As people know I am researching Clan Gunn history. I have two aims - firstly to try and find the academic base of such history and secondly to disprove the myths which many currently accept as real Clan Gunn history.
Given the above I thought I'd share the following -
There is no reference to the Gunns in the public records until 1647 when they appear on the scene as covenanters.
Page 124, 'Northern Scotland' Volumes 7-9, Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen, 1986.
If true then the implication is obvious; Gunn history began in 1647.
See the following links -
Huge numbers of people attended the re-enactment.
The main point is a simple one - the event was organised by the Bannockburn and Districts Lions Club. As discussed in my blog entry 'Clan Gunn Society Australia' (of 1 June 2014) Scottish cultural preservation can happily exist outside of Clan societies and is doing so in places like Australia.
12 August - and further shown by the Exhibition 'For Auld Lang Syne' held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat 11 April 2014 - 27 July 2014 which celebrated Scots in Australia from the First Fleet to Federation. As said, Scottish cultural preservation does not require Clan societies; this raises the question as to the role of Clan societies overseas. Is it anything much more than genealogy and biography?
And for the BBC summary of Bannockburn see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-27900285
And for those who like the philately / postal history concerned with Bannockburn see the UK 'STAMP' magazine July 2014 which has my article on the theme - http://ukstampfairsreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/stamp-magazine-july-2014.html
Shown are fantasy 'Gunn Despatch' 'stamps' from the USA. They were made by S. Allan Taylor some time after 1864. The frame of Taylor's later 'Kingman's City Post' was used by by removing the 'Gunn's Despatch' middle of the 'stamp' and reusing the border. See http://www.rfrajola.com/mocks/mocks.pdf . It's an excellent read for those interested in the philately / postal history of this fantasy USA material.
Clan Gunn Society UK President against Scottish independence
Okay, it's not the Society's position but the President has said -
I am equally sure that Independence is not the answer.
see http://www.clangunnsociety.org/presidents-message/ accessed 5 June 2014
Is the Clan Gunn President's column the right place to state his view on this important personal, political and divisive issue?
Divisive? I note that the 'poll of polls' as determined by Prof. John Curtice - see http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/06/poll-of-polls-1-june/ -
has the average for independence at 42%. It is also worth noting that the younger the person the more they are for Scottish independence; conversely the older the person the more they are for the status quo.
And for an excellent University of Cambridge / YouGov site on the Scottish independence issue see http://cambridge.yougov.com/search/?q=scotland&x=0&y=0 ; the site deals with many other polling issues as well, including American.
13 June 2014
For those interested a new independence poll is reported here - http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/category/yougov
with the key feature being the narrowing of the No lead. Excluding 'Don't knows' the result is 'Yes' to independence 47%, with 'no' on 53%. Although 'Yes' has been progressively improving the result here is perhaps more margin of error and would need to be confirmed by further polls...
15 June 2014
From a detailed poll site -
However there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the Panelbase (48 per cent YES) methodology and neither is there with Survation (47 per cent YES) or ICM (45 per cent YES)...
What is important is that these three polls showed movement of 4;6 and 5 points to YES in the space of three days.
That tells us the direction of travel ...
see http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/8869#comments accessed 15 June 2014.
This suggests a significant shift towards the 'Yes' vote - and if that direction of travel continues the result will be interesting...
15 June 2014 (part 2)
It is worth noting that according to the 'The Telegraph' the 'Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs' will declare its neutrality on Scottish independence this week. If so, the President of the Clan Gunn Society UK used his position to give a view which is not endorsed by Clan Chiefs.
The Clan Gunn Society UK - as shown by the President's comment - seems excessively conservative when judged by the standards of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, and it is hardly a radical body.
18 June 2014
It's confirmed; the 'Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs' is officially taking a neutral view on the Scottish independence referendum. See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/scottish-referendum-clan-chiefs-agree-to-stay-neutral-on-independence-9544161.html
6 July 2014
For an excellent analysis of the Scottish polls on devolution and why there is variation see http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/07/01/why-do-polls-scotland-vary-so-much/
Clan Gunn Society Australia
The following is from the Clan Gunn Society United Kingdom home page -
We have made several attempts to establish a Clan Gunn Society in Australia without success although we have a number of Australian clan members in the parent society. Vince Williamson Lollback of Little Whiskers Farm, 42 Batemans Road, Numbugga NSW 2550 e-mail email@example.com has offered to make a further attempt to establish a Clan Gunn Society In Australia and I have as a result appointed him as my Commissioner for Australia. I am grateful to Vince for taking on this responsibility and hope that the Clan in Australia will support him in his efforts.
http://www.clangunnsociety.org/accessed 2 June 2014
I find this idea to be amazing. It is so old fashioned - the British Empire definitely lives - note 'parent society'.
By implication only if the British Clan Gunn Society deign an organisation to happen can a national Clan Gunn Society exist. Yes, apparently an Australian Clan Gunn Society - and Australia is an independent country from 1901 - has to be commissioned by the Clan Gunn Empire Society. It's ludicrous. I suspect the Clan Gunn Society of North America, Clan Gunn Society New Zealand and Clan Gunn Society Nova Scotia may also need to think through their origins - were they established on the patronising Empire grounds offered to Australia? (Did the American War of Independence happen; why is there no CGS-USA?) Why does the CGSUK think fully independent, national Clan Gunn Societies can not exist?
And will it work? R. Celeste Ray's Highland Heritage; Scottish Americans in the American South (2001 - The University of North Carolina Press) highlights the uniquely American quality - and origin - of the strength of 'Highlandism' in the USA. This may help explain the numbers involved in the Clan Gunn society there.
Australia is not the USA - 'Highlandism' is more a fringe area. One view of how it works in Australia is that for 'organisations that preserved and celebrated Scottish cultural heritage ... emphasis was increasingly on specialist associations for cultural preservation' (page 198 Malcolm Prentis The Scots in Australia 2008 University of New South Wales Press). I am not convinced that a Clan Gunn society could offer this 'cultural preservation' - Celtic music societies, Highland Games etc do as they are based on culture rather than a name.
The book also notes (page 198) 'Bill Bell has argued that the rise of Caledonian societies in the late nineteenth century in Australia ... can be attributed more to a sense of cultural crisis'. I suspect this carries on today; are Clan societies little more than rose-coloured glasses for those not comfortable in the modern world?
Now if Scotland votes for independence this year I declare my intention to form the 'Clan Gunn Society Scotland' and the 'Clan Gunn Society (rest of the) United Kingdom' ... And I'm also laying claim to the 'Clan Gunn History Society', 'Clan Gunn Society Australia' and 'Clan Gunn Society Bannockburn' ... I could go on...