Duke of Gordon Advertisment

A Day's March to Ruin Advertisment







him and to Margaret is boundless. Ewen hands over to Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain an Association which owes a great debt to his leadership. We will miss his ever cheerful handling of our meetings, but we still always have the benefit of his and Margaret's presence and of Ewen's jokes and musical skills! We send a heartful thank-you to them both.

      Our proposed visits abroad have been postponed this year for a number of reasons. Eliza's arrival made us put off our visit to Australia, and my removal from retirement (a temporary removal!) has made us put off our trip to South Africa and Malawi. But (old age permitting!) we will hope to revive plans for these visits later.

      We were fortunate to be at the USA Annual Gathering at Salt Lake City, which was well attended and very well managed by the Utah contingent, headed, of course, by Richard Barnes and his parents Elva and Dick. Yet again we salute the great enterprise and growth of the USA Branch, and cherish the close connection that exists between all its members and ourselves and our home based members and our Clan House and Museum. Many Clan Associations do not have this cohesion, and it is to my mind the very essence of the success and strength of our Association that our bonds with all our overseas Branches are so close. Our new Chairman Alastair and his wife Penny were also at Salt Lake. What a team they will be to manage us, supported by our new Vice-Chairman Larry Lee McPherson from Michigan, together with his wife Lillas.

      It is sad to have to note that in July 1997 Arlena MacPherson (the widow of the first USA Chairman Robert "Piobair") died in Massachusetts. We send our sympathy to their daughter and son, Susan and Bruce, who have both been to Scotland with their parents in past years. As Susan said to me in July the credit for the early sound foundation and continuing spirit of the USA Branch owed very much to Arlena as well as to Robert. We will sadly miss her great welcomes at their Belchertown homes.

      I close with my own and my family's tribute to one of the most stalwart of all our members, Archie (A. I. S. Macpherson, Master of Surgery), who died in April 1997. His full obituary is within this edition of Creag Dhubh. His influence and his wisdom have been the very substance of the development of our Association and the Museum at Newtonmore. And we will all have countless visions of him in past happier days before his suffering of recent years. We recall so well his joy in all that he did, and his impish sense of humour. I was honoured to be asked to speak about him at his funeral, and at the end I said this:- "Let us then now and for always cherish our own pictures and memories of this fine man. Outstanding surgeon, proud Highlander, all round sportsman and most loyal Clansman and friend. We salute him and we say farewell." We all know that his work and dedication to our Clan and Association will live on in our history and in their future development. He will indeed be sadly missed.

      From all of us at Blairgowrie we send good wishes for a happy and rewarding 1998, and all that it may bring to all our Cousins at home and abroad.

20 November 1997

After the enormous success of the 1996 Jubilee Rally, organised so expertly by my predecessor Ewen and the Jubilee Committee, nobody was quite certain how many attendees would arrive in Badenoch for the 1997 Rally. Fortunately, any concerns were soon dispelled by the numbers attending the Reception and Ball on the Friday evening at the Balavil Sport Hotel (replacing the Duke of Gordon which had not been rebuilt).       It was a successful Rally, with several highlights worthy of mention. First, after extensive consultation, the proposal for setting up a single Scottish Branch was adopted


at the Annual General Meeting and John Macpherson from Montrose was appointed the first Chairman. On the Sunday, there was a moving ceremony at the Cairn site when a bench was dedicated in memory of John MacPherson of Paisley Lastly, we were very fortunate that Alan and Margorie Macpherson- Fletcher kindly offered Balavil House as the venue for tea on the Sunday afternoon because for the first time in many years Ewan and Zandra Macpherson of Glentruim were sadly unable to act as hosts at Glentruim.

      A few weeks after the Rally, Penny and I were fortunate to be able to join Cluny and Sheila at the United States Branch AGM held in Salt Lake City. Richard Barnes and his family organised an enjoyable schedule of events for all those participating, and for my part it was particularly instructive to see at first hand the enthusiastic way in which the US Branch handled its affairs.

In his 1997 message, Cluny paid tribute to Ewen's outstanding contribution as Chairman over the past three years. As his successor, I would particularly like to echo these sentiments because, as Vice-Chairman, I was able to see at first hand just exactly how much time and effort Ewen put into the Clan's affairs during his tenure in office.       Looking ahead, we need to focus on the future direction of the Clan Museum in Newtonmore and no doubt there will be much discussion on this subject. In the meantime, Penny and I and the Pitmain family would like to send you our very best wishes for 1998.


Just as you thought we had completed our 50th celebrations, here are a few more! First of all, this is the 50th issue of Creag Dhubh, which started publication in 1949, two years after the formation of the Association. The magazine has gone through many changes of Editor, but the basic format, well laid down at the outset, has not altered much over the years. Many fascinating topics have been covered in its pages, which contain a wealth of information on the Clan and its members all around the world.

      The second of these events is the 50th Anniversary of the Association's New Zealand Branch, which, according to Creag Dhubh No. 1, was formed as the Southland Branch after a meeting convened by Daniel Macpherson, Waianiwa, who became its first Chairman. It is fitting that Daniel's son, Ron, is the present Branch Chairman. The Golden Anniversary celebrations are described in the Branch's Annual Report and the accompanying photo. Congratulations, New Zealand!

      The third event is the 50th Anniversary of the East of Scotland Branch, which was formed in 1947 under the Chairmanship of the late A. I S. Macpherson, and was very active for many years. Unfortunately in this case we must also say farewell to the Branch, which is closing as part of the re-organisation resulting in the formation of one large Scottish Branch.

      We also have to say a sad farewell this year to one of the outstanding clansmen of this generation, in the person of the above A. I. S. (Archie) Macpherson, who died last April. A full obituary is to be found in the 'Deaths' section of this issue, but I should like to add


my own personal tribute to his memory as a man of great courage, determination and foresightedness.

      We have a new Chairman this year, Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, and I know that you will join me in welcoming him to the job, and will look forward to meeting him and his delightful family at the next Gathering in Badenoch.


The sun shone brightly in the forenoon of 1st August 1997, as the Museum Trustees and the Clan Council met at the Highlander Motel, Newtonmore, to start proceedings for the Annual Gathering. Due to the continued problems at the Duke of Gordon Hotel, the venue for the Highland Ball had to be changed, but fortunately the Balavil Hotel in Newtonmore was available.

      About 100 members and guests attended the Reception by Cluny and Lady Cluny in the Balavil's dining room, followed by the Highland Ball. The Kennedy Brothers Band played for the dancing, which took place on a smaller floor than usual, under the ever genial Master of Ceremonies, Andrew Gillies. An excellent supper meal was enjoyed, featuring 'deep-fried haggis'!

      Next morning at 10.30 a.m. Newtonmore Village Hall was well filled with clanspeople attending the Annual General Meeting. Among items discussed and approved were the possibility of setting up a separate Trading Company and the replacement of the existing Scottish Branches by one large Branch covering the whole of Scotland. Vice-Chairman Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain was unanimously elected Chairman (proposed by Cluny and seconded by Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) and was presented with the Cromag of Office by retiring Chairman Ewen S. L. MacPherson. Larry Lee McPherson was unanimously elected Vice-Chairman (proposed by Robert McPherson, U.S.A. Branch Chairman). The remaining officers were re-elected by acclamation. In closing the meeting, Cluny proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Ewen for all his hard work during his term of office, particularly in connection with the great success of the jubilee Gathering and the erection of the Cairn in memory of Ewan of the '45.

      Following the AGM a brief meeting of the new Scottish Branch was held, at which John Macpherson, Montrose, was elected Chairman and Shelagh Noble, Edinburgh, Vice-Chairman.

      The noon-time lunch by the Badenoch Branch of the Association at Newtonmore School was again much appreciated by members, who enjoyed Scotch broth followed by haggis, neeps and tatties.

      Clansfolk soon gathered at the Eilan to attend the Newtonmore Games, with the highlight being the Clan March, led onto the field by the Grampian Police Pipe Band. Although this year's contingent of kilted clansmen was smaller in number than last year's record turnout for the Jubilee Gathering, the 70 members marched on as proudly and strongly as ever, with banners flying and swords held high. They were well received by the large crowd attending the Games, and the Clan tent was very popular after the parade disbanded!

      A 'Happy Hour' followed later at the Clan Museum.

      In the evening the customary Ceilidh was held, again at the Balavil Hotel. On this occasion Rod Clarke wittily performed the role of fear-an-tighe, ably assisted by 'Tokyo' Bill Macpherson. Proceedings opened with the strains of the pipes, played by Hugo Macpherson. Next came Ruth MacPherson, from Pitlochry, a fine singer, accompanied at the piano and also on the clarsach by Duncan Sinclair. Rod Clarke and 'Tokyo' Bill showed their knowledge of Scottish songs in duets, with Bill at the guitar. Andrew Gillies provided his contribution to the entertainment with amusing stories. Young Donald Mackintosh (9) showed his budding talent on the chanter. He was followed by Richard Barnes, who played recorder solos and recited a poem of his own composition.


      Iain Macpherson Middlemass, an accomplished jazz pianist, gave us several versions of familiar Scottish tunes! Next came Donald Macpherson, appropriately disguised with night-cap, gown and candle, for his recital of Burns' 'Holy Willie's Prayer'. Evan Cattanach's fine tenor voice was heard in Scottish songs. It was good to have him back again at our Ceilidh. Ian Robb provided a telling monologue on the subject of' Rumour'. Finally, Alan, Younger of Cluny, recited a poem by Montrose.

      This excellent evening's entertainment was followed by the usual informal 'Ceilidh after the Ceilidh', which continued until the voices were too hoarse to sing any more!

      A clear, bright Sunday morning saw a good turnout of clanspeople at the church service in St Columba's, Kingussie. The lessons were read by Cluny and Alastair of Pitmain, and Rev. Norman MacAskill preached an appropriate sermon on the subject of 'Time'. One group of members drove out to Gaskmore House Hotel for lunch, and another group enjoyed a picnic lunch beside the Cairn site at Shanvall.

      In the afternoon the crowd gathered at the Cairn site for the dedication of a new bench donated by his family to the memory of the late John MacPherson of Paisley, a former Chairman of the West of Scotland Branch (see'Deaths' in "Creag Dhubh" 1997). Alastair of Pitmain spoke warmly of John's service to the Clan Association, and John's son thanked Alastair for his kind remarks.

      Following this ceremony, the company dispersed to Balavil House, where afternoon tea was served on the verandah, at the kind invitation of Mr and Mrs Allan MacphersonFletcher, helped by family members. Tours of the interesting and historic house were appreciated by guests.

      The Gathering concluded on Monday with the usual walking tour conducted by Sandy Macpherson, on a route with the rather macabre title of 'The Coffin Road'. Rod Clarke has kindly supplied a description of the walk in a separate article.

By Ruairidh Mor
As has been the case for several years, the culminating event of our Annual Gathering is an expedition to some place in Badenoch of significance to our heritage. This year's destination was billed in advance as a mystery and that aura of mystery was only partially revealed on Monday morning when the participants had assembled at the departure point -- the Clan Museum parking lot. Sandy Macpherson, that erudite leader of these expeditions, announced that our route would be along a coffin road and explained that it was the custom in the Highlands of yesteryear for the corpses of the departed to be returned to the parish of their birth for burial. It was the practice for the burial party to bear the coffin on their backs along whatever road led from where the deceased expired to the place of his interment.

      Warning us that it might not be true, Sandy told us of such a party that once bore a coffin along a long, rough dusty road on a hot Highland day. After traversing many miles, the burial party came to a place of refreshment, a pub if you insist, and repaired within it to refresh themselves, standing the coffin against the wall in the entry. After a period of time had elapsed (time was not a very precise quantity in those days), they resumed their trek and after a while reached the churchyard where they found the minister waiting, somewhat perturbed at their tardiness. After expressing their apologies, they suggested that the minister proceed with the burial ceremony. But the minister was perplexed saying, "Gentlemen, what would you have me do with this grandfather's clock?"

      We all groaned a bit at that and asked of the route we were to follow. Sandy replied, "In due time." The mystery persisted but we carefree vagabonds cared not a whit -- we


revelled in the glory of the sunshine and moderate temperature that graced Badenoch that day. We boarded the cars that would take us to the actual start of the walking portion of the expedition and headed off up the Laggan road. On reaching that village, we took the right fork of the road which parallels the course of the River Spey and continued westward. After proceeding for a mile or two, we turned left on a side road that took us to a spot in the shadow of the Black Craig not far from Dùn DàLàmh, the iron-age fort we visited in 1995. This spot was where St Michael's Catholic Church once stood.

The Lost Parish of St Michael's
      Today the place is just another vacant field surrounded by bushes and trees. Once it had been the sacred place of worship for the Roman Catholic community that dwelled on the upper reaches of the Spey not so many years ago. St Michael's church wasn't ancient in the normal sense of things are in the Highlands having been erected in the 1840s to principally serve the now deserted township of Crathie that lay just north of the Spey at the mouth of Glen Markie. Before then and since, St Michael's was razed in the 1950s, Kingussie was the nearest church available to the Catholics of Upperspeyside. Actually St Michael's still exists in the sense that the monks of Pluscarden Abbey in Morayshire, five miles southwest of Elgin, are said to to re-erecting it there.

      Pluscarden Abbey is ancient, having been founded by King Alexander II as a Vascaulian order in 1230. It was damaged by 'proud Edward's'army in 1303 when they swept north and west to the shores of Loch Ness and the Abbey was burned by the'Wolf of Badenoch', Alexander Stewart, in 1390 as part of his foray against the Archbishop of Elgin. If the truth were to be known, some of your ancestors might well have been part of the Wolf's army when this deed was done because he was their feudal overlord and, as such, one did pretty much what he desired.

      I've not visited Pluscarden myself but I hope to do so someday soon. According to the Collin's Encyclopedia of Scotland (John and Julia Keay, Editors, 1994), Pluscarden was taken over by the Benedictines in 1454 but fell into disuse after the Reformation. In 1897 it was purchased by John Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute. His son returned the ruins to the Benedictines in 1943 who began to restore it to the status of an abbey in 1948. This was finally achieved in 1974 and today it operates as an active religious community and a centre for spiritual renewal and retreat. Only a hour or so drive from the Museum, we are told that a visitor will be rewarded with the sight of a grand cruciform church and abbey buildings which contain some original frescos and magnificent modern stained glass. In addition, we might learn the present status of St Michael's.

As far as the original St Michael's is concerned, there is hardly anything to suggest what had once stood there. There is a small grove of yews and Sandy told us that if one scrounged in the undergrowth he might find the odd roofing slate or a nail or two to hint of its previous importance. Surprisingly, there were no grave markers to be seen; perhaps when it was desanctified any graves that might have been there were relocated to one that was sanctified. It was clear that we would have to look further for our coffin road. To that end, we reboarded our cars and proceeded westward toward Sherramore, a farm that lies just north of the road.

On To A Bridge Over No Water
      Just to the north of the road that one takes to Sherramore is Loch Spey which was created by the British Aluminium Company when they dammed the River Spey just to the west of Glen Markie. The dam was designed to store water for the production of electric power but was a contributory cause for the demise of Crathie township. Meta Humphrey Scarlett tells us in her book, In the Hills Where I Was Young, that Crathie was the last of the Badenoch townships to be abandoned in this century where earlier thirty families had lived. Loch Spey flooded the winter pastures for the sheep and although British Aluminium talked about plans for mixed farming and the production of timber


for sale, "the old died and the young moved away ... Power from the glens did not necessarily mean power for the glens."

      Loch Spey becomes a river again just before reaching Sherramore, the place where we were to leave our vehicles and begin the walk. In arriving there we passed one of the Wade bridges remarkably well preserved for its two centuries of use. However, it gets precious little use nowadays because it sits out in the middle of a field just to the south of the River Spey. It would appear that in building the dam some miles to the east, the course of the river was straightened leaving the bridge with no reason to exist any longer except to prompt questions and photographs by the curious.

Where the Waters Flow Backwards
      At Sherramore we left the cars by the side of the road and entered a field that sloped upward to the south and west. The grass and wild flowers were profuse and frequently we encountered marshy ground caused by runoff from recent rains. Clearly this was no coffin road but Sandy maintained the aura of mystery putting off questions with a terse, "Wait and see."

      Presently, we came to a stream that appeared to be flowing SOUTHWESTWARD, away from the Spey, not toward it as one would expect because the land was increasing in elevation in the direction of flow. Here indeed was a mystery. At this point, Sandy told us the story of Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche (KOIN-ach OW-er FEEO-sachie), meaning 'Sallow-complexioned Kenneth the Soothsayer' in English. He was also known as 'The Brahan Seer' because he was said to have the power of'second sight', the ability to look into the future and predict strange happenings which were quite incredible at the time he made them in the mid 17th century.


      Most of what we know about Coinneach Odhar's predictions were set forth in Alexander Mackenzie's book published in 1877, The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer. As one might imagine, it was a best seller in its day and is still in print. Although modern scholars have disputed much of what Mackenzie wrote, the Seer's predictions seem to have a ring of truth to them, as least enough of one to make one wonder. For our purposes here, the prediction of interest is that he foretold that 'one day the waters of the Spey would flow into the Atlantic Ocean.'

      Now everyone at the time knew that, because of Drumalban -- the'continental divide' for Scotland -- the waters of the Spey must run into the North Sea. And here we were, standing to the cast of the divide and witnessing the waters running southwestward towards the Atlantic. The prophecy had been fulfilled when the British Aluminium Company tunnelled through Drumalban so that the excess waters of Loch Spey would flow into Loch Laggan and from there to the hydroelectric facilities situated near Fort William. With that mystery cleared up we could now seek the coffin road that would take us to our destination.

Following the Coffin Road Across Drumalban
      Walking southward for a half-mile we reached that road albeit we could have taken it right away from Sherramore had we not been led to the mouth of the mysterious tunnel. In fact, the road appears to be along the centreline of the tunnel which I judged later to be about two miles in length. It was all up-hill, of course, until we had crossed Drumalban and then even I had to admit that it was slightly down-hill. And that was a blessing for across the crest we encountered a magnificent view of Loch Laggan, with the spires of Ardverikie towering like a Bavarian Castle on the far shore and its two islets -- the Isle of the Kings and the Isle of Dogs -- lying close by. It was too glorious a sight to squander and it was here that we paused to eat the lunches that we brought with us.

      Before we finished our picnic we heard a strange sound in the distance which seemed to be coming from just over the lip of the slope. Presently the source of the noise appeared -- a bicyclist came into view, pedalling away in his lowest gear, perspiring in warm sun and panting from the exertion. He was a holidayer from some nearby cottage, out for a ride and 'doing his thing. We waved and spoke encouraging words but he just smiled and kept on pedalling along the road we had recently walked.

St Kenneths Churchyard, Devoutly Preferred to Any Other       With our inner needs satisfied by food and rest, we resumed the trek along the coffin road. Our route took us downhill in a southeasterly direction until we joined the Fort William road at Kinlochlaggan where the Pattack Water flows into the Loch. This is a road well-travelled by fast-moving automobiles and we were somewhat apprehensive as we picked our way along its northern shoulder. Presently we came in view of our destination -- St Kenneth's Churchyard.

      St Kenneth's lies just a hundred yards or so off the highway but unless you knew it was there you wouldn't notice it. It is walled and heavily tree shaded with an ancient aura about it. We entered through wrought-iron gates and before us lay many grave markers, relatively well-kept. Off to the right are the ruins of a chapel, heavily overgrown with ivy and other vegetation. The whole, a venerable site, indeed.

      St Kenneth was one of St Columba's companions on his first visit to King Brude at Inverness and is said to have founded several monasteries in Scotland. Sir James Skene in his Celtic Scotland relates that he "dwelt at the foot of a mountain in the Drumalban range, referring no doubt, to the Church of Laggankenny at the eastern end of Loch Laggan. . ." Lachlan Shaw in his The History of the Province of Moray (published in 1775) tells us that the full name of the Laggan church was "Laggan-Choinnich, meaning the laggan or hollow of Kenneth. The new church is at Laggan Bridge but the old church was at the nearest end of Loch Laggan where the ruins are still to be seen."


      If the church was in ruins in 1775, it really must be ancient although probably not contemporary with St Kenneth himself; he lived in the 6th century AD. Shaw goes on to say that the place "was mentioned in 1239 as Logynkenny." This date is more than a hundred years before the ancestors of the people who would call themselves Macpherson came to the area from Lochaber.

      Alexander Macpherson relates several stories about St Kenneth's in his Glimpses ... He wrote that St Kenneth's is featured in the old Scottish ballad of 'Sir James the Rose' where Sir James, faced with imminent death at the hands of friends of a good squire be has slain, asks to be buried at Loch Laggan. Macpherson tells us that St Kenneth's was "'devoutly preferred to any other"' grave site in the area and that relates a curious tradition connected with the building of the chapel which may provide another clue to its age.

      The legend holds that the chapel "was built by Allan nan creach (Allan of the Plunder), 12th chief of Clan Cameron who lived in the 15th century, a contemporary of Christopher Columbus. The tale is too long to be told here in full but it relates how Allan, concerned that the proceeds of his plundering had greatly diminished, consulted a witch to determine the reason. The witch suggested an unorthodox approach for finding out -- roasting a live cat on spit before a fire. Allan followed the consultant's advice and learned from the leader of an army of cats who come to rescue their brother that Allan's poor performance of late was punishment for pillaging his neighbours' property. To obtain forgiveness for his sins, he must build seven churches. Not wishing to do battle with the rescuers, he released his victim and began immediately to build the prescribed number of churches, one of which was the one at St Kenneth's.


      We all seemed to be thoroughly impressed by the serenity of the scene. Tokyo Bill had brought his pipes along and played a stirring rendition of 'Flowers o' the Forest', a most appropriate tune for the occasion. Then, with the mysteries solved, it was time to retrace our steps to Sherramore. The return leg was achieved without incident, rejoicing again in the beauties of the route we walked. Have you noticed that the time of the return always seems shorter than the outward leg? Soon we were back at the cars and back we drove to a pint at the Glen for some or the 'sack' for others. It was a grand trek, as always, and we are already thinking of where Sandy might lead us next year. You can be sure that it will be most interesting and enjoyable.

Speed Device:
Mrs Moira MacPherson of Stirling has invented a gadget which warns a driver who is exceeding the speed limit by creating a series of flashes and beeps. She hit on the idea after years of nagging her husband Ewen on the subject!

Glasgow-born Alastair McPherson has been appointed Managing Director of ScotRail. Mr McPherson, who was educated at King's Park School, Glasgow, and the Universities of Glasgow and Birmingham, was previously commercial director of Nation .4 Express, which holds a seven-year franchise of ScotRail.

Association Secretary Bruce J. S. Macpherson polled a respectable 3,045 votes as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Renfrewshire West in the UK Parliamentary election last May. He was not able to topple the incumbent in this strongly-held Labour seat, but as this was only his first foray into national politics, it surely won't be his last!

Fort Ticonderoga: The Association has contributed a stone to a Cairn being erected at Fort Ticonderoga, MY, in memory of the men of the Black Watch who fought valiantly in the Battle of Carillon there in 1758.

Sue Lindsay, grand-daughter of John P. McPherson, first local Chief of the New Zealand Branch, and daughter of Leona and Alister Lindsay, has been named New Zealand Young Executive of the Year, accepting the accolade from the Prime Minister in Wellington. Her marketing career started in the animal health and pharmaceutical industries. She studied at Lincoln University and managed the family farm at Centre Bush for five years. Miss Lindsay will represent New Zealand at the world finals of the Young Business Achiever Award in China next year. Congratulations, Sue!

Appointment: Robert J. Macpherson, architect son-in-law of Hon. Vice-President Ewen S. L. MacPherson, has moved from Aberfeldy to London, with his wife Ailsa, after receiving an appointment with a prestigious architectural firm there, and will be involved in the design of the new St Paul's Music School. Scotland is sorry to lose you, Robert and Ailsa, but we wish you both well!

Piping Award:
Famed piper Donald MacPherson, from Balbeggie, has been awarded the Balvenie Medal for services to piping, at the prestigious Glenfiddich Championships, held annually at Blair Castle. A formidable competitor in his day, Donald was a pioneer of the modern bagpipe sound.


Storyteller: Well-known Scottish storyteller George MacPherson, of Glendale in Skye, took part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Edinburgh last October. One of his folk-tales, titled "Eyesight", was read to the Heads of State during the opening ceremonies. George was, however, somewhat dismayed to find that his story was to be read by an English actor, John Thaw! George, who was one of the participants in last year's Jubilee Ceilidh (see Creag Dhubh No. 49) also took part in this year's Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh.


To Katherine (née Macpherson) and Andrew Smith, a daughter, Annabel Kate, on 12th August 1997 (the Glorious Twelfth!), first grandchild for Gerald and Joy Macpherson.

To Major Angus and Valerie Macpherson, in Edinburgh on 14th June 1997, a son, Alasdair Duncan Hervey, a brother for Tom, Lachlan and Fiona, and fourth grandchild for Sir Thomas and Lady Macpherson of Biallid.


Macpherson -- Kaderkutty. The engagement is announced between Anthony, younger son of Gerald and Joy Macpherson, and Tesneem, daughter of Mr and Mrs A. R. Kaderkutty of Abu Dhabi.


McPherson -- Clare. On 21st March 1997, at Denny Old Parish Church, Denny, Stirlingshire, James McPherson, West of Scotland Branch Chairman, married Pamela Ann Clare of Fareham, Hants. The reception was held at the Kincaid House Hotel, Milton of Campsie, Stirlingshire, and the couple now reside at 10 Bankside Court, Denny, Stirlingshire FK6 6HA.


Simpson -- Macpherson. On 28th August 1997, in the United States of America, Alison Catriona, Stewart, younger daughter of Sandy and Catherine Macpherson of Edinburgh, married Stephen Robert Simpson of Essex, a marriage later blessed in Fairmilehead Parish Church, Edinburgh.

Macpherson -- Peers. On 17th May 1997, Robert Macpherson, elder son of Gerald and joy Macpherson, was married to Emma Peers at the Church of St Anthony and St George, Duncton, W. Sussex. The bride's attendants included the groom's sister, Ailsa, as chief bridesmaid, assisted by Emma's five nieces and nephews, all appropriately wearing a hint of Macpherson tartan. Zornow -- Clarke. On 20th September 1997, in Marian, New York, Leslie Jean Clarke married Mark Douglas Zornow. Leslie is the daughter of Donald L. Clarke of Pittsford, New York. Both father and daughter are members of the Clan Association and have attended past International Gatherings. She is Vice-President of the Bank of Finger Lakes. Mark and Leslie reside in Canandaigua, New York.

Hon. Mr Justice A. Alex. Cattanach of Ottawa died on 18th July 1997. Mr Cattanach was a judge of the Exchequer Court of Canada, and a staunch supporter of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association. He was an Hon. Vice-President of the Branch, and Branch Chairman from 1968 to 1971.

Dorothy Campbell Reid Cattanach died at Speyside Nursing Home, Aberlour on 6th September 1997, at the age of 90. She was the beloved wife of the late Evan Cattanach, ex-Provost of Kingussie, and mother of Evan, Douglas, Dorothy and the late Joyce, dear sister of Eileen, and a much loved grandmother and great-grandmother.

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Scott Bruce Gillespie, much loved son of Rod and Hazel Gillespie, of Queensland, Australia, brother of Andrew and Erin and brother-in-law of Darren Mortensen, was tragically killed on 8th July 1996, while, it seems, on his way to a hospital to seek medical care. Scott was studying Electrical Engineering and had nearly completed his Bachelor of Computer Science degree at the University of South Queensland in Toowoomba.

Isabel Sinclair Lamond (née Macpherson) died on 15th December 1996 after a short illness. Isabel was the first lady Chairman of the New Zealand Branch, and during her term in office made her second visit to Scotland with her sister Athole at Rally time. Scotland and the clan were very dear to Isabel's heart , and she derived great pleasure in having met Cluny and fellow clansfolk on the first occasion when all Branches were represented. She willingly made her home available for meetings. Although of later years due to failing health she was unable to attend some gatherings her interest never flagged.

Winifred McCann died on 5th May 1997 in Wellington, New Zealand. She had, with her husband and life-member son Ewen, been a staunch supporter of dancing and piping in that area, and though too far away to attend the New Zealand Branch events, she remained deeply interested in happenings both there and in Scotland.

Archibald Ian Stewart Macpherson, ChM, FRCS, FRCSE, died on 20th April 1997 in Edinburgh at the age of 83, after a long period of ill-health. His death was a great loss to the Clan Macpherson Association, for he was a Past Chairman (1969-73), Hon. VicePresident, and Convener of the Museum Advisory Committee. He was also a great Highlander, a distinguished surgeon, and a promiment personality in many walks of life.

      The fourth of the five sons of Sir Stewart and Lady Macpherson, he was born on 10th August 1913, quite deliberately in the family home in Newtonmore, for his mother had come back from India where his father was a High Court judge, to ensure he was indeed a true Highlander. The whole family distinguished themselves in the fields of athletics, sport, scholarship, business and public service, and Archie no less so. Educated at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes, he had been destined for Oxford University to continue his classical studies, but had a late change of mind and decided to study medicine instead. At Edinburgh University he captained the rugby, cricket and fencing teams, and gained a half-blue for hockey while "crocked" for rugby. He later continued to play cricket, and represented his country many times as an opening batsman. He was also no mean golfer, and many remember his lightness and precision of foot as a Highland dancer.

      After graduating MB ChB, from the University in 1936, he turned to surgery, and in 1940 became a Fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and prize-winner, all at an early age. As a resident gynaecologist he was not required by the forces at the outbreak of war, and entry into the Royal Army Medical Corps was further delayed by a skiing accident in the Highlands until 1942. He served in North Africa and Italy, and was commanding a Surgical Field Hospital in Austria with the rank of LieutenantColonel when his military service ended.

      He sought further experience overseas, and was elected to a Rockefeller Foundation Research Scholarship in 1948 at the University of Columbia in New York. In 1949 he returned to Edinburgh where he remained for the rest of his career as a surgeon and lecturer. In research he was a pioneer in freezing techniques, in the use of plastic substitutes and in transplants of the peripheral organs. He was the author of many papers on surgical subjects, and was much in demand overseas as a teacher and examiner.

      Somehow he found time to perfect his skills on the bagpipes and in that too he excelled, becoming a judge of both piping and Highland dancing at Highland Games. He did not marry, and lived in Edinburgh with his mother until her death in 1976 in her 101st year. Latterly he took up permanent residence in the old family home in Newtonmore.

      Archie's role in the Clan Macpherson Association cannot be overstated. He was also


very active in the Clan Chattan Association, of which he was a Past Chairman (1961-70), elected Vice-President and Council member, He was extremely proud of his own Clan, and of Clan Chattan, and of his Gaelic and Highland heritage, and was a stickler for getting things right. His drive and determination were largely responsible for the formation of the Clan Museum as it is today. His guidance and wise counsel were vital in the Association's well-being, and his presence at Council and Committee meetings and at our Annual Gathering, all of which he attended almost to the end despite physical infirmity, will be greatly missed. Few will match his contribution.

Robert Cresser Macpherson died at Helmsley, Yorkshire on 2 1st August 1997 at the age of 92. Robert was the eldest son of John and Daisy (Cresser) Macpherson, and was married to Marjorie Sclater, who pre-deceased him by a year. They had two children, Ian Bruce and Moira Cresser, and three grandchildren. After a war-time career as a photographer in the R.A.F. Robert returned to work with the Midland Bank, where he became Manager of the Bank's Investment Department at its Head Office in London. He retired to Gullane where he enjoyed playing golf, and later moved to Helmsley to be nearer his daughter Moira. He was very proud to be a Macpherson, and gained much pleasure from his membership of the Association.

Mrs Grant McPherson of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, died on 11th October 1997. Mrs McPherson was the mother of the Chairman of the Canadian Branch, and we extend our sympathy to Ian McPherson and his family.

By Sandy Macpherson

In the 1995 edition of "Creag Dhubh" I gave details of some cairns in the Badenoch district which I hoped would interest walkers with a historical turn of mind.

      Since then I have visited the latest monument, one with a most unusual background, not with particularly Macpherson associations, but nevertheless of great interest.

      In the district of Laggan the River Markie flows into the Spey very close to the dam which forms the Spey reservoir. About a mile up the Markie there was an old burial place, called Reballich or Raplaich, traditionally reserved for suicides, unbaptised children and sometimes for those born out of wedlock. The inhabitants of the nearby village (now deserted) of Crathie gave its name to a malediction, "May you go to Reballich". Obviously it was not a place of high local repute, being unconsecrated ground.

      The last official burial was reputed to have taken place in the middle of the 17th century, when a soldier of Montrose's army was buried there by the women of the village, no men being available to dig the grave.

      Since that time the area has become very overgrown and was in danger of being lost in the planting of a new forest. Through the action of a former minister of the Church in Laggan this problem was averted but the site had considerable difficulties of access due to a high deer fence.

      A few years ago the Laggan Community Association approached the Roman Catholic priest in Kingussie to see if the burial site could be consecrated. Father Vernon Cameron Boutilier, who had recently arrived from Cape Breton in Canada was very sympathetic to the suggestion and the ground was duly consecrated by him. Later, at his instigation, a metal plaque arrived from Canada, inscribed in English and Gaelic, "Here lie God's holy and beloved innocents."

      A well built stone cairn about five feet high was constructed by local volunteers and the plaque was fixed as a permanent memorial.       This latest Badenoch cairn must be unique in its purpose and sentiment and forms an interesting and moving memorial to the past.



The new Chairman of the Association is Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, 17th Senior Chieftain of the Clan. Alastair was born in Windsor, Berkshire in 1944 and educated at Haileybury and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he obtained an MA in law. He joined the London firm of solicitors, Ashurst Morris Crisp, becoming a partner in 1974. At the time he became a partner Ashursts had just twelve partners with a total staff of 80; today the firm has 84 partners and a staff of over 800, with overseas offices in Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Singapore and Tokyo. As a corporate lawyer Alastair has been involved in a wide variety of major corporate transactions throughout Europe and the United States.

      In 1976 Alastair succeeded his grandfather, Colonel A. K. Macpherson of Pitmain M.VO., who led the Clan March at the first Clan Gathering in 1947, as Senior Chieftain of the Clan. In 1972 Alastair had married Penelope Harper, whose father Freddy was a tea planter in Ceylon and whose family came from the Trossachs, whilst Penelope's mother came from the Orkneys. Alastair and Penny live in Putney, London and have three children. Isabella, aged 24, was educated at North Foreland Lodge and Edinburgh University, from which she graduated with an honours degree in History of Art. She now works as an account executive with the advertising agency M. & C. Saatchi in London. Alexander, aged 21, is at Oriel College, Oxford, reading English, having been an Oppidan Scholar at Eton College. Charlie, their younger son, is in his final year at Eton.

      The Macphersons of Pitmain also live at Achara House near Appin in Argyll, where they spend their holidays and as much of their time as possible. They have a farm there.

      Apart from his legal career, Alastair has been a non-executive director of a number of public companies, including Smith & Nephew plc, Britain's leading healthcare group,


the conglomerate Thomas Jourdan plc and the financial services company Johnson Fry plc. He is also on the Committee of Management of the Highland Society of London, the board of the naval charity The White Ensign Association, and is a member of the London Committee of Cancer Research.

      Alastair's interests range from golf, shooting and fishing to a passion for rhododendrons. He is much looking forward to his three years as Chairman of the Association and is determined to follow his predecessor's fine example and keep the jubilee spirit going in the years up to the Millennium.

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By Archy Macpherson, KGCT, MA, LLB, NP, FSA(Scot)

We all know that we are a Highland clan and its septs and that all our ancestors were Gaelic- speaking. A joyous introduction thereto is to be found in a Catalogue which can be obtained free on application from
Muileann Dubh, Woodholme, Culbokie,
Dingwall, Scotland, Ross-shire IV7 8JH
Phone 01349 877737, Fax 01349 877725

      This catalogue contains reference to Gaelic posters, Christmas cards, song books with cassettes, etc.

      One page is particularly of interest to learners dealing with the "Speaking our language -- Series 1" with books and tapes that are to be recommended. Hugo's Scottish Gaelic in Three Months (more like three years for some of us!) covers grammar and audio tapes. It is well laid out and will encourage serious and not so serious to gain a mastery of the language. Two videos and book of interviews are both available to accustom the learner to Gaelic spoken at normal speed and to its accents.

      Songs from "Mire Mara" and "Dòtaman" on video are easy enough for the learner. There are two books of old Gaelic tales in Gaelic and English collected in the West Highlands over a hundred years ago . . . and wonders too many to enumerate.

      A sample copy of Cothrom (pronounced caw-ram), the bilingual magazine of the Gaelic learners' association, can also be bought for three pounds. There is no other quarterly in the world like it for the learner or the hero/heroine who has mastered the language or has been lucky enough to be brought up with it. It positively oozes with stories on all things of interest to learner and fluent speaker. Four copies annually of "Cothrom" cost about the price of three or four of the sample volume shown in the catalogue. But the choice exists.

      The organisation that puts out "Cothrom" (meaning "opportunity", "fair play", "justice") will also be delighted to answer readers' problems on language learning. The advertisements are well worth reading as they lead the way into the world of the Gael. Back copies can be got.

     "Cothrom "13 even lists a world wide list of telephone contact numbers for all interested in local Gaelic learning facilities, not only in Scotland but also in Australia, Canada, England, over twenty of the states in the United States and in Wales.

     The address of this Gaelic learners' and supporters' association from which "Cothrom" can be got quarterly with its parallel columns in Gaelic and in translation to English is:

Comann an Luchd-lonnsachaidh,
62 High Street,
Invergordon, Scotland.
Phone/Fax: 01349 854848
E-mail: cli(@sol.co.uk


Word has just been received of the death of Lt.-Col. James P. C. Macpherson, M.C., K.St.J., C.D., F.I.C.B., of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 17 January 1998. A full obituary of Col. Macpherson, who was featured in "Creag Dhubh" No. 48, 1996, will appear in next year's issue.


(Condensed from the Gaudy Oration, 1996, given by Ian Robinson, graduate of Oxford University, as recorded in 'Christ Church Developments No. 2')

Joseph William McPherson was but one of a generation of Oxford men whose life was shaped by empire, and yet few clichés of colonial character could be applied to him. 'Of McPherson himself,' said Lawrence Durrell, 'it is hard to write in a way that does justice to his many-sided personality . . . He gave off the most extraordinary scent of human grace. Had he wandered into Tibet he would at once have been recognised as a lama of superior attainments ... And of course the amazing thing was that as well as all this we had to do with a fine scholar, accomplished linguist, as well as a bon viveur and man of action!' This was a man who combined a boyish enthusiasm for escapade with colossal bravery in adversity, the mind-set of a high Victorian imperialist with a deep sympathy for the people of Egypt, and unshakeable faith in Roman Catholicism with a profound respect for Islam.

      Born in 1866 to the supervisor of an asylum outside Bristol, McPherson was educated at Clifton College and the Royal College of Science in Dublin. Only in 1887 did he proceed to Christ Church with a scholarship in the Natural Sciences, taking his First in 1890. Dean Liddell later noted that McPherson 'fully justified our choice by his industry and good conduct.' It was perhaps decanal discretion -- or Liddell may have been unaware that it was here that McPherson first attracted the nickname 'The Wild One' and ran up large debts paid by generous brothers. McPherson by his own admission 'did best at beagling', but also rowed for the 'House Toggers' and received caps for soccer and rugby. Such versatility was to prove an enduring quality.

      After teaching in various schools and as a Senior Extension Lecturer for the university, McPherson went to Egypt in 1901 and for some years held posts in the Ministries of Education and Agriculture. At the outbreak of World War One, he enrolled as a Red Cross officer, though nearing fifty, and served in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign before joining the ultimately victorious army in Sinai and Gaza. From 1918 to 1920, McPherson found himself commander of the Cairo secret police at a time of nationalist fervour and uprising in Egypt. Eventually leaving public service with some relief, he spent a large portion of his long retirement engaged in scholarly enquiry into the customs of old Egypt. McPherson, who never married, died and was buried in Cairo in 1946.

      How can we begin to unravel the enigma of McPherson? In each of his various careers we can observe different aspects of what was clearly a multifaceted personality. Indeed, it is our privilege that McPherson's dynamism extended to a profile output of letters home, some 26 bound volumes by the end. These formed the principal source of his biography and we can often allow him to speak, as it were, for himself.       Most noteworthy about McPherson's arrival in Egypt 95 years ago was his immediate warming to the people:
          I think I shall like the Egyptians, they are a fine, good-tempered, rather noble-looking lot . . .       McPherson began a teaching post at a school in Cairo for the sons of the emerging Egyptian elite and soon became deeply engrossed in a different way of life. It is not hard to see why he never felt part of what he termed 'the insular British set'. In the period to the Great War, we have accounts of meetings with the Grand Qadi, or senior religious judge of Egypt, and attendance at various mystical Islamic rituals. There was also, for instance, a weekend hunting trip to the country with Egyptian friends. McPherson describes how
           I spotted a hornet's nest and fired both barrels of my fowling piece into it ... we had an exciting chase for nearly 2 miles, this time however being the hunted parties . . .


      Educational pursuite remained McPherson's priority: in 1905, his distinction as a scientist was acknowledged in a commission to take magnetic observations in Sudan during a total eclipse. We may note that this library contains a copy of McPherson's English-Arabic Vocabulary Of Scientific Terms, published in 1912, an early attempt to standardise the new language of science developing in Arabic. It was, of course, his rapid mastery of this complex language which enabled our subject to enter so energetically into the life of Egypt: he was soon and often designedly mistaken for a native. One tale of later years offers an unconventional clue to the educational purposes McPherson fulfilled with his Arabic. An Egyptian accused of planting bombs was asked who had taught him so dangerous an art. It was none other than the former Chemistry teacher, Joseph McPherson, who remarked wryly that it was

            very gratifying to me to learn that my poor attempts at teaching were not thrown away, that one diligent pupil did not forget what he was taught.

      As well as educationalist, McPherson was a great traveller. 'Rather out of sorts' one December, he relates that his 'inclination turned to a bicycle ride'. There ensued a 100 km cycle across the desert to Suez. Indeed, McPherson coined his own term, vagabondage, for his numerous journeys around the Mediterranean. For him, every country teemed with peoples, languages and histories and his appetite for all three was immense. On his journey through Turkey in 1919, McPherson not for the last time found himself witness to the dramas of history. He had arrived in Adana in southern Turkey only shortly after the massacre of 30,000 Armenians and found there was an atmosphere of terror. It was sadly but harbinger of a great and rarely acknowledged holocaust of the twentieth century.

      McPherson proceeded more sedately by train and boat to his final destination of Istanbul, then still the seat of the government of the Ottoman Sultan 'Abdul Hamid.' One incident there is particularly revealing of McPherson's character: inquisitive, tolerant, resourceful. Examining the mihrab or niche towards which Muslims direct their prayer in a mosque, McPherson discovered that thousands of worshippers had gathered behind him in preparation for the day's final prayers. Since a discreet departure was out of the question, McPherson resolved to join the movements of the Muslim prayer under the watchful eyes of a nearby imam. 'There is nothing I object to, or that I think anyone could object to, in the prescribed prayer.' Between each of the 25 sets of ritual movement a period was alloted for personal recitation of prayers and McPherson characteristically thought 'it was only honest to recite what I knew of Koran, but my supply ran short and had to be supplemented with Pater Nosters, Ava Marias, Credos' and so on. But eventually

even these failed at last to come to my mind quickly enough to keep my lips in the necessary perpetual motion and I was grateful to my memory for the Christ Church grace . . . Joseph McPherson's is the most unlikely appreciation on record of the length of that particular House ritual.

      Six years later, McPherson would visit Turkey again in a very different capacity. A year after the outbreak of war, McPherson finally persuaded the authorities to enroll him as a Red Cross officer bound on a hospital ship for the killing grounds of the Dardanelles. The chief surprise of his wartime letters is the extraordinary enthusiasm they express for the experiences of war. He writes, for example,'I enjoyed my walk immensely among the whistling bullets.' Yet I suspect McPherson's style often represents a peculiarly British stoicism in the face of horrors which he could portray with equal power. At one stage he recalls that his main duty was 'to hold legs and arms in position while they were being amputated.' Elsewhere he mentions the bizarre beauty of gunfire on hills which 'reminded me of (Mount) Etna as I once saw it' or 'the lurid magnificence of the sun, setting over the plains of Troy, an appropriate blood red.' McPherson was finally wounded by what he termed 'a good dose of shrapnel' and returned to Egypt.

      Restlessness soon overcame our subject and he obtained a commission in the Camel


Transport Corps, the logistical arm of the Sinai army that eventually numbered some 30,000 camels and 25,000 men. Here he displayed fully his understanding of local sensitivities to the point of openly deploring the recruitment tactics of certain English officers. Although it would be naive to imagine that tensions never existed between McPherson and his Egyptian men, it is clear that his command did not display the brutality too often suffered by those unsung heroes of the Great War. Under extremely arduous conditions, the army proceeded to the edges of Palestine and the Turkish stronghold of Gaza. Once again, we can discern grand events of history in McPherson's account. For this was a decisive moment of the Middle Eastern twentieth century: the beginning of British victory in Palestine, the consequence of war which made possible Zionist ambitions and one of the unwitting foundations of the bitterness of Arab-Israeli conflict. McPherson himself was unable to resist seeing the campaign as a 'Crusade' and evinced great disappointment when another injury -- this time from a bullet -- forced him to return to base in Cairo.

      Back in Cairo, over the next six years McPherson was to achieve his greatest and, I think, least desired notoriety. First placed in charge of political prisoners, he was rapidly promoted to the rank of Bimbashi or Major and appointed Acting Mamur Zapt -- or head of the Secret Police in Cairo. It was not a post that McPherson found fulfilling: though elements of the work appealed to the adventurer and perhaps performer in him, he described it as 'that nightmare full of weird interest' -- 'the lurid gulf in my life'. Apart from the usual problems of crime and corruption, McPherson found himself thrust into the politics of the Egyptian nationalist uprising, stoked by nearly four decades of British occupation and the depredations and brutalities of the war period. It was a movement he was, like many of his time, perhaps incapable of understanding. No more than others could he see that imperialism which had shaped his life would within decades have been abandoned or thrown off. Yet in the mean time, McPherson pursued his new role with the same vigour as all his others.

      It will come as no surprise that eccentricity was one of the chief qualities which McPherson brought to the office of Mamur Zapt. In charge of nationalist political prisoners, he formed a football team from them. As detective, he relished opportunities for personal observation in disguise as a 'Cairene carter', 'Armenian Jew of means' or 'low-class Greek'. But McPherson's penchant for decisive and sometimes violent action also suited him to the demands of the time:

            there was so much to do outside, suppressing riots with the troops, searching houses for bombs, arms and seditious matter; rounding up cafés and restaurants, and after establishing a cordon, searching all present. . .       Though a paternalist by nature, he was all too aware of the role of colonial insensitivity in stoking protest. The pressures of responsibility and numerous threats to his life meant that the end of life as head of the Secret Police came as a relief. McPherson continued on public service in a variety of freelance roles until 1924, when he pronounced himself 'free as the sea' and retired.

      Freedom, however, was a strenuous concept for McPherson. He withdrew to a house in an oasis outside Cairo, surrounded by the growing families attached to his cook and his faithful servant, Gad. Here, McPherson found more time for his beloved riding in the desert and could recoup energy for the next bout of Mediterranean travelling. In the Greek islands in 1925, he decided to climb Mt Pelion, following the example of Jason and armed only with 'a mountain staff, cheese and bread in my pockets and a flask and box of bugpowder and map of Thessaly' Reaching the summit, he drank the health of the clan of McPherson 'under the eyes of the Olympians.'

      The main feature of McPherson's retirement was his scholarly enquiry into the liturgies of the Eastern churches and, especially, the moulids or Muslim and Christian saints-days of Egypt. The old customs had been an object of his interest for many years, and McPherson gradually gathered together his years of experience and learning, in a ----------------------------------------------------------------24--------------------------------------------------------------

volume entitled The Moulids Of Egypt, published in 1941. Writing the Foreword, Professor E. E. Evans-Pritchard affirmed that 'Major McPherson has paid to the people of Egypt the debt which he freely acknowledges he owes them for the hospitality and kindness he has enjoyed at their hands for close on half a century.'

      In his vehement condemnation of those attempting to suppress the popular celebrations, McPherson, by now in his seventies, offers a clue to his view of a changing world. He rails against modernity and particularly materialism's

            subsitution of mechanical cacophonies for human melodies, of amorphous skyscrapers for shapely dwellings, or sordid materialism for the disinterested pursuit of beauty, of frenzied rush and blazing light for gentle living. in short, a new cult of savagery . . .

      It is perhaps here that we see one kind of explanation for the McPherson enigma: beneath the colonial exterior and robust man of action, there is more than a little of the romantic. In one respect our subject represents a generation of Christ Church men who thought that to rule the world was their due; in another, he embodies that spirit of enquiry and that urge for novel experience which led so many to travel abroad and, often, to stay forever. McPherson had romanticism's yearning for the past, its urge to wander and need for solitude. He once commented that rather than enjoy a gregarious meal at Christmas 'I would infinitely rather another year take a handful of pistachio nuts out into the desert and make my dinner of them under an old pyramid.' Even war had a certain high romantic drama for McPherson. 'I think! he wrote, 'it is my fundamental nature to love vagabondage and liberty! In these qualities, perhaps, may lie the key to McPherson's character.

By R. G. M. Macpherson, FRSA, FSA(Scot), FHSC


Arms were granted to Ewen MacPherson, the immediate Past Chairman of the Clan Association, by the Lord Lyon King of Arms on the 7th February 1997. These Arms are recorded on the 79th page of the 78th volume of The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland and contain the principal charges of the Cluny Arms, viz., the Galley, the hand and dagger, and the cross-crosslet. In addition, the upper part of the shield displays "two mullets" or stars, taken from the Sutherland Arms, to denote descent from that family and the "Stag's head" represents a MacKenzie connection through Ewen's paternal grandmother.

      The wildcat crest is charged on the shoulder with a "Bell", signifying the maiden name of the armiger's wife, and the "Balance scale" commemorates his career as a former Chief Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police. The motto is a Gaelic rendering of "Touch not without a glove".

      Ewen MacPherson was Chairman during the highly successful and well organised Jubilee celebrations and is currently an Hon. Vice-President of the Clan Macpherson Association.


A recent Grant of Arms was made by the Chief Herald of Canada in 1997 to Ian McPherson of Victoria, British Columbia. The Arms are recorded in Volume 3, page 200, of The Public Register of Arms, Flags & Badges of Canada and, like all other Clan Arms, are based on those of the Chief.

      The principal charge is a black "Galley, sails furled, oars in action", on a gold field.


      The upper portion of the shield is blue and "indented" to suggest the mountains or British Columbia. The two cross-crosslets from the Cluny Arms are placed on either side of the Eagle, which represents the armiger's service in the R.C.A.F. during World War II.

      The gold wildcat crest is placed upon a coronet of Maple Leaves and Pacific Dogwood (the provincial flower) and holds a Balance Scale to signify Ian's profession as a lawyer. He is a graduate of the Institute of International Air Law, McGill University, Montreal.

      Ian McPherson is a Life Member of the Canadian Branch of the Association.

By Andrew Macpherson, Curator

The Museum Advisory Committee at their meeting on 1st August 1997 decided that the Museum opening times would be extended to open from 1st April until 31st October beginning in October 1997. New brochures are being printed.       On 24th October 1996 Nancy and I arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe to visit our daughter Fiona and husband Henry and our two youngest grandsons, Drew and Dylan. They were all there to meet us and after airport formalities we were soon home having lunch. The rest of the day was spent unpacking suitcases with the "assistance" of two very enthusiastic small boys exchanging and catching up with experiences since we had last been together. After a couple of weeks being involved in the family and friends' social activities the whole family went to spend four days at Nyanga, in the Eastern Highlands. This part of Zimbabwe is very like Scotland although much higher (our cottage was over 5,000 feet), but so much cooler than the rest of Zimbabwe with pine forest and running trout streams.

      Nancy and I then went to Bulawayo in a luxury bus which seemed to glide over the


road. As we had lived in Bulawayo for seventeen years we had plenty of visits to make, and our seven day stay was not long enough. We returned to Harare and then on 27th November I flew to Lilongwe, Malawi to visit Ewen and Jenny Macpherson on their tobacco farm / cattle ranch at Namitete where they have a highly organised selfcontained business. Almost all essentials and building materials for Ewen and his family plus a permanent work force are produced. Ewen and Jenny's oldest son Duncan and his wife, also Jenny, who were at the Jubilee Rally on their honeymoon, moved into their new house built with almost all Namitete produce. While I was there they hosted a dinner for a gathering of friends who are members of the St Andrews Association and meet annually for dinner. The party went on until late.

      As plans and arrangements had been made for Nancy and myself to visit friends in Cape Town I had to return to Harare. On our journey south we broke our journey at Johannesburg to attend a wedding anniversary. Cape Town has changed a great deal since we were there last in 1968, and the city has encroached on the harbour. We found ourselves having lunch almost where the Union Castle Mailships used to sail from when we used to go to the UK on our holidays. It was quite like old times to be having champagne on Table Mountain as the sun went down and see the lights come on all over the city. After ten days in Cape Town we travelled to Potchefstroom by Trans Lux bus to meet Fiona, Henry and our grandsons. It has become a Christmas tradition as Henry's parents live there. Henry, his brothers and sisters and all the grandchildren hire out chalets in the holiday camp. It is a real Christmas celebration and "Rosser" gathering.

      On 29th December we left for Harare, by car this time, stopping off at Tshipise Warm Baths holiday chalets for two days, then on to Harare, arriving on Hogmanay. Then came the highlight of our holiday, a four day cruise in a houseboat on Lake Kariba. This was a holiday of a lifetime. Every evening after the boat was tied up we would go game viewing in the tender we towed with us, and we saw elephants by the hundred, hippo, antelope and crocodile so near one could almost touch them and, of course, birds of all kinds.

      Then for the last time it was back to Harare for last minute shopping visits, not a few parties, then home to Newtonmore, arriving on 25th January after an excellent holiday.

      Archie Peebles had been caretaking the Museum in our absence and it was safe and secure. We had three months to get ready for the season and to "recover" from our wonderful holiday.

      Visitor numbers were down, probably the lowest for the last five seasons. From 1st October 1996 to 30th September 1997 there had been 2,237, but due to the extended period during October another 253, making the season's total 2,490, who had donated through the boxes �1,268. Sales up to the end of September were �2,868 and in October �238, a season's total of �3,106.

      Nancy had the garden looking good again, with flowers by courtesy of David Barrie, my brother-in-law. Thank you, Davie! Nancy receives many compliments on the flower show and she works hard to achieve it.

      I have to acknowledge the following presentations:
            (1) 600th Anniversary of the Battle of The North Inch, 21st September 1996. Presented by the Clan Davidson Association.
            (2) Letters from a Highland Township, by Elizabeth and Ian Macpherson. Presented by Ewen S. L. MacPherson.
            (3) Waltzing Matilda, by Richard Magoffin, Australia's foremost authority on the song. Presented by Edna Macpherson Sabato, Australia.
            (4) The Urlar's Jubilee Scrapbook. Presented by Jack W. Raines, Editor of the Urlar, U.S. Branch, C.M.A.             Watchman Against the World, by Flora McPherson. The remarkable journey of Norman McLeod and his people from Scotland to Cape Breton Island to New Zealand. Presented by Ewen S. L. MacPherson.


           (6) Antrin Thochts on Aulden Days. By Gordon Macpherson.
           (7) Large coloured photograph of the gathering which attended the unveiling of the memorial cairn at Glentruim. Presented by Jérôme LeRoy-Lewis and framed by Mrs Margaret MacPherson of Talla Shee.
           (8) "The Jemima Forrest Macpherson Family Contribution, 1939-1945 World War." Produced as a 50th Year of Remembrance tribute to Jemima Macpherson by her son Neil.
           (9) Arms of Ewen S. L. Macpherson. Presented by R. G. M. Macpherson, Canada.
           (10) Be Happy. Mostly by a Laird. Presented by Lt.-Col. B. D. Mackenzie, Almond Bank, Perth.
           (11) The Holy Bible. Presented by A. Wilson, Ladybank, Fife.
           (12) Napkin Ring with Ancient Macpherson Tartan, Loudon Briggs, Phoenix. Presented by Loudon R. Briggs, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.

A 'not well-known' fact: The Caledonia tartan is identical to Ancient Macpherson Red -- RM

      (13) The History of Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan, by Margaret Mackintosh of Mackintosh. Presented by Bridget Dickson.            (14) Argyll Macphersons.Presented by John Redman, Australia.
           (15) Clan Macpherson Scrapbook 1995-96. Compiled and presented by Margaret Hambleton.
           (16) Coloured photograph of Ewen S. L. MacPherson to place in the Chairmen's Gallery.
           (17) Interesting Magazine on Fort Macpherson, an unofficial directory and guide published by military publishers, American Revolution Bicentennial 1776-1976. Presented by E. L. R. Macpherson of Glentruim.
           (18) Sword found hidden at Culloden. Presented by E. L. R. Macpherson of Glentruim.

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 �5. With the exception of A Day's March to Ruin orders will be sent 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.


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By Susan Grant

Ewen Tolmie, my great-great-grandfather, was a Port Phillip Pioneer. This is the title bestowed on the men and their families who settled in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales before 1851, after which time the district gained independence of government and was renamed Victoria. Readers of this article may well ask "what has a man named Tolmie to do with the Clan Macpherson?" I too asked myself the same question, on discovering in my late father's family history collection, a bundle of early editions of Creag Dhubh, neatly tied with string. With a little detective work, some good luck and a great deal of help from members of your Clan, not only has my question been answered, but I have learnt an immense amount of fascinating and valuable information.

      My father, J. C. E. Campbell, CBE, was the family historian. He spent many years researching the family of his paternal grandmother -- the Tolmies. Sadly, in 1991, as the result of a car accident, he died before writing the planned account of his findings. I

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undertook to do so, but was hampered, regretfully, by having paid little attention when he had talked enthusiastically about the fruits of his research. Thus I was mystified to find in his office, soon after his death, a collection of nineteen early copies of Creag Dhubh, dating back to 1950, and wondered at their significance. Despite my earlier disinterest, I did know the names of our many ancestors and Macpherson was not one of them. Even now, six years down the track of my own research and from a total of 1,600 names on my computer program, Family Tree Maker, I have still not discovered one single related Macpherson.

      The name, however, is well known to us. My mother suggested that my sister and I should attend the Emily McPherson School of Domestic Economy; I gave birth to our first son at the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital; and my father and husband were both associated with McPherson's Ltd, a prominent Melbourne engineering company These three institutions were named after family members of Thomas McPherson who was born in Kingussie and emigrated to Australia in 1852. He established an iron and machinery merchant business in Melbourne. His son, William, continued and developed the business and endowed the School and the Hospital, naming one after his wife and the other after his mother. He was Treasurer, then Premier of the State of Victoria and received a Knighthood for his political, business and philanthropic services. I concluded that in this family perhaps lay my father's interest in the Clan and stored the Creag Dhubhs at the back of a drawer.

      Reading through my father's Tolmie file I learned that my great-grandmother, May Ann Tolmie, had been born in Melbourne in 1840. The Immigration Entitlement Certificates of her parents, held at the Mitchell Library in Sydney, contained the following information:-- Ewen and Catherine Tolmie had arrived in Sydney, by the ship St George, in November 1838; Ewen was a shepherd; native of the Parish of Laggan, Inverness; son of Donald Tolmie, mason and May McDonald; he was 22; in good health; Presbyterian; could read and write; and complained of the Surgeon Superintendent. Catherine, as a laundry maid, had been four years in the service of the Duchess of Bedford; she was a native of the Parish of Alvie; daughter of Murdoch Campbell, tailor and Anne Fraser; was 23; in good health; Presbyterian; and could read and write.

      Further reading revealed an extensive account of Ewen Tolmie's subsequent life in Australia. He had prospered as an inn-keeper and gold dealer, to the extent that he returned to Scotland to educate his young family at Inverness and Elgin, then returned to Victoria and took up the Pastoral Lease of a large sheep grazing property at Mansfield and died there in 1883. However, I was anxious to learn more about his Scottish background. To this end, while visiting Scotland in 1996, my husband and I spent some time exploring the Laggan, Newtonmore and Kingussie area. I wanted to find Tolmie graves. A helpful young man in the Laggan Churchyard suggested we also look in the small burial ground at the foot of Cluny Castle. There, in easy to read lettering, was a memorial to DONALD TOLMIE, MASON, WHO DIED A T CROFT 1844. While I was occupied noting down the inscription, taking photographs and wondering if this was the Donald named on Ewen's Immigration Certificate, my husband was reading the other memorials. Many of them were MACPHERSONS. The 'penny dropped'! This was the undoubted reason for my father's interest in the Clan.

      On our return to Australia, I retrieved the collection of Creag Dhubhs from the back of the drawer and read each one avidly. I felt an extraordinary attachment to the Clan Macpherson as I continually wondered why Donald Tolmie was buried in, what appeared to be, the private burial ground of the Chiefs of the Clan. In the 1969 edition, a reference was made to an article in the earlier 1967 Creag Dhubh concerning the graveyard of Cluny, by Dr Alan G. Macpherson. Exactly what I needed, but unfortunately the 1967 edition was missing from my collection. I immediately wrote to the Curator of the Clan House Museum, asking if he would be kind enough to send me a photocopy of the Cluny graveyard article.


      Shortly afterwards, I received a reply from the then Chairman of the Clan Macpherson Association, Ewen S. L. MacPherson, acting for the Curator, Andrew MacPherson. I was thrilled with the enclosed photocopied article, which contained the exact information I had been hoping for. As an added bonus, Ewen put me in touch with Dr Alan G. Macpherson, the Clan Historian and Genealogist and writer of the article. In subsequent correspondence, Alan has provided me with many more names, dates and places for my family tree. He has given me the names and marriages of Ewen's siblings and the fact that the name of a John Tolmey in Gaskmore appears on the Muster Roll of Macpherson of Cluny's Jacobite Regiment. He has also very generously sent me a copy of his comprehensive study titled An Old Highland Parish Register -- Survivals of Clanship and Social Change in Laggan, Inverness-shire, 1775-1854. It has provided me with a marvellous picture of the community in which the Tolmies lived, plus a detailed appraisal of the Tolmie family in the parish. Most importantly, Alan has confirmed that Donald Tolmie in Croft is my direct forebear and he has explained the reason for Donald's burial at Cluny. I will quote what he said:
          'You ask for my opinion on the burial of Donald in Croft in the Cluny graveyard (so-called). I don't think you should think of that place as a private burial place where no one had the right to bury unless they had permission from the Macphersons of Cluny. Its proper name is Cladh Tornan, referring to one of the early Celtic missionary saints; I'd judge it to be very ancient, and more extensive than the area now enclosed within the wall. It was, in that sense, a country burial place of a kind once very common throughout the Highlands. Certain families probably had an ancient right to bury there, and I'd guess that the Tolmies in Balgown, next door to Cluny, must have done so, despite the absence of inscribed stones. The earliest record we have of Donald is his marriage to Marjory Macdonald in 1805, and you will recall that he was resident in Balgown when he married her. The Macphersons of Cluny originally buried at Lagganchynich at the head of Loch Laggan; then when Donald ban Macpherson, Younger of Cluny, was murdered at Kingussie in the 1550's the family began to bury at Old St Columba's in Kingussie: I think old Lachlan of Cluny, in June 1746 after the burning of his son's new house by the Government troops, was the last to be buried there; the first of the family to be buried at Cladh Tornan was his second son, Major John Macpherson, who asked to be buried there and was so buried in 1770. His stone is no longer identifiable. Laggan folk, including some of the local Tolmies, had been burying there long before that as an ancient right similar to the right of ancient possession by which they traditionally held their shares in the land."


      To add to that material and thanks to Ewen's recommendation, I also have a copy of Mrs Meta Humphrey Scarlett's marvellous account of the past in Badenoch -- In the Glens Where I Was Young and also Alexander Macpherson's Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands. These works have provided me with the perfect backdrop for my ultimate Tolmie Family History. Furthermore, incredibly, on page 2 of Mrs Scarlett's work, is a description of the very group of Highlanders which included my forebears, Catherine and Ewen Tolmie, as they departed from Kingussie on St Columba's Fair day, bound for Oban, to board the ship St George and thence start the long journey to Australia. Shipping records show that the St George departed from Oban on 4th July 1838 and, travelling via the Cape of Good Hope, arrived in Sydney on 15th November. On board were 321 immigrants, which included 48 McPhersons, 42 McDonalds; 26 McBains; and 19 Camerons. Two adults and eight children died on the voyage.

      Our family has a treasure in the shape of a small wooden box. On the silver plaque attached, the following words are engraved:

from J. McPHERSON to E. TOLMIE Esq.

      I'll never know the circumstances of this gift, but just as my great-great-grandfather Ewen would have received it gratefully from a Macpherson, I too, want to express my sincere appreciation for the friendly, willing and extremely valuable help I have received from two further members of your Clan.


INTRODUCING ISAMU TAKAMA (MACPHERSON) A Japanese Branch of the Clan Macpherson By Alan G. Macpherson Early in April 1996, when I called at Talla-Shee to report on my search for a printer of choice to produce A Day's March to Ruin for the Association, Ewen the Chairman handed me some correspondence from Mr Isamu Takama of Nara, Japan, with an invitation to see whether I could help. Apart from its unusual source, it was typical of the many requests that come in asking for help in tracing Macpherson ancestry. All that Mr Takama could provide to start such a search was that his great-grandfather, Matthew Townsend Bethune Macpherson, died aged 47 on the 1st May 1897 at Yokohama and was buried in the Foreigners' Cemetery there. The inscription on his gravestone recorded that he was the son of "the late Colonel Ronald Macpherson". Mr Takarna, who is a member of the Japan-Scotland Society, had gathered details of Matthew Macpherson's business connections and social activities in Japan; the motive behind his enquiry, as it transpired, was to write a commemorative account of his ancestor's life for presentation to the Yokohama Foreigners' Cemetery authorities on the centenary of Matthew's death, according to Japanese custom.

      Who, then, were Matthew Townsend Bethune Macpherson and his father, Colonel Ronald Macpherson? Correspondence between St John's and Nara (June 1996) brought further information, elicited from James McIntosh of the St Andrew Society of Edinburgh (June 1994), that the International Genealogical Index (LDS) included entries that one, Matthew Townsend Bethune and his wife Jane Forbes baptised a daughter, Christina Barbara Bethune, in Inverness -- town or county? -- on 18th February 1819 and that she married Ranald MacPherson there on the 9th April 1841. Prior to the Clan Gathering in August 1996 I was able to confirm that these events occurred in the Parish


of Inverness, and to add that the IGI also listed the baptism of a Ranald Macpherson, son of John Macpherson and Christian Macdonald on the 4th June 1817 in the parish of Portree, Isle of Skye. A visit to New Register House, Edinburgh, after the Gathering, to consult the Old Parish Register for Inverness -- the source of the IGI listings -- provided the additional information that on the 9th April 1841 "Ranald Macpherson, Lieutenant in the Madras Artillery presently residing in Inverness and Miss Christina Bethune, Inverness [were married] by Rev. Dr Rose." Lieut. Macpherson was evidently on furlough from his regiment or was about to join it in Madras when he met and married Miss Bethune.

      But was Lieut. Ranald Macpherson the boy baptised in Portree to John Macpherson and Christian Macdonald? I had already recognised the boy's parents to be John Macpherson, chamberlain or chief-factor to Lord Macdonald at the estate office in Portree and eldest son of the Rev. Robert Macpherson (1731-1791), the famous chaplain to Fraser's Highlanders during the Seven Years' War in North America, and Christian Macdonald, daughter of Allan Macdonald of Gallovie and Mary Macpherson, a daughter of Lewis Macpherson of Dalraddie, Cluny's Major in the'Forty-Five Rising, and Unah Macpherson, Cluny's youngest sister. A quick look at my copy of the Macpherson of Banchor Manuscript Genealogy, compiled in 1875 by Mr John Macpherson, barrister-at-law of the Inner Temple, London, and High Court of Bombay, eldest grandson of John Macpherson and Christian Macdonald and senior representative of the Macphersons of Banchor, confirmed that their fifth child and fifth son was indeed Lieut. Ranald Macpherson. The Banchor Genealogy provides a brief account of Ranald Macpherson's career:

      Entering the Royal Artillery he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. At the time of his death, which took place at Barganny House, Singapore, on the 6th December 1869, he held the important post of Lieutenant- Governor of the Straits Settlements [Malaya]. Colonel Macpherson was twice married. By his first wife Christina Bethune, on 9th June 1840 (sic, 1841?) daughter of Matthew Townsend Bethune, M.D., he had issue seven sons and two daughters.... Christina Bethune died at Bath 3rd October 1866. Only nine days before his death, Colonel Macpherson married secondly at Singapore on the 27th November 1869 Minnie, daughter of William Napier of Spring Grove, Middlesex, and grand-daughter of Professor Napier of Edinburgh. By her he had no further issue.

      His third son and fourth child was Matthew Townsend Bethune Macpherson (b. 9 Aug. 1849), Dr Matthew Bethune's namesake and Isamu Takama's great-grandfather.

      All that remained to satisfy Mr Takama's quest was to determine where his greatgrandfather was born. An enquiry to the Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library in November 1996 elicited the information that Matthew Macpherson was born on the 9th August and baptised by James Beecher, chaplain, on the 7th November 1849, his father then "Lieutenant, Madras Artillery and Superintendent of Convicts, Penang", his parents then residing on Prince of Wales Island, the British name for Penang Island.

      Penang was ceded to the British East India Company in 1786, three years after the end of the American Revolution and two years before the founding of the penal colony at Botany Bay, and served as a cosmopolitan trading centre and major port of call for shipping on the India-China run. It would have been a natural step for a young man launching into a career in colonial commerce to move from Penang to a similar location in Japan after that country was opened to foreign trade in 1867, so it is not surprising to find Matthew Macpherson at the major trading port of Kobe in 1869, shortly after his twentieth birthday, working as a clerk with Mourilyan, Heinmann & Co., agents for the North China Insurance Co. and the Imperial Fire Insurance Co. One of his fellow clerks was A. W Gillingham. British colonial life involved more than commerce, however, and on the 19th October he was one of four founding members of the Kobe Cricket Club.


      The following year he became associated with the Kobe Regatta and Athletic Club. By 1872 he was a partner in Messrs Browne & Co., agents for the China Fire Insurance Co., the Union Insurance Society of Canton, and the British and Foreign Marine Insurance Co., and sub-agents for the Phoenix Assurance Co. at Kobe. He is on record in 1877,1878 and 1881 in business correspondence with the famous and influential Jardine and Matheson Company of Hong Kong, quoting Japanese rice, sugar and copper prices and reporting shipping movements and purchases of Bombay yarns. At the end of 1881 he moved to Yokohama as a representative of Messrs Browne & Co. where he remained until his death. In 1892 he was a committee member of the St Andrew's Society of Yokohama. In 1896, the year he was President of the Society and the year before he died, he was joined in business by his two sons, Ryokichi Sakamoto and Masataro Sakamoto. In the year of his death he was a member of the Yokohama General Chamber of Commerce. After his death his son Ryokichi left Browne & Co. and worked for the Victor Electric Company of America.

Matthew Macpherson's Japanese Family
      About 1872, while still at Kobe, Matthew Macpherson married Sai Sakamoto, a Japanese girl about eighteen years old from Nagasaki, the only point of contact with the West during the seclusive Tokugawa Shogunate and the major centre of Christianity in Japan. Their elder son, Ryokichi, was born in 1873, their younger son Masataro a year or two later; both sons took their mother's surname, partly to conform to Japanese custom, partly for reasons of expediency. Matthew's wife, Sai, died about 1931, the year when their son Ryokichi died. Masataro's son, Setsuo Sakamoto, died in youth, but two of his three daughters married and produced offspring. Ryokichi, Isamu's grandfather, married three times, his first wife, Hanako Date or Gillingham, a daughter of Matthew's fellow clerk, A. W. Gillingham of Kobe. She died in 1915, leaving one son, Ryoichi Sakamoto, Isamu's father, aged sixteen. Ryokichi then took Haru Yamashita -- another mixed blood -- as his second wife, and adopted her surname for himself and for his second and third families. Haru's son Yoshiharu and the third wife Sakae Takata's son Yoshimasa -- Ryoichi's younger Yamashita half-brothers -- were both killed during the Second World War -- Yoshimasa in the Philippines -- leaving no known offspring. Isamu recalls his half-uncle Yoshiharu as a sailor with European features: brown hair and blue eyes; he was drafted by the Japanese Army and was killed in 1944 or 1945.

      Ryoichi Sakamoto (1899-1976), from his parentage was half-European, but as he married Kiyo Tada of Akita in northern Honshu Isamu and his siblings are quarter European and largely Japanese in culture. Isamu, his sister Yuriko, his older brothers Yoshio and Noboru, and his younger brother Takeshi all took the name Sakamoto, but in 1963 Isamu adopted his wife's surname when he married Yasuko Takama to accommodate family requirements. His two sons, Minoru (b. 11th March 1964) and Tsuyoshi (b. 29th March 1967) both go by their mother's surname. Noboru, who died in 1986, left two sons, Hiroshi and Eiji Sakamoto, born respectively in 1962 and 1966; both are married, and Hiroshi has a daughter, Tsubasa and a son, Kazua (as well as an older stepdaughter). Takeshi has a son, Takeo Sakamoto, who is married. Minoru Takama married Miki Itokawa in 1987; they have a daughter, Yui and a son, Yuki, Isamu's grandchildren. Born in 1932, Isamu is a vintage Honda motorcycle enthusiast, an avid sports fisherman, and a rugby football fan. He is also a connoisseur of Scotch whisky!

      The whole family by male descent from Matthew Macpherson, if it had followed Scottish and Highland tradition, would have retained the surname Macpherson, a connection of which Isamu is fully cognisant and immensely proud. A patrilineal descendant of the Macphersons of Banchor with the blood of Macpherson, Cameron, MacIntosh and Macdonald chiefs, the Bruces and the ancient Celtic kings of Scotland in his veins, he is now a member of the Clan Association and hopes to visit Badenoch and Skye in the not too distant future.


By Ewen S. L. MacPherson

On the 23rd March 1997, a remarkably alert Clansman, William Gordon McPherson, of Huntly, celebrated his 90th birthday W. Gordon is a mine of information on the traditions and language of the North East of Scotland. His experiences as a sergeant in the Scottish Auxiliary Unit, banker, farmer, an Agricultural Adviser-Civil Servant, Chairman of the Congregational Board of Rhynie Parish Church, the commentator at Lonach Games for 30 years, a writer and a raconteur have all given him a unique insight to the people and places of this special corner of Scotland.

      His poems and stories reflect his keen observation of places and people he has met during his lifetime of travelling throughout the whole of the North East; the crofts and glens, and of course its trout filled rivers. The short story, "The Puddock Prince . . ." deserves particular mention as it won the 1994 Doric Writing Competition. This is a delightful well-written fairy tale, which flows from scene to scene with deft touches of humour and authentic idiomatic language.

Antrin Thochts, 'Occasional Thoughts', poems in the Doric language of the North East, published in 1995. Antrin Thochts on Aulden Days, published in 1996, relates W. Gordon's recollections of his early life in Huntly. He was born in Granary Street, Huntly


and returned in retirement to live in the same street. His father, William, was the veterinary surgeon in the town for over 40 years.

      W. Gordon, a great-grandfather, is interested in his roots. His Family Tree records a long affiliation with Huntly, Rhynie and Inveravon. Grandfather, James, a cattle dealer, died young from an accident, and the family at one time owned 'McPhersons Hotel' (now The Richmond Arms) at Rhynie. Great-great-grandfather, Duncan, married Anne Christie of Mortlach at Inveravon in 1781 and is known to have been in residence at Craighead of Mornish in the glen of the Bum of Tervie the following year when a daughter was born.

      It was verbally handed down to Gordon that great-grandfather, Duncan, "moved as a 'herd-loon' from the Braes of Glenlivet" to the croft Windseye (pronounced Wins-ee), in the Parish of Auchindoir, a short mile from Rhynie. S. W. Sillett in Illicit Scotch describes how in October 1815, Duncan took such violent exception to the seizure of two casks and thirty gallons of wash that, in the gauger's own words, "he threatened me with immediate death if I offered to destroy any more, at the same time beating and bruising me to the effusion of blood, so far as medical aid was necessary". Could this be the reason for the move East?

      The nearby Glenlivet area was unquestionably the centre for the illicit distilling of whisky. Dr Alan G. Macpherson's extensive records show that the Register of Sasines for Banffshire, 1600-1780, lists that a Patrick McPherson alias McVillie was in Wester Corries/Achvaich area of Glenlivet in 1682 and that his sons were William and Duncan. Whether Patrick McVillie's father was a William, or whether the eponymous William existed a generation or two earlier, it is now impossible to say. The Glenlivet folk were Catholic by tradition and it is known that Abbé Paul Macpherson of the Scotch College in Paris [Rome?] was a Glenlivet man (mid 19th c.). These McWilliams were a true sept of the Macphersons, using the patronymic eventually as their surname.

      Although Gordon has been told that his people hailed from Glenlivet, his family seem to have been Presbyterian, which is probably true of the Burn of Tervie folk generally and the connection with the Glenlivet Macphersons should therefore be treated with some caution. However, it is possible that they were connected to another known whisky smuggler, Robbie Macpherson, of Glenrinnes. If we could trace the family back into the late 17th century it might be possible to establish a connection with Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie's clan genealogy which he compiled up to 1705. It does have reference to Badenoch Macphersons who settled further down the Spey in Banffshire, in the parishes of Mortlach, Boharn and Botriphnie, and were associated with the farms of Towie, Knockan and Delmanny.

      W. Gordon McPherson, a sprightly and witty grand old man of the Clan, who enjoys the uisge-beatha of Glenlivet is a prolific writer to the national newspapers. Topics range from politics to the bikini and no less than three of his letters appeared in The (London) Times in 1996. It was at his suggestion, acknowledged by The Times, that a summary of the daily news now appears on the back page of that paper.

      Thanks to his generosity and that of Bennachie Publishing, Oldmeldrum, W. Gordon's two books now stand on the shelves of our Library in the Clan Museum.

By Jean Sharp Brown (McPherson)
I've been asked to contribute a piece to Creag Dhubh about my life in New Zealand since I arrived here, aged five, with my younger sister Mary, and parents Jean Sharp McPherson (n&eacte;e McKenzie) from Bishopbriggs and William McPherson from Perth.

      I had a marvellous childhood living on the sea-shore in Wellington, the Capital City. Later, the family, now with three girls, Martha added, moved to the Hutt Valley, twelve miles north of Wellington, where we became firmly entrenched for many years. I enjoyed


singing in the local Presbyterian Church choir, taught Sunday School, sang at school concerts and appeared in many local shows. I played sport, including tennis, and represented Hutt Valley in the New Zealand netball championships.

      In my teens I developed a keen interest in modern music and before long was singing with several of the local dance bands. Later, in the early war years, I was invited to join the Art Rosaman Dance Band, a fully professional group performing weekly over the New Zealand Radio Network's largest station, 2YA. This band consisted of ten very talented musicians, half of them imported from Canada. On top of this contract I was also asked to join the Laurie Paddi Dance Band which was playing six nights a week at Wellington's top cabaret, the Majestic. From the cabaret we also presented a weekly latenight cabaret show "live" on the local radio station.

      I welcomed the opportunity to become "resident vocalist" with two such professional groups and to work full-time in the cabaret and radio atmosphere.

      It was a very hectic period of my life, especially the continuing problem of having to appear on stage six nights a week in full evening gowns. The Majestic Cabaret was a glamorous, well-run night spot which attracted thousands of N.Z. and overseas servicemen and women. American Navy, Army and Marines and other Commonwealth and foreign service personnel with their colourful uniforms poured into the Cabaret every night. I found it very emotional during those war years standing up singing the


sentimental songs popular at that time. At one stage there were 29 American ships in our Wellington harbour and 29,000 American troops camped in Wellington and in the surrounding farming areas.

      While at the Cabaret I was invited to join the newly-formed Radio 2YA Camp Concert Party to travel around New Zealand to entertain N.Z. and overseas servicemen and women wherever they were stationed. So started a mad whirl of three to four camp concerts a week for the next five years and, of course, all the girls in the concert parties appeared in full evening gowns. We went to visiting hospital ships, large military/naval/ air force camps, hospitals, American Marine, navy and army camps, WAAC camps, gave charity war concerts and went to dozens of small gun emplacement sites all round the N.Z. coastline.

      Life was frantic with rehearsals, singing and travelling -- trains, army trucks, jeeps and the ferry to the South Island and, of course, clambering up to those remote gun-sites on their rocky outposts.

      Early in this period of war-time concerts I was honoured to be named "New Zealand's Sweetheart of the Forces." After all these years I'm still moved to tears when I hear old recordings of camp concerts and the compere introducing me -- "and here she is, New Zealand's Sweetheart of the Forces -- Jeannie McPherson", followed by those tremendous welcoming roars that they gave me.

      There were many sad times with troops leaving for overseas, visiting wounded in local hospitals and going on board overseas hospital ships in Wellington harbour. Sad, but exciting times they were, working for so long with all that outstanding professional talent in the N.Z. Camp Concert Party.

      After the war I was given a four weeks' contract to tour N.Z. with the top Australian radio personality Jack Davie. It was great fun singing and clowning on the stage with the Australian master. After this tour I was offered a contract to sing in Australia with the Colgate-Palmolive Radio production unit. This organisation, with a staff of 150 people, produced a whole array of musical and quiz shows for weekly radio network playing in Australia and New Zealand. The permanent orchestra of 35 musicians was a delight to sing with and it helped that the musical director was a New Zealander, Denis Collinson.

      However, at the end of my six months' Australian contract, my husband had to return to N.Z. to produce the New Zealand Parliamentary Broadcasts. Living on my own in Australia was not an idea that appealed long-term so at the end of my contract I happily returned to my Wellington home and husband. It was a marvellous experience in Australia but I was grateful to return to N.Z. and resume my stage and radio work and go on tour with some of the top N.Z. instrumental groups.

      During this period I also recorded several commercial discs and many series of programmes with the original Wurlitzer Organ in the old Embassy Theatre in Wellington, N.Z. The organist was Findlay Rob.

      Several years later a young BBC producer, Jack Dobson, came to N.Z. to produce several series of radio programmes: "Variety Magazine", "Time to Sing", "Wizards of Quiz", etc. As the featured artist in these entertaining shows I thoroughly enjoyed working on them. It was great fun visiting farmhouses, going on board overseas ships and performing in small country halls.

      I'm afraid I've had to ignore so many events and funny stories in a long career of entertaining in N.Z. and overseas but I hope my story has been interesting to the people in my birth place, Scotland.

      Something I should have mentioned is that all through my singing career, in my stage shows and in broadcast programmes, I've always included a Scottish number, e.g. "Toorie on his Bonnet", "Will You Go, Lassie, Go", "Loch Lomond", "A Gordon For Me", etc.

      Even now, singing as I do occasionally for local community groups, I will always include one of my Scottish numbers.


By Alan G. Macpherson
This article is intended for those members of the Association who have been wise enough to invest in, or intend to order, a copy of A Day's March to Ruin. It is inevitable in writing such a book and seeing it rush into print to meet a deadline -- in this case the 50th (Jubilee) Gathering of the Association -- that there are omissions and errors of fact, as well as the odd typo that gets through the process unrecognised. In the interest of those who will read and refer to the work in the future, I think it appropriate to list and discuss those omissions and errors that have come to my notice since the launching of the book, and to mention any fresh insights that have come to me since the book was published.

P.10, paragraph 2: General Guest's letter to Lord Lovat, urging him to assist Cluny to form his company quickly in a bid to be appointed Major of Lord Loudoun's Highland Regiment was stymied by Cluny's receiving a letter from Loudoun, congratulating him on his captaincy. Loudoun's letter has not survived, but Cluny replied as follows:

          My Lord
           I have the honour of your Lops [Lordships] letter and will not be wanting to use my best endeavours to execute punctually your Lops Commands.
           I beg leave to return your Lops Complements of Congratulation, And to Inform you that I have not had the honour to serve in the Army before, So that the Dice as your Lop proposes most [must] settle the Rank I am to have in the Regt. -- I shall acquaint your Lop of my success in Recruiting by first or second post. I am wt. great regard and attachment, My Lord,

Your Lops most obedient & Faithfull Servt.

E. McPherson

           Cluny 13th July 1745.

James MacPherson wrote on the same day from Kyllihuntly in similar terms.1 These letters were written twelve days before Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Arisaig, and a full month before Cluny received the summons to join the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan.

Pp.38-40: In mentioning Ewan of Cluny's mother, Jean Cameron, and his early appearance in public and family affairs, I should have related his reputation for being "determin'd and resolute with uncommon calmness" to an anecdote which the Rev. Thomas Sinton (1856-1923) communicated to Alexander Macpherson, author of Glimpses, concerning her (pp.317-8). Be it noted that Sinton spent his youth at Nuide where his father, Thomas Sinton, was tacksman in the 1860s:

           Upon the death of Duncan Macpherson of Cluny in 1722, without male issue, the succession to the chiefship and to the Cluny estates was for a time a matter of contention among his kinsmen. In order to bring their rival claims to a settlement, all the heads of families concerned agreed to meet at the Inn of Garvamore, and to produce such proofs of descent as they could respectively show. Among those who appeared at Garvamore was Lachlan, the son of William of Nuide. Shortly after Lachlan set out from home, his wife, Jean Cameron of Lochiel, a lady of great force of character [my emphasis], convinced of the right of her husband to succeed to the chiefship, directed a trusted henchman to saddle her horse and accompany her to Garvamore. When they reached the Inn she alighted, told the man to hold her horse in readiness, and then immediately entered the house, and proceeded to the chamber where the rival kinsmen were assembled. All, of course, rose to receive the Lady of Nuide who, taking advantage of the confusion, swept all the documents


on the table into her apron, and hastily withdrew, closing the door upon the astonished claimants. Without a momen't loss of time her servant placed her in the saddle, and giving her the reins, she galloped off in the direction of Nuide. Having arrived there, she ordered her eldest son and heir (afterwards Ewen of the '45) to mount and ride back with her to Cluny, and there the spirited lady took up her abode that night. "Agus", added Mr Sinton's aged informant, "fiach co chuireadh a mach i?" -- "And who could then oust her?"2

Ewen was then about sixteen years of age.

      The anecdote, which comes to us through three intervening minds, is factually inaccurate on some points and suspect in others. There was no dispute about the succession to the chiefship: Lachlan's father, William of Nuide, had been accepted by the leading clansman as heir to Duncan of Cluny as early as 1689, and Lachlan himself had led the clan in the 'Fifteen Rising. What was really a matter of contention was the fate of the Estate of Cluny, consisting at that time of the 3-plough daughland of Cluny, the 2-plough half-daughland of Biallidbeg, and the 4-plough daughland of Gaskinloan, the last incorporating Catlaig, Lagg of Catlaig, Tynrich, Middleton or Balmeanoch, and Drumgaskinloan. The Macphersons of Nuide had acquired many of the bonds for the debts on the Cluny estate, and Lachlan, as Younger of Nuide, had been accepted by Duncan as his heir-in-fee in 1698,3 but there may have been other bondholders, anxious to press their claims against the estate. This was the situation faced by the leading clansmen when the Lady of Nuide took such dramatic and resolute action.4

      Nor is it likely that the event occurred at the Inn at Garvamore, the westernmost and most peripheral of all the Macpherson holdings in Badenoch. If true, it would have had Jean Cameron ride some 14 miles from Nuide to Garvamore and back, passing Cluny on her way, only to return another seven miles with her son: a total of 35 miles. It would be more reasonable to suppose that the meeting occurred close at hand, at Milehouse of Nuide, or possibly at Ruthven. Whatever the truth, the event undoubtedly taught Ewan to trust his own judgement and act accordingly. For us, it demonstrates whence he got his force of character and firmness of mind.

P.98, line 33: Lord George Murray sent the Duke of Perth back to Penrith for reinforcements, not Clifton!

P.107. Paragraph 3: The account of King James's intention "to create them [Cluny and Threipland] Barons, the first by title Lord Clanchattan", was written before I saw the full text of his manuscript letter on display at the Clan Museum. Written from Albano near Rome on the 8th November, while Cluny's Regiment was making its forced march from Moffat to join the Highland Division outside Carlisle, the letter makes it clear that it was Prince Charles that "recommended those persons for peerage" -- presumably from Perth on or after the 7th September when Cluny succumbed to the "soothing close aplications of the rebels". James agreed, but advised that the patents "be defer'd (if it would raise envy) until things be more firmly settled and we need not regard the discontents of some". Charles and his advisors evidently took this advice to heart: no patents were ever issued and nothing more was ever heard of the idea.

      It should be noted that the closing phrase to the letter, "and Threipland should now at least have securities, as Cluny and Lochiel had at first" (p.108, lines 2 and 3), as quoted from "The Threiplands of Fingask", does not appear in the Museum version. This discrepancy can only be explained by assuming that there were two original versions of the letter, or that Robert Chambers interpolated the phrase to clarify the import of the letter for Sir David Threipland.

P176: On the 1 st September, the day when Cluny joined Lochiel and the Prince at the Meallan Odhar shealing, another event occurred in Badenoch that was of some moment to the fugitives in Benalder and of wry significance to Cluny. In response to a directive


from Lord Loudoun the "Gentlemen of the Lordship of Badenoch", led by George Macpherson of Invereshie and William MacIntosh of Balnespick, held a meeting at Ruthven "to Concert the proper places for Stationing Parties for Protecting . . . the most of the shire of Mearns, Angus, Aberdeen, Banff, Moray, Nairn, and a great part of Inverness- shire". The stations recommended were as follows:

           1. Four Men and a Corporall at Bona Ness
           2. 12 Men and a Sergeant at Laggan uaine
           3. 12 Men & a Sergeant at Corrieyerriog ("Corrie" overwritten "Dall"; superscrription "Dalyerraig"]
           4. 12 Men & a Sergeant at the Wester end of Loch Laggan
          5. 12 Men and a Sergeant at the Wester End of Loch Erracht
      6. 6 Men and a Corporall at Inverlair, near Loch Treig

                order to prevent thieves, lodging with, or without Cattle, within the Line, its Judged absolutely Necessary to have Parties Stationed as follows --

           7. 8 Men including a Corporall at Dalchielien
           8. 8 Men at Dal na shallig in Glen Benachir
           9. 6 Men and a Corporall at Line na biriack in Glen Tromie
          10. 6 Men including a Corporall in the head of Glenbruine
               -- upon the Athole side, which prevents their ordinary Practice of Lurking in those parts, which was of bade consequences to Brea Marr, Strath Erroll, and severall parts adjecent hereto
           N.B. 6 Men and a Corporall at Dallspiddall

      The accompanying letter, signed by Invereshie and Balnespick, indicated that it was unanimously agreed that this "was the Proper Scheme for Securing this and the Neighbouring Countries. . . a less Number will not Effectuate the Design. The Quotafor the Wester End of Loch Errach is thought rather too few as Rannach is too well plenish'd with those that infest our Countreys & the Neighbourhood in Generall". Loudoun, in effect, was being invited to reinstitute Cluny's Cattle Watch of 1744 in the aftermath of the huge spreadh [bursting] of livestock driven out of the Highlands by the regular troops.

      The gentlemen of Badenoch, well aware that Cluny and Lochiel were skulking in the Lordship, were evidently quite confident that the recommended troop "stations" would constitute no real threat to them. Had they known of the presence of the fugitive Prince they might have been less eager to see parties of troops stationed on the Corriearrick, at Inverlair, and at the western ends of Lochs Laggan and Ericht, no matter how threatening the man of Rannoch may have been.

      Another impost to which the people of Badenoch were subjected at this time was "a demand made on this Countrey for 150 plaids for the use of the Troops lying at Inverness". The Ruthven meeting took the occasion to ask Loudoun, then at Fort Augustus, for his advice, and assured him that "If your Lordship will have occasion for such, the people will give them cheerfully for the Troops under your command". It was a none too subtle ploy to curry favour with one military commander while thwarting another.

R177: Letternilichk is mis-spelled in the first line of my text following the long quotation, wherein it is correctly represented on the second line. The statement that the location of the "Cage" was on "the slope above Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe" is incorrect. It was based, prematurely, on the discovery that the 1:25000 O.S. Pathfinder map, No.279 (1977) showed Leitir nan Leac, The Slope of the Slab, on the east side of Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe in the heart of Ben Alder. The toponym, in modern Gaelic, first appeared on the 2nd Edition of the 6-inch map of the area (Sheet CLIV), revised in 1899. It was one of five new toponyms added to those already on the 1st Edition (1870); five others had been


replaced by new names. The provenance of these additions and changes has not been identified, but we may suspect Alexander Macpherson (1839-1902), the scholarly banker, solicitor and Provost of Kingussie and factor of Cluny Estates, "A Highlander who loved the Highlanders, who delighted in his country and its traditions, and who was full of noble patriotism for his clan".

      On the 5th August, the last day of the 1996 Gathering, my son Ewan and I were in the first boatload to go down Loch Ericht to Alder Bay to visit "Prince Charlie's Cave", a small rock shelter at the foot of the Bealach Breabag. Rather than wait for the boat's return, we left the party, climbed over the Bealach (pass), and walked down to Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe in steady rain. The loch lies 2,375 feet above sea level, well above the natural treeline. The Ordnance Survey's Leitir nan Leac proved to be an active scree slope from one end to the other; it never carried trees, and is bereft of any vestige of a rock face that might have given it its name. Clearly, this was not the Letternilichk where the "Cage" was located. The toponym Leitir nan Leac was placed here in 1899 as a result of speculation, not folklore, and is located erroneously. We walked out of Ben Alder into sunshine at Loch Pataig, visiting the site of the Uiskchilra shealing on our way. The true site of the "Cage" remains undetermined and controversial.

P218: A chance letter from Terry Wilson of Sarnia, Ontario, an eighth-generation descendant of Murdoch ruadh Macpherson, Cluny's monoglot Gaelic- speaking attendant in Benalder, caused me to reflect anew on the difficulties of accepting the accuracy of the late-19th century family legend of Murdoch's accompanying Cluny "to the coast when he left for France". Cluny's nightmare was probably real, but its alleged connection with Cluny's escape to France would seem to be the result of faulty transmission of Murdoch's own story down the generations. It makes better sense to suppose that Murdoch accompanied Cluny to the West Highland coast in September 1746, and that it was the Prince that left for France. A monoglot Gael from Badenoch would have been perfectly at home in Moidart in 1746, not so at Dover in 1755.

P233, lines 3 and 4, and P.238, paragraphs 2 and 3: In her "Letters Concerning Highland Affairs and Persons Connected with the Stuart Cause in the Eighteenth Century" (edited by J. R. N. Macphail, Scottish History Society Vol. XXVI, 1896: 249-330) Ann Macvicar, Mrs Grant of Laggan, in correspondence with Henry Steuart of Allanton in 1808, provided a description of Annie Nicholson that significantly enhances our understanding of her role within the Cluny family (pp.279-80):

           When Lovat's daughter was married to Clunie, a young woman came home as a humble companion with her from Castle Dunie, who, being uncommonly sensible and well principl'd, was always retained in the family, and was so useful by her fidelity and ingenuity during the nine years which Clunie lay conceal'd in the country, that the family ever after had the highest value for her, and treated her more like a relation that a dependent. The person[she is not named] went to France afterwards with this unfortunate family, and return'd with Mrs Macpherson after Clunie's death. When the estate was restored [in 1784, twenty years later] Clunie built a house for her and settled a pension on her. She was a very distinct, intelligent person, and from her I heard more of the fate of the exiles in France than from any one . . .

Mrs Grant joined her husband, the Rev. James Grant, in the Manse of Laggan at Gaskbeg in 1779 and resided there until his death in 1801. She is not always a reliable source on Jacobite and Highland history, but it is regretable that she never recorded what she learned from Annie Nicholson about her role in protecting Cluny in the years between Culloden and his escape to France, and about "the fate of the exiles in France". Annie Nicholson seems to have remained in Badenoch after Lady Cluny's death in 1765, and may have accompanied Margaret, her original charge, when she married Capt. Duncan


Macpherson, Younger of Breakachie, before retiring under the protection of Col. Duncan of Cluny. Her remains probably lie, unmarked, in Cladh Tornan, the little graveyard at Clunie.

P.250, line 2 from bottom: I am indebted to Meta Scarlett for drawing my attention to my having dubbed Thomas Sinton a noble Knight, whereas he was in fact a simple Reverend as referred to above.

      Finally, I must confess that I was a little nervous about the title of the book. I wondered how potential readers would react to the emphasis on RUIN as the outcome of the enterprise on which the Badenochmen were engaged. Those who have already read the book will know where the title came from, and will appreciate the prophetic force of the words in context. Since the book was published I have come upon a similar phrase in one of Robert Burns' letters which I wish I had seen earlier and which I would now like to share with my readers. Burns, the bicentennial of whose death also occurred in 1996, was the grandson of an Aberdeenshire man believed to have served with the Earl Marischal in the 'Fifteen Rising.5 In an apparent reference to this in a letter to Lady Winifred Maxwell Constable, written from Ellisland on the 16th December 1789, Burns refers to "one of the strongest & most endearing ties in the whole Moral World -- [to be] common sufferers in a Cause where even to be unfortunate is glorious, the Cause of Heroic Loyalty!" The National Bard then relates this Ossianic concept to his own family origins:

            Though my Fathers had not illustrious Honors and vast properties to hazard in the contest; though they left their humble cottages only to add so many units more to the unnoted croud that followed their Leaders; yet, what they could they did, and what they had they lost: with unshaken firmness and unconcealed Political Attachments they shook hands with Ruin for what they esteemed the Cause of their King and their Country.6

The Badenochmen who followed Ewan of Cluny in 1745 also "shook hands with Ruin . . . in the Cause of Heroic Loyalty". Notes 1. The originals of both Cluny and Killihuntly's letters are held by the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

2. Macpherson, Alexander: Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times (1893): 317-318.

3. See "The Succession to the Chiefship of the Clan Macpherson", by Alan G. Macpherson and A. F. Macpherson. Creag Dhubh No. 10, 1958: 9-13. 4. This incident occurred, apparently, in the interval following the birth of Jean Cameron's twelfth child, Andrew, born on the 7th October 1721; she did not give birth again until the 4th January 1726. [Macpherson of Cluny Papers, No. 9631 5. Poetry and Jacobite Politics in Eighteenth Century Britain and Ireland, by Murray Pittock (1994): 215. 6. The Letters of Robert Burns, edited by G. Ross Roy (2nd edition of J. de Lancey Ferguson's work), Vol. 1: 461-2, Letter 377.


Badenoch and North of Scotland Branch

The Branch Committee again organised lunch in Newtonmore School for hungry clans- folk after the Annual General Meeting at the Rally in August, as a pipe-opener for the March to the Games. The Annual General Meeting regretted the demise of the Badenoch Branch, the oldest and original Branch of the Clan Association. It is to be amalgamated into a new overall Scotland Branch. We had, therefore, to cancel the Dunrobin Castle


event, based on the wildcat as a Clan symbol. We hope the Scotland Branch will prosper and grow, and that it will maintain the institution of the Clan Rally Lunch.

      Meanwhile, the joint chairmen, Lady Macpherson of Biallid and Mr Duncan Gillespie, and the secretary, Miss Joyce Banks, have retired from office and wish. to thank the Badenoch and North of Scotland Committee for all their support.

Canadian Branch

Chairman -- Andrew K. P. Macpherson; Vice-Chairman -- Douglas MacPherson; Hon. Treasurer -- Marlene McPherson; Hon. Secretary -- Nancy Macpherson, 193 Waldoncroft Crescent, Burlington, Ontario L71. 3A6.

The 48th Annual General Meeting and Clan Dinner was held at the Boulevard Club in Toronto on November 8th 1997 and was one of our most successful gatherings in recent years. Apart from our own Association members, there were over 25 non-member clansfolk present, many of whom "signed-up" during the course of the evening. Also, our sales of "The Posterity" were remarkable and our supply was exhausted before the dinner got under way.

      Our Chairman, Ian McPherson, conducted the meeting and read a letter of greetings from Cluny which was well received by all present. Ian reminded us all that the Canadian Branch will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 1999 and a special Rally will have to be arranged to mark this important milestone in our history. This celebration will be closely followed by the joint U.S. and Canadian Rally in the year 2000 at which our Branch will act as host, so it is not too early to think about plans for both events.

      The Election of Officers for the next three-year term was held and the following were elected: Branch Chairman -- Andrew K. P. Macpherson, Grimsby, Ontario; Vice-Chairman -- Douglas MacPherson, Oakville, Ont.; Hon. Treasurer -- Marlene McPherson; Hon. Secretary -- Nancy Macpherson; Members of the Executive Committee -- Kirk R. McPherson, Burlington, Ont.; Alex. J. McPherson, Langley, B.C.; Bruce Gillies, Q.C., Middleton, N.S.; James McPherson, Scarborough, Ont.

      The retiring Chairman, Ian, presented the Chairman's Cromag to Andrew who then presided over the remainder of the meeting. A Vote of Thanks was offered to Ian for his leadership during the past three years and he was then elected an Hon. Vice-President of the Branch. The retiring editor of our Branch newsletter, Douglas MacPherson, also received a vote of thanks for the outstanding job he did for the past five years in producing the "Green Banner".

      After the meeting, the members enjoyed the film "Back to Badenoch", produced by the late Monroe MacPherson and featuring scenes from the 1990 Newtonmore Rally. The evening concluded by the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

      We send the best of good wishes to all fellow members of the Clan Association at home and abroad.

East of Scotland Branch

Chairman -- Mrs Catherine Macpherson, "Caerketton", 39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh EHIO 7BX.

This year saw the last activity of the Branch which was finally dissolved after a fifty year existence.

      A well attended meeting of members was held in June 1997 which approved the recommendation that the Branch, along with two other Scottish ones, be dissolved and a new Scottish Branch be formed.

      So ends the East of Scotland Branch, which in its day gave much support for the Clan Museum and provided many leading office-bearers of the Association as well as being a great social source of entertainment for its members. "The end of an auld sang".

      We wish the newly formed Scottish Branch all success in the future.


England & Wales Branch

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

The England & Wales Branch's Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, 7th May 1997, at the Caledonian Club. The meeting was followed by drinks and a 'Scottish Supper', all of which were well attended.

      Our Annual Dinner and Dance was held at the Hotel Russell on Friday, 14th November 1997 and was attended by 166 members and their guests. A four course dinner was served, which included haggis from Blairgowrie, as ever a most generous present from Cluny. It was piped in by Hugo Macpherson and addressed by Donald McPherson. Our Chairman toasted the Clan Macpherson Association and welcomed all members and their guests. Cluny thanked the Chairman for his hard work and leadership during his three years in office. Annie LeRoy-Lewis, soon to retire as Secretary, was presented with a gift by Rory Macpherson on behalf of himself and the past three Chairmen -- Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, jean Macpherson of Biallid and Vic Macpherson-Clifford -- as a token of their thanks for her great support.

      David Hall and his Band played for us with Andrew Gillies, as always, a splendid Master of Ceremonies. Andrew was presented with a bottle of malt whisky for winning the competition to name a reel devised by himself, which will become a permanent fixture of our dance programme. The reel will now be known as Cluny's Circle.

      Vic Macpherson-Clifford again very generously arranged for a shower of balloons to descend from the ceiling at the end of the evening with the added incentive of a bottle of whisky being given to each of the finders of three 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; Vice-Chairman --Margaret Harding; Hon. Secretary -- Athole Macpherson, 164 Lewis Street, Invercargill.

Our year began with attendance at the Combined Clans picnic, which is a good chance for all family members to participate in a variety of games and share afternoon and barbecue tea with good friends.

      On 10th May Ron and June welcomed a small group to the Annual General Meeting at their home.

      The Combined Clans dinner on 30th July found 91 folk enjoying fellowship and entertainment at the Scottish Hall. A feature was the excellent piping by a young girl and boy which bodes well for local bands.

      Sunday, 31st August, saw the Scottish societies at St John's Anglican Church, Esk Street, for a morning service followed by morning tea with parishioners. It is intended to have this service move round denominations annually.

      We celebrated our Golden Jubilee on 4th October at a lunch in the Scottish Hall where the top table was piped in by Lawrence McKerchar, son of Donald, our first official piper, with Ian Macpherson, who had entered the spirit of the occasion by attending with Isabel and six of their seven daughters and three sons-in-law. There were 64 present with a good mix of ages from the over-eighties to five years.

      Chairman Ron is the son of our first Chairman Daniel, and Betty Lott, whose father, John, was our first local Chief, sang most enjoyable solos to her own accompaniment.


      Neil McMillan of the Caledonian Pipe Band gave a timely reminder to younger folk that their membership is necessary for our branch to continue to flourish. He aroused great interest in drawing to our attention the everyday words derived from the Gaelic and many expressions handed down by our forebears. He also entertained with much appreciated piping solos.

      Immediate Past Chairman Beth Cairns had baked a very taste cake iced by Margaret with the Clan crest and map of New Zealand which was cut by Athole assisted ably by Graham Levett, aged five. His older brother Alastair also cut a slice and this was most fitting since they are doubly blessed lads in having a Macpherson maternal grandmother and on the paternal side they are great-grandsons of Nan Levett who was the sister of our first Secretary, Eddie, and Lord Tom of Drumochter. Their enthusiastic clan member mother, Jeannie, is a committee member and we do appreciate her coming a distance with her mother Pauline Edie to events.

      Martha Laurie of Upper Hutt visited Badenoch recently and has very kindly presented us with a photograph of herself by the cairn. Unfortunately she could not attend the August Gathering; however, I had a letter from Bart Gillespie (Life Member) telling of the great enjoyment he and Gwen experienced. They must have needed a holiday to recover from their activities.

      We have read Creag Dhubh from cover to cover and appreciated the anniversary coverage and photographs. 'We hope you find ours of interest.

      The appointment of local Chief has been bestowed on Athole -- Secretary/Treasurer of the New Zealand branch since 1976. She deeply appreciates the honour but, however, is rather surprised that the selection of a woman has caused such interest. That must indicate once again that Scots are ahead of their time.

      One query -- with talk of Eurodollars, will the Scots retain their independence in continuing to print their own attractive banknotes?

      We are happy to state we have some new younger members.

      To all our cousins worldwide, our warmest greetings.

Scottish Branch
Chairman -- John Macpherson, Linksvale, 8 Dorward Place, Montrose DDIO 8RU. Tel: 01674 673569. Fax: 01674 675584; Secretary -- Ian J. A. Robb, Strathcarron, 27 Whites Place, Montrose DD 10 8RN. Phone & Fax: 0 1674 672263; Mobile: 0411252346 E-mail: irobb@sol.co.uk


South African/Africa Branch
Chairman -- Allan D. MacPherson; G. W, MacPherson, K. R. MacPherson, G. R. B. MacPherson, J. Cattanach, Ewen Macpherson (Malawi), Willy Gillies (Zimbabwe).

A quiet year with many members moving to the Cape. We will hold a Rally in July 1998 and hope that it will be well attended. Some news as follows:-- A welcome new arrival! Luke Alberto Beaumont Balman was born 18/9/97 in Jo'burg. A son for Charissa and Graham. Our heartiest congratulations.

      Graham W. MacPherson, a keen aviator, has recently bought a Consolidated Catalina, a World War II amphibious flying boat. It is in pristine condition. It can be converted to carry 20 or more people and we hope that one day (soon) Graham can fly us all to the Rally in Scotland. What a sight to see it moored in Loch Insh!! Graeme R. MacPherson has started his 3rd year at Heriot-Watt University (M.A.Bus.Org.) and any Clan members visiting Edinburgh can contact him at Heriot-Watt Business School or the Students' Union.

Zimbabwe - Willy Gillies is very busy in Harare and area (he was with Rhodesian Railways for over 30 years before retiring and is now busier than ever). He is a Labour Relations Consultant with the Dept. of Agriculture and is doing a great job visiting farmers Unions/Clubs trying to smoothe the relationship between the farmers and striking farmworkers.

Malawi -- Marriage News! Duncan Macpherson was married to Jenny Whitelock in June 1996. Douglas and Karen Grey were in Malawi on 14 June 1997, and all were dressed in full Highland outfits. Real Scottish weddings in the heart of Africa. The Scottish outfits were made and supplied by Jean Macpherson of Edinburgh. Well done, Jean. Derek Macpherson married Shannon Coutts in Port Elizabeth, Cape, on 10 January 1998 and then held a splendid reception on Ewen and Jenny's farm in Malawi. The black staff sang and did traditional dances. Were they also dressed in kilts?       On 17 January Ewen and Jenny Macpherson held a big Ceilidh with Scottish Country Dancing. I hope the got Andrew Gillies as dance master! It is interesting to note that the officiating clergyman, Rev. Jackson-Biggar, married Ewen and Jenny in 1966, baptised Duncan in 1967 and married Derek/Shannon in Port Elizabeth in 1998.

      Well, that's all our news. We send greetings and our love to Cluny and Sheila and to our fellow Clansfolk everywhere.

Beannachd leibh.
Group who attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir presentation at USA Branch AGM, Salt Lake City. (Photo: USA Branch)


United States Branch

Chairman -- Robert G. McPherson, 1910 Collier Drive, Fern Park, Fla. 32732, USA; Secretary -- Mary Lee Russell, 1501 Ely Road, Hixson, Tenn. 37343, USA. The United States Branch had a highly productive year ending with a record number of Games where our Clan was represented. Membership is heading in the right direction and our Council members, Commissioners and their Deputies all work very hard to continue to have a presence at many Scottish functions across the country.

      The AGM in Salt Lake City, Utah was a great success. The Barnes family and their committee made us all feel welcome. Following our own Kirkin' of the Tartan on Sunday morning, many of us attended the televised programme of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (see photo). Cluny, Lady Sheila, Alastair of Pitmain and Penny, along with a host of Macphersons, were recognised by the programme director during the broadcast. The famous song performed by the Tabernacle Choir, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," was a fitting culmination to a great gathering that many of us will never forget.

      As we establish new goals for 1998, we feel confident we will achieve most of them and one can only feel very proud to be a part of such a great Clan.

West Australian Branch Chairman -- Douglas McPherson; Secretary -- Margaret McPherson. The only gathering this year was New Year's Eve at Bruce McPherson's home in the city, overlooking our beautiful Swan River and, of course, the display of fireworks on "the hour" was just for us!       Bruce was M.O. to the Coldstream Guards 1939-45 and was "there" at the landing and invasion of Italy. The only severe injury he suffered in this campaign was that his personal loo, received a direct hit from a tank shell. However, things weren't too bad as this happened near the River Po.

      We are expecting Andrew Gillies to return to us this year, and Mary McPherson from Sussex, after she has visited her father's birthplace in Gujurat in India.

The Creag Dhubh is a great and living publication, getting better each year.

God bless you all and thanks to the Executive

11 Artington Walk,
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5EA
3rd November 1997.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      I know that a few who attend the Newtonmore Rally from London have been greatly inconvenienced by the withdrawal of the Motorail car transportation service. They may like to know that a replacement service has been started, using road car transporters. Brochures are obtainable from 0990 133714.

      We have not yet used the service, so cannot add personal comments. However, the man in charge did say that, because it was road based, cars could be dropped off anywhere, including outside the Macpherson Museum.

Yours, aye,



39 Swanston Avenue,
Edinburgh EH10 7BX<.P> 30th October 1997.

Dear Margaret,
      In August of this year I attended the Crieff Highland Games and listened with pleasure to the Pipe Band from Halbaek in Denmark who looked very smart in Hunting Macpherson kilts. They have been featured already in the 1992 edition of Creag Dhubh but their appearance prompted me to think of bands and their tartans.

The Blairgowrie Pipe Band wear Macpherson kilts in honour of our Chief; the McPherson, Kansas Band advertises its town of origin with appropriate tartan and I know of two Scottish Bands, Dysart in Fife and Currie from outside Edinburgh, who also wear Macpherson tartan, although I do not know why.

      Perhaps readers could let us know of any other pipe bands, at home or overseas, who wear Macpherson tartan and the reasons for their choice. Some interesting items might develop from readers' letters over the next few years.

Yours sincerely,


60 Bonaventure Avenue,
St John's, Newfoundland,
Canada AIC 3Z6.

Dear Margaret,
I wonder if any of the members of the Association can assist me in a search for information on Macpherson families descended from the following sons of Col. Ranald Macpherson, Royal Artillery, Lieutenant-Governor of the Straits Settlements (Malaya), who died in 1869. He was a cadet of the Macphersons of Banchor. I have been unable to find any record or reference to his family later than 1875 when only their individual dates of birth were recorded. These sons were: Robert Alexander Wentworth Macpherson (b. 1842); Ranald James Macpherson (b. 1874); Basil George Macpherson (b. 1850); Hugh William Henry Macpherson (b.1854); John Duncan Macpherson (b.1859); and Charles Glenelg Macpherson (b. 1860). Most, if not all, of them were probably born in the Madras Presidency and on Penang Island, Malaya. If anyone has information about any of them will he or she please write to me at the above address.

Yours sincerely


108 Croydon Road,
Western Australia 6111.

1st February 1997.

To the Editor:
      Each December a "Scots Week" is held in Armadale, Western Australia. We have a Pipe Band which is supported by our Local Government financially by $2000 per annum.

      At this time, various old Scots come out of the woodwork and the enclosed photo depicts your MacPherson representative in WA.

      The Royal Scottish Dancers present themselves, led by Dawn MacPherson, wife of Hugh Cromm.

      Periodically our own Andrew Gillies comes to the West to examine any waywardness and corrects, through his judgement, any faults. He writes to let us know that he will be,


visiting us again as soon as he has gathered his "bawbees", and we look forward to his stay.

      Margaret and I are visiting friends in New Zealand this autumn and will call on our Clan Branch for N.Z. at this time.

      Love and affection to all our scattered family, and sympathy to the family of Ian Gillies.


6 Crossburn Drive,
Don Mills, Ontario,
M3B-2Z2 Canada.

Seeking Descendants of The Macphersons of Gailable, Parish of Kildonan, Sutherland, Scotland, who Settled in Elgin and Kent Counties, Ontario, Canada

Dear Margaret,
      As a proud life member of the Clan Macpherson (Canadian Branch), despite not bearing the Macpherson surname but certainly having at least 50% Macpherson blood, I am continuing in-depth research on my ancestors and all descendants of the Macphersons of Gailable, Parish of Kildonan, Sutherland, Scotland. The family were crofters in this parish, expelled from their lands, and made to seek a living elsewhere. Donald Macpherson married Janet Polson in 1785, and from this union we are aware of seven or eight children, born between 1786-1799. Whether from the result of being evicted or otherwise, Donald Macpherson died, sometime around 1800, leaving his wife, Janet Polson Macpherson, the heavy burden of directing and managing the displaced family. Two of the children, Catherine (or Kate), and her brother John, were with the second group of Selkirk Settler emigrants, who sailed from Helmsdale, Scotland, on the ship Prince of Wales in 1813, eventually arriving in the Red River Settlement in, then, Rupert's Land. Catherine married Alexander Sutherland, another displaced crofter from


her parish who was on the same ship, and they established a long lineage of Sutherlands, with some descendants still in Manitoba today, and others across Canada and the US. John Macpherson left the Red River and settled on land granted him by Col. Talbot, off the Talbot road in Elgin County, Ontario. John never married and died at the relatively young age of 37 in 1828.

      The remaining children, namely Donald, Alexander, William and Betsy (as it is our belief that James and Hector Macpherson died in Scotland), as well as their sick mother, Janet Polson Macpherson, came from Scotland and settled in Elgin and Kent Counties, between 1815-1825.

      I am seeking the history and genealogy of these children and descendants of Donald Macpherson and Janet Polson Macpherson. We do have considerable information, and would like to update it accordingly. Besides the two children mentioned above (Kate and John), Donald Macpherson married Grizzel/Grace Bannerman and settled in Elgin County, rearing at least eight children; Alexander Macpherson married Isabella McKay, also settling in Elgin County, rearing eight children; William Macpherson married Jane Monroe and settled in Kent County, raising at least four children; and Betsy Macpherson, who married an Englishman, William Smith, possibly a shoemaker by trade, and may have also settled in Elgin County, or London or surrounding district. Betsy died in 1828 and very little is known of her and her husband.

      Would you be kind enough, space permitting, to insert this letter in Creag Dhubh, in the expectation that should any living descendants of the above recognise the connection and would like to add to and help update our current information, we would be only too pleased to hear from them. All letters will be answered. We have sent a similar letter to our local Clan Macpherson Newsletter editor, the "Bratach Uaine", but due to the wide spread immigration of our descendants to the United States, New Zealand and Australia, we would appreciate obtaining the greater coverage that your newsletter enjoys.

Most sincerely,


8 Bourtree Crescent,
Kirkcudbright DG6 4AX.

21st April 1997.

Dear Andrew,
      I am intrigued, if not convinced, by the novel analysis of the Origins of the Clerical Gil-names in the article in the 49th issue of Creag Dhubh. It flies in the face of everything else I have ever read on the subject -- ancient and modern.

      The chartulary of Moray indicates that the lands of Badenoch were acquired by the Cumyns in 1228, when, in the same year, "Gillespie, chief of Badenoch, and his sons", fell into the hands of William, Grand Justiciar of Scotland. Blood and land being the foundation of a clann, as now defined, the foregoing might suggest that a Clan Gillespie did exist at one time, if not in 1598. just as not every Parson (Phersain or Taggart) in 12th century Scotland founded a clann, neither would every "Filid-asbuig" have done so.

      I don't know about Cluny's muster-roll, but "Prisoners of the '45" (Sir Bruce Gordon Seton) lists a number of Gillespies.

      Gillespie as a place-name in Galloway in interpreted as "Cill-espoic" (the Bishop's chapel). The further I research my own ancestry the more clerics I found -- from Lochrulten Parish Church in 1628 onwards into the 19th century. I am on the trail of much earlier clerical Gillespies. This tradition would fit in with either "Filid-asbuigs" or "McVuirichs", perhaps!


      I doubt that many members of the various Scottish clan societies can trace their lineage accurately much beyond the mid-19th century. The importance of the clan societies is not, in my opinion, genealogical. It is, rather, that they bring together people of Scottish descent with pride in our collective achievements and a desire to preserve our distinctive nation-hood.

      I was based in the U.S. for many years; our Scottish cousins there do much to promote and preserve the values and attributes of our nation - of whatever clann, or of none at all.

      As an Arabist with a particular interest in the Gulf, I have observed at close-hand the rise, decline, fall and modification of tribal groupings in a political environment not at all unlike that in which the Scottish clans evolved. it is a fluid situation with allegiances and names changing all the time. Six hundred years ago my sons would have been MacDhais, or Davidsons -- who knows?



207 Rosebud Drive, PO. Box 713,
Adamsville, TN, USA, 38310-0713.

12th May 1997.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
      I enjoy reading Creag Dhubh each and every year. I am a life member of the US branch since 1989. Since I am a person of limited means, I have not been able to attend the various functions of the Association, but thoroughly enjoy reading both Creag Dhubh and The Urlar. I feel very much a part of the Association and have corresponded with several members. I noted with sadness the passing of Ian Gillies of York. We have corresponded on a few occasions and am disappointed in myself for having let the correspondence cease for several years. Now I will not have that pleasure again.

      I especially enjoyed reading Origins of the Clerical Gil-Names"by Bob Gillespie in the 1997 Creag Dhubh. Letters from Ian Gillies, my own readings of Scotland, Knights Templars, The Highlander magazine and other sources, had led me to conjure up a theory of the Gillis name, by whatever spelling. You can imagine my interest in reading this article. It was well written and presented an account of which I had not been aware.

      I'm afraid I too held the origin of Gillis to come from "gilly." But since our name is associated with Saints, Kings and Bishops, Mr Gillespie's explanation does make more sense.

      There has never been any doubt of our Scottish heritage. My ancestor John Gillis came from the Isle of Skye about 1745. Two frequently used names used in my family have been John and Malcolm. I have three direct ancestors named John, plus one uncle. Malcolm is the name of my great-uncle, my father, my brother, my son and two nephews. So you see, I really enjoyed the article when Mr Gillespie explained the full origin of Malcolm.

      Finally, in my readings about Robert the Bruce, the Knights Templars and the Battle of Bannockburn, June 24, 1314, I continually came across the name Gillies referring to the Second Army of the Bruce and the name of the hill they hid behind as Mt. Gillies. Is this a case of two names coming from different sources ending up being spelled the same? That is, one coming from the "filid" account and the other "gilly?" Or indeed if Gillis is a contraction of Gille losa (Servant of Jesus), could not this be a synonym for Knights of Christ as in the "Poor Knights of Christ and King Solomon's Temple" (i.e. the Knights Templar)?


Since the Knights Templars. were banished by the Pope at this time, and if they were hiding in Scotland, and if as supposed they did join the Bruce, then could this have been a subterfuge? Understand, I have nothing to substantiate this except my vivid imagination.       If Mr Gillespie or any clan member would care to comment on the name of Gillies at the Battle of Bannockburn, I would love to hear from you. Thank you.


> Watchman Against the World, by Flora McPherson, covers the remarkable life and journeys of Norman McLeod. His birth in 1780 at Assynt, Sutherland and his early life in that area; divinity training at King's College, Aberdeen; emigration to Pictou on the barque Frances Ann in 1817 and the setting up of the community at St Ann's, Nova Scotia, in 1820. St Ann's Bay is brought alive as a bustling, integrated, religious and yet altogether down-to-earth community. However, the decline in the timber trade, poor weather and crops, led the community to look for warmer climes. They conceived, designed, built and set sail on the Margaret in 185 1. Stopping at the Cape of Good Hope and Melbourne, the community eventually settled in Waipu, North Island, New Zealand -- 37 years and 22,000 miles after leaving Scotland.

"Children, Children, Look to Yourselves, The World is Mad. . ." These dying words of Norman McLeod display the tenderness and tyranny by which he created his own people out of Scotland's exiles, bound them to himself and led them on one of the great pioneering adventures of the 19th Century. As teacher, judge, minister and taskmaster -- Norman aimed to "withdraw the faithful from the menace of the worldly community."

      This book is an excellent one-volume read which has been well-researched and beautifully told. With 27 photographs and four maps, Watchman Against the World was first published in London by R. Hale in 1962 and reprinted in 1993 by Breton Books, Nova Scotia. Recently available in the UK from Achins Bookshop, Inverkirkaig, Lochinver, Lairg IV27 4LS. (ISBN 1-895415-20-9).








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