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Home | Books | Other Publications | West Highland Notes & Queries | Links | Breacachadh Castle & The Project Trust | West Highland Research | Join the Society | Trace your ancestors.
Castor and Pollux Castor and Pollux by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol

The last years of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth witnessed a dramatic change in the status quo in the United Kingdom as the Royal Stuarts lost their throne to the House of Hanover and the old cavalier families gave way to Whig magnates. Nowhere was this change more pronounced than in the central Inner Hebrides where the Macleans of Duart lost their ancient estate astride the Sound of Mull to the Earl of Argyll and his followers.

These years also mark the end of the hereditary learned families who for at least the previous five hundred years had preserved the culture of the Gàidhealtachd. These dramatic changes are epitomised in the careers of 'Castor': Sir Alexander Maclean, son of the Bishop of Argyll and 'Pollux': Sir John Maclean of Duart. Both men followed their King into exile. Sir John to become a courtier at the Jacobite court of Saint German-en-Laye near Paris, whilst Sir Alexander served in the army of King Louis XIV and arguably became an original military theorist.

Price = £20.00

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  £9.00 EU
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Published 3/2012

From Clan to Regiment From Clan to Regiment by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol

This beautifully produced, handsome book of 734 pages tells the story of one Hebridean family the Macleans of Coll and their contribution to the army, from the fifteenth century to the present day. It is, however, not just a tale of 'derring-do' but sets the scene against the culture, and changing economy of the Isles.

An island family, does not just consist of those descended in the male line from a chief but includes the whole community of the island, who after 400 years were probably all descended from the first Maclean of Coll in one way or another. Many are of course Macleans but they include Mackinnons, Macdonalds, Macfadyens, Macinneses, Mackenzies, Macnivens, Mathesons, Rankins, Morisons, Beatons, Campbells and Johnstons who came to the island for different reasons and settled there.

It also tells how, despite all the efforts of successive chiefs, the economy collapsed in the early nineteenth century. The people were scattered and in 1855 the estate, which originally consisted not only of most of Coll but also Quinish in Mull, Drimnin in Morvern and the Isles of Rum and Muck was sold. Many emigrated and became successful settlers in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and in South America as well as the United States. Others who remained in the United Kingdom and continued to produce families of soldiers. Some even settled in Germany and in Hong Kong.

Today after its long decline the population of Coll is beginning to grow once again and the island is a dynamic community. There are a healthy number of children at the Primary School, at Oban High School and at boarding schools on the mainland. Many descendants of those who left Coll are now returning to the Island. Some even have returned to live there permanently. This too is their story

Price = £30.00

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  £14.65 EU
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Published 5/2007

Murder under Trust Murder under Trust by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol

This is the first biography of Sir Lachlan Mor Maclean of Duart, the 'Great Maclean', a larger-than-life figure who dominated the western seaboard of Highland Scotland from 1578 until his death inf 1598.

The scene is set against changes in European warfare and politics in the mid-sixteenth century and in the turbulent society of the Hebrides. Then follows an account of Lachlan Mor's role in the dramatic battle between Protestants and Roman Catholics that was fought both in the hills of North-East Scotland and in Ulster. The 'Great Maclean' played a prominent part in both conflicts.

Lachlan Mor's story is based mainly on the reports of spies working for Queen Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain. The author also draws on Sir Lachlan's original letters in both Scots and Gaelic to make him a complex three-dimensional figure and not the cardboard cut-out so many of his contemporaries appear to be through lack of evidence.

Murder Under Trust is essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Highlands and Islands and Ulster.

Price = £14.99

Postage = £3.60 UK
  £7.40 EU
  £11.40 International



Published 1/1999

Warriors and Priests Warriors and Priests by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol

This is the first account of the Clan Maclean from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, to be published for almost a century, incorporating the enormous strides that have takenplace in Scottish historical studies since the publication of the Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair's Clan Gillean in 1899.

The author considers the origin of the Clan and traces its history from its first arrival on the western seaboard to subsequent landing on Mull. He follows the course of the Clan's rapid expension under the patronage of the Lords of the Isles to Coll and Tiree, Ardgour, Lochaber, the Outer and Small Isles, Islay, Jura and up the Great Glen. He also traces the Clan's subsequent history after the forfeiture of its patron.

Warriors and Priests sets the Clan against the background of Anglo-Scottish politics, the use of seapower and its involvement in the late medieval church.

THIS IS NOW OUT OF PRINT BUT CAN BE PURCHASED SECOND HAND.

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Published 1/1995

Inhabitants of the Inner Isles, Morvern and Ardnamurchan 1716 Inhabitants of the Inner Isles, Morvern and Ardnamurchan 1716 by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol (ed)

This list of the men from the Central Inner Hebrides and adjacent mainland who did or did not take part in  the Jacobite rising of 1715 is to be found among the Sheriff Court Records of Argyll (NRS. SC54.22.54) now published for the first time. It consists of 173 pages of text with two maps. One shows where the rebels and loyalists lived. It also has a picture of some of the weapons they carried. It was printed by the Scottish Record Society in 1998.

It is most unusual for a list of those who took part in a rebellion to survive. Those on the losing side are never keen that evidence that could hang them exists. Muster rolls for the regiments raised by Sir John Maclean and Cameron of Locheil therefore are no longer to be found. However, the victorious Government and its supporters were probably keen to keep a record of those of their tenants who had rebelled -so that they would never again be given a tenancy . It was also a useful list of to reward those who had sided with the authorities.

The list now published therefore records the male population who took part in the rising and those who did not. It also gives a list of the weapons they possessed. This is valuable as it shows who owned a sword and helps identify their position in society.

As many are recorded by their patronymic and not by their surname it will help those today who are trying to trace their ancestors.

Price = £20.00

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  £8.55 International



Published 1/1998

An Tuil: Anthology of 20th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse. An Tuil: Anthology of 20th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse. by Ronald Black

Approx. 300 poems, large and small, with facing English translations, arranged in chronological order by the poet's date of birth. The selection is aimed at presenting the events and transitions of the century - which produced some of the best Gaelic verse ever made, in a great variety of styles - through Gaelic eyes. With substantial introduction and detailed biographies of the poets.

 

ONLY OBTAINABLE FROM POLYGON PUBLISHING,.

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Published 1/1999

An Lasair: Anthology of 18th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse. An Lasair: Anthology of 18th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse. by Ronald Black

Approx. 60 poems in chronological order, aimed at presenting the Gaelic experience of this tumultuous century in as much variety as possible. With facing English translations, introduction, explanatory and biographical endnotes, and a summary of the motifs of the'"panegyric code'.

 

ONLY OBTAINABLE FROM THE PUBLISHER;   WWW.BERLINN.CO.UK

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Published 1/2001

Smuaintean fo Éiseabhal: Thoughts under Eishaval. Smuaintean fo Éiseabhal: Thoughts under Eishaval. by Ronald Black

A selection of the Gaelic poems of Donald MacDonald (Domhnall Aonghais Bhàin), a native of South Lochboisdale, South Uist. Approximately half the poems are presented with facing English translation by the editor. Domhnall, who died in 2000, was a gentle, quiet man, and the poems are kindly reflections on the people and landscape of the world about him in the southern district of South Uist.

 

out of print

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Published 1/2000

The Gaelic Otherworld. The Gaelic Otherworld. by Ronald Black

The Rev. John Gregorson Campbell, minister of Tiree (1834-91), was one of a handful of great men and women who dominated the world of Gaelic folklore in the second half of the nineteenth century. His speciality was superstitions. His work on these was published posthumously - and rather carelessly - in two
volumes (1900, 1902). In "The Gaelic Otherworld" Ronald Black brought them together, corrected many errors, and added the Gaelic originals of most of the longer quotations, the principal manuscript of which had found its way to Edinburgh University Library. Black also added substantial explanatory endnotes, an introduction in which he explores the identity of the fairies as a social construct essential to the everyday lives of Gaelic-speaking people, and a biography of Campbell, who was a controversial figure in his day.

 

 

OUT OF PRINT

Price = £16.99

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Published 1/2005

To the Hebrides. To the Hebrides. by Ronald Black

A new edition of the accounts written by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell of their famous tour of Scotland in 1773, aimed at breaking fresh ground in various ways. It prioritises the value of the accounts as an ethnographic record of the people of the Highlands and Islands. Each stage of the tour is given in Johnson's words, followed by Boswell's, and accompanied by a map showing their route. Boswell's part of the text consists of his private journal of the tour as published by Frederick Pottle in the twentieth century, carefully integrated with the material published during his lifetime. The two men's experience is thus brought back to life as never before. There are also explanatory notes and an index.

To be obtained only from the publisher:   www.birlinn.co.uk.

 

 

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Published 1/2007


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