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Ancient Highland Bagpipes Display

  • City of Ottawa 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, ON, K2P 2H9 Canada (map)

Of special pride to SSO Chair, George Brown, is the display of a family heirloom, a set of Great Highland Bagpipes. This set of pipes is at minimum 200 years old and possibly, if you believe the family legend, 270+ years! Currently held at the prestigious Canadian College of Piping in Summerside, P.E.I., this artifact, in partnership with the City of Ottawa Archives, was carefully transported to Ottawa, and will be on display in the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery at Ottawa City Hall until April.

According to John Brown, a 7th generation piper, born in 1798 and originally from Argyllshire, Isle of Tiree, Scotland, these pipes are a relic of the battle of Culloden from 1746 April 16th. Per John Brown’s letter, a MacDonald piper played the tune “Health to MacDonalds’ return” on these pipes on the battlefield at Culloden. John Brown acquired them in 1816 from a friend of the MacDonald piper named James Brown of Williamstown, Glengarry County, Ontario. John Brown states that he often played the tune “Health to Macdonald’s return” both on land and water on these pipes.

John Brown also states that he played on these pipes at the laying of the cornerstone ceremony of the first Canadian Parliament buildings in 1860 during the dedication by the Prince of Wales.

The set of ancient bagpipes were part of a Bytown Museum first ever exhibition, then known as the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, back in 1899! They are currently back in Ottawa as part of our OttScot Festival celebrations!

We invite you to see this impressive display of Scottish heritage, part of the Postcards from Ottawa: Traveller Tales exhibit at the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, first floor, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Free admission.

SPONSOR: Government of Scotland - #ScotlandIsNow

In partnership with the City of Ottawa Archives.