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Book now for events during Clan Currie weekend celebrating Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich

Final bookings are now being taken for an important symposium on the history and literary heritage of the MacMhuirichs, Scotland’s longest-lived Bardic dynasty. The symposium, on Saturday 23 July 2011, will be led by Professor Hugh Cheape and is part of a weekend of celebrations dedicated to one of Scotland’s greatest bards, Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich (1370 – 1438). The MacMhuirichs, a name later anglicized to ‘Currie’, served for over 700 years as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles, and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald.

The MacMhuirich symposium, being held in the Royal Scots Club, will bring a new perspective to the role of the MacMhuirichs in Scottish literary history. Featured speakers include Dr John Purser of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Dr Donald William Stewart of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and University of Edinburgh, Dr Wilson McLeod, of the Celtic and Scottish Studies department of the University of Edinburgh, Dr David Caldwell, National Museums Scotland, and Robert Currie, FSA Scot and President of the Clan Currie Society.

Symposium delegates will also have the opportunity to win a deluxe presentation bottle of Limited Edition Somerled Islay Premium Single Malt Scotch Whisky, generously donated by Captain WG MacDonald Scotch Whisky, during the event.

Professor Hugh Cheape said: “This is an appropriate place and time to mark the achievements of one of the greatest of Scotland’s medieval poets. We know that such a distinguished gathering of speakers will do honour to Lachlan Mòr and the MacMhuirichs as a famous dynasty at the symposium in July.”

The weekend events begin with the installation of a commemorative stone being unveiled in the Makars’ Court of the Scottish Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh, on Friday 22 July at 11am, to which everyone is warmly invited. The stone, sponsored by the Clan Currie Society, is dedicated to one of clan’s most celebrated Bards, Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich.

A celebration dinner and evening of traditional music will follow the installation of the Makar’s Stone on Friday 22 July in the Royal Scots Club (tickets must be reserved in advance: £25). A superb line-up of artists will be led by Hazen Metro of the popular Scots band, Ord Bần.

Clan Currie Society President Robert Currie said: “Everyone is invited to join the celebration dinner at The Royal Scots Club on Friday evening. The ticket price covers the cost of a delicious meal followed by live music from top-notch musicians in a fabulous setting! It will allow everyone to strike new ideas and connections as we plan towards the next event!” Advance reservations may be made by contacting the Society at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The unveiling of the Makar’s Stone for Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich will take place on the eve of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Harlow. It is said that Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich’s Harlaw Brosnachadh, or ‘Incitement to Battle’, was delivered by him on the eve of the Battle of Red Harlaw on 24 July 1411 to inspire the army of the Lord of the Isles to victory in the following day’s battle. The first lines of MacMhuirich’s war poem, The Harlaw Brosnachadh, have been etched on the stone.

To mark the occasion, Simon Chadwick, a clarsach player specialising in the medieval Gaelic harp music of Scotland and Ireland, will play a number of medieval ceremonial harp tunes, including “The Battle of Harlaw”. RSAMD graduate, Hazen Metro, will play the bagpipes to open the ceremony.

Robert Currie, President of the Clan Currie Society in New York, commented: “It is going to be a great weekend for everyone interested in Scotland’s Gaelic heritage. It begins with an open invitation for everyone to attend the unveiling of the Makar’s Stone on Friday 22 July. The Friday evening will be an opportunity for everyone to enjoy dinner followed by a programme of live music from first-class traditional musicians.”

“On Saturday, the symposium offers an opportunity to hear a superbly distinguished group of Scottish historians celebrating Lachlan Mòr MacMhuirich, an occasion which is at the same time humbling and thrilling. Shedding new light on the seldom heard story of the literary heritage of our country, I look forward to learning from all of them. It’s a date not to be missed for anyone interested in the medieval history and literature of Scotland and, in particular, the Lords of the Isles.”

“Finally on Sunday we invite everyone to join us on a cruise to Inchcolm Abbey, the 12th Century Abbey and Monastery situated on Inchcolm Island in the Firth of Forth. We’ll sail with the Maid of the Forth departing from Hawes Pier in South Queensferry at 10:30 AM - box lunches are available for purchase through the Royal Scots Club and advance reservations and ferry and admissions fees are required”.

A warm invitation is extended to all events over the weekend of 22 to 24 July, including the unveiling of the Makar’s Stone, the celebratory dinner and traditional music evening on Friday evening and the cruise to Incholm Abbey (on Incholm Island, Firth of Forth) on Sunday. For further details and information on how to register for each event visit http://www.clancurriegathering.com .