A fascinating opinion poll has just been released showing Scottish voting for the main Westminster parliament. ('Westminster' means the main British Parliament, not the devolved, junior Scottish parliament.) The results are - Scottish Nationalist Party 54%; Labour 23%; Conservative party 10%; LIberal Party 6% and Greens 6%. This would mean the SNP would win 54 seats, up nine times from the current amount and would decimate the Labour Party in Scotland as seats in Westminster are decided by the first past the post system. The SNP may have lost the referendum battle but may well win in the longer term.
Okay, only one poll so it needs to be confirmed by other polls...
YOUGOV poll 30 October -
Meanwhile the Scottish poll in the time has topline Westminster voting intentions of CON 15%, LAB 27%, LDEM 4%, SNP 43%. It isn’t as extreme as the Ipsos MORI poll we saw earlier today, but it’s still a very solid lead for the SNP in Scotland, and one that on a uniform swing would translate into the SNP getting a hefty majority of Scottish seats.
And for a detailed discussion of these polls see http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/10/31/labours-scottish-nightmare/
and for Professor John Curtice's view see http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/10/yougov-confirm-snp-well-ahead/
The SNP has seen its membership triple to more than 83,000 since last month's referendum
The non-existent Clan Gunn crest badge and shield / coat of arms
As no Clan Gunn Chief has ever been recognised by Lord Lyon there is no official coat of arms from which a Clan crest badge and motto can be drawn. That's the straight legal position. I have discussed this idea here http://clangunn.weebly.com/the-non-existent-clan-gunn-crest-badge-and-motto.html
The George Gunn Munro (Braemore) shield of arms is wrongly used by many - see http://www.thetreemaker.com/family-coat-g/gunn/scotland.html
and for which I have been informed that 'a quartered coat of arms was matriculated in name of George Gun Munro of Braemore on 18 November 1800 wherein he is recorded as 'the heir and Representative of the late Sir George Munro of Poyntzfield his Uncle'. ... the shield of arms shown on the website you mention is a reasonably accurate representation of the Arms for Gun that appear '
Now look at Thomas Sinclair's The Gunns (being the seminal Clan Gunn history book published in 1890) front cover and title page, and note the similarity with the image in the above link -
So, the hand and sword at the top, the image on the shield and the stars which many now wrongly associate with Clan Gunn heraldry are merely from the the arms of one Clan Gunn family and have nothing to do with the overall Clan Gunn - and certainly have nothing to do with any Clan Gunn Chief arms.
Thomas Sinclair's book would have popularised (and may even have started) the erroneous belief about the Clan Gunn shield / coat of arms / crest badge. I note he uses 'Aut Pax Aut Bellum' as the motto. Again this motto has no legal validity but I am not aware of any link - one way or another - with the Gunn Braemore coat of arms...
Clan Gunn has no link with Saint Donan
Clan Gunn has no link with St. Donan.
There are many problems with the idea that Kildonan in Sutherland is linked with St. Donan. If Kildonan is not linked with St Donan then Clan Gunn has no link with St. Donan, and the Clan Gunn Societies celebrations (Clan Gunn St. Donan's Day dinners and such like) of the supposed link to this Saint become highly questionable.
I have discussed this topic in detail here http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-saint-donan--saint-donnan-and-on-kildonan-having-nothing-to-do-with-him.html but in essence the issues are
The origin for the name Kildonan in Sutherland has nothing to do with St. Donan.
Clan Gunn Society UK - Commissioner for Australia
I remain amazed that the Clan Gunn Society UK has 'commissioned', in a very Empire way, a 'junior society' in an independent country - Australia. I find the idea extraordinarily dated.
My reason for this comment -
Following a chance meeting in 2012 at Edinburgh Airport Hotel with his Clan Commander, he was named Commissioner for Clan Gunn, Australia in 2013.
http://museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/whatson/scottish-festival/ accessed 24 October 2014. Apparently the link is no longer working, but I leave the link as it shows how - and when - I found the information.
It seems as though following a random meeting at an airport Bar the Commander decided that the Australian he had just met should represent the Clan Gunn in Australia.
If the Clan Gunn in Australia wish to establish a society it does not require what can be seen as Empire rites for it to be so established.
I am not aware of how the USA Clan Gunn Society was established but imagine if that society did not exist and was only now allowed to be established following a random choice by the UK society. How would the Clan Gunn in the USA feel?
I have previously discussed this issue here http://clangunn.weebly.com/clan-gunn-blog/clan-gunn-society-australia
I am currently reading Crowdie and Cream by Finlay MacDonald where he describes his upbringing on the Isle of Harris between the wars. His neatly phrased observations are a delight -
Now the wearing of the kilt was a legal offence for only a very short while after the Battle of Culloden, and it is, in fact, a very practicable garment at the right time and in the right place. Even the Prince of Wales wears it as a gesture to his Scottish ancestry whenever he ventures north of the Caledonian Canal. But it is not, as some people in the Home Counties seem to think, the daily wear of the crofters and lobster fishermen of the Outer Hebrides, and when genteel tourists from England wear it on their occasional forays north it does not help them to blend into the local community which is, presumably, their heart's desire; it tends rather to signal them out as hitch-hikers or Americans or worse...
Being from Chapter 14.
Regrettably too many wear the accoutrements of Scottish history without bothering to know the reality of that history...
Clan Gunn origin - again
Note The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs' view -
A family or name group which has no recognised chief has no official position under the law of Scotland.
http://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/what-is-a-clan/#more-47 accessed 22 October 20
The Clan Gunn has never had a Chief recognised by Lord Lyon. I have serious doubts as to whether Clan Gunn ever had Clan Gunn Chiefs, and if they did it was the MacRob line for no more than a couple of generations (and they may be better viewed as chieftains). I am also inclined to the idea that the first Gunn to come out of the mythic wilderness was Gunn Crowner (more accurately coroner) and he never had the first name 'George' (it's Gaelic speaking time!).
The lack of a Clan Gunn Chief would make the Clan Gunn a brilliant exception in Scottish history. I suspect the Clan Gunn is best viewed by origin as a rare (unique?), Pictish, non-kindred group....
I have dealt with many of these issues elsewhere on this site. See http://clangunn.weebly.com/real-origin-of-the-clan-gunn.html and http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-the-non-existent-gunn-lsquochiefsrsquo-between-the-orkneys-and-before-gunn-coroner-for-orkney-gunns-see-the-next-column.html
The ludicrous Westford Gunn ludicrous myth
The Westford Clan Gunn knight myth I have dealt with before, see http://clangunn.weebly.com/on-a-gunn-helping-discover-north-america---sir-james-gunn-of-clyth-crowner-of-caithness-and-the-westford-knight-myth.html but following on from the book mentioned in the previous entry I looked at the supposed Gunn Westford shield (http://www.caithness.org/caithnessfieldclub/bulletins/1992/clan_gunn_zeno.htm). It sort of - at best - bears a 'lymphad' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphad#Examples - being an heraldic boat. These lymphads are most commonly associated with the clans of the western side of Scotland, not Caithness and Sutherland. So, another unlikely aspect is added to this Gunn Westford knight myth...
Wikipedia's view is worth noting -
Such claims are rejected as pseudoarchaeology by mainstream historians and archaeologists, who believe the knight is the product of Frank Glynn's imagination. A recent investigation of the rock by David K. Schafer, Curatorial Assistant for Archaeology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University,  concluded that except for the "sword handle", which is definitely a punch carving, the entire feature consists of naturally-formed scratches caused by glaciation. The local town historian of Westford has stated that there is evidence that the T-shaped inscription was made in the late 19th century. Furthermore, historians believe that the area around the rock has undergone erosion since the clearing of trees in the 18th century, and that during the time of the alleged voyage by Sinclair, the rock was probably in a hardwood forest covered by 3 or 4 ft (1 or 1.3 m) of earth. Moreover, the area of Westford is inland and not easily accessible by water, making it highly improbable that any nautical voyage would venture there. There is no evidence that Sinclair or Gunn ever actually traveled to the Americas.
Historians point out that the timing is inconsistent with documented history, as at the time of the alleged voyage (1398), the Order of the Knights Templar was not in existence, having been publicly disbanded ninety years earlier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westford_Knight accessed 21 October 2014
The problem with this myth and the many other Clan Gunn pseudo-history myths is it's a case of trying to show why the equivalent of conspiracy theories are untrue.....
Clan Gunn motto has no status
The Clan Gunn motto has no status as the Clan motto must be derived from the Clan Chief armorial bearings as agreed by Lord Lyon, and given Lord Lyon has never accepted a Clan Gunn Chief there are no armorial bearings from which a motto can be derived. See - http://clangunn.weebly.com/the-non-existent-clan-gunn-crest-badge-and-motto.html
The reason for this post is that I have just acquired a detailed heraldry text which further supports this idea as it says
'In Scotland the motto forms a definite part of the armorial bearings. It can only be borne by authority...'
Page 174, (revised by) C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary, Boutell's Heraldry, 1958 Frederick Warne, London.
Having mentioned the excellent, free Australian site for digitised newspapers (Trove) in an earlier entry I think I should also mention the equivalent British site (regrettably not free).
shows the page for Gunn, starting with the 'John O'Groats Journal' of 2 February 1836. There is a lot of great history here....
Aeneas James Gunn was a son of the Rev. Peter Gunn of Victoria, Australia. Aeneas's wife was Mrs Jeannie Gunn, noted author. I have added a page to this site which is basically a letter from him providing new information about these important Clan Gunn Edinburgh family trees.