A work on Gaelic music is in course of preparation, when that appears there will be another element of comparison. Meantime those who are curious in such matters may hear bagpipes in nearly all the European countries where Celts have been. I have heard the pipes in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, I believe they are in Albania, and I have heard tell of something of the kind in the Himalayan mountains. They are to be seen in old English prints, and old German pictures; and the other ancient Gaelic musical instrument, the harp, is to be found all over the world. Who first invented these is a question yet to be solved, but both are sufficiently old.
In 1627 a certain Alexander MacNaughton, of that ilk, was commissioned to raise a body of Highland bowmen, and on January 15, 1628, he wrote to the Earl of Morton, from Falmouth, where he had been driven
with his men by stress of weather. He says 1--
. . . . "(and withal) that your L. will haue clothis for them quhen it sall pleise god that they come to the Ile of Wicht, for your L, knowis althow they be men of personagis, they cannot muster befoir your L. with thair Trewis and blew cappis."
Whether this means that they wore trewis, or had none to wear, does not clearly appear, but the postscript seems to imply the latter. He says--
"My L. as for newis frome our selfis our bagg pypperis and Marlit Plaidis serwitt us to guid wise in the persuit of ane man of warr that hetlie followit us."
These men, therefore, wore tartans, and followed the pipes, and as they were bound to join the forces of King Charles I. they were a Highland regiment in embryo. It appears that the piper, Allester Caddell, was followed by a boy, and pipers still claim to be exempt from menial service. There was also "Harrie MGra, harper, fra Larg," and another piper; and as they were one hundred on the roll, they had a tolerable band of national music. At the end of the roll is the remark--
"To be disposed of be the Erle of Morton. They haue bene deir guests."
They were shipped at "Lochkilcherane," 11th of December, 1627, and it is surmised that they must have joined their countrymen and Gustavus Adolphus.