OT: 19 February 1921 – Charles Bannatyne “Charles MacArthur, A Celebrated Piper”

The Oban Times, 19 February, 1921

Charles MacArthur, A Celebrated Piper

Salsburgh, 14 February, 1921

Sir,–Regarding Lieut. MacLennan’s letter in your last issue, I may say that MacArthur could not be MacDonald’s valet and piper in 1721.

The suggested “friendly competition” is probably true: its date is uncertain. Charles MacArthur left the Skye College about 1739 or 1740. He would then be perhaps twenty-five years of age. He was piper to MacDonald in 1777 when Pennant heard him play. Donald Roy MacCrimmon was sent to him to learn his “peculiar gracings.” MacCrimmon was born in 1733 or 1734. John Dall Mackay died in 1754. In 1781 MacArthur was piper to Lord Eglinton, who was related to the MacDonalds by marriage.

Lieut. MacLennan can collate all the above dates and draw his own conclusions.–I am, etc.,

Charles Bannatyne, M.B., C.M.