Fellow Clansmen

Colin Campbell & John Campbell.

Colin Campbell is wearing what is termed by the modern weaving mills as the Ancient Campbell tartan; John Campbell dons the so-called Campbell of Breadalbane woollen cloth.

The Campbell tartan in darker shades, but the identical sett (which is what determines the distinctiveness of a tartan), is termed “Black Watch.”  Either many Campbells who served in the Highland Regiments later adopted this pattern for their own civilian use, or the many Campbells who joined-up were already wearing this tartan which was subsequently standardised by the Government.

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In 1870, a certain “Mr Mitchell, Publisher to the Queen” produced two large leatherbound volumes of magnificent watercolour portraits by Kenneth Macleay RSA.  Measuring a massive 22 x 18 inches, they contain 31 portraits of 57 individuals described as below.

Title Page.

They are without doubt the most detailed portraits of Highland dress and tartans from that era and are highly prized as research tools and, of course, as portraits for today’s homes. The original water colours are owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and are held in Windsor Castle.

Front Cover.

Red Harlaw

An siccan a lierachie
I’m sure ye never saw
As wis amo the Hielanmen,
When they saw Macdonnel fa.

Seersucker Swooning

Seersucker Suit.

The UPS man just delivered one of two seersucker suits I had recently ordered from Jos. A. Bank.  Incidentally, the word seersucker appears to come from two Persian words meaning “milk and sugar.”  The two-button jacket is 38 Regular; the sleeves are the perfect length.  The pleated trousers seem to be 32″ around the waist (which is dead-on) and were finished with cuffs using my outer seam measurement of 39 1/2″.  I am already matching bow-ties!

Jacket Close-up.

In other sartorial news, Alexis Malcolm emailed today to let me know that she had received eight yards of Black Watch tartan cloth from the mill in Scotland and that she will be constructing my next kilt this week.  I can hardly wait!

Hurricane Party?

Tropical Depression Nine.

I love hurricanes (incidentally, the word is correctly pronounced “hur’-ǝ-kin”).  The last few years, despite official predictions of many storms making landfall, there have been very few interesting (i.e. impactful in my environs) storms, and none so far this year.

But Tropical Depression Nine is looking good.  The computer models have it coming over the Florida peninsula pretty much from south to north.

Computer Model Ensemble.

Interestingly enough, if things stay on track, the storm could wreak havoc with the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa next week.  What was that thing that Pat Robertson said about God visiting natural disasters on impenitent sinners?  Perhaps the GOP has something — or Some One — else about which to worry than the Presidential campaign?  If the storm does become a hurricane, it’s name will be Isaac.  How biblical!

Still No Answer to the Question…

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Every time Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus is mentioned, there is an obligatory reference made to the supposed “fact” that transcribing or copying the work was forbidden under penalty of excommunication (supposedly adding to its allure and mystery). Is this just a pious story or can someone produce documentation?

Jeremiah 50:6

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Oh how does this well encapsulate the state of Holy Church since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council!

You Have Chosen to Inaugurate Civil War

Executive Department, Richmond, Va., April 15, 1861. Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War: Sir: I have received your telegram of the 15th, the genuineness of which I doubted. Since that time I have received your communications mailed the same day, in which I am requested to detach from the militia of the State of Virginia “the quota assigned in a table,” which you append, “to serve as infantry or rifleman for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.” In reply to this communication, I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object – an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 – will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and, having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the South.

— Respectfully, John Letcher