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Annual Gathering 2013
Thursday September 5th to Sunday September 8th

Twenty-eight members attended the 2013 Annual gathering which was centered  in Coupar Angus at the Red House Hotel.

The Red House Hotel in the small town of Coupar Angus, was the venue of this year’s Annual Gathering. The Hotel provided members with first class accommodation and good old fashioned Scottish hospitality. The meals were sumptuous and the quality and presentation satisfied all. The 1745 Association conveys thanks to the management and staff for making our short sojourn a memorable one.

Red House Hotel, Coupar AngusWhile the attendance was lower than that of Derby (28 as opposed to 50) those members who did attend, surely enjoyed the advantage of being able to access houses and artefacts denied to the general public, as well as renewing acquaintance with friends. This year’s Gathering was organised by 1745 Association veteran and former Chairman and Editor F. Peter Lole. Peter constructed a first class and varied itinerary and our thanks go to him.

Day One. (Friday 6 September)

We were introduced to our coach driver Bill, whose task was to negotiate narrow roads and transport us safely to the various sites of Jacobite interest. He accomplished this in a calm and efficient manner, for which we give him thanks.

A visit to Montrose Museum began the day and while, perhaps, not the most stimulating of visits, there were several items of interest. Perhaps a guided tour would have had some advantage.

We then drove to Ferryden to view Montrose Harbour and its approaches. Our esteemed historianMontrose Museum Dr. Christopher Duffy outlined the events here during the ’45. Montrose was the only harbour on the east coast that the Jacobites could use safely, as it offered shelter from easterly winds. At that time, the harbour was deep, enabling ships to berth alongside the dock at low tide but was nonetheless a difficult place to navigate. The blockading ships of the Hanoverian Navy, were often blown off course which enabled French vessels to land valuable commodities of gold and military hardware. This was achieved between the 9th and 19th of October 1745. Rear Admiral Byng, commanding the Hanoverian Navy, was determined this should stop and as a consequence on November 8th gave instructions to Captain Hill to take his sloop The Hazard into Montrose harbour. Hill managed to inflict some damage and he even implemented a puppet administration in the town. Unfortunately, owing to the easterly wind he was unable to extricate himself from the harbour and the local commanders of Jacobite forces, the “notorious and infamous rebel” Captain David Ferrier and Captain John Erskine of Dun House arrived from Brechin and exchanged shots with The Hazard. It was at this time the French frigate La Renommée, a survivor of a larger group of ships, arrived and ran herself aground on the south bank of the shipping channel. This allowed her to land artillery and 150 men of the Royal Ecossais and as result of a “good pounding” from both sides of the channel, Captain Hill was compelled to surrender The Hazard on November 25th. Eventually, The Hazard was given rudimentary repairs and became His Most Catholic Majesty’s Ship, Le Prince Charles.

There are notable differences in Montrose Harbour today; the silt that has accumulated requires frequent dredging and what was once Rossie Island is now gone and an oil terminal, sits on the site. It is, however, possible if one uses one’s imagination to envisage the scene in 1745.

The afternoon began, following lunch at the Dun Café, with a tour of The House of Dun the Entrance Dun Houseformer ancestral home of the Erskine Family, from 1375 to 1980. The present house was designed and built by William Adam for David Erskine in the 18th century. Erskine was then a judge of the Scottish Court of Sessions. The house and gardens cover 368 hectares and indeed, was a hotel from the 1980s until taken over by The National Trust for Scotland.

From a Jacobite perspective, the saloon has stucco work by Joseph Enzer, with distinct Jacobite imagery being described by Whig historian Linda Colley as “a splendid, almost shocking mixture of chaste classicism and gloating violence.”

The structure of the house is typical of Adam design, everything had to be symmetrical, even to the extent of creating false windows and doors, inside as well as out, to maintain the correct balance.

Day Two. (Saturday 7 September)

We were greeted in the wonderful gardens of Balnamoon (Bonniemoon to the local populace) by the 15th Laird James Carnegy-Arbuthnott, on the morning of our second day. The Laird made us welcome with his relaxed and easy manner and we listened as he gave us a brief history of the house and the estate.

The present Laird succeeded his Father, David, who died in 2008. Balnamoon has been the home of the Carnegy-Arbuthnotts since approximately 1620. The family lived in relative peaceful tranquillity until the 18th century, without any financial injection either through marriage or business ventures.Balnamoon

Alexander, the 5th Laird, joined the 1715 Rising and as a consequence the estate was forfeit. Bought back in 1728. Alexander’s son, James, as a result of his marriage to Margaret Arbuthnott of Findowie, became the first Carnegy-Arbuthnott. James gave his support to the Jacobites of the 1745 Rising. His escape from Culloden, betrayal, arrest and eventual acquittal (due to mistaken identity) are given a fictionalised account in a recent publication, Balnamoon, The Rebel Laird, penned by the late John Angus.

Most of the current house was built between 1812 and 1820, having been designed by an architect from Montrose and completed by William Burn. The strong Italian influence is obvious, particularly, the front portico, based on the Arch of Titus in Rome. The house is now a Category B listed building.

There was a major upheaval, within the family, following the death in 1921, of James Carnegy-Arbuthnott, who had accumulated vast gambling debts. His middle daughter, Enid, inherited these debts, as well as the estate. There was also a court case, as a result of a challenge to the will, so these combined misfortunes caused serious financial problems. Enid astutely reverted to her maiden name and managed to retrieve the situation with various sales as well as letting out the house between the two world wars. Enid returned to the house at the end of WWII but discovered that the building had deteriorated significantly. Dry rot was so extensive that major renovation work was required and even demolition was considered. However, common sense prevailed and the decision was taken to renovate 2/3 of the house and demolish the remainder. This work was completed in 1976.

On completion of the tour and having previously been introduced to the Laird’s wife, an ethereal lady with a charming smile, we sat down to tea and biscuits in the drawing room of Balnamoon and conversed with the Carnegy-Arbuthnotts in complete ease. It was a wonderful experience.

Following luncheon at The Glen Clova Hotel our next destination, Cortachy Castle, is Cortachy Castlethe home of the Ogilvy family. David George Coke Patrick Ogilvy 13th Earl of Airlie, greeted us at the entrance. Lord Airlie was born in London, educated at Eton and served with the Scots Guards in World War II. Among his many positions, he was Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother until 1997. Lord Airlie also served as Lord Lieutenant of Scotland. He married an American lady, Virginia Fortune Ryan in 1952. The Countess of Airlie is currently a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II.

The building is a castellated mansion and dates from the 15th century. The Ogilvy family obtained it in 1473 and “modernised” it in the 17th and 19th centuries. A section of the castle was damaged by fire in 1883 and re-built over the following two years. Cortachy Castle is a Category B listed building. It is also reputed to be haunted by a drummer boy!

The young Lord Ogilvy, fought at Sheriffmuir, after he joined the 1715 Rising. He later fled to France, following the collapse of this venture. Charged with high treason, he was eventually pardoned on account of his age (17 years) but, he was not allowed to inherit the Earldom. The 1745 Rising saw David, Lord Ogilvy join the army of Charles Edward Stuart. He was also a young man being only 20 years of age. He took 600 men from Angus to Edinburgh in October 1745. This later increased to 800 and the regiment fought at Culloden. Following the defeat they dispersed back to Glen Clova. Lord Ogilvy, eventually, reached France via Scandinavia. Whilst in exile he formed Le Regiment Ogilvy. After 20 years in exile, he was pardoned and returned to Cortachy Castle.

Lord and Lady Airlie gave us a splendid tour of their home, showing various artefacts of interest, including a dress worn by Lady Ogilvy at the Prince’s Ball at Holyrood in 1745, as well as a waistcoat, reputedly worn by the Prince himself.

Later, members were regaled with some amusing anecdotes, both historical and current, by Lord Airlie in relation to his family. He was perhaps a little reticent at the beginning of our visit, but appeared to warm to the occasion as our tour progressed and we stayed a lot longer than originally anticipated. A scroll, depicting a heraldic device known as, “The 16 Quarterings,” was presented to his Lordship on behalf of The 1745 Association, by our chairman, The very Reverend Emsley Nimmo at the conclusion of our visit.

We returned to the hotel and dressed for our Annual Dinner. We were piped into the dining room by Annual Dinner TableThe Gentleman Piper of The 1745 Association, Archie McIntyre. Our guest of honour was Sir William MacPherson of Cluny and while, unfortunately, not in the best of health, made it known he had enjoyed the evening. The principal speaker was a young academic, Dr. Kieran German, who gave a lecture of some quality, if a little nervously, hardly surprising in front of an audience of knowledgeable listeners. The theme of the lecture was the Jacobite movement in the north-east lowlands of Scotland, being a contrast from the highland perspective and making an interesting comparison. Archie McIntyre entertained with us with some wonderful pipe music, including, “My King Has Landed in Moidart.” The evening was completed with a sing-a-long of Jacobite songs at the request of the membership, following a most successful introduction at Derby last year. We used for the first time the recently published booklet, referred to in the “Notice Section” of the Jacobite. Members dispersed the following day, with harmonious memories of a successful Gathering.

Thanks are also due to Brian Whiting for the report and Steve Lord for the pictures.