A history of the Scottish Highlands, Highland clans and Highland regiments
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WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE GAELIC LANGUAGE, LITEEATURE, AND MUSIC BY THE REV. THOMAS MACLAUCHLAN, LL.D., F.S.A. SCOT. AND AN ESSAY ON HIGHLAND SCENEEY BY THE LATE PROFESSOR JOHN WILSON EDITED BY
JOHN S. KELTIE, F.S.A. SCOT. WITH A SERIES OF PORTRAITS, VIEWS, MAPS, ETC., ENGRAVED ON STEEL, CLAN TARTANS, AND UPWARDS OF TWO HUNDRED WOODCUTS, INCLUDING ARMORIAL BEARINGS
A. FULLARTON & CO. EDINBURGH AND LONDON
NO apology is deemed necessary for bringing this History of the Scottish Highlands before
the public. A work under a similar title was brought out by the present publishers
upwards of thirty years ago, under the care of Dr James Browne, and met with a sale so
extensive and sustained as to prove that it supplied a real want.
Since the publication of Browne s History, which it is only the simple truth to say had no
rival, research has brought to light so much that is new connected both with the general
history of the Highlands and the history of the various clans, and so many new laurels have
been added to those already won by the Highland regiments during the past century, and
the early part of the present, that the publishers believed the time had come for the preparation
and issue of a new work.
In preparing it, the editor has done all in his power to make it complete and accurate.
The object of Dr Browne s work was to present in one book all that is interesting and valuable
concerning the Highlands and Highlanders, a great deal of information on this subject having
lain scattered in various quarters inaccessible to the general public. In the preparation of
the present work this object has been kept steadily in view; and it may be said of it, with
even more force than of Browne s, that it is a collectanea of information concerning the Scottish
Highlands of an extent and kind to be met with in no other single publication.
The general plan of Dr Browne s work has been adhered to. In the First Part, that dealing
with the General History of the Highlands, which, from the nature of the case, is more a
chronicle of clan battles than a homogeneous history, it has been found possible, as might
have been expected, to retain much of Browne s text. This, however, has been subjected to
a careful revision and comparison with the original authorities, as well as with the many
new ones that have been brought to light during the past thirty years. Moreover, many
portions throughout this section have been rewritten, and considerable additions made. One
of the largest and most important of these is the continuation of the General History from
1745 down to the present day. The editor felt that, so far as the social history of the Highlands
is concerned, the period embraced in the past hundred years was of even more importance
than any -previous time ; he has therefore attempted to do what, so far as he knows, has not
been done before, to present a sketch of the progress of the Highlands during that period.
For this purpose he has had to consult a multitude of sources, and weigh many conflicting
statements, his aim being simply to discover and tell the truth. Such matters have been gone
into as Depopulation, Emigration, Agriculture, Large and Small Farms, Sheep and Deer,
Fishing, Manufactures, Education, &c. It is hoped, therefore, that the First Part of the work
will be found to contain a complete account of the Highlands, historical, antiquarian, and social.
An original and important feature of this part of the work is a history of the Gaelic Language
and Literature, by the well known Celtic scholar, the Rev. T. Maclauchlan, LL.D., F.S.A. Scot.
In the Second Part, relating to the History of the Highland Clans, it will be found that, in
the case of every clan, modifications and additions have been made. In some instances the
histories have been entirely rewritten, and several bordei clans have been included that were
not noticed in Browne s work The history of each clan, has, as far as possible, been traced
from its founder through all the branches and offshoots down to the present day; the part it
took in the various clan strifes, in the disputes between the Highlands and Lowlands, and in
the general wars of Scotland, being set forth. In the case of most of the clans, gentlemen who
have made a special study of particular clan histories have kindly revised the proofs.