For the last Piobaireachd Society blog-post we thought we would introduce you to some of the VIP connections the Piobaireachd Society had, as revealed through its correspondence files.
In a file of letters from 1905, we found one from ‘Dunmore’ to, the (then) secretary of the society, Captain William Stewart. In this letter Dunmore says that:
“I knew you would be pleased when my telegram reached you today saying that the Prince of Wales had joined the Pibroch Society” (DC80/361)
It would seem, then, that the future King, George V, was a supporter of the Piobaireachd Society! Later in the correspondence files a letter of 1912, from Buckingham Palace, to Lord Lovat (a very important figure in the society) reveals that:
“His Majesty is graciously pleased to become patron of the Pibroch Society.” (DC80/689)
George V clearly remained supportive of the society after his coronation. He perhaps inherited his grandmother’s love of Scotland and the Highlands!
We found another letter telling of the society’s illustrious connections. A copy of a letter from a J. Houston to piobaireachd composer John Grant, dating from 1919, relates the gratitude of Field Marshall Earl Haig who wishes to thank Mr Grant for dedicating his piping composition: ‘Salute to Earl Haig’. He also wishes to thank the society for sending him volumes of piobaireachd. The Piobaireachd Society certainly had some powerful friends!
We hope you have enjoyed this thematic journey through the Piobaireachd Society collection: from the introduction to the society; its activities in teaching piobaireachd and funding highland games; its links with the Gaelic language; the warm and colourful letters of Elspeth Campbell; and the Society’s admiration from around the globe and also the Royalty of the United Kingdom.
If you have a connection to the Piobaireachd Society, have any more information about it, or would like to consult the correspondence files yourself we would love to hear from you! Contact the Duty Archivist to make arrangements.
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)