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Regalia - Scottish, Dugald McPherson, pre 1840 Object Reg. No: ST 025294

Scottish regalia kit in a velvet-lined wooden trunk, brought to Australia by Dugald McPherson (1820-1901), who arrived in Victoria in 1840 aged 20 with his brother Peter, bringing with him a trunk of Scottish regalia. The trunk contained at the time of donation to Museum Victoria:

McPherson hunting tartan (kilt)
Glengarry (highland cap)
Glengarry (highland cap)
Dirk & sheath, bearing McPherson crest (cat), cairngorm stone in hilt
Dirk & sheath with knife & fork in sheath, cairngorm stone in hilt
Sgian dhu (ceremonial dagger) & sheath with crest
Broadsword with leather grip & ironwork knuckleguard with crest, in scabbard (chape missing)
Shoulder brooch with thistle design & large cairngorm in centre
Belt with buckle
Belt with buckle
Shoe buckle
Shoe buckle
Buckle with full crest with cat & slogan 'touch not the cat but the glove'.

The kit may have originally contained other objects, since many of the compartments in the trunk do not fit the objects acquired by the Museum.

Dugald McPherson was a pioneer squatter who first settled at Ballan, north-west of Melbourne, and subsequently developed huge landholdings in north-western Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. A stalwart of the Scottish immigrant community, Dugald was chief of the Highland Society of Ballarat and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. With other wealthy pastoralists, he later helped form the Australian Club in William Street.

Dugald's mother had been a McKellar, with later family connections to the Western District. Dugald's second son Arthur married Annie Fawkner, a daughter of John Fawkner. In 1861, William Wills, father of William John Wills of Burke & Wills fame, stayed briefly with Dugald during the agonizing wait for his missing son.

The regalia was passed onto Dugald's youngest son John (aka Jack). It was subsequently passed to Dugald's great-great-granddaughter, Hope Macpherson, a long-time employee of Museum Victoria. Hope says that the family remembered Dugald as very interested in his Scottish heritage and 'land-hungry'. A revolver also apparently used by Dugald is also held in Museum Victoria's collection.
Large rectangular wooden trunk with hinged lid, and lined with velvet. Contains a shelf divided into compartments for specific parts of the kit, including a sword, knives and belts. The shelf lifts out to reveal an undivided storage area, probably used to store the kilt and sash. The trunk has a lock at the centre front, a swinging brass catch at each corner at the front, dovetail joints and three brass hinges.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Miss Hope Macpherson - National Museum of Victoria, 1962
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 19.5 cm (Height), 42 cm (Width), 109 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Trunk measurements 57.5cm high when open.

More information

Tagged with: immigration, militaria scottish, scottish communities, scottish cultural activities, scottish immigration, kilts, tartan
Themes this item is part of: Dugald Macpherson (1820-1901), Arms Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Getting In, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2003-2015, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: regional costume
Place & Date Made: Scotland, Great Britain, pre 1839

Latest date based on the fact that the user left Scotland with the regalia in 1839, arriving in Victoria in January 1840.
User: Dugald McPherson, Ballan, Victoria, Australia, 1840-1901

Dates of use based on date of user's immigration to Australia and date of death.


Helen Macpherson-Millar Posted on 08 Oct 2011 11:26 PM
Delighted to come across this site - I was missing my father (Dugald Macpherson,deceased 2007, this Dugald's grandson) and "googled" him, to see if I could somehow find a connection - and came across not only my father, but my granfather (Edward)and his father , Dugald! These were dinnertable names for me growing up - a wonderful gift to find that they all still live on in many memories and history. Many thanks for the unexpected gift, kind regards, Helen Macperson-Millar
MaryAnne Macpherson-Caldeira Posted on 09 Oct 2011 11:57 AM
Helen, my sister sent this link to me - thank you! And a big thank you to Hope for keeping these treasured memories alive for me and my children to enjoy. I also have original certificates and awards belonging to Dugald McPherson dating back to 1871. Would the Museum be interested in safe keeping them?
Many thanks, MaryAnne
Ray Brown Posted on 19 Jun 2012 1:18 PM
Dugald Macpherson donated the centre light stained glass window of St. Paul's Church in Ballan in 1866.
The text at the bottom of each lancet has the names of each of the donors:
“Ye gift of Mrs John Dole AD 1866?-“Ye gift of Mrs Dugald Macpherson AD 1866?-“Ye gift of Mrs Peter Ingles AD 1866?.
Full details and photographs of the three light stained glass window can be seen at:

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