Finlay of Colonsay

Finlay, The Deerstalker, Hill and Adamson  (British, active 1843–1848), calotype print, c. 1845, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Finlay, The Deerstalker, Hill and Adamson (British, active 1843–1848), calotype print, c. 1845, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Robert Adamson (1821 – 1848) was a pioneer photographer whose subjects included Archibald McNeill (1803 – 1870), Sir John McNeill and “Finlay of Colonsay, a deerstalker in the employ of Campbell of Islay.” There are three images of this Finlay, taken on 17 April 1846. Adamson established his studio in Rock House, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, based upon the Fox Talbot calotype process. He worked closely with the painter David Octavius Hill and his brother Alexander Hill, a publisher of prints.

This image of Finlay of Colonsay is one of the first photographic images to depict a civilian in tartan attire.

Tha sinn ‘san t-sean-nàdur

Tha sinn ‘san t-sean-nàdur
A bhà sinn roimh am an achda,
Am pearsanna ‘s an inntinn,
‘S ‘bar rìoghalachd, cha tèid lagadh.

We’re still of our old nature
As were we ere the Act was passèd,
Alike in mind and persons
And loyalty, we will not weaken.

Am Breachan Uallach, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair.

The Black Watch, August 1918

The Black Watch, August 1918; distribution of packs after action at Rheims, France.
The Black Watch, August 1918; distribution of packs after action at Rheims, France.

Kilt Apron

Black Watch Officers c. 1914/15; The Black Watch Museum; Bob Marrion Collection.
Black Watch officers c. 1914/15; The Black Watch Museum; Bob Marrion Collection. Notice the protective kilt aprons, with pockets to replace the sporran.

Come Now!

Recruitment poster for the 173rd Overseas Battalion, Canadian Highlanders; First World War.
Recruitment poster for the 173rd Overseas Battalion, Canadian Highlanders; First World War.

Join the 73rd Now

Recruitment poster for the Royal Highlanders of Canada; First World War.
Recruitment poster for the Royal Highlanders of Canada; First World War.

Priestly Ordination

I have just returned from Incarnation Catholic Church where, this morning, Deacon William P. “Doc” Holiday became Fr. William P. “Doc” Holiday, Catholic priest.

The whole affair was similar to Thursday’s diaconal ordination. This time, though, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson was in attendance. Though Fr. Steenson is the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, he is not a bishop, so once again Bishop John Noonan of Orlando performed the ordination.

It was announced that paperwork is still being drawn-up, but Incarnation Catholic Church will become a parish in the Ordinariate and that Fr. Holiday will become its first pastor.

At the conclusion of the Mass and after photos had been taken, I received Fr. Doc’s blessing, kissed his freshly-annointed hands, and became his first penitent, making my confession in the chapel.

Afterwards, at the reception, I was pulled into a brief conversation with both Bishop Noonan and Msgr. Steenson. Bishop Noonan termed me “an expert in canon law,” an (erroneous) notion he picked-up when I met with him the first time (about a matter of ecclesiastical law), and they were both enquiring about the office of a titular abbot, wondering if this might be a way to honour certain individuals who were former Anglican clergy who worked towards the Ordinariate, but, for whatever canonical or practical reasons could not be ordained in the Church.

Msgr. Steenson and I had an extended conversation wherein I observed that, with the demise of Morning Prayer in The Episcopal Church and other Anglican sects (in favour of Holy Eucharist every Sunday), and with no strong history in the USA of Evensong in the parishes, one of the greatest treasures of the Anglican Patrimony — namely Anglican Chant — was going to be lost unless the Ordinariate made its preservation and growth a high priority. We seemed to be in agreement on this point.

We spoke briefly about the Customary of Our Lady of Walshingham. He had not studied the book, so I offered to mail him my copy due the very steep price through Amazon. Msgr. Steenson noted that the USA, Canada, and Australia were fairly united in their desire to maintain as much of the Prayer-Book tradition as possible, but the English seemed in great disarray and were not so committed to the traditional Anglican forms.

We also briefly discussed the merits of the recently abrogated Scottish Highland regimental system. (I was wearing a kilt, which started this tangent, and being a Campbell, the Government has long used the clan’s tartan which I was wearing.)

Congratulations, Fr. Doc! I would ask that my readers continue to pray for him.

John Campbell of the Bank

John Campbell of the Bank, 1759 (or 1749). All “modern tartans” identified with the Clan Campbell are blue, green, and black. I am not aware of any red tartan which has been associated either historically or by the tartan mills with the Clan Campbell. This portrait just reinforces the truth that Highlanders simply wore what tartans were locally available or to their taste. John Campbell (c.1703-1777) was a Scottish banker and man of business. He worked for The Royal Bank of Scotland from its foundation in 1727, and was its cashier, 1745-77. He served as agent for his kinsmen the 2nd Earl of Breadalbane and Lord Glenorchy, keeping their estate accounts and acting as their representative for all types of business in Edinburgh. Campbell was a Gaelic-speaker with an interest in supporting the survival of the language. He read poetry and his diary suggests that he also wrote it, although no samples are known to survive. It is thought that he was one of the financial supporters of James Macpherson, in his search for the ‘lost’ Ossian cycle of poems.

John Campbell’s diary recounts how the Jacobite army took control of Edinburgh on 17 September 1745. On 1 October, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s secretary informed John Campbell that he had £857 of Royal Bank banknotes and wanted payment for them in gold. Upon failure to comply, the Jacobites would seize property from the Bank and its directors to the value of the notes.

It was not immediately easy for the Bank to comply, because all the Bank’s valuables, including its reserves of gold, had been moved to Edinburgh Castle for safekeeping during this time of turmoil. At first, it had been possible to get access to the Castle when necessary, but by this time the Castle – still in government hands – was locked down, while the rest of the city was under Jacobite control. Just a few days earlier, Campbell and some colleagues had been refused access to the castle, despite waiting at the gates for an hour.

Campbell sought and obtained a special pass from the Jacobite authorities permitting him to pass through the streets safely on his way to the castle. He also wrote ahead to the castle warning its commander that he would be asking for access. The commander implied he would be allowed in, but refused to put anything in writing.

Campbell, accompanied by colleagues and directors from the Bank, made his expedition to the castle on 3 October 1745. He successfully gained access, withdrew the gold to meet the Prince’s demands (which by now had risen to over £3,000), and more to meet any imminent further demands. He also destroyed a large quantity of unissued notes to remove the risk of them entering circulation and becoming an additional liability. While he worked, shooting went on between government forces in the Castle and Jacobites outside.

He paid the money to the Prince’s secretary at his office later that evening. The Jacobite army left Edinburgh on 1 November, marching on into England in a bid to claim the British throne. The army’s progress into England was funded in no small part by the gold it had received from The Royal Bank of Scotland.

48th Highlanders

Recruitment poster for 48th Highlanders (Canada): 1200 men wanted at once for the 134th Highlanders Overseas Battalion; First World War.
Camp flag of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.
Regimental Colours of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.

Your King & Country Need You

Recruitment poster for the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in France (1914) from the Great War.

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan.

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan as portrayed in watercolour by Kenneth MacLeay RSA and published in The Highlanders of Scotland.

R. R. McIan’s Buchanan

A Highlander in Buchanan tartan in a XIX century engraving by McIan, from James Logan’s “The Clans of the Scottish Highlands”, 1845.

Robert Ronald McIan (1803 – 13 Dec 1856), also Robert Ranald McIan, was an actor and painter of Scottish descent. He is best known for romanticised depictions of Scottish clansmen, their battles, and domestic life.