summer Sheila was her vibrant and ever active self -- except that she suffered pain in her right leg because of what was wrongly believed to be a trapped nerve. 'Time will heal it', she kept saying and carried on with typical optimism and courage. In October we went to America for our Trans-Atlantic Clan Gathering in Georgia. She managed all the events there in her usual high style, but during that visit her health markedly deteriorated, and on our return everything happened at dismaying speed. Our alert doctor sent her to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and the first X-rays showed secondary cancer. This was followed by scans, which revealed insidious and deep-seated primary cancers as well.

      "She made her decision to undergo major surgery calmly and bravely -- realising only too well what risks were involved. The operation was performed on 28th October, but in spite of dedicated and wholly sympathetic and admirable care by doctors and nurses she lost the battle. After a night of anguish she slept, and died most peacefully and mercifully painlessly at about 1.15 in the afternoon of 30th October.

      "It is some consolation to all of us that such a bright light was extinguished without long suffering, and that she did not have to endure months of treatment and a slow end. With you we look back on a wonderful life, and today together with all of you we give thanks for such joy and charm and unselfish love for others all over the world. Simply, for example, there are Clansmen here from The United States, and so many of you have travelled from far and wide to be here with us, representing every facet of our shared lives over more than forty years.

      "Your cards and messages while Sheila was in hospital were a great help to her in those hard days. And the hundreds of letters and cards sent to us all since her death have given us a measure of fortitude, which she would have insisted upon. We are deeply touched and grateful for your unswerving support, and proud to read the tributes and the love, which stand out from every line and page. I know that you will forgive us if there is delay in our personal acknowledgements.

      "But it is this service, and the presence of so many friends which gives even more comfort and solace. We are very much indebted to the Reverend Donald Macleod and the elders and Session of this Parish Church for all their kindness and help. The Reverend Kenny Rathband has been a true tower of strength to all the family. We thank Ann Stewart Blacker who has provided the lovely flowers, and all those who have helped with all the necessary arrangements here and elsewhere, including David Scott and his team, and particularly Lex Dunlop for his inspiring music. And I thank all the family and my friend Bishop John for their parts played with such love and sympathy.

      "Sheila's funeral was held last week in Perth. Her ashes were buried last night in the family Lair next to the old Parish or Hill Church quite close by -- where her parents and our forebears are together. Before the Blessing Jerome will play the pipes, and we know that Sheila herself would have chosen the Dark Island, her favourite Scottish tune, and Macpherson's Rant which always marked the arrival of our Clan March to the Newtonmore Games every August.

      "All members of the family, including the youngest, who are here together, join me in our gratitude to all of you who are with us to give joyful thanks for Sheila. We will not be on the doorstep outside in order to avoid congestion, but hope that you will not think this a discourtesy. And we look forward to welcoming as many as wish to come to Newton to remember the happiness and joy of the years of Sheila's life, and her hospitality in the Barn, and the house which was our home. Thank you all."

The family and I send all our fellow Clansmen our very best wishes.



      "Clan Macpherson Gatherings will never be the same again" was one of the many sad comments made following the death of Sheila, the First Lady of Clan Macpherson. This shows but one aspect of a lady who was known and loved by all in many parts of the world.

      Born in India, where her father was a banker, she enjoyed a Scottish education combined with holidays in East Africa. She worked for a period in London but destiny loomed when in 1956 she met a promising young barrister called William Macpherson, who was an ex-captain of the London Scottish Rugby Club and a former member of the SAS.

      Bill and Sheila were married in Edinburgh in December 1962, after which she spent a large part of her time in London, where her husband's career prospered and he advanced from being a Barrister to a High Court judge and Scotland was visited only in holidays. In 1969 Bill became the Chief of Clan Macpherson following the death of his father and Sheila's life really came into its own. Clan Gatherings in various parts of Britain, North America, Australia and Africa were visited and it is safe to say that each was transformed by her presence.

      She always found time to talk to everybody, from old and trusted friends to newly joined Clan members. All were captivated by her charm and friendliness. It must have been exhausting at times, but she never showed it, exuding warmth and enthusiasm at all times.

     The hospitality at Newton Castle was well known world-wide, with guests ranging from local groups -- who enjoyed her support -- to visiting Clansmen from all round the world, some of whom just dropped in while passing: but everybody had the same friendly welcoming smile. Life was never dull while Sheila was around and the traditional 'after ceilidh ceilidhs' were enjoyed to the full, when she would join in the singing with spirit and gusto.

      Sheila's family were always a source of the greatest pleasure and delight and it was a great joy to her when her two grandchildren moved north from London, the family becoming centred in Scotland.

      Sheila will be remembered, not just as the wife of a much loved Clan Chief but as being energetic, caring and gracious to all she met. The local Blairgowrie newspaper headed her obituary "Death of a much loved local lady". To us, of her Clan, she was never local, she was universal.

Sandy Macpherson






a 'first' for the Scottish Branch. At the end of August we took a stand in the Clan Tent at the Cowal Games in Dunoon. This is a two-day event that combines highland games with a major piping championship, and in true Macpherson tradition, we didn't take the decision to attend lightly -- in fact we debated it for 2 years! Several other clans were there, and we met many people with Clan Macpherson connections and we even had a visit from two USA members. We definitely hope to take part again next year.

Shelagh Macpherson-Noble

      Apart from the continuing difficulties with public liability insurance, and the passing of some older members, we are gradually adding to our ranks. In part this has been due to Curator Olive's good work in encouraging Australians visiting the Museum to record their address details which we subsequently use as a means of establishing contact. The hit rate is low but potential members will be pursued. The major interest this year has however developed through accidents of a genealogical nature.

      The first occurred during a visit early in 2003 to the State Library of New South Wales. In a corridor that links the 'new' library building to the heritage listed Mitchell Library building, a display of rare books and other items belonging to the Donald MacPherson Collection had been mounted. Created from a gift of over 4,000 items and a sizeable financial bequest by two of Donald's granddaughters in the early 1950s, the Collection remained on display until late October 2003. Donald, a schoolteacher, born in Rothiemurchus was one of the 47 Macphersons from Kingussie and Ardnamurchan who sailed to Australia on the 'St George' from Oban in 1838. The second occurred as a result of an article in the Newcastle Family History Society Journal drawing genealogists' attention to the impending closure of the State Library of Victoria's Genealogy Centre for expansion and refurbishment.

      The centre reopened in early August 2003, but was officially dedicated in memory of Helen Macpherson Smith by the Deputy Premier of Victoria on 29th October 2003. Helen was the youngest child of John Macpherson and Helen Watson formerly of Skye who came to Australia with John's parents and seven siblings aboard the 'Triton' in 1825.

      The third arose from a phone call after an enquiry to the Clan Macpherson website by a lady in Adelaide who had been bitten by the genealogy bug. After some guidance, and research in Newcastle she has now produced a family tree that ties her ancestry to Alexander, a shoemaker aged 40, who was born in Kingussie, another of the 47 Macphersons who sailed to Australia on the 'St George'. The fourth instance arose from a casual glance at the family tree that our colleague Bruce McPherson has displayed in the Clan tent at Bundanoon for several years. Bruce's oldest Australian ancestor is also a Donald, a farm servant aged 50 who was born in Laggan and who came to Australia on the 'St George'.       And while our colleague from Adelaide was undertaking her research in Newcastle, a second Alexander came to light: the second of the two Alexanders who came to Australia on the 'St George'. This Alexander, a tailor aged 25, also born in Kingussie has many of his descendants buried in the Newcastle area. Our participation at 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' continues as does the 'Gin Gin Wild Scotchman Festival'. Edna MacPherson Sabato was very excited earlier this year when her advice was sought by the local art gallery which was searching for a Gaelic translation of 'Wild Scotchman'. The search was unproductive: James MacPherson who is one of Edna's ancestors was a genial type of bushranger whose exploits were more like those of Robin Hood than Ned Kelly. We have maintained a link with the Scottish Australian Heritage Council and support it in its 1st July Tartan Day celebrations in Sydney and during Scottish Week which is held in the last week of November with a range of activities culminating on St Andrew's Day. The Tartan Day 2003 programme included a citizenship ceremony during which a number of Scots became Australian citizens.


      The link with the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust has been formalised with the Trust being admitted as a Life Member in November 2003. Being allied to the refurbished Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogical Centre in the State Library of Victoria, it could act as a catalyst to re-activate the Victorian Branch, one that was active in the 1980s until the late Gordon Macpherson moved to Tasmania. Potentially, there are a number of other links that can be developed in Victoria through a number of commercial firms that bear the name Macpherson. The excellent Victoria Police Band wears kilts made of the red Macpherson tartan. This arose from another benefaction bestowed in the mid 1930s by William McPherson who gave the pipers £136 to purchase kilts. The band has incorporated our Clansman's badge in their band crest.

      Material pertaining to the Donald MacPherson Collection and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust has been presented to the Clan Library. We have been approached by a fledging Heraldic society in Australia that is attempting to persuade the Australian Government to create an Australian heraldic system similar to that established in Canada. We have located six armigers living in Australia and with the enthusiastic support of our Niagara Herald Extraordinaire, R. Gordon in Canada, an article has been prepared for Creag Dhubh.       I want to record my sincere appreciation to Cluny, Lady Cluny, the immediate past and new Chairman and officers of the Council, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Museum, and Curator Olive and Webmaster Mhuirich [David Murdock -- RM] for their continuing support and encouragement in the affairs of the Australian Branch. I also express my appreciation for the excellent support of the office bearers of the NSW Branch, Edna Sabato in Queensland and N. Douglas in Western Australia. Lastly, the bush fires that raged across Australia in December 2002 and January 2003 were horrific. We were very grateful for the concern shown by our Macpherson cousins around the world. In particular the message I received from now past Chairman Larry Lee was very much appreciated. In the event, our Branch Secretary Adam de Totth was the closest to disaster. The flames stopped 100 yards away from his home in the Canberra suburb adjacent to that which was almost wiped out. The message was greatly appreciated and is an excellent example of the camaraderie that exists with the Clan.

      This report was written just before the very sad news was received of the passing of Lady Cluny. On behalf of all CMA members in Australia I extend to Cluny, Annie, Alan and Jamie and their respective families our most sincere condolences and sympathy.

John L Macpherson


      The owner of the Electric Scotland website recently visited the Clan Museum. Olive gave him one of the 'Clan Country Maps' designed by RGM (Gordon) in Canada -- and he toured the area. He took a large number of photographs of the area, the roads and the scenery. Edna MacPherson Sabato (via John L.) in Australia has pointed out that the photographs can now be viewed on the internet at the following website address:

These pictures have been dedicated to the memory of Sheila, Lady Cluny, and the website is well worth a visit.

By Ruairidh Mor

In 2003 two choices were offered to those who wished to visit a place of group interest on the Monday after the Gathering weekend. For the athletically-inclined there was a climb to Dùn Dà Làmh, the Iron-age 'Fort of the Two Hands', which I wrote about in Creag Dhubh 47 (1995). That was the choice of several of our clansfolk but having 'been there and done that' myself in 1994 (and being less athletic than I was nine years ago), I chose to join the group that visited the Highland Wildlife Park located between Kingussie and Kincraig. There resides our Scottish wildcat, a female by the name of 'Heather', that was adopted in 1993 by the Canadian Branch of CMA for the Association and which has supported her ever since.

      The reason for this year's visit is that Heather gave birth to four kittens on 7 April 2003 -- three females and one male -- and it seemed to be appropriate the Macphersons should visit the kittens to see how they were doing. Ewen 'Talla-shee' had flashed the news of their birth to Macphersons all over the world via email in May and later followed up with the news by telling us of the 'Name the Kittens' contest sponsored by the Strathspey & Badenoch Herald. The contest winner was Scott Craig, aged 6, of Kincraig who proposed the names for the three female kittens: 'Feshie', Tromie' and 'Cullin'. Ewen was the runner up by proposing the name 'Cluny' for the male kitten. The real 'Cluny' was delighted with the choice and thought the name to be most appropriate!

Meet Felis Sylvestris Grampia
      Need I explain why Macphersons are interested in wildcats? Of course not! But perhaps there are some facts about these honoured beasts that have missed your attention. There's a great amount of information on the Worldwide Web about the Scottish wildcat but few of the articles I found tell the story as succinctly as that by Kenneth S. MacPherson II of Houston, Texas who wrote an article on the subject for The Urlar No 40 in 1986. Following is the main part of that article with a few amendments.

      'Being Americans we may not be familiar with felis sylvestris, the wildcat of Europe and Asia. This tale is not about Felix or Sylvester, although we see how they got their names. Silva is Latin for 'wood' hence felis sylvestris is a cat belonging in the woods. [Since the time of Ken's article the zoologists have tacked on a further term -- 'grampia' -- a special designation for the Scottish wildcat. [Of course, the Grampian Region is one of the places where the wildcat lives and where the HWP is located. -- RM]

      'Our Highland wildcat resembles the domesticated tabby but is more heavily built. Typically it is about 33 inches long of which 11 inches is tail. Males are, on the average, larger than females weighing 11-15 and 8.5 pounds, respectively. Their fur is dense and long. In the Highlands, their main colour is yellowish grey, the underparts paler and the throat white. There are five longitudinal stripes from just above the eyes to the nape merging into a dorsal line that ends at the base of the tail. The tail is thick and bushy and


ringed with several dark marks and a blackish tip which ends bluntly. The legs are transversely striped.

      'In Scotland the wildcat is restricted mainlv to the Highlands north of the Great Glen, where its numbers are said to he growing. It lives in forested and rocky country and is mainly active at twilight and at night. It spends the do in a hollow tree, rocky crevice or thicket and shelters from the rain. A climber of great agility, the wildcat seems to enjoy sunning itself on a branch or rocky ledge. It normally stays in an area in which it has several dens and a system of hunting paths. Prey are stalked, attempting to approach within a few bounds. Its diet consists of rodents, hares, rabbits, grouse and other small animals and birds as well as fish and insects. Killing lambs and poultry is the main reason for its having been wiped out in much of its former range.

      'The wildcat is usually solitary, each individual having a well-defined home range of 150-175 acres. Males defend these areas but may wander outside during times of food shortages, usually in winter, or to seek oestrous females. It is one of the fiercest and most destructive members of the cat family and, when hard pressed its strength and ferocity are remarkable. Thus from the wildcat, gloved or not, I will keep my distance.

      'The voice of the wildcat ranges from a meow, a growl when angry, a purr when pleased, to the typical cat scream or caterwaul, the harsh cry of mating Mating occurs from about January to March. Females are polyoestrous, with heat lasting two to eight days. Several males collect around a female in heat with considerable vocalization, and sometimes violent fighting. Usually only, a single litter is produced each year but occasionally a second occurs in the summer. Gestation averages 66 days.

      'Litters have three to five kittens that are born in a nest made by the female in a remote rocky cleft or hollow tree, away from the male who might kill its own young. The kittens weigh about 1.3 ounces at birth, open their eyes at ten days and nurse for about thirty days, The female is very fierce while she has her kittens in the nest and will attack an - v animal, no matter what its size, that dares to intrude. Even the kittens will spit and fight if handled. Few have been taken alive; all have proven untameable. The ' young emerge from the den at four to five weeks of age and begin to hunt at twelve weeks, They probably separate from the mother at five months and reach sexual maturity at a year. The wildcat's expected longevity is fifteen years.

      Although the wildcat now has few natural enemies, most of the large predators in its feeding range having been wiped out, it has been intensely hunted by man because of its threat to lambs and poultry. Eliminated from much of Western Europe, one author suggests that diversion of human activity in World War I and II apparently stimulated the recovery in Scotland. This is good news! I am proud to have this noble creature symbolize the defiant, courageous independence of Clan Macpherson.'

      If that isn't enough information on the subject you'll find an amazing amount at Allan Paul's website http://www.scottishwildeats.co.uk/, Another good source is Christine Smith's http://www.bigeats.org/swc/ where an interesting collection of information can be found.


      The group of Macphersons who elected to visit the Highland Wildlife Park numbered at least 30. I'm afraid that I wasn't able to record all their names so, rather than leave anyone out, I beg the forgiveness of all for not listing any of them here. The Park is located about eight miles from the Museum so we drove. In earlier times we might have walked that distance but I have to admit that driving allowed those so inclined to see the whole Park and its many great attractions rather than just the home of the wildcats.

      Our visit was honoured by Park Manager Usher-Smith himself, greeting us and conducting our tour. As we walked to the area of the Park where the wildcats dwell he described the environment in which they live in nature -- the Scotch pine forest -- and the other creature that share this domain such as the capercaillie, the pine martin and the red squirrel. However, he pointed out that these animals are not the prey of the wildcat. Rather, the main constituent of their diet are small birds.

[The kilted gentleman with his back to the camera is none other than 'yours truly'. Surely it was purely coincidental that the esteemed editor chose to illustrate my article with a photograph of the author' s posterior. -- RM]

      When we arrived at the wildcat enclosure I was impressed at its commodious size within which there was little change in its vegetation than the rest of the pine forest in which it is located. What's more, elevated 'catwalks' of several hundred feet length had been made available, which expands the range of their mobility substantially. Thus, it was clear that the kittens and their parents are not 'cooped up' as a person familiar with zoos might imagine. Our wildcats have room to roam or to hide from view if that is their desire. While we were there, Mama Heather took advantage of the catwalk by parading around it enough times that one wonders if she wasn't enjoying looking at us as much we enjoyed looking at her. Papa 'Little Hiss' didn't pay much attention to us although he did drag a trout of generous proportion to the perimeter of the enclosure where he proceeded to consume it with gusto.

      On the other hand, the kittens chose to hide among the branches of the interior pines minimizing the number of glimpses of them that they provided us. What little of them that I could see I found very interesting because they had grown to the size of a house cat in the

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space of four months. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but not by much. In any event they were much larger than they appear in their photographs that were taken when they were but one month old. I can't tell you which of the kittens is which in these photos but you'll have to admit that they were cute at that age. The ultimate destination of the kittens is not known at this time but it is possible that 'Cluny' may be retained and the three females transferred to other parks. It's sad but true that because these animals have been persecuted over the centuries to the brink of extinction they now depend on human compassion and understanding to survive. Perhaps the Association should give serious consideration to undertaking Cluny's support.

Other Park Attractions
      There is much more to the park than the area where the wildcats live. In all there are six different habitats represented in addition to a Main Reserve and a place to see Animals of the Past. In the Main Reserve you'll find such rare breeds as European bison, the Soay sheep -- small goat-like sheep that originated in the St Kilda archipelago and Przewalski's horses, the only true living wild horses. The 'Animals of the Past' are species that once lived in Scotland but have since disappeared except in parks such as this -- the lynx, the wolf, the reindeer, the wild boar and the white-tailed eagle. In the various habitats you'll be able to observe animals that are still found in the natural wild areas such as the red deer, polecat, tufted owl and capercaillie.

      The park extends over many acres and can be toured on foot or by motor car. Because it is situated on the southern slope of the Monadhliath, explorers who opt for the foot option will find themselves climbing some formidable inclines. But it's their call. Explorers who choose to go by car will find convenient places to stop and park where they can observe the inhabitants in their particular habitats on foot when that is appropriate.

      I found it interesting that Neal Macpherson, a land agent from Inverness, is credited with conceiving of the Highland Wild Life Park. In 1971 his idea was taken up by Jeremy Porter, Douglas Weir and Sir Andrew Forbes-Leith, the owner of the land on which the Park was established. A year later the Park was officially opened. In 1986 it became affiliated with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, a charity founded in 1909 and now includes the Edinburgh Zoo. It is clearly a place where people, especially families, visiting Badenoch can experience a delightful day. ©

      Presently on view at and available through the clan museum at Newtonmore is a beautiful heavy silver crest designed after the identification pin of the Dionadairean. It should be understood that this crest pin has been authorized by our great chief Cluny and is being offered only to those persons who are already Dionadairean as a means of raising more money for the museum. A fine jeweller, Garth Duncan, who was found on the Isle of Skye, undertook the work of creating this multi-dimensional cast from which the high-relief cap badge sized crests have been and will be struck. This handsome symbol of our support of the clan may be worn as a cap badge or in any of the ways that a badge of that size may be used.

      The wonderful Highland Wildcat of this crest is faithful to the one portrayed on the identification pin and yet an even more determined defender of the Clan. A great bladed sword is held aggressively in the dexter paw while his other three are determinedly gripping the crenellation of the tower, which symbolically is both our great clan itself and the r museum which holds so much of our physical heritage. Our Cat's cars are seriously laid back and his tail meaningfully bushed. Dionadairean, now you have a further opportunity to contribute significantly to our museum and own a fine piece of jewellery! If one inspects the eye of the cat carefully, one will see that it is green. Yes, it is a tiny emerald chip.

For more information on ordering your own hand-cast crest contact the museum.


By Ewen S.L. MacPherson

There is a possibility that the village of Newtonmore will recognise some of its older buildings with an external plaque and in order to qualify the history of the building should be established. My appreciation to Andrew Macpherson Russell of Edinburgh for carrying out the initial search on the property with the Register of Sasines in Edinburgh. Also to John Barton, former Honorary Secretary of the Clan Association and for many years our legal advisor, who studied the property deeds and made good sense of the complicated Scottish legal wording. The following is largely based on his interpretation.

      An Ordnance Survey map of 1900 shows the triangular patch between the Perth and Laggan roads where the Museum is now located as a wooded area. Although the village of Newtonmore arrived with the introduction of the railway, the area has been inhabited for centuries. The same map also indicates the supposed site of a Roman camp just behind the Mains Hotel, and indeed the remains of a path believed to be from that time were uncovered during building excavations immediately opposite the car park of the Museum in 2003.

      Some time prior to 1900, the Brewster Macpherson family of Balavil acquired the lands of Newtonmore. As was common at that time, landowners preferred not to sell ground but to grant a "feu" on the basis that it was better to secure a tong-term income rather than capital which would then have to be invested. Accordingly, where land was conveyed by a Feu Charter, no capital sum was paid but the feuar agreed to pay a feu duty, annually in perpetuity.

      The first deed referred to in the search sheet is on 1 January 1905 in favour of Marjory MacKenzie and appears to have nothing to do with Dochanasaidh, the original name of the house. The second deed in the name of Alexander Rose of Glasgow is dated 1 May 1905 and something of a puzzle as it clearly relates to Dochanasaidh and its "I Rood 18 poles of ground


in or near the village of Newtonmore". However Alexander Rose must have informally relinquished his interest in the house and grounds as Charles Brewster Macpherson then grants what appears to be an identical feu charter in favour of William Leslie. A possible explanation may be that Alexander Rose started to build the house but could not afford to complete the task. Whatever, the deed in favour of Alexander Rose is wholly obsolete and can be disregarded.

      The first significant deed is therefore the feu char-ter recorded on 17 December 1907 in favour of William Leslie. This is of particular relevance as the Leslie family of Newtonmore has for almost 300 years been closely connected with the Clan Macpherson. Members of this family are recorded in the Muster Roll of Cluny of the '45's Regiment, and it was the brothers Peter and James Leslie who assisted in protecting Cluny whilst in biding between 1746 and 1755. One example of their loyalty at this time is documented on page 207 of A Day's March To Ruin. The Clan connection extends to today as Bert Cooper, who relieves our present Curator, is married to Marjorie Leslie -- a member of that family.

      William Leslie was a blacksmith and worked at the smithy opposite the entrance onto the Eilan (Highland Games field) to the west of Newtonmore as there are various references to "Spey Bridge". The present bridge was built in 1926 but there was an earlier wooden bridge.

      Dochanasaidh (or Dochanassie) was called after land in Clan Cameron country on the triangle between Loch Lochy, River Spean and the main Inverness road -- immediately to the west of General Wade's military road. The piece of land at one time retained nine crofts and more can be read about the folk who lived there in Creag Dhubh 1980 pages 932-934. Today it forms part of the Glenfintaig estate. Dwelly's Gaelic dictionary and Watson's Celtic Place Names describe the name Dochanasaidh as deriving from the words Dabhach pronounced doch and meaning davoch, a portion of land or farm for grazing up to 60 cattle. The latter part of the name derives from fhasaidh meaning dwelling. So one full translation of Dochanasaidh is davoch of the dwelling. Somerled MacMillan in Bygone Lochaber has a different interpretation of the Gaelic meaning "the davoch or vat of the station" and that it alludes to a strip of arable land capable of growing sufficient grain to fill a vat. It has been suggested that the choice of name for the building was due to the influence of Marion Leslie née Cameron, William's wife, who hailed from that area. If so, then there must have been a Leslie connection during Alexander Rose's short period of involvement as it was called Dochanasaidh at that at time.

      William Leslie died on the 14 April 1914 at the age of 63 years and , as no will was left, Dochanasaidh passed in law to his eldest son Donald. He conveyed Dochanasaidh to his mother without any money passing and she registered her title on 17 July 1914. Mrs Leslie made a will on 5 April 1917 leaving her estate equally between three of her eleven children namely Una (who was latterly Mrs Riach and resided in Kildonan, Sutherland), Angus Leslie who succeeded his father as blacksmith and Thomas Leslie a motor driver. The latter was married to Katie, one of three Macpherson sisters from nearby Strone.

      On 24 October 1928, Mrs Leslie, then in poor health, made another will in which she left her estate between three of her children, Mary, Angus and John. John is described as being a tailor and was residing at Dochanasaidh, and the house was specifically left to him in that will. Mrs Leslie was unable to sign her will and the deed was signed on her behalf by her solicitor. This is a very uncommon procedure but it is still competent in Scotland. It seems that Mrs Leslie died about 1932. Relying on the 1928 will, John Leslie recorded a title in his name on 10 April 1935. This was challenged in the Court of Session by all beneficiaries of the earlier will. These beneficiaries were successful in the challenge and the 1928 will was effectively declared "null and void". The outcome of this was that the three beneficiaries under the 1917 will then recorded their title on 21 May 1936.

      Presumably about this time John Leslie left Dochanasaidh because in the following year, Una, Angus and Thomas sold Dochanasaidh to Miss Catherine Macpherson and Miss Leslie Fraser Macpherson for the sum of £675 with the title being registered on the 20 April 1937.


Back in 1907, William Leslie had borrowed £450 as a bond in security toward the property from a Marion Wright Thompson of Glasgow. This lady subsequently died without the bond ever being repaid and the right to the bond then passed to Dr. WF Somerville also of Glasgow. Dr. Somerville then handed over the right to a Miss Annie Roles of Grantown-on- Spey. Presumably the loan was repaid to Miss Roles from the proceeds of the sale in 1937, as it was in that year she discharged the loan.

      The sisters, Catherine and Leslie Macpherson, were aunts to Fraser Macpherson, WS, Association Treasurer from 1947-1949 and for the following 17 years the Honorary Secretary, and great aunts to Andrew Macpherson Russell. Andrew recalls that in 1937 a small conservatory was attached to the south wall adjacent to the front door of the Museum extension and served as a public tearoom.

      Misses Catherine and Leslie sold Dochanasaidh for £l,500 to Mr and Mrs Robert Henry Munro and their title was recorded on 9 August 1945. Yet another Clan Museum connection as Mrs Mairi Munro, the Curator's other staff relief is married to Colin, the son of the owner at that time. Colin Munro recalls Dochanasaidh being used as a Guest House by his parents and a vegetable garden to the rear of the house. Robert Munro died on 5 January 1947 and his widow, Mrs Susanne Stevenson Munro, sold the house to John Macpherson for £2,468. John was the brother of Phosa, the wife of Eoin Macpherson, who was the Curator from 1966-1984.

      By this time John Macpherson is described as Postmaster at Dochanasaidh. The Post Office was located in the Drumochter Room -- coincidentally the same room used for this purpose by the highly successful television series Monarch of the Glen. Sometime between 1948 and 1951 Dochanasaidh must have ceased to have been the Post Office as John Macpherson is described as the former Postmaster when he sold it to the Trustees of the Clan Macpherson Association for £2,750 on the 7 July 1951. The name was then changed from Dochanasaidh to Clan Macpherson House and Museum.

      The Museum opened to the public during Easter 1952 and was officially opened on the 23rd August of that year. The title for the property was subsequently transferred to the Trustees of the Clan Macpherson Trust on the 6 October 1966, and extensions added to the rear of the main building in 1970 and 1985.

      So the Clan House will celebrate its centenary in 2005. Meanwhile, Angus Cameron Leslie (Sandy), grandson of William and Marion the early occupants of Dochanasaidh, continues the family tradition as a blacksmith in the same building opposite the Eilan, and he and his sister Georgina (Joey) run the caravan park behind the family home next door.

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

No. 48 Iain Duncan Macpherson,
Queensland, Australia

Iain Macpherson matriculated Arms at Lyon Court (Vol. 76, p. 105) on the 16th August 1999. As the second son of the late Robert John Macpherson who, in turn, was the eldest son of William Cheyne-Macpherson of Dalchully, he bears the Dalchully Arms "differenced" by a gold Crescent, the mark of a second son, placed in the upper left hand corner of the shield.

      The Dalchully Arms were originally recorded on the 23rd March 1933 in Vol. 30, p. 51 of the Lyon Register (see Creag Dhubh No. 27, p. 675) in the name of the petitioner's grandfather and consist of the Cluny Arms "within a bordure chequy Azure and Argent". The Crest is "a Cat sejant guardant and erect proper" and the motto is "Touch not the cat bot a glove". The armiger's late grandfather was the author of The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson, published by Oliver & Boyd in 1947.

No. 49 John Stuart Macpherson
Blackburn, England

As a cousin of the late Eoin Macpherson, former Curator of the Clan Museum, John's Arms were matriculated in the Lyon Register on the 17th October 2002 (Vol. 84, p. 16) and are based on the Arms recorded by Eoin in 1970. (See Creag Dhubh No. 23, p.425). The only change to the shield is that the "crossed sword and pipe chanter" of Eoin's Arms have been reduced to a single sword as a reference to the armiger's military and police service. The "wing", which is symbolic of Eoin's service in the R.A.F., also refers to John's service in the Army Air Corps and currently Aerospace. The wildcat Crest is "sejant erect" and holding a sword as a guardian Of Clan Macpherson. The unique motto is Dim YI Catgi yma by gwth, which is an old Welsh translation of: "Touch not the cat without a glove".



By Alan G. Macpherson
Part One of this article appeared in Creag Dhubh No 54, 2002, pages 19-22. Alan G. Macpherson starts Part Two with the following:

Addendum to McPherson Coulée and the story of Addison McPherson [Part One: Alberta]:
      Addison McPherson spent his later years at the south fork of Sheep Creek. When he died in July 1929 he was buried in the Burnsland Cemetery in Calgary. His fame lives on in Waskasoo Park near Red Deer where Fort Normandeau declares a day in summer each year as "Addison McPherson Day".

And Part Two continues with:
New Brunswick, like Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, was a Loyalist colony in which American colonists opposed to the Revolution found refuge, among them some of our clansmen:       MacPherson Brook [46°18'N; 66°47'WI, in Stanley Parish, York County.
It is a tributary of the Nashwaak which joins the Saint John River near Fredericton. The area was settled around 1785 by disbanded soldiers of the 42nd (Black Watch) Regiment under the leadership of Lt. Dugald Campbell the surveyor. One of them was William McPherson who first settled in Parr (Saint John) in October 1783 (Esther Clark Wright: The Loyalists of New Brunswick: 314; D.G. Bell: Early Loyalist Saint John: the origin of New Brunswick politics, 1783-86: 165)

      McPhersons Point [45°07'N; 66°29'W], in Lepreau Parish, Charlotte County.
Perhaps named for John McPherson, b.c. 1806 in Ireland and his son James, b.c. 1836 in New Brunswick, a lumberman in Lepreau in 1881, both adherents of the Church of England.

      McPherson Pond [47°15'N; SN; 69°03'W], in Saint Francois Parish, Madawaska County, named after Charles McPherson Sr., an original grantee, 1848. He was listed in John G. Deane and Edward Kavanagh's report to the Governor of Maine, 24 July 1831, as born in Portland, Maine, and having bought a lot on the St Francis River in winter 1829 for No months and 8 days tabour, on which be resided in 1831. He was married to Sarah Grant; their SOD Charles Jr. (1820-1909) married Adelaide "Lydia" Yarrington, 22 August 1889, whose eldest child, James McPherson, was probably named for a great uncle who bought three lots at the mouth of the St Francis in 1829, took crops off them that year and 1830, and resided on the property in 1831.

      McPherson Station [45°33'N; 66°03'W], in Greenwich Parish, King's County. This placename was officially adopted 8 June 1948 and rescinded 9 July 1970.
No information.

Quebec, despite its being a predominantly French-speaking province, received Gaelic-speaking settlers and English-speaking Loyalists in various comers of the territory around the St Lawrence River and Estuary, among them some of our clansfolk. The latter were largely responsible for instances of the surname as a specific in eight placenames, all of them applied to physical features:
      McPherson Shoal, referenced by James White in Placenames in Quebec, Ninth Report of The Geographic Board of Canada, Part 11, 1910: p.190: McPHERSON; shoal, St Lawrence River, Montmorency; after a family of that name, early settlers on an island near the shoal. This appears to be a somewhat garbled reference to the family of Daniel (Donald) Macpherson (1753-1840) of the Pitgown-Shirobeg family, cadets of the Macphersons of Clune, a Philadelphia loyalist who had emigrated from Badenoch


in 1774 and who acquired the seigneurie of Îu;le aux Grues (Crane Island) off the south shore of the St Lawrence estuary near Montmagny, below L'Îu;Ile d'Orleans and Grosse Ile, in 1802. Montmorency, on the north shore opposite the western end of L'Îu;le d'Orleans, was the scene of Major John Macpherson of Fraser's Highlanders' action at the Siege of Quebec in 1759; White had obviously confused it with Montmagny. (See "Coincidental Pleasures of a Clan Genealogist". Creag Dhubh No.33, 1981: 944-950).
      Pointe Lemoyne MacPherson [47°05'N; 70°31'W], Ile aux Grues, ascribed to the essayist Sir James McPherson LeMoyne (1825-1912), grandson of Daniel McPherson, but more probably named for his nephew, Macpherson LeMoyne (1837-1908).

      Baie MacPherson [45°07'N; 72°15'W], Stanstead Municipality, a bay on the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog, twelve miles south of Magog and two miles south of Georgeville, and originally known as Limestone Bay. Named after the family of Alexander MacPherson (1811-1891) who emigrated in 1836 from Portsoy, Banffshire, Scotland, with his sister, Elizabeth; their parents were William MacPherson (1778-1819) and Elspet Duff (1778-1862) of Portsoy; he was born 12 May 1811. He came as a farm manager, recommended by the Agricultural College of Scotland, at the behest of Col. Alexander Kilborn of Stanstead, but settled Lot 27, Range 11, on the north side and northeast comer of the bay in 1843. He married Jane Taylor, 15 October 1844 (Baptist Church register, Hatley, Stanstead Co.). The farm was carried on by his son Charles Alexander Kilborn Macpherson (1858-1942), and retained by his grandson Colin Campbell MacPherson (1893-1959), and his greatgrandson Lome Charles Macpherson (1923-1999). Colin moved to Magog at the head of the lake and established a logging enterprise that expanded in Georgeville and Magog. All generations were prominent in community affairs; Lorne served in the RCAF in the Second World War, was a local historian of some renown in the Stanstead Historical Society, and was the author of Damn Tight Places, about the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The municipal wharf in Magog is also named after the family. [Putnam & Gray's "Map of the District of St Francis", 1863; Eastern Townships Directory, 1892: 335; Ré,pertoire Toponymique du Québec, 1978: 668; Stanstead Historical Society, Journal, 2001: 5-7)

      Lac MacPherson [45°46'N; 76°01'W], a lake in Low Municipality, Gatineau County, named by M.J.C. McCuaig, President of the Quebec Association for the Protection of Fish and Game. It first appeared on the Department of Lands and Forests' map for Pontiac and Gatineau in 1944. No further information, Lac MacPherson [46°29'N; 76°49'W], a take in Lac-Nilgaut, Pontiac County. The name was proposed by Col. Austin B. Gillies (d.1938) of Gillies Brothers Lumber Company which held a number of cutting rights in the area. It was probably named for David Macpherson, the first Office Manager for Gillies Brothers in their Braeside mill, 3 miles west of Arnprior, Ontario. The Braeside mill was bought in 1873, at the beginning of a five-year depression in the Canadian lumber trade; David Macpherson was described as a "faithful executive of the Braeside Mill from its first worrying weeks through many a year" [Charlotte E. Whitton: A Hundred Years A-Fellin', the Timber Saga of the Ottawa, 1842-1942, pp. 65, 104]. He is listed in the 1881 Census as "bookkeeper", aged 31 (b.c. 1850), with wife Mary aged 34, and son William aged 3, residing in McNab Township, Carlton County, where Braeside Mill was located.

      Lac MacPherson [46°39'N; 76°19'W], a take in Lac-Pythonga, Pontiac.
No information

      Ruisseau MacPherson [48°07'N; 65°WI, a brook in Port Daniel, Bonaventure County. This short brook enters the Gulf of St Lawrence at Port Daniel West. It takes its name from the family of James Macpherson and Anne Rose (m. 11 July 1806, Nairn), originally from the parish of Nairn in Nairnshire, but which emigrated from the


parish of Resolis in the Black Isle, Ross & Cromarty. Three of their sons, William (b. 14 Oct. 1808, Parish of Nairn; d. 1882), James (b. 29 Apr. 1811, Resolis; d. 1875) and John (b. 13 May 1814, Resolis; d.1888) are buried in St Andrews United churchyard, Port Daniel West, with others of the family. William and John acquired Crown lots in Port Daniel in 1862. William was the first mayor of Port Daniel, 1855--1878.

      Ruisseau MacPherson [48°118'N; 65°33'W], a rigbt-bank tributary of the Rivière Bonaventure, Bonaventure County, which flows from north to south through a 6 km valley near the eastern boundary of Robidoux Township and east of La Petite Ouest which also joins the Bonaventure.
No information.

      Ruisseau McPherson [45°04N; 74°26'W], a brook near Dundee, Huntingdon County, took its name from the family of Donald McPherson and Beatrix Leslie, formerly tenants in Tirfodun and Crathie Croy in the parish of Laggan, and their son John (b. I I May 1790, Tirfodun) who settled on Lot 37 of the 1st Range, on the Dundee Road, in 1823. Donald McPherson and a number of neighbours sailed from Fort William and Tobermory to Quebec on the Monarch in the spring of 1823, intending to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario. William McPherson (d. May 1828) and his son Angus, who settled on Lot 39 with Alexander McDonald in 1826, were also Badenoch men; William was probably tenant in Knockchellach of Dalraddie, Parish of Alvie, whet] Angus was born 5 December 1785, in Dellifour when Donald was born 10 January 1787, and in Ballinluick when Gilchrist was born 14 May 1793. Angus was tenant in Ballinluig between May 1821 and February 1825 when his three daughters were borb Murdoch McPherson who settled Lot 33 on the 3rd Range was also from Badenoch and probably related to Donald or William. [Robert Sellar: The History of the County of Huntingdon .... from their first settlement to the year 1838. Pp. 2 20--228, 238-9. The Huntingdon Gleaner Inc., 1888.]

British Columbia provides five instances of the surname:
      McPherson Point [54°15'N; 13 2°59'W], a shoreline feature at the northeast end of Langara Island near Cape Knox at the northwest limit of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the British Columbian coast, marking the southern side of the approach to the Dixon Entrance. It was named by Capt. F.C. Learmonth in 1907 after William McPherson, Leading Shipwright and Carpenter on HMS Egeria, an exceltent axeman, during the hydrographic survey of the Dixon Entrance. Born at Redball, Mosstodloch near Fochabers, Morayshire,11th October 1878, a younger son of William McPherson and Mary McDonald (m. 1 Aug. 1868 at Botriphnie, Banff), he joined the Royal Navy 15 May 1900 and served on H.M.Ss Vindictive and Caledonia before joining the Egeria on which he served from 13 March 1906 to 27 February 1908. He took his discharge from the Service 14 May 1912. The Haida name for the Point was Ta-Kwoon, Mussel-Point. [Kathleen E. Dalzell: Places and Names of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Book 2. Dalzell Books, Prince Rupert, 1973]

      McPherson Lake and McPherson Creek [52°40'N; 128°10'W]. McPherson Creek flows west from McPherson Lake into the Mathieson Channel, on the Don Peninsula, Range 3, Coast Land District. The Mathieson Channel was surveyed in 1909 by Capt, Learmonth on H.M.S. Egeria, and as it was his practice to name features after members of his ship's company it would appear that the Lake and Creek were also named after Ship's Carpenter William McPherson. McPherson Lake was officially adopted 4 September 1952 from Reference Map No. 25, c. 1927, and from the British Columbia Gazetteer for 1930. McPherson Creek was adopted 26 April 1965 from the B.C. Gazetteer for 1953.


      Mount Macpherson [50°N; 118°W], a mountain southwest of Revelstoke in the Kootenay District. It was named after the Hon. David Lewis MacPherson (1818-1896), a native of Castle Leathers near Inverness, Scotland, who emigrated to Canada in 1835, the youngest child of David McPherson and Naomi Grant. In 1853 he obtained the contract to build the Toronto-Sarnia railway, and in 1872 attempted to obtain the contract to build a railway to the Pacific. He was elected to the Canadian parliament in 1864 and became a senator in the federal parliament at Confederation in 1867. Between 1880 and t885 he was in the federal cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald, latterly as Minister of the Interior. See Macpherson township in the Nipissing District, Ontario.

      McPherson Hill [50°39'N; 117°31'W], a hill east of the northern end of Trout Lake in the Kootenay Land District between the Selkirk and Purcell Ranges. It is named after Hugh McPherson (1870-19 ), a Prince Edward Islander who settled with his family at Trout Lake in May 1897 as the agent for the new town site of the same name. He was appointed a J.P. and elected as a school trustee the same year; in 1902 he was active in promoting the building of a hospital; and between 1909 and 1915 he operated a shingle mill and a store, and worked as a forest ranger during the First World War. In the 1920s he worked at the government- sponsored Lardeau fish hatchery. [Milton Parent, Circle of Silver (Centennial Series, Vol.4), Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 2001]. He was probably a son of Angus and Euphernia McPherson who emigrated from Scotland --- and almost certainly from Skye --- about 1865, and settled on the Union Road in Lot 5 1, King's County, Prince Edward Island. [Illustrated Historical Atlas of Prince Edward Island, 1880]

The Yukon Territory boasts but one instance of the surname, applied to a physical feature:
      McPherson Lake [6 1°54'N; 129°34'W], a lake twenty miles north of Frances Lake. In August 1840 Robert Campbell of the Hudson's Bay Company, while exploring the Frances Lake country and upper Pelly River region, named this take after Murdoch McPherson, Chief Factor for the Mackenzie District [R.C. Coutts, Yukon.- Places Names. Sidney, B.C., t980] The Northwest Territories provide one case of the surname applied to a settlement, and another attached to a physical feature:
      Fort McPherson [67°26'20"N; 134°52'50"Wj, originally a Hudson's Bay Company post oil the east bank of the Peel River, near the head of the Mackenzie River delta. It was built in 1840 by John Bell, an HBC trader, and named after Murdoch McPherson, Chief Factor for the Mackenzie District, born about 1794-96 a native of Gairloch, Wester Ross. He entered the North West Company service in 1816 and was in the Athabaska district by 1818. When the NWC amalgamated with the HBC in 1821 he was appointed a Clerk, and in 1823 was transferred to the MacKenzie River Department where he remained till 1848, except for the years 1841-43 when he was on furlough at Tadoussac on the St Lawrence below Quebec City. He was at Fort Norman in 1824-25, and was Clerk-in-charge at Rivière an Liards from 1826 to 1834. In July 1824 he was the first European to ascend the Liard River and Beaver River above the mouth of the Fort Nelson River. Between 1834 and 1840 he was Chief Trader at Fort Simpson. In 1832 Gov. George Simpson, a fellow West Highlander, noted that Murdoch McPherson could "make himself understood in several of the native languages". He married Jane Smith (b. 5 Aug.1805 at Slave Lake), a halfblood daughter of Edward Mortimer Smith, in 1825, and raised a family of eight at Fort Liard (1825-34), Fort Simpson (1836-38), and Fort Garry near Winnipeg (1845) He was made Chief Factor in 1847, and was given two years' furlough, probably for


health reasons, 1849-51. He retired to "Norway House", his wife's inheritance in Pictou, Nova Scotia, in the latter year, and died there in 1863.

      McPherson Creek [61°52'40"N; 121°39'30"W], a right-bank tributary of the Mackenzie River near Fort Simpson. The name was proposed 27 November 1967 by John Goodall, farmer, postmaster and NWT Council member, a long-term resident of Fort Simpson, to recognise John McPherson, a Hudson's Bay Company employee and interpreter, a full-blood Slave Dene, then over 80 years old. Anglican church records state that he died in 1969 aged 78 (b. 1891 ) and note that he was born at Fort Norman at the confluence of the Mackenzie with the Great Bear River, while Roman Catholic registers indicate that Johnny Chiche McPherson, son of Joseph Murdo McPherson, was born in 1886, was married 21 December 1908 in the Fort Simpson Anglican church, and died 8 January 1969 [aged 82]. They also record that his father, Joseph Murdo McPherson (native name 'Eninye), was born at Fort Simpson in 1843 -- biological parents: Polet Taotti and Marie Dlune -- and was adopted by Chief Factor Murdoch McPherson; he attended Pictou Academy 1853-1860, returned to the Northwest Territories around 1863, married Marie Katchimon 27 September 1863, and died in 1913. Johnny McPherson and his Méti sons George (c. 1910-1984) -- a gifted fiddler -- and William David (c.1930-1995) trapped and hunted along the Creek through much of the 20th century; the latter's widow Jane and son Walter McPherson continue the family's traditional association with the Creek today. George McPherson's log house in Fort Simpson, built in 1936, is now owned and has been restored by the Fort Simpson Historical Society. ©


By Christopher Wade

The Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogy Centre is the starting point for family history research at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. It is a self-service area where genealogists can browse and undertake their own family history research. The genealogy collection houses a broad range of family history sources and research guides with comprehensive coverage of Australian, United Kingdom and New Zealand materials.

      In 2003, the Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogy Centre underwent major refurbishment as part of the State Library of Victoria's redevelopment project. The Genealogy Centre has now taken over a whole courtyard. This has resulted in increased space and improved facilities for genealogists in the Library. The Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogy Centre was funded by a grant from the Helen Macpherson Trust, a perpetual trust established in 1951 under the will of the late Helen Macpherson Smith to provide grants to charitable institutions in Victoria, Australia. Who was this woman, whose philanthropic work is still so influential, even 50 years after her death?

      Helen Macpherson Smith, the only child of Robert Smith and his wife Jane Priscilla Macpherson, was born on 17 April 1874 during the couple's visit to the Smith family home in Scotland. The Smiths and Macphersons were wealthy Scottish families and many of their descendants made a significant contribution to colonial Australia. The family returned to Melbourne in September 1874 and Helen spent her first years living in Helena House (now Osborne House) in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. Helen was educated at schools in Europe and Victoria, including a year at Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, in 1889. On 11 December 1901 Helen married William Schutt, barrister, Essendon footballer and later Supreme Court judge, at Toorak Presbyterian Church. The wedding was widely reported in the society pages of Melbourne newspapers. As the years passed, Helen began what was to become a long and generous tradition of supporting charities, including the RSPCA, the Lost Dogs Home and the Royal District Nursing Service.

      On 24 December 1923, aged 49 years, Helen departed for Europe on the RMS Ormonde. She never returned to Australia, reputedly because of a fear of seasickness. Helen resided in the south of France and Switzerland, and William visited Europe frequently during the twenties and early thirties. The pair travelled widely around Europe together and attended many official functions. William, however, died suddenly on 30 November 1933 after a fall on board the Cathay on his way back to Australia from Europe. He was 65 years old.

      Almost two decades later, Helen contracted pneumonia and died oil 19 April 1951 at the Hotel Majestic in Cannes, France, at the age of 77. Contrary to the instructions in her will, Helen was buried in a pauper's grave. Fortunately, her body was later exhumed and cremated, in accordance with her wishes.

      After her death, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust was established with an endowment of


£275 000. In the 50 years since, the Trust has made grants to a broad range of Victorian organisations, including a generous bequest to the State Library of Victoria that funded the Helen Macpherson Smith Genealogy Centre. Among the hundreds of other grants made, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust continues to support a range of organisations including hospitals, universities and research institutes; community service organisations supporting children, families, the disabled and the aged; as well as cultural and artistic institutions.

      The work of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust will continue to have a significant influence on Victorian community life. This aspiration is reflected in the inscription on Helen's monument in the Melbourne General Cemetery, which concludes with the following words: 'The lasting legacy of Helen will perpetually benefit the people of Victoria.'

      The State Library of Victoria gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the use of the following source in the preparation of this article: Jane Sandilands, Helen Macpherson Schutt, Philanthropist, 17 April 1874 -- 19 April 1951, Helen M Schutt Trust, Melbourne, 2001. Contact: Christopher Wade, Librarian, Genealogy Team, State Library, of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia.


Highland Search. The Life and Novels of Ian Macpherson, by Douglas F. Young.

Ian Macpherson was born in Forres in 1905. Both his parents were Macphersons. His father, Ewen Macpherson, was a sheep dealer and farmer, and his mother, Mary Macpherson, came from Daltullich on the River Findhorn His formative days were spent in the countryside, which he came to love to the extent that he did not feel comfortable living anywhere else.

      He had a brilliant academic career, obtaining a First Class degree in English, along with several prizes, at Aberdeen University, and seemed set fair for a life in academic surroundings.

      Instead he became a 'drop-out' before the term was invented. He held strong and radical views on how life in the Highlands of Scotland had been lived in the past, and could be in the present and future: not only did he write about them but unusually he also tried to live them out, with varying amounts of success.

      He wrote several novels with a Highland theme, Shepherds' Calendar, Land of our Fathers, Pride in the Valley and Wild Harbour, his last and most important work. He was tragically killed in a motor-cycle accident in 1944.,

      Douglas Young has taken a great deal of pains to research and analyse his subject. His book is a most well-deserved effort to bring Ian Macpherson's life and work to the attention of the reading public.

      His novels have unfortunately been undeservedly overshadowed by the works of Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Neil Gunn.

      This book is recommended reading for all Macpherson Clanspeople interested in the background of one of their most illustrious members.

Margaret Hambleton.

Highland Search. The Life and Novels of Ian Macpherson, by Douglas F. Young. ISBN No: 0-9542960-4-4. Published by Librano Publishing Ltd, Brough House, Milton Brodie, Kinloss, Moray IV36 2UA. Tel/Fax No. 0 1343 850 617. Website: wwwlibrario.com.

[The lives of Ian Macpherson and his wife, Elizabeth were subjects of a special exhibit in the Clan Macpherson Museum during the year 2006. Parts of that exhibit can be found on the MEM at http://www.sonasmor.net/Panel111mod2.html -- RM]


By Sandy Macpherson

Undoubtedly the most admired artefact in the Clan Macpherson Museum in Newtonmore is the vast, ornate and priceless silver epergne held in a glass case at the far end from the entrance. A masterpiece of Victorian silversmith's craftsmanship, it dominates its portion of the Museum, surpassing by size and beauty the portraits, weapons and other memorabilia typical of the Highland aristocracy of that period displayed near it. This wonderful silver statue was a gift to Ewen Henry Macpherson of Cluny, 20th Chief of Clan Macpherson and his wife to mark the occasion of the celebration of fifty years of marriage. The donors were a huge number of fellow clansmen from home and abroad, several generations of his numerous family and friends from all walks of life.

      Who was this man who could attract such adulation and enjoy such wide and varied friendships? The prestige he enjoyed could be looked on as somewhat unusual as his family background was not exactly conventional. His grandfather had been hunted as a rebel in his own country with a price on his head and his great-grandfather had been beheaded at Tower Hill for treason. Despite the handicap of this unusual ancestry, Cluny, by the end of his life had been honoured by Royalty and was held in high esteem by all who knew him.       The story starts on the 24h of April 1804 when Ewen was born, the eldest child of the second marriage of Duncan Macpherson to Catherine Cameron, daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron of Fassifern. Duncan was traditionally known as "Duncan of the Kiln", born in a kiln [a building used to dry grain before it was threshed. -- M] on the Cluny estate when his father "Ewen of the '45" was in hiding from the law, the penalty of supporting the losing Jacobite cause during the Rising of 1745-6. He had died as a penniless exile in France, leaving his sixteen-year-old son Duncan no inheritance or power, his estate having been forfeited by the crown. Duncan, on reaching maturity, had to make a living by joining the army of King George III. He fought against and was imprisoned by the American rebels but eventually retired to the Cluny Estate, which had been restored to him in 1784, rebuilt the family home, which had been burnt down by Government troops in 1746 and eventually died in 1817, leaving young Ewen to become Clan Chief at the early age of thirteen.

      Ewen not only took over a title, but also a large estate, which already was showing signs of financial instability. The Cluny Estate, in common with those of the other Clan Chiefs who had supported the doomed Jacobite cause, were forfeited and run by Government appointed factors until they were handed back to the next generation of Chiefs in 1784. The Government, however, insisted that any losses incurred during that period must be re-paid by the new owners and not written off.

      Duncan had spent quite liberally in the rebuilding of Cluny Castle and the combination of new and old debts inherited by Ewen were the forerunners of financial troubles which were to haunt the estate owners for the next century and a half. These problems did not seem to weigh too heavily on young Ewen's shoulders as we next hear of him as a young man in the late 1820s, described by Sir Walter Scott as hosting a fancy dress ball and "footing it gallantly" and later in March 1829 as "a fine spirited boy, fond of his people and kind to them, and the best dancer of a Highland reel now living" at a very convivial party to celebrate the return of the huge cannon 'Mons Meg' to Edinburgh Castle. The friendship with Sir Walter must have been a sincere one as in 1831, the year before his death, he was presented by Cluny with a deerhound called Bran to add to his collection of dogs. Marriage came in 1832, when in the fashionable setting of St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, London Cluny married Sarah Justina, daughter of Henry Davidson of Tulloch, Banff and following a long honeymoon returned to set up home

----------------------------------------------------------------30------ ------------------------------------------------------

in Cluny Castle, This union produced a large family, four sons, three of whom became Chiefs in turn and three daughters, the descendants of these children are to the fore today.

      The history of the family and the estate is somewhat typical of many in the nineteenth century Highlands. Although Cluny was too young to have taken a leading part in the huge social celebrations, which attended George IV's visit to Edinburgh in 1822, he maintained his connections with London and the wealthy and influential aristocracy of the day.

      Cluny Castle was let to Sir Robert Peel, later to be Prime Minister, during the 1820s and the Ardverikie section of the Estate was leased to Lord Abercorn a few years later. This was the tenancy, which led in 1847 to the famous summer holiday visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

      The Queen, having taken a sub-lease of the Ardverikie for a month, arrived following a journey from London partly by Royal Yacht and then by coach from Fort William, where she was met at her destination by Cluny, his family and a large number of Highlanders, all in pouring rain. The Queen's holiday was characterised by the extremely bad weather. She wrote in her diary, "The country is very fine but the weather was most dreadful". On returning home to London, she set in motion a train of events which led in 1854 to her buying the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, which is still owned and occupied by the Royal Family.[This interlude is described in further detail at Panel 29 of the MEM --RM].

      It's an interesting speculation that, had the weather been better during September 1847, the Queen, who was obviously taken by Ardverikie, might have bought it in preference to Balmoral. This would have resulted in the entire emphasis of Royal ownership and consequential tourist activity being moved from Deeside to Badenoch. But for the influence of the weather...

      Cluny's influence on the central Highlands and Badenoch must have been profound. He habitually wore Highland dress, knew all his tenants by name and spoke to them in Gaelic whenever possible, very much in contrast to many of the Clan Chiefs of the period who spent a great deal of their lives south of the border and lost the affection of their clans people.

      His interest in public affairs was far reaching; he was a director of the Highland Railway and the Caledonian Bank and became a deputy lieutenant of Invemess-shire. In his early years he had served in the Black Watch and in later years he was associated with the Volunteer Force in the Highlands. In his seventy seventh year, when the Lieutenant Colonel of the Inverness-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers, he attended the famous 'Wet Review' in Edinburgh and led his troops through cheering crowds despite pouring rain scorning the use of even the use of a plaid for protection. On retirement he was presented with a sword of honour with a suitable inscription. [An etching of the troops assembled for the Wet Review can be viewed at Panel 50 of the MEM. -- RM]

      All this time, however, the legacy of debt haunted the family and the estate was depleted by the sale of large portions during the 1870s. Even the Castle was let during the summer in an attempt to produce revenue.

      The climax of a long life must have been the Golden Wedding celebrations in 1882, when the presentation of the silver epergne depicting his rebel grandfather's escape from the Government soldiers, must have been a satisfying moment. Other presentations on that momentous day came in the form of illuminated addresses from the many other institutions he had been associated with, and, most touching of all, from his grand-children.

      His death two years later, following a bout of pneumonia brought on by watching a midwinter game of shinty in his native Laggan, marked the end of an era.

      He was the last of the Chiefs to live among and be one of his people, speaking their language and sharing their traditions. It had been a long life, spanning the building of the first of Telford's roads through Laggan to the coming of the railway, which would open up the central highland to travellers. He may have had secret Jacobite sympathies, like his grandfather, but was still a fervent follower of Queen Victoria.

      The last of the old Highland Chiefs died on 11th January 1885, perhaps some of the old traditions died with him. We salute his memory in this, the two hundredth anniversary of his birth; we may not see his I like again. ©


By Bill Macpherson*
The 20th of April would have been a deceptively pleasant day to disembark at Fremantle, the port of the Swan River Colony in south-western Australia. The weather was probably sunny but not hot and it had probably rained recently. Nine months later, days would be distressingly hot and dry for new migrants, especially in the hinterland where most of them would have to settle. A person could die of exposure if he or she became lost.

      When the ship Hindoo arrived in 1839, she was crowded with British migrants hoping for a prosperous life in the ten-year-old colony. An English newspaper reported some months earlier that the Hindoo bore 'principally ladies and gentlemen from Ireland and several fine-looking Scotch shepherds, all with their dogs'. Two of these shepherds travelling steerage were 26-year old John McPherson and his 23-year-old brother Donald.

They had been born and raised on Dunachton Farm, six miles down the River Spey from Newtonmore, where their parents, Aeneas McPherson and Margaret McIntosh were tenants on a small part of the farm. Everyday Life on an Old Highland Farm by Isobel F Grant gives a detailed reconstruction of life on Dunachton for the generation before Aeneas and Margaret, and it is probably accurate of their own time. Although Margaret's family can be traced back on the farm for a few generations, nothing is known of Aeneas. John's daughter Jessie told her grandson Frank Smith (a Life Member of the Clan Macpherson Association) that the two men intended to be not shepherds but flockmasters, or professional flock managers.

      Life at the Swan River was hard, and the poverty of the colony led to shepherds and flockmasters being paid largely in in a proportion of lambs born. For a few years the McPhersons kept the flocks of Irishman Captain John Scully, but they soon had more sheep than he. And in 1841 they were joined by their 29-year-old cousin Ewen McIntosh.

      We have little idea of the appearance of the McPhersons, particularly in their younger days, but of Ewen McIntosh we have a splendid pen-picture. A boy who migrated on the same ship later described him as a big, very big man, in full Highland costume, with two fine Collie dogs. He was about six-feet-six in height and about as broad as two ordinary men': perhaps his family couldn't afford to feed him any longer.

      The firm of McPherson and McIntosh acquired more and more sheep and ventured out beyond the limits of the colonial administration. In 1848 a younger McPherson brother,


Duncan, arrived with his wife and two baby sons. By then 'the firm', known as the Scotch Shepherds, leased 20,000 acres mainly near the Roman Catholic mission of New Norcia, about 100 mules north of the colonial capital of Perth. There was continuing competition between 'the firm' and the mission for the best land in the area. And in 1854, the McPhersons' elder sister Jessie Campbell arrived with her husband Duncan and eight children. They were brought out by John, returning from a voyage back to Britain. During that trip John erected a gravestone to his late father Aeneas in the Kingussie Middle Burial Ground, and had his portrait taken by the new-fangled Daguerreotype process.

      By then, Donald had married Jessie McKnoe, descended from an old Galloway family, and set up house near New Norcia. In 1860, Donald and his wife and four small children spent a gruelling year travelling to Scotland and back. The goods they unloaded back in Fremantle were "24 cases, six packages, three rams and one entire horse". The stallion, Loch Ryan, was bought in Bilston near Glasgow and won prizes at the Toodyay Agricultural Show for several years, while earning excellent fees standing in stud.

      As the colonial economy improved, 'the firm' became more prosperous. But on separate occasions over the years, both John and Duncan suffered severe losses from fire and weather, but recovered.

      Donald's family grew to eight children before his wife Jessie died in 1869, while the youngest was still a baby. At least some of the children were born in Perth, at least one was christened there, and Donald appears to have owned a house there. By colonial standards, he was a well-off, self-made man.

      A couple of years later, Donald married his children's governess, Selina Earnshaw, and was elected Chairman of the newly-created local authority, the Victoria Plains Road Board. He served on the Board for sixteen years, at times as Secretary and Treasurer. He was also the honorary Postmaster for his district for several years. Also at this time, he was one of five settlers who largely financed a Government expedition into the interior of Western Australia -- his only known reward was to have a remote hill named Mount Macpherson after him.

      At about this time, he started spelling his name Macpherson and he named his property Glentromie, possibly to add more tone to his image. Glen Tromie is a valley just across the River Spey from his birth-place, although there is no evidence as to why he chose the name. But he was basically a wily battler who fought throughout his life for his success. One of the Anglo-Irish gentlemen in his neighbourhood once said of him, "Well; you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". But that says a great deal about the fierce social politics of colonial life. All four of his sons were boarders at Bishop Hale's Anglican College, the best boys' school in Perth, and the daughters may have been educated at the best girls' school, the Catholic Convent there.

      In later years, Donald built up a business of breeding horses for the Indian army. Three of his sons accompanied shipments of horses on tiny schooners and brigs to the East Indies, India and Mauritius. In 1887, Glentromie had an 11-room homestead with a 30-horse stable, 8,000 sheep, 250 horses and 250 other livestock. It controlled 150,000 acres, produced 8,000 gallons of wine a year and boasted a thoroughbred stallion and a prize-winning cart stallion. By then, unfortunately, Donald was in poor health, partly paralysed and heavily mortgaged. He died in that year and the property passed from the family.

      None of Donald's children married during his lifetime. It seems that none of them ever found anyone to satisfy their father. Six months after his death, the eldest daughter Jessie married a successful South Australian pastoralist who is believed to have once been a groom at Glentromie. Donald's brothers John and Duncan and his sister Jessie also died within a very few years, and that was the end of the Scotch Shepherds.

*Bill Macpherson, 21 Averil St, Busselton, WA 6280, Australia;
bill. macpherson@bigpond. com

By Anne Mackintosh

It is not of my Great-Great Grandfather, Lachlan Macpherson, a career soldier born on the Cluny estate that I write, nor of his great grandson, my father the Rev Robert Macpherson, who chose the name 'Creag Dhubh' for the Clan Magazine when he was the joint editor with Mary Macpherson of Skye and the BBC of the first issue. No, I write of Lachlan's Great Grand daughters, my father's elder sisters and my Aunts: Elizabeth (Betty, married name Bruce) and Jessie (known as Jean) Macpherson who witnessed the results of a war as bloody as any in which Lachlan fought.

      During family gatherings as a small child in the late 1930's I would occasionally hear snatches of conversation being carried on far above my head. "Betty and Jean were at Royaumont, you know." In those days a small child was expected to be seen and not heard, so at that time I never asked questions as to what or where Royaumont was. I was well into adulthood before I realised the full significance of these remarks. During their life time I never once heard my Aunts talk of their experiences during the First World War. I have therefore had to rely on the information given to me by my cousin Forbes Macpherson, my brother Rev Stewart Macpherson and from a book entitled The Women of Royaumont, A Scottish Women's Hospital on the Western Front by Eileen Croton.( published by Tuckwell Press 1997: p.b, 1999.ISBN 1 89410 86 0).

      Betty was an artist by profession and Jean was a V.A.D. nurse. They were brought up in the sheltered background of a Church of Scotland manse. At the outbreak of the First World War


they were 3 1 and 29 years, both already set in their chosen professions.

      Women in the later part of the 19th Century had begun to agitate not only to be allowed to vote but also to train as doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists. By the beginning of the First World War there were a number of very well qualified women medical personnel. They were mostly expected to be working in the fields of medicine for women and children. A few had appointments in other areas of medicine. All, in whatever field they practised, were highly skilled and dedicated women.

      After the war began, Dr. Elsie Ingles, an Edinburgh doctor, (the Elsie Ingles Memorial Hospital in Edinburgh was named after her) had the idea of gathering together women surgeons, anaesthetists, doctors, and nurses to form a Scottish Woman's Hospital to be put at the disposal of the British Army. Both the Army and the Red Cross turned down her offer; more or less telling her that they should all go home and continue with their sewing. She then offered the services of the Woman's Hospital to the French Army who welcomed them with open arms.

      The problem of finding premises came to therefore and eventually the Hospital ladies were given access to the Chateau at Royaumont, a beautiful Thirteenth Century Cistercian Abbey. Situated some 30 miles north of Paris, it had few mod. Cons., no lift, high ceilings and huge windows. Added to which it had not been used for some time.

      Women who were not in the medical or nursing professions, volunteered for other posts within the new Hospital. In 1914 they would have been known as "gentlewomen". They joined the qualified staff as ward orderlies, cooks, storekeepers and cleaners. Many had probably never done the types of work now allocated to them.

      They kilted up their skirts, got down on their hands and knees and scrubbed floors. They whitewashed walls and set up the beds. They rolled bandages and sorted out dressings.

      Once the hospital was operational they carried stretchers in which lay severely wounded men up two flights of stairs to the operating theatres, the X-Ray rooms. It must have been a monumental task for them.

      By January 1915 the hospital was open for business, with all the necessary medical equipment ready for use. From then on it was continually manned wholly by women until its closure in April 1919. I believe Betty and Jean joined the ladies at Royaumont in 1916, and as far as I can ascertain were there for most of the duration of the war.

      Betty was a storekeeper/quartermaster. She must have had a very difficult task keeping the stores up to scratch as the numbers of both patients and staff varied all the time. After the battles of Verdun and the Somme and during the final push forwards in 1918, the hospital was full to overflowing with wounded. Whether Betty was in charge of medical supplies, bedding or food I do not know, but it must have been most exacting work.

      Jean, of course, was helping to nurse the wounded French soldiers who were brought in. They came from all backgrounds. The officers from well-to-do families and the ordinary soldiers, the 'poilus', were mostly farm and factory workers. Many were unable to write and the nurses often wrote their letters for them. They came from the various French Colonies in Africa: Arabs from North Africa and Senegalese from French West Africa. Language must have been quite a problem as would be religion.

      All the medical staff from the surgeons down to the ward orderlies, must have had to deal with the most distressing cases. Men with terrible wounds, some blinded or gassed. For them all, staff and patients alike, it must have been a most trying and disturbing time, particularly when Royaumont was bombed.

      The Royaumont Hospital had an outpost at Villers-Cotterets which had to be evacuated in a hurry in 1918 when the Germans advanced up to the Forest of VillersCotterets. Again I have no idea if my Aunts were at Villers-Cotterets because of the scant information available.

      After the war ended both Betty and Jean returned home to go back to their chosen careers. Betty to her Jacobean embroidery and Jean to being a school matron. Perhaps the experiences


they had at Royaumont were such that they did not want to talk about them and that is why we know so little in the years between the wars Betty married and was widowed and at the outbreak of World War Two at the age of 56 she went back to France without Jean. She and others who had been at Royaumont set up canteens for the French army in various sectors of the war. It seems that because the radio broadcasts were jammed by the Germans, the ladies were unaware of the progress of the war and the canteens were eventually shut down.

      At one point Betty and a friend were told by the French authorities to get out of one of the villages immediately as the Germans were approaching. They jumped into her friend's car and beat a hasty retreat, managing to leave the village as the Germans were entering at the other end. They eventually managed to reach the coast and at a Channel port managed to board one of the last boats, ending up I believe at Plymouth. Betty spent the rest of the war in London helping to run canteens for the Free French forces there.

      Both my cousin and my brother have told me that they are sure the Aunts were given a medal for their work at Royaumont. Forbes remembers Betty showing him one which he took to be the Royaumont medal. Stewart remembers being told about Jean's medal.

      What has become of these no one in the family appears to know. How I wish that when my Aunts were alive, I had asked all the questions that now crowd into my head, so that I could have known more about these two very gallant Macpherson ladies. Thinking of them now I feel humbled and yet proud to be their kin. ©



This photo of an unusual dirk, with its own knife and fork, has been sent by Western Australian Branch Representative, Chevalier Douglas McPherson, KCT, FSA (Scot), of Glenfalloch, Roleystone.

      "It is made from a French bayonet of a possible prisoner of war," he writes. "The inscription on the bayonet is 'Mrc d'Ormes de St Etienne Oaut 1876'. Stag horn has been used as the handle.

      The end of the bayonet has been removed and made for the knife; and the fork is of old manufacture, with a feature of oaken handles to both knife and fork."

      Douglas has the dirk displayed on the wall, hanging from a broadsword that belonged to Col. RDB Rutherford, who served in the Afghan War of 1879-1880 and other campaigns. "Colonel Rutherford always saluted his corpses and was noted for his advice to his men: 'Do not enter your bayonet too deeply in the enemy as this will allow them to be close to yourself and the opponent may be close enough to do you an injury'.

      "Another was: 'When fighting hand to hand in line, bayonet your opponent on the right of your opposite -- your comrade on your left will attend to your opposite!

      Chevalier McPherson says he feels privileged to hold these pieces and will hand them on to Grant and Callum 'in due course'. He sends greetings to clansfolk, worldwide.


By the late Donald MacPherson

Janet E Richardson writes that her father, Donald MacPherson, was born in Edinburgh in 1894 and often used to tell his children about his own childhood memories. He had been educated at the Royal High School and Edinburgh University before joining the Indian Civil Service. On retirement he was awarded the CIE (Companion of the Indian Empire) for his work in that country. "He was always very proud of his Scottish ancestry and was happiest when he and my mother returned to Edinburgh in retirement," she says. Donald left a large legacy of writings, from which Janet has extracted the article below.

Donald aged 24

      At the beginning of the last century Sundays were not days of boredom and repression -- of morning and evening Church attendance -- or of long faces and muted talk. Everyone accepted and conformed to the convention that Sunday was the Sabbath, and, in addition to the duty of going to Church, it was different from the other days of the week. The quiet that descended after midnight on Saturday and lasted for 24 hours was often very refreshing in a way that a busier weekend of today is not.

      There were many things that one could not do. One could not appear in ordinary clothes; one had to wear the newer, stiffer Sunday best. In church, an almost obligatory uniform for men was either morning dress or frock coats with chimney pot hats -- always in black. No work was done and that applied to household tasks, which were restricted to the preparation of meals though extra time had to be put in on Saturday to ensure that everything was ready for Sunday. Also, there was no public transport. I remember the first occasion that trams were allowed to ply on Sundays, and hearing a passionate old woman at the corner of Picardy Place call down the wrath of the Almighty on those who were in them -- passengers, drivers and conductors. During the Sunday constitutional after the mid-day dinner we were not expected to run about as we might on weekdays. For us the most notable feature was that Father was at home and there was a full dinner, taken at the proper hour of 1 o'clock -- a dinner that merited a short rest before one could think of having a walk. Easter was the only Sunday when a little latitude was permissible, because then coloured eggs were rolled on the grass of the Calton Hill until the shells broke, and the eggs were consumed. These eggs were sold in the small shops for days before Easter in the most lurid colours.

      In our family we never suffered from the full rigour of the Presbyterian Sabbath. We were permitted more freedom than many of our friends. Of course we had to be quiet. Games were taboo, especially such games as Snap, which were inclined to be noisy and rowdy. We tried one of Bible Questions and Answers, a sort of card game like Happy Families, but we never really took to it. I think Father would have preferred us to be more restrained than we were, but Mother was much more tolerant. Singing was not allowed. I think Father thought that any joyful noise except in Church was profanation of the Sabbath. At any rate, that is how it seemed when we were very young. Mother feared more, what the neighbours would think.

      Hymns were permissible and some of them had good singable tunes, which we joined in before going to bed. When we were older some airs from Oratorios were permitted and some semi-sacred songs of unimpeachable evangelical piety were not considered too mundane. Some I remember are the 'Lost Chord', the 'Better Land' and an awful tearful ballad called 'Ora Pro Nobis' about an orphan dying in the snow outside a church. By the time I was nearing the end of my school days, Father had relented somewhat and the sacred songs gave place to more worldly melodies, provided these were not Music Hall ditties, which were


definitely vulgar and for amusement only. That left us a very wide range, but we were asked not to sing too loudly, as the neighbours might not like it. One reason for the change was that when we were in our teens, some acquaintances began to call in after the service, and sometimes stay to supper. As music was a recognised and approved method of entertaining one's guests, some discreet singing helped to ease the strain of prolonged conversation.

      Sunday papers were not known in most respectable houses, such as ours, until after the 1914 War, when anxiety about the fighting and the casualties made people forget their scruples about buying a paper on a Sunday. Also, we were supposed to limit our reading to 'Good Books', which did not include Fairy Tales, when we were very young. That, however, was not a serious hardship, as there were some wonderful Bibles with pictures, which provided a most satisfactory substitute. The best was an 18th Century leather-bound Folio Bible in three volumes, profusely illustrated with wood engravings by Bewick. He had been inspired by some of the Old Testament stories which were full of action, and had depicted them with vigour and realism but no historical accuracy. No 19th Century artist would have included in a Family Bible (as Bewick had done) a picture of Susannah and the Elders with the two dirty old men peering from behind a thicket at the Bathing Beauty. She, however, was more discreet in her attire than would be customary on a beach today. I forget how that story was explained to us children, but we were satisfied that the old men were wicked. There were other illustrated Bibles, but they were much less attractive, with 19th Century Steel engravings of scenes from the Holy Land, and of some of the Raphael Cartoons. They did not detain us for very long.

      When we were older, we were allowed to see some of the illustrated Art Books that Mother had won as prizes, as they had sketches and drawings from the old Italian Masters, who spent a good deal of their time in the beautification of churches. So we became acquainted with the Madonnas of Michelangelo and other Renaissance sculptors, such as Donatello and Ghiberti, whose gates in the Baptistry in Florence with their biblical scenes in relief were a great source of interest.

      We did go regularly to Church and to Sunday School, but the Church was only a few yards away from the house, and we always struggled in just as the bells were ringing their last peal, and often after they had stopped. Father of course always went twice a day to both morning and evening service, but Mother and Aunt thought once was quite sufficient, usually the evening service. They always accepted a dictum that they had heard from their Mother that a wife should follow her husband to the Church that he was in the habit of attending, and that there was no greater cause for disruption in the home than a difference in religious beliefs, for Church Affairs were taken very seriously then. Though Mother had gone to a Presbyterian Church before her marriage, as her father was not very particular about the denomination of the Church he patronised provided it was not Roman Catholic, she and Aunt kept their father's copy of the Prayer Book.

      Once a year, when Father had to go to a Conference and would be away from home over a week-end, they would get out the Prayer Book and one of them would go to St Mary's Cathedral for Evensong. My brother and I usually accompanied them but we would be warned not to mention to Father on his return where we had been as he would be very annoyed at this defection from the path of strict Presbyterian duty. Possibly because of their clandestine character, these excursions into Episcopalianism made the service in St. Mary's more appealing than in fact it was or would have been to those who went there regularly. The choral singing was a revelation. With the prayer book in hand I could participate with the other worshippers in the service, and I was relieved of the effort of trying to follow the long ex-tempore prayers in our church.

      After visiting some of the English Cathedrals during the conferences he attended, Father became somewhat more liberal, and was prepared to allow that the service in the prayer book had its merits in such a setting, especially when accompanied by some fine choral music. But, for Scotland, he was stern in his adherence to the Kirk with its severe and unemotional


approach to God. Father was almost equally opposed to some of the other Scottish churches that had seceded during the previous 200 years, and were only then beginning to feel that Christianity would be better served by union than by separation. It was a national rather than a universal religion, and was sustained by traditions of the Covenanting struggles and stories of the Martyrs and of Jennie Geddes, who threw her stool at the Minister's head in St. Giles Cathedral. There were constant references to these in Church and in the press, and some covenanting Literature was to be found in houses in the country.

      Books like the "Scots Worthies" and "Cloud of Witnesses" had been standard reading when Father was young. The vehemence and narrow bigotry of these volumes had an Old Testament fury and bitterness. The hatred of all who were not of the elect Presbyterian Sainthood was so venomous that I turned against all they stood for. Though not so critical of the English Service as he had been, Father always resented any of us going to an Episcopal Church in Edinburgh. I did not fully appreciate this till once, when I was on leave from India and some friends were having tea, my sister was describing her experiences at a VAD Camp at Braemar and explained how she and her companions had found the wife of the Minister of Crathie Church rather aloof, while the wife of the Episcopal Padre was most friendly and helpful. As a result they had all gone to the service at the 'English' Church and had liked the atmosphere. Father was very annoyed and said she should have gone to the Scottish Kirk as it was the Church of her fathers.

      It was the rigidity of Father's outlook that we could not appreciate, and it was shared by his brother, who regularly went a long distance to his old Church twice every Sunday, leaving our aunt at home. She did not go because she was deaf and could not hear anything that was being said and was quite lost. Mother suggested that now and again they might go to the Episcopal Church which was close at hand and Aunt could follow the service from the prayer book and leave before the sermon as many did. The suggestion was not well received by either Father or Uncle. It savoured of back-sliding. I never really understood Father's attitude to Church and Religion. He was a good man, and assiduous in all Church work, but he did not appreciate that the Church had a duty towards people but in this attitude he was very typical of his generation.

      It is difficult looking back to appreciate all the changes that have taken place since then and how earnest eveybody was in their churchgoing. It was almost a social obligation to be seen in one's pew every Sunday morning and Church matters were vigorously discussed in the Press and in ordinary conversation, especially as there were so many rival denominations amongst the Churches in Scotland, all apparently differing on points of Church administration rather than on doctrine. We lost count of the numbers of churches near our home because, in addition to the several of each of the main denominations, there was a Gaelic church, a German church, a Glassite church and a Catholic Apostolic church, and they were all well attended. Though their creeds may have been narrow and influenced by scientific doubt or research, they were probably happier on Sundays than their successors are today because they had this definite interest in the Church. Nowadays one can hardly realise how low-church all the Protestant churches were, how strange and exotic the High Church cults seemed and how great was the fear of the Romish infiltration. That went for the Episcopalian Church as well as the Presbyterian. How shocked they would have been at some of the services in Churches today. ['Today' being nearly 100 years ago. -- Ed]

Copies of Donald Macpherson's book 'The Raj: A Time Remembered' are still available from Janet Richardson, 14, Marston Close, London NW6 4EU, UK, at UK£ 10, including postage. It was reviewed in Creag Dhubh No 53: page 48 in 2001 and is a 200-page illustrated paperback. [An easy and fascinating read: Ed.]


By Mary McPherson

In 1933 my father, Kenneth Roderick McPherson (born 10.9.1885, died 30.7.1949) had a letter published in the Melbourne Argus in which he re-produced an 1877 letter written by his greatgrandmother Mary (nee McCrimmon) of Melton, Victoria to her grand-daughter back in Skye. My father asked for Mary's descendants in Australia to get in touch with him. Mary had emigrated from Dunvegan to Australia in 1852 taking with eight of her 12 children, three in-laws and four grandchildren.

      He received some 30 letters in response. Many of the writers did not know of the existence of the others, nor of their roots. In fact, at least two of them had come to the UK as servicemen in the First World War and had wanted to contact relatives in Scotland, but did not know how to go about it. And cousins in Skye during this period were eagerly awaiting such contacts!

      In 1944 one Australian cousin compiled his own version of our family tree bringing together all the information provided by my father. A female cousin of about my own age saw my own entry in it and, wanting a British pen-friend, wrote to me as 'Mary McPherson, St Leonards-on-Sea, England'. Despite all the exigencies of wartime Britain, this letter was forwarded on to me by the Post Office and found me where I was an evacuee. Thus began our long pen-friendship and as soon as I began work and had a little money to spare, I took out an insurance policy to pay for a retirement trip to Australia.

      Over the years I have spent hours and hours researching the family history and trying to find out about Mary's eldest son, William, my great grandfather who was an East Indian Merchantman and whose family settled in India. As is so often the case, I did not start this research until after the death of both my parents and my youngest uncle, Alan. I had asked his daughter after his death whether she had any family papers, but she had said she did not.

      In the 1987 edition of Creag Dhubh I was most taken aback to read an article written by Douglas McPherson of Western Australia which was about this uncle, Brigadier Alan B McPherson ORE, MVO, MC and it also reproduced that letter from Mary of 1877. I of course wrote to Douglas immediately and that is now a much treasured family contact. (In 1996 I was able to make contact with another cousin via her letter in Creag Dhubh and I have twice visited her and her husband in Queensland.

      By the time of my retirement in 1990 the proceeds of that policy had long been spent on other things but the wish to visit Australia had never weakened and so off I went. It was a most happy visit and I met up with very many cousins in Victoria. It was a particular delight to meet with Mary and Christina who were in their early twenties in 1933. They recounted with much pleasure the excitement when their step-father, on reading The Argus, had said: "You two girls are being advertised for". I felt I had a very special bond with these two cousins because of their memory of this contact with my father and because one of them was also a Mary.

      I met with them again on my next visit in 1997, but Christina died in 2000 and Mary when I was actually en route to Melbourne in 2001. Despite the fact that neither of these sisters had ever visited Skye, their emotional links with their 'homeland' had remained very strong, The Skye Boat Song was played at her funeral, and there was hardly a dry eye in the Chapel.

      On that occasion, I met her great-nephew who told me that he was also very interested in our family history and that there was someone advertising on the Internet claiming that he too was a descendant of Mary McCrimmon. He sent me those details and when I opened up the website I discovered that it was Alan's son, Anthony, who had inherited all those 1933 letters of my father! They must have been given to Alan by my mother on my father's death and had been in the possession of Alan's daughter at the time when I had enquired of her!

      These letters have been the most marvellous fount of information and answered my many questions about life for the family both before and after the emigration and are of great interest to the current descendants of those letter writers.

      One of those letters commented: "Your letter gave as much pleasure to the other members


of the family as it did to us. It has been a wish of mine to establish contact with our relations in the old land. The difficulty was -- with whom to get in touch."

      Of the present McPherson Tree compiled by myself, and with much help from Anthony from information contributed by a number of Australian relations, there are some 731 known descendants of Mary McCrimmon and her husband Donald McPherson (born 1819 in Coishleter, Skye), although only 91 still bear the name of McPherson passed on down from Donald. There are many other McPhersons on the family tree but their surname comes from Alexander McPherson who married Mary's daughter Emelia just before the emigration. Her marrying someone of the same name caused much confusion in the early days of all this research! That Branch has been particularly prolific!

      Thus we have come full circle. What my father did in 1933 by a letter to a newspaper has been repeated by the modem medium of a message on a website and I, like him, have been at the centre of pulling all those strands together again. ©


The sudden and unexpected passing of Sheila, Lady Cluny has left a huge gap in at[ of our lives and there was an immediate response and feeling within the Clan Association that there should be an everlasting Clan Memorial to her memory.

      A suggestion from the United States was that an endowment fund be set up, and with the full support of Cluny and his family, and with the backing of the museum trustees, it was agreed that The Sheila, Lady Cluny Museum Endowment Fund be founded. The aim of the Fund being that the income will eventually be sufficient to finance the objectives of education and training:
          a) To provide professional curatorial support

          b) To upgrade exhibitions of both a permanent and temporary nature

          c) To promote scholarly research

          d) To finance student internship and/or attachment.

      The Clan Museum Trustees, with Annie Le Roy-Lewis as the family representative to assist, will administer the Endowment Fund. It is sincerely hoped and anticipated that the world-wide family of the Clan Macpherson Association will support this new Endowment Fund in memory of one the most widely Loved clan Ladies of our generation.

      The Endowment Fund will be a long-term project and will grow over the years as the membership use it, for example, by ordering their legacies for the future management of the Clan Museum. Being of charitable status, the Endowment Fund will benefit from tax relief on Gift Aid in the UK and USA, and a special form will be circulated.


By John Stuart Macpherson

(An article prompted by the Clan Gathering visit to the Museum of Scotland 2002)
As a warm-up to the 2002 Clan Gathering on a warm but not-so-dry day, a number of Clan Members gathered outside the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They were waiting to be conducted around some of the more interesting exhibits by Sandy Macpherson. The doors opened and Sandy led us into the foyer of the Museum where he gave us a general introduction.

      We started the tour in the "basement" with "Prehistoric times", slowly working our way upwards to the "Industrial Revolution in Scotland", by lunchtime. One or two may have left at lunchtime with questions unanswered and your appetites whetted, not for food, but for more information, such as: who were the Picts? Why did the owners of the Traprain Law Treasure not come back for it? I shall attempt to give an answer of sorts.

      I should like to remind those who were on the tour that the Treasure was in the basement in an area dedicated to the period after the Roman withdrawal from Britannia. Sandy described it as mostly silverware which had originated in the Mediterranean and been discovered at Traprain Law a prominent solitary hill to the east of Edinburgh, not to be confused with Arthur's Seat (my words!). The assumption by experts is that the treasure was used by the Romans to buy off the local inhabitants, a prevalent practice of the Romans at that time.

      Some of the items were intact but some had been distorted and damaged by having chunks cut off, from this action it is assumed that the goods themselves were not important, but the silver was, so it in turn must have been used as payment to someone else.

      Time precluded Sandy from going into the subject in depth, but we actually know quite a lot about the people living on and around Traprain Law, the same tribe or clan was spread over quite a large area from the Firth of Forth (Antonine Wall) down to Hadrian's Wall, they were called the Votadini by the Romans and appear in Ptolemy's Geography as such. In their own language they called themselves the 'Guotodini'; and their close relatives in Wales called them the 'Goddoddin'. The Irish called them Tothuclan', after whom the Forth Estuary is probably named. They were recorded by the Romans as belonging to the larger ethnic grouping of the Picts. The latter are thought by many to be a mysterious and even mythical race. They were not mentioned by the Romans until circa AD 297, but just because they were not mentioned before this date, does not mean that they did not exist (absence of proof is not proof of absence!). To the modern historian anyone who lived in the area known as Pictland before AD 297 is a proto-Pict, but let us just call them Picts. They didn't just appear and disappear like the fairy folk they were to become. Their appearance in history can probably be accounted for at this time because it was the first time that the Romans had perceived them as a threat.

      They most certainly existed before as the'Brythwyr' (Britons). In fact a Greek explorer called Pytheas sailed to what he called the Pretanic (Britannic) Isles circa BC 325, which shows that it was not the Romans who named Britannia, but that they adapted the name used by the indigenous race. In modem times the Picts are regarded as having been located in the northeast of Scotland, in late Roman times they had many independent Kingdoms in areas of what are today known as Ireland, Wales, Yorkshire, Galloway, Strathclyde as well as France and Germany. Galloway and Strathclyde were overrun by the Irish Scotii tribe at the end of Roman rule, but despite this, the locals of Galloway were still known as Picts as late as AD 1138 when they invaded northern England under King Fergus of Galloway, at the head of the army of King David I of Scotland.

      In P-Celtic languages, of which Welsh is a descendant, the sounds of the letters 'b', 'p', 'f' and 'v' mutate, in what most outside observers would consider to be an irrational manner and what is more, they can also take on the sounds of the 'c'. 'g' and 'q' appearing in the 'Q-Celt' and modem languages, and worse still, 'd' and 't' sound the same, so appear in almost any order in


the written word, hence we get the transmission of 'Votadini' to 'Guotodini' to 'Goddodin'!

      In the same vein following on from that, the P-Celtic inhabitants of Pictland called their land 'Prydyn', before the arrival of the Romans, on arrival, the Romans hearing Prydyn wrote 'Britain' and renamed, or should I say re-designated the Roman occupied part as 'Britannia'. The P-Celts in the west and north continued to call their land by their own name, but when they came to write it down for the first time in the middle ages, probably under the guidance of a Norman-Scot or Norman-Welsh monk, in the west it became Prydain, and in the north Prydyn.

      The Welsh legends still record the difference, you can see it in the Stories of the Mabinogion. With regard to the meaning of Brythwyr mentioned above, one meaning is, 'speckled men', which seems to infer that the folklore around the naming of the Picts after their habit of painting or more likely tattooing their bodies, may well be correct. However, there are also other meanings, equally intriguing, including 'men of prophesy', (brutiwr) inferring a connection with the Druids, 'men of the earth' (priddwyr) inferring that they were possibly farmers or miners, and this may be the origin of the Tuatha de Danaan (fairy folk who live under ground). Even the Q-Celts of Ireland support the theory that Pict and Brit are synonymous, they called the Picts of the mainland 'Cruithne' (Prythne) in this case, the name also links to druids or poets. In Gaelic a harp is a 'cruit', and it is in Ireland that the 'Fairy Folk' come to the fore, in their legends, the original inhabitants of Ireland were the Tuatha de Danaan and they disappeared underground to become the 'Fairy Folk'. 'Cruth' also means 'form' as in shape-shifter.

      As mentioned earlier, from the Roman records we know that the tribe in this area was called the Votadini, we also know that the Romans employed the Votadini as auxiliary cavalry on Hadrian's Wall, because in the Welsh Records we have a Guotodini tribesman called Cunedda, who led an army from his territory on the Wall into Wales to pacify the Gwyddyl (Irish invader) circa AD 400. Cunedda is not a personal name, but a title derived from the Latin (cuneos) and means 'Commander of a Wedge', an Auxiliary Cavalry formation. He is also mentioned by a better known, but regarded by some as an unreliable source, Nennius . ...... "Mailcunus magnus rex apud Brittones regnabat, id est in regione Guenedotae, quia atavus illius, id est Cunedag, cum filiis suis, quorum numerus octo erat, venerat prius de parte sinistrali, id est de regione quae vocatur Manau Guotodin, centum quadraginta sex annis antequam Mailcun regriaret. Et Scottos cum ingentissima clade expulerunt ab istis regionibus, et nusquam reversi sunt interum ad habitandurn ......... "King Maelgwn the Great, was reigning among the British, in Gwynedd, for his ancestors, Cunedda with his sons, to the number of eight, had come from the north, from the country called Manaw Gododdin, one hundred and forty six years before Maelgwn reigned, and expelled the Irish from these countries, with immense slaughter, so that they never again returned to inhabit them."

      Despite what Nennius says concerning the 'immense slaughter' of Cunedda (Cunedag), he probably 'pacified' the 'Irish' by the normal Roman methods of battle, bribes, and marrying off his eight sons into local dynasties. It is of interest that his eight sons are mentioned often, and reputedly gave their names to a number of counties in Wales, but it also seems that he may have taken daughters with him too, because there is an inscribed stone in Carmarthenshire which reads ......... Avitoria filia Cvnigni', which may mean '(Here lies) Avitoria the daughter of Cunedda' another stone nearby may even be his grave, but all that remains of the inscription is ..........'Cunegn' .......

      Many years later one of Cunedda's descendants became King of the Northern Picts under the name of Brude mac Maelchon (Bridei ap Maelgwn), son of the Mailcunus of Nennius (above) and ruled from the area of Inverness. He was the King of the Picts, reputedly converted to Christianity by St Columba. According to the Welsh, Cunedda is also an ancestor of the legendary King Arthur: specifically he is his great grandfather, Arthur's mother being Eigr (Ygrain ), who was the daughter of Gwen ferch Cunedda (Welsh -- ferch = daughter of).

      About two hundred years after Cunedda's invasion of 'Irish Wales', when the Votadini


homelands were threatened by the Ingli of Bemicia and Deira (component Kingdoms of an emergent Northumbria), it seems that the debt owed by the Western (Welsh) Picts to the Southern (south of the Forth) Picts may have been called in, because a certain poet called Aneurin, wrote a poem called 'Y Goddoddin', which concerns a war band called together by a certain Mynyddawg Mwynfawr, King of the Goddoddin, some warriors recorded as coming from as far away as Wales, they bonded, trained and feasted together for a year at the expense of Mynyddawg. Having feasted they headed south to fight and were not seen again alive. This is believed to have happened circa AD 598 and the location of the disaster was probably in the area of the earthworks at Stanwick Camp just outside Catterick in north Yorkshire.

      What is a bit disconcerting is that there are no other northern references to Mynyddawg Mwynfawr but there are many to a certain Mynydawg Eidyn, it seems reasonable to me to assume that they may be the same person. Mwynfawr means 'many riches' and Eidyn is meant to refer to early Edinburgh, but is probably a phonetic corruption of the Welsh word 'aedeinwr' which is 'protector'.

      So although the English would have you believe that Edinburgh is named after an English King called Edgar (where's the similarity" I ask myself?), it is more likely to have been named after an earlier Pictish King called Mynyddawg 'the Protector' (Aedeinwr).'Y Goddoddin' is not the only source for the story, there are also references to the story in the Welsh 'Triads'.

      Triad 31.0 mentions, 'Teir Gosgord Adwy Enys Prydein' -- 'Three Noble Retinues of the Island of Britain'. Verse 31.1 continues: "Gosgord Mynydavc Eidyn, a Gosgord Melyn mab Kynuelyn, a Gosgord Dryon mab Nud." ... "The Retinue of Mynyddawg Eidyn, the Retinue of Melyn, son of Cynfelyn and the Retinue of Dryon, son of Nudd."

      A variant of the above is Triad 31.0a: "Teir Gosgord Advwyn Ynys Brydem" .... "Three Noble Retinues of the Island of Britain". Verse 31.1 a: "Gosgord Mynydavc yg Kattraeth, a Gosgord Dreon Lev yn Rotwyd Arderys, a'r dryded, Gosgord Velyn o Leyn Erethlyn yn Ros." ... "The Retinue of Mynyddawg at Catraeth and the Retinue of Dreon Lev at the Dyke of Arfderydd and the third, the Retinue of Belyn of Llyn Erethlyn in Rhos." Unfortunately there are other ways of translating the word used for 'noble' and these are 'bloody', 'cowardly', 'evil', 'half-dead' or 'Bull Retinue' as well as 'unfortunate', and since Mynydawc is (in my mind) certainly Mynyddawg the owner of the War-Band defeated at Catraeth, any may be appropriate.

      So, in a rather devious and round-about way we have arrived at the answer to both questions. The Picts were the original Britons, inhabiting the whole of the British Isles, but who slowly became absorbed into the cultures of the various and many invaders, not always by defeat, but often through their victories and by their own policy of intermarriage. The fact that the Traprain Law treasure survives to this day indicates that it was certainly a lot larger than it is now and probably represented payment by the Romans for about a hundred years of duty on Hadrian's Wall for the Votadini, they probably then used it to buy off the Ingli and when it was depleted to the level we see today, the owner decided to go to war and never came back for it -- it also implies that there is a tot of truth to be found in legends.

      A couple of related post-scripts follow:
           1. Lothian is reputedly named after King Lot, who was the father of Queen Guinneviere.
           2. Lothian was also known at one time as Lyonesse, the land that disappeared not under the sea, but under the waves of Ingli invaders. There may also be a link in the name Lyonesse to the statue of the Lioness, recovered from the Forth at Crammond and now to be seen in the Museum of Scotland.
           3. One of the names for the Picts in the early middle ages was Pecht, probably, derived from the Norman French 'pecheur', 'sinner' (meaning apostate) and later translated, by a non-Welsh speaker as 'fisher' (Welsh -- pechadur = sinner, but pysgodwr = fisherman), inferring that the King of the Picts at some time was also the 'Fisher King' of Arthurian Legend.
           4. Bede mentions that the Picts were apostates, having been converted by Ninian's disciple, Pibiaw, adding credence to 3. above.


           5. Castle of the Maidens where the Grail was kept, is a name also given to Edinburgh Castle, but if you have never visited Roslyn do so for an alternative story.
           6. Looking for the Dolourous Tower of Arthurian Legend? -- Try looking somewhere around Dollar!
           7. The Wild Hunt is a phenomenon which appears in different forms, throughout Britain. In Wales and parts of southern England it is led by Gwynn ap Nudd. In other parts of southern England by Herne (Conall Cernach). It does not appear in the Pictish areas of Scotland, which may support the theory that this is where it came from and is in fact a demonised version of the invasion of the 'Irish' areas of Britain by the Picts, under the leadership of Cunedda.
           8. There is an item of interest for Clan Chattan. In Welsh legend, Twrch Trwyth, was reputedly a king who had been changed into a boar because of his sins (pecht?), and he had seven sons, who were the leaders of his army which terrorised the Irish-settled areas of Wales. There is evidence that one of Cunedda's eight sons was actually a grandson, therefore it seems possible that Twrch Trwyth was the 'Pictish' leader of an early Confederation of Pict Clans (Clan Qwhevil/Chattan) and otherwise known as Cunedda and his seven sons along with their army of specially selected horse-soldiers.
           9. There is also a MACPHERSON interest. James Macpherson of 'Ossian' fame recognised the Picts as the Cruithnich and his Ossian stories are obviously based on the Arthurian theme, possibly his aim, after the Jacobite disaster of the '45, was to reclaim for the Scots, the Celtic Arthur from the English, who had by this time been totally Anglicised.
          10.            And finally a Fairy Tale. From the north-east of 'Yr Alban' came a king who realised that the Pict tribes needed to consolidate and become allies once more, in order to defeat the threat from these new invaders, the only way he perceived of doing this was to use the tactics of the old hero, Calgacus, he who in ancient history of these Pictish lands had prevented the Romans from expanding beyond The Wall for any length of time. He re-instigated the 'warrior clan confederations' by recruiting an army of the very best warriors from each clan in his, and his neighbouring kingdoms. This 'king' was known by various names dependant on the area being 'returned' to Pict rule, but the name he became best known by, was that given him by his conquered 'Irish' 'Q' Celt subjects who called him 'Lord', ... in Gaelic ... 'Athir" ('Arthur').
           Arthur's war band became known by many names such as: The Hounds of Hell, The Red Band, The Red Branch, The Round Table, The Wild Hunt, Tuatha Ceffyl, and maybe later Clan Qwhevil, the name given to Clan Chattan by Androw de Wyntoun circa 1420 in his version of the 'Battle of the North Inch of Perth'. Androw's name means 'horse soldiers' in Welsh, and until the arrival of the Normans, nothing to do with 'cats'! The members of this war band, when it was led into Wales by Cunedda to 'drive out the Irish', was known favourably by the Welsh (Pictish) inhabitants as the 'torcwr', meaning 'torc-wearers' (elite warriors), but the Gwyddyl inhabitants of Wales would have called them 'pigs' from their Gaelic translation of the word 'torc'. These mythical pigs have entered Welsh legends as the offspring of a giant pig called Twrch Trwyth.
           By the time of writing down circa AD 1200 by Norman-Welsh monks, the meaning had become lost and pigs stayed pigs! They became a mystical animal, brought to Wales by Arawn, King of Annwfii and given to Pwyll whom he had made Prince of Annwfn and Leader of the Hounds of Hell. They were responsible for all sorts of grief, causing war in Britain. They were so valuable that they were stolen by Gwydion, which caused war between Math and Pwyll, in which Pryderi, the Welsh version of Cuchulain, was killed. Culhwch was responsible for the slaying of Twrch Trwyth the leader of the Pigs, by coincidence in an area near the stone mentioned above as possibly being the grave of Cunedda. It may also be no coincidence that in the various Pictish areas of Scotland, Wales and Ulster there was a tribe called by the Romans; the Comovii, 'the tusked ones', whose symbol was the wild boar.

Further reading -- Y Goddoddin; The Mabinogion,- The Welsh Triads.


78 th Highland Regiment (Ross-shire Buffs) at Probolinggo, East Java, 1813
By E Edwards McKinnon

Within the walls of the former Dutch Vereenigde Ost-indische Companie factory at Probolinggo in eastern Java lies an inscribed stone dedicated to two officers of the 78th (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Ross-shire Buffs). The stone, now sadly neglected, was part of a memorial erected in the town square (Plate 1) commemorating an incident in which Lieutenant Colonel James Fraser, the Commanding Officer of the 78th and Captain James Macpherson were killed. The incident was one that marred the service of the 78th during the British occupation of Java between 1811 and 1816.i

      Probolinggo is a small port town on the northeast coast of Java, some 150 kilometres east of Surabaya. The epitaph, carved in granite, now lies behind the modern Camat's (Sub district administrator's) office, just north of the modern railway line, at Desa Mayangan, Keeamatan Mayangan, in Probolinggo.ii

      Losses in action during the five years that the regiment served in Java were relatively light. Conversely, between 1811 when the regiment left the Portuguese enclave of Goa and its return in 1816, almost nine hundred men died of disease.

      The 78 th saw action at Weltevreeden, and in the assault on the lines of Cornelis (the area of Jakarta now known as Jatinegara) in August 1811. This broke the Franco-Dutch hold on Java. Captain Macpherson was wounded at the assault on Cornelis, but despite the inadequacy of the medical support of the period, he recovered.

      The regiment also saw action at Jati ngaleh, Srondol, above Semarang; in the assault on the keraton at Yogyakarta in June 1812 and in punitive expeditions to Bali and Sulawesi in 1814.

      Captain James Macpherson was the third son and seventh child of James Macpherson and Margaret Loggie of Ardersier. James Macpherson (senior) was for many years the factor of the Cawdor estates. Two of Captain James' brothers, Duncan and Ewen served in the Second Battalion; Duncan, in the campaign against Napoleon in Europe and at Maida in Sicily (where he was wounded) and elsewhere; Ewen served firstly in the 78th at Merxem and in Ceylon, then the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment from 1841. (See Creag Dhubh Number 53 pp 34-37).

      James Macpherson was eighteen years old when commissioned into the 9th (Reserve) Battalion as ensign on 9th July 1803. In the 2nd/78th Battalion he was promoted to lieutenant on 17th April 1804 and to captain on 25 th October 1810. He transferred to the 1st Battalion and served in India before the battalion was stationed at Goa between 1806 and 1811iii This deployment was part of the British effort to stem the threat of French invasion in the east after Napoleon's armies entered the Peninsula.

      James saw action at Weltevreeden. In the main attack at Cornelis, he led two companies that proceeded along the dyke of the Slokan to prevent a dam being breached by the enemy. In this action he was wounded in a personal encounter with a French officer, He was also present at the action at Jati ngaleh,iv near Semarang.

      In late 1811, the 78th was posted to Surabaya. At the time, Surabaya was secondary to Gresik. a riverine port and naval base some distance inland. There was however, a Dutch fortification, Fort Ludovic, commanding the harbour of Surabaya which had been taken on the arrival of the British fleet. Initially the battalion was stationed in the fort. Quarters there were unsanitary, far from satisfactory and caused numerous losses due to disease. Malaria, as well as water-borne diseases was very prevalent, The barracks at "Sourayabaya were very indifferent"v . . ."Together with the easy access which the men had to native liquors", they became very unhealthy, losing during some months from twenty to twenty-five men." vi The battalion was then moved to a new cantonment at Denoyo, a short distance outside the town where conditions improved.


      While the battalion was at Surabaya, parts of eastern Java were seething with discontent. In December 1810, in the latter part of Dutch sovereignty, General Daendels, the GovernorGeneral of Java, had 'sold' rights for the exploitation of taxes in three areas in Eastern Java to certain rich Chinese merchants in exchange for what became known as 'Probolinggo Paper'; bonds that were passed on to a reluctant public who regarded them as worthless. The wily merchants, however, paid their debt in the same currency, citing Dandael's proclamation that the paper should be regarded as the equivalent of silver. The Honourable East India Company, by then responsible for the government of Java inherited the debts of the former Dutch administration, a situation which caused Stamford Raffles, the Lieutenant Govemor, considerable financial embarrassment.

      Chan Pit, the Kapitan Chinaviii of Probolinggo, one of the Chinese merchants involved in the deal, purchased the areas which now form the kabupaten or regencies of Probolinggo and Besuki, two areas which were ruthlessly exploited by their new owner. In consequence, large numbers of peasants were dispossessed. Hundreds of displaced peasant farmers revolted.

      At the beginning of May 1813, Colonel Fraser was on duty in the vicinity of Pasuruan. He went to visit the Kapitan China accompanied by Mrs Fraser, Captains Thomas Cameron and James Macpherson, and Lieutenants Charles Robertson and Alexander M. Cameron.

      On the afternoon of 18th May, a report to the Kapitan China indicated that a considerable force of malcontents were present in the neighbourhood. At the suggestion of Colonel Fraser, the Kapitan China, imagining that such a force would be easily dispersed, armed his retainers and set off accompanied by Colonel Fraser's party in their carriages.

      Having gone some 10 kilometres, they were informed that the rebels were close at hand. The Kapitan China, Colonel Fraser and the other officers dismounted and proceeded on foot with the retainers. They had gone but a short distance when the insurgents appeared as if from nowhere and attacked them. It was a classical ambush. Having no stomach for a fight, the Kapitan China's retainers turned and fled. The officers who appear to have been the only ones with firearms made several ineffectual discharges with their pistols and fowling pieces. On trying to regain his carriage, Captain Macpherson, still weak from his wounds, slipped and fell. He, Colonel Fraser, who was also exhausted from fatigue, together with the Kapitan China and some others, were captured and taken prisoner. The Kapitan China, appears to have been despatched almost immediately.

      The other officers in the party regained their carriages and retreated in haste to the Kapitan China's house in Probolinggo. Captain Cameron, after a futile attempt to rally the thoroughly frightened retainers, succeeded in obtaining a small boat in the harbour and conveyed Mrs Fraser along the coast to the neighbouring port of Pasuruan. Lieutenants Robertson and Cameron managed to escape by another route overland.

      News of the incident which led to the brutal murder of the two officers and the Kapitan China reached Surabaya about nine o'clock the following morning (19th May). Major David Forbes, the second- in-command, made immediate preparations to march against the insurgents. Almost one hundred of the fittest men from the grenadier, rifle and light companies were mounted on poniesix and placed under the command of Captain Macleod, supported by Lieutenants Pennycuik (who also had been wounded in the assault on Cornelis), and Waters. They left Surabaya about 1 p.m. advancing along the military highway constructed by Dandaels, arriving at Pasuruan just before midnight, having covered a distance of approximately 65 kilometres.

      At Pasuruan, the party was met by Captain Cameron and Lieutenant Robertson who informed them that the whole of the eastern area of Probolinggo was up in arms. The insurgents, who were then advancing on Pasuruan, had acquired five small field pieces. After a brief halt, the detachment continued along the road in the direction of Probolinggo. About an hour and a half after daybreak on 21 June, they discovered numbers of insurgents in the fields on either side of the road, with three of the guns covering their approach.


      The guns opened a smart, though rather inaccurate fire on the column which, advancing in two divisions on each side of the tree-lined road, soon drove the enemy from their positions and captured the guns. Some five kilometres further on, in the vicinity of Probolinggo, the column discovered another large force rallied under two yellow flagsx and supported by the two remaining guns. Having covered over 100 kilometres in eighteen hours without any respite, Major Forbes halted. He dismounted the column to allow the men, who were extremely fatigued, to take a drink of water before proceeding to the attack. In the rear, were a number of provincial horsemenxi armed with swords and pistols and a party of irregulars from Pasuruan.

      Mistaking the halt as indicative of wavering and indecision, the force of insurgents, estimated to be some 2,500 strong advanced boldly to within about 100 paces of the party's position. The insurgents charged. Moving rapidly in a close, compact body, at the same time setting up a most dreadful, bloodcurdling yell, they bore down on the small group of Highlanders.

      Faced by this onrushing mob of howling spearmen, the 78 th formed up and were brought to the aim. They held their fire until the enemy were barely a spear's length from the line. The shock of the first and ensuing volleys at such close range, were such that they immediately checked the charge and caused the insurgents to retreat with terrible losses. When the smoke cleared, more than one hundred and fifty of the rebels lay dead. One of their chiefs penetrated the line but was killed and two others, taken alive, were summarily executed later that afternoon. The 78th suffered only a few wounded.

      The detachment then proceeded to Probolinggo House. It was assumed that the rebels would attempt to rally and hold it. Probolinggo had by this time, been completely ransacked. Having lost their principal leaders however, the insurgents rapidly disappeared.

      That evening, 21st June, the bodies of Colonel Fraser and Captain Macpherson were recovered tied up in sacks. Captain Macpherson's body was 'much mangled and pierced quite through with a number of wounds'.xii Both officers were interred in the square at Probolinggo, where the monument was erected in their honour.


      "The commander of the Forces . . . thanks . . . Major Forbes and the detachment which acted . . . so successfully against the insurgents . . . and that the same (recognition) be communicated to the officers and soldiers who so well maintained the high reputation of their distinguished corps."

      A second General Order was issued on the same day by the Lieutenant-Governor, Thomas Stamford Raffles. It read in part:
" . . . the L ieutenant- Governor in Council has much pleasure in expressing his cordial approbation and acknowledgement of the zealous and gallant conduct of the detachment . . .of . . . (the) 78th Regiment, in the attack and dispersion of the banditti . . . ".

      "It is with sentiments of deep regret that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council has received the intelligence of the fate of Lieutenant- Colonel Fraser and Captain Macpherson . . . The death of these officers... must be considered a public loss, and it is deeply aggravated by the melancholy circumstances under which that event took place. "       For its service in Java between 1811 and 1816, the 1st/78th was awarded the Battle Honour


i The Java campaign of 1811 was overshadowed by events in the Peninsula and has been sadly neglected by military historians. A forthcoming monograph, 'The 78th in Java 1811-1816' will cover the experiences of the 78 th during this most interesting period of the British occupation.
ii For details of the inscription, see the above.
iii There were several transfers between the 2nd Battalion, which acted as a training element and source of manpower, and the 1st Battalion whilst the latter was stationed in India. There was a large transfer from the 2nd Battalion stationed in the Isle of Wight, of 'all who were fit for service in the east' to Goa in late 18 10.
iv Referred to simply as 'Jati' by Davidson. 'History and Services of the 78 th Highlanders' Edinburgh: Johnston, 1901).
v See: Neil Currie, in Raffles 'History of Java II' (1817), and below, who notes that disease and casualties in Surabaya gradually diminished 'as the men were successively accommodated with good barracks at De Noyo.' Surgeon Currie was the wife [husband?] of Captain James Macpherson's younger sister Caroline.
vi Presumably 'arak' a potent but not unpalatable liquor distilled from rice or tuak, produced from the fermented sap of the aren or sugar palm (Arenga pinnata, Merr). The juice of the aren was also used to produce the celebrated Batavian arak (Raffles, History of Java I , p. 188)
vii Currie, ibid. viii Both Thom ('The Conquest of Java', London: 1815; reprinted Singapore: Periplus, 1995 ) and Davidson (History) refer to him as the 'China Major'. ix Thom notes that 'horses were borrowed from officers and other individuals, 'Conquest', p. 307. Local Javanese horses were quite small compared with European hunters but would have no doubt been capable of carrying a full grown European male.
x Thom, 'Conquest' p. 307, attributes the yellow flags to being 'the standard(s) of the Soosoohoonan' which gave rise to the conjecture that the ruler of Solo 'must have been party concerned in the revolt.' He says, however, that the chief, who was later slain, had proclaimed himself the 'vice-regent of Mohomet' in which case he was, or probably considered himself, of aristocratic rank.
xi Thom, 'Conquest', p. 308, refers to these 'provincial' horsemen in support as Djyang Secars, a term that has yet to be interpreted. The second word, 'secar' is reminiscent of the Indian term 'sikar' or hunter.
xii Thom, 'Conquest', p. 308.


Games Day: the sides of the tent wheezed and puffed like an ancient bronchial lung bewitched by the sheer clarity of the highland air, and before long their modesty drove the marchers to its midst as they sought to protect themselves from a mischievous wind that menacingly whipped their calves as it scuttered the Eilan.

      Those already inside the tent clutched their drams with drawn and clawed fingers: whilst whisky bums an eager and welcome path to man's inner core, the only extremity it tends to reach is the brain -- but after a couple of measures of Cluny, what matters a mere trifle like a cauld pinkie?

On parade at the Gathering: (L to R): Roger and Thomas Macpherson-Ekblom of the Swedish Branch; Chairman Catherine, retiring Chairman Larry Lee; Hon Vice-President Sandy with young Charlie; Hon Vice President Rod Clarke (Virginia USA); Hon Vice President J P Macpherson and other young clansmen.

The Clan Macpherson tent bears no relation to that which a Prince of Persia might occupy, yet a stranger in our midst that day might have thought that just such a person was in our company.

      Andrew Macpherson, former curator of the Museum, had made a surprise visit -- (and, sadly, as it turned out, to be his last to the Gathering: see his obituary in this edition of Creag Dhubh) and was surrounded -- not by peacocks, rugs and silk cushions -- rather by cousins and friends who danced to his very attendance, hung on his every word.

      Amid the clamour and hubble of good cheer, he turned to me and observed, "This is a day when you only ever begin a conversation."

      And how many conversations did I begin that day, both inside and outside the tent? And how many at the Ball and the Ceilidh -- not to mention those at the Kirk, the picnic and Balavil House? The 56th Gathering of the Clan Macpherson abounded with conversations begun, and whenever within earshot of a dram being poured, they all come flooding back.

      I had travelled the 120 miles north from Edinburgh the previous day with Rod Clarke. A year's worth of catching-up behind us, we arrived at the Museum to find Olive, the Curator, tentatively looking after a clutch of local and international visitors.

      Among them was a newly married couple from London by the name of Cattanach -- their object, to visit Clan Country and the museum which the groom's father had so often talked of in the past.




      Driving through Newtonmore and Kingussie, we caught the occasional glimpse of Macpherson tartan. Like the salmon drawn back upstream, members of the Clan were gathering at their family's source.

      Kinsmen and cousins continued to gather the following day as Trustees of the Museum and Members of the Council met to review another year of rich association. On the Friday afternoon, a number of us made the trip to Moy to share in the Clan Chattan Association's celebrations in one of the highland's most tranquil and peaceful lochside locations.

      But a few hours later, tremors of anticipation swept through those assembling for the Clan Ball at Kingussie's Duke of Gordon Hotel: sashes and bow ties adjusted, readjusted and then re-tied; dance steps logically and ponderously re-paced in the head; the musicians' fingers mindlessly and eagerly twitching and plucking for yet intangible melody.

      Sir William and Lady Macpherson of Cluny, and retiring Chairman Larry Lee and his wife Lillas, welcomed members of the Association to the Gathering. And then, with abandon and a passion, the young of limb and heart threw themselves into an evening of furious reels. The tunes still throbbing in their heads, plumes of smoke being blown to the stars, a giant moon guided the dancers to their beds.

      Pending the whim of the wind, the sound of competing pipers can often be heard drifting from the games field at the Eilan towards Newtonmore as members gather for the AGM on the Saturday morning. Although formulaic in its style, the news the AGM engenders from home and afar is always rejuvenating -- news of new members, flourishing branch activity, our annual presence at an astonishing 250 gatherings throughout North America.

      This year, history was made when Catherine was elected the Association's first ever-female chairman. Quoting from the 'Litany for Scotland' cited at this year's Kirking of the Scottish Parliament, she declared, "'This land we love, its mountains, lochs and glens, its fertile fields and flowing streams, its coasts and windy isles, this Scotland is our home. Our folk have travelled far, evolving with the years, blending their varied gifts, learned in many skills, faithful in trust and love." These are sentiments which I think we all believe in, and are some of the reasons why we are here today.'

      The first woman to lead the March at the Gathering, 2003, Chairman Catherine, with Sandy carrying grandson, Charlie.

      With the Chairman's cromag at her side, that pastoral and sturdy symbol of the Chairman's office, Catherine led the Association to the games field in the wake of the Chief and his colour party to the sound of the pipes.

      One of the highlights of the Newtonmore Highland Games is the hill race, and this year bonnets were doffed to two members -- Valerie Macpherson and Donald Mackintosh who pursued the rugged path to the top of Creag Dhubh -- heather, bracken, the river Calder, midges, rock and reputation, all to contend with. They were cheered out by the Clan, and they were cheered home again, red faced and elated.

      During the Museum 'At Home', Museum Committee Chairman Ewen, welcomed friends of the Association and reminded members of the Museum's important role as a part of the local community. The Clan has never sat in isolation and Olive's role in fostering local links has and will continue to be pivotal to the Association's success.

      That evening, the Clan's international dimension came to the fore with the ceilidh: songs, recitation, music and drama. The pipes, Scottish by association and global by renown, were played by musicians from throughout the world. Sunshine Mountain was scaled for a final time by an ever-enthusiastic audience.


      There was a full attendance in the barn-like Kingussie Kirk the following morning where the Minister's theological expositions were interrupted by the Chief when he thoughtfully and helpfully explained the meaning of the Clan's motto.

      In silence, just before the Jubilee Cairn Picnic that lunchtime, a member touchingly left the wedding bouquet belonging to her late son's wife beside the Cairn amidst the enormity, grandeur and humbleness that the site's views evoke.

      Tea and scones, the order of the day after a busy weekend, were offered to members at Balavil House. Stirred on by the Macpherson-Fletcher's ever-generous welcome and hospitality, energies restored, a number of us resolved to climb up to the Iron Age Fort above Laggan the following day. My niece Sarah became weary of the midges and much more so wary of the shy Iron Age folk who still live on the hill. Thirty-six of us from eight different countries made it up to admire the panorama and drama of Clan Country as it swept before us from the summit.

      And if you don't believe that the Iron Age folk still exist, join Sarah on the walk next year and see for yourself.

Bruce J S Macpherson


The Posterity of the Three Brethren

The first edition of this highly successful Short History of the Clan Macpherson was produced in 1966 and since then all the proceeds have gone towards the upkeep of the Clan Museum.

Now, thanks to a generous donation of C2,000 from the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association a 5th edition is being published.

Dr. Alan G. Macpherson has included new material to give a greater appreciation regarding the clan in Diaspora and incorporating recent research on Macpherson place-names and toponyms. He has also included a substantial new section on music associated with the Clan.

An additional paragraph regarding the Clan Association has also been added, and Niagara Herald Extraordinary Gordon Macpherson has taken the opportunity to add a number of new Grants of arms.

This edition, which will be available from the Clan Museum, has been dedicated to the memory of Sheila, Lady Cluny.


By George Macpherson

Scotland is not noted for being barbecue-friendly: the weather is 'unreliable' with a 12-month rainy season. But on Saturday June 14th 2003 it was fine and sunny at Newton Castle, Blairgowrie: perfect for a midday barbecue organised by the Scottish Branch of the clan association. Cluny and Lady Cluny welcomed cousins and clan members on the soft green castle lawns, while Association Treasurer (and IT specialist) Bill of Glenfarg, dressed in a natty chefs stripy apron sweated behind a large, gas-fuelled barbecue, burning the sausages and getting himself gently smoked.

      The two new garden bench seats presented by the clan 'an to their chief and his lady to commemorate their ruby wedding were soon occupied -- as were the array of garden tables and chairs. Underfoot, Jamie and Annie's King Charles spaniel and Hugh and Joyce's miniature white poodle milled about happily with various babies and young children -- all behaving beautifully. It didn't take the children long discover the swing under the large sequoia pine at the edge of the lawns. Impromptu meetings, lightly lubricated with excellent Macpherson claret sprang up, discussing such matters as Creag Dhubh, The March at the forthcoming Gathering, subscriptions and The Ball.

      The castle had been painted a year ago and a favourite white climbing rose had had to be cut back to almost nothing. Lady Cluny was much relieved that it had made a great comeback and was now some l5ft (4.5m) high and was covered with buds. It was apparently going to be Cluny's job to climb ladders to lead the rose back up to its previous dizzying heights. Over lunch, kilts and tartans, as always on these occasions, provoked much interest. The Macpherson hunting tartan is still plainly 'what one wears' for most occasions. The older, the more battered and darned the better, apparently. Bruce's kill was described as 'straight from Culloden -- never washed' by one rude observer, while another talked of 'the chap with a dead cat round his waist', referring to Bruce's ancient wild-cat-trophy sporran.

      Someone else thought both kilt and sporran should be donated to the clan museum before they totally disintegrated. There were, however, some other magnificent kilts being disported, including McGillivray, adding colour to the occasion -- as did one pair of Red Macpherson


trews. Cluny and his team of vice-presidents made everyone very much at home, and Scotland Branch chairman Shelagh Macpherson-Noble popped up periodically as compére -- standing on a chair to remind people to 'come and eat'. Rolls. salad. burgers and various kinds of sausage made a great first course and fresh Scottish strawberries with ice cream followed by coffee, complete the lunch -- with the sun still shining and a cool breeze keeping everyone comfortable. But clansmen, women and children were not left to cogitate. Cluny, having made sure everyone was fed and watered, called the clan to action for the annual egg and spoon race, with heats starting for the under-fives. The eggs were fresh and unboiled and the first scrambling occurred after just five yards, causing howls of dismay and anger from one participant. Parents rallied to comfort retired athletes. Under forties, then under sixty-fives and over sixty-fives competed over various distances, with fierce competition and a certain amount of 'rule bending', with the chairman-elect (Catherine) dismissing protests about her tactics with easy grace. Following the cheers and hilarity, Cluny presented the winner's prize -- a bottle of exotic alcoholic concoction and biscuits for the children, who continued to mill about with the dogs. A more sedate session of clock golf, a lot more gossiping and catching up with old friends; and short sharp clan committee meeting about arrangements for the gathering at Newtonmore in August, completed the afternoon. during which the weather continued to be excellent.

      Cluny who ho ought to have been tired, wasn't -- and went to introduce visitors to the great Shire horses grazing in the Castle meadow but not before he had sung the funeral march as a team of bearers carried the now-cool barbecue in stately procession back to the garage, while other stout (viz: robust - no physical insults intended) clansmen disassembled tables and sun-shades.


What about your local Clan Macpherson Association branch ? Had an event you can write about? The Editor would welcome a report from you about it, with good pictures.






The Jubilee Gathering 2006

The year 2006 marks the 60th Jubilee of the Clan Macpherson Association and in recognition of this important milestone in our history, a spectacular Gathering is being organised.

The Fiery Cross
With so many members based overseas, it is hoped that both the importance of the Jubilee and its early announcement will entice more newcomers to Badenoch than ever before. Old-comers will, of course, also be welcomed and they will recognise that at the Jubilee's core are all the traditional elements of a Gathering -- the Ball and Ceilidh, the March, Games and Museum At Home.

      But don't be surprised if you find some of the key events have evolved and changed to match our determination to celebrate the Jubilee with vigour, style and volume.

      Our 50th Jubilee attracted over 500 Macphersons from a dozen different countries, making it the largest gathering of any single clan in 250 years. It is envisaged that the 2006 will attract as many -- if not more.

Call to Arms
      If you have any suggestions about the format of the Gathering, we would welcome your input. Likewise, if you would like to assist -- from Scotland or elsewhere -- with its organisation, we would be delighted to hear from you. As with the organisation of the 50th Jubilee, the 60th Will depend on the goodwill and energy of international focal points, branch chairmen, branch committees and individual members spreading the word. Unlike the 50th Jubilee, the organisation of the 60th will be aided by the internet, our website and email.

Logo Competition
      Registration forms, car stickers, flyers and posters will be 'downloadabte' -- and to adorn all these items, and any commemorative souvenirs we produce, members are invited to submit logos that will capture the spirit of the 60th Jubilee, the Association itself, and be used to 'brand' the Gathering:

      A unique association of ancient and historic origin, fuelled by a spirit of kinship and shared determination to keep vibrant that which we know, that which our forebears knew, and that which future generations might recognise as relevant and like us hold dear. Logos, along with a biography of the designer, should be sent to us by 1st April 2004, after which they will be presented to all members via the website. Members can then vote for their favourite logo by email, their choice being unveiled at the August Gathering in 2004.

      I was proud to serve on the organising committee that helped deliver the 50th Jubilee and am thrilled to have been asked to head up the 60th Jubilee Committee. I look forward to preparing for this event's success and feel enthusiastic at the prospect of again tapping into our members' undoubted pools of talent, energy and enthusiasm to create another unique event.

Start now!
      Please supply us with your logos, your ideas about the format of the Gathering, and your support in organising the event. Most of all, we would ask you to start making your preparations to travel to Badenoch to celebrate the Clan Macpherson Association's 60th Jubilee. It promises to be a Really Big Dhubh.

Contact.-- Bruce J S Macpherson + 44 (0)7793 816 382 bjsmacpherson@hotmail.com


by Archy Macpherson MA, LLB, NP, FSA (Scot)
(Gilleasbuig Lachlainn 'Illeasbuig)

Prior to the disaster of Culloden we were entirely Gaelic speaking, which is as good a reason as any to give us the incentive to master our own language. There is a Gaelic proverb... "Is e'n t-ionnsachadh òg an t-ionnsachadh bòidheach The early learning is the pretty learning".       It has been found that the best way of becoming equally able and fluent in Gaelic as in English is, in one's pre-school days to enjoy attending a playgroup in the language (known as a croileagan), then, at the age of five and onwards to attend a school where the teaching is conducted through Gaelic. But, as like as not, the reader will be somewhat older than that: in that case it is worthwhile to attend classes or courses in the language find out what books and other learning aids are available.

      Fortunately, there exists an association that one can join, which is dedicated to promoting the language and would be pleased to advise you on any of these things. Not only your nearest croile-agan, Gaelic medium school but also your nearest evening class, immersion course in the language or learning course at a distance. They will also be pleased to advise on books, dictionaries and all language learning aids. They also publish a bilingual quarterly Cothrom available free to members. They are CLI, North Tower, The Castle, Inverness IV2 3EE Scotland; website: www.cli.org.uk; ;_telephone: +44(0)1463 226710 and email: cIi@cIi.org.uk

      The Bible Society of Scotland, 7 Hampton Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 2 5XU has just published a bilingual New Testament. And for the first time in history a Gaelic Language Bill will be going before the Scottish Parliament this year, 2004. It has produced feelings of joy mixed with apprehension lest it does not come up to expectations. It is bilingual, interesting and worth reading. It is obtainable from: Area 1 - A, The Gaelic Unit, Sport, Art & Culture, SEED, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, tel: 0131 244 4942 fax 0131 244 0353 or by emailing gaelicbill@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

      Dream Direct advertises a course in their brochure on Scots Gaelic (EU 9063) suitable for most computers and it can be used with a microphone (CO 1234) which is available at half price if ordered with the course. It is offered to learners as a means of gaining an authentic native speaker's accent in the language. The writer has never tried this course but was assured by a learner that it was worthwhile but cannot say further. Dream Direct can be contacted by post at Dream Direct Granville Way, Bicester OX26 4Tf England; by phone +44 (0)870 787 4411 or by Internet www.dreamdirect.co.uk or fax +44 (0)870 787 4730.

      Back copies of Creag Dhubh under this column also carry past hints, and are mostly still obtainable from The Clan Macpherson Museum, Newtonmore PH20 1DE, United Kingdom. All language learning is an adventure by which one can pull back an invisible curtain on a hidden caste of mind. It is both a joy and a deliberate but acceptable discipline.

Sin agad e there you have it.


To Brian and Ann Marie Murton at Kalamunda, Western Australia on I 11 April 2002, a son Jonathon William, first grandchild for Life Member Bill Macpherson and Sylvia, of Busselton, Western Australia.

To Tommy and Sarah Macpherson of Plymouth, Devon, UK, a daughter Elizabeth Ann, on 2nd February 2003, a first grand-daughter for Tommy and Margaret Macpherson of Campbeltown, Argyll.

To Fraser and Penny Macpherson, Plymouth, Devon, UK, a daughter, Georgia Frances Margaret, on 28th March 2003, a second grand-daughter for Tommy and Margaret Macpherson of Campbeltown, Argyll.



trod that particular carpet. The bride carried a stunning bouquet of roses backed with white heather sent by Sandy and Catherine Macpherson of Scotland carrying on another family tradition. The groom and the other men sported boutonnieres of white heather and thistles picked from the couple's farm. After dinner and many toasts, the cake was cut with the bride's grandfather's antique Scottish dirk. An evening of much merriment followed.


Alastair Gordon Macpherson (1920-2002) was born on 18 September 1920 in Claygate Surrey. He was the youngest of the four children of Ewen Macpherson (1891) who became Chief Charity Commissioner in 1932. Alastair went to Trinity College from Haileybury, where his grandfather had been a housemaster. His law degree course was curtailed by the war; he went to Sandhurst and was later commissioned into The Gordon Highlanders, In 1942 he was seconded to The King's African Rifles in Uganda where, based at Jinja, he had to master Swahili to train the Ugandan troops. At the end of the war he was invited to become the Dean of students at the University College of Makerere, where he was responsible for the welfare of all students, and for maintaining contact with past members of the College through the Makerere College Union Society. He taught History and English, and was a keen participant in all sports and several societies. He was known to Makerere people all over East Africa and was welcomed wherever he went. After a visitor to Makerere was unable to entertain an African colleague to tea in a Kampala Hotel he drew the attention of the Governor to this and subsequently the hotels became open to all races. In 1952 Alastair moved to Kenya where he trained forecourt staff for Caltex during the dangerous years of Mau Mau. Later he moved to South Africa and saw several career changes, including entry into advertising. In 1960 the family moved back to the UK where Alastair continued in advertising and also started a prolific involvement in charity work. His support was given to Haileybury, as a Governor, to The Haileybury Society, The Jairos Jiri Association, The Rochester Harare Link Committee, The Russian Orthodox Church Purchase Appeal, local Schools' Appeal and Parent Committees, The Uganda Kobs and The Friends of Rochester Cathedral. Through his efforts the lives of many were enhanced. In retirement he delighted in his appointment as Haileybury Archivist. In 1999 he became fully retired and enjoyed more leisure and time with the family before illness intervened. He died on 8 January 2002.

Olive Anne Elena Macpherson died peacefully at Strathcarron Hospice on Tuesday November 5th 2002. Olive was the daughter of the late Andrew Gibson and Ethel Macpherson, of Edinburgh. She was the sister of Alan G Macpherson of Newfoundland, Canada.

William 'Grant' McPherson (1916-2002) passed away quietly on the 30th of December 2002, after a lengthy illness, at he age of 86, in Mississauga, Ontario. He was a life member and a strong supporter of the Clan McPherson Association in Canada. He was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on the 29th of December 1916 into a large railway family with seven sisters and one brother. He spent a great deal of his formative years in North Bay, Ontario quietly honing his athletic skills and being a big brother to his siblings in all its meanings. During World War II, Grant served in the RCAF at home and abroad, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader. He seldom spoke of his time in the Service, but when asked, he'd describe his experience as "if it had a prop.... I've flown it." For this, he was awarded the Air Force Cross. After the war, Grant joined the Royal Bank of Canada, although some thought his abilities on the hockey rink made him National Hockey League material. The steady work in the banking world allowed Grant to shine long and strong for forty three years, one of slightly more than 90 employees to have worked in excess of forty years for the bank. His business acumen was quickly recognised by his peers and he spent time in Montreal, Cornwall, Toronto, and the Bahamas. He believed in the small business man and the strength of our young people. He eventually retired from the bank in a senior position in 1978. Those who knew him closely in the bank referred to him as honest, fair, and loyal. When asked by one of his sons if he was proud of him and thought his son was successful in his life so far, he answered "why, have you become a farmer?" He never forgot his roots. He believed in natural justice, not just the law of the land, often bristling with noticeable anger at the misuse of power and authority. He often said there were always two sides to a story, and your word was your bond. Grant was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth 'Bette' McPherson and is survived by Ian McPherson and his wife Janey, Robert 'Mac' McPherson and his son Hamish. His love, quiet support and leadership by example will be missed by many: thanks Dad.


George Kerr Macpherson (1926-2003) died suddenly and unexpectedly on 1st February 2003. George will be recalled by many members when at the Jubilee Gathering in 1996 he led the singing at the Cairn Ceremony of Psalm 121 -'I to the hills will lift mine eyes', and sang 'The Massacre of Macpherson' at the Ceilidh.

      George was born on the 13th October 1926 in Glasgow, the youngest of three boys in a very talented musical family. Even though blessed with a fine singing voice, George as a young boy was more interested in football, and although he never played for the first team, Glasgow Rangers took him on. At about the age of 17, his parents sent him to his Uncle Ian Macpherson (a professional singer and teacher of music). His uncle spotted the potential in George and gave him singing lessons. George's voice developed to the point where he was winning first prize at music festivals and he represented Scotland at the Wigmore Hall, London, where he won first prize.

      At this point George had to choose between music and football, and he chose the former. At the age of twenty he left Glasgow for London, having won a competitive scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied for four years. On leaving the Academy he spent two years at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, later Wexford Festival and the Welsh National Opera. He gave many recitals for the BBC and appeared in TV operas. For thirty years he sang with the Royal Opera Company, Covent Garden, where his roles included the Baron in La Traviata, Kothner in Die Meistersinger and Angelotti in Tosca.

      His first wife Shirley sadly died in 1985 after a long illness. In 1992, after retiring from the Opera House, he moved to Manchester where he met and subsequently married Joan. Joan and his two daughters from his first marriage, Jacqueline and Karen and five grandchildren, survive him, Our sympathies go to his family.

Christina McLeod Morley, a life member of the Clan Macpherson Association, died peacefully on the 28th February 2003 in her 101st year. She was always very proud of her Macpherson ancestry. Her father's mother, Lucy Jane Innes (nee Macpherson), was the youngest of the 13 children of Dr Hugh Macpherson, sub-principal of Kings College, Aberdeen in the first half of the 19th century. Dr Hugh's branch of the family came from Skye and was connected with the MacLeods of Dunvegan and Talisker. In 1925 she married Frank V. Morley, author and publisher; he was a founding director of the London publishing firm of Faber & Faber. They were first cousins on their mothers' side. She survived him for more than 20 years. She is survived by two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

George Malcolm McPherson (1920-2003) of "Huntly and Erskine", Bundalong, near Yarrawonga, Victoria, died on the 19" April 2003. He was born at Boomahnoomoonah on the 17 th May 19 10 to Alexander Ewen McPherson and Emily Louise Abbot, and was the last surviving grandchild of Malcolm McPherson and May Campbell who emigrated from Kingussie to Australia in 1858, leaving family roots at Nuide, Dell of Killihuntly and Uvie. George received his education at Geelong College where lie excelled at football and cricket. He farmed with his father and elder brother Eric, and was a member of the 8th Light Horse Regiment (Yarrawonga Troop) in the 1930s, and at the outbreak of war in 1939 joined the Artillery Corps of the 2/14 Field Regiment, 8th Division. He witnessed the first air raids on Darwin, and later saw action in New Guinea and New Britain, the Australian Trust territories, between 1942 and 1945. Post-war he substituted for his ailing father as Councillor for the Yarrawonga shire till 1948, was a founding member of the Bundalong Rural Fire Brigade (34 years service), and was an Elder, Secretary and Treasurer for the Buridalong Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Eve (in. 1948) raised a family of two daughters and two sons. Condolences go to Eve, Beth, Malcolm, Stuart and Heather and their families.

Judge Sandy MacPherson (1916-2003) died on June 4th 2003 in Canada. He had retired in 1981, leaving the bench because, as he told author Jack Batten "I'd been playing God long enough." He moved to Vancouver Island in 1984 to indulge his passion in photography and gardening. His obituary in the Canadian The Globe and Mail on July 5, 2003 takes a whole page relates in some detail a famous case that he heard towards the end of his distinguished career -- the trial of Colin Thatcher, a one-time provincial cabinet minister, for the murder of his ex-wife JoAnn Wilson. After the case Judge MacPherson used to sleep with a gun handy.

      Murdoch Alexander (Sandy) MacPherson< was born on November 15th 1916 in Swift Current, Sask., son of a soldier. At 16, Sandy was sent to Dalhousie University where he took his first degree before studying law at the University of Saskatchewan. He was called to the bar in 1939 but joined the army on the outbreak of World War II. After the D-Day invasion, relates The Globe and Mail, he and two other soldiers in a jeep became the first Allied soldiers to drive into the French coastal resort town of Le Touquet. An 18--


year-old blonde named Dorothy Pearl Borutti, the daughter of an hotelier who had recently died, ran up to the Jeep and kissed the surprised captain in celebration of her liberation. The couple were married by the town's mayor on April 2nd 1945. In 1961 Sandy was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench. Dorothy and his son, two daughters and seven grandchildren survive him. During the trial of Colin Thatcher (who was due for release from prison in 2003) Judge MacPherson had said from the bench: "I hope that somewhere there is a heaven for exhausted and confused judges. I am absolutely beside myself in this case!"

Andrew Macpherson (1928-2003) was born in Aberarder Farm Laggan, in the very same room as had been the Rev Thomas Sinton, the well known local author of works like 'The Poetry of Badenoch'. When only three months old Andrew's family moved to Strathossian in Corrour where he was to spend a happy childhood. Corrour being on the West Highland Line may have been the inspiration for Andrew to serve his time on the railway, a career that took him to Africa in 1953 and where he was to remain for the next 30 years. His return to Scotland coincided with a vacancy for curator of the Clan Museum and Andrew, ably supported by his late wife Nancy, was a natural choice for the position. He was to become a well-known face to many members of the Clan Association during his long period as Curator from 1984 to 2000. A raconteur and a person who enjoyed the social occasion, it was a great delight to see him at the museum 'at home' during this year's Clan Gathering. After a long illness, Andrew died on the 28th September 2003. Our sympathies go to his son Donald, daughter Fiona, grandson Trevor and all of his extended family.

Christina Macpherson (October 1908-2003). We are all sad to note the passing on 6th July 2003 of Chris Macpherson who was a loyal and good friend of the Clan Macpherson Association. She was membership Registrar for many years. Miss Macpherson as she was respectfully known to the end, led a quiet and exemplary life of service as a teacher and loyal friend. She was born in Kingussie, the youngest of a family of six, on 21 st October 1908. Her father was Donald Macpherson (1869-1951) and her mother Elizabeth Munro from Auldeam, Dingwall. Her older siblings were William born 1897 who died at sea in 1918), Murdo, Elizabeth (1905-1924 who died of tuberculosis), Duncan and Ella. Ella, Chris's close companion and friend, was also a teacher and well respected in Badenoch. Chris, who was named after her grandmother, Christine Urquhart, learned Gaelic from her mother and maintained her interest in Gaelic history, literature and art. She was educated in Kingussie, and continued her studies at the University of Edinburgh. She graduated as MA in 1929, and undertook teacher training at Moray House. Her first teaching appointment was at Duthil school, near Cambridge, to which she cycled daily from Kingussie. She then took up her first permanent teaching post at Kyle Stockinish, Harris, prior to her appointment, a year before World War II broke out, to Kingussie Secondary and Primary School (which at that time occupied the same site). Throughout her career and after her retirement, Chris continued to contribute to the life of the Clan Macpherson Association, not only as Registrar but also to the organisation of clan events, welcoming members to the annual ceilidh, dinner and dance. Many will recall her dignified presence presiding over the entrance at the Duke of Gordon Hotel as she collected tickets. She maintained a quiet and supportive interest not only in Clan events but also in the welfare of local children, be it nurturing new young teachers and educational researchers, or encouraging the skills of shinty players. She took part in local dramatic productions and was an active member of the Badenoch Field Club. Miss Macpherson, who towards the end of her life spent some time in Abbeyfield House and at St Vincent's Hospital, has been described as a 'very private person'. She is warmly remembered by her close and life long friend Cath (Cumming) Hunter and Cath's four children who regarded her affectionately as 'Aunt Chris', as well as by her many friends and her relatives. 'These include Mrs Carol Lee (Chris's grand-niece) and her siblings, Linda, Moira and Billy who very generously donated many of her books and records to the Clan Macpherson Museum.

Alexander Dugalt Galt (1913-2003). The New Zealand branch reports Alex's death on 26 October 2003 aged 90. His mother was a Macpherson. He lived at Winton, in Southland and Athole Macpherson says: "He was the youngest of a family very loyal to the Clan Macpherson Association and a much respected gentleman, whose mother was a Macpherson of Skye, in Scotland. A retired fanner, Alex had been a widower some years and was stilt coping admirably in his own home. He had all the splendid qualities of his Scottish forebears and provided for his family the best opportunities in education and for musical abilities. He was prominent in his church and still a choir member. He was a true gentleman and we shall greatly miss him at our gatherings."


Ronald Hall Macpherson (1921-2003) died on 16 November 2003 aged 82 years. Ron's father Daniel was the first Chairman of the Southland branch of Clan Macpherson and was proud to be carrying on family service to the clan. It was fitting that he was in the chair when we had our fiftieth celebrations. He represented us well and was always ready to help whatever the occasion. lie had the good Scots qualities of steadfastness and consideration of others and gave wise counsel. June and Ron were generous of their time and of making their home available for meetings. Ron served with Otago Mounted Rifles in WW2 and had many interests in farming, bowling and bridge. He also had a beautiful garden. He will be greatly missed and we were privileged to have known him. Our condolences go to June and Ron's family.

Margaret MacPherson (1909-2003). Margaret was widely known throughout the Highlands of Scotland as 'The First Lady of Crofting'. Her father, Dr Norman Maclean was a kirk minister in the centre of Edinburgh at the prestigious church of St Cuthbert's. She is quoted in the Herald as relating, some 10 years ago: "We were comfortably off, we had three servants and it was a rich parish. We were privileged people. My father put my two sisters through medicine studies without grants. I went to private school and thought state schools were just beneath contempt." Later, she blotted her copybook with her father by falling in love with Duncan MacPherson, a seaman from Skye, her father's old home. She was disowned by her family for marrying 'below her station'. He never spoke to her again. Margaret and Duncan moved to Skye -- and many years of hardship. They had seven sons and farmed, moving to Torvaig, near Portree. She became a Liberal Party county counsellor and then changed to the Labour Party, becoming Secretary of the Skye branch, and later an activist for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, joining the Skye Peace Centre. She firmly believed in nationalising estates of any more than 3,000 acres. She wrote six books, starting with The Shinty Boy, which was published in 1963. Her funeral was held at Portree Church of Scotland on 24 October, 2003.


Dear Editor,
Does anyone know anything about these people, after whom some Australian landmarks were named?

JOHN MURRAY McPHERSON, a Canadian nephew of Sir John Murray, co-founder of the Christmas Island Phosphate Company. He was probably born between 1870 and 1880, and was island Manager at Christmas Island for a very few years from 1902. Christmas Island is in the northeast Indian Ocean, about 500km south of Jakarta and was a classic tropical desert island until mined for phosphate in the 19" century. On its north-west coast is McPherson Point, named after John Murray McPherson.

MURRAY RICHARDSON McPHERSON, born 1877 Casterton and died 1958 Canterbury, in Victoria, Australia. His parents were Murray Bennett McPherson and Maria Eliza Antill both born in Victoria, and his grandparents were William McPherson and Maria Bennett Clarke, who were married in Tasmania, Australia in 1845. Murray Richardson McPherson was a postal official in Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields in the 1890s. He married Lilian Consodine Worcester and his children were Murray Worcester McPherson and Jean Laver McPherson, both born about 1900.

McPherson Point, named after Murray Richardson McPherson, is a hill between the Gibson and Great Victoria Deserts of Westem Australia, near the track from Laverton to Alice Springs. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has run into these names before. And thanks to Alan G Macpherson of Canada for finding some of Murray McPherson's ancestors for me.

Yours sincerely

Bill Macpherson 21 Averil Street, Busselton, WA 6280, Anstralia


Dear Editor,


I have been urged to write to you about our family's sporting successes for the year 2003. Firstly, I have won several trophies at our Bowling Club (Fairfield): Winner: Seniors Triples, Winner Club Pairs, Winner Charlie Mitchell Trophy -- in competition with bowlers from all clubs who were shipbuilders at the Govan Shipyard in Glasgow. My son Malcolm MacPherson has won the Shipyards Golf Championship and has the cup at home, He also plays football and was in the team who won the Scottish Famous Grouse Trophy at Skybury Stadium, Airdrie's ground. Then my grandson James MacPherson, son of Malcolm, was named 'Player of the Year' at Hillwood Boys Club and followed that up by being signed on 'Pro Youth' by Glasgow Rangers. He trains at Murray Park. I do hope this lets our cousins from around the world know


that we as MacPhersons are sporting and friendly and always try to be winners. Find enclosed, a poem I wrote of the Clan: Yours,

Mr C MacPherson, 9/B.I. Calfhill Rd, Pollok, Glasgow G53, Scotland


Dear Editor,

During a holiday in Scotland in mid August my wife and I spent an afternoon at the Macpherson Museum armed with a wee bit of information and an obituary which was published in the Barberton, Transvaal newspaper in 1936.

      We were trying to trace our roots back from my late grandfather William Patrick Grant Macpherson who was born on the 20 July 1850 in Badenoch, Invernesshire, Scotland.

      He was educated at Inverness and St. Andrews. About 1868 he went to the southern States of America with his elder brother before returning to Brechin, Forfarshire. On 25/12/1871 he sailed for South Africa accompanied by his brother, E.D. Macpherson went to Kimberley and after trying his hand in the diamond fields joined the Kimberley Horse, rising from corporal to Captain until his resignation on 18/12/1880 (E.D. Macpherson, being Captain and Adjutant, the O.C. being Sir Stanley Lowe.).

      After farming for a while in Kimberley district he left for the eastern Transvaal where he settled with his family in 1896 and live there till his death at Barberton on 24/10/1936. Unfortunately the name of his father and mother are not known by us, therefore we are appealing to anyone who may be able to assist us in tracing our roots we will be extremely pleased. Yours sincerely,

     William S Macpherson. PO Box 908408, Montana 0151, Republic of South Africa


Dear Editor,

ST. ANDREWS DAY -- MCPHERSON WEDDING Our eldest son, Glen Athol McPherson was married to Adina Searle on the Scottish National Day, 30th November, 2002 in the beautiful seaside town of Kingscliff in New South Wales. It was a fine day and both our sons, looked quite resplendent in their Modem Hunting Tartan kilts with Prince Charlie jackets and all the accoutrements. It is now 37 years since our own marriage and it brought back so many wonderful memories. Some years ago we visited the Clan Museum at Newtonmore in Scotland and realised that our families have been intertwined over the millennia. We saw the beautiful epergne, a gift of clansmen and friends to "Old Cluny" the 20th Chief of the Clan and Lady Cluny Sarah Justina Davidson on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, 20 December 1882. It suddenly dawned on us that we also are a McPherson and a Davison, so the tradition continues. We (Neil and Lynn) are looking forward to notching up 50 years of happiness together and we wish all the young McPhersons just setting out in life together, the same happiness that we and our predecessors have obviously shared.

Neil and Lynn McPherson 38 Tambourah Drive Benowa, Gold Coast Qld 4217, Australia

Neil email.- mcpcomp@winshop.com.au; Lynn email.- lynnmcp@winshop.com.au