OT: 16 April 1932 – A.K. Cameron “The MacCrimmon Memorial Inscriptions”

The Oban Times, 16 April, 1932

The MacCrimmon Memorial Inscriptions

 Marsh, Montana, U.S.A., 16 March, 1932

Sir,–According to the inscription on the tablet for the Memorial Cairn, ten generations of the MacCrimmons were hereditary pipers to the MacLeods. According to the inscription on the tablet for the Kilmuir Church, ten generations are interred in this place. To what authority are we indebted for these misleading inscriptions?

If we are to confine the descent of the MacCrimmons to the Age of Piobaireachd–1510-1822–there were only seven generations! If we confine it to the age of hereditary pipers in Skye–1548-1822–there were only six generations. Where, then, did your authority find the ten generations?

The true history of the MacCrimmons–as taken from Iain Dubh MacCrimmon–was in Captain Neil MacLeod’s book of piobaireachd tunes, 1826, which was suppressed. Iain Dubh’s version of their history (abridged) is as follows:–

Petrus–in Ulster, Ireland. Hereditary pipers in Skye–Iain Odhar, Donald Mòr, Padruig Mòr, Padruig Og, Malcolm, Iain Dubh.

See also their history in Angus MacKay’s book of piobaireachd tunes, in which their history is accurate as far as it goes. Perhaps fifty MacCrimmons are interred at Kilmuir, but ten generations are not, because they did not exist.

I am, etc.,

A. K. Cameron