Alexander MacBain and Alexander Littlejohn
The missing Littlejohn Album.
We are delighted to welcome the long lost LittleJohn Album back to Glasgow University, with speaker Dr Hugh Dan Maclennan speaking on it’s importance and historical significance.
The presentation commences:
đź“ŤGUU, Reading Room
⏰ 1700
🗣️ Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan

The Littlejohn Album, the Trust Deed document which accompanied the famous Littlejohn Vase trophy when it was donated to Aberdeen University in 1905, is a truly magnificent piece of work, held by Aberdeen University.  Alexander Littlejohn,  (who eventually styled himself “of  Invercharron”), was an Aberdonian Londoner, and being a man of means, he donated the Littlejohn shinty trophy to the University of Aberdeen for competition between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, St Andrews and Edinburgh.

The actual trophy is modelled on the famous Warwick Vase a fourth century Etruscan sculptured container which had been found in 1770 in a lake in Pontinello, Italy. It features in the centre of the cover page of the Album, which was produced partly as a Trust Deed covering the trophy’s ownership.

The Littlejohn Album was executed by the artists of a London company Messrs Waterlow and Sons of London Wall.  The attractive borders were supplied by reverend D. Joass of Golspie, from early Ross-shire monuments at Rosemarkie. Amongst the most valuable of the Littlejohn Album’s contents is the historical exposition of shinty and its Gaelic vocabulary by the famous scholar Alexander MacBain of Inverness.

A facsimile copy of the Album is held by the Gaelic Society Inverness in the local library and other copies were made, and presented to the other Ancient Universities.

However, for some reason, the copy at Glasgow University has been posted “missing” for some years. Several years ago, after delivering a talk at the Rpyal Celtic Society (RCS) comparing the Littlejohn Album with the Book of the Club of True Highlanders, Hugh Dan  received a message from a woman in the Black Isle asking him to contact her, as she had seen a reference to the Littlejohn Album in the Society’s promotion of the talk. One thing led to another and the woman expressed her wish that the Album which she held and which had been purchased by her late husband in Dingwall, should be returned to its proper home, which was, at the time, unknown.

The original plan was to put the Album in the collection of the RCS in the National Library but further research revealed that Glasgow University was not in possession of their copy.

COVID and other hiccups intervened but now the University is to get the “missing” Album back.  Hugh Dan, who is a University Blue from Glasgow, will deliver a talk on the history of the Album and the trophy on Wednesday evening in the Reading Room, University Union at 5pm and the Album will be presented to the University Shinty Club for safe transmission to an appropriate location in. the University where it may be viewed for research purposes.