Many Scottish towns can boast/or rue battles fought, in the past, on
their doorsteps. Inverurie is one such town. The most famous battle
was probably Harlaw in 1411, but there were two others. The victory
of Robert I, The Bruce, over The Comyns in 1307 and the battle which
concerns us this week, the Jacobite victory on 23 December 1745. The
victors were led by Lord Lewis Gordon, who was appointed a member of
Bonnie Prince Charlie's Council at Edinburgh where he had joined the
Prince in October 1745. The Prince sent him north to recruit in the
counties of Aberdeen and Banff and to collect arms and money. He not
only raised a regiment of two battalions but completely defeated the
Hanoverian troops under MacLeod of MacLeod and Munro of Culcairn at
Inverurie. Among the prisoners taken by the Jacobites was the great
Skye piper Duncan Ban MacCrimmon. The morning after the victory, the
Jacobite pipers refused to play until Duncan Ban was released. Hugh
MacDiarmid said of this act - 'the silent bagpipes of Lord Lewis
Gordon on the morning after the battle of Inverurie was the greatest
tribute ever paid to genius.'
He used the incident in his poem
'Lament for the Great Music' -
'Only one occasion
Would I have loved to witness - after Inverurie
When Lord Lewis Gordon's pipers kept silence
Since Duncan Ban MacCrimmon was his prisoner.
No Scottish Army or English, no army in the world,
Would do that today - nor ever again-
For they do not know and there is no means of telling them
That Kings and Generals are only shadows of time
But time has no dominion over genius.'
Duncan Ban MacCrimmon was released, but the story did not end
happily as he was the only fatality at the Rout of Moy in 1746. We
shall return, at some future date, to the piping traditions of the
great MacCrimmon family. The Jacobite Army would have been
sustained by oatmeal and this weeks recipe includes oatmeal in the
form of porridge oats. The recipe for Mincemeat Crumble Squares is
taken from 'The Anniversary Cook-Book of the Dumfriesshire
Federation SWRI' which was published in 1992.
Mincemeat Crumble Squares
Ingredients : 7 oz self raising flour; 6 oz margarine; 6 oz caster
sugar; 4 oz porridge oats; 1 lb mincemeat
Mix margarine, sugar, flour and porridge oats to make a crumble.
Press half into a swiss roll tin. Spread mincemeat over crumble.
Cover with remaining crumble and press down lightly. Bake in a
moderate oven for 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares when almost cool.