Name Details

Name: James McLagan
Dates: 1728-1805
Notes: McLagan served as chaplain to the 42nd Regiment of Foot (the Black Watch) from 1764. During his time with the regiment he served in America, Ireland and the Isle of Man. From the 1780s he was the minister for the parish of Blair Atholl and Strowan in Perthshire. These roles allowed McLagan to cultivate an international network of informants for Gaelic poetry and song.
John Leyden's Journal of a Tour in the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland in 1800 (published 1903), notes that McLagan claims to have been collecting Gaelic song while still at school and college. This would mean his collecting pre-dates the 1750s and the publication of James MacPherson's Ossianic works.
Chaplain, 42nd (Black Watch) Regiment, 1764-1781.
Minister, Church of Scotland, Chapel of Ease, Amulree, 1760-1764; Blair Atholl and Strowan, 1781-1805.
Born, Ballechin, Logierait, Perthshire, 1728.
Student, University of St Andrews, 1750-1751.
Married Catherine Stuart (1756- ), 1784.
[See: Derick S. Thomson, 'McLagan, James (1728-1805)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 7 Sept 2016]; Dictionary of Scottish Church history and theology (Edinburgh, 1993); John Kennedy, 'Some unpublished Gaelic ballads from the Maclagan MSS, no. 1', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, vol. 21 (1896-97), pp 214-229, including 'Memoir of Maclagan', pp 214-216; Hew Scott, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation (New ed., Edinburgh, 1915- ); D.S. Thomson, 'A catalogue and indexes of the Ossianic ballads in the McLagan MSS', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 8 (1955-1958), pp 177-224; D.S. Thomson, 'The McLagan MSS in Glasgow University Library: a Survey', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, vol.58 (1992-1994), pp 406-424.]
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