The Official Website
The 2009 Burnett Gathering - Friday - Aberdeen Trip
Friday July 31st
A number of the group headed for Aberdeen. They were accompanied by some Clan Hay members including Angus Hay who
has considerable knowedge of local history and proved an admirable assistant to the tour leader, Charles Burnett, the Ross
Richard Miller was in attendance as were our children Eliza and Victor. Established in 1495, Old Aberdeen is an area of unique
historical significance This charming medieval settlement is home to an abundance of architectural and cultural riches
including 500-year old University of Aberdeen campus, a stunning Georgian Town House and one of Scotland's oldest
cathedrals. Over the centuries the combination of church, University and trading post has created a rare working heritage
Charles Burnett reports as follows:
"Old Aberdeen with its University founded in 1495, and New Aberdeen with its University founded in 1593, was amalgamated
as one Burgh in 1891. Before then the two Universities had been amalgamated in 1860. Each burgh and university had
connections with the Burnetts either as inhabitants, land owners, or as students.
Members of the House of Burnett visited both places on 31st July 2009 starting at the Town House in Old Aberdeen where a
portrait purported to be Sir Thomas Burnett of Leys was inspected, but the sitter was not accompanied by the Burnett coat of
arms. (Coffee in the Town House was with the compliments of the University).
The visit continued with a look at the exterior and interior of King's College Chapel, opened in 1509, which is surmounted by
a superb crowned steeple. The interior contains the finest pre-Reformation woodwork left in Scotland. Then we had a look at
the great heraldic ceiling of 1524 in St Machar's Cathedral, a unique masterpiece which shows the kings of Europe, the Pope
and bishops of Scotland, and the King of Scot with his nobles. (A planned visit to the Senate House had to be changed but
there was time to visit the well stocked Cathedral Kiosk.
We proceeded through the astonishing entrance gates of the Burnett of Powis estate, now owned by the University, and had
an excellent luncheon in the Zeste restaurant.
Fully refreshed, we proceeded to St Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in New Aberdeen which has close connections with the
Diocese of Connecticut in the United States of America. Why? Because Samuel Seabury, the first American bishop, was
consecrated in Aberdeen by the seven Episcopal bishops at the time when America was striving to gain independence. As a
result there is a ceiling in the Cathedral decorated with the Seals of 48 of the United States, before Alaska and Hawaii were
added to the Union. There is another ceiling bearing the 48 coats of arms of Episcopal families who supported the attempt to
restore the Stewarts to the throne of Great Britain. Amongst the shields are those of John Burnett of Campfield and the
Burnetts of Daladies.
Our tour ended in St Nicholas Parish Kirk, the mother church of Aberdeen, which contains the graves of at least four Burnetts
who were merchant burgesses of the Burgh. We saw carved woodwork of the seventeenth century and massive grave slabs
with the arms of Burnett all within the medieval crypt of the Kirk. (In both St Andrew's and the Burnett Crypt in St Nicholas
we received a warm welcome and personal tour from the stewards and the minister himself.)