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generated. Assaye was not won by a more silent, compact, and resolute charge, than was the village near Jehajmow on the 1 6th inst."
Marshman, in his life of Havelock, relates that the night after the battle of Cawnpore, "when the arms were piled, the General called the officers of the Highlanders together, and assured them that he had never seen a regiment behave more steadily and gallantly, and that if ever he reached the command of a regiment, it would be his request that it should be the 78th, and he desired them to convey this assurance to their men."
Arrived in the Residency of Lucknow, Havelock resigned his command to Sir James Outram, but his opinion of the 78th Highlanders never changed from that day, until he was laid in his lonely grave, beneath ihe tree in the Alumbagh.
So much for the charge against the 78th. I leave it to my countrymen to say whether the reckless assertion that they were rated by Havelock for having "the cholera in their hearts as well as their stomachs," has been clearly disproved or not. Ross-shire lads are keenly jealous of the honour of tho old Ross-shire Buffs. Let them never forget that their national motto is, " Nemo mo impune lacessit," and that " oor Scots thistle will jag the thoombs" of any boggling journalist who attempts to make too free with it.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Late Captain, 78th Highlanders.
THE TARTAN AND THE KILT—FEELING IN CANADA.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CELTIC MAGAZINE.
Montreal, 14th March 1881.
Sir,—In common with their fellow-countrymen at home and abroad, the Highlanders and Scotchmen of Montreal and elsewhere within the Dominion of Canada had learned with unrestrained indignation of the proposal to abolish the distinctive tartans of the Highland Regiments in tho British Army. A meeting was arranged to have been held in Montreal on Friday, 11th March, but in the interval since its inception the news of the explanations and disavowal of the Secretary of State for War reached us, and the meeting was in consequence abandoned.
Anticipating the possibility of expressing my own views on the subject at the meeting, I had written them down in a condensed form, and this I subsequently sent to the Montreal Herald. I send you by this mail copies of that paper, of dates 11th and 14th March, in order that, if you see fit, you may insert the extracts referred to in the columns of the Celtk Magazine,—Yours very truly,
This communication reached us too late for last issue, but even yet we think it right to let our readers all over the world see how much our loyal Canadian Highlanders felt and acted in thorough sympathy with their brethren at home at a time when their aid might have proved of great service in influencing the authorities at the War Office. Mr Macdonald, who, by the way, hails from Tain, Ross-shire, and whom we had the pleasure of meeting in Montreal last year, is a credit to his native county even among the good Highlanders of Montreal; and we are gkd to give the greater portion of his communication as a fair specimen of the patriotic feelings of thousands throughout the Dominion. He writes :—
The project of discontinuing the wearing of the distinctive tartans of the different Highland Regiments in the British army is one which has been met in Great Britain, and particularly in the Highlands of Scotland, with almost universal disapprobation. Although we in Canada are far separated from the sphere in which this question is now receiving so much attention, it is proper that we should express our sympathy with the views of our fellow-countrymon in the old land, and this can be done in no more effective manner than by a petition to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, conveyed through His Excellency the Governor-General of the Dominion.
When we bear in mind that in a great degree we owe the existence of Canada as a British colony to the bravery of a Highland Regiment (the Fraser Highlanders), that so materially assisted at the capture of Quebec, our present action can be justly construed into a tribute to the memory of that illustrious band of heroes. It is recorded that on the occasion of the assault upon Quebec an order was issued that the bag-pipes were not to be played lost their note should give the enemy untimely warning. The immediate effect of this order was that the Highlanders were observed to lack their customary spirit in the assault, upon which their colonel took means to remonstrate against the order silencing the pipes. "Then let them play, in Heaven's name," was the general's response, upon which, the well-known warlike blast being sounded, the men charged with irresistible fury and carried everything before them. This instance is an illustration of the probable effect of any endeavour to change »r suppress the cherished customs and traditions of the Highland soldier. What, let me ask, is to be gained by the proposed change, by which the Black Watch, Mackenzie, Cameron, Gordon, and Sutherland tartans, are to be suppressed in order that some uniform pattern, to be devised or agreed upon, shall be substituted instead of these time-honoured regimentals.
The mind which could devise the suppression of the individual distinctiveness of the Highland regimental dress for the sake of uniformity or economy, is on a par with that which would wish to see the Highland hills levelled with the plain, the Highland rivers converted into canals, and the Highland lochs into milldams.
Is it to be tolerated, that the presumption of some red tape official is to be allowed to sap the glorious traditions and memories of the 42d at Fontenoy and the Nile; the 78th at Lucknow; the 79th at Waterloo; the 92d in Spain; and the 93d at Balaclava. No, it is due to the memory of these brave men and their gallant leaders that we should indignantly protest against any change having such a tendency.
After referring to the deeds of Ahercromhie at Alexandria, Colonel Cameron of Fassifern, Sir Colin Campbell, and Sir Eobert Munro of Fowlis, and a host of others, whose heart beat to the Tartan, he proceeds, quoting from "The Vision of Don Roderick ":—
And oh! loved warriors of the minstrel's land,
Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans wave,
And harsher features and a nti.»n more grave,
As that which beats beneith the Scottish plaid;
And level for the charge their arms are laid,
The most offensive feature of the proposed change lies in the fact that it appears to have been contemplated without consulting the views of those most immediately concerned, as is evidenced by the great outcry against it from the recruiting fields of the Highland regiments. It is a change which, if carried into effect, would doubtless lead to results which not only every Scotchman, but every loyal British subject would deplore.
Is not the pattern of a tartan of equal importance to a Scotchman as the colour of a rose is to an Englishman * Then let us remember that the English nation fought the bloodiest civil war recorded in history over the predominance of the white or the red rose, these symbols being emblematic of the different opinions of the time just as the present regimental clan tartans, and one uniform pattern of tartan, are emblematic of the aiitigimistic opinions in the present day of, we may say, on one side the entire Scottish nation, and on the other the authority of some unpatriotic military Jacks in office, who cannot see sufficient independent ability in the British nation to regulate, adapt, and carry into effect their own national ideas, but must pay a servile homage to what is considered to be the superiority of the German system of military uniformity. It is one of the chief characteristics of the Scottish nation that they have always successfully resisted any attempt at dictation or interference with their cherished national sentiments, and we have every reason to believe that the spirit of stern independence so conspicuous in former generations is as much alive now as ever, and will be quite as successfully exerted. hand, if the olfico was conferred previously on one of the chiefs, the same argument would apply as to the position of the clan.
In the words of the immortal Burns:
And Sirs, if aince they pit her till't
She'll tak' the streets
I' the 6rst she meets.
ONLY A FISHERMAN'S DAUGHTER.
Only a fisherman's daughter,
Bare-footed nymph of the bay,
Rosy-cheekod, laughing, and gay:
Fondling him oft on her knee,
Only a fisherman's daughter,
Nursed 'neath the song of the sea,
Sitting when darkness is falling,
Watching the lighthouse afar,
Sadly from over the bar:
Rolling in wrath on the shore:
Tolling for toilers no more.
Sweet little fisherman's daughter, &c.
Hearing the wind blowing dreary,
Moaning its sorrowful lay,
Toiling for her far away:
"Watching the boats as they come,
Burning to welcome him home.
Loved little fisherman's daughter, &c.
SUKDKBLAHD. 1VM. ALLAN.
NOTES ON CAITHNESS HISTOEY.
No. V. THE GUNNS. Although the Clan Gunn had removed from the Clyth district several centuries ago, some traditions are still current in the locality relating to iia former rulers. For example there is the tradition of "Lechan Ore," which is referred to in "The New Picture of Scotland," published in 1807. In that work it is stated that Gunn of Clytb, who had been in Denmark for some time, had got a Danish princess to marry him; and "in returning home with the lady and attendants, the vessel was wrecked upon this rock (Lechan Ore) and every soul perished. A pot full of gold being found on the rock, it obtained the name of Lechan Ore, or Golden Flags. The body of the Princess was thrown on the shore, and buried at Ulbster; and the same stone which is said to cover her grave is still extant, and has some hieroglyphic characters much obliterated by time."
This account is rather meagro, as the tradition of tho district on the subject gives greater detail, if not a different aspect of the affair. Gunn is said to have won the hand of the fair lady in Denmark, and returned home to set his house in order for her reception. She was to sail for the Caithness coast so many days afterwards, and accordingly at the appointed time, directed her course to the territories of tho man who had promised to marry her. She was to bring great wealth with her; and it appears that Gunn loved her richos better than her affections, for on seeing the vessel approach at night, he put a light at a certain dangerous spot of the coast, where he was certain the vessel would be wrecked and those on board drowned. Tho vessel, lured by the light, met tho fate intended for it, but Gunn was never able to get the pot of gold, as, it is alleged, his Satanic Majesty had a sentry on duty who always prevented lum from getting it. By and bye tho treacherous conduct of the chief came to the ears of the clan who at once expelled him from their community. He had to fly from among them, and afterwards resided in the hills at Toft Gunn, on the present Thrumster estate. Toft Gunn, it is said, was named after the expelled chief.
Reference has already been made to the Crowner, George Gunn, but there is no evidence to show how the appointment of Crowner or Coronator ■was made to the family. The office of Crowner was of a very responsible character, and the Earl of Sutherland for a time held the same office in the adjoining county of Sutherland How the Crowner Gunn discharged the functions of his office in Caithness it is impossible to say. His duties were in attending to the pleas of the Crown; and further, he had charge of the forces raised within his jurisdiction. The heading "Coroner" in the general index to "Tho Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland," and tho acts and references quoted bearing on the office will readily show the important duties which attached to the office. It may be safely assumed therefore that George Gunn must have had a good position at the time in the North ere he would havo received the appointment, or on the other
In the year 1 i^O a furious battle took place between the Gunns and the Mackays of Strathnaver at Harpsdale. The battle was not decisive on either side, although there was much slaughter on each side. This sanguinary contest is referred to by several writers on historical matters connected with the North of Scotland.
The depressing influence of the continued conflicts with the Keiths, induced James Gunn, Chief of the Clan Gunn, to remove from his Castles of Hoberry and Gunn, and to take up his abode in the parish of Kildonnau, at Killearnan, under the protection of the Sutherland family—William and Henry, sons of the Crowner, George Gunn, likewise accompanied him. Sir Robert Gordon, in his history of the Earldom of Sutherland, thus writes concerning the Crowner:—" This Cruner wes a great commander in Catteynes, in his tyme, and wes one of the greatest men in that cuntrey; because whon he floorished there wes no Earlos off Catteyncss, that Earldom being yit in the kings hands." This James had a son named William, who succeeded him, and who greatly distinguished himself at the battle of Torran dhu Reywird, on behalf of the interests of the Earl of Sutherland. This William was called William MacIIamish MacCruner, and sometimes William Cattigh, on account of his having been born and brought up in the county of Sutherland. Sir Robert Gordon, in writing of William MacHamish, remarks:—"From him are descended the Clangun that dwell at this day at Strathully. They have alwyse since that tyme had the lands of Killeirnan for ther service, from the Earles of Sutherland, unto whom they have ever been both trusty and faithful." William was, in 1525, a witness to a Seisin of Prone.
The treachery of the Keiths at St Aire's was not forgotten by the descendants of Crowner Gunn for several generations, for William MacHamish, the Crownor's grandson, met George Keith of Ackergill on his way from Inverugie to Caithness, accompanied by a son and twelve retainers. The Gumis set upon them and killed them all in revenge of the tragedy which took place at St Aire's.
The Gunns proved faithful allies to the house of Sutherland, and John Robson, chief of the Caithness Gunns, was appointed by the Earl of Sutherland his factor for collecting the rents of the Bishop's lands which belonged at the time to the EarL This was not satisfactory to the Earl of Caithness, who induced Houcheon Mackay to invade the possessions of the Gunns in Rraemore. John Robson, however, with the assistance of the Earl of Sutherland, made ample retaliation shortly afterwards. It was not one enemy that the Clan Gunn had, for a most determined feud existed between them and the Clan Abarach for a considerable time. Sir Robert Gordon, in his History of the Earldom, narrates:— "The long, the many, the horrible encounters which happened between these two trybes, with the bloodshed and infinit spoills committed in every pairt of the diocy of Catteyness by them and their associate, are of so disordered and troublesome memorie, that, with their asperous names, together with the confusion of place, tymes, and persons, would yet be (no doubt) a warr to the reader to overlook them"
In 1585 the Earls of Sutherland and Caithness agreed to meet the Earl of Huntly at Elgin for the purpose of adjusting their differences, but