Annual Gathering 2008

 

Thursday 28 August  -- Sunday 01 September

 

The  2008 Annual Gathering of the 1745 Association was held at that most optimistic of Jacobite places -- Glenfinnan. Sadly, as those who turn to this website frequently will know, the Gathering got off to a tragic start with the death of our President David Lumsden who passed away in his hotel room during the first night of the event.

 

This year members and guests were accommodated in two hotels: the Glenfinnan House Hotel which is situated right at the head of Loch Shiel with a wonderful view of both the loch and the Jacobite monument and The Prince's House Hotel, a little father away, up the hill leading out of the village.

Christopher Duffy kindly provided us with notes entitled "Arisaig, Moidart, Glenfinnan and Lochaber - locations from west to east."

Unfortunately these are not available in electronic form and as my typing is not too good I have scanned them. They are available here.

Norman H. MacDonald also provided us with notes on Fassifern House, The Skirmish at Highbridge, Kinlochmoidart House, Dalilea House and Loch nan Uamh.

I seem to have neglected to photograph the Prince's House Hotel.

Someone send me a picture please 

The Glenfinnan House  Hotel

 

A somewhat subdued atmosphere pervaded Friday morning but a coach duly arrived to take us to our first venue. This was to be Fassfern, the house owned in 1745 by John Cameron, the brother of Lochiel. Prince Charles Edward spent the night of 23 August here on his way south from Glenfinnan.

Fassifern House

The Prince's room is reputed to be third from the left on the first floor

Norman H.MacDonald tells us about Fassifern

West Highland Museum, Fort William

 

Later that morning we journeyed on to visit the West Highland Museum in Fort William. This really is a most remarkable museum and contains a wealth of internationally recognised Jacobite artefacts including a secret portrait of Prince Charles that can only be viewed by looking at its refection in a cylindrical mirror and a death mask of the Prince.

In what what proving to be a busy morning we next set out for Highbridge where the first skirmish of the '45 Rising took place on 16 August. Government troops under the command of Captains Swettenham and Scott were attacked by MacDonell Highlanders. Several troopers were killed, Scott was wounded and both Captains were captured along with about eighty men who were all privileged to see the raising of the Jacobite Standard at Glenfinnan three days later.

 Highbridge in recent times Highbridge in 1899

Highbridge Cairn Plaque The Brigadier at the Highbridge Cairn

 

Lunch was taken at the Spean Bridge Hotel and then the afternoon took us off to the Clan Cameron museum and the splendours of Achnacarry. The largely wooden house at Achnacarry was burned down by government troops in 1746 and the Hanoverian Crown confiscated Cameron lands. Much hardship and brutal behaviour was visited on the people by government edicts. However in 1784 the ‘General Act of Indemnity’ was passed and Donald Cameron of Lochiel, the 22nd Clan Chief, was able to buy back the estate for £3,433 9/1d. The estate remains in Cameron ownership to this day and present house was built in 1802. We were greeted at the museum by the 27th clan chief, Donald Cameron. Major refurbishment is currently taking place and Lochiel was kind enough to show us the work in progress.

Achnacarry House Cameron Crest

Inside Achnacarry House Remains of the old house at Achnacarry

 

The following day after breakfast we set out for Kinlochmoidart and what remains of the seven trees planted there to commemorate the "Seven Men of Moidart" who accompanied Prince Charles Edward Stuart from France to Scotland. Unfortunately only three of the original seven still stand and although replacements have been planted it was not easy to identify them.

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The Seven Men of Moidart Seven Men of Moidart Cairn plaque

Norman at the Cairn

Peter at Kinlochmoidart

We moved on the Dalilea House at the SW end of Loch Shiel. The house standing today is not original, the first presumably having been destroyed after Culloden. It was from Dalilea that Prince Charles and his companions rowed up Loch Shiel to first spend the night at Glenaladale before continuing up the loch to Glenfinnan.

Lunch was served at the Glen Shiel Hotel, Acharacle.

Dalilea House Dalilea Pier

Dalilea House Plaque  The Boat to Glenfinnan

 

Next the party moved on to Loch nan Uamh a bay that figured strongly in the Jacobite story for it was here that the Prince first set foot on the British mainland and from here where he escaped both to Benbecula after Culloden and finally to France. 

There is more on Loch nan Uamh on this page of the website.

I see no ships! The Cairn at Loch nan Uamh

Lost in Translation?

Later in the afternoon some members visited the slabs of stone on the hillside above the church in Glenfinnan. These stones reputedly indicate the place where the Jacobite Standard was raised. Our guide on this occasion was Tearlach MacFarlane. There is more on the raising of the Standard on the Jacobite Banner page of this website. Others visited the Jacobite monument and visitor centre.

Reflections The view from the top Highlander at top of monument

7.30 p.m. saw us all gathered in the Hall of Glennfinnan House Hotel for pre dinner drinks. Dinner was served in the splendid dining room of the hotel where we were joined by our guests, Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel,  Mr Aonghas Grant, the eminent Lochaber Fidler, who entertained us later in the evening, and Mr & Mrs Tearlach Macfarlane.  After an excellent meal Mr MacFarlane gave an address and proposed the toast to The Royal House of Stuart. 

Another good dinner Top Table Mr Aonghas Grant

 

 

 

A few Photos by Sheila Grant (Click the pictures for a bigger version)

Achnacarry_Small.JPG (15885 bytes)

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Dalilea_House_Small.JPG (13697 bytes)

Achnacarry Cairn Loch nan Uamh Dalilea House
Highbridge_Small.JPG (20285 bytes)

Loch_nan_Uamh_Small.JPG (16823 bytes)

Plague_at_Dalilea_House_Small.JPG (13009 bytes)

Highbridge Gorge Loch nan Uamh Plaque Dalilea House

 

 

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