From the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs website
From http://www.clanchiefs.org.uk/category/post/ accessed 28 December 2014.
The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs make several excellent points in their post 'The Modern Clan System' which impact on Clan Gunn.
They say -
The clan system as we know it today was created over the course of a few years in the first quarter of the 19th century. At its heart were the novels of Walter Scott who triggered an extraordinary revival of interest in the Highlands and Highland history. This was sealed by the visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822 when, to the bewilderment of many Lowlanders, the capital – and the king – were decked in tartan and alien pipe music accompanied every function.
In its aftermath Clan Societies and Highland Societies sprang up across Scotland. Thousands wanted a Highland heritage and sought a connection with a clan so that they could wear the new tartans, declared by the chiefs to have been worn as a badge of identity since time immemorial.
And the new clan societies and the manufacturers of tartan were pleased to accommodate them. The concept of septs and associated names was created..
Surnames came late to Gaeldom
It may be hard for some, including Clan Gunn Societies, to accept but even the main body which represents Scottish Clan Chiefs recognises-
1) Named 'Clan tartan' is really nothing more than tourist ware of the 1820s.
2) The modern 'clan system' is in essence little more than a dress up version of the novels of Sir Water Scott.
3) Septs are basically a tourist trap of the early 1800s.
3) No-one had surnames for many years. As I have often said mythic Gunn 'history' demands the impossible about the Gunn surname with its supposed Orkney / Norse / Viking origin. The idea does not work because -
I could go on, and I have elsewhere on in this site. The Clan Gunn surname just does not come from the Orkney island. The idea deserves to be dead and buried. See http://clangunn.weebly.com/real-origin-of-the-clan-gunn.html for a much more likely origin for the Clan Gunn.
Clan Gunn Society North America 2014 AGM minutes
http://www.clangunn.us/AGMArchive/2014%20AGM%20Minutes.pdf accessed 22 Deecember 2014.
Just interested to note two things from the AGM minutes;
1) The AGM mentions the 2015 Clan Gunn International Gathering, and the Gathering going to the Orkneys. As I have discussed many times here there is absolutely no proof whatsoever for Snaekoll Gunn returning from Norway after banishment. Without him returning and with children there is no Clan Gunn Orkney link. The ancient documents which would have mentioned any such marriage (and children) and any return from Norway exist - given no mention in them Snaekoll did not return. This is not surprising as Snaekoll took a major part in a rebellion against the King of Norway and lost. Who would reward a major rebel? No-one. Especially in 1239/1240.
It's worth noting King Haakon - the King of Norway - organised the killing of Snorri Sturlson who had also taken part in the rebellion but who had fled back home to Iceland. Haakon also later invaded Scotland to try and regain his Scottish lands. So why on earth would a King with such an attitude forgive a major rebel such as Snaekoll and give him land and castles back in Scotland? He wouldn't. It's just one of those desperate - and illogical - Clan Gunn history myths...
2) The Clan Gunn Society of North America also organised a trip to the ridiculous Clan Gunn Westford Knight site. Again, this 'Clan Gunn Westford Knight' myth has been fully analysed - and shown to have no academic validity. 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 for example, so why on earth is the CGSNA providing support for the idea?
Clan Gunn history suffers from mythology masquerading as history and here - again - are two of the myths being paraded as real history. The CGSNA should know better - or does it honestly believe the fiction?
I note there is no mention of a potential Clan Gunn Family Convention. Surely such a major issue should have been discussed by an AGM? Or was it viewed as unimportant? Or has the idea now died?
For those who like to keep track of modern Scottish politics, with fascinating implications for the Westminster elections in May, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/SNP/11307543/SNP-on-course-to-hold-balance-of-power-in-Westminster-according-to-new-poll-showing-depth-of-Labours-collapse.html
And for the academic analysis see John Curtice at http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/12/murphy-proves-magic-bullet-labour/
20 January update
Scottish Nationalist Party polling for 2015 Election Westminster-
'Meanwhile there was a new Scottish poll from Survation from the Daily Record. Topline Westminster voting intentions with changes from Survation’s previous poll are CON 14%(-2), LAB 26%(+2), LDEM 7%(+2), SNP 46%(-2), GRN 3%(+2), UKIP 4%(nc). (tabs). It shows a small narrowing in the SNP lead, but it was from an extremely large lead last time, so it still leaves them with a huge twenty point lead.'
Clan Gunn and the Wilson sept idea
Septs should be treated with caution.
Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, GCVO WS (1893-1971) Lord Lyon King of Arms, 1945-1969, after being Carrick Pursuivant and Albany Herald in the 1930s makes mention in the book 'Clan Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands' 1952 co-authored by Frank Adam that; “septs must be regarded as a rather wonderful effort of imagination” and “The very word ‘sept’ is delusive and no serious attention can now be attached to Skene’s theories about ‘septs”. He also states that some Clan historians could be being found guilty of “sept-snatching”.
In other words basically septs might be best viewed as romantic mythology.
Anyway see http://www.minrec.org/wilson/pdfs/02.%20Ancient%20Origins%20of%20Wilson-Revised.pdf for an excellent analysis on the Wilson name showing the range of possibilities for the family, including Clan Gunn. Just because your name is Wilson does not mean you are Clan Gunn...
See http://clangunn.weebly.com/concerning-septs.html as well.
Clan Gunn Society North America - Westford Knight myth
I have dealt with the ridiculous idea of Sir James Gunn Crowner of Clyth being the Westford knight 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 I note the Clan Gunn Society of North America website has a page supporting him - see http://www.clangunn.us/knight.htm accessed 14 December 2014.
Most of the points in the Clan Gunn Society North America page I have dealt with in my previously mentioned entry, but I have found an excellent essay by Brian Smith which also deals with this topic. He writes -
Earl Henry Sinclair's fictitious trip to America
Henry Sinclair, an earl of Orkney of the late fourteenth century, didn't go to America. ... It wasn't until 500 years after Henry's death that anybody suggested that he did. The sixteenth century text that eventually gave rise to all the claims about Henry and America certainly doesn't say so. What it says, in so many words, is that someone called Zichmni, with friends, made a trip to Greenland. None of Henry Sinclair's contemporaries or near-contemporaries ever claimed that he went to America; and none of the antiquaries who wrote about him in the seventeenth century said so either, although they made other absurd claims about him. The story is a modern myth, based on careless reading, wishful thinking and sometimes distortion, and during the past five years or so it has taken new outrageous forms.
http://www.alastairhamilton.com/sinclair.htm accessed 14 December 2014
I recommend a full read of the rest of the essay.
How can anyone give any credence to this story as history? Obviously, the Clan Gunn Westford knight story is also a myth as if Sinclair did not make it to America then 'Gunn' could not have gone with him.
Just one of the many Clan Gunn myths that masquerade as Clan Gunn history...
It's just too good a bit of obscure Gunn history -
On August 16, Sheffield Edwards sent Dr. Edward Gunn, chief of operations of the CIA's Medical Services Division, a box of Cuban cigars. Gunn was instructed to turn the cigars, thought to be Castro's "favorite brand," into a lethal weapon. Gunn contacted the CIA's Technical Services Division (TSD).
Earman wrote "(Redaction) remembers experimenting with some cigars and then treating a full box ... with botulinum toxin, a virulent poison that produces a fatal illness...."
Gunn experimented with guinea pigs and monkeys to make sure the capsule form of the botulinum was lethal...
being from Chapter 8, Jack Calhoun Gangsterismo; The United States, Cuba and the Mafia, 1933 to 1986, 2013, ISBN 1935928899
Assassination plots included poisoning a box of Castro's favorite cigars with botulinus toxin and placing explosive seashells in his favorite diving spots...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Project accessed 9 December 2014