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The Clan System
A paper read by Mr Murdoch at the Gaelic Society of Inverness in 1871


It is no uncommon thing to hear and read the Highlanders spoken of us if, in recent times, they had been delivered from the feudal system the idea being conveyed that the feudal system was that of the clans. I need hardly tell a company of intelligent Highlanders that this is it mistake; and it is only for the sake of argument that it is necessary for me to say that the feudal system could only be set up on the ruins of the clan system.

It is rather curious that the above blunder is most frequently committed at the very time that the blunderers are trying to make us believe that they are instructing its in politics; and yet, that the simple truth comes out very frequently when the blunderers put forth no such pretensions. How often do we hear, for instance, of a feud between enemies; but of persons who stick closely together and help one another being clannish. Here you see the distinction, and even the difference, between the two systems lingering in common speech, after so-called philosophers and designing politicians, had done their utmost to establish a fiction in the public mind. "There was a great feud between such and such