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!