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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 09-07-2019, 03:19 PM   #1
CalumII
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Default The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

I was at a meeting of the Gaelic Society of London tonight, where we had an interesting talk on a recently discovered minute book of the society from 1830.



One interesting tidbit that tickled my ear was that in early 19th century London, a variety of Scottish and Gaelic or HIghland societies flourished. Some are well known to us of course, such as the Highland Society of London, but one society mentioned was the "Highland Pipe and Scottish Society" (no connection to the book of the same name!)



Little is known of it to the historians of the Gaelic Society, but then I think it is entirely unknown to the piping world, so I thought it might be worth posting about. Who knows, perhaps the archives of the society are in some south London attic, along with the papers of Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon...


All that is known from Gaelic Society minutes are the existence of the society, that it was fairly egalitarian in membership, and it ceased to exist around the early 1840s.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:11 PM   #2
Glenurquhart
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

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Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
I was at a meeting of the Gaelic Society of London tonight, where we had an interesting talk on a recently discovered minute book of the society from 1830.



One interesting tidbit that tickled my ear was that in early 19th century London, a variety of Scottish and Gaelic or HIghland societies flourished. Some are well known to us of course, such as the Highland Society of London, but one society mentioned was the "Highland Pipe and Scottish Society" (no connection to the book of the same name!)



Little is known of it to the historians of the Gaelic Society, but then I think it is entirely unknown to the piping world, so I thought it might be worth posting about. Who knows, perhaps the archives of the society are in some south London attic, along with the papers of Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon...


All that is known from Gaelic Society minutes are the existence of the society, that it was fairly egalitarian in membership, and it ceased to exist around the early 1840s.
Hopefully Keith Sanger will post a reply. If he doesn't know about this topic who else would?
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:09 AM   #3
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

All I can tell you is that I had a beautiful cap badge for the The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, (except written in Gaelic), and I asked for information about it on this forum round about 2001, but no-one had any answers. I sold it about 10 years ago. I've had a look on my collection, but my photos of it were on Photobucket, and they've since disappeared.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:54 AM   #4
CalumII
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

Well, if it was significant enough to have a cap badge then there was obviously some momentum behind it, which is worth knowing.


I can't spot anything obvious in the newspaper archives, but they are pretty stuffed with references to the Highland Society of London, and other similar terms.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:11 PM   #5
S.A.P.C. P/M
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

Though i'm certain any manuscripts which would exist from Donald Ruaidh would probably pertain more to music than anything else, it sure would be wonderful to hear if there were any memoirs - particularly of his short time in North Carolina. Please keep us posted if there are any "finds." At least one historian of piping is very interested ;-)
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

Only just realised this thread is not referring to Donaldson's book. Well Glenurquhart not really my period, I do make the odd excursion this side of 1800 but mostly I work backwards from that date. It is possible to suggest some avenues for further research though, starting with the London Post Directories for that period. Societies usually have a secretary so he might show up with address.

One question that I can offer comments on are the references to Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon. The first being that every example of the families own signatures I have encountered always spells the name as MacCrummon and that includes Donald Ruadh himself.

The likelihood that he would have left any written music is practically zero. He would like his brother John have used canntaireachd for teaching and although he could certainly write, again it is not likely he would have written it down. There are in fact few contemporary references to him that even mention piping. All of his own letters are on military matters, starting with attempts to persuade the government to grant him his promotion to Captain that was in process when the war in America ended.

According to one long account by him along with three testimonials from his senior officers, as the senior subaltern when a Captain Stewart died in New York in October 1782, he was recommended for promotion. Unfortunately with the war ending and although his recommendation had been referred to the Inspector Generals Office it was not reported on due to the hurry of business preparatory to the Army leaving America. His further application was supported by a Major George Hanger Brit Legion, Lt Colonel Tarlton and Lord Cathcart.

He continued though to pursue some means of promotion after his return to Boreraig and with the start of the Napoleonic War. Probably the last when in 1802 he wrote to the Lord Lieutenant off Inverness-shire that he had even recruited 40 men and named the prospective junior officers and all he needed was a Captains commission along with commissions for the Lieutenant and ensign.

His last letter was written for him in 1822 when he was 83 years old, when he applied to be made one of the Poor Knights of Windsor, a sort of Chelsea Pensioners equivalent for officers. It was not granted and his signature by that time was very shaky and he died soon after. His testament is in the archives at Kew reference 11/1931.

Keith
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

Just to be clear, I'm not making any serious suggestion that there is any connection to Donald Ruadh - just a passing comment!
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

It was really the second 'poster' I was replying to and just picking up on the question of Donald Ruadh having left any papers. The idea of items turning up in attics is always possible, it is not so long ago that some of the HSL papers re-emerged from an attic in Perthshire.

As far as verbatim accounts by Donald Ruadh of his own time in America are concerned the best one is probably his application in 1822 where he gives his version of his military background and I quote;-

'He was a Captain in the Highland Militia raised in North Carolina in 1774 and in 1776 was appointed a Lieutenant in the 84 Foot for which Regiment he procured 42 men that in 1778 he was removed to the British Legion and subsequently obtained a Warrant to raise men for a Company and actually procured 30, but in consequence of that Corps being taken by the Enemy at Broadriver immediately after the battle of Camden, in which engagement he was severely wounded in the right leg and lost an eye he unfortunately did not obtain his promotion'.

Curiously after touching on his lose of his American property he petitions for being made a Poor Knight of Windsor as ;-

'he is now 83 years of age with a wife and family to support upon the pay of 7/6 per diam only', (as a half pay Lieutenant).

Needing to support a wife at 83 years old yes, but children?

Keith
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, London, 1840s

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Needing to support a wife at 83 years old yes, but children?

Keith
Possibly unemployed and unmarried daughters?
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