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Adv. MS 72.1.34

Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.34


Mackinnon, pp.139–42. Mackechnie 174 f.

17th cent. Paper. 19 × 14cms. Pp.48. Written c.1603 by Eoghan Mac Pháill, Dunstaffnage, in varying styles. These may be described as styles 1, 2, 4 and 5. Another style (3) appears in Adv.MS.72.2.2. Style 5 is secretary, while the rest are Gaelic. It appears at pp. 24, 41, 42, 45 and 47, and in a word (?‘Duntrone’) scribbled at p. 13 marg. inf. Style 4 is found only in unimportant marginalia (pp.39 and 41). The paper is watermarked with two varieties of the “pot” type.

The manuscript latterly belonged to Major MacLachlan of Kilbride. ‘This Manuscript belongs to me John McLachlan of Kilbride’ is written across the foot of pp.2–3. Donald Mackintosh (1743–1808) transcribed “Bruidhean Chaorthuinn” into what is now Adv.MS.72.3.11 for the Highland Society of Scotland. The outside edges are now somewhat perished, with some loss of text, and the completeness of Mackintosh’s transcript shows this to have been a subsequent development. The present manuscript was the third of five “left with the Society, very reluctantly, by the Major, upon Mr. Mackintosh the keeper’s receipt” (Sinclair, Poems of Ossian iii p.570). On its old sheepskin cover is “No 11 / J McH”; it is listed no.15 of the MSS belonging to the Highland Society of Scotland found among the papers of Ewen MacLachlan at his death in 1822 (Ingliston MS. A.iv.13). MacLachlan said in 1821 that he had never had it (A.i.3 no.68).

It has now been laminated in silk and boxed, unbound, along with the sheepskin cover and its Adv. Lib. cloth wrapper. It was paginated in 1964 by Dr Alan Bruford, the precise original order of the material being unknown.


1 .1 BRUIGHEAN CHAORTHUINN. Beg. Ri uasal oireadha ro gabhusa flai [theas ⁊ f]orlamhus ar na ceithre treabhaibh Lochlannach. Style 1. Mac Pháill wrote the first 4 lines. of p.20 upside-down at foot of page, then scored these through and restarted correctly.

24 .13 (Style 5) ‘This buik perteining to ane honorable mane callit eowin mak phaill wretter heireof he or sche that staills this buik fra me god nor he be hangit one ane trie and sch[ ] be drownit upone ane sea amen for me amen for ye amen for all the companye ‘Eowin is his name [ ] home I do pertin [ ] name quyther I live or [ ]’.

25 .1 BRUIDHEAN BHEAG NA hALMHAINE. Beg. Fleadh mhor chaoin moradhbhal do commoradh le [Fionn] mac Cubhaill mhic Treunmhoir Í Bhaoiscne a nEalmhuin l[eth] ainmhor laocha ar magh Laighean. Style 1. (P.38.22) ‘….gonadh hí sin Fleagh na hEalbun go nuige sin’.

39 .1 Ca hainm ata ar Fhearghal og, 11 qq. Style 2. Satirical rebuke to Fearghal Óg mac mac an Bháird for courting instead of practising his craft. Copy Z, f. 5 Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.1, f. 25v.

40 . blank.

41 (Style 1:) ‘Beannacht ⁊ (?)frithbendachtus cugad Eóin Ui Conchubhair ⁊ biodh a fhios agad nach ar sgriobh me ach beag don leabhar fós. ⁊ gur é is adhbhar do sin nach roibhe agum caibideal do bí uaim isin leabhar. oir is olc leam a beith uaim (Style 5:) na man bot I no [ ]mittes committees yow to God frome Dunsteffiniche the xxij day of October the yeir of God 1603 yeires


[ ]ritt guid


Also marginalia in styles 1, 4 and 5, including ‘EOUIN MAK PHAILL with my hand at [the] pene’.

42 .1 Incomplete letter in Scots on certain legal matters, 25 lines. Mac Pháill advises the recipient to communicate with a special friend such as the Laird of Grant, and asks him to accede to a request made by his (Mac Pháill’s) father. Style 5.

(43 44 blue deed paper)

43 Copy (dated Edinburgh, 12 July 1872) of colophon on p.41.

44 blank.

(45 46 fragmentary)

45 ‘To heal banes that ar broken’. Medical receipt in Scots. Style 5.

46 Largely illegible. Style 1. Includes 1 of Tadhg Óg Ó Huiginn, Slan ar na marbha mac De.

47 Blank save for ‘Iohannis [ ]’ in a secretary hand.

48 blank.

The following additional material has to be inserted between pp.38 & 39: Adv.MS.72.2.2 ff. 7, 8, 10, 11, 9 in that order. (Source: Report, 295).

Not retrieved by Mrs Marshall in 1821: what happened was this. MS. was described in Ossian Report, p.295. Its condition then deteriorated as exampled above from Adv.MS.72.3.11. (Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.36). The only 2 texts specifically named in the Report are among the detached leaves in Adv.MS.72.2.2. Thus although Ewen MacLachlan was in possession of Adv.MS.72.1.34 in 1821 (evidenced by J McH), he did not recognise it as the MS described in the Report, & stated (Ingliston MS. A.i.3, no.68) that he had never had it. HSS 1822, Adv. Lib. 1850.