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Title: Another Response to the NTS
Posted by: Kyle MacLea
Date: 05 October 2007

Dear Forum,

Here is another response I have written to the NTS.  If you have comments or additions, please send them to me today if possible.  I will be sending out my written copy by tomorrow's mail.

Here it is.  Kyle=

Miss Shonaig MacPherson, Chairman
The National Trust for Scotland  
Wemyss House, 28 Charlotte Square 
Edinburgh, Scotland  
United Kingdom EH2 4ET

Dear Miss MacPherson:

I am writing again today to follow up on the issue of the Appin Regiment marker at the Culloden Moor battlefield.  After conferring with some of my clansmen and members of other clans, we would like to address some of the points you raised in your correspondence with Mr. David Livingston, with whom you have had recent contact via email.  Before I begin, though, let me emphasize that though we have our differences with the NTS over this marker’s language, we believe that your work to reinvigorate the commemoration of this battle is vitally important.  We write to you now in a spirit of collaboration, hopeful that we can work together to resolve this.  Our clan chief, leaders of Carmichael and other clan organizations, other concerned clansmen, and I are all willing to enter discussions with you about possibilities for this marker if you will give us the chance to do so.

It is my understanding that NTS plans to enshrine in stone the wording of the memorial marker honoring our fallen clansmen of the Appin Regiment as “Stewarts of Appin and MacLarens”.  Through our correspondence with you and with Ms. Deirdre Smyth, Property Manager at Culloden, there appears to be some disagreement about when the marker read “Appin Regiment” and when “Stewarts of Appin and Maclarens” was added to that marker.  Regardless, we believe that it was historically recognized early on that those who fought in the Appin Regiment were much more than just Stewarts and Maclarens.  Interestingly, the original stone markers laid in 1886 appear to have been in error themselves, because the Appin Regiment’s marker is given as “Clan Stewart of Appin” despite the fact that the Regiment was led by Stewart of Ardshiel, who was fighting along with his Appin clansmen, against the will of the Clan Chief of Stewart of Appin.

I have several basic points I would like to bring up regarding this stone memorial:

1. You state that you undertook “extensive discussions with representatives of the Stewarts and the Maclarens”.  The other clans represented in this Regiment are also available for discussions and would like to be a part of this decision.  I invite you to consult with Lord Lyon or the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs if you wish to come up with a list of currently-recognized Chiefs of the clans in Appin Regiment.  Other Clan Organizations in these names, both in Scotland and abroad, are also active and available to be a part of discussions.
2. It is my understanding that the Maclarens believe they should be listed separately on the stone because they came from outwith Appin.  However, looking at the Muster Roll of the Appin Regiment, one can find only 1 of the Maclarens not from Appin.  And even if this were the case, does 1 person out of about 300 justify a change of this magnitude?
3. The Carmichaels were standard bearers for the Stewarts of Appin, but are not mentioned for their service, nor are the MacColls for their great sacrifice of men (33 casualties), or Donald Livingstone of Movern for saving the only standard of Appin to survive the battle.  There were many important casualties from clans other than Stewart and Maclaren.  To not mention these seems a great loss to the historical record even if they are mentioned elsewhere in a Visitor Centre.  
4. Though by your count the offending language of the marker has stood for 30 years, for much longer the simpler Appin Regiment language stood, and was a place of pilgrimage for much longer under that language.  Indeed, there is a stone at a church in Portnacroish, Appin, which claims to have “originally stood at the head of the grave on Culloden Moor where lie 92 officers and men of the Stewarts of Appin who fell in the memorable charge of the right wing of the Prince’s army, April 16, 1746.”  This stone was moved to Portnacroish in 1906, according to the inscription, and appears to have stood close to the 1886 stone at one point.  We have film of this stone in Portnacroish from 2003 documenting that in addition to the named Stewarts of Appin, it lists all the casualties of the Appin Regiment, and gives no special mention to the Maclarens, only their due in having suffered like the other men of the Regiment.
5. You state that Messr. Finlayson is given as the “authoritative” Jacobite historian of record and that he only mentions Stewarts and Maclarens.  However, the history of the Appin Regiment is well documented in other sources, including the Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart 1745-1746.  Why these other sources should be ignored in preference to Mr. Finlayson is not at all clear to us.  This is made more mysterious to us because finding information about Finlayson and his work has been surprisingly difficult, unearthing only one survey map of Culloden conducted by a John Finlayson sometime after the battle.
6. There are options other than “Appin Regiment” and “Stewarts of Appin and Maclaren” that may be chosen to represent this Regiment.  We would be happy to discuss these options with you.

It has been said that the NTS plans to “tell the complex story of Culloden in a balanced way and allow visitors to draw their own conclusions about the Jacobite uprising, the battle, and its consequences”.  The planned wording change to our Regiment marker is inconsistent with these objectives as it obscures the history of the battle by giving visitors only partial information, thereby creating the misleading impression that only the two named clans fought and died with the Appin Regiment.

In consultaton with our Clan Chief, Baron Livingstone of Bachuil, our clansmen, and also members of Clans Carmichael, Donald, Arthur, and others, we write today only to be given the chance to speak with you about these changes and forge a way forward together that will be acceptable to all involved.  We are sure that our brethren among the Stewarts of Appin and Maclarens have no desire to see our contributions to the Appin Regiment diminished or obscured.  That being said, I urge you to bring together some or all of these interested parties so that an amicable and happy solution may be found that puts us all on the same side with respect to Culloden Battlefield preservation.  Forgive any argumentative tone which may come forth in this letter, it is only that Culloden does still strongly draw our hearts and minds and we only wish for the most truthful and accurate version of history to be shown to future generations of Scots and their clans and families abroad.

With all best regards,

Kyle S. MacLea, Ph.D.


** This Thread has ended - Please do NOT attempt to resurrect it! **

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