Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.33


Mackinnon, p.60; Mackechnie, p.172.

Vellum and paper. 52 ff. Quarto. Consists of two sections now quite separate.

Section (a)

Vellum. 8 ff. 20.5 x 14 cms. A calendar written c.1538 by Diarmuid Ó Fithcheallaigh (cf. ff.1v, 2r), with additions by Beatons. Bound with thread into a cover of blind-tooled leather, probably taken from a printed work; this was very broad at the spine and large enough to provide flaps all round the manuscript. There is a rough sheepskin clasp. Thongs were inserted at the spine to help bind in section (b). Some mangled remnants of section (b) remain here with the binding-threads, and fragments of paper adhere to the inside back cover. Foliation modern.

Section (b)

Paper. 44 ff. 19.5 x 14.75 cms. “Pot” watermark (16th century); not, however, the same variety as that of Adv.MS.72.2.10, a manuscript identical in page-size and displaying some textual correspondences. Written by a number of hands, including several Beatons and an Ó Conchubhair. Consists of the poem on the calendar usually attributed to Seán Ó Dubhagáin, followed by various medical texts, with some charms and folk cures. Paginated by Ewen MacLachlan; previously unnumbered pages are now a or b, so the final pagination is 1–2, 2a, 2b, 3–82, 82a, 82b, 83–4. There are only two gatherings, pp.13–20 and 63–82; pp.1–2b, 3–6, 7–10, 43–6 and 55–8 survive as bifolia, while the remainder are single leaves. The remains of paper strips used to strengthen some leaves for binding adhere to pp.1–2b, 3–6 and 37–8; all bear earlier writing, and that at pp.37–8, preserving intact a letter of 1593–6 from MacLean of Duart to Malcolm Beaton, his physician, is of greater importance than any part of the manuscript proper.

Key to Hands

A Diarmuid Ó Fithcheallaigh, cf. f.1v.

B Donald Beaton, cf. p.84.

C Anon. Related in style to hand of Christopher Beaton, Nat. Mus. Antiq. MCR 40.

D Neil Beaton, cf. pp.33–4 and Adv.MS.72.1.2, f.65v.

E Donnchadh Albannach Ó Conchubhair (1571–1647), cf. Adv.MS.73.1.22.

F Anon.

G Malcolm Beaton (fl. 1582–1603), cf. p.84 and Adv.MS.72.1.2, f.65v.

H Small neat hand, possibly a version of G.

I Small hand, possibly another version of G.

J Lachlann Mór Maclean of Duart (d.1598). Related in style to K.

K Several interconnected styles. Probably all James Beaton, cf. f.1r9, Adv.MS.72.1.3, Adv.MS.72.1.29.

L Anon., good secretary hand.

M Anon.

N Hand 54 of Adv.MS.72.1.2.

O Anon.

P Anon.

Q Anon.

R Cf. hands 24 and 77 of Adv.MS.72.1.2.

S Rev. John Beaton (c. 1640–1715).

T Probably a version of S.

U Anon.

In addition there appear the hands of Major John MacLachlan (“Major John McLachlan / Kilbride No 2”, f.1v), Donald Mackintosh (p.36), and Ewen MacLachlan (pagination, note especially pp.30, 32, 33). Ewen MacLachlan had the manuscript from 1811 to 1813. His description of it is at Adv.MS.72.3.4, p.117, with transcripts at Adv.MS.72.3.5, pp.249, 255. Of section (b) he says: “The paper is wearing out into rags from its extreme antiquity”. The condition of the paper is indeed very bad, especially at the edges. The leaves are fragile and crumbling, and much text is lost.

In addition to MacLachlan the manuscript was described by Dr Donald Smith, Ossian Report (1805), p.293, and by Rev. Charles Graves, Proc. RIA 4 (1847–8), p.259. A single leaf, pp.82ab, was restored to it in 1974 from Adv.MS.73.1.22, with which it may have temporarily fallen together in 1801.



1 r Hand K. Na bhi friu, a Thaogd Mhic Domhnuill, 2 qq. On the diet of the Munstermen, Leinstermen and Connachtmen. Subscribed “7 tabhair do phipe do chosg idte do nUlteach”.

1 r7 Hand S. “Eóin Maigbhetha est huius libri possessor. Culrathine 22 don mith April 1700”.

1 r9 Hand K. “James B.”

1 v Hand A. On determining the dominical letter and golden number, beg. Ma se fis na leitrech domhnuigh gach aenbliadhna dob ail let d’ faghbhail . Subscribed (partly in a cipher employing symbols and letters) “Diarmuid Ó Fithcheallaigh do scribh sin”. Underneath are drawn the circular devices used to find dominical letter and golden number. Transcript: Adv.MS.72.3.5, p.249.

2 r Hand A. Calendar of the lunar cycle, etc., one month per page, written in black and red. MacLachlan (Adv.MS.72.3.4, p.118) deduced that it may relate in particular to the year 1538. Information is in six columns, labelled Aures, Hore, Minuta, L. signorum, L. dom. cal. and L. kalende, with the remainder of each page left for the insertion of feast-days. The scribe puts in many of these, while further entries are made by hands K (“Feil Ciaráin”, “Feil Moceallog”, “Feil Moliudhag”, “mu cuilinn in la nach dlegar an berrad do denam”, “F. Molaisi”, “F. Línaird”, “F. Mobeog”, etc.), N, O (“La Colaim Cille”), and S (“La na nuille Náomh / all souls day”, “S Aindrais”, etc.). At the foot are notes on diet and other aspects of health relating to the month in question; those for January-February are by hand N, the rest by (?) hand A (transcript: Adv.MS.72.3.5, p.255).

8 r Hand A. Tabular concordance of astronomical and astrological information, with notes and a charm(?) beg. Ab dota bocardo.

8 v (Material on this page appears in places to be palimpsest.) Hands T, M. Charm beg. Bono diang b……..(?)

8 v7 Hand 14 of Adv.MS.72.1.2. Charm beg. Elsealus comedius.

8 v9 Hand S. Charm beg. Ebar chuir Colum Kille re suilibh a ghille, headed “Orra an chinn”.

8 v14 Hand N. “A fuil fonamh ort apind bic so 7 doníodo ni fuil”. (U.V.)

8 v i Hand T. “bhmson bvsed fndlhngs fitanmicbldign g ebbs….. pngn…..stngb bhnd sdl sngs” (i.e. “……….and so sis”, cf. Adv.MS.72.2.10).



1 Hand D. Gillibeart Ó Dubhthaigh (see p.7m). Bliaghain so solus a dath, 80½ qq. On the calendar. Part transcript: Adv.MS.72.3.5, p.250.10. F.2a blank save for pen-test by hand K (“an fein sin mar pend 7 mar fein go do t…”) and imitation by hand D. The verso, p.2b, is blank. Gummed to this leaf (originally for binding purposes) are two small fragments bearing traces of hand K (“…ocht…”). P.4 is blank. Bound between pp.4 and 5 is a strip 13 x 1.5 cms.: recto, part of a letter (“…..a dutifull subiect dat att Raulin the first ….”), hand L; verso, alphabet, hand K. There are traces of another such fragment gummed to p.6 (hand K).

7 m Gillibeart O Dut(aigh) duinn, 1 q. Stanza of ascription for preceding poem, written three times – once by (?) hand S (a late insertion, therefore) and twice by hand K.

7 i Hand K. Charm beg. Ex tnwm pladus ma megus with instructions for use. Hand S makes additions and concludes “7 is maith so ar glaic cléibh, no chuil .i. ar muin teinn .i. est rickets”. P.8 blank.

9 Hand D. On anatomy, beg. Adeir Galen a leabhar Anathomia gurab iad so na boill oiredho. Cf. Adv.MS.72.2.10, p.239; RIA MS. 23 N 17 (996), p.139. Hand E takes over at p.27.x and completes the text.

31 (Single leaf pp.31–2 is reduced to approx. 12 x 13 cms. by perishing of upper portion.) Hand D. On digestion. Beg. (acephalous) Na daoine ar a mbi…. iotta.

31 .10 Hand F. “Da .c. marg 7 6 marg 7 leth marg do pillule cho…. numera coronarum xx6 totaliter amen Jesus”. Partly repeated by hand K (red-brown ink).

31 .13 Hand K (black ink). Cure for rheumatism” (“loiny”). Beg. Gabh finél madadh 7 chuach Patruig.

32 Hands K, Q. Pen-tests (“an fo an pend”).

33 Hand D. Charms and cures, mainly for uncertain purposes (some re-inked). “Misi Niall”, p.33.8; “Mise Niall”, p.34.9. The last item, beg. (E)baidh cuir Die chugam (p.34.10), is repeated twice by hand K and subscribed “Jesus”. It is headed “Ar deidigh” by hand S.

35 Hand S. Charms, etc. P.35, against urinary and menstrual diseases, beg. Triur a dh’iath man obir. P.36, against boils, erysipelas and breast cancer, beg. An fheighle a chuir Muire re a mac. P.36 m, cure for toothache, beg. Dean caoinnil do meacurig eigin. P.36 i, against toothache, beg. An ebar a chuir Dia is Muire is Brighid. Cf. Ní Shéaghdha, Cat. of Ir. MSS. in NLI 1, p.86.

37 Hand M. Propositions, beg. (Q)uod male incipitur, male, finitur. Cf. Adv.MS.72.2.10, p.181; EUL Laing MS. III 21, f.65. Ends p.40 “Finis ar Choilligeat”, i.e. Averroes’ work Colliget. With marginal notes by hand K. Folded and affixed to both sides of the leaf forming pp.37–8, to bear binding threads (the gashes remain), is a strip of paper which unfolded would measure 17.5 x 6 cms. It bears a letter in blue ink beg. Mile benn(a)cht (o) L(oc)hl(oinn) (M)ac (Mh)ic Giolla Eoin, written and signed by Lachlan Mór MacLean of Duart (hand J), to Malcolm Beaton, his physician, 1593–6. See SGS 13, p.56.

41 Hand M. REGIMEN SANITATIS SALERNITANUM. Beg. Anghlorum regi scripsit schola tota Salerni .i. as iat… go hulide do scriou na fearsadhsa so do cum rig Saxan. Headed “Tinnsgnuim an ainm.......isc m….” See Ossian Report, Appendix, p.294. Cf. Adv.MS.72.2.10, p.126. Ends p.58, without formal conclusion, at a point shortly before end of Adv.MS.72.2.10 text, i.e. p.149.7 of that manuscript. With marginal notes by hand K. P.50, “(com)ortus” (hand U).

59 Hand H. On diagnosis from urine. Beg. Urina lucida sicat cornu indisposciciones. Incomplete. Headed by hand S “Breitheamhnas an fhuail ann so”. Above this is an illegible line by hand H.

61 Hand B. Blue-black ink. Gilles de Corbeil (Aegidius). DE URINARUM JUDICIIS. Beg. Dicitur urina quoniam fit in renibus una. Cf. version at Adv.MS.72.2.10, p.155. There is commentary by hand C at foot of pp.61–5, and by hand B at foot of pp.82–82b. Hand H adds occasional notes. Hand K writes “an ainm De ann so” at p.78. Ends “7 an 3. uair don contenta: Finid” as at Adv.Ms.72.2.10, p.179.2. At p.82b.14 hand H adds “Iste 2. modus in tex deighionaigh don leabhar so 7 is breg an finis so thall lethamach don duilleoigsi thall”, part of which is repeated by hand K.

82 b.16 Hand B. Brown ink. Table showing colours of urine and their significance. Beg. Alba: mar uisage glan. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.2, f.28r z; Adv.MS.72.1.27, f.5r.b26; Adv.MS.72.2.10, p.179 m; RIA MS. 23 0 6 (464), p.7. Completed by hand P.

83 Hand B. Brown ink. Alternative conclusion of DE URINARUM JUDICIIS (cf. p.82b.14), beg. no ubhall craind 7 da rabhaid gan comurthaiph an dilegtha. Notes and commentary (p.83 i, p.84.7) by hand H. Text ends (p.84.3) “Mise Domhnall Mac an Ollaimh & is olc an liter sin 7 dobo mor n…..& is romor mo tuirrsi tareis Donnchaidh Ulltaigh 7 Pfronsies Ulltaigh & is dursan lem nach bfuigim cunntapart do chuir an en focul o d’iomaigh siad Finid air Eghidius & me an Dun na Gall.”

84 .11 Hand I. Nír airiomhsi re a h-annsi, 1 q.

84 .13 On either side of an interlocking pattern hand G writes “Leabhair Giolla Cholaim Meigbeathadh”.

84 .14 Hand R supplies first few words of the page (missing through perished corner): “gonghnom [?gonorrhaeam] no tromdhacht n[a] mball ng(einemhnacha)”.

© Ronald Black, 2011