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
U.F. Manse, Westerdale, Caithness.
Journal of the Life of John MacDonald