Royal Celtic Society ArmsThe Royal Celtic Society

For nearly 200 years, the Royal Celtic Society has been at the cutting edge of activity to support the language, literature, music and culture of the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. The Society holds regular events for members, awards medals for excellence in music and literature and sponsors a wide range of organisations dedicated to the traditions, language and arts of the Highlands and Islands.

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The second in the Royal Celtic Society's new series of lunchtime lectures in Edinburgh will take place on Friday 16th March at 1.00 pm in New Register House.

Chairing Professor Rob Dunbar's lecture last month, Ronnie Black described it tongue-in-cheek as 'the society's first public event since 1822.'  He was presumably referring to how the then 'Celtic Society' helped organise George IV's visit to Edinburgh in that year.  Whether this was a correct assessment we hope to find out on Friday 16 March when Dr Priscilla Scott will speak in the Dome Room on 'The Royal Celtic Society (1820): A preliminary overview of its early objectives and subsequent development during the ninetheenth and early twentieth centuries.'

Dr Scott, a Gaelic speaker, grew up at Taynuilt in Argyll, but has close family connections to Harris and Skye through her parents.  She now lives in the Borders (Scott is her married name.)  She is an expert on the role of women in Highland education and Gaelic societies in the late Victorian period, and the Society has invited her to delve into its archives with a view to preparing a comemoriative booklet for its bicentenary in 2020.

Her lecture on 16 March, then, represents the first fruits of this research.  She will speak of how the Society was founded to promote Highland dress, but then widened its remit to include support for Highland education in general, and Gaelic in particular - all against the backdrop of the dire social conditions that prevailed in the Highlands at that period.

For members of the Society in particular, this is an unmissable event.

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