The Clan Marjoribanks Society Gatherings
2017 Clan Meeting
The Scottish Government have declared 2017 another ‘Homecoming Year’ to
encourage family and friends to visit the Old Country. Visit Scotland’s
theme for the year is “Heritage, Archaeology and History” of which the
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will be a signature event.
Clan Chiefs have been invited to attend as principal guests, to march
into the performance at the head of their clansmen, to join the Salute
Taker for the salute by the Guard of Honour and to take a ceremonial
dram with the Pipe Major.
Two chiefs will be on duty each night and will be restricted to a
retinue of 50 clansmen each. Clansmen and friends wishing to attend the
Tattoo will have to buy their tickets. The organisers are reserving
150 tickets for each chief on duty so that apart from those wishing to
join in the parade onto the Castle Esplanade, others may attend on the
The clan tickets will be reserved until 1st March 2017 after which any
not taken up will be sold to the general public. The tickets are now on
sale and can be bought online.
Clans and families will be able to purchase up to eight tickets online
for their particular performance of the Tattoo subject to the
availability of tickets at the time of booking. The ticket
allocation will be made up of a number of different price bands located
around the arena and specially selected to enable easy access for those
in the retinue. Details of how to obtain tickets can be obtained
from the Clan Chief (click here for email).
Our performance is the second one on Saturday 12th August, at 10.30pm.
The other chief on duty for that performance is the chief of the
As of January 2017, 30 people had booked tickets so we have followers for
the parade onto the Castle Esplanade, after which they will take their
seats wherever they have booked them. The theme of the 2017 Tattoo is
‘A Splash of Tartan’; connecting Scotland’s national textile – in all
its pedigree and variety – with Scotland’s seafaring past, present and
future. In line with this theme Brigadier Allfrey who is the Chief
Executive of the Tattoo hopes that we all be wearing our clan tartan
for the parade.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 2017. For
those who have not yet seen it, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is
a spectacular event in a very special setting.
Andrew Marjoribanks of that Ilk,
Chief of the Clan Marjoribanks
The 2014 Clan Marjoribanks Society General Meeting was held on 28th June at the home of Patricia and Stuart Baillie Strong. Present were Andrew Marjoribanks of That Ilk and Fiona Marjoribanks, John, Andrea and Rachel Marjoribanks, Patricia, Stuart and Jonathan Baillie Strong, Iona Binns, Anne Humphreys, Katharine Cousland, Cynthia Allan, Katie and Glen Laishley, Kirsty, Graham, Molly and Poppy Galbraith, Faith, Mark, Anna and Flora Sinclair.
After coffee, tea and cakes, Molly, the Chief’s eldest granddaughter rang the Bathgate bell to start the proceedings. Andrew, the Chief, welcomed those present.
The Minutes of the last General Meeting in 2009 were unanimously approved.
Patricia, President, summarised what had been happening in the last five years. She acknowledged the enormous legacy left by the late clan genealogist, Roger Marjoribanks, whose role had been taken on by John Marjoribanks. She thanked all the committee for their time and commitment.
Report from the US
Patricia read out the Minutes of the last annual meeting of the US Clan Marjoribanks Society held in the Reedy River Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, in August 2013. About forty people had attended and all enjoyed themselves.
John, the UK treasurer, submitted the UK financial statement for the last five years. This showed the Clan had £800.5 in the Bank. John proposed lowering the annual subscription to £8 individual or £15 family membership. This was unanimously approved. John encouraged those present to pay their annual dues by cash, cheque or standing order. Katharine suggested that some of the cash reserves of the Clan should be used to defray a part of the costs for somebody representing the UK visiting the US Marjoribanks Society meeting. John also read out the most recent US financial report, which showed a positive balance of $891.47.
John, the Clan genealogist, reported that he had taken over voluminous genealogical records from Roger Marjoribanks. He is now Roger’s literary executor and had got Roger’s article on Sir John Marjoribanks of Lees published in the “Book of the Old Edinburgh Club.” John also arranged for permission for a memorial to Roger at the Marjoribanks Burial Aisle in Coldstream. He had produced a booklet of portraits of the eleven Marjoribanks chiefs from 1673 to the present day but three were missing: Andrew (9th Chief, from 1704 to 1711), Alexander (13th Chief, from 1830 to 1864) and Alexander (15th Chief, from 1868 to 1923). John asked if anyone had pictures that he could use. He also upgraded the Booklet “A Visitor’s Guide to Places of Family Interest in Scotland.” Both booklets were made available at the meeting.
Stuart said that 23 people were part of the Marjoribanks DNA Project on Family Tree DNA run by James Green III. Andrew confirmed that this project proved that the Marjoribanks of Lees and the senior branch stem from the same ancestor back in the 16th century. Stuart believed that the autosomal DNA test could be valuable for family tree genealogy, particularly for females.
John had asked a heraldic artist, Anthony Maxwell to redraw, based on the original specifications, the Marjoribanks badge, which can be used by any clan member. John suggested the Clan could get clan badges made and sell them at cost afterwards. Fiona mentioned that she was impressed by some of the large clan badges that some wives of Chiefs wear.
Stuart and Jonathan had changed the software used to maintain the Marjoribanks website to WordPress which is much easier to use. Stuart would be glad to update the website with any items that members thought useful. Katie said she would try to open up the Marjoribanks Facebook to make it easier for people to contribute to it. She would also add a link to access the Clan website. John felt that Facebook and other social electronic sites on the web could encourage younger people to engage with the clan. There is also a Marchbank Facebook page run by Amanda Long in the US. Faith said that she had a little Marchbank student in her class
Anne and Iona suggested that an article about the Gaelic Bard, their grandfather George Marjoribanks, be included in the next newsletter. He had led a very colourful life.
Some web pages on the Internet include the myth of the origin of the Marjoribanks name. This has been disproved. John proposed this should be rectified by Jonathan, webmaster. Anne thought it was rather a shame to do this and Cynthia suggested that it could be regarded as a funny story.
Lord Tweedmouth/Friends of Guisachan
Stuart described how the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland plans to hold a 150th anniversary of the founding of the golden retriever by Lord Tweedmouth (Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks). A group called The Friends of Guisachan had raised money for a statue of a golden retriever adjacent to the memorial to Lord and Lady Tweedmouth at Guisachan and asked if clan members would contribute. The Chief, Andrew had agreed to attend the dedication on 10th August, 2014 at Guisachan and make a short speech.
Election of office bearers. The following office bearers were then unanimously elected:
President Patricia Baillie Strong
Secretary Caroline Morris
Genealogist, UK Treasurer, Membership Secretary John Marjoribanks
US Treasurer Carol Leake
US Newsletter Editor Lynda Flowe
Newsletter Editor Stuart Baillie Strong
Webmaster Jonathan Baillie Strong
Social Media Secretary Katie Laishley
John suggested that the existing committee be expanded. He encouraged younger members to join as it was run exclusively by the older generation. He requested help to update the membership list. John would coordinate with Fiona and Stuart to reorganise membership lists and write to people inviting them to join. Katie would assist in the committee electronically.
It was unanimously agreed that the next meeting should be in the late summer of 2016 in the UK since five years was thought too long between meetings. Hopefully, this should tie in with some important event attracting members from abroad and around the country. Different possibilities were discussed. Anne suggested holding a family barbecue in a different part of the country.
John would like there to be more committee meetings in preparation for the next gathering. Hopefully, we could hold more joint gatherings with the US branch of the Clan Marjoribanks Society.
Patricia closed the meeting at 6.30 p.m. and the meeting finished with refreshments. Members went on to an excellent dinner at an Edinburgh restaurant nearby.
Some Photographs of the 2014 gathering:
The previous Clan Marjoribanks gathering was held on July 25th, 2009 at the home of Patricia Baillie Strong in Regent Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland. This date coincided with The Scottish Gathering celebrations in Edinburgh that weekend. Twenty people attended the Meeting and eighteen marched in the Parade up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace to the Castle in the evening.
The Chief Andrew Marjoribanks welcomed all those present and started the Meeting at 11.0 a.m. by ringing the Balbardie bell. He mentioned how Robert Marjoribanks in Canada and his wife Nancy had more or less run the Clan Marjoribanks Society single-handedly for many years until retiring in 2005 due to ill health. Bob’s departure had meant a big loss for the Clan and caused the first major upheaval since the founding of the Society in 1987.
The outgoing President Katharine Cousland, said that the original manufacturer of the Marjoribanks tartan (Dalgleish Mills) has now gone out of business but John Marjoribanks said that any Scottish weaver will make up the tartan as it is registered in the official list of Scottish tartans. Zazzle is an American company on the web that will supply Marjoribanks brooches.
The outgoing secretary, Patricia Baillie Strong, said she had saved the membership list digitally on the web (Google documents) so that it can be accessed by all the committee wherever they are. 450 people had been invited to the Gathering and the Marjoribanks General Meeting in Edinburgh.
The following were proposed, seconded and elected as Office Bearers of the Clan Marjoribanks Society.
President: Patricia Baillie Strong
Secretary: Caroline Morris
US Treasurer: Carol Leake
Genealogist and UK Treasurer: Roger Marjoribanks
US Newsletter Editor: Amanda Long
UK Newsletter Editor: John Marjoribanks
Publisher: Stuart Baillie Strong
After the Meeting, the Committee decided to appoint Jonathan Baillie Strong as Webmaster to develop the Clan Marjoribanks Society web page and to encourage younger people to join the Society, for example, by using webpages like Twitter and Facebook. Bill Jackson and James Green III were the leaders of the Marjoribanks DNA genealogy project.
John Marjoribanks proposed several changes to the previous Constitution adopted on 9th June 1990. Several amendments were considered and agreed. The key ones were:
- that, on the basis of advice from the Lord Lyon, the name be changed from “The Marjoribanks Family” to the “Clan Marjoribanks Society”;
- that, in order to leave greater discretion in the hands of the Editors, the requirement that “The Marjoribanks Letter” should be produced “at least once a year” should be an aspiration rather than an imperative;
- that there should be a Treasurer (USA) and a Treasurer (UK) to reduce difficulties with money transfers;
- that there should be an Editor (USA), an Editor (UK) and a Publisher for “The Marjoribanks Letter”: the two editors would solicit and edit contributions and the publisher would put the newsletter together and handle distribution;
- that, rather than being bound to hold a General Meeting every year, the frequency of meetings should be left to the Council to determine: it was clearly the will of the meeting that all meetings of Marjoribanks Kin should be within the framework of the Society, although not necessarily all would be constituted a General Meeting of the Society.
The new President, Patricia Baillie Strong thanked the outgoing President, Katharine Cousland for her hard work and dedication.
Some Photographs of the 2009 gathering: