OT: 29 June 1901 – [Unsigned] “The Oldest Bagpipe In Existence”

The Oban Times, June 29 1901

The Oldest Bagpipe In Existence

The oldest authentic specimen of the bagpipe now existing is that in the possession of Messrs. J. & R. Glen, of Edinburgh. The instrument bears the date 1409, and, except that it wants the large drone, which was added at the beginning of the eighteenth century, it is very much the Highland pipe of the present day. Very little is known of the history of this venerable bagpipe, and the date carved in Roman numerals on the stock is all that justifies us in attributing it to the fifteenth century. It should be added, moreover, that its claims to antiquity are disputed by an instrument in possession of the Duke of Sutherland, which is said to have been played at the battle of Sheriffmuir. But this latter bagpipe is, so far as we know (says the “Scottish Pictorial”), undated; and the date of Messrs. Glen’s specimen may only indicate the time when it came into the hands of the person whose initials it bears. For all we can tell, it may have been played at the battle of Bannockburn.