Clubs and Societies
Source 7 : Extract from the Minute Book of the Highland Society of London, 8 March 1784
Manuscript (NLS reference: Dep.268/21)
The Highland Society of London was established in 1778 to preserve ancient Highland traditions, and is still in existence today.
Sir John Sinclair, compiler and editor of the Statistical Account, was a president of the society. James MacPherson, ‘translator’ of the Ossianic poems, was also a member. In 1807, the society published the ‘original’ Gaelic text of the Ossian poems. The early papers of the society, including this minute book, are deposited in the National Library of Scotland.
The Highland Society of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1784. It is now the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.
At a committee of the Highland Society
London, met at the Shakespeares Head Tavern
Covent Garden 8th March 1784.
Present Neil Malcolm Esquire Notary Public in the chair
Mr Archibald Campbell
Major James Campbell
Captain Campbell Lochnell
Mr William Forbes
Mr Simon Houston
Mr John Mackenzie
Mr Colin Mackenzie
Mr Secretary Mackenzie
Colonel Duncan MacPherson
Mr James Morison
Mr George Gun Munro
Mr Duncan Steuart
Mr George Steuart
The committee having taken into consideration
the expediency of members wearing the Highland
garb on a particular day in each year.
It was moved that it be recommended to the
Society to express their desire of shewing every mark of
respect to the garb of their ancestors, and that such
members, as appear in the Highland dress on the 19th
May, being the Queens birth day will be considered
as warm friends to the spirit of the Society.
Resolved that George Steuart Esquire be requested
to form an emblematical design proper for
distinguishing the presidents chair, and that Mr
Mr Steuart be requested to report his ideas on this
subject at the next meeting of the committee.
The committee having taken into their consideration
the question referred to them by the Society, as to the
propriety of offering a reward for the best Gaelic poem
to be recited at the annual meeting of January
Resolved that it is the opinion of this committee
that such a measure will be productive of
happy effects in giving new energy to Gaelic
poetry, and is therefore highly worthy the
attention of the Society.
Resolved that it be recommended to the Society to
offer a premium of five guineas to be paid to
the author of the best Gaelic poem wrote on
such subjects as shall be given out annually
by the Society. The merits of the different
poems to be decided by a committee of gentle-
men conversant in the language, and the
premium to be paid in money or in such manner
as shall appear to be most acceptable to the
The committee having taken into consideration the
state of the arrears of officers of the army and other members
who must have been necessarily absent out of the kingdom
found great difficulty in coming to any determination in
the same without having the ideas of the members
at large, and therefore
Resolved to advise with the Society thereon at
their next meeting.
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