Clan Maclean Heritage Trust
The Trust was well represented at the International Gathering of the Clan Maclean on Mull during the week of 18th – 24th June, with a stand in the Aros Hall in Tobermory on the Monday and Tuesday and in the marquee at Duart Castle on the Saturday.
Trust stand in the marquee at Duart Castle L to R: Fiona, Frances & William Douglas and Sandra McLean
|L to R: Brigadier Macfarlane and|
|Allan Maclean of Dochgarroch|
|at the Lichd Lee cairn|
On Thursday, 21st June 2012, during the International Gathering, a cairn was unveiled by the Chief, Sir Lachlan Maclean of Duart and Morvern, Chairman of the Heritage Trust, at Lichd Lee on the Isle of Mull.
This cairn commemorates the victory of the Macleans, led by Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean of Duart, 14th Chief, over the Macdonalds, led by Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, in 1585. The defeat of the Macdonalds was foretold in a dream to Maclean of Boreray, in the famous words:
O Lecklee, thou dread Lecklee,
Great the carnage thou shalt see.
The Macleans shall win the day;
The invaders slain shall be.
Gerna Dubh, thou hill of woe,
Tides of blood shall round thee flow,
Ere the gleaming swords shall rest
The Red Knight shall be laid low.
After a march to the site and a welcome from the Chief, Allan Maclean of Dochgarroch gave a brief account of the battle and the Seneachaidh, Brigadier John Macfarlane, recited the above poem. The cairn was then unveiled by the Chief, together with David MacLean-Watt, a descendant of the Macleans of Boreray.
|The inspection of the stones|
The cairn was erected with the kind permission of Tim Radford, owner of the Knock Estate.
This was followed by an inspection of the stones of Lichd Lee, where the Macleans are traditionally held to have sharpened their swords. The gouges in the stones are still visible to believers!
Pipe Music of the Clan Maclean
On the same day, 21st June, the Trust's latest publication, Pipe Music of the Clan Maclean, was launched at the reception held for the Friends of the Heritage Trust at Gruline House, by kind permission of James and Nichola Harmer.
This book, the first book of Maclean pipe music for more than 100 years, contains tunes written by or about Macleans or about Maclean lands. The 76 tunes cater for all levels of piper, from novice to MSR competitor. For further information about the book, which is available from our bookshop
, see here
A second launch was held at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow on Thursday, 9th August 2012. This took place during Piping Live!, Glasgow's annual festival of pipe music. To mark the occasion the Trust sponsored a competition, which was called the Clan Maclean Quaich Piobaireachd Competition. Four notable pipers had been selected to compete and they each played one of the tunes from the book:
- Allan MacDonald played Lament for Maclaine of Lochbuie.
He is one of three piping brothers from Glenuig. He won the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd at Inverness in 1984, and has won the Clasp to the Gold Medal on two subsequent occasions. A Gaelic speaker, he has an MPhil awarded by the University of Edinburgh for a thesis entitled "The relationship between piobaireachd and Gaelic song: its implications on the performance style of the piobaireachd urlar", which broke new ground in relating piobaireachd to Gaelic song of the 16th and 17th centuries. He is also a folk musician and teaches at the National Piping Centre.
- Brian Donaldson played The Macleans' Gathering tune 3.
He served in the Scots Guards and was Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion of that Regiment from 1995 to 1997. He won the Gold Medal for Piobaireachd in 1990 at Oban. He now runs his own bagpipe making business, Inveran Bagpipes, which he is in the process of moving to the United States.
- Dr Simon McKerrell played Hector Maclean's Warning.
He is a graduate of the BA degree in Traditional Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is an A Grade professional player for both piobaireachd and light music. He undertook further research into the competition light music repertoire of the Highland bagpipe, resulting in the award of a PhD for a thesis entitled "Scottish Competition Bagpipe Performance: Sound, Mode and Aesthetics." He is currently Lecturer in Music in the International Centre for Music Studies at the University of Newcastle. Dr McKerrell won the competition sponsored by the Heriatge Trust for a new pipe tune to mark the centenary of the recovery, restoration and re-opening of Duart Castle (see below).
- Callum Beaumont played Macleans' Gathering tune 2.
He is currently one of the best young players in the world and is based at the National Piping Centre, where he teaches. He has played with the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winning the World Pipe Band Championships with them. He currently plays with the Grade 1 Inveraray Pipe Band. He won the Gold Medal for piobaireachd at Oban in 2011.
The judge was John Wilson, piobaireachd Gold Medallist and Senior Piping Judge at the National Piping Centre. The winner was Pipe Major Brian Donaldson, who was presented by the Chief with the Clan Maclean Quaich.
The Chief presenting the Clan Maclean
Quaich to Pipe Major Brian Donaldson
Pipe tune competition
The Trust sponsored a competition, administered by the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, for the composition of a new piping tune. Entrants were invited to submit a tune for a march in 6/8 time.
There were 21 entries and these were judged by Roddy MacLeod MBE, Principal of the National Piping Centre, Major Gavin Stoddart MBE BEM, formerly Director of the School of Army Piping and Highland Drumming, and James MacLean, formerly of Strathclyde Police and currently the Chief's Piper.
|Dr Simon McKerrell|
|being presented with his|
|prize by the Chief|
The winner, announced on 22nd December 2011, was Dr Simon McKerrell, with a tune appropriately entitled 'Duart Gathering 2012'. Simon is a graduate of the BA course in Traditional Music from the quondam Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He also has a PhD from St Andrews University which is entitled 'Scottish Competition Bagpipe Performance: Sound, Mode and Aesthetics'. He currently lectures in Folk Music at Newcastle University.
A recording of the tune will be posted here in due course. The tune was also included in the book of Maclean piping tunes that was launched at the International Gathering on Mull in June 2012.
On Sunday, 24th July 2011, 40 Macleans attended the events held to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Harlaw (see 2011 Anniversaries
for information about this battle).
The anniversary was marked by a service of commemoration at the Kirk of St Nicholas, Aberdeen, attended by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, the Provost of Aberdeenshire and members of the clans who took part in the battle. A Prayer for the Fallen was given by the Rt Rev Peter Moran, who until recently had been the Roman Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen (and whose successor had not yet taken up his position).
|Monument as erected|
This was followed by a civic ceremony at the existing Battle of Harlaw monument, near Inverurie. Speeches were given by the two Provosts, by Sir Lachlan Maclean and by David Irvine of Drum, and wreaths were laid. Erected in 1911 to mark the 500th anniversary, the 40 ft high monument had been left incomplete (see photo). According to Charles Burnett, Ross Herald of Arms: "The monument is decorated with eight [actually six] blank panels which were intended to carry the coats of arms of the principal protagonists along with an additional four armorial devices.
|Maclean Coat of Arms|
As three of the arms were to represent Macdonald, Maclean and Macintosh, there was an objection to paying for the arms of the ‘enemy’, and as a result no heraldry was added to the monument." The coats of arms have now been affixed and were unveiled at this ceremony. In addition to the coat of arms of our Chief, Sir Lachlan Maclean of Duart and Morvern (see photo), the coats of arms of the Earl of Mar, the Lord of the Isles, the City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen, Robert Davidson, the then Provost of Aberdeen, and Irvine of Drum have also been fixed to the monument. The Trust contributed to the cost of the Maclean panel.
|The Chief and Irvine of Drum|
Attendance at the civic ceremony was by invitation only, and numbers were limited. In addition, therefore, the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust arranged a public ceremony on the battlefield, which included viewing the site of the Maclean cairn; a recitation by Brigadier John Macfarlane of the Brosnachadh, the Gaelic incitement to battle, written for this battle; a reading of the traditional account of the death of Hector; the lowering and raising of the standards; and the playing of the Piobaireachd, Red Hector of the Battles. Also during this ceremony Sir Lachlan and David Irvine of Drum, whose predecessors had killed each other in single combat at the battle, exchanged swords and spoke a few words of reconciliation (see photo).
The Macleans then adjourned to Littlewood Park, near Alford, where Mrs Deborah McLean kindly provided tea.
Death or Victory
On 21st July 2011 Death or Victory – Tales of the Clan Maclean
by Fiona Maclean, was launched in the presence of the Chief at the Tobermory Games on Mull. This book was commissioned by the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust in memory of Sir Lachlan’s first wife Mary, who died in 2007. Further information about this book may be found here
Sir Donald McLean (1820-1877)
|Sir Donald McLean KCMG 1820-1877|
On 22 November 2010 the Chief and Chairman of the Heritage Trust, Sir Lachlan Maclean, unveiled a plaque commemorating Sir Donald McLean KCMG (1820-1877) at the foot of the cairn erected in his honour in McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand. He also laid a wreath at Sir Donald's grave in Old Napier Hill Cemetery nearby.
Born in Tiree, Sir Donald emigrated first to Australia and then in 1840 to New Zealand. In the words of the National Library of New Zealand, he was arguably the most influential figure in mid-19th century New Zealand history. A fluent Maori speaker, he was a dominant figure in relations between Maori and the Government during this period. He represented Napier as Member of Parliament from 1866 until 1870 and again from 1871 until his death in 1877. From the establishment of the Land Purchase Department in 1853 until its abolition in 1865 he was the Chief Native Land Purchase Commissioner. From 1869 until 1876 he was Minister in charge of Native Affairs, as well as being Defence Minister from 1869 until 1872. McLean Park was established as a memorial to him.
Among those attending the unveiling were Ian McLean, President of the Clan Maclean Association of New Zealand, and Barbara Arnott, Mayor of Napier.
John Maclean (1787-1848), Am Bŕrd MacGilleain ("The Bard MacLean")
On 16 October 2010 a bronze plaque was unveiled at the grave of John Maclean in Glen Bard, Nova Scotia. John Maclean, who was born in Tiree in 1787 and came to Nova Scotia in 1819, was a renowned Gaelic poet and vigorously promoted the Gaelic language. His gravestone is engraved in Gaelic accordingly. The plaque which has now been unveiled provides an English translation. It was sponsored jointly by Clan Maclean Atlantic Canada and the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust.
The unveiling was attended by a number of the Bard's descendants, including John Sinclair, a great-great-grandson. In the absence through illness of Ian MacLean, who had led the Trust's involvement in this project, the Trust was represented by George MacLean, a Friend of the Trust and the incoming President of Clan Maclean Atlantic Canada. A full report of this event, which included a performance of some of the Bard's songs and a recitation of his poems, can be read here
The Bard Maclean was the grandfather of Alexander Maclean Sinclair (see below), whose own grave lies next to the Bard's.
Dr Archibald Lang McLean
|Dr Archibald Lang McLean plaque|
On 7 June 2009 a memorial plaque was unveiled at the University of Sydney, Australia, commemorating Dr Archibald Lang McLean (1885 – 1922), who had a brief but outstanding life as a doctor, scientist, writer, soldier and explorer. Among other things, he was the Chief Medical Officer on the Mawson expedition to Antarctica (1911 – 14).
Next year will mark the centenary of the beginning of this expedition, which departed from Hobart on 2 December 1911. Fascinating photographs of this expedition held in the National Library of Australia can be viewed here
. An account of the expedition, with photographs, can be seen here
Alexander Maclean Sinclair
On 16 May 2009 a symposium on the influences and legacy of the historian Alexander Maclean Sinclair was held at St Francis Xavier University Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, as part of the weekend celebrating the 30th anniversary of the formation of Clan Maclean Atlantic (Canada). This was co-sponsored by the Trust with the Celtic Studies Department
of the University and Clan Maclean Atlantic Canada, and attended by the Chief.
|Nova Scotia seminar 2009|
Dr. John Campbell Sinclair and Dr. Alasdair MacLean Sinclair, PhD, grandsons of Alexander Maclean Sinclair, gave presentations on his early years and on his "Macleanery" respectively. From St. Francis Xavier University Dr. Michael Linkletter, PhD, Professor of Celtic Studies, discussed his character and teaching skills; Dr. Ken Nilsen, PhD, Chair of Celtic Studies, spoke about D.M. Sinclair (son of AMS) and his continuation of his father's work; and Susan Cameron, MLIS, Celtic Collection Librarian, gave an introduction to the Alexander MacLean Sinclair collection at the St. Francis Xavier Library.
Dr Steve MacLean, astronaut
During the same weekend, Ian Maclean, President of Clan Maclean International Association, Past President of Clan Maclean Atlantic (Canada) and a Trustee of Clan Maclean Heritage Trust, presented to the Trust, represented by the Chief, a framed collage of memorabilia inspired by Dr Steve McLean, the Canadian astronaut and the first Maclean in space. This will be displayed at Duart Castle.
Steve MacLean was born on December 14, 1954, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He specialised in laser physics and received his Doctorate in Physics from York University in Toronto, Ontario in 1983. He taught part-time at York University from 1980 until 1983, and then became a visiting scholar at Stanford University under the renowned laser physicist and Nobel Laureate A.L. Shawlow.
|Dr Steve MacLean|
Selected as one of the first six Canadian astronauts in December 1983, Dr MacLean began astronaut training in February 1984. From October 22 to November 1, 1992, Steve MacLean flew onboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a Payload Specialist for Mission STS-52. He went into space for the second time on Mission STS-115 in September 9 – 21, 2006. On this mission, Steve MacLean also became the second Canadian (and first Maclean) to walk in space. Dr. MacLean is now President of the Canadian Space Agency. For further information, see his CSA
Postscript: in February 2013 Dr MacLean stepped down as head of the Canadian Space Agency and joined a new private sector agency, where he will lead a team pursuing scientific research and development in the field of quantum physics (see here).