Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.45


Mackinnon, p.157; Mackechnie, p.202.

?16th cent. Vellum. 6 ff. Quarto, 27.5 x 18.5 cms. Written by a single hand, competent but unremarkable, and in this respect comparable to many medical hands such as that of Adv.MS.72.1.13, ff.17–24. No marginalia save for “ye men of ……” and “…Mc….”(?) scrawled in what is presumably a late 18th-cent. hand at f.1r. No.9 of HSL Collection, described thus in John Mackenzie’s inventory of 1803: “A large quarto Vellum Manuscript in Prose, containing 6 Leaves, with two Columns in a page, not stitched. Signed on the first and last leaves, London January 5th 1803. John Mackenzie”. Mackenzie’s inscriptions are on ff.1r and 6v. Four members of the HSS Ossian Committee – John Campbell, Lewis Gordon, Donald Mackintosh, Donald Smith – added their initials on f. 6v. On the same page Mackintosh writes “Irish Tale in prose”. Ewen MacLachlan had the manuscript from 1814 to his death in 1822 (Ingliston MS. A.iv.19). His transcript of ff.2v.b41–3r.b9 is at Adv.MS.72.3.5, p.258 10. The initials of his executor, James McHardy, appear at f.6v.

Bound in boards by Waterston’s in 1915. The outer bifolium was put in upside-down, so f.1 will be found, reversed, at the end of the manuscript and f.6, reversed, at the beginning. In addition to damp-staining, f.6 was at one time folded in four, and the rest in two. The greatest textual losses have however been caused by rubbing at ff.1r and 6v; the latter is substantially illegible. F.6 is somewhat cracked and mouse-eaten. The manuscript probably lacks only its outer bifolium, as this would have seen the text complete. Foliation modern.


1r.a1 AIDED CON CULAINN. Beg. acephalous arin faiti 7 do-ronad comairle leo. Ends incomplete and illegible “Imtusa Conaill, tar eis Mail 7 Midna……….” Ed. from this manuscript by Van Hamel, Compert Con Culainn and other Stories, pp.78.19 – 125.22, and translated into French by Guyonvarc’h, Celticum 7 (= Ogam 13, pp.507–20, and 14, pp.493–508, 625–34). Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.38, p.7.

© Ronald Black, 2011