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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: The Clans Of The Scottish Highlands by R.R. McIan         Reply with quote

Danny Grigg asked me to help him post some text and images from R.R. McIan's famous illustrated book The Clans Of The Scottish Highlands (1845). My apologies for the small text. I'm still a bit mystified by the finer points of resizing images. I'm able to read the text as posted, but others may want to increase magnification in their browsers.

Many of you will recognize the romantic Victorian paintings of Robert Ronald McIan, (1803 - 1856). Don't base your living history kit on these.Big Grin Notice that the text cites Ossian as the source of description for the paintings. Mclan didn't know it, but the Ossian poetry was an elaborate literary hoax of the 18th c. Still, there apparently was some genuine folklore mixed into that work so it must have some value.

Danny will have some questions concerning the text and images. I think he's especially interested in the interpretation of the darts.

"McIvor" first:



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Thu 26 Mar, 2009 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Angus/McInnes:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

McPhee:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See all of the plates here:

http://www.philaprintshop.com/mcian.html

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting.

In particular, I notice the first print's sword vaguely resembles the Arrow Head Fantasy Sword here: http://www.swordsswords.com/Arrow-Head-Fantas...Sword.aspx

One of the other prints also has a sword running through a hole in the maille. I wonder, was this entirely fantasy on the part of the printer or does anyone know of anything that actually existed in history like that? (I'm guessing no, but I've been surprised many a time before at what our crazy ancesters did...)
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Btw, that sword in the mail looks much like custom XI by A&A ordered by forumite recently. I can't remember the name...
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Sean says, don't try to find much in the way of authenticity in the paintings. Also the text, which was written by James Logan is shot through with inaccuracies. During the tartan revival emotion and enthusiasm for all things Scottish vastly overwhelmed the facts. Scholarship on these subjects was very limited in those days and errors from previous works were repeated over and over again in later works until they became "facts". A large number of these "facts" still reside in the canned histories of the Highland clans which are popular today. It is unfortunate that many folks get their history from these sources, but at least we now have a huge body of better researched work available to us to offset them.

All that being said, these prints are attractive and a little representative of the Highlanders of old - read that Victorian times - and I have some on my office and dining room walls.

Thanks for posting them Sean.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
One of the other prints also has a sword running through a hole in the maille. I wonder, was this entirely fantasy on the part of the printer or does anyone know of anything that actually existed in history like that? (I'm guessing no, but I've been surprised many a time before at what our crazy ancesters did...)


There are some period illustrations where sword and scabbard pass through a hole in the hauberk.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Figures... there's no plate for MacNeil. No respect. Confused Another dead end into the research of my lineage. Ah well... great post anyways. Thanks for sharing , Sean.
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Sean for posting the pics.

I came across this book in my local library several weeks ago and was interested in the pictures, particularly of the Javelins / Spears.

Here are the descriptions:

Mac Ivors
"In a baldrick, carried twice round the body, is suspended the clai'mor, of an old fashion, and he is also armed with the sleag, a short spear, or javelin, provided with the brazen ball, or cnapstarra, which, it has been before observed, was described by Dio, as being in use among the Caledonians in the second century. By means of a pebble, or piece of metal, it made a rattling noise. It is to be observed that two were usually carried, which at times they used as missiles, being recovered by means of a thong, as shown in the figure of Mac Innes."

Mac Phees
"He is armed with the da Sleag, two missile spears or darts, which are often alluded to as having been carried by the heroes of old. The ball at the lower end, called the cnapstarra, is mentioned by Dion Cassius as having been used by the ancient Caledonians to disturb the enemy and their cavalry by a rattling noise which it made. This weapon is seen on sepulchral monuments, and is mentioned in GaŽlic poetry of late ages."


So what are people's thoughts on the pictures and descriptions of the javelins?

From the responses I've read it sounds like the above descriptions and pictures are completely inaccurate?

In the Mac Phees description it mentions the javelins are seen on sepulchral monuments. Do these monuments exist and if so do they show pictures of javelins?

Are there any books that have information and pictures of javelins / spears / darts from Ireland and Scotland?

Are there any javelin / dart heads in Irish or Scottish museums?

Thanks

Danny
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh MacNeil wrote:
Figures... there's no plate for MacNeil. No respect. Confused Another dead end into the research of my lineage. Ah well... great post anyways. Thanks for sharing , Sean.


Josh...

The genealogical information in Logan's text is also suspect for many of the clans, for the same reasons mentioned above.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, it's hard to find a direct line in my genealogy that's concrete. Based on the research I've done, I'm most likely descended from emigrants who migrated directly from Barra, Scottland to Nova Scotia, Canada in the 18th and 19th Centuries. But beyond that, I just don't know. I'm still trying to dig up more. I've been obsessed with it lately ever since my girlfriend found out she's directly descended from Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy and his son William Longsword; both Viking leaders.
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So I randomly found the missing MacNeil plate...



...thought I'd share. I guess that was the biggest horse he could afford Laughing Out Loud
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Mar, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Och, Clan Campbell (Caem beul: wry, crooked mouth) reporting in! CRUACHAN! Laughing Out Loud


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Never Forget... Or is it Do Not Forget... Hmmm...

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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