OT: 12 February 1921 – Ian MacLennan “Charles MacArthur, a Celebrated Piper”

The Oban Times, 12 February, 1921

Charles MacArthur, a Celebrated Piper

 8 February, 1921

Sir, We have it on record of this man that “Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat, being at Dunvegan on a visit to the laird of MacLeod, he heard the performance of Patrick Og with great delight, and desirous, if possible, to have a piper of equal merit, said to MacCrimmon that there was a young man who he was anxious to place under his tuition, on condition that he would not be allowed to return until such time as he could play equal to his master, and when this is the case, you will bring him home, and I will give you ample satisfaction for your trouble.”

Charles MacArthur was accordingly sent to Borreraig, where he remained for eleven years.

We had also on record that in 1721, when the said Sir Alex. MacDonald of Sleat was ten years of age, he was sent to a school in Leith, where he remained for five years: that in 1726, when he was 15 years of age he was sent to St. Andrews University, where he remained for three years, and during that time Charles MacArthur was his piper and valet.

For the one statement, we have Dr. Bannatyne, “Loch Sloy,” Angus MacKay and Pipe-Major John Grant, and for the other we have Skeabost’s Doomsday Book, the Scots Peerage, the Clan Donald History, and the records of St. Andrews University.

I am, etc.,

Ian MacLennan