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16:"ISTORY G 'NEALOGY uF Hi; :3.Ii:LR.: < FAMILY"I
"Sir Nigel Cambel (the letter "P" was not added to the name until
two hundred years later) the Chief of the Clan Cambel, was Robert Bruce's
chief bodyguard at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. His younger brother,
Rufus Cambel, known as Red Rufus from his fiery, red hair, a boy of eighteen,
w,.s placed by his brother in charge of all the campfollowers, servw nts and
other non-fighting men, together with all baggage, spare standards and
impediments of all kinds. Towards the end of the day when the battle seemed
to be going hard against the Scots, Red hutus wnu had been watching ikls
progress intently, made up his mid that it was time for him to get into
tIe fray. He organized his motley b.and of followers, about one thous-:nd
strong, Into the semblance of a regiment; distribute, all the spare banners
i.e had and made new ones out of old blankets and quilts tied to the end of
branches; issued orders to spread out over "much territory" and to make as
much noise "as if they were twenty thousand ; and marcned the2- down the
hill behind which they had been stationed. .'hen the weary Lnlish saw this
new army coming out of the gUthering darkness, with its hundred of st e
banners extending back for what seemed to be many miles, they thought strong
reinforcements were coming to the aid of the Scots. It was too much for
them. They lost heart, turned and fled, leaving thirty thousand dead on
the field at the close of battle. Thus was the po.;er of the English broken,
and the freedom of Scotland established.
"Bruce was so pleased with the heroism and strategy of Red Rufus
that he haled him before his presence, knighted him, gave him a ra.it o.
land, and announced, "From henceforth, ye shall be our Banner Man." "From
henceforth, ye sall be oor Banner Man." The grant of laid was given near
to that of his brother and under his new name of -Sir Rufus Bannernan. Sir
Nigel afterwards married the King's sister, arjorie, and Sir hutlus married
Margaret, daughter of Lord James Douglas.
"This is the first appearance of the name in Scottish history."
(Copied by W.T.B. from a monograph under the above title by
i-lili, Bannerman (1799-1862) in the exhibition of the Cnicro l isto'iial
society at the world's Fair, 1893. It was loaned by Sir hilp merman
of Manchester, son ot the author, who guaranteed its authent citya)
I a I I
WHEN I WAS A BOY IN _JOTLAND
William Thackeray Bannerman
.t this time, I shall try to reduce to writing the scene which made
the most vivid impression on me at the early age of twelve years. That was
my knighthood at the hands of the heredita y chief of our Clan Campbell,
George John Douglass Campbell, the Duke of .rgyle.
It was the custom up to the beginning of the Nineteenth Century for
all the principal Highland clans to hold a sort of "get together" at stated
intervals for the purpose of keeping the old Clan spirit and traditions alive
In t eir henchmen and invariably about a fortnight before the meetingL, wls to
take place the fiery cross, the old symbol of urgency, was sent around by
hand to Fll within their territory. Since then, however' the mojne m.2ern
written ,,ord has "requested the presence", rather thar rIcomi.anded" a( *It the
at..erint. ,uch a request reached my father in the suri.e.e of 133. e ws
then in the granite e business at iberdeen on the other side oi' cotlc,.d from
Inverary C. stle, the seat of the Argyles, but he was the Chief of thie oub-cifr
Oban anid felt that the men of Oban would feel hurt if they had to go th augh
the expected review without their Chief. oo notice wos sent to all ,.ie cltns-
men scattered over the entire West Coast that a full representat on w s
expected. Then, in our home, preparations began. Father already has his
full regalia but I, the heir apparent, was scheduled to go too. And So yards
of the Campbell tartan were bought and duly turned into the Kilt,3 s!aort
It was a whole day's train and boat ride buy when our bo -t l".nded
at jban on the Firth of Lorne we were met, not only by a score of our cwn
clansmen, but by the Marquis of Lorne, the Duke's oldest son, -nd Chief of
tae cub-clan Inverary, who drove us .to the jn,,stle ;nd saw tat ,,e were
comfortably installed in our quarters. The nest d.-y, F...the- :-.-d I got
together with the Obanites and instructions were given as to the 1S'i, Vi
before the Duke the next day. Father, of c=rse goc ...n. all right bt I
didn't know any Gaelic and many of the men didn't know any thin; &;b, t my
brand of Acotch, so I was left pretty iauch to myself. I didAr't aind that
a bit because the wild scenery of that particular nook of the "iielcnds" had
me entranced and gaping with wonder most ot the time.
The next day was the Great Day. A thous-nd clirnsren were drawn
a ,in military array on the great, green sloping terr,-cce, fronting the water
and leading., back to the castle, about a quarter mile front tL'e water. They
were in t. ree columns--four hundred Sub-Inverarys under thte Marquis of Lorns
draw up in the middle; S ub-Clan Obans three hundred strong under Sir W:..
i3annerman, by father on the right and Sub-Clan Benaw, three hundred under
Sir Archibald S tuart on the left. The heirs ai-.,rent i. eLci. division
were immediately behind their respective Chiefs, and jf any one says they
were less nervous and shaky than I was, I don't believe it. t-resently the
Marquis (the Senior) gave the signal and three pipers charged from the front
doom of the Castle at the top of the knoll, and immniediLtely the wall &kown
strains of "The Campbells areComin" were heard down at the foot of the hill.
Everybody down there straightened up and loukd Els partial as farm hands and
grocers, butchers, teachers and preachers could look on rather short notice.
Right behind the pipers came the Duke himself in full amprnbell tartan, with the
three eagle's feathes in his bonnet denoting his rank. Following him was
Lord Archie his second son, also in full regalia, ,cting as Aide-de-c.-p.
Then the ladies, the Duchess and ner two daughters, all in white with the
Campbell plaid or sash over the left s iculder.
The ) uke and his entourage passed in front of each b ttalion and
then down trie lillfs behind them sayin- a word or two of greeting to all whom
he knew. 4Je1e h review had finished, auy while the whold crowd behind me as
I turned irouund to look, were still as stiff as ramrods, the Duke stopped in
front of Lis ;on, the Marquis, who presented his son, Donald as heir apparent,
The old Chief looked fondly at him and said "Don, me lad, ye already has
titles enoo buy I'll gae ye anit.er ane," then brought out his sword and made
D onald, Sir Donald.
Then it was Clan Oban's turn. "vveel, Weelum, ma man, we're gled
to see ye. ioo's everything in Alberdeen?" "Verra weel, your Grace "said
Father. "Oc., Oq&ef'lum, ye ken better than that," came from the old Lfird.
"I'm Your Gr.-ce' i. ingland, but here in my ain Heelan's I'm still the *MacCallun
Mohr." And then turning to me, "An is this the heir apparent to Oban? lie's
a braw lad. 'hat's yer name, ma boy?" "William T," I cheeped faintly. "Weel.
weel, !ve ne doot ye'll be a credit to yer father and a fine example toyer
clan, kneel doon, 'iiie." And then I hnelt and with a light stroke of his
sword, "Vise, Sijr .illiam." Archie then trotted out and eagle's feather, stuck
it in my bonrlet and 1 was a full-fledjed subaltern of the Clan. 'When that
ceremony w:c.s uver, the command to disband was issued and in no time at all
I was surroui.ded by what seemed likothe whole three hundred, all jabbering
at orgt wb, I took to be the equivalent in Gaelic of some sort of congrat-
ulJ.tion, but :Licn .Fatter s& later was m-nore in the nature of commiseration
"L su a young lad should be obliged to undertake such heavy responsibilities.
It may be interjected here that if there were any responsibilities at all,
they haven't bothered rie :u!L.
Th, men were all cquartered in the hotels and inns of the district,
but we officeir,as you may call us, were entertained at the Castle .ii L?.. "uuW.
dJys of our stays, and entertained royally, it should be added. Father n1 1
reached home at the appointed time, botll quite excited by our expeBience,
although Father had been tnere twice before. The family, of course, were
easedd over the new handle to my name, but I never noticed that any undue
difference was yaid me on that account.
Before bringing this incident to a close, it should be stated that
this title fas valid only in Scotland; it had no standing whatever in the
British Blue B ook. Only the King in person, or by proxy, can create knights
or peers of the realm, but the law in ocotland grants the hereditary Clan
Chiefs the right to create baronets or knights from within the ranks of their
own clans and this creation Is duly recorded in the Burgess Books of the Kingdom
There might be added to this tale, os a sidelight on the relative
importance the Duke and his Higlanders attached to his British title, the
Duke of Argyle, as compared with the Highland title,"TheMacCallum Mohr
a story :ublished in most Scotch newspapers of the day. When the Duke's son,
the Marquis of Lorne, mentioned herein, was married to the Princess Louise
the daughter of queen Victoria, the old Highland innkeeper t Oban announced
the event to the people in the hotel in the following words, "Eh, a prood
woman the queen will be this day."
* In English "The Campbell".
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