Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

Adv. MS 72.2.11

(Gaelic MS.LXI). “CATH FIONNTRAGHA”.

Mackinnon p. 174f. Mackechnie p. 237f.


18th cent. Paper. 40 pp. 22½ x 17 cms. “Watermark: “horn” and I D M (type Heawood 2718-2734, Dutch & English documents 1665-1721). Written by Alexander MacDonald (Alasdair Mac Mhaighistir Alasdair). Contains no statement of scribal identity, but script and some distinctive orthographical features are as Adv.MS.72.2.13. Some sea-runs here (pp. 2-4) are strongly echoed in MacDonald’s Birlinn Chlann Raghnaill. The language is a unique mixture of Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The text is the well-known Early Modern Irish tale, embellished and overlaid with Scottish forms. Spellings frequently reflect MacDonald’s dialect. Donald Mackintosh referred to the MS. as follows in 1806: “Mr. Norman Macleod, son of the Rev. Mr. Macleod of Morven, gave Mr. Mackintosh a paper MS.; an ancient tale in prose, in the same [i.e. old Gaelic] characters”. (Gaelic Ossian, III. 572). Mackintosh’s MSS. passed to the H.S.S. on his death in 1808; the present MS. is the only one in the H.S.S. collection to which the above description could refer. “19” and “11 JMcH” (misread “J. Nott” by Mackinnon) appear at p. 1, cf. Adv.MS.72.1.43. Lent to Dr. John MacLeod of Kilmarnock in 1814 for his work on H.S.S. Dict. (Ingliston MSS. A.iv.18 and a.iv.21, item 19 in each being “A Quarto M.S. in prose containing 40 pages”). MacLeod passed it on the Ewen MacLachlan. Reclaimed by H.S.S. at the latter’s death in 1822. “20 leaves at the end awanting” (Skene, 1861); in fact another 10 pp. would have seen the text complete. The good condition of the last leaf, compared to the tattered and worn state of the first, is the only positive indication that the MS. may have originally contained more, although the text certainly breaks off very abruptly. Pp. 21-24 loose. Scribal pagination.

CATH FIONNTRAGHA. No title. Beg. Ardri cródha cennsguil(ti)ch trénmhor ainnagi allonta dhánath gruam(a)ch dhannirra ardbheacht(a)ch tennghlioc tiolicich bhorbfhearg(a)ch dhur dhíon fhuilicht(i)ch ghuinich naimhdoil thoruinnach lánbhuadhchathach ‘s gach hiorghilib, leis na ghabhasdar flaithis 7 forrasmacht ar an domin mor uile go h-iomlán, o nHinia ard oirragheirc iasglionmhor oirthireghleghil fhioraoibhinn go hEirinn iatghlais oilen(i)ch, dar b(a) comhainm Dáir Donnsgiath(a)ch mac Losg(i)nn Lomghluin(i)ch. Ends thainig san catha mar sin naoi uairin an dé cheile 7 do mharbadh nóchad fear leis ar gach cuart diu = ed. O’Rahilly, l. 1112.