Clan Bannerman Places & People

Helen Bannerman (1862-1946)

Helen Bannerman

Born in Edinburgh in 1862 Helen Bannerman spent her early childhood in Madeira where her father was a minister. Later she was privately educated in Edinburgh and received a degree from St Andrews University. She married an army doctor Will Bannerman in 1889 and moved to India.

While there she wrote a book consisting of illustrated letters to her two daughters still in Scotland; ‘Little Black Sambo’ was published in 1899. Due to some bad advice on copyright she sold the rights to the book and this has resulted in bad copies of the work appearing with new illustrations which gave the work a racist slant, never intended in the original. Illustrator Fred Marcellino noted that the story itself contained no racist overtones and produced a re-illustrated version, The Story of Little Babaji, in 1996.

She published another nine children’s books before her death in Edinburgh at the age of 84.

John MacDonald, Lord Bannerman of Kildonan (1902-1969)

John Bannerman

Born in Glasgow, John Macdonald was capped for Scotland in rugby 37 times. A well known broadcaster and supporter of Gaelic language he was president of An Comunn Gaidhealach and composed many Gaelic songs.

He was made a life peer in 1967.