Monday, June 16, 2008


The National Trust for Scotland , to celebrate the opening of a new visitor centre at Culloden has been searching for people whose ancestors were involved in the Jacobite Rebellion 1745-46, and especially in the final battle at Culloden. After a long search through the McMillan archives I unearthed several antique documents relating to a correspondence between my forebear Archibald MacMillan, tacksman, and his ancestral chief MacMhaolain of Castle Sween.

Three Letters to MacMhaolain Mor
from a tenant, 1745-46

1. MacMhaolain Mor

I am sorry I could not come to Moidart.
My youngest has a spot
behind her ear that may be chicken pox
but I have instructed my son Andrew to join you.
He is tall and strong as a deer and is studying Geography
and Politics at Dundee University.
He will wash our sword many times in English blood.

2. MacMhaolain Mor

I am sorry I missed the rout at Falkirk,.
it is virtually impossible to get a bus from here
outwith the tourist season,
and my son had an interview with Patientline,
but we have the fire of Fingal in our veins
and will join you
when the summer timetables begin.

3. MacMhaolain Mor

I am sorry to have missed you at Culloden
but I had an apex ticket and had to return
or pay a heavy supplement.
Exile is hell. My heart bleeds in this Travelodge.
Andrew begs your indulgence as well:
he thought Carrbridge was Cambridge
and stayed on for the Folk Festival.


Jim Murdoch said...

Very entertaining and filled with just enough truth.

Rachel Fox said...

Ah, the honourable chain that is Travelodge...every poet should have to mention them at least once in a career. I have a whole Travelodge poem (which is a bit excessive).

Enjoyed these very much.