a hundred years ago.

      When Marion reached her 60th birthday on 28th August 1993, her friends, inspired by her close friend Sheila Mainland, of the Kilmallie Country Dance Club, organised a Scottish Country Dance Rally to celebrate the occasion. Dancers "frae a' the airts" gathered at Kilmallie Village Hall where they enjoyed an excellent programme of Scottish Country Dances, all of them favourites of Marion. Music was to be supplied by Drummond Cook's Band, but sadly Drummond was unable to keep this engagement and John Renton's Band, at short notice, stepped in and his music gave flight to all dancing feet. Traditionally, at mid-evening, tea and home baking were available and Marion's birthday cake was piped in to the strains of "Happy Birthday." A dance named "Strathossian Strathspey," which was devised by her friends, was presented to Marion and later danced by everyone in the hall.

Marion, who belongs to the Knock of Clune MacPhersons, is the sister of Andrew, our Curator, and has traced her family back to John MacPherson, born in Clune, 1784, son of James MacPherson and Katharine Kennedy.

(N.B. -- Instructions for dancing the "Strathossian Strathspey" are available from the Editor or from Marion Barrie).

By Isa Gillespie
      My grandmother and great-grandmother were two of the famous Newhaven Fishwives. My granny used to supply fish to a lot of the big houses in Trinity. Most of them had several domestic servants. Some of the domestic staff came from the Faroe Islands, etc and didn't know anyone here. So granny would befriend them and keep open house for them. They called her Mother King. One girl came to see granny at No. 7 Hawthornvale. This is a large, red sandstone building. The names and bells were at the wall next to the front door. To gain entry you had to pull the appropriate bell. The girl thought granny owned the whole building as she had never been in a tenement previously.

      Granny also served Sir James Young Simpson's two sisters with fish as they had a house in Trinity. She also addressed Lloyd George in connection with the suffrage movement.

      When in London on another occasion she met the famous actor Forbes-Robertson who wanted to buy her Paisley shawl. It was the fashion then to drape Spanish shawls over the top of baby-grand pianos, and he wanted granny's shawl for that purpose. He said to her,


"Name your price." Granny refused, as most of the fishwives' shawls were family heirlooms and no money could replace their value to the owners.

      Great-granny was presented to Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's daughter. I have a brass bound bible she received from a Lady Warick.

      If there is one phrase that makes me breathe flames it is "Screaming, or brawling, like a fishwife." The Newhaven fishwives were highly respected, God-fearing, upright and I never heard a profane word from them.


Australian Branch
Chairman -- John R. McPherson, 32 Berryman Drive, Modbury, South Australia 5092.
      The Australian Branch wishes to acknowledge the fine work of Gordon McPherson, our founding father, who has recently retired as Australian representative. Gordon spent nearly twenty years in establishing an Australian presence for the Clan Macpherson Association. Understandably, in a vast country where communication is either impossible, difficult or expensive, there have been highs and lows, but there has been no doubting Gordon's sincerity and enthusiasm in assisting members, both Australian and overseas, and maintaining links with clansmen and clanswomen within Australia and with Scotland. May he enjoy his well-earned retirement in Tasmania and catch some trout as well.

      In the meantime all the listed members of the Clan living in Australia have been contacted by letter to confirm their membership status, to facilitate payment of fees, to encourage a membership drive and to seek their views about organising a Clan Rally in Australia. The response to this contact will surely determine a new and exciting path for the Clan Macpherson in Australia.

Badenoch & North of Scotland Branch
Joint Chairmen -- Lady Macpherson, Duncan Gillespie.
      Three meetings have been held during the year and at each it has been possible to report an increase in membership. It is planned in 1994, with help from the Association, to carry out a postal drive to restore the previously strong membership in this home territory.

      The lunch at Newtonmore School on the day of the Rally was again a great success. It has become an integral part of the Rally programme and we look forward to seeing you there again.

      The sad news of the year was the unexpected death of Mrs George Macpherson, who was a member of the Clan both by birth and by marriage. Leader of the Red Cross in the area, she was extremely well known, respected and liked, and was a great supporter of Clan activities. She will be very much missed.

Canadian Branch
Chairman -- Stuart G. McPherson, 1834 Green Meadow Drive, Burlington, Ont. L6J 2Y9; Vice-Chairman - Oliver McPherson, 144 Wakefield, Milton, Ont. L9T 2L9; Secretary/Treasurer -- Mrs E.G. Macpherson, 1295 Cumnock Cres., Oakville, Ont. L6J 2N6.       The Canadian Branch held their Annual General Meeting at the Hamilton Club, Hamilton, Ont. on November 6th, 1993. The meeting was preceded by a reception, social hour and dinner. There were several excellent suggestions given at the meeting regarding increasing our membership as mailings are not too successful.


Following the meeting, we were entertained by Mrs Ruth Sutherland, a Gaelic singer and harpist. International chairman Gordon gave an excellent talk on the Macpherson tartans and then we saw a film made in 1992 at the Rally in Newtonmore featuring Cluny and others.

      In June we held a highly successful Clan picnic at Bronte Provincial Park. Many families of three generations attended and enjoyed the fellowship. Chairman Stuart and his daughter Donna arranged games and prizes. The younger members enjoyed free balloons, ice-cream and candies. We plan to repeat this activity next year.

      The Association had a tent at the Fergus Highland Games and we had considerable interest shown us. These games are one of the oldest on the continent.

      We send greetings to all Clan Macpherson members.

England & Wales Branch
Chairman -- Mr Vic Macpherson-Clifford; Vice-Chairman -- Mr Angus Macpherson; Treasurer -- Mr Angus Macpherson; Hon. Secretary -- Mrs Jerome LeRoy-Lewis, Flat 17, 169 Queenstown Road, London SW8 3RJ.

      The England & Wales Branch's Annual General Meeting was held on 19th May 1993, at the Royal Scottish Corporation, at which all the current office-bearers and committee members were re-elected for another year. The evening was well attended by members and their guests and the buffet supper supplied by the 'ladies' was enjoyed by all. A resolution was made that the England & Wales Branch should join with others worldwide in becoming a Dìonadair of the Clan Macpherson Museum by paying the required amount out of funds already held by the Branch and appealing to its members to contribute towards this donation.

      Our Annual Dinner and Dance was held on Friday, 5th November 1993, at the Hotel Russell. Although numbers were slightly down on previous years, it was still well attended and enjoyed enormously by all members and their guests who were present. A delicious four-course meal was served, including haggis, which was piped in by Jerome LeRoyLewis and then addressed by Andrew Gillies. Vic Macpherson-Clifford welcomed everybody to the dance and proposed a toast to the Clan Macpherson Association and its guests which was replied to on behalf of the guests by Mr Michael Billingham, Headmaster of Westminster City School. Our own vice-chairman and treasurer, Angus Macpherson, then thanked Mr Billingham and informed those present of the very generous contributions that have been made by England & Wales Branch members towards its contribution to the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust and thanked all those who had contributed.

      Stan Watts and his band played for us once again and Andrew Gillies was master of ceremonies. The venue again proved to be an enormous success with plenty of space for everyone to dance Scottish Reels until, at the end of the last waltz, a shower of balloons provided a fitting end to the evening.

      The whole evening was an enormous success and extremely well hosted by our chairman, Vic Macpherson-Clifford. We hope that members will continue to support the evening as it really is a most enjoyable event and we hope that in the future more people will be interested enough to come and see for themselves and sample a truly Scottish evening.

      We send greetings to all our fellow members worldwide.

South African Branch
Chairman -- Allan D. MacPherson, 519 Long Avenue, Ferndale, Randburg, South Africa; Committee -- Kevin MacPherson, Roderick MacPherson, Ian Macpherson, Eric McPherson, David T. MacPherson Smith, Stuart Macpherson.

      We have enjoyed two excellent lun