August 2022     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  August 2022 Gathering   A Scottish Poem
  It Happened This Month   Leavy Passing
  Meet the Members   Snippets from Scotland

August Gathering

A General Gathering of the Society is to be held at lunchtime on Saturday 6 August in Fibber Magee's Irish Pub at 1989 West Elliot Street, Chandler.

Fibber Magge's

The meeting will discuss the way forward for the Society and President David McBee will present a brief business report and a look back at this year's highly successful Scottish Games.

It is hoped some new members will come along and enjoy the company. David said, "We have some new members to welcome, some brief business to report, a Games review and plans for the next one to discuss, and a lot of fellowship to recover."

The event will start at 12.30pm.

It Happened This Month - 1747

On 1 August 1747, the Proscription Act was introduced in Scotland, effectively banning the wearing of tartan. Here, journalist Hamish MacPherson examines the legislation.

It was one of the most infamous pieces of legislation in the history of the Union. There is a great deal of confusion about the Act of Proscription – which is often stated as 1747 because it took effect on August 1 that year, but in fact it was passed in August 1746 as a knee-jerk reaction to the Jacobite Rising which ended in defeat at Culloden on April 16, 1746.

No sooner had Butcher Cumberland sent his troops roaming the Highlands and Islands to slaughter anyone, male or female, thought to have Jacobite sympathies than Westminster weighed in with the Act of Proscription. This followed two similar acts passed in 1716 and 1725 which were aimed at disarming the clans, but which had proved ineffectual.

The 1746 Act set out its intentions in its opening lines: "An act for the more effectual disarming of the highlands of Scotland; and for the more effectual securing the peace of the said highlands; and for restraining the use of the highland dress."

It is often presumed that the act banned the wearing of tartan – it did not. Not even the British Parliament could ban tartan altogether as it was the type of cloth that was worn by everyone in the Highlands, including women and children. Yet tartan started to be phased out, largely due to the actual wording of the Act as drafted by the then Lord Chancellor Philip Yorke, Lord Hardwicke.

It stated: "From and after the first day of August, one thousand seven hundred and forty seven, no Man or Boy, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers in His Majesty's Forces, shall, on any pretence whatsoever wear or put on the Clothes commonly called Highland Clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or little Kilt, Trowse, Shoulder Belts, or any part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no Tartan, or party-coloured Plaid or Stuff shall be used for Great Coats, or for Upper Coats; and if any such Person shall presume after the first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid Garments, or any part of them, every such Person so offending, being convicted thereof by the Oath of One or more credible Witness or Witnesses before any Court of Justiciary or any one or more Justices of the Peace for the Shire or Stewartry, or Judge Ordinary of the Place where such Offence shall be committed, shall suffer imprisonment, without Bail, during the space of Six Months, and no longer, and that being convicted for a second Offence before a Court of Justiciary, or at the Circuits, shall be liable to be transported to any of His Majesty's Plantations beyond the Seas, there to remain for the space of Seven Years."

So, while tartan cloth was not banned, any man wearing Highland dress was liable for transportation. It was not tartan they banned as such, it was dressing like a Highlander, a clansperson.

In effect, the Dress Act, as it became known, was a huge blast of Britishness being imposed on the Highlands where plaids and kilts were worn for specific purposes – for instance, they served as blankets when men were out on hills and glens tending sheep and cattle. It was nothing short of an attempt to exterminate a way of life, as proven by the fact that those clans which had fought against the Jacobites, such as the Campbells, were also hammered by the Dress Act.

Further proof that it was aimed at assimilating the Highlanders into "British society" was the fact that the ban did not apply to "officers and soldiers in His Majesty's Forces". Cumberland and his fellow generals knew what formidable fighters the clansmen were, so why not use the lure of being able to wear tartan as a recruitment aid?

It is the "disarming" sections of the Act which are truly brutal, and there is evidence that losing the means of defending one's family drove many Highlanders of If their lands, either abroad or often into the Forces.

The Act ultimately failed and with Scots playing an ever-greater role in the burgeoning British Empire, the Government under King George III repealed the Act in 1782, mostly at the prompting of the Duke of Montrose and the Highland Society of London. But the damage had been done in the 25 years it was in force, and Highland culture, if not Highland dress, was devastated.

Meet Ian Warrander

Ian Warrander, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, has just completed an epic American road trip that took in, among other places, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Here Ian details some of his Scottish-American stops along the way.

Ian Warrander

On 14 June I departed Phoenix on my Suzuki V Strom motorcycle for a month-long tour around North America. A friend and I started by attending the Indian Motorcycle Rider Durango Rendezvous, them met up with another rider in Southern Illinois before heading to the Knoxville TN area to enjoy 4 days of riding the twisty roads of the area.

We parted ways on the Thursday, my friends heading back to IL and AZ, while I waited for Anne to fly in and join me for a weekend with friends in Tellico Plains, TN. We had a day trip into Knoxville TN where we were introduced to "Boyd's Jig and Reel a Musical Pub". The bar is the heart of Scottish culture in East Tennessee. It's a place for musicians and whisky lovers alike to come together and celebrate the heritage of the Scottish immigrants who settled there. The website claims more than 950 whiskies, but the day we were there the sign read "1045 Whiskies & Counting". The menu includes haggis and other recognizable Scottish selections. Worth a visit if in the area.

Angry mints A few days later I stopped in Point Pleasant WV, intrigued by the Mothman conspiracy I wandered around town finding the statue of Lord Dunmore. John Murray, 4th Earl of. He's known for Lord Dunsmore's War, a 1774 conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo American Indian Nations. In 1775 he issued Lord Dunmore's Proclamation in an effort to undermine patriot resolve, declaring that any enslaved person who fled his master and served with loyalty towards Great Britain, would secure their freedom. Always interesting to see the Scottish being part of American history.

I also found a shop selling the "Angry Scotsman Mints" but traveling by motorcycle only allowed me to buy a couple of small tins.

While in Canada I visited the Toby Jug Pub in my hometown of Bolton, Ontario. The pub was opened by two brothers from Glasgow over 30 years ago. I've been there in the past for Robbie Burns Nights, a Hogmanay and a number of sessions, musical and otherwise. They still had Tennent's Lager on tap.

I traveled through many places with names that originated in Scotland. To name a few, Glenview KY, Fergus ON, Angus ON, Caledon ON, Churchill OH, Mercer PA, Fort Campbell TN, Blanding UT, and of course I made a stop in Aberdeen SD, since Aberdeen Scotland is my birthplace.

Trying to stretch out my time in more comfortable temperature I met up with Anne in Flagstaff, joining some friends to take in the Flagstaff Celtic Festival. We were escaping the rain and ran into the building where Jim Hartman was doing a demonstration and explanation of the short pipes. We're looking at scheduling a demonstration through the CSA sometime in the future since Jim and his associates are from right here in The Valley

Ian's route

Sunday 17 July I returned home to Ahwatukee, logging 7,555 miles, 19 states, one province, and two international border crossings. There were multiple visits with family and friends, but even with time I had there was not time to see everyone. Definitely a trip to remember and one that gave ideas for future trips.

Favorite Songs - This Month, a Poem

We asked Society member Jim Lagnese for his favorite Scottish song or poem and he came up with a classic.

Jim said, "One of the Scottish poems that sticks out in my mind is Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Requiem', which he wrote as an epitaph to himself. Stevenson lived in Samoa at the time of his death and was loved by the people's there. In that poem he does not want to die like a person defeated by death. Rather his wish to be remembered as a person who accepted death wholeheartedly. It's a reflection of a person that has had a life and I get the sentiment."

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

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Frank Leavy

Frank LeavyThe Society was saddened to hear of the death of Frank Leavy, for many years a stalwart of the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix, and a founding member of the city's St Patrick's Day Parade.

Frank was born in County Meath, Ireland and moved to Scottsdale in 1979, from where he operated the family business, Harvest Meat Company. He and his wife Eileen immersed themselves in Irish and Celtic culture in the Valley.

Frank died aged 94. Our condolences go to his family.

Snippets from Scotland

Snippet from The Scotsman

Surely not. A new book has suggested that Greyfriars Bobby, the faithful dog that sat by the grave of his master in Edinburgh, may not have been a Skye terrier as depicted. Instead, claims the author, Bobby was a Dandie Dinmont terrier.

Snippet from The BBC

Scientists have confirmed what Scottish tourist bosses have known for years – that the Loch Ness Monster could exist. A prehistoric reptile called a plesiosaur - apparently.

Snippet from The Press and Jouornal

New research of the Battle of Culloden using 3D records of the area has revealed that Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army was positioned differently than had been previously thought.

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