Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.15


Mackinnon, p.198; Mackechnie, p.156.

?16th cent. Vellum. ii + 50 pp. Folio, 31 x 21 cms. Written in two columns. Hands:

1. Text, pp.1–49. Tuathal Buidhe Ó Duibhgeannáin (cf. pp.ii, 10, 32, 42). Perhaps the Tuathal Ó Duibhgeannáin of the celebrated Connacht scribal family whose son Cú-coigcríche (fl. 1629) was one of the Four Masters (Walsh, Irish Men of Learning, p.2). His hand is rather large and coarse, and includes a frequent distinctive “a” with curved-back ascender. There are some decorative initials, with a little mauve colouring at pp.11–13.

2. Text, p.33a1–2; notes, pp.22, 33, 35, 36.

3. Notes, pp.ii, 23, 25, 27, 39, 48, 49. “Donatus” (Donnchadh), p.ii. At least as early as hand 6, cf. p.23.

4. Notes, pp.8, 14, 17, 32, 49. Appears to write “Maghnus”, p.32: cf. hand 5.

5. Notes, pp.9, 10, 12. Ciothruadh (p.9). Seán Ballach Ó Duibhgeannáin (alive 1644) was son of Ciothruadh, son of Maghnus (Walsh,op. cit, p.4).

6. Notes, pp.20, 23, 27, 28, 32, 42, 46, 47; textual emendation, 24a36. Conaire mac Muiris Uí Mhaol-Chonaire, cf. p.42. For his surname he writes hUi Moil tSetae, a pun; for tseta (“path”, gs.) substitute its synonym chonair (also gs.). A scribe of this name fl. 1573–89 (Walsh, op. cit., pp.18, 39). The hand, which seems indistinguishable from those of Fearghus and Rudhraidhe Ó Fearghail and is the most accomplished in the manuscript, also appears in the Annals of Loch Cé, TCD MS. 1293 (“Bidh sin agat, a Dhubhtaigh, o Conairi mac Muiris”, f.49v), and in Bodleian MS. Laud 610, f.98r.a22: “Is olc lem nach fagaim oenraed ar Laignib innso. Misi Conairi mac Muiris”. Cf. Celtica 6, p.148.

7. Textual emendation, p.25a i. Very like script of Adv.MS.72.2.3.

8. Notes, pp.27, 28, 38. “Iohannes”, p.26: possibly a Beaton of Connacht. A small, neat hand very similar to that of the John Beaton who wrote parts of BL MS. Add. 15,582 and EUL MS. Laing III 21 in Mayo c.1563. His quatrain at f.28 is followed by an illegible note by the anonymous hand 9 which seems to end with the Beaton surname contracted (“McB7”).

9. Note, pp.28–9.

10. Notes, pp.38, 39, 42.

11. Note, p.41.

12. Note, p.44. Very small hand.

13. Note, p.49.

14. Pp.ii, 46, 49. Donagh O Hagan. Roman hand, c.1700.

The manuscript clearly remained for a time with the Ó Duibhgeannáins. In addition to Tuathal Buidhe and Ciothruadh, the family’s two most characteristic names are mentioned: Daighre (p.8) and Dolbh, who appears to have owned it and given it to “Iohannes” (p.26). Against the identification of “Iohannes” as a Beaton, and of any of the occurrences of hand 6 as by an Ó Fearghail, is the fact that the manuscript must still have been in Ireland when O Hagan wrote on it. O Hagan is an Ulster name, and perhaps he gave or sold the manuscript to Rev. John Beaton when the letter was at Coleraine in 1700. Kilbride no.8 by Major MacLachlan’s enumeration (“8th”, p.i; “8th Prose …….”, p.50). No.11 by Hugh Kerr’s name or initials occur on most leaves.

The manuscript consists of three gatherings bound with thongs, made up as follows: pp.i-18, of which pp.11–12 and 15–16 are single leaves; pp.19–36, of which pp.23–4, 29–30 and 33–4 are single leaves; and pp.37–50, of which pp.37–8 are a single leaf. It is stained but in relatively good condition, the vellum being unusually thick. There is textual loss through rubbing on the two outer leaves, front and back. The binding-edges of the first and last leaves are tattered. The first (pp.i–ii) is almost loose, while the lower half of the last (pp.49–50) has been removed. Pagination modern, partly in ink. Unfoliated, but as Mackechnie uses a foliation this is added below in brackets for reference.


No. of hand given in brackets following entries.


1(2r) Do chosg ina faghbhaind dibh, 1 q. (1).

2(2v) A fhir ata a n-ifern riamh, 1 q. (1).

3(3r) Craes fearg edradh a cobhar, 1 q. (1).

4 (3v) Cetra puirt g…………anmain, 1 q. (1).

8 (5v) “Bennacht cugad a Daigre” (4).

9(6r) “Cia ni reis….” (8?). “Misi Ciotruaid…..” (5).

10(6v) “Oroid ar anmain fir an leabairsi .i. Tuathal” (5).

14(8v) “A Dia, is olc lem….” (4).

17(10r) “Ataim tuirsec 7 me” (4).

19(11r) “Emanuel” (1).

20(11v) “Amen amen” (6).

22(12v) “cinnus”; “ni ferr tusa” (2).

23(13r) Mairg do duine, mairg do neoch, 1 q. (3); “Is firinnach an rann so” (6).

25(14r) Athconairc Pol peist i n-iffirn, 1 q. (3).

26(14v) “Leabhar(?) Duilbh I Duibhgh……seo agam 7 slan imraoidhthi(?) do fein. Misi Iohannes” (8).

27(15r) “Mac an abadh isin cill” (6). “Atconnairc an sluagh Gregach Aicil et Eachtair” (3).

28(15v) Treigen domhan is mochen, 1 q. (8); “……..McB7”(?) extending on to p.29 (9). “Amen, a Mhuire, tabhair trocaire dhamh annsan alltar dheighionach et comarle mo leas san cendtar” (6).

32(17v) “Comortus ann so re Tuathal Buidhe O Duibhgendán ar márbhán Eachtair mhoir mhec Prímh. Fintt” (6). “…Dia maghn….” (4).

33(18r) “As maith in memrum so agam” (2).

35(19r) “Truagh lem in bás so thuas” (2).

36(19v) “Sin mar sin” (2).

38(20v) “Is olc in togail sin do rinne me ……. ort” (8). “Bui Fergus mac Roigh”; “lem” added, p.39 (10).

39(21r) “Ihs” (10). Da mac ag Mag Nuadhad nar, 1 q.; “Cinnus sin 7 cethrar 7 da .xx. san genelach? Ni ansa. Fer fris ndec(?) nebar dibh” (3).

41(22r) “Commortus ann so” (11).

42(22v) “Ihs Maria dom gratias. Misi Conairi mac Muiris hUi Moil tSetae do sgraif ar cin glain Tuothoil Vhuide” (6). “Ihs” (10).

44(23v) “….comairle…” (12).

46(24v) A dhuine, gabh ar mo ghlor, 1 q. (6).

47(25r) “tabair” (6).

48(25v) “…..óg……”; “Missi bottarrigilti na mprathar” (3).

TEXT, etc.

i (1r) Blank untreated vellum, bearing only random marks of knife or pumice. Traces of hand 14, illegible, bottom right (U.V.).

ii (lv) Blank save for scattered notes, many illegible. They include the following (probably by hand 3, except where mentioned). “Comortus ann so re Giolla na Naomh qui……..sgriobas. Et ego sum Donatus.” “Oroid ar anmain fir in liubair so .i. Tuatail Buidhe 7 tabradh Sean O C(o)ncu(b)air(?) (a) bennacht fora anmain.” On a portion of vellum stitched on with a thong to fill out a missing corner of the leaf: “Ag so an greim do ith an mhuc as a lamh dhall”. Hand 14: “Remember well and bere….hard to feind if ye find him not first and…..not if…..but…..” (U.V.).

1(2r)a1 TOGAIL TROÍ, 2nd recension. Prologue beg. Boi tra forbairt for claind Adhaim co dilind = Adv.MS.72.1.8, f.29r.b1 and 29v.a1 = BB 411a1. First section beg. 1(2r)a29 Rogab ri uasal ordinde rige in domain .i. Satuirn mac Polloir = Adv.MS.72.1.8, f.29v.a23 = BB 411b10. Ends “Ité in sein aedheda Iasoin 7 Eta 7 Media. Finit. Imtechta Ercail in so sis”. Next section beg. 7(5r)b37 Ba cumnech tra la Hercoil = Adv.MS.72.1.8, f.32v.a18 = BB 416a14. Ends “Is sé tuc in crocend órda a tir na Colach. Finit.” Next section beg. 11(7r)a1 In fer dorígni n[a]gníma sin = Adv.MS.72.1.8, f.33v.b31 = BB 417b45. Ends “Finit amen”. Next section beg. 14(8v)b1 Sosar chlainne Lámidóin .i. Priaim = Adv.MS.72.1.8, f.35v.a16 = BB 420b40. At 30(16v)b i (= BB433a m) is a marginal addition introduced by the words “Dul ele so this 7 and so thig cethic(?) ‘na egmais andsa lebarsa. Finit.” Marginal sub-headings by the scribe such as “Cath na Sighni so sis”, p.28, indicate battles and other events. Deaths are marked by crosses. That of Hector at p.35 draws a sympathetic comment from hand 2, see marginalia. The text was concluded at 49(26r)a i, but owing to the removal of the lower half of this leaf it now ends incomplete “In tan tra tainig feth for muir do Grecaib iar toghail na Trai forfhagsat in Trai iar n-uile dilgein 7 iarna dithlaithrugad co ler. Do chuadar co mbuaidh (c)os(cair) 7 co maidhem 7 co mainib 7 go moredalaib leo…..” For other versions see LL 4, p.1063 (ed. Stokes, Togail Troi, Calcutta, 1881); Stokes, “The Destruction of Troy”, in Irische Texte 2.i, p.1. The three recensions and their sources are discussed by Mac Eoin in “Das Verbalsystem von Togail Troí”, ZCP 28, p.76. See also ZCP 30, p.42.

49(26r)b Notes (U.V.) by various hands, including the following. Hand 14: A treacherous Lord a King……….., 6 lines, signed “Donagh O Hagan”. (Ll. 2–6 read: “Religions breath Rebellious …./Greate highland…..Grand…../Y........cheifely were….princes trator/Lelly and…../Employd y…..the…..”) Hand 13: “Comortas ré fear an leabhuirsi”. Hand ?3: “Coimeas ann so ré fer”. Hand 4: “Tabair uisce let, tabhair g….” 50(26v), no legible text.

© Ronald Black, 2011