Highland Society of London

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The Highland Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales, with "the view of establishing and supporting schools in the Highlands and in the Northern parts of Great Britain, for relieving distressed Highlanders at a distance from their native homes, for preserving the antiquities and rescuing from oblivion the valuable remains of Celtic literature, and for promoting the improvement and general welfare of the Northern parts of Great Britain".[1]

History[edit]

The Society was founded in 1778 by Highland gentlemen resident in London and was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 21 May 1816.

Within a year of its foundation, its members had come to include a number of notable Scots:[2]


The Presidents over the first 25 years of the Society’s existence were:[2]


Activities[edit]

In 1782, the Society was instrumental in securing the repeal of the statutory proscription of tartans introduced after the Jacobite rising of 1745. It has a famous and definitive collection of clan tartans, established in the early 19th century. In its early days it was active in the investigations into the authenticity of the poems supposedly by Ossian, which it had also helped to publish.

The Society supports and awards annual prizes for piping (including Gold Medals at the Northern Meeting and Argyllshire Gathering). Its early records are deposited in the National Library of Scotland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Open Charities web site, accessed on 16 November 2013
  2. ^ a b Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster Bt., An Account of the Highland Society of London (London, 1813), Appendix II