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Miss L. E. Farquharson of Invercauld
An article from the Celtic Annual of 1916


FOR centuries it has been recognised that pride of ancestry is a Highland characteristic. Miss Louisa Elizabeth Farqnharson of Invercauld, who last year inaugurated the Dundee Highland Society’s session, has a long and honourable descent from men distinguished alike on the battlefield and in the Senate. The Farquharsons are derived from Farquhar, fourth son of Alexander Ciar Mackintosh of Rothiemurcus (1411-1492), the grandson of “Shaw Sgor fhialach,” leader of the Clan Chattan champions in the fight at Perth, 1393. His sons described themselves by the patronymic “Farquharson,” which has continued till the present day. The grandson of Farquhar was Fimlla Mor, a distinguished warrior in the time of James V., who was slain at Pinkie in 1547 fighting for the infant Mary Queen of Scots. He had five sons, the second of whom founded the branch of the Farquharsons of Invercauld, and the eldest was the ancestor of the Farquharsons of Whitehouse and Finzean. The Invercauld family formed many important alliances by marriage with notable Scottish families, among whom were the Mackintoshes of Mackintosh; the Grahams of Fintry; the Burnets, baronets of Craigmyle; Menzies, baronets of Weem; the Murrays, Dukes of Aiholl; the Dundases of Arnistun; Lockhart-Ross, baronets of Balnagowan; and the Oswalds of Auchencruive. Through the Atholl Murray connection the Farquharsons descend from the famous Charlotte de la Tremouille, Countess of Derby, the valiant defender of Latham House against the Cromwellians in the Civil War; and her great-great-grand-daughter, Anne Farquharson, wife of AEneas Mackintosh of that ilk, played a noble part in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. James Farquharson of Invercauld married Amelia, daughter of Lord George Murray, the brave comrade-in-arms of Prince Charles Edward; and thus Jacobite sympathies are hereditary in the family of Invercauld.

The immediate ancestors of Miss Farquharson may be briefly referred to. Her grandfather, James, married Janet Dnndas, grand-daughter of the famous Lord President Dnndas of Arniston. His son, James Ross Farquharson, who was a Lieut.-Colonel in the Scots Fusilier Guards, was married to Elizabeth Louisa, daughter of the late Alexander Haldane Oswald of Auchencruive, Ayrshire, and his son Alexander is now Laird of Invercauld, while Miss Louisa Elizabeth Farquharson is the elder daughter of that marriage. Her maternal grandmother was Lady Louisa Craven, daughter of Louisa Brunton, the famous actress, who became Countess of Craven in 1807, and survived till 1860. The Farquharsons of Invercauld have the right to quarter the royal arms of Plantagenet with those of their own family. Their ancient motto was “We force nae Friend; we fear nae Foe”; but it is now “Fide et Fortitudine”— “By fidelity and fortitude.”

A. H. M.

* * * *

To know Miss L. E. Farquharson of Invercaull in her own country is to realise what “love of home” means to every Scottish man or woman.

Brought up from childhood at Invercauld, amid its beautiful and stately surroundings, Miss Farquharson has an intimate knowledge of its history and traditions. Her acquaintance with Gaelic makes her homeland doubly interesting to her, as the name of every hill and glen has a real meaning, and her article on “Place names in Braemar ” in the Celtic Monthly makes this very evident. Like a true patriot she is connected with many of the Scottish Societies, more especially with those upholding the ancient language. She is a member of An Comunn, and has attended all the Summer Gaelic Schools organised by that Association during the past five years. She also belongs to the St Andrews Society, Coisir Chuil Lunnainn, and the London Aberdeenshire Association, and she is an active and enthusiastic member of the London Gaelic Society, having at one time occupied the position of Chief. This Society, which has its headquarters at Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, has been the means of bringing happiness to many a lonely Highland lad or lass whom fate has taken from their homes to make their way in the great metropolis. Once a month the London Gaels meet together for lecture, song, or dance, and at several of these meetings Miss Farquharson has read papers on Celtic subjects—on “Ireland’s Ideal,” since published as one of its pamphlets by the Gaelic League of Ireland, on “The Book of the Dean of Lismore,” and on “Legends of Braemar.” As the Dundee Highland Society had the pleasure of hearing her last year on “The Future of the Gael in his Native Land” they will know how interesting she can make her subject.

Miss Farquharson was one of the first to think of giving a series of Gaelic and Scottish Concerts to the Highland soldiers last winter, when quartered at Bedford and other camps in England, during those long weary months of training before going to France. It delighted her to find at these happy meetings how the Celts’ love of their own country and people and songs and language is as strong now as it ever was.

Miss Farquharson is about as well known in Ireland as in Scotland, having spent many years with her relatives, Lord and Lady Cadogan, during their viceroyalty in Dublin, and she has also visited many places in the West of Ireland, where she finds the same Celtic characteristics as in our own West Highlands. She has a striking knowledge of Irish history and literature, and found many friends in literary circles in that country. She represented Scotland at one Oireachtas in Dublin, and acted once in the same capacity at the Welsh Eisteddfod.

Her house in London is filled with books relating to history, poetry, and archaeology, especially Scottish, Irish, and Gaelic; and early years spent in France opened to her other fields of history.

Miss Farquharson is a strong Liberal, as her father was, and it was in the days when living at Invercauld with him that she learnt to know and love the country. Every hill and view has an association, every cottage a friend, and the stalkers still have tales of the laird who was so honoured and loved by his people, and was the friend of the late Gracious Queen who endeared herself to all in the Highlands. It is like an echo of byegone days to hear accounts of the red-coated postillions and galloping horses of the laird of Invercauld returning home by the Spittal of Glenshee, and welcomed by his family, clan, and pipers before the old mansion-house with the Standard of Clan Finlay fluttering from its tower.

Miss Farquharson has travelled much. She was in South Africa during the war, has been to America, has yachted in Norwegian fiords and reached the North Cape; and also in the Mediterranean, visited Venice, Constantinople, and the Isles of Greece, Tunis, and Tangier, but to her none is equal to the beauty of Lochnagar, the haunt of the red deer, none to compare with the Braes of Mar or the Hebrides; and, like Sheriff Nicolson, she says:—


Descended from a race that was more occupied oftentimes with war than peace, it is not surprising that Miss Farquharson sees with pride that the men of Braemar have rallied as one man to the colours, from her only brother the laird, Major Farquharson of Invercauld, second in command of the 10th Gordons, Kitchener’s Army, now in France, to the youngest lad who has joined the new draft of the 7th Gordon Territorials already at the Front.

Over her “Buth” at the great Highland “Feill” in Glasgow, 1907, Miss Farquharson was asked to inscribe a motto which has come to be regarded especially hers—“Cunhuich air na daoine bho ’n d’ thainig thu,” as suitable to one whose Clan Slogan calls for a perpetual remembering—Carn-na-cuimhne.”

E. Y. C.


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