Duke of Gordon/ClunyWhisky Advertisments







As most of you will know our elder son Alan Thomas in June 2002 decided to stand down as heir to the position of Chief of Clan Macpherson in favour of his brother James Brodie (Jamie). This courageous decision was made by Alan after very careful consideration, and with our whole family's support and agreement. The Lord Lyon has accepted this change formally, and Jamie is now "Tanistair of the House of Cluny-Macpherson and heir presumptive of tailzie of the undifferenced Arms of Macpherson". Since this nomination is strictly revocable by me the Lord Lyon also agrees that during my lifetime Alan Thomas will continue to be "younger of Cluny and Blairgowrie", We know that both Alan and Jamie will have your support in this change in succession. Incidentally the rumour that the change signalled some indication of my poor health is totally untrue! I can assure you that I remain very fit and well, and hope that succession will be delayed for a considerable time!

      I pay warm tribute to all the Officers of the Association who ensured that the 50th Anniversary of our Museum was marked with a very well attended and well run Gathering in August. Much credit is due to Vice Chairman Catherine, and to Ewen of Tallashee, and all the most willing helpers who worked hard to achieve the excellent improvements to the Museum. Particular thanks go to the family of the late Helen Macpherson Thomson, and to Lillian Rouse, for their great generosity in connection with the new Library and Archive Room.

      We send much sympathy to the families of those who died during the last year. For their families and for our Association the loss of Euan Macpherson of Glentruim, Ronald W.G. Macpherson (Ronnie), and of Andrew Gillies was a sad triple blow. All of them were closely valued cousins and friends who had contributed so much to our extended family. We all look back on them and their parts played with respect and thankfulness.

      The year was rounded off for us by attendance at the USA Branch Gathering in Las Vegas, and the Canadian Branch Gathering in London, Ontario. Both experiences not to have been missed. And our grateful thanks go to Dave and Corkie (USA) and Douglas (Canada) and their splendid teams for successful and most enjoyable occasions. Sheila increased the "housekeeping" playing Blackjack. I lost it again on the fruit machines --- but not in large quantities!!

      All our family send warm greetings for 2003 to our Clansmen and Cousins worldwide.



      This has been a year of fiftieth celebrations, beginning in January when my wife Lillas and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Michigan and the Virgin Istands. Being married at the ages of eighteen and starting our lives together half way around the world in Hawaii it was never expected to last but it worked and we have had a great life together, especially when we joined the Clan Macpherson Association with all its extended family. Following these celebrations came our trip to Scotland to attend the Clan Gathering and the 50th anniversary of the Clan Museum. A highlight of the tour was our first attendance at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

      It has also been a grand year for other Clan Gatherings at Dunedin Florida, Alma Michigan, Las Vegas Nevada and to London Ontario, where Douglas MacPherson and his Branch are doing a great job.

      This has involved a lot of flying and driving but as we are retired we can take our time and enjoy it.

      Our only problem came when in Inverness en route for the Clan Chattan meeting we got lost at traffic lights trying to follow other Macphersons. We were on our own and not too sure of where to go so after searching for an hour gave up and returned to Newtonmore. 2003 will be my last year as Chairman. I thought at first that it might be more than I could handle but as it turned out I really enjoyed the three years. I hope that my service has been to your satisfaction and now look forward to my successor doing a splendid job in the leadership of the Association.

      It has all been great fun!

Larry Lee

      The Temporary Editor is still here, looking for a successor to take his place, however there might be somebody out there, lurking in the wings, waiting to take over. My grateful thanks to many, to people who sent in articles, photographs and stories, to technical people who nursed the computer during difficult times and to all who have made this edition happen.

      A few thoughts for the future.
            This summer, we have a good chance of having the first lady Chairman of the Association, a ground breaking event. What about some articles on Macpherson women? There haven't been many in the past. Dr Alan G of Canada leads the way this year with the story of a Canadian lady artist of great repute, but there must be other ladies of renown in our Clan history.

            Also, this summer, our revised Association Constitution will give more official recognition to the associated families of the Clan (we used to call them septs) There is plenty of scope for stories on some of these names, so come on, sharpen those quill pens, oil those key boards and send in your best tales, we all want to hear them.

      2002 was an exciting and momentous year for a lot of reasons, I can only hope that some of it is reflected in these pages.

With the best of good wishes to you all.

Sandy Macpherson



      It was publicised as the Clan Museum's Birthday Party and it ended up as the longest running Clan Gathering in the history of the Macphersons.

      For those who were involved from start to finish it was a test of stamina, but if one had trained hard through the winter and practised the usual skills of survival the experience was wonderful but exhausting.

      This time the Gathering started in Edinburgh with a walk down the Royal Mile led by Sandy. Alas, the heavens opened about two thirds through and to avoid being washed away the Macphersons took shelter in a "pend" (how many people know the meaning of that old Scots word?) and thus survived to renew the party the next day.

      Sandy reappeared, this time to take a group around the Museum of Scotland, with particular reference to the Clan Macpherson and the Jacobites. On leaving, having resisted the temptation to remove Bonnie Prince Charlie's Targe to return it to its rightful owners, we then proceeded to Sandy and Catherine's home for a buffet lunch. More joined us and soon we all got the impression that the Gathering was in full swing, the music and song being of the usual highest order.

      By Thursday the circus had moved north to Badenoch and the afternoon saw a guided tour by coach around the Clan lands, hopefully appreciated by first time Gathering attendees. The tour was enlivened by the united brawn of the mate Macphersons who sallied forth to lift a small car which had fallen into a ditch in the path of our coach, to the delight of the driver and the Macpherson ladies. It was a well photographed event.

      The real birthday party came on Friday afternoon with the celebrations centring around the Clan Museum, opened fifty years ago in August 1952.

      Summoned by pipers to the front garden of the Museum, a large crowd saw Ronnie Macpherson raise a Saltire to the top of the Museum flagstaff. It was his personal donation and it flew proudly for the occasion. Sadly, Ronnie died only a few weeks after the Gathering, Rallies will never quite be the same without him.

      Cluny then opened and walked through a special gate made by John Macpherson of Montrose in memory of his aunt. Then, inside the Museum, the new Helen MacPherson Thompson Library and the Lillian McPherson Rouse Archive Centre were formally opened by Cluny cutting tartan ribbons with "Old Cluny's" sword. We were glad that representatives of both the donor families could be present for the occasion.

      Later, Rod Clarke introduced Cluny who unveiled the plaque displaying the names of the newest Dionadairean to the Museum.       The Highland Ball at the Duke of Gordon Hotel in the evening was very well attended and the use of the large marquee was much appreciated. Saturday saw the Annual General Meeting in the Village Hall, special events being the presentation of a scroll to John Barton for many services given to the Association, the handing over by [Tokyo] Bill McPherson of a set of books written by his brother [and Pullizer Prize winning author] James and the presentation of a framed picture of Alexander McPherson of Australia and one of his poems by his daughter, Mrs Yvonne Bird.

      Our usual march to the Newtonmore Highland Games was larger than usual and attracted a lot of good comments, perhaps some of us are getting older but there is always a good supply of young Macphersons to help out.

      In the evening, our ceilidh in Kingussie with a mixture of performers, some new and some whom we welcomed back to entertain us again.

      On Sunday morning, as good sons of the parson, we went to St Columba's Church in Kingussie. In the afternoon we attended the interment of the ashes of the late Euan Macpherson of Glentruim. Well known to so many of us, it was appropriate that so many of his friends were present to say farewell. This was followed by the now traditional picnic on the Cairn site in


Laggan, blessed with good weather. Zandra, the widow of Euan, made us welcome at her tent on the field to toast his memory.

      Later we visited Balavil House, where Allan and Marjorie Macpherson- F I etcher welcomed us with their usual kindness into their home for tea and home baking. The evening saw a more informal entertainment in the Duke of Gordon with a Hog Roast in the marquee and entertainment and dancing providing a relaxing end to the day. Boat trips to Cluny's Cage on Monday and Tuesday have been well recorded elsewhere in this journal and do not require further description. The alternative to braving Loch Ericht was to walk the six mile long Wild Cat Trail around Newtonmore, those who went there enjoyed the experience.

      On Wednesday some of us had the wonderful experience of visiting Newton Castle, where Cluny and Lady Cluny played host to an appreciative group of Clanspeople who had come from far and wide for the Gathering.

      The final event came on Wednesday evening when about sixty Macphersons and friends attended en masse the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. The evening was warm and dry, we all sat together and the entertainment was of the highest order. A highlight of the occasion was the official Tattoo announcer making the Macpherson Clan welcome to the event as part of our annual Gathering. Prior to the event, most of us gathered at Sandy and Catherine's home for homely fare of mince and tatties before setting off on the local bus for the Castle, providing a good start to the last event of a most memorable Clan Gathering.

      Thanks must be given to the sponsors of various events who provided us with whisky, water, haggis and shortbread and other necessities of life in suitable quantities. Can the organisers keep up this hectic pace and keep up the same high standards? Time only will tell, but come this year and let us know.

Sandy Macpherson


      2002 was a very special year for the Museum, a fact that was realised by many of the visitors who felt honoured and privileged in sharing all that was taking place during the year. My second year has now been completed and was indeed a busy one with all the work and preparations for the August Gathering.

      There are so many things for me to do when the Museum is quiet, but as that time only happens out of hours it is sometimes difficult to keep up to date.

      Those visitors who choose to go on the tour of the Clan lands by following Gordon of Canada's map and then have a tour of the Museum experience, a wonderful enlightenment in the homelands of their forefathers. All that for the price of a donation! The coming of Mairi and Bert who let me have time off has been a great asset. Both have family connections with the house before it became a Museum and they take great pride in welcoming all visitors. Bert is a retired Clerk of Works/master joiner who has worked tirelessly on many jobs that had been overlooked for years. Mairi has a Gaelic background and both know the locality well.

      The attendance and financial statistics are most encouraging, being as follows:--
          Visitors 3730 up by 1547 on 2001
           Donations £1742 up by £ 108 on 2001
           Sales £ 945 8 up by £4455 on 2001.

      The makers of "The Monarch of the Glen" television series gave us £600 for the use of the Cairn site and the Museum as location backgrounds. Long may the series run!

      Winter in these airts is long and cold. Haste ye back during the summer when we are officially open, I look forward to welcoming you then.



ARTEFACTS Three WWI medals including the Military Medal belonging to Private James Macpherson, RASC. From Colin Macpherson (son), Hednesford, Staffordshire.

Copy of painting of Ardverikie House by Queen Victoria. Original owned by HM the Queen. Donated by Andrew Macpherson (former Curator) and was previously on loan.

Copy of a limited edition print of Ardverikie House by David Fallows. From John Stuart Macpherson, Blackburn, England.

A considerable number of items previously on loan and on display were bequeathed by the late Ronnie Macpherson, These included the medals and decorations of his father, Sir Duncan Macpherson and his uncle, Major General Sir William G. Macpherson. In addition Ronnie left the sum of £600 to the museum.

Cluny Castle Medallion. Dated 23 May 1895.

Posthumous WWI medallion on wooden shield in name of John McPherson, Killed in Action. From Rob Ritchie, Newtonmore.

Photograph of Lord (Tom) & Lady Macpherson of Drumochter. In dress Macpherson and ermine. From Mrs Jemimi Davies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Coloured photograph of Helen MacPherson Thompson for the Reference Library. From Helen's family in Texas.

Coloured photograph of Lillian McPherson Rouse with her family for the Archive Centre. From 'The Urlar'.

Silver Ladle -- Edinburgh 1824. On loan from Shelagh Macpherson-Noble, Haddington.

'Poppies in November'. A framed picture of Alexander McPherson 1896-1984, together with one of his poems. From Mrs Yvonne Bird, Eltham, Australia.

Arms: Lt Col Mark F Macpherson Canadian Authority
Arms: Alexander Ian Macpherson Canadian Authority
Arms: Myles Gordon Macpherson Canadian Authority
Arms: Charles JM Macpherson, younger son of Pitmain
Arms: J. Douglas W Macpherson Canadian Authority,

Framed picture of 'Wee Hughie' Macpherson, Domestic Clerk to the Perth Carriers, died circa 1836, with text. .

. Updated 'Map of Clan Country' suitable for reproduction and sale in the Museum. From RGM Macpherson, Ontario, Canada.

Copy of a print of the Marquis of Montrose from original dated 1649 together with text for a 'Montrose' display. From Alan, Younger of Cluny.

Framed photograph of the first AGM of the Canadian Branch in Ottawa 1949. From the Canadian Branch.

Cup (Silver Tassie). To be used when required as a prize.

Evening skirt and waistcoat -- to sell. Sold for £50. From Jean Macpherson, Edinburgh.

Hunting tartan kilt with a history. From Professor Philip M'Pherson, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

ARCHIVES 'Macphersons of Gaskmore'. Genealogy. From Mrs. Cluny Paget, Headley, Hampshire.

'Thomas Cameron & Mary McPherson'. Genealogy. From Ian & Collindy Cameron, Jerrabomberra, NSW.

'Ardersier Macphersons'. Genealogy.From John L. Macpherson, Mittagong, NSW.

'Descendants of Daniel McPherson 1682'. Genealogy. From David Bruce McPherson, San Francisco, California.


'Emigration to Australia in 1852. Donald McPherson (cl791), Red Castle, Ross-shire & Dunvegan, Isle of Skye and Mary McCrimmon, Isle of Skye'. Genealogy. Compiled by Mary McPherson, Ringmer, Sussex and given to Museum by Douglas McPherson, Roleystone, Western Australia.

3 photographs of 1947 Clan Gathering. 2 photographs of 1954 visit to Cluny Castle. From Jean Macpherson, Edinburgh.

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vols 110-117.
The Chiefs of 'Clan Macpherson by W. Cheyne-Macpherson
The River Findhorn by G. Bain
Harp of Perthshire by Robert Ford
Gravestone Inscriptions on Speyside by Alison Mitchell

From the late Phosa Macpherson, Newtonmore.

Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver by Wm Stewart Macpherson
Where I Belong by Duncan Macpherson

From Sandy Macpherson, Edinburgh.

Niel Gow's Inver by Helen Jackson
The Living Wilderness
by John Kerr

From Ewen S.L. MacPherson, Strathardle.

Images of Civil War, Gettysburg,
BattlIe Cry of Freedom,
The Abolitionist Legacy,
Ordeal by Fire,
The Negro's Civil War
Drawn with the Sword. All by James M. McPherson

from William McPherson, Seattle, USA, brother of the author.

The Raj by Donald MacPherson CIE
Edinburgh as the Artist Sees It by Aleksander Zwy
A Cairn of Small Stones by John Watts
The Highlands by WH Murray
A Mosaic of Islands by Kenneth Williamson and Morton Boyd
Scotland's Western Seaboard by G D Bolton
The Making of Classical Edinburgh by AJ Youngson

From Mrs Richardson, London

Video of Clan Gathering August 2002. From Lex Macpherson, East Kilbride.

Video of Waltzing Matilda demonstrating Christina MacPherson's influence. From the Australian Branch.

by Rory Mor
      One of the enduring features of Macpherson Gatherings in recent years has been the treks that take place on the Monday following the weekend festivities. 2002 was no exception but it was more of a boat ride than a trek and it took place on the Tuesday as well. In fact, there were at least three separate assaults on the purported place known as Cluny's Cage. What follows is my impression of the first of the expeditions led by that seasoned adventurer Sandy Macpherson. A list of my fellow adventurers can be found at the end of the article if space permits.

What Was the Cage and Where Was It?
      The 'Cage' was the name given to a hideaway used by Ewen Macpherson, 'Cluny of the '45' and other Jacobites in the period following the disaster at å Moor, perhaps better known to the World as Culloden Field. Chief among the others were Charles Edward Stewart (or if you prefer the French spelling, Stuart), the Bonny Prince and the 'Gentle Lochiel', Donald


Cameron. Their motivation in sojourning there, of course, was to evade the intensive efforts being taken by the British Government of the time to find them.

      The mystery surrounding this place of refuge has been the subject of widespread intellectual curiosity for well over two centuries. An example of this is given in Appendix 19 of Alexander Macpherson's Glimpses (for those who don't have a copy of that great work, I've published it on my website -- http://www.sonasmor.net/glimpses_menu.html). And one should not forget that Robert Louis Stevenson made the Cage one of the integral sites of his novel, Kidnapped when Alan Breck and David Balfour came upon it and its illustrious occupants after escaping from the Redcoats across Rannoch Moor.

      The Jacobites knew where the Cage was but the Government didn't and, perhaps, still doesn't some 250 years later. Today the Government claims to know where the Cage was and indicates its position on the Ordnance Survey maps that it publishes. However, many people don't agree that the place designated by the Ordnance Survey is correct. It's not clear that the doubters know its location either and this constitutes the basis for a continuing debate. Prof Alan G. Macpherson suggests alternative locations in his recent book dealing with the Macpherson's participation in the '45 Rising and its aftermath, A Day's March to Ruin. I'm told that Affleck Gray also offered opposing evidence but for this article I've restricted the testimony to the traditional views albeit with some scepticism.

      What do we know about the Cage? The following description replete with examples of creative spelling is taken from a manuscript found in the Cluny charter-chest and believed to have been written about the year 1756 by Cluny's younger brother, Donald., a year after Cluny had gone to France, [paragraphing added] --

           "About five miles [Highland miles were somewhat longer than English miles in those days] to the south-westward of his [Cluny's] chateau commenced his forrest of Ben Alder, plentifully stock'd with dear -- red hares, moorfoul, and other game of all kinds, besides which it affords fine pasture for his numberous flocks and heards. There also he keeps a harras of some hundred mares, all which after the fatal day of Culoden became the pray of his enemies. It contains an extent of many mountains and small valleys, in all computed about 12 miles long cast and west, and from 8 to 10 miles in breadth, without a single house in the whole excepting the necessary lodges for the shepherds who were charged with his flocks.

           It was in this forest where the Prince found Cluny with Locheill in his wounds and other friends under his care. He was afraid that his constitution might not suit with lying on the ground or in caves, so was solicitous to conttrive a most comfortable habitation for him upon the south front of one of these mountains, overlooking a beautifull lake [Loch Ericht] of 12 miles long. He observed a thicket of hollywood, he went, viewed and found it fit for his purpose; he caused immediately to wave the thicket round with boughs, made a first and second floor in it, and covered it with moss to defend the rain. The uper room serv'd for salle a manger and bed chamber while the lower serv'd for a cave to contain liquors and other necessaries, at the back part was a proper hearth for cook and baiker, and the face of the mountain had so much the colour and resemblance of smock, no person cou'd ever discover that there was either fire or habitation in the place.

           Round this lodge were placed their sentinels at proper stations, some nearer and some it greater distances, who dayly brought them notice of what happened in the country and even in the enemie's camps, bringing them likewise the neccessar provisions while a neighbouring fountain supplied the society with the rural refreshment of pure rock water. As, therefore, an oak tree is to this day rever'd in Britain for having happily saved the grand uncle, Charles the Second, from the pursuits of Cromwell so this hotly thicket will probablie in future times be likeways rever'd for having saved Prince Charles, the nephew, from the still more dangerous pursuits of Cumberland, who show'd himself on all occasions a much more inveterate enemy. In this romantick humble habitation the Prince dwelt."

      In 1897, Walter Biggar Blaikie published a supplement to Bishop Robert Forbes' The Lyon in Mourning, a collection of speeches, letters and journals, etc. relative to the affairs of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. (1746 -75). A footnote of that supplement is titled 'A Description of Cluny's Cage' and provides the following analysis of Donald's description:--


           "There is a certain amount of obscurity about the exact site of Cluny's Cage. Tradition has grown up round a cave above Ben Alder Lodge, near the end of Loch Ericht figured on the [Ordnance Survey map] as Prince Charlie's Cave. Yet it is not quite certain that this was the veritable site of the Cage the tradition of which is well known to the shepherds and gamekeepers of the district. The Cage was an artificial structure of two storeys (1), on a southern spur of Ben Alder (2), overlooking Loch Ericht (3), on the face of a rocky hill (4), in a thicket of holly (5), [and] so situated that sentries could give warning (6). It was never discovered by the enemy. All traces of the shanty have naturally disappeared, but the site of the cave fulfils the necessary conditions excepting that of the thicket of holly; yet, as trees have disappeared in many parts of the Highlands, the holly may have died out here. The following description, from an account of the Cairingorm Club in 1894 and printed in the Club's Journal, Aberdeen 1895: 'it is an exceedingly rude shelter consisting of several large boulders tilted up at various angles, and forming the most scanty accommodation. It is divided into an upper and lower shelter, which have been fancifully designated kitchen and bedroorn.' In some respects, the identification of it as the ill-starred Prince's hiding place seems very probable. It affords an excellent outlook, it's inaccessible, and is one of the most unlikely places in the kingdom for a prince or peasant to abide in."

Apparently Blaikie didn't believe this testimony from two years before in that he just got finished stating that all traces of the Cage had disappeared.

      So it would appear that there is some basis for doubt regarding the Ordnance Survey's designation. But what other choice did our intrepid band of searchers have except to travel down Loch Ericht by boat to the spot designated on the Ordnance Survey Map. Yes, we might have walked or bicycled -- that is permitted by the owners of the Ben Alder Estate -- but, alas, time did not. And besides it was a beautiful day -- sunny and not too warm with just enough clouds to accentuate the landscape below.

Sailing Down Loch Ericht
      Our departure point was a wharf just a mile or so south of Dalwhinnie, home of the renowned distillery that so graciously abetted our celebration of the Clan Macpherson Museum's Golden Jubilee. The map opposite shows this point in relation to the other geographic places we were to encounter en route to the Cage. Loch Ericht is about 15 miles long and the cove where we would go ashore was three miles shy of that. The Loch forms a portion of the boundary between Badenoch and Atholl and is an interesting body of water in that it is dammed at both ends. I suppose the dam at the northem end is there to prevent inundation of Dalwhinnie after periods of heavy rainfall whereas that at the southern end is there to keep the water from flowing back upstream. Perhaps it has something to do with the aluminium industry that rearranged the flow of many streams in its heyday.


      The boat that carried us down the Loch is a bare bones' affair and not designed with the comfort of the passengers in mind. There were nine of us in the first contingent plus the pilot, Pat Thompson who is an employee of the Ben Alder Estate, He was with us down to a point abreast of Ben Alder Lodge where he was relieved by Ian Crichton, the Head Stalker for the Estate who came aboard with his dog.

      According to the website Who Owns Scotland (www.whoownsscotland.org), the Ben Alder Estate is owned by an interesting group of folks -- Argo Investment Overseas Ltd. is said to own 75% of it and the Hanbury family of Hungerford, Berkshire 25%. The directors of Argo are Dr. Ulrich Kohli and Dr. Urs Werner Kohli based in Zurich. However, the baronial Ben Alder Lodge is owned by the Compania Financiera Waterville SA of Panarna. Other websites tell us that Ulrich Kohli is Chief Economist of the Swiss National Bank and an adjunct professor at the University of Geneva. The web was mum as to Dr. Urs' background but one gets the idea that he too is a banker. Sandy told us that the owners are somewhat reclusive and requested that we not photograph the extensive complex of buildings that comprise the Lodge. Its appearance reminded me of Tinkerbell's castle at Disneyland but it seems to be even more extensive than that. Nevertheless, still other websites tell us that the owners have "always made outdoor people welcome, provided they showed due respect for the needs of the estate". Of course, there still is no 'Law of Trespass' in Scotland as there is England and the USA and travellers have the right of passage over private land provided that they don't damage it.

Ashore at the Bothy
      The voyage probably took us a couple of hours and the scenery, although wild and wonderful, does tend to be pretty much the same all the way down the loch with high bills on either side and higher mountains fiarther away from the shoreline, The dominant peak for the region is Ben Alder but there are several others in the vicinity that come close to its majesty. Thus it was with a degree of relief to come upon a cove with fairly low-lying land surrounding it and a stone built building situated a few tens of yards north of the shoreline. The latter is Ben Alder Cottage -- a bothy to accommodate hikers and climbers who dare to penetrate the wilderness that is evident everywhere. It is one of several that are to be found in this region and their locations are well publicized.

      Ben Alder Cottage is not large but it seems to be well built and clearly an accommodating facility with fireplaces at either end and several bunk beds and other rough furniture within . In spite of its remoteness it is quite famous because of a legend of it being haunted. According to Sandy and another website to be found at http: //www.rannoch.net/places.htm, the story goes that "a former gamekeeper of the Ben Alder Estate called McCook, hanged himself in the cottage. The reality seems to be that he retired happily to Newtonmore. Still, the facts should not be allowed to get in the way of the pleasure derived from sleeping in the haunted cottage. Many a lone traveller has reported noises in the night or strange lights. Sceptical people attribute the noises to mice and deer rubbing the velvet off their horns and the lights to practical jokers."


Up the Hill to the Cage
      The supposed site of the Cage is a half-mile up a deceptively gentle slope at the top of which is a lone rowan tree that marks the site. The grass that covers the ground was quite long and masked the many rocks that lay everywhere along the route up the slope. It also masked the many little streams of water that trickle down that slope and picking one's way through grass, rocks and rivulets was no easy task. I must confess that I was the last to reach the top and availed myself of several stops to rest along the way. [Of course, I should add that I was nearly 78 years of age at the time.]

      At the top is a series of huge rocks as can be seen in the photo with Sandy in the foreground. One should notice that the ground is not very flat in that area. Behind it is the cave that was purported to be part of the Cage. The other photo opposite provides a peek inside of this cave. Neither photo really conveys great confidence that the Cage was located here 250 years ago or even a hundred when the Aberdonians came by. However, it should be noted that the site where only a single rowan tree now stands was said to have been in a dense thicket of holly trees that were woven around so that a second story could be supported above this cave.

      By this time you may be wondering why all the fuss about whether this was really the site of the Cage? The answer, of course, is, for me anyway, that addressing such questions is fun and doesn't cost very much. But this question was no longer a problem -- getting down the hill and back to the boat in one piece required my total attention. The view from the 'Cage' is magnificent but it hid the fact that the path down the hill was both treacherous and tortuous. I hadn't worn the proper type of shoes to deal with the combination of the long grass and the hidden rivulets and this resulted in several pratfalls before I reached my goal. Nevertheless, I escaped with no permanent scars.

      The return trip up the Loch was uneventful and when we arrived back at the departure point, there was that 'angel of mercy' -- Catherine -- with whisky and scones to refresh the 'not-so-weary' travellers as they disembarked. Also waiting was the second tour group ready to depart. Alas, poor Sandy was to escort them as well -- another four hours cruising on Loch Ericht and another perilous climb and descent to the cage. Such dedication! Fortunately, Sandy's son Bruce Macpherson was available to lead the Tuesday trip so Sandy was spared a third go. But don't be misled by this commentary -- it was a highly enjoyable adventure and one that was well worth doing.

The Adventurers Identified
      The adventurers of the first expedition to the Cage were: Sandy Macpherson of Edinburgh; Donald John McPherson of Sault Ste Marie, MI; Ruth Rouse and Roger Dennis of San Jose,


CA; William R. (Tokyo) McPherson of Seattle, WA; Lex Macpherson, of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire; Jean and Alastair Macpherson of Newburgh, Fife; and yours truly.

      Those on the second trip were Sandy; Judy and John Dickie of Arlington, VA; June and Mark Macpherson of Hernmingford, Que; Bertha and Graham McIntosh of Kent; Helen McCabe of Penicuik, Lothian and her children, Christopher and Sarah. I suspect that the ennui of the second voyage was somewhat mitigated by the fact that the latter two were Sandy's grandchildren.

      The third trip must have entailed two boats because the list provided me contained seventeen names: Bruce; Jean Macpherson of Newtonmore; Margot and Michael Miller of Dallas, TX; Jean and Gordon Duffy of Guayala, CA; Rennie and Brian Bright of Guntersville, AL; Anne and Charles McPherson Bright of Grant, AL; Allan Macpherson; Ewen MacPherson; another Bruce Macpherson; Kathy Macpherson of Russell, NZ; and an unidentified guest whose name was regrettably not recorded. I was told that in addition to being among the adventurers, Rennie and Brian Bright were the only Yanks to participate in the Creag Dhubh hillrace this year and that they finished a respectable 'middle of the pack'.


      So-called 'summers' in Badenoch might surprise overseas visitors to the Highlands More used to roaring, soaring temperatures, sun-baked vistas, air conditioning and cold beer. They often disappoint the Scots too, even if they seldom fail to surprise. But by comparison, the months of September and October are oft the most glorious of the year in the Highlands -- weak but brave sunshine, the birches and heather casting off a feast of rich autumnal colours, wood smoke and afternoon teas round the fire -- all set amid the knowledge that this will be the last of the light skies till the hard earth is again broken next spring.

      It was amidst a riot of autumnal colours that friends and relations of the bride and groom travelled to Inverness in September to witness and celebrate the wedding of the Hon. Annie Macpherson, younger daughter of Lord and Lady Macpherson of Drumochter and Jamie Macpherson, younger son of Sir William and Lady Macpherson of Cluny and heir to the Chiefship of the Clan Macpherson.

      The marriage service took place at St Andrew's Cathedral, bedecked inside with white floral arrangements that echoed the bride's bouquet of white roses, freesias and stephanotis; there was also a veritable sea of tartan clad guests -- yards of Hunting Macpherson that masterfully reflected the colours of a beautiful autumn day.

      The final music ranged from the Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor", our kinsman Jeremiah Clarke's "The Prince of Denmark's March" and Caesar Franck's sweet and melodic "Panis Angelicus"; the hymns including that most dour and magnificent old Scots psalm "All people that on earth do dwell", and "I vow to thee my country"; and the readings -- a piece from Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" read by Cluny, and the familiar but eternal words taken from I Corinthians Chapter 13.

      And of course the sound of the pipes, masterfully played by the groom's brother-in-law, Jerome LeRoy Lewis, featured large at the reception.

      But forget the pipes [no disrespect to Jerome], the tartan [or the guests], the hymns [the organist and congregation] and the weather [the Powers that Be], what, scream avid female readers, of the bride, her dress, her composure? Did she shine? Did she cry? Tell us, what of Annie?

      Annie was accompanied up the aisle by her father, her dress a wonderful ivory silk gown of great subtlety and beauty, with a fine, long train supported and managed by the impeccably behaved Eliza and Torquil LeRoy-Lewis; her bead was adomed with a veil kept in place by a diamond tiara, and on her neck she wore a splendid sapphire and diamond necklace. Annie

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radiated happiness as she joined Jamie at the alter, he, a modest picture of pure pride and elation.

      The couple emerged from the Cathedral to lead their two hundred guests in triumph to their wedding feast and celebration at Annie's family home Kyllachy in Strathdearn. A wonderfully dressed marquee awaited the party and an evening of bagpipes, reels and speeches. During the speeches, one delivered in part in Zulu, it was revealed that Jamie and Annie's courtship had in fact been nurtured when Jamie was as young as nine. On a family visit to Kyllachy, Annie and her sister assaulted their guest Jamie and pushed him in a fishpond. Undeterred by this baptism of fire, Jamie manfully exercised great patience in his pursuit of Miss Macpherson, and today he was rewarded; he won his bride -- Mrs Macpherson!

      The celebrations lasted until late into the night, the bride and groom demonstrating enthusiastic vigour in their dancing till well after midnight when Jamie whisked his wife off on honeymoon: to the Maldives, no less, a far cry from their memorable autumnal day in the Highlands, and a good deal warmer!

By Robert Cook

      The original inhabitants of Australia have a highly structured social fabric. They found no need for the buildings and monuments we make but instead perceived the natural features of the land as their icons that gave a framework to their culture. There was no written language over the thousands of years that the aborigines have been here, they instead using a well developed system of oral history to pass on their beliefs, social mores and culture.

      Considered in this context, we newcomers of European origin could well have taken some advice. How we rely on the written word for our history and how much we find is missing when those who have experienced it are gone.

      By the time I was born in 1949, all but one of my grandparents had long gone. My Dad's mother, Jessie Isabella Cook (nee McPherson) was the sole survivor of that generation in my immediate family. Unfortunately, we lived in the capital city of Melbourne and she lived in the country town of Stawell, where she was born and lived all her life, which is a good 3 hour drive away in today's conditions but would have been more like 5 hours in those days. Consequently, I have only the vaguest of memories of her, although she lived until I was about 12, as a whitehaired old lady whom I hardly knew.

      When she died, Dad, my sister and I made the journey to Stawell to clean out the house. I remember lots of pictures hanging on the walls but recognised very few of them. Dad arranged for some items of furniture to be sent back to Melbourne for us but the rest was given away to local people whom he had known. Luckily, one of the things that we kept was the Family Bible but apparently none of the pictures was considered worthy of retaining !!!! If only, if only ..................

      Many years later, as Dad approached old age, he and I would occasionally turn the pages of the Bible. I saw that Dad had kept the entries up to date, as had his Mother before him, and her Mother before that. We talked a little about the people mentioned in it and I thought that I would like to chase all those things up one day. And so it came to pass. At this point, the story of "the chase" is as interesting as what was found so perhaps, we should look at these separately.

The Chase
      The chase really began in 1986 when my wife saw a newspaper advertisement seeking information about the family of Donald McPherson who had come from Scotland to Australia in 1853 to work on a sheep station near Stawell. This, plus the McPherson name, caught my eye


as I knew from the Bible that Jessie's Father was so-named. However, the advertisement gave much detail about second and third marriages, not to mention all the offspring of these , and none of this was in my Bible. Dad had no knowledge of it either. Even so, I replied to the lady concerned, Mrs. F. M. Gilbert (another name that was totally unknown to me) with what information I had but surmising that I was not from the family she sought.

      And there the matter rested for 10 years.

      After my father died in 1993, I determined to really get stuck into the history and see what I could find. In following up a totally different branch, the Garrards of Suffolk, I was referred to Peter Robinson who was believed to be of this line. It turned out not to be but his wife Colleen was a McPherson. I contacted Peter immediately and he sent me much of his material, including a sketch of a McPherson family tree that showed not only the detail Mrs. Gilbert had found but that the consequences of Donald's first marriage matched the entries in try Bible.

      I could hardly wait to contact Mrs. Gilbert again and eagerly wrote to her PO Box address. Alas, the letter was returned undelivered. Perhaps, she still lived in the area but no longer had the box. I contacted the Stawell Historical Society, who had been most helpful in my various searches, to see if they had a street address. They did although it was also many years since Mrs. Gilbert bad been in touch. I wrote again but Mrs. Gilbert had certainly moved and the letter returned again. Maybe her old neigbbours would know where she had gone, so I wrote to the street numbers on either side, asking them to pass on my phone number. A few days later, success! Margaret Gilbert called me and we arranged to meet.

In the event, Margaret's husband Ron is descended from Donald's second marriage, Colleen Robinson is descended from the third marriage and I am descended from the first. All in all, Donald produced I I children so, although there are many whose lines we have been unable to pursue, finding a representative of each family is a most satisfactory result.

The Findings -- Donald McPherson Snr
      Donald McPherson was born in 1826 in Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan, Argyll, the son of David from Glenelg and Jane Cameron of Morven, and emigrated to Australia in 1853 with his first wife Janet (McArthur) and two infant sons, Alexander (b. 1850) and Donald (b. I 1852). What prompted them to make this trip is open to speculation but conditions in Scotland were becoming oppressive and the discovery of gold in Australia had resulted in a shortage of manual labourers in the colony and Donald bad 12 months certain employment here as a shepherd. For whatever reason, they risked life and limb, and arrived on the Ida on 12th July, having left Liverpool on 25th March. It was noted in a newspaper report at the time that there were "468 Government Immigrants in the steerage ". How a family with two babies could even contemplate such a voyage is beyond our comprehension today, but they made it and survived. Not so fortunate were some of the other passengers. A separate report in the same paper gives more detail:

      "The Ida, with nearly 500 souls on board, arrived in Hobson's Bay, on Tuesday evening. She is a fine ship, and remarkably clean, her immigrants being the same, and in good health. The classification of the immigrants is as follows:-- 96 married men, 92 married females, 100 single women, 29 single men, and 100 children: 15 births and 25 deaths took place; of the latter, 19 were children."       They would probably have travelled through Geelong and Ballarat to Stawell by coach or wagon. The first train line to Geelong was still a few years into the future. From Stawell, a further trip to Glynwylln Station itself would have been necessary before Donald took up his position of shepherd for 12 months at 45 pounds plus rations.

      Stawell was first known as Pleasant Creek and was a gold mining town. The surrounding countryside is fairly flat, being the flood plain of the river systems there, and is therefore quite fertile. Being inland, the climate is very hot in Summer and temperatures of 40-deg C. are common. Winters are cool but rarely cold enough for snow. The area seemed ideal for sheep grazing and many stations were established for this purpose. Glynwylln is on the Wimmera River about 20


km to the north east of Stawell. The isolation and the heat would have been a severe trial to the immigrants but of course there was no going back. Perhaps the only comfort would have been the mountain range to the west of Stawell and called The Grampians by a passing Scottish explorer. Although clearly visible from Stawell, it is unlikely that they would have been so obvious from Glynwylln, with a vista somewhat like that of Ben Nevis from Acharacle.<>       Glynwylln was settled by the McMillans and later run by the McKellars. The McMillans were also from the Argyll area of Scotland and it is possible that they used contacts there to locate and send out suitable families to help run their station. The Station itself was of over 70,000 acres but these were the days of the squatters who were effectively allowed to just select whatever land they liked. As long as they improved it, there was rarely any expectation that they would have to pay anything to the government. This meant of course that if you were already well-to-do, you could easily become more so, although the rigours and risks of running a station were not to be underestimated. It was equally easy to go broke through disease, bushfire, drought or flood. Even the McMillans themselves were jailed briefly in 1853 for sheep stealing!

      So this was the situation in which the young McPherson family found themselves. Home would have been a tent or possibly a small hut. Donald would have been tending the sheep or checking fencing and could have been away from the home for days at a time. Unfortunately, Janet did not survive long. In May of 1854, she died of scurvy. Although not unheard of, scurvy was virtually conquered by this time and was really a disease resulting from deprivation. Considering that the Ida was reported to be a healthy ship, and that Glynwylln would have certainly had its own food supply, one would have to wonder if this was the real cause of death. Janet had apparently been ailing for 3 months and was seen by an unqualified practitioner 20 days before her death. Donald himself signed the death certificate, which was witnessed by John McMillan, and Janet was buried apparently at Glynwylln on 27th May 1854. Such is the price of isolation.

      This untimely death left Donald with 2 young boys and no way of caring for them, a not uncommon predicament of the times when childbirth and disease exacted a heavy toll. The usual solution was to remarry as soon as decently possible and this Donald did.

      Sarah McLean had also come out from Scotland in 1853 but we do not know if it was on the Ida or whether Donald knew of her from earlier times. Nevertheless, they were married in Geelong on 24th November 1855 and returned to Glynwylln. Sarah already had a daughter (Catherine b. 1854) from a previous relationship but bore Donald another 4 children in 1857 (David), 1859 (Emily) , 1861 (Jane) and 1863 (Duncan), in addition to caring for his existing sons. A daunting task by any measure.

      Perhaps not surprisingly, Sarah took ill with what today we would probably consider to be depression. She was toiling under similar conditions as had Janet, but with many more children, and still no access to the support services that today we take for granted. In late 1863, it appears that she learned that Duncan was ailing and unlikely to survive. On 22nd March 1864, Sarah sent the older children out to go after the cows. She then took a knife and allei-npted to cut her own throat. This being insufficient to cause immediate death, she next plunged the knife into her breast just below the heart and thus effected her purpose. Sarah appears to have fallen on the sleeping Duncan and when they were found soon after, both Sarah and Duncan were dead.

      An inquest was held and reported in the local newspaper on 25th March 1864:
            An Inquest was held on Wednesday last before Dr. Bennett (the Coroner) on the body of a woman, the wife of a shepherd residing at McMillan 's station, Glynwylln. Her husband had gone out tending his flocks as usual, early in the morning, leaving his wife and five children in the hut. At about nine o'clock Mrs, McPherson ordered the two eldest boys and girls -- ranging from twelve to six years of age -- to go after the cows, telling them that she would mind "Little Duncan" -- a baby of about nine months -- herself The poor woman then, it appears, immediately took a butcher's knife from the cupboard and hacked her throat in several places, leaving some horrible gashes, but these not being sufficient to effect her


purpose, she plunged the knife into breast just below the heart, and then fell upon her sleeping child on the bed. When discovered, soon after, both mother and infant were quite dead. It is thought that the fall on the child was accidental, and that she had no intention of killing it, but this, of course must remain a in mystery . The only cause assigned for that rash act is the extreme fear she manifested that the baby -- who was a very ailing boy -- would die. She had taken it to Dr. Bennett about three months ago, when the medical gentleman expressed his opinion that she would not he able to rear it, and from that time she had become very desponding and sometimes talking incoherently; but not the slightest thought was ascertained that the unfortunate creature contemplated so dreadful an act as suicide. A verdict according to the evidence was returned (temporary insanity). Mrs. McPherson was about 40 years of age and has been married twice; deceased was Mr. McPherson's second wife and it is reported that his first wife was murdered many years ago in the immediate vicinity of Glynwylln. " (My emphasis, was this correct or was the tabloid press in vogue even then?)       Donald now had an even greater problem, a large number of young children, a living to earn and no companion. In November 1864, he married Maria Nolan, a housekeeper at Glynwyltn. Maria also had a son by a previous marriage and bore Donald a further 4 children in 1865 (William), 1867 (John), 1869 (Sarah) and 1872 (Isabella), Maria must also have been a remarkable woman to take this on but sadly she also died at a comparatively early age on 9th May 1883 "after a long and painful illness" at Glynwylln.

      Donald himself died in 1898 at the age of 7 1. He is buried in the Pleasant Creek Cemetery but although there is no headstone, the location is known.

      Donald's original tenure at Glynwylln was for 12 months but in fact he stayed there for many years before eventually acquiring his own land. This suggests that in spite of his misfortunes, he was content there. Donald's will left 118 acres of land to his daughter Jane (Mrs. Sparrow) and the balance of his estate to his son, John. Perhaps it is interesting that of his many children, these were the only two to benefit from the will. His estate was valued for probate at 951 pounds and 5 shillings so despite the many trials of his life, he was reasonably comfortably off.

      In my enthusiasm to differentiate this Donald from his second son, I had dubbed him Donald the Deadly. However, seen in the context of the times, his experiences, unfortunate as they were, were little different from those endured by many other people. The harshness of the life, not only physically but emotionally, should not be underestimated and there is no evidence that Donald was involved in the deaths of any of his wives.

The Findings -- Donald McPherson Jnr
      As we have seen, Donald came to Australia with his family as an infant and lost his mother soon after in 1854. At the age of 13 he was required to give evidence at the Inquest of his stepmother, Sarah McLean, where it was noted that he could not read or write. Before that year was out, he had acquired a second step-mother in Maria Nolan. There is no evidence that he was mistreated in any way but it must surely have been an unsettling childhood.

      By 1881, he can be found farming in the district of Joel Joel which is due east of Stawell and roughly south of Glynwylln. On 15th June of that year he married Isabella Evans at her mother's house in Upper Clemes Street, Stawetl. Isabella was born in the colony in 1845 at the nearby town of Horsham. Her mother, Isabella Rafferty emigrated from Ireland in 1841 and married Samuel Evans whose background is uncertain there being many inconsistencies in the details of his marriage and death. I have a strong theory that he was a convict and that this was perhaps unknown even to his family (although I am sure that his wife would have known). In any event, Isabella Evans was a Port Philip Pioneer and her family was well regarded in the district.

      We have a photo containing the house in Upper Clemes Street and find that it is a very small cottage. Isabella seems to have been a competent businesswoman already and had transacted a number of deals in conjunction with her father.

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      When she married Donald, a man many years her junior, all this changed and it is Donald's signature we find on the land transactions and business applications made in her name within a month of the wedding. This is the same man who was found to be illiterate at the age of 13 so it is plain that somewhere along the way, he acquired an education. Also within a month of the wedding, Isabella's mother died.

      The marr iage seemed happy enough and there were soon 5 children:
            Donald (the third of the line) 1882
            Jessie Isabella (my grandmother) 1883
            Samuel Evans 1885
            Alexander Edward 1887
            Leslie Robert 1889

      It is now time to refer back to the Bible for a minute. The entries had been kept current since Isabella Evans gave it to her father in 1867 as a birthday gift. The details of births, marriages and deaths had been meticulously maintained over the years and it wasn't until I was entering all of this data into my Family Tree program that I discovered a startling omission ...... there was no entry of a death for Donald Jnr. This was more than bizarre and begged for an explanation. I wrote to the Stawell Historical Society to see if they had any material on what might have happened. I received the transcript of a newspaper report of l4th May 1892:
            "A case of a very mysterious disappearance has been reported. It appears that Mr. Donald McPherson, a well known resident of Greens Creek (this is quite near Glvnwylln and Joel Joel), left his home on 19th January last with a waggon and team of bullocks, for the purpose of carting wheat in the Mallee district (this is well to the west of Stawell). During the foIlowing month, it is stated he sold his bullocks and wagon for the sum of 80 pounds 15 shillings, when he left for Donald (coincidentally, the name of a town in the area) en route to Greens Creek.             The last time he was seen was at the Donald races, when it would appear he got into the company of a number of "spellers " (con-men).

            At this period he must have had a considerable sum Of money in his possession, and since then his whereabouts have not been ascertained The police have been communicated within reference to the matter."       A later report stated:
            "Nothing as yet has been heard of the whereabouts of Donald McPherson, who recently disappeared in such a mysterious manner from his home at Greens Creek. We understand that his name has been gazetted in the list of missing friends ".

      An enquiry with the Police Historical Unit produced a copy of the relevant gazette entry of 11th May 1892: "DONALD MCPHERSON, farmer, Greens Creek, is inquired for by C. F. Procter (brother-in-law), Greens Creek near Stawell. McPherson was last seen in an hotel at Donald, on 11th February last, and had 85 pounds in his possession, and was in bad company, Description:-- About 40 years of age, about 5 feet 8 inches high, reddish complexion light hair, thin reddish beard whiskers and moustache, thin face, red-looking eyes."       This is a distinctly unflattering description and it is possible that Isabella's family did not approve of her choice of partner.

      And a week later:
            "DONALD MCPHERSON -- A photo of the missing friend, taken about 16 years ago, can be seen at the office of the Melbourne C. 1. police and at Stawell West, Donald, and Birchip." Unfortunately, the Police History Unit was unable to locate this photo.

      Donald was never found. Was he murdered or did he simply run off? We will never know of course but either way, he earned his nick-name of Donald the Disappeared.

      His family of 5 children under the age of 10 simply had to carry on without him and this they did. No doubt Isabella's earlier business experience was beneficial. Isabella McPherson (Evans) remained on the farm at Greens Creek until 1910. The farm was sold and is thought to have


attracted a good price, it being well located with access to water. Isabella then lived with her daughter (my grandmother) in Stawell until her death in 1917. She is buried in the Pleasant Creek Cemetery with other members of her Evans family. Her obituary was lengthy and detailed but it contained no reference to her marriage to Donald. Of the children, Jessie Isabella married Charles Edgar Cook in 1908 and had 4 children. Two of these died in infancy but of those surviving, the only boy was my father George Charles Evans Cook. Alexander Edward was the only other child to marry and I have maintained contact with his descendants to the present day.

... and before we go
     As if we needed another mystery, there is some uncertainty also about Donald's brother, Alexander, born in 1850 in Kilmonivaig. He was a witness (along with Harriett? Procter) at Donald's wedding to Isabella Evans in 1881 so we know that he was certainly around at that time. We also know that he married and had 4 children, but we have found no record whatsoever of his death. It is possible that he died in another state (each state has its own record system) but his wife is known to have died in East Melbourne, Victoria in 1923 so this seems unlikely. We also know that he is not buried at Stawell. There is a parish map showing the names of various landholders, among whom is an Alex McPherson but whether it is the brother or the son is not revealed. What became of him we do not know, so there is a project for another day!

Summing up
      In 1997, I was lucky enough to make a trip to Britain and I made a point of travelling to Fort William with the sole purpose of locating Kilmonivaig, the place of Donald Jnr's birth. This I did and it was probably one of the most fulfilling moments of my life. And along the way, I fell in love with beautiful Scotland.

      I think that all we can say is that our ancestors were just ordinary people no matter how much we might wish them to have been something else. They grew up in imperfect worlds and were subject to all the good and bad influences of the times but whatever they did, we are here because of them.

By Ewen S.L. MacPherson

      The ancient village of Bothwell lies 9 miles to the south of Glasgow and a short distance from Hamilton, the most ancient and famous landmarks being its Church, Castle and Bridge. Local legend has it that the name Bothwell comes from the origins of the Parish Church. The old part is the Collegiate Church of St. Bride, founded in 1398 by Archibald the Grim, 3 rd Earl of Douglas and resident of Bothwell Castle. Suffering remorse for some great crime, Archibald is said to have vowed to heaven to found a church to recover his peace of mind. As he rose from his bed of suffering, the sun was rising in the east. Calling for his two stoutest archers, he bade them each aim at the rising sun, draw their arrows to the head and speed their bolts with the utmost of their strength. An altar would be placed where the farthest arrow fell. The arrows fell side by side, whereupon the grim Earl cried out, "Both well shot!" and accepted the omen from heaven that his vow was accepted. A more likely origin of the name is from 'both', a dwelling and 'hyl' a river. The dwelling by the river fully describes the position of the village and the castle.

      Bothwell Castle is said to be the finest example of a surviving 13 th century castle in Scotland. A bridge has spanned the Clyde at Bothwell since about 1400 and at one time it was the only bridge between the river's source and Glasgow. In 1679 the bridge witnessed a bloody battle between the Covenanters and the Royalists when the former were overwhelmed and four


hundred died with twelve hundred taken prisoner. In 1903 a monument to commemorate the battle was erected on the Bothwell side of the bridge.

      However, another monument, occupying a prominent site at the junction of the old and new roads to Bothwell Bridge, will be of interest to members of the Clan Macpherson. The memorial consists of a rustic column of Creetown granite, standing about twelve feet in height, erected on a double base, the lower of which is four feet square. In the centre of the front or west exposure is a handsome bronze medallion, with a likeness of the man to whom the monument stands, and a thistle branch entwines the upper part of the column. A panel in the lower base bears the following inscription:

      William Grant Macpherson was born in 1862 and brought up in Caithness where his father, the Rev. James Macpherson was the parish minister for 37 years at Canisbay, the most northerly church in mainland Britain. After a brief retirement in Bothwell, his father died in 1904 and his mother, Catherine Campbell Macpherson died eight years later. William graduated in medicine at Edinburgh University in 1888 and shortly afterwards entered upon his duties as assistant in a practice at Bothwell. Described as full of energy, clever and tactful, he quickly became intensely popular over a wide area, and rapidly developing an already large practice, he was soon taken into partnership. Married in c1899, he took up residence with his wife at Barrogill in Bothwell.

      His early death at the age of 54 years stunned the community of Bothwell and surrounding district. The depletion of home medical ranks by the war placed a heavy strain on those left behind to carry on and it is reported that he more than bore his share and practically died in harness. He responded to calls made upon him with a complete disregard of his own personal ease and comfort. Continuing to visit his patients despite a severe chill, he finally succumbed to acute pneumonia. So great and unexpected was the loss that the ministers of the area announced from their pulpits that a public funeral would be held. This unusual step was fully justified as the old Parish Church was thronged, a large body of mourners followed the hearse on foot to Bothwell Bridge, and the public thoroughfare was lined with sympathetic crowds. The shops were closed, the church bell tolled and the colliery flag was flying at half-mast. The pallbearers included his brother, Dr. James Macpherson of Basingstoke. He was laid to rest beside his parents.

      The movement to commemorate the doctor's memory began with the Library Committee in which during his entire career, Dr. Macpherson had taken an active and lively interest. A


committee was formed, the public consulted and the result was the receiving of a large and handsome sum of £300 to erect the monument. A magnificent sum when it is recalled that this was during the dark days of World War I. In the drizzling rain and in the presence of many interested and sympathetic spectators, the unveiling ceremony was performed on the 29 th September 1917 at 4pm. The Rev. Douglas Ferrier gave a fine and moving eulogy on the life and work of Dr. Macpherson. The Chairman, Mr. James T. Forgie, said that Dr. Macpherson had taken much interest in the public and social life of Bothwell, and he would never be forgotten for all he had done in that direction. He had given himself to the community with generous self-denial and without consideration for his own health and convenience. The people of Bothwell were determined that the doctor's life and work should be kept ever fresh and green, and so they had raised the monument as a tribute to his memory, and a reminder to this and to future generations to follow in his footsteps. He hoped the monument would stand as a perpetual memorial to one that was so respected and beloved by the people of Bothwell. The Chairman then removed the covering, disclosing to the spectators for the first time the completed memorial.

WALKS around Bothwell by Anne Waterson
The Hamilton Advertiser 1916/1917
Hamilton Reference Library

by R.G.M. Macpherson, Niagara Herald Extraordinary

      On the 12th January, 2000, a Grant of Arms by the Lord Lyon King of Arms was recorded by James Alexander Strachan McPherson, Commander of The Most Excellent Order of The British Empire, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire, upon the 72nd page of Volume 83 of The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.

      The Arms are based on those of the Chief, Macpherson of Cluny, with the addition of "silver Escallop Shells" on each side of the Galley, taken from the shield of the petitioner's home town, the Burgh of Macduff. The "scales of justice" in the upper portion of the shield indicate the armiger's profession as a Solicitor, a Justice of the Peace and Honorary Sheriff.

      The Wildcat crest holds a "thistle & crown", which forms the badge of a Scottish Lord-Lieutenant, and the motto echoes the motto of Rotary International and reflects Mr. McPherson's public service for over years, latterly as chairman of the former Banff County Council, Provost of the Burgh of Macduff and a Regional Councillor in Grampian Regional Council.


      Arms were recorded in the name of W. Bruce Gillis of Middleton, Nova Scotia, in Vol. 11, page 269, of the Canadian Heraldic Authority's Public Register of Arms, Flags & Badges of Canada.       The "Drum" held by the cat signifies the armiger's involvement as the Drum Sergeant in the Air Force Pipes & Drums. The "Galley" not only represents the galley in the Cluny Arms but also suggests the galley in the Arms of the Province of New Brunswick where the petitioner was born

      The "Eagle" in the Crest (the uppermost part of a coat-of-arms) alludes to the Eagle in the Arms of Dalhousie University where Mr. Gillis obtained his law degree and it also commemorates his service in the Canadian Air Force. The "scales of justice" are emblematic of the legal profession.

      Bruce Gillis is an active member of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association as well as a talented ballad singer.

Sometime Clerk To The Perth Carriers
      Hugh Macpherson, or " wee Hughie," as he was commonly termed, was born in the district of Badenoch, some sixty years ago. His father, who lived to a great age, was shepherd on an extensive farm in that quarter; and both his parents were persons of ordinary stature. When Hughie first ventured forth of his native fastnesses, he made his debut in the Lowlands, attired in the Highland garb -bonnet, kilt, and plaid with a pair of top-boots in lieu of hose! For some years after his arrival in Perth, he was employed as a clerk in the George Inn; next in the shop of a grocer; and subsequently with Messrs J. and P. Cameron, carriers betwixt Perth and Edinburgh. The tartans had, long ere this, given way to a coat of dark green, light vest, darkish trousers, and high-heeled boots;* a dress to which he adhered without alteration for a length of time. Hughie was, in his own estimation, a perfect dandy. Every new suit, to make sure of being fashionably fitted, cost him a visit to Edinburgh. At length, that he might take charge of his employers' establishment there, he had the peculiar satisfaction of being removed permanently to the capital.

      Hugh was a well-known character, the oddness of his figure, and his excessive self-conceit, making him the subject of much diversion. While in Perth, some one having drawn a caricature of him, he at once sought reparation by challenging the offender to fight a duel; but this display of' spirit only tended to make matters worse, for, in another picture, the little mountaineer was grotesquely exhibited brandishing a pair of pistols not much shorter than himself. Proud and vindictive, he was easily afronted; and nothing vexed him more than to be underrated, or looked upon in the light of pity, by the fair sex. If insulted in their presence, he became perfectly furious. On one occasion, at a wedding party in Edinburgh, Hugh was dancing with great spirit, and in imagination as big as the tallest in the company, when a waggish participator in the reel, seizing a favourable


opportunity, tripped up his heels, sending him head-foremost into the ash-pit. Those who were present will not easily forget the miniature hero's countenance on regaining his feet. Seizing a candlestick, in a fury of passion, he hurled it with all his force at the head of the offender, who, escaping by the door, narrowly missed the blow.

      It was a failing of the little man to be most vulnerable to female influence. His heart, (to use a vulgar simile) was like a box of tinder, liable to be ignited by the smallest spark. A look, a glance, or a smile, was sufficient to flatter him that he had made a conquest. His credulity in this way led to many mortifying deceptions.

      Hugh was altogether a gay, lively fellow, and could join in a night's debauch with the best of them. Drinking with a party one evening in a tavern on the South Bridge, he had occasion to quit the apartment for a short time, and mistaking his way on returning, walked into an empty hogshead lying beside the door. What with the darkness of the night, and the effects of the liquor, Hugh in vain kept groping for the handle of the door, while his friends within were astonished and alarmed at his absence. Losing all patience he at last applied his cane, which be always carried with him, so vigorously against the end of the barrel, that not only his friends, but a party of police, were brought to his rescue. Nothing afterwards could incense Hugh more than any allusion to his adventure in the sugar hogshead.

      The Print of " little Hughie" was executed in 18 10. He had been in Edinburgh a year or two previous, having been first employed by the Perth carriers about the year 1806. Although a capital scribe, and one who understood his duty well, his peculiarities of temper and manner were continually involving him in difficulties.

      On leaving the service of the Messrs Cameron, with whom he had been above four years, he was next employed as clerk to the Hawick and Carlisle carriers, Candlemaker Row; and subsequently, in a similar capacity, at Lord Elgin's Colliery, Fifeshire. He afterwards went to Kirkcaldy, where he acted as clerk to a flesher, and died about the year 1836.

*Hughie invariably wore boots, not shoes, as represented in the Print. His hat, too, it may be remarked, was particularly high and capacious; thereby, we presume, to add to the height and dignity of his appearance.

From "Portraits & Caricatures" by John Kay
Published in Edinburgh 1842

(Dictated by me, the Kilt: October 2002.)
      I cannot tell you who my parents were, or on what hillsides they grazed. Nor can I tell you where I was spun. But I can tell you that in 1948 I was in a bale of old fashioned heavyweight tartan cloth in MacDonald's shop in Inverness. I displayed the MacPherson Hunting colours. That year a young naval lieutenant was measured out for me, he was slim and agile, and I looked forward to a life of interest with him in my belt.

      One of my first memories was of a clan meeting in a dripping tent in pouring rain on the side of a hilt near Newtonmore, (before the Clan Museum existed). There was much whispering above my belt about who was going to be the next Cluny, and Dalchully pressed some autographed books into our hands. I also remember that the assembled company recited the MacPherson oath. As far as I can recollect this was about sweating eternal damnation on the MacIntosh of MacIntosh Torcastle and his descendants. My naval lieutenant was much amused, as the then Mackintosh Chief was a vice-admiral and the Second Sea Lord.

      Later in 1948 we were posted to HMS Vanguard, Britain's last and largest battleship. Fifteen inch guns, and a quarterdeck on which one could run 100 yard races straight. The ship was meant to take the Royal Family to Australia, but that was cancelled because King George VI had to go into hospital. Instead Vanguard was detailed off to show the flag right round the Mediterranean. So off we went with our bagpipes to see the Med. I am sorry to say that after a while we were banned from practising the pipes except in the stern gland compartments, (naval readers will know what that means). Armed with a gramophone and that little blue book of 50 Highland Dances, we trained a Highland Dancing group, learning the steps in the cool of the Med's evening breezes. The quarterdeck's space was very handy.

      Two events during that cruise stay in my kiltic memory. While we were at the Pireaus, King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece came on board for dinner. Afterwards eight of us danced for the Royal couple, and I could see that Queen Frederika was jiggling and tapping her foot. As soon as we were finished she jumped up and asked my lieutenant to teach her some steps. Which we did to much applause. Then, while at Toulon, my wearer was asked to go over to a French aircraft carrier to advise on the repair of some machinery. The French invited him to have dinner with them that evening, and he wore me in memory of the Auld Alliance. I remember much ribaldry and a toast to "Le brave ecossais qui cormait bien les pompes alimentaires".

      Being a naval kilt was great fun. We danced for two years at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and then we served in HMS Cleopatra (minus bagpipes) based on Matta. Time passes, and I find myself in Boston USA (1954/55) while my wearer, who was now becoming brainy, researched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A lone naval Scot, with kilt, and a monthly diplomatic crate of whisky was a popular combination in Boston society. My longest and most successful period was on our return from the USA when "brains" was posted to a naval research establishment on Portland Bill to develop what he had picked up at MIT. We became the highland-dancing instructor at the Naval Officers' club, and happily whirled away for four years, but still using that little blue book. I noticed that the husbands were keener on the bar intervals, while their wives preferred the dancing.

      We had a crisis in 1959: he retired me from the navy. Brains took me away because (he said) there was not much prospect of going to sea again, and it might be better to be a proper scientist. We went into the Atomic Energy Authority, which brains said was very stimulating, but it was all gobbledegook to me. We tried an outing or two to the local landlubbers' highland dancing club -- but it wasn't the same. Anyway the reels and strathspeys were moving on from what we knew in that little blue book. I began to spend a lot of time smelling of mothballs in a dark cupboard.

      Time moves on again: brains has become a university professor, and his middle has expanded so much that it is difficult for him to get inside me however hard I stretch. I have only three more outings to relate. Two of them in Austria in November 1976 while the Prof. was seconded to an international research institute. On St. Andrew's day we were standing in the almost empty market square of the little village of Laxenbourg bei Wien. Some good Austrian housewives were trying not to stare, when suddenly there was the sound of running footsteps. It was a Polish professor from the Institute, rushing over to shake our hand saying that he had not realised that we were Scots, and how much the Poles owed the Scots (a bit of history that we were not aware of at the time). On the evening of November 10 the Prof. found himself invited to the dinner of a branch of the Austro-German Marine Verbond (Naval Brotherhood). Don't ask, it's an involved story. The diplomatic Prof. wore me to accentuate Scottishness rather than Englishness. It was a great success: "Herr Kilt" was toasted and asked to give out the prizes. We found ourselves having a quiet conversation with one of the few Bismarck survivors. He invited the Prof to attend their November 11th Remembrance parade. So there we were, next morning, on parade lined up in the brotherhood of the sea, saluting at the Last Post. We were all in tears.

     I will call my final fling "The Last Straw". The Prof was persuaded to attend the annual Clan Association dinner in London one year, I forget which. The company was great, but the dances had moved far beyond the little blue book. The Prof was quite clueless; even so a madam colonel took him in hand and swung him around the dances. I was so ashamed: I who had danced over the waves, I who had danced with a queen, I who had been an instructor, I who had been a mark of international recognition and honour. The Prof. realised my shame, and put me quietly away in a trunk with only mothballs for company.


      The Prof tries to stay in Kingussie from time to time, and in 2002 he was determined to attend the rally and the Museum's 50th birthday. So he asked kilt makers in England and Scotland if they could expand a 29 inch waist into 40 inches. They all declined, saying that it would be cruel because I was special and so well made. In fact he could not be at the rally, but he had one of his ideas.

      Now I hang in the Clan Museum in Newtonmore as a kilt to be loaned to a clan visitor who would like to be properly dressed for a rally, or for a scramble up into the Monadhliaths. Now I look forward to accompanying some agile hips again, perhaps on an overseas clansman come back to be with his, or even her, own.

      I know that the plump old professor, who once was that slim young lieutenant, was very sad to let me go: we had been together for over fifty years. But I -- at least -- am not worn out. He left me in the museum, turned his back, and went for a walk back to Kingussie via Wade's bridge. He navigated by compass course over Ordon Shios into Nuide Moss. The old Prof may know how to read a compass and a map, but he certainly does not know how to read a heather moss. He tumbled hard into the squelch several times. They tell me that he was still limping for eight weeks afterwards.

      Serves him right, I say.

By Alan G. Macpherson
      When Dr Cluny Macpherson, the inventor of the first gasmask in WWI and late Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association, wrote his article "The Macphersons of St John's" (Creag Dhubh No.9, 1957:13-14) he described his aunt, Margaret Campbell Macpherson, as "a distinguished painter". She was born in 1860 to Peter Macpherson (1819-68), a merchant of St John's, and his wife Susannah Euphcmia Campbell, and was nine years junior to her brother Campbell Macpherson (1851-1908), Dr Cluny's father. She was educated at the Wesleyan Academy in St John's and at various schools in Edinburgh and Neufchatel where she studied art under the President of the Swiss Society of Artists, eventually matriculating with honours in the Oxford local. She had established her first studio in Edinburgh by 1885, but later moved to Paris where she joined the studio of Pascal Dagnan Bouveret and studied under Gustave Courtois at the Academic Corlarossi. Her forte was in portraiture and genre landscapes and flowers. She began exhibiting in 1894 at the Salon Societe Nationale, and also exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh where some thirty-three of her paintings were shown between 1885 and 1902, and elsewhere. Despite exhibiting at no less than sixteen Salons between 1898 and 1914, more than anyone else from what is now Canada, she remained relatively unknown and unmentioned in art histories.

      According to her great-nephew, Harvey Webb Macpherson, a former editor of Creag Dhubh, Margaret Macpherson, his "Aunt Madge", as a young woman, "stayed with Great Aunt Barbara MacCorquodale Campbell in Edinburgh for many years." Born in 1800, she was a sister of Margaret's grandfather Archibald Campbell, a plantation owner in the West Indies who had first emigrated from Inveraray, Argyll, to Newfoundland, and who had died fifteen years before Margaret's birth. While in Edinburgh Margaret Macpherson learned from her great-aunt Barbara Campbell of the MacCorquodale pedigree stemming from the ancient Barons MacCorquodale of Phantilans and Tromlie, a line of descent of which they were inordinately proud. The pedigree was passed on to Harvey in Paris in 1924, along with other family trees probably Campbell pedigrees.

      Margaret C. Macpherson's work first became known in her native place when F.C. Varley included her painting "The mouth of the Meuse" in an exhibition which he brought to St John's


in December 1895, although she had exhibited privately in St John's ten years earlier as she did again in the Colonial Building in 1899. This piece was acclaimed as displaying "a power with the brush that has won favourable opinions from London critics when the picture was exhibited in the Dudley Gallery there", the artist having "already won a wide and distinguished reputation, and whose works had found admission to the Salon de Peinture of Paris". Her first exhibition occurred in Edinburgh in 1882; again in 1888, and yet again with a one-woman show in 1898. This was followed by a similar show in Halifax, N. S., in 1900. In Paris she was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900 and a gold medal at the Woman's Exposition in 1902, and gold medals at Rouen, 1903, and at Nantes, 1906. Most of her paintings were inspired by the French landscape and by French people, but two of her earliest pieces were "Une land écossaise" (A Scottish heath) and "Tantallon Castle". In "The Breton Beggar Girl", depicting a wide-eyed girl, barefoot and dressed in rags, with a cupped hand extended to receive alms, the figure is delineated in clear traditional fashion, but the surroundings and background are Impressionistic.

      The painting that should hold the greatest interest for readers of Creag Dhubh is "The Artist's Sister with Her Children", a portrait of Lucy Amelia Macpherson, the wife of the Rev. George J. Bond, a brother of Sir Robert Bond, Prime Minister of Newfoundland, her son Fraser and daughter Roberta Bond. It was painted about 1900; Lucy Amelia died in 1903. Dr Mora Dianne O'Neill, who has included this painting and "The Breton Beggar Girl" in a retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax this year, entitled Choosing Their Own Path: Canadian Women Impressionists, has described it as "a Whistlerian symphony in grey, but grey suffused with sunlight pouring through the open window, where Macpherson has treated the geranium plant and its reflection in the glass with the sketchy brushwork favoured by the Impressionists; her impressionistic handling of foliage and reflections suggests her private study of Impressionist paintings". Her last known painting, "Pivoines" (Peonies), was done in 1914, when she was living at 8 Villa Michel Ange, rue Bastien Lepage, Paris.

      She apparently remained in France throughout the First World War, probably at 7 rue Gambetta, Versailles, where, on the 5 th December 1919 she executed two wills, one concerning her property in France, the other related to her estate in St John's. She appointed her friend of more than thirty years, Josephine Hoxie Bartlett of the same address, and her younger brother Archibald Robert Hugh Macpherson, as her executors for the latter, and bequeathed her estate to Miss Bartlett with the proviso that if she predeceased her -- which she did not -- her goddaughter and niece, Alicia Patricia Madge Macpherson, was to receive E5000 "and the rest to my other nephews and nieces share and share alike". In the event, she was predeceased by all her siblings. She died at Versailles on the 16tb May 1931 in the presence of two of her nieces, Violette and Patricia Macpherson (cousins) who bad spent the winter with her at Nice.

      Note:- This brief sketch owes much to the research of Dr Mora Dianne O'Neill, Guest Curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. I am also indebted to Caroline Stone of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland. The photograph of Margaret Macpherson as a young woman and the colour reproduction of "The Artist's Sister with Her Children" were obtained through the kindness of Ian Macpherson, Dr Cluny Macpherson's grandson (not shown due to lack of space).

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by Archy Macpherson MA, LLB, NP, FSA(Scot)

      Our chairman Larry Lee Macpherson at this year's Clan Association AGM summed up embarking on mastering a language as depending on "an attitude of mind." He could not have been more right. It calls for the need to apply oneself blindly and steadily in hope and in faith like the farmer who sows his crop in the reasonable expectation of an ultimate rewarding return. After all it was the living language, song and culture of our forebears.

      A book entirely in English has just been published giving the history and ethos of our language (ar canain). It is Michael Newton's "A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World" and published by Four Courts Press, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8, Ireland.

      Once decided to embarking on taking up the language the best course might be to write and join for a modest fee CLI, North Tower, The Castle, Inverness IV2 3EE,Scotland. Their website is www.cli.org.uk, their e-mail cli@cli.org.uk and their telephone number +44 (0)1463 2267 10. Their aim in life is to do all in their power to advise and help all learners of Gaelic. They also publish the quarterly,"Cothrom" in both English and Gaelic in parallel columns and will supply on demand. They can sell you an entire tape cassette on every word in Gaelic in each issue of "Cothrom" which means ... Fair play. They will answer every question on the language and its culture. The advertisements are also well worth studying.

      We have been informed that Blackfriars Folk Music, 49 Blackftiars. Street, Edinburgh EHI sell CDs and music in Gaelic. There are two bookshops specialising in our language. Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ telephone +44 (0)141-221-1971 and the Gaelic Books Council, 22 Mansfield Street, Glasgow GI I 5QP telephone 0 141 337 6211, fax 0131 341 0515 and on fios@gaelicbooks.net, they have a classified catalogue of all Gaelic books in print which costs £3 but is free if you order one book.

      There are three excellent courses in Gaelic which provide a book for self teaching backed up with tape cassettes available through booksellers. They are "Teach Yourself Gaelic" in the same series; Hugo's "Gaelic in three months" and Routledge's "Colloquial Gaelic". Two useful paperback dictionaries are: Owen's "Gaelic-English Dictionary and Thomson's "English Gaelic Dictionary" both published by Gairm Publications.

      Now to the media . . . " The Scotsman" daily newspaper carries a Gaelic column every Wednesday and Friday. Several local weeklies carry some Gaelic like "The Stornoway Gazette" and "The Skye Free Press". BBC Scotland and Scottish Television carry programmes in Gaelic. There is also our radio station, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal on MW 99KMz and on FM 103.5 --105 MHz. It can also be got on the Sky satellite service Channel 920. Even if initially language might present some difficulty, the music and song is a joy.

      Larry Lee said mastering a language "is an attitude of mind" and we would say. . ."a source of joy." Sin agad e ... there you have it.


      James D Scarlett is by now an acknowledged expert on the weaving of clan tartans. In his latest book The Tartans of the Clan Chattan he has produced what should become the definitive work on the subject. In sixty four pages, complete with twenty three coloured plates, the author gives full details on the history of the tartans with notes on thread counts and Relationships between the various tartans.

      The book is strongly recommended to all readers wishing to learn of the actual facts behind tartans, as opposed to the myths which so often surround the subject. It has been published by the Clan Chattan Association to mark its 70th anniversary and is available from the Clan Chattan Association, PO Box 13817, Penicuik EH26 9YR, Scotland at a cost of £6-00 per copy, plus postage and packing.

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Anne Primrose Popham Springman:

      On Tuesday, April 9th, 2002, Anne Primrose Popham Springman, formerly Anne Macpherson of Cluny, was inaugurated as the High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight. It was a beautiful Spring day for the historic occasion that was held in the Council Chamber of the County Hall in Newport. (The Crown courts were closed because of the Queen Mother's funeral).

      Anne's family who were present included her husband Michael and her stepchildren. Also, her sister Janetta Macpherson Lee and her husband Bruce, her nieces Alexandra Riley and her husband Simon, and Rosetta Thomas, who are daughters of the late Rosemary Macpherson Thomas. Alex and Rosy are active in the England and Wales branch of the Clan.

      After the ceremony, guests adjourned to the Newport Quay Arts Centre for refreshments which was followed by lunch for family and close friends at the Royal Yacht Squadron. It was a memorable day.

Anne is the eldest daughter of the late Francis Cameron Macpherson of Cluny, who was the 25th Chief of the Clan Macpherson.

Playwright Euan McPherson:
      Playwright Euan McPherson was the author of a play "The Trial of Jack the Ripper", presented by the Open Door Company in Dundee in July 2002. The play focused on William Bury, who was hanged in Dundee in 1889 for the murder of his wife.

      The murder, which had all the hallmarks of Jack the Ripper, came three months after the last of the sensational murders in London and only weeks after the couple had moved from London.

      A gruesome subject, but we wish Euan well with that and any future productions.

International Year Of The Mountains:
      Did you know that 2002 was designated the Intemational Year of the Mountains by the United Nations? If you didn't, then Andy Macpherson, who is based at the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College, is the man to tell you all about it, for he is the project officer for this year long event.

      His role is to co-ordinate and publicise the events taking part in Scotland this year. The aim of these events is to raise consciousness about the importance of mountains in our lives and to highlight the threats posed towards them. Macphersons always end up in high places!

More Macphersons in high places!
      To mark the 75th birthday on 28 September 2002 of Dr Alan G Macpherson of St John's Newfoundland, he was taken on a ride in a hot air balloon with his son Ewan. The route was over the Genesee River Gorge in upstate New York (the Grand Canyon of the East) near his daughter Anne's home. Ewan composed the pipe tune "Dr Alan G Macpherson's 75th Birthday" for the occasion.


Ewan Macpherson of Ann Arbor:
      Ewan Macpherson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of our Clan Pipers, has had a busy and successful season. In August he took the Grade IV and V corps of the Ann Arbor Pipes and Drums to compete in the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario. The Grade V corps were placed third. Ewan won the Piper of the Day award at the Indiana Highland Games and the Grade 2 Piper of the Day at the Oberlin Ohio Scottish Games. For the second year running he won the US Clan MacLeod Society's MacCrimmon Quaich for Piobaireachd at the latter event.

A Sporting Family:
      Andrea Currie, daughter of Mr and Mrs Currie of Rutherglen, competed in the Ladies' Heavy events in the Cowal Highland Games in August 2002. She finished second overall, being one point behind the winner. Taking part in five events, she won the caber tossing and the throwing the 28lbs-weight over the bar, setting a new Scottish record in the latter. A proud day for her and her parents, especially as she was wearing her father's Macpherson kilt.

      The next week end, Andrea's younger sister Janell and her husband Tommy took part in a half marathon and finished in a very respectable time. Well done the Currie family, we are all proud of you!

Scottish Sports Hall of Fame:
      On St Andrew's Day 2002 the first fitly names were admitted to the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The names included G P S Macpherson and Dr John Cattanach. GPS Macpherson (1903 -- 81) was born in Newtonmore and became one of Scotland's best known Rugby players, playing twenty six times for his country over the period 1922 to 1932. He captained his country in 1925 when Scotland won the Grand Slam for the first time and also excelled in athletics. He had a distinguished career in business and was a generous benefactor to the Clan Macpherson Museum, where his Scottish Rugby cap is proudly displayed.

      Dr John Cattanach was also born in Newtonmore and is one of the legendary heroes of shinty. He played for Newtonmore during the decade prior to the First World War, his score of eight goals in a Camanachd Cup Final in 1909 has never been beaten. He was killed in action at a tragically early age in 1915.


Seannachaidh -- George W. Macpherson
      Those present at the 2002 Clan Gathering will recall George W. Macpherson acting as our Seannachaidh at the Ceilidh. George lives in Glendale on the Isle of Skye and is the greatgrand-nephew of John Macpherson one of the Skye Martyrs (see Serendipity on Skye in Creag Dhubh 1991 by Rory Mor). George has followed the oral traditions handed down through generations of his family, and has become one of the best known traditional storytellers in Scotland. George's storytelling technique is memorable and distinctive, capable of captivating any audience, young or old, all over the world.

      George began collecting stories at the age of three, and has amassed an impressive repertoire of stories from all over Scotland, ranging from the heroes of Celtic folklore to the mythical and fantastical creatures of Scottish myth. He has told his stories in many countries world-wide, including France, Germany, Malta, Thailand, Spain and England. In 1997 he opened the Commonwealth Heads of State Convention in Edinburgh with one of his stories.

      As well as telling stories, George has published an historical account of John Macpherson, "Skye Martyr", and a book of traditional stories "North West Skye". He has also published


many articles in papers and magazines, both prose and poetry, on a variety of subjects. A participant in the Edinburgh Storytelling Festival for ten years, he also organises the annual Skye and Lochalsh Storytelling Festival, bringing to Scotland the storytelling traditions of countries such as France and Spain.

      A wearer of the kilt, either in its modem mode or in its ancient and traditional form, the philimore, he believes that stories should entertain and that great stories of the oral tradition should not be altered but should be told as they were learned.

      George's latest book "Highland Myths & Legends" includes three stories about the Battle of Glendale. It describes how a family of Macphersons famous for their fighting prowess had come to Glendale at the invitation of MacLeod as a bodyguard for him. In return for their services he had granted them land in Glendale. However, serious problems arose when MacLeod became sure of his own power and demanded the land back! The book is available from Luath Press Limited, Edinburgh (www.luath.co.uk).

John MacLean Barton
      John Maclean Barton has had a long and happy connection with the Clan Macpherson Association. John claims his affiliation to the Clan Macpherson through his late mother, Isobel, whose maiden name was Macpherson. He was Honorary Secretary of the Clan Macpherson Association between 1964 and 1970 -- seeing through the completion of the first extension to the Clan Museum.

      John as a practising lawyer and Writer to the Signet (W.S.) has been based in Edinburgh for many years. He assumed responsibility for looking after the legal affairs of the Clan Association on the death of Fraser Macpherson, W.S. in 1969. In this capacity he has looked after our interests on an honorary basis and covered such legal matters as the setting up of the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust, the Curators' contracts and the acquisition of the land for the Cairn to Ewan of the '45. John is a Trustee of the Clan Museum.

      John's knowledge of the hills and glens of Badenoch is unsurpassed, a subject he has written about in Creag Dhubh. Never known to be without a large and happy smile on his face, John frequently led from the front -- particularly on the route up Creag Dhubh to Cluny's Cave!

      John is retiring from legal practice and accordingly as our legal representative. As a mark of our gratitude we would like to thank him for all his efforts on our behalf in the past and present him with this truly splendid Illuminated Address that has been prepared by our Clan heraldic expert, Gordon Macpherson of Canada. The Illuminated Address reads:

To John Maclean Barton
The hearts and voices of your fellow clansmen unite to express their sincere appreciation for
your ready provision of wise counsel, sound advice and legal service over many years.
It is with deep feelings of gratitude that we convey to you and Gertie our warmest good wishes for a long and happy retirement.
Signed by Cluny and the Honorary Secretary, Jan.

James Gillespie .... Snuffmaker
      A name well known in his day and now well known for other matters than his profession, James Gillespie is an interesting character in his own right and a worthy representative of one of the associated family names of Clan Macpherson.

      James Gillespie was born in 1726 in Roslin, a small village to the south of Edinburgh. As a young man he, with his brother John, set up business as tobacconists in Edinburgh, which proved profitable, and in 1759 they purchased snuff mills in Colinton on the outskirts of Edinburgh. James managed the manufacturing side of the business and John looked after the retail shop in Edinburgh's High Street, thereby cutting out the middleman.

      They never married, lived frugally and by dint of a lot of hard work they became wealthy. John lived on his own in Spylaw House near his mill, only journeying into Edinburgh on business. When he travelled he did so in his only outrageous luxury, a bright yellow coach


adorned with his coat of arms. This wondrous vehicle, the eighteenth century equivalent of a Rolls Royce caused the locals to say among themselves whenever the coach appeared in the High Street

"Wha wad hae thought it
That noses would hae bought it!"

      James died in April 1797 and is buried beside his brother in a mausoleum in Colinton Churchyard.

      In his will he directed that his now substantial fortune go to the building of a hospital "for the maintenance of old men and women" and for a school for the children of the poor.

      The school, at one time for girls alone, is now a co-educational comprehensive under the name of James Gillespie's High School and is one of the leading senior schools in Edinburgh.

      The snuff maker of Colinton is still remembered for more things than tobacco.

      As usual the Gathering -- this year the 57th -- will take place in and around Newtonmore and Kingussie during the weekend commencing Friday 1 August.

      The opening event, a reception hosted by the Association, takes place at 8pm in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie, and members of the Association and their guests will be welcomed by the Chief, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and his wife, Lady Cluny, together with the Chairman and his wife. The reception is immediately followed by the Highland Ball, during which a delicious buffet supper will be served. The dress code for the event is black tie/bighland. After many years at the same price, it has been necessary to increase this a little this year.

      The AGM of the Association is on Saturday morning in Newtonmore Village Hall, and finishes in time for lunch. There are no formal arrangements, but there are a number of hotels locally where lunch may be obtained.

      The Clan March, for all kilted male Macphersons and Association members, leaves Old Ralia at 2pm, and those intending to march are asked to assemble fifteen minutes beforehand, when their entry fee to the games field will also be collected. After the Chief, at the head of the Clan has been officially welcomed onto the Eilan free drams are available in the Clan Tent. Following the games the Museum hosts an "At Home" for Association members and invited guests from the local community.

      In the evening a traditional Scottish supper is available in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, and this is followed by the Ceilidh. If you wish to take part, just make yourself known to the fear-an-tigh. For those with a strong constitution, the "after Ceilidh Ceilidh" goes on until the wee small hours.       On Sunday morning Clan members join the parishioners of St. Columba's Church in Kingussie for morning worship, following which, if the weather is fine, members often take a picnic to the Cairn site. On Sunday afternoon Allan and Marjorie Macpherson-Fletcher generously invite the Association to afternoon tea at the lovely Balavil House.

      Afternoon tea is the last "official" event of the Gathering, but for those remaining in the area there is a walk on Monday morning, starting at the Museum.

      Guides to the Gathering, with further details, times etc., will be available during the weekend -- a copy will be reserved for you with your tickets if you pre-book.

      A word about pre-booking Many people were a little surprised last year by the necessity to pre-book, as this was a new concept, but for such a big Gathering it was an absolute necessity, and following its success (yes, there were a few problems, but we've learnt from our mistakes) it is intended to make this standard practice. All those people involved in the organisation of the weekend cannot stress enough bow much easier it made life for them, but apart from that it is vital that the Hotel knows how many people to cater for. I'm sure you will all agree that a


wonderful spread was put on for us, but it isn't reasonable to expect the staff to do that if they don't know until the night before whether they are catering for 50 or 100. It is perfectly understandable that not everyone will be able to commit themselves much in advance, but if you can, PLEASE, PLEASE complete the booking form in this edition and send it in by I June. (If you don't want to cut Creag Dhubh, then simply copy it out, or photocopy). So what if you can't commit by then? If you want to come, but aren't sure if you can, then PLEASE give me a ring, send me an e-mail or even a letter, and say so. That way you can be borne in mind, and a decision made about closing booking if necessary. If you're not able to do that either, but find at the last minute that you can come, we would be delighted to see you, but PLEASE make contact and ask if tickets are still available -- the Hotel, although always very accommodating, doesn't have elastic walls, and no-one wants a wasted journey. The informal events, at what is likely to be a much smaller Gathering than that in 2002, are more flexible, but please book in advance for the Ball, Ceilidh and Buffet Supper.

      For further details please consult the Association e-mail service, ListServ (clan-macpherson at listserv@home. ease. Isoft. com), the web site www.clanmacpherson.org or contact the Secretary or Museum Curator.



To Andy and Sarah MacPherson, a daughter, Grace Catherine Patricia, on 23rd August 2002, a sister for Alice.

To Damian and Fiona (nee Macpherson) Brennan, a daughter, Charlotte Fiona, on 11 June 2002, a seventh grandchild for John and Gwen Macpherson of Mittagong, Australia.

To Erin and Darren Mortensen, a son, Samuel Scott, on 16 October 1999, a first grandchild for Rod and Hazel Gillespie.

To Tony and Tesneem Macpherson, a son, Zachary Leith, on 5th January 2002, a fifth grandchild for Gerald and Joy Macpherson

To James and Anne Spiller, nee Macpherson, a daughter Aelis May, on 25 April 2002, first grandchild for Alan G and Joyce Macpherson of St John's Newfoundland.

To Alan and Helen Macfarlane (nee Macpherson), in Perth, Western Australia, a daughter, Emma Laura, on 21 February 2002. Sister for Hannah, and second granddaughter for Bill and Jan Macpherson.


Sherlock-Macpherson. On 11th May 2002, at Appin Parish Church, Argyll, Isabella Macpherson of Pitmain, daughter of Alastair and Penny Macpherson of Pitmain to Andrew Sherlock.

Cumming-Slavin. On 20th October 2002, at Michigan State University Chapel, Michigan, Dr Sean Cumming to Rebecca Slavin. John is the younger son of John and Fiona and grandson of Helen and Allan Macpherson of Inverness, past Chairman of the Clan Macpherson Association (1963-66)

Macpherson-O'Conner. On 21st June 2002, John Charles Macpherson to Anne Munro O'Conner, at "KnollkIIl", Hudson NY. John is Vice Chairman of the United States Branch of the Association.

KBR> Dr Andrew Hall Macpherson died in Edmonton, Canada on 23 April 2002 after a long illness. Brother of Jay (Jean) Macpherson, the distinguished Canadian poet and English scholar, and only son of the late Major James Ewan Macpherson of Hampstead, London, a former Editor of Creag Dhubh. Dr Macpherson was born on London on 2 June 1932 but spent his formative years in St John's, Montreal and Ottawa. A McGill graduate in Zoology, he spent his career with the Science Council of Canada and the Departments of Environment and Indian & Northern Affairs in Ottawa, Edmonton and Yellowknife as one of the great field naturalists of the Canadian North.

      An ardent sports fisherman, he wrote "The Canadian lee Anglers' Guide (1985)" and was a significant voice in relating environmental issues to geopolitical realities, and a founder of the Sustainable Population Society. We extend our sympathy to his two sons and a daughter.


Euan Macpherson of Glentruim Born 17 May 1926 in Canada, died 8 June 2002 in Edinburgh aged 76.

      At the centre of the Glentruim estate in Invernesshire is a stone marking the point in the Highlands furthest from the sea in every direction, the very heart of Scotland. Nearby is a cairn erected in memory of Ewan of Cluny, hero of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. No wonder Euan Macpherson loved this place, which he inherited from his uncle in 1971.

      In this region, his ancestors fought as members of the great tribal confederation of Clan Chattan and took part in the battle of champions held on the North Inch of Perth in 1396. A kinsman was the publisher of the discredited, but nonetheless magical, works of the Gaelic poet Ossian. The Highlands of Scotland, the legends and heroism of its past, were in his blood. [The work of James Seumas Ban Macpherson was discreited by Lexographer Samuel Johnson and sychophants but no by all by any means. The controversy still rages on after two centuries and Seumas is winning.-- RM].

      While residing in Glentruim, he and his wife entertained not only the many Macpherson clansmen during their annual clan gatherings, but also shooting parties from around the world. Glentruim became a renowned place for hospitality and for excellent stories of past history.

      Prior to the circumstances which, in 1997, forced him to part company with the estate, he gifted the acre of land with the stone, and for the cairn to be built, in perpetuity to Clan Macpherson. It was a typical gesture from a man who valued tradition and honour. It meant that the clan, of which he was a chieftain, was able to hold on to something very special.

      Euan Lachlan Robert Macpherson was born in Canada, his father, a younger son of Glentruim, having set off to make his fortune as a prospector in the Gold Rush. When his father died four years later, Euan was sent to a school in New Zealand, later returning to the UK, to Cheltenham College. He was aged 16 when he enrolled at Edinburgh University to study psychology.

      At the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Royal Air Force, later transferring to the army, where he was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. Given two years to live, he was determined to prove them wrong, and before those two years were up was throwing his energies into rock-climbing and sailing on Windermere, where his mother had gone to live. Euan's passion for the outdoor life was to continue in later years. The big skies and the waves enthralled him, and every moment of his free time was taken up sailing in the Hebrides with his family on his yacht, Legacy.

      Having qualified as a psychologist at Edinburgh, there followed years of dedication to the prison service, at Reading and Wandsworth and the Carlton Hayes Hospital, Leicester, then as senior psychologist at HMP Winson Green, Birmingham, and at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, where he remained for 16 years.

      Here he wrote many papers and carried out valuable research into subjects such as Huntington's Chorea. Both a pioneer and an authority on behaviour therapy, his work is respected worldwide.

      It was also at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital that he met his wife, Zandra, one of his nurse pupils. They married in 1968, and had a daughter, Catriona, and a son, Lachlan. Euan was understandably very proud of his children, and adored his grandchildren, Connor, Rachel and Jamie [Ward}. With the death of his father, Lachlan now becomes Macpherson of Glentruim, Chieftain of the Macphersons of Glentruim.

      In 1990, having retired as senior psychologist at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, Euan embarked upon running a nursing home with Zandra in Bridge of Allan. This was sold in 1998, his plan being to retire completely, and for him and å to sail around foreign waters. It was not to be. He had his first stroke shortly after-wards, and the couple moved to Edinburgh, where he struggled bravely to lead as normal an existence as his disabilities allowed,

      In tribute to him, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, his Clan Chief, commented that one memory that many people would always have of Euan was his articulate and resonant voice. Very few individuals have such a full and reasoned command of the English language, both spoken and written, enhanced by his being extremely well read. And indeed, this reflected yet


another; lesser known, aspect of his talents. Euan was an accomplished writer, an ability that came easily to him, yet one that he never fully exploited.

      When he was 20, he was awarded the Greason Prize for poetry. In 1986 he won the prize for the best story in Winning Tales, a book of stories from Scotland's grand old houses, published by Canongate. Added to this was a love, of traditional and classical music. Zandra is an accomplished clarsach player, and friends will not forget the privilege of being included in the many musical gatherings the couple held at Glentruim, at Bridge of Allan, and in Edinburgh.

      Euan Macpherson will be remembered by those who knew him for his profound intelligence, and latterly for the courage which enabled him to retain his dignity while fully aware of his physical limitations. Others will remember him as a gentleman of the old school, beautifully mannered and courteous, a renaissance man in a modern world: a wit, raconteur, and a generous companion, Clan Macpherson has lost a chieftain. The loss to his friends and family is immeasurable.

(Reproduced with kind permission of the author, Mr Roddy Martine, and The Scotsman)

[Another feat of Euan's was reconditionig a fairly large cannon that was part of the Glentruim estate and recruiting a team of gunners from the local population. This combination exhibited their skills at the annual Newtonmore Highland Games during the nineties by firing eight salvo salutes to welcome Cluny to the Games field. Unfortuately, this practice has not been continued in the decade that followed.--RM] [Euan's grave and those of his ancestors can be seen on the MEM at http://www.sonasmor.net.049e2.glentruimgraves.html -- RM]

Ronnie W G Macpherson died in Perth on 1st September 2002. His loss had a deep impact on the Clan Macpherson Association as it marked the passing of one of the best known and valued members.

      Ronnie was born in London in 1914, the son of Sir Duncan and Lady Macpherson. He began his education in Worthing and later went to The Edinburgh Academy. In 1933, after returning to London, he joined a well-known firm of Chartered Accountants and also began a long association with the London Scottish when he joined the rugby football club.

      In 1939 he was commissioned into the Regiment and seconded to the Gambia Regiment of the Royal West Africa Frontier Force from 1941 to 1944. He was later posted to the Gordon Highlanders and served with them in Holland and Germany. Ronnie's efforts, excitement and enthusiasm for the Association will be legendary. He became Secretary and Treasurer of the England and Wales Branch in 1952, which started a long connection of fifty years.

      In 1973 he served as International Chairman and enhanced the office by his presentation of its official symbol, the cromag with a wild cat carved into its handle. This cromag bears the names of all International Chairmen and is carried by the current Chairman during his official duties at the annual Rally and is one of the Association's most treasured possessions.

      Ronnie continued his active participation in Association matters by working as Treasurer from 1983 to 1989 and also serving as a Clan Museum Trustee and on the Scottish Branch Committee.

      His last public appearance was at the Clan Rally in Newtonmore in August 2002 when he had great pride in raising a new salfire, presented by him, at the Clan Museum.

      Ronnie's late wife Betty also played an active part in the Association for many years working as Registrar.

      He is survived by his son, daughter in law and grandchildren. We extend our sympathy to them and remember his deep felt commitment and enthusiasm for all matters relating to his beloved Clan.

[One of the standard features of the Gathering ceilidhs during his last decade was Ronnie's rendition of the poem "The Old School Car'. Everyone joined in shouting the last line of each stanza -- "The Old School Car".-- RM]

Andrew Gillies died in London on 8th February 2002 following a long illness. Born in Dunoon, his infectious enthusiasm for all matters Scottish, and in particular, for traditional music and Country Dancing made him a favourite entertainer at Clan Macpherson gatherings for many years.

      As a qualified instructor of Scottish Country Dancing, he literally danced his way around the world, gaining an infinite number of friends en route. [Andrew was also an accomplished Highland dancer and demonstrated his skills by performing for the Queen during the Commonwealth Games. -- RM]       No Highland Ball in Kingussie will be quite the same without his guiding hand showing us through the intricacies of reels and strathspeys. His friendly tolerance was much appreciated by beginners who soon shared his enthusiasm.

      Andrew will be greatly missed by many people for all the best of reasons.


Mrs Rae McPherson Harris of Western Australia died on 5th May 2002 aged 96. Mrs Harris was a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters. In 1980 the Society exhibited her miniature of our Chief, executed when she visited the UK the previous year. She was a sister of Douglas McPherson of Western Australia to whom we extend sympathy.

Harry Gordon Macpherson (1925-2001). Formerly Curator of Mineralogy at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, Harry Macpherson was known to very many members of the Society for his enthusiasm in the collection and study of Scottish minerals. A quiet and private man, he believed in fostering close links between the Museum and the Edinburgh Geological Society, a rewarding association which they still enjoy. His death on 13th December after a long illness leaves those who knew him with many happy and enduring memories.

      Harry was born and educated in Aberdeen, served with the Royal Engineers in the Far East, and returning to the University of Aberdeen, graduated with an Honours BSc in geology in 1952. Study for an MA and a PhD at Toronto University followed. Summer field work in Canada gave him experience of the high pressure hurly-burly of economic geology during employment with several prospecting companies. In 1958 he returned to Scotland as a scientist with the National Coal Board in New Cumnock, and in 1960 he was appointed a Mineral Curator in the Geology Department of the Royal Museum. Refurbishment of the northeast wing of the Museum in the late 1960s and early 1970s gave the opportunity for the development of a new Mineral Hall, opened in 1975. Here, Harry's unrivalled skill in producing uncomplicated, attractive and educational displays was used to the full.

      With his interest in the collection and identification of new Scottish minerals, he worked to increase the Museum's research capability, introducing new techniques and encouraging younger colleagues, who remember him on mineral hunting forays lugging home huge specimens for the Museum's collection. Macphersonite, a new mineral from Leadhills, was named after him. He retired from museum duties in 1987, and, encouraged not to waste his expert knowledge of Scottish agates, published his well-known book on Agates in 1989.,P.

On 27th December 2002 our Chief, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie and his lady celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary with a party at Newton Castle attended by their family and friends.

      A few days earlier, in Edinburgh, they were presented with a pair of garden seats from members of the Clan Macpherson Association by Catherine Macpherson, Vice Chairman of the Association, in recognition of the love and affection feIt by all members throughout the world.

      The mood of the party was summed up by Catherine's final remark before handing over the seats "Remember, only another ten years to go before you qualify for the silver epergne"

On 28 July 2002 Sandy and Catherine Macpherson celebrated their Ruby Wedding anniversary. Catherine is Vice Chairman and Sandy a former Chairman of the Association.



      The Constitution of the Clan Macpherson Association, the document which states the fundamental principles by which the Association is governed, has a long and honourable history and has changed remarkably little in over fifty years.

      The original Constitution was approved at the first Annual General Meeting in August 1947 It was later revised in the late 1960s, mainly to take account of the growth of the overseas branches, and since that time has only had minor amendments as required by the needs of the moment.

      The Clan Executive and Council have looked further into the Constitution with a view to bringing it up to meet the standards of the twenty-first century and the latest version was approved by the Council at the Gathering of August 2002.

      Any major changes must be approved by the membership at the AGM and it was agreed that, as only a small proportion of the total world wide membership was present at the meeting, the text of the new Constitution should be published in Creag Dhubh to enable all members to read it.

      Any comments and/or amendments of a constructive nature should be sent in writing to the Secretary as soon as possible; they will be considered at the Clan Council in August 2003, the final version will then be submitted to the AGM on Saturday 2nd August and, if approved, will be in operation forthwith.

      The main revisions to the Constitution are summarised as follows:
            Paragraph III... Membership. The new Clause defines the various classes of membership and clarifies the qualifications for membership, in particular with eligible associated family names.

            Paragraphs IX and X . . . Council and Executive. The relationship between the two bodies is defined, as are any other committees set up, either ad hoc or standing.

            It should be noted that any Branch whose Constitution is based on that of the Association, and who feels that their own is required to be altered to accord with the new version, should make any amendments as soon as possible.


      The name of the Association shall be the Clan Macpherson Association

      (a) To promote and foster the Clan spirit and the corporate life of the Clan at home and abroad, to provide a focal point for, and a means of, expressing Clan sentiment, and to keep Clansmen in touch with one another in all parts of the world.
      (b) To encourage and promote the study and preservation of the history, folk-lore, literature, music, treasure, and traditions of the Clan Macpherson, and such other objectives as may be of common interest to the Members.
      (c) To acquire and hold lands and buildings in the Badenoch district of Invemess-shire or elsewhere as the property of the Clan Association with a view to maintaining the connection of the Clan with its ancestral home.
      (d) To acquire and hold objects of historical or cultural interest to the Clan.

      (a) The Association shall consist of Life Members, Annual Members, Junior Members, Associate Members and Honorary Members.
      (b) A Member or adherent of the Clan Macpherson shall be eligible to be enrolled as a Member of the Association on acceptance of the Registrar, appointed by the Council.
      (c) Applications may be made direct to the Registrar or through any Branch of the Association.
      (d) Without prejudice to the right of any person considering himself or herself a member or adherent of the Clan to apply for membership of the Association, the following shall be considered as qualified to apply for membership of the Association: all children of persons born a Macpherson, Cattanach, Gillies, Gillespie, Murdoch, MacMurdo, (or other variants of Muireach) or any of the associated family names published in official form by the Association and authorised by the Chief.
      (e) The Council shall have the power to remove any Member of the Association who brings discredit upon the Association.
      (f) The Council shall have the power to admit to the Association membership applicants who are not qualified for membership, if in their discretion they consider this to be to the advantage of the Association. Such associate members shall pay the appropriate membership subscription.
      (g) The Council shall also have the power to designate Honorary Members with no membership fee required.

      (a) Persons under 18 years of age who are children of Members of the Association, or of persons eligible to become members, may be admitted to restricted membership and shall pay a reduced, one time, subscription as specified by the Council.
      (b) Such Junior Members shall not have a voice in the management of the affairs of the Association, nor be entitled to vote at any business meeting thereof The Council shall have power to specify and determine the privileges of such membership, and to alter or vary them from time to time.
      (c) The full annual or life subscription shall become payable on the first day of January following the attainment of the age of 18.

      (a) Membership Categories shall be as follows: Life or Associate Life Member (men or women); Life Member (Wife/Husband of Life Member) Annual Member; Associate Member;


Junior Member (boys or girls under 18)
      (b) Subscriptions may be varied from time to time by any Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting on the recommendation of the Council.
      (c) All subscriptions are the property of the Association and shall be remitted to the Hon. Treasurer, either direct or through the appropriate Branch Treasurer.
      (d) Overseas Branches may collect annual subscriptions and may, if they wish, collect Life subscriptions, on behalf of the Association and remit them to the Hon. Treasurer. Branches may also set their own fees above Association fees to cover additional Branch expenses.
      (e) All subscriptions other than Life Members' subscriptions shall be due within one month of the commencement of each calendar year. Each new member shall pay his subscription on admission, but if admitted on or after the first day of October such subscription shall be held to cover the year from the first day of January following.

      (a) A Branch of the Association may be formed in any part of the United Kingdom or any other part of the World, including, but not limited to, Scotland, England and Wales, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America, subject to the approval of the Council.
      (b) All approved Branches shall be entitled to send two representatives to the Council,
      (c) An application to form a new Branch must be accompanied by a draft Branch Constitution or By-Laws, which must be approved by the Council.
      (d) A Branch may make its own rules as regards to election of Office-Bearers, its representatives on the Council, raising funds for its own objectives, the conduct, place of meetings and for any other matter otherwise not provided for in the Constitution and Rules of the Association, so long as they do not conflict with the Constitution and Rules of the Association.
      (e) In the event of dissolution of a Branch, the funds and all other assets of the Branch shall thereupon become the property of the Association. (f) No Branch shall pledge the credit of the Association, and shall not be responsible for any deficit or debt of any Branch.

      (a) The Office-Bearers of the Association shall consist of the Chairman, ViceChairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Registrar, Web Master and Editor, who shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election. If either the Chairman or ViceChairman be resident outwith the United Kingdom, the other shall be resident therein. Office-Bearers shall be ex officio Members of the Council, provided that a Member shall usually hold office as the Chairman for three, but no more than five, successive years.
      (b) Any fully qualified Member shall be eligible to hold any of the above offices.
      (c) The Council shall have power to appoint an assistant to advise any Officer (excluding the Chairman and Vice-Chairman) of such of their duties as may be agreed upon. Such assistant will be an Office-Bearer and accordingly subject to retiral or re-election annually, and as such, will be a Member of the Council.

The Honorary Officers of the Association shall be an Honorary President, and such number, as may from time to time be decided, of Honorary Vice-Presidents from persons who hold or have held offices in the Association or have otherwise given service to the Clan. The Chief of the Clan shall ex. officio be Honorary President. The Honorary Vice-Presidents shall hold office for life or until resignation.

IX COUNCIL       (a) The governing body of the Association shall be the Council. The Members of the Council shall be Honorary Vice-Presidents, the Office-Bearers of the Association, the representatives of the Branches and other Members who may be elected at the Annual General Meeting under paragraph IX (d), hereinafter referred to as Special Members of the Council.
      (b) All Members of the Council present at a meeting shall be entitled to vote, and the Chairman shall also have a casting vote.
      (c) The Representatives of the Branches shall be the Chairman and Secretary of each Branch, but a Branch may nominate another person from among its Members to attend a meeting of the Council in place of its Chairman or Secretary.
      (d) Any Annual General Meeting may elect not more than four Life or Annual Members as Special Members of the Council who shall serve until the next Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for reelection.
      (e) The Council shall meet at such intervals and at such places as the Chairman, whom failing the Vice-Chairman, may determine, and four of its members shall constitute a quorum, provided that the Council shall meet not less than once per annum.
      (f) A meeting of the Council shall be notified to each Member of the Council not less than fourteen days before the date of the meeting.
      (g) The Council may delegate such of its functions as it thinks fit to the Executive Committee, and may from time to time, set up any other committee and delegate to it such matters as may be determined.

      The day-to-day business of the Association shall be conducted by an Executive Committee, to be appointed by the Council from Members of the Council. Overseas Members of the Executive Committee shall be informed. All significant actions shall be reported to the Council at the next Annual General Meeting,

      (a) The Annual General meeting shall be held in Badenoch, or such place as may be determined by the Council, no later than 30 September each year, and shall receive


the Annual Report of the Council, statement of account with Auditor's Report, and elect Office-Bearers and Auditor for the ensuing year.
      (b) Notice of the Annual General Meeting shall be in accordance with the Rules laid down by the Council, but shall be given in writing and posted not less than twenty one days before the date of the Meeting.       (c) The Council may submit a motion to the Annual General Meeting with or without previous notice.
      (d) Any Branch of the Association or Life or Annual Member may submit a motion to the Meeting. This should be sent to the Hon. Secretary no later than one calendar month before the date of the meeting.
      (e) Any two Members may move a Resolution, which if carried, shall be referred to the Council for consideration and report. (f) Nominations for the various Offices and Special Members of the Council, other than nominations made with the approval of the Council, shall be signed by the proposer and seconder, both of whom must be Members of the Association, and forwarded to reach the Secretary at his/her ordinary address not less than seven days before the Annual General Meeting.

      (a) The Hon. Secretary shall summon a Special General Meeting at any time:
            (i) if the Council so decides or
            (ii) on receipt of a requisition in writing specifying the business proposed to be transacted at the Meeting, and signed by not less than twenty Members of the Association.
      (b) Notice of any Special General Meeting must be given to all Members in writing and posted not less than thirty days before the date of the Meeting.
      (c) The business proposed to be transacted at the Meeting shall be stated in the notice thereof
      (d) A Special General Meeting shall not deal with any business other than that stated in the notice of the Meeting.

      At any General Meeting of the Association twenty Members present and entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum. Only Life Members and Annual Members who have paid their annual subscription shall be entitled to vote.

      (a) The Council, any Branch with the approval of its Annual General Meeting, or twenty Members may submit a Resolution Proposing an Amendment or Amendments to the Constitution. Such a resolution shall be placed before the next Annual General Meeting of the Association, and may be referred to the following Annual General Meeting for decision. If the Resolution is passed by a majority of those present and entitled to vote at the later Meeting, the Amendment or Amendments shall be incorporated in the Constitution.
      (b) Notwithstanding the foregoing paragraph, if the Council considers that a proposed Amendment or Amendments are of an urgent or minor nature, they may submit a Resolution containing such an amendment or Amendments for consideration at a General Meeting, or if the Meeting so decides, the question may be determined at that Meeting. If the Resolution is passed by a majority of those present and entitled to vote at the Meeting, the Amendment or Amendments shall then be incorporated in the Constitution. Such changes must be ratified at the next AGM of the Association.
      (c) The terms of any Resolution proposing an Amendment or Amendments to the Constitution shall be contained in the notice of the General Meeting to which the Resolution is referred for decision.

      At General Meetings, at Meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee, the Chairman, in cases where the vote is even, has a casting as well as a deliberative vote.

      The Council shall have the power to frame Bye-Laws which shall be subject to confirmation at the first Annual General Meeting held hereafter.

      (a) All interests in land, buildings, and investments belonging to the Association shall be vested in the Office-Bearers of the Association for the time being and their successors in office.
      (b) Unless the consent of the Annual General Meeting of the Association shall first have been obtained, the heritable property of the Association shall not be sold or feued, or let for a period of more than one year, nor shall the heritable property be conveyed in security.
      (c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Association so resolves, the heritable property of the Association may be transferred to Trustees acting under powers within the objectives of the Association.
      (d) The custody and care of Clan Treasures and other moveable property of the Association shall be the responsibility of the Office-Bearers of the Association for the time being.
      (e) The Clan Treasures belonging to the Association shall neither be sold nor pledged in security.
      (f) Cash and funds belonging to the Association shall be deposited with a bank in the account which shall be clearly marked as belonging to the Association, and shall be operated by such Office-Bearer or Office-Bearers or Members of the Council and under such conditions as the Executive Committee shall from time to time appoint.
      (g) The funds of the Association shall be applied solely to the objectives as stated in the Constitution.       (h) Members of the Association shall not receive payment, either direct or indirect, for anything except legitimate expenses incurred in connection with the work of the Association, and approved by the Executive Committee.
      (i) In the event of dissolution of the Association, any remaining funds shall be devoted to objectives similar to those of the Association.

      The Office-Bearers shall have power to sue for and recover debts and a receipt for any debt signed by the Treasurer shall be sufficient evidence of payment thereof.



Chairman: Douglas MacPherson 1295 Cumnock Crescent Oakville, ON L6J 2N6 Canada
Hon. Secretary: Mary Margaret Gillies 32 Dallyn Crescent Scarborough, ON M I K 4V9 Canada

      The Canadian Branch enjoyed a very active and successful year among our membership. The Branch set an historical precedent by sending our largest contingent ever to the International Rally in Scotland, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Clan Museum. Twenty-eight members participated in the 50th anniversary celebrations with thirteen of those from the family of Chairman Douglas MacPherson and eight from the family of the Hon. Secretary Mary Margaret Gillies.

      The highlight, as always, involved out- weekend gathering in London, Ontario on October 4 -- 5, 2002, celebrating our 53rd year as a branch in the Association. The Branch had the opportunity to have our Chief and Lady Cluny on hand to warmly meet and greet members and guests. The gathering officially began with Cluny's Reception hosted by Cluny, Lady Cluny and Chairman Douglas. Throughout most of the reception, John McCredie provided background music on his keyboard. Our Pipe Major Hugh Macpherson gave an interesting demonstration and talk on the pipes assisted by his sister. Barbara Reyelts and Bruce Gillis. During the presentation, Erianna Reyelts performed the Highland Dance "A Tribute to Cluny", choreographed by her mother Barbara. At the Annual General Meeting on Saturday morning, members felt that it was time the Branch controlled and authored our own web page with a link to the international one. Chris Cain agreed to create and maintain the Branch's web site. On Saturday evening, members gathered for the reception and banquet. Following dinner, Hon. Secretary Mary Margaret Gillies introduced a new game called Macpherson Trivia. Tables competed against each other in responding to questions on clan history and heritage.

      Bob and Marlene Archibald took up the task of representing the Association at the Scottish Games. They attended both the Georgetown and Uxbridge games. In addition, they have been trying to organize a Clan Table for the renowned St. Andrew's Ball held at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto on November 16th, 2002.

      Earlier this year in May, Mary Margaret attempted to organize an evening of Scottish dancing and a light supper. Unfortunately, due to lack of participation, the evening had to be cancelled.

      The commitment of the Canadian Branch to increase the profile of the Association among both members and nonmembers of the Clan will mean our continued efforts to offer events, extend our representation at Scottish Garmes and improve Our communications through the Green Banner and our new web site.

Chairman: John L Macpherson, 3 Earl Street, Mittagong, NSW 2575
Secretary: Adam de Totth, Chapman, Canberra
Queensland Representative: Edna MacPherson Sabato, Maryborough
Western Australian Representative: Douglas McPherson, Roleystone, near Perth WA

      This year has been one of consolidation. While the costs associated with public liability insurance remain a very serious problem given some notable corporate failures in Australia and elsewhere, the Australian Branch is alive and well.

      Membership numbers have stabilised, due in the main to numbers recruited just about equalling losses sustained from a conscious effort with the mail-out of Creag Dhubh 2002. We used this mail-out to update the mailing lists in each of the States and Territories. The result was the return of five Journals with addressees "No Longer at This Address", and advice from relatives of one former member "now deceased", and one member no longer able to read due to


a stroke and admission to a nursing home. Curiously, one of the returned Journals bore the comment 'Not lived here for 14 years '!!! Where are 13 lost Creag Dhubhs???

      The decision to send Journals to Overseas branches by bulk air freight was very helpful. It facilitated earlier delivery, and allowed us to piggy back an additional mailing to all members in Australia.

      Our involvement in "Bundanoon is Brigadoon", and The Wild Scotchman Festival (Gin Gin Qld) continues. Edna MacPherson Sabato planned to take a tent (possibly the only Clan tent) to the Maryborough (Qld) Caledonian Society Highland Games on 25th August 2002, however inclement weather forced its cancellation. The advent of an expanded Scottish Week in Sydney in November 2002 will add to our involvement in local Scottish affairs.

      Through the initiative of the Scottish Australia Heritage Council, with which CMA Australia is affiliated, Tartan Day in Sydney was celebrated on 1st July 2002. It is hoped that this celebration will gradually spread across the country. I doubt we will ever match the 10,000 pipers in New York. Eleven Clans, including three of the Clan Chattan, were represented at lunchtime in Sydney's Martin Place before a crowd of several hundred Scots and friends.

      A notable achievement this year was the making of a CMA Banner by Branch Secretary Adam de Totth. Based on advice from R Gordon Macpherson in Canada, the Australian banner is of identical colours to the CMA Banner, but is shaped like a shield rather than the traditional flag. Our Banner had its first outing at Bundanoon in April, where it was paraded with many others in a special banner parade that marked the 25th Anniversary of the largest Scottish festival in Australia. The second outing occurred on Tartan Day when Branch Chairman John Macpherson was able to parade the banner and proclaim the Clan War Cry in Martin Place.

      Copies of the 2001 and 2002 issues of Creag Dhubh were deposited in the National Library of Australia and the NSW State Library. Future issues will be similarly deposited, as will back issues if they can be obtained. An approach has been made to the NSW State Library, for either an article, or access to material suitable for an article in Creag Dhubh concerning the recent display of selected items from the Donald MacPherson Collection of Art and Literature. The Collection was established by Misses Margaret and Elizabeth MacPherson, grand-daughters of Donald, a school master who migrated from Aviemore in 1838.

      Reports from Registrar Heather and Bruce, and Yvonne and Harold Bird (Melbourne) emphasised the success of the 2002 Gathering, and we congratulate the Museum on achieving its 50th Anniversary!' All those who worked tirelessly to ensure its deserved place at the forefront of Clan Museums deserve our strongest commendation. CMA member and Managing Director of McPherson Wines, Andrew McPherson, was delighted at the positive response generated from the Australian wines consumed during the 2002 Gathering.

      During the 2002 AGM at Newtonmore, Yvonne McPherson Bird (Melbourne) presented to the Museum, a framed copy of a poem 'Poppies in November', which was written by her late father Alexander McPherson during WWI. Alexander served in the 5th Pioneers, 39th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces. The poem attracted much attention from those at the Gathering, as it did when first read by Yvonne at the 2001 Ceilidh.

      We were pleased that Ron and Hazel Gillespie (Queensland) were able to fit a visit to the Museum into their travels and present a copy of a video on Waltzing Matilda, the tune for which was written by Christina MacPherson.

      I am grateful to the office-bearers of the NSW Branch, Edna in Queensland and Douglas in Western Australia for their continuing support. It was a very pleasant surprise a few months ago to receive a visit from Douglas's wife Margaret at our home in Mittagong. As large as Australia is, relatives of Douglas and Margaret live no more than 2 km away in Mittagong.

      Through the expanding use of e-mail we are able to communicate more quickly, and it has been pleasing to gradually add more members to our electronic mailing list. This method has been particularly useful as we seek to add to the list of places in Australia named after Macphersons. In particular, Bill Macpherson of Busselton (Western Australia) has been very


active in tracing more places named Macpherson. Note that in New South Wales alone some 26 places bear the name in either of two spellings (McP or Macp).

      We in Australia continue to appreciate the very effective liaison now established through the use of Fax and e-mail by Cluny, Chairman Larry Lee, Museum Chairman Ewen and Editor Sandy, and officers of the Council. Their continued support, and willingness to keep us informed is heartening and welcomed by all.

      To Cluny and Lady Cluny we send our best wishes for continued good health and happiness for many years to come; and to Jamie and Annie we extend our very good wishes on their recent marriage.

Chairman: Shelagh Macpherson-Noble
Minutes Secretary: Iris Macpherson

      The Scottish Branch Committee met regularly throughout the year and during this period there were some changes. At the AGM 2001, Shelagh succeeded John (Montrose) as Chairman, and John's enthusiasm and commitment to the Clan is a hard act to follow. Alastair (from Fife) moved into the position of Vice-Chairman.

      Ian and Thelma Robb chose to stand down as Secretary and Minutes Secretary respectively, and Iris (Montrose) joined us as Minutes Secretary.

      Fiona Cumming who lives in Orkney, is our new editor for the Scottish Branch Newsletter, Macphersons Rant. In this age of high tech, we are proving that distance is not an obstacle, because Fiona gathers information and compiles the document in Orkney, then transmits it electronically to the mainland for printing and distribution.

      As we all know we lost Ronnie shortly after the Gathering, and the Scottish BranchCommittee in particular will miss his enthusiasm and advice. He attended nearly every meeting and was absent only at our last meeting in Glenfarg.

      During the year we held three events: Our annual Supper/Dance took place in Rhu on the west coast in October. At the beginning of the year we held our Bums Supper in Glenfarg, and Donald, the Scottish Branch piper did an excellent job piping in the haggis. In June the weather was reasonably kind to us for our annual BBQ in the hills above Blairgowrie.

      In addition, some members of the Scottish Branch have contributed to the work done in the museum with some fun weekends wielding a paintbrush.

      The Clan Association was invited to take a stall in the Clan Tent at the Cowal Games at the end of August. After a great deal of debate, we declined the offer but some members of the Scottish Branch decided to attend to carry out a 'recce' for future years. In true Macpherson tradition, we had another debate after our visit, and have come to the conclusion that it is worth a try. All the Clans present found the face to face contact invaluable. The tent had a constant stream of visitors and it was interesting to find out how other Clans organised themselves. The most popular stand appeared to belong to the McLaughlan Clan, but perhaps it was the fact that they had a buxom young lady in a mini-kilt that attracted their visitors!


      In line with other branches, we tidied up the membership database. A letter was sent to annual members who had not renewed their membership, asking them to do so and giving them the opportunity to transfer over to Life membership. All names on the list are now fully paid up members.

      The Scottish Branch looks forward to welcoming members to their events in the coming year.

Chairman: Allan D MacPherson. Committee: K R MacPherson, Huntley MacPherson, G MacPherson, J. Cattanach, Ewen Macpherson (Malawi), Willy Gillies (Zimbabwe)

      Who would have thought that South Africa would have seen Cluny two years in a row? Although we did not see him in Jo'burg our two Life Members Trelda and Ed Ostrosky were very happy to entertain them at their Game Reserve home in Midmar, Kwa Zulu, Natal. Cluny and Sheila spent two happy days with them before their Zulu battlefield visit. Trelda gives a delightful report as follows:
      What a privilege to be able to host Cluny and Sheila when they paid us a visit during their Natal trip in February 2002. We had been so disappointed not to attend the gathering arranged for them by Allan in 2001 and were delighted when he phoned to say that they were coming to South Africa again, this time to Pennington a golf resort fairly near us. We contacted them and were delighted when they were able to spend the night with us. Our daughter Shannon displays the flying of rehabilitated birds of prey and Cluny and Sheila stopped there to watch before driving on to Midmar. We then took them for a drive in the Reserve, Sheila and I in the cab of our ancient 4x4 and Cluny and Ed in the open back. Not far from the house we had to cross a cattle grid and on approaching we could see a large legawaan (Monitor Lizard) standing on the grid. It ran off when we stopped but there was still something sticking out through the bars of the grid. On investigation Ed discovered that it was the tail of another legawaan about two metres long unable to move as its tail was wedged between the bars. We took turns in trying to free it to no avail, while it gave vent to its feelings by loud hissing.

      We decided to continue our drive and were fortunate to see zebra, black wildebeest, red hirtebeese and numerous birds before heading for home. When we reached the cattle grid again, no legawaan! It had run off. They can brace themselves into crevices for self protection and this had proved most effective, nevertheless it must have been most indignant! We spent a lovely evening, chatting so long I wished the clock would stand still. All too soon it was time for Cluny and Sheila to proceed, leaving behind two Clan members with special memories of their chief and his gracious wife.

      I have mentioned previously that many of our members have left Jo'burg for the Cape. It is therefore a great pleasure to welcome back Huntley, Avril and Jamie MacPherson They are founder Life Members and have always been ready to orgamse our Rallies and other events. Huntley was Chairman in 1986-7 and we look forward to his help in the future. Huntley's report is as follows:
      It was great to be back in Jo'burg after an absence of ten years. Working in Zululand and being close to nature in one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa has many advantages but we did miss family and friends.

      Many Caledonian and Clan societies have lost membership but indications show that things should improve.

      Due to inflation problems we could not visit Scotland in 2002 but we hope to visit our kinsfolk this year. All our best wishes to the Clan.

      Cameron MacPherson, Allan and Hughla's youngest grandson, passed his Matric in St David's College in 2001 and has now completed his first year at University, he is studying for a degree in science. Kevin has started his own company in manufacturing metal lintels, assisted by his partner Chris and his wife Terry.

      We send our love to Cluny and Sheila and all the Clan. Beannachd leibh.


Chairman: Margaret Harding, 107 Matai Place, Invercargill
Treasurer: Beth Cairns, 312 Herbert St, Invercargill
Secretary: Athole Macpherson, 73A Antrim St, Invercargill

     We joined with Combined Clans at the biennial dinner in our Scottish Hall -- this time hosted by Clan Donald.

      Generous hospitality was again received from the Levett family at Twinlaw, Wairio, Western Southland, last October. Jeannie and Peter now grow paeonies for export and we saw work entailed in raising beautiful blooms. We were lucky to receive some to take home though it was a bittie early for some varieties. I enclose a lovely view of blooms backed by rolling sheep country and shelter trees. (Unfortunately omitted due to lack of space)

      This was a day for a potluck lunch which should be more accurately tenned a feast. Nobody goes away from Twinlaw feeling peckish. True Macpherson hospitality.

      The Combined Clans picnic at Anderson Park is always a happy occasion with sheaf tossing, stepping the distance and other pastimes which can be enjoyed by all ages. We are fortunate to have such an ideal spot handy to our city.

May 11 brought us to the Annual General Meeting at the home of Margaret Harding. Margaret has agreed to be our Chairman for another year and we appreciate her enthusiasm.

      Sadly we have to report the death on 10 October of Leona Lindsay, nee McPherson, whose father John was our first Chief. With her family Leona had long been a clan member.

      On 14 October Dorothy Collie passed away in her 95th year. Dorothy was on the first Clan Macpherson committee. We are grateful to these two ladies for their support over the years.

      On 20 October we meet at Dacre, a short distance from Invercargill, for a lunch at Woodstock Loft where our hostesses are Macphersons. After a tasty meal we can stroll around the nursery -- will their paeonies be out yet? -- and view the crafts.

      Sunday, 3 November is the date for a church service at St Andrews, South Invercargill, where our Macpherson banner will be aired as we combine with Scottish groups here.

      We know the ruby wedding of Cluny and Lady Sheila will be a very happy time and from the south send our very best wishes to all clansfolk.


7 Sidegate Mews
Haddington EH41 4B G
30th January 2003

The Editor
Creag Dhubh Magazine

Dear Editor,
      We hoped that, as the Editor to the Clan Macpherson Association Magazine: Creag Dhubh, it would be appropriate to ask whether you would say a huge, albeit a somewhat belated thank you, on Annie's and my behalf, for the most generous contribution that members of the Clan Macpherson Association made towards the most magnificent and generous wedding present.

      The presentation lunch was a lovely occasion at Catherine and Sandy Macpherson's on the Oh December 2002, and to be given the most wonderful stainless steel gardening fork and spade and other gardening tools was a most appropriate present, seeing as we had just moved into a new house with a scruffy garden! When Catherine mentioned that the remainder of the present


would be wheeled up the garden path we thought it might be a wheelbarrow or indeed a pram, but instead the most splendid gas powered barbecue arrived which was such a lovely surprise.

      As you will know the Clan Macpherson Association is very dear to our hearts, and to be given such wonderful presents for our wedding touched us deeply. We shall think of you all when we dig that first rose bed!

      We do hope that you will be able to mention this letter in the Creag Dhubh, either in this form or an edited version, as a huge thank you to the extreme generosity of the Clan Macpherson Association Members.

      Once again thank you all so much for your enormous generosity.

Kind regards
Jamie and Annie Macpherson

3 Onoshdaga Court
Ottawa Ont K2E 5M7
e-mail: jrmacpherson@magma.ca

Dear Editor:
      I am seeking to identify the parents and the place of origin of my ancestor, James McPherson, described in his 1831 obituary as a "native of Badenoch, North Britain".

      James McPherson and his brother John were Privates in the 82nd (Duke of Hamilton's) Regiment which was raised at the private expense of the Duke of Hamilton for service in America during the American Revolution. The regiment was raised in Lanarkshire but apparently recruits were also obtained from Glasgow and the Highlands. The 82 nd was sent to garrison Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778 and later saw service at Penobscot, Maine, New York and the Carolinas.

      At the end of the war in late 1783, the 82nd was evacuated to Halifax, N.S. and there disbanded. The designation 82nd was later used by the South Lancashire Regiment. The colours of the original 82 d were gifted by the Duke of Hamilton to St.Giles Church, Edinburgh in 1883 where they are laid up. Members of the 82 d were offered grants of land in a 26,000 acre tract along the shore of Pictou County, Nova Scotia. James and John McPherson each received 100 acres, but John died shortly after.

      I was curious as to how two Highland lads from Badenoch wound up in what was essentially a Lowland regiment. There could be many explanations for this, of course. James and John were the only two of their name from the 82 nd who took up land grants. However, in the course of my research I found, in the Nova Scotia Archives, a list of Officers of the 82 nd Regiment of Foot, 1782. The list contains several McPhersons (spelling as found on the list): Capt. John McPherson, rank in the regiment 3 Jan 1778; Captain Lieut. John McPherson, rank in the regiment 18 Sept. 1780; Lieutenant Evan McPherson, rank in the regiment 20 Jan 1778; Ensign John McPherson, rank in the regiment 7 Jan 1778. McPherson was the only surname held by more than one officer on the list.

      Then, recently, I came across an old copy of Creag Dhubh, No. 39, 1987. This edition contained an article by A.I.S. Macpherson on "The Black Officer of Balachroan" -- Captain John Macpherson. The article mentions that his gravestone in St. Columba's churchyard in Kingussie says that he was "late of the 82 nd Regiment". The article does not mention service in America but says that he was an Ensign in the 89th Regiment in 1759. His role as a recruiting officer in the Highlands is also described. Could he be one of the Captains named John McPherson whom we find on the 82nd rolls in 1782?

      Was it just coincidence that several of the 82 d officers were MacPhersons, or were they perhaps influenced by the "Black Officer", or was there some other connection, perhaps, to the


Duke of Hamilton? When I saw the names on the list, it occurred to me that my ancestor James and his brother might have been tenants of one of these officers and were thus encouraged to join the 82 nd.

      According to his obituary in the Colonial Patriot newspaper James MacPherson died on 8 July 1831 at age 86, which would place his birth at about 1745. I found only one MacPherson family in the Old Parish Records for the Badenoch area with sons James and John: parents Thomas McPherson, tailor, and Jannet MacDonald, whose marriage was recorded in Kinrara in December 1750. However, their son James was born in Kinraranabellie on 13 Nov 1751, which would make him several years younger than the age stated in my ancestor's obituary. His brother John was born on 3 July 1757. Of course, the ages claimed by people in those days were often inaccurate. If James was born in 1745 he would have been 33 when the 82nd Regiment was raised, which seems a bit old for an infantry recruit. It is possible, of course, that he was transferred from another regiment. The Public Records Office has a record of a James McPherson who served in the 71 st Foot and the 82 d Foot. His birthplace, age at discharge and years of service are stated as "not known". My ancestor James MacPherson named his eldest son Thomas, an indicator that his father might also have been so named, if he followed the naming practice of the time.

      James McPherson was a farmer and seems to have been involved in local affairs. The first election in Pictou County, for the Nova Scotia Legislature, was held in his barn at Fisher's Grant in 1799, and his farm was the site of a government pound for the collection of stray cattle. His wife's name was Isabel, but I have not found her maiden surname. I do not know if they were married in Scotland or in Nova Scotia, but suspect that it was more likely the latter, as it was unlikely that wives of private soldiers accompanied the 82 nd to America.

      I realize that this is a long shot, but I would be grateful if any of your readers could provide me with information about the MacPherson officers of the 82nd Regiment, or with any suggestions as to where I might find records which would help me to idcntity the origins of my ancestor James.

Yours sincerely,
J. Roger MacPherson

Dear Sir,
      Congratulations to the "temporary Editor" on producing such a confident well-presented and interesting issue of Creag Dhubh.       I am intrigued by the last line of the letter by James Macpherson in "The Macphersons of Ardersier". I am unaware of any marriages between the MacGillivrays of Dunmaglass and the Macphersons. And Lt. Col. John L. Macpherson is incorrect in commenting "'Our relation McGillivray of Dunmaglass"' could possibly be a son of James senior's sister Anne (born 1748) who married Donald McGillivray in 1768 at Cawdor." Unfortunately, I cannot say what the writer of the letter meant by "our relation" other than that he may simply have meant a general relationship within Clan Chattan.

      The MacGillivray referred to is John Lachlan, X of Dunmaglass to use the accepted FraserMackintosh numbering. His father was William MacGillivray who succeeded to the Chiefship of his Clan when his elder brother was killed while leading the "McIntosh Regiment" at Culloden in 1746. His mother was Johanna Mackenzie of Fairburn. John Lachlan succeeded to Dunmaglass about 1783 when scarcely one year old.

      Lacking parental control he got into many scrapes in his younger days at college in St. Andrews and as a young officer in the army, Fraser- Mackintosh said of him, he "was very extravagant. Fortunately he left the army about 1805, when he married Miss Jane Walcott of


Inverness, a lady who had much influence with him for good, though some of his exploits with old Culloden and other "Braves" of the day are still remembered."

     The letter would confirm his marriage about 1805. When John Lachlan died in 1852 he had held his estates for some 69 years. He and Jane Walcott had no children hence the great legal battles over the succession following his demise. But that is another story!

Yours etc.
Robert McGillivray

Dear Sir,
      The Clan Macpherson Association is now beginning to give more deserved recognition to the associated families of the Clan and I wonder if any reader can help with information on the life and times of a man from one of these families who could be considered as one of the unknown sporting heroes of our time. In the grounds of Rugby School -in England there is a plaque in honour of William Webb Ellis, "who, in 1823, with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game."

      Ellis was a pupil at Rugby School at the time and it is not recorded what either his teachers or fellow pupils thought of this unconventional behaviour, but it eventually led to the formation. of the basis of the game now known as Rugby Union Football.

      It is relevant that the Rugby World Cup, to be played in Australia and New Zealand in autumn of this year, bears the official title of the William Webb Ellis Cup. Can any reader throw any light on this pioneer of Rugby? Do we know anything of his subsequent life and times?

The Clan Macpherson has produced some notable sportsmen over the years, not the least being GPS Macpherson, who played rugby for Scotland twenty six times and it is fitting that we should look to an associated family member who was the real pioneer of the game in his time.

Yours faithfully, Anon.

Dear Sir,
      Yesterday my son, Peter and grandson, Devin visited Ellis Island situated in New York Harbor and gateway for millions of immigrants to the USA. It is now a National Park and museum dedicated to telling the story of the various ethnic groups that came to America. One of the current major exhibits they found there is focused on the Scots, and who do you think is featured as those that chose to maintain contact with the land of their origins?

      If you guessed Clan Macpherson you would be correct, and we are represented by a very large version of the photograph that was taken at the cairn site in 1996 during the Association's Jubilee appeared in Creag Dhubh for 1997.

      Perhaps that has been reported to us before but it was new to me, so I judged it to be worthy of mention. If it's old hat please let me know where you found it first. I wonder how they found out about the photo?

Rod Clarke



      The receipts from both Annual and Life Memberships are continuing at a reasonable level. Both Scotland and England & Wales branches have taken action to resolve lapsed Annual Members.

      The Gathering this year showed a loss, but with a cost of £2,600 for the Marquee alone it would have been remarkable to have turned in a profit. Thanks to all those that helped by sending in booking forms in plenty of time so we could keep at least a vestige of control!

      The Museum continues to make a loss. The income from sales shows a significant increase, and we must congratulate Olive, the Curator, for this. Unfortunately costs, too, have increased substantially with paid cover on Thursdays and Sundays.

      The Museum is a Charitable Trust, and as such any donations to it from UK citizens are eligible for the Gift Aid Scheme. This gives a useful bonus to the Museum, so if you have made a gift to the Museum (as the main Association is not a charity, membership fees do not quality), and are a UK tax payer, and I have missed giving you a form to fill in, please let me know.






ISSN 0967-6538