Kenneth Trist Urquhart of Urquhart’s Obituary

Kenneth Trist Urquhart of Urquhart, 27th Chief of Clan Urquhart, departed this earthly realm on October 17, 2012. A memorial service and interment of ashes were held on December 28, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana (the family’s ancestral home for six generations). The Urquhart was born on November 12, 1932, to Wilkins Fisk Urquhart of Braelangwell and Alys Rivet Urquhart.

He was raised in New Orleans and developed a love for history as a child while listening to his father’s stories of the family’s past both in Scotland and as prominent merchants and planters in Louisiana and Mississippi during the 18th and 19th centuries. By the time Kenneth Urquhart was 14, he began his life-long passion for researching his family’s Scottish heritage and role in the development of the United States. He was granted membership in the Clan Chattan Association based on the research he had done on his ancestor, William Macintosh, an early settler of the Natchez, Mississippi area. Throughout his life, Kenneth enjoyed reading the journals published by the Association.

Kenneth’s love of United States and Louisiana history led him to obtain three academic degrees. During his professional career, he was President of the Louisiana Historical Association, Director of the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum, a member of the Advisory Council of the National Civil War Centennial Commission, served as Dean of Academics at St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans, was an adjunct professor of history at Tulane and Loyola Universities, and served as Director of Library and Archives at the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Kenneth was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, Sons of the American Revolution, the Louisiana Society of the War of 1812, and was a Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint Lazarus.

The Urquhart revitalized the Saint Andrews Society of Louisiana, originally founded in 1837 by his ancestors, David and Thomas Urquhart, and was also a member of the Caledonian Society of New Orleans, The Scottish Tartan Society, the Gaelic Society of Inverness, the Heraldry Society of Scotland, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a patron of the Craigston Castle Trust and an active member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.

In 1951, The Urquhart’s love of country inspired him to enlist at the age of 18 in the Washington Artillery (141st Field Artillery) founded in New Orleans in 1838. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1957 and was honourably discharged as a captain in 1965.

For over 38 years, Kenneth Urquhart of Urquhart served as hereditary Chief of Clan Urquhart, that ancient family with its roots in Glen Urquhart on Loch Ness and the Black Isle. In 1959, the Urquhart’s father, Wilkins, was recognized by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, as the 26th Chief of their clan. Kenneth assumed the chiefship when his father retired in 1974.

The Urquhart and his wife, Lady Virginia, were key figures in reawakening their worldwide family’s sense of kinship and love for their Scottish Highland heritage and culture.

In 1979, The Urquhart founded the Clan Urquhart Association, which now has branches in the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and New Zealand. He was the owner of Castle Craig, the old Urquhart stronghold on the Cromarty Firth. Castle Craig which was gifted to Kenneth’s father in 1960 by Major Iain Shaw of Tordarroch as a unique symbol of friendship between two great highland names. As a result of The Urquhart’s efforts, Clan Urquhart has been taking major steps to preserve what is left of the only remaining Urquhart tower house on the family’s ancestral home in the Black Isle so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. The Clan Urquhart Foundation and the Black Isle Charitable Corporation for Castle Craig’s Preservation and Restoration were established under his leadership.  

Over the last three decades, The Urquhart led Clan Urquhart on gatherings to ancestral sites in Scotland. During each gathering, Kenneth Urquhart presented an impressive presence in his chiefly regalia. The highpoint of each gathering occurred when he and his kinfolk paraded through the streets of the Royal Burgh of Cromarty to the rousing sound of bagpipes. The Urquhart took great pride in leading his clan up the Royal Mile during the International Gathering of the Clans in Edinburgh. The Urquhart also participated in numerous Scottish functions in the United States and in Canada which include: the Scottish American Foundation Ball in New York City and was the Guest of Honour at many Highland Games, including those at Stone Mountain, Georgia; Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina; Glasgow, Kentucky; and Sarasota & Orlando, Florida, Oberlin, Ohio; Jackson, Louisiana; Blue Ridge, Roanoke & Williamsburg, Virginia, Salt Lake City, Utah; Arlington, Texas, Montgomery, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; Fergus, Ontario, Canada and Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Shortly before the Urquhart’s passing in October, he was formally recognized by a motion in the Scottish Parliament for his extraordinary contributions to Scotland’s heritage and culture.

The Urquhart is survived by his widow, dowager Lady Virginia Urquhart of Urquhart, five children – Wilkins F. Urquhart, Lionel B. Urquhart, Vickie Urquhart Castay, Christie Urquhart Walsh and John R. Urquhart; and eleven grandchildren, a brother, Donald Urquhart, and sister, Alys Urquhart Alper. The Urquhart‘s eldest son, Colonel Wilkins Fisk Urquhart of Urquhart, has succeeded him as the 28th Chief of Clan Urquhart.

Famous Battles in Scottish History

Battle of Bannockburn – June 24, 1314
Battle of Hallidon Hill – July 15, 1333
Battle of Drumlui – circa 1337
Battle of Invernahavon – 1370 or 1387
Battle at the North Inch of Perth – 1396
Battle of Harlaw – July 24, 1411
Battle of Split Allegiances – 1429
Battle of Palm Sunday – 1429
Battle of Inverlochy – September 1431
Battle of Corpach – 1439
Battle of Craig Cailloch – 1441
Raid on Ross – 1491
Rebellion of Donald Dubh – December 1503
Battle of Achnashellach – 1505
Battle of Flodden – September 9, 1513
Battle of Blar-nan-Leine – July 15, 1544
Raid of Urquhart – October 1544 and April 1545
Battle of Corrichie – October 28, 1562
Battle of Bun Garbhain – circa 1570
Battle of Glenlivit 1594
First Raid of Moyness 1598
Battle of Glen Fruin February 7, 1603
Battle of Leac-nan-Saighid 1625
Battle of Inverlochy February 2, 1645
Second Raid of Moyness / Battle of the Braes of Strathdearn – October 1645
Battle of the Pass near Tullich – 1652
Battle of Achdalieu – circa 1654
Battle of Achintore – circa 1654
Battle of Strone Nevis – circa 1654
Standoff at the Fords of Arkaig – September 1665
Battle of Mulroy – August 4, 1688
Battle of Killiecrankie – July 27, 1689
Battle of Dunkeld – August 21, 1689
Battle of Cromdale – April 30/May 1, 1690
Battle of Sheriffmuir – November 13, 1715
Battle of Glenshiel – June 10, 1719
Battle of Prestonpans – September 21, 1745
Battle of Falkirk – January 17, 1746
Siege of Fort William – March 20-April 3, 1746
Battle of Culloden – April 16, 1746