On Friday 14th April about twenty members of the Association gathered at the Culloden Visitors Centre for the annual joint NTS/1745 Association lecture. This year it was given by Association past Chairman Professor Christopher Duffy on ‘Writing the Jacobite Forty-Five’. It proved so popular that seats were only available for ticket holders.
Christopher’s themes related to, the study of the ’45, the wide range of sources available in this country and abroad, the political and religious background, the endemic corruption under the Hanoverian regime and the aftermath of the battle.
A dinner was then held in Inverness for the Association members.
At 11.00am on Saturday 15th April the Association members and several hundred clansmen and women, members of the Inverness Gaelic Society, who organised the event, and visitors from around the world assembled at the main cairn for the commemoration of the battle. Speeches and prayers in Gaelic and English were said and wreaths were laid in remembrance of the fallen by representatives of all the groups present, including the Association.
The weather before the commemoration had been dry and sunny but during the event a violent sleet shower drenched the participants, evocative perhaps of the weather on the day of the battle itself.
A number of clan groups, with banners flying and pipers playing, then paid tribute at the stones marking the graves of their clan dead.
In the afternoon a number of members attended the Clan Donald lunch and others stayed at the Visitors Centre to hear the lectures given by Dr Kirsten Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen, Professor Hugh Cheape, University of the Highlands and Islands, and Sarah Fraser, author of the ‘Last Highlander’. Their theme, ‘In the Shadow of the Princes’, was a very evocative insight into the devastating effect of the aftermath of the battle on the north of Scotland, the abolition of Highland dress, the carrying of any weapons and the eradication of the Gaelic language, as well as the death and destruction caused by the troops themselves.
In the evening a ‘Culloden Commemoration Music Evening’ was held in a hotel in Inverness to raise funds for NTS Culloden. A number of the Association attended, along with a large group of Highlanders dressed in 18th century Highland costume complete with swords and dirks.
The 1745 Association was well represented, the lectures and discussions were fascinating, the commemoration on the field of battle, with all the Clan Chief’s banners and pipers, was a colourful and moving event and the camaraderie, assisted by the food and drink, was superb.