Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.26


Mackinnon, pp.56, 87; Mackechnie, p.165.

15–16th cent. Vellum. 11 ff. Quarto. Consists of two distinct manuscripts: (a) ff.1–4, 11 (24 x 18 cms. and under), containing mainly a collection of mirabilia, and (b) ff.5–10 (23 x 16.5 cms.), a medical remnant possibly of east Connacht origin (see ff.7r, 9v). Ff.1 and 11 are conjugate, while the conjunct of f.2 is excised. Ff.5–10 (a gathering) were stitched by thongs, of which only one remains secured, into what is now the middle of ff.1–2, 11. Ff.3–4, a bifolium, are loose but seem to belong after f.2, suggesting that (probably for textual continuity) gathering (b) was bound into gathering (a) at a point after the middle. In two columns, except f.11, where an Ossianic lay is written continuously across the page. Hands:

1. Text, ff.1–4, 11. A slightly aggressive hand with curved strokes and distinctive “g”.

2. Text, f.4v.b36–42. Neat.

3. Text, ff.5–10. Strongly seriffed, slightly crabbed. Includes the only substantial decoration in the manuscript, a pair of ornamental initials at f.10v with some purple colouring.

4. Ff.5r, 6r. To be compared with text-hand of Adv.MS.72.1.10.

5. F.7r. An emendator of Adv.MS.72.1.10, ff.2–5. Refers here to a member of the east Connacht medical family of Ó (Mac) Maol-Tuile.

6. Ff.5–10. Hand 8 of Adv.MS.72.1.27. Writes (9v) near Balintubber, district of Corca Eachlann, co. Roscommon, referring to Eachann.

7. F.8v. A good hand. Refers to Mull.

8. Ff.1v, 2r, 6v, 10v. Hand 5 of Adv.MS.72.1.8.

As hand 8 is the only one common to both portions, it seems not unlikely (as in the case of Adv.MS.72.1.1 and others) that the manuscript was assembled and brought to Scotland by an Ó Fearghail. It is Kilbride no.12 by Major MacLachlan’s enumeration (“12th partly Religious & partly Medical”, f.1r, U.V.); no.22 by Hugh Kerr’s. The latter’s name or initials appear on every leaf. Condition poor. Stained and soiled throughout; ff.1r, 11v illegible through friction; slight textual losses elsewhere. F.1 is partly perished, f.2 crushed. Ff.3–4 came adrift after being studied by Meyer, and are not catalogued by Mackinnon; it appears from an accompanying note by M.R. Dobie, Keeper of Manuscripts, that they were found in 1938 in Adv.MS.72.1.7. They still bear binding threads. Foliation modern.


No. of hands given in brackets.


1 v “Comortus ris an . . . . . . .” (8).

2 r “Is truag leam nár leg olcas an phaiper dhamh an sgel beag diaachta-sa fu[arus] do sgribadh an ceathr . . . .” (8).

5 r Scribbles, “amen dico vobis” (4, 6, etc.).

5 v Scribbles, “labum anois” (6).

6 r “Domine Deus virtutum” (3?). “Dondcud” (4).

6 v “A Dhé is truag nach bfuil” (8); “as olc lium nach gobhand”, etc. (6).

7 r “A Dia moir as mor an gradh ata ag mnai sa baile seo do Dhondchadh Mac Maeltuile” (5). Ta ma mbrogsa bristi (1 q.), etc. (6).

8 r “Agaa” (6).

8 v “As olc in dub” (6). “Uch a Mhuire is mairg do feruibh Muile atá na mbethaidh an mhéid mairfis dibh anocht” (7).

9 r “Labrum / A fad anocht a nOil Finn” (U.V., 6).

9 v “As olc leam gan leabur da dhail o (?)Muirceach 7 a dul gu Baili in Tobair .i. in dara pardagail udha (?)andnugh 7 gun Eachann a Corc Eachlann”, etc. (6).

10 r “A buil da galad sa grein” (3). “As olc leom a fat atann sa baili-si am comni (?)i da fagainn. Dar Diadh ní maith leom a legad” (6).

10 v “d . . .d inil(?) Domnaill”, etc. (6). “Is maith do tairraing” (8).


1 r Illegible.

1 v.a1 Anecdote about a woman. Beg. acephalous maith arse 7 dena do cele do coimdidnean.

1 v.a8 Moling and the leper. Beg. Fecht n-aen do Mling occ himteacht a seda conacca in clamh ndochraigh ndelbha ar a cind. Cf. RC 27, p.282.

1 v.b5 Mochuda and the devil. Beg. Mocuda cona coimtinol .i. moirseisir 7 vii .xx. 7 vii ced. Cf. ZCP 3, p.32.

1 v.b28 On boys who ate consecrated bread. Beg. Feacht naen darbadar da leanab a Frangaibh a cumund .i. leanamh Cristaidhe 7 leanamh Iubhdaighi. Cf. Stokes, Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, p.xx.

2 r.a24 St. Patrick’s revival of Lughaidh, son of Laoghaire, the origin of “Michael’s bit”. Beg. Día romboi conblicht 7 easaenta itir Laegaire mac Neill 7Patraigh mac Arplaind. Cf. Stokes, Tripartite Life of Patrick 2, p.556; Adv.MS.72.1.5, f.7r.a16.

2 r.b38 On a man who swore falsely by St. Ciarán. Beg. Laithi da ndeachaidh Diarmaid mac Cerbaill do m(o)rad aenaig Taillten. Cf. Ériu 6, p.159.

2 v.a34 Ship seen in the air at Clonmacnois. Beg. La n-aen robatur muintear Cluana a n-oireachtus for urrlar na cille. Ed. Meyer, Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts 3, p.8. Cf. Celtica 5, p.73.

2 v.b8 Burial of a priest’s wife. Beg. Sgel ann so ar mnai tsagairt ar fagail bais di. Ed. Meyer, Anecdota 3, p.9.

2 v.b m White blackbirds. Beg. Araile fearann fil isin doman tair, adhon in Aissia. Ed. Grosjean in Fraser, Grosjean, O’Keeffe, Irish Texts 4, p.120.

2 v.b i St Bridget and a leper. Beg. Clamh tainig co Brighidh do cuinghi bó fuirraidh. Cf. ibid., vol.1, p.8.

3 r.a1 On a giantess. Beg. Bean dorala gan fhas a cich a traigh mara an Eoruip. Ed. Meyer, Anecdota 3, p.10.

3 r.a8 On another giantess. Beg. Bean ele dono rorala a mhuir an Albuin. Ed. Meyer, ibid.

3 r.a14 On the camel. Beg. Deismiracht beg on Bibla ann seo.

3 r.a m Sermon (comradh) on Communion. Beg. Adir an canoin condligind gach cristaidh corp Crist do catham uair gacha bliadhna. Authorities cited: scripture, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Ambrose.

4 v.a m St. Comgall and a foreign monk. Beg. Manach craibdich tainic tairis anoir. Ed. Meyer, Anecdota 3, p.9.

4 v.a i On prostration before the crucifix. Beg. Is iad so na ceitri cuisi fa ndleagar sleachtuin don croich cesta.

4 v.b6 The devil Caincuile in Armagh. Beg. Caincuile .i. demon bai i nArd Macha. Ed. Meyer, Anecdota 3, p.7.

4 v.b36 Toirrsech me dod chumandsa, 3 qq. Cf. O’Rahilly, Measgra Dánta 1, p.38.

5 r.a1 On the blasa or tastes of foods. Beg. acephalous na ballaib spirudalta o fhrichathughadh anagaid in coimpilex examail. Gilbertinus cited.

6 r.a16 Cures for felon. Beg. Don filun and so sis. Ar fistula .i. gab salann costum 7 agairicum. 6r.b1 Contra cantrum 7 fistula .i. luaitrid cinn con da crothad air, cf. NLI MS. G 11, p.285b. No authorities cited.

9 r.a1 On elephantiasis and morphea. Beg. Labrum and so sis dona coig gallraib neoch donither o comaentaid na mball 7 o chomchumasc na leandand .i. mar ata elifainnsia 7 moirfeada sgaibideis apostemata pruritus. Authorities cited: Arnaldus, Hippocrates.

9 v.a1 Regimen for each month of the year, March-February. Beg. (T)indsgeadal and so sis an aileamhain bidh 7 dighi dleaghar do gnathughadh in gach mhi fo leth sa bliadhain do reir leabair. No authorities cited.

10 r.a i The day and hour in each month in which the Sun and Moon enter the same Sign. Beg. Is e la teit grian 7esca an aenchomartha .i. an .vii. mad la deg a ndiaigh lae Chaeilli 7 isi uair teid si annsin comhartha sin .i. a meadon lae.

10 v.a1 On sleep. Beg. Is coir duinn labra da chuisib in codalta mar tig se gu neoch. Incomplete?

11 r.1 Ata an sund aenlaech ar cuan, 35¼ qq. Garbh mac Stairn. Incomplete, 11v being illegible.

© Ronald Black, 2011