March of the Cameron Men1745 Association Annual Gathering 

1-4 September 2005

Midi courtesy Queen's Own Highlanders


The Annual Gathering of the 1745 Association was held at The Lovat Arms Hotel in Fort Augustus. Members arrived throughout Thursday 1 September and we all gathered that evening for dinner. Old friendships were revitalised and new ones begun. A few drams in the bar after dinner and the Gathering was off to a fine start.



Morning dawned fairly bright and at 9.30am we were off to Beaufort Castle, Beauly, ancestral home of the Lovat Frasers where the present owner, Mrs Anne Gloag, had kindly granted us a visit. Previously derelict areas of the castle had been sensitively restored and we were pleased to see the building is such an excellent state of repair. Of particular interest was a display case with much memorabilia of Prince Charles Edward including a pair of pistols reputedly used by the Prince on Culloden Field.




After an excellent lunch at the Lovat Arms in Beauly we traveled on to St Mary's church in Eskadale. John and Charles Sobieski-Stuart are buried under an impressive monument in the churchyard. These two colourful characters claimed to be the  grandsons of Prince Charles Edward and his wife Louise of Stolberg. It  was claimed that the two brothers were the sons of Thomas Allen who himself was the adopted  son of Admiral John Allen. Thomas was reputed to be Prince Charles' son although why the Prince should have wanted to spirit away a legitimate son and have him brought up by a Hanoverian sea captain is not explained. In any event in 1838 Lord Lovat provide the brothers with a house on Eilean Aigas in the River Beauly where they lived from 1838 to 1845.




Is it time for lunch yet?On Saturday we set off again, this time for Invergarry Castle. The castle gave shelter to Prince Charles both on his advance from Glenfinnan and on the escape from Culloden. The castle was destroyed by government troops after Culloden and is sadly in such a poor state of repair. At present it is not possible to closely examine the building. A plan for substantial  consolidation of the structure is underway and we look forward to revisiting in the future. During our visit Mr Norman MacDonald gave us an interesting talk about the involvement of Invergarry Castle in the Rising of 1745. Lunch was taken in the Invergarry Castle Hotel from where the group moved on to the Mains of Gorthleck, a house occupied by Simon Fraser of Lovat's factor in 1746 and  where Prince Charles briefly halted on his flight from Culloden.



They're the Tops!The Gala Dinner was served at 8pm where the usual Peter's Pud! profusion of Highland dress was on display. Many of us born south of the border made do with dinner suits and less formal dress! A great time was  had by all and we were educated and informed by a talk by Professor Peter English of the University of Aberdeen who spoke on "The Jacobite Lands of Glenmoriston and Glen Urquhart". Professor English also proposed the Toast to the Royal House of Stuart. Music, song and more than a drop of whisky followed the dinner before members retired to get a good night's sleep in preparation for the journey home on Sunday morning.




The AGM was held  in the Lovat Arms on Friday evening  where details of the progress the of the 1745 Association over the coming year was discussed. It was agreed that the 2006 Annual Gathering should be held in Stirling.



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