Copyright
Donald Mackinnon.

A descriptive catalogue of Gaelic manuscripts in the Advocates' library, Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Scotland; online

. (page 1 of 31)
Online LibraryDonald MackinnonA descriptive catalogue of Gaelic manuscripts in the Advocates' library, Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Scotland; → online text (page 1 of 31)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


mi



mum










'.feyjjy



y




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OE CALIEORNIA

LOS ANGELES



A DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE OF
GAELIC MANUSCRIPTS



A DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE

OF

GAELIC MANUSCRIPTS

IN THE

ADVOCATES' LIBRARY EDINBURGH,

AND
ELSEWHERE IN SCOTLAND



BY DONALD MACKINNON, M.A.

1>K0FESS0R OF CELTIC LANGUAGES, ETC. ETC. IN
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH



Compiled at the instance of

JOHN, FOURTH MARQUESS OF BUTE,

through whose liberality it is published



EDINBURGH
PRINTED BY T. AND A. CONSTABLE

PRINTERS TO HIS MAJESTY
AND PUBLISHED BY

WILLIAM BROWN, 5 CASTLE STREET
1912



Ja 1' "i






PREFACE

In issuing this Catalogue, I beg to acknowledge the courtesy and
kindness which I have received from the owners and custodiers
of the Manuscripts herein described.

In particular, my grateful thanks are due to the Curators of
the Advocates' Library for the exceptional arrangements kindly
made by them which enabled me to read their large collection
of Gaelic MSS., and to the Keeper of the Library and his staff
for the courteous manner in which they carried out these
arrangements.

The frequent references to Mr. Standish Hayes O'Grady's
Catalogue of Irish MSS. in the British Museum show my
indebtedness to that excellent work. In reading the Medical
MSS. of the Scottish Collection, the Chapter on Medicine, etc.
in Mr. O'Grady's Catalogue was of much benefit to me.

I have also received Avilling aid from Professor Kuno
Meyer, LL.D., now of Berlin, in a variety of ways.

DON. MACKINNON.

University of Edinburgh,
March, 1912.



a 2



CONTENTS

Introduction, PP- 1-4

MSS. IN ADVOCATES' LIBRARY

A— MSS. I-LXV

CHAPTER

I. Medicine, etc., pp. 5-71.

MSS. II, III, IV, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XVII, xviii, xx, xxi, xxii,

XXIII, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXXIII, XLI, LX.

II. Religious and Ecclesiastical, pp. 72-105.

MSS. I, V, VI, VII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, xxix, xxxi, XXXVI, XXXIX, XL,
XLVII, XLVIII, XLIX, LIA^, LV, LVI, LVIII, LXIV, LXV.

III. History and Genealogy, pp. 106-28.

MSS. I, II, V, VI, VII, VIII IX, XXVIII, XXX, xxxvi, XXXVIII, xxxix,
XLI, XLTI, XLIIT, XLIV, XLVIII, XLIX, L, LI, LII, LV, LVIII.

IV. Legend and Lore, pp. 129-76.

MSS. V, XVI, XIX, XXVIII, XXXIV, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XL, XLIl,
XLV, XLVIII, LIII, LIV, LV, LVI, LVII, LVIII, LIX, LXI, LXII, LXV.

V. Legal, Lexical, Grammatical, pp. 177-82.

Legal, MS. vii ; Lexical, MSS. vii, xxxviii, lxv ; Grammatical,

MSS. I, VI, VII, LVII, LVIII.

VI. Maxims, Triads, Proverbs, pp. 183-93.

Maxims (Sayings, Instructions), MSS. i, ii, vii, xlii, lvii ; Triads,
MSS. I, VII, XLII ; Proverbs, MSS. lxii, lxv.

VII. Gaelic Versions of Classical Epics, pp. 194-202.
MSS. VIII, XV, XIX, xLvi.

VIII. Miscellaneous, pp. 203-16.

MSS. V, XIX, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLVIII, LV, LVII, LVIII, LXII,
LXIII, LXV.

IX. Special Account of Three MSS., pp. 217-46.
MSS. xxxii, XXXV, xxxvii.



viii CATALOGUE OF GAELIC MANUSCRIPTS

B— APPENDIX I, pp. 247-82, and pp. 327-8.
I. MSS. Lxvi-civ, pp. 247-06 :—

(1) Dictionaries and Vocabularies : MSS. lxvi-lxxvi, lxxxi, xci-

xcviii, c, CI.

(2) Transcripts : MSS. lxxvii-lxxxi, lxxxiti-lxxxvi, lxxxix, xc, civ.

(3) Analysis of Gaelic MSS. : MS. lxxxii.

(4) Heroic Verse: MSS. lxxxvii, i.xxxviii, cii.

(5) Translations : MS. xcix, cm.

II. MSS. IN Boxes, pp. 267-81 :~

(1) The Skene Box— (a) Life of St. Patrick ; (b) Grant's MS. (Ossianic

Ballads) ; (c) two MSS. in Scots ; (d) Translations and Extracts
in English and Welsh ; (e) fugitive papers.

(2) Box 2 — Sundries : Portion of large medical MS. ; Ossianic collec-

tions of Pope, Fletcher, Macdonald of Staffa, Campbell, Portree ;
Turner (?) MS. ; Tale of the Big Fool ; Vocabulary ; D. C. Macpher-
son's Texts from the Dean of Lismore ; papers on the Ossianic
Controversy ; stray ballads.

(3) Box 3 — Dr. Macdonald's Collection ; specimens of Ewen Maclach-

lan's Translations from the Iliad ; papers on the Ossianic Contro-
versy ; individual ballads and poems.

(4) Box 4 — Fragmentary vocabularies ; papers on the Ossianic Controversy

and the Highland Society's Dictionary ; a few poems and ballads.

III. Mr. J. F. Campbell's MSS., pp. 281-2.

APPENDIX II, pp. 283-312.
MSS. IN OTHER LIBRARIES
I. MSS. IN Edinburgh University : —

(1) Beaton Medical MS., pp. 283-6.

(2) Jerome Stone's MSS., pp. 286-90.

(3) Portion of a Gaelic Grammar, p. 290.

(4) Dr. Irvine's Collection, p. 291.

(5) MSS. of Rev. Thomas Innes and Rev. Robert Kirke, pp. 291-2.

(6) Collection of Irish Poems and Songs, pp. 292-4.

(7) Volume of Translation by Rev. D. Maclnnes, p. 294.



TABLE OF CONTENTS ix

II. MSS. IN H. M. Register House, Edinburgh :—

(1) The Islay Charter, p. 295.

(2) Contract of Fosterage, p. 296.

(3) Elegy on Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, p. 297.

III. MS. IN THE LlHRARY OF THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND: —

A Gaelic Version of the Lilimn Medicinae, pp. 298-301.

IV. MSS. IN THE University of Glasgow : —

(1) The Maclagan Collection, 302-10.

(2) The Fernaig MS. (described pp. 267-271).

(2) Papers, etc., of the Rev. Dr. Cameron, pp. 310-12.

(4) MS. of Dr. Macbain's Etymological Dictionary, p. 312.

APPENDIX III, pp. 313-22.
MSS. IN PRIVATE POSSESSION

I. MSS. IN the Writer's Possession :—

(1) An Imperfect Copy of the Treatise on Materia Medica, p. 313.

(2) Portion of Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima, pp. 313-4.

(3) Portion of Ricardus's Treatise on Medicine, pj). 314-5.

(4) Two volumes compiled by Rev. John Smith. Contents miscellane-

ous, pp. 315-8.

II. Dr. Henderson's MSS. :—

(1) A Ratisbon MS., pp. 318-9.

(2) The M'Nicol Collection, 319-20.

III. Dr. Hew Morrison's MS. :—

A MS. copy of Rob Donn's Poems, p. 321.

IV. Rev. John W. Macintyre's MSS. : —

(1) The Second Transcript, by Mr. Ewen Maclachlan, of the Dean of

Lismore's MS., p. 321.

(2) An English-Gaelic Dictionary, p. 321.

(3) A copy of Macdiarmid's Collection of Gaelic Proverbs, p. 321.

V. Captain Matheson's Collection of Poems and Songs : —
Three Small Volumes, pp. 321-2.



X CATALOGUE OF GAELIC MANUSCRIPTS

APPENDIX IV, pp. 323-6.
MSS. Lost or Missing : —

(1) The Records of the Isles, p. 325.

(2) Translation of the Old Testament, p. 325.

(3) Farquharson's Collection, p. 326.

[Note on MSS. of Scottish oriii;in on the Continent, in England, and in
Canada, ])p. 3-23-4.]

ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS, pp. 327-8.
INDEX :—

I. Authors and principal Persons, pp. 329-39.
II. Principal Subjects and Treatises, pp. 339-45.

III. Other MSS. quoted or referred to, pp. 345-6.

IV. Books and Periodicals quoted or referred to, pp. 346-8.



ABBREVIATIONS

Arch. Brit, = Archseologia Britannica, by Edward Lhuyd. Oxford. 1707.

Arch. fiir. Celt. Lexih. = Archiv fiir Celtische Lexikographie.

Atk. — Passions and Homilies from Leabhar Breac, by Professor Atkinson . . .

Dublin. 1887.
B.B. = Book of Ballymote, published in photograjjli, by the Royal Irish Academy.
B.L. = Book of Lismore, a MS. in Lismore Castle, Ireland.
Boil. = Bodleian Library, Oxford.
B. of iec. = Book of Lecan, a MS. in R. I. A., Dublin.
Brit. Mils. = British Museum.
Celt. Mag. = Celtic Magazine.
Celt. Rev. = Celtic Review.

CeZ^. &o<. = Celtic Scotland, by W. F. Skene. 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1876-80.
i).L. =Dean of Lismore's Book. Edinburgh, 1862.
D.L. MS. = Manuscript of the Dean of Lismore ( = No. xxxvii).
Dr. M'L. = The Rev. Dr. Thomas MacLauchlan.
% = Egerton { = MSS. in Brit. Mus.).
E. M^L. = Ewen Maclachlan, of Fortwilliain and Aberdeen.
Fasti = Fasti Ecclesia? Scoticame, Hew Scott, D.D.
i'^.M. = Annals of the Four Masters, edited by John O'Donovan, LL.D.
Gael. Journ. = Gaelic Joui-nal (Dublin).
G. S. I. = Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness.
High. Soc. of Lond. = Highland Society of London.
High. Soc. of Scot. = Highland (and Agricultural) Society of Scotland.
J/./S.Z>. = Highland Society's Dictionary.

It. Texte. = Irische Texte, Stokes and Windisch. 4 vols. Leipzig.
Ir. Texte mit Wort. = Irische Texte mit Worterbuch, by Professor Windisch.

Leipzig. 1880.
Juh. — Essai d'un Catalogue de la Literature Epiques de I'lrlande . . . par H.

d'Arbois de Jubainville. Paris. 1883.
K.M. =Dr. Kuno Meyer.
L.Br. = Leabhar Breac or Speckled Book, published in facsimile by the Royal

Irish Academy. Dublin. 1876.
jC.O. = Leabhar Caol 'Narrow Book' (No. lxxxiii), a vol. of Transcripts by

Ewen Maclachlan.
Jf.F. = Leabhar na Feinne. London. 1872.



xii CATALOGUR OF OAELIC MANUSCRIPTS

L.L. -The Boitk of Loinster, piililisliod in fiicsiiiiile by tlie Royal Irish Acafleniy.

18H0.
I/.f7. = Loahh:ir na h-l'i.lhri or Book of the Dun (Cow), published in facsimile

by the Royal Irish Acadciny. 1870.
Mann, and ('H.s^ = Manners iimi Customs of the Ancient Irish, by Eugene

O'Curry, M. K. I. A. 3 vols. Dublin. 1K73.
MS (S). 3/(i^ = Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History, by Eugene

O'Curry, M. R. I. A. Dublin. 1878.
CfC. = Eugene O'Curry.
O'Gr. C<it. = A Catalogue of Irish MSS. in the British Muscuni, by Standish

Hayes O'Grady.
OR. = A Chronological Account of Irish Writers . . . Ijy Edward O'Reilly.

. . . Dublin. 1820.
J?au>^ = Rawlinson (MSS. in Bodl. Library).
U«^. Oeii. = Reliquia? Celticje. 2 vols. Inverness. 1892,1894.
Rej). on Oss. = Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland. . . .

(upon) the Poems of Ossian. Edinburgh. 1805.
Rev. Celt. = Revue Celtique.
R. I. J. = Royal Irish Academy.

R. M'fK = Ranald Macdonald (Collection of Gaelic Poetry, Edinburgh. 1776).
Sil^c). (?(((/. = Silva Gadelica, A Collection of Tales by Standish H. O'Grady.

2 vols. Williams and Norgate. 1892.
St. Baiih. Hos2). = St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London.
T. a i). = Trinity College, Dublin.
W. H, r. = Wfst Highland Tales, by J. F. Campbell. 4 vols. Edinburgh.

1860, 1862.
Y.B.L. = YcWow Book of Lecan, published in photograph by the Royal Irish

Academy. Dublin.
Zeit.fur Celt. Fh il . — Zeitschi-'dt fiir Celtische Philologie.



INTRODUCTION

The Collection of Gaelic Manuscripts known as the Scottish
or Advocates' Library Collection contains nearly all that now
remains of the old literature of the Gael written or preserved
in Scotland, together with a considerable amount of literary
debris written or transcribed in comparatively recent years.
The origin of the Collection is explained in the following note
(Dean of Lismore's Book : Edinburgh, 1862, p. vii. n.) written
by the late W. F. Skene, LL.D., D.C.L., etc. etc. :—

' This collection has been formed within the last few years
mainly through the instrumentality of the writer. When he
commenced, the Faculty of Advocates possessed four Gaelic
MSS. The collection now consists of sixty-five.

' The waiter formed the plan of collecting the remains of the
MS. Gaelic literature of Scotland, which was rapidly disappear-
ing, into one place, where they could be preserved, by inducing
the possessors of Gaelic MSS. to deposit them in some public
library for preservation ; and as the Faculty of Advocates were
already in the possession of some MSS., their library was
evidently the most appropriate depository for this purpose. The
valuable MSS. belonging to the Highland [now the Highland
and Agricultural] Society of Scotland formed the basis of the
collection ; the Directors and their Secretary, John Hall
Maxwell, Esq., C.B., having at once responded to the call, and
the fortunate discovery of the Kilbride Collection, which its
possessor likewise agreed to deposit, added a large number.
The remainder consists of MSS. deposited by individual
possessors, and the collection now embraces nearly all the MSS.
known or believed still to exist.

' It is hoped that, if any Gaelic MSS. still remain in the
hands of individual possessors, they will add to the value of

A



2 CATALOGUE OF GAKMC MANUSCRIPTS

this collection b}' making- tJiuiii known, :ui'l dejiositint^^ tlicin in
the Advocates' Library for preservation.

'The MSS. ai-o preserved in a hacked cabinet, and a general
catalognc of the whole has been prepared by the writer.'

The following information regarding the ownership of these
sixty-five MSS. is taken from Dr. Skene's Catalogue:—

MSS. I-IV are the jjroperty of the Facnity of Advocates.

MSS. V-XXXVI, as also MS. LIII, were the property of
the MLachlans of Kilbride in Nether Lorn. Major
M'Lachlan gave five of these (XXXII-XXXVI) to the
Highland Society: LIII was obtained by Sir William
MaeLeod Bannatyne, through the Rev. John Mackinnon
of (llendaniel, and sent to the Society. The remainder
(V-XXXI) disappeared, and were eventually found in the
repositories of a deceased man of business in Glasgow
who had been agent for the family, and deposited by his
successors in the Advocates' Library. These twenty- seven
MSS. are marked 'Kilbride Collection,' and are numbered
1 to 27 as well as V-XXXI. The signature ' H. Kerr ' (or
' H. K.'), that of the agent who handed them over to the
Library, appears frequently on the pages. {Gf. also
pp. 280-4 and p. 290 of Appendix to the Report of the
Committee of the Highland Societ}' on the nature and
authenticity of the Poems of Ossian. Edin. 1805.)

MSS. XXXVI-LII were obtained from the Highland Society
of London.

MSS. LIV-LVII were evidently at one time the property of
Peter Turner, a soldier, who published a collection of
Gaelic Poetry in LSI 8.

MSS. LVIII-LXV are the property of the Highland Society,
but from whom obtained is unknown.

Dr. Skene appended to his Catalogue an account of other
fifteen volumes which are ' Copies of, or Transcripts from,
ancient MSS. and modern collections of poetry made chiefly
from recitation.' These are: (1) Analysis of the contents of
fourteen MSS. belonging to the Highland Society by Ewen
M'Lachlan; (2) Copies and extracts from these MSS. by Ewen



INTRODUCTION 3

M'Lachlan ; (3) A transcript of the MS. of the Dean of Lismore
by Ewen M'Lachlan ; (4) Copy of the small volume erroneously
called the Leahhar Dearg or Red Book of Clanranald by Donald
M'Intosh ; (5) A volume containing the Tale called Olrjcdd
Gloinne Tuirenn; the Poems of Ossian in Gaelic from the
printed edition, and the Span Da na, written in the Irish charac-
ters, by John Sinclair, Glasgow; (6) The first collection of
Ossianic poetry by Duncan Kennedy; (7) The second collection of
Duncan Kennedy (two vols, bound in one) ; (8) Copy by Mr. D.
M'Intosh of a transcript of two ancient Gaelic MSS., the first
by Ewen Macphadric at DunstafFnage, 1603, the second by
Ewen Maclean for Colin Campbell before 1690 ; (9) A paper
portfolio, containing a fragment of a poem ascribed to Ossian,
with the Gaelic text on one page, and a translation on the
other ; (10) A paper MS. containing in Gaelic Sgeula no Laoidh
an Amadain mlioir, ' The Tale or Lay of the great Fool'; (11)
A small paper MS. containing a translation of the above (no. 10) ;
(12) A paper MS. containing copies of poems collected by
Macdonald of Staffa; (13) A small MS. collection, containing
six Ossianic ballads; (14) A MS. collection of poetry com-
mencing with Marhhrainn Eoin Diuc Earraghaoidheil
Elegy on John, Duke of Argyll'; (15) Loose leaves containing
copies of Gaelic poems.

Considerable additions have been made to the Collection
during the last forty-five years. The late Mr. J. F. Campbell
bequeathed several MS. Volumes to the Advocates' Library con-
taining, among other matter, many Gaelic Tales not printed by
him. A number of MSS., apparently overlooked by Dr. Skene
and Mr. Maxwell, have in recent 3^ears been transferred from
the Library of the Highland Society to the Advocates' Library.
Dr. Skene himself bequeathed the Celtic MSS. collected by him
to the same Library, while others have been deposited by
various benefactors.

Dr. Skene's Catalogue was hurriedly done, and gives but a
vague account of the MSS. in the Collection even at that time.
It has thus become desirable to prepare a more detailed Catalogue
of the larger Collection now in existence, and to add, as an



4 CATAmaUK OF aARLIO MANUSCHTI'TR

Appendix, an acciount, of (iaclic MSS. elsewhere in Scotland, so
far as known to the writer. For Facility of reference, an attempt
has hecn made to classify the MSS. according- to the natnre of
their contents. Hut inasnuich as many of them as now bonnd
up treat of a variety of snbjects, there is frc(|ii(;ntly an a])piir('nt
overlapi^ini:^. Still it is to bo lioped tliat (laeru; S(;holars will
benefit by the arrannement adopted, imperfect in some respects
though it be.

In printing the (iaelic extracts the orthography of each MS.
is preserved ; ordinary contractions are silently extended, except
in doubtful cases when the extension is shoAvn in different ty]ic :
and the mark of aspiration (a dot over the consonant) is, in
deference to the usage in printing Scottish Gaelic, represented
by the letter h following the consonant.



CHAPTER I



MEDICINE, ETC. ETC.



The old Physicians whose works the Gaelic-speaking practi-
tioners of Scotland and Ireland studied, translated, and com-
mented upon, included within the sphere of their study not
merely Medicine and the Physical Sciences as known to them,
but also Astronomy and Astrology, as well as Philosophy and
Metaphysics. In this extended sense the Medical section of the
Scottish Collection of Gaelic MSS. is very large. The fact is
mainly due to the zeal and industry of a family of the name of
M'Beath, latinised Betonus, now Beaton, who flourished for
several centuries in Islay as hereditary physicians, and who
spread from the original home to Mull, Skye ^ and Uist in the
Isles, as well as to Sutherlandshire and other places on the
Mainland. According to the pedigree of the family preserved
in the Laing MS. (fol. 103a) in the University of Edinburgh,
the founder Beath{a), a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages,
came from Ireland to Scotland, and tradition has it that he
came in the train of the Lady O'Cathain or O'Kane who married
Aonghas Og of the Isles, the warm friend and supporter of
Robert the Bruce. Another family of the name of O'Conacher,
later M'Conacher, also from Ireland as the name would indi-
cate, settled as physicians in Lorn in Argyllshire, and prac-
tised their profession for many generations in the district,
latterly in Airdoran near Oban. This family did not attain to
the celebrity of the Beatons. But the name O'Conacher appears
on several of the MSS., and MS. LX, one of the largest in the
Medical section, Avas written for Duncan O'Conacher early in
the seventeenth century. These hereditary physicians practised
their profession in the Highlands and Islands down to compara-

1 The Skye Beatons or Ik'thunes, or some of them, claim to be descended

from the Bethunes of Balfour in Fife.

6



6 CATAT-OniTE OF (lAETJU MANUSCKIITS [MS. II

tivcly recent times, and hence the MSS. whicli lliey rated so
highly were preserved more carefully than others. The old
documents, it need hardly he said, are of little or no medical
value in our day; but in the liistory of the Highlands and of
the Gaelic Language and Literature, they Avill always remain
of the greatest importance.

The MSS. whose contents arc wholly or largely Medical are
the followini'- : —



MS. II

This is a collection of fragments of several j\lSS. of various
dates. The volume, like i\lSS. I and III, is bound in calf, and
stamped in gold letters : ' Bibliotheca Advocatorum. MSS. in
Literis Hibernicis.' The MS. was sent to the Advocates' Library
by the Rev. Donald Macqueen, minister of Kilmuir, Skye
(Rep. on Oss., App. p. 294), who also sent a copy of the
Gaelic translation of Bernard Gordon's Lilium Medichiae to
the Society of Scottish Antiquaries. At present, the MS., count-
ing the merest scraps, consists of 148 leaves, 104 of parchment
and 44 of paper. From a note on fol. 65b it would appear that
at a former time it consisted of 106 leaves only : an med duilog
ata aim sa leahharsa .|. G as 5 xx, 'the number of leaves in
this book is six and five score.'

Several memoranda, in Gaelic and English, are entered here
and there on margins and blank spaces of the MS. On fol. 16b
e.g. the scribe complains of his bad handwriting. On fol. 42b is
the following note: — Mhefer na droc/t litracJt, do graihli no a
haile tlilyherna blieinne Edair .\. Eoin Mc DomJiuadl J is fa da
am dh/iitJifdJt an diufgJi me. ' I, John sonof Donald, am the inferior
scribe who wrote this in the stead of the lord of Ben Edar (the
Hill of Howth), and far from my country am I this day.' This
John son of Donald may well have been the father of Duncan
son of John son of Donald son of Duncan O'Conacher for Avhom
MS. LX was written. The following entry on fol. 65b shows
that the MS, or a portion of it belonged to Malcolm M'Beath or
Bethune, probably one of the Skye physicians: Liher Malcohni
Betune. Ag so Icahar Giolla Colaiin Meighethadh 7 tabhraid gach



MS. II] MEDICINE, ETC. 7

neach a Irgfas so hendaelrf ar aninvAnfir an leahJiair si. Amen.
' The book of Malcolm Bethime. Here is the book of Malcolm
MacBeath, and let every one who reads this bestow a blessing
on the owner of this book. Amen.' Again on fol. 66a the MS.,
or that section of it, is claimed for Duncan M'Conachcr, probably
the Duncan for whom MS. LX was written, while on fol. 124a
is the entry on the top margin leahar Eoin rnic Conatbair,
' the book of John M'Conacher,' the father, evidently, of Duncan,
and the John son of Donald mentioned above.

A small portion of the contents of the MS. is non-medi-
cal : e.r/.

On fol. 17b are two lays, the first addressed to one of the sons
of Tuirenn, commencing : —

(Jabh na cinn-si ar li-ucht a uair
A meic Tuirinn arm-maidh
' Receive these heads oa thy breast betimes
Red-weapoiied son of Tuirenn ' ;

and the second, one of the lays of Deirdre, — that commencing

A Naisi decha do ncll
' Naise look ou thy cloud ' (wraith ?)

and printed in Irische Texte, ii, 133, and Celtic Revieiv, i, 116, of
which two quatrains, the fourth and seventh, are here awanting.

Fols. 20-26 consist of notes in Latin (the last sentence in
Gaelic) on months of the year. Apostles, and Saints.

Fols. 66-70, contain a copy of the well-known Tecosc
Chorbma Ic, ' the Precepts of Cormac'

Fol. 79 and fol. 88 are taken up with Annals.

On fol. 116 is a wordy description of an unsightl}^ caillcneli
or hag, written in the exaggerated, alliterative style met with in
the so-called runs or rctorics of Gaelic Tales.

Owing to the number of separate MSS. contained in the
volume there is great overlapping. The following is a very
brief summary of the contents : —

Fols. 1-3 are of small folio size, parchment. The subject is
the commencement of a well-written tract on the Constellations,



8 CATALOGUE OF GAELIC MANUSCRIPTS [MS. II

openin<]c thus : Fiarfa'ujter aiinso calin renn fwil dim {s)ii/n(U'r
edit' Ueisccarf j tmiisceart. Nl insa. ' It is enquired here how
many stars are in the sky, north and south. Not difficult (to
tell).' There are thirteen in the south and eight in the north.
The names are given, with explanatory legends from Greek
and Roman mythology. From Aries onwards they are figured.

Fols. 4-19 are of ordinar}' quarto size, parchment. These may
possibly have formed part of one MS. at one time ; if so, it is now
very fragmentary, and the leaves are, besides, mixed up in bind-
ing. Thus on fol. 6 commences a detailed treatise on the lenna
or ' humours ' following an earlier one, now lost, on the ' com-
plexions ': Coinposisiones sunt qivator, etc. do lahramur do
na coimplexaib don taib tuas dinn labhruni anois do na
lennaib, ' Having spoken above of the complexions let us
now speak of the humours.' The subject is concluded on
fol. 12a, with the docquet Finid. Amen. But fols. 4 and 5, as
also fols. 14, 15, are a part of the treatise. A number of authors
are cited, chiefly Aristotle, xAvicenna, Constantinus, Galen, Hali,
Hippocrates, Johanisius, Isaac.^ Detached paragraphs, physical,
metaphysical, and astrological, appear on fols. 12, 16, 17, 19, with,
occasionally, medical matters interspersed. Authorities cited, —
Plato, Liconsis ( = Liconensis ?), Pythagoras, Paulinus, Jacobus de
Forlivio. On fol. 13 (continued on fol. 18) are several para-
graphs on the medical virtue of quickliTne, lilium, etc., — a subject
treated systematically in MSS. Ill and LX. Particularly notice-
able here are the virtues attributed to the strecus (stretits),
properly stercus, of goat, sheep, cow, pig, mouse, wild duck,
pigeon, dog, swallow and hen. Avicenna and Rhazes are
cited.

Fols. 20-26 are small leaves of parchment measuring only



Online LibraryDonald MackinnonA descriptive catalogue of Gaelic manuscripts in the Advocates' library, Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Scotland; → online text (page 1 of 31)