Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Westminster asked to lift Jacobite stigma
Scots Canadians whose ancestors supported Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion may not know it, but their family names have officially been mud for more than 250 years.
After the failed insurrection to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne, Acts of Parliament deemed the blood of many rebels “corrupt,” confiscated their property and exiled them to North America as indentured servants.
Now, the Scottish Parliament is taking steps to remove any stigma associated with support for the Stuart cause.
Canadians with the last name Cameron, Chisholm, Drummond, Fraser, Gordon, Graham, Laird, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Mackinnon, MacKinnon, Mackintosh, MacKintosh, MacLeod, Malcolm, Nairn, Ogilvie, Ross, Stewart Stirling or Sutherland may well be the descendants of Jacobites who were exiled after the rebellions. Many Jacobites were “attainted” by Act of Parliament that denied them their property and disinherited their descendants.
Those affected included national hero Rob Roy McGregor and Flora MacDonald, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rescuer after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, who settled in North Carolina.
Scottish Conservative Jamie McGrigor has tabled a motion, with cross-party support, calling on the Scottish Parliament to back a petition that demands the Westminster Parliament overturn the Acts of Attainder and clear the names of Jacobite families.
Not only could the stigma associated with “corruption of the blood” be overturned, but some Canadians may also find they have legitimate claim on ancient titles that would be restored if the campaign is successful.
Peter Drummond-Murray, a retired banker and heraldry expert who started the petition, said that a number of peerage titles could be affected including the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Duke of Berwick.
“Lots of ordinary people were transported to North America who still have this slur on them. We’re petitioning for it to be removed,” he said.
He did not rule out that there could be Canadians with claim to old titles, but said that there is no question of successful land claims being launched after nearly 300 years.
The list of those “attainted” included all ranks from peers and lairds to clerks and commoners. As the Jacobite threat subsided in the 19th century, a number of peers were able to afford the procedure of a private bill in Parliament to reverse the attainder process.
However, many families that supported the Stuarts are still stigmatized by what one member of the Scottish Parliament called “historical discrimination.”
After 1688, when James VII of Scotland and II of England was replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband, William of Orange, many who refused to swear allegiance to William and Mary were tried for treason and “attainted.” Some were executed, some sent into exile and were punished by Acts of Attainder — losing their rights and property. This process continued after the Jacobite rebellions of 1715, 1719 and 1745.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Left: President - Don MacLeod
Sunday, August 30, 2009
As a piper, I was once asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man who had no family or friends.
The funeral was to be held at a new cemetery in the remote countryside and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.
As I was not familiar with the area, I became lost and being a typical man, did not ask for directions.
I finally arrived - an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew who were eating lunch but the hearse was nowhere in sight.
I apologized to the gravediggers for my lateness and stepped to the side of the open grave where I saw the vault lid already in place.
I assured the workers I wouldn’t hold them up for long but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I played my heart and soul out.
As I played, the gravediggers began to weep. I played like I'd never played before, from ‘Going Home’ and ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ to ‘Flowers of the Forest’. I closed the session with ‘Amazing Grace’, then solemnly and quietly walked to my car.
As I opened the car door, I overheard one of the workers say to another, "I’ve never seen anything like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Johnny Forrest#405 - 7500 Granville AveRichmond, BC, V6Y 3Y6
Saturday, August 15, 2009
SFU repeats as the top Pipe Band for the sixth time. To see the Band in competition, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/Scotland/music/worlds/2009
Grade 1 Overall
1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)
2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)
3rd St. Laurence O'Toole (Ireland)
4th Strathclyde Police (Scotland).
5th House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)
6th Boghall & Bathgate (Scotland)
Drumming: Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Grade 1 Medley: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Drumming: House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)
Judges: I Wood, T. Sloane (piping); G. Craig (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)
Grade 1 MSR: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Drumming: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Judges: Malcolm MacKenzie, John Moles (piping); A. Steele (drumming); David Clark (ensemble)
Grade 2 (MSR)
1st Inveraray and District
3rd Mauchline and District
5th Grampian Police
6th New Westminster Police
1. Triumph Street Pipe Band qualified for the Grade 1 final but didn’t make the prize list.
2. Robert Malcolm Juveniles were 4th in their competition.
All in all, a very good day for B.C. Bands.