|The following 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 foster-mother to the
publication of Mr Kemp of "Bishop Pococke’s Tours in Scotland," to this
association pertains the honour of a Scottish History Society, whose first
issue upon formation was an unabridged edition of the said bishop’s tours.