Duke of Gordon Advertisment

A Day's March to Ruin Advertisment







days of the Games. The 1998 Autumn edition of the "Urlar" gives a great flavour of this splendid occasion. Many thanks to all who came! The warcry of "Creag Dhubh" echoed over the field!

      The year has also meant the start-up of the new Scottish Branch of CMA. Their activities and their Newsletter bode well for the future, and we wish them and all the Branches well for the coming year.

      When June 1999 arrives I will have had the honour to be Chief of the Clan Macpherson for thirty years. The time has passed so quickly; and throughout these years it has been marvellous to have had the support and goodwill of all of you. This extended family is the best in the world!

      Good luck for 1999, and the Millennium!


Blairgowrie, December 1998


It felt just like old times when the 1998 Rally got Under way in August with the Reception and Ball at the rebuilt Duke of Gordon. There was a good turnout that evening and also at the Annual General Meeting the next day when, among a number of important issues, changes to the Association's Constitution were approved and subsequently endorsed at the United States Branch's AGM in Baltimore in September that will enable members of the US Branch to make tax-deductible donations to the Association and the Musuem in future years. If the past generosity of our USA Branch members is anything to go by, this move will be of great financial benefit to the Association in the future.

      In September it was off to Baltimore to attend the US Branch AGM. With Cluny's commitments at the Lawrence Inquiry, and since he and Sheila had already made a trip to the Grandfather Mountain Games earlier in the summer, Penny and I represented the Association. Baltimore, like so many US cities, has managed to reinvent itself over the past few years with an attractive harbour development, and the city was an ideal venue for the occasion. Among a busy schedule of events the banquet on the Saturday night, ably hosted by George Ellis, Master of Ceremonies, was particularly successful, with some first class piping and Scottish country dancing. On the Sunday morning a rather bemused Baltimore woke up to the sight of a procession of kilted Macphersons heading across town to St Paul's Episcopal Church, led by Tokyo Bill Macpherson piping us all the way. It was good to meet up with Larry Lee, our Vice-Chairman, and Lillas, USA Chairman Robert and his wife Jean, as well as many other US Branch members. The whole weekend was capably organised by William K. Macpherson and Carol Waytovich.

      By the time you read these remarks, Penny and I will have visited Australia, where we are hoping to host a Reception in Sydney in February to mark the re-launch of the New South Wales Branch of the Clan. John L. Macpherson of Strathfield, NSW has been the prime mover in this initiative and I will be reporting on the occasion at the 1999 Annual General Meeting in Newtonmore. Continuing on the Australian theme, earlier last autumn the Pitmains were fortunate enough to go on a cruise of the Turkish coastline which included a visit to the Gallipoli beaches. It was particularly moving to see so many Scottish names recorded at the numerous British and Anzac cemeteries, including no less than five Macphersons at one particular Anzac cemetery.

      It seems astonishing to think that in just one year the Clan Macpherson Association will be moving into the next Millennium. We are a flourishing body and what is perhaps most encouraging of all is that a new, younger generation of Macphersons is increasingly becoming actively involved in Clan activities. Nowhere was this more evident than at the


England and Wales Branch dinner dance in London in November 1998 when over 200 people participated in a splendid evening of reels. We must keep this trend going and, to this end, we will be planning for the Millennium Gathering in the year 2000 to mark the occasion with various events which will hopefully be organised by the young jubilee Committee team that was so prominent at the jubilee Gathering.

      Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the significant contribution that Lachie Mackintosh, who retired as our Treasurer last year, has made to the Association and its finances over the past few years.

      Penny and I, together with Bella, Alexander and Charlie send you all our very best wishes for 1999.


Guess what? There's another 50th Anniversay coming up! This time it's the turn of the Canadian Branch. According to the 1949 Issue of Creag Dhubh the branch came into being in March 1948, but their first A.G.M. was held in Ottawa in June 1949, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Ewan A. Macpherson, Chief Justice of Manitoba. The Anniversary celebrations will be held next September in Kitchener, Ontario. For further details see the Canadian Branch Report and their advertisement elsewhere in this issue. I have happy memories of attending several Canadian Branch functions, and would like to extend to them my personal good wishes for the future.

      An outstanding event of this year's Clan calendar has been the visit of our Chief, Cluny, and Lady Cluny to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina last July, as honoured guests of the Games. To show the fine impression made by our Chief, a local newspaper, the 'Avery Mountain Times' in reporting Cluny's visit made the telling remark: "In a time when some chiefs -- against Scottish tradition -- act as if they were very superior to everyone, Cluny was a refreshing example of what being a chief means," Jean Macpherson, who also attended the Games, has given us an excellent description of the occasion in her 'Letter to the Editor'.

      There are exciting times ahead for the Clan Museum at Newtonmore, if the plans put forward by Rod Clarke in his article on 'Project 2K2' come to fruition. It is to be hoped that clanspeople will lend their support, both financial and otherwise, to this forwardlooking project.

      The background to another of this year's events, the dedication of a fresh memorial tablet to the Macphersons of Strathmashie in St Kenneths Churchyard, Kinlochlaggan, is ably set out in the article by Past Chairman Ewen S. L. MacPherson. I should like to take this opportunity to thank Ewen and all the other contributors to this issue for their excellent co-operation and assistance.

      The 1999 Gathering will be the last in this century, so be sure to come along and make the most of it before the Millennium Bug strikes!



The opening of the Clan Gathering on the Friday evening was marked by the return to the Duke of Gordon Hotel following serious damage by fire in 1996. Above the fireplace in the new oak hall is proudly displayed a splendid carving of the Arms of the Clan Macpherson Association. The carving was carried out by a distinguished craftsman who was involved in the restoration of Windsor Castle. Just under a hundred members enjoyed dancing reels to the music of the Kennedy Brothers.

      The Annual General Meeting was held the following morning and the office bearers duly elected. Having successfully acted as Treasurer for a number of years, Lachie Mackintosh regrettably tendered his resignation. In the afternoon, preceded by the Grampian Police Pipe Band, Cluny led the kilted men to the Newtonmore Highland Games on the historic Eilan. Following the Highland Games, an At Home was held in the Clan Museum. This particular occasion offers the opportunity to thank non members who have shown support to the Clan Association.

      Later that evening members returned to the Duke of Gordon Hotel for the Ceilidh. Rod Clarke was an excellent fear-an-tighe and extended a warm welcome to all present. A wide variety of entertainment was provided: Ruth Macpherson accompanied by Duncan Sinclair sang a selection of songs. Sarah McCabe rendered a Spice Girls piece and her brother, Christopher, told us about his Sair Finger. Donald Mackintosh and Jér&circo;me LeRoy-Lewis performed magnificently on the Highland bagpipes. Evan Cattanach, an accomplished singer, sang a selection of Scottish favourites. Ian Macpherson Middlemass played some jazzy tunes at the piano and recitations were performed by Donald McPherson, Ian Robb, Ronnie Macpherson and Ewen MacPherson, A highlight of the Ceilidh was Cluny's rendition of Gu Ma Slan Do Na Fearaibh. The Ceilidh after the Ceilidh proved as popular as ever, with those apparently too shy to perform at the official Ceilidh exercising their vocal chords with great gusto!

      On the Sunday morning, Clan members attended the morning service at St. Columba's Church in Kingussie. The service was conducted by the Rev. Norman MacAskill with Cluny and Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain reading the lessons. A number of members then enjoyed a picnic lunch beside the Cairn site at Shanvall.

      During the afternoon, Mr and Mrs Allan Macpherson -Fletcher, assisted by their family, kindly entertained members to tea and a tour of their historic home at Balavil.

      On the Monday morning a number attended the unveiling of a tablet at the Strathmashie Plot, St. Kenneth's Church, Kinlochlaggan. The Gathering was rounded off with the now established walk, organised by Sandy Macpherson. The two latter events are fully described elsewhere in this magazine. And so ended a happy 52nd Annual Gathering.

Ardverikie or Bust or It's a Long Way across a Peat Bog
By Ruairidh Mor

Again I delight in relating the highlights of the culminating event of the Clan Macpherson Association's Annual Gathering -- an expedition to some place in Badenoch of significance to our heritage. This year's destination was Ardverikie House, an edifice of most un-Scottish appearance that belonged to the Macphersons of Cluny until 1871. [Ardverike House is now better known as 'Glenbogle House' for its being the centerpiece of the BBC TV production Monarch of the Glen.>--RM]   To view a picture of it visit Panel 29 , item d .on the MEM This structure of extraordinary aspect can be distantly viewed across Loch Laggan from the main Newtonmore to Fort William road that runs along the northwest shore of the Loch. However, if you wish to see this strange erection from a closer vantage point, you must leave the main road before reaching Kinlochlaggan and travel along an estate road that runs along the southeast shore of the Loch. However, even before setting, out on


such a jaunt you must receive permission from the factor since it is private property and the owners are not too keen on having it used as a regular tourist attraction.

      Our resolute and noble leader of past expeditions, Sandy Macpherson, had made the arrangements for our taking this closer look and under normal circumstances, our journey should have been quite uneventful. However, unlike previous expeditions where he had always scouted the terrain before leading us on to it, the many other commitments on his time and attention prevented him from making a reconnaissance of Ardverikie Estate and thereon hangs the tale that follows.

Return to Kilkenneth
      This year's journey departed from last year's destination -- Cille-Coinneach or St Kenneth's Churchyard at Kinlochlaggan. Rather than retelling the significance of this place I refer you to page 12 of Creag Dhubh for 1998. When we inspected the ruins of the 15th century chapel last year, the interior was so choked with ivy that little of significance could be discerned. What a difference in appearance now that the Scottish Branch has restored the portion containing the graves of the Macphersons of Strathmashie. It was to participate in the dedication of a plaque to their memory and particularly that of Lachlan Macpherson, the poet and scholar that we gathered there before setting off for Ardverikie.

      The summer of 1998 was not a particularly kind one for the Scots -- cold and rainy most of the time. There were even rumours of snow in Edinburgh in July. However, things got slightly better with my arrival -- and that of August. The weather on that day was typical for a Macpherson expedition -- interspersed sun and showers throughout. Temperature in the sixties; a fair breeze blowing. Of the thirty or so persons who gathered for the dedication ceremony, nineteen intrepid souls chose to set off on the search for Ardverikie -- one of the highest levels of participation yet!

      Leaving our cars at St Kenneth's we returned to the main road and headed eastward along it for a hundred dangerous yards to the Gothic gatehouse that guards the entrance to Ardverikie estate. Then past two tall pillars we proceeded across a narrow bridge that spans Pattach Water on its way to replenish Loch Laggan. Shortly after that we came to a fork in the road; the right fork leads to Ardverikie House, less than a mile's distance away. But that would be too easy, unchallenging for such ardent travellers as we. The left fork, according to the Ordnance Survey map, also leads to the desired destination but over more exciting terrain. It seemed to be a suitable challenge for this intrepid band. So off we went along the left fork of the road -- to adventure, Little did we know what lay ahead.

The Mother of All Bogs
      As we proceeded along the left fork that led southward to the slopes of Ben Alder the huge trees that dominated either side of the road gave way to open country and the strath of a large stream. We then followed the course of the stream towards its source all the while trusting implicitly in the skill of our leader in delivering us to the proximity of our objective. Around noon we stopped to rest and eat the lunches that we brought with us. The rain had stopped and everyone was thoroughly enjoying the journey. To the west across a broad expanse of what seemed to be a grassy plain we could see another road, higher in elevation than the one we had been following before taking to the stream's course. It was likely to be no more than a mile to a mile and a half away and the map showed that it led to Ardverikie House. Right! Off we go across that grassy plain except -- wait a minute -- that 'grassy plain' is riddled with gullies that have been carved out by water rushing down from that higher elevation. What we were crossing was the 'mother of all peat bogs.' You can see what I mean by inspecting the photograph of Iris Macpherson gingerly picking her way across one of the less formidable branches of the gullies carved by the water seeking the river below. Up ahead Malcolm McPherson slogs along -- for awhile -- unimpeded.


      Crossing these gullies was not a simple task. A few were narrow enough that the more agile could leap across. But most of them were not, at least so that they could be crossed in a bee-line fashion. To find a safe crossing you often had to detour tens of yards along the gully's bank. At the bottom of these gullies was water or worse -- gooey, slimy, watersoaked peat. My grandson, Sam Leslie (age 12) leaped across one but failed to clear the width completely; quickly he found out the treacherous nature of the bottom the hard way. He sank to his knees in the mire and could find no footing by which to extricate himself. It took the assistance of two strong men to rescue him from becoming what might have been the 'Bogman of the Thirtieth Century'.

Ardverikie At Last
     Eventually, we reached the rising ground leading to the road we were seeking. Before reaching the road we passed through some wooded terrain which contained some fallen trunks that afforded seats on which to rest. It had begun to rain again -- not very hard but enough to make the footing slippery. The rain continued while we followed the road leading north and downhill. It was quite slippery and I took a tumble, not very gracefully, I'm afraid, but with no serious effects. Then before us loomed the Victorian pile with its multiple towers and gingerbread eaves -- Ardverikie House. This is magnificence as evident in the photograph where it appears to the rear of the happy trekkers.

      While we stood there gazing at this inspiration from Walt Disney's Fairyland, Sandy told us some of its background. The building we saw before us dates from 1874. It replaced a barely completed structure that was destroyed by fire in 1873 shortly after its owner had razed a still earlier building that he found too small for his purposes. The earlier building was the one that Queen Victoria and her family occupied during their month's stay there in the summer of 1847. A [copy of Queen Victoria's] painting of that building was recently


acquired by Curator Andrew Macpherson [at his own expense] and now hangs in the Clan Macpherson Museum along with the other Victorian memorabilia that dates from that year. See Panel 29, item d on the MEM       Duncan (of the Kiln) Macpherson, 19th Chief, acquired the land from the Duke of Gordon in 1794 in exchange for some other land further down the Spey. In 1836, the land was leased to the Marquis of Abercorn who replaced the sheep that were being grazed there in favour of deer for stalking, the trend that was growing throughout the Highlands at the time and which has persisted to this very day. Apparently the good Marquis had no objection to the place being offered to the Royal Family who were then looking for a Highland hideaway. But alas, it rained almost every day of their month's stay. With five young children to keep amused, is it any wonder that the Queen chose drier Balmoral on Deeside instead? Just think what Badenoch might be like today if the sun had shone.

      Rain didn't deter Sir John Ramsden who purchased the property in 1871 and began immediately to introduce a great many improvements, spending �0,000 during the next twelve years. Today's equivalent of that amount is �5 million! He employed a hundred men for the task of building 20 miles of roads, 18 miles of pony paths, 473 miles of drains, and 76 miles of fencing. In addition, eighteen new houses were built and thirteen old ones improved. By 1914, 28,000 acres of forest had been planted including Douglas firs imported from British Columbia.

      The Ardverikie House that we see today was designed by the noted architect, John Rhind (1836-83). He is also responsible for the design of several other buildings in the area including alterations to Alvie Parish Church in 1880, Laggan Free Church in 1867, Moy Hall, home of the Laird of Mackintosh in 1868, and Lochardil House in Inverness where the Clan Chattan Association holds its AGM each year. The cost of construction was �,298. However, Sir John apparently didn't care for something about it because he refused to pay Rhind's fee.


What's in a Name?
      Alexander Macpherson tells us in his Glimpses . . . that the word Ardverikie comes from the Gaelic Ard-Mheirgidh meaning "height for rearing of the standard." He adds "[s]ome suppose the name to be derived from Airdfhearghuis -- that is, the high ground of Fergus,the first of our kings,' who is said to have had his hunting lodge here, and to have formed the parallel roads of Glen Roy for the enjoyment of the chase." Actually, the 'parallel roads' that one can still see as you travel from Spean Bridge to Loch Laggan through Glen Roy are the successive shores of the ancients lochs that resulted from the melting of the glaciers as Scotland emerged from the ice age of some 8000 years ago.

      Under the terms that permitted us to enter the Estate, the spot where the picture was taken was as close as we could get to the building. I first visited the place in May 1977 during the International Gathering of the Clans celebration of that year. On that occasion visitors were allowed to get so close to the House as to peer in the windows. I can't remember if I did or not but I do recall seeing a mound in the garden where Alexander Macpherson tells us "the ashes of King Fergus and four other monarchs are said to repose." It's not clear just which King Fergus is being referred to. There is said to be a Fergus, King of Scots (in Ireland) around 330 BC; then there was Fergus mac Erc who was 'King' of Dalriada who brought his followers to the west coast of Scotland to found a 'new' Dalriada around 500 AD; and then again 'they' might be thinking of Fergus of 'new' Dalriada who died in 780 AD. In any event, Fergus left his name on one of the two small islands of Loch Laggan that lie just in front of Ardverikie House -- Eilean nan Righ (Island of the King); the other island is known as Eilean nan Con (Island of the Dogs), presumably a royal kennel for those huge deer hounds that were used in hunting.

      Another thing I recall from my visit in 1977 was the remnants of a number of props that had been used in the filming of a James Bond (007) movie that we were told had just


been completed before our arrival. I saw that movie later on but, for the life of me I can't remember the title. Do any of you recall it? [It turns out that the movie was Casino Royale starring David Niven and Deborah Kerr (among several other celebrities). It was a spoof of James Bond movies and was made in1966 according to the Wikipedia. Such are the problems with memories. -- RM]

Keep Right On
      Totally edified but wishing to partake of the refreshments we were told Catherine Macpherson, that angel of mercy, had waiting for us, we resumed the hike back to our cars still some distance away. The plan was to meet Catherine at the 'beach' -- that expanse of land that is prominent at the head of Loch Laggan. When we arrived there the wind was blowing so hard that waves were crashing on to the 'beach' making it not a very desirable place to picnic. Instead we took shelter in the huge trees that grace the road and partook of all of Catherine's goodies. At that point Sandy revealed that his pedometer had indicated that we had traversed a total of 14.6 miles to reach that point! That in itself was something of a record for Macpherson 'after-rally treks'. However, there was still more than a mile to St Kenneths which leads me to believe that some of us can claim 16 miles as the true distance we travelled. I say some of us because others chose to be evacuated in Catherine's car. Thinking back on it now leaves me with nothing but happy memories of a lovely day in the Highlands.

Clan Macpherson Association Launches Project 2K2
By Roderick W. Clarke, Dìonadair and Trustee
Clan Macpherson Association will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its Museum in 2002. It was in August 1952 that the first museum of its kind opened its doors to clan members and the public at large. At its beginning, it occupied only one room of the stone-built house that CMA had purchased to begin this noble enterprise. How well it has grown since then.

      The first few years of Museum operation were quite difficult with financial donations barely matching expenses that included paying off a substantial mortgage. The latter took twelve years to accomplish. During this interval many additional relics were acquired to the point where the collection far exceeded the space available to display or safely store them. A campaign was undertaken to raise funds to build an extension to accommodate them and this was realized in 1970. Again the collection grew to the point where a second expansion was required and again steps were taken to raise the funds needed. Additional space for display and storage became available in 1984 but a totally new dimension had been introduced -- the relics were no longer just a static display but now they told the proud story of the Clan Macpherson itself.

Changes for the Better
      During the process of raising funds to build and operate the Museum it became clear that it would have to become a registered charity for beneficial financial purposes. This was achieved in 1966 when the Clan Macpherson Trust was established, a fairly informal arrangement that proved to be satisfactory until 1992. In that year the British Government issued new regulations which required all museums operating as registered charities to comply with certain strict standards of display and conservation of exhibits and the acquisition and disposal of their collections. In addition, a searching examination of the financial support and legal ownership of these museums was made by Government agents. Although our operations were found to be generally satisfactory, certain changes were required if the Museum was to continue to receive tax-exempt status, a status that the Council of CMA considered vital for our continued operation.

      The major new requirement is membership in the Museum and Galleries Registration Scheme which has had several far-reaching consequences. First of all, ownership and management of the Museum became vested in the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust, a


new body that consists of trustees selected from past and present officers of CMA. The Trust Deed requires, among other things, that the trustees meet each other once a year, and three times a year meet with an Advisory Committee consisting of the Curator and others with particular expertise in museum matters and local elected officials.

      Secondly, registration enables the Museum to receive technical advice from the staff of the Scottish Museum Council and financial grants from local authorities and other government-funded bodies. As an example, substantial technical advice has been received on the environmental conditions needed for conservation of our holdings. Also, the recent modification of the Museum's public toilet facilities to accommodate wheelchair-bound visitors -- a modification required by law -- was largely paid for by the local Enterprise Company. Many other beneficial examples can be cited.

      Thirdly, registration requires that we must provide a suitable repository for potential donors to leave appropriate material and that this capability be publicized as providing a suitable service for serious scholars and researchers. Here we are deficient, particularly with respect to the storage and retrieval of documents. Our capabilities to store books and papers and to readily retrieve them are handicapped by the lack of dedicated facilities to achieve this. And this is the genesis of Project 2K2 which aims to remedy the situation by achieving this capability by Gathering time in 2002. Clearly this is a worthy goal to celebrate our Museum's Golden Anniversary.

The Underlying Problem
      The present layout of the Museum is shown in the drawing. The original building is shown at the bottom while the subsequent additions are shown at the top but not to scale. The Drumochter Room is currently used primarily to show a video created by the late Monroe Macpherson of Ionia, Michigan. The video's purpose is to introduce the


visitors to the Clan Macpherson. This room also contains the Museum's collection of books in glass-fronted book cases that are locked and not readily accessible. The video runs continuously but with a short period of silence at the end of each cycle. To allow convenient viewing, the room is normally kept dark thus preventing use of the books or viewing the displays placed there. The room designated as the library has handsome cabinets installed which are presently being used for storage of past issues of Creag Dhubh and other Clan publications. The room is not being used as a library at present but is used for small conferences occasionally. The utility room contains the heating equipment for the Museum and the Curator's flat. This equipment only occupies about a third of the room; the balance used for general storage but not in any organized fashion. The Curator's flat occupies the second floor of the original building and is reached by the stairs shown in the centre hall.

      It is clear that the available space within the original portion of the Museum is not being effectively used and that that space could be modified to begin to meet the document storage, retrieval and use capability that is now lacking. This deficiency has been recognized for some time but lack of funds for remedying this situation and the demands of the many activities undertaken in connection with the Association's Golden jubilee prevented progress toward a satisfactory solution. However, as a result of several studies, the Museum Advisory Committee adopted the 2K2 Plan that promises to overcome the deficiencies at its October 1998 meeting.

Provisions of the 2K2 Plan
      The first step of the plan was to erect some available but unused shelving in the Utility Room and to move the publication inventories from the library to this shelving. The shelving was erected on the day after the plan was adopted and the publications are being moved as quickly as Museum operation permits.

      Step Two calls for the movement of the books now stored in the Drumochter Room to the emptied cupboards in the Library. However, this is only a temporary move to allow certain room modifications to be accomplished, actions that require funds that are not yet available. However, the books will be more convenient for use.

      Step Three entails the construction of a bookcase along the left wall of the library. When this is accomplished the books will be moved there and the cupboards made available for storage of document files. With this accomplished the Library will be such in function as well as name. Access to the books and documents will be possible in an environment conducive to thought and study. The room itself will be kept locked and entrance limited to those individuals whom the Curator determines to be responsible and trustworthy. A preliminary cost analysis estimates that this modification will cost �0.

      Step Four involves dismantling the existing shelving and cupboards in the Drumochter Room for future use that is described below. With that accomplished, a partition is to be erected across the front portion of the Drumochter Room to create a dedicated video theatre. The theatre will be able to accommodate 4-6 viewers at a time which is the maximum number that experience has shown to be present. Sound suppressing materials will be applied to the walls and ceiling of the theatre to reduce the sound levels that now reach other part of the Museum to a disturbing degree. With this partition in place a substantial amount of wall space will become available for the display of additional exhibitions and to restore this room to its appropriate use. The cost of modifying the Drumochter Room is estimated to be �50.

[Step Four was not impemented after it was determined that a better solution for the theatre would be to adapt some of the space labeled 'Museum Offce' in the drawing. This re-arrangement aso provided addtional space for displaying and selling clan-related merchandise and publications. The space adopted for administrative purposes was that to the immediate north of the east entryway. These changes resulted in preserving the full Drumochter Room for both display of holdings, sprecial exhibits and small assemblies for lectures and concerts. A net saving of construction cost was also realized. -- RM]

      Step Five is the construction of a new furnace room exterior to the present building. Heating technology is now such that it can be effectively contained in a relatively small space and our studies have shown that it would be more efficient to add a small addition to the building at the rear of the toilet addition than using the present Utility Room. With this achieved, the present Utility Room would be refurbished and equipped


to be a facility for storage of relics not on display and documents not required for repetitive access. It would then become the Archives Room with appropriate temperature and humidity controls, a capability that would be difficult to achieve if the heating equipment were not located elsewhere. Some of the fixtures of this room would be constructed using the materials removed from the Drumochter Room. This modification is the most expensive contemplated, amounting to about � 15,000 due to the engineering and statutory consents required. However, its attainment will provide a capability for the Museum now lacking.

      Steps One through Five are sequential in nature, each following step depending on the previous step being completed. A sixth step is required but it can be accomplished at any time that the funds become available. It calls for construction of an information kiosk in the space between the Museum office and the two entry ways. Its purpose is to welcome visitors and inform them of the recommended way to enjoy the Museum's offerings. At present, it is not obvious that the video should be watched before viewing the other exhibits. At the present time the Curator makes this suggestion if he is at his desk. But if he is at the rear of the exhibit space for some reason, this is not possible. The kiosk will help overcome this difficulty and is estimated to cost in the order of �0. [Step Six was not accomplished until 2005 -- RM] The Bottom Line
      This article has been written to explain the present status of the Museum and the actions that are being taken to overcome the lack of a document storage and retrieval capability. It has been pointed out that we must acquire the capability if we are to continue to operate as a tax-exempt institution. However, the Trustees believe that we would want to have the capability irrespective of that consideration. Over the next few years several document collections are expected to be offered to the Museum IF the capability to safely store and effectively use them is available. It would be a great shame if those collections were given to another institution because we could not properly take care of them.

      Achieving the capability by the year 2002 will require raising some �,000 ($28,000 US) in the next three years -- a formidable task, indeed! Many of you are familiar with Na Dionadairean Clann Mhuirich -- the Guardians of Clan Macpherson -- which I've written about in past issues. Membership of that programme requires a contribution of $1000 or the equivalent in other currencies to the Museum Trust; however, that amount can be paid in installments over four years. In the first three years of the programme we raised on the order of $40,000; the project remains in operation and all are invited to join this distinguished group of Clan members. A complementary approach to achieving the needed funds would be for individuals or families or Branches to undertake some part of the 2K2 Project, say Step Five, for example. If this were to happen it would be entirely appropriate to memorialize the Archive Room in their name. [As it turned out Lillian McPherson Rouse of Watsonville, California donated stock shares valued in excess of $10,000. The present Lillian McPherson Rouse Archive Room is a result of her generosity -- RM]

      Of course, gifts of lesser amounts are very welcome and gratefully accepted with great appreciation. If you are interested in joining the 2K2 Project, either as a donor or in acquainting potential donors with the project, write to me at 400 Madison Street #709 , Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. However, please do not send me any money. Details for handling funds are still being developed and are not yet available. We have three years to raise the needed funds. I'm confident that we can 2K2 it!

* * *

Erratum: In Creag Dhubh No. 50, 1998, the author of the article on pp. 22-25 entitled 'Joseph William McPherson' should have been given as 'Sam' Robinson, not 'Ian' Robinson. Editor's apologies. ----------------------------------------------------------------16 -------------------------------------------------------------


New Book:
W. Gordon Macpherson, 91 years old, who featured in last year's Creag Dhubh, has published another book. The Adventures of Sir Gobbledy Grumff is a set of short stories for children. Gordon has told these stories at bedtime to his own children and then to his grandchildren, and they, now grown up, urged him to put them on paper so that future generations could hear them. 'Hear'. for they are meant for parents to read aloud with appropriate histrionics. Gordon says "I made up the plots, sketchily, as I went upstairs, so do not judge them too harshly as literature. They are just simple stories for bairns with plenty of action."

Successful Designer:
Colin Macpherson, student of design and typography at Telford College in Edinburgh, has won a prize of �0 in a competition to design a new logo for a Scottish carpet maker.

Dance Tunes Discovered:
"The Scotsman" of 23rd April 1998 reported that a cache of original, unpublished tunes by the great fiddle virtuoso, James Scott Skinner, has been discovered by researchers from the Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust. Some of the tunes form part of a correspondence with Skinner's friend and pupil, James McPherson, who lived at 8 James Street, Kirriemuir.

Savage: Following is an extract from Larry Hutchison's Catalogue No. 66 of Scottish Books, April 1998:
      "Cheyne-Macpherson, W. Macpherson of Dalhully. The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson, Edinburgh & London, Oliver & Boyd, 1947. . .'Pp. 62-66 savaged by some irate creature ("Touch not the cat but a glove'), with resultant damage not affecting text. Hence only ... �.00.'

Medal Recipient:
Mrs Una M. Macpherson was awarded the M.B.E for services to crofting and to the community on Skye, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, June 1998.

An Eminent Biologist:
As reported in the "New Scientist", No. 2133, 9 May 1998, Enrique Macpherson was appointed Co-ordinator of a team of scientists assembled in Spain to study the extent of pollution caused by the collapse .of a dam at a mine near Seville. The commission of biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists was to monitor the effects on groundwater and wildlife around the Dontildaana National Park. Enrique is a member of the well-known Spanish Macpherson family, many of whom attended the Jubilee Gathering in 1996.

Academic Achievers:
Ewan Andrew Macpherson and his sister, Anne Sarah, have both obtained doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Ewan in May, and Anne in August 1998. Clansfolk may recall Ewan piping at the Ceilidhs and at Glentruim House and Newton Castle during the jubilee Gathering in 1996. He is now a post-doctoral research fellow at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute attached to the Medical Faculty at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Dr Anne Macpherson is now teaching History at the Brockport Campus of the State


University of New York. Her specialty is in Latin American and Caribbean History with an emphasis on the historic role of women. Their parents, Dr Alan G. (Posterity of the Three Brethren and A Day's March to Ruin) and Dr Joyce Macpherson, both had the title Professor Emeritus conferred upon them at the October convocation of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where they taught in the Department of Geography, 1966-1993 and 1994.

New Graduates:
Congratulations to Catherine Macpherson of Halifax, N.S., Canada, who received her B.A. with First Class Honours from McGill University. She has been awarded an internship with the Toronto Film Festival, following which she plans to continue her studies at Boston University. Also congratulations to Euan Noble who graduated from Aberdeen University with an Honours degree in Electronic Engineering (B.Eng.). Euan has remained in Aberdeen, having successfully attained a post with an electronics company which specialises in the provision of telecommunications, radio and satellite systems to the oil industry on a global basis.

Church Saved:
Association member Mrs Mary Gillis has played a leading part in saving the 200year-old Old Holy Trinity Church in Lower Middleton, N.S., Canada from the wrecker's ball. Mrs Gillis, who threatened to chain herself to the building if it was to be demolished, is the church historian' tour guide and member of a local committee that fought to keep the church intact. The structure, which has been preserved in its original state, has now been named a Provincial Heritage Site.

Thrifty Hermit:
As reported in the Daily Express 6th August 1998, William McPherson, of Irvine, Ayrshire, surprised the staff and patients of Ayr Hospice, where he spent the last three years of his life, by leaving the hospice a legacy of over �0,000. Mr McPherson, whose life-style was described as frugal and eccentric, had been quietly speculating on the stock market.

A Twirling Tree:
Can anyone explain the origin of the Macpherson connection here? "A member of the apple family, the Twirling MacPherson does not actually 'twirl'. Every other year it twists violently, the movement taking place in the fall, causing the ripened fruit to be flung some distance from the tree itself."

Scottish Athlete:
Vikki McPherson placed a close fourth in the 10,000 metres race at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in September 1998. Vikki was praised in the press for her upbeat and positive attitude to the Games.

Piping Champion:
Alasdair Gillies won the 1998 Glenfiddich Championship at Blair Castle, his third win in eight years. He also won the Silver


Star event at the Northern Meeting in Inverness for the ninth time. Alasdair is only 33!

Centenary Exhibition:
An excellent exhibition of over 200 of the paintings of William Gillies (1898-1973) was mounted at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1st August to 11th October 1998 to commemorate the centenary of his birth. Featured on the cover of the exhibition brochure is a photograph of the artist at Loch Tummel, wearing his Macpherson kilt! Not only was Gillies one 'of the most important artists of his time, but his long career as teacher and principal at Edinburgh College of Art has had a deep influence on later generations.

The Alexander Cattanach:
On Saturday 18th April 1998, at 12 noon, the Kyle of Lochalsh Station branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution officially received an Atlantic 75 Class Lifeboat, which was funded by a anonymous gift. The lifeboat was delivered by a Miss P.M. Cattanach, who named it the Alexander Cattanach, after merchant seaman killed during the Second World War.


To Jeannie and Peter Levett, on 2nd February 1998, a daughter, Eveline Margaret Grace -- a welcome playmate for the boys.

To Robert and Emma Macpherson, on 7th July 1998, a son, John Felix Victor, second grandchild for Gerald and Joy Macpherson.

To Barry and Caroline (née Macpherson) O'Neill, a daughter, Sophie Charlotte, first grandchild for John and Iris Macpherson, Montrose.
To Susan (née McPherson) and Adrian Cahalane, on 24th November, 1998, a daughter, Jessica Lauren, first grandchild for Jim and Jackie McPherson, Eastbourne.

To Catriona (née Macpherson) and Christopher Ward, on 4th June 1998, a daughter, Rachael, second grandchild for Euan and Zandra Macpherson of Glentruim.


Dring -- McPherson. The engagement is announced between Simon, son of the late Capt. John Dring, M.B.E., and Mrs Betty La Fontaine Dring, of Fakenham, Norfolk, and Fiona, only daughter of the Hon. Mr justice Bruce McPherson, C.B.E., of Brisbane, Australia, and Mrs Shirley Stiller, of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.


Clarke -- Kenyon. On 4th July 1998, in Penfield, New York, Terrie Lee Clarke, son of David C. and Gail L. Clarke of Chili, New York, was married to Valerie Kenyon. The bridegroom's parents are both members of the Clan Association and have attended past International Gatherings. The bride and groom are school teachers and reside in Spencerport, New York


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the Community Council, and was much in demand as a member of the generation which remembered the old days in Badenoch, and was able to record her reminiscences for the benefit of the young. A skilled fisher, gardener and bridge player, in her passing she was missed by a host of friends. She is survived by three sons and five grandchildren.

Lt. Col. James F C. Macpherson, MC, K St J, CD, FICB, of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, died on 17th January 1998 in his 82nd year. Col. Macpherson had a distinguished career with the Bank of Montreal for over 45 years, and during the Second World War won the Military Cross while serving in Europe with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.

He was a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem, and served as Area Commissioner of the St John Ambulance Brigade, Southwestern Ontario.

Like his father before him, Jim was a founding member of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association, and his enthusiastic support of the Association during the early days contributed in large measure to the success of the Branch. He was a descendant of Col Donald Macpherson of Gaskmore who built the fortifications at Kingston in 1812 (see Creag Dhubh 1996, p. 36). He is survived by his wife Betty, and other family members.

John R. McPherson, Modbury, South Australia, Australian Branch Representative, died in January 1999. A fuller obituary will appear in the next issue of Creag Dhubh.

Mrs Mary Macpherson, wife of M.I. Macpherson, Comrie, Perthshire, died in October 1998.

Robert (Bertie) Dow Macpherson, Kirkmichael, Perthshire, died on 26th July 1998 in Blairgowrie. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife Margaret, and was a very dear father, grandfather and great- grandfather.

Wallace Crawford MacPherson, 70, of Halifax, N.S., Canada died on 6th April 1998. He was the son of the late Murdoch and Martha (Caldwell) MacPherson. He attended Morrison High School in Glace Bay and Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. Wallace worked for Maritime Tel & Tel in Sydney, London Life Assurance Co., in Halifax and Sydney, and Canada Life Assurance Co. in Halifax. He was an active member of Edgewood United Church, Halifax, serving on various committees of the church council over 35 years. He was an Hon. Vice-President of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association.

Wallace was an active supporter of the Association and organized several very successful Gatherings in the Halifax area. He was Branch Chairman from 1984 to 1987, and the Association continued to thrive under his capable leadership.

In the passing of Wallace MacPherson we have lost a very enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Canadian Branch and a strong representative in the Nova Scotia region He is survived by his wife, Jean, three children and six grandchildren.

William Max Pierson, 76, died on 15th September 1998. He was a policeman for 20 years with the Richfield, Ohio, Police Department, and a retiree after 34 years from Ohio Bell Telephone. He served with the U.S. Navy for six years during the Second World War, and was a member of the Naval Reserves from 1948 to 1979. He is survived by his wife Miriam (Joan), former Recording Secretary of the U.S. Branch of the Clan Association, and two children.

Miss Marion Macpherson, a founding member of the Canadian Branch, died in Ottawa on 30th October 1998 at the age of 74. A fuller obituary will be included in the next issue.



Introduction -- The Strathmashie Burial Ground

In "A Trek Along A Coffin Road" in Creag Dhubh 1998, Ruairidh Mor briefly described the overgrown state of the ancient and historic St. Kenneth's Churchyard, Kinlochlaggan, where the group of weary Macpherson hikers paused on their annual walk during the 1997 Clan Gathering. The significance of the spot to the clan was missed by the hikers, as completely hidden by the ivy and other vegetation within the ruined walls of the chapel, was the burial plot of the Macphersons of Strathmashie.

      By coincidence, a few days later, the Clan Association received a letter from Dr James Grant , a lecturer in the Department of Celtic Studies, at the University of Aberdeen, drawing attention to the poor state of the Strathmashie plot and enquiring if anything could be done to remedy this. It was established that St Kenneth's Chapel is listed as a Category CS building with Historic Scotland, and, together with the surrounding graveyard, is owned by the Ardverikie Estate. It was agreed that the recently formed Scottish Branch of the Clan Association would take on the restoration of the Strathmashie Plot as their first major project.

      On a sultry Saturday in June 1998, despite opposition from the infamous Highland midge, a dozen members of the Scottish Branch, accompanied by Dr. Grant and led by Chairman John Macpherson, spent the day tackling the ivy, weeds and other overgrown plant life. The stones were straightened and cleaned, the ground cleared and the broken iron railings repaired, primed and painted. Unfortunately, the large tablet erected exactly one hundred and fifty years earlier by Colonel Donald McPherson and Captain Daniel McPherson in memory of their ancestors, was found to be broken in two and with a small chip missing at the bottom.

      The Gaelic Society of Inverness generously agreed to arrange and fund the cost of a new small tablet repeating the original words, plus a small addition recognising the efforts of the Clan Macpherson Association and the Gaelic Society of Inverness. On the


      Monday morning of the 1998 Clan Gathering, members met prior to the walk organised by Sandy Macpherson and on this occasion St. Kenneth's was the starting point. A small but dignified unveiling ceremony of the new tablet took place. Chairman John Macpherson spoke eloquently of the Scottish Branch's efforts, the inspiration of Dr. Grant and the generosity of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Dr. Grant gave a resumé on the life of Lachlan Macpherson of Strathmashie, sang one of Lachlan's compositions in the Gaelic and explained the story in English. The full text of Dr. Grant's words follow.

Lachlan Macpherson of Strathmashie -- Oration by Dr. James Grant
      Lachlan Macpherson was the son of John Macpherson of Strathmashie and his mother was Jean Mackintosh, sister of William Mackintosh of Daviot, later chief of Mackintosh. Lachlan's paternal grandmother was Catherine MacDonald of Keppoch, sister of the renowned Gaelic poetess Sileas na Ceapaich. Sileas and Catherine's father was Archibald MacDonald Gilleasbuig na Ceapaich, who was also a Gaelic poet, and in Lachlan's ancestry he may have been the source of his poetic talents.

      Lachlan lived from c.1725 and, according to the Reverend Thomas Sinton in The Poetry of Badenoch (Published in 1906), 'died in the last decade of the eighteenth century' and had a very full life. During the 1745 Rising he served as an officer in the Macpherson Regiment and accompanied his chief as far as Derby. After the Rising he married Mary, daughter of Archibald Butter of Faskally, factor of the Forfeited Estates of Cluny, Lochiel, and Callart, by whom he had two sons and two daughters: Alexander, Henry, Agnes and Jean.

      He was a Highland tacksman of the old style and his house in Strathmashie became a centre for the promotion of the Gaelic arts and Gaelic scholarship. He was the principal helper of James Macpherson of Ossianic fame. He himself recited to James Macpherson many of the original Gaelic Ossianic ballads on which James Macpherson based his poetry. He also accompanied James Macpherson on his tour of the Hebrides where they

collected from the oral tradition. They also collected old Gaelic manuscripts containing Ossianic material and Lachlan helped James with the interpretation of these.

      Lachlan was a fiddler and composer of fiddle music of some renown. Although today only two tunes can definitely be ascribed to him, several more of his compositions are probably still in circulation. Simon Fraser in The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland (published in 1816) talks about 'several Strathspeys and reels now in circulation "being" known as his compositions'.

      He was also a very competent Gaelic poet and 13 pieces of his Gaelic verse survive. Thomas Sinton tells us that he was in the habit of singing this 'to the accompaniment of his own violin'. Sinton also tells us that 'he used to sit in the porch of his house and amuse himself and others with his violin and witty rhymes'. He further says that he was the 'heart and soul of good company' and that he was such a wit that after his death 'the old people were inclined to laugh merrily whenever his name was mentioned'. His Gaelic verse covers a wide variety of topics some of which are: a lament for Cluny of the '45, verse against the proscription of the Highland dress, a conversation with a stag, a satire on the innkeeper of Dunkeld encouraging the mice to take over his inn and verse about the influence of mammon on the world.

      The greater proportion of his verse is of a witty and epigrammatic nature, and I would like to conclude with this translation of a piece of his verse which is fairly representative of his work and gives us a good idea of what he himself was like as a person:

          The people of this world are in a hurry,
          One scattering and another gathering,
          One heaping up money and pressing it down,
          Another spending it all in the ale-house.

          Forget such ways and undertake
          To beneither too wise nor too foolish
          Desist from such behaviour and follow my example,
          Here you have my own way:

          To be neither a spendthrift nor a miser
          In gathering money or spending it;
          If I have food, fire and clothing
          I am contented with the world.

          When death strikes me,
          My Saviour is on the throne;
          And he will convey me as fast to Paradise,
          As he would the Prince of Spain.

          A chuid fhein de Pharras dha! (May he enjoy his own share of Paradise)

Wording of the Tablet
      Sacred to the memory of the members of the House of Strathmashie who repose within the west end of this enclosure. Many are the worthy names of that family, but this brief inscription must not omit LACHLAN MACPHERSON of Strathmashie, a gentleman, a scholar and a poet who will ever be revered in his native land.

      This tablet, erected by the Gaelic Society of Inverness and the Clan Macpherson Association, 1998, replaces one "erected as a humble tribute of veneration and affection to their departed ancestors, by Colonel Donald McPherson, K.H., 39th Regiment and Captn. Daniel McPherson, 2nd R.V.B -- 1848."


Colonel Donald McPherson and Captain Daniel McPherson Something is known of the history of the two soldiers who erected the original tablet.

      Alexander Macpherson, in Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands, states that Donald McPherson saw "much service in India", and records the text of the marble tablet erected by his widow in the Kirk of Laggan, from which we learn that he also served in the Peninsular War, that he died at Burgie House (near Nairn), 28 December 185 1, aged 77, and was buried "in the vault of his ancestors in the Old Church of Laggan" (St. Kenneth's). Glimpses also records that, on the 28th August 1847, he entertained Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort at Strathmashie House, probably in company with his chief and other Badenoch gentlefolk. He was at one time commandant of the penal colony at Moreton Bay which became Brisbane and grew to become Queensland. We know from the two articles in the 1996 Creag Dhubh by Mr Justice B. H. McPherson and Roderick Balfour, that the McPherson Range of Queensland was named after him and that he married into the McBarnet family.

      Captain (later Major) Daniel McPherson, late of the 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion, was born in the Parish of Laggan and died at Edinburgh on 15 June 1856 in his 77th year. He also served in the 8th or King's Regiment and Glengarry Light Infantry and was present at the Siege of Copenhagen (1807) and attack on Sackett's Harbour, New York, where he was severely wounded (20 May 1813). He received the War Medal with a Clasp for Martinique. He was buried at Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh. His death registration indicates that his parents were Angus Macpherson and Jean Macpherson, almost certainly the couple who raised a family at Lagnalick in Strathmashie in the 1770s and 80s.

Many are the Worthy Names of that Family
      Dr. Alan G. Macpherson, in "An Old Highland Genealogy And The Evolution Of A Scottish Clan", points out the prominence of the Strathmashie family at the end of the 16th


century and the significant role they played in the administration of the western part of Mackintosh of Dunachton's estates. Henry Paton's The Mackintosh Muniments, 1442-1820 and the Cluny Manuscript Collection make several references to the Macphersons of Strathmashie. The Strathmashie family and its cadet branches were descended from Paul, second son of Alexander (Alasdeargoint), the nemesis of the MacNivens in the Cave of Raitts and eldest son of John MacEoghain ban, the eponymous founder of the Sliochd Iain. Paul is the first of the lineage on record, though only as a patronymic in a reference to his grandson and namesake Paul McAne McPhail in 1567. The more senior grandson, Donald breac McNeill "in Stromayshie", also appears on record in 1567. This would place Paul as flourishing around 1500, i.e. in the reigns of James III (1460-1488) and James IV (1488-1513). This matches other members of the family that can be dated in the sixteenth century.

      Other significant roles are associated with the Macphersons of Strathmashie. Donald breac's youngest son, Donald ban, served as Mackintosh's attorney to receive seisin of his estates in Lochaber by order of Mary Queen of Scots in 1567, while an older son, Kenneth, signed the Huntlie Band for his eldest brother, or perhaps for his nephew John MacIain dubh, in 1591. In 1609, John, in turn, was a signatory to the Clan Chattan Band, and in 1613 was fined by the Privy Council of Scotland for resetting some of the proscribed MacGregors, i.e. accepting stolen goods, probably cattle, from them. His son Bean (Beathain) or Benjamin born in 1580 and elderly in 1648, was excused for his absence from the Synod of Moray at Forres where Royalist clansmen were arraigned as "Malignants", on the grounds that he had been detained as a "pledge" or hostage at Ruthven. It is not known if he was personally involved in Montrose's campaigns. Bean is recorded as deceased in a Contract of Marriage between his son Muriach (Murdoch) and Elizabeth, daughter of Lachlan Mckintosh of Kinrara (the Mckintosh historian) signed at Inverness in 1675 and witnessed by William of Nuide; Muriach's cautioners were James of Invernahavon, Lachlan of Invertromie and Muriach of Clune (all leading men of the Sliochd Iain). ------------------------------------------------------------------27-----------------------------------------------------------

      Donald Og of Strathmashie is on record in the 1670s. His son Alexander appears on record in clan matters between 1681 and 1703 and is shown as being involved in Mackintosh's affairs between 1688 and 1707. This included acting as the Mackintosh's baillie in delivering sasine to Gallovie to Ronald McDonald in 1688 and as a witness to a Contract of Marriage between Ronald McDonald of Gallovie and Isobel Mckintosh, a daughter of Angus of Holme in 1691. In 1723 John of Strathmashie was granted a wadset by Mackintosh. In the same year a Contract of Marriage is recorded between John and Mrs Jean Mackintosh, daughter of William Mackintosh of Daviot, her security being the Kinlochlaggan wadset.       The Strathmashie family were closely connected with other distinguished Badenoch Macpherson families. Among their closest cadet cousins were the Macphersons of Kinlochlaggan and of Druminard (Druminuird). Lieutenant Alexander of the Kinlochlaggan family was in India with Morris's Highlanders, 1760-65. Malcolm of the Druminard family was one of the mutineers shot at the Tower of London in 1743, and his brother John acted as Cluny's liaison with Lovat in the early stages of the 'FortyFive. Gilbert McPherson of Inverary's MS Genealogy of the Sliochd Iain McPhersons, compiled in 1767, indicates that Donald of Kinlochlaggan was a son of Bean McPherson, second son of Donald og McPherson of Strathmashie. His mother was Elspet ------------------------------------------------------------------28------------------------------------------------------------

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McPherson, a daughter of Lachlan of Invertromie; his wife Mary was daughter of Angus McPherson of Killiehuntly and Isobel McPherson, a daughter of William McPherson of Nuide and sister of Lachlan of Nuide who became chief of the clan in 1721.

      In his remarkable critique, "The Just Double of The Macpherson Bond Signed at Clune in 1722", published in Creag Dhubh, 1953, Dr. Alan G. Macpherson indicates the status and importance of the Strathmashie family at that time. John Macpherson of Strathmashie was the writer of the arbitration bond signed at Clune in 1722 and his signature appears immediately after that of the chief, Lachlan Macpherson of Cluny, in the list of signatories. In A Day's March To Ruin, Dr. Alan G. Macpherson describes John Macpherson of Strathmashie's involvement as a Captain in Ewan Macpherson of Cluny's Regiment in the 'Forty Five: in particular, his role as leader of the Kynachan party in the Atholl Raid; his involvement at the Skirmish at Clifton and his written accounts of Clifton, the Atholl Raid, and the Prince in Benalder, for Bishop Robert Forbes.

Recent Times
      The strath of the Mashie lies to the west of the village of Laggan, the Mashie being a right-bank tributary of the River Spey that leads to the pass through the watershed to Kinlochlaggan. It now forms part of the extensive Ben Alder Estate. Strathmashie House, built prior to the 1745 Rising, is positioned on the northern side of the A86, three miles west of the village of Laggan, and is owned and occupied by George Chalmers, a former factor for Ardverikie Estate. The central part of the house is original, with wings to the east and west added during Victorian times.

      Of Lachlan's two sons, Colonel Alexander Macpherson, of the Honorable East India Company, died in India in 1799 and Lieutenant Henry Macpherson was killed in America in 1779. Neither left issue and thus the direct male line became extinct. However, descendants through the female line are now spread throughout the world. All four of Lachlan's sisters married, three of them to Macphersons, and had issue. It is known that his sister, Florence, married Alexander Macpherson of Achadoul, in Strathmashie. John, the elder of their two sons, born 1759, was the ancestor of that fine historian of the clan and former editor of Creag Dhubh, Major J.E. Macpherson of Hampstead, London, who died in 1988. J.E.'s family now live in Canada. Angus, the second son, born 1761, procreated the family line of the Reverend Norman McPherson, a great grandfather, of Edinburgh. From Strathmashie To Brussels: Ena Maertens De Noordhout, written by Reverend McPherson in Creag Dhubh 1994, illustrates the family tree from Florence Macpherson of Strathmashie.

By Archy Macpherson MA, LLB, (Gilleasbuig Lachlainn'Illeasbuig)

Language is a universal fact which we see and hear every day. Due to complex historical factors English is today a lingua franca of world language and some of us may be tempted to accept that it is the language of our people, the Clan Macpherson, but this is far from the truth as the writer discovered. To master Scottish Gaelic indeed is to transport us back to the days when we were cleared or dispersed to the ends of the earth. No intellectual ability is called for. Just a doggedness that never gives up and allows us to do some work on it every day.

      To start off there is an amount of readable booklets on the language which one can get from Comunn na Gàidhlig, 5 Mitchell's Lane, Inverness IV2 3HQ who can be asked for information for parents on Gaelic education, or a phrasebook Facal. In April 1997 they published "A national policy for Gaelic education".

      An interesting booklet "Gaelic in Scottish History and Culture" by Michael Newton is published by An Clochàn, 36 Fruithill Park, Belfast 11 8GE, N. Ireland.

      The Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research published a highly

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informative booklet "Gaelic (Scottish)" ten years ago, which makes some of its addresses out of date. But it is a fascinating and useful read, Regent's College, Regent's Park, London NWI 4NS.

In case one might feel overwhelmed with the mass of material available a few sources are suggested that might appeal to the learner: --
           There are excellent bigger and grander dictionaries but the three basic ones are, Abair! by Renton and Macdonald (Gairm), invaluable for showing the uses of the definite article (the). Robert C. Owen's The Modern Gaelic-English Dictionary (Gairm). Were one to master say a third of a page a day, say by writing out, which is a good way in fixing information in the mind, then at the end of a year one would have gained an invaluable basic vocabulary. A Gaelic speaker might help in pronouncing broad vowels (A, O, U) with the letters L, N, R, . . . D, T, S, as compared to the narrow (E, I) with the same letters. The last of the trinity is Derick S. Thomson's The New English-Gaelic Dictionary (Gairm).

           Two basic Gaelic courses, each with cassettes will see to grammar... "Gaelic" by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor in the "Teach Yourself" series published by Hodder & Stoughton. The other is "Scottish Gaelic in Three Months" by Roibeard Ó Maolaigh and Iain Mac Aonghuis Sounds good but most of us would find the title a bit too optimistic!!

           There are two great fun books which can help . . . Gaelic is Fun (Acair) and Lazy Way to Gaelic (Y Lolfa Cyf., Talybont, Ceredigion, SY24 5HE, Wales). Full of fun they are but will give the serious learner of Scotland's oldest surviving language quite of bit of help too.

           Finally some useful addresses . . . Tocher gives traditional Gaelic tales etc. with translation from School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland; and CLI, 62 High Street, Invergordon IV18 ODH.

           There is a Gaelic catalogue with translation: Muileann Dubh, I. & M. Rhind, 12a Market Hall, Academy Street, Inverness IVI IPJ for all things bright and beautiful of Scottish Gaelic interest. They will also send an extensive catalogue of traditional Scottish Music CDs and cassettes on request.P>            To conclude are two sources from which all books, if still available, which we have listed and many more can be got . . . "Gairm" the Gaelic literary quarterly, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ and Comhairle nan Leabhraichean, 22 Mansefield Street, Glasgow G 115 QP, who also operate a Gaelic Book Club.

      If enquiring from overseas it is best to put Scotland or whatever the country ... for instance there's more than one Inverness in North America! Also among the listed periodicals an instant library can be got by asking to purchase back copies.

Learning a language while frustrating at first can thereafter be a source of delight for the rest of one's days especially if it be one's own language, as is Gaelic . . . Slàn leat!

By Sir Thomas Macpherson of Biallid, CBE, MC, TD, DL

I was privileged recently to have sight of the private Cluny papers inherited by Mrs Deirdre Nicol, the widowed grand-daughter-in-law of Albert Cameron Macpherson, the last chief to live at Cluny. They contain some fascinating items.

      The oldest document is an elaborate "bond" of 1672 wherein the Mackintosh chief, signing himself Lachlan Macintosh (sic) of Torcastle, solicits and receives the signatures and support of Cluny, Pitmean and Invereshie "by their own goodwill and pleasure" in his quarrel with the Camerons over disputed lands in Lochaber. On that occasion it did not lead to battle, but the phrasing reflects the loose generality of the Clan Chattan alliance and that Mackintosh was specifically not recognised as its chief. At that period


there was considerable dispute over the leadership, with Lord Lyon finally ruling in favour of Mackintosh, but in such a confederation the position was clearly only titular. The dispute hinged on the legitimacy of the male or female succession. The Mackintosh claim was by right of descent from Eva, the daughter and only child of the oldest son of Murdoch the Parson of Kingussie, progenitor of the Macpherson name, while Cluny's claim was in the male succession from Murdoch's second son, chief of the Clan. In spite of Mackintosh's award by the higher court, his title was insecure and, in 1724, Mackintosh, described in contemporary papers as "opulent by reason of marriage", persuaded Cluny (described as "penurious") to give up all claim to the leadership of Chattan in return for a grant of the "Loch Laggan lands" valued at 13,000 merks, later translated as �2 5s 4-1/2d! In a document of 1742 the son of that Cluny, supported in writing by Lovat, Lochiel, Pitmean, Invereshie, Breakachie, Banchor and various other Macphersons, renounced this settlement and reclaimed the title. It appears that, with the help of his friends, the 13,000 merk valuation was paid. Mackintosh instigated a lawsuit on the basis of Ewan of Cluny's attainder in 1746 to reclaim the lands and succeeded in every junior court but eventually, after nearly 20 years of very costly litigation, the House of Lords found in Cluny's favour, and the Loch Laggan lands were included in the restoration of 1784 mentioned below.

      The next refers to the raising of the clans by James Graham of Claverhouse, "Bonnie Dundee" prior to the victory at Killiecrankie in 1689. The chiefs gathered and pledged their loyalty at the house of Presmuchrach, north of Dalwhinnie, which at one time belonged to my forebears, though the Clan did not reach Killiecrankie until after the battle.

      Then of course there are papers on the events of 1745-6, mainly domestic, and minutes of a lawsuit in 1756 between one Donald Macpherson, son of Conchie, and one Donald Macpherson, son of Finlay, over tenancy and the right to collect rents at Balnacraig, part of Biallidbeag in the rich wadset of Biallid. The first Donald held his authority from Mr Small, the government factor of the expropriated Cluny estates, and was trying to evict the second Donald who had tenancy from Lady Cluny and Captain Lachlan Macpherson, her brother-in-law and factor, and was, in 1756, still paying rent to her. The first Donald said in his claim that he had lent 1000 merks to Cluny and was entitled to the rents of sub-tenants until the loan was repaid. The outcome of the process is not known.

      Then there are documents, including a copy of the General and Evening Post of 5th August 1784, announcing the restitution of the Cluny estates along with those of Lochiel, Chisholm, Macdonnell of Keppoch and others, followed by a little on the building of "Cluny House" on the old site.

      Nothing, to my surprise, on Queen Victoria's request to buy Ardverikie in 1847 but a letter from the rather engaging black sheep of the family, George Gordon Macpherson, who cost his father so much money by his gambling and extravagant lifestyle that the first of the many estates had to be put on the market before he was banished to Australia by his father.

      Next came the original vellum of the fresh grant of arms to Cluny in 1873, including the supporters who had been removed by Lord Lyon after protests by The Mackintosh in the 1670s. The crest has the cat sitting erect with both front paws in the air and his shirt-clad supporters wear doublets of white Macpherson tartan.

      The rest of the papers sadly are connected with the financial troubles of the Cluny family, starting with the court petition of Ewan, son of Duncan of the Kiln, to break the entail of the whole estate so he could sell land to meet his late father's debts. Matters financial deteriorated with Old Cluny's needs to bail out twice the debts of his wayward son George Gordon, already referred to (his portrait is in the museum) and to finance his own style as a chief of the old school, with 119 dependants on his payroll at the time of the golden jubilee of his wedding in 1886.


Death duties followed, twice in a relatively short time, but Albert Cameron Macpherson continued to live as a grandee and entertain and be entertained in great houses all over Britain. The papers show, incidentally, that he was an accomplished and enthusiastic cricketer with the famous I Zingari touring club. His health began to fail in the late 1920s and his worried wife took over the business correspondence. Round this time Ralia and Catlodge were sold, Ben Alder, Aberarder and Ardverikie having gone earlier. A letter of 1928 from the lawyers in Edinburgh to Lady Cluny says: "I have again had word from the Bank and the news is not good." It was an understatement. The majority of the Jacobite relics were sent for sale to Sotheby's to raise cash. The catalogue and sale prices are in the papers, but alas in the climate of the time the total sum raised was small. The chief was advised to sell Cluny, but this was just too much for him to bear. Ironically, The Lyon Court's ruling proved wrong. In 1966, Sir Thomas Innes, Lord Lyon, laid down categorically that our Chief, by right of descent, had and should always use the patronymic Macpherson of Cluny.

      The Chief then named his son-in-law Donald Nicol of Ardmarnock as his successor and left to him in his Will Cluny and its lands, believing that a younger man with outside resources could rescue the estate. Donald Nicol, a regular Black Watch officer, studied the problem earnestly, but things had got worse during the 1930-31 depression and a long letter from his advisers, after Cluny's death in 1932, told him that not even the sale of Ardmarnock together with all outlying Cluny land would meet the debts and he would have to find �00 a year (his Army pay would at that time have been about �0) over and above the rents just to keep the estate going. So with great regret Donald Nicol declined the inheritance and the Bank put in an administrator to recover its debt. Progress was very slow, and finally Cluny and its contents were sold, at the height of the war in 1943. The estate was bought by Capt. Peter Lindsay, whose grandchildren are happily still there.,

      Donald Nicol was killed in the war. His son Duncan, a Scots Guards officer, died quite young. He is survived by his wife Deirdre whose arms quarter those of Cluny and Ardmarnock, and by three daughters.

On Sunday 26th April 1998, Annie LeRoy-Lewis ran the London Marathon . . . and crossed over the finish line in just under 5 hours!

      Though aching and extremely tired, the sight of Buckingham Palace and the shouts from the crowd were just enough to make my leaden legs put in a final effort to complete the 26.4 mile course. Arriving that morning at Blackheath with 30,000 other runners was an unforgettable experience. At 9.30am we all heard the starting gun and although it took nearly 25 minutes to cross the start line, the culmination of months of training was about to be put to the test. (Not to mention the arm fractured four weeks earlier after a fall from my bicycle!).

      The first thirteen miles was enormous fun with all the runners feeling confident and comfortable. I met some of the most extraordinary characters including the Wombles, some rhinos, a viking ship, a carton of orange juice, six Elvis Presleys, a two bedroomed house, four skeletons, Noddy, and, of course, the Teletubbies.

      Tower Bridge and the half way mark was saluted with torrential rain and my fourth stop at a portaloo! The 20 mile mark (in the soul destroying Docklands) was reached with relief but also with trepidation at the thought of the six miles still to go. The crowds kept us all going and didn't easily let anyone slow to a walk. They not only shouted words of encouragement but regularly handed out orange segments, opal fruits, raisins


and polo mints. The musical accompaniment included reggae, bagpipes, morris dancers and a brass band.

      The arrival at the Tower of London and the dreaded cobbled streets (not easy on wobbly knees) was what I began to dream about. The eventual sound of Big Ben striking and the sight of Buckingham Palace meant that my overwhelming desire to sit down would soon be fulfilled.

Having completed the course and thereby realising my ambition, Tommy's Carnpaign* will be receiving a cheque for just under �000 in memory of our son Noah and we are extremely grateful for your generosity and wonderful support. We have been completely overwhelmed by the response to my request for sponsorship and I can only apologise for not being able to thank you all individually.


* Tommy's Campaign is the British National Baby Charity funding vital medical research into the causes of premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth.

By Andrew Macpherson, Curator
Once again we have arrived at the end of the season, the first of the new opening period, i.e. April through to October. There have been 2721 visitors, that is 231 more than last year. Contributions were �52 through the boxes, which was E16 down on last year. Sales were �31, an increase of �5 over last season, so it has been a case of swings and roundabouts. The Rally was quieter but when I hear business people did not have a very good season at least we broke even.

      Nancy was able to keep the garden in the manner we have got used to. Many photographs are taken of it and it has been a mass of colour up until just recently in spite of or because of the rain of which we had plenty. The garden is a combined effort by Nancy my wife and David Barrie my brother-in-law.

      I have to acknowledge the following donations, from Alfred Milne, Hillside, by Montrose � from his collection box to our collection box. Alfred is a keen member of the Scottish Branch. Thank you Alfred. From the Jacobite Society � on an arranged visit to the Museum.

      I also acknowledge the following items presented to the Museum:
           (1) An old candle holder from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim, Bridge of Allan, Stirling
           (2) An old gun firing pin, also from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim
           (3) Painting of Old Cluny, 20th Chief, from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim.
           (4) Small framed photograph of Ewan Macpherson of Cluny.
           (5) Small framed photograph of Sarah Justina Davidson Macpherson of Cluny, both these photographs from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim.            (6) Two miniatures of above also from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim.
           (7) Photograph of a piper playing at Glentruim and a newspaper dated 8th September 1914, both from Lachlan Macpherson of Glentruim.
           (8) Book-plates, Arms of E.S.L. Macpherson from E.S.L. MacPherson of Talla-Shee.
           (9) "Antrin Thochts" by W. Gordon McPherson, second book by W. G. McPherson. This is a collection of stories of the north-east in the Doric. Presented by Sandy Stronach, Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire.
           (10) "The Adventures of Sir Gobbledy Grumff," two copies of short stories for chil dren by W. Gordon McPherson. Presented by the author
           (11) Coloured photograph of Harvey and Sheila Macpherson with Virgina Campbell. Taken probably at their old house now known as "Old Balvenie". Presented by Susan Grant, Kooyong, Australia, Sheila's sister.

           (12) "Cille Coinneach, Laggan". Booklet on St. Kenneth's Church, Laggan. Presented by E.S.L. MacPherson, Talla-Shee.
           (13) "A Scots Scrapbook" by Harvey Macpherson. Presented by John Scobie, Newtonmore.
           (14) A small jug inscribed "Cluny Macpherson of Cluny." Presented by Mrs Isobel McLean, Drumblair Crescent, Inverness.
           (15) Video of 1996 Jubilee Rally. Presented by Eric McPherson, Cape Province, South Africa.
           (16) Four Gaelic Bibles. Presented by the family of the deceased Dr Simm, Moss Cottage, Upper Knock of Clune, Newtonmore.
           (17) Round Table in two halves belonging to the Black Officer, of Ballochroan. Presented by Blyth Wright, Aviemore.
           (18) "Scotlands." A book of collection of the work of James Macpherson (Ossian). Presented by E.S.L. MacPherson, Tallee-Shee.
           (19) "Ossian" by James Macpherson. The epics of Fingal and Temora, first published in 1760. A facsimile reprint. Collection of work on Macpherson in relation to other Scottish writers including Robert Burns. Presented by E.S.L. MacPherson, Tallee-Shee.
           (20) "On the Crofters Trail (in search of the clearance Highlanders)," by David Craig. From Museum sources.
           (21) Arms of Ian E. McPherson D.FC., Canada. Presented by R.G.M. Macpherson.
           (22) Arms of John Bonner Gillespie O.B.E. Presented by R.G.M. Macpherson.
           (23) Water colour by Harry Symons, presented by Eric Leach.
           (24) Complete set of Creag Dhubh magazines. Presented by Mrs Edith McPherson.


By Robert McGillivray

In seeking in Creag Dhubh last year for additions to his list of pipe bands wearing the Macpherson tartan, Sandy Macpherson might have taken a look at the 1997 World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. Sharing second place in that event, a mere three quarters of a point behind the winners, were the Victoria Police Pipe Band from Melbourne, Australia, resplendent in their red Macpherson tartan. And if he had attended these Championships last August he would have seen these Aussies under their pipe major, Nat Russell, play their way to a superb victory in the top grade -- real world champions! As the piping correspondent of The Scotsman newspaper reported: ". . . Russell and his band have now added an edge of subtlety to their acknowledged skills as master technicians. This looks to be a band with a long shelf life, and is a welcome addition to a roster of four or five top bands, each of which could have a reasonable stab at the world title given healthy reeds and favourable winds. Future championships should prove interesting."       The story behind the Victoria Police Pipe band adopting our clan tartan is told in the current issue of Clan Chattan, the annual journal of the Clan Chattan Association. Only 25 years after the city of Melbourne was first settled in 1834, Thomas McPherson, a native of Scotland, was established as an "iron merchant". The business prospered and Thomas' son, Sir William Murray McPherson, Premier of Victoria, was a prominent local benefactor who helped establish the Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy and the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital. His son William Edward McPherson was also a public benefactor. When in 1930 he read in his daily newspaper a story headed "Constables in kilts to play bagpipes", which said that the policemen needed money for the "kiltie costumes", his interest was aroused and be sent a cheque for �0. Since then the band has worn the red Macpherson tartan, and a badge bearing the motto "Touch not the cat bot a glove", in memory of this distinguished gentleman.

      Before leaving Australia, also dressed in the red Clan tartan is the fine pipe band, which generally parades some 30-strong, of the Cadet Corps at Sydney's prestigious Knox Grammar School, ranked among the country's top ten schools for at least the past thirty years.
      Further, and closer to home, the Royal British Legion Eyemouth Pipe Band wears our red tartan. But there is yet another I can mention. In the north the Ardgay, Bonar-Bridge Pipe Band also wears the red Macpherson tartan. It does so in honour of its founder Angus Macpherson who went on to be its President for over 50 years. Some of us still have fond memories of this very fine Highlander who was himself a great exponent of the instrument, personal piper to Andrew Carnegie and son of the famed Calum Piobaire. Angus died in 1976 within two months of his 99th birthday. It is good to know that his memory, and his clan, are commemorated in the tartan worn by the Pipe Band he founded, a band which is still going strong. A personal story comes from a member of the band who was a pall bearer, in full band kit, at Angus' funeral. A nasty sharp piece of metal, left on the coffin, caught the piper's hand. He was left standing beside the grave with his hand surreptitiously wrapped in his plaid to stop the blood dripping onto his white spats! [Ed. - An article in Creag Dhubh No. 17, 1965, entitled 'A Macpherson in Melbourne' by Mrs Agnes M. Boyle, gives another slant on the introduction of the Macpherson tartan into the Victoria Police Pipe Band uniform. Mrs Boyle stated that Sir Macpherson Robertson, a well-known Melbourne businessman with interests in Antarctic exploration and aviation, "donated the funds which equipped them with their uniforms and instruments, and it is in his honour that they all wear the heart-warming Macpherson tartan." I suspect that both he and William Edward McPherson made contributions to the band's funds.]


By Mrs Caroline Wakely (née Stamp), his great-grand-daughter
"You, boy: be quiet!" Aunt Fanny McPherson kicked my father, then aged fourteen. He was fidgeting during the reading of the Will, clutching the silk top hat which his mother Gertrude Stamp had made him wear to the funeral of his grandfather John Ewen McPherson. It was 1922 and JEM, who had died at Shaldon in Devon and had been buried in Newcastle, had left a complicated will whose ramifications lasted until the 1950s when it was used as a training problem for novice tax inspectors. The most learned of them noticed that more money was owing and dunned my grandmother.

      My father recollects that the will-reading was like a scene from the play "Laughing Gas" with Sir William Gibson, of Clayton and Gibson (Solicitors), clearing his throat, harrumphing and reading out the legacies, most of which were to nieces. The residue of the estate was left "in hotchpot" to his children.

      John Ewen McPherson was born on 17th June 1834, fourth child and first son of Mr. and Mrs. Lachlan McPherson of Edinburgh. The births of their children were not registered -- this was not required until 1855 in Scotland -- but the date was known to his family and was in his obituary. I wanted to know more so I obtained a copy of his marriage lines: JEM married Ann Robson in Newcastle on 10th March 1863 and gave his own occupation as Commission Agent; his office was in Pilgrim Street. The certificate showed his father's occupation as "Butcher", so my next step was to look for a Lachlan McPherson, butcher, in Edinburgh at the right time. I found one and gathered all the information I could about him-, and the trail went cold.

      Then, out of the blue, I inherited a photograph album of my great-aunt Annie Stone, daughter of JEM. This proved to be a treasure trove as, looking formally out of the photos at me, were people I had never heard of: Aunt Jane Westwood, Aunt Mary Ferguson and their families and Cousin Jeanie Butter and her husband.

      If you have been ancestor-hunting you will know that a crab-wise approach often helps, so I tried researching Westwoods and Fergusons. The marriage registers showed Miss Jane McPherson, daughter of John, butler, married Alexander Westwood, bellhanger and window-blind manufacturer and went to live in Perth. Their daughter, Jane -- Jeanie -- married Thomas Butter who managed a dyeworks in Perth. Perhaps Lachlan McPherson had a brother called John?

      Miss Mary Ann McPherson married James Scott Ferguson, a prosperous wholesale ironmonger and jeweller, sole partner in Thomas Russel & Son, of India Buildings, Victoria Street, produced a family and eventually had living with them her father Lachlan McPherson, retired gentleman's attendant, who died in their house. His death certificate and the censuses made it clear that his wife was Janet m.s. Urquhart and that he was not the butcher I had found: his marriage record said "wailer" -- I presume waiter -- and the records said later that he was Butler at Oakfield, 100 Pleasaunce, Edinburgh. The clerk who copied the marriage entry into the records had evidently misread it as "butcher" . . .

      Then Jane Westwood's death record revealed that her father was not John, as her marriage entry had said, but Lachlan-, so now I had a set of family relationships which I could look up further in the admirable GRO Scotland.

      The 1851 census would be useful -- with JEM then aged seventeen -- if I could find the family but alas, although threequarters of Edinburgh has been surname-indexed for this census, JEM's family was living somewhere in the NE quarter by that time, and this is not yet indexed. I failed to find them in the dim and spidery writing of the microfilm lists. I tried the 1841 census microfilm too, but with no success. The lists are very long and hard to read and I became mesmerised and unobservant.

      So I know JEM's birthdate and place and that his father Lachlan was born in Laggan


in 1799, son of Donald McPherson and Margaret m.s. McIntyre; but the next information I have is that he worked as a young man for the shipping firm of Donald R. McGregor & Son of Bernard Street, Leith and looked after the loading of ships and embarkation of troops for the Crimea in 1854. He had to walk from Edinburgh down to the docks at six o'clock every morning and later on in his service with Mr. McGregor he used to have breakfast with him at his house and report business. At the age of twentythree JEM went south and it is said in the family that he intended perhaps to go to London but stopped off in Newcastle and stayed. However that may be, he began there as a commission agent and progressed to having his own business importing wines and spirits wholesale, blending various sorts as he chose. It seems likely he had learned from his father's experience as a butler.

      He was very successful and in 1897 aged sixty-three he moved with his family to Benwell Grange, Benwell village, west of Newcastle, keeping his own carriage in which his coachman drove him to the office each day. It must have been a great blow that his wife Ann died the following year, aged only fifty-six, when their three youngest daughters were still in their teens. Their twelve children were Elizabeth - Lily -- (married John May; civil engineer), Janet (who was delicate); Annie (married Rev. Fred Stone and was known to her irreverent nephews as "the Acid Drop"); John Ewen II (engineer; married Grace Hartley-Williams from Australia); William (went to Clare College, Cambridge and died aged twenty-eight in 1899); Leonard (married Maud Hindhaugh and ran the business after his father died); Lucy (Queen's Nurse and later a Dame at Eton); Frances -- Fanny -- (short-sighted with a hearty laugh and keen on McPherson history); Malcolm (died aged about nineteen); twins: Mary (rode a motorcycle and married Basil Marsh-Dunn, tea-planter) and Gertrude (married George Morrell Stamp, ship-owner); and Beatrice -- Bee -- (married Alfred Wasteneys-Smith who had a marine engineering supplies company). Gertrude and George Stamp provided the only surviving grandsons so the McPherson surname died out.

      The formal photograph here, taken in about 1894, shows they were a large, middle


class and prosperous family although they had their share of sadness. The two surviving sons inherited the business but John -- JEM II, who had been CRE of 50th Division in the Army in the First World War, found his brother Leonard difficult to work with and went his own way, leaving Leonard in charge of the business. Leonard had tragedy too: his young wife Maud and their only baby Anne died soon after the birth and he led a lonely life first at Cullercoats and then at Sandhoe House, Hexham. It is understandable that he was embittered.

      By all accounts JEM was a stringent businessman and an austere and aloof father. His children had to come AT ONCE for meals and might not sit down until he did. My grandmother Gertrude was anxious about being alone in the room with him for fear of what he might say; but his children evidently enjoyed life anyway The Aunts as I remember them were cheerful sparkly people with their own private code language and a fund of good stories. One of these told how, when they went to meet their father at the railway station on his return from one of his annual salmon-fishing trips to Norway, they waited for him behind the high fence by the platform. They hooked one of his coats and hats on an umbrella so that it would seem to their father that they were speaking to a young man. Sure enough he came out growling "Who was that ... ?"

      The snapshots of Benwell show a jollier family than the formal group photograph would suggest: there are pictures of a laughing group with a fleet of bicycles; one of the girls side-saddle on a handsome horse; Mary, Gerty and Bee in a governess cart; a tennis group; young men smoking -- all very Edwardian. It is said that the girls used to adjust the window blinds to a different height to let their young men friends know when their father was away. No doubt the stories grew in the telling.

      The Aunts later on could be formidable. They telephoned their sister-in-law on The Instrument: "Grace: your girls were seen in the Park with no gloves." They could also be, to my youthful mind, daring. I remember being taken aback when we visited them in the 1950s that they confessed to placing bets with the milkman and to buying a television set on the Never-Never . . . splendid great-aunts. My grandmother looked like Joan Hickson's Miss Marple. Granny was a good carpenter and made me a doll's house and she understood electricity enough to rig up a bell which she could ring with a footbutton under the dinner table. It sounded in the kitchen so that the maid could appear as if by magic to remove the soup plates from the dining room.

      JEM and his unmarried daughters moved from Newcastle to Shaldon near Teignmouth in Devon when he retired from everyday attention to the business, the reason given being Janet's poor health. My father recalls trouble when he mispronounced the Post Master, Mr O'Nions' name. JEM's daughter Mary's girls lived at Shaldon when their family was divided between India and England. The old man must have found his daughters over-cheerful, as in his last years he retreated to eat his meals in his study alone.

      When JEM died his obituary said "There were in his manner and disposition the refinement and the characteristics of the old English gentleman." I like to think he would have appreciated the irony.

      After JEM's death in 1922 the family spelling of McPherson changed to Macpherson, on the orders of Leonard. When my father left school in the financially difficult days of the nineteen-twenties he worked briefly for Uncle Leonard in the firm and learned a great deal about both wine and spirits and about finance and commerce. The firm had Royal Warrants from King George V and from the Swedish Royal Family and sold amongst other house brands Chateau Latour Clerac, Jemas Pere et Fils (= JEM and Sons) and Grousset Freres Champagne, Brandy etc. There were Tradition and Palace Ports, Brown Bess (medium) and Golden Bess (dry) Sherries, Sunstar London Dry Gin and Windjammer and Anchor Watch Rums. They also blended and sold Cluny whisky which was then readily available in England and Scotland: it was not the same blend as it is today. I have been unable to buy Cluny Whisky even in Edinburgh though my


brother did find some in the Philippines a few years ago. JEM was proud of this particular blend, the firm did well and it is sad that irascible Uncle Leonard could find no young men of my father's generation who would carry on the business. It was sold on Leonard's death in 1936 to McEwen Younger who were known to the family; this then amalgamated with Newcastle Breweries and is now Scottish and Newcastle.

      The family genes, however, continue to flourish, even though the name does not. JEM had twelve children, thirteen grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren and forty-three great-great-grandchildren. My brother Ewen has a strongly Macpherson face and my son Christopher has the characteristic Macpherson earlobe. Christopher is an engineering student at Edinburgh and, to his great pleasure, met a Macpherson making a set of bagpipes in a shop in Edinburgh. They both had the same shaped earlobe. Genes rule!


The Macphersons, by Anne Lindsay Mitchell -- "the Origins of the Clan Macpherson and their place in Scotland's History". (Lang Syne Publishers Ltd., Clydeway Centre, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow G3 8JU ) E2.50.

      This is a pocket sized treasure that anyone would be glad to own, especially anyone of our Clan or its Septs which are clearly set out at the beginning.

      Rennie McOwan provides the Introduction in "The Origins of the Clan system".

      Yet a discussion of the legislation involved could have been more interesting. David I knew how his father Malcolm Canmore (Calum Ceann Mor) suffered in his defence of Scotland against William the Conqueror because of the desertions of his men at harvesttime and family crises.

      David I's solution was to be found in a form of national defence of Scotland such as to be found in that of Switzerland and much later that of Israel, which copied Switzerland's system.

      This employs a small national army and a very quick call-up system. Mobilisation in Scotland involved carrying a fiery cross and a rally rendezvous. Nowadays call-up in Israel needs only radio and TV announcements.

We have as a relic today Highland and Border games which along with the wappinshaw -- weapon show -- mirror the fortnight's annual instruction that both Switzerland and Israel find essential to the maintenance of their defence systems.

      To give the clan chiefs the power of call-up etc. each was given a pit and gallows court. It is understood that we had no such a court but were able to use that of the Duke of Gordon at Ruthven. But as the chief was, and is today, the father of the clan such extreme powers were seldom if ever used, though the court was most effective, indeed it was the strength of the clan system throughout Scotland.

      With the collapse of the 1745 Rising the English Chancellor had the Heritable Jurisdictions Act 1746 passed. This Act destroyed the use of the Swiss type defence of Scotland and the clan courts that made it operative.

Up till then the right of call-up was vested in the King of Scots. That is why Bruce, as king, got the support denied Wallace and why the Jacobite Risings were possible.

Prior to this 1746 Act, the chief had his own property or borlum which was only a small part of the clan lands; the rest was vested in the clansfolk. He was only the trustee and leader of his clan -- not much more than a local government Provost. After the 1746 Act the whole clan territory was given across to the chief as his own property.

      By the law laid down in the 1449 Act c18, which is still law today, any lease that would give the tenant security of tenure had to have a quit date and be in writing. But with the paternalistic role of the clan chief clansmen were kindly tenants without quit date or deed so that when the Act went through they could be evicted with no security of tenure -- hence the Highland Clearances. Clan lands after the 1746 Act could be sold to the


highest bidder but only for profit of sheep rather than tenants. But we are proud to say that Old Cluny of the nineteenth century as a true paternalistic chief would never never countenance evictions and clearances.

      The legislation of David I and its undoing by the 1746 Act would have added interest to this booklet as it would have shown that it affected not only ourselves but every clan in Scotland from the furthest North to the border.

      Yet, whatever might be said, this booklet is a little treasure, easily fitted into the pocket or handbag. It is not just a history to us of the Clan Macpherson but a little lifting of the veil to tell us a tiny part of the story of the people from whom we have sprung and who have given us the cohesion of a clan united in family relationship.


By Andrew Barton ("Banjo") Paterson, Australia. (1864-1941.)

MacFierce'un came to Whiskeyhurst
When summer days were hot,
And bided there wi' Jock MacThirst,
A brawny brother Scot.
Good faith! They made the whisky fly
Like Highland chieftains
And when they'd drunk the beaker dry
They sang "We are nae fou!
There's nae folk like our ain folk,
Sae gallant and sae true."
They sang the only Scottish joke
Which is "We are nae fou".

Said bold MacThirst, "Let Saxons jaw
Aboot their great concerns,
But Bonnie Scotland beats them a',
The Land o' Cakes and Burns,
The land of pairtridge, deer, and grouse;
Fill up your glass, I beg,
There's muckle whuskey i' the house,
Forbye what's in the keg."
And here a hearty laugh he laughed,
"Just come wi' me, I beg."
MacFierce'un saw with pleasure daft
A fifty-gallon keg.

"Losh, man, that's graund," MacFierce'un cried,
"Saw ever man the like,
Noo, wi' the daylicht, I maun ride
To meet a Southron tyke,>
But I'll be back ere summer's gone,
So bide for me, I beg
We'll mak' a graund assault
upon Yon deevil of a keg."
MacFierce'un rode to Whiskeyhurst
When summer days were gone,
And there he met with Jock MacThirst
Was greetin' all alone.


"MacThirst, what gars ye look sae blank?
Hae all your wuts gane daft?
Has that accursed Southron bank
Called up your overdraft?
Is all your grass burnt up wi' drouth?
Is wool and hides gane flat?"
MacThirst replied, "Guid friend, in
'Tis muckle waur than that."
"Has sair misfortune cursed your life
That you should weep sae free?
Is harm upon your bonnie wife,
The children at your knee?

Is scaith upon your house and hame?"
MacThirst upraised his head:
"My bairns hae done the deed of shame
'Twere better they were dead.
To think my bonnie infant son
Should do the deed o' guilt --
He let the whuskey spigot run,
And a' the whuskey's spilt!"
Upon them both these words did bring
A solemn silence deep;
Good faith, it is a fearsome thing
To see two strong men weep.


Canadian Branch

Chairman Andrew K. P. Macpherson); Vice-Chairman -- Douglas MacPherson); Hon. Treasurer -- Marlene McPherson; Hon. Secretary -- Nancy Macpherson, 193 Waldoncroft Crescent, Burlington, Ontario L7L

The 49th Annual General Meeting and Clan Dinner was held at The Holiday Inn, Oakville, Ontario on November 7th 1998 and was well attended by members from near and far. We were especially pleased to welcome Mrs. Margaret Lintott and family, who travelled all the way from Sidney, Manitoba to be present and Dr. Douglas MacPherson from Millgrove, Ontario, who brought 15 members of his family with him. Such enthusiasm for Clan affairs was an inspiration to us all.

      After dinner, our Chairman, Andrew Macpherson, conducted the meeting and we heard brief but encouraging reports from the Hon. Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. The Hon. Secretary read a message of greetings from Cluny who will be in Canada for three days as Guest of Honour at the 200th Anniversary of the St. Andrew's Society of Saint John, New Brunswick on November 28th. In the report on membership which followed, it was noted that 21 new members joined the Association this year and that the majority came to us as a result of seeing our page on the Internet.

      Vice-Chairman, Douglas MacPherson, reported on plans for our 50th anniversary next year and the dates have been set for September 24th, 25th and 26th, 1999 and the location will be the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, Kitchener, Ontario. Both the Chief and the International Chairman hope to attend and further details will be mailed to members later in the year.


      The Ceilidh began with our piper for the evening, George Duncan, who favoured us with a selection of stirring pipe tunes. This was followed by a delightful presentation by our guest accordionist, Peter Bush, who played a series of jigs and reels, including "Lord Macpherson of Drumochter" and "Lady Macpherson of Cluny". During the playing of the "Gay Gordons", Hon. Vice-President Neil and Myrna McPherson, gave us a lively and talented solo exhibition of Scottish Country Dancing which met with an enthusiastic response from all present. The accordionist then led the members in a "sing-along" of old Scottish favourites.

      The evening concluded by the showing of a portion of Eric McPherson's comprehensive video of the