OT: 16 January 1937 – Hebredian “Angus MacKay and Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 16 January, 1937

Angus MacKay and Piobaireachd

 10 January, 1937

Sir,–We heartily approve of Mr. Grant’s suggestion that a monument be erected to the memory of Angus MacKay, for the noble work which he did for pipe music. The MacCrimmons of Skye have a beautiful memorial erected to perpetuate their memory, but as one of our greatest living pipers mentioned to me recently, “the Mackays deserve a monument even greater than the MacCrimmons for the great heritage they left us.” I sincerely hope to hear that a movement will be made to collect for this purpose in the near future.

Mr. Grant mentions that Angus MacKay died in 1859. That date may be quite correct, but when reading the other day that interesting publication written by the lamented Queen Victoria, entitled “Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands, from 1848 to 1861,” I observed the following where Her Majesty refers to Angus MacKay.

“My Piper from the year 1843, considered about the first in Scotland, who was recommended by the Marquis of Breadalbane; he unfortunately went out of his mind in the year 1854, and died in 1855. A brother of his was Piper to the Duke of Sussex.”

Angus MacKay was succeeded by William Ross, of whom she writes–

“My Piper since 1854; he had served seventeen years in the 42nd Highlanders, a very respectable good man.”

I wonder if Mr. Grant is aware that Donald Mackay, who was Piper to the Duke of Sussex, made pipes, as I know of a very fine set of silver-mounted full-size in possession of a family in the North, made by Mackay, who have also a pipe chanter reputed to be made by John Mackenzie, Breadalbane, “Am Piobaire Ban.”–I am, etc.,