ENSIGNS ARMORIAL :, THEREFORE, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, for aught yet seen (Primo) MAINTAINS, RATIFIES and CONFIRMS unto the Petitioner and his heirs male, Chief of the Name and Arms of MacDonald of Keppoch and of the Honourable Clanranald, Mac'ic Raonuill, the following Ensigns Armorial, videlicet:- Quarterly, 1st, Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure, 2nd, Argent, a dexter hand Gules holding a cross crosslet fitchée Sable, 3rd, Argent, a lymphad sails unfurled and oars in action Sable flagged Gules, 4th, Azure, a salmon naiant Proper. Above the Shield is placed an Helm befitting his degree with a Mantling Gules doubled Or 6 7 , and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest an eagle displayed Gules crowned of a ducal coronet Or, and in an Escrol over the same this Motto "AIR MUIR 'S TIR" and in another Escrol below the same this Motto "DIA 'S NAOMH AINDREA"; and on a compartment below the Shield comprising a rock Proper charged with the outline of a footprint are set for Supporters two wild boars Azure armed Argent langued Gules crined Or, each holding a Lochaber axe, its head facing outwards, Proper the cutting edge Sanguinée; and for his Standard three and a half metres long having Azure a St. Andrew's Cross Argent in the hoist of two tracts Gules and Or with his Crest depicted once and the slogan "DIA 'S NAOMH AINDREA" in letters Sable in the fly; and for his Pinsel 135 centimetres long and 60 centimetres high Gules, bearing the foresaid Crest within a strap of leather Gules buckled and embellished Argent inscribed with the Motto "AIR MUIR 'S AIR TIR" in letters also Argent all within a circlet of the Last, fimbriated Azure, bearing his title "MAC'IC RAONUILL" in letters Gules and in the fly, surmounted of a sprig of white heather Proper, being the proper plant-Badge of Clanranald of Lochaber, the slogan "DIA 'S NAOMH AINDREA" in letters Sable, and (Secundo) GRANTS WARRANT to the Lyon Clerk to matriculate the foresaid Ensigns Armorial in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.

NB. The use of the wild boar symbol, is the ancient Celtic Gael symbol of both war and kingly, derived from the Sun ( masculine ). It is also symbolic and directly associated with the Dunadd Boar Stone in Dalriata, the ancient crowning stone of the first Kings of Scots up to Kenneth MacAlpine. The twin boars are standing on the Boar Stone each hold a lochaber axe sanguine ( bloodied ).The footprint on the stone is where the king placed his barefoot while being inaugurated, and is shown on the stone beside the boar's foot.The king wore a white gown to signify purity of spirit. On his head was placed the Scottish gold crown. He held the sword of state in one hand, and held the septre in the other hand, signifying the right to rule over his people.
Memorial Appeal

11-07-2018   The Prestonpans Battle Re-enactment and Celebrate

Greetings all Keppoch Clan,

The Prestonpans Battle Re-enactment is taking place on the 15 and 16th of September 2O18. We have been invited to attend by the Chairman, Dr Prestoungrange.

As this is in remembrance of an important event in history I would urge you to come along if possible. The battle was won by the Jacobites; our clan was prominent amongst them. This is a big event with lots of activities going on including re-enactments of the battle and a parade... There will be fun for all the family.

For more information please refer to the official website.

All the best,


26-01-2018   New Year's Greetings

New year's greetings to all Keppoch clansmen and friends. I hope 2018 finds you all well and happy. We celebrated a very happy family Burns supper last night and toasted the haggis and our national bard on the day of his birth. We wish you all the very best.

Dia's Naomh Aindrea.

Chief of the Honourable ClanRanald of Lochaber


` The NO Campaign supported by Westminster is now in tatters !

As the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond says they are pannicking
as the Opinion Polls show a marked increase in the YES Campaign as
the people of Scotland realise that this is a once in a lifetime
opportunity for Scotland to Rise and be a Nation ONCE AGAIN !

Our Referendum is only ONE WEEK AWAY NOW and we will without a doubt

The world is watching and Scotland will soon take its place once
again with the Nations of the world !



Chief of the Honourable ClanRanald of Lochaber








lord of the isles is a golden eagle wearing a gold crown against

a black background which was his flag.

















06-04-2014   Chieftain Alasdair MacDonald 42 Paintings

Check this out : page and paintings http://www.saatchiart.com/profiles/portfolio/id/387551!

Posted by

Mac Mhir Raoncuill




Whether you are a Christian or not. Whether you are a Catholic or not
The simple story of the life of this remarkable young Edinburgh woman is well worthy of your consideration, especially today !

The late Cardinal Gordon Gray who I knew, was a scion of our own Keppoch Clann, was a man similar in nature to Margaret Sinclair, as were many of our family. Down to earth. Serving rather than being served and above all loving and serving God to the best of our ability in work and play.

Margaret was a poor working girl from an early age and came from a hard working poor family in Edinburgh. It is well worth considering her short life of hard work and love of others and above all her love of God Almighty ! When you think about the economic situation in the world today and the struggle that many families have to survive you will welcome reading the story of her short life here on earth.
I have copied most of the information that I read online while looking for information about Margaret Sinclair.
This arose because we were visiting Mount Vernon Cemetery that day, and discovered that Margaret Sinclair had been buried there some 81 years ago.

My wish for everyone who reads this story is that they find comfort and solace in it for the loss of their loved ones !

Beannachadh Dhia dhuibh

Mac Mhic Ronuill.


The Venerable Margaret Sinclair - Sister Mary Francis of the Five Wounds of Christ

PRAYER for private use
Lord, Our God,
you granted Margaret Sinclair,
a share in the sufferings of your Son
and in his zeal for the salvation
of men and women.
Through her glorification
may we come to share in your glory.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.


PRAYER for private use
God our Father,
we honour your servant
Margaret Sinclair
as a model of holiness.
We ask you to grant
the requests we make
through her intercession
as a sign of the favour
she enjoys in your sight.
We make this prayer
through Christ, our Lord.


A Child's Prayer

Margaret Sinclair, God's cheerful servant on earth,
help me to imitate the virtues which made you a great friend of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.

Please grant a sign that you are a saint in heaven by obtaining for me a favour which I now
earnestly request. (here tell Margaret your request)
Margaret Sinclair, hard-working girl - servant of God, pray for us.


'Tell your people to pray for a miracle'
The words of Pope John Paul II to the then Archbishop Keith O'Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
'Margaret could well be described as one of God's little ones, who through her very simplicity, was touched by God with the strength of real holiness of life, whether as a child, a young woman, an apprentice, a factory worker, a member of a Trade Union or a professed Sister of religion' said Pope John Paul II. "l fully appreciate the aspirations of the Catholics of Scotland, and elsewhere, for that singular event [of canonisation]to be realised, and I know that you are praying that it may come about." Rosewell, lst June. 1982.
'The devout and generous life of sister Mary Francis of the Five wounds, otherwise known as Margaret Sinclair, an extern sister in the Order of the Poor Clares, provides a striking contemporary example of evangelical heroism, not only for her sisters in religion but for all the faithful whatever their state in life.

Whether we consider her in family life, or in school, as an ordinary working girl or as a suister in the Poor Clare convent or finally as a patient in the sanatorium where she died, we are presented with a spectacle of outstanding holiness.

In the presence of the cardinals and others concerned, the Supreme Pontiff solemnly decreed that the Servant of God had in fact practiced to a heroic degree the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and also the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, with other related virtues.'
From the decree of the Sacred Congregation for the causes of Saints, 6th February 1978.

A Timeline of Margaret's Life

March 29th 1900: Born in Edinburgh, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Sinclair, one of a family of nine children.
April 11th 1900: Baptised Margaret Anne at St Patrick’s.
August 1906: Attends St Anne’s School, Edinburgh, under the care of the Sisters of Mercy.
May 8th 1910: Makes first Holy Communion; confirmed same day at St Patrick’s.
August 1914: Starts work as an apprentice french polisher. Joins trades union. Member of Sodality of Children of Mary. Worked in McVitie’s Biscuit Factory.
July 22nd 1923: Entered Convent of Poor Clares Colettines, Notting Hill, London.
February 11th 1924: Received the habit as an extern sister: Sister Mary of the Five Wounds.
February 14th 1925: Religious Profession.
April 9th 1925: Admitted to Warley Sanatorium, Essex, suffering from tuberculosis of the throat. Nursed by Sisters of Charity.
November 24th 1925: Margaret dies after long and painful illness. Buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
December 22nd 1927: Margaret’s remains reinterred at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Edinburgh.
August 1931: Informative Process, Edinburgh, under presidency of Archbishop McDonald.
February 3rd 1942: Cause introduced to Sacred Congregation of Rites by Pope Pius XII. Margaret becomes ‘The Servant of God’.
August 15th 1952: Archbishop Gray presides over Apostolic Process, Edinburgh. Tribunal closes 13th October 1952.
June 29th 1965: Opening of National Margaret Sinclair Centre, Rosewell, Midlothian.
February 6th 1978: Pope Paul VI declares that Margaret practised the Christian virtues to a heroic degree. She is given the title: ‘The Venerable Margaret Sinclair’.
October 2003: Margaret’s remains reinterred at The Chapel of the Resurrection at St Patrick’s, Cowgate, Edinburgh. On 25th October shrine is blessed and dedicated by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pablo Puent
The Chapel of the Resurrection at St Patrick’s, Cowgate, Edinburgh.

The life of Margaret Sinclair powerfully captures the imagination of people today. We can identify with someone who knew what it was to work for her living, who knew what it was to be made redundant, who met with prejudice in the workplace because she was a Catholic. Margaret was immersed in the realities of everyday living yet was able to transform the ordinariness of her life into the foundation of a deep spirituality. Her cheerfulness, her concern for others, her devotion to prayer are all well attested. She is one of our own who attained great holiness. We pray that she will one day be made a saint of the Church.

If you would like to know more about the life of The Venerable Margaret Sinclair the Catholic Truth Society has published a short biography of her life written by Jennifer Brave, which can be purchased online by clicking on the link below.

Margaret was born in 1900 in a tenement in Edinburgh, the the third of six children of a hardworking dustman, Margaret grew up amid the First World War and hard times. She was a beautiful young woman who was also resolute in her faith. She knew hard work. She was a disciple of Christ, in season and out of season. After severe tuberculosis, she died at the age of 25, by which time she had become Sr Mary Francis of the Five Wounds - a Poor Clare nun.

Her short life invites us and challenges us to consider Christ afresh, full of love and tenderness, always fighting for our happiness.

A Catholic Truth Society Biography of Margaret Sinclair is available.

In the 81 years since her death, thousands of people have turned to her in their need and have asked her prayers. Through her intercession it is believed that many miracles have occured.

Shortly to be published at Christmas 2011 is a new and excellent biography of Ven Margaret Sinclair written by Dr John Watts. Additionally Monsignor Robson, the vice-postulator the the cause, has reprinted a booklet written in 1926 by the Dowanhill Sisters shortly after Margaret's death. Both of these publications are available to you by contacting him - see his details below.

Monsignor Stephen Robson.
Our Lady Star of the Sea
9 Law Road,
North Berwick
EH39 4PN

or email

The National Shrine of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair in St Patrick's Cowgate Edinburgh is open daily for individuals or groups who wish to come and pray. There are monthly devlotions to pray for her beatification on the first Tuesday of every month. Each year there is an annual pilgrimage in her honour led by His Eminence the Cardinal.
For more information on the Venerable Margaret Sinclair or the Annual Pilgrimage Day or for more information about joining The Friends of Margaret Sinclair write to:

The Redemptorists.
5 South Gray's Close,
40 High Street,

or phone 0131 566 1973.

To send prayer petitions and thanksgivings via email, prayers@stpatricksparish.co.uk
please note it is St Patrick's Cowgate Edinburgh not St Patrick's Kilsyth who will receive your petitions

Notification of Favours and Cures

Details of all favours and cures received through the intercession of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair should be reported to the Vice Postulator for her cause:

Monsignor Stephen Robson.
Our Lady Star of the Sea
9 Law Road,
North Berwick
EH39 4PN

or email


14-12-2012   A Christmas Greeting from the Chief of Keppoch

A warm friendly greeting to all members of the Honourable Clan Raonuill of Lochaber from your Chief Ranald Alasdair MacDonald of Keppoch, Mac Mhic Raonuill.
"May your receive all the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ, son of God Almighty, Great Architect of the Universe and Maker of all things in heaven and earth!"

HE has made it possible for our clan's first great achievement. The provision of a lasting memorial to be placed on the graves of our Keppoch ancestors in the ancient Keppoch Burial Grounds of Cille Choirill in Roybridge, Lochaber, Scotland.

This was completed as promised, in the latter part of the Year of the Lord 2011.

The work of installing the Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque was undertaken by my son Chieftain Alasdair Raonuill MacDonald of Keppoch,
Professional Landscape Gardener and Artist, under ardous conditions.

My father's dying wish has been honoured and his ashes have been interred beneath the plaque, and he now lies at rest at long last in the bosum of his family .

On arrival at Cille Coirill the weather was stormy and hazardous. But
miraculously, at the moment of the interment of my father's ashes and the setting of the plaque on our grave, the winds ceased, the sun broke out above Ben Nevis Massive, and a dazzling beam of sunlight shone on that spot precisely.Outside of this amazing sunlight beam all was a sheet of darkness. An amazing experience that my wife, my son and I will never forget and cherish forever !
Keppochs served their fellow man, God and country and the experience that day established the fact, that they lived, toiled and served God to the best of their ability in "God's Own Country" - Lochaber from time immorial !

I wish to thank all of my clansmen and family, who contributed financially towards the provision of our Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque, and let them all know that this was the first important step for our clan. The next being, the provision of a Keppoch Clan Centre on the duthhas ( the lands of our ancestors in Lochaber ).
That matter has not been forgotten by me and will be given my attention in the New Year !

My son Chieftain Alasdair Raonuil MacDonald of Keppoch took the photographs at the installment of our Keppoch Memorial Bronze Plaque. They have now been successfully posted on our clan website below this message . Owing to the size of the pictures, they had to be reduced in size to allow them to be displayed on our website. They have been displayed separately for the same reason.
They can be enlarged by those with sufficient computer 'know-how' and of course our Keppoch Clan Bronze Memorial Plaque can be viewed personally by all visitors to Cille Choirill in Roybridge, Lochaber, now, and in the future !
Beannachadh Dhia Dhuibh !

If you read my Christmas Greeting first,please then highlight News Archives on left of screen, to view the other photographs taken at this installation ceremony. I say 'ceremony' because we knelt and blessed my father and all our ancestors buried in this very holy burial ground of the Keppoch Clann.

Mac Mhic Raonuill
32nd Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber.

13-12-2011   Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque in Cille Choirill.

Photograph of Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque in Cille Choirill

This is a a photograph of the Chief of Keppoch, Mac Mhic Raonuill
standing beside the lair of his ancestors in the ancient Keppoch Burial Grounds in Roybridge, Lochaber.

12-12-2011   Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque in Cille Choirill

The Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque is now in the ancient Keppoch burial grounds in Roybridge, Lochaber. You will see from the photographs now being posted on our Clann website that my great grandfather Alasdair Raonuill and my great grandmother Margaret Cameron are both interred there along with their siblings and cousins.Our Memorial Bronze Plaque is placed in the centre of our grave, in front of the very ancient stone cross on the actual grave of my ancestors between two magificent Stone Memorials of their siblings and my cousins. These were errected by my cousins the MacLarens recently.

12-12-2011   Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque in Cille Choirill


Here is another picture of the Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque in front of the ancient stone cross with the two memorial errected by my cousins the Maclarens recently. They are placed one on each side of the Keppoch Bronze Memorial Plaque.


show details Sep 22 (3 days ago)

My idea from five/six years pastas Games CEO was to put up the World's Largest Kilt on the 76.6' tall Tulsa Golden Driller statue has finally come to fruition this year due to the efforts of the current OSF Managing Director/CEO and some helpers (I helped hang it up on the Driller). This proved to be a total pain (20/20 hindsight) to actually get onto the statue, let alone sew up! Yet the PR for our Oklahoma Scottish Festival event as compared to the total investment was exponential. We are a shoe in for World's largest Kilt as no prior category existed. Guinness competitor have already listed it by default. I personally think its the best the statue here in Tulsa has ever looked!

Some stats: 177 yards of Black Watch tartan with full pleating at the rear per a normal philibeg. He's 22.6 feet around his waist (below the Tulsa belt buckle) and getting it up above his bum was the single hardest part! Tulsa Fire Department actually made it work in addition to the two extension lifts and without their help we would not have been able to cinch it up and make it look proper. We left it in place for one week and then took it down and brought it out to the field where our Games are held annually for display.

We did not have time to build/sew up a proper sporran as the Kilt itself took so long to create. We did create a nice printed vinyl one that would have created the effect of having a sporran in place, but once we had the Kilt up we judged that the safety pins would likely rip the Tartan material due to the wind so we left it down on the ground. Steve Campbell sewed it up round about and Judy McLain did the excellent pleat work.............

If we get to put it up again next year (no assurance of that at this time) we'll certainly build/sew the World's largest Sporran and also produce likely the World's largest Kilt pin for the event with an eye for both of those to go into the Guinness World Records too!

I forgot to mention that the Black Watch Tartan sett of this material was greatly enlarged for some reason when it was woven. It does not look like Black Watch to me up close and it was also made from acrylic and not wool for weight reasons (in case it rained). I'll also try to send you a smilebox slide show made with a Canon Camera which shows the various phases of getting the Kilt in place as it might prove interesting but if its too large a file Alastair McIntyre has the whole of it up now at Electric Scotland under his What's New category.


18-10-2011   Website has changed URL!

Due to hosting issues The MacDonald of Keppoch website has changed URL and is now located here at www.macdonaldofkeppoch.org.uk (not www.macdonaldofkeppoch.org as before). There has been a down period during the course of this transition which the chief apologises for.




Message flagged Sunday, 2 October 2011, 0:53Message Body

Online Newsletter
As usual, there is an illustrated online version of this newsletter at

More Scottish Humour!
I've gone back over the Scottish Snippets Newsletters from January 2006 to
February 2009 and abstracted all the jokes in the humour section. The
random humour has then been divided up into another six pages in broad
categories (such as "Old Age Doesn't Come Alone" and "Married Bliss") and
added them to those already there. The additional pages have been marked
"new" so you don't have to go through the earlier pages - unless you want
to! See the index at

Scottie's Photo Diary - September 2011
Although the weather in September was of a similar standard to the earlier
months of the year (dull and damp) I have managed to pull together a page
of photos that were taken on the days when the sun shone (or at least the
rain stopped) See
Having run out of time, the YouTube slide show version of this photo diary
has been postponed to the next newsletter.

Battle of Britain Air Display, Leuchars, September 2011
Each year in September, Royal Air Force bases across the UK host an air
display of mainly military aircraft to commemorate the Battle of Britain
which took place in August/September 1940, when the small number of Royal
Air Force pilots and support staff turned the tide of World War II. The RAF
base at Leuchars in Fife is one of the air bases which holds such an air
display and this year I managed to get along to take some photos of the
static and a good part of the flying display. Here's a selection of what
was on display. See

YouTube Video Slide Shows
Although YouTube does provide a sort of index (when you click on "see all")
to the many slide shows now available on the Rampant Scotland Channel it
only gives the title of each page. So I've updated the index of Video pages
on the Rampant Scotland site and, where applicable, included links to
related Web pages as well - you may want to bookmark the index page once
you've had a look! See
The Rampant Scotland Channel on YouTube can of course be found at

Yours aye


24-09-2011   COSCA

Received information from our Clansman Robert Phillips in North Corolina, U.S.A.
concerning above organisation The Council of Scottish Clan Associations
in the U.S.A.

Our Keppoch Clansman thinks it might of be of interest to Keppochs and
having had a good look at their site which is < CORSCA.NET. - I agree and
recommend that you should all have a close look at what it offers you
and our Keppoch Clansmen and Women !

Mac Mhic Raonuill


A Keppoch clansman has asked what Kepppch pipe tunes are available

The following list is not exclusive as many original Keppoch tunes
have been lost and may never be recovered. On the otherhand, someone
'out there' may have some very old Keppoch pipe tunes tucked away If
they do, perhaps they will share them with the rest of us ?

Here is the list of Keppoch tunes that have been preserved today ;

SALUTE ; Blar na Maoile Ruaidh. A mhuinntir a' chail chaoil, thugaibh
am bruthach oribh - The Battle of Mulroy c1688.MacDonald took the
Brae on them.

MARCHES ; Spaidsearachd Alasdair Carraich - March of Alasdair
Carragh .
Latha na na Maoile Ruaidh - The Day of Mulroy.
An Tarbh Breac Dearg - The Red Speckled Bull.

LAMENTS ; Cumha na Peathar - The Sister's Lament.
A' Cheapach na Fasach - Keppoch in Desolation.

NB. Some if not all of the above Keppoch Pipe tunes can be found in
the Great Book of Piping - "A' Cheol Mor"
Also the Piobearachd pipe tunes are difficult to play for the novice.
"But practice makes perfect"

Enjoy !

Mac Mhic Raonuill





AT < alltradeart.co.uk >

Alasdair is a Chieftain of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber

24-04-2011   "SAFETY IN YOUR HOME"



FOLLOWING WEB SITE < www.lbfire.org.uk > email : <

enquiries@lbfire.org.uk >







Inscription on cairn at approach to the old High Bridge located at the side of the High
Bridge, Brackletter Road


Near this point on August 16 1745, the first action of the “Forty-Five” took place.
Donald MacDonell - MacDonald of Keppoch of Timadris with eleven men and a piper from Keppoch’s Clan, by
making use of the new demolished High Bridge Inn and surrounding trees to conceal
the smallness of their number, succeeded in preventing two companies of The 1st
Royal Regiment of Foot (later The Royal Scots) from crossing the High Bridge over
the River Spean. This force consisting of about eighty five men had been sent from
Fort Augustus to reinforce the garrison at Fort William


There is a new walk opened up on the other side of the river. Starts across the
road from the Aonach Mor Hotel in Spean Bridge and ends at the Commando War


John McDonald, Bard of High Bridge


More than thirty recordings of John McDonald, the Lochaber Bard from High Bridge near Spean Bridge, can be heard on the new website Tobar an Dualchais launched on December 9th 2010.

Recorded by Calum Maclean for the School of Scottish Studies in the 1950s they give an indication of how prolific John was as a storyteller and poet.

John was born at High Bridge in 1876, near Spean Bridge in the Highlands, the third eldest of 11 children.

John’s father, James (Seumas Ruadh) was a stonemason and crofter and had travelled throughout Lochaber with his work. On his travels he learned place names and stories relating to every part of the landscape, and passed this knowledge on to his son John.

After leaving school John worked as a railway surfaceman on the West Highland line. On his retrial, he worked for a further nineteen years as a roadman with Inverness-shire County Council until he lost his sight in his early eighties.

As a renowned local historian, John contributed information to several publications, including Bygone Lochaber written by Somerled MacMillan and the D.K. Broster’s book The Flight of the Heron. There was also an article written about him in the Scottish Daily Express in May 1962.

In his book The Highlands Calum Maclean recalls his first encounter with John and that “John could not remember how many songs he had composed, perhaps a hundred or two. He had just composed a song in praise of the young Scots who had removed the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey. The Stone was then at large. He sang the song. It was full of vigour and fire.”

John and Calum met once a week for five months and day after day John poured out the unwritten history of Lochaber. Everything that took place there seems to have left an imprint in his memory. Figures like St Columba, Robert the Bruce, the Red Comyn, Donald Balloch, son of the Lord of the Isles, Charles Edward Stuart and the patriot Dr Archibald Cameron, brother of Lochiel, flitted across the stage with which John the Bard was so familiar. A story John told about Robert the Bruce, Am Brusach agus na Cruidhean can be heard on the site.

After he became blind, his sister Mary would read the newspapers to him. He would then discuss the news with any visitors that came. You would never know he was blind. He was a cheery, sober man who never drank a drop of whisky.

John would tell stories of one of Lochaber’s most famous heroes, Domhnall Mor Og, factor to the Huntly and Gordon estates in Lochaber during the early 19th century. After his death, a lament of 16 verses was composed, and became popular among singers in the area. Calum Maclean tells of how one old man came into possession of a copy of several verses of the song. The man was very proud to have it in his possession. One day he met John the Bard and proceeded to read the verses to him. He asked John if he knew the song and on replying that he did, the man asked him to sing it. John sang the sixteen verses and when he finished, the man crumpled up the piece of paper and threw it away! You can listen to the lament, Marbhann Dhomhnaill Mhoir Oig on the website.

Jim Burgess, grandson of John’s twin brother Roderick, has fond memories of visiting the house at High Bridge during the 1940s to 1970s when John was very much involved in day to day crofting activities. John died in 1964. Jim recalls that ‘John had a great sense of humour and would write a song about anybody or anything, at the drop of a hat’. While Jim would almost be driven to distraction by midges when watching John cut the hay, John would remain unbitten. His theory was that it you didn’t touch the midges then they wouldn’t touch you! John the Bard’s contribution can be fittingly summarised by reference to James Hunter’s sentiments in his book The Scottish Highlanders.

John’s sister Ellen was the last person to cross the old High Bridge before it collapsed in a great storn in 1913 more or less demolished now.

See Cairn.



John went to school so he told me from five to seven and then only sometimes. He
had no English when he was young. He was approached at one time to stand for Bard
at the Mod, but he refrained saying “they would make fun of you at the Mod if you
had no English. Now they tell me it’s hard to get them speaking the Gaelic”.

One day when working as a country roadman mending a culvert and had a big stone
cut out on the road when a man in a, as he put it, in a big motor car came along and
shouted “Get that thing to Hell out of here”

John replied “I will that, though I doubt it will be in your way there too. But likely
you’ll get one of your friends to shift it for you”.

Another tale is about the man from Barra a long time ago who went to Glasgow to get
work. When in the big city he saw a mirror for the first time, bought it to take home
as a present for his wife. On arrival home his wife emptied his suitcase with a view
to washing his dirty clothes. She found the mirror looked at it, saw her reflection and
then turned on him saying “So this is the woman you were seeing in Glasgow, and a
right ugly bitch she was too.

Interestingly John and his twin brother Roderick (my grandfather) differed on how to
spell their surname. John used McDonald and Roderick used Macdonald.

Going back along the family tree the family name was MacGillivantic before being
changed to McDonald.

Although John and Roderick are twins they were born on different days. Roderick
was born before midnight on 15 October 1876 and John after midnight making his
birthday 16 October 1876.



06-03-2011   Slide Show Scottish Parliament

Graphics and Video from Scottie at < rampantscotland.com>

Scottish Parliament Inside and Out
The Scottish Parliament building has always been controversial but it is
certainly "different". It opened for business in September 2004 - nearly
six years after construction started and at a cost of over £400 million. I
recently took the guided tour of the building and discovered a lot about
the design of the building and came away more impressed by what had been
achieved by the architect. In addition to writing an illustrated diary page
on the building, there's a link to a YouTube slide show of photographs
taken both inside and outside Scotland's parliament. See
If you just want to view the slide show, it's at

Snowdrops at Colzium
The walled garden of the Colzium Estate near Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire
has an extensive collection of many different varieties of snowdrops. The
snowdrops are a bit later than usual this year due to the hard winter but
they are now in full bloom and I've been along to photograph many of them
and created a slide show of a selection of the graphics. See
Lat year I created a slide show of snowdrops from a number of gardens and
estates around Scotland that were participating in the annual Snowdrop
Festival. So if you are a fan of these dainty flowers, you may want to have
a look also at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0Hj7zTK74

Scotland in Colour, Week by Week
The pages covering the first two weeks of March are now online. They
include graphics of the Cathedral of the Isles on Cumbrae, Duke of
Wellington Statue, Clyde Clock at Buchanan Street Bus Station, Gallery of
Modern Art, St Bride's Chapel in Douglas, Douglas Castle plus Pink-footed
Goose, Redshank, Eider Ducks. See

Clan Gathering 2014
The Scottish Government has announced that another Homecoming year will be
held over the course of 2014, in honour of the 700th anniversary of the
Battle of Bannockburn, though exact dates of events associated with this
new Homecoming (such as another "Gathering" in Edinburgh) are not yet
established. Recalling the event in 2009, reminded me that I had missed
buying a copy of the DVD at the time. But while browsing on the Web site of
the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations I found that they still had
a limited number of copies of the official DVD for sale - see
http://www.cosca.net/ On the other hand, Scottish Television still has
video clips of the event at
And my own slide show of the march of the clans from Holyrood Park to
Edinburgh Castle is at YouTube on

Yours aye



Here is an excellent slide show courtesy of Scottie of :- scottishrampant.com.

Have reviewed it personally and find it exquisite having lived in both cities over a number of years ......anon

Subject: Edinburgh Photo Tour

Edinburgh Photo Tour
Having created a slide show tour of Glasgow on YouTube, I obviously had to do one for Edinburgh as well, partly to show a lack of bias between the two rival cities, partly because it is Scotland's capital city and partly because I got to know the place quite well during 15 years of working there (commuting daily from Glasgow along the 45 longest miles in Scotland). A colleague (also from the west) once described me as one of the few Glaswegians he knew who actually liked working in Edinburgh... So here's my
assorted selection of photographs of "Auld Reekie".

Glasgow Photo Tour
The Glasgow Photo Tour on YouTube has proved to be popular but I got
feedback which suggested that not enough time had been allocated to each
slide to allow some viewers a proper look at the pictures. So I created an
updated version - same pictures but setting the viewing time for each a
couple of seconds longer. Overall run time is increased by less than three
minutes. If it's still too short for some of the slides, you can always
click the "pause" control. The updated Glasgow slide show is at


Mac Mhic Raonuill

Having worked in both cities I also liked working in both. Both are magnificent Scottish cities of great stature, culture and ancient historic interest for both residents and visitors alike !

Mac Mhic Raonuill

15-02-2011   HISTORY OF THE DOME

The Dome is one of Edinburgh's finest prestige buildings. Today it has been converted ino a first class restaurant,bar-lounge and conference centre, situated in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town in George Street adjacent to Edinburgh's famous Princes Street.
It is a favorite of Mac Mhic Raonuill and Lady Margaret MacDonald Keppoch.
Our clansmen and friends will find it not only attractive but its
historic character will appeal to them, reminding them, just how capable their earlier ancestors were in planning, development and building of the New Town in all its glory. A short history of the Dome now follows:


The site of THE DOME was originally the site of the old Physicians’ hall (1775), built and designed
by JAMES CRAIG the celebrated planner of Edinburgh’s New Town. Unfortunately for the College
of Physicians the original estimate of £2,725 rose to £4,800 by completion, leaving the College
approximately £1,000 in debt. Unsurprisingly after a short time the College looked for a purchaser and
eventually THE COMMERCIAL BANK OF SCOTLAND made an offer for the site and premise for
£20,000 in 1843 - some seventy years later.

MR DAVID RHIND (1808-1883) was employed as the Architect by the Commercial Bank of Scotland
and in January 1844 the old Physicians’ Hall was demolished to the foundation stone in which
were found the silver medals and other relics which are now in the possession of the College. The
old building material was removed and on the empty site the present structure gradually rose. The
new foundation stone was laid on Tuesday 4th June 1844 by JAMES WYLD OF GILSTON a Leith

DAVID RHIND’S frontage is directly based on Playfair’s original scheme for the Surgeons’ Hall, but
the portico is entered directly, not through the flanking gateways and moreover the style is not Greek
but the richest Graeco-Roman, with arched and keystoned upper windows and a Corinthian portico.
The Pedimental Sculpture modelled by JAMES WYATT of London and carved by A. HANDYSIDE
RITCHIE shows a central figure of Caledonia, flanked by Prudence, Agriculture, Commerce,
Enterprise, Mechanical Science and Learning. The thickly wreathed cast-iron side gates are original,
but not the lamp-standards or the flashy bronzework of the main door.

Inside the building, the first big space is a top lit square hall with superimposed Ionic columns - fluted
above, smooth scagliola below. From its aisles twin staircases with gilded anthemion balusters ascend
to the first floor offices. Beyond, in the magnificent telling hall, a Greek cross with arched ceilings
and coffered central dome. This basic plan has already been used in Edinburgh, but Rhind greatly
elaborated it with columned screens at the entry to each arm of the cross, a Fortuna Virilis frieze,
rich anthemion decoration on the pendentives and an apsed end to the south arm. The columns were
originally marbled wood, but in 1885 The Commercial Bank’s new architect SYDNEY MITCHELL
refaced them in Devonshire marble veined with grey and red, with black Belgium granite bases and
bronze capitals. His also are the marble mosaic floors, black, red and grey with arabesques and the
arms of the Bank.

In 1930 the windows at the rear of the banking hall were replaced with those we see today, the central
one bearing the crest of the Commercial Bank incorporating the motto ‘DIDAT SERVATA FIDES’
- Keep Faith and Prosper - while to each side the windows incorporate the symbol of ‘HERMES’
the legendary god of Commerce, with the device of the winged staff and two entwined serpents.
This choice of emblem is also commemorative of the old Physicians’ Hall since, according to Greek
mythology, Aesculapius, the God of Healing who is perpetually represented by a staff and a serpent,
was rescued as an infant by Hermes from the funeral pyre of his mother Coronis and carried off to the
centaur, Cheiron, for instruction in the art of healing. This emblem is embossed in the magnificent
bronze doors which replaced the original ones at the entrance to the building during these alterations.

The amalgamation of The Commercial Bank of Scotland Limited with The National Bank of Scotland
Limited in 1959 to become The National Commercial Bank of Scotland Limited and the amalgamation
of the latter Bank in 1969 with The Royal Bank of Scotland caused the building to shed its designation
of ‘Head Office’ by reason of the concentration of the administration of the merged bank in St. Andrew

In 1993 The Royal Bank of Scotland decided that the building was no longer viable and transferred all
business to the St. Andrew Square office and 14 George Street was put up for sale. A local company
called Caledonian Heritable Ltd bought the building and converted the bank to how you see it today.

Mac Mhic Raonuill






06-02-2011   Slide Show Scottish Parliament

Graphics and Video from Scottie at < rampantscotland.com>

Scottish Parliament Inside and Out
The Scottish Parliament building has always been controversial but it is
certainly "different". It opened for business in September 2004 - nearly
six years after construction started and at a cost of over £400 million. I
recently took the guided tour of the building and discovered a lot about
the design of the building and came away more impressed by what had been
achieved by the architect. In addition to writing an illustrated diary page
on the building, there's a link to a YouTube slide show of photographs
taken both inside and outside Scotland's parliament. See
If you just want to view the slide show, it's at

Snowdrops at Colzium
The walled garden of the Colzium Estate near Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire
has an extensive collection of many different varieties of snowdrops. The
snowdrops are a bit later than usual this year due to the hard winter but
they are now in full bloom and I've been along to photograph many of them
and created a slide show of a selection of the graphics. See
Lat year I created a slide show of snowdrops from a number of gardens and
estates around Scotland that were participating in the annual Snowdrop
Festival. So if you are a fan of these dainty flowers, you may want to have
a look also at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR0Hj7zTK74

Scotland in Colour, Week by Week
The pages covering the first two weeks of March are now online. They
include graphics of the Cathedral of the Isles on Cumbrae, Duke of
Wellington Statue, Clyde Clock at Buchanan Street Bus Station, Gallery of
Modern Art, St Bride's Chapel in Douglas, Douglas Castle plus Pink-footed
Goose, Redshank, Eider Ducks. See

Clan Gathering 2014
The Scottish Government has announced that another Homecoming year will be
held over the course of 2014, in honour of the 700th anniversary of the
Battle of Bannockburn, though exact dates of events associated with this
new Homecoming (such as another "Gathering" in Edinburgh) are not yet
established. Recalling the event in 2009, reminded me that I had missed
buying a copy of the DVD at the time. But while browsing on the Web site of
the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations I found that they still had
a limited number of copies of the official DVD for sale - see
http://www.cosca.net/ On the other hand, Scottish Television still has
video clips of the event at
And my own slide show of the march of the clans from Holyrood Park to
Edinburgh Castle is at YouTube on

Yours aye




Received two offers of donations this week - one of £100 and a

smaller one,notwithstanding the tight economic climate at the

moment !

Clansmen are rallying already.

Moran taing



Received from our Clansman Uilleim Boath a further generous donation of £60 towards the Keppoch Bronze Memorial Fund .

Moran taing Uilleim !

Mac Mhic Raonuill

24-12-2010   Keppoch Memorial Bronze Memorial

I wish to confirm that I have received today a cheque of £60 GBP from

our fellow clansman Bill Boath ( Uilleim ) which was banked by me

today in my bank in Edinburgh.

Moran taing a rithist Uilleim !


Mac Mhic Raonuill

20-12-2010   Keppoch Memorial Bronze Plaque

Just received a very warm Christmas card enclosing with it a cheque

for a £50 donation to the Keppoch Memorial Bronze Plaque, from my

good friend and Duine Uasal Seumas Burgess, raised as

young lad at the High Bridge, Lochaber.

He also sent me a very fine article on his grand uncle, John the Bard

High Bridge, Brachleiter, Lochaber, which I will reprint very shortly

on our web site. This is a very important part of our Keppoch history

and I would strongly recommend all of our clansmen and friends not to

miss it!

John MacDonald Bard of Highbridge's great store of local

knowledge and history, was quoted in support of my claim to

the Chiefship of Keppoch . He was of "the blood" as Highlanders

say. A famous Keppoch Bard in a long line of great poets

and Highland historians going back into the mists of antiquity . Like

his Chief, John the Bard, had the fire and vigour in his blood and

and in his speech.

The fire and vigour of a true Gael! I feel sure that gift has been

passed on to his grand nephew Seumas . Maybe we will be hearing some

of if very soon. Sooner than later. I hope!

Moran taing Seumas for your generous donation, and your excellent

article on your grand uncle John MacDonald, Bard of

Keppoch - High Bridge,Brachleiter, Lochaber.








Because of dubiety about what my intentions are in trying to bring
Ur Duthchas-Duthchaich into line with Scottish Law as it should be.
And having put my case before the Scottish Parliament for
consideration without success. It is now time to clarify the matter
and put it into the public realm for discussion, in the hope that this
may stimulate enough interest for others to press for the matter to
be fully discussed and debated in the Scottish Parliament, instead of
limited discussion that it received in the Public Petitions Committee.

In simple terms, Ur Duthchas-Duthchaich is the original Scottish Legal Native Title to our land.It is hereditary and therefore must be given the same recognition as for instance, Native Title in Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia. Interestingly, the old Viking form of Native Title ; Udal Law, has been incorporated within the Legal System of Land Law in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament recognised that fact during the period of land reform in Scotland and it was incorporated by the Scottish Parliament in 2002- 2003 .It is therefore legal in Scotland, while our native title is not recognised
by our Scottish Parliament today .

Land ownership has to some extent been returned to the people in
certain areas of Scotland. For example the Highlands and Islands
under the Crofters' Act 1886 and later amendments to it, while other communities have been able to purchase land coming onto the Scottish market, when they have been given first choice to make an offer at special discount prices.

However, much more has to be done, to restore to the community vast areas of Scottish land lying dormant or owned by various quangos. Restoring it to the community, could pave the way to greater use of our land by people interested in our land, and could provide jobs in Scotland at a time of high unemployment and financial constraints.

Sir Ian Nable's scheme is an excellent example of how such a scheme does work along the lines I have just mentioned. Providing jobs for those who are interested in the land. For example ; small farmers both arable and arable and stock rearing . Specialist farming, introducing different varieties of fruits and vegetables,flowers, shrubs and plants endemic to Scotland because of its rich variety of soils that vary in different parts of Scotland. Let us not forget, Scotland is a country not a wee town in the back of beyond.

Tradesmen of all kinds, self-employed artisans, could start up small
businesses on land that was available to them, at little or no cost.
Internet business opportunities do exist today, something unavailable in the past.Putting Ur Duthchas-Duthchaich Law on Statute, could provide the foundation to facilitate that.

Attracting people back to their roots could help to repopulate those
vast swards of land just waiting to be redeveloped.Families would have good reasons for so doing.

Scots are renowned for inventiveness and ingenuity. Some critics have tried to attach labels to them by depicting them as lazy, incompetent alcoholics and drug addicted good-for-nothings.
But the cause lies deeper than that, and can usually be associated with politico-socio-economic circumstances and lack of real opportunity for advancement,leading to loss of confidence and focus.

My aim is to first of all. Try to attract my clansmen and their families back to their roots. Secondly,use the laws of Ur Duthchas - Duthchaich to help to achieve that.Lastly. To give encouragement and full support to those who are willing to take up the challenge.

Suas leis Ur Duthchas-Duthchaich!.

Mac Mhic Raonuill

10-11-2010   THE FALKIRK WHEEL

Rampant Scotland owner has me a late addition to his previous newsletter

telling the story with graphics of the famous Falkirk Wheel.

It is the only one of its kind in the world and is another engineering

triumph for Scotland and Scottish ingenuity . Well done !

Mac Mhic Raonuill


Falkirk Wheel
Add to Contacts
To: Snippets.E.from.Scottie@rampantscotland.com

Late Newsletter!
This newsletter is usually sent out at the weekend, but due to a problem at
my service provider, the Rampant Scotland Web site was down during Saturday
and Sunday. My service provider used to provide support over the weekend
and every weekday evening (it's usually a simple matter to restart the
system). Presumably to save money, such cover is no longer being provided.
There didn't seem much point in telling you about additions to the site if
you couldn't access them - hence the delay. It's up and running now, of

Places to Visit - The Falkirk Wheel
The Millennium Link was an ambitious £84.5m project to restore both the
historic Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. A major challenge of the
project was to restore link between the Forth and Clyde Canal, which lay
35m (115ft) below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two
canals had been joined at Falkirk by a flight of 11 locks that stepped down
across a distance of 1.5km, but these had all been dismantled in 1933,
breaking the link. Indeed, the canal at that point had been filled in and
the land built on. It was decided early on in the Millennium Project to
create a dramatic 21st century landmark structure to reconnect the canals,
instead of simply recreating those locks. And so the Falkirk Wheel project
got underway. The wheel is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the
world, and is regarded as an engineering landmark for Scotland. In addition
to information and pictures on this amazing structure, I have link to a
slide show on YouTube showing a time lapse sequence of the Falkirk Wheel
rotating, showing one boat going up and two coming down. There are also
some other graphics with other views of the Falkirk Wheel and the visitor
centre. See

Scotland in Colour Week By Week
The latest addition to this series of photos cover the first and second
weeks of November. Flowers include Pink Rose, Mahonia, Welsh Poppy and
Ornamental Cabbage; birds include Greylag Geese, Ruddy Duck, Tufted Duck,
Golden Eye, Whooper Swans, Black Headed Gull, Pigeons, Shovelar and
Seagull; and other graphics include Dumbarton Castle, Kincardine Bridge,
Hogganfield Loch at Dusk, George Square at Christmas, Great Hall in
Stirling Castle, Cenotaph War Memorial in George Square, Glasgow, Gallery
of Modern Art and Ceiling of Light, Glasgow, Titan Crane Clydebank. See

172,422nd In The World
Rampant Scotland began in January 1996, initially just as a site with a few
hundred links to Scottish-related sites on the Web. it has grown since then
and for many years there have been around a million page views every month.
I always thought that wasn't bad for what is essentially a personal Web
site. I recently came across some statistics that shed some more light on
the performance of the site on "Alexa", a Web information analysis company.
According to their data, Rampant Scotland is the 172,422nd busiest site in
the world and the 17,424th amongst UK users. It is even higher in New
Zealand where it is 11.508th! If you want to see more of these facts and
figures about Rampant Scotland, see

Yours aye

Rampant Scotland - one of the largest directories of Scottish links.
And 3,800+ illustrated feature articles.

31-10-2010   NEWS FLASH



A new movie comedy starring ; Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kirstin
Scott Thomas, directed by Lasse Hollstrom, shot in Glen Roy in the
heart of our Keppoch Clann Duthchas in Lochaber, and due for release
in 2012, has caused a stir in God's own Country.

The film has taken three days to film, and will be a wonderful
chance for the world to view the glories of this magnificent part
of the Scottish Highlands.

Ewan must have felt quite at home in Roybridge, as his clansmen
gained food and protetion from the Keppoch Chief, when they were
hunted down and killed by the order of the Campbell Chief. £5 he
offered for the head of a MacGregor!

Ewan plays the part of a humdrum scientist who has been given the
task of introducing Scottish salmon from the Highlands into the
Wadis of the Yemen.

I understand that the salmon were taken from the River Spean in
Roybridge in an oxygenized tank and then returned to the river.

The filming lasted 3 days and only had one day of rainfall, which
incidentally, would have helped the fishermen to catch some good

I am looking forward to seeing this film and would recommend all
clans folk to make a note in their diaries.

I will be checking with the producer Lasse Hollstrom to ascertain
the title of the film and post it on this site in due course.


MacDonald of Keppoch
Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber
Mac Mhic Raonuill

28-10-2010   WHO IS SCOTTIE ?

Who Is Scottie?
A Brief Biography
Website you will find on our Links section ,

Scottie "at work" - after climbing 500 steps to the top of the Glasgow Tower for photographs for a feature article!

From the beginning, the editor of this Rampant Scotland Web site has been known to users as "Scottie". Over the years, there have been number of requests for information on myself and indeed one Canadian reader even put together a draft biography, based on what she knew of me. So, with thanks to Claire, who wrote most of the "biography" below, here is some background to "Scottie" and the Rampant Scotland Directory.
In the Beginning...
Scottie is the on-line persona of Alan Scott, a Glasgow-area resident who has lived in Scotland all his life and delights in helping others explore "this special wee corner of the world." When he started Rampant Scotland (as a hobby) back in 1996, it began as a directory with 300 links to other Scottish websites. However, from the outset, this was more than just a list of links - each entry had a description and there was "deep linking" to a site's sub-pages, where appropriate. So users had a better idea of what they would find when they clicked on the URL. And the number of links grew over the years - currently over 13,000.

"We Mine the Web So You Don't Have To"
In 1998, the New York-based Mining Co (later to become About.com) invited Scottie to become their Guide to Scottish Culture. By September 2001, Scottie had provided more than 1,500 feature pages and 2,000 photos, and - with 400,000 page views a month - About.com's Scottish Culture site was in the top 20% of their Guide sites.

However, About.com dropped this site (and 300 others) in October 2001 when they reorganized and refocused their business. So Scottie set about posting all that content onto his personal site, Rampant Scotland. Within a month, over 1,000 pages were set up with over 1,200 photos, complementing the original links directory.

Weekly Newsletter
The Scottish Snippets newsletter, "your weekly insight into what has been happening in Scotland," began in April 1997 as a Web page. Six months later, the text-only version of Scottish Snippets became a free weekly letter to mailing list subscribers, sent to thousands of people around the world with an interest in Scotland. There was also a Web-based version with lots of illustrations.

For these "snippets," Scottie regularly scanned fourteen daily news sites. Every issue was over 5,000 words, with items of news and Scottish culture. Eventually, a weekly "Colour Supplement" with current pictures of Scotland was also added. After over 590 issues of the Scottish Snippet, ill health meant that the newsletter was brought to an end. The intention had been to concentrate on the Rampant Scotland site, but the huge feedback from the newsletter readers convinced Scottie that he had to continue to communicate with all those subscribers who had such a deep connection with Scotland. So "Scottie's Diary" has evolved, with regular articles on aspects of Scotland and pointers to updated features on the Rampant Scotland site.

Scottie retired after 40 years in the banking industry in 1998. Much of his career was in Information Technology (beginning in the days of paper tape and punched cards) but ending as the Secretary of the trade association of the four largest banks in Scotland. When he retired, Scottie commented that the day-time job was interfering with his "future career" on the Web!

Bigger and Bigger
New feature pages have been added to the site every week and there are now over 4,300 pages on Scottish-related subjects which get around a million page views each month. Subjects include how to research your family tree, Scottish clans, photo libraries, places to stay and eat, quizzes, a history time-line, traditional songs, recipes and places to visit. And there's humour and screen savers too and every year there is a Scottish pictorial calendar to print out with a choice of illustrations which users can print off on their own PCs.

As regular visitors to the site know, Scottie is an avid photographer. He illustrates most of his feature articles, with his own work and there are a number of "Photo Libraries" included in the sites covering places like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scottish castles and butterflies of Scotland. A recent development has been a series of "side shows" which have appeared not only on the Rampant Scotland site but also on YouTube - "When the Pipers Play" has proved particularly popular. The picture on the right was taken at the standing Stones of Calanais on Lewis in 2010.

While the Rampant Scotland site does carry banner adverts, it is far from being a commercial site. Indirectly it "sells" Scottish culture, products and services but Rampant Scotland continues with its original objective: providing information on Scotland and the Scots.

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?


Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh The Great Book of Irish Genealogies

The great Irish Seanachaidh and Celtic/Gaelic Scholar's work has been
at last transposed into English by Nollaig O' Muraile Celtic/Gaelic
Scholar, and published by De Burca Dublin 2003.

For all those interested in their Celtic/Gaelic genealogy this book
is a must.
It dispels the notion held by some,that Irish history is a myth
and a wonderful fairy tale. Once you start reading the introduction
in Vol 1, you will soon be disabused of such a notion. His work comes
in Five volumes and I have had the privilege of researching them all
at Edinburgh University Library where all copies have been preserved
for students of Scottish/Gaelic/Celtic Studies.
You may have some difficulty in obtaining this scholarly work, but
you could look for it in your city's National Library or University
Library if you have access to one.
I have been particularly interested in his work which was only
available in Gaelic up till now, and I am finding my researches both
fascinating and exciting.For those interested in the subject I feel
sure they will thoroughly enjoy reading it as I did.

Good luck!

Mac Mhic Raonuill





On October 9/10 the Waxhaw Scots will present a Scottish celebration. Autumn Treasures is a giant arts and crafts festival in downtown Waxhaw consisting of dozens of vendors selling a great variety of merchandise reflecting local arts and crafts. There will be a food court and, this year for the first time, a BBQ cook off. Another first will be an antique car show.

The Waxhaw Scots will have an information tent with clan and tartan finder service--ask us to find your clan and tartan. We also have information about Scottish history. Pick up a free Scottish travel planner courtesy of Visit Scotland and stop by for a sample of Scottish shortbread. Browse our sales table.

Our entertainment tent will feature, on Saturday, The Triad Scottish Fiddlers and Friends, a great group that I first met at Loch Norman Games last year. On Sunday we have the Carolina Horns playing Scottish and Irish airs--if you have never heard traditional Scottish music played by twelve French horns, you are in for a real treat. This will mark their third appearance with us. And, of course, the Great Highland Bagpipe played by piper Chris Jones. Come and hear piobaireachd played in downtown Waxhaw.

And for the first time we will have a parade of Scottish breed dogs at 2pm on Saturday down vendor row led by our piper, Chris Jones, and probably accompanied by the usual suspects in kilts. This should be great fun! If you have a Scottish breed dog( or know someone who does) come join us. Assemble at our tents by 1:45. Pat Hodges is the Parade Marshall so everything is guaranteed to go according to schedule. You and your dog(s) are invited to dress in whatever Scottish finery you have.

Please join us for a celebration of all things Scottish!

"Heaven seems verra little improvement on Glesga" a Glasgow man is said to have murmured , after death, to a friend who had predeceased him. "Man, this is noo Heaven", the other replied.

Alba gu brath!!

Rob Phillips(Chief)

Wonderful news Clansman Robert and congratulations that you are going to the be the Chief of the Games at this exciting Scottish Highland
Hope all your Scottish doggies enjoy the march in front of the Pipe Band. I can imagine that they will be wagging their tails in time with
the skirl of the pipes !

Best wishes to yourself and o all participants.

Mac Mhic Raonuill



A new movie comedy starring ; Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kirstin
Scott Thomas, directed by Lasse Hollstrom, shot in Glen Roy in the
heart of our Keppoch Clann Duthchas in Lochaber, and due for release
in 2012, has caused a stir in God's own Country.

The film has taken three days to film, and will be a wonderful
chance for the world to view the glories of this magnificent part
of the Scottish Highlands.

Ewan must have felt quite at home in Roybridge, as his clansmen
gained food and protetion from the Keppoch Chief, when they were
hunted down and killed by the order of the Campbell Chief. £5 he
offered for the head of a MacGregor!

Ewan plays the part of a humdrum scientist who has been given the
task of introducing Scottish salmon from the Highlands into the
Wadis of the Yemen.

I understand that the salmon were taken from the River Spean in
Roybridge in an oxygenized tank and then returned to the river.

The filming lasted 3 days and only had one day of rainfall, which
incidentally, would have helped the fishermen to catch some good

I am looking forward to seeing this film and would recommend all
clans folk to make a note in their diaries.

I will be checking with the producer Lasse Hollstrom to ascertain
the title of the film and post it on this site in due course.


MacDonald of Keppoch
Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber
Mac Mhic Raonuill

14-09-2010   NEWS ITEM


Applicants for clan membership to the Honourable Clan Ranald of

Lochaber - MacDonalds of Keppoch can now pay for their membership

and clan crest badge by Paypal, making it much easier than before.

Mac Mhic Raonnuill


The World Pipe Band Championships took place in the City of Glasgow, and our worthy 'Scottie',owner of Scottish Rampant, has gone to a great deal of time and trouble to provide us with a video slide show on his web site. You can enjoy this on You Tube as he has provided a link to it.

Scottie has attended these games for many years and has written a short history of their origin which is also posted on his web site .

The URL is : www.rampantscotland.com/diarypipe_band_championships.htm

You can also view the very large collection of his photographs covering a very wide range of Scottish fauna, and flora, as well as historic castles and ancient Scottish monuments, if you subscribe online while viewing his web site. I am sure you will enjoy what you discover there
as well learning a bit about Scottish history.

Le gach deagh durachd

Mac Mhic Raonuill



Lady Keppoch and I took in a special Gaelic show at the Edinburgh
Festival last night 16 August 2010 . Bata an t-Sil (Seedboat)
performed by two notable Scottish/Irish Traditional Scottish Gaelic
and Irish singers and story tellers. Their show was a tremendous
success and we both enjoyed it very much.
Seedboat represented the Scottish-Irish connection between both
countries, especially at the Gaeltacht level .As Maggie MacInnes the
Scottish singer explained. Although there was no concrete road
connecting the two Gael contries of Scotland and Ireland in the
Western Isles, the sea was their road by the use of boats, that had
been going on for centuries between the two countries. Column Sands
her Irish partner in the duet agreed. He comes from a well known
Irish family of poets,composers, singers and story tellers.I agreed
whole heartedly as Keppoch's motto is "Air Muir 'S Tir" - "By Sea and
by Land". The "Gaeltacht" extends to both countries.

Lady Keppoch and I met them after the show, and shared a drink with
them and enjoyed the craic . Column comes from Urraidh in Ireland
and Maggie's family roots are in both the islands of Mingulay and
Barra in the Hebrides. Where I have family connections too.
Maggie has accumulated a mass of traditional Gaelic folk songs and
stories passed down to her by her mother. from her earlier ancestors
from both islands. Over 200 in her collection, of songs never heard
today. Those we had the privilege to listen to were strongly
emotional and provocative. Colum added a touch of Irish wit and
humour to lighten things up a bit. At the same time, he too was very
emotional when singing some of his traditional compositions of the
bond between Scotland and Ireland through the Gaeltacht,
( the Highlands ) .

One of Maggie and her family favourite songs for hundreds of years
was "Laoidh Mhoire Maigdeann" - "A hymn to The Virgin Mary"
composed by Sileas ic Raonuill ) Juliet MacDonald of Keppoch in
1729, daughter of Gilleasbuig Mhic Raonuill,
15th Chief of Keppoch who was also a notable Gaelic Poet. His
younger brother Domhnall Gorm, was her uncle and my direct ancestor.

Maggie was delighted to know this connection and although we bought
a copy of her CD "Seedboat" she gifted me a copy of her CD
"Leaving Mingulay" because Sileas ic Raonuill's composition is
on it.Her family with all other natives of that island
left for good in 1912, so it has a very strong emotional
family connection for Maggie today.
Maggie accompanies her singing with her clarsach and
duets with Column on guitar and concertina, blending together
beautifully . As a singer and composer myself, I have no hesitation
in recommending them both. After all. There is a bit of historic
magic in the Sileas ic Raonuill connection. Not forgetting Seedboat
and the Scottish Irish one too .

For those interested in their songs,they be purchased on line/
Their URL is :- < www.maggiemacinnes.com > and < columnsands.net >

Mac Mhic Raonuill

09-07-2010   Scottish Highland Clan Chiefs and Gaelic Culture

At the Clan Gathering 2009 many visitors were asking me why Scottish Highland Clan Chiefs did not speak their native Gaelic tongue?

I explained why and they seemed to accept my explanation with reserve.

That incident has stuck in my mind ever since, and I am now posting this on our Clan web site, not only to alert my fellow Chiefs, but to encourage them to try to learn their native Gaelic language, and even
if they only manage a sentence or two to begin with and have a stab at it. It will not only show that they are taking on board what clansmen throughout the world are thinking and discussing. It will help to
promote and re-establish our own native Gaelic language in Scotland.

Having recently attended a National Gaelic Seminar in the Royal Scottish Concert Hall/Lecture Theatre in Glasgow on what is being done to further develop our Gaelic Language and Culture throughout Scotland by Government ,National and voluntary organisations,and individuals,I decided to post the above message on our web site today. And I assured
the various government officials et al, that I would do so. They will
be watching developments as a result.
So. I am calling on all of my clansmen and women to lead the way and start learning their native Gaelic language today, not tomorrow or sometime never!

Mac Mhic Raonuil

"Suas leish na Gaidhlig !"

02-04-2010   ATTENTION ALL McCalebs/MacCalebs !

Our chief has been receiving several enquiries from McCalebs/MacCalebs over the last few years and promises of becoming registered members of our honourable clan.

Apparently, McCaleb/MacCaleb should be MacKillop but due to incorrect pronunciation in America and elsewhere it has misled researches by the various family members of McCaleb/MacCaleb line.

Our Chief has decreed that they can now apply for membership of our honourable clan, The Honourouble Clan Ranald of Lochaber by completing the official clan membership application form.

This can be found on the left hand side of our clan website. It can be completed on line and sent to our Chief for approval.

Thank you,

Seamus Burgess

Keppoch Clan Archivist

22-03-2010   ATTENTION -Chiefs of all Scottish Clans.

Will the Chiefs of the Scottish Clans who are interested in finding out information on claiming their lost or stolen Dutchas/Duthchaich contact the Chief of Keppoch of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber.


Mac Mhic Raonuill

22-03-2010   Information for Chiefs of Scottish Clans.

For those Scottish Clan Chiefs wishing to contact MacDonald of Keppoch, Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill, do so by emailing him at < ranald@macdonaldofkeppoch.org >

15-01-2010   Clan Membership Forms

Please note that Clan Membership Forms can now be completed online.

Check navigational bar on left of screen.


Our Chief has arranged for Scotloads Music to relaunch his CD MacDonald of Keppoch Sings in MP3 format
You will find it at under ARTISTS
Search MacDonald of Keppoch Sings. A link will be provided shortly.

A good boost to the New Year for all Scots. Happy listening !

Seumas Burgess

Keppoch Clan Archivist


The above title is the first line of a children's Christmas ballad that I composed for the school children of Tollcross Primary School in Edinburgh, Scotland, about 20 years ago.
It was translated into our native Gaelic language, so that the children of "Sgoil Gaidhlig" ( the Gaelic Primary Teaching Unit ) within the school, could arrange for their choir to sing it. As the school is basically an English speaking school, both choirs performed the special arrangement of the song at their annual Christmas Party in the school.
The audience was delighted with both performances and the Gaelic version in particular. It remains a favourite today !

The second line of the ballad goes something like this ;
"Santa Clause is winging Ding,Dong, Ding!
And you might as well have the third line. It goes like this ;
"Little children singing Ta, Ta, Tum, waiting for old Santa to come down the lum"

As I write, Christmas is drawing ever closer, and now is the time to think about GIVING ! After all that is what Christmas is all about.
Giving of ourselves, to our loved ones family and friends.

May I suggest that a novel and worthwhile present would be, to give to your family and friends who are associated with our clan, a present of the first ever Keppoch Clan Crest Badge. It is not expensive, and details on how to purchase one is given on our clan website < macdonaldofkeppoch.org> under the heading News Archive.
Just scroll down the page and you will find it.

I hope that you all have a happy,peaceful and blessed Christmas!

Le gach deagh dhurachd!
( With every good wish !)

Mac Mhic Raonuill
Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009 For Immediate Use


Clan Donald, which in the days of its Lordship of the Isles held sway over huge tracts of the Highlands and Islands - from the Butt of Lewis to the Glens of Antrim - is today represented by its hereditary chiefs and a number of clans people and well-established organizations and societies around the world. They all build on the legacy of this once powerful clan in the history of Scotland – but there is no such representation in the Highlands and Islands.

“We want to change that and celebrate the heritage of our great clan,” said Alan Ranald Macdonald of Finlaggan, Killearnan in Ross-shire, “and there could be no more appropriate venue than Finlaggan, which is named after the cradle of Clan Donald, from which to begin.”

To that end, a group of clans adherents - brought together by Lois MacDonell of Glengarry - is seeking to establish with others a Clan Donald Society of the Highlands and Islands that would hold meetings and ceilidhs and aim to bring about a focus for people in the Highlands and Islands who belong to Scotland’s largest clan, which is in itself an amalgam of clans including those of Sleat, Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch, Glencoe and Antrim.

Events featuring guest speakers on Clan Donald topics or field trips to places of interest (such as Culloden Battlefield or the Museum of the Isles at the Clan Donald Lands Trust based on Skye) are just some of the ideas that the steering group is considering.

“But what we would like to know is the level of interest throughout the Highlands and Islands in such a society and what people would be looking for,” said Alan Macdonald.

If you are of Clan Donald descent, are interested in this idea and would like to participate, please e-mail Graham MacDonell, the group’s media relations officer, at: graham_macdonell@yahoo.co.uk or post to: Suite 324 – 24 Station Square, Inverness IV1 1LD.




The correct email address for all enquiries for information about the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber is as follows :
< ranald@macdonaldofkeppoch.org >

Seumas Burgess,
Clann Archivist.

11-10-2009   News item.

A new development for our clann has recently been initiated by our Chief Mac Mhic Raonuill.

For clansmen who become life members of our clann, a new certificate has been designed by Keppoch, and will be signed by him and and sent by post to the clansman concerned. This will be something that clansmen will wish to frame and proudly display in their office or at home. It will also serve to promote our clann and help to swell our membership numbers.

Because of economical considerations, only clansmen who become life members of our clann, will at this stage receive the new membership certificate.

Seamus Burgess

07-10-2009   Written Version of Keppoch's talk on Ur Duthchas


Failte is furan gu Alba agus Dun Eideann do Chloinn Raghnall Lochabhair!
A warm welcome to Scotland and Edinburgh to the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber!
In welcoming you all, I would like to tell you a little story about where we come from, our lands of old, and our lands today.

Ur Duthchas

In the words of the famous Keppoch Bard Iain Lom, “Tha mur a’ tir thig iad gu neoni!”. “Without land they will come to nothing!”
That, my dear clansmen and friends, was the prophetic words of one of Scotland’s greatest Gaelic poets of the 17th century, John MacDonald of Keppoch, alias Iain Lom Gaelic Poet Laureate, honoured by King Charles1 King of Scots c1600 – 1649.

During this short introduction to our country and to our clann –our family.
It is my honour and privilege to able to speak to you today as your Chief and leader, after a gap of about 156 years. I must confess that I don’t feel that old. But the truth is of course. Our clan has not had someone to stand up for them, and be counted in a fast changing world of commercialisation and curruption.
But corruption is not a new phenomenon as you all know. Today - it is known by a new name - SPIN . Sometimes the SPIN is so fast - that it makes your head reel ! Since my inauguration - and even before that, I have had a taste of what I call - misinformation. But it is just SPIN by the back door!

Many of you have come across this kind of insinuation on the internet and other means of communication I’m sure. So let me disabuse any doubts that may still exist as to who I am - Mise Mac Mhic Raonuill !That my good friends means - I AM THE KEPPOCH CHIEF – AND NO MISTAKE !

With that introduction, let me try to explain as best I can, why I have chosen to talk to you about Ur Duthchas. Obviously, there will be many clansmen, from across the diaspora who are with us today, who will understand our native Gaelic Language, and will know exactly what I mean by Ur Duthchas. But for those less fortunate then they, please allow me to explain what that Gaelic phrase means. In simple terms it means “The clann territory”. It is an ancient form of land tenure and is hereditary for the clann. Why did I choose this subject for my little talk today ?
Because it is the very basis of what a Clann means. The clan lands and the clan, the family are inseparable. And forgive me for re-echoing the Bards’ prophesy “Without the clan territory they will come to nothing” They of course meaning all of us today!

The burning issue is “What can we do about it ?” Before I go any further, I think it is only right that you should know where our clann territory is, and what the extent of it is ? Because of time limitation we will only be able to afford a glimpse of it today.

Firstly, let us ask the following five questions questions

1) Where is the Keppoch Duthaich ?”





2) Who sanctioned it ?

3)Can we reclaim it today ?

4)What is the extent of our duthchas ?

5) When can we get things moving ?

The answer to the second question is -

John MacDonald The Lord and King of the Isles, (Rex Insularum) bestowed the Lordship of Lochaber on his son Alasdair Carragh ; Alexander MacDonald the First Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber. His surname Carragh, means “A Pillar of Strength”.

The answer to the third question is -

Yes, we can reclaim it, at least some some if not all of it. Although that is a complex subject, and riddled with spurious obstacles. But we all know, that obstacles are sent to try us, and can be overcome, with determination and patience! Something that I have a little experience of !

What is the extent of our duthchas ?

It is approximately 2000 square miles. It is certainly not simply Roybridge!
When Alasdair Carragh’s father John MacDonald, Lord Of the Isles, bestowed the Lordship of Lochaber on his son, he meant exactly that -

THE LORDSHIP OF LOCHABER. Not a little corner of Lochaber. Being Lord over such a large territory, it is not surprising that Alasdair attracted a lot of envy. This was the core-spring of the jealousy, that evoked some incredulous turmoil and scandalous behaviour, over such a long period of Keppoch history. It is at the very root of so-called “Rebellions” and discontent sowed by those who tried, and in some cases, succeeded in securing a strong foothold within our duthchas. Even when the Norman/Stewart King James the IV, forfeited John MacDonald, Lord of the Isles in AD1493, it did not legally reduce the heirs of his body.The old saying “You cannot vest the sins of the fathers on the sons,” applies. My contention is on firm legal ground, and is further strengthened by the fact of the Obolition of the Feudal System Scotland Act 2002. Finalised in 2004.

Further evidence of how the political situation has changed in Scotland vis a vis clan duthchais. The Scotsman published an article by David Maddox and Jenny Haworth on 30 December 2008, asking the pertinent question “Who owns Scotland ?”
They claim, that some 20 aristocrats and the government own one fifth of Scotland. Interestingly enough, the extent of the territory that was under the aegis of the Lord of the Isles.The report goes on to explain, that the picture has changed, and is changing constantly and currently. That communities in Scotland, especially the Western Isles area, has already been able to purchase the lands of their ancestors where they were born and lived in all of their lives. For full details of all the lands that have been bought and restored to the Gael, you are well advised to check the report in the Scotsman of 30 December 2008 “Who owns Scotland?”.

However, many questions remain to be answered For example .How did those aristocrats and the government obtain those lands, and who were the first people to occupy those lands ? First to light a fire and boil a pot over it? Build their houses, tend their livestock, till and nourish the land, and live on it as a community of peoples, with a similar lineage and cultural tradition and language ? In otherwords a Clann !

Secondly, when the Lords of the Isles expurged the Norse and Vikings from the Western Isles and seaboard, set up an independent Kingdom of the Isles and mainland of the Western Highlands, under an independent Paliament on Islay at Finlaggan, where a democratic Council of the Isles, met to discuss and to legislate on all matters affecting their various clans; what was the mandate to so govern called ? An Duthchas. It is the original legal form of land tenure and was and still is hereditary. That legal form of land tenure has never been abolished. The incoming Normans in 1066, introduced Bastard William of Normandy’s creation, of controlling the populace by force, known as the Feudal System, after he usurped the Kingship of England from a fellow Norseman, Harold by killing him, not in France but England. Setting himself up as King of England and in collaboration with the Aristocrats in England, who were themselves mainly of Norman ancestry, forced a change in the Dutchais and the Dutchas by simply ignoring it, which eventually led to the break-up of the original legal system of land tenure in Scotland. He used the same system which he had introduced in France, to control the landed aristocracy of the period, to further his own personal ambitions and power. The final Act was the Clearances after the 1745 Rising.

With the abolition of the Norman Feudal System of land ownership, by Act of the Scottish Parliament in 2002 and ratified in 2004, a further additional question remains. Who owns Scotland now ?

There are also parallel examples of indigenous peoples successfully reclaiming there ancestral lands. The New Zealand Maoiris. The Australian Aboriginals and the North American Native Indians. Legal Concords have been negotiated with the respective governments of these countries and the native peoples concerned .Details can be found on the internet .
Take Australia for instance. The British first arrived on January 26 1788.
They ignored the orignal inhabitants of the land the Oborigines and Common Law Ownership known by its legal term “Native title” and claimed the land for the British Crown under the British legal term
“Terra Nullius” implying that nobody owned the land. In otherwords, the Aborigines land was seized by force by the British Crown. There are parallel examples in New Zealand, Canada and North America.
The legal term “Native title” is equivalent to the Scottish legal title “An dutchas”, and can be used to challenge the Crown lands in Scotland today.

There is another important legal factor involved. When John MacDonald Lord of the Isles, c1330 – c1386, married King Robert 11’s daughter Princess Margaret Stewart, it was indeed not just a love match but a political alliance. King Robert knew very well, the power of John MacDonald, Rex Insularum, and was very wise and content to agree to such a astute contract of marriage. However, it was not one-sided by any means. John also knew very well, that such an alliance would consolidate his own position, and would cement the firm bond of closer family ties, friendship and political alliance, that his father Angus Og Rex Insularum, had already established with King Robert the Bruce. It is not hard to imagine the powerful position that John MacDonald, Lord of the Isles enjoyed at that period of our history. He was after all directly descended from Somerled Rex Insuralum Obit 1164, and descended from the Dalriadic Kings and more ancient Kings at Tara in Ireland. And if we go further back into the mists of antiquity, we discover his earlier eponymous ancestor, Righ an Domhain. literaly.”King of the world”. The English Oxford Dictionary meaning of “Donald”. We are the MacDonalds or Sons of Donald or Sons of Righ an Domhain.Reference is made to him by
Herodotus, Greek Philosopher and Father of History. He cites him as a Great Celtic Warrior Leader, in a reference to the Celts 700 BC -500 BC. We are Clann Donald. Donald means “World Ruler). Check it out in your Oxford Dictionaries. Whatever else critics may care to opine. You can be sure of one thing certain! We are who we are! We are the foremost Gael Clann today and always! Boastful. Yes! But truthful, so why not ? And to conclude by answering question 5. The sooner our clansmen with legal expertise in Scottish & International Law, bring their expert knowledge and skill to bear on this vitally important question the more likely that a successful outcome will be the result.
As Lochaber is Our Clann Dutchas, it is de facto hereditary. And that ladies and gentlemen, is the crucial argument about reclaiming our land today.
I will conclude by showing you a short film extract of “Here’s tae Lochaber”, details of which you can find on our clann web site and copies are available for sale in our tent today. The CD is the sole property of Billy Macissac who is also a clansmen of Clan Donald. He has generously agreed, to give a donation to our Keppoch Memorial Fund from the sale of his CD’s, as well as donating the sale of his CD’s to the Fort William Hydrotherapy Centre. My recommendation to you all. While you are in Scotland, plan a visit to our Lochbhair dutchas and savour God’s Own Country for yourselves !

Mac Mhic Raonuill

07-10-2009   Personal Crest of Ranald Alasdair MacDonald Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill

This is a picture of the Personal Crest of the Chief of Keppoch, Mac Mhic Raonuill.

It is copyrighted and protected by both national and international copyright laws and registered in the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anyone breaching this copyright will be treated with the severest penatiies in the Law Courts.

However,the use of part of the Chief's Personal Crest within the belt and buckle as shown clearly in the picture, may be used by those seeking to wear the Chief's Clan Crest Badge, as either a member of his clann or as a supporter. Permission must be sought from the Chief through his email address on the Keppoch Clann website - which see.

For those who wish to purchase a Keppoch Clann Crest Badge they may be purchased via the Keppoch Clann website.


Mac Mhic Raonuill

30-09-2009   NEWS

Video of the Clans Marching up the Royal Mile.

You can view this on the following URL :- http:/video.stv.tv/bc/scotland-gathering-20090725-edinburgh-mile-parade/

The KEPPOCHS well to the fore as they proudly march up the Royal Mile during the International Gathering of the Clans on Saturday 25 September 2009.
The Keppoch Chief Mac Mhic Raonuill is seen on the right of the picture along with the other Clan Donald Chiefs. And his Bannerman
Chieftain David McGonagle is leading them proudly holding the Keppoch Banner, while the Chief's son Chieftain Raonuill Mor Og who flew specially over from Reno, Nevada, U.S.A. to join his clansmen, is seen taking photographs as they approach him. You cannot miss him. He is the handsome 6ft 4ins Highlander with his camera in action!

19-09-2009   Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre

To contact the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey centre go to

< lochlomondbirdofpreycentre.co.uk >

Seumas Burgess
Clan Archivist


This is ORLA the maganificent unique Golden Eagle
The same bird of prey perched on the arm of Keppoch
Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber.
Normal habitat; The Western Highlands and Islands
of Scotland.



Orla the Golden Eagle perched on the arm of Keppoch Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill.
The Golden Eagle forms a major part of the his Ensigngs Armorial ; his Coat of Arms, and is depicted on his Crest and on the clan crest badges.

There has never been such a photograph taken of any Keppoch Chief until now and certainly never on any other chief of any other Scottish clan.
To contact the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre go to ; where you can view this remarkable Scottish Bird of Prey Centre.

Seumas Burgess
Clan Archivist



ORLA the Golden Eagle Crest of KEPPOCH

Orla was captive bred in Lanarkshire. Hatched in April 2003, she arrived at the home of the centre's founder in October 2003. Her fit weight is around 12 lbs, wingspan approx. 80 inches. Capable of taking small red deer and roe deer, it is reported that Golden Eagles can kill adult red deer. Her feet can grip with a force of approx. 1 ton.

When Orla cast some of her fine golden feathers,some of them were given to me to wear in my Highland bonnet, and the remainder for my Chieftains and Duine-usail to wear in theirs.The donor of this most generous and very rare gift, was Stewart Robertson, the owner of the Bird of Prey Centre near Loch Lochmond.Details of his centre will be shown on our website,and once again I would ask that you lend your support by visiting his centre or by donations to it for its upkeep.

Thank you


05-09-2009   CELTIC HEART !


'CELTIC HEART' Marcille Wallis's CD is a must buy for all Keppoch clansmen interested in their clann's history and its poetry and music.
Marcille asked my advice about a very ancient Gaelic melody titled,
"Archibald of Keppoch". She did not have any lyrics and found it difficult to identify exactly who the ballad was dedicated to.

After listening to the melody it was very easy for me to identify that it was in fact the elegy to Archibald 15th Chief of Keppoch, correctly titled in Gaelic, "Ghill'easbuig Na Cheapaich" Obut 1682.

The poem was written by our clann famous Bard Iain Luim MacDonald.It is to be seen in the classic "Orainn Iain Luim" Published by the
Scottish Gaelic Texts Society Edinburgh.
Ref ;SBN 7073 0046 0 and edited by Annie M. MacKenzie.
This book should be of interest, to not only students of Gaelic Literature, but also to ,historians, most of whom have hitherto had access only to the few pieces that have appeared in English translation.

I personally recommend both Marcille's Wallis's CD "Celtic Heart" and the book of Iain Luim's works.See Marcille Wallis's recent Newsletter posted recently on our clann website.

Mac Mhic Raonuill

04-09-2009   Marcille Dulcimer Concerts U.S.A.

Marcille is a real Celt with Welsh roots. Check out her latest newsletter now. If interested, you can contact her on the URL shown at the foot of her newsletter.

I enjoy receiving her news and have some of her CDs featuring her unique Hammer-dulcimer style. She researches historical Gaelic/Celtic/ music and records this on her CD's. I am sure you will enjoy this as well as other music from her repertoir. Her range is quite wide.


04-09-2009   Marcille Wallis NEWSLETTER.


From: "Marcille Wallis" Add sender to ContactsTo: "Marcille Wallis" Marcille Wallis Newsletter
September 2009

Welcome to the 95th edition of our Newsletter! Wow, that's almost eight consecutive years! This Newsletter goes out to THOUSANDS of people each and every month. Please be assured that our mailing list is NEVER SOLD or distributed to anyone else and we take great care and time in sending out the newsletter in small groups only to those individuals that desire it!

this road goes on forever and the music never ends!

We have had some past difficulties in getting hyperlinks contained in messages to work properly. The addresses we've given have been tested and are correct. We apologize for any inconvenience to you.

Woodstock Art & Craft Show
Marcille makes her debut this Labor Day weekend in New Paltz, NY at the Woodstock Art & Craft Show at the Ulster County Fairgrounds! She will be performing at the Celtic Heritage Productions booth all weekend as well as appearing on stage each day. This three day event in Upstate NY is one you will not want to miss. The Woodstock and New Paltz areas are filled with talented artists, crafters and musicians sharing their gifts with the public.
Saturday, 9/5, 10am-6pm
Sunday, 9/6, 10am-6pm
Monday, 9/7, 10am-4pm

The Yellow Daisy Festival
Stone Mountain Park just outside Atlanta, GA comes alive for four great days of art, craft, food and entertainment as the 2009 Yellow Daisy Festival opens its gates. Look for Marcille to be performing and demonstrating as a Loop Musician on Hammer Dulcimer all four days at this wonderful annual event!
Thursday, 9/10, 10am-6pm
Friday, 9/11, 10am-6pm
Saturday, 9/12, 10am-7:30pm
Sunday, 9/13, 10am-6pm

If it's September, then we must be in West Springfield, MA for THE BIG E. Called New England's Autumn Tradition, THE BIG E has something for everyone! This giant extravaganza has awesome attractions, livestock exhibits, rides, games, fabulous food and outstanding entertainment that captivates you for 17 straight days. Marcille and Celtic Heritage Productions, Inc. make their seventh annual appearance at The International Plaza inside The Young Building on the grounds of The Eastern States Exposition. We'll be there all 17 days from 10am until 10pm daily providing soothing instrumentals and offering our CD's, Tapestries, Shirts and Bodhrans for sale.
Friday, 9/18 through Sunday, 10/4, 10am-10pm

Celtic Heritage Productions ... Our CD's ... Our Special Deals Continue
Next month, Celtic Heritage Productions, Inc. will celebrate its ninth anniversary. December will mark the ninth anniversary of our first release, "The Celtic Ray." Back then, the release price was $15. In 2008, Marcille released her eighth CD, "A Mighty Fortress." Its release price? The same $15. Over the years, you've seen prices of food and fuel -- and all aspects of the cost of everyday living -- go up. Our production costs have been creeping up as well, but we have steadfastly maintained our basic pricing -- and in fact, if you have visited our booth at fairs or festivals, you know that we offer CD's -- in any combinations of titles -- at multiple-purchase discounts that beat even the "big box" stores.

We appreciate your support over these last nine years, so we continue to offer even deeper discounts to you. In addition to our regular multiple-purchase discounts, we offer a big price break for orders of 10 or more CD's ... an even bigger break for orders over 20 ... and our best deal for orders totaling 50 or more. Give us a call, and we'll put together a sweet package!

Marcille's Online Journal
So many of you have written to say you enjoy pictures and updates of our activities. Marcille, too, enjoys "the blog" as a creative outlet. Visit Marcille's website, where this page is entitled, simply, "Marcille's Blog" and the address is www.marcillewallis.com/marcille's_blog.htm.

Marcille On MySpace
Marcille enjoys making contacts on this popular site. There you'll find sound samples, interactive versions of many of her journal entries, a growing list of "Friends," and more.

Celtic Heritage Productions, Inc. Website
Our production company has its very own website that focuses on festival production, concert series and live sound. Check us out and get an insight into all we do.

Internet Radio
Marcille's music can be heard on Internet-based radio programming. You can catch broadcasts of "Mellow Melodies with Goody" -- now celebrating 4 years of supporting the independent musician! -- by following the link below and clicking "Launch Player." This is a PLAY ON DEMAND program; new shows air on Thursday mornings. Thanks, Louise!

Want to hear dulcimer music 24/7/365? Tune in to Dulcimer Radio, now sponsored by the North Harris County Dulcimer Society of Houston, Texas. With the change in sponsorship has come a change in URL; update your bookmarks with the new address: www.live365.com/stations/dulcimerradio. Many thanks to North Harris Dulcimers, and to programmer Cindy Funk!

CD Baby and Digital Downloads
CD Baby, a site that brings the music of "Indie" artists to the World-Wide-Web, offers our CDs for sale through their secure site. Now you can order Marcille's music online! www.cdbaby.com/all/mwallis

AND digital downloads and ringtones can be obtained through more than 40 different sites, including GreatIndie.com, Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Amie Street, Yahoo Music, Best Buy, MSN Music and more.

Coming in October:

THE BIG E continues, West Springfield, MA
Christmas In The Woods, Columbiana, OH
Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora, FL
Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville, FL

We have converted our office phones to full time cell phones. By dialing 941-625-8544 or 828-280-3355 you can reach us directly anywhere we are in the USA!

Visit Our Website!

If you have any trouble receiving this newsletter in a readable format, or to be removed from our mailing list, please contact us at marcille@marcillewallis.com

04-09-2009   Link to Marcille Wallis website

< www.marcile'marcillewallis.com >

28-08-2009   LITTLE SCOTLAND


Mac Mhic Raonuill
Si Yo Sir,

You ask for information about "Little Scotland" so I will send you what I have on hand. They may have more info in the Archives Building downtown but it has been such a long time since I was there doing family research that I am sure my free pass has expired by now. The small schoolhouse that my Great Grandmother attended has survived due to the fact that it was renovated and now serves as a Community Center. Thank goodness is has been saved. Louisville, Alabama is the small town (Louisville is really more of a large village than a small town) where my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmoher were married. My brother and I decend from the MacFarlane and MacNab clans from this union.

I will be proud to fill out the Clann Membership Application as soon as I receive it - after all I BELONG to the Clann! As a member of Tribal Council I do indeed understand the need for "readies " as you put it! Keeping a tribe afloat takes a lot of "readies". We are - A State within a State and can not nor do not tax!

I shall tell Mary Many Names about the artrosilium tomorrow as we usally talk to one another on the phone on Saturdays, And wish to thank you for letting us know about it. It is rainy and overcasted here today as we have a big storm out in the ocean coming this way. I pray the folks on the coast will be safe.

"Little Scotland"

The Battle of Culloden left the flower of the Highland Clans slaughtered. As the fierce clanging of Scottish broadswords on English muskets rang for the final time, the echoes of this desperate struggle would be heard as far away as Barbour County, Alabama. The Scottish defeat at Culloden lead to a wave of political repisals in Scotland and to an assault on the Scottish way of life itself. The wearing of the kilt and tartan was banned along with the bagpipes. Highland life was victimized again in the early 19th century when wealthy landownwer evicted poor farmers so that their lands could be used for large-scale sheep raising. The "Clearances" as they were known, brought more poverty and spurred emigration to America. Between 1823 and 1860 Scottish immigrants put down roots in the western part of what became Barbour County, Alabama. The settlement known as "Little Scotland" took place a decade before Barbour County was formed. Located on Highway 51 five miles south of Louisville, Alabama within a five mile radius of Pea River Church Scot immigrants settled this area. Few other regions outside the motherland of Scotland have had a larger proportion of people bearing the names of the great Highland clans. Highlanders with the names of Baxter, Currie, MacCall, MacDonald, MacEachern, MacFarlane, MacInnis, MacKey, MacKenzie, MacKinnon, MacLean, Mac Lencon, MacLoud, MacNab, MacNeal, MacRae, Stewart to name a few. The families banning together in this area earned the name "Little Scotland"

I do hope you enjoyed this bit of history and please take note: Nowhere is it listed that any Campbells ever lived in "Little Scotland" LOL Sir, you know I just had to point that fact out, didn't you. Ain't I a stinker? Ha! Ha! Ha! I do love to give those Campbells a hard time.

I pray The Creator will Bless and keep you and yours safe.
Yours with respect,
Raonuill Slyfox Messer
The Cherokee Scot


Detail history of the Alabama State Flag . It is same as Scotland's except for the red cross being used instead of our blue one but based on St. Andrew.


19-08-2009   Mount Everest Attempt by Clansman Billy Mcisaac .

Our Clan Donald Clansman Billy Mcisaac has decided to attempt to reach the base camp of Mount Everest to raise money for the charity
Cystic Fibrosis and needs our support.

Please read his email to Keppoch and act immediately!

Mac Mhic Raonuill
Billy's email follows >>>
Dear Mac Mhic Raonuill

Apologies for the delay. My Mother has been extremely ill so everything else is taking a back seat.
As the Hydrotherapy Pool is now open and intend to end my involvement later this year
I would like to make a gesture.
I would be happy for you to keep the CD's and DVD's(and any moneys from your sales in Edinburgh) and sell them whenever you can with all the profit going to your project.

I hope you don't mind me asking if you would consider sponsoring my trip to Everest Base Camp raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis(I am paying for the trip myself).I can be sponsored at -

I trust you enjoyed the Gathering. I would have loved to have been there. Let's hope it becomes a more regular event.

Kind Regards

17-08-2009   Clan Membership Application Forms

Prospective clansmen can use the form below to apply for membership of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber ( Keppoch ).

Please complete details and send to me at the following email address,
< ranald@macdonaldofkeppoch.org >

Please give as much information as possible and use an extra sheet if required.
Please also indicate clearly if you wish annual or life membership.
In either case the membership covers all of the family irrespecitive of age.



Annual Family Membership £25 – OO, Life Membership £200 – OO
Senior Citzens £20 – OO, Life Membership £150 – OO
Please use Block’ Capitals and Black ink

Surname_______________Christian Names_______________D of B

Address_________________________________Post Code-------------

E-Mail Adress_____________________

Tel. No.___________________Fax No._____________Mobile No.-----

Occupation________________________Special skills___________

Parish D.of B. Registered_______________________________

Family Information
Please supply –Husband,wife,partner,siblings ;- Surname,
Christain Names, D.of B.

Applicants from other countries please supply if possible last known Scottish address, and name of Scottish Link together with any other information available.

Please use separate sheet to supply any other information of interest.
If willing to take office Yes – please tick.
Please make all cheques in Pounds Sterling or by IMO payable to:-
Clan Ranald of Lochaber Clan Membership Fund.
I hereby apply for Clan Membership

17-08-2009   MacDonald of Keppoch Clan is moving forward apace.

Our first ever Clan Gathering and Home Coming in Edinburgh, Scotland, our country and capital city was highly successful all round.
Visitors exceeded all expections and are still in the city and visiting ancetral lands throughout Scotland, from North to South and East to West. The Fringe and International Festivals are now in full swing and our city is ablaze with colour, music,plays and great excitement throughout.The weather is holding up fine and warm and a very nice cooling wind from the surrounding hills and sea board.
Our clansmen and women and visitors from accross the Scottish diaspora and many other international countries are thronging our streets and pubs and theatres. Everying is going with a swing of the kilt and a skirl or the pipes. Wish you were all here ! If missed this time there will be a follow-up in Bannockburn in Stirlingshire in 2014. So start planning now if you don't want to miss the most spectacular event in your life's calander. You will be given a resounding Ceud Mile Failte! Scottish Gaelic meaning "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" no less!

Down to business now for clan members.
We are moving forward faster now and we must all pull together to benefit from the feedback from the Gathering 2009.

Recruitment is top of the list and our Archivist Seumas ( James ) Burgess has designed a first ever MacDonald of Keppoch membership application form. Use it wisely. Best way to guage whether a potential clan member is worthy of joining our extended family is to try to measure them by your own character and standard. You are the core clansmen and women that I have hand-picked from the word Go.
The yardstick has been set so go to it and the best of good luck!

Le gach deagh dhurachd a h'uile mo chinnidh"
( "very good wish to all of my clansmen and women!" :

Mac Mhic Raonuill
Your Chief.





THE TITLES ARE- DVD "HERES TAE LOCHABER" Beautiful scenic views of our duthchas ( our Clann Lands ) accompanied by authentic Scottish/Highland music.ENCHANTING AND EMOTIONAL!



Secretary to MacDonald of Keppoch

02-03-2009   Billy's Songs for Lochaber

Billy McIsaac is delighted to announce the release of his first solo CD 'SONGS FOR LOCHABER' on 20 March 2009, with all profits going once again to Lochaber Hydrotherapy. This has been a six-year project for Billy, having written ten tracks on the CD and recorded them with some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians including Gary Innes, Skerryvore, Ingrid Henderson and the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.

The initial reaction to the CD has been excellent.
‘It’s an album packed with soaring melodies, heartfelt lyrics and an abundance of toe-tapping tunes.’(Stuart Taylor, Lochaber News.)

'A fantastic mix of instrumental and song in traditional and modern style including the hauntingly beautiful 'Lochaber'. The CD is a great listen and tremendous companion in the car'. (Iain Ferguson, Editor, Lochaber Life.)

‘If you like Scottish Music this CD is one not to be missed.’ (John Carstairs, Head of Music, Nevis Radio.)

‘This will be my last fund raising project for Lochaber Hydrotherapy as the pool is now officially opened. My hope is that ‘SONGS FOR LOCHABER’ will raise another several thousand pounds for the hydrotherapy pool to make it the best facility of its type in the UK.’

I would like to thank all the musicians who played on this CD donating their services free of charge along with many other people who have been involved with my various Lochaber Hydrotherapy fund raising projects over the last six years.’ (Billy McIsaac)

Billy McIsaac who featured in top Scottish pop band Slik with Midge Ure has successfully followed in his colleague’s footsteps by raising thousands of pounds for charity. He has now raised £45,500 for Lochaber Hydrotherapy. In addition March 2005 Billy contacted David Young of Wooden Spoon (a Rugby charity that raises funds for children’s charities) and instigated a process that led to a further £70,000 being given to Lochaber Hydrotherapy
This proved to be a catalyst in terms of the pool being built.

In 2002 Billy made his first contribution to Lochaber Hydrotherapy by climbing the Scottish Munros (284 mountain peaks over 3000 feet). This along with two dances held in Fort William featuring Billy’s band raised just over £2500.

In 2003 Billy set up his own record label (SFF Records) solely to raise money for Lochaber Hydrotherapy a charity based in Fort William (Scottish Charity No 025505) that has built a Hydrotherapy Pool benefiting over 2500 people in the Lochaber area. ‘Song for Shona’ was written by Billy in 2003 and shortly afterwards he met Mary Ann Kennedy who suggested approaching some of Scotland’s top traditional artists including Capercaillie, Phil Cunningham, Aly Bain, Eddi Reader, Donnie Munro, Dougie Maclean along with other top Scottish musicians and asked them to donate one of their already recorded tracks to a compilation CD – ‘Here’s Tae Us / A Celebration of Scottish Music’, that he planned to produce.

The CD has become Scotland’s biggest selling charity CD. In October 2004 Billy presented Lochaber Hydrotherapy with a cheque for £20,000. In April 2004 Billy McIsaac was approached by Douglas Ross to discuss the possibility of co-producing a film with his company Celtic Spirit, to raise more funds for Lochaber Hydrotherapy. A DVD – ‘Here’s Tae Lochaber’ featuring the voice of the late and great Magnus Magnusson, Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, Duncan Chisholm and Donnie Munro was released March 2006 and raised £10,000.

23 March 2007 saw the release of another CD by Billy titled – ‘The West Highland Way Connection’ that features music(Skipinnish, Skerryvore, Gary Innes, Ingrid Henderson and many more) from each end of the West Highland Way that has raised £5000 so far along with a further £8000 from a sponsored walk of the West Highland Way and a CD Launch party.

‘SONGS FOR LOCHABER’ will be released Saturday 20 March 2009 with a special Launch Night’ at Caol Community Centre, Saturday 11 April 2009 featuring Gary Innes and his band, The Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and Billy McIsaac performing tunes from his CD. Tickets - £10(including buffet) available from Fired Art, Caol Community Centre and Londis

The CD is available in all record stores (£9.99) and on line at www.musicscotland.com/songslochaber. When ordering Billy Mcisaac's new release CD SONGS FOR LOCHABER please indicate the source ie, you are ordering his CD from the web site. This is required because of the discount arrangement for the Keppoch Memorial Fund.

Chief's Critique

This CD captures all that is so breathtakingly beautiful in the land of our fathers. Both haunting and poignant. You are soon spirited back to the romantic era of a half-forgotten age, that our own Keppoch Bards have immortalised in poetry and song, and natives will immediately identify with.While admirers of “God’s own Country”, will soon come to love it just as much, after listening to the soft melodic themes throughout this inspired album.

I recommend this very special CD to all, and in particular to all of my clansmen at home and overseas. Billy as generous as ever, has decided to donate a percentage of the sales of his CD to the Keppoch Memorial Fund. They will also be on sale at our tent during The Gathering 2009 in Holyrood Park.

Mac Mhic Raonuill

19-01-2009   "Who owns Scotland ?"

The answer to this important question can be found on the Scotlsman web site at


The Gathering

Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche - Kenneth MacKenzie the famous Highland Brahan Seer, born in the Black Isle,in the Western Highlands of Scotland in 1624 was gifted with the 'Fey' or 'Second sight'.

Amongst his many predictions, he predicted that when the "sheep had been reduced in numbers, the Highlanders would return to Scotland to claim the lands of their ancestors". According to a recent report in the Scotsman Newspaper, the sheep population in the Highlands has decresed by 25%. It is clear that he was referring to those Highlanders who were forced to leave their beloved homeland during the criminal clearances after the "45" Jacobite Rising and were dispersed throughout the diaspora. The question is. Is it a coincidence that they are returning in very large numbers from throughout the diaspora this year 2009?

The Gathering 2009 is without doubt the first part of the Brahan Seer's prediction. He has been proved accurate on all of his uncanny predictions up till now.

Our Chief will prize the door open a little further in his forthcoming talk on the Clann Duthchas, that he will deliver this year, not just to his fellow clansmen and guests in the Keppoch Clan Tent in Holyrood Park, but during the Convention of Scottish Chiefs in the Scottish Parliament on Friday 24 July 2009.

Suas Alba!

Our reporter in residence.



Billy Mcisaac a clansman of Clan Donald,professional musician and composer has dedicated his DVD "Here's tae Lochaber" to raise funds for the building up a Hydrotherapy Centre in Fort William. Full details of this project can be sourced via his web site http://sffrecords.com. He has also dedicated his CD "The West Highland Way Collection" A Celebration of Scottish Music.

He has also agreed to share the profits of the sale of these two recordings on a 50% basis with the Keppoch Memorial Appeal Fund.

As Chief of Keppoch and on behalf of all our clansmen, I wish to record our sincere thanks to Billy for his generosity on both counts, as Fort William is the capital of our clann duthchas of Lochaber. We recommend that those who read this news,respond with the same generous spirit as Billy Mcisaac and order at least one of his recordings.

Mac Mhic Raonuill


We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new addition to the Clann Raghnall Lochbhair. A son has been born today St. Andrew's Day 30 November 2008, to a son of Keppoch our Chief.

We Wish Andrew all the very best that life can offer him, and when he reaches manhood,he will take his rightful place in our clann with his brother Calum and sister Kirsty MacDonald. We are confident that Andrew will make a fine young Chieftain of Keppoch, and will in time. contribute his own special contribution to our clann's stature and continued progress and development.

"Dia's Naomh Aindrea!"


Bill Mcisaac is mounting a 60th Birthday challenge. He is attempting to scale Mountain Everest to reach Base Camp above 18,000 feet and is doing so to raise funds to help children who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis. All expense are being undertaken by Billy. He has asked us for help to raise extra funds for the children suffering from Cystic Fibrosis and is seeking sponsors to do so.

I highly commend this sppeal for sponsorship to all my clansmen, friends and supporters throughout the diaspora.

Details on his website below :-

Hi All

Please sponsor me and help me raise £5000 to benefit children in Scotland suffering from Cystic Fibrosis http://www.justgiving.com/billymcisaac Best Wishes Billy

09-09-2008   Homecoming Scotland 2009

Go to www.homecomingscotland2009.com for latest news.

27-06-2008   Locbaber Geopark

For clansmen and friends interested in how our duthchas of Lochaber was created, please have a look at the information on the Lochaber Geopark web site.


27-06-2008   Profile of a Young Keppoch Chieftain

Young Jordon McNeilage, great-newphew of our Chief Mac
Mhic Raonuill, is showing clear signs already, that he has the making of a staunch and loyal Chieftain for the future. His father George McNeilage is presently a Chieftain of Keppoch.

He wears his Keppoch kilt with great pride, at every opportunity that he can get, complete with kilt pin and sgian-dubh.

He keeps an close eye on our clann web site daily, to keep up to date with developments within our clann, and he spreads the news to his friends at school, about our clann "coming alive" after 156 years dormant. He loves all things Scottish and Highland, particularly our history and culture. Because he has lived in Australia for such a long time, he has missed the opportunity to learn his Gaelic native language at a young age, but I hear that he is considering trying to learn Gaelic before he is much older. I hope so! That is the making of our young Scots in Scotland today. Especially for the future! A nation that loses it native language will eventually lose its way!

I am sure that all of us wish young Jordon well, and hope trust that he continues to make good progress in his scholastic studies, now, and in the future

08-04-2008   The Gathering & Home Coming 2009

The follow donations have been received with thanks from our clansmen and supporters, towards the provison of our tent, and expenses involved. Any surplus will be added to the Keppoch Memorial Appeal.

Dr Jon G MacLennan $300
Bill Boath £50
Archibald MacPherson £30
Professor Robert Phillips $500
Chieftain John McNeilage £100



This Cumha ( Elegy ) is dedicated to the late dear mother, of Lady Margaret MacDonald of Keppoch who passed on to Tir nan Og on 24 February 2008 after a short illness, who is sadly missed.

Cumha Nan Mairead Una

Mo mhuileach mathair nan Baintighearnas a Cheapaidh
By Mac Mhic Raonuill

8 April 2008

With wonder we gazed at the face of an angel
Peaceful and gentle in features and form
Not of this world yet one who has lived here
Now clothed in a mantle of true spirit reborn

With thoughts and emotions welling inside us
Hard to retain them impossible to hide
An angel she was and mother as well
We looked with devotion that time cannot divide

Tears cannot express how we felt as we stood there
Memories of our loved one came to the fore
Her caring, her laughter, welcoming smile
Her grief and her burdens with great courage she bore

Her sinnsearrachad stems from sliochd-rioghail Alba
Endowed her with grace and strength of her mind
Enriched by her love and her faith in Iosa
That shone like a bright star, she was one of a kind

Her work now completed she has risen above
To meet all her cinneadh with love and care
In the The Land of the Young known to the Gael
She will share all the treasures awaiting her there


12-03-2008   Crois-Tara

All clansmen and supporters this is a special message from Mac Mhic Raonuill, Chief of the MacDonalds of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber. It has been sent out to all clansmen in the mailing address plus others from my personal address book. And before you proceed to read my message, please note that I have booked a tent for the Keppoch Clan,and I am cooperating with my cousin Chieftain Jon G MacLennan from Palm Springs, U.S.A. on a special lecture that I will deliver on some very important aspects of our Clann History. This is not to be missed, but for those who cannot make it over in 2009, a copy of my lecture will be posted on our Clann web site to enable you to obtain a copy of it.

My message begins...

Plans are well advanced for The International Clan Gathering and Homecoming 2009, and we must now make our plans accordingly. The Crois-tara - Fiery-cross has gone out to all clansmen and supporters across the diaspora. I am setting out below what I am planning to do, and now need your full support if we are to make this our first Clann Gathering - Co-chruinneachadh FIRST CLASS!

Chieftains are well aware of their roles according to their offices. If anyone has any doubts, or wishes to ask me any question, or needs advice or assistance with their roles,then please contact me direct as soon as possible. Individual clansmen can help too, and will be called upon to do so if required, for example ;

1) Publicity for our clan.

2) Alerting Keppoch clansmen and supporters wherever they live about a) The Gathering and b) Any offer of help.

3) Manning the tent and helping visitors to our tent


Athough we are now an official Clann, we have not as yet formalised a branch as such. However, we are nevertheless the core members, and so much depends on us all, on how we develop and go forward together now, and for the future. There are many thousands of Keppoch clansmen and women throughout the diaspora and so the future is assured. We are at the heart of the Keppoch Clann, and so must realise that there is not only honour in that,but hard work too! The sooner we get started on that road the better!

Our Tent will cost £220 inclusive of VAT, and must be ordered now and paid up front by 1st April. You will note that 75 tents have been ordered so far from across the diaspora and 115 Clanns intend to come to The Gathering 2009. Obviously, there will be restrictions on the issue of Passports even at £110 each. The reason being, that there have to be restrictions on the number of clansmen who will march up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Park, the site of all the Clan Tents and where the Highland Games,entertainmentGames, shops, cafes and other food caterering companies will be located.We will march up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle Esplanade where The Gathering Pageantis to be staged.The seating arrangements involved with the Pageant will the number of clansmen that will be allowed to march up Royal Mile led by their Chiefs. As a result, I would strongly recommend that you book your Passports now on The Gathering web site which once again details are attached below .....A priority seating arrangement is being used which I strongly recommend you to look at on their site, as that will determine the best views of the Pageant. Tickets are collour Gold, Silver and Bronze. Check this out now!

Chieftain and Clann Historian Dr Jon G MacLennan of California, U.S.A. and myself are in the process of preparing a DVD covering a special historic aspects of our Clann History. At this stage it is not certain what special equipment will be required and whether it will have to be ordered and paid for separately.

Incidental expenses. Mainly for the entertainment of visitors to our Clann Tent.

I would recommend a mininum donation from each clansman/supporter of £30. If anyone is in a position to give a larger donation it will gladly be acceptd. Any cash left over after all expeneses are met, will go towards our Clann Memorial Fund. All donations please in Pounds Sterling and cheques made out to Ranald Alasdair MacDonald, to facilitate a smoothe operation.

I look forward to hearing from you all soonest and welcoming you personally to our first ever Gathering in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2009!

Mac Mhic Raonuill Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber.

Dia 'S Naomh Aindrea!

15-01-2008   Attention all Chieftains, clansmen and supporters

Here is an update on the Homecoming International Clan Gathering 2009 . You will find full details at


We will remain alert and be ready to help to welcome all our kinsfolk from across the diaspora for the first time ever!

06-05-2007   The Chief of Keppoch Sings!

Clansmen throughout the diaspora can now gain access to their Chief's personal album and can purchase an mp3 version of it online if they wish to . It is indeed a "one-off" and as such is a collector's item. Click on the link to preview the album. www.scotloads.co.uk.

06-05-2007   Victory at last for Scottish National Party

The 3rd of May 2007 is an historical benchmark, in the long stuggle from the last quarter of the 19th century to the present day, for the Scottish National Party to win a mandate from the Scottish people, to govern Scotland as it should be governed, in our Scottish based parliament in Scotland's capital city of Dun Eideann Gaelic. (Edinburgh).

It is a joyous moment for all those who have given their very all now and in the past. A momentous time for Scots to savour, celebrate and enjoy victory at long last!

The Honourable Clann Ranald,stand proudly behind the people of Scotland's decision, to take the first real step forward, to reach our final goal of independence. A goal, that is now within easier reach, then at any other time in our long valient struggle, dating back to the earlier wars of independence, and final victory, at the Battle of Bannockburn in c1314. But contrary to bloodshed and mortal combat, this has been achieved by the pen.The pen has once again proved mightier than the sword.Long may it be so!

As Chief of the Honourable Clann Ranald of Lochaber, Mac Mhic Raonuill, I go on record to say, that I am delighted with the outcome of the battle for Scottish minds and hearts, and wish our leader Alex Salmond First Minister in-waiting, and all those who worked so hard and so tirelessly over all of these past years, all the very best of good wishes and success, in governing our country as it should be governed. And to do so, without rancour or ill=feelings towards their beaten rivals. But to work with them, and to show them all, that it was the right decision that our countrymen and women made on the 3rd May 2007.

Alba gu brath!

Ranald Alasdair MacDonald of Keppoch Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill

The Speech of Major Donald MacDonald of Tir na Dris

"As I am now to suffer a public, cruel, barbarous and in the eyes of the world an ignominious and shameful death, I think myself obliged to acknowledge, that it was from principle and through conviction of it being my duty to God, my injured King and oppressed country, that engaged me to take up arms under the Standard and conduct of Charles, Prince of Wales.

It was always my greatest concern to see my ancient race and lawful Sovereign restored, and if, such was the will of Heaven, to lose my life cheerfully in promoting it. I solemnly declare I had no view in drawing my sword in that laudable cause, but the restoration of the Royal Family and the recovery of the liberty of these unhappy islands : now too long oppressed with usurpation, corruption and bribery ; being sensible that nothing else but the King's return could make our country flourish, under all ranks and degrees of men, and recover Church and State from these too many dismal consequences naturally flowing from revolutionary principles.

I must let the world know that the whole number of evidences to six or seven, brought against me by the Council for the Elector of Hanover, were all perjured. What they aimed to prove was relative to the battle of Gladsmuir. I swear they swore the greatest untruths nor did they dispose one fact. I earnestly pray for their repentance and that God will forgive them as heartily as I do, not only them but all my enemies in general. It is true I engaged in that battle and saw a great deal of bloodshed on both sides on which I was posted. But no evidence could discern my conduct. I thank God that since I drew my sword in that laudable cause, I have acted not only in obedience to the commands of my Merciful and generous Prince, but also in compliance with my private disposition, behaving with humanity and charity towards my enemies, the Elector of Hanover's troops, both in the field and in prison, to the utmost of my power, without receding at the same time from the duty and fidelity I owe to my Prince and the common cause. For my own Part, when I reflect on my innocence of what has been laid to my charge, I cheerfully give up all murmuring, resigning myself to the Divine Providence, and I am hopeful of mercy through the merits of Jesus Christ. I die an unworthy member of the Holy Roman Catholic Church in the Communion in which I have lived and however ill-spoken of or misrepresented, I am confident of happiness through the merits and sufferings of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And I here declare, upon the faith of a dying man, that it was with no view to establishing that Church or religion in this nation that I joined the Prince, but purely out of duty and allegiance to our only rightful, lawful and native Sovereign, due to him had he been a heathen, Mahommedan or even a Quaker.

I am hopeful and persuaded that our valorous Prince, will by the blessing of God, be at last successful; and that in such case he will take care of my poor wife and family ; and as I have left them no fortune, I recommend my son to the protection of Almighty God, the best legacy I can bequeath him earnestly requiring his obedience to my dying command, to draw his sword for King and country as often as occasion shall offer, and he shall by them to be required to do so ; and as I have the honour to die a Major in the King's army I am hopeful if my dear child deserves it, he will be appointed to succeed in that rank, and I pray that he will serve with the same honour, integrity and fidelity as I have constantly endeavoured to do. I conclude with my blessings to my dear wife, family, relations and friends; heartily and earnestly praying that the Lord may grant success to the Prince's army and restore the Royal Family".

"Forgive, O Lord my enemies and receive my soul. Come, O Lord Jesus quickly, unto Thy hands I resign my Spirit". Signed "Donald MacDonald" Saturday, Ye 18th October 1746.


Major Donald MacDonald of Tir na Dris was 1st cousin to the 17th Chief of Keppoch Alasdair MacColla (That Mirror of Martial men) who was killed leading the Clan Donald on the left wing at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Clann Donald has been usurped their hereditary position on the right of wing of the Scottish army won by fame at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. King Robert the Bruce bestowed that prime position in the Scottish army after the courageous charge by Angus Og MacDonald Rex Insularum,leading the Clann Donald on the 2nd Day of the battle that was the turning point in the battle on that victorious day for Scotland.

Tir na Dris and Kinlochmoidart were exhibited on the Scotch Gate of Carlisle, where they remained for many years. English soldiery saluted the skulls of both men as they passed by.

Major Donald MacDonald of Tir na Dris is said to have been Scott's original of Fergus MacIvor the famous character in "Waverly". During his incarceration in Carlisle Castle, he was strongly ironed along with another 118 prisoners all confined in one room, where he remained for about 8 weeks before his trial and execution. He was refused permission at the place of execution to read his speech, which was a condemned prisoner of war's rights. He left his dying speech among the papers he transmitted to his family and several copies were afterwards made.


Visitors may now sign the MacDonald of Keppoch Guestbook by clicking the link in the navigation bar. Any messages left here will be viewed by the chief, but if a more direct form of communication is required please e-mail the chief


On the 13 September 2006 in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland, an ancient historic ceremony was re-enacted, when Ranald Alasdair MacDonald of Keppoch was publicly recognised as the Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill.



The Inauguration of our Chief Ranald Alasdair MacDonald of Keppoch, is taking place on 13 September 2006 in the Clann duthchas of Lochaber, hosted by the Highland Council in Fort William Invernessshire the "Cradle of our Clann".

The Inauguration has been arranged to follow our ancient Celtic tradition although our Chief has already won the right to receive his Coat of Arms or Letters Patent, when he won his legal right to his family bloodline as 32nd Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber Mac Mhic Raonuill on 30 January 2004.

The Highland Council of Fort William has graciously agreed to host the ceremony in their Council Chambers. We are most grateful for their generous support. They realise of course, that after 156 years without a Chief to guide them, the MacDonalds of Keppoch are at last returning to their duthchas, their Clann Territory, and this will have a beneficial impact on the town of Fort William and Lochber generally.

The Inaugural Ceremony will be colourful, dignified, in keeping with the decorum of such an historical and memorable occasion. Our Chief's closest Clann members * his large family, friends and supporters will be out in force that day, and will thwart any attempt by those "Johnnie come lately" detractors, who have been trying hard to put a damper on things in clownish antagonistic propaganda in the national and local press, on the world wide web. To them, we offer this advice from some old Gaelic proverbs "Tomaadh na mara is cliabh" Agus, "An air a chluinneas tu sgeul gun dreach na creid I" Mu dheireaadh."Fear sam bith a loisgeas a mhas 's e fhein a dh'fheumas suidhe air".

For our rightful legally recognised Chief of the Honourable Clan Ranald of Lochaber, whose soubriquet is "The Ready Warrior" has struck the first real blow for our Clann, and we will at long last, take our rightful place in the Clann Duthchas of Lochaber.

"Dia 'S Naomh Aindrea!"


E-mail: ranald@macdonaldofkeppoch.org