Record

CodeNA8951
Dates1878-
Person NameHighland Society of London; 1878-
ActivityThe Highland Society of London was formed in the Spring Garden Coffee House, London, in 1778 by five Scottish men. The first secretary was John Mackenzie of Lentran (d 1803) who was awarded with a special medal for his efforts in 1791. Sister Highland societies were formed including Glasgow, 1725, Edinburgh, 1793, Madras, 1814, Canada, 1818, Bombay, 1822, Nova Scotia, 1838, Melbourne, 1864, many of which coincided with military bases staffed by Highland officers. In addition to holding meetings, dinners, speeches and Highland Balls, the society held Highland bag pipe competitions, gaelic poetry competitions, contributed to gaelic and other publications, collected tartans, provided charitable bursaries to help young Highlanders to complete their education and made various grants and donations. In 1908 Baroness von Wilczek and Guttenland, an Austrian of Highland birth, died. She left a large bequest for the benefit of widows and orphans of soldiers of the Highland regiments, to be administered by the Highland Society of London. Throughout its existence the society has voiced concerns about highland regiments and instigated the formation of the Highland Armed Association or Royal Highland Volunteers. In 1803 the corps was renamed the Loyal North Britons. In 1815 the society jointly founded the Royal Caledonian Asylum with the Scottish Corporation. In the 1820's the asylum was moved from its original site in Cross Street, Hatton Garden, to larger premised in Islington. It was also renamed the Royal Caledonian Schools. A Gaelic chapel had also been opened in Cross Street and in 1827 moved to larger premises which later became the Regent Square National Scottish Church until the Disruption in 1843. From 1920 ladies were admitted to dinner but not to membership of the society. The Highland Society of London was active in 1982.
Corporate NameHighland Society of London
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