I would like to thank Charles Bumett, the Ross Herald for the invitation to make this submission to the derbhfine to day.
I am more than delighted to have the opportunity to present my views to the derbhfine and to all MacAulays present on this most special and unique occasion.
My name Is lain Davidson McAulay and I was born In Helensburgh on 9th January 1943, I represent McAulays within my family scattered from Vancouver Island In Canada, London, Stockport, Llandudno and Chester. I am also Heritage of the Honorable Clan MacAulay Association. Having engaged a number of genealogists to investigate my own family's history I am advised that my family would be entitled to claim a coat of arms in my own right which would show my family lineage and Indeed that I have a passionate interest in ail things MacAulay. Which I have, or I would not be standing here to day! I continue to enjoy researching the Clan history and my family history in the area of Helensburgh Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven with the assistance of two expert genealogists. I have been able to trace my family back some 220 years but there is as always more to be done. I was born close to Ardencaple Castle our ancient home, and I lived for many years beside the Castle. Our family watched with horror the demolition of a large proportion of the castle and the construction of the estate for the Royal Navy families. I would like to make the following points: - Firstly I would like to make it very dear I am not here to lay claim in any shape or form to the Chieftainship of the Clan. I have no direct traceable bloodline to our ancestors and therefore can lay no claim to the Chieftainship of the Honourable Clan MacAulay. My second point is that I would also like to make it absolutely crystal dear that I have no intention whatsoever to disrupt the formation of the Clan. What is of paramount Importance is the continuation of the building of the Clan. However I do not believe that the formation of the Clan will in any way be jeopardized if we do not have a Clan Chief. The very tact that the Honorably Clan MacAulay has a strong membership both here and throughout the world and has been able to attract such a membership within the existing structure of the Clan being led by the post of Commander, very clearly demonstrates this fact. Point Three. I would also like to bring to the derbhine's attention the original Petition for the appointment of the Commander of the Clan MacAulay ad interim dated 17 May 1997,1 quote paragraph 7: - " That in these circumstances the Petitioner is desirous of being appointed by Your Lordship to be Ceann-cath or Commander of the Honourable Clan MacAulay ad interim for a period of five years and for such further period or periods as Your Lordship might thereafter authorise in writing, in order to organise the Clan to search for the heir of the last Chief and to establish a derbhfine which might meet in due course to recommend to Your Lordship a suitable person to be appointed Ceann-cath or Commander of the Honourably Clan MacAulay in the event that the heir of the last Chief cannot be discovered. The Lord Lyon requested me to consider withdrawing an objection I had to the Petition. And I did indeed withdraw the objection on the grounds that the Commander would as requested, and I quote: - 'for a period of 5 years with a specific purpose of organising the Clan to search for the heir of their last Chief, and if such cannot be found then (and only then) to seek to establish a derbhfine with a view to selecting a person to be submitted to Lyon as Commander of the Clan on a more permanent basis. Note to be submitted to the Lyon as Commander of the Clan on a more permanent basis. This paragraph is from the Lyons letter to me of 21st May 1997. It was thus very dear that Lord Lyon considered that continuation of the role of Commander was the way forward and thus ft was on this understanding that I wrote to the Commander with a copy to Lord Lyon on 12th June 1997 and agreed to withdraw my objection. Indeed at this point in time no such heir as come forward - or at least if a person has come forward I am not aware of the application. Thus, my first argument is that the Commander should continue as Commander of then Clan and continue the search for a MacAulay with a bloodline. This very task was is, in fact, what was requested by the Commander himself on 17th May 1997 in his original Petition to the Court of the Lord Lyon. However the world has moved on since 1997 Point Four- As the derbhfine is no doubt aware a Proposed Petition to the Lord Lyon was circulated to Association Members seeking signatures for support for Squadron Leader lain McMillan MacAulay to be appointed as Chiefly Candidate. This Proposed Petition provided no alternative; there was no provision for potential dissenters. The option was only to sign. No provision was made for those who wanted to simply say no, as my family and many others did. Regardless of how many signatures are received no account is taken of dissenters of whom I believe there may well be a silent majority who simply will not vote for the appointment of a Clan Chief Candidate. I presume that copies of this signed Proposed Petition will be presented to this derbhfine later in the proceedings this afternoon, however those who have not signed will not be recorded & indeed those who have will not be aware of the absence of a bloodline. I requested on the 25th Feb 2001 to the Clan Organiser that an option be circulated to members to provide an alternative Petition to Association Clan Members. This alternative was to provide for those who agree that the appointment of Clan Commander should continue (as outlined in the initial Petition to the Lyon of May 1997) and a Clan Chiefly Candidate who of course has no direct lineage or bloodline whatsoever to the ancient and Honourably Clan MacAulay has no rightful place. This proposal was considered at the Clan's Association Committee meeting on 10th March 2001, The Committee rejected this proposed Petition and I have accepted the decision of the Association Committee of which I am a member. I think however that the Court should be aware of this Petition. Clearly such a structure is heavily biased. My final point is to do with MacAulay's who are not here this afternoon. My Mother reached her 80th birthday earlier this year. We gathered the Clan for a celebration bringing family from alt parts of the UK & Canada. During the course of the event I circulated copies of the excellent work undertaken by the Edinburgh genealogist Alison Mowat which had established the family history back some 220 years. I explained that we could not lay claim to the undifferenced arms and that I, personally had agreed with the then Lord Lyon Sir Malcolm Innes that after January 2001 I would have concluded my researches. However what I was unaware of, and neither were my family, until we read the letter from Alison Mowat - which informed us of the fact that John McMillan MacAulay 's Coat of Arms quote "does not go very far back and certainly not to any Chiefly line". The younger family members asked why a Clan Chief should be considered for appointment if he had no Chiefly line? Especially now that the exponential growth of the World Wide Web, the dramatic rise in information available would surely greatly increase the chances of such a person coming forward? Surely they said quite the wrong time to appoint a Chief? This comment made me feel, rightly or wrongly, you are to the judge, that many MacAulays, indeed the likelihood of a silent majority - certainly not represented here - would shudder at the proposal that a Chiefly candidate of our Honourable Clan should be appointed who has no chiefly line! More relevant is the fact that this lineage has not as far as < know been disclosed in documentation to kinsfolk or in the Proposed Petitions discussed earlier, seeking support for the appointment of the Commander to the Office of Chiefly Candidate. This ad hoc derbhfine is a process of selection and not one of election. The selection of the Clan Commander will no doubt go forward to the Lord Lyon unopposed. Thus you may consider my words to-day to be pointless, however I believe I speak for the many MacAulays who share my concern that we are taking an erroneous step in appointing a Clan Chiefly candidate who has no blood line. I put forward to this derbhfine that the Commander should be re-appointed & that a Clan Chief candidate decision should be set aside. Thank you for listening.