Latest News & Events
Valedictory Report of the Chair of The 1745 Association
In his final annual report to the members of The 1745 Association, Michael Nevin, Association Chair between May 15th 2016 and September 15th 2023, reflects on the Association's activities over that period, and remembers past friends and colleagues. His report concludes with some thoughts on the Jacobite spirit and looks forward with confidence to the future of the Association under a new Chair. To view this please click here.
Brigadier John Macfarlane - by Michael Nevin
It is my sad duty to report that Brigadier John M. Macfarlane, former Chair and President of The 1745 Association, passed away peacefully at his family home in Taynuilt, Argyll, on Monday.
Born in Tobermory in 1939, John was educated at Tobermory School, Oban High School and the University of Glasgow, where he studied Modern Languages. He began his Army career training Gurkha soldiers as an officer in the Royal Army Educational Corps (RAEC) in Malaya during the 1960s, and subsequently served in a number of intelligence-related posts, retiring in 1994 after more than 30 years' service. He later held posts in the Middle East before coming home to Argyll, where he played an active role in community and church affairs and in actively promoting wider knowledge of Gaelic culture and history.
In 2005, he presented a BBC Alba programme on the Battle of Monte Cassino (1944) which, for me, remains the definitive account of the WW2 battle, and included interviews with Scottish veterans of the battle in their native Gaelic.
He also served as Chieftain of the Gaelic Society of Inverness and gave the Chief's Address at the annual Commemorative Service on Drummossie Moor on April 17th 2010, drawing on his military experience to evoke in most vivid terms what was going through the minds of the Jacobite soldiers who stood at Culloden on April 16th 1746.
He gave tireless and invaluable service to The 1745 Association as our Chair between 2003 and 2009 and President between 2009 and 2019. At the time of his death, he was an Honorary Vice Chair of the Association, continuing to generously contribute to the Association's activities whenever called upon, most recently supporting the transfer of Association's collection of books and records to the A.K. Bell Library in Perth last September. In 2020, he kindly recorded a few lines from John Roy Stuart's poems 'The Day of Culloden' and 'Lament for Lady Macintosh' for the Association in Gaelic and English, where his rich baritone rendition will hopefully still be heard for years to come at https://www.1745association.org.uk/audio-video.
One anecdote he told me of his military career comes to mind at this sad time. Serving in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, he received an urgent command late at night to deploy his unit to a border farmhouse where armed Irishmen had been seen. On arrival, his platoon heard an ominous squealing which enabled them to locate and surround the Irishmen and demand their surrender. Their flashlights shone to reveal a motley group of men carrying pigs and piglets. Their leader claimed that it was all an unfortunate misunderstanding, and sure they were just trying to take the pigs and their poor wee piglets to safety as they seemed to be lost. He then most helpfully offered to return them to the farm where they belonged before heading back over the border.
As related by John, the story was an amusing cameo during a difficult period, but at the time, in the dead of night at the height of the Troubles, it can have been no laughing matter. The incident could have had tragic and potentially fatal consequences had it not been for John's calm temperament and characteristically measured response. As it was, the Irish rustlers and British platoon parted, if not exactly the best of friends, at least on as amicable terms as could be expected under such circumstances.
Brigadier John Macfarlane, British Army Officer and dedicated supporter of the Gaelic language and culture, passed away at his home at Taynuilt, Argyll, on Monday, May 8th 2023
The ‘45 in 45 minutes - 2023
Talks on Topics of Jacobite Interest given by Members of The 1745 Association for Members of The 1745 Association. They all start at 17:45 and are open to all members via a Zoom link. This will be provided in advance of each talk. The upcoming talks will be as follows, exact topics to be confirmed:
Forthcoming events will be posted when available.
Association Library Relocation
If you wish to access the association library, this has recently relocated from Callender House in Falkirk to it's new permanent home at the AK Bell Library in Perth. The official opening of the Association Library took place on Friday, 9th September 2022 as part of the members Annual Gathering.
BBC Alba had a piece on their An Là bulletin on Friday, 16th.
The link to Maggie MacKinnon’s piece covering the Official Opening of The 1745 Collection at the AK Bell Library in Perth, which lasts 4 minutes and is in a mix of Gaelic and English, can be seen on:
The library is now open and free to access to all interested in the Jacobite era, as a one-stop shop for Jacobite books and research. It includes the Lole Papers which comprise the correspondence, papers and articles of the late F Peter Lole who served for many years as Editor of ‘The Jacobite’ and cover subjects such as Jacobite Glass, on which he was one of the world’s leading authorities.
First 1745 Association Journal
The first edition of what has evolved into The Jacobite was published in 1954, at a price of two shillings, under the editorship of Dr George Pratt Insh CBE, under the title Transactions of the Forty-Five Association (click the link to read). A second edition under his editorship was published in 1956.
Dr Insh was a distinguished historian in his own right, and these early editions have a definite academic flavour, including as they do scholarly papers by other leading historians of the day, including Sir Charles Petrie, Vice-President of the Association, on "Ireland and 45" and Cyril Hughes Hartmann on "Naval Operations in the 45"
Our present chairman Mike Nevin states:
"Even in these early editions, three key characteristics were in evidence:
an emphasis on first-hand evidence provided by the writings of participants in the Rising of 1745, with letters from Lord George Murray to his wife dating from the 1730s and 1740s published in the first two editions;
an emphasis on previously under-researched aspects of the Rising; and
a particular interest in the lives and destinies of individuals caught up in the Rising – from the beginning, the journal focused on the social and cultural history of the ‘45, rather than political, economic or military events, although these were also covered.”
2020 - Book Recommendations
Further to queries from members regarding a book list pertaining to Jacobite learning and general reading, which was available on the old website, the Council reached out to members for their recommendations of their Top 3 "Jacobite" related books.
Following an encouraging response, we have now compiled a list of the Top 12 "Jacobite" related books as voted for by the membership.
You can access the list through this link. Thanks you to all who contributed and happy reading.
Proposed Battle of Falkirk Muir Visitor Centre
Our member Roddy Tulloch and his team have prepared a prospectus for the proposed Battle of Falkirk Muir Visitor Centre which may be of interest to our members and others.
The prospectus can be viewed HERE.
BBC Sounds - Culloden
Members may be interested in listening to “From Our Own Correspondent” broadcast on 27th April 2020 on BBC Radio 4 between 1130 & 1230. 5 minutes and 49 seconds into the programme there is a piece on the cancellation of the ceremony at Culloden and general Jacobite matters. The 1745 Association gets a mention which includes the proposed trip to Florence.
Thanks to our Chairman, Michael Nevin.
The programme is available on BBC Sounds.
Social Media Update - Twitter
The 1745 Associaton are now on Twitter. Follow us for up to date news on events, updates and an "on this day" feature of pertinent events during the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46. Click on the Twitter icon below or this link.
The Story of Killiecrankie Battlefield and Transport Scotland's plan to destroy its heart
A very interesting and informative video in the link on our "Audio / Video" page.
This is about the proposed road works that Transport Scotland are looking to dual the A9 through the Battlfield of Killicrankie. They are proposing to duel the south side of the existing road which will destroy the most important part of the Battlefield.
The aim is to get to get them to change their plans and dual the north side of the A9 which would have much less impact on the battlefield.
Further information can be found at the following website: https://www.soldiersofkilliecrankie.co.uk/
Press Release by The 1745 Association
RELEASE DATE MONDAY JANUARY 13TH 2020
The 1745 Association Reiterates its Opposition to Dualling the A9 at Killiecrankie
As the Enquiry into the dualling of the A9 commences at Pitlochry today, the 1745 Association reiterates its concerns about the threat it poses to the Killiecrankie battlefield.
“We are respectfully asking the Reporter to consider all feasible options for the A9, not just those put forward by Transport for Scotland, in order to avoid irreparable and irreversible damage to one of Scotland’s most important battlefield sites,” said Association Chairman Michael Nevin. “As a professional economist, I seriously question whether a rigorous cost-benefit analysis would support the dualling of the A9 at Killiecrankie at all. Do we really want to encourage more cars, travelling ever-increasing speeds, on our our arterial roads? Surely the priority of an environmentally responsible transport policy should be to encourage greater use of rail and bus services, combined with regulating road traffic to travel at steady and sustainable speeds and so minimise the damaging effect that vehicle emissions are having on global warming.”
Mr Nevin suggests that the optimal strategy for the A9 would involve maintaining the existing single carriageway at the Pass of Killiecrankie, combined with selective dualling on stretches before and after enabling motorists to overtake slower moving vehicles safely.
“At Killiecrankie, a far more cost-effective option would involve maintaining the existing single carriageway, adding a lay-by and enhancing battlefield interpretation to encourage passing travellers by bus, coach and car to pause and reflect on an important moment in Scottish history,” said Mr Nevin.
The 1745 Association formally wrote to the Director of Major Transport Infrastructure Projects (MTRIPS) of Transport Scotland on January 20th 2018 setting out its objections to their proposals. “We reiterate our objections today as the Enquiry commences. TfL’s cosmetic changes to their original proposals do nothing to allay our concerns,” stated Mr Nevin. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Scottish Battlefields Trust, the local community group Soldiers of Killiecrankie, our friends in The Fifteen (the Northumbrian Jacobite Society) and many others who share our fundamental concerns about these proposals. I am confident that the Reporter will give full and detailed consideration to all options, and we wish him well in his important Enquiry.”
The Battle of Glen Shiel - 300 Years On!
You may be aware that our Chairman, Mike Nevin, gave a talk entitled "The Battle of Glen Shiel - 300 Years On!" at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Monday, June 10th, the 300th anniversary of the battle, drawing on Peter Tillemans' great painting of the battle to explain what happened there.
The talk was covered by the journalist Jody Harrison, who wrote a piece on the battle for the Herald on Sunday. The article published on June 16th can be read via https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17709329.the-forgotten-battle-of-scotland/
As this article was not written by the Association any inaccuracies are out of our control.