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kilted men to the Eilan -- dancing and ceilidhs of the very best -- as full a Church on Sunday as there will ever be -- the special and outstanding Spanish family from Cadiz -- and a final parting here at Blairgowrie with nearly half the full team of 500 in our garden, and with the whole of our own family present.

      But it is to each and every single one of you who came to the Gathering that my grateful and heartfelt thanks go out. Every person there added to the occasion by his and her presence and contribution. No Chief is as fortunate and as delighted as I am by my Clansfolk. And this was reinforced over and over again in 1996.

      My thanks are separately and particularly due to Donald and Gordon of our Canadian Branch who, on behalf of their Branch, gave to me for myself and for posterity both a fine new Banner, in 1995 at Plymouth, Massachussets, and a lovely silver bonnet badge with the Wildcat in its true and proper Cluny pose, presented at the 1996 AGM at Newtonmore. I and my successors will treasure these Clan honours.

      1997 will be another year! Let us make it worthy of its predecessor, and may the 1997 Gathering be a loud echo of its predecessor! Sheila and I and our family send warm greetings to you all from Blairgowrie, where we are (almost) permanently living from now onwards. The door is always open to any members who pass by!

      I end this message on a sadder note by recording here my sorrow at the death during this past year of Lachlan Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Chief of Clan Mackintosh. Nobody served the Highlands with more understanding and devotion than Lachlan. In the affairs of his Clan and of the confederation of Clan Chattan nobody was more involved and thoughtful. And at Moy, with his family, nobody was more kind and welcoming. We send to Celia and their family our love and sympathy, and our support for John who will follow in his father's footsteps.

      Good fortune to you all!




1996 will always be recalled as a very special year in the brief history of our Clan Association. Those who had the good fortune to attend the jubilee Gathering will testify to the enormous success of the occasion and the fun and comradeship that they experienced.       Two and a half years ago the jubilee Committee had no money or land to build a Cairn to Ewan of the '45 and his clansfolk. Now, thanks to the generosity and hard work of so many members, a splendid memorial has been erected and the site will be enjoyed by generations to come. The grand Memorial Gate, View Indicator and Bench further enhance the facilities that are available. The jubilee Committee is now under the chairmanship of Pitmain and I believe that it will continue to develop and produce new and exciting challenges!

      As I write, Margaret and I have just returned from a three week tour of the United States of America. On our travels we visited the magnificent McPherson Centre in Santa Cruz, California. The tour culminated in attending the US Branch Gathering at San Diego. We had a marvellous time and greatly appreciate the kindness and hospitality shown to us by our American cousins.

      It has been a great honour to serve as your Chairman, particularly during the Jubilee Gathering. May I "press my appreciation for all the support that has been given during my term of office. Margaret joins me in sending our very best wishes for 1997.



I am going to be very brief this year, to make way for the report of the Jubilee Gathering. What a wonderful occasion that was! I'm sure it lived up to everyone's expectations, due in no small measure to the sterling work of the Jubilee Committee, over many months.

      For me, the happiest memory of the Gathering is of observing two young Macpherson ladies, one from Spain and the other from the other side of the ocean in the USA, busily comparing notes about their different life-styles. They had just met for the first time in St Columba's Church, Kingussie. Isn't this what our Clan is all about?

I should like to encourage you to purchase a copy of Dr Alan G. Macpherson's new book, A Day's March to Ruin, if you have not already done so. This attractively produced volume fills a large gap in our knowledge of our Clan's part in the '45 and recounts in great detail the many exploits of our worthy Chief, Ewan of the '45. We all owe a great deal to Alan for his many years of patient and careful research, and to his wife Joyce for her efforts in assisting him to bring this work into print.

      Let us keep the jubilee spirit going and growing for the next fifty years, starting with the 50th Anniversary Gathering this August in Badenoch.


The first event of the 50th Annual Gathering of the Association took place at the Georgian House, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 30th July 1996, when the East of Scotland Branch hosted a welcoming reception for 75 members, by kind permission of the National Trust for Scotland, owners of the House. Members were greeted by Catherine Macpherson, Chairman of the East of Scotland Branch, and by Mr Julian Birchall, representative of the National Trust, who gave a brief history of the Georgian House. Following the reception, and after group photographs bad been taken, members dispersed to the homes of Sandy and Catherine Macpherson and Lachie and Marion Mackintosh, where mouth-watering suppers were served and greatly appreciated!

      On Thursday 1st August the Clan began to gather in earnest, for registration at the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingussie. Due to the disastrous fire at the hotel two months previously, its premises were not available for the events planned, but it was possible to use the area of the ballroom for the purposes of registration. Here the hard-working team headed by Annie LeRoy-Lewis and Bruce Macpherson dispensed tickets, name badges, tourist literature, event programmes, etc., all tucked up in attractive blue plastic folders.

      The registration list totalled 482 persons, with addresses in twelve countries as far apart as Australia (6), Belgium (2), Canada (30), France (2), Germany (2), Malawi (7), New Zealand (2), Oman (3), South Africa (12), Spain (33) and the USA (156), as well as the host country, the UK (227).

      Outside the hotel, two coaches were drawn up ready to take clanspeople on a tour of



the Macpherson country. This tour turned out to be one of the highlights of the Gathering, in no small measure due to the excellent commentary supplied by Sandy and Catherine. The first stop was at Craig Dhu House, on the road to Laggan, where present owners Sir Thomas and Lady Macpherson greeted us and Sir Thomas outlined the romantic history of the Victorian mansion, the dower house of Old Cluny's daughter. Next the party walked up the driveway to Cluny Castle, where they were welcomed by Mrs Spencer, and allowed to view the beautiful ground floor rooms. On display in the hall were two chairs with wildcat carvings, said to be part of the original furnishings. The coaches continued on to Laggan, then turned on the road towards Glentruim, passing the site of the cairn to Ewan of the '45, to be unveiled later on in the week-end.

      Returning on the main A9 road, the coaches by-passed Newtonmore and Kingussie and stopped at the end of the driveway up to Balavil House. The party transferred to minibuses for transport up to the House itself, where they were warmly invited in by Mr and Mrs Macpherson-Fletcher, and allowed to tour the magnificent rooms with their fine plaster ceilings and wall portraits. Everyone congregated in the dining-room where Mr Macpherson-Fletcher outlined the history of the house (designed by Adam and built, of course, by James "Ossian" Macpherson, in the late 1700's) and regaled his visitors with a splendid afternoon tea. A fine collection of family silver was on display on the diningtable and buffet. After the coach party returned to Kingussie many of them continued on to Dalwhinnie for a conducted tour of the Distillery and a free dram!

      On the morning of Friday 2nd the Museum Trustees and Committee met, followed by the Council Meeting, all held in the pleasant venue of the Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore. The Jubilee Golf Tournament also took place at Newtonmore Golf Club, the winners of the men's competition being: 1st Donald McPherson; 2nd Bob McElderry; and 3rd Allen Macpherson. The ladies' winners were: 1st Brenda McPherson; 2nd Joyce Macpherson; and 3rd Wanda (Gail) Gillis. In the afternoon Andrew Gillies held a well-attended Scottish Country Dance class at the Duke of Gordon, for beginners and those wishing to brush up on their skills.

      The Highland Ball, the first major event of the Gathering, took place on Friday evening, in two large marquees erected in the grounds of the Duke of Gordon. The marquees were beautifully decorated for the occasion, the walls swathed in white and green draperies, complemented by chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Except for a slight slope in the dance floor it was almost possible to believe one was in a ballroom! Two bands, namely the Kennedy Brothers and Steep the Feet (yes!) alternated in providing music for the evening's dancing, and Andrew Gillies was an excellent Master of Ceremonies, as always. A magnificent buffet supper was supplied and enjoyed by a capacity crowd.

      On the morning of Saturday 3rd the Association's Annual General Meeting was held in Newtonmore Village Hall. Highlights of the meeting were three presentations by the Canadian Branch, which are fully described in the Canadian Branch Report. The Chief paid tribute to all those who had been involved in the extensive preparations for the Jubilee Gathering and thanked the Chairman, Ewen MacPherson, on behalf of the Association for his efficient management of the meeting.

      The AGM was followed by an enjoyable lunch of Scotch broth, rolls and haggis, hosted by the Badenoch Branch in Newtonmore School.       Afterwards, the kilted men of the Clan started to assemble at Old Ralia for the march to the Newtonmore Highland Games. Other members made their way to the Games field at the Eilan, to watch heavy events such as tossing the caber, and highland dancing, piping and the exciting hill race up the shoulder of Creag Dhubh. The arrival of the 200-strong Clan Macpherson contingent on the field, preceded by the Grampian Police Pipe Band, was greeted with loud applause and much clicking of cameras. After the ranks were drawn up the assembly was warmly welcomed by the Chieftain of the Games. In honour of the 50th Gathering, silver quaichs were presented to the Association by the Grampian Police Pipe Band and the Newtonmore Highland Games


Committee. Cluny made a brief speech of reply and thanks for the generous gifts. After the company was dispersed, the Clan tent was declared open for refreshments, much welcomed on what turned out to be the coldest day of the week-end. Also, in a corner of the tent, Dr Alan G. Macpherson of St John's, Newfoundland signed copies of his latest book, A Day's March to Ruin, reviewed elsewhere in this issue.

      On Saturday evening a 'stovies' supper was held at the Duke of Gordon marquees, followed by the jubilee Reception, where the Jubilee Raffle was drawn and prizes presented by Lady Cluny, along with the Golf Competition prizes, Several presentations were made to people who had helped towards the success of the Gathering. A cheerful informal ceilidh took place after the reception.

      The morning of Sunday dawned much brighter and warmer, to the relief of the Committee! Clanspeople gathered for worship at Saint Columba's Church in Kingussie, which was filled to capacity for the occasion. The lessons were read by Cluny and Ewen MacPherson, and the sermon, on the very relevant topic of the family, was preached by Rev. Macaskill, minister of Saint Columba's. After the service, in what has become a custom over the years of the Gathering, friends exchanged greetings in the pleasant green churchyard. Coaches were provided to take members to Gaskmore Hotel in Laggan and the Highlander Hotel in Newtonmore for lunch.

      In the afternoon the most memorable event of the Gathering took place at Shanvall, near Glentruim, when the memorial cairn to the 18th Chief, Ewan Macpherson of the '45, was unveiled. The clear, sunny weather of the day enhanced the wonderful view of the Clan country and the River Spey to be seen from the cairn site. The ceremony was opened with the strains of the bagpipes, played by Robert Pearson, our Honorary Piper. Next came an introduction by Robert J. Macpherson, architect and designer of the cairn, followed by an eulogy to the memory of Ewan of the '45 by Ewen MacPherson, Association Chairman. (In view of the importance of the occasion, copies of these speeches and the commemorate prayer following the unveiling are reproduced in full following this report.) Our Clan Chief, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie, performed the two ceremonies of burying a time capsule containing mementoes of the day, and unveiling the cairn, to tumultuous applause. A commemorative prayer was offered by Rev. Allan S. Macpherson, and Psalm 121, "I to the hills will lift mine eyes", was sung, led by opera singer George Macpherson. The ceremony was closed by piper Robert Pearson playing the march specially composed by him for the occasion, "The Clan Macpherson Association's 50th Annual Rally". (The tune was also played by Grampian Police Pipe Band for the Clan March to the Eilan).

      Following the moving ceremony, those present had the opportunity to view and photograph the beautifully constructed cairn with its historic inscription, and admire the magnificent gate with its clan crest and the memorial bench. The crowd was then gathered together for a group photograph, successfully taken by Jerome LeRoy-Lewis, which is reproduced here. (Copies still available from Jerome, cost �).

      The next event in a busy day of activities was the very welcome afternoon tea party at Glentruim House, by kind invitation of Euan and Zandra of Glentruim. As noted elsewhere in this issue, this was the 25th anniversary party, and was a worthy successor to the long line of these events!

      After a brief interlude, celebrations started again in early evening with an event billed as a 'wild boar roast' at the Duke of Gordon marquees. Fortunately the day's pleasant weather allowed the pork barbecuing to be done outdoors, and an enjoyable meal was the outcome. Members then settled back for a grand evening's ceilidh entertainment.

      Rod Clarke, an excellent fear-an-tighe, introduced the first artiste, singer Ruth MacPherson, who told us that she had performed at every Gathering but one since the first in 1947 -- quite a record! Ewan Macpherson from Somerset recited a newly composed poem on the subject of the Clan, which was so well received that he has allowed us to print it elsewhere in this issue. George Macpherson, talented singer with the Royal Opera Company, gave a remarkable rendition of 'Ta 'Fershon swore a Feud'!


      Another George Macpherson, this time from Glendale in Skye, told us one of the many fascinating tales in his repertoire. Zandra Macpherson of Glentruim entertained expertly at the clarsach. Two delightful youngsters, Laura and Paul Rooney, danced their way into our hearts.

      A trio of pipers, Robert Pearson, Ewan Macpherson of St John's, Newfoundland, and Jerome LeRoy-Lewis, gave a sterling performance. Donald MacPherson donned wig and bonnet to lend atmosphere to his stirring recital of Tam O'Shanter, our tribute to the Burns Bicentennial.

      Suddenly all heads were turned as Susana Macpherson from Cadiz led her family of forty Spanish Macphersons on to the stage to sing a lively song to guitar accompaniment. Gasps and cheers rose as two lovely girls appeared in flamenco costume to perform their thrilling dance, and before long members of the audience were being enticed to join in, weaving back and forth to the throbbing music of the guitar. Another lively song completed the performance of the evening!

      It was a hard act to follow, but Bruce Gillis and his family from Middleton, Nova Scotia, succeeded in bringing us back to Scotland again.

     "There's never been a ceilidh like this!" was the verdict heard around the tented hall.

      Two diverse events took place on the morning of Monday 5th. A party of (mainly!) younger and more rugged members took part in a trek by boat and foot to view the site of Cluny's Cage on Ben Alder. A report on this trip is to be found elsewhere in this issue. The other event was a visit to the ruins of Ruthven Barracks on the outskirts of Kingussie. After clansfolk had made a brief tour of the site they gathered to hear a talk by historian Euan Macpherson of Dundee on the significance of the site in Clan history. Euan explained that after Culloden the remnants of the clans had gathered here in the hope of continuing the fight, but instead had been told by Prince Charlie to disperse and flee for their lives. Cluny then took the microphone and remarked that this had been the first occasion in which the Clan Macpherson had gathered again at Ruthven since the dispersal. He thanked the Jubilee Committee and particularly Ewen, its Chairman, for all their hard work in making the Gathering such a successful event. In officially closing the 50th Gathering of the Association he bade everyone 'a fond family farewell', and looked forward to their next meeting a year hence.

      A delightful postscript to the Gathering took the form of a visit to Kyllachy House and gardens, near Tomatin, home of Lord and Lady Macpherson of Drumochter, on Monday afternoon. The terraced gardens, which overlook the River Findhorn, have been carefully tended by Lord Macpherson over the 22 years since he retired there. Visitors were treated to a delicious afternoon tea in Kyllachy House after touring the gardens.

      Thus the jubilee Gathering passed into history. It had been an event that will long be remembered by everyone who took part in it.


By Robert J. Macpherson
I am delighted to welcome you all here today in this beautiful location in the heart of Badenoch, for the unveiling of the memorial cairn to Ewan Macpherson of Cluny -- known as Cluny of the '45.       While we celebrate our anniversaries with events over the course of this weekend, I hope that you will see that we have achieved a great deal through our collective effort. By acting together we have achieved far more than any individual could do by themselves. These collective efforts of ours are part of the reasoning behind the creation of the clan system which has manifested itself today in our Association.

      It is within this interpretation of the importance of our roles in our society and clan association that I designed the cairn to be a focal point created by individual pieces. The spiral nature of the design is one where each piece has an equal part to play in creating


the form. Each piece focuses on the central axis and each is as relevant to the form as the other.

      The form also indicates growth from the origin. The manifestation of this growth is our world-wide Association and our annual return to this our homeland, celebrated this year by our largest gathering in Badenoch, and like the spiral we recognise the importance of our origin.

      The column structure signifies and respects the traditional cairn design, that of highland focal points, be they tops of mountains, memorials or roadside markings, each has its own significance.

      This cairn has, however, other layers of meaning overlaid, which come from the personal histories of each individual piece.

      The cairn could not have personal significance for us had we not sent stones to build it. Stones, as you will know, have been sent from throughout the world. Clansmen and women have donated a part of their country, culture and personal history in collecting and sending stones. In the cairn's form, the layers of relevance of each stone overlap.

      The details of each piece have been kept in the Museum with the names of the donors in the Book of Gold. I feel to mention individual stones will lose the intricate overlaying of the personal histories. This overlaying I feel creates the most beautiful and delicate structure, and one that could never have been designed.

      I hope that this will give you an insight into my design process and that your reading of the cairn is enhanced by the knowledge that it is yourselves who have given meaning to the cairn's structure.

      We are also here today to perform several tasks. It seems only right to leave a memory of our own gathering and so Cluny will today bury a timecapsule.

      Made by Jim McPherson of Eastbourne who also created the plaque on the cairn, the capsule is filled with letters from each branch and drawings from local school children. A copy of the contents can be seen in the Museum and I hope that when it is uplifted in 250 years the spirit of this day is retained. I would also like to thank Jim very much for creating and fitting the bronze plaque which will shortly be unveiled.

      We would normally have individual dedication services for the gate and bench. We can, however, bring all these together and I would like to thank John Macpherson of Montrose for creating our magnificent entrance gate, resplendent in the Association crest.

I would like to thank Colin and Ann Macpherson of Hampshire for donating the bench, dedicated in memory to Colin's brother Robin and parents James and Betty. The family stayed at Shanvall for many years, this being the cottage immediately below us.

      There are, however, four people who without their help, this project would not have happened. I would like to thank Glentruim for his land; Allan Macpherson-Fletcher for donating one of his steadings at Balavil; Ken Smith and Grampian Builders for physically building the cairn, and Shirley Tulloch of Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise for their grants and kind support.       You should also notice the brass plate on the boulder. This is inscribed with the focal points of interest and the monuments to Cluny of the '45's grandson and his wife. Thank you to our present Cluny for donating this.

[ To view a photograph of the cairn, click here]

[To view a photograph of the plaque, click here]      


Copies of your photos and videos of the jubilee Gathering are requested. Please send them to the Clan Museum at Newtonmore. It is hoped to compile a photographic record of the Gathering for future viewing. ---------------------------------------------------------------12---------------------------------------------------------------

By Ewen S. L. MacPherson

Cluny, Lady Cluny, Clansfolk and Distinguished Guests.

      A number of you were here twelve months ago to the day and hour when I received, on behalf of the Clan Macpherson Association, the Title Deeds to this piece of land which was so generously gifted by Euan and Zandra Macpherson of Glentruim.

      This Cairn now stands in the heart of Macpherson country within a few feet of the Centre of the Highlands. It stands here as a Memorial not only to Ewan of the '45 but also to his Clan people who toiled these lands and followed their Chief loyally into battle for the Jacobite cause.

      Ewan was born at Nuide, a short distance from here, on the 11 th February 1706, the son of Lachlan, Younger of Nuide and Jean Cameron, a daughter of Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel. He married Janet, the daughter of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, on the 2nd March 1742.

      We have no paintings or portraits of Ewan to look at for his features. However, he is described as being of "low stature, very square, and a dark brown complection". He was grey by his forty-ninth birthday in 1755 and government intelligence also indicates that he was wry necked, holding his head to the side over one of his shoulders -- a distinguishing characteristic given to the troops searching for him in April 1756 in Orkney, months after he had reached France.

      Ewan was described as "A man of extreme good sense and inferior to none in the north of Scotland for capacity; greatly beloved by his clan; a man not only brave in the general acceptation of the word; but upon reflection and forethought determined and resolute with uncommon calmness". We know from his own writings and action that he was unselfish, modest and gentle and that his responsibility was to his people and his countryside here in Badenoch.

      At the start of the Rising in 1745, Ewan was aged 39 and the 'Younger of Cluny'; his father still being alive. However, due to his father's advanced age he had long before been the real leader of the Clan.

      Ewan took up the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart as Leader of the Badenoch Men in the 1745-46 Rising. He was a spokesman at the Jacobite War Council at Derby, a leader at the Skirmish at Clifton in Cumberland, at the Battle of Falkirk, and in the Atholl Raid. He became Chief on the death of his father on 30th June 1746.

      Following the Battle of Culloden on the 16th April 1746, Ruthven Barracks was the rendezvous point for the Jacobite army and it was here that they received the disappointing news that the Prince had absconded into the heather.

      Ewan intended to take refuge in France with the other Jacobite leaders, but was asked to remain behind by Prince Charles as custodian of the Jacobite Warchest. The tales of Ewan and his escapades in the heather are legendary. For nine long years after the end of the Rising, Ewan was loyally protected by his Clan with a reward of "A Thousand Guineas and a Company offered to anyone that would take him, Dead or Alive." His hunters included at one stage Colonel James Wolfe of subsequent Quebec fame.

      It was through those mountains, with the divided plateau of Creag Meaghaidh on the skyline, that Prince Charles Edward Stuart journeyed on the 28th August 1746 on his way to join Ewan at the Meallan Odhar shealling: and the Cage in the mountain Forest of Ben Alder. This particular hide-out was to be immortalised by Robert Louis Stevenson in 'Kidnapped'.

      He had numerous other haunts in the area. Very close to this Cairn site is Nessintullich where the most comfortable of his hiding places was located. At Ralia his shelter was dug under the floor of his relative, Ewan Macpherson of Ralia -- the direct ancestor of Glentruim. Opposite on Creag Dhubh, by legend, he hid in Cluny's Cave.

      We do not know when Ewan left Badenoch, but he left Edinburgh on the 9th May


1755, probably by stagecoach, and arrived in London on the 17th where he stayed in a safe house' till the 22nd. He then travelled from London to Dover on the 22nd and crossed to Calais on the 23rd to reach Dunkirk.

      Ewan stayed there, among other Jacobite exiles, till the 1st June, and reached Paris on the 8th to report to a Prince no longer there. He was appointed Nominal Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment D'Albanie, 1747-48, and in the Regiment Royal Ecossais in French Service, 1755-62. He was to remain in France for the rest of his life and died at Dunkirk on the 30th January 1764 -- twelve days short of his 58th birthday.

      A funeral with full military honours was offered by the authorities at Dunkirk, but was declined by Lady Cluny who preferred a more private burial, at night, in the Garden of the Carmelites.

      It appears that there was a chance to retrieve his remains at about 1876 but this opportunity was not taken up. In 1895 Alexander Macpherson wrote to the British Consul in Dunkirk and was advised that the Carmelite Monastery no longer existed. It is assumed that all trace of his grave has therefore been lost for ever. This Cairn is effectively, a belated restitution by the modern Clan for that apparent failure and loss.

      May this Cairn stand for centuries to come in honour of one of our greatest Clan heroes and to his clansfolk whom he so loyally and conscientiously cared for. May this panoramic view be enjoyed by successive generations of clansfolk, local people and visitors to the area.

      I now ask Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie, Chief of the Clan Macpherson, to officially Open the Gate to the site, inter the Time Capsule and Unveil the Cairn to Ewan of the '45.


Offered by Rev. Allan S. Macpherson
Eternal God, our heavenly Father, you did not create us to live alone, but in community with each other. We thank you for the varied society of humankind, into which we come and by which we are brought up.

      We thank you for the pattern of family life; all experience is here from birth to death. Within the closeknit bond of family life we learn to belong; we learn of love and we learn to love.

      But on this day of commemoration, gathered here today from many parts of the world, near and far, we thank you for that wider family of kith and kin which is our clan. As this day we look to the rock from which we were hewn, so we give thanks to those who have gone before us, and whose lives have been an inspiration to us. It is because of them that we can today look back with pride and dignity which none can take from us.

      In your name we ask now that this cairn unveiled may ever remind us of a great and goodly heritage into which we have entered. Let it speak to us of deeds of heroism and sacrifice of our ancestors; let it speak to us of their faithfulness and fidelity, their loyalty and their devotion to the highest and the best that they knew. Let it speak to us of nobility of spirit and generosity of heart. Let its ultimate commemoration be a demand and response from us that we too may leave something of true and lasting worth to those who some day will stand here in our place.

      And let this place and time set apart around this cairn for commemoration of great deeds of the past, be also for each one of us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the future in the greatest service of all.

      Lord Jesus Christ, Master Builder of Nazareth, as we work, day by day, on the house of life, may yours be the plans we fulfil, yours the strength in which we work, yours be the specification we work to, yours the oversight of each detail, and yours the glory when

the scaffolding of the body is taken down at the last, and the results of our labours are seen.

      Unless it is you who are the real builder, we work in vain, O Lord. On you we rely to provide us with all we need for our work. May we find in our lives that we have built more than a cairn of stones, but part indeed of that Eternal City which is our true family home.

      Hear these our prayers in Jesus' name. And to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we ascribe all mighty, majesty, dominion and power, both now and to the ages of ages. Amen.


This poem was written in August 1996 by Father Ewan just after the Newtonmore Games and was read at the Ceilidh. Father Ewan has also written a book of poetry entitled Songs before the Dawn, which can be obtained from his address: Father Ewan A. Macpherson, St Laurence Vicarage, Crow Lane, Westbury sub Mendip, Wells, Somerset BA15 1HB. Price � (�+ �post and package).



The jubilee Rally of the Clan was a wonderful occasion which I know none of us will ever forget. It was a happy coincidence that the year of Centenaries and Anniversaries should have coincided with the 25th Anniversary of our Glentruim Tea Party. Over all these years Zandra and I have received countless expressions of appreciation and thanks from Clansfolk from all parts of the world. We in turn must reciprocate because it has always been such an enormous pleasure for Zandra and myself to be able to welcome the Clan, the Family, to our home in Badenoch. We thank you for the beautiful engraved decanter and glasses which you gave to us to mark this occasion which we will always treasure. We also thank you for the great pleasure which you have given to us both through the years by coming to us at Glentruim.

By Sandy Macpherson

Over the past few years a tradition has grown up in the Association that the Monday of the Clan Rally week-end is devoted to an organised outing. This outing, in the form of a walk, is usually over an area with good local historic associations, for example, General Wade's roads, an iron age fort or Glen Banchor.

      These expeditions have always been well supported and enjoyed by the participants, who have been able to see more of Badenoch "off the beaten track" than the average tourist as well as enjoying good company for the day.

      In 1996, being the Golden Jubilee Rally, it was felt that something special was called for and it was decided to go to one place in the district with a direct connection with Cluny of the '45 and the Battle of Culloden.

      This spot could only be the site of "Cluny's Cage", where Cluny entertained Prince Charles Edward Stuart for a week in September 1746 following his defeat at Culloden and before his final escape to France.

      The exact position of the Cage has always been in doubt, although it is marked on the Ordnance Survey maps, and guide books describe it at length. In the 1996 edition of Creag Dhubh the late Affleck Gray of Pitlochry published his theory that the site was not there and was situated on the other side of Loch Ericht. Dr Alan G. Macpherson of Canada in his recently published study of Cluny gives a well argued case for a third position of the hiding place.

      Here then, the first problem, which cage to visit? It was decided to plan for the traditional site, which was known and accessible, with the proviso that all going would be told that the site was that "purported" to be that of the Cage. The Trades Description Act would not be defied by these means.

      The next problem lay in getting there, as the site is extremely remote. Permission was required from the owners of the estate, and as they lived overseas it took a considerable time to contact them and obtain approval for a visiting party. As part of the trip involved travelling by boat terms had to be arranged for hire together with appropriate insurance, (In the event of a disaster the possibility of the flower of the Clan going down to a watery grave was unthinkable.)

      These obstacles were at last surmounted and contact was made with Ian Crighton, the Head Stalker on the Ben Alder Estate and in June Bruce and I went on a reconnaissance visit with him. It was a working trip and we shared the boat with a cargo of fencing posts and wire which we assisted in unloading. It enabled us to work out distances and travel times and plan accordingly.

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      Following the advertising of the outing we were overwhelmed with applications. The boat could only take a limited number and even with a shuttle service of three sailings an upper limit of 36 visitors in a day had to be imposed. To accommodate as many as possible a second day's visit was arranged, although in the event, some people dropped out and most of those applying made the journey.

      The expeditions, five parties in two days, went very well and I hope that all who went enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

      It was so varied, with a long drive over a somewhat bumpy and twisty estate road after crossing the railway lines at Dalwhinnie, then boarding the flat bottomed estate boat at the nearly completed Ben Alder Lodge. The voyage lasted over an hour. Passing close to the rocky shore with towering hills above gave a good idea of just how remote a place can be in the centre of Scotland.

      Landing at the far end without the benefit of a pier was precarious and somewhat undignified but we all made it safely to walk over the beach, cross a burn by a good modern bridge and visit Ben Alder Cottage, reputedly haunted but looking very uneerie in the daylight. The last stage was a scramble up to the jumble of boulders which could have formed the remnants of a cave.

      The view from the top is superb looking over the curved bay of the loch and then on to a tangle of distant hills on the horizon.

      There we could sit and relax and sip the product from our sponsor, the Dalwhinnie Distillery, and reflect on Cluny and his royal guest of two hundred and fifty years before.

      The whole expedition was a well worth while experience. Next year's walk will really have to be special to live up to that of '96.

By Robert J. Macpherson

The Clan Museum Advisory Committee have appointed a sub-committee to look into the future needs of storage and display. The remit of the sub-committee has grown in order to make a comprehensive assessment and feasibility study of a number of points. These include studying the building's existing fabric, structure and environmental quality and assessing these needs in the future.

      The study, however, brings up one fundamental question: What is the role of the museum in the future?

      The question arises of whether the museum is satisfying its current remit in keeping the Clan treasures for posterity. The museum's long-term survival and a philosophical look at the role of the museum should be thoroughly researched as part of a feasibility study in order to make proposals which will satisfy the museum into the next millenium.

      I am writing this article to invite comments and suggestions from the association membership on this question in order to assess the direction in which you view the museum developing. One suggestion has been that the museum should include the social development of Badenoch, another that the museum should remain focussed on the Clan Macpherson but with more information on the septs.

      I hope that this will set you thinking, as it is hoped to make the report for the AGM in August 1997 -- the 50th anniversary of the Clan Association.

      If you are interested in the above please write by the 1st May 1997 to:
           Robert J. Macpherson, Chartered Architect,
           c/o E. S. L. MacPherson, Chairman, Clan Macpherson Association,
           Talla Shee, Straloch, Enochdhu, by Blairgowrie, Perthshire PHIO 7PH.



Cluny's Farewell:
Our valued Chief retired after 13 years on the bench as a judge of the High Court in London on 29th March 1996. Accompanied by Lady Macpherson, he left the court for the last time to the strains of Pipe-Major Brian MacRae playing 'Macpherson's Farewell'.

Honorary Degree:
J. H. Forbes Macpherson, former Chairman of the Glasgow Development Agency and member of the Court of the University of Glasgow, received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University from the University of Glasgow in June 1996.

109th Birthday:
Miss Mary C. M. MacPherson of Maclean, N.S.W., third-oldest person in Australia, celebrated her 109th birthday on 24th February 1996. (See article on p.33 of "Creag Dhubh" 1996.) Alas, we have since received word that Miss MacPherson died on 11th December 1996.

Emigrant Footballer:
Jamie Macpherson (not he of the Jubilee Committee!), striker with Ross County Football Club in the Scottish Third Division, has joined the ranks of Wynnum Football Club in Brisbane, Australia, where he has already impressed local fans with his abilities. Although he was actually born in Australia, Jamie was finding the heat of Brisbane a problem.

Success for Piper:
Association member Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies, of The Highlanders, has won the Glenfiddich Trophy as overall champion at the 23rd Annual Glenfiddich Piping Championships held at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl in October. Congratulations!

Portrait Painter:
Douglas McPherson of Western Australia tells us that his sister, Rae Harris, R.M.S., has painted a miniature portrait of Cluny, which she exhibited at the Royal Society of Sculptors, Miniaturists and Engravers. We send our congratulations to Rae on winning the Silver Cup for her exhibit. She is Patron for the Society in Australia.

New Graduates:
Two grandsons of Mrs Jean Cox (née McPherson), a Southland, N.Z. committee member from Invercargill, were capped in 1996 at Otago University, Dunedin. They are Scott Perkins, who gained his B.Com.

and will graduate in tourism, and Dion Chamberlain, who gained honours in English with his B.A. and is furthering his studies. Well done, both of you!

A Roving Ambassador:
Since retiring from his post as Manager at Cardhu Distillery in Speyside, Evan Cattanach has travelled the world promoting Johnny Walker Whisky, United Distillers' Classic Malts and Cardhu Malt Whisky. In 1996 he visited Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada and the USA -- an exhausting schedule, but nonetheless enjoyable. Evan is a fine ambassador for Scotland and Scotch whisky.

Election Victory:
Congratulations to Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz, California, Republican Candidate who recently won election to the Californian State Senate.


A Visit from Prince Charles: Well-known Association member Mrs Winifred MacPherson had a chat with Prince Charles when he stopped to admire the view from her house, the Old Toll House in Fochabers, at the side of the River Spey Bridge. The Prince was in the area to open the E26 million Spey Abstraction water scheme in January 1996. Mrs MacPherson said that he admired the garden and was interested in the house which he remembered from his school days at Gordonstoun.


To Annie (née Macpherson) and Jérome LeRoy-Lewis, a daughter, Eliza Catharine, on 24th January 1997. A grand-daughter for Cluny and Sheila.

To Jeannie and Peter Levett, a son, Daniel Shepherd Grant Levett, on 30th December 1995. Jeannie's mother, Pauline Edie, was a Macpherson, and Peter's paternal grandmother was a sister of Lord Tom Macpherson of Drumochter.

Edie -- Macpherson. On 3rd February 1996, Margaret Macpherson, daughter of Mr and Mrs Sandy Macpherson and grand-daughter of the late Hector Macpherson, a former Chairman of the Southland, N.Z. Branch, was married to Graeme Edie, son of Russell and Evelyn Edie from the North Island. The yacht Chattan on which the couple spent their honeymoon was one of a number of that name built by Sandy and Hector.
Ian C. L. Gillies, Kt T, FSA (Scot), who has died in York District Hospital on 7 November 1996 at the age of 67, was a dedicated and enthusiastic clansman who will be sorely missed, not least at the August Gathering, which he attended for 20 years. Ian was a strikingly intelligent, well-read and humorous person, who knew a great deal about Scots and clan history, as well as being a wise, loyal and sympathetic friend. He proved his arms in the early 1970's and went on to set up the Clan Macpherson Association in Western Australia, while resident there in 1974-77. In the ten years since retiring from the York Ambulance Service in 1986, he had rediscovered his remarkable talents as an artist, tended his beloved garden and greatly enjoyed becoming a Knight Templar. Ian was an active and impassioned Scots patriot: two years ago, the Yorkshire Evening Press published a story about his placing of flowers on the site of the Tyburn executions of Jacobite prisoners in York, every year on its anniversary. His funeral in York on 15th November was, coincidentally, on the anniversary of the last of these hangings 250 years ago. His ashes have been scattered on Creag Dhubh. The Chevalier Ian Gillies is survived by his wife, June, and two daughters. It is hoped that his infant grandson, Charlie Bunney-Gillies, will take up his grandfather's place in the Clan Association in due course.

Madam Marjorie S. M. Maclachlan of Maclachlan, 24th Chief of the Clan, died at Dunoon on 11th October 1996 at the age of 76. She was the grand-daughter of Albert Cameron Macpherson of Cluny, 23rd Chief of Clan Macpherson. She took a deep interest


in the Clan Maclachlan Society, and hosted a gathering of clanspeople each year at her home, Castle Lachlan.

Clem Macpherson (known as 'Curly' to his army mates) died on 14th May 1996, in Melbourne, Australia, at the grand old age of 94. He was born in the small country town of Korumburra, and although he moved to the city of Melbourne in his youth he remained a 'country boy' all his life. He was hard-working, honest and treated his fellow humans with friendliness and respect. Although his formal education was limited he was a wise man who taught lessons about life to many around him. He did this unintentionally -- his cheery example affecting those fortunate to cross his path.

      Clem was a member of the Australian Imperial Forces during the Second World War and saw action in the Middle East and at the defence of Darwin, as a soldier in the 2/1 11th Australian Army Field Regiment. Some years after the war he became a member of the St John's Ambulance Brigade and spent the next three decades devoting most of his spare time to the work of this esteemed organisation. The loss of his beloved wife Betty in 1994 was a great tragedy to him -- they had been together for almost 60 years. He is survived by two children, five grand-children, and two great-grandchildren.

      Clem's great-great-grandfather was Angus Macpherson of Drumgask -- mysteriously buried in the Macphersons of Strathmashie enclosure inside the ruins of the church of St Kenneth (Lagganchynich) at the east end of Loch Laggan. There is also a touch of the mysterious about the date of Clem's death -- he passed away on the birthday of his long-lost brother Colin, who died in France in WWI. This was also the birthday of his son Colin, the writer of these words. Although he is sadly missed we live in hope that he is with those he loved.

Donald MacPherson, aged 96 years, died peacefully on 7th June 1996, at Bannockburn Cottage Hospital. He was born in Oban and educated at Kilchrenan and Oban High Schools. He was a renowned horticulturist who trained at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and specialised in orchids. He was an enthusiast of the Gaelic language, music and song. For over 66 years he was married to Jane, and he was the father of the late Donald, and also of Ewen, Chairman of the Association, and Sheena.

John MacPherson of Paisley died on 13th November 1996, loving husband of Helen, father and grandfather. The funeral at Paisley Crematorium was conducted by Rev. Alan Birse of Paisley Abbey. Many friends and members of the Church congregation, Masonic brethren and a deputation from Clan Macpherson Association attended.

      Mr Birse spoke warmly of John, the retired farmer and gardener, John, the quiet but dutiful worker in the background of Church work and life, John, the clansman and his service with Clan Macpherson Association, and last but not least John, the family man. We shall all remember John Macpherson, the Past Chairman of the West of Scotland Branch, with gratitude for his service.

(Note: By her late husband's request, the following is a more detailed obituary for a lady whose death was noted in the 1996 issue): Muriel Anne Grant-Macpherson died very suddenly at her home in Wells, Somerset, on 12th March 1995, at the age of 80. Her early life was spent at Reading, where she met her future husband in May 1937, and they were married in June, exactly one month later.

      When her husband 'Mac' joined the army on the outbreak of war she went to live with his parents in Oxford. Before long she joined the C.R.O. When the USA joined in the war, she was seconded to the US Air Force, where she rapidly reached a high position, often meeting General Eisenhower.

      After the war, they moved to Somerset, where Mac started a cycle and model shop. Whilst on holiday they visited the Clan Museum, becoming life members, and returning a few years later with their son Keith.

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      Before very long Muriel joined her husband in the shop, virtually taking it over and making it the great success it became, dropping the cycles and concentrating on models, for which they became known over a wide area.

Unfortunately in the late seventies she had a heart attack, which meant that they had to dispose of the shop, which she had made so successful that it is still missed in the City of Wells. They then retired to their house on the side of the Mendip Hills, which she loved, and always referred to as Shangri La. She was an avid gardener, and took great pride in her garden, where she was actually working when she had the massive coronary which ended her life.

      Her husband is the Secretary of the Somerset section of the Ancient Order of Druids, in which she took a great part, and she is the only lady to have been given a Druidic style funeral.

      She and her husband had started to plan for their Diamond Wedding in 1997, which unfortunately was not to be.

Kari Noelle MacPherson, 27, died in a Winnipeg, Manitoba hospital on 4th April 1996, from injuries sustained when she stepped off a lane divider into the path of a pick-up truck on a busy downtown street. Police said she died shortly after being taken to hospital. Kari had just completed her university studies (B.A.) and had taken a job in Winnipeg only a week previously. She was the daughter of John A. MacPherson, Enschede, The Netherlands, and grand-daughter of Archie and Stacia, MacPherson of Eden, Ontario, Canada.

Brigadier Alastair Pearson, CB, DSO and three Bars, OBE, MC, TD, former Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, died on 29th March 1996, aged 80. Born and brought up in Glasgow, Brigadier Pearson had a spectacular and daring career during the Second World War. In North Africa he took over the command of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged only 27, when its colonel was badly wounded. After the war he farmed near Loch Lomond, and was made a Freeman of Dumbarton. He was predeceased by his wife Joan, and is survived by his daughter Fiona Stuart, an international horsewoman, and two step-daughters.

Sheena M. Elmo (née Macpherson), born Invercargill, New Zealand, 1914, died at New Haven, Connecticut, USA, on 13th August 1996. Sheena was a long time resident in New Haven and had been a member of the CMA, American Branch, for many years. A memorial service was held on 31st August 1996 in Knox Chapel, Christchurch, New Zealand, conducted by her son-in-law Rev. Kim Bathgate. Sheena was very conscious of her Highland heritage, and one of her last requests was to have a piper at her graveside. Sheena's sister, Mrs W. J. McCann, and brother John Macpherson, are New Zealand clan members.

By R. G. M. Macpherson, FRSA, FSA(Scot), FHSC
In order to mark our historic 50th jubilee Gathering in a very special way, it was considered appropriate that we should petition the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh for a Grant of Arms in the name of the Clan Macpherson Association.

      There are at least 10 or 12 other Clan Societies which have received a Grant of Arms in the past 100 years and it seemed fitting that a Clan Association of our stature and importance should be numbered among them, especially when we celebrate so significant a milestone in our history. By receiving this Grant of Arms, our Association


becomes, according to the terms of the Letters Patent, "a Society Noble in the Noblesse of Scotland".

      The Lord Lyon granted the Association a coat of arms that is divided quarterly "Gold and Blue", the Cluny livery colours, charged with the well known symbols of the Cluny Arms and surrounded by an "Annulet" or circlet, all "counter-changed". In Heraldry, the "Annulet" represents a "Society", a "circle of friendship" if you will, and epitomises the continuity and "togetherness" of our Association, which has remained united in such a fruitful way over these past 50 years . . . half a century!

      The Crest, a gold wildcat, is depicted in the position used by the Clan Association on their Green Banner and membership badges and the Motto is a Gaelic rendering of "Touch not the cat". The Arms are recorded on the 17th page of the 79th volume of the Public Register of All Arms & Bearings in Scotland.

      The Letters Patent were presented to our Chairman, Ewen S. L. MacPherson, at the AGM in Newtonmore by Nancy Macpherson, the Hon. Secretary of the Canadian Branch. The Arms are a gift of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association and are given in memory of Lloyd C. MacPherson, as it was during his Chairmanship that the idea of an Association Grant of Arms was originally conceived.

      A Banner of the Association Arms was also presented at the AGM by Andrew MacPherson, Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Branch. When the Jubilee Gathering was in the planning stages, the Jubilee Committee expressed a wish that the Clan Association should have a special flag or banner to celebrate the 50th Rally. Now that the Association has its own coat of arms to identify it on the field, what more appropriate Jubilee flag could we display than the banner of our own Arms.

      Andrew emphasised that this new flag is, of course, not intended to replace our own Association "Green Banner" that has led our Clan March for 50 years and displays with pride our Association badge. This new flag will accompany it to remind us all that we, as a Clan Association, have reached our 50th year.



Arms were granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms to John B. Gillespie of Riccione, Italy, on the 28th August 1995 and are recorded on the 84th page of the 77th Volume of the Public Register of All Arms & Bearings in Scotland.

      The principal charge in the Arms is the traditional Gillespie three-masted Galley which is placed above a "green Pearl" representing the old fishing village of Riccione, known as "the Green Pearl of the Adriatic", and now the armiger's home. The shield is divided by a horizontal wavy line denoting the waves of the sea and the "silver hand holding three bolts of lightning" commemorates Mr Gillespie's wartime service as an R.A.F. signaller in the Desert Air Force between 1942-1946.

      The wildcat Crest is holding a "green Pearl" as in the Arms and the interesting motto reflects the expatriate's wish that his descendants not forget their Highland origin.


By Andrew Macpherson, Curator

It seems that we have to expect fewer visitors in the first few months of the season. I think it is because it is still early, although we often get good weather early in the year.

      However after a slow start numbers increased up to the Jubilee Gathering week-end, and the Museum was well patronised, with many visitors here for the first time. By the end of the season (30th September) 3,737 visitors had paid a visit to the Museum, and had spend �407 on souvenirs and contributed �418 through the boxes.

      Mrs Susan Livingstone was my temporary assistant and ran the sales desk for a few days over the Gathering, and her services were invaluable. At times it was so busy that my wife Nancy had to come to our assistance, as well as the sales desk being as busy as I have ever seen it.

      Nancy had great success with the garden, and kept the flower show going up until almost the end of the season, and only now is it dying away. Her success is partly due to my brother-in-law, whose hobby is gardening and grows most of the bedding plants from seed.

      Now that the Museum is closed Nancy and I are off to Zimbabwe to stay with our daughter Fiona and family for three months, but we will see you all next summer.

I have to acknowledge with thanks the following personal donations: Ian Archibald, Chippendale, Wiltshire, �0; Donald K. McPherson, Chief justice, Regina, Saskatchewan, �; Malcolm McPherson, Burnside, Kendal, Cumbria, �.

The following items have been donated:
      (1) From James McPherson of Eastbourne a metal plaque of a traditional wildcat. This has been erected by the England and Wales Branch on the left of the north entrance door from the car park).

      James is also prepared to engrave a small Macpherson arms plaque with any


message of greeting requested, e.g. "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year". Total cost will be �, with proceeds to the Memorial Cairn Maintenance Fund.

(2) "Our McPherson Family History: pieces of the past." Presented by Gertrude Norcross, San Diego, California.

(3) "Scottish Contemporary Art and Prints" (catalogue) and "Letters from a Highland Township", by Elizabeth and Ian Macpherson, presented by Ewen S. L. MacPherson, Talla-shee, Straloch, Enochdhu.

(4) The Arms of Kirk R. McPherson, Burlington, Ontario, the Arms of Clan Macpherson Association, the Illuminated Matriculation of the Arms of the Association and a small painting of the Arms of the Association. All painted and presented by R. Gordon M. Macpherson, Burlington, Ontario.

(5) Two framed photographs of the 1947 Clan March led by Col. A. K. Macpherson of Pitmain, M.VO. and a framed photograph of the Clan Macpherson Association Committee, 1947, presented by M. Alastair F Macpherson of Pitmain, Putney, London.

(6) Silver Christening Bowl belonging to Francis Cameron Macpherson, 25th Chief, presented by his daughter Mrs Anne Springman, Isle of Wight.

(7) Two Silver Quaichs, presented to Clan Macpherson Association by Grampian Police Pipe Band and Newtonmore Highland Games Committee, to commemorate the 50th Gathering.

(8) "The Book of Gold" for the Memorial Cairn to Ewan of the'45, presented by the Jubilee Committee in a glass topped table for display This is a list of all the donors throughout the world who sent stones for the building of the Memorial Cairn, done in calligraphic print by R. Gordon M. Macpherson, Burlington, Ontario.

(9) "The Macphersons and Magees", "Dear Family" and "Family Album", presented by James and Johann Fargo, Fairfax Station, Virginia.

(10) "A Day's March to Ruin", by Alan Gibson Macpherson, published by Clan Macpherson Association.

(11) Mementoes from Macpherson Clan, New Zealand, presented by Margaret Harding, c/o Lorne PO., Southland, New Zealand.

(12) Two Scrapbooks, "1992-1994" and "1994-1995", presented by Margaret Hambleton, Editor of "Creag Dhubh".

(13) "The Poems of Ossian and Related Works". by James Macpherson. Purchased by Clan Macpherson Association.

(14) "Medals of the Year Book", presented by Mr M. P Gallagher, Rydal Mount Road, Heaton, Bolton.

(15) "History of the Stones", compiled and presented by Ewen S. L. MacPherson, Talla-shee, Straloch, Enochdhu.

(16) "Macpherson or Clan Niall of Garrieganichy", presented by Ian J. L. Macpherson, Ardchattan, 6 Carfrae Park, Blackhall, Edinburgh.


Badges for use on blazers or sweaters are now on sale at the Museum. They incorporate the clansman's cat drawn by Gordon Macpherson, and look most effective. They are hand stitched in Edinburgh. Price � -- postage 50p inland, �overseas.


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 �With the exception of A Day's March to Ruin orders will be send 2nd class mail inland and surface overseas, unless otherwise requested. Prices include post and packing, and while every care is taken, the Museum cannot be responsible for breakages in transit.

ANNOUNCING A NEW PUBLICATION ON THE 'FORTY-FIVE 1995 and 1996, the 250th anniversary years of the 'Forty-Five Rising, have seen substantial new publications on the Rising. Anyone with an interest in the 'Forty-Five, the Jacobite Movement, Eighteenth Century Scotland or Military History will welcome Alan Gibson Macphersons A Day's March to Ruin, a documentary narrative of the Badenoch Men in the 'Forty-Five and biography of Col. Ewan Macpherson of Cluny, 1706-1764.

      ; Alan Macpherson, a Professor of Historical Geography (retired) at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John's, is the author of The Posterity of the Three Brethren, a Short History of the Clan Macpherson (1966, revised in 1976, 1985, 1993); An Old Highland Genealogy and the evolution of a Scottish clan, Scottish Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1966; An Old Highland Parish Register: survivals of clanship and social change in Laggan, Inverness- shire, 1775-1854, Scottish Studies, Vols. 11 and 12, 1967 and 1968; and Migration Fields in a traditional Highland community, 1350-1850, Joumal of Historical Geography, Vol. 10 (1), 1984. He is also well-known for his numerous articles in Creag Dhubh and Clan Chattan, the annuals of the Clan Macpherson and Clan Chattan Associations.

      Launched at the 50th (Jubilee) Gathering of the Clan Macpherson Association in Badenoch, Inverness-shire, Scotland, in August 1996, A Day's March to Ruin is focussed upon the person of Ewan of Cluny, a significant figure in the events leading up to the Rising, a Highland colonel active in the Rising itself, and a Jacobite agent and exile in its tragic aftermath. It also highlights a regimental history -- the first of any of the Jacobite regiments involved in the Rising -- complete with an annotated muster roll of the Badenoch men. Cluny's Regiment was distinguished by the numerous special missions carried out during its period of service.

      Bound in an attractive laminated soft-cover, A Day's March to Ruin is a substantial



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pattern for the next fifty years. Niall M. S. Macpherson graphically describes the inaugural Gathering in the No. 1 issue of Creag Dhubh in 1949 and this was largely reproduced in the 1996 issue.

      Other stalwart Clansmen were actively involved in the formation of the Clan Association, including Hugh Macpherson, Allan G. Macpherson, A. I. S. Macpherson and Kenneth N. McPherson. This article names but a few; there were others and we, the present day members, owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They were Clansmen of great determination and grit who laid solid foundations upon which we, their successors, have been able to build. The Clan House was opened in 1952 and thus, with its subsequent extensions, provided the repository for our Clan heirlooms. Today, it is the flag-ship of the Clan Association.

      We remember those pioneers of the Early Days in this our Golden jubilee Year. They started from scratch with nothing but sheer determination and the will to secure our heritage for the future. How magnificently they have fulfilled the original objectives they set. Let us give thanks for their generosity, tenacity, far-sightedness and for all the comradeship, fun and enjoyment they have engendered, worldwide, over the past five decades. Let us resolve to use their inspiration as our launch-pad to succeed with even greater achievements in the next fifty years!

References: Inverness Courier: 13 June 1939.
Creag DhubhNo. 13: 1961.

The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson: 1947.
Creag DhubhNo. 15: 1963.
Creag Dhubh No. 1: 1949.
"Past and Present. C.M.A.": 1971.

Readers will recall the daunting article, 'The Davidson Challenge', by Rory Mor in the 1994 edition of Creag Dhubh. However, rather than oppose them in battle, it was decided to participate in a more leisurely and dignified joint ceremony with the Clan Davidson on the North Inch! The occasion, on 21st September, coincided with the first Clan Gathering by the Clan Davidson Association since it was re-established in 1991 and was attended by Provost John Culliven accompanied by Mrs Culliven and four members of the Society of High Constables of Perth. Nine Macphersons, not the original survivors nor thirty in number as in 1396, were present. However, in keeping with history, we did have our own Smith, in the form of John Macpherson of Montrose! Others present were Vice-Chairmen Ronnie and Sandy, Margaret, Catherine, Iris and Robert (Aberfeldy). Chairman Ewen was invited to address the assembled Gathering and was fortunate to have been fully briefed by Euan Macpherson (Dundee), also present, whose excellent article, 'The Battle of The North Inch', appeared in the September issue of The Scots Magazine.

6th January 1887 -- 14th December 1978

Alan McPherson, a staunch member of the Clan, was devoted throughout his life to his fellow human beings of all races. He encouraged both the young and the old in their hard times -- and rejoiced with them in their successes.

      A brilliant classical scholar -- Torquemada within the day was his only boast -- he was a man of many parts. No mean rugger player in the Bedford School XV at the turn of the century, he later became chairman of the Wimbledon R.F.C. and, when well into

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his eighties, he was to be seen driving his team on the touch line -- in all weathers! He was a first class hockey player and led his Regimental team to the championship of the Indian Army and those who have seen the national teams of India and Pakistan will know the standard to which he played. He was also a fine golfer, and his interest in amateur dramatics and his fine baritone voice added magic to many an Indian night.

      Above all he was a soldier. He joined the Indian Army in 1906 and served with his beloved Jats for 29 years until, in 1935, he was promoted to higher command. From 1914 to 1916 be fought in France with his Regiment and his wonder at, and admiration for, the bravery and devotion of his Indian soldiers and their British comrades in arms in Flanders was never to leave him. As an Old Contemptible, even in frail old age, his attendance at the Cenotaph was a measure of his love for the brave young men of his youth.

      From France he went with his Regiment to Mesopotamia where within the month, he was severely wounded and evacuated to India. In 1927 he was chosen to lead the Indian officers and men who formed the guard of honour at the unveiling ceremony of the Indian Army Memorial at Neuve Chapelle in Northern France. Later, in 1933, he was in charge of the King's Indian Orderly Officers in attendance on King George V. In both these duties he saw no honour for himself but his pride in being with those fighting men knew no bounds.

      Proudly, at the age of 53, in 1939, Alan McPherson took the 11th Indian Infantry Brigade, which he then commanded, to the edge of the Western Desert. His brigade, the first Indian Brigade to be fully mobilised for the 2nd World War, was to become part of the famous 4th Indian Division, compared by Field Marshal Lord Wavell to the 10th Legion, the Light Division of the Peninsular War or Napoleon's Old Guard. What pride the Brigadier took in these words, and yet he himself was to play no part in his brigade's future glory. At the age of 54, after a year's hard training for desert warfare, he had to give way to a younger man. To do so nearly broke his heart. He left behind him a brigade which Compton Mackenzie described in his book "Eastern Epic" as 'one of the finest fighting formations in the world.'

      And so, at the age of 54, he was posted to the Directorate of Mobilisation of the War Office. He remained there throughout the 2nd World War. After demobilisation he wrote several official books, including one on mobilisation. He supervised the partial mobilisation necessitated by the Korean War. He remained to write more books after official retirement and it was not until the age of 70 that 'the Army left him.'

      A modest, gentle, brave and courteous man, Alan McPherson served his country and his fellow men to the very best of his ability all the days of his long and splendid life.

CPL. BRUCE McPHERSON, 20 November 1891-1973
By Edna MacPherson Sabato
Clement Bruce McPherson was the youngest son of James McPherson, the Queensland Bushranger, known as "The Wild Scotchman", and Elizabeth Ann Horszfeldt.

Bruce was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in WWI. His War Record states:

Army Form W. 3121
14th AUST. EA., 5th AUSTRALIAN, 25th August 1918
53rd Battery, 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade.
Recommended by A. J. Bessel-Browne, Brig-Gen. C.R.A. 5th Australian Division.

Action for which commended:
"During the operations of 8th August, 1918, in front of Hamel -- Villiers Bretonneux, this N.C.O. did excellent work. [continued]


      When the gun limbers went to the gun position to take the gun out of action, this N.C.O. was placed in charge. Having seen the gun clear, he remained on the position and helped Driver Barton to get the firing Battery wagon out.This he succeeded in doing, and had to pass through a heavy fire. The gun team had horses killed and wounded, and a little later the firing battery team became disabled.

      With assistance from Driver Barton he collected horses and made up a team for the gun, which he succeeded in getting out of the danger zone. Being unable to secure horses for the wagon, he immediately proceeded to the rear wagon lines, secured fresh horses and returned to the wagon which he got safely away. This N.C.O.'s courage and devotion to duty deserve special recognition."

(Sgd) J. Talbot Hobbs, Major-General.
Commanding 5th Australian Division

      Bruce's adopted son, Ronald James McPherson, has donated his father's Military Medal to a Returned Servicemen's League in North Queensland, for their Museum.

March & April 1996

By Alan G. Macpherson

During the first week of 1996, in the final stage of writing A Day's March to Ruin, the documentary narrative of the participation of the men of Badenoch in the 'Forty-Five Rising which I began in the 1950s and the biography of Ewan Macpherson of Cluny, their colonel, which I began in 1995, I received out of the blue an invitation to attend a conference at Somerville College, Oxford. The purpose of the conference, scheduled for 28-30th March, was to mark the bicentenary of the death of James Macpherson, the celebrated (and much denigrated) translator of the Ossianic poetry of the Scottish Gaeltachd.

      My initial reaction to the invitation was one of mortification, that single-minded absorption in the task of recounting the events of the Rising as they affected and involved the clansfolk of Badenoch two and a half centuries ago had diverted my attention from the fact that the new year was also the bicentenary of the death of Seumas ban -- as indeed it was of the national bard, Robert Bums.

      Once awakened, I dashed off a note on James Macpherson and sent it to Jack Raines, the new editor of The Urlar, and to Douglas Macpherson, the current editor of Bratach Uaine, to make sure that the North American clansfolk were alerted to the significance of this year before it ended. I also sent word to Oxford that I'd be attending the conference.

      When we landed at Heathrow early in the morning of March 27th I hot-footed it into Central London through anti-IRA security to visit Westminster Abbey and seek out James Macpherson's grave to pay my respects on the eve of the conference called in his name. I knew that he was buried in the South Transept, close to, but not in, Poets' Corner where his most severe critic, Dr Samuel Johnson, is memorialised. The Abbey is, in many respects, a national mausoleum similar to the Pantheon in Paris, crowded with the memorials of the famous. After some difficulty in locating the grave, I was directed to a flagstone set in the floor, whereon I read:



      He died at Balavil House, the neoclassical mansion but recently designed for his retirement near Kingussie by Robert Adam, the most influential architect of the period in Europe. His body was brought from Badenoch to London and, as his biographer noted, "after eighteen days on the road, was met by many of his friends, and a long row of carriages followed it to the Abbey", where it was interred on the 15th March. He was buried there as a long-serving Member of Parliament (for Camelford in Cornwall) and a long-time resident of Westminster, "the city", as he wrote in his will, "wherein I lived and passed the greatest and best part of my life."

      After musing over his last resting place I noticed that his flagstone was adjacent to one other, and that together they were conspicuous by the absence of other floor memorials nearby. His sole neighbour was none other than the architect Robert Adam, who had died on March 3rd, 1792, some four years before James. Was this intimate proximity a coincidence? Or had James requested that he be laid to rest beside an old friend and fellow London Scot? Both men, in their different spheres of action, had changed the world.

      The conference at Somerville College, called by Fiona Stafford whose penetrating thesis on Macpherson and the poems of Ossian had been published in 1988 under the title The Sublime Savage, was a signal event in the re-assessment of James Macpherson's work. It was addressed by Derick Thomson, whose Gaelic Sources of Macpherson's Ossian began the process in 1973, and by Hugh Trevor Roper, Lord Dacre, whose published views on James were largely based on the extremely hostile thesis of the late James MacLean of Glensanda, one of his former acolytes. Among the array of international scholars who attended -- Irish, Scots, English, Dutch, Icelandic and American -- I was most excited by the contribution of Ronald Black of the Department of Celtic, University of Edinburgh, who spoke on Seumas ban's collecting companion and important collaborator, Lachlan Macpherson of Strathmashie. It was as a result of this contact that I was privileged to include his translation of Strathmashie's moving elegy Cumha do Thighearna Chluainidh ("Lament for the Laird of Cluny"), on the death of Ewan of Cluny at Dunkirk in January 1764, on the last pages of A Day's March to Ruin.

      The text of A Day's March to Ruin was dispatched to the printers from Alva in the hillfbot of the Ochils on the 20th April. Five days later, after a visit to the Vermeer Exhibition in the Hague, I was in Medemblik, an ancient Dutch-West Frisian port on the former Zuider Zee, but now on the freshwater IJsselmeer. In the eighteenth century it was in frequent contact with ports along the east coast of Scotland and was a suitable place for Scots Jacobite exiles to locate. My purpose was to visit the grave of Lord George Murray, the true military genius of the 'Forty-Five and the general who ordered the Jacobite Army that assembled at Ruthven after the defeat at Culloden to disperse to their homes. Lord George, known to the Highlanders as an duine firrineach, the True, the Just, the Righteous Man, spent the last years of his exile in Medemblik and died there in 1760.

      The grounds around the 14th-century Bonifaciuskerk proved to be in the process of modern landscaping and appeared to be devoid of tombstones. We eventually found a railed grave against the wall of the church hall, amid newly planted rose bushes. The flagstone, dated 1880, indicated that this was indeed the place of burial, but that the original tombstone had been moved inside the church in the 1860s during earlier renovations. It read:




      A gardener who had been observing my attempts to take a photograph among his roses brought a Mr Beck from the church, and we were invited inside to see the original stone. I knew that the good burghers of Medemblik had cared for the grave of the Scottish nobleman for two hundred and thirty five years, but I was surprised to find that the ornately carved and inscribed stone lay in a place of honour in a corner near the front of the kirk, guarded by a moveable rail surmounted by a brass plaque announcing the significance of the stone. The stone itself carries the inscription:

Here lies interred the body of the Right Honble Lord George Murray
the Fifth Son of his Grace John Duke of Athole who died the 11 day
of October 1760 in the 66 year of his Age Leaving behind him a
mourning widow, three sons and two daughters,                 No. 72

I know that my Redeemer liveth. job 19:25.

      I placed upon his stone a mixed bunch of purple and white heather which I had brought from a friend's garden in Cumbria, not far from Kendal and the route of the Jacobite Army in 1745, and photographs were taken. It was accompanied by a card on which I inscribed these words:

To Salute "the Righteous Man" who led the Men of Badenoch at Clifton & Falkirk,
in the Atholl Raid, & at the Siege of Castle Blair, 1745-46.

On behalf of the Clan Macpherson Association.

and signed it with my name and the date.

      I was then led to the back of the church and invited to inscribe my name in a Visitors' Book. Curious to know whether others had preceded me to Lord George Murray's grave, I searched the book and found to my delight that the late Duke's piper had played a lament over the grave a year or two earlier. Postcards of the interior and exterior of the "kerk" were then pressed upon me as mementoes of our visit, an altogether satisfying and moving experience.

By William S. MacPherson

The history of the Spanish MacPhersons starts with Donald MacPherson, born in Inverness in 1792, the third child of Donald MacPherson and Catherine Grant, third daughter of Mr William Grant, who married in Inverness on the 19th May 1787.
      -- From registries noted in the family Bible, Donald Jr had an elder brother named William, born in 1788 who, according to some letters of the family's file, died in India.
      -- From the registry notes we can deduce that he had at least five sisters, although we have found letters from a sister named Peggy who was married to a MacKenzie. We have no records of any younger brothers.
      -- According to a family tradition, Donald MacPherson and his wife Catherine Grant are buried in the graveyard of Elgin Cathedral, and I remember my parents


mentioning they saw their graves on occasion of their visit to Scotland in the early sixties.
      -- Donald Jr must have appeared in Spain in his mid twenties and some documents prove he had good commercial relations in the wine trade, i.e. forwarding sherry wine to Mexico in 1819 and sharing half profits with a "Peter Domecq", who was the owner at that time of Domecq Sherries, and lived mainly in London.
      -- In 1819 he was married to Josepha Hemas, a young lady of good family of Cádiz. We are not aware of his religion, probably Presbyterian, but on occasion of his marriage he starts appearing with the name Daniel in all the documents he signs. Probably he didn't like the Spanish translation of Donald. In any case, and from letters from his sister Peggy MacKenzie, we know he was not in good terms with his father, but do not know why.
      -- The married couple lived in Cádiz for some years, during which their eldest child Daniel -- the undersigned's great grandfather -- and a daughter Narcissa were born. In 1822, they left Cádiz for Gibraltar where they settled until 1835 when they returned to Cádiz. During their stay in Gibraltar -- starting or continuing what seems to be a prolific family habit -- seven more children, one boy and six girls, were born,

      From several interesting documents we have, it can be ascertained that, apart from enlarging his family, he continued with success his shipping, forwarding and exportimport business. But at the same time he was involved with the Spanish politics of the time and protected and supported with money his liberal friends against the absolutist regime of King Ferdinand VII of Spain. The mentioned circumstance could explain his stay in Gibraltar until King Ferdinand died in 1833 and an amnesty was granted in 1835 by the Regent Queen Cristina, mother of Queen Isabella II. We are therefore inclined to believe that our ancestor lived a most adventurous and active life, increasing his fortune and his family, as already back in Cádiz, his wife gave birth in 1837 to their tenth child, a girl called Eliza and finally in 1839, to their last, a son named Joseph John, from which birth the mother died.


Donald or Daniel did not survive his wife for long and died in 1841 at 49 years, leaving behind eleven orphans in charge of their eldest brother Daniel, who was only 21 years old.

      But probably because he had left them in good economical position -- in 1840 he had established his own shipping, forwarding and chartering firm "Daniel MacPherson" -- and that the brothers were well related within the rather prosperous and cultivated society of Cádiz in those days, the fact is that young Daniel saw most of his eight sisters married into some of the most distinguished and wealthy families of the town, of whom descendants exist in several parts of Spain, mainly in Madrid. As regards his two brothers, William became a writer of certain renown and is considered probably the best translator of W. Shakespeare to the Spanish language, having been appointed British Consul in several Spanish towns. The other, Joseph John, became quite a famous geologist and his investigations and works are well known nowadays by all engineering students in Spain, his merits having been honoured in this town with a memorial bust and a street with his name. Neither of these two brothers left any issue.

      Now, returning to my great-grandfather, Daniel, apart from taking charge of his father's business, and being appointed Lloyd's Agent in 1864, he was married in 1850 to a Cádiz lady and had three children: my grandfather Henry, Richard and Josephine. Richard was married and had four children of whom one son, Fernando Daniel, after living a rather restless life, probably settled in Argentina and left descent. We have no accurate information regarding this branch.

      My grandfather Henry -- who like his two ancestors retained his British citizenship -- married in 1879 a lady of Puerto de Santa Maria, who gave him nine children, three sons and six daughters. The eldest, Daniel, died a bachelor in 1931 and the second, Henry, had no issue from his marriage to the Marchioness of Vega de Sagra and died in 1966. The third, William (or Guillermo in Spanish) was my father (1892-1979), who married my mother Maria, a lady belonging to a well known banker's family from Barcelona in 1920, and had the following issue.

      My eldest brother, Daniel (b. 1921), married and father of four sons: Daniel, Enrique, José and Ignacio, three of them having male descent -- and four daughters: Beatriz, Elvira, Ana Maria and Sophia. My brother is, according to Scottish tradition, the head of our Spanish Macpherson branch.

      Two sisters married. Remy (b. 1922) is the mother of two sons and one daughter, and Maria (b. 1929), the mother of three sons and seven daughters.

      Finally myself, Guillermo or William S. (b. 1925). I am married to Maria Grosso Burnham and have two sons and four daughters: the eldest, Guillermo (or William J.) and Jaime (or James) are both married and with male issues. Of my daughters, the eldest, Susana, is organising our group's voyage to Scotland in 1996, when I shall be very pleased to make you acquainted with all of them.

      I hope this intended brief story of the family has not resulted too long and boring. In any case we are all becoming rather excited with our voyage, as for many of us it will be the first time we visit the country of our ancestors.

      Thank you for all your help and interest.

By Sandy Macpherson

Cairn ... Pyramid of rough stone, as memorial, sepulchre, landmark, etc . . . Oxford English Dictionary.       The splendid cairn to commemorate Cluny of the '45 which was unveiled in August 1996 is well described elsewhere in this volume but I thought that a few words on other local monuments might be appropriate.

      In the 1966 edition of "Creag Dhubh", John Barton, my predecessor as Hon. Secretary


of the Clan Macpherson Association, contributed a very interesting article on "Monuments of Badenoch", in which he described various built monuments dedicated to famous local people with brief details of their history As the article appeared over thirty years ago I thought it appropriate to give a few details on the present state of the monuments and describe a few new ones.

      Stone monuments are not indestructible, but require less maintenance than most man made structures. They have the benefit of maturing gently into their surroundings and fitting well into the landscape.

      One monument described is one which the Clan Association can take great credit for, i.e. that to the memory of "Old Cluny". Situated on top of Creag Ruadh, its dominating site overlooking the district of Laggan attracts the full force of the weather at all times of the year. A few years ago a large football-sized stone fell from its position near the top of the twenty foot high column, the loss of which could well have led to progressive erosion of the structure. The damage was reported to me by a local retired engineer and an appeal was launched for restoration funds. Money was provided by the England and Wales Branch of the Association and the stone was secured in its proper situation by two local stalwarts who braved the elements to climb the summit.

      Lady Cluny's monument, which stands a few miles away, being at a lower altitude, has not suffered from the same ravages as that to her husband and apart from some repointing of the stonework and re-painting of the enclosing railings appears to be in good repair. [Although implied, this lady is the wife of 'Old Cluny' -- Sarah Justina née Davidson of Tullach]

      When considering that these stone pillars have been in position for over a hundred years any expenditure on repairs is very small, a testimony to the good workmanship of the local masons.

      The most remote of the monuments described in John's article is that to Captain John Macpherson (the Black Officer) in Gaick. It has been improved since its erection. During its lifetime of nearly a century exposure to the weather had eroded the original engraved inscription to make it illegible. This was replaced a few years ago by a stainless steel plate, bearing the same wording secured to the stone. A full description of the monument is written by Rory Mor in his account of the 1993 Macpherson expedition on the trail of the Black Officer in the 1994 Creag Dhubh. A leading figure in the monument's restoration was the late Affleck Gray, author and historian of Pitlochry, a well known member of the Clan Association.

      One final word on monuments, one new and the other older, which were not described in John's article. On a large boulder on the slopes of Craggan, a small hill overlooking the lower part of Glen Banchor and the River Calder, a metal plate is displayed recording the resting places of the ashes of Colonel Macpherson, one of the early enthusiasts of the Clan Association. Further up the Glen, a well built cairn erected during the summer of 1994 celebrates the late Mr Mike Haywood, former owner of Glen Banchor, who died a few years ago.

      Scottish hills have many monuments, ranging from large elaborate memorials celebrating past notables to cairns marking the tops of hills and piles of stones acting as aids to navigation to assist travellers along mountain paths. They are all significant and all are important in their own way; life would be the poorer without them.

By Bob Gillespie

Our clan Gil-names are very ancient, and rooted in the development of the Celtic church through Patrick's successors in Armagh from 432 and Dal Riada, the Scots petty kingdom established in Argyllshire by Fergus, son of Erc, in 501. The transcription of these names in Norman times during the 'surname period' has led to some misunderstanding of their origin, and, in view of the antiquity of these names, tracing a common blood line


to a clan, which is a comparatively recent l2th century tribal structure, is not always easy. The origins of the Gil-names predate the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century to a time when petty tribal kings (Rig) of Celtic origin relied upon a class of druidic bards called 'Filid' to proclaim the king's aristocratic status in court. At the time, Celtic society functioned according to orally recited law within a hierarchical system of sworn oral testimony. After many years of training, the Fili-rig was able to recite from memory his kings' genealogy using bardic panegyrics as mnemonics, so establishing his lord's 'honour price' in a legal system based on sworn testimony according to the witness's aristocratic pedigree. An essential part of the king's retinue, the Fili-rig was able to entertain the king and his aristocratic guests every winter night from Samain (1st November) to Beltain (Mayday) with a different tale or anecdote rich in social morality. Columba and his missionaries were later to put the talents of the Filid-rig to missionary use as reciters of the religious canons as modified by the usual law (Brehon code) and as lay reciters of scripture and the lives of the saints.

[The author uses the Old Irish spellings for these offices -- Old Irish: fili, plural filid; Modern Irish: file, plural filí;; Scots Gaelic: filidh, plural filidhean ; similarly, the Scottsh Gaelic equivalent of rig is righ and pronounced 'ree'-- RM]

      The Filid-rig functioned in this way during the first millenium, his successors being the Tannists and Brieves of the Highland clan system. The title gave birth to the name Gilry (a Ewen Gilry was recorded as living in Drumelzier in 1331), and later in the hands of the Norman scribes the name became predictably Gilroy. The conventional etymology of Ghille ruaidh (red-haired lad) is closer to the Scots patronymic of MacIlroy or the Irish Kilroy.

      The Filid were coached by the early missionary bishops to proclaim the word of God at the highest level in the tribal aristocracy. As a class the Filid were Christian by the second half of the 7th century, able to recite the scriptures or the lives of the saints, so giving rise half a millenium later to a series of names. Fili-Padruig and Fili-Bride date probably from the 6th century and were later transcribed to the Irish Gilpatrick and Gilbride names: these Filid recited the lives of the 5th century abbot of Armagh and abbess of Kildare. Up to the 4th century, the Filid, as a class, held a special devotion to Imbolc, which became the feast day of Bride, or St. Brigid.

      Similar constructions exist for other Celtic saints such as Gilfillan or our own Gillichattan, although it would appear that the Vatican has never heard of St. Chattan.

      Fili-Criosd and Fili-Iosa were probably 7th century reciters of the parables of Christ, or Jesus, later to become Gilchrist and Gillies. Fili-Moire, Fili-Peadair and Fili-Martin were 7th century reciters of scripture concerning the lives of the saints, Mary, Peter and Martin, later to become Gilmore, Gilfeather, Gilmartin. Gillanders (Andrew) and Gilzean (Eoin, or John) have similar origins.

      The early church canons went to great lengths to integrate the Brehon code of marriage which permitted bigamy in the Irish Celtic church: Patrick and his first learned convert, the Fili, Dubthach, agreed to admit all the dispositions of the Celtic law which were not in contradiction with scripture or with conscience. In this way, the creed of the 5th century Irish church was effectively re-shaped according to Irish Celtic traditions, and the Filid adapted their panegyrics to include Christianity. Columba, having journeyed from Iona up the Great Glen to Inverness, used Patrick's tactics a century later in converting the Pictish king Bridei's druid, Broichan, to the faith. Patrick and his successors consulted the Filid in the settlement of disputes arising from the complexities of integrating the church canons with the Brehon code and would have spoken through the Fili-brath, the 'reciter of judgement,' probably a 5th century function which would be transcribed six centuries later by the Normans to Gillivray or Gilbraith.

      The Brehon code stuck right up to the Synod of Cashel in 1101 when the reforms of Pope Gregory VII against Simony, Nicolaism and Secularisation (finally promulgated at the first Lateran Council of 1123) attempted to infiltrate without the success achieved in the three other Irish provinces of Dublin, Cashel and Tuam, the recalcitrant valleys of Armagh and Moray. For 600 years the bishops of the Celtic, rather than Roman traditions of Canterbury, Lindisfarne or Cluny, applied orally-recited canons which


integrated the Brehon code in the exercise of their pastoral office, canons which were memorised as panegyrics by the bishops' Filid (Fili-asbuig), who were equally responsible from the 7th century onwards for establishing the bishops' honour price, which came close to that of a petty king. In those early courts a dispute between a bishop and a petty king would have been debated in poetry between their advocates, latter-day Gillespies (Filid-asbuig) and Gilroys (Filid-rig). There's an idea for Hollywood!

      In 1111, the synod of Rathbeasail accorded the province of Armagh, which included Dal Riada, a total of 12 sees. During the critical surname period marked by the Normanisation of the Scots there were 12 'Fili-asbuig' in the service of the 12 bishops responsible for dioceses from Donegal and Down to Argyll. These men were certainly deacons and therefore not under full orders. They were allowed to marry without incurring the wrath of Malcolm Canmore's Queen, Margaret. For the Gillespies among us, genealogical points of departure from the surname period arguably originate from these 12 Filid-asbuig deacons of the province of Armagh who may traditionally have held these functions on a close family basis enabling each generation early coaching of the next in their remarkable feats of memory.

      A 1993 phone book count in Scotland revealed that of the 2000 Gillespies and 4000 Macphersons mentioned, the geographic distribution gives a much lower than expected distribution of Gillespies in the Highlands and a much higher than expected distribution in Argyllshire, Strathclyde, Perthshire and Fife, more-or-less constituting the lands of Dal Riada and the ancient province of Armagh. The post-Clearances Gillespie and Macpherson diasporas are therefore not the same.

      Today's Irish Gillespies are predictably grouped in Donegal and County Down, part of the ancient province of Armagh.

      The Filid-asbuig as a profession had been longdead in the water'by the time Norman scribes attempted to commit their names to paper in the spirit of the Ragman Roll in 1296. By then the Gaelic language had retreated North of the Highland line. From 843, when Kenneth Macalpin united the Picts and Scots under the ravages of the Norsemen, no more Celtic canons were devised because Viking atrocities against church property had simply rendered large tracts of the law inapplicable: abbots and bishops used the protection of the strongest kings to protect their considerable wealth and paved the way to early forms of feudalism. However, as long as the Brehon code resisted Gregorian reform and the Highland Gaels and Scots continued to shun the written word, the Filidasbuig would still have held positions as men of learning in the church, much as the Filid-rig were to become the Tanists and Brieves of the newly emerging clans.

      Fili-asbuig status gave birth to the early medieval 'Gillespic' fore-name possibly chosen by ambitious families with an eye for church property for males destined for a life of the cloth. Like the small number of other pre-medieval forenames, it was expected to be perpetuated during successive generations in the families concerned. We have in this respect two early cases at the origin of our own clan Chattan, but others exist; such as the early l3th century progenitor of the Campbells, Gillespic 0 Duithne Cam (crooked) Beul (mouth); or the l4th century Gillespie Mac Eoghain na h-Oitrich (5th Macewen of Otter); or one of Bruce's MP's in St. Andrews, Gillespie Maclachlan.

      The commonly-held view that the etymological root of the Gil-names comes from the word Gilly [the Scottish Gaelic spelling is gille; while it also defined as a lad it t is the word for 'servant', an ageless meaning --RM], or serving lad, leads to the absurd notion that one could be a serving lad to a long-dead saint, or that judgement can be served upon (Gilly-brath instead of Filibrath). Kings and Bishops had vassals and deacons to serve them, not Gillys. If the sense is that of a devotee, the Gaelic language foresaw the prefix Maol-, literally the tonsured-one, giving Maol Colum Cille or Maol Chaluim, a devotee of Columba, known today as Malcolm; otherwise, Malone, from Maol Eoin, a devotee of John; or Malise or Mellish, from Maol losa, a devotee of Jesus.

      The Norman scribes can be pardoned for mixing their f's and their g's because the first letter is not always pronounced in Gaelic when addressing a person by name and, in all events, an initial f is silent and a g sounds more like a y when followed by an i.


      The scribes of Norman society forgot the Filid, and infants with the Christian name of a favourite saint could be simply called Eoin, Padruig, Peadair, Moire or Bride. The Gil-names, which had been linked to a profession, would survive as surnames.

      Linking the Gaelic Gillespie [the Scottish Gaelic for Archibald is Gilleasbuig -- RM], which survives as a surname, with the Germanic Archibald (Ercenbald), which predominantly survives as a Christian name, is as absurd as wishing to impose serving lads on the dead or the concept of judgement.

      For those Gillespies who have confirmed their allegiance to Cluny, it is now clear why they won't find many, if any, of their name in the graveyards of Kingussie or Laggan, or indeed in Cluny's muster roll in the '45. Any of the Filid-asbuig who were Cattanachs and who followed the clan to Lochaber, and, later, to Badenoch to support Kenneth, the bastard son of Ewan Ban MacMuriach and his offspring, Duncan, in their struggle against the Comyns would have changed their name to Macpherson by ascription between the mid 14th and 15th century. By then, the crown had recognised that the progeny of the Parson had jelled into a Highland force to be reckoned with. The red hand and dagger in the Cluny arms are therefore inappropriate to clansmen not bearing the Macpherson name unless they claim descent from progenitors who helped Bruce and Moray rid Badenoch of the Red Comyn.

      It is also clear that no Gillespie came forward in 1598 when the chiefs were requested to prove title to their lands before the union of the crowns in 1603, so the existence of a Gillespie clan with its chief, captain, tanist and brieve is a non-starter.

      In conclusion, it is of interest to note that the birth of the Highland clans from the 13th century gave rise to more recent clerical names which are not Gil-names: in addition to the Macphersons, we find, for example, the Mactaggarts [the Scottish Gaelic for 'the priest' is an t-sagairt -- RM] or the Macvicars. For further reading on the subject of the Filid, Kathleen Hughes has written an excellent introduction to A. J. Otway-Ruthven's A History of Medieval Ireland,' Barnes & Noble, 1993.


Badenoch and North of Scotland Branch

Joint Chairman -- Mr Duncan Gillespie, The Manse, Newtonmore; Lady Macpherson of Biallid, Craig Dhu House, Newtonmore.

We were all hosts this year to the Clan Macpherson Association's jubilee, where large numbers from many countries enjoyed Highland hospitality including the lunch on Saturday in the School House, Newtonmore. The headmaster, Mr Donald Macdonald, organised a shinty exhibition, a local historical exhibition and a team of enthusiastic young servers. Mr Duncan Gillespie gave everyone a glass of dessert wine made from Cluny Castle fruit -- which was extremely popular.

      Ewen MacPherson, Chairman of the Association, suggested that Scottish membership could be revitalised by having a single Central Branch. After careful thought it was considered that centralisation was geographically impracticable. If this had to be done the Museum should be developed as the central point.

      We are looking forward to a celebration and gathering with other historic people of the heraldic Cat, at an event at Dunrobin Castle in the Spring of 1997.

Canadian Branch
Chairman -- Ian McPherson, 22 Skelton Street, Etobicoke, Ontario M8V 3W4;
ViceChairman -- Andrew K. P. MacPherson;
Treasurer -- Marlene McPherson;
Hon. Secretary -- Mrs Nancy Macpherson, 193 Waldoncroft Crescent, Burlington, Ontario UL 3A6. We are pleased to report that the Canadian Branch enjoyed another successful year with an increase in our membership of over 15%. This was mainly due to a recruiting drive in


the Vancouver area which was instrumental in bringing in 20 new members from B.C. alone. Our grateful thanks to Alec Jack McPherson of Langley, B.C., who very kindly provided us with address labels of all clansmen in the Vancouver district, complete with postal codes. We are currently preparing for another campaign in the Victoria and Vancouver Island area and once again Alec Jack has given us the address labels. We are fortunate to have such an enthusiastic clansman in the province and we look forward to arranging a Rally in B.C. at an early date.

      A Christmas Dinner was held for the Toronto area members at The Hamilton Club on December 9th and 38 clansfolk were present. Everyone enjoyed an evening of carol singing followed by a film of the 1992 Gathering in Newtonmore.

      The highlight of our year, of course, was the memorable jubilee Rally in Scotland with 40 Canadian clansmen present. Our congratulations to Chairman Ewen and his jubilee Committee for arranging such a wonderful gathering in spite of the devastating fire at the Duke of Gordon Hotel. The Canadian Branch was pleased to mark this historic 50th Rally by making three presentations at the AGM in Newtonmore. Our Hon. VicePresident, J. Donald MacPherson of Oakville, presented the Chief with a new silver bonnet badge depicting the wildcat in the correct position. This badge replaces the one presented to Cluny's father in 1967 by our Branch. The second presentation was a new Grant of Arms to the Clan Association by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Edinburgh. This was presented to Chairman Ewen by the Hon. Secretary of the Branch. Finally, Andrew MacPherson of Grimsby, our Vice-Chairman, presented the Association with a banner of the new Association Arms to celebrate our 50th Rally.

      Our Clan Historian, Alan G. Macpherson of St. John's, Newfoundland, was present at the Rally to launch his new book, A Day's March to Ruin, a documentary narrative of


the Badenoch men in the'Forty-five and a biography of Col. Ewan Macpherson of Cluny, 1706-1764. The book has been widely acclaimed and we think that every clan member should have a copy of this important contribution to our clan history.

      Our thanks to Mrs Margaret Lintott of Sidney, Manitoba, who generously contributed so many items for the Clan Raffle, including a beautiful quilt depicting Scottish emblems and a representation of Cluny Castle.

      The 47th AGM and Branch Dinner is scheduled to be held at The Hamilton Club, Hamilton, Ontario, on St Andrew's Day, November 30th, and we look forward to seeing many of our members on that occasion.

      We send warmest greetings to all our fellow clansfolk at home and abroad.

East of Scotland Branch

Chairman -- Mrs Catherine Macpherson, "Caerketton", 39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh. EHIO 7BX (Tel: 0131445 1752). Our year started with a Burns Supper in January which was well attended, despite a spell of bad weather which prevented some of our guests from coming. Nevertheless, we welcomed members from as far afield as Perthshire and London and a very pleasant evening was held by all.

      The high spot for the Branch came in July when in the first function of the Jubilee Rally we played host to over 80 Clanspeople, mostly from overseas, to a reception in the Georgian House in Charlotte Square, by kind permission of The National Trust for Scotland. In gracious surroundings, our guests mixed and mingled as an opening to a momentous week-end, following which they dispersed to private supper parties in the homes of Catherine Macpherson and Marion Mackintosh.

      It was a wonderful occasion and we welcome back all our guests to Edinburgh in future years.

England & Wales Branch

Chairman -- Rory Macpherson; Vice-Chairman -- Angus Macpherson; Treasurer Angus Macpherson; Secretary -- Annie LeRoy-Lewis, 4 Bingham Street, London N1 2QQ.

The England & Wales Branch's Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 14th May 1996 at the Caledonian Club. The meeting was well attended and was followed by drinks and dinner at the Caledonian Club.

      Our Annual Dinner and Dance was held at the Hotel Russell on Friday 15th November 1996 and was attended by 200 members and their guests. This is a record number and especially because over 75 of those attending were under the age of 35!

      A four course dinner was served, which included haggis from Blairgowrie, which was piped in by Hugo Macpherson and addressed by Donald McPherson. Our Chairman, Rory Macpherson, toasted the Clan Macpherson Association and welcomed all members and their guests. David Hall and his Band played for us with Andrew Gillies as a splendid Master of Ceremonies who managed heroically with everyone dancing on a slightly undersized dance floor! A special competition was also announced to name a reel devised by Andrew and which was danced on the night under the heading of "Andrew's Choice". This dance will become a permanent fixture of our dance programme and the winner of the competition will be announced at the AGM in 1997 and will be rewarded with a bottle of malt whisky! A shower of balloons signalled the end of the evening with the added incentive of a bottle of whisky being given to each of the finders of four pieces of paper hidden in the balloons!

      The large number of members and guests contributed enormously to a truly


wonderful Scottish evening and we hope that members will continue to support the evening again in this way.

      We send greetings to all our fellow members worldwide.

New Zealand Branch

Chairman -- Ron Macpherson, 67 Melbourne Street, Invercargill; Secretary -- Athole Macpherson, 164 Lewis Street, Invercargill.

The 1996 Creag Dhubh proved even more interesting reading with the update to the Rally and photograph from the cairn site. It is obvious it is a most beautiful site and we are grateful for the leaflet received from Ewen showing us what was handed to all those fortunate enough to be present at the 1996 Rally.

      I look forward to reading A Day's March to Ruin by Dr Alan G. Macpherson, who has been so diligent in his research into Clan history. Scots always muse about the part played by their clan in the '45 and it is especially interesting to hear from such a respected clansman.

      We began the year with the Combined Clans picnic at Invercargill's Anderson Park which houses our main Art Gallery and has lovely grounds. Glorious weather and fun for young and old was capped by the attendance of members of our Caledonian Pipe Band. Believed to be the oldest civilian pipe band in this hemisphere, it is celebrating its centenary now and Clan Macpherson's banner will announce our presence at the marquee during its afternoon of Highland games, dancing, piping and usual activities on 10th November. Ian Macpherson is Chief nowadays and says he will be wearing his kilt almost all the next month at the various functions.

      May saw a smallish attendance at our AGM held at the home of Chairman Ron and June and we reminded folk of the 50th celebrations in 1997. We have had some younger recruits, but wish for many more.

      In June we won the bowls cup for the runners-up. One way or another we have Macpherson etched frequently on these trophies.

      On 20th October a busload travelled from Invercargill, while others made their way by private car to Wairio, home of Jeannie Edie Levett and Peter for a lunch in a beautiful rural setting with the spring green of mature trees and beauty of azaleas and rhododendrons providing an ideal backdrop. We hope our photographs do the scene justice. We thank our hosts for their hospitality and couldn't think of a more pleasant way to meet with our clansfolk. It is cheering to be welcomed by young members taking such an interest in our activities.

      Margaret Harding told us of her experiences at the Badenoch Rally and older members happily recalled visits to Scotland.

      We are pleased to hear Cluny is adjusting well to retirement and are sure he will be in no danger of gathering rust or moss from inactivity.

      It was with sadness we learned of the death of Allan Macpherson Galt of Winton who had with his brother Alex and sisters now deceased been such stalwart clan members. Allan had served as Chairman twice and his wife Nellie also had a term. We will miss his quiet counsel and unfailing willingness to give his time and service to Clan Macpherson affairs. Allan was 86 and he and Nellie celebrated their golden wedding last May.

      We send our warm greetings to clansfolk round the world.

South African / African Branch

Chairman -- Allan D. MacPherson, PO Box 1500, Rivonia, 2128, South Africa (Tel: 2711-802-1985; Fax: 2711-802-6971); Committee -- K. R. MacPherson, G. R. B. MacPherson, G. W. MacPherson, J. Cattanach, E. McPherson, I. MacPherson, Malawi-- Ewen MacPherson. Zimbabwe -- Willie Gillies. Well, there is only ONE event to talk about this year! The BIG ONE, the 50th!! What a


great occasion this was for all who were privileged to attend. I am pleased to say that 11 of us came over to Badenoch from South Africa and, considering our small population, this is very gratifying indeed. We all enjoyed ourselves very much and were reluctant to leave. We would like to thank our Cousins in Scotland for all their hard work in making this event so memorable. Thank you Cluny and Sheila, Ewen and Margaret, Bruce and the Jubilee Committee, the Badenoch Branch and Annie for a job well done.

      We were delighted to view the Cairn and to see the prominent place in which our Stone of Gold was placed, and what a magnificent gate made by John Macpherson of Montrose. Also thank you Glentruim for gifting the Clan such a wonderful piece of land for the Cairn site. What a great idea for Andrew Gillies to give us Country Dance lessons on the Friday afternoon. Please let's have these lessons every Rally!! Thank you, Andrew.

      My wife, Hughla, managed very well in spite of her incapacity and having to walk with a quadruped stick. I am very proud of her. We attended the Edinburgh Tattoo and were pleased to see a large group of Zulu dancers who performed very well. jean Macpherson of Hugh Macpherson's shop very kindly supplied a Highland outfit for our young grandson Cameron. Our eldest grandson, Graeme, is now in his second year BA Bus.Org. degree at Heriot-Watt University and likes Edinburgh very much.

      We were delighted to meet our Cousins from Malawi, Ewen MacPherson and family, and we have now become the South African/African Branch. We will be having a Rally early in 1997, and they have promised to come down from Malawi to attend.

      I am sending photos that I took at the 50th to Margaret Hambleton, Editor of "Creag Dhubh". She is compiling an album which should be of great interest. May I suggest that all who attended the Rally do the same.

      We send our love and best wishes to our Chief, Cluny and family and all our Clan Cousins in Scotland and all over the world. (What a pleasure it was to meet so many of our far-flung Cousins at the 50th.)

Beannachd leibh.
United States Branch

Chaiman (from 1 Jan. 1997) -- Robert McPherson, 1910 Collier Drive, Fern Park, Florida 32730. Richard T. ("Bish") Carson, outgoing Branch Chairman, reports as follows:
I think I speak for everyone when I say that the 23rd Branch AGM in San Diego was a wonderful success thanks to careful planning by co-convenors Bill Smith and Richard Gillaspy. We missed Cluny and Sheila, but were fortunate to have our International Chairman, Ewen MacPherson, and his lovely wife, Margaret, with us.

      Each year the Chairman recognises certain individuals for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the Clan. At the banquet certificates were awarded to the following individuals whose names were submitted by their regional commissioners: John McGowan, Harold S. Gillespie, Rev. William C. Harpole, Drewry Harpole, Cliff and Lynda Glaspey, Sandy and Bill Gillespie, Mari V. Phillips, Marti McMahan, Lucy and J. T. McPherson, Miriam and Chubby Ellis, Carole Cannon, Anthony McGowan, Lyaman and Dorothy McPherson, and Rev. Carl Murdock. In addition, certificates were awarded to the following people who had assisted me personally in my job as Chairman in 1996: Bob and Jean McPherson, Bonnie McPherson, Jack Raines, Bob and Sue MacPherson, Bill Smith, Richard Gillaspy, and Ewen and Margaret MacPherson.

      Robert G. McPherson, your new Chairman for 1997, has been my "right hand man" during my administration. Bob will be an excellent leader of the US Branch, and I know you will give him the same support you have given to me.

      In closing, let me say it has been my pleasure to serve as your Branch Chairman during the past two years.



PO Box 134, Seeb Airport,
Postcode I 11, Sultanate of Oman.
l9th April 1996,

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      Regarding Sandy Macpherson's piece on "World Wide Macphersons" on page 20 of the recent issue of Creag Dhubh, I visited the Gettysburg Battlefield last year and took the enclosed colour slide of the barn on McPherson Ridge which was used as a field hospital by the Union Army's 1st Corps and was named after the farmer who owned it, Edward McPherson, and not after Maj. Gen. James Birdseye McPherson, as I had wrongly assumed.

      The latter was a brilliant military engineer and was the most senior Union officer to die in the Civil War. He was bit by either a stray or a sniper's bullet while astride his horse at the Battle of Atlanta. Fort McPherson, the large barracks in Atlanta, is named after him and his statue stands in McPherson Square in Washington DC. His family came to the US from Scotland via N. Ireland in the early 19th C and settled in Ohio.

      I hope this information fills another tiny piece of the Clan puzzle.

Yours aye,

210B Park Shores Circle,
Indian River Shores, FL 32963,
(407) 234-4145.
4th July 1996.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      I wonder if Clan members could help me? I'm unable to find the birthplace of my ancestor -- James McPherson.

      James was born circa 1803 somewhere in Scotland, possibly the son of John and Rachel Cameron McPherson. James eventually came to Dalston, Cumberland, where he married Jane Richardson. After some years in Dalston, the family moved to Manchester. His mother -- Rachel -- died in Dalston in 1845.

      Perhaps the members can assist me with any bits of information that might lead me to further information on James McPherson. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

PS: We have a 180 member Scottish Society of the Treasure Coast here and interest is very high.


9/B.I. Calfhill Road,
Pollok, Glasgow.
29th July 1996.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      As a member of the Clan Macpherson Association I would like to pass on to other members the news that my family have been trying to find a nephew and niece of our kin for over forty years. You can imagine the delight and joy when I received a phone call from London on Saturday 29th June and the voice on the phone was Beth MacPherson, sister of Ian MacPherson, son and daughter of Frank MacPherson (deceased). My wife and I were checking the result of the National Lottery at the time. Well, after a conversation with Beth and some searching questions, we exchanged phone numbers, house addresses, you name it. All the relatives both North and South are now in contact, and we will arrange a family reunion in the near future.

      They have never forgotten their MacPherson roots and are very happy at us all being in touch again. This news to us MacPhersons was better than winning the Lottery, so to any of our Clan members who are trying to trace family, never give up, keep on trying, as it is most important to keep contacts no matter where in the world your kinsfolk are. This experience amongst our family is like something out of a dream. I can assure you they, Ian and Beth and their families, will be told all about their Highland ancestry.

Yours sincerely,

60 Bonaventure Avenue,
St John's, Newfoundland,
Canada A 1 1C 3Z6.

Dear Margaret,       I would like to comment on two of the letters which appeared in Creag Dhubh No. 48 (1996), for the record. Dr Fergus Macpherson, writing under the headline "Banished from Badenoch", is surely mistaken in believing that his Macpherson forebears from Skye were descended from Badenoch Covenanters whose memory of "the killing times" led them to abandon their homes when the Badenoch clan rose to restore the Stuarts in 1745 and flee to Skye. The only clansman who supported the Solemn League and Covenant against the Marquis of Montrose and Charles I was Dougal Macpherson of Ballachroan (later of Powrie), a henchman of the Earl of Argyle. He remained influential in Badenoch affairs after the Civil War of 1644-6, his son Archibald marrying Marjory, daughter of Ewan of Cluny, the royalist chief, one of Montrose's lieutenants. The clansmen were "Malignant" Royalists to a man, opposed to the Covenant. The scenario painted by Fergus runs counter to what we know of the cultural and political history of Badenoch prior to the 'Forty-Five Rising. Furthermore, the notion that farmfolk could simply abandon their tenures and migrate in panic to a remote island that none had knowledge of, and that the island chiefs would welcome and find room for such "refugees" is absurd. The known circumstances in both Badenoch and Skye in 1745 do not support such a notion.

      Fergus seems to be unaware that there were Macphersons living in all seven parishes in Skye long before the 'Forty-Five. In writing about his Skye forebears he would find it much more satisfying to seek their antecedents within the island.

      I'm glad that Rhilo McPherson Silva and her cousin Jack McPherson found my article on Daniel McPherson of Charles County, Maryland, so compelling. I have reservations, however, about Jack's identifying Daniel with Donald, the son of James Macpherson, alias gow, baptised 30th August 1701. This date would indicate that Donald was only thirteen years old when the 'Fifteen Rising occurred; I would question whether a boy of that age would have been able to march to Preston or would have been mature enough to dictate the Maryland letter of 1717. The alias "gow" is more likely to be a local


distinction for a particular family of Macphersons than an indication that James, Donald's father, was actually a smith; one of the witnesses to Donald's baptism was "Thomas gow, labourer in the Kingsmiln". Rhilo omits to mention that this family resided in Little Draikies, not at Culloden; there is no evidence (such as later baptisms or a marriage record) to suggest that it had moved (or might have moved) to Culloden. Finally, we don't know for sure what Daniel's father, James of Culloden's occupation was, but there are hints in the Maryland letter that he may have been a weaver, not a smith. There were certainly weavers of the name in Culloden -- I'm descended from one of them!

      Rhilo says that Donald's father James gow Macpherson in Little Draikies was "by far the most likely of the possible candidates" to be James in Culloden. But there are no other candidates of the name in the Inverness Parish Register. It should not be assumed that the register is comprehensive in the manner of modern official registrations: much information is missing. Reluctantly, I believe that it contains no record of James McPherson in Culloden and his family.


Route 6 Box L22A,
Pittsburg, Texas 75686
(903) 856-5908.
2nd September 1996.

Mr Euan MacPherson
Clan MacPherson Society,
c/o Tourist Information Office,
Pitlochry, Scotland.

Dear Mr MacPherson,
      My name is James R. Whatley. My wife and I own an antebellum home in Natchez, Mississippi, called "Cherokee". "Cherokee" was built in 1794 and greatly enlarged in the 1830's complete with a neo-classical Portico designed by architect Levi Weeks.

      In 1860 George MacPherson bought "Cherokee" from Duncan K. Metcalfe. George


MacPherson was a noted silversmith in Natchez. In 1849 he bought a shop on Main Street between Pearl and Wall Streets which was his first permanent business address in Natchez.

      On November 11, 1855 he placed the following ad in a Natchez newspaper:
"Having now opened my large and extensive stock of new jewellery, watches, French clocks, fancy goods, recently purchased in Europe, I would respectfully invite the attention of my friends and the public generally to examine my goods before purchasing elsewhere, believing that in variety, style, quality and price my stock will compete favourably with any house in or out of Natchez."

      George MacPherson's touch mark was registered with the Glasgow Assay Office sometime between 1848 and his death. He and his wife joined the Presbyterian Church in Natchez on December 22, 1855. Three of their children were christened there according to parish records, two children, John Joshua and George on July 14, 1848 and Isabella on June 4, 1852. Two other daughters were born later: Mary Jeanette on March 12, 1857 and Elizabeth Anderson on June 19, 1860.

      George MacPherson and his wife remained British subjects and were not affected as badly as those Southerners who cast their lot with the Confederate cause.

      The MacPhersons returned to Inverness in 1869 or 1870. George MacPherson sold his Natchez shop to A. Zurhellen on May 1, 1872. The sale documents were notarised in Inverness.

      John Joshua MacPherson remained in Natchez and is buried in the city cemetery.       On January 1, 1881, in a deed signed in Inverness, George MacPherson sold "Cherokee".

      John Joshua MacPherson, his grandson, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, stated his grandfather called his home in Inverness "Cherokee".

      George MacPherson died in Inverness on February 26, 1883 and is buried in a cemetery there known as "Hill of the Fairies".

      We are most interested to learn if you know whether or not there is a house in Inverness called "Cherokee". We were recently in Inverness but were with a tour group and had no time to research the George MacPherson family.

      I know that Alf MacPherson would be pleased to learn that "Cherokee" has been beautifully restored and maintained (see enclosed picture).

      I will be in your debt if you can provide additional information on the MacPhersons to the above address in Texas.

      "Cherokee" is one of thirty-two houses on tour during March and two weeks in April each year.

Warm regards,

Post Office Box 1197,
Gualala, CA 95445.
14th November 1996.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      I hope this letter and enclosed picture of my son Bob McElderry and Lady Cluny at the jubilee is not too late for inclusion in the 1997 Creag Dhubh. My family of eight had a most wonderful experience during our stay in Kingussie and Newtonmore during the jubilee Rally.

      Although I have attended several times, this was a first for most of my family. My goal was to show my American born children what family in the broadest sense really means. This is difficult to accomplish by word alone and so I started encouraging them to make their plans for a trip to Scotland in 1996. Eight out of twelve managed to save both the time and money to come to the Jubilee.


      What a wonderful experience we all shared. Stuart and Frances, Bob and Trudi, Brian and Dolly and my husband Gordon will carry the memories and friendships forever. Of course the high point for the family was cheering for Bob when it was announced that he had taken second place in the golf tournament. But, I suspect that the real "high" point for the young people was when Bob was photographed at the "informal ceilidh" showing Cluny his Clan Macpherson Crest tattoo. This necessitated the removal of coat, shirt and tie!! Cluny seemed most impressed!!

      And so it was these light moments coupled with the more serious moments such as the Cairn ceremony that together produced a memorable week. We all hope to return within the next few years but until then we will savour our memories and our many photos.


The late Sir Fitzroy Maclean's lavishly illustrated coffee table volume Highlanders: a History of the Highland Clans, published by Adelphi in 1995, comes with the authority of one of the great figures of Highland Scotland of this century. It also carries the implicit approval of the Lyon Court and the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland. It is painful, therefore, to report that "Highlanders" is sadly flawed in the dozen or so references to the Macphersons. Extrapolating from this, one may surmise that it is equally at fault in dealing with the history of other clans.

      The volume is graced (p. 31) by a magnificent plate reproducing Richard Waitt's fulllength portrait of Andrew Macpherson of Cluny, courtesy of the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland. The author's certainty of the identity of the subject, however, ignores the authoritative views of John Telfer Dunbar in his History of Highland Dress (1962). Dunbar was "disinclined to place the full-length portrait of Andrew of Cluny wearing tartan slashed doublet, shoulder plaid and trews before the 1720s" (pp. 64-5). He ascribes the earlier dating to John Sobieski Stuart who quoted his authority to be "the oldest member of the Cluny family, a lady ninety-two years of age" (unidentified, and


unidentifiable), and mentions others who dated it to c. 1660 and 1649, but agrees with the Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery that "it is more like 1740 and with speculations that the subject may have been Ewan of the 'Forty-Five as a young man."

      The author states (pp. 32-3) that "the Macphersons of Cluny.. . periodically disputed the [Mackintoshes'] leadership of the [Clan Chattan] confederation." This is a nineteenth-century notion that is not supported by historical evidence. The Macpherson chiefs never aspired to the leadership of the confederation; what they did do was to assert that they were the true representatives of the Old Clanchattan or Clann McGilleachatain which pre-dated the confederation and, accordingly, to act independently of Mackintosh in crucial matters of national and local importance. Generally, there was a good deal of co-operation between the two clans and intermarriage was common prior to 1700.

      Referring to Cluny's regiment joining Prince Charles Edward Stuart's army at Edinburgh in 1745 (p. 208), the distinguished author seems to believe that the Prince then lingered there "for another month". But the Jacobite army marched into the Borders three days after the Badenoch men joined it! A more serious error occurs (p. 215) in the assertion that the Macphersons were in the centre of the Jacobite line at Culloden with the fated Camerons and Mackintoshes. As has always been commonly known, Cluny's Regiment, despite its best efforts, was an hour away when the Jacobites were defeated on the Muir of Culloden!

      James Macpherson, the translator of the Ossianic poetry, is referred to, inexplicably, as "the Rev. James MacPherson" (p. 231), although there is no evidence that Seumas bàn ever took much interest in theology, far less that he was ordained in the Church of Scotland.

      Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie, a friend of William Penn, the founder of the Quaker commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is referred to (p. 239) as Sir Aeneas "of Inverestrie".

      Finally, a number of very confused statements appear on page 263. The clan is said to "descend from Duncan, Parson of Kingussie," a descendant of "Muraich, Chief of Clan Chattan, in 1173". But Duncan persùn -- the Parson -- was the lay rector of the Parish of Laggan, originally Laganchynich, as well as chief of the Clann Mhuirich Macphersons, about 1430. And his great-grandfatber, Muriach, the eponymous founder of the Clann Mhuirich, was never "Chief of Clan Chattan". The author has simply presented a garbled version of some quaint antiquarian assertions found in Sir Aeneas Macpherson's Loyall Dissuasive (1699) which he acquired from his maternal grandfather, Sir Robert Farquharson of Invercauld, and which were never part of the true clan tradition. A further statement, that "In 1640 Donald Macpherson of Cluny supported King Charles", has no historical validity: Andrew of Cluny and Grange was chief throughout the reign of Charles I, and his son Ewan òg led the clan during the wars of Montrose.

      These are egregious errors, quite inexcusable in a quality publication in 1995. With some consultation with modern scholars and scholarship, the prestigious publishers might be persuaded to correct them -- and others -- before going into a second printing of such an attractive volume.


A Day's March to Ruin (Alan G. Macpherson. Clan Macpherson Association. 1996).       Alan G. Macpherson's book gives a detailed account not only of the role played by the Clan Macpherson during the 1745 Rising but also of the life and death of its chief, Ewan Macpherson of Cluny (arguably the Prince's finest military commander after Lord George Murray).       Alan G. Macpherson follows the fate of the Macpherson Regiment through the stormy events of the '45. The book makes essential reading for Macphersons, filling in the blanks left by the more conventional history books which have rarely dwelt upon the role of a single clan.


      The Macphersons joined the Rising late and missed Culloden due to the Prince's impatience in commencing battle before all his regiments had arrived. Consequently, most histories have given us scant information about the performance in the field of Cluny's regiment. But in A Day's March to Ruin we can follow the fortunes of the Clan during the long march to Derby and the fighting that followed the retreat back to Scotland. All of the Clan's battle-honours are listed in detail: the heroic charge of the Macphersons at Clifton, their charge with the Jacobite left wing at Falkirk and the dramatic Atholl Raid carried out at lightning speed.

      It is perhaps a sad irony that the Macphersons ended the '45 undefeated, having been victorious in the three military engagements they took part in.

      After Culloden, the book tells us of Cluny's hiding-places (the most well-known being the cage made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson) and of the attempts by the government to capture him. It is much to his credit that Cluny tried to carry on as Clan Chief after the defeat at Culloden, despite being a wanted man. He was forced to endure hardships in order to remain in Badenoch but did so for an incredible nine years before finally being forced to escape to France in 1755. He never surrendered to the Hanoverian Government and died in exile at Dunkirk in 1764.

      Both Alan G. Macpherson and the Clan Macpherson Association should be congratulated for giving us a professionally produced book of the highest standards. This is a scholarly work and an excellent academic history which describes the mixed fortunes of the Clan Macpherson with a wealth of reference notes and five appendices. Given the small print-run, anyone interested in reading about the role of the Macphersons during the '45 would be well advised to buy a copy now.









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