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Lament For The Departure Of King James II

Lament for the Departure of King James II, often referred to as Suibhal Sheumais (the departed James). James, II of Britain and VII of Scotland, was forced into exile in 1688. James was the last of the Stuart Kings (the spelling is thought to have changed from Stewart to Stuart when Mary Queen of Scots came home from France). William of Orange and his wife Mary reigned in his place.

 

The composer of this piobaireachd is unknown.

 

An alternate title The Duke of Sutherland's Lament, was supposedly given to this tune in the lost original Gesto Manuscript of 1828. That attribution is an error. The Dukedom was not created by Queen Victoria until 1843, and, therefore, this Lament could not have been in Gesto's missing 1828 manuscript under that title.

 

In any case, a piobaireachd in the Duke's honour would be surprising, considering the cruelty of the clearances the Duke and his Duchess had their Factors undertake. Like all too many Highland landlords in the 1800's, they well deserved the appellation ruthless and avaricious bestowed by British Home Secretary Sir William Harcourt. They were totally unworthy of a piobaireachd.

 

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