GS & Lawyers: King George Versus Army

April 15, 2021 on 4:48 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories | Comments Off on GS & Lawyers: King George Versus Army

A follow on – of sorts – to the David Glen and Peter Henderson court shenanigans of 1900. I happened on the attached clippings following my musings on Dave and Pete’s court tussle(I say “happened” but it was GS McLennan’s grandson who kindly passed along – I think he prefers anonymity but knowing the source is important provenance for these things. And, not just that, shines a light on the inspiring importance the family has always viewed G S McLennan’s legacy).

In 1925 James Robertson (1893-1948) (pictured) published his first book of music. The publisher was one of the largest music companies of the time, John E Dallas & Sons, then based in Covent Garden, London.

A note to say this James Robertson is not to be confused with J B Robertson, the great competitive piper of the 1930s to 1950s. James the book compiler was of the Edinburgh bagpipe manufacturing business. The Robertsons took over the Center family’s bagpipe firm when they immigrated to Australia in 1908.

Robertson’s 1925 book, like so many before and after, had errors. Two in particular stood out: one the omission of the composer’s name for “The Lochaber Gathering”, that great composition of G S McLennan‘s. The other, an incorrectly titled composition: G S Mclennan’s “King George V’s Army” was listed as “Kitchener’s Army”. I always wondered why this fine tune turns up with inconsistent titling. Now I know. Blame James Robertson.

And here we can see, at least in comparison to David Glen of 1900, a less adversarial approach to making amends when someone plays fast and loose with copyright: the publication of firm, explicit apologies. The clippings here, from The Oban Times and The Scotsman suggest no expense was spared suggesting, maybe, that John Dallas & Sons potentially faced courtroom discomfort similar to Peter Henderson’s in 1900.

The publishers “beg to acknowledge” and “beg to tender their apology for the infringement”. Indeed they did. Sometimes a sincere-sounding apology is all it takes to avoid the looming shadow of a judge. It was good enough for G S McLennan in 1926.

And I think that reflects well on him.


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