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The History of Ancient Caledonia
By John MacLaren, Dunning (Second Edition) (1879)

From the Time of Saint Caldea, the Founder of Christianity giving an Account of the first discoveries of Iron and Steel, the two sons of "Mackay of the Law", the Building and Destruction of Troy, the Returning pf the Royal Salves from the Siege of Jerusalem, their departure from Trials, Hardships, and Endurances till their Landing at Montrose.

The great Grampian mountains, stern and wild,
With proof their lives a true-born Israel child.
The Roman tyrants made them mourn:
Their backs to the foe they never yet did turn,
Tried on many a foreign field
The Clans of Caledonia were never known to yield.


In verification of the History of Ancient Caledonia, as contained in the following pages, and the prophecies mentioned therein, the Right Honourable Lord Rollo and Dunning was the first to discover any tangible proof in connection therewith; namely, in the discovering of a “tower” on his estate of Duncrub, and as spoken of in this History. He was also Patron to the First Edition of the work, and to whom the Author again dedicates these pages. Amongst the earliest subscribers to the first edition was the highly respected and deeply regretted minister of the parish of Dunning, the late Rev. John Wilson, D.D., and the Rev. Henry Stirling, U.P. Church, Dunning; together with a great many ladies, all of whom took a deep interest n the work, and in the bringing forward of proofs in connection with same.

An account is given in the work of the First Inventors of Steel — the two sons of Mackay of the Law — the building of Troy and the destruction of same, the Return of the Royal Slaves from the Siege of Jerusalem, their trials, hardships, and endurances until their landing at Montrose. (See Grote’s History of Egypt.) The Boundaries as mentioned, is proved by the recent finding of the March Stone at Burrastouness. The Lava of iron, information as to this can be given and verified by Mr. John Stewart, farmer (and F.C. elder), Aulddooach, Athole.

The battle of Kilconquhar has been verified by the finding of bones and skulls in the vicinity of same, and as spoken of.

The prophecies of Saint Maclsaac — a great many of these have already been fulfilled, namely, the battle of Balgonie, where the first grant was given to the Douglas of Abernethy for his valour that day on the field; the Humes of Hume (Home) Castle was, by the marriage of Jane Lindsay, built by the assistance of both clans; and has been further verified as to the washing of the “Grey Dougstoun” (Glasgow) by the streams of Glengyle (viz., Loch Katrine); and more recently by the finding of the image of Saint Maclsaac near Ross-dhu, Luss, the seat of Sir James Colquhoun.

The Author, after repeated requests and solicitations from all parts of Scotland (as well as from some parts of England and Ireland), has been induced to issue a Second Edition (carefully revised), and trusts it may meet with as great a success as that accorded to the First Edition.

With these few introductory remarks he begs to introduce the reader to the Ancient History of Caledonia.

The Author,

Born at Lochearnhead, Parish of Balquhidder, August 24th) 1S20.
Dunning, 1879.


I think it necessary to state how I became possessed of the original copy of the “Ancient History of Caledonia.' I was a sailor on board a man-of-war. Returning in 1842, I was one day sent on Store Duty to the Tower of London. One of my shipmates calling me by name, a gentleman who heard him came to me and said — “Am I like Jock at the fair — are there more M'Larens here than me?”. I answered that I was a M'Laren. We became very intimate. He was Master Gunner at the Tower, by name David M'Laren. I remained there all night; and the topic of conversation happening to fall upon nationality, he informed me that he had seen a book in the shop of a Jew in Petticoat Lane, with the word “Chaldea” marked upon it. Through curiosity I went along with him to see it. What he called the book turned out to be a large roll of written skins, not very well preserved, there being holes here and there, and the writing in many places injured by damp. An oaken box which had contained the roll, attracted my attention. It was lined with copper, and had outside on the lid a great many ornaments in the same metal, including a large lion rampant with a sword in its paw. I offered him a sum of money for the box, but he would not part with it until he had first removed the mounting from it. I then offered him a piece of money for the book, which he refused; but when I left he followed after me with it, insisting that I should take it at the price offered, and to avoid being mobbed, I paid the book, got possession of it, and left. After returning home I tried several clergymen with it, but received no encouragement, until I met with the Rev. Duncan M‘Gregor, Roman Catholic Priest, Lochaber. He told me it was the “Ancient History of Caledonia." He translated it from the ancient Latin, in which it was written, into the Gaelic language, as I expected from the nature of the book that it would command a greater sale in that language. From various causes it never was printed in Gaelic, but from this translation, I have now got it translated into the English language, the original document being completely destroyed during the first translation by the means taken to make the writing legible.

I was in Lord Rollo’s employment, on his estate of Duncrub, near Dunning, about the year 1862. I told his Lordship of the former existence of a tower on his estate, which I knew of from the “History.” Becoming interested, he made inquiries on the subject, but the oldest man in the neighbourhood had never heard of it. He then ordered a search to be made under my direction, which was successful in laying bare the foundations of the tower. Several other statements in this History are proved by recent discoveries — for example, the sinking of St. Andrews has been verified by the fishermen, who have discovered walls and other remains three miles out at sea. The prophecies of St. M‘Isaac are partly fulfilled.

The original writings from which this history is translated are believed to have been carried away by Edward I., along with the Marble Chair and Jacob’s Pillow, upon which the Caledonians crowned their kings at Scone Palace.


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