New acquisition: The Staffa Medallion

A recent bequest to the Museum is now on show in the ‘Chiefs to Landlords’ gallery.

The Staffa Medallion is an impressive silver gilt medallion presented by the South Uist Volunteers to Ranald MacDonald of Staffa in September 1800. The medallion is beautifully engraved with the motto, ‘My Hope is Constant in Thee’, over a shield which features a lion rampant, salmon and oak tree surmounted by an eagle. On the reverse is a moving inscription from the volunteers, which recognises ‘his uncommon & zealous attention at all times to their interest & welfare’.

Born in 1777, Ranald was a Colonel of the Long Island Regiment of Militia, a volunteer regiment which assembled on the island of  Benbecula during the French wars. Described by Sir Walter Scott as ‘a high spirited young chieftain … much loved by his people’, Ranald  was popular among the Highlanders and regarded by many as a model landlord.

We are grateful to Mrs Erridge for donating this prized piece of Clan Donald history to us from the Richard James Collection and for funding the specially designed case in which it sits on permanent view within the Museum of the Isles.