Jacobite celebration plan for Peterhead

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Peterhead ‘s 1715 Jacobite Tricentenary is set to be celebrated with a series of events in 2015.

A meeting has been arranged for next week in a bid to gauge interest for the celebration, which marks the 300th anniversary of the Proclamation of September 23, 1715, at the Market Cross, Broad Street, and the arrival of King James VIII (III) by boat from France at Port Henry Pier on December 22, 1715.

The idea is the brainchild of former Peterhead Academy music teacher, Stephen Calder, who first suggested some form of recognition of the event on the Postive Peterhead Facebook page.

Now, with support behind him, a public meeting has been called for Wednesday, June 12, in the town’s Arbuthnot House on Broad Street, at 7pm.

Activities being suggested for the commemorative event, include street theatre, a pagent, school projects and competitions.

Buchan councillor, Anne Allan, who is supporting the project, told the Buchanie: “The first meeting hopes to gauge interest in the event and to see if anyone is willing to help organise or participate.

“We will need people with enthusiasm to make this a positive and successful event which will involve a large number of people including (hopefully) children’s groups, theatre groups, actors, singers, people experienced in drama, local history and costumes etc.

“Hopefully we can get plenty of backing for the event and eventually it may become an annual fixture in the Blue Toon calendar,” she said.

On September 9, 1715, the Standard for the King was raised at Braemar. Eleven days later, King James was proclaimed King at Aberdeen Mercat Cross.

On September 23, King James was proclaimed King at Peterhead Mercat Cross by Baron Baillie Thomas Arbuthnot at the site of the present Reform Monument.

On October 5, the Baillies and town councillors of Peterhead assembled in the Tolbooth to organise the defence of the town. On November 13, the Earl Marischal George Keith and his brother James took part in the Battle of Sherrifmuir.

On December 22, King James arrived late at night by boat at Port Henry Pier and stayed the night at Captain Park’s house on the Longate.

The next day King James rode along the Longate, past Buchanhaven to Inverugie Castle to visit the widowed Lady Keith thence to Newburgh.