rumoured that a small piece of the famous Plymouth Rock will join the marvellous collection of stones which has been assembled for the 1745 Cairn, whose unveiling will be a feature of the 1996 Gathering. Grateful thanks to Euan, of Glentruim, and Zandra for their most generous gift of the cairn's site -- and also to both of them and their family for the splendid hospitality which they show to us all each August, with or without assorted gunfire from the ancient Glentruim cannon!

       I was particularly sad to hear of the death during the summer of 1995 of Robert B. MacPherson, of Belchertown, Massachusetts. Known always as Robert "Piobair", he was founder Chairman of the USA Branch, and founder and first editor of the "Urlar", the Branch quarterly magazine. He was the wisest and wittiest of men, and he will be sorely missed. Also as I wrote this message I heard from Jean that her mother Janet has died in Edinburgh. With Hugh she was in at the start, and it is sad to record this break with such an important part of the past. We send to Arlena and her family and to Jean and her family all possible sympathy.

       Finally, may I include in this message a note of warning against anybody tempted by the spurious advertising of what is termed the "Burke's Peerage World Book of Macphersons". These books are nothing but a collection of extracts from world directories. They stem from a firm operating in USA under the name Halbert. The books contain phoney history and heraldry and are truly worthless. Letters come signed "pp Angus J. Macpherson", who is untraceable and nothing at all to do with the Clan or Association. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
With all good wishes.




This is the fourth and last Count Down to our Golden jubilee Gathering in Badenoch -- 1996 has arrived!

       A considerable amount of work has taken place in the intervening years. Your views were sought and as a result the jubilee Committee have put together a programme of events -- social and cultural; old and new -- that you have requested. By all accounts we can expect a record number of members present for this year's Gathering. By now you should be in possession of the various Registration documents and you are requested to comply with the recommended timetable.

       The unveiling of the Cairn to Ewan of the '45 will be the highlight of the Jubilee Gathering. To symbolically demonstrate the spread of the Clan since 1746, rocks have been received from well over 150 different locations and 26 countries.

       The 'Ceremony of the Deeds' for the Cairn land was a high point of the past twelve months and is described elsewhere in these pages. Our visit to the United States and Canadian Branch joint Gathering, held in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in September, was a memorable and happy experience. The comradeship, hospitality and kindness shown by both Branches was overwhelming. Bob and Evelyn Lees and the organising committee are to be commended for all that they did for all of us in attendance.

       Finally, my thanks to the Jubilee Committee, individual Association Members, Branches and other organisations and friends, who have so generously contributed and supported our fund raising activities to make it all possible in 1996 and beyond. Please continue to do so by purchasing the International Raffle tickets and Jubilee Souvenirs. All donations will be most gratefully received and acknowledged and will be put towards


the joint Memorial for Ewan of the '45 -- the Cairn and Museum Library.

       Margaret and I send our very best wishes to you all for 1996 and look forward to seeing many of you at this year's very special jubilee Gathering.



By Ewen S. L. MacPherson
On the Sunday afternoon of the 1995 Gathering, in brilliant sunshine, members of the Clan Association, led by Cluny and Lady Cluny, gathered on the land above Shanvall just off the Glentruim to Catlodge Road. Their desire was to witness the handing over of the title deeds for the small piece of land that Euan Macpherson of Glentruim was gifting to the Association for the purpose of erecting the Cairn to Ewan of the '45.

       There was an atmosphere of great joy and anticipation in the air. Robert Pearson, Honorary Piper, commenced the proceedings by playing his newly composed tune to celebrate the jubilee Gathering.

       Glentruim cut a striking figure as a Highland Chieftain as he addressed the assembled crowd. It was an emotional moment when he handed over the title deeds, bound with Dress Macpherson ribbon, to Chairman Ewen. The Deeds state that the land was being gifted "for the favour and affection which we hold and bear towards the Clan Macpherson" -- this was so clearly demonstrated. Euan's eloquent words are reproduced below.

       On behalf of the Clan Association, Ewen thanked Glentruim for his enormous generosity. He reminded those present that twelve months of continued hard work lay ahead for the Jubilee Committee to ensure that the Cairn would be erected on schedule. Finally, Ewen presented Glentruim with a splendid framed Illuminated Address which had been produced by Immediate Past Chairman, Gordon.

       There was a buzz of great excitement and happiness as members lingered to absorb the splendour of the view and resolved to return next year for the unveiling ceremony. Gradually they dispersed to Glentruim House for afternoon tea. A fitting finale to an excellent Gathering and a tremendous springboard for our jubilee Gathering in 1996.


Cluny, Lady Cluny, Clansfolk:

       Welcome here today. The very last time I stood here on this piece of ground was on the 12th of January this year when Ewen, Bruce and I met here to decide whether this was the right place to build a Commemorative Cairn to Ewan of the '45.

       The three of us stood here and we looked out there over the Upper Spey, the broad fertile valley where our ancestors lived and worked, cultivated the fields and tended their cattle. Right at the head of the valley is the ancestral home of the Head of the Clan, the House of Cluny. And over there beyond Torr na Truime where the rivers Spey and Truim join is the place where our forebears bravely fought and won the Battle of Invernahavon 600 years ago. On the cliff over there is Cluny's Cave, the place where Ewan of the '45 hid from the English. I like to think that on a day like today he would come out of the cave and lie down in the heather and watch the English Redcoats marching up and down in search for him in vain.

       And standing over us now, as then, is Creag Dhubh, the sentinel and guardian of our Clan through all the ages.


       On that day in January this year when Ewen, Bruce and I met here it was a bitterly cold day with snow lying all around. There was not a breath of wind -- utter silence. It was Ewen who suddenly turned to me and said, "You know, if you listen very carefully you can almost hear the silence". The three of us stood together for some moments without speaking, and listening carefully. I think that what we heard were distant echoes from all the centuries past in the long, proud history of our Clan.

       Ewen and Bruce, you remember that day. And today is another occasion. The snow has gone and the sun is shining. Looking back on our history we have reason to be proud and we have great hope for the future of our Clan.

       Ewen, I have here a document which I would like to pass to you. When I do, I do so on behalf of the whole family of Glentruim, both those here present and those past. When you receive this document this small piece of ground will belong to our Clan in perpetuity.

       1996 is going to be a banner year for our Clan Macpherson Association, as we gather in Badenoch for the 50th Annual Rally. The young and lively members of the Jubilee Committee (and that includes you, Ewen!) have worked tremendously hard to plan and bring to life lots of new events to help us celebrate this exciting occasion in our Association's history. They all deserve our support and commendation for their efforts. I hope that the Association will find a way to continue harnessing all this youthful energy and imagination, and not let it be lost after the 50th Rally is over. We can continue the Jubilee theme for a while yet, as 1997 is the 50th anniversary of the first Rally. And in 1998 "Creag Dhubh" can have its turn, with its 50th issue!

       I hope you will enjoy this 48th issue, which includes a look back at the events of the first Rally in 1947, and a report on the moving ceremony last year when the land for the Memorial Cairn to Ewan of the '45 was handed over to the Association by Euan Macpherson of Glentruim. There is also news of an exciting new book by clan historian and genealogist Dr Alan G. Macpherson, recounting the lives and adventures of Ewan of the '45 and his followers.

       I should like to thank all those people who have so nobly responded to my call for articles in the last issue. I'd love to include them all this time around, but the Hon. Treasurer has a stern look on his face! Please don't stop sending your articles, although you may have to be patient.

       A hearty vote of thanks is also due to the kind people who have provided photographs for this issue and many others over the years. As I receive many more photos than I can use (and, believe me, the selection process isn't easy) I have decided to start 2 Scrap Album for photos and news clippings, which will eventually be deposited in the Clan Museum.

       I'll sign off by saying how much I'm looking forward to this year's Jubilee Gathering, and hoping to see you all there!


Church Leader
       Rev. Alan McPherson, minister of Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, Ontario, was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in June 1995. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Knox College, the Presbyterian College within the University of Toronto. Dr McPherson, who studied at the University of Glasgow and at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, is the former Moderator of the Presbytery of Hamilton, and served for ten years as padreacute; of the Argyll and Sutherland Highanders; of Canada.

Medals Presented:
       The Courier and Advertiser reported on 11 April 1995 that two medals awarded to Lauchlan Macpherson for his part in the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 were handed over to The Black Watch in Perth for safe-keeping in their Regimental Museum. The medals were presented by Lauchlan's great-greatgrandson Forbes Macpherson, at the regiment's base in Balhousie Castle, Perth. Mr Macpherson's great-great grandfather had been a crofter in Inverness-shire when he joined the most northerly based 42nd Regiment, which later developed into The Black Watch.

Memoirs Published:        Kay Macpherson, former national president of the Voice of Women in Canada, has had the story of her life as a political activist published by the University of Toronto Press, under the title of "When in Doubt, Do Both: The Times of My Life". Born in England in 1913, she trained as a physiotherapist before emigrating to Canada in 1935. After working in Montreal and Fredericton, N.B., she married political philosopher Brough Macpherson in 1944. She credits some early friendships in Canada for her gradual move into peace, political and feminist activism. In 1977, Kay was elected President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, which she considered her most important achievement.

Broadcaster Remembered:
The death was reported in The Times of 27 April 1995 of Stewart Miles MacPherson, aged 86, at one time a familiar voice in British broadcasting. He grew up in Winnipeg, the grandson of a Scottish farmer who crossed the Atlantic from Skye to Prince Edward Island. Stewart moved to Britain in 1936, gained a BBC audition and commented extensively on sport until the outbreak of the Second World War, when he joined the BBC's war reporting unit, covering some of the key events of the conflict, such as the Battle of Arnhem. After the War, following another stint in sports reporting, he ventured into the entertainment field as Chairman of various radio quiz shows. In 1949 he decided for family reasons to return to North America, and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he continued his career with the CBS radio station WCCO.

Clan Member Honoured:
At Bothwell, Lanarkshire, on 29 April 1995, clan member Oswald James Lee of Bristol received the accolade of Chevalier of The Knights Templar of Scotland, which was bestowed by the Grand Prior of Scotland, Chevalier Kenneth Alexander Shirra, KGCT Among those present at the ceremony were H.E. Prince Michael of Albany (a descendent of Bonnie Prince Charlie), Lt.-Col. (Retd) M. M. Gibson, President of the St Andrew Society (Edinburgh), and clan members Chevalier Archibald Cameron Macpherson, KGCT, MA. LL.B, FSA(Scot) and Chevalier James McPherson, KOT of Kirkintilloch.


Tourism Team Member:
The Strathspey and Badenoch Herald reported on 14 June 1995 that 25-year old Aviemore resident Stuart MacPherson was appointed to the new post of Tourism Events Officer with Aviemore and Spey Valley Tourist Board. In his post Stuart has two objectives -- to provide back-up for events organisers and to promote Badenoch and Strathspey as an events venue. Delighted to be joining the Tourist Board team, Stuart described his job as a challenging one which he hoped to develop for the benefit of the whole area.

       Chairman Ewen lost no time in extending Stuart an invitation to join the Jubilee Committee, which he accepted with enthusiasm!

Fireproofer to Hairdresser:
After four years as a fireproofer on oil rigs, The Scotsman of 22 June 1995 reported, Michael MacPherson has switched his career to that of hairdresser. As the top graduate in Scotland's only college hairdressing course at the Central College of Commerce in Glasgow, Michael was presented with the Bingham Cup.

Bums Enthusiast:
Mr C. MacPherson, Pollok, has written to ask if his grandson, James Charles MacPherson, qualifies as the Clan's youngest Burns enthusiast! James first picked up Rabbie Burns' poetry at three-and-a-half years of age, and could recite 'McPherson's Farewell' when only four. Some of James' recitations of Burns' poems have already been recorded on tape for use by language students at St Andrew's College, Glasgow, where both staff and students were suitably impressed by James' performance. Well done, James!

Rare Orchids:
The Scottish Daily Mail of 3 August 1995 reported that eight varieties of wild orchids found growing beside the fairways of Newtonmore Golf Club's course are to be protected, with financial backing from Scottish Natural Heritage. The varieties are Large Butterfly, Fragrant, Frog Arch, Small White, Northern Marsh, Common Spotted, Early Marsh and Heath Spotted.

Architectural Graduate:
Life Member Robert Neil Macpherson, Pasadena, South Australia, has written to tell us about the achievements and aspirations of his daughter Rebecca Jo Macpherson, who was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1973 and attended Clapham Primary School, Scotch College and the University of South Australia. In 1995 she completed a five year course in architecture at the University of South Australia, graduating with first class honours. Rebecca is interested in gaining experience in an architect's office overseas.

Golfers in Four-Course Challenge:
The Courier and Advertiser of 23 June 1995 reported that four golfers mounted a marathon charity golfing challenge, by attempting to play four British Open Championship courses in Scotland in one


day. Two of the four players were Calum McPherson (28), Speirs Wharf, Glasgow, organiser of the event, and his brother Stewart (30) of Seamill, 'West Kilbride. The challenge was started at 4.15 a.m. at Turnberry Course, followed by Royal Troon, Carnoustie and the Old Course of St Andrews, where they aimed to sink the final putt by 10 p.m.

Queen's Birthday Honours:
Among the honours conferred by HM the Queen and announced in the 1995 Birthday Honours List was that of a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Overseas List) to Commander Donald McPherson Dinning of San Diego, California, for services to San Diego/Edinburgh town-twinning. Our congratulations to Commander Dinning for this recognition of all his hard work in international relations.

       An article in The Urlar of Autumn 1994 tells us that Donald was born in the US of Scottish parents. At age seven he was tenor drummer in the bagpipe band founded by his father and uncle, both of whom served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the First World War. In 1943 Donald enlisted in the US Navy and saw service in the Second World War, Korea and Vietnam. He retired with the rank of Commander in 1976, with numerous medals including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

Falling Objects:
A note in The Times Diary of 24 October 1995 recounts an incident recalled by Cluny, following the recent report of the Queen being hit and injured by a grouse plummetting from the sky. Cluny said that he had watched his father shoot a bird high on a hill in Perthshire during the war. "I watched it fall down the line, for at least 150 yards," he recalls. "My cousin Elizabeth Rose, who later became Chief of Clan Rose, was walking at the bottom of the line, carrying fishing tackle for use later on. She saw the bird falling and simply stretched out the landing net and caught the dead grouse in the net. My advice to Her Majesty is therefore always to carry a net while out shooting and never look down."

To Christopher and Catriona Ward (née Macpherson) a son, Connor Euan Macpherson Ward, on 9th June 1995. A grandson for Euan and Zandra Macpherson of Glentruim.

Harold E. (Harry) Ellis, a member of the US Branch , died on 11 th January 1995 in Plantation, Fla., at the age of 67. He was active in many Scottish-American activities, including being Pipe-Major in the Glengarry Highlanders. He is survived by his wife Isabelle La Tant, two sons Laurence and David, a daughter Brenda and two grandchildren.,

Mrs E. B. Grant-McPherson, Upper Milton, Wells, Somerset, died very suddenly on 12th March 1995.

David W. Howard died at Richfield, Ohio on 23rd March 1995 at the age of 55. Born in Greenup, Kentucky, David grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He served for three years in the US Marines, and later worked with the National Forest Service at Yellowstone Park. Over the years David had many interests, falconing, dog sledding, politics, serving for 13 years on the Village Council, and his Scottish heritage. He was the Editor of The Urlar,


the quarterly magazine of the US Branch, for several years, until the tragic car accident which later led to his untimely death. His first wife, Jeanie M. Gilchrist, died in 1992, and he is survived by a daughter Elizabeth, a son David and a grandson Franklin, and his second wife Laura M. Bierens.

Mrs Cecile Desiree (Betty) Macpherson (née Carrol) died at Fleet on 18th June 1995. Born in 1909, she spent the early years of her life in the Andaman Islands, a penal colony governed by her father. On completing her education in England she moved back to India, where she met and married James C. Macpherson of Edinburgh, a banker. Their son Robin was born in Ceylon, and Colin in Singapore.

       During the Second World War she worked as an occupational therapist in Bombay and Calcutta, and also in the military censor's office. After the war they transferred to North Borneo where she worked for the Australian War Graves Commission and travelled extensively in the jungle on recovery missions. Here she developed her ability in painting the many indigenous tribes she encountered during her work with a Leper Colony and the government aid programme. Early retirement was decided upon, and they built a house and market garden in what is now central Fleet in Hampshire.

       She exhibited her art in Singapore and the former London Summer Salon, and was a founder member and Honorary President of Fleet Art Society. She was also a gifted flower arranger and turned to flower and landscape painting.

       From 1955 onward they restored Shanvall, a derelict former croft and byre in Glentruim, which was frequented for annual family holidays until its return to the estate in 1985. She lived with her son Colin and family for 27 years, where she was later cared for, still remaining able to pass on her talent and experience. After her death, her papers were found to include the following note:
              "Life is eternal, love is immortal and death is only an horizon; and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight".

Duncan MacPherson, MRCVS, affectionately known as 'Mac the Vet', died at his home in the Scottish village of Gullane.

       Born 1912 in Kilchrennan, Argyll, Duncan was the youngest of a large family. Educated at Keil School, Dumbarton, he qualified from the Royal Dick Veterinary College in Edinburgh in 1935.

       He ran a successful practice in Alnwick for close on fifty years and was described as "A vet of the old school who was well-loved locally; a man who cared for animals passionately and always put others before himself".

       His knowledge and understanding of horses was highly respected by people in both the hunting and racing worlds, including the local point-to-points. His better known clients included the Percy family of Alnwick Castle.

       His love of animals, handed down from his drover forebears, extended into his hobby which was the breeding of a prize herd of Highland cattle. Appropriately, it was whilst tending them that he took ill and subsequently died. Following a private funeral in Edinburgh, a memorial service was held in Alnwick.

       Duncan is survived by his wife, Doris, son, Gordon and a daughter, Ann. He was an uncle of Ewen, Chairman of the Clan Association.

Gordon J. McPherson: It was in 1973 that Gordon 'discovered' the Clan Macpherson Association whilst on a visit to the Richmond Highland Games in Surrey when he entered the tent of the England & Wales Branch. Later that summer he made his first of several visits to the Clan Gathering in Badenoch. The following year saw him back at Richmond in full Highland dress and forming part of the Colour Party escorting Cluny as Chieftain of the Highland Games.

       In 1974 he was granted a formal 'Charter' to form an Association Branch in Australia and over the ensuing years he devoted much time and energy towards that aim. Despite the geographic disadvantages of Australia he succeeded in establishing enthusiastic Sub Branches in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.


       A third generation Australian, Gordon was an engineer by profession and based in Melbourne. He later moved to Tasmania to retire to a quiet life of trout fishing. After a long period of poor health he died on the 11th January 1995. A floral tribute was arranged on behalf of the Clan Association by the current Branch Representative, John R. McPherson of South Australia. His ashes were distributed to three favourite spots: a trout stream in Tasmania, a family grave in Melbourne and a stream near Newtonmore, Scotland.

       A true pioneer of the Clan Association, Gordon broke new ground and will be sadly missed by all who came in contact with him. Our sympathy is extended to the members of his family in Australia.

Pipe-Major Iain MacPherson, M.M., died in August 1995. A native of Glasgow, Iain was a well-known bagpipe performer, teacher and judge. He and his equally famous brother Donald were both taught by their father as boys to play the bagpipes. He judged pipe and drum competitions throughout the UK and Sweden before moving to Alaska in 1983. He moved to Tulsa, Okla., several years ago.

Mrs Janet Macpherson (née Laing) died peacefully in her sleep on 12th October 1995 at her home in Edinburgh, aged 86 years. She was the wife of the late Hugh Macpherson, Past Chairman of the Association. She is survived by two daughters, Sheila (Australia) and Jean, five grandchildren and five great- -grandchildren. Jean is carrying on the Highland Outfitting in Edinburgh along with her daughter Alison.

Robert Bennett (Bob) MacPherson, founder of the US Branch, died at Belchertown, Mass., on 26th May 1995, a day after his 87th birthday. Born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, Bob moved to Springfield, Mass., in 1925, where he graduated from Western New England College in 1938. He attained the rank of Captain in the US Army Air Forces during the Second World War. After the War he had a long career as an accountant, becoming president and chairman of the board of directors of Buxton's Inc. He also became a trustee of his college, serving a total of 25 years. He was a major fund-raiser for WNEC, and in 1992 was voted Alumnus of the Year. He was also a devoted churchman, serving in the deaconate and board of trustees of Belchertown Congregational Church. In addition he was a Mason and held several important offices in the Belchertown area.

       The first and second meetings of the US Branch were held at his retirement home of 'Piobair Farm' in 1971. He worked along with the late James MacPherson Jarrett to get the branch off to a good start. Forty-two members came in the first year and fifty-three in the second.

       Bob is survived by his wife Arlena Brown of Cleburne, Texas, whom he married in Paris, France on 8th May 1945 (V.E. Day!), two children, Bruce Robert and Susan Lexie, and a grand-daughter, Carson.

William R. MacPherson, of Hamilton, Ontario died on 27th February 1995. Bill was a Life Member of the Association and a strong supporter of the Canadian Branch. His warm and friendly personality always added a great deal to all our gatherings, and he will be sorely missed by his fellow clan members. We extend our sympathy to his wife Eve, and to his son and family.

Mrs Yvonne MacPherson died peacefully on 20th September 1995, aged 88 years, She was the widow of Brig. Ewen MacPherson, late of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. She is survived by her son Rory, Chairman of the England & Wales Branch, and her grandson Hugo.

Mrs Jean (Teassie) Watson-Kerr died in Kingussie in January 1995. The oldest member of the Badenoch & North of Scotland Branch, she was born 93 years ago, daughter of James Macpherson who in due course built Craigphadraig in Kingussie, and ran


there the business that still bears his name. Teassie's husband was at the time of their marriage Assistant Editor of The Scotsman. He later moved to an appointment in Liverpool where their family was brought up. She is survived by her son, a distinguished facial surgeon in Aberdeen, by her daughter Joan, married to Professor McGrath of Kingston University, Ontario, Canada and by her grandchildren.

       The family plan, at her request, a commemorative cairn of traditional style at Feshie Bridge.

By R. G. M. Macpherson, FRSA, FSA(Scot), FHSC
An interesting grant of Arms was made by the Chief Herald of Canada, Ottawa, on May 25th 1995, to Kirk R. McPherson of Burlington, Ontario, and the Arms have been recorded in Volume III, page 14 of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. This new Heraldic Authority was established, within the Office of the Governor General, in 1988 by Letters Patent signed by HM The Queen. Following creation of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, new coats of arms have been granted and existing arms and symbols affirmed, using the Governor General's exercise of the Royal Prerogative of The Queen of Canada.

       The Arms of Kirk McPherson are, like all other existing clan Arms, based on those of the Chief with a suitable "difference". The shield illustrated contains the principal components of the Cluny Arms, viz., the Galley, the cross-crosslet, and the red hand and dagger. In addition, the "scales of justice" appear in the upper central portion of the shield to indicate the armiger's profession as a Barrister.

       The Crest is described as a "wildcat sejant guardant proper gorged with a collar of Dress Macpherson tartan and pendant therefrom a Maple Leaf Or". The Motto is an "answering motto" to that of the Chief, "Touch not the cat but a glove".

       Kirk McPherson is the son of a past Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Association, Mr and Mrs Neil F. McPherson of Oakville, Ontario.

By Andrew Macpherson, Curator
The 1994/95 season was a repeat of last year as far as visitors were concerned, with the first couple of months very slow but improving as time went on until it seemed possible we would at least equal last year's figure, but that was not to be, and at the end of the season there had been 2818 visitors, that is 448 less than 1993/94. Contributions through the boxes towards the upkeep of the museum totalled �04, only slightly down from last year. Also down from last year were the sales of clan literature and souvenirs, a total of �86. I think that there were not as many overseas clansmen and families as we usually


expect, who buy most of our sales. I hope to see them in 1996, and many new faces as well.

       During the closed season the black and white paintwork was given a fresh coat of paint and so the museum looked fresh again.

       The plaque bearing the names of the Guardians of Clan Macpherson has been installed in the museum next to the entrance to the Drumochter Room. It was unveiled by Cluny with due ceremony attended by members and guests at the "At Home" in the museum and was the highlight of the evening and is an excellent addition to the museum display.

       I have to acknowledge the following amounts donated to museum funds: � from Mr Tom Macpherson, 5B North Shore Street, Redlands, Campbeltown, Argyll; � from Mr David Gillespie, 48 Wincanton Road, London. I also have to acknowledge the following items of interest for display in the museum:
       (1) The Arms of W. Bruce Gillis, Middleton, Nova Scotia. Painted and presented by R. G. M. Macpherson, Burlington, Canada. Also the Arms of Ronald W. G. Macpherson, presented by R.G.M.M. in 1993. 1 regret the omission of this item from the list given in Creag Dhubh 1994.
       (2) A presentation book of the history of the Bank of Scotland, 1695 to 1995, by Alan Cameron. Presented by Mr West, Local Branch Manager.
       (3) "Kingussie and the Caman", presented by the author, Mr John Robinson.
       (4) An excellent painting of Col. Cluny Macpherson, CMG, MD, CM, JP, KJStJ, of St John's, Newfoundland, by Helen Parsons Shepherd, presented by his granddaughter, but I am sorry to say that due to a misunderstanding I did not make a note of the lady's name. Maybe she will be kind enough to send that information to me for the records.

The following can be ordered from the Museum.

Terms: Payment with order in cash, money order, or cheque. If by cheque it should be drawn on a UK bank, as there are additional charges for collection from a foreign bank. (normally �. Orders will be sent 2nd class mail inland and surface mail overseas. Prices include post and packing and while every care is taken the museum cannot be responsible for breakages in transit.


NA DÌONADAIREAN -- REPORT FOR 1995 By Roderick W. Clarke, Dìonadair This is my fourth report to the Association on that group of clansfolk who proudly wear the badge shown on the left. As I've related before, these are Na Dionadairean Clann Mhuirich -- the Guardians of Clan Macpherson -- who have demonstrated their support for preserving our heritage by making a substantial financial contribution to the Clan Macpherson Museum at Newtonmore. The fee for joining Na Dionadairean is a minimum contribution of $1000 US or the equivalent in other currencies. To date, 33 individual families and 4 groups of individuals have made this commitment. The total in contributions now exceeds $40,000 from all sources but not including separate substantial contributions from the Canadian Branch.

       As I promised earlier, a plaque bearing the names of all Dìonadairean was installed at the Museum and unveiled at the 1995 Gathering. A photograph of the plaque is shown below. Note that there are two groups of text below the badge of Na Dìonadairean. The one to the left is in the Gaelic, the language of our ancestors; that to the right is the English translation which reads as follows:
       "Be it known that the persons listed below have made extraordinarily generous contributions to the financial support of the Clan Macpherson Museum and have been appointed as Guardians of Clan Macpherson and are authorized to wear the badge of the Guardians so that all shall know of their great dedication and loyalty."

       Thirty- seven names follow these dedications. These were listed in my previous reports except for that of the New England Region of the United States Branch which became a member when their collective contributions reached the required amount during 1995.

       The erection of this first plaque is NOT the end of the project because the needs of the

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Museum will continue to exceed the funds immediately available to maintain it in the condition that the proud Macpherson heritage warrants. A substantial portion of the building is old and the severity of the Highland weather has not abated. The force of the elements will continue to assault this precious asset and thus the challenge remains for new Dìonadairean to step forward and join our ranks. That's a challenge that all loyal clansfolk should consider answering in this, the year of our Golden Jubilee.


James A. S. McPherson, CBE, MA, LL.B, FSA(Scot), JP, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, taken on the occasion of the visit to Banff by HRH The Prince of Wales (Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) to open Duff House on 28th June, 1995.

       Duff House has historical relevance so far as the Clan Macpherson is concerned because it was Alexander Duff of Braco who was responsible for the capture at St Rufus Fair at Keith of James Macpherson, the Highland freebooter, who was subsequently convicted at Banff Sheriff Court and hanged in Banff on 16th November, 1700. Alexander Duff of Braco was the ancestor of William Duff, Lord Braco who was created Viscount Macduff and Earl of Fife in 1759 and who was responsible for the building of Duff House.

       As a contribution to the Cairn for Ewan of the '45, James A. S. McPherson kindly gifted three large stones from part of an old building recently demolished in the Royal Burgh of Banff located near the site of the former Tolbooth where James Macpherson was imprisoned prior to his execution. In addition, he presented a piece of Portsoy Marble. The dark green Marble from Portsoy in Banffshire is famous because it was exported to France and used in the building of the Palace of Versailles.



By Archy Macpherson, KGCT, MA, LL.B, NP, FSA (Scot)
No matter how tempting a meal, it will have no effect till it is eaten and equally, no matter how attractive the presentation of a language, unless one starts learning it the prettiness of its packaging is of no avail.

       This is true of our own language, the tongue of our Macpherson ancestors. No matter whether we have gained degrees or not, learning a language is not an intellectual feat but the outcome of doggedness, every day doing a little more. In other words mastering a language is the product of bloody minded application over weeks or months or even years.

       We must thank the STV for having put together a truly intriguing initiative, namely, a 30 programme course with a book and cassettes with the magnificent name of "Speaking our Language". It has been widely acknowledged as stunning and was filmed throughout Scotland. One speaks in phrases and these with video pictures cunningly build up so well that by the end of the series one has a surprisingly high standard of fluency. Of course it demands application but it rewards one with a great deal of enjoyment in going from one programme to another. But as a Peach Melba has little impact unless one gorges oneself in its delights so too with this course. The Jordanhill College of Education has masterminded its grammar and phrases and it can be obtained from CANAN, PO Box 345, Isle of Skye IV44 8XA, Scotland. Telephone: 01471 844345, Fax: 01471 844322; E-mail: canan@smo.uhi.ac.uk. On request they will also send you their catalogue of Gaelic learning materials and teaching aids for all ages and stages.

       The company which specialises in providing for the needs of learners of Gaelic of all ages, Comann Luchd-lonnsachaidh, has moved further North to 3 High Street, Dingwall, Ross-shire IV15 9HL, Scotland - Phone/Fax 01349-862820 -- and now provides a glossy sixty-page quarterly called "Cothrom" for the modest price of UK�, EU� 12 and elsewhere � 14; unemployed/student anywhere �and club/organisation anywhere �. In a world of constantly rising prices this is a bargain.

       As if this was not all, they are pleased to give advice on any aspect of Gaelic learning and their magazine "Cothrom" is bi-lingual with parallel columns and news from the, Gaelic learning world.

       Some enquiries have been made as to building up a basic Gaelic library for beginners. Two booklets spring to mind, Tocher of oral folklore from throughout Scotland, contains stories and traditions in Gaelic with translations in English. These are particularly useful in giving access to lively colloquial racy expressions of the language. Current copies are �post free from Scottish Cultural Press, PO Box 106, Aberdeen AB9 8ZE (Tel: 01224 583777) for annual subscription. Back copies can be had from Mrs Frances Beckett, School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland (Tel: 0131-650 3060). The other is a quarterly called Gairm from Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ (Tel/Fax: 0141-221 1971). They too can provide back copies at cut rates and, on request, a catalogue of Gaelic books. [Gairm ceased publication n 2005 -- RM]

       For the beginner two paperback dictionaries: The New English-Gaelic Dictionary by D. S. Thomson (2nd edition), from Gairm Publications above or any good shop. The Modern Gaelic-English Dictionary by R. C. Owen from the same publishers. A pronouncing system is employed based on English spelling for this dictionary which is quite good as long as one remembers broad and slender letters like D, T, L, N. R, etc..[Gairm Publications is no longer in business-- RM].

       Hodder & Stoughton publish Teach Yourself Gaelic by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor, which is also available with a cassette [and now in CDs --RM.] The book is 344 pages at �99 and the cassette with the book �.99. It provides a complete course for beginners. Lastly, Morag MacNeill's Everyday Gaelic published by Gairm Publications gives a


valuable amount of phrases and word-lists which would supplement any Gaelic course.

       Well, sin agad e ... there you have it. . . . We look forward to seeing you at the Rally at Kingussie and Newtonmore ... mar sin leat ... cheerio.

By Sandy Macpherson
This looks like being the story that runs and runs. In my previous two articles on Macpherson place names in various parts of the world I appealed for information on further similar features and to date I have received some fasciriating details.

       Bill Macpherson of Lesmurdie, Western Australia, has sent an interesting article on the naming of Mt. Macpherson in north-west Australia, and for a bonus included Macpherson Creek!

       Last year I mentioned Major McPherson of the 39th Regiment, who gave his name to the McPherson Range in Queensland. This produced a letter to the Editor from Mr Justice B. H. McPherson of Brisbane, and accompanying article, which are reproduced in full, a wonderful response indeed.

       A letter to the Editor printed in full in last year's Creag Dhubh and written by Dan McPherson of San Diego in California gave a lot of information on McPhersons Peak in Santa Barbara County. He enclosed with his letter a map of the County and detailed instructions on the route to the top. Thank you, Dan, San Diego is a city 'twinned' with my own native Edinburgh, which would give a good reason for going there. McPherson Peak at 5749 feet high would certainly be a target for me, being ahead of my personal best to date of Ben Nevis (4404 feet).

       Another Macpherson place name came my way when Robert McGillivray, the Editor of the Journal of the Clan Chattan Association, returned with his wife from a visit to the United States during the early summer. Knowing my interest in Macpherson place names, he gave me a leaflet he had obtained on a visit to the battlefield of Gettysburg, that tumultuous Civil War battle in July 1863 which, after three bloody days, gave victory to the Union armies and led to the eventual defeat of the Confederate States. On examining the leaflet I noticed that one feature on the battlefield was McPherson Ridge, the site of the first day's hostilities between the two armies.

       Once again, I end on a questioning note. Are any details known of the clansman who left his name to posterity in a way he could never have imagined? All contributions welcome.

THE NAMING OF MT MACPHERSON By Bill Macpherson, Lesmurdie, Western Australia In 1994, Creag Dhubh published an article by Sandy Macpherson, "World Wide Macphersons", identifying landmarks around the world named after Macphersons. He wondered how Mt Macpherson in the north-west of Australia got its name.

       This is more of a hill than a mountain, and has probably been seen by very few people. It lies in harsh desert country, out beyond the marginal pastoral land, about 100 km from the nearest mining settlement. It was named on a government survey expedition in 1858, at the point where heat and lack of water forced its leader back to civilisation. The expedition had been largely financed by five successful farmers at the Swan River Colony. One of them was Donald Macpherson of Glentromie, I 100 km north of the Swan.

       Donald was born in 1815 in Dunachton village on Dunachton Farm, just down the River Spey from Kingussie. His parents were Aeneas McPherson and Margaret McIntosh. Aeneas is a bit of a mystery because the Alvie parish records around his birth are missing. Their eldest child, Jessie, was born at Kinloch in the parish of Alvie, a spot

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no longer on the map. Their eldest son, John, told his children in later life that, because an earlier generation had forfeited property, the family was reduced to crofting. Aeneas had tried to recover the property but lost out to Campbell relatives. Many families have such a story handed down the generations.

       When I wrote to Creag Dhubh a few years back for information on Margaret's birthplace, Auchnabeuchin, I had a charming letter from the Rev. N. F. W. McPherson of Edinburgh pointing me to Dr Isobel Grant's book "Everyday Life on an Old Highland Farm". Auchnabeuchin was another village on Dunachton Farm, and the book describes the life on that farm in the time of Donald's parents and grand-parents. Today, you can see the outlines of the cottages and fields of each village in the remaining lines of stones. They are even marked on the Ordnance Survey map, but no-one now knows which village is which, At least, I found that the present occupants of the land don't.

       Donald and John migrated to the ten-year-old Swan River Colony in 1839 with their sheep-dogs and probably not much else, and worked as shepherds in country being opened up to the north of Perth Times were so hard that they had to take, as part of their pay, a proportion of each season's Jambs. They were better off than most workers at the time, who had to take rum in part-payment, Within ten years they owned more sheep than their employers.

       During those ten years, they were joined by a younger brother, Duncan, and his young family, and a cousin, Ewen McIntosh, all from Dunachton.Their elder sister, Jessie Campbell, and her family arrived in 1853. The Scotch Shepherds, as they were known, prospered despite the undependable climate and economy. The youngest brother and sister, George and Marjory, did not migrate here. Marjory was last heard of near Edinburgh later in the century.

       Donald was the inaugural chairman of the Victoria Plains Road Board (the local district council) for five years, remaining a member for ten years more. He had a hard life, but perhaps riot as hard as if he had stayed on Speyside. He died in 1887, in poor health and heavily mortgaged, but a success. His property, Glentromie, was known as a well-equipped, well-run station. We don't know why he chose its name, but Alan G. Macpherson of Newfoundland suggested that Donald's father may have been born into a family near the foot of Glen Tromie, across the river from Kingussie.

       Donald had four sons and four daughters. One of them, Jessie, was the mother of Sir Keith Macpherson Smith and Sir Ross Macpherson Smith, who won the 1919 air race from Britain to Australia. This achievement was commemorated in 1994 with the flying of a replica Vickers Vimy aircraft over the same route.

       Finally, in the desert near Mt Macpherson, there is also a Macpherson Creek which would probably see water only on the occasions when a cyclone dumps a downpour into it. However, it was named at the turn of the century after a Mr Macpherson of the International Cable Station on the coast at Broome. But we don't know who he was. Yet.


Chambers of Mr Justice McPherson
7 February 1995

Mrs Margaret Hambleton
Editor: "Creag Dhubh"

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
I am enclosing a note on the McPherson Range in Queensland, which you may think fit to publish in Creag Dhubh. It was, as you will see, promoted by the speculation by Sandy Macpherson on the history of the McPherson place names.

       While on that subject, the Union General James McPherson of American Civil War fame is commemorated most strikingly by an equestrian statue in McPherson Square, Washington D.C. At the time he was killed in the battle for Atlanta, Georgia, he was about to be married to a young lady, who was a member of the family supporting the Southern


cause. Her first knowledge of the tragedy came from overhearing another member of her family say: "Great news. McPherson's dead". It was said that on hearing this she went to her room and did not come out again for a whole year.
       With kind regards,

Your Sincerely,

Hon. Mr Justice B. H. McPherson, CBE, JA.


By Hon. Mr justice B. H. McPherson, CBE,Court of Appeal, Brisbane

In calling attention to places in various parts of the world that bear the clan name, Sandy Macpherson in the 1994 issue (No. 46) of Creag Dhubh wondered if the McPherson Range on the border of Queensland and New South Wales might perhaps have been called after one of the ancestors of the present Chief However, when Allan Macpherson pioneered what is now the Roma district of western Queensland in the 1850s, the McPherson Range had already been identified and named more than a quarter of a century before.

       It was a Lowland Scot, born in Berwickshire, who gave those mountains their name. Patrick Logan, Captain of the 57th Foot, was the third commandant of the penal settlement at Moreton Bay in what was later to become Queensland, and he is generally credited with having placed the settlement there on a sound footing. His consuming interest, in which he later lost his life, lay in exploring the district to which he was assigned. In 1828 in the company of another Scot, the noted botanist and explorer Alan Cunningham, he travelled on foot and horseback south from Brisbane. The entry in Cunningham's diary for 3 August 1828, reproduced by J. G. Steele in The Explorers of the Moreton Bay District 1770-1830, records:

            "A range, distant scarcely ten miles and stretching from east by north to south-east of
             elevated bold appearance, was named 'Macpherson's Range', in compliment to Major
Macpherson, of his Majesty's 39th Regiment."

       Major Donald McPherson, as his name is spelled in contemporary records, has proved to be considerably more elusive than either the mountain range or the associated Federal Parliamentary electorate that also now bears his name. His time in Australia was relatively brief, and he does figure in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Only through perseverance on the part of Mrs Helen Jeffcoat of the Queensland Supreme Court Library was he eventually tracked down. The Mitchell Library in Sydney holds copies of regimental pay and muster records for part of the time Donald McPherson served in Australia. For more detailed information it was necessary to refer to sources in England. The 39th Foot became the Dorsetshire Regiment (now the Devons and Dorsets), and, after some fruitless enquiries had been undertaken elsewhere, Major J. Caroll, Curator of the Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, was able from museum records and regimental histories to provide some details of the subject's military career.

       Donald McPherson was commissioned as an ensign on 8 April 1796, promoted Lieutenant in 1797, Captain 1805, Brevet Major in 1819, and Major in 1824. In 1825 the Regiment, then stationed in Cork, sailed for New South Wales, the first contingent acting as guards on the convict transport Woodman. By September 1827 the whole regiment with its commanding officers had arrived in Australia. It was presumably because the Regiment then represented the principal British Army contingent in Australia that Major McPherson was chosen for the compliment of having the mountains named after him. The name of Colonel Lindesay, the regimental commanding officer, is commemorated in nearby Mt. Lindesay, also mentioned in Sandy Macpherson's note in "Creag Dhubh".


       Little more has been discovered about Major McPherson. It is possible that Mt. Macpherson in the Throssel Range was also named after him because it was a captain of the 39th Foot who assisted in establishing the first British settlement at Albany in Western Australia in 1826. Apart from commanding a detachment ordered to Bathurst to capture some marauding convicts in 1830, Major McPherson would have seen little action in Australia. In 1831 the Regiment was ordered to India, where he was appointed Lt. Colonel in succession to Lindesay in 1831, before retiring in 1837.

       It is almost certain that Donald McPherson never saw the mountain range which bears his name. Had he done so, he would have found it a place of surpassing beauty. Rising to over 3000 ft. and often touched by the mists of coastal rainfall, the McPherson Range carries a remnant of the vast rainforest which in prehistoric times covered much of the continent of Australia. Growing there are Antarctic beeches of great antiquity, giant treeferns, colourful orchids, and other epiphytes. In the gloom of the forest the lyrebird dwells, in the company of paradise rifle birds, brilliant parrots, and bower birds.

       For that Scottish soldier of whom so little seems to be known, the McPherson Range is a long march from the hills of home.

DONALD McPHERSON (1774-1851)
Unknown to Mr Justice McPherson, I had also received the following article by Roddy Balfour entitled 'McPherson/McBarnet Families'. Using information kindly provided by Mrs Mary-Jane McBarnet of Hawaii, I compared the careers of Major Donald McPherson whose name is commemorated in the 'McPherson Range' and Colonel Donald McPherson who married into the McBarnet family. I immediately realised that they were one and the same person! It's not often that you can read two consecutive articles about entirely different facets of the life of one of our outstanding clansmen, but you can take the opportunity on this occasion.

By Roderick (Roddy) Balfour
In the mid-18th century Donald MacPherson -- Caiptean Dubh* Cheann-loch (the Black Captain of Kinloch, ie Kinloch Laggan) -- married Mary MacPherson, daughter of Angus MacPherson of Killiehuntly. Their son, Angus, was known as An t-Othaichear Breac** (the spotted officer). He held the lease of Strathmashie, in Laggan, and was later tacksman of Aberchalder, on the Glengarry Estate, where he died in 1820. Their daughter Beatrice married James McBarnet (see below) in circa 1780.

       Angus's son Donald (b.1774) served in the 39th Regiment -- the 39th (Dorsetshire) Foot -- retiring in the rank of lieutenant- colonel after a period in command of the regiment. He served for many years in India and also saw service in the Peninsular Wars, taking part in some of the major engagements of those campaigns. He died at Burgie House, Forres, on 28th December 1851, aged 77, and was interred in the family vault in the old church of Laggan. He was remembered as "a gallant soldier, who had seen much service in India, where he was universally beloved and respected by all who knew him, and particularly by the sons of the Highland mountains, who found in him a father and a friend."

       Colonel Donald married, late in life, Mary MacCulloch Rose, widow of Alexander McBarnet, his first cousin. She was the daughter of William Baillie Rose of Rhynie, Easter Ross and his wife Helen Cockburn, and the grand-daughter of Hugh Rose, parish


minister of Tain (1770-1774) and his wife Mary MacCulloch, daughter of David MacCulloch of Glastullich, Easter Ross.

       Alexander McBarnet -- Alistair Mor MacBharnaid -- was the fourth son of James McBarnet, one of several farmers from Upper Speyside who were encouraged by the Duke of Gordon to take farm tenancies in Lochaber and Badenoch in order to introduce improved farming methods on his vast estates, in those districts. Alexander, like many of his youthful contemporaries, spent a number of years in the West Indies where he accumulated a considerable fortune in the sugar industry. He returned to Scotland in the mid 1830's when he purchased the estates of Attadale, in 1837, and Torridon, in 1838. Unfortunately, he had barely entered possession of these properties when he died in Inverness in November 1838. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander Cockburn McBarnet, then only twelve years of age. Management of these estates thus devolved upon Colonel Donald MacPherson (see above) in his capacity as tutor (ie guardian) and step-father of Alexander C. by virtue of his marriage to Mary Rose, widow of Alexander. Unwisely, perhaps, he appointed Farquhar McBarnet, son of his cousin James and nephew of Alexander, as factor of Torridon Estate. Because of Alexander C.'s prolonged absence on military service he occupied this position until the 1860's. Although there is no evidence to suggest that people were actually removed he did follow the course, popular at that time, of putting the land under sheep. As a consequence the local population were deprived of much good pasture land. Certainly this action and the hardship it engendered was the cause of a considerable amount of adverse comment from local


witnesses before the Napier Commission in 1883 and has provided a wealth of ammunition for subsequent writers -- one hesitates to call them historians -- to vent their wrath upon the family. Having regard to the esteem in which Colonel Donald was held both in the army and in Badenoch it is difficult to accept that he would have permitted repressive policies to be implemented in his name so that one is forced to the conclusion that what was done was intended to be in the interest of the community as a whole and in accordance with principles of good estate management.

       Both Attadale and Torridon were subsequently sold by Colonel Alexander C. -- as he became. In 1861 Attadale was purchased by Alexander Matheson of Ardross MP, from whose father Alexander had purchased it, and in 1873 Duncan Darroch of Gourock bought Torridon for conversion into a sporting estate.

       In 1810 Alexander's eldest brother, Captain Donald McBarnet, of the 92nd Highlanders, married Helen MacPherson of Balachroan, daughter of Captain John MacPherson, late of the 82nd Regiment -- The Prince of Wales' Volunteers. He was the famous Othaichear Dubh Bail a' Chrodhain (The Black Officer of Balachroan) who lost his life so tragically in the inexplicable Gaick tragedy of 1800. He was then 76 years of age and leader of a hunting party who all perished when the house in the Gaick forest in which they were sheltering was swept away by an avalanche caused by hurricane force winds during the first week of January 1800 (see article in Creag Dhub No. 46). He was the second son of Alexander MacPherson of Phoness and was for some years military recruiting officer in Badenoch. After his retirement from the army he was renowned locally as an agricultural improver. One of Captain John's daughters was mentioned by Mrs Grant of Laggan in her "Letters from the Mountains" as being "elegance, vivacity and truth personified", a graceful compliment which, it was recollected by one who could remember them, was equally applicable to either daughter.

       Two of Captain Donald's sons gave their lives while on military service. Ensign James McBarnet of the Honourable East India Company's Bengal Army was killed at Berhampore in 1832 aged 17 years while his brother, Captain George Gordon McBarnet, 55th Regiment Bengal Native Infantry, but detached to the 1st Bengal European Regiment 'Fusiliers', fell during the Indian Mutiny at the assault on Delhi in September 1857. He was then 33 years of age.

       Mary MacPherson, the wife of Donald MacPherson of Kinloch (see above), was known locally as Màiri Gheocach (wry-necked Mary). She combined a kind and generous disposition with a sharp wit and a fondness for practical jokes with the result that her amusing sayings and quaint doings were remembered and spoken of for several generations after her death. Seemingly on one occasion, at a dinner party at Balachroan, the assembled company produced considerable hilarity among themselves by recounting anecdotes regarding her foibles and eccentricities. Among those present was Captain Donald McBarnet, who was observed not to be his usual genial self. Indeed he sat in silence with a distinctly grave and embarrassed expression until eventually some one asked whether he had no story to tell of Màiri Gheocach. To this question he calmly replied that the only story he had to tell about her was that she was his grandmother a fact which had been lost sight of by the merry raconteurs!


* Dubh, meaning black or dark, did not, as is often supposed, imply something sinister, nor did it imply a dark skin, it merely referred to a type of complexion riot uncommon in the Highlands of very dark, sometimes jet black, hair and dark brown or black eyes.

** Breac, meaning spotted or speckled, was an appellation frequently used in Gaelic to describe those whose faces had been disfigured by smallpox, once a common affliction, or, sometimes, those whose faces had been freckled by the sun.


The following extracts are taken from the superb report of the event written by Niall Macpherson, M.P (later Lord Drumalbyn), which appeared in the first issue of Creag Dhubh in 1949. It is such an excellent report and so historically significant to the Clan Association that it is difficult to abbreviate it, but I have done my best!

At eight o'clock on Friday evening, 22nd August, 1947, "the corner" at Newtonmore, at which the Post Office and sweet shop and restaurant of George Macpherson (who is the golf professional and also the present Chairman of the Village Council) face the Village Hall and the 1914-18 War Memorial, was the scene of considerable activity. Kilted men and ladies with tartan sashes were arriving at the door of the hall, under the admiring gaze of onlookers.

       Shortly before 8.15 the door was open and the guests began to file into the Reception organised in the Village Hall by the Promotional Committee of the Clan Macpherson Association. The guests were received by the Honorary Secretary, Niall Macpherson, M.P. for Dumfries, who announced their names and presented them to the other members of the Promotional Committee present and their wives -- Tom Macpherson, M.P. for Romford, the Chairman, Lt. -Col. A. L Macpherson, the Hon. Treasurer, and Lt. Col. A. K Macpherson of Pitmain, all four, as befitted the occasion, in Highland evening dress.

       It was a gay spectacle. At either end of the Hall was spread one of the two banners of the Chief of the Clan, acquired from Cluny Castle by Sir Stewart Macpherson, C.I.E., LL.D., and presented to the Association. The front of the platform was draped with Macpherson rugs of the Hunting and Clan tartans, with a Balmoral tartan in the middle, while the side walls were decked with Macpherson and Royal Stewart plaids. On the platform was the life-size crest of the Clan -- a stuffed cat in correct heraldic posture.[In all liklihood, that cat is Jeremy, the watch catwho still stands on guard within the Museum to this very day!] -- RM

       The guests came from all parts. There were Mr Malcolm Macpherson from New York, Mr Angus Macpherson from Toronto, the oldest member present, Mr Donald Macpherson from Kenya, Lt.-Col. Duncan L Macpherson of Banchor from North Devon, Mr Bruce Macpherson, who was in the Administrative Service in Nigeria and now lives in the Isle of Man. There was also Miss de Becourt from Paris, who was to marry Mr John F. Macpherson, Cove, a fortnight later.

       At 8.30 the Kingussie Pipe Band started to play outside the Hall, while coffee was served inside. Many members went outside to join the listening throng, and all the time they were getting to know each other, renewing old acquaintances, comparing memories and finding common interests.

       At 8.45 the Senior Clan Piper, Angus Macpherson, Inveran, played the Macpherson Gathering. Angus is a notable figure. His grandfather, his father, the far-famed Calum Piobair, his brother John and himself were pipers successively to the Chiefs at Cluny Castle, and he himself was also Piper to Andrew Carnegie, the millionaire benefactor of Scotland who at one time was tenant of Cluny. No less renowned as a dancer than as a piper, Angus is a Highlander of rare distinction and dignity. His son Malcolm, the Junior Clan Piper, carries on the century-old family tradition unbroken.

       Immediately afterwards, Tom Macpherson, M.P. made a short speech welcoming the members:
             "It is a long time since the Clan had met together in such numbers as to-night, the minds of the company naturally went to those romantic days of 200 years ago and more when the Clan and Cluny held sway here in Badenoch, our ancestral home.

            "The Rally had been organised in connection with the formation of the Clan Association. Its objects were to promote and foster the Clan Spirit, and preserve the sentiments and traditions of the Clan at home and abroad. The Clan Association would be officially formed the following day.


             "There was a lot of work to be done. It was important that steps should be taken to provide a permanent Clan Centre which would not only be a rallying pointfor members of the Clan Macpherson from home and abroad, but also would enable us to house our relics and articles of historical interest under suitable conditions."

       Mr Macpherson concluded:
             "One final word. At the conclusion of this Rally and when the programme for the next few days has been completed, I hope we shall go home to our own places refreshed in body and spirit with the fellowship we have enjoyed with our fellow Clansmen and the contact we have had with the beauty and inspiration of our own Macpherson country."

       Then the doors were flung open to the public and the dance began. The popularity of the occasion was not in doubt. Dancers could scarcely breathe, let alone move. Yet somehow, they managed not only to do Eightsomes, Strathspeys, Valetas, Old-Fashioned Waltzes, the Gay Gordons and many more dances, ancient and modem, but to enjoy them. The Newtonmore Band was in tremendous form and when they got tired, we waltzed to the Pipes of Dugald Campbell, and so on until 2 a.m.

       Everybody knew that the success of the Rally would depend in no small measure on the weather. Would the incredibly long succession of brilliant sunny days continue? It did. It was under a blue sky that members of the Association came to the Village Hall for the First Annual General Meeting.

       Thirty-three members from the North of Scotland, 22 from the East, 10 from the West, and 23 from the rest of the United Kingdom attended the meeting -- 88 in all.

       Tom Macpherson was voted into the Chair on the proposal of Brigadier G. P. S. Macpherson, O.B.E., London, seconded by Provost Evan Cattanach, Kingussie, and moved the formation of the Association, explaining its origin and purposes. Rev. David L. Cattanach, Hobkirk, seconded and the motion was carried unanimously. The Chairman's speech placed on record the fact that we already have over 300 members, 4 branches in this country, a branch in New Zealand with centres in Auckland, Christchurch and Invercargill, and another branch in course of formation in Canada.

       The next thing was to have a Constitution. Niall Macpherson, M.P, moved it and after some questions directed towards ensuring that the real Headquarters of the Association would remain in the Highlands, it was carried unanimously.

       Then came the election of office-bearers. Tom Macpherson, MY, London, was elected Chairman, Lt.-Col. A. K. Macpherson, of Pitmain, M. V.O. (Chairman of the North of Scotland branch), Vice-Chairman; Niall Macpherson, M.P. Newtonmore and London, Honorary Secretary, and A. Fraser Macpherson, W.S., Edinburgh, Honorary Treasurer.

       After that the banner of the Association was unfurled, and both the banner and the badge of the Association were unanimously approved.

       Finance came next. The retiring Honorary Treasurer, Lt.-Col. A. L Macpherson, announced a balance of �1; but that is not nearly enough to achieve the immediate proposals of the Association -- the establishment of a home of the Clan in Badenoch, where the heirlooms and treasures can be housed.

       At the end of the proceedings My John Macpherson, Nairn, presented a cane carried by the 22nd Chief throughout the Ashanti Campaign. Other gifts have already been made, such as the Cluny Charter Chest given by Mr Tom Cattanach Newtonmore, and the two banners and several other articles from Cluny by Sir Stewart Macpherson; for which the Association is most grateful.

       The climax of the Rally was the March of the Clan Association. In preparation for it, members of the Clan gathered in the Newtonmore School Yard on Saturday at 2 p.m., under the direction of Lt.-Col. A. K. Macpherson of Pitmain, whom the Promotional Committee had appointed Marshal for the occasion. The village was thronged with visitors and inhabitants watching the column being formed. It was to march along the village street to the Balavil Arms, then to the right past the tennis courts, across the tipper


part of the golf course, across the railway bridge and down into the valley of the Spey, where the Newtonmore Highland Games were in progress.

       Here, then, at twenty minutes past two, judges, competitors and spectators awaited the arrival of the column. A handkerchief was waved from the "3rd tee " The column was coming Above the hubhub in the valley rose the stirring notes of Macpherson's Lament, one of the most rousing Marches. And then the column came into view winding down the mound on to the golf course. Lt.-Col. A. K. Macpherson of Pitmain led the way, a striking figure with his Hunting Macpherson kilt, bright blue tweed jacket, red-bobbed balmoral, and claymore at his side. Behind him came the famous Glasgow Police Pipe Band wearing the Royal Stewart tartan and surmounted by Highland feather bonnets. Then came the Colour Party, composed of six stalwart clansmen: Brigadier G. P. S. Macpherson, O.B.E., famous as Captain of Scotland's Rugby Football team fifteen years ago, Major Colin Murdoch, and Messrs John Macpherson, Inverness, Robin Macpherson, Cheltenham, Donald Macpherson, Kenya, and Gordon Macpherson, the son of the Chairman.

       Behind them in column of threes marched the Association, led by Tom Macpherson, M.P. the Chairman, Angus Macpherson, the Senior Clan Piper, Captain John H. Cattanach, Provost Evan Cattanach, Lt.-Col. Allan I. Macpherson, and Sir Stewart Macpherson, all of whom had taken a prominent part in the organisation of the Rally. Behind them came Ewan Macpherson, nephew of Glentruim, Captain W. D. Cheyne-Macpherson of Dalchully, and Lt.-Col. Duncan L Macpherson of Banchor. But the Association marched in no order of precedence, and many distinguished clansmen proudly took their place in the column, caring not where. The second part of the column consisted of the Youth -- a happy throng, rather than a column -- accompanied by their Mothers and even their Grandmothers, wearing the tartan. The column marched around the field and halted opposite the finishing post, where Col. M. B. H. Ritchie, D.S.O., the President of the Games Committee, stood ready to receive them. Behind him were gathered the members of the Games Committee and the athletes, pipers and dancers competing at the Games. Men the officers of the Association and Chairmen of the branches had formed up in front of the column, Col. Ritchie addressed the Association in a clear and resonant voice and said:
            "The Committee of the Newtonmore Highland Games and, indeed, all who live in the Macpherson country, welcome most cordially this Gathering of their famous Clan. It is a historic occasion today, when the children of Muirich have come back to the Glen of their forefathers, back to yonder stately mountain from which they took their famous Slogan, a war-cry that rang out across many a battle field in the olden times.

             "Here, we know your Clan history; the fight at nearby Invernahavon; that of Falkirk; and the sharp rearguard action in the gloaming at Clifton, down in England. In the long vista of Highland Clanship years signify little; these actions are of yesterday; but Clanship and Chiefship continued ever, to-day and to-morrow.

             "And to-day we pay honour to the House of Cluny and all its branches. Remember, that no Cluny ever evicted a Clansman in the wicked days of the Clearances. In particular let us honour the memory of Cluny of the Forty-Five, who lost all, gave all, in the cause of his rightful Sovereign, but gained unforgettable merit in the nobility of his sacrifice. And honour also the deep and steadfast loyalty of the people of Badenoch; through nine years of search no man or woman betrayed Cluny; they scorned to accept the bribes of his persecutors. That integrity exists today as strong as two centuries go.

             "'Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.' And may the Mountain Grandeur of Craigdhu be your inspiration in time of trial, as it was to your forebears. And may our Scotland ever be proud of her Clan Mhuirich, that has contributed so much to her advancement, to her history, and to her renown."

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             "Creag Dhubh Chlann Chatain!"

       The Chairman of the Association then stepped forward and said in reply:
             "We are grateful to the Newtonmore Highland Games Committee for the opportunity to hold this Rally of our Clan in the heart of the Macpherson Country.

             "As the lines in your Games programme so aptly say:--

                   'Right in the Chattan country,
                  Full of Macpherson lore,
                  True home of the clansmen,
                  Bonnie Newtonmore.

             "To-day the clan is dispersed all over the world, but emigration or absence has not weakened the ties which bind them to the homeland. Particularly in New Zealand and Canada, Macphersons are meeting or thinking of us at this moment. (He read cables of greeting from branches at Christchurch, Invercargill and Ottawa).

             "In the old days it was a matter of some moment when the Macphersons went on the march, doubtless leaving anxious hearts behind them and undoubtedly creating some perturbation in the breasts of those against whom they marched. To-day we march in peace, with no other design than to celebrate the formation of our Clan Association. I hope that Macphersons everywhere at home and abroad will join the Association so that our Clan will continue to be one great family united in the bonds of blood and name in a common loyalty and fellowship. In the sight of this great gathering off tiends and neighbours, we Macphersons, together with our adherents, pledge ourselves to continue to be worthy and loyal members of the clan and to treasure and faithfully pass on the great traditions we have inherited."

       At the end of this speech, the Newtonmore Gaelic Choir, men and women all wearing the kilt, sang "Clans of the Gael, shoulder to shoulder" with gusto and good effect. Great praise is due to the choir and in particular to its vigorous and charming conductor, Miss Margot Campbell.

       With that, the Colour Party moved off in a series of evolutions which would have done credit to the Scots Guards: the Column dispersed, and the Games were resumed.

       In the evening the Association gathered again to participate in a Ceilidh, which had been arranged by Lady Macpherson, Newtonmore, and her Committee. Some of our members nurtured in the South, had come not without misgiving. They left entranced. They were astonished and delighted by the wealth of talent of the performers and the quiet dignity and good sense of Fear-an-Tighe, Angus Macpherson, Inveran. Well might they be, for among the artistes were several Mod medallists, not to mention Ian Macpherson, the Scottish baritone, and Malcolm Macpherson, the Junior Clan Piper. The familiar feature of the Ceilidh, the oatcakes and crowdie, were not forgotten at the interval, thanks to the generosity of Mrs Macpherson of Balavil, and the work of Miss Jean Macpherson; and if the shortage of the material beverage prevented a drop of "the water of life "from being passed around, Mrs McRostie and her helpers made up for its absence with a very good cup of tea.

       Sunday morning also dawned clear and bright and the old Parish Church of St. Columba in Kingussie, available for the Clan Service through the good offices of the Very Rev. Dugald Macfarlane, D.D., minister there for over 40 years, was well filled with members of the Clan in addition to the ordinary worshippers. The prayers were taken by the Rev. Robert Macpherson, Cove, Chairman of the West of Scotland Branch, while the Lessons were read by Lt.-Col. A. K. Macpherson of Pitmain and Sir Stewart Macpherson. A very beautiful sermon was preached by the Rev. G. W. K. Macpherson, Jedburgh: Numbers XXXV1., 8, on the text -- "That the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers. " The collection was devoted to the fund for the new organ, played on this occasion by Niall Macpherson, M.P.

       In the afternoon, the Association was entertained to tea by Duncan J. and Mrs Macpherson of Glentruim in their lovely home between the waters of the Spey and the


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Truim. The tower of Glentruim House commands one of the most wonderful views in the world. Our hosts were assisted by Mrs Norman Macpherson and her family, Miss Marie and Ewan Macpherson.

       On Monday morning some fifty members visited Am Fasgadh, Kingussie, the Folk Museum of Highland culture and craft, established by Dr L F. Grant, the well-known Scottish writer and antiquarian. Dr Grant gave us a most cordial welcome and made our visit extremely interesting.

       Our last visit was to Cluny Castle, where Captain and Mrs Peter Lindsay, the present owners, received us with the greatest kindness and hospitality. It was a great thrill for our clansmen to gather on the lawn, visit the Cluny burial place in St. Ternan's Cemetery, walk around the Castle grounds and finally have tea in the Castle. Cluny Castle is in good hands. Much land has been reclaimed, fine crops are growing in the Spey valley, where marshes were even a year or two ago, and fine crossed Highland cattle are grazing on the newly-drained uplands. Captain Lindsay has expressed his willingness to hand over to the Association the Cluny burial ground, the last resting place of the five last Chiefs of the Clan, and of Albert Cameron Macpherson, the last Laird of Cluny. To Captain and Mrs Lindsay we extend our warm thanks for their generosity.

       Finally, a few of the more venturesome and agile members tackled the climb to Cluny's Cave on Creag Dhubh, among them the brothers Colonels Duncan and Allan Macpherson of Banchor, whose combined ages totalled one hundred and twenty years. Mr Hugh Macpherson of Brantford, Ontario, who now lives in Edinburgh, also reached the Cave and went on to climb Creag Dhubh.

       There is no doubt that the Chairman's anticipation proved correct. Those who attended the Rally went away refreshed in spirit, having renewed their links with the past and made new friends among their fellow clansmen. Next time we shall look forward to welcoming clansmen from still further afield, and many of those who came this year will be there again.


(Duncan of the Road to Granny MacPherson)

By John Redman

"To the good Duncan MacPherson from Sir James Milles Riddell, Baronet, for his ability in planning and his zeal and integrity in construction of roads & bridges on the Estates of Ardnamurchan & Sunart during half a century. Given in 1846."        So reads the inscription on the silver cap of a rams-horn snuff-box which was presented in 1846 to "Duncan of the Road" MacPherson. This snuff-box passed to Duncan's daughter-in-law Sarah MacPherson nee Cameron and has been handed down through four succeeding generations. It is still in excellent condition and held at the seaside village of Brooms Head, via Maclean, in the Clarence River Valley, N.S.W, Australia.

       Sarah Cameron was born about 1811 on the Camusaine Estate, 5 km west of Strontian on Ardnamurchan Peninsula, being the sixth known child and first daughter of Donald Cameron and his first wife Ann MacPherson.

       Sarah is first seen in the census of 30 March 1851 for the Parish of Acharacle. She was then living with her husband Alexander, a "road maker" and "son of road maker" (as on the baptismal entries of their children), at Laga Farm, on the southern shore of the Peninsula. Alexander was of given age 46 and Sarah 43; and there were ten children: Duncan, Mary, Alexander, Anne, Hugh, John, Catherine, Donald, Jane, Dugald.


       Sarah and Alexander were probably married early in 1828, for the first recorded child was Duncan, baptised on 19 October 1828, and he would have been named for his father's father.

       The next decade brought some heart-wrenching events for the family circle. It is likely that about 1832 a child was born to Alexander and Sarah which died before the 1851 census. Sarah's mother died about 1832, and about 1836 Donald married again, to Catherine McPherson. Catherine was 30 years his junior and only three or four years older than Sarah. And in September 1837 Donald and Catherine with all of Sarah's living siblings -- three of her older brothers and all three of her younger sisters -- sailed in the Brilliant for Australia.

       But life went on. By this time Sarah and Alexander had four or five children. And by census day there were ten. Between then and probably mid-1852 there were at least four notable events in the family history, one of which changed its course forever.

Mary, the eldest daughter, married Duncan Cameron, gave birth to Catherine, the first grandchild, and died a few months later.

       And Sarah's husband also died. Family legend says that he either drowned, or died later of his exertions in making rescues from a shipwreck, probably on the shore of Laga Bay. No record has been found of this incident.

       So, in her early forties, Sarah was widowed and probably living as a tenant with nine children, only four of whom were likely to have been of employable age. She set out with these children on the 12,000 mile voyage to Australia, where her father had gone almost fifteen years before. Left behind this time was her first infant grand-child, Catherine, who later married a MacIntyre man; in 1926 she wrote from Oban to another granddaughter of Sarah's in Australia, saying she had a husband and a surviving family of five.

       On Wednesday, 25 August 1852 the Marmion sailed from Birkenhead. It was bound for Australia with 406 "assisted emigrants", including Sarah and her children. The passenger lading "included immigrants assisted to the Colony by the Highland and


Island Immigration Society", but whether these embraced Sarah's family is not known. After a better than average passage of 101 days these ship-weary travellers arrived at the doorway to their new life: Portland Bay, Victoria. It was Saturday, 4 December, three weeks before Christmas Day.

       But Sarah's journey was not yet over. She would naturally be seeking her father -- and we must note that neither of them could read or write -- but she probably misunderstood the vastness of the country. She had landed 1100 km "as the crow flies" from the Karduah River on the east coast of New South Wales where Donald and his wife had settled at least three years before.

       Sarah contracted to work for twelve months at Mt. Gambier, 90 km to the west, at a wage which seems to indicate that it was for herself and many of her children. This was the era of the gold-rushes, and the family legend is that Alexander, then 18 years old, went off to try his luck, and spent nine years on the diggings.

       Then she travelled onwards again, perhaps in search of her father and his other children. Information on Sarah's journey through New South Wales is not sufficient to allow the writing of a coherent story. There are scraps of information -- that she and her children travelled by bullock dray northwards to the Lower Hunter River where her father and his children had originally settled; and from there that Sarah later continued northwards to the Clarence River Valley; that they travelled by bullock dray from Victoria to the Clarence, it being uncertain as to whether they diverted to the Hunter River, But either way they eventually settled on the Orara River, a tributary of the Clarence, and there their name is perpetuated at McPhersons Crossing.

       It is not known whether Sarah met her family and her siblings, however they certainly knew of each other; this is confirmed by the complementary references to Sarah and her sisters in the obituaries of herself and her father.

       So perhaps six years after sailing from Birkenhead Sarah put down her roots at last. The first definite information on the presence of Sarah and her children in that area is the record of marriage of her daughter Anne at South Grafton on 15 December 1859. The bridegroom was of the region, so the families were known to each other before then.


       There are some uncertainties in the history of the MacPherson people on and around the Orara River. However Alexander, Hugh, John and Donald certainly had land portions, individually or jointly, in the Parish of Bardsley immediately south of the Orara. And in May 1875 Alexander and Hugh acquired by auction the holding called "Levenstrath". It had been named by a previous owner for Levenstrath, on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde.

       The MacPherson family relinquished the property before the turn of the century. One of the latest family births recorded there was that of Sarah's grand-daughter, through her son Hugh, on 4 February 1887: Miss Mary MacPherson now of Mullumbimby on the N.S.W. north coast. She was largely looking after herself at the age of 107! (August 1994). [Ed. -- See article by Mrs Helen Johnson].

       Sarah eventually became an eminent identity on the Orara and Clarence Rivers, popularly known as "Granny MacPherson." She is reported to have inherited a good deal of her father's disposition and character and to have reared her family in a Godly manner. Church services were not so accessible in those days and even in her old age "Granny" was accustomed to ride by buggy regularly to Grafton to attend church -- a distance of perhaps fifteen kilometres -- and even well beyond that when communion services would be held in other places. She was a devoted member of the Free Presbyterian Church and was accustomed to reprove in a faithful manner the teamsters whom she met driving their bullocks on the Sabbath, and offence was seldom taken, for "Granny" was universally loved and respected even by those whom she scolded.

But of course this remarkable woman could not conquer time -- she eventually answered the calls of Ann, "Old Donald", and Alexander.

       On Friday, 17 February 1899 the "Clarence River Advocate" reported: "The death of Mrs Sarah MacPherson of the Orara, which took place at Maclean on Sunday morning (12 February) removes from our midst one of the oldest residents of the colony. She had attained the ripe old age of 91 years and leaves behind a vast circle of relations and friends. She had 12 children, 58 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren. She was buried at South Grafton where some of her family are interred,"

       The last abode of "Granny" is marked by a well kept gravestone, and McPhersons Crossing lives on.



By Mrs Helen Johnson, her great-niece

Mary was born at Levenstrath Station on the Orara River, 4th February 1887, the 10th child to Scottish born father Hugh MacPherson and his wife Catherine McKenna (born Port Macquarrie, N.S.W.). Mary is one of 13 children, having six sisters and six brothers. Her father Hugh and several of his brothers were some of the first settlers to select land on the Orara, under Sir John Robertson's land act, in 1861.

       It so happened that Hugh and his brother Alexander (Sandy), living on opposite sides of the Orara River, crossed so many times that the area was quickly given the name 'McPherson Crossing'. In 1925 a bridge was built over the crossing and still to-day, the landmark is known as 'McPherson Crossing'. In the days before the bridge was built there was always an element of uncertainty and adventure and sometimes danger associated with the crossing.

       It was not until 1875 that Mary's father Hugh and his brother Alexander (Sandy) purchased by auction one portion of Levenstrath Station, a fine parcel of land complete with a cedar slab homestead. It was in this home that the remaining eight of Hugh and Catherine's children were born.

       Hugh and Alexander both had the reputation as great horsemen and farm workers. Times were hard, cattle and sheep prices were poor, so the brothers made use of the boiling


down plant that was established at Levenstrath. Cattle had to be skinned and boiled down for fat and tallow that was exported to Britain and Europe for a good return. However, it was not long before the brothers ran into financial difficulties and banks foreclosed many farms at that time. It was at this time that Hugh and his family moved down to the Clarence River, when Mary was about six years old.

       The family first settled at Tyndale on Woodford Island, known locally as the south arm of the Clarence River. At this time Mary attended the Tyndale school on the mainland. Only a few years later when Mary finished school Hugh moved his family down to Palmer's Island, working the land as a share farmer. Hugh, Catherine and family then moved back to Woodford Island and settled at a small village called Ilarwill. Local records show that Hugh, Catherine and daughter Annie and future son-in-law John MacKay had several building blocks in Park Street at Ilarwill. The records also show that Hugh had a paddock, on the left side of the entrance road leading into the village of Ilarwill, used by Hugh and son Donald (Gundy) to break in horses.

       Gaelic was Hugh's first speaking language and it was to his credit that by reading books well into the night over candlelight he was able to gain such considerable knowledge in the veterinary field. At this time Hugh was in his mid 60's and gave credit for this to an old man living at Grafton (Mr William Cowan), who taught him to read and write English. Mary recalls that her father's skills were in great demand on the Clarence.

       Mary and her sister Lillian were taught the art of dress-making by an old Gaelic-speaking family friend, Mrs MacSween, and later by Miss Gregor. Both sisters quickly gained the reputation as fine seamstresses and it was not long before they opened a shop in the main street of Maclean. The business flourished as the girls worked into the night on many occasions to finish wedding and fashionable garments which were in heavy demand around the Maclean Agricultural Show time. A day's work was long, as the girls travelled from Ilarwill by horse and sulky, and on many a day walked the long distance over the McFarlane bridge to shop at Maclean.

       After the death of their father in 1919, the girls disposed of the shop. Mary remained at home to care for her elderly mother and brother Ernest, whilst Lillian travelled on to Sydney to find work. After the death of her mother in 1922, Mary moved to Sydney to


join her sister Lillian, who worked at Winns Department Store there. Lillian later married John Rough in 1923 and the couple lived at Stanmore in Sydney. It was to this address in Sydney that Mary went for a three weeks' holiday and stayed for 30 years. At this time Lillian was not enjoying good health, so Mary took on the job of rearing her three children. In that time Mary made many trips back to Maclean to visit her widowed sister Nell (Mrs Sid Watts) and sisters Annie (Mrs John MacKay) and Alice (Mrs Arthur McLachlan). Mrs Watts conducted a tuck-shop for many years on the hill opposite the Maclean Public School.

       Mary returned to Maclean in 1950 to care for her failing sister Annie MacKay, who died in 1951. Mary then returned to the Rough family in Sydney only to be called upon to return to Maclean about 1965 to care for her sister Nell and brother Gundy. Mary, herself in her late 70's, had the enormous task of caring for her aging sister and brother. Her sister Lillian passed away in 1966, sister Nell passed away in 1969 and brother Gundy in 1970.

       Mary stayed on living at the residence in High Street, Maclean, and some eight years later moved on to Mullumbimby to make her home with two aged niece's sisters, Flo Clifford, aged 88 years, and May MacPherson, 86 years. Mary herself was 91 years of age and took over the household chores of cleaning, baking and yardwork. After the death of Flo in 1981 and May in 1984 Mary stayed on at the Mullumbimby home, living alone and undertaking the chores of caring for herself.        Mary Catherine MacKenzie MacPherson celebrated her 108th birthday in 1995. She enjoys reasonably good health and has a mind as sharp at a tack. A visitor never leaves without a "cuppa" and scones, homemade jam and a biscuit or two. She has very caring neighbours and has a man come in to mow the lawn.

Known to all who know her simply as "Aunty Mary", she has had a life full of remarkable achievements, a truly remarkable lady.

By Ewen S. L. MacPherson
Allan Macpherson, the "Laird of Napanee", and the famous Allan Macpherson House, now a museum, were graphically described in the 1964 issue of Creag Dhubh. Allan was a son of Lt.-Col. Donald Macpherson by his first wife, Elspeth Macpherson in Cluny, and became a prominent and influential man in Napanee, Ontario.

       The influence on Canadian military history and the connection with the historic city of Kingston, Ontario, extending from another son, by his second wife Anna Shaw, John Alexander, through to James today, has been significant and is shown here by way of introduction to the article on Lt.-Col. Donald Macpherson.

       John Alexander served as a Captain in the Canadian Militia in Kingston, Ontario and died at the early age of 36. His son was Lt.-Col. James Pennington Macpherson, VD, ADC and was the second Commanding Officer of the Governor General's Footguards in Ottawa. He served in the Northwest Rebellion and Fenian Raids and was ADC to Lord Stanley when he was Governor General. He was also secretary and first biographer to his uncle, Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada.

       His son was Major James Alexander Clark Macpherson followed by his son, Lt.-Col. James Pennington Carlyle Macpherson. Father and son served in peace and war and both become 2nd in command of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and commanded 'B' Coy in action -- J.A.C. in the First and J.P.C. in the Second World War. Lt.-Col. James also served in the Black Watch of Canada and was Commanding Officer of The Royal Montreal Regiment. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in the Normandy battles in 1944,


       Lt.-Col. James and his wife Betty reside in Kingston today and one of their sons, Andrew, was born there. Daughter, Laurie Ann Keefe, husband, Barry, and two sons, Jonathan and Benjamin live in Kingston. The latter represents the 7th generation to be connected with Kingston.

       Lt.-Col. James is a long standing member of the Clan Association and at the Canadian Branch Gathering held in Kingston in September 1994 he gave an excellent presentation on his great-great grandfather, Lt.-Col. Donald Macpherson. The visual aids, which he has inherited, included two pistols and the portrait, which have been reproduced to accompany his article. He also has possession of Lt.-Col. Donald's original commission and all subsequent promotion certificates, all signed by George III from 1776 to 1805, including his captaincy in Command of The Cluny Volunteers in 1798.

By Lt.-Col. (Retd) James P. C. Macpherson, MC, KStJ, CD, FICB
Donald Macpherson of Brae Laggan, Badenoch, was a professional soldier all of his adult life. At the age of 20 he raised a company of Highlanders, mostly Macphersons, and marched them from Badenoch to Edinburgh, where they were readily accepted and drafted into the 71st Regiment Highland Light Infantry (Fraser's Highlanders) commanded by Major General The Hon. Simon Fraser.

       Donald and his cousin Henry were commissioned as cadets. They both served throughout the American Revolutionary War with the 2nd Battalion of the 71st Regiment. Taken prisoner at the Battle of Bunker Hill, they were allowed parole. After ascertaining the position of the British forces, they withdrew their parole, were re-incarcerated,


then made their escape and after many adventures made their way back to their own lines where they continued to serve with their regiment until the end of the war except for a time Donald served as a Lieutenant in 1777 with the Jersey Volunteers. He was promoted to Ensign, 2nd Battalion in the 71st in 1778 and to Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion in 1779.

       On returning to Scotland after the War, the forces were reduced and Donald was retained on half-pay. He married Elspeth Macpherson in Cluny, by whom he had one son, Allan, before her early death. Donald married Anna Shaw of DaInavert in 1795 and they had nine children, the last three of whom were born in Canada.

       Donald's Military service continued with the following units:
                    1791 -- Regiment of Fencibles -- Lieutenant -- commanded by Duke of Gordon
                                 (Northern Regiment of Gordon Highlanders, subsequently embodied as
                                the Gordon Highlanders under the Marquis of Huntly).
              1794 -- Captain, 22nd Regiment -- Captain Podmore's Loyal Cheshires.
              1798 -- 1803 -- Captain in the Cluny Volunteers -- a company he raised himself
              1803 -- Captain in the 92nd Regiment of Foot (The Gordon Highlanders).

       In 1805, Donald received his brevet majority and the following year he was transferred as major to the 9th Royal Veterans Battalion. On Christmas Day, 1806 he was transferred to the 10th Royal Veterans Battalion (which later became the 4th) commanded by Lieutenant-General Lowther Pennington. With this unit he sailed for a three year posting to Quebec in 1807.

       Donald was stationed in Quebec until his Regiment was ordered to Kingston. With his


wife and children, he went up the St. Lawrence in bateaux rowed by soldiers, stopping and camping out each night. The trip took six weeks.

{That trip entailed ascending at least two series of treacherous rapids -- RM]

       He was now a Lieutenant-Colonel, whose Regiment formed an important part of the garrison at Kingston during the War of 1812. As was customary in the British Army, his troops were made up of long service soldiers, a bit long in the tooth to meet combat standards, but with a wealth of experience and skills, well suited to garrison duties.

       Donald was responsible for building earth works and blockhouses to protect the entrances to the harbour and town and on Fort Henry Heights, as it is now known. The fort itself was not built completely until some years after the War, but Donald is listed as its first commandant. During the War, United States vessels were unable to penetrate to the City or harbour. Donald's daughter wrote: "I have heard my Mother speak of having to hurry the children into the cellar to avoid the bullets that pierced the wooden walls of the pretty white cottage that then did duty as the Commandant's residence." A contemporary newspaper account speaks of "This redoubtable old Scot" who returned the enemy fire with the only shots ever fired in anger from Fort Henry Heights.

       Surprised at the opposition, the American ships retreated, but one wonders if they would have done so had they realised that only one understrength battalion of veterans defended the City, as most available troops had been despatched to Montreal to meet the main threat proceeding north from Lake Champlain.

       Following the War, the Veterans Battalion was disbanded in 1817 and Donald was retired on full pay. He received various grants of land from the Crown and built his home on 75 acres east of Fort Henry on what is now Highway 2. Cluny House, as he named it, still stands and is a splendid example of the early 19th century limestone homes in the area.

       Donald's second wife, Anna Shaw, was a half-sister of Helen Macdonald, mother of John A. Macdonald, Canada's first Prime Minister. The Macdonald family came from Glasgow in 1820, when John A. was a boy of five, to stay with the Macphersons in their Kingston home. Later, Donald made one of his other Kingston properties available to the Macdonald family. The two families were close during John A's childhood, and he and his cousin John A. Macpherson married Clark sisters, Isabella and Maria, who were from DaInavert, Scotland and were their first cousins. All lived in Kingston until Macdonald entered Parliament in Ottawa. He was followed to Ottawa by his nephew, James Pennington Macpherson, who became a secretary to Sir John and his first biographer.

       Donald Macpherson remained a Lieutenant-Colonel on the Army List at the War Office until his death in 1829. With over 50 years of service in the British Army, he was buried with full military honours; in Cataraqui Cemetery from St. Andrews Church. The minute guns from the City battery were answered by the guns from Fort Henry. By coincidence, the firing party at the graveside was furnished by his old regiment, the 71st Highlanders.



The jubilee Committee are delighted to acknowledge the financial assistance being given by the Moray Badenoch & Strathspey Enterprise Company Limited through a Community Action Grant. This, together with the funds already raised, ensures that the cost of the Cairn and landscaping is already provided for. Financial assistance is also being given with the production of a jubilee Gathering Brochure. We now continue to strive and raise the funds for the second part of the Memorial to Ewan of the '45 -- the Museum library. Please support our efforts through the Raffle and jubilee Souvenirs.


CLUNY'S CAGE By Affleck Gray

In Legends of the Cairngorms (Mainstream 1987), which appears to have a good "run" and is still listed in Mainstream's annual catalogue, I devote a whole chapter to Cluny's Cage on Ben Alder. Much of the story of Cluny's wanderings from one hide-out to another for nine whole years after Culloden was given to me in Gaelic by my grandfather, Donald Macpherson (Domhnal Grudaire), a native of Laggan. He also described the "Cage" and its location as handed down to him by his forebears, and this I accepted without question, but I remained puzzled about a "thicket of holly trees" or bushes in such a situation. Now, however, some dubiety has been cast on the whole story.

       Two years ago David Trainer, a Glasgow priest and notable mountaineer in the Highlands of Scotland, Himalayas etc., came to see me to discuss the whole question of Prince Charles' movements after Culloden, and especially his tracks after leaving Achnacarry and returning to Badenoch. In the event a long article on the subject appeared from him in the Glasgow Herald in July last year and provides some impressive food for thought and discussion by, especially, clansmen of Cluny.

       I quote from David's article -- "There are many serious reasons for saying that "Cluny's Cage" was in fact on Ben Alder. Firstly, all the Ordnance Survey maps mark it on a spot high above Alder Bay with the description "Prince Charlie's Cave". Then, there are historical documents like the famous "Lyon in Mourning" which clearly indicates that the "Cage" was on the south-eastern slopes of the mountain. This publication of the Scottish History Society (1895) is a prestigious collection of documents, stories and eye-witness accounts of the Jacobite Rebellion made by Bishop Robert Forbes, and its evidence must be taken seriously. Finally, Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel Kidnapped paints a memorable and historically accurate picture of "Cluny's Cage", and clearly describes it as being on Ben Alder.

       In the face of all this evidence could anyone doubt the traditional location of the famous cage? Well, it would appear that the answer is a clear "yes". There have been questions raised, and respectable authors like Walter Blaikie, Eric Linklater and Affleck Gray are only some of those who have expressed doubts about it in their writings."<>        For many years David Trainer had been fascinated by the mountain routes taken by Prince Charlie after Culloden, and with regard to the "Cage" he had