I've just posted a little kite-flying exercise on the above topic under 'Gunn Scottish History' then 'Orkney issues'.
Thanks Bruce H. for the idea.
I am finally working on the last material from the Sutherland Estate papers; this material concerns the second round of the Highland Clearances in 1819 - 1821 under Factor 'Chief' Gunn. This Highland Clearance material makes me think - on a first reading - that one should view the Sutherland Estate Highland Clearances in two waves. The first wave being under Patrick Sellar, the second after him. I will explore this difference in detail at another time.
On another issue - it is worth restating that all the early primary source documents (lots of them) from the 1600s and 1700s which concern the Mckaimish line has absolutely no mention of that line being Chief or Chieftain of the Clan Gunn. Even material written by the Mckaimish line, where being 'Clan Gunn Chief' would be central to the points they are making, have no such mention.
One has to assume that the lack of such mention is because neither the Mckaimish line nor the Sutherland Estate saw the Mckaimish line as being Chief.
Was a Gunn 'Chief' idea shoehorned into Gunn history in the early 1800s to make Gunn history conform to the romantic Highlands 'history' peddled by Sir Walter Scott?
Page 95 -
The principal clans in the parish are, those of M'Kay, Sutherland, Campbell, Morrison and Gunn; the two former generally distinguished by fair hair hair and blue eyes, - the Campbells and Gunn, by dark eyes and dark complexion.
So it's not the Gunns who have the Scandinavian complexion. So it's a further suggestion that the Gunns do not have such ancestry. And if you look at
there is a strong suggestion that Gunn are Campbells and Campbells are Gunns.
Donald Gunn Kinbrace 1638
I'm about to add some more to the Kinbrace discussion as I have been working on the previously mentioned 1638 documents. I think the below, though, is of wider interest as it clearly shows the detailed witnessing of the Sutherland estate documents.
D Gune (that's how he wrote it; it's Gun in the document) is second on the right hand side. Note the amount of people who witnessed the document. The Sutherland Estate paperwork may now be hard to read but I question the idea that with the burning of Killearnan the loss of Gunn papers was of importance. The Estate would certainly have held its own, legally binding copies.
More on this can be found under 'Chief' issues / Lord Lyon' then 'Concerning potential Gunn 'Chief' / Mckaimish lines' then the 'Kinbrace' button...
I'm back reading the early documents and am currently working on a 1638 Gunn document from the Sutherland Estate. It's all highly witnessed and 'according to the acts of Parliament' and so on.
The story In Mark Rugg Gunn (page 140 - 141) that 'Chief' Donald Crottach Gun (around the 1650s) was in big trouble when KIllearnan burnt down as he could be evicted from the land just doesn't ring true; the Sutherland Estate had at least a copy of the Killearnan and Navidale 'charters' as Gunn did not own the land but 'rented / leased' it. I suspect the original 'charters' were held by the Sutherland Estate; why would a person renting / leasing property be given the original? The Sutherland Estate worked on a legal, fully documented basis as shown by its archives.
The Crottach tale is all part of the traditional Gunn mythic history view that Caithness and Sutherland were virtually lawless which they certainly were not. Gunn coroner, in the mid 1400s, was part of the legal / judicial system of the time even then. That's two hundred years before the Donald Gunn Crottach doubtful story! The Sutherland Estate was a huge, wealthy enterprise whose owners were of national importance; to suggest such an Estate would be involved with legally doubtful events is very questionable.
Gunn Crowner / Coroner - it's a minor position
I note the just published book by R. A. Houston The Coroners of Northern Britain c.1300-1700 (Palgrave ISBN 978-1-137-38106-4). I have not yet acquired a copy but the title does support the likelihood that correctly one should view the first Gunn in history as a coroner / Coroner, not a Crowner.
I note from page 69 'In their heyday during the fifteenth and sixteenth century Scottish coroners serviced itinerant courts of justice'. In other words one should view Scottish coroners in the 1400s (Gunn coroner's time) as a person who just did a valid legal job - this certainly questions the idea that Gunn coroner would have lived in 'baronial splendour' due to his position.
The author is a Professor of History at the University of St. Andrews.
Publication date - 28 March 2014.
I have just added a biography of the Hon. Donald Gunn of Canada to the site; see under non-Scottish history. He was a fascinating man. It's worth noting he was of the Mckaimish line (the supposed Gunn 'Chief' line) and has many descendants. The idea that the 'Chief' line has died out is just wrong in so many ways...