Robertsons Historical Proofs
on the Highlanders
Opinions of the Press
SELECTIONS FROM COMMUNICATIONS TO THE
AUTHOR, AND OPINIONS OF THE PRESS
From The Reader, a review of Literature,
Science, and Art.
If, then, the Pictish Gael, who gave the Romans so much trouble in the
early ages of our era, was neither a Scandinavian according to Pinkerton,
nor an ancient Briton according to Garnett, who was he? This is the grand
question which the Author answers, and after a careful perusal of his book,
keeping well in mind the various theories and arguments of his opponents, we
cannot help coming to the conclusion that he is perfectly right when he says
that these same Picts are our old friends of Killiecrankie fame--the modern
Scotch Highlanders. Mr Skene, the highest Celtic authority known, agrees
with the Author in believing the Picts and Caledonians to have been the same
people. Another important and highly probable conclusion at which the Author
arrives, is, that the accession of Kenneth MAlpin to the Pictish throne
was a pcaeeable one and in all respects precisely the same as King James of
Scotland to the throne of England. He proves also the language of the Picts
to be the same as that of the present Highlanders. From the space we have
devoted to the book, our readers will perceive that we not only attach
considerable importance to the subject, but that we regard also very
favourably the manner in which it has been treated.
From the Atheuaeum.London
The Author battles stoutly for the rejection of the Irish element. He
affirms that there is no trace of Irish-Gaelic in Scotland beyond the limits
of Argyleshire, and that the Ossianic poems are pure Caledonian, their
references being to Caledonian localities only, and that in a language never
corrupted by the Dalriad dialect. His zeal for the Caledonians never
forsakes him. Not only were they bards, but warriors. They were the men,
he says, ~ were otherwise called Pictsmen whom the Romans could not subdue
in their highland refuge, nor Anglo-Saxons drive out of more than the
southern plains. In the Highlands they have remained, and the present
Highlanders are their descendants in blood and in speech! The Author
displays great ingenuity in seeking to establish these points; and there is
no more interesting portion of his book than that touching on language, in
which he shows the old Caledonian significance of local names even in the
south, which existed long before an irish-Scot, or Wanderer, entered on the
From The Gentlemans Magazine.
The Author has devoted a large amount of labour to investigate a subject of
real historical interest. The reader will find a good deal of curious
information about the Highland Clans, their badges, war-cries, etc., which
will repay the purusal; and the descriptions of the illustrations (which are
really very spirited), are well written. The whole work is evidently a
labour of love with its Author, and his earnestness on the subject leads to
a strong prepossession in his favour.
Prom the Elgin Courant.
The period of Scottish history treated of by the Author of this volume has
been generally regarded as very obscure by our best historians, from the
deficiency of trustworthy historical records. The Author endeavours to throw
some light on that dark period. He seems to have laboured with great
diligence in search of correct information from the earliest writers who
have made mention of our native land. Of the identity of the language of the
Picts and present Highlanders we see no reason to be doubtful. In
conclusion, we have to thank the Author far the research, and diligence,
and great labour with which he has collected correct information regarding
our forefathers and our native land from the most reliable sources.
From the Glasgow Herald.
A really valuable historical treatise. The book is one that will repay an
attentive perusal, and that ought to be especially acceptable to the
Highlanders. There can be no doubt that Colonel Robertson has made his case
very strong, and has brought a very important question nearer to its
solution. We commend an attentive perusal of Chapter VII. of this work,
which very carefully collects and examines the historical evidence,the
next two chapters presenting evidence of the identity of the Pictish and the
Gaelic language as an argument for the identity of the Pictish and the
Gaelic people, is also worthy of special note. A good deal of curious
information will also be found in the chapter devoted to the poetry, music,
arms, and costume of the Highlanders. the book has an excellent and copious
index, and is furnished with a good map.
From the Inverness Courier.
An interesting contribution to the great Pictish question has just been
published by Colonel Robertson. The writer traverses most of the ground gone
over by former writers, giving, ni a brief and well arranged form, the
historical and topographical facts on which his theory is based. The book
seems well fitted to rouse the interest and curiosity of persons who have
not studied the question.
From the Perth Advertiser.
The Author has ably and satisfactorily treated the subject. On the whole,
we are compelled to acknowledge that the Author in his Gael of Alban, has
established his conclusions beyond a doubt. We are utterly unable to do
justice to a work which must have entailed much labour and research on the
Author. It is, however, gratifying, to see our southern neighbours, the
Athenceurn and Reader, taking such friendly notice of it. We now take leave
of the Gael of Alban, wishing its author that countenance which he is so
highly entitled to; and we beg to thank him for the additional light he has
thus cast on a dark period of our countrys history.
From the Edinburgh Courant.
The Author indignantly repudiates the idea that the Scottish
Highlandersthe true descendants of the ancient Caledoniansderive their
origin and their language from the insignificant colony of Irish Scots, who
came into Argyle-shire in the sixth century, where their
descendantsproperly the only Scots in Scotlandstill remain. The Author
gives us an historical sketch of Scottish history from the Roman invasion of
Caledonia, AD. 78, down to the middle of the 12th century; a dissertation on
the language of the Picts; some account of the poetry and national dress of
the Gael; and short notices of the Highland clans, including the origin of
their chieftains, badges, and war-cries, with the conclusions to which he
comes. There can be no doubt that he has displayed much ingenuity and
research in his attempt to establish them. The work contains several
beautiful ouline drawings of some of the finest scenery in the highlands,
and a map illustrative of the Authors theories with regard to the land of
Alban, or country of the Pictish Gael.
Prom the Bookseller.London.
The work contains a large amount of historical and antiquarian
EXTRACTS FROM COMMUNICATIONS.
From WM. F. SKENE, Esq., LL.D., Author of
History of the Highlanders, etc., etc.1 etc.
I read your work with very great pleasure. I think the historical
statements throughout are perfectly correct, and that you have discriminated
between the true and the false with skill and Judgement; I think your
criticisms are most just and conclusive.
From E. WILLIAM ROBERTSON, Esq., Author of
Scotland under her early Kings, etc., etc.
I have read your book, I can assure you, with much interest; in the view
you take of the Pictish question I entirely concur, and I should imagine it
would be an exceedingly difficult matter for your opponents to meet your
From the Rev. D. MINTYRE, of Kincardine,
Ross-shire, Author of an Essay on the Gaelic Language, etc., etc.
I am quite delighted with the accuracy of your Gaelic quotations, etc.,
throughout. I did not detect a single error in the whole of your book.
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