New Year Message 2018 from Chief Richard

New Year Message 2018 from Chief Richard

Hopefully all subscribers have now received our December 2017 Broken Spear Clan newsletter number 51 and have enjoyed it as much as Don & Mary from Indiana who described it as one of the best yet. Equally positively I firmly hope that 2018 will be a good year for all Carmichaels. Attached, as a taster gift for those who haven’t subscribed, is an article from the 51st Broken spear which was inspired by our Clan events in 2017.

Happy New Year 2018 to all.

(Richard Carmichael of Carmichael 30th Chief on Hogmanay.)


Clan Carmichael and the Jacobites

Two events in the summer of 2017 got me thinking about the Jacobites impact on the Carmichaels. The first was my 30th Chief’s Highland Tour to Oban where on Tuesday 29th August we visited Appin and in particular the castles of Dunstaffnage and Stalker, both historically at times the homes of the Stewarts of Appin.  The second event was a fantastic display in The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh called Bonnie Prince Charlie & The Jacobites; which we managed to take the day of and go around just before it closed in early November.

The golden rule for Clan longevity is to have participants on both sides in any major war so that when clan lands are forfeited to the crown they eventually are given back to the Carmichaels who were on the winning side. This is of course a perilous exercise as in the case when four sons of the First Lord Carmichael were commanding opposing forces at the battles of Dunbar, Marston Moor and Philiphaugh in 1649/1650. Captain John Carmichael and James Carmichael of Bonnytoun fought for King Charles whilst Sir Daniel Carmichael of Hyndford and Maudslie and his elder brother commanded the Clydesdale Regiment at both Marston Moor and Philiphaugh.

Family tragedy struck when Capt. John was killed in armed combat with his elder brother at Marston Moor.

As far as I can tell the numbers of Carmichaels who supported the Jacobites were roughly equal to the number of Carmichaels who supported King George and the Hanoverians. Obviously the Carmichaels in the west were supporters of Stewart of Appin or MacDougall and were for Bonnie Prince Charlie as were the Carmichaels of Eastend and many others. Most of these had their lands forfeited. The Third Earl of Hyndford who was the Chief at Carmichael however was Ambassador to Prussia for the King and indeed concluded the Peace at Aix La Chapelle, which eventually effectively ended the Jacobite cause. King George and Britain gained from the treaty from one particular clause that finally compelled the French to recognise the Hanoverian succession and expel the Jacobites from France in 1748.

The National Museum exhibition had a computer graphic re-enacting the battle of Culloden and I watched in horror as the Stewarts of Appin with their Carmichael banner bearers as battalion number 3 wheeled into action in the front row of the fiercest fight and were encircled and wiped out within an hour. These Carmichaels were from Lismore and many were macghilliemichels and some descendants of  Elizabeth Carmichael of Meadowflatt, mistress to King James and thus mother of some Royal Stewarts. King James had rebuilt Castle Stalker as a falconry base in 1540 and both James IV and V used it often for this sporting purpose. The name “stalker” means “stalcaire” which in English is “Falconer”.

As we marched out of Edinburgh castle this summer with our clan retinue of 85 we represented ages from to 2 to 82 and family and clan supporters from 8 countries America, Canada, England, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Cyprus and Scotland.

This was the first time the Clans had been allowed back into Edinburgh castle since the Jacobites took the castle and Holyrood Palace in 1745. Apart from the massed pipes and drums we were escorted from the Great Hall onto the castle esplanade on August 24th by a small Jacobite force. As we marched past in our full tartan regalia these Jacobite performers  were “high five-ing” my grandchildren.  The revenge vendetta in the Highlands following the 1745 revolt was horrific and the Tattoo this year coupled with the exhibition some 272 years later can only help us remember and never forget our family contribution on both sides.