Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black

Adv. MS 73.2.2

(Gaelic MS.CXXI).
WILLIAM MACMURCHY’S POEMS (“TURNER MS.XIV”).

Mackinnon, p.278 (box 2, no.4); Mackechnie, p.279; LF, pp.viii, xxx; Rel. Celt., vol.2, pp.vi, 310.


Section (a). 84 ff. Quarto. “Coat of arms” watermark. Hand: William MacMurchy (see Adv.MS.72.2.12 and Adv.MS.72.2.15). Save for a line at p.126 and the marginal comment “S beg orm fuigioll do dhighe duine s a croide na déigh” at p.52, the script is Roman. Many of the poems are clearly MacMurchy’s own compositions. Many are versions of items in Adv.MS.72.2.15. Four also occur in the Inverneill MS. (photostat: MS.14951). More corrupt, but occasionally fuller, versions of the poems at pp.39 and 103-11 are found in Adv.MS.73.1.14, ff.2-15. The manuscript was obtained by Peter Turner, whose name appears in marginal notes, subsequently scored through, at pp.23 (detached leaf, now Ingliston MS.A.vi.4), 45, 54 and 82, with the dates 1748 (p.54) and 1808 (p.45). During or shortly after the latter year he gave the manuscript to John Campbell, Translator, for the HSS. Campbell noted at pp. 88, 100, 119 and 126 that the poems beginning at those pages are in what he calls the “Perthshire Collection”, i.e., E. Gillies, Sean Dain agus Orain Ghaidhealach (Perth, 1786). He also noted at p.162 that the poem there is “published”. Parts of the manuscript were clearly already in poor condition, for Campbell initiated a copy of three poems, now section (b). Paginated by MacMurchy, section (a) now consists of pp.13-14, 21-2, 25-70, 79-196. The first two leaves and the last leaf are particularly tattered with slight textual loss.

Section (b). 5 ff. Quarto. Watermarked 1806. Ff.1- 4 written by John Campbell, f.5 by another. The first poem is a transcript of the elegy on the Duke of Argyll from the now fragmented beginning of section (a). The provenance of the second and third is uncertain, but they seem likely to have been in a portion of section (a) now completely missing. Condition now tattered.

The combined manuscript was sent by the Society in 1814 to Dr John MacLeod and then to Ewen MacLachlan. It was numbered 14 for inventories compiled at this time (at section (b), f.1r ), and described by MacLachlan as containing 92 leaves. (Ingliston MSS. A.iv.18, A.iv.19, A.iv.21.) The present total, including Ingliston MS. A.vi.4, is 90 leaves.

Contents printed complete in Rel. Celt., vol.2, as follows. Section (a): pp.316-420. Section (b): pp.311-16. The manuscript is there compositely entitled “Turner MS. XIV”, from the name and number most prominent in its pages.

Section (a)

p.

13 Poem in praise of Kintyre beg. (acephalous) A freagairt a cheile ma n-inbhir, 48 ll. Incomplete due to loss of pp.15-20. First 4 ll. correspond to ll. 45-8 of “Moladh Chinntire” (section (b), f.5 ).

21 Part of “Marbhrainn Eoin Diuc Earreghaoidhiol” beg. (acephalous) Measoil Alloil e ntir Namhad, 64 ll. including its conclusion on p.23. (Pp. 23 - 4 are Ingliston MS. A.vi.4, but a Xerox of this has been placed with the manuscript). For complete poem see section (b).

24 (Xerox of Ingliston MS. A.vi.4). Do bheath’ Ghilleasbuig gud Dhuthchas, 32 ll. “Failte Ghilleasbuig Diuc Earraghaoidhiol”. To 3rd Duke of Argyll on his accession, 1743. Cf. Inverneill MS., p.5.

25 m Trialluidh mi lem’ Dhuanaig Ullamh, 80 ll. Headed “Do Mharcus Earraghaoidhiol a rinneadh an Rosc so sios”. However the poem appears to be addressed to Archibald, 4th Earl of Argyll, during 1555-8 (Bàrdachd Ghàidhlig, p.334). First printed in Donald MacBrayne, Marbh-Roinn an Leigh Mhic Lachluin, leis an Ughdair. Maille ri Sean Duanag Ghaoidhealach do Chaillain treas Iarla Earraghaoidheal … (Glasgow, 1770).

29 ‘S truadh m’imtheachd o Chuirt Mhic Cailain, 44 ll. “Marbhrainn Iarla Earraghaoidhiol” (perhaps Archibald, 9th Earl, d.1685).

31 O! ‘s uaigneach anochd Clar Ghiorra, 36 ll. “Marbhrainn Dhubhghill’ Óig Tighearna Achaidh na mbreac” (perhaps the Sir Dugald Campbell of Auchinbreck who died in 1643).

32 i ‘S cian o chualas alladh Bósdain, 88 ll. "Moladh Mhic Cairbre", a satire.

36 m A ncuala sibh ‘n dán ad Chalum, 12 qq. Satirical. In answer to a satire by Calum.

39 A Lamh oinidh óir is oighre, 80 ll. “Dán Mhic Dhiarmuid”. A version of a poem in the Book of the Dean of Lismore, Law inir zorfis in neyt (Adv.MS.72.1.37, p.153).

42 m Sann aig Lachlann ata n Cóta, 20 ll. + chorus. Satire on Lachlan.

43 m A Lachluinn sguir dod’ bhárdachd, 13 qq.

46 Ta minntinn fuigh smuairain, 18 stt. "Moladh maguidh air Droch Phíbaire agus air a Phib". Satire on a piper called Eoin mac Ghillepheadair.

49 Ó Maoilchiaráin. Mac ui Mhaolchiarain mo Ghrádh, 10 qq. "Caoi Mhic Ui Mhaoilchiarain".

50 Seisior sinne soar ar sliochd, 13 qq. Cf. Leabhar na Feinne, p.106.

53 i Chunncas na ruich hun na Haird’, 24 ll. Apparently a satire on a poet called Mac Laomuinn.

55 Ceud Contrachd ort a Mhifhortuin, 14 stt. "Oran a Mhifhortuin".

59 i A Ghilleasbuig mo bheannachd rem’ bheo, 8 stt. "Moladh na Dibe". Cf. Inverneill MS., p.6.

62 i A Ghilleasbuig mo mhallachd rem bheo, 7½ stt. "Diomoladh na Dibe". Cf. Inverneill MS., p.7.

65.5 A Mharcuigh ud na bi Eudmhur, 16 qq. "Sean Laoi do rinn Duine uasal do Dhuin uasal eile a chaill a bheachd le Eud".

68 Bu taibhse dhuinn an cadal sin, 18 qq. “Aisling Shearluis an Toghuir”. Ballad of Séarlus an Toghar, cf. Highland Monthly, vol.1 (Inverness, 1889-90), pp.148, 213. Incomplete due to loss of pp.71-78.

79 Elegy on a MacAlister of Loup, beg. (acephalous) Ach ‘se ‘n samhradh a chuar sinn, 11 stt. Cf. Bàrdachd Ghàidhlig, p.165.

83 Sann agam tha n sgeul firinneach, 23 qq. Satire on the growing Highland middle class.

87 Mile failte Dhuitse Chait, 11 qq. “Failte an Chait”.

88 i [Domhnall mac Fhionnlaidh nan Dàn]. A Chomhachg bhochd na Sroine, 46 qq. Cf. Bàrdachd Ghàidhlig, p.249; R.A. Rankin, “Oran na Comhachaig”, in Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Glasgow, vol.5 (Glasgow, 1958), p.122; SGTS vol.

96 m ‘S mairg a Mheallfar le Sannt saoghalt, 9 qq.

98 S deacair sud anacall duinn, 10½ qq. Rainn na h-Àbhacais.

100 Comhairle thug ormsa Brian, 16 qq.

102 m Cho phós me Cailleach gun ní, 3 qq.

103 Cuchuluinn agus Laoighre Buadhach. Goirt liom an ghaoth trem chneas cuana, 15 qq. + prose introduction.

105 m Eimhir. Och a lámh on och a lámh, 13 qq. + prose introduction.

108 Conall Cearnach. Cuchuluinn bu h-amhra ngcéin, 15 qq. + 2 prose passages.

111 A Chonuill cia shealbh na cinn, 30 qq.

116 Gormfhlaith ni Fhloinn. Niall O Neill an tús a sholair, 18 qq. Cf. Gadelica, vol.1, p.295.

119 Sgeula air Chonn mac an Deirg, 45 qq.

126 m Ta sgeul beg agum air Fionn, 33 qq.

132 A Chléirigh chanfas na sailm, 48 qq.

140 Padruig agus Oisin. A Phadruig mhic Ailpin fheile, 18 qq.

143 Fionn agus Fearghus File. Aithris duinne Fhearguis, 8 qq.

144 m Oisin. S mor anochd mo chumha fein, 36 qq.

151 Ló da nraibh Pádruig na mhúr, 30 qq.

156 Fearghus File. Buadhach sin a Gu mbuaidh, 12 qq. + prose introduction.

158 ‘S ard aigne Ghuill, 4 qq.

158 i Bu mhaith an duine Fionn, 2 qq. (Part of Sé lá gus an dé).

159 Creidfam a Nathair na ngras, 12 qq. The Creed.

161 Athair Naomhtha ‘ta air Neamh, 8 qq. The Lord’s Prayer.

162 m Gabh mo chomhairle romh’ ‘n bhas, 10 qq.

164 Sud agaibh Laoi na ngcuig rann (deug added in pencil), 15 qq.

167 Gabh mo chomhairle ‘dhuin Oig, 14 qq.

169 S mithidh dhamhsa bhith sior theachd, 9 qq.

171 Biaidh duine mpein is e beo, 6 stt.

172 Duisg a cholann as do chadal, 9 qq.

173 m Tuirseach me fagbhail mo thriath, 11 qq. On the poet’s rupture with his patron.

175 ‘S fada do chodla’ Neill Oig, 14 qq. “Marbhrainn Neill Oig MhachreShanuis” (Neil Og MacNeill, tacksman of Machrilhanish and Carskey, d.1685).

177 m A Chailleach do thainig don tir, 5 qq.

178.5 La da nraibh mise leam pfein, 12 qq.

180 Aithris sin a mhicaimh eachdaigh, 23 qq. + prose introduction. Cf. LF, p.209.

184 Mo Shloinneadh an ordu shaobhuidh, 11 qq. On Mac Uí Néill. His allies are given as MacDermot (cf. p.39) and the Earl of Argyll.

186 Nois o theilg me dhiom mo churam, 8 stt. (Stt. 7 and 8 lack some lines). On the poet’s first love, a girl he knew in the north, perhaps Skye.

188 i [Roderick Morison]. Tha tacaid gam thaghal, 14 stt. Cf. W. Matheson, The Blind Harper (S.G.T.S., Edinburgh, 1970), p.58.

193 m Soridh uam gu Beitiras, 10 stt. A song about a girl called Beatrice.

Section (b)

f.

1r Tuirseach an diugh criocha Gaoidhiol, 147 ll. “Marbhrainn Eoin Diuc Earreghaoidhiol” (2nd Duke, d.1743). Cf. Inverneill MS., p.1.

4r An uair a dh’eirighmid gu moch, 5 qq. In praise of whisky.

5r Soruidh soir uam gu Cinntire, 64 11. “Moladh Chinntire”. Cf. Bàrdachd Ghàidhlig, p.183.