Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.7


Mackinnon, pp.84, 112, 177, 179, 181, 187, 191; Mackechnie, p.144.

?15th cent. Vellum. 11 ff. Quarto, 26.5 x 17.5 cms. There are only two or three hands in this singularly well-preserved and rather beautiful portion of manuscript, and only one non-scribal marginalium. The chief hand or style of the text (ff.1–5, 8–11), while unremarkable in itself, boasts some fine decorative initials (partly zoomorphic) and pleasing use of red, yellow, green and brown colouring. The other (ff.6–7) is unembellished. The marginalium, Ní bí amuigh aonduini ón ég, 2 lines. (f.7r), is in a large formal script recalling a hand of the Annals of Ulster in Bodleian MS. Rawl. B 489. There are three bifolia, ff.1–4, 2–3 and 6–7. All other leaves are single, with broad stubs to accommodate the thongs which bind the manuscript together. These stubs give it an untidy appearance. That of f.8 bears prickings and a trace of script, indicating excision of a leaf. F.5 is only 12 cms. broad and is the only leaf written in one rather than two columns. The relatively white and unstained condition of the vellum (except on outer leaves), the firmness of the colours, and the paucity of marginalia, suggest that the manuscript was little used and in continuous possession for a long period.

Unnumbered by Major MacLachlan; Kilbride no.3 by Hugh Kerr’s enumeration. Even the latter wrote only on f.1r (“No.3. H. Kerr”). Foliation modern: ff.6–11 numbered in ink, probably by Meyer. Line numbers are pencilled in at f.11v, perhaps by O’Grady, who transcribed the page in 1871 (Cat., p.82).


1 r.a1 CÓIR ANMANN, short recension. Beg. Art Aenfhir, cidh dia tá? Ni ansa. Ar ni bái ma c fa-deóidh ag Cond acht eisium. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.1, f.13r.a1.

4 v.a1 BANSHENCHAS. Beg. Scota ingen Foraind rig Eigifti bean Niuil mathar Gaidil Glais 7 is don Forann sin doba comainm Bestoibeis. Ends “Derborgaill ingen Taidg maic Gilla-Phatraig rig Osraidhi máthair dá mac Toirrdealbaigh maic Briain .i. Tadg 7 Muircertach”. Cf. RC 47, p.284; RC 48, p.204. The present version is however independent of those edited by Dobbs, RC 47–9.

6 r.a1 Law on poets from URAICECHT BEC. Beg. (S)eacht ngraid filedh immorro .i. gradus gradgradus ceim .i. vii ceimenna na filidechta. Ends with list of tales poets must know. Cf. Atkinson, Ancient Laws of Ireland 5, pp.26–30, 56–68; Binchy, Corpus Iuris Hibernici.

7 v Blank save for marginalia “amesim”, “docn doncuarthsindo”.

8 r.a1 Another tract on the law concerning poets. Beg. (as at f.6r.b z supra) Treidhe dleaghar don ollam fhilidh and so sis .i. teinm laegha 7 imas forosnadh 7 dicheadal do ceannaib, adber Breatha Neimeadh. Above is “a n-ainm Dhe so sis”, and there are various marginal additions to the text. Ends “Do neoch rangamar do mnaib Albancha is Eireandcha, isi in mael mairgeandach, isi in cairgeandach ceimeandach.” Binchy, op. cit.

8 v.b45 Signs of bad and good pleading. Beg. Secht comarthada déc drochtagra. 8v.b50 Secht comartadha dec deagtagra, of which only nine are given, the text being continued below the bottom line but nevertheless left incomplete. Ed. Meyer, Tecosca Cormaic, p.55, and Smith in RC 45, pp.36–7. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.1, f.11v.d34; Thurneysen, Zu irischen Handschriften und Litteraturdenkmälern 1, p.7.

9 r.a1 TECOSCA CORMAIC, §§1–18 (Meyer). Beg. A ua Chuind, a Cormaicc, ol Cairbri, cia deach do rí? Ni ansa, ol Cormac. Deach dó fostadh can fheirg. Ed. Meyer, op. cit.; cf. Adv.MS.72.1.1, f.11r.a1, and Thurneysen, op.cit. p.7.

9 v.b29 TRIADS OF IRELAND. Beg. Ceann Eirind Ardmacha. Ordan Erend Cluain Maic Nóis. Ana Erend Cluain Iraird. Headed “Treching Breath ann so”. Cf. Meyer, op. cit., p.x, n.1, in addition to his Triads of Ireland. A further triad is added in upper margin of 9v.b. Ends (as Adv.MS.72.1.1, f.12v.a i) “Anas deach cacha fleidhe a chainaltugud 7 a mhochdingbhail. Finit” – this in upper margin of f.10v, the following text with its decorative initial having been begun before completion of the present one.

10 v.a13 SERMO AD REGES. Beg. Bai rig amra for macaib Israhel feacht n-aill .i. Solam ma c Dauith eiside. Headed “Teacusc rigda Solaim maic Dauith ann so”. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.1, f.2r.a1.

11 v.a12 Glossary. Beg. Ur .i. tosach. Er .i. uasal. Son .i. focal. Headed in red “Dubfhocail and so”. Cf. Stokes, “The Lecan Glossary”, in Archiv für Celtische Lexikographie 1, p.50. This is an independent version. 11v.a38: “Iarcaelad in uraicechta ann so”, beg. Uraiceft .i. ur cach tosach. Cf. art. cit., nos.205–6. Ends “Seachnoin .i. timcilladh. Soine .i. atharrach. A iarcaelad .i. a iaraid asa caelaib co cael a mbia corab a sin tuicear he.” Cf. art. cit., nos.282–3.

© Ronald Black, 2011