Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2015

Adv. MS 72.2.1

(Gaelic MS.LI). FORAS FEASA AR ÉIRINN (contd)

Mackinnon 126 f; Mackechnie 209.


Continuation of Adv.MS.72.1.43 (q.v.). Ff.18. The original codex appears to have disintegrated at an early stage, being recorded as coverless from its first appearance in 1803. Its later history can be traced as 4 sections:

A.... Adv.MS.72.1.43.
B.... Adv.MS.72.2.1, ff.1-8 (in origin a single sheet, cf. Mackinnon).
C.... Adv.MS.72.2.1, ff.9-18 (distinguished from B notably by hole in middle of pp.9 seq.).
D.... Remainder, now lost.

According to Highland Society of Scotland minutes, on 6th Jan. 1803 John Mackenzie described item 7 of the 19 MSS. despatched to Edinburgh as “containing 49 Quarto leaves, of which two are blank, two loose and torn; and three small pieces loose and torn.—No cover. Signed on the first and last leaves, London Jan.y 5. 1803. John Mackenzie”. This description fits AB, Mackenzie’s endorsement appearing at Adv.MS.72.2.1, f.8v. His 15th item was “A small Quarto Paper Manuscript in Prose, containing six pages in two Columns, not stitched, and no cover, signed on the first and last leaves, London 5th. January 1803. John Mackenzie”. This description does not fit C; it may well have fitted D, however, as the genealogical section at the end of “Foras Feasa” contains material generally written in two columns. In addition, Donald Mackintosh describes this item in 1806 as “A genealogy of the Kings of Ireland, without a date, and consisting of a few leaves stitched”. (Sinclair’s Ossian, vol.iii, p.569). This appears to confirm the identification. C at least can only be assigned by default to Mackenzie’s 16th item, “103 detached Leaves 4to. and 4 folio leaves, Paper Manuscript, different Subjects, not arranged”

When D subsequently went missing the resultant vacuum was filled by bringing together B and C. Early pencilled notes in B state “15 of Invy. No 51” (f.1r) and “seems to be 15” (f.7v). These were probably made when the MSS. were deposited with the Advocates collection in 1850. Skene, in his scroll catalogue of 1861, describes Gaelic MS.LI as “A small quarto MS on paper consisting of Sixteen leaves / History of Kings of Ireland”. But Ewen MacLachlan had ABC together, 58 leaves (Ingliston MS A.iv.19).

Inlaid and bound in 1915. Modern pencilled foliation at foot of page. Condition: stained, increasingly perished from f.8 with some loss of text.

Keating’s FORAS FEASA AR ÉIRINN, lib. 1 (contd. from Adv.MS.72.1.43), beg. 7 as o Bhratha ráitear Briogansa san Poirtingéil (ITS ed., vol. II l. 590). Imperfect and incomplete, now containing only text corresponding to ITS ll. 590-1465 (ff. 1 - 8 ), ll. 1542-2022 (ff. 9 - 14 ), ll. 2091-2164 (f. 16 ), ll. 2723-2793 (f. 15 ), ll. 3532-3626 (f. 18 ), and ll. 3831-3891 (f. 17 ).

© Ronald Black, 2015