The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Mrs. MacLeod Of Talisker's Salute


The Talisker family were a cadet branch of MacLeod of Harris and Dunvegan, originating with Ruaridh, a son of Sir Ruaridh Mor MacLeod. When Ruraidh Mor decided to give each of his many sons an estate, he rudely and cruelly cleared the families, scions of earlier Chieftains.


The Talisker family played an important role in Clan MacLeod history and, furthermore, recorded much of the oral history of the time in the Talisker Manuscript. After the Restoration of Charles II, Ruaridh, 1st of Talisker, was knighted by the King for his unstinting support for the Royalist cause during Cromwell's rebellion.


This melodic tune “Mrs. MacLeod Of Talisker's Salute” is said to have originated in the late 1700's One link could be to the wife of Colonel John MacLeod, grandson of Sir Ruaridh of Talisker. He was known throughout the Highlands as a generous host who provided a good table in his well-appointed home for humbler neighbours as well as for associates and noble guests. He had married a gracious lady who matched the Colonel in welcoming guests. Colonel MacLeod died in 1800.


On the other hand, it is more likely that it was the wife of Colonel John MacLeod's son Magnus, 4th of Talisker, who was honoured with a piobaireachd. She was Margaret Isabella, a MacDonald of Clanranald. This likelihood is strengthened by the origin of the tune's theme. The composer, Colin Roy MacCrimmon, took motifs from Clanranald tunes and wove them into his musical tribute.


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