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Autobiographical Journal of John MacDonald
Schoolmaster and Soldier 1770-1830 with Introduction, Illustrations and Notes by the Rev. Angus MacKay, M.A. (1906)


The following autobiographical journal, for which I have drawn up an introduction and notes, is copied from the holograph MS. of John Macdonald now in the possession of his great-grandson, Dr J. Mackay Macdonald, Acton, Ontario. When gathering material for “The Book of Mackay,” my attention was drawn to this MS. journal by Miss Catherine Macdonald, Reay, granddaughter of the author and maternal aunt of the doctor; and now, by the kind permission of aunt and nephew, I am at liberty to publish this interesting addition to our too scanty northern literature of a kindred character.

The graphic account, from the pen of a Highland piper, of the memorable defence of Gibraltar, during the early years of the tenth decade of the eighteenth century, should prove acceptable to the general reader but Highlanders in particular will be pleased to get this glimpse of the social life of more than one hundred years ago through the little window opened so artlessly by the schoolmaster-soldier.

This volume is dedicated to the Edinburgh Sutherland Association, through James Macdonald, Esq., W.S., its treasurer —an association that has ever striven with gratifying success to uphold the torch in the shire of Sutherland. Nay more, as fostermother to the publication by Mr Kemp of “Bishop Pococke’s Tours in Scotland,” to this association pertains the honour of leading the way to the formation of a Scottish History Society, whose first issue upon formation was an unabridged edition of the said bishop’s tours.

U.F. Manse, Westerdale, Caithness.

Journal of the Life of John MacDonald

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