Lord Lyon jurisdiction on Clan Gunn Chief matters
Concerning Lord Lyon's jurisdiction in matters of Clan Gunn Chiefship -
"The Lord Lyon King of Arms has... no jurisdiction to determine ... a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship."
From 'the Introduction to the Law of Scotland' by Gloag and Candlish Henderson, 9th edition, 1987, p. 25'http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/lordlyon.htm
Note - He has no jurisdiction ... to decide a disputed question of chiefship or chieftainship - interesting...
To be updated...
The Scottish heritage industry and Clan Gunn
A reason why people support 'mythic' Scottish history is below, with Clan Gunn heritage implications -
(The) Scottish heritage identity links itself instead to a fantasy of early Scottish life, one that is profoundly mediated and enabled by commodities of "auld" Scottish culture, historical reenactments, and the ever-widening commerce of tourism... Scottish heritage and its narratives of history, race and national pride represent one of the newest ideological strategies for preserving privileged identities...
p.110, Richard Zumkhawala-Cook, Scotland as We Know it - Representations of National Identity in Literature, Film and Popular Culture, 2008, McFarland and Company
There are many sociological studies analysing the 'Scottish - American' community in the USA; equivalent studies for other countries are rare. This reflects the power of this grouping in the USA - perhaps reflected in Clan Gunn Society UK and Clan Gunn Society North America hugely different membership numbers, see http://clangunn.weebly.com/clan-gunn-society-uk-membership-list-analysis-1962-1995.html
Sir James Gunn Westford knight myth, again
The Sir James Gunn Westford Knight idea is ludicrous; for my detailed discussion on this 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 in which I mention that 'bad archaeology' is not unknown in North America and I discuss the AVM Runestone. It's important to know that the Runestone fraud was not an isolated incident -
It is this kind of wishful thinking which has given birth to a major 'Spot the Viking' industry in North America. Ludicrous claims have been made for the most unlikely 'identifications' (followed by a discussion of various frauds) ... America was in a fever of excitement over the Chicago World Fair of 1893 ('The Colombian Exposition') which had featured so dramatically Magnus Anderson's epic sailing of a near replica of the Gokstad Ship from Norway to North America.... The atmosphere was right for a forgery, Scandinavian immigrants in America were in the right mood to accept, the whole world was geared to thinking about Vikings in North America.... (and then comes discussion of further forgeries such as the 'Vinland map')
Pages 229-239 Magnus Magnusson, The Vikings, Tempus Publishing Limited, Stroud Gloucestershie UK, 2003
Magnus Magnusson does accept - as do I - that Vikings did make it to North America on the basis of solid archaeology (page 240).
So given there have been many fraudulent claims relating to early arrivals in North America there is nothing unusual for the Clan Gunn Westford Knight to be another on that list. And, don't forget, real archaeology rejects this Gunn Westford knight story.
Wish fulfilment will not turn a myth into a fact...
Update 16 November 2014
And 'spot the first people to discover America' has a new twist; now Muslims discovered America in 1178 according to the Turkish President and his proof seems as good as the Clan Gunn Westford Knight myth - see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/16/muslims-discovered-america-erdogan-christopher-columbus :)
Snaekoll Gunn, the Clan Gunn Orkneys non-link and the Westford knight myth
It is obvious that I do not agree with the romantic myths which are supported by the Clan Gunn Society as I prefer real history, and the most recent of these Clan Gunn Society mythic retellings are in the 'Clan Gunn Herald October 2014' magazine.
Consider the 'Clan Gunn was at Bannockburn' article, pages 10-14. The article's argument is based on the myth that Clan Gunn descended from famous people from the Orkneys, was of social importance and had great lands. There is comment about the Gunn Crowner / Coroner position. Then comes the 'logic' that because lots of the real Lords of the time were at Bannockburn so also would be Clan Gunn as they were supposedly important.
But there is a major problem with the article for those who like the myths - the author Michael J. Gunn (page 13, bottom) says 'death of Snaekoll Gunnison in Norway c.1240'. Now given the Orkneyinga Saga greatly details the life of Snaekoll before he flees to Norway, and there is no mention of marriage or children, there can be no Gunn descent from the Orkney line as Snaekoll's life in Norway is detailed in Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar also with no mention of marriage or children.
See http://clangunn.weebly.com/why-gunns-are-not-of-norse--orkney-descent.html So Snaekoll Gunnison - son of the Gunni Andresson also mentioned in the article - died in far north Norway (near Bergen) in 1239; the Ottar, son of Snaekoll, mentioned in Mark Rugg Gunn's history has nothing to do with this line as I also detail in the above link. Given the death of Snaekoll in Norway, the Clan Gunn Chief Orkney link just doesn't exist. Given this, the article's comment 'Snaekoll's successors as Chief' is extremely problematic, to say the least.
The real origin of the Clan Gunn is here http://clangunn.weebly.com/real-origin-of-the-clan-gunn.html
Secondly - the Gunn Crowner issue; really Gunn oroner. See http://clangunn.weebly.com/who-was-before-crowner--coroner-gunn-and-is-it-crowner-or-coroner.html The role of Coroner is detailed in assorted Scottish Parliament Acts (see, for example Pages 386-387, John Pinkerton, The History of Scotland from the Accession of the House of Stuart to that of Mary, 1791, C. Dilly, London) and it's worth noting the 'Records of the Parliament of Scotland to 1707' have fifteen mentions of a Coroner (and the duties of such) including a 1358 mention for Caithness. The only record for a Crowner is in the late 1500s, after Gunn Coroner.
Basically the role of the Scottish coroner in the 1400s was that of going around arresting people. If they were awkward and didn’t go with him then he had the power to involve people higher up the social scale to help him. It's an important, but not significant position.
One of the statutes states -
on the last day of the circuit, the Justiciary shall appoint a jury to examine if the sheriff and coroner have done their duty; and another decrees to the latter a young labouring horse, if any be, among the effects of an executed malefactor (from Pinkerton).
We are hardly talking a great man with a great job. The Coroner's position was useful, he would be well known in the district, and one not to annoy as he had law on his side. But it's the job which is of importance, not him. And it's not inheritable. So no great lands or money went with this position, which again puts question marks on assumptions made by the article.
We don't even know who Gunn Coroner's parents were which adds to the idea that any supposed link to Gunns before him are extremely questionable.
The 'Gunns at Bannockburn' article ignores the key issue which it inadvertently raised - if you want an Orkney inheritance for Clan Gunn Chiefs, then you have to prove that Snaekoll had a family in Norway and that just can't be found. So as the idea of Clan Gunn Chief descent from the Orkneys goes, so does the key premise underpinning the article.
(This admittance that Snaekoll Gunn died in Norway is also a rejection of significant parts of pages 33-35 of Mark Rugg Gunn's History of the Clan Gunn.)
This of course raises major questions for the 18th International Gathering in July 2015 - why go to the Orkney Islands when there is no Clan Gunn Chief link? (And for nearly £500 a head before accommodation!)
The Westford Knight myth is discussed on page 4. Seriously, this is an idea whose time has gone. 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
In essence a Professor of Archaeology at Harvard University reckons it's not real (see http://www.ramtops.co.uk/westford.html) but the Clan Gunn societies do. For some reason I believe the academic in the area especially as he is from such a major university.
And it's not just him - there is no academic support for this idea. For example -
'Westford Knight ... fanciful over-interpretation of glacial scratches' http://www.badarchaeology.com/?page_id=1311 (The 'Bad Archaeology' site 'is the brainchild of a couple of archaeologists who are fed up with the distorted view of the past that passes for knowledge in popular culture. We are unhappy that books written by people with no knowledge of real archaeology dominate the shelves at respectable bookshops.' http://www.badarchaeology.com/
I suspect they would also be unimpressed by Clan Gunn Societies which support this idea!