THE RALLY, 1955
  THE RALLY, 1956   28

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No. 8     SOUTHLAND NUMBER     1956



Hon. President
Chief of the Clan.

Hon. Vice-Presidents
Lt.-Col. A. K. MACPHERSON of Pitmain. M.V.O.,
Senior Chieftain of the Clan
25 Castle Road, Oatlands Park, Weybridge, Surrey

Rt. Hon. Lord MACPHERSON of Drumochter,
Fairstead, Great Warley, Brentwood, Essex.

High Larch, Iver Heath, Bucks.



Lt.-Col. Allan I. Macpherson, Bachelor Wing Flat,
Poltalloch, Kilmartin, Argyll

HUGH MACPHERSON, F.S.A Scot, Balnagarrow, Glebe Road, Cramond

Hon. Secretary
A. F. MACPHERSON, W.S., 16 Castle Street, Edinburgh,

Hon. Treasurer
ALLAN G. MACPHERSON, Tigh-Tiorail, 32 Crown Drive, Inverness

Editor of the Clan Annual
ALAN G. MACPHERSON, M.A., F.R.M.S., "Knockalla,"
38 Glendevon Road, Edinburgh, 12



BADENOCH JOHN S. MACPHERSON, Dukesville, Kingussie
NORTH OF SCOTLANDMrs M. MACWILLIAM "Tarnash," Diriebught Road, Inverness

E. GRAHAM MCPHERSON Herdhuir Cottage, Westhill, Culloden
EAST OF SCOTLAND D. STEWART MACPHERSON, M.B., F.R.C.S.22 Learmonth Crescent, Edinburgh, 4.

Miss M.E.H.D. MACPHERSON41 Dovecot Road, Edinburgh, 12.

HAMISH MACPHERSON,1356 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, S.1,
The Cleave, Bideford, Devon.

J. GORDON MACPHERSON,Normans, Great Warley, Brentwood, Essex.
CANADA- Lt. Col. CLUNY MACPHERSON, C.M.C., M.D. St. John's, Newfoundland

O.B.E., F.R.S.A., F.R.G.S.,
80 Ontario Avenue, Ottawa.

E.M. MACPHERSON,64 Louisa St, Invercargill.
U.S.A. Mrs ALBERTA MACPHERSON-COSTELLO371 East 21st St, Brooklyn, NY.

Registrar and Curator . . . . . . . . . . . . . NORMAN L. MACPHERSON, Clan Macpherson House, Newtonmore

Clan Piper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANGUS MACPHERSON, Invershin.

Junior Piper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DONALD MACPHERSON, Clydebank

Hon. Auditor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KENNETH N. McPHERSON, C.A., Edinburgh.



      WITH the 1956 issue Creag Dhubh embarks upon a new policy, which is intended to stimulate interest in the Overseas Branches. We have invited the Southland Branch of New Zealand, the oldest of the overseas branches and the only one which resembles the Scottish branches in its activities, to join in a new venture -- the devotion of an entire issue to contributions from one branch. With the help of a number of members and the enthusiasm of their secretary, Mr Edward M. Macpherson of Invercargill, the experiment was made. We therefore have great pleasure in introducing the Southland Number of Creag Dhubh to the Association, and trust that members will write to tell how it has been received. The occasion has been marked by a change in the cover of the magazine from the green of the Green Banner to a grey-black-and-red motif representing the Hunting Tartan, the Breacan Glas.

      The two islands of New Zealand have been colonised twice in the human history of the world: first by the Maoris from Polynesia at a time when the Scottish and English peoples were just emerging from barbarism into the light of feudal nationhood; and secondly when these two nations began landing settlers in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Among the settlers were many Scots, and in Southland Province at the southern end of South Island these were predominantly Highland in origin. The exploration and settlement of Southland began in 1857 with the founding of the Scots town of Invercargill, the provincial capital. The colonists moved steadily inland in the next twenty-years, along the beautiful straths that lead up to the foothills of the Southern Alps, and among them were Macpherson families from the peninsulas of Kintyre in Argyllshire and Sleat in Skye. In 1863 Archibald McPherson from Kilkenzie on the west coast of Kintyre landed to establish the Macphersons of Dalmore-Pahia; in 1872 Duncan Macpherson from Southend, Kintyre, founded the Macphersons of Waianiwa, now a most numerous clan; and in 1879 Duncan Macpherson from Teangue in Sleat of Skye landed, after fifteen years in Australia, to be the founder of the Macphersons of Hokonui. There were other clansmen in the movement, too, and these farming folk are today the backbone of the Southland Branch of the Clan Association which holds, through them, an honoured place in the social life of the Highland province of Southland.

      New Zealand was a pioneer country when these families landed. To-day it is one of the most progressive nations within the British Commonwealth. Over ninety per cent. of its exports are still agricultural, but about a quarter of the working population is now in industry, which is a growing factor in the economy. Invercargill in proportion to its size has taken a greater part in this expansion than


the larger towns of Dunedin and Christchurch in South Island. At the same time the rural landscape has been transformed by hard work and hard thinking: nearly all the butter and cheese production goes to Britain, and the same is true for over one-third of a million tons of meat, while about half of the million-bales wool crop reaches the mother countries. The transformation which has made this possible is described in this issue of Creag Dhubh by members of the three Macpherson families mentioned above, led by octogenarian Dugald of Waianiwa, who went to the pioneer country when he was nine months old.

      The Editor has received from Eddie Macpherson, the Southland secretary, a file of newspaper cuttings from the Southland Times, which shows that the Southland Branch gets much more newspaper publicity for its activities than any of the Scottish branches. Indeed, the first meeting of the branch in 1947 inspired a fellow Scot to launch out into scurrilous verse, which Creag Dhubh has pleasure in reproducing under the title "The Southland Gathering." The development of a local press throughout Southland has been closely connected with the advance of agriculture to the high level now reached. One of the pioneers in this field was Ewen Greville Macpherson, founder of the Wyndham Farmer, and father of the now-scattered Macphersons of Wyndham. The story of this family is told in our pages by his son, Douglas of Wyndham, who still resides there.

Scots are notorious for cultivating traditions; they are also interested in and respectful of other peoples' traditions. It will have been observed that many of the Southland settlements have retained their lovely Maori names, although the Polynesian people who landed on the "Long White Cloud" in A.D. 1120 have largely disappeared from the South Island. So far as Scots tradition is concerned, some idea of the strength of this can be got from extracts which we are publishing from a letter from Malcolm McPherson of Timaru in Canterbury Province. Malcolm comes of a family from Inverallan, Invernessshire, which emigrated to New Zealand in 1911 via County Mayo in the west of Ireland.

Creag Dhubh ! Canada
      Having introduced the Southland Branch, led by the triumvirate of John Macpherson of Fairlight, Allan Macpherson of Springhills and Eddie Macpherson of Invercargill, we now send the slogan of the clan to Canada. The 1957 issue is to be a Canadian Number, and we understand that Colonel Rivers- Macpherson, despite his seventy-odd years, has already carried the "fiery cross" on its first lap, inviting the Canadian Macphersons to rise, not with their claymores and dirks, but with their pencils and pen-knives. He himself has already contributed an article on "The Gaelic in Canada." We want articles dealing with family history like those in the present number, articles on Macphersons famous in Canadian history and articles on the Canadian way of life as lived by our own clansmen


from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to British Columbia. " Early settler" photographs of families or homesteads will be welcome as illustrations. An anonymous donor in Canada has offered a handsome " cairngorm " plaid brooch for the contribution which we judge the best.

      In Creag Dhubh, No. 6 (1954), our correspondent "Achaduchil" urged overseas clansfolk to give us information about places that bear our name, and so complete the record of our clan's part in the exploration and founding of the Commonwealth countries. Southland has been unable to tell us anything about the surveyor after whom Macpherson Peak in the Southern Alps was named. Can Canadian clansmen tell us about Fort Macpherson in the Arctic Circle near the mouth of the Mackenzie River? How did MacPherson Station, Ontario, on the Canadian National Railway get its name? What is the story behind McPherson's settlement on Vancouver Island just north of Victoria? And who was the explorer after whom Lake McPherson in the eastern Yukon was called?

      It is hoped that in the course of the next year or two Creag Dhubh will publish a body of material which will form part of the written history of the clan, and which will provide a permanent record of the genealogy and history of our overseas clansfolk. This will be clan history at a new level, the simple record of humble folk who are proud of their origin. Such families have a new beginning in their new land, be it New Zealand, Canada, Australia or Jamaica. Their family history goes back to a definite date when they crossed the seas. Their earlier history lies buried in the dusty archives and overgrown graveyards of some corner of Scotland. The first object, therefore, of a family history should be to penetrate this time-space barrier and discover and record one fact, a birth, a death, or a marriage in the Auld Country. Careful and persistent questioning of the older generation is usually required, and it will be found that the womenfolk have the best memory and fund of information for this kind of thing. The Southland Number has begun the story and that pawky old philosopher, Dugald Macpherson of Waianiwa, has shown the way. Can Canadian clansmen follow? CREAG DHUBH! CANADA!


      In the middle of the nineteenth century my grandfather, Dugald Macpherson, kept the Southend Post Office, eight miles south of Campbeltown in Argyllshire. Five of his family grew up, Daniel, Dugald, John, Annabelle and Duncan. My father, Duncan, was married in the year 1870 to Jeanie Ronald, daughter of Andrew Ronald, who owned Pennysearach Farm, Southend. William Ronald, a brother of my mother, came to New Zealand and settled in the Waianiwa (a Maori name) district about the year 1856 and was one of the very early settlers in Southland. When I was about nine months old, my mother and father decided to emigrate and sailed in the James Nicol Fleming for New Zealand and settled on a seventy-acre section in the Waianiwa district in the year 1872.

      Southland at that time was a vast undeveloped plain, roughly speaking extending fifty miles north by fifty miles east, containing 1,600,000 acres, its southern boundary being the sea. It was fringed on the other boundaries by mountains. Six rivers and streams flow in a southerly direction to the sea, making a series of river valleys and undulating terrace lands between, and nature provided all round the foothills of the great plain huge quantities of lime and coal.

      Naturally, being such a young child when my parents came to this country, I cannot remember the first happenings on this small section and my first recollections are of a little bare-footed boy running along dusty tracks to play with neighbouring children amongst flax and tussocks. There were no definite roads at that time and the tracks were formed by bullock and horse teams, which selected the firmest and driest ridges for their purpose. Some time in the late seventies a public school was established at Waianiwa and I started my education at its opening. The whole Macpherson family of five boys and three girls had their primary education at this school and my wife was teaching there prior to my marrying her.

      The seventy-acre section my father secured was, like the choice of the early settlers, river flat land chosen on account of its potential high fertility, the only ground fit for cultivation being the dry patches along the creek banks, the balance being bog land. It took a lot of work ditching, draining and fencing over many years to bring this land to production. To supplement the income of the farm, my father, to get sufficient income to feed and clothe the family, did contract work on the roads and railways which were being constructed at that time.

      Being the eldest of our family, it fell to my lot both to help in the house and also out on the farm, and it was quite a few years before it was self-supporting. When I reached the age of seventeen (1888), my second-oldest brother, Andrew, had left school and it became necessary to purchase more land, so a section containing 285 acres of practically undeveloped land two and a half miles away was purchased. Development work continued arduously on these 355 acres, and twelve years


later, when two more brothers had left school, another 365 acres, half a mile away from the second section, were purchased and improvements started on it (1900).

      With all the cultivation being done with horses, there was a big demand for chaff and oats for horse feed, both in the North Island and Australia, and as meat, wool and dairy produce did not command payable prices, a big area on each farm was devoted to growing oats. The work involved in sowing and harvesting 150 acres of that crop was considerable: up to 2,000 sacks were threshed some years. Then, too, ryegrass; was sometimes harvested. Store wethers were purchased and fattened in the winter time on turnips and swedes, fifty or sixty acres of which were thinned by hoe. The system of farming has changed entirely now. No oats are grown on these farms. Instead, a small acreage of wheat is grown and harvested with the header, and the paddocks, sown out with certified pasture seeds and top-dressed annually, graze six ewes and their lambs to the acre for as long as thirty years before it becomes necessary to renew them.

      When the youngest brother had left school, another 305 acres adjacent to the second section were purchased and I, along with my second brother, took over the 365-acre section, leaving 660 acres for my other three brothers. By the beginning of the century my father was getting past manual labour, and acted more as a supervisor of the team. After the termination of the First World War and the safe return of three brothers, another 330 acres were purchased. Sufficient land bad now been acquired to enable each to own his own farm. The original seventy acres had been sold prior to the outbreak of the war.

      Many years ago the founders of the family passed on before they received the fruition of their labours as pioneers, but left a good foundation for the second generation to build on. This second generation are now in the sear and yellow leaf and have retired from active service in the development of this new country. This process is now in the third generation of Macphersons.

      We still speak of Scotland as home, this being well grounded into us as children when we listened to the gathering of the neighbours at a weekly ceilidh and from their conversation learnt the Scottish tongue, the customs of Scotland, the cities and villages from which they came and we even knew the names of all the farms about Southend and Campbeltown.

      As I sit writing this, I am listening to the old Scots songs and the skirl of the pipes on the radio and I could not be in a greater Scottish atmosphere if I was sitting in the "Wee Hoose" where I was born. My father never got back to see the old country, but my mother, in her declining years, visited her relations there with her son Andrew. My other three brothers have been there and at the moment my brother Jim is there for the second time. Dan, the youngest brother, has been home several times and in one of his visits represented the Southland Branch at one of the Annual Clan Gatherings in Scotland. Recently,


he and his wife set out through America on another visit but, unfortunately, his wife took ill in America and they had to return to New Zealand. In this sketch of the family it will be noticed that none of them became the Premier of New Zealand or even became a member of Parliament, but I will say this that they were all in the van as agriculturists and did their part in bringing this undeveloped country to the beautiful and fertile province that I now behold. I have described this part of New Zealand as I found it, as a young emigrant boy and what I now behold in a period of over eighty years. The old dusty clay and mud tracks, the old bullock and horse wagons and shank's pony are gone and in their place are thousands of miles of metal and tar-sealed roads along which travel at high speed the modern motor car and passenger and transport buses.

      The province is now a plain of high-grade pastures on which depasture millions of Romney Cross ewes with lambs at foot, the progeny thereof being transported in huge lorries to the freezing works to be processed and shipped to Britain. The whole province has become a colony of settlers on 200-300-acre farms, which they have brought up to a high pitch of production.

      The old early-date wooden houses are disappearing rapidly and in their place attractive brick homes are being erected, with every modern convenience. These set in beautiful shrubberies, lawns and flower gardens, with well-kept shelter hedges, just finish the picture, as part of a farm covered with dark green pasture, studded with six white ewes and their lambs to the acre, which gives a thrill to an old agriculturist accustomed to viewing such scenes, and this all in the scope of eighty years.

      This province is simply surging ahead and a tour through it gives an impression of great productivity and great prosperity. Now that the plains have been brought to this high scale of production, progress is still being maintained, the marginal lands of the foothills being developed, and high and steep hill country is being top-dressed from the air, thus increasing its carrying capacity considerably.

      It is really a wonderful achievement that has been attained in a man's lifetime, and I have some satisfaction in stating that as a family and a clan we can claim some credit for participating in the transformation that has taken place on this virgin piece of the earth's surface.


      The venture of our Editor in encouraging the writing of family histories has made for some interesting research and serves the double purpose of answering the persistent questions of a young son who is interested in "who lived on our farm before we did." The farm "Dalmore," now a portion of the original property, is located at Pahia, Southland, on the south coast of the South Island of New Zealand, some forty miles from Invercargill, and was originally settled by my grandfather, Archibald McPherson.

      Archibald was one of a family of eight children, six boys and two girls, and was born at Kilkinzie, Argyllshire, Scotland, in 1842, and educated at Oatfields School. After leaving school he became a shepherd and spent some years in that occupation. Of the family, he and a brother, Donald, came to New Zealand, and another brother emigrated to the United States. Archibald arrived in New Zealand in 1863 by the ship Helenslea, and it makes us realise how different was an ocean-going trip in those days of sailing-vessels, when we hear the story of how the Helenslea almost came to grief on the rocks of Solander Island, which is in view of the present family home at Pahia, as it is said they could have thrown a stone ashore as the wind drove them past.

      Archibald was engaged for some years in stockdroving in Southland and he had many interesting experiences to tell of those early days. He used to relate how, while loading cattle on to the ships at Bluff, there was no greater nuisance than "Joey" Ward with his Shanghai (or slingshot). This same "Joey" Ward later became Prime Minister of New Zealand.

      In 1873, in partnership with Mr W. B. Kingswell, Archibald McPherson bought the Pahia run. Moving from Heddon Bush to Pahia. proved quite an experience as the cattle had to be driven some fifty miles, and, in order to cross, the Pourakino River had to be swum across at the "Narrows."

      When the land was broken up for closer settlement, Archibald was one of the pioneer settlers of Pahla, purchasing 600 acres in 1875, which he named "Dalmore." He conducted mixed farming and also carried on a butchery business in Orepuki. In 1877 he married Sarah Crow of Riverton and they had three sons and two daughters, the latter two (now Mrs J. Dudfield of Pahia and Mrs R. Ryan of Invercargill), being members of the Clan Association.

      The farm "Dalmore" was eventually taken over by the writer's father, Alexander James, who married Fanny Fryer of Pahia in 1914, and had two sons, Donald and Alexander, and three daughters. His period of ownership saw many changes: the replacement of the original ginal home in 1928, and the greatly increased producing capacity of the farm with the introduction of the Rabbit Boards to eliminate the pest that had become a national menace, and the introduction of top dressing


as a normal farming practice. Methods of top dressing have continued to improve until aerial top dressing is a common and interesting sight in this country. Another change was the rapid mechanisation of farming, accelerated by the labour shortage during and after the war, until to-day a draught horse is a rare sight, and milking and sheering are done almost exclusively by electricity.

      On the death of Alexander James in 1940, the farm was divided between his two sons, Donald's section being a sheep farm, Alexander's mainly dairy, the fifty-cow herd supplying in, the local cheese factory, where he is following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by serving oil the Board of' Directors. His father served the district for a number of years as a Justice of the Peace and the writer was later appointed to this position. His grandfather, Archibald, was for five years a member of the Wallace County Council. So his election to this body in 1952 also followed family tradition.

      After three generations in this country, with its roots buried deep at "Dalmore," the family still clings to the land of its origin and the forming of a branch in Southland has served to strengthen the ties of clanship.



(From the Southland Times, 28th June 1947, reporting the inaugural meeting of the Branch.)

                                             Macpherson had a gathering
                                            (I do not mean a boil)
                                             But still it was a gathering
                                             Tae mak' a mon recoil
                                             They met just like their ancestors
                                             Tae portion out the spoil.

                                             They talked in foreign languages
                                             Of Burns and men like Wallace;
                                             I don't of course mean Edgar, but
                                             Of someone less frivollous --
                                             The mon who bled wi' ither Scots
                                             Wi' whusky for his solace.

                                             Their bagpipes shrieked amang the hills
                                             Sae terrible and piercin';
                                             Said they: "Ta kilt ye wad at times
                                             In warlike like temper see us in --
                                             Nae Sassenach has yet been born
                                             Ta beat ta pold Macfierson."



      Duncan Macpherson -- whose father was a factor or grieve at Ord Estate, Isle of Skye, in whose honour was written the Gaelic song, well known in the Highlands, "The Grieve of Ord " -- was born on 24th February 1824, at Teangue in the Parish of Sleat. On the 2nd of January 1855, at the age of thirty-one years, he married twenty-three-year-old Margaret Macdonald of Tokavaig, the ceremony being conducted by the Reverend John Forbes, Minister of the Parish. From this marriage there were seven children, five of whom were born in Sleat: Alexander (1857), Dugald (1863), Marion (1864), and two other sons who died in infancy.

      In 1865 the family, like many another at that time, decided to try their fortunes in the Colonies and sailed from Plymouth for Australia, landing at Port Adelaide in South Australia. A holding was acquired at Saltia, a small settlement inland from Port Augusta at the entrance to the Pichi Richi Pass. Their first home in the new country was a very crude one. The dwelling was merely a framework covered with split stringy bark palings with a clay floor. Openings in the walls, with scrim or sacking covers, served for windows. Nevertheless, they were more fortunate in this respect than a neighbouring settler who had contrived to turn the butt of a large burnt-out tree into a temporary abode for his family. Their first effort was to grow potatoes. The season was a good one and crops were prolific, but consequently the market was poor and practically the whole crop had to be destroyed. They also kept sheep, but with little success. Many of them strayed and were lost in the salt-like beds peculiar to those parts, while others became blinded by "sandy blight," an infection prevalent in that very sandy country.

      Travel at this time was, of course, by horseback or coach, while the heavier haulage was accomplished by teams of bullocks with heavy wagons. There the family saw the first camels that were brought into the country for transporting into the interior and their Arab drivers. Later they saw traction engines which were intended for the same purpose. They did not prove successful, however, as watering places were few and far between. It was not long before they ran into trouble. They became bogged in loose sand and ran out of water, and before they could be freed, were completely buried in drifting sand, where they lay derelict for many years.

      The second daughter, Christina, was born at Saltia in 1867. Farming conditions showed no promise of improvement, and besides, snakes were too numerous for the safety of the children. Wild and unfriendly aboriginals roamed the country and were a source of constant anxiety, especially as most of the men of the settlement were often absent from their homes, sometimes for weeks at a time, some of them being engaged in driving bullock teams, while others, during the dry season, drove their flocks from place to place, seeking such grass as was


available. This often took them far from their homes. In search of better farming conditions and more congenial surroundings, the family moved to Victoria in the year 1870 and settled at Littlehampton. There they took up land so heavily covered with standing timber that before a homestead could be built, the necessary area had to be felled and cleared. Bushrangers were not uncommon in this region at this time, and although the family never actually saw any of them, a police patrol on one occasion passed through their property in pursuit of members of the famous Kelly Gang. A cousin of the notorious Ned Kelly was employed on the Macpherson farm. He was a young man of good character and was well thought of by the family. There, in 1871, Margaret, the youngest of the family, was born. Life here was naturally still fraught with hardships compared with th present-day standards, but steady progress was made with clearing and cultivating the land until the year 1879. This, the family's last year in Australia, was a good one on the farm. Crops yielded well and prices were satisfactory.

      They had from time to time been receiving very favourable reports of New Zealand from friends who had settled there and decided to make yet another move while the opportunity offered, this time establishing themselves at Hokonui in Southland, about twenty miles south-east of the town of Invercargill. The new farm consisted of some 900 acres of red tussock country and the conversion of this heavy, sour and undrained land to the smiling pastures that it is to-day, through sheer hard toil, is typical of what has been accomplished by the pioneers and their descendants throughout New Zealand. It was here that Duncan Macpherson died in 1890 at the age of sixty-six. His widow survived him by thirty years, passing away in 1924 at the age of ninety-two. All but a small part of the original holding at Hokonui is still held to-day by sons of Margaret, the youngest daughter, who married John Galt in 1898. Before her marriage she was a school teacher by profession. She died in 1932, and of her family of five daughters and three sons, all of whom are living, Mrs W. Baird of Benmore, Southland, Miss M. Galt and Alick Galt are members of the Clan Association. John Galt, now in his eighty-fourth year, is also a member.

      Christina, the second youngest of the family, married John McRae, a farmer of Hokonui. She died in 1907. Her two daughters and four sons are all living. Mrs M. McRae of Wyndham, Southland, the cider daughter, is a member of the Association. Margaret, the youngest of the family, is, at the time of writing, on a holiday trip to Scotland.

           Marion, the older daughter, who died in 1936, was married in 1883 to Donald McConochie, a farmer of Forest Hill, Southland. They eventually settled in the North Island of New Zealand, where their surviving family of four sons and four daughters are widely scattered.

      The younger son, Dugald, married Flora Campbell of Melbourne in 1909. They had a family of four daughters. Dugald died in 1918


and his wife now lives in Wellington with her daughter Kitty, who is a teacher at a local school. Up to last year, when they moved from Southland, they were both members of the Clan Association. The other daughters are married and reside in various parts of the country.

      On the death of Duncan Macpherson, his two sons, Alexander and Dugald, continued farming at Hokonui for about ten years, when Alexander became a Government land valuer. Eventually the two brothers became interested in sawmilling and were for many years actively engaged in this industry and were pioneers in establishing the export to Australia of the timber known as Southland Beech.

      Alexander, the first-born, married Anne McKinnon of Fairfax, Southland, in 1895. She, too, came from Ord in Skye, having been born there five years after Alexander Macpherson and his parents left for Australia. She arrived in New Zealand with her parents in 1874 when she was three years old. Alexander died in 1945 and Mrs Macpherson, now in her eighty-fifth year, is a keen member of the Association and thoroughly enjoys our meetings. They have three sons and two daughters. Two of her sons, Donald and Hector, are also members. Donald has two daughters, while Hector has one son, Alexander Burness Macpherson, the only one to carry on the family name. This son, through his mother, is a direct descendant of Gilbert, brother of Robert Burns. At the age of fourteen he is a member of the Clan Association.


      Mr Allan Macpherson of Springhills near Winton is a farmer. A member of the School Committee and Chairman of the Rabbit Board, he is very highly respected in the Springhills district. Allan went to Southland about twenty years ago from Waihoa Forks near Waimate, South Canterbury, about twenty miles from Timaru. He is descended from a Macpherson who was a schoolmaster in Morar, Western Inverness-shire, and who settled originally at Waihoa Forks and kept a hotel there. The second generation, including Allan Macpherson of Clyde Street, live in Timaru, and the third generation is scattered all over New Zealand. It includes Allan of Springhills and Dr Donald Gregory Macpherson of Waimate.

" Chief "
      Mr John Patterson Macpherson of Fairlight Station, as an elder of the clan, is recognised as " Chief " of the Southland Branch, a nominal honour which is accorded him without disrespect to Cluny. John went to Fairlight Station, which lies deep in the Southland hills




near the southern end of the big lake Wakatipu and beneath Eyre Peak, in 1922 as manager for the Macgregors of Fairlight. He acquired the station from the Macgregors in 1948. His parents emigrated to another part of New Zealand from Inverness in 1880, and from them he has inherited his love for Scotland.

      Fairlight Station, a picture of which appears in this issue, was built by a Captain Howell, a whaler from Riverton, in 1862. It is a fourteen-roomed house built of timber, which was grown and pit-sawn on the property. Despite its ninety years of continuous occupation it is in first-class order, and here live John's family of three daughters and four sons.

Honorary Secretary
      Mr Edward MacTavish Macpherson of Invercargill is the youngest of a family of ten, the eldest of whom is Lord Tom Macpherson of Drumochter, first Chairman of the Clan Association, and now one of our vice-presidents. Eddie Macpherson emigrated to New Zealand in 1922. He is married and has one daughter and resides in Invercargill, where he is employed by the Public Works Department of New Zealand. He has been secretary of the Southland Branch since its inception in 1947, and has been indefatigable in leading his committee to organise the many activities of the branch, as his reports to Creag Dhubh over the years have shown.

      He served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in North Africa and other battlefields during the Second World War. He was taken prisoner by the Italians in North Africa with a "cobber," but they later escaped and took their two Italian guards with them.


(Extracts from a letter from MALCOLM J. MCPHERSON, Timaru)
The Piping Tradition
      ". . . At Easter 1954 I went on a trip through Mackenzie Country, and coming into Fairlie, the main town, was something I'll never forget. Oak trees given by a certain Mrs Grant, lined each side of the street, and they were all out in their autumn tints. Around the shopping area were people wearing tam-o'-shanters, while pipers were playing in nooks and alleyways so that one felt that here was a little piece of Scotland in our midst. These people were going to take part in the Annual Mackenzie Highland Show.       "In South Canterbury, which is about fifty by a hundred miles in area, there are no less than eight pipe bands: Mackenzie Highland, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Geraldine, Waimate, Timaru Highland, Timaru Ladies' and Timaru Boys' High School. I used to play the


pipes in the last, and have heard of half a dozen other Macphersons who could play the pipes. Our pipe band would go to a place like Temuka, enter in the street march, and later the drum major's display and quickstep in the domain, finishing with a grand march and perhaps a taste of haggis."

The Poaching Tradition
      For nine years now our family has gone out to the Opiki River for its summer holidays. We swam several times a day, caught cockabullies with bent pins and speared eels at night in the lagoon, walked for miles up the riverbed and poached fish up the backwaters. In the summer and autumn we went out in the car to swim and poach enough fish for ourselves. As regards illegal fishing I'm afraid our family has been catching fish this way for a few generations back!" (Note to the water-bailies of South Canterbury. Our correspondent assures us that the whole family is now fully licensed to carry the rod. Editor.)

The Outdoor Working Tradition
      In the May (autumn) holidays I go potato picking, earning as much as � 10/- a day. The August (winter) holidays are useless for earning money. . . . I have spent two summer holidays working up in the high country. My cobber and I worked as rabbiters in the Hakataramea Valley, getting �, 15/- wages for walking around all day under a blazing January sun and gassing rabbits. We saved over �a week. We rode horses to work, shot wallabies and lived on mutton. Quite a few of the sheeprun owners are of Highland descent: Menzies, Munros, Murray&; Grants, Burnetts, Urquharts and Rosses."

The Gaelic Tradition
      At a monthly meeting of the Dunedin Gaelic Society there were no less than four members of the clan there. Jock Hudson, whose mother was a McClerich and who wears the Hunting Macpherson kilt, plays the pipes regularly at these functions and takes a leading part in the Gaelic Choir. He spent four years at a piping college in Scotland and learnt Gaelic.

      "Another regular attender was a Malcolm McPherson from Oban, Argyllshire. The third clansman was a recent immigrant from the vicinity of Edinburgh."

The Mountain Tradition
      My father and uncles used to go deer-stalking in the Southern Alps, which culminate in peaks between 8,000 and 12,000 feet. The scenery is very inspiring up among these mountains, the slopes of which are covered with beech forest. Below the forest is bush, composed of manuka, a heath twelve feet in height; rimu, a sort of weeping pine; and often a red blaze of rata, a plant like mistletoe."



      The country of the Clan Grant lies immediately below that of the Macphersons in the valley of the Spey. In 1645, during the Marquis of Montrose's Rising, the Macphersons of Badenoch signed a Bond of Friendship with the Grants of Strathspey at Muckrach Castle. Later in the same century James Grant of Auchernich said, "For full 400 years that we have been their nighest neigbbours there has not been as much as one slaughter betwixt the M'phersons and us, or us and them, which is a kind of wonder and not to be matched in the whole Kingdom." It is not to be wondered at therefore that by the eighteenth century there were many Macphersons living among the Grants, and among them was the writer's ancestor, Archibald McPherson in Clachaig, a township on the edge of the Abernethy Forest and some four miles from Auchernich. In 1798 Archibald was a private in the Western Abernethy Armed Association, a local militia raised to help defeat the threatened invasion of Napoleon.

      Archibald McPherson in Clachaig married Isbel Grant, in Garlin, on the 24th November 1803, and a son James was born on the 29th June 1811.1 On the 4th January 1855 James married Margaret McPherson, daughter of Allan McPherson in Balnuichk (a township overlooking Muckrach Castle), otherwise called West Finlarigg, and his wife Helen Daw. At Balnuichk was born James and Margaret's family, including two sons, Archibald and Alexander, the latter in 1866. The following year, 1867, the entire family emigrated to County Mayo, Ireland. James McPherson became manager of the 32,000-acre sheeprun of Shaffry or Sheefry in the Erriff valley. The estate was sold, however, and Archibald and at least one other brother joined the Royal Irish Constabulary. The family survived despite threats from the local Irish, although on one occasion Alexander, the youngest son, was almost killed by the "Moonlighters." Archibald's family settled in Ballymena, Antrlm, and one of his sons, Allan, later visited New Zealand to study agricultural methods.

      Alexander McPherson became a gamekeeper, and after spending some time wandering about -- including a nine-month spell at Tullochgorum on the Spey, returned to Ireland to settle at Enniscoe as head keeper with his wife Agnes Davidson, all Irish-born girl of Lowland Scots extraction. At Enniscoe, near Crossmolina in County Mayo, their family of three daughters and four soils wre born.

      In 1911 Alexander emigrated for the second time, taking his family round the world to New Zealand, where they settled in Timaru. They had come from a land of poverty, ignorance and no opportunity in life to a land of wide opportunities. Alexander found work carting wood, working in wool sheds, erecting fences in the country, and finally acting as a night watchman for the Farmers' Co-operative, the largest firm in Timaru. A church elder for many years, his family was brought up in the old Highland tradition of the family service,

1 Archibald was one of ten crofters in Clachaig where he paid a rent of �, 5s. 4d. in 1817. He was one of the few tenants not in arrears of rent that year.


where one reads the Bible, another takes a prayer, and so on. Alexander was also a keen and excellent fisherman, who made his own gear, and was on the Opiki and Tengawai Rivers at the age of seventy-five. His family still own a hut on the Opiki River called "Enniscoe," after the place which they came from in Ireland. (Alexander was still going strong at the age of eighty-eight when this article was received.- Editor.)

      Alexander McPherson and Agnes Davidson's family are:
      I. Alison, married, with four children and ten grandchildren, most of whom live in and around Timaru.

      II. Phemie, married, living in Geraldine, twenty miles from Timaru, with three married children and four grandchildren.

      III. James Grant McPherson, carpenter at Ashburton, MidCanterbury, with two sons.
            (1) John McPherson, post office linesman at Ashburton, with two children.
            (2) James McPherson, in partnership on a piecart.

      IV. David Andrew Mcpherson, a supervisor in a dye-works in Timaru, formerly a motor cycle mechanic, with six children.
            (1) Alexander Peter McPherson, an electrician at present in North Island at a hydro-electric scheme.
            (2) Colin McPherson, signaller in the Royal Navy on H.M.S. Kiwi.
            (3) Fay McPherson, a jeweller's assistant.
            (4) Margaret McPherson,
            (5) Jean and
            (6) Iain, all at home.

      V. William John McPherson, a stereotypist and gardener and a well-known amateur long-distance runner and boxer during the 1920s and 1930s; a keen angler like his father. Has four children'.
            (1) Malcolm John McPherson (the writer), a school teacher, harrier, piper, rugby footballer and churchworker.
            (2) Janet McPherson, a shorthand typist in Timaru, Highland dancer and skier.
            (3) Helen and
            (4) Donald.

      VI. Alexander Cluny McPherson, a post office supervisor in Christchurch; he possesses a sporran reputed to have been one worn by Cluny of the 'Forty-Five, and given to him by John McDonnell, who claimed to be a descendant of the chief; has three daughters.
            (1) Helen, a school teacher in Christchurch, a keen hiker and mountaineer.
            (2) Jill, a student teacher, a National Council of Churches youth delegate for Australia.
            (3) Jennifer, a Highland dancer.

      VII. Margaret, married, no family; the first woman to walk through Homer Tunnel near Milford in Fiordland.

      From the a above account of Alexander McPherson's family, it is clear that his sons and grandsons are contributing to a fair


cross-section of New Zealand life, and are maintaining the name into the next generation. They are, however, by no means the only clansmen in Canterbury province. In fact, Macphersons were among the first settlers in Canterbury, as the following list shows:
      1861. Alexander Macpherson was overseer at Mt. Peel sheepstation; he was a brother-in-law of the MacDonalds of Orari.
      1866. James Drummond Macpherson was owner of Woodstock in North Canterbury till he sold out in 1869.
      1868. Lachlan Ian Macpherson was manager of Mt. Fourpeaks sheep-station, where he remained for many years.
      1868. Grant McPherson was manager at Raukapuka station, South Canterbury in Mackenzie country; named after a Highland sheep-stealer who used to drive his ill-gotten wealth through a pass on to the tussock grass plain. Clayton sheep-station was once owned by a Macpherson.

A Caithness Family
      In 1870 Alexander McPherson, a Caithness man, came out to New Zealand with two brothers. To-day there are many descendants of these men in the South Canterbury country. Alexander was at first and for a number of years the overseer on Waikakahi. In 1890 he took up a holding of 2,000 acres some twelve miles inland from Timaru near the foot-hills on a lease-in-perpetuity basis. He had eight sons and six daughters, and a grandson now possesses the farm.

      One of the second generation from these brothers was Cuthbert McPherson. Cuthbert was a saddler to trade, and rather a character. On one occasion he forgot which of his customers had bought a horse cover from him, so he billed all his recent customers, several of whom unsuspectingly paid up. A soldier of the Salvation Army, he nevertheless could, and did, use his fists when called upon. Neil McPherson of Timaru, a retired farmer, who was a member of the Clan Association and who died recently, was another of this generation.

      Of the third generation Alexander Cuthbert McPherson of Dunedin is foreman at the Napier Motors (Ford) works there. He was a schoolboy boxing champion at Timaru, and is a brass band leader and a fine singer. Donald McPherson, B.SC., is one of the players in New Zealand's top provincial rugby team, Canterbury, the holders of the Ranfurly Cup.

An Ardnamurchan Family
      In 1864 three brothers, Allan, Hugh and Duncan McPherson, came out to New Zealand from Ardnamurchan in Inverness-shire. Allan settled as a farmer at Dunsandel, Canterbury, where one descendant, Alexander McPherson, still owns the inn. Of Allan's other descendants Keith McPherson transmutes between Christchurch (where he works) and Dunsandel, and John McPherson lives in Christchurch.


      Hugh and Duncan made their way to Levell's sheep-station, Canterbury, and from there Duncan went to try his fortune by prospecting for gold on the west coast. In this he was unsuccessful and he returned to join Hugh, who had meantime obtained employment with runholders, the McLean brothers, who owned Morven Hills station, many miles above the town of Cromwell in Central Otago. After several years Hugh started business on his own, putting two punts on the Clutha River, one at Albertown and another at Lindis further downstream. Hugh managed the Albertown punt, Duncan the Lindis one. They were only working a few months when the "big flood" of 1878 carried away the Albertown punt.

      After this disappointment Hugh acquired land up the Matukituki Valley, at the foot of Mount Aspiring, west of Lake Wanaka. They started with cattle and sheep, but eventually ran a few cattle and worked a small area of land. After fifteen years in this remote spot, deep in the Southern Alps, Hugh was drowned as he returned from a trip to Pembroke, a tragedy which illustrates perils of pioneering life and which dogged the later history of this family. He fell asleep in his dray and his horses followed the well-known route, little realising that in a recent flood the river had broken into and washed away part of the track. In the darkness they went over a steep bank, the dray turned over and Hugh was drowned in his sleep. Mrs McPherson lived on the farm for several years after this with the help of her husband's brother Duncan, but was eventually persuaded to return to the lower levels, where she died soon after. There were no descendants.

      The homestead at the foot of Mount Aspiring remained uninhabited for a few years, save for the stray visits of travellers such as the Morelands who were there in 1908. But shortly after that another member of the Ardnamurchan family came to settle at Aspiring station.

      About 1899 Duncan McPherson, a nephew of the three emigrants of 1864, came out to New Zealand and established a home for his wife and family a few miles up the West Branch, nearly opposite the Wishbone Falls. This was the hospitable home that was found and so much appreciated by Miss Moreland and her brother Transome when they visited the district in 1908. In her book Through South Westland Miss Moreland gives a vivid impression of the remote outpost: "The ground was strong and barren, and in many places tumbled boulders and tree-trunks give us plenty to do to get the horses over. Then we saw signs of cultivation -- tiny enclosures of starved oats and hay, a potato patch, and then a bit of road leading past an old byre and a yard to a little cottage on a green slope. A path led to the door through a plot enclosed by a rude fence, and a few flowers showed an attempt at a garden."

      Besides running a large number of cattle and a few sheep Duncan was engaged part-time on Government roadmaking. He was often away from home for a fortnight at a time. His wife, meantime, had


to see to the whole education of her five children herself, and it speaks well for this courageous woman that one of her daughters later became a school teacher. Isolation and the ever-present threat of the great river pressed upon her consciousness, however, for her son was born there when she was totally alone, and one of her daughters had been drowned in a nearby stream. The main river was dangerous and often unfordable for days or weeks at a time. A year or two after the Morelands' visit the McPhersons abandoned the Wishbone homestead, and moved down to the old house on the site of the Mount Aspiring homestead which had been the home of Duncan's uncle, Hugh McPherson, as related above. There, though still cut off from civilisation by the river, they were not in such close and terrifying contact with it. The sojourn there, however, ended in further tragedy. In 1919, when returning home from voting in the December elections, Mrs McPherson was drowned in the river which she had always regarded with such fear. The family soon moved down from Mount Aspiring, and some time later Duncan McPherson also lost his life, in a train accident in South Otago.

      To return to the three brothers who emigrated in 1864, the third brother, Duncan, had a family of three daughters and two sons, all but one of whom are still living in South Otago. The sons are
      I. John Duncan McPherson (b. 1883), of Hakataramea. Unmarried. John was a rabbiter and sheep-musterer, and used to play the pipes.
     II. Hugh Douglas McPherson, a tractor-man on Mount Pisa Station, Central Otago, with two daughters and a son John, a builder at Gore.

One of Duncan McPherson's daughters, the late Mrs Maud Fogarty, was one of the most active members behind the Otago Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association. She was also a strong supporter of the Dunedin Ladies' Pipe Band, in honour of which the band wears the red clan tartan.



      Twenty-five miles east of Invercargill, the main business centre of Southland, lies the thriving township of Wyndham; and it was here over a hundred years ago that a sturdy band of Scottish settlers made their home. To-day their foresight and industry in carving homes for themselves and their families out of the bush, tussock and flax-covered virgin land is to be seen in the countless sheep and dairy farms that form the background of this prosperous township of some 800 residents.

[New Zealand flax is a different form of plant life than that used to produce linen. -- RM]       Among the first settlers a hundred years ago were the Andersons of Mokoreta and Dr J. A. R. Menzies of Dunalister." Then followed the Fyffes, the Laidlaws, the Nobles of "Cluny," the Beanges, the Milnes of "Thistledale," the McKays of "Ardock," the Rankins of "Hawthornden," the Hunters of "Woodside" and a host of other Scots, all of whom were sons of the soil.

      At first many of these holdings were of an extensive area, but with the influx of new settlers it was only a matter of time till they were subdivided to meet their needs. This meant that the town of Wyndham got a great boost and businesses of all descriptions sprang up. It was not until 1895, however, that the need for a newspaper arose, and it was here that Ewen Grevelle Macpherson established The Wyndham Farmer, a bi-weekly newspaper that continued under the control of the Macpherson family until February 1955 -- a period of sixty years when the writer, who was the only member of the family of ten to follow in his father's footsteps as a journalist, sold out. Throughout his thirty-seven years' residence in Wyndham my late father, in addition to carrying out the strenuous duties of a country journalist, always found time to take part in the civil and social activities of the town. An accomplished pianist, his services were always at the disposal of vocalists. He was also a conductor of more than ordinary ability and at various times was conductor of Wyndham Presbyterian Choir, the Wyndham Choral Society and the Wyndham Male Choir. He was also a foundation member of the Wyndham Pipe Band and Wyndham and District St Andrew's Scottish Society, being accompanist for the latter organisation right up till the time of his death in 1932. He married Frances Barr, a daughter of pioneer settlers of Balclutha, and their home was the centre of the musical section of the town.

      With such a background in family life it was only natural that the various members of the family should give similar service to the town and district in which they were educated right up till the end of the First World War. From then on the members of the family gradually drifted to other parts of New Zealand and Australia. Suffice it to say that most of them were associated with the town's musical and sporting activities up to the time of their departure to seek fresh pastures for their talents. Of the boys, John Barr and Ewen Ronald served overseas in the Second World War, and a sister, Miro, also gave service as a Wren.


      To-day there are only the writer and his daughter Shirley left to carry on the traditions of this branch of the clan in Southland. Needless to say they are both proud to be members of the Southland Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association.


      SIR,--In reply to Achaduchil's query, in the last number of Creag Dhubh, regarding the Standing Stones of Kingussie, Dr Sinton of Dores, in his book, By Loch and Stream, states that the Standing Stones were situated on the eminence now occupied by the Parish Church, formerly called Tom a' Mhoid, or the Mound of the Court.

      Regarding the present whereabouts of the stones, Mr Davidson of Am Fasgadh suggests that here, as elsewhere in the Highlands, they are probably under the present church, being buried and used as part of the foundations.

      It has been said that the famous and ill-fated Black Officer, Captain John Macpherson, built at least some of the stones into his new steadings at Ballachroan. But there may be some confusion here, as he is known to have used some of the stones from the old Priory Church for that purpose, a piece of sacrilege which may have something to do with the legend that he had sold his soul to the devil, who claimed it in the catastrophe at Gaick.                                 "BAILEGUISH."

      SIR, -- With reference to the letter from Achaduchil in the No. 7, 1955, issue of Creag Dhubh, concerning the "Standing Stones of the Rathe of Easter Kingussie," the Standing Stones of Kingussie were situated on the hill now occupied by the Parish Church of St Columba. This hillock was long known in the Gaelic as Tom a' Mhoid, i.e., the Hill of the Court, or of Justice; the Court Mound.

      Possibly the Standing Stones originally formed part of a stone circle and may have belonged to the dim past of the Druid age. In historical times they were associated with the administration of justice and the authority of the State. With the change in social conditions and the considerable building programme that took place in the late eighteenth century, other uses were found, both for the hill and its ancient stones.

      The expression "the Rathe of Easter Kingussie," might signify the plain or strath whereon the Hill of Justice of Kingussie stood.

      The late Rev. Thomas Sinton has some interesting information on the Standing Stones of Kingussie " in By Loch and River, pages 250-251, and in The Poetry of Badenoch, page xxvii.                                                                                                                                                                                               PITMAIN.

      SIR, -- The writer has always understood that names commencing with "Mac" should have a capital letter following, only when what follows is a Christian name, such as Donald or Lauchlan.       If this is correct, the clan name should be spelt with the small 'p' and it could be an additional symbol of unity if all clansmen adopted the same, correct spelling.           "MACMHUIRICH."



      The Annual Rally of the Association was held from the 12th to the 14th August 1955, and was attended by clansmen and women from all the branches in the United Kingdom. The U.S. Branch was represented by Mrs Frances Coates Macpherson (Mrs Donald Hugh Fraser Macpherson) from Riverside, California, who was formally welcomed by the Chairman at the Annual General Meeting.

      The Rally opened on Friday evening with a ceilidh in Newtonmore Village Hall. Attendance was smaller than in former years, owing principally,to the good summer weather which kept the tourist public away and to other functions in Speyside the same evening. Mr Hugh Macpherson, the Vice-Chairman, was "Fear an Tighe" (Man of the House) for the evening, and his first call was to Dugald Campbell of Laggan Bridge, for a selection of pipe tunes. Mr Campbell later obliged with one of his now-famous comic recitations. Mr Tom Cattanach, the bard of Newtonmore, rendered Gaelic and Scots songs, the latter of his own composition; Major Niall Macpherson, M.P., sang Scots songs and repeated his success of previous Rallies with his recital of "Jean Jamieson's Bonnet"; and Mr Gilmour Barr, Director of Music in Glasgow Schools, won his audience with Scots and English songs, and accompanied other artists with his usual wit. Other artists were Mr and Mrs Titterington, Manse of Laggan (Scots and Irish songs); Miss Margaret Barnett, Newtonmore (Gaelic and Scots songs); Miss Ruth Macpherson, Inverness (Gaelic songs); Mrs Cathie Hunter, Pitlochry (Gaelic songs and Scots recitations); and Mr Duncan Macpherson, Inverness (Gaelic songs).

      On Saturday morning the Annual General Meeting of the Association was held in the Village Hall, Newtonmore, with Colonel AllanI I. Macpherson in the Chair. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Curator's reports were read and the Executive Committee was re-elected without change, with Colonel Allan returned to the Chair.

      On Saturday afternoon some sixty members embarked on a tour of part of Badenoch in two buses, one of which had brought a party from Inverness to join us.

      After crossing the river to the east side of the Spey Valley, the route led through the old township of Nuide, part of the estate forfeited by the Chief after the 'Forty-Five, to the ruins of Ruthven Barracks, which were burnt by Charles Edward Stuart's forces in 1746. After viewing them at close quarters the party passed through a succession of old Mackintosh, Macpherson and Shaw townships lying snugly in the Speyside woods, and arrived at Loch an Eilean in the Wood of Rothiemurchus, part of the old natural pine forest that once covered much of the Highlands and from which Kingussie (Cean Giusach: the end of the pinewood) gets its name. Hugh Macpherson piped us to the loch side, and there beneath the heather-clad western edge of the Cairngorms a picnic was enjoyed in perfect conditions. At one point reels were danced on a bluff above the loch, while the


Editor and Major J. E. Macpherson of London rowed Mrs Macpherson of Riverside, California, and a friend across the water to see the Wolf of Badenoch's island stronghold. The afternoon was a great success, and the return journey was made by the Great North Road via Kingussie.

      The same evening a dance was held in the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingussie with its usual success. A party then proceeded to Gaskmore, Laggan, on the invitation of Mrs Boswell-Brown, and continued the ceilidh into "the wee sma' hours."

      The church service in St Columba's, Kingussie, on Sunday morning, was conducted by the Rev. John Macpherson, PH.D., Daviot. The minister was assisted by kilted worshippers in the Macpherson tartan, and this uncommon sight impelled one native of Badenoch to comment in the columns of The Scotsman, urging that this form of worship should be cultivated in other districts of the Highlands. Even the text, he said, "had a lift about it for a Highland clan, 'Yea, I have a goodly heritage' (Psalm xvi, 6)." This was undoubtedly the feeling of all who came and took part in the Rally.


Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
      A new honour was brought to the clan in 1955 when Major Niall M. S. Macpherson, M.A., M.P., sitting for the Dumfriesshire constituency, was made one of the Under-Secretaries of State for Scotland. Major Macpherson has been one of the Scottish Whips in the Commons since 1945, and Chairman of the British Commonwealth Producers' Organisation since 1952. With his new duties Niall has reached the level in his career which his uncle Ian Macpherson, Lord Strathcarron, attained some forty years ago. Ian Macpherson was Under-Secretary of State for War from 1916 to 1919, and was later Minister of Pensions from 1920 to 1922.

      A recent correspondence in the Observer, initiated curiously enough by Mr Malcolm Macpherson, the Opposition member for Stirling and Falkirk, reveals the spectacular mark which Major Niall's family made in national affairs in the previous generation. Malcolm illuminated a point which he was making about the relative costs of entering the Scottish and English Bars with an anecdote about a Highland porter and an English visitor, unaware that he was referring to a fellow clansman. Readers were enlightened by another correspondent who identified the Highlander in the anecdote with Major Niall's grandfather, Mr James Macpherson, J.P., of Newtonmore.

      Mr James Macpherson had a carrier business in Newtonmore, and on one occasion was accosted at the railway station by a warweary Englishman, who had been impressed by the peace and quietness of Badenoch and its people. He suggested that in such surroundings Mr Macpherson would hardly be aware that there was a war raging in


Europe. Whereupon Mr Macpherson quietly informed him that on the contrary he knew a good deal about it, as he had three sons out in the world, one in the Army, one a judge and the third a Cabinet Minister. It is not recorded how the Englishman reacted to this revelation of Highland ability, but the facts were true. Captain J. D. Macpherson was then in the Cameron Highlanders; he now farms the original possession of the family in Glen Banchor behind Newtonmore; Mr Thomas Stewart Macpherson, Major Niall's father, who was knighted in 1933, was judge in the Indian judicature; and Mr Ian Macpherson was a Cabinet Minister in the war-time Government.

      A new honour came to the Clan when His Honour the LieutenantGovernor of Newfoundland assisted by the Chancellor of the Priory of Canada of the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem, invested the Chairman of the Canadian Branch during 1955 with the insignia of a Knight of Justice, following upon his re-classification from Knight of Grace by Her Majesty the Queen, Sovereign Head of the Order. Dr Cluny enjoys the distinction of being one of the only two Canadians so honoured, and is senior Knight of the Order in Canada.

      Mr A. 1. S. Macpherson, the versatile Ex-Chairman of the East of Scotland Branch of the Association, surgeon, cricketer, Highland dancer and piper, has been elected with Sir Compton Mackenzie as honorary president of a new body interested in Highland dancing, the East of Scotland Highland Dancing and Piping Association. At the inaugural meeting on the 20th November 1955 in Edinburgh, Dr Archie stated that the new association would be independent of the Scottish official Board of Highland Dancing, and was intended to encourage dancers to develop and retain the refinements of technique which distinguish the good dancer. Other speakers emphasised that they were interested in re-educating dancers in the intricate steps which were taught forty years ago and which are in danger of being lost, and in the study of the history of the dances.

      At a "sangschaw" held by the Saltire Society in Gladstone's Land in the Royal Mile on the 25th August 1955, Mr William Macpherson, the fiddler, took the place of honour in Neil Gow's chair. From this vantage point he entertained a cross-section of the Edinburgh Festival public, for whom the "sangschaw" had been arranged, to such gems of Scotland's traditional fiddle music as the strathspey "Yester House" and the reel "Ossian's Hall." During his stay in the capital last year, Mr Macpherson became well known to the East of Scotland Branch of the Association, and played at the ceilidh held in the Central Hall in aid of the Clan House Fund.


A Gifted Southland Musician
      A Southland-born young man, gifted musically and scholastically, Mr Victor G. Clement Jones, the only son of Mr and Mrs V. Macpherson Jones, members of the Southland Branch, had the honour in 1952 to win from Otago University "The Fanny Evans Post-Graduate Travelling Scholarship in Music," to study at King's College, Cambridge, England, for his Music Tripos.

      Gifted with exceptional musical talents, Victor, before entering Otago University, Dunedin, at seventeen years of age, had already won laurels in music. At ten years of age under the guidance of his mother, he had the honour to be called to a local exhibition of Trinity College, winning two Exhibitions in one year, one for pianoforte playing and one for musicianship. At thirteen years he gained with distinction his Harmony for the L.R.S.M. Diploma of the Royal Schools of Music, London, and at fifteen years of age his L.R.S.M. Practical Examination Performer's Diploma, gaining distinction and playing his entire programme from memory. At sixteen years he passed with honours in one year his Art of Teaching Higher Rudiments and Harmony paper and the Practical work required for the L.T.C.L. Teacher's Diploma, Trinity College, London. He also did advanced study; musicianship, singing and violin. Mr Jones received his primary education at South School, Invercargill, and his secondary at Southland Boys' High School, where he was proxime accessit in 1947.

      In 1948, at seventeen years -- his first year at Otago University -- he was awarded the Charles Begg Scholarship in music, and also the "Robert Parker Memorial Prize" in music. In 1949 he was awarded the " Jeannie Macandrew Prize " in music. In 1950 he graduated B.A., in 1951 M.A.(Hons.) and 1952 Mus.B.(Hons). His music professor at Otago University was Dr V. E. Galway.

      Mr Jones entered King's College, Cambridge, in October 1953, and finished his six terms in June 1955, passing with honours, his Music Tripos for B.A.(Cantab.).

      His graduation on 24th June 1955 was an honour and distinction for Southland, as Mr Jones is believed to be the first student from the province and from Otago University to graduate in Music � from Cambridge. He enjoyed his studies at King's College very much, and it has been a great privilege to be one of the many students from the Commonwealth studying at this historic college amid such perfect surroundings.

      He made many friends in England, and found people most kind everywhere he travelled, not only in England but in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. He also enjoyed two weeks' holiday in Iceland, where he was delighted to see films of the Queen opening the New Zealand Parliament. He later toured the Continent before returning to New Zealand.




Sir JOHN MACPHERSON, Bart. and the Governor-Generalship of India

      In 1785, when Warren Hastings had left India for good and Macpherson had become Governor-General, we begin to see what he was capable of. His determined and successful handling of the chaotic situation he had inherited, called forth two letters, which have come down to us, from which the following are extracts:
      From Sir John Dalling, Commander-in-Chief at Fort St George, to Lord Sydney, Secretary of State, dated 14th December 1785:--           " On this day the happy news is arrived of Mr Macpherson, the Governor-General, having put in a fair train the liquidation of the whole arrears of the three Presidencies, and that an handsome sum of money is immediately to be despatched, to satisfy the needs of the native troops alone: (the first great point). I may safely say to your Lordship that I am astonished at the magnitude of the various gloomy and distressing objects he hath wholly, or in part, altered the complexion of, by superior abilities and firm perseverance." 1

      From Sir Archibald Campbell, Governor of Madras, to the Governor-General, dated 26th May 1786:--
          " I have now the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your welcome letter . . . from which, and its valuable enclosures, I have derived much instruction and very sincere satisfaction.            Such is the magnitude and importance of that noble plan which you have brought forward for raising the affairs of India to a pitch of greatness far exceeding all former solid ideas of the advantages that could be derived from thence to the mother-country, that I hardly know which most to admire; the magnificence of the system, or the manly liberal ground on which it has been adopted and, I trust, will be pursued."2       It is remarkable that two such high encomiums should have been earned in one short year of office. The post of Governor-General was intended to be held for five years: what would Macpherson not have done if allowed to govern for the remaining four years of his term? There is no doubt he had many of the qualities of a great administrator. As the above and other letters show, he could command the respect, co-operation, and even enthusiasm of his colleagues, as much by the vigour of his action as by the brilliance of his plans-plans which, the reader may remember, he had placed before the Prime Minister, Lord North, seven years before.

      It is not surprising that the Court of Directors of the East India Company formally thanked him for the reforms he had carried out, and for the "reduction in expences." The Minute, dated 12th April 1786, is as follows:--


      That the thanks of this Court be given to John Macpherson Esq., for his meritorious conduct to the Company in the reforms and reductions in the expences of the Government of Bengal during his presiding in the Chair at that Presidency; and for the zeal and abilities he has shown therein."3

      Sir John has been described, by Macaulay and others, as a selfseeker, looking for opportunities for lining his own purse, but the description does not fit. We noted earlier his magnanimous conduct with regard to the miniature painter; on a much larger scale was the public spirit he showed in refusing to take advantage of an awkward political situation, when it was discovered that the appointment of Lord Cornwallis as his successor was illegal. Under the new Act Macpherson held his post direct from the King and under his sign manual: Lord Cornwallis was appointed by the East India Company, which had no power to remove the King's representative. Sir John could have exploited the situation by refusing to step down except on his own terms. Instead, he agreed to hand over power and join in a conspiracy of silence till the necessary powers could be obtained for Lord Cornwallis's actions to be legalised.4

      In the days when he was "a gentleman about Europe," the manysided Sir John found time to devote to the Muses. Some Verses Addressed to the Archduke Charles, which begin:--

                            "Hail to the Prince, whose patriot laurels claim
                            Pre-eminence in Virtue, as in Fame!

were so popular on the Continent that they were translated into Latin, German, Italian and French. Seven versions were published in London in 1807.

      Fans of Dr Johnson may be interested to know that the Rev. Martin Macpherson, minister of Sleat, who took part, with Boswell and the learned Doctor, in the convivialities at Corriechatachain in Skye, during the famous "Tour to the Hebrides," was Sir John's brother, and the lady who so pleased him by singing Gaelic songs, his sister Isabell. Their father, Dr John Macpherson, also minister of Sleat in his time, was the author of Dissertations on the Ancient Caledonians, on which subject he at one time carried on a correspondence with James, the translator of Ossian's poems.

      One is driven to the conclusion that, while he was devoting his talents, and energies to the service of Warren Hastings, his own qualities were being hidden under the proverbial bushel. We can only regret that when he became Governor-General he was not permitted to complete a term of office which, by the use of those unfettered talents, he had so brilliantly begun.

Documents explanatory of the case of Sir John Macpherson, Baronet, as Governor-General of Bengal. London, undated, probably 1790.
1 p. 25.             3 p. 43.
2 p. 46.             4 P. 15.


The Growth of a Tradition

      One of the most cherished possessions of the Clan Association is the Feadan Dhubh or Black Chanter of Clan Chattan, which was purchased with other relics prized by the clan when the contents of Cluny Castle were exposed to public sale in 1943 by the Judicial Factor on the estates of the late Albert Cameron Macpherson of Cluny. It is now to be seen in the museum housed in the Clan Macpherson House at Newtonmore.

      By tradition current in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Black Chanter is associated with the historic clan battle fought on the North Inch of Perth in 1396. There is no reference, however, to pipes or pipers by any of the old chroniclers of the battle: Andrew of Wyntoun, a contemporary historian; Bower and Boece in the fifteenth century; and Bishop Leslie and John Major in the sixteenth century. Wyntoun's Original Chronicle of Scotland was first published and edited in 1795 by David Macpherson, a cousin of Colonel Duncan Macpherson of Cluny, but his copious notes make no mention of the Chanter. Even more significantly there is no reference to the instrument in Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie's Loyall Dissuasive which was written in 1701 to counter Mackintosh claims to represent Clan Chattan. Nor does the Rev. Lachlan Shaw's History of the Province of Moray, written before 1775, mention it.

      The later history of the Chanter is connected with the Clan Grant, the great body of which occupied Strathspey below Badenoch. Its possession by this clan, however, is not mentioned by any of the Grant historians, and Dr I. F. Grant, their most recent writer on the subject, cannot suggest any occasion on which the Chanter might have been borrowed.

      In view of this dearth of early record of the Black Chanter, it is proposed in this article to set out the recent accounts and trace the growth of the literary tradition.

The "Restoration" of the Chanter
      The earliest record of the Black Chanter is found in letters in the Macpherson of Cluny Papers, now in Register House, Edinburgh, once in the Cluny Castle Charter Chest. This correspondence is concerned with the return of the Chanter by Grant of Glenmoriston to Ewan Macpherson of Cluny, the seventeen-year-old Chief, in 1821. The "restoration" was evidently brought about through the good offices of Archibald Fraser of Abertarff, Cluny's cousin and lawyer.


[No. 951, Macpherson of Cluny Papers; Register House, Edinburgh.]
Letter endorsed "20th Oct. 1821 -- Glenmoriston sending the Chaunter of the Macphersons."

                                                                                                           Invermoriston, 20 Oct. 1821.
My Dear Sir,
      The Chaunter of the Pipe has only now come to my hands by some mistake of my Pipers it was detained at Inverness which I regret as I fear Cluny is by this time gone to Edinburgh.
      The Post is impatient to be forward to Fort Augustus which obliges me to conclude this shortly.
      With best wishes, believe me to remain, My dear Sir,

Yours most truly,
                                                                                                           (Sgd.) JAMES MURRAY GRANT.

                                                                                                           Kinlochness, 22nd October 1821.
My Dear Sir,
      Many thanks for having sent the Chaunter. It's arrival will afford much joy to the young Chief of Clan Chattan. I am sure you will be in great favour with Clan Mhuirich on this account. I have sent the Chaunter over. It will just be in time to reach before he leaves the country. With best wishes to Mrs Grant, Believe me, I remain, my dear Sir,
Yours respectfully,
                                                                                                           (Sgd.) ARCH. J. F. FRASER.


Letter endorsed "Oct. 1821 Cluny anent Chaunter."
To Abertarff,
      Restorer of the Chaunter,
                Fort Augustus.
                                                                                                           Catlodge, 23rd Oct. 1821.
My Dear Mr Fraser,
      I am happy to inform you that the Chaunter arrived here last night in the greatest safety. We are quite convinced of its being the true Chaunter owing to the split up the middle which has been handed down as one of its marks. Beannaich sibhse air don chuir n'am ionsuidh [Bless you for sending it to me]. I was exceedingly glad to see an old companion [name indistinct]. I assure you his presence created a great deal of joy. I hope to have the satisfaction of hearing from you frequently in Edinburgh for I shall miss you very much this winter. I am very much hurried as we set off in half an hour but still I must have a tune on the Chaunter before leaving. All here unite with me in kindest love to you.
I remain, My dear Cousin,
               Yours very truly,
                                                                                                           (Sgd.) EWEN MACPHERSON.


      The following points emerge from the correspondence:
           (i) The Chanter was highly prized by the Clan Macpherson.
           (ii) There was a legend among the Macphersons that it could be identified by " the split up the middle."
           (iii) The Chanter had been out or the possession of the clan throughout living memory.
           (iv) Cluny set great personal store by the return of the Chanter, giving Abertariff the title Restorer of the Chanter," commenting on its arrival in the greatest safety," and thanking Abertarff with a Gaelic blessing.            (v) The Chanter was in the custody of Grant of Glenmoriston's piper in 1821.

      The correspondence therefore provides evidence that for some generations prior to 1821 the Chanter had been in the possession of the Grants of Glenmoriston, a sept of the Clan Grant which lived, not in Strathspey, but to the north of the Great Glen. It also proves that the "split up the middle" belongs to the time when it was in the original possession of the Clan Macpherson.

Sir Walter Scott and the Chanter
      The next appearance of the Chanter in the literary record is in Sir Walter Scott's Fair Maid of Perth, published in 1828. The novel includes the Clan Fight on the North Inch at Perth, described with all the vividness of the great novelist's imagination. The bald and condensed accounts of the fight in the writings of the old chroniclers are abandoned amid a wealth of detail for which there is no historical authenticity. Sir Walter introduces among the participants the standard-bearers and pipers of the rival clans, and describes the Clan Chattan piper as playing "the pibroch of his clan" to encourage his fellows while he himself was dying of mortal wounds. Sir Walter ends this incident with the comment:
           " . . . The instrument which he used, or at least that part of it called the chanter, is preserved in the family of a Highland Chief to this day and is much honoured under the name of the Federan (sic) Dhu or Black Chanter." Sir Walter was, of course, acquainted with the young Chief of the Macphersons, and had perhaps seen the pipe on its arrival in Edinburgh in the autumn of 1821. Their acquaintance was such that it was Cluny that gave the Laird of Abbotsford the great deerhound Bran, descendant of a breed that had been raised by the Lairds of Cluny for at least a century and a half.

     The novelist adds to his account an explanatory footnote which may in part derive from conversation with young Cluny, but which also smacks of the novelist's invention:--
           "The present Cluny Macpherson, Chief of his clan, is in possession of this ancient trophy of their presence at the North Inch. Another account of it is given by a tradition which says that an aeriel minstrel


appeared over the heads of Clan Chattan, and having played some wild strains, let the instrument drop from his hand. Being made of glass, it was broken by the fall excepting only the chanter, which as usual was of lignum vitae. The Macpherson piper secured this enchanted pipe and the possession of it is still considered as insuring the prosperity of the clan."

      It would appear that Sir Walter presents two "traditions," one of a natural origin, the second of a supernatural origin. His evidence can be summarised as follows:
           (i) The Chanter was associated with the Fight on the North Inch.
           (ii) Its possession was a guarantee of prosperity.
           (iii) It was made of lignum vitae "as usual," that is, like most pipes of the eighteenth century with which Sir Walter was familiar.

      This last piece of information, if correct, discounts the possibility of the pipe ever having been played at the North Inch in 1396. Lignum vitae is the wood of the tree Guaiacum officinale, which grows only in tropical South America and the West Indies.

The Chanter Loaned to the Grants
      James Logan, in his Scottish Gael, published in 1831, adds material to the literary record which was largely independent of Sir Walter Scott's account. In his chapter on "The Music of the Gael" (Stewart's Edition, Vol. II., pp. 307, 308), Logan mentions that there is an ancient and celebrated pipe in the possession of the Chief of Clan Chattan, known as the Feadan Dubh or Black Chanter, concerning which various curious particulars are recorded. He proceeds, " The Chanter is believed to possess some charm or supernatural virtue which insures prosperity to its owners and their connection. It is this instrument which Sir Walter Scott mentions as having fallen from the clouds during the conflict on the North Inch of Perth in 1396. It appears to have been taken from the vanquished party at that fiercely contested battle." This forms a third "tradition" of its origin which may only in fact have occurred to Logan from Sir Walter's calling it a "trophy."

      Logan is the first writer to throw some light on the later history of the Chanter associating it with the Clan Grant. He recounts the story of a humiliating defeat suffered by a large party of Strathspey Grants near Aviemore at the hands of three MacDonalds of Glen Coe, who were cattle lifting in Strathspey. The entire clan of the Grants of Strathspey were disheartened by this affair, and "in order to reanimate them their Chief sent to Cluny for the loan of the Feadan Dubh, the notes of which could infallibly rouse every latent spark of valour. Cluny is said to have lent it without hesitation, saying his men stood in no need of it. How long it remained with them at this time does not appear, but after it had been restored the Grants again received it and it remained with them until 1821, when Grant of Glenmoriston


presented it to Ewen Macpherson of Cluny, the present worthy Chief."At this point in his account Logan inserts a note to the effect that Cluny had written to the author on the subject, the implication being that this information derived from Cluny. As Logan was collecting material for his book in the Highlands from 1826 onwards, his account is of the same date as Sir Walter's.

The Charm of Glenmoriston
      Logan was evidently puzzled as to how the Chanter passed from the possession of the neighbouring Grants of Strathspey into the hands of the distant Grants of Glen Moriston. He speculates: "It is probable that the last loan of this Chanter was made to the Grants of Glenmoriston who had no doubt observed the happy effects of its possession among their brethren in Strathspey." His comment on this is even more illuminating in view of further evidence on this point from another source: "This clan had however an opinion of their own prowess that would seem to render it improbable they should require such aid."

      In Andrew Lang's edition of The Highlands of Scotland in 1750 (page 111) -- the report of an anonymous government spy who was very conversant with Highland traditions -- there is mention of a charm used by the people of Glen Moriston:
           " . . . Before they went to the rebellion 1715 they practised a Charm to make them invulnerable. . . . Before they went out to the late Rebellion [1745] they used the same Charm and boasted that their small company could destroy all the King's forces, and that it was not possible for any weapon to hurt them; their disappointment was as great as their prepossession, for a smaller proportion of this clan return'd home than any other."

      It will be noted that Logan wrote of the Chanter possessing "some charm or supernatural virtue," and if it was to the Chanter that the spy of 1750 referred it means that Logan missed the point. The vaunted prowess of the Glen Moriston folk was due to their possession of the Chanter, not a reason for their dispensing with it. A further point emerges if the "Charm" of 1750 is identified with the Chanter: the potent pipe was in the possession of the Grants before 1715. This corroborates the tenour of the "Restoration Correspondence" of 1821, which suggests that the instrument had been out of the possession of the Macphersons beyond living memory.

The Fate of Cluny
      Logan's later account of the Chanter in Mclan's Costumes of the Clans, published in 1845, simply states that "the prosperity of the House of Cluny is popularly believed to be dependent on its preservation, and it is not doubted by all true clansmen that it is the veritable instrument which fell from heaven to supply the loss of that used by


the piper at the battle of Perth." Thus the efficacy of the pipe is now directed at the fate of the Chief's family rather than of the whole clan. This constitutes a new departure in the "tradition" which is repeated by Grant R. Francis in his Romance of the White Rose, and by Ewan L. Cheyne-Macpherson in an article on The Luck of Clan Mhuirich in the Clan Chattan Journal (Vol. Ill., No. 4, 1955). Cheyne-Macpherson instances two cases where the absence of the Chanter spelled disaster for the House of Cluny; the temporary ruin of the family after the 'Forty-Five, and the final sale of Cluny Castle in 1943 after the removal of the Chanter to the Judicial Factor's office in Edinburgh in 1934.

Celtic Saints and a Stolen Chanter
      With the publication of W. G. Stewart's Lectures on the Mountains in 1860 two new and startling departures in the "tradition" of the Black Chanter emerge. Of its origin he wrote:
           ". . . Among the relics shown at Cluny Castle there is a small chanter or whistle called the Feadan Dubh, said to have been consecrated or blessed by St Columba or St Ciaran, of most enchanting influences. . . . The Feadan Dubh of the Clan Chattan exercised its spells . . . in securing victory to the . . . heroes who contended for victory over contending foes. And it would appear that in the renowned and desperate combat on the North Inch of Perth, anno 1396, between two branches of Clan Chattan, the Macphersons and the Davidsons, the Feadan Dubh was carried off by the victors, the Macphersons, and has been the property of that clan for nearly five centuries."

      Stewart, like Scott and Logan, was acquainted with the Victorian chief, and may have got I some of his information from him. The reference to the two Celtic saints, which takes the Chanter back to the beginning of Christianity in the Highlands in the sixth century, seems far-fetched despite the legendary ecclesiastical origins of the chiefs of Clan Chattan. Stewart, like Logan, implies that the pipe belonged to the opponents of the Macphersons at the North Inch, now generally accepted as having been the Clan Cameron, not the small sept of the Davidsons of Badenoch. [For a recent report supporting the Macpherson victory over the Davidsons see "Invernahavon and the North Inch of Perth" by A.I.S Macpherson (Archie the Surgeon), Creag Dhubh Number 40 (1988) -- RM]

      The second departure from the earlier " tradition " of Scott and Logan introduces the idea that the Chanter was stolen from the Macphersons and restored in 1821 as stolen property. Stewart asserts: ". . . the valuable properties of the Feadan Dubh made it an object of speculation on the part of contemporary clans, naturally anxious for the possession of a warlike instrument, which, however puny in its bore, was more than a match for 'Mons Meg' in the field. And we have reason to know that after having been 'missing and a prisoner' more than once in the possession of some neighbouring clans, the present worthy chieftain of the Grants of Glenmoriston, no doubt influenced by compunction of conscience in having in his possession property not honestly come by, of such sacred value, about


thirty years ago returned the treasure to its legitimate owner, the present accomplished chief of the Clan Chattan Macpherson."

      It is obvious from the tone of Stewart's account that he is merely speculating, and that the story of a stolen chanter gains little credence.

      Grant Francis, a most inaccurate writer wherever he touches Macpherson history, alleges that the Chanter was stolen by Grant of Glen Moriston before 1745, and subsequently restored to Cluny by Grant of Grant. Francis had no foundation whatever for these assertions, and they can safely be dismissed as of no account.

The Cracks and a Crystal Chanter
      Alexander Macpherson, the Provost of Kingussie and Factor of Cluny, adds an entirely new layer to the "tradition" of the Black Chanter in his Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands, published in 1893. He records that "of the many singular traditions regarding the Black Chanter one is that its original fell from heaven during the memorable Clan Battle fought on the North Inch of Perth in 1396, and that being made of crystal, it was broken by the fall and the existing one made in facsimile. Another tradition is to the effect that this is the genuine original and that the cracks were occasioned by its violent contact with the ground." The "crystal tradition" seems to be a rather pointless variant of Scott's story that the supernatural pipes were of glass apart from the chanter itself. Alexander Macpherson, of course, was very familiar with the pipe and its traces of apparent damage.

A Chanter Spoiled in the Making
      The last writer to seriously consider the Black Chanter was W. L. Manson in his Highland Bagpipe, published in 1901. After repeating Scott's supernatural version almost word for word and adding Macpherson's facsimile version and Logan's account of its- possession by the Grants he goes on to debunk the "tradition": " . . . we do not of course believe in this phase of the supernatural nowadays, and it has been irreverently asserted that this particular chanter will not play, that a piper of Cluny's who was in the service of the Chief for seven years testified to this, and that it is nothing more nor less than a chanter that has been spoiled in the making." It will be noted that this most unromantic theory of its origin emanated from one of Cluny's pipers and not from Manson, although Manson as a serious student of the bagpipe naturally favours it. The Black Chanter cannot be dismissed so lightly, however, for in recent years it has been played by Hugh Macpherson, the Vice-Chairman, at the opening of the Clan House in 1952. His comment was that it sounded, but not properly. It can be presumed, therefore, that young Ewen of Cluny was able to "have a tune" as he intended before he left Catlodge for Edinburgh on the 23rd October 1821.


      In conclusion, it can be said that the legend of the Black Chanter at the North Inch must be doubted if the wood is of South American origin, while the tradition of its possession by Clan Grant can be accepted as being substantially true. Its real origin must probably be assigned to the late sixteenth or seventeenth century, before the downfall of the Glencoe MacDonalds in the Massacre of 1692.


First Report

      The Historical Documents Committee began work in 1953, with a first remit to trace the whereabouts of certain collections of clan documents which have disappeared as mentioned in Creag Dhubh, No. 5 (1953). No trace of "Old Biallid's" papers has as yet been found, and no contact has been made with the Macphersons of Corrimony, who descended from him. Any member who has knowledge of living representatives of this family should inform the Editor or the Secretary without delay.

      On the other hand it is possible that the papers of James Macpherson, of the Union Bank, will be discovered among the papers of the late Rev. Thomas Sinton, with whose representatives the Committee is in touch through Mr A. I. S. Macpherson.

      Meanwhile, exploration of the Cluny Collection has continued, and Creag Dhubh has published the texts of a number of documents: The Arbitration Bond Signed at Clune, 28th May 1722; The Piper's Agreement, 1818; The Account of Breakachy and Benchar's Journey to France, 1764; Cluny's Escape to France, 1755; and in the current issue letters relating to the return of The Black Chanter to Cluny in 1820. A catalogue has been made of twenty-two documents dealing with Cluny's Cattle Watch in 1744 and 1745,