As an Association, we wanted to give Sir Lachlan something which would remind him of his trip to Atlantic Canada. After considerable thought it was decided to commission a local artist, Colin Cameron, to do a stained glass depiction of a West Highland Galley or Birlinn.
Although the Macleans were noted as a seapower, this aspect of our clan history seems to be under-represented. This, as well as the fact that our Atlantic Provinces are on the sea, made this idea a "natural". To identify the galley as a Maclean one, it was decided to put the battleaxe symbol on the sail. Colonel Donald Maclean (Scotland) verified that this would be appropriate. It was then Colin's idea to put Duart in the background, which added to the overall "Maclean" theme. The project was going to stretch our resources, but we really wanted to find a way. Colin graciously lowered his usual price. Frank MacLean who is a member of our Association as well as the President of Clan MacLean Ontario, suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea for their Association to jointly give the gift to Sir Lachlan. Problem solved!!
Colin's work was, as always, superb, and the Chief was very pleased! Finally, for those who worried, it did arrive back in Scotland, safe and sound.
The "Sir" in Sir Lachlan comes from the fact that the Chiefs of Clan Maclean are hereditary Baronets of Nova Scotia. When I was first talking to Sir Lachlan, he wondered if it would be possible for us to visit the area where the original land grant would have been. This raised the question of just where exactly that was. Donald F. MacLean from Halifax thought that it might be on Anticosti Island, which would certainly not be easy to reach. Rev. Bob MacLean wondered if we couldn't get some soil from the right area, and so a very interesting process started. Donald F. contacted Scotland and was able to obtain a copy of the original grant, BUT it was handwritten in very old style Latin, and so we were not very much further ahead. Even those contacted who knew Latin were stumped - they couldn't figure out the handwriting! What now?? I contacted a (Nigel Tranter) e-mail group I belong to, and two possibilities were forthcoming. One led me finally to Meredith Dixon, our eventual saviour. Meredith is a member of five internet "lists" - Latin-Words-L, Latin, LatinTeach, LatinStudy, and Classics. Members of these groups assisted her in the translation task that she took on, and she came through for us in marvelous style!!
I have summarized her description of the process as follows. With help from Nigel Coulton, Eusebeia Sutherland and Kate Gilbert, all the words were identified. Kate and Meredith did the translation together. They feel the transliteration (translating the old handwritten Latin to readable Latin), and translation (from Latin to English), are a full and substantially accurate transliteration and translation. A lot of people came forward with eleventh-hour help once Meredith was down to 27 unknown words. She isn't certain what the "4 pounds, 10 shillings" notation is doing on the document, but her guess is that it was either the cost of the grant or the cost of filing the charter. It's on the original, so was reproduced (in the transliteration and translation).
According to people who know more about Latin manuscripts than Meredith does, the handwriting on this one is unusually difficult. This transliteration and translation could never have been done at all without Eusebeia Sutherland, who (amazingly) transliterated enough of the manuscript early on to keep Meredith from believing the task was hopeless, or Kate Gilbert, who has been a splendid transliteration and teammate in translation, frequently seeing things which eluded Meredith completely. It was her idea to research the history of the Barons of Nova Scotia, where we found John Gordon of Embo. Nigel Coulton helped a lot by identifying problem words.
Finally Meredith gives credit to her husband James Dixon, who despite not knowing a word of Latin, bravely attacked the transliteration of difficult words for Meredith, treating the document as a secret code.
I found Meredith on May 15, and the job was completed and to me on June 26, the day before Sir Lachlan arrived!! What a find!!
Thus we were able to give Sir Lachlan a copy of the original grant of the Baronetcy of Nova Scotia, a transliteration, and an English translation.
Sir Lachlan was thrilled to have this new (to him) piece of Maclean history. We still didn't get the soil, but maybe next time. Nova Scotia was a much larger territory in those days, and in fact covered present day Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and part of Quebec. Anticosti Island is now part of Quebec.
Be it Known by the granting of this charter by Our Serene Lord the King to Lachlan McLean of Morvaren, his heirs male, and his assigns, whomsoever they may be, over the whole entirety of the part and portion of the Region and Realm of Nova Scotia in America bordered and limited as follows:
Viz: Beginning at the northern part of the border of the barony and viceregality of New Embo, lying in the interior, and abutting the demesne of John Gordon of Embo, knight and hereditary baronet.
Extending thence three miles northward on or near the seashore, and thence eastward, as marked and delimited by milestones, and three miles in extent from the northern boundary of the aforesaid lands and barony of New Embo, and stretching to the full extent of sixteen thousand acres of land, with strongholds, towers and outposts of the kingdom.
It being impossible to transfer the land itself by the hands of Our Serene Lord the King for this new charter and hereditary enfeoffment of the aforesaid Lachlan McLean, it shall be recorded on behalf of the kingdom, under the Act of Union of the kingdom, as a whole and free barony and viceregality for all time to come, to be called the Barony of Morvaren, and to be held from Our aforesaid Serene Lord the King and his successors to the crown and kingdom of Scotland, in free blench ferme, for the annual payment of one penny of lawful money of the said kingdom of Scotland, atop the earth and stone of the aforesaid land, as a knight in blench ferme, if it be asked of his neighbours, or of some of them, the same to be produced on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Saviour.
And a single seisin at the castle of Edinburgh shall be taken, sufficing for every one of his lands, and for the other things generally and specifically recorded above.
And the said Lachlan McLean, his heirs male, and his aforesaid assigns, shall have insignia for tax-collecting of an armed hand and a bare one, conjoined with the motto, "This one defends and the other conquers", and so on, in the usual form of baronets' charters.
Granted in the evening of the third day of September, in the sixteen hundred and thirty-first year of our Lord, and in the seventh year of Our reign. 4 £ 10 s.
By this seal:
Preceptum Carte fact[e] per S[erenum] D[ominum] N[ostrum] Regem Lachlano McLeano de Morvaren heredibus suis masculis et assignatis quibuscumque super tota integra illa parte et portione Regionis et Dominii Nove Scotie in America bundat[a] et limitat[a] ut sequitur:
Viz: Incipiendo a boreali parte termini barronie et regalitatis de New Embo iacen[te] in interiore et ad dominium Ioannem Gordonum de Embo, militem barronettum hereditarie, spectan[t].
Extendent ab inde tria milaria versus boream cis vel citra per maris littus et inde versus orientem per milaria observand[a] numerand[a] et tria milaria in latitudine a boreali limite dict[arum] terrarum et barronie de New Embo usque adeo quoad extendat ad numerum sedecim mille acrarum terre cum castris, turribus, fortalitiis r[egn]i.
Nequand[um] terre resignate fuerunt per ipsum in manibus S[ereni] D[omini] N[ostri] Regis pro hac nova carta et infeoda[tio]ne hereditarie prefat[o] Lachlano McLeano desuper,conficienda r[egn]i, preterea cum clausula unionis r[egn]i, in unam integram et liberam Baroniam de Morvarene nuncupand[am], tenend[am] de dicto S[ereno] D[omino] N[ostro] Rege et successoribus suis de corona et regno Scotie, in libera alba firma, pro @ [a]nna solutione unius denarii usualis monete dicti regni Scotie, super solum et fundum dict[arum] terrarum, mi[lit]e albe firme, si petatur finitimi vel alicuius eorund[um], parto in die festo nativitatis n[ost]ri Salvatoris.
Et quod unica seisina apud castellum de Edinburgh capienda dat sufficiens pro omnibus et singulis terris aliisque particulariter et generaliter superscript[is].
Et quod dictus Lachlanus McLeanus heredes sui masculis et assignati antedicti habebunt insignia pro telon[eo]: manu armata et nuda coniunctis cum hoc dicto, "Munit hec et altera vincit", et cetera in co[mmun]i forma cartarum baronettis suis.
Concessit nocte tertio die mensis Septembris, anno D[omi]ni millesimo sexcentesimo tricesimo primo, et r[egn]i n[ost]ri anno septimo. 4 £ 10 s.
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Finally, we were able to obtain copies of newspaper articles written at the time of his dad's visit to Nova Scotia in 1950.
Not wanting to forget Lady Mary (who unfortunately for us had to stay in Scotland to look after Duart), we asked Sir Lachlan to take home to her a collection of pewter Christmas ornaments representing the various Atlantic provinces.
A number of other gifts were given to Sir Lachlan, for himself and Lady Mary, as he traveled around the Maritimes. These included: