When I started work on the business plans for the pub I knew a logo and "strap line" were important. We needed something that would make people stop and think. After numerous attempts working with a designer in Glasgow (Kerr Vernon - he also designed the Ox & Finch logo) we got a rough out-line but there was something missing. We didn't have that "oomph" that I wanted.
As a child I had been taken to Rob Roy MacGregor country around Balquhidder. I had read the books and loved the folklore surrounding him and the clan. The first tune I'd actually written was "The Nameless Clan"
Here's a link to the tune recorded years back with none other than Dougie MacLean joining Ingrid Henderson, Laoise Kelly and
This was a romanticised name, (I'm sure invented by author Nigel Trantner) given to the clan after they were outlawed by King James VI
Under the Proscriptive Acts of Clan Gregor, which came into force on the 3rd of April 1603 the name MacGregor "altogidder abolished" and bearing the MacGregor name was punishable by death.
MacGregor women were branded and their children were given to other families. MacGregors couldn't travel in groups of more than two and couldn't cut meat with a blade. The men were executed, the women were stripped bare, branded, and whipped through the streets, and women and children were sold into slavery for Britain's new colonies in North America. MacGregors were denied food, water and shelter. They were denied the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, marriage, and last rites. They were hunted with dogs like vermin. And MacGregor heads could be sold to the government to attain pardon for thievery and murder. It was a licence to kill - and for big rewards: £1,000 for the clan's most important members.
So how does this fit into our wee pub logo?
Well we have one of Scotland's most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott, to thank for that.
The words for this song were written in 1816, by Sir Walter Scott, for "Albyn's Anthology". The song was adapted to a very old tune said to be used by the MacGregors when they were gathering for battle. The song alludes to the severe treatment the clan received, their lawlessness and the proscription of their name.
The moon's on the lake and the mist's on the brae
And the clan has a name that is nameless by day
Our signal for fight, which from monarchs we drew