Tag: Queen Victoria

Stuart Letford reviews ‘I Piped That She Might Dance’

Stuart Letford reviews ‘I Piped That She Might Dance’

I’ve long thought that Angus MacKay’s life would make for a great film. It has it all: sex, drugs (well, alcohol), rock n’ roll and a young death. Angus went from a childhood of poverty to an adolescence spent frequenting palaces and hobnobbing with the great and good of his […]

Piping in London – Part 4

Piping in London – Part 4

By Jeannie Campbell MBE In early 1851 members of the Highland Society of London met in the Freemasons’ Tavern in Great Queen Street to discuss the annual Scottish Fête at Holland Park. The previous gatherings had lost money and there were calls to reform the Society. A committee was nominated […]

Piping in London – Part 2

Piping in London – Part 2

By Jeannie Campbell MBE The Caledonian Society of London was instituted in 1839 and had its first formal session in 1839-1840 although some activities had started as early as 1837. The impetus seems to have been a desire by professional Scots, particularly those from the Lowlands, to create an alternative […]

Novel gives a new voice to Angus MacKay

Novel gives a new voice to Angus MacKay

One of the most eagerly awaited piping books in many years will be published this spring. I Piped, That She Might Dance is a novel based on the life of Angus MacKay, the man who became the most famous piper of his own lifetime and whose legacy continues to this […]

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

Angus MacKay on trousers, life and God

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #68, 2014. Angus MacKay. He’ll be known, at least by name, to many of you. Born on September 10, 1813 — under the astrological sign of Virgo — on Raasay, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland, he was to become one […]

Angus MacKay.

What happened to Angus MacKay’s family?

More information has come to light on the life of Angus MacKay and of his family. Angus was the musical genius who became the first piper to hold the post of Sovereign’s Piper. He took a mostly oral tradition and put in on the stave and his music collections became […]

Corgarff Castle.

My father the bagpiper – part 2

Continuing the story of James MacHardy, second piper to Queen Victoria from 1878 until 1881. It was the duty of the pipers to play on the terrace each morning and at dinner each evening. On the occasion of, I think, the Duke of Connaught’s wedding for some reason [Pipe Major […]

James McHardy.

My father the bagpiper – part 1

Pipe Major McHardy (1863-1938), a native of Aberdeenshire, was a boy piper to Queen Victoria at Balmoral and at other royal residences. From 1878 to 1881 he was assistant to the Queen’s piper, PM William Ross, 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch) who was in that role from 1854-1891. McHardy was one […]

The history and art of Angus MacKay, part 2

The history and art of Angus MacKay, part 2

By Archibald Campbell of Kilberry There can be no one alive now who ever heard Angus MacKay play, and few who have heard his playing described at first hand. Sandy Cameron remembered him playing piobaireachd at Maryburgh in his father’s house but he must have been quite a young child […]