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Jacobite Colloquium looks for action with Outlander Trail as a challenge!

Storytelling Centre ideal venue ..

It was it transpired a unique occasion that Mike Taylor had convened for the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Trust. Just shy of 50 came along to talk and discuss whether or not a Jacobite Trail across Scotland and beyond should be and could be created .. and if so how?

The numbers splendidly included representatives from all the major stewards of Jacobite locations and artefacts - NMS, NGS, NTS, HES, 1745 Association but also the battlefields of Falkirk, Killiekrankie and Culloden; the Clans that fought such as Stewarts, Camerons, Donnachaidh and Macphersons; museums for Black Watch and at Strathnaver and West Highlands; Castles at Eilean, Fingask, Dunollie, Menzies, Blair, Braemar and Armadale; private house owners with strongest connections such as Traquair, Abbotsford and Paxton; and The Lonely Inn Amulree and University of Stirling . the energy and shared purpose they brought to the Colloquium was truly quite remarkable.

Consensus was readily arrived at that something should be done but the what and how in the immediate and then the longer term became the matters for discussion.

Jenni Steele from Film & Creative Industries Group at VisitScotland was on hand to describe the evolution with Sony's support of the Outlander Trail to the locations where filming took place. And there are at least two more series yet to be screened!

Convenor Mike Taylor had collated a series of examples of existing 'local' Jacobite Trails to share and Thierry Guiheneuf described details of the emerging Jacobite locations/ trail being developed in Brittany. He highlighted how Irish Jacobites led from Nantes by the exiled Walsh family had provided a taxi service for James VII in 1689/90 and Prince Charles in 1745/46 - for which the Jacobites conferred both an Earldom and Knighthood. They were finally recognised in Brittany as Comtes de Serrant and the family heirlooms still include a portrait from the Prince's landing in 1745 shown below.

Sheer magnitude of the Jacobite legacy in assets and locations can look daunting .

but it was clear to see that modest steps can readily be taken to share details and cross market events.

What did emerge was that there were already some strong transient locations of 'exhibition hyperactivity' as in Perth this summer 2019 for the 300th Anniversary of Killiekrankie but others are more permanent. The most obvious but not only are of course 1745 battle sites in Scotland and The Jacobite Trail in Aberdeen. Could it be that an early but never exclusive Jacobite alliance might be formed between some 6 or more such groups to proceed in mutual support of one another?

Criteria for joining together once such an initiative is rolling

The Colloquium had always been designed to be inclusive so it was perhaps unsurprising that so long as the location or asset in question was authenticated howsoever and accessible one way or another to the public it was proposed that it should be embraced.

One Trail or Many Trails or Design Your Own Trail?

There seemed to be consensus that just one universal trail was unlikely unless it was a time trail from 1686 when conspiracies to overthrow James VII and II began in England to the death of Cardinal Henry IX in 1807.

More likely perhaps was a series of well understood trails such as Aberdeen has prototyped and Brittany was seen to be developing plus the opportunity online for individuals to select just wherever they might care to visit once the locations and accessible assets were publicised - as the Outlander Trail currently makes possible.

Mike Taylor, much to be congratulated and thanked as Convenor, has the mandated task in the coming weeks to act as Rapporteur and More . so for the moment we await his guidance .

Published Date: November 7th 2019

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