I Have inscrib’d this Design to this illustrious Name, whose great Actions have filled the World with Surprize and Admiration; Ramellies and Tanniers are immortal. And as it’s my greatest Honour to receive my Blood from his August House, I thought I could no where so properly consecrate the first Essay of my Invention, as an eternal Monument of the deepest Respect and Gratitude. I have given two Plates: In the first are two Plans in a Square of 112 Foot; the Apartments of State are below, raised from the Court by 6 Steps which leads into the great Hall, making a Cube of 50 Foot, and has a Poggio within dividing the two Stories; from the Hall you enter the Salon, attended with two noble Apartments of State fronting the Gardens; all the Rooms are either upon the Square, the Diagonal, or other Proportions universally received: In the second Story is a large Library, an Antichamber of each side, with double Apartments; over which are Mezonins, for accommodating the Family, illuminated by low Laterns from the Leads, whereby the Majesty of the Front is preserved from the ill Effect of crowded Apertures. The second is the Front, raised from the Plinth which supports the Rusticks, adorned with a Composite Order of ¼ Columns, with a regular Entablature and Ballustrade; the Windows are dress’d in the Palladian manner: And I have endeavoured to reconcile the Beauty of an Arcade in the ancient Buildings with the Conveniency of the Moderns, but must leave it to others to judge the Success. Anno 1714. Description of “A new Design for the Duke of Argyle” by Colen Campbell, Esq., Vitruvius Britannicus; or, The British architect, containing the plans, elevations, and sections of the regular buildings, both publick and private in Great Britain, with variety of new designs, Volume I (1717).
Reasons against the Restoration of Argyll Confiscated
Some reasons why Archibald Campbell, sometime Lord Lorn, ought not to be restored to the honour or estate of his late father, Archibald, sometime Marquess of Argyle (“Argyll”):—
- BECAUSE it hath been alwaies held very dangerous, both for the interest of the Prince and peace of the people, to restore the children of powerful traitors to their fathers’ honours or estates, which experience demonstrated to be too true in the Gowries.
The restoring of this family is in a special manner most dangerous, by reason of the scituation and vast bounds of the estate of Argyle (“Argyll”) in the Highlands, the great claim, many vassals and tenants that depend on it, all, or for the much greater part, ill principled, and inured to rebellion these last 20 years, who blindly follow their master’s commands, without any regard to their duty to God or the King, so that it is a most ﬁt place to be the nest and seminary of rebellion, as it proved in the late Argyle’s time, to the great prejudice of his Majestie’s service, and mine of many loyal subjects. And this same very reason was brought by the late Argyle against the Marquis of Antrum, to dispossesse him of the lordship of Kentyre (Cinntìre), which he had purchased with the consent of his late Majesty. For he pretended that it was dangerous to suffer the said Marquis of Antrum to enjoy these lands, by reason of the great power of the family of the MacDonalds, and of the bad consequences that usually follow the restoring of persons to an estate which they had formerly lost by forfeiture. But it’s evident to all men that this reason is much more forcible against Argyle himself and his posterity.
It’s directly against the council and advice of the modern Solomon K. James, his Majestie’s grandfather, of blessed memory, who, in his ‘Basilicondoron,’ speaks thus to his son: “As for the matter of forfeitures, which are also done in Parliaments, my advice is, you forfeit none but for such odious crimes as may make them unworthy ever to be restored again.” And in the same book, speaking of the High-landers and their oppressions, he subjoyns this good council to his son: “Put in execution the laws made against the over-lords and chieffs of their clans, and it will be no difficulty to daunton them.”
The restoring of this family would prove a dangerous president to encourage rebellious and traiterous spirits to perpetuate such horrid crimes as the late Argyle did, upon hopes, that whatsoever treasons they commit, their families and posterity may still stand: whereas, upon the contrary, the exemplary punishment and eradicating of this family (especially at this ﬁrst happy appearance of his Majestie’s justice) will be a scar-crow to all others, and serve as a beacon to make them shun the rocks of rebellion, which they know will undoubtedly shipwreck not only themselves, but also their posterity. In conﬁrmation whereof, it was observed that the late Argyle, when he received sentence, was more moved at that part which touched the ruine of his posterity and family, than for what concerned his own person.
The restoring of the son would be prejudicial to many of his Majestie’s loyal subjects of the best quality, and to divers orphans and widows who have been opprest and almost ruined by the father, and can expect no other reparation of their losses, but from the forfeiture of the said estate, unlesse his Majesty would put himself to unnecessary charges to repair them some other way.
The restoring of this family is not only dangerous and inconvenient for the aforesaid general reasons, but also for the said Archibald his particular faults and misdemeanors; for, besides that vice runs much in a bloud, as King James hath observed, it’s well known that both he and his brother Neil are of the same principles with their father, who died impenitent, asserting the Covenant, and sowing the seeds of sedition and rebellion, and, as it were, entailing it upon his children, as appears by his last speech — which bad principles were instilled in them both with their milk; and to make the elder more compleat, he was sent abroad to be bred at Geneva, with recommendations from his father to that Kirk, and to the Presbyterians of France, where he kept correspondence between his father and them; and the younger was lately proved to have been privy and consenting to all his father’s treacherous complyances with the English in Scotland, and to have been actually in arms with them.
The bad principles and inclinations of the elder appeared when his Majesty retired from St Johnstons, with intention to go to some of his loyal subjects in the northern parts of Scotland; for immediately upon that news he rifled his Majestie’s cabinets, and, after his Majestie’s return, he being captain of the guard, put a padlock on his Majestie’s door, keeping him a prisoner — which sufﬁciently shows that he is his father’s son.
To evidence further his bad inclinations and aversion from his Majestie’s service, he never raised regiment or company all the time the King was in Scotland to joyn with the Royal army. But a little before his Majesty was to march into England, he eagerly urged that some parties might be drawn out of every regiment to make up one for himself, under pretence of the King’s Guard; and though he knew that would be undoubtedly denied him, yet he still persisted to press the same, on pur pose to have some pretence of discontent, that so he might avoid marching into England with his Majesty, which shal be testiﬁed by some who were then privy to his father’s and his own designs.
Though it be pretended, for expiation of these misdemeanours, that he appeared thereafter in his Majestie’s service in the High-lands, under the Earl of Glencairne and Middleton, his Majestie’s generals, yet that doth no waies eveience his loyalty, and cannot expiate the least of his faults, for divers reasons: (1) Because when he was there, in his usual discourses he eagerly asserted the Covenant, and justiﬁed the barbarous death of the renowned Marquess of Montross, his Majestie’s general, as he had barbarously and scandalously insulted over him at his carting and execution. (2) Because even then he combined with the late Lord Balcarras to divide his Majestie’s forces, by endeavouring to renew and set up that fatal and rebellious Covenant. (3) Because he endeavoured also another way to destroy those forces by using all possible persuasions with the Viscount of Kenmure to make him usurp the general’s place, not only without, but against the King’s order; and fearing this unsuccessful treachery would come out, to shun his deserved punishment he immediately ﬂed away to his father’s bounds, from whence he wrote letters to make some chief gentlemen desert his Majestie’s general, and so break his forces. And this is all the great loyalty that ever he shewed, which is so much brag’d of by his friends and intercessours.
And that he persisted still in the same bad inclinations divers years after, appeared lately; for when General Monck, now Duke of Albemarle, was upon his last march into England, and had made some transactions with his Majestie’s loyal subjects of Scotland for promoting his Majestie’s happy restoration, the said Archibald, then dwelling in one of the Marquesse of Huntlye’s houses, did not only divert all those under his power, but also dealt with divers others, to enter into a combination with him, and to sign bonds to oppose the said general’s noble and immortal designs.
The restoring of the said Archibald will be also dangerous for the great store of money that in all probability is left him by his father, who received great summes from the pretended States of Scotland for all his treacherous and cruel expeditions against his Majestie’s loyal subjects there; and also from the Parliament of England, and particularly 40 thousand pound sterling at the delivering up of the ‘King at Newcastle, besides a good summe he had thereafter from Cromwell; and what he made up by the revenues of two bishopricks these 20 years, by seizing the Marquess of Huntlye’s estate, and a part of the Marquess of Montrosses; by exacting divers of his Majestie’s few-duties payable to the Exchequer; by oppressing of many gentlemen his neighbours, and dispossessing them of their estates: all which cannot amount to lesse then a hundred and ﬁfty thousand pound sterling, which summe must remain entire or little diminished, since it’s known he lived sparingly, and these last 20 years he would pay none of his debts, neither principals nor proﬁts; so that his son, having such store of money, is as powerfull as his father to do mischief if he be restored.
Lastly, as the restoring of this family would be a notable prejudice to many who have been opprest by it, and no small grief to his Majestie’s loyal subjects, who justly apprehend the dangers that may thence ensue to his Majestie’s prejudice and disturbance of the nation, and would strengthen the hands of his Majestie’s enemies and weaken his friends, so it is the only hopes and desire of those who have been enemies to his Majestie’s father, of blessed memory, or who by this means expect the resurrection of the rebellious Covenant so destructive to monarchy. And therefore that family in prudence ought not to be restored.
1 From the Pamphlet of an Enemy of the Argyll Family.
– Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
Duncane Campbell, eldast and lauchfull sone to the foirsaid Sir Colene, succedit fourt laird of Glenvrqhuay.
The said Duncane mareit Mariory [Elizabeth] Colquhoun, dochtir to the laird of Lus, on quhome he begatt ane sone, quha deit in his minoritie.
The foirsaid Duncane levit laird be the space off threttene yeiris, keping all things left to him be his worthy predicessouris.
He departit this lyffe in the castell of Glenvquhay the 5 of September 1536.
And was honorablie bureit in the chapell foirsaid of Finlarg.
– The Black Book of Taymouth.
To us, looking back, he appears a personage as singular as he is loveable, in whom, through all the mists of the past, and all the cross-lights of legend, the man may still be recognised under the saint — a man capable and worthy of the supreme honour of holiness, since he knew how to subdue his inclinations, his weakness, his instincts, and his passions, and to transform them into docile and invincible weapons for the salvation of souls and the glory of God. Charles-Forbes-René, Comte de Montalembert, St. Columba: Apostle of Caledonia (1868), p. 137.
Whatever the acknowledged intention of the compilers, [the Prayer-Book] can and does add up to an ascetical system of brilliant simplicity. A good deal is said and written about the ambiguity of rubric and the omission of clear ceremonial direction; what is overlooked is the significance of a far greater omission than this. About one-sixth of the Prayer Book deals with sacraments and rites for the occasional necessities of life, including, of course, the initiatory sacraments. All the rest — five-sixths — is concerned with Holy Communion and the Office; and nothing else whatsoever. It is more rigidly ascetical than the Rule of St Benedict! Martin Thornton, Feed My Lambs (1960), VI.
This parish [Kilchoman] consists of the south-west portion of the island of Islay, known as the Rinns. The church, apparently dedicated to St. Comghan, stood on the west coast, to the south of Loch Guirm. In the surrounding graveyard the present cross stands. Near to it is a fragment of another cross, and in the neighbouring fields are two small crosses of a peculiar type, said to have been two of three crosses which marked the limits of the sanctuary. There are five churches in ruins, to each of which a burying-ground is attached, in some of which specimens of the sculptured slabs so common on the west coast are to be seen. There are also several unsculptured obelisks in the parish, and many fortified sites. Two gold ornaments were found under a large pillar near to Sunderland House, which weighed 22 ½ sovereigns. About thirty years ago several stone coffins, of from 2 ½ to 3 feet in length, were discovered in the conical hills below Sunderland Farm. Some of them contained one or two clay urns; others contained skulls and other human bones.
This monument, which is of the Campbelton type, has on the east face a representation of our Lord on the cross, surrounded by four figures within the disc, and an angel in each arm of the cross. Near the top of the shaft are two figures under a cusped arch, and beneath them an inscription in fourteen lines, mostly illegible. Towards the bottom is a horseman under another arch of like form. The west side is covered with foliated patterns on the shaft, with knot-work on the arms of the cross.
– Sculptured Stones of Scotland, Vol. 2, 1856.
This beautiful cross measures 8 feet 4 inches in height, and with the exception of the inscription it is in a very perfect state of preservation, though the design is in places obscured by lichen. An illustration of it appears in Dr. Stuart’s Sculptured Stones of Scotland.
Beginning with the east face we find on the circular head a representation of the crucifixion. The upper part of the cross head is filled with plaited scroll-work, in each of the arms is the figure of an angel, while to the right and left of the crucified Saviour are four figures in the attitude of adoration. The upper figure on the right is winged and below it is a fragment of scroll-work like that at the top. Below this group and at the top of the shaft are two figures in a niche, and these have probably some connection with the inscription immediately below them. The same arrangement of niche and lettering is to be seen on the Campbeltown Cross with which this has many points of similarity.
I think the following can be fairly made out of the inscription. The illustration shows all that can be obtained from a photograph of the cast. The cast itself is naturally easier to make out, though extremely difficult at the best.
Below the inscription there is foliated scroll-work surmounting another niche which contains a mounted figure, and below that again there is a panel of simple but effective interlaced bands.
The reverse of the cross head is singularly rich and the combination of bands more elaborate than is generally to be met with. A sketch is given on the next page to show the way in which these bands interlace.
It will be seen that the design consists in part of a series of circles each complete in itself: there are five of these counting from top to bottom, six counting from arm to arm. Again there is a continuous band crossing in the centre and forming four heart-shaped loops, in the direction of the circular segments of the cross head. Again, close to these segments and forming the outer part of the design are eight more loops complete in themselves, not circles this time, but arranged to work into the geometrical pattern already arrived at; within the scolloped pattern formed by the inner edges of these eight loops there is another complete band of an octagon form. The whole design is completed by the scroll which forms into loops at the extremities; this can be traced working its way in and out through the maze of circles and loops about half-way between the octagon band and the edge of the design. It will thus be seen that no less than twenty-three different bands are introduced into this elaborate composition.
The cross-shaft is adorned with foliated scroll-work which springs from the tails of two animals at the base.
The cross still stands in its original three-stepped pedestal of which the two lower steps are protected with concrete; but the top one is untouched, and at its angles may be seen four curious depressions varying greatly in depth, as one is only a slight hollow while another goes through the entire thickness of the stone.
A pear-shaped stone which tradition says was used to form these depressions is kept at the manse. At one time it lay in one of the holes, but it has had many vicissitudes. Once it was thrown into the sea but in a short time was found again lying on the shore. At another time it was buried in a grave, but before many years had passed it had found its way to the surface. What the object of these holes was is unknown, but a local tradition gives the curious explanation that they were made by expectant mothers anxious to secure male offspring.
– Robert C. Graham, The Carved Stones of Islay, 1895.
Sir Duncane Campbell, eldast and lauchfull sone to the foirsaid Sir Colene, succedit secund laird of Glenvrquhay, as said is.
The said Sir Duncane mareit Margaret Dowglas dochtir lauchfull to the Erle of Angus, on quhome he begat thre sones: The eldast callit Sir Colene: The second namit Archbald: The thrid Patrik, quha deit being ane young man in the Ile Badchelich: And ane dochtir callit Elizabeth Campbell, quha wes mareit on the laird of Monivaird.
The said Sir Duncane eftir the deceis of his said first wyffe he mareit Margaret Moncreiff, dochtir to the laird of Moncreiff, on quhome he begat ane sone callit Maister Jhone Campbell (quha wes secund bischope of the Iles of the hows of Glenvrquhay), and tua dochtiris: The eldar callit Katherine Campbell, quha wes mareit on the laird of Tullibardin: The other nameit Annabill Campbell, quha wes mareit on the laird of Merchistoun.
The said Sir Duncane levit laird threttie thre yeiris, induring the quhilk tyme he obtenit tackis of the Kingis landis in Braidalbane, and of the thee Chartirhows landis lyand within the same, the takis of the tuelf markland of Cranduich.
Item, he conquesit the heretable tytill of the baronie of Finlarg: Quhilkis takis and heretabill conques for said, togidder with the bailyerie of Discheoir, Toyer, and Glenlyoun, tane of the King, he annexit to the hows.
Item, he conquesit the threscoir markland of the baronie of Glenlyoun, quhilk he gaiff to his secund sone Archbald Campbell forsaid, togidder with the twenty-four markland of the thrid of Lorne, quhilk he tuke fra the hows.
Item, he conquesit the eight markland of Scheane in Glenquoich, quhilkis he gaiff to his brother Jhone Campbell of Lawiris, to be haldin of the hows.
Item, the said Sir Duncane excambit the thrid of the landis of Dolour and Aucharnsyde, etc., with the landis of Kilbryde lyand on the side of Lochfyne.
The said Sir Duncane biggit the laich hall of Glenvrquhay; the great hall, chapell, and chalmeris, in the Ile of Lochtay.
The said Sir Duncane was slane at the feild of Flowdane, with King James the ferd, the 9 of September anno 1513.
And wes bureit with his chief Archbald Campbell then Erle of Ergyle in Kilmown, because in the forsaid field that deit valiantlie togidder.
– Black Book of Taymouth.
By virtue of his prayer, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he healed several persons suffering under various diseases; and he alone, by the assistance of God, expelled from this our island, which now has the primacy, innumerable hosts of malignant spirits, whom he saw with his bodily eyes assailing himself, and beginning to bring deadly distempers on his monastic brotherhood. Partly by mortification, and partly by a bold resistance, he subdued, with the help of Christ, the furious rage of wild beasts. The surging waves, also, at times rolling mountains high in a great tempest, became quickly at his prayer quiet and smooth, and his ship, in which he then happened to be, reached the desired haven in a perfect calm.
When returning from the country of the Picts, where he had been for some days, he hoisted his sail when the breeze was against him to confound the Druids, and made as rapid a voyage as if the wind had been favourable. On other occasions, also, contrary winds were at his prayers changed into fair. In that same country, he took a white stone from the river, and blessed it for the working of certain cures, and that stone, contrary to nature, floated like an apple when placed in water. This divine miracle was wrought in the presence of King Brude and his household. In the same country, also, he performed a still greater miracle, by raising to life the dead child of an humble believer, and restoring him in life and vigour to his father and mother. At another time, while the blessed man was yet a young deacon in Hibernia, residing with the holy bishop Findbarr, the wine required for the Sacred Mysteries failed, and he changed by his prayer pure water into true wine. An immense blaze of heavenly light was on many and wholly distinct occasions seen by some of the brethren to surround him in the light of day, as well as in the darkness of the night. He was also favoured with the sweet and most delightful society of bright hosts of the holy angels. He often saw, by the revelation of the Holy Ghost, the souls of some just men carried by angels to the highest heavens. And the reprobates too he very frequently beheld carried to hell by demons. He very often foretold the future deserts, sometimes joyful, and sometimes sad, of many persons while they were still living in mortal flesh. In the dreadful crash of wars he obtained from God, by the virtue of prayer, that some kings should be conquered, and others come off victorious. And such a grace as this he enjoyed, not only while alive in this world, but even after his departure from the flesh, as God, from whom all the saints derive their honour, has made him still a victorious and most valiant champion in battle.
– St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ, Book I, Chapter i.
The time is not far distant, Mr. Gibbon, when your almost ludicrous self-complacency, your numerous, and sometimes apparently wilful, mistakes, your frequent distortion of historical truth to provoke a gibe or excite a sneer at everything most sacred and venerable, your ignorance of the Oriental languages, your limited and far from acutely critical knowledge of the Greek and the Latin, and in the midst of all the prurient and obscene gossip of your notes, your affected moral purity perking up every now and then from the corrupt mass, like artificial roses shaken off in the dark by some prostitute on a heap of manure; your heartless scepticism, your unclassical fondness for meretricious ornament, your tumid diction, your monotonous jingle of periods, will be still more exposed and scented than they have been. Once fairly kicked off from your lofty, bedizened stilts you will be reduced to your just level and true standard. — W. B. Conclusion of autograph note of William Beckford (1759-1844), written on the fly-leaf of his copy of Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Dæmonium enim habens, cæcus et mutus est, qui non credit Deo; et subditus est diabolo, qui non intelligit, et non confitetur ipsam fidem, vel qui non dat laudem Deo. S. Augustinus, Quæst. Ev., i, 4.
(These notes on the Galley for Lorne are based upon letters which appeared in the ‘Scotsman,’ signed “Ergadiensis,” “T.H.I.S.,” and “Mr H.D. Smith,” all of whom wrote in answer to letters from me in the ‘Scotsman’ or ‘Glasgow Herald.’ — Ed.)
THE charter [...] 1470 was no confirmation of the heiresses’ claim to Lorne, for none of the respective husbands ever made any claim through them; it was the sequel of a long tragedy. In 1463, John Stewart, Lord Lorne, was murdered at Dunstaffnage by a MacDougall, to prevent him legitimising his son Dugald; but he lived a sufficiently long time to marry Dugald’s mother.
For six long years there was a bloody struggle for the possession of Lorne, between Dugald and the Lorne Stewarts on the one side, and the MacDougalls, secretly helped by Argyll and Dugald’s, uncle Walter Stewart, on the other. In the year 1469, Dugald Stewart and the MacDougalls, being both exhausted, Mac Cailein Mòr got from Walter Stewart a resignation in his own favour of the claims of Walter, which he alleged he had in Lorne, and interfered actively in the quarrel. Neither Dugald nor his adversaries were able, after six long years of contention, to resist this powerful opponent, and he had to compromise his right to the whole of his father’s lands for Appin, and became the ancestor of the Stewarts of Appin.
After this compromise only, in 1469, Walter took seisin of Lorne, and granted it in pretended exchange for others to Cailein Mòr; and in 1470 this exchange was confirmed by the minor James III., at whose Court Argyll was supreme.
About the year 1388, the Galley, the family cognisance of the MacDougalls — the “Lords of Lorne of Auld,” as Sir David Lyndsay, Lord Lyon King-at-Arms calls them — a branch of the family of the Lords of the Isles, was quartered by Sir John Stewart on his marriage with a daughter and co-heiress of John MacDougall, Lord of Lorne; and three generations later it was assumed by Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, and Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow, afterwards first Earl of Argyll, some time after their marriage with two of the daughters of Sir John Stewart, Lord of Lorne. Glenorchy, who married the eldest, also assumed the fess “checquy” of the Stewarts.
John of Lorne, having no lawful son (Stewart of Appin being a natural son), some years before his death executed a deed of settlement in favour of his own brothers, the Stewarts of Innermeath, as next heirs male.
The deed was confirmed by charter under the Great Seal, 1452; and on the death of the old chief in 1463, his eldest surviving brother, Walter, claimed and succeeded to the estate and dignity.
Argyll’s seal, appended to a charter dated 17th December 1470, granting to his uncle, Sir Colin of Glenorchy, a part of his recent acquisition of Lorne, in exchange for Glenorchy’s share of the Clackmannan lands, is not charged with the Galley (Laing’s ‘Ancient Scottish Seals’).
The three daughters1 were co-heiresses of the lands of Dollar and Gloom, but not of Sir John Stewart’s great baronies of Redcastle, Innermeath, and Lorne. The actual transaction by which these were transferred to Argyll was this: In 1469 the new chief granted an indenture binding himself to resign the lordship of Lorne in favour of Colin, Earl of Argyll, in exchange for the lands of Kildoning, Baldoning, and Innerdoning, in Perthshire; the lands of Culrain, in Fife; and Cutkerry, in Kinross: the Earl on his part binding himself to use his influence (which was very great) to procure for him another title — namely that of Lord Innermeath — which was done, and within a year the patent passed the Great Seal.
It is scarcely correct to say that the co-heiresses of the Clackmannan lands, one-third of which estates were appointed to each of the three heiresses, inherited only these lands; for the eldest, marrying Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, 1448, carried to her husband a small grant of lands adjoining Glenorchy, extending to somewhat less than six2 merks out of the Lorne estates (Orig. Par. Sc.)
Such is the story of the “blazoning” of the Galley “For Lorne” on the shields of the Campbells of Argyle and Breadalbane.
1 The eldest married Glenorchy; the second, Sir Colin Campbell, first Earl of Argyll; the third, Arthur Campbell of Ottar.
2 Or as another authority says, an eighteen-merk land.
– Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
DUNCAN BÀN was forester in the upper part of Glenlochy (Gleann-lòcha). Achallader removed him thence, and put a friend of his own in his place. The bard was of course much offended, and consequently composed a bitter satirical song to his successor. This offended Achallader, who was resolved somehow to punish Duncan for it. Duncan Bàn attended Killin (Cillfhinn) fair, and Achallader saw him, struck him hard with his staff, and said to him —
“Make a song to that!”
“Well, Sir Achallader,” rejoined the bard, “I will do that, sir, as you have asked me to do so.”
Achallader was a thin, slender, ill-favoured, ill-formed man, and he squinted. Duncan sang extemporarily the following song:–
|“Bha mi latha ‘siubhal sraid,
‘S fhuair mi tàmailt ro mhòr;
‘S ann o fhear na h-amhaich caoile —
‘S e Iain claon an Achaidh-mhòir.
|“I was one day walking a street,
And a great insult I received;
‘Twas from the man of the thin neck —
Squint-eyed John of Achamore!
|Fear crot-shuileach — haothaill-hothainn
Fear geoc-shuileach — hòthaill eo:
Gur coltach thu — haothaill-hothainn
Ri crochadair — hòthaill ò.”
|A skew-eyed fellow — hooill-hothin —
A wry-eyed fellow — hohill yaw:
How like is he — hooill-hothin —
To a hangman — hohill aw.”
Written down as given by Catherine MacFarlane already mentioned.
BALLYGRANT, ISLAY, November 23, 1883.
– Supplied by Mr. Hector MacLean, Ballygrant, Islay; Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
Perhaps, in the revolutions of the world, Iona may be sometime again the instructress of the Western Regions. James Boswell, The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
I said it was the translator’s business [...] to preserve the idiom of his original. That means, not that he must copy it, which would be easy enough; he must transpose it into the idiom of his own language.
A hundred turns of phrase confront you as you read the Old Testament which make you sit back in your chair and ask yourself, “What would an Englishman have said?” When I say “an Englishman,” I do not mean a modern Englishman. The Old Testament record is of events that happened a very long time ago, under primitive conditions; to strike a modern note in rendering it is to make fun of it.
The new Catholic version of Genesis which has appeared in the U.S. contains one such lapse into the vernacular. When Eleazar, Abraham’s steward, has gone to Mesopotamia to find a wife for Isaac, this version represents him as “waiting to learn whether or not the Lord had made his trip successful.” Now, I am not objecting to that as an American way of talking. My objection is that an American would not speak of the Mormons as having had a successful trip to Salt Lake City in A.D.1850. A successful trip suggests shifting your cigar from one side of your mouth to the other as you alight from your airplane in San Francisco. It does not suggest trekking over many miles of desert on a camel. Ronald Knox, Trials of a Translator (1949).
Kilchurn castle is situated on a peninsula at the north end of Loch Awe, and is well protected by water and marsh, while the buildings stand on a rocky platform of irregular shape, but with perpendicular faces, about 15 feet high, on three of its sides.
The plan of this keep has some peculiarities. The entrance door is in the north-east wall on the ground floor, and the stair to the upper floors starts from the opposite corner of that floor. The stair is unusually easy, being a square stair, so arranged that small vaulted rooms are provided on each side of it at the east end of the keep. The exterior is of the usual plain style and is built with granite rubble-work. The corbels carrying the corner bartizans are all cut out of the hardest gneiss or granite.
The additions were built in 1693, this date being carved on the work in two places, viz., the entrance door and the door to the stair turret on the south side of the keep. The first of these inscriptions is rather remarkable, and might be misleading. The original lintel of the entrance door of the keep has been removed, and a new lintel inserted, bearing the date 1693, and the initials and arms of John, first Earl of Breadalbane, and of his second wife, Countess Mary Stewart1 or Campbell.
Another curious circumstance connected with this door is, that it is the only entrance to the castle, so that to get into the quadrangle one has to pass through the narrow entrance door and cross the ground floor of the keep.
The additions made in 1693 convert this keep into a castle surrounding an irregular quadrangle.
The additional buildings have been very extensive, and would accommodate a large garrison, but they are not built with a view to resist a siege. The round towers at the angles and the numerous square loopholes on the ground floor would, however, suffice to defend the garrison against a sudden attack by Highlanders, which was probably what was to be chiefly apprehended in that inaccessible situation. Although this castle presents a striking and imposing appearance at a distance, it is somewhat disappointing on closer inspection. The interior walls are much destroyed, and the internal arrangements of the plan can scarcely be made out. The buildings have more the appearance of modern barracks than of an old castle. There are two kitchen fireplaces, and probably there were officers’ quarters and men’s quarters, while the keep and some additional accommodation adjoining would be set apart for the lord and his family.
– David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, 1887.
1 The identification with Stewart would appear to be an error. Lady Mary Campbell was born after 1634. She was the daughter of Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll and Lady Margaret Douglas. She married, firstly, George Sinclair, 6th Earl of Caithness, son of John Sinclair, Master of Berriedale and Lady Jean Mackenzie, on 22 September 1657 at Roseneath, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. She married, secondly, John Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland, son of Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 4th Bt.and Lady Mary Graham, on 7 April 1678. She died on 4 February 1690/91.
Adopted by the Board of Supervisors on 16 January 1968, the arms of Loudoun County, Virginia, were modelled after those of its namesake, John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, Commander-in-Chief, North America, and Governor General of Virginia (1756-1759). The arms were recorded by the College of Arms in London after suitable differencing — the addition to the shield of an embattled bordure, commemorating President James Monroe and the Monroe doctrine, “Vert and gutty Argent,” representing the county’s agricultural and dairying interests, and the alteration of Campbell of Loudoun’s motto (by a single letter) from “I Byde My Tyme” to “I Byde My Time.” The county celebrated its new coat of arms on 14 March 1968 with a gala event featuring an official presentation from the Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, Sir Conrad Swan.
IN the reign of James I., an island at the east end of Loch Tay (Loch Tatha) was chosen for the site of a nunnery. The nuns vowed in presence of a priest that they had not and would not have anything to do with a man. It was one of the Stewarts of Atholl who had the superintendence of the island. He was very severe on people, and had the power of sentencing to death any one who should anger him.
There was a hollow called Lag-na-casgairt (Slaughter Hollow), where he was wont to hang or behead those whom he sentenced to death; and there was a pool called the Black Pool, in the river Tay, where he was in the habit of drowning some. It seemed to him that the island of the nuns was too near the land, and that the water between the island and land was so shallow that men might at times walk from land to it. He therefore resolved to build a wall across the river Tay to deepen Loch Tay, and he imposed a tax on the tenantry of the country that every one of them should individually have to come for a certain number of days in the year and carry stones to put a wall across the river; and were a traveller passing the way, Stewart imposed on him a tax to carry a stone to help the erection of the wall.
It happened that a son of the laird of Glenurchy, whose name was Dugald, was passing the way, and he had a servant along with him. Both he and his servant were riding. Dugald was informed that he should have to carry a stone and put it in the wall. Dugald was haughty, and he refused. He was put off his horse; still he refused to carry the stone to the wall. He was consequently taken to Slaughter Hollow, and there beheaded.
The servant returned home after this catastrophe, and told what had been done to Dugald. In about a year thereafter, another son of the knight of Glenurchy, named Duncan, went the way of Taymouth. When he had reached the same place, he was told that he should have to carry a stone and put it in the wall. Duncan stopped and inquired what was the reason that such a tax was imposed on passers-by.
He was told. He said he would put a stone in it; and when he had put the stone in the wall, he said that if Stewart wished he would stay for a space to work at the wall — that it was a very fine thing.
Immediate consent was granted him to stay, and thanks given him. So Black Duncan and his gillie stayed to work at the wall. Duncan was exceedingly good at choosing his speech, and he and the other men who were working at the wall became very much attached to one another. He understood that they were tired of Stewart, on account of his severity. One day a man was to be hanged at Taymouth for no other reason than that Stewart had got angry with him; and the workmen were sorry for this man. Black Duncan said to them, “It is your own fault when you would permit this.”
One of the workmen replied, “What can we do? It is he who has the power in the country and we cannot stand against him.”
Duncan said, “Are there not so many of you? and were you to be faithful to one another, could you not do to him as he does to those with whom he becomes angry?”
The workmen then asked Duncan, “Would you do that yourself?”
“Yes I would,” answered Black Duncan, “were you to stand true to me.”
They said, “We will stand true to you;” and they made a covenant with each other.
When Stewart had commanded the other men to go with the condemned man to hang him, Duncan Campbell said, “Why should we hang a guiltless man? Let us catch Stewart himself and hang him.”
So Black Duncan Campbell went first and seized Stewart. The rest followed his example, and so Stewart himself was hung; and it was a source of consolation to the people of the country that they had got quit of the bad man.
Black Duncan himself took possession of the land which Stewart had, and he let land to the men. He was not hard on them with the rents. They were therefore true to him, and he was allowed to keep possession of the land. They named the place where Dugald had crossed the river to be hanged, “Dugald’s Crossing.”
The nuns who abode in the island of the Garden (Eilean a’ ghàraidh), which is near Taymouth, got to land once a-year on the 26th of July; and there was a fair, called the “Fair of the Holy Women,” held opposite to the island, and the holy women had permission to go to the fair to sell any work which they had to sell. But it happened at a certain time that a man called Mac-an-Rùsgaich (Mackinrooskich), son of the stripper, got into the island by a boat, and was clad in woman’s clothes. He stayed in the island till he saw his own time for going. The abbot who had the care of the nuns was subsequently harder on them than formerly, and none of them could get to land off the island to attend the fair. They made up with one another (settled or conspired) that they would flee; so they fled.
It was to the upland of Acharn that they fled. When they were at the top precipice, they sat for a while to take the last view of the island in which they had been, and that place was thenceforth named the “Woman’s Watch.” They separated then from one another, and every one went to her own home. So a ditty was composed to them beginning with the words:–
Red-haired Duncan’s a holy women,
They ascended up the hillside.
No nuns were thereafter kept in the island of the Garden. After the nuns had left the island the Campbells made a dwelling-place for themselves in the island.
It was at Kenmore (An Ceannamhor) at Taymouth, that it was customary to hold the Court of the country; but after the Campbells had obtained possession of the land of Taymouth, it was held at Killin (Cillfhinn), which was a more suitable place for the purpose. A great number of gentlemen were wont to come to the Court, and they were short of stables at the inn for their horses.
The land about Killin belonged to MacNab of Kinell (Cinneala) — and also the land at that end of Loch Tay — at that time.
One day that the knight of Glenurchy was at Court at Killin he said to MacNab, “I wish you would sell me a bit of land at Finlarig, that I might have a place where to tie my horse when I come to the Court of Killin.”
MacNab refused at first; but after the knight had for a short time pressed his request, MacNab asked him, “How much land do you seek?”
“Were I to get the length and breadth of a thong,” rejoined the knight, “that would suffice.”
It seemed to MacNab that so much would be but a small bit, and he named the price for which he would sell such a bit of land; and the knight took MacNab at his word. He got a hide as large as could be found in the country. He got a good shoemaker, and made him begin at the border of the hide and cut it in one thong about the thickness of a latchet. He went to Finlarig, got MacNab himself to be present, and he measured the length of the thong in one direction, across which he measured its length again (sic). So he got a large piece of land for a small price. This was the commencement of the Campbells getting into the land of MacNab; but by little and little they got the whole thereof.
– From the Dewar MSS. Given to the Editor by Lord Lorne, for whom and the Duke of Argyll the tales were collected in 1870-1871. Translated by Mr. Hector MacLean, Islay;
Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
[A]ne stone of the quantitie of half a hen’s egg sett in silver, being flatt at the ane end and round at the vther end lyke a peir, quhilk Sir Coline Campbell first Laird of Glenvrquhy woir quhen he faught in battell at the Rhodes agaynst the Turks, he being one of the Knychtis of the Rhodes. From a 1640 “Inventory of Plenissing” of Taymouth Castle, contained in the Black Book of Taymouth.
* * *
According to the National Museums Scotland record of the object, the Glenorchy Charm-stone of Breadalbane (catalogued as “Charmstone, owned by the Campbells of Glenorchy, Argyllshire;” ID 000-100-002-959-C) may date from the 7th or 8th century. The rock crystal, which is damaged on one side, is presently set in a 17th century silver mount (70 mm H x 45 mm W), the rim of which is decorated with four stones of red coral alternating with four silver balls/bosses. It has a bail allowing the charm to be suspended from a chain.
* * *
There are a number of crystal balls held by various Highland families, a surprising number of whom are Campbells. They share common magical properties such as the miraculous cure of humans and animals and the guarantee of safe return from travel or war. None is very large, two inches in diameter at most; some are or have been mounted in metal and some are unadorned. One or two are displayed as the centrepiece in large and complicated silver brooches.
Their origin is a mystery. According to G. F. Black (Letter to Oban Times, 30 April 1938), the crystals date from the Late Iron Age. They originate from China and have always had occult powers; some of the have later been ‘turned’ by the Church to Christian purposes and incorporated into reliquaries. Around twenty examples have been found in graves in England mostly of the Anglo-Saxon period and three or four in Ireland. There have been examples in Denmark, Germany, and France.
How they got here is unknown for certain, and why they should be clustered in the Highlands, particularly the West Highlands, and why so many should be in the Campbell hands is very strange. It is tempting to see the Middle East and the Crusades as a possible way for them to have found their way here, but this would not fit with the statement that the English examples dated from the Anglo-Saxon period, and when I asked Sir Steven Runciman, the great authority on the Crusades, whether he had ever come across anything of the kind, his answer was a decided ‘no’.
In fact, in two cases the stones are said to come from the Middle East. The Ardvorlich stone is said by Simpson to have been brought back by an ancestor from the Crusades — this would have to been one of the early Stewarts of what was to become the Royal Line, unless of course it was through the distaff side — and the Breadalbane stone was said to have been brought back from Rhodes by Sir Colin Campbell, which was after the end of the Crusades as such.
The Breadalbane charmstone. Claimed to cure ills, protect its devotees and bring them safe home. Some years ago, I was sent a small notebook by Miss Thelma Lewis, lately companion to Armorer, Countess of Breadalbane. It contained an account of material on the family including the sad tale of a young man in the 6th Black Watch during the First World War. On the eve of his departure, he went up to the castle to pay his respects to Lord Breadalbane, who got out the charmstone and, according to ancient custom, dipped it in a glass of water from which they both drank to the young man’s safe return. On this occasion, the charm did not work. Breadalbane had previously taken the stone with him as a good-luck talisman on his tour of South Africa in 1896-7.
– Alastair Lorne Campbell of Airds, A History of Clan Campbell: Volume I: From Origins to Flodden, Edinburgh, 2000, Appendix 5, pp. 299-300.
Memorandum, the said Sir Colene throch his valiant actis and manheid maid Knicht in the Isle of Rhodos (quhilk standeth in the Carpathiane Sea neir to Caria ane countrie of Asia the les) and wes thre sundrie tymes in Rome. Black Book of Taymouth.
[T]he first of a succession of measures taken by the Scottish government specifically aimed at the extirpation of the Gaelic language, the destruction of its traditional culture and the suppression of its bearers. Gaelic: A Past and Future Prospect. MacKinnon, Kenneth. The Saltire Society 1991, Edinburgh.
Whoever would understand one of the most important transactions in the History of the Scottish Highlands must read those six printed pages, containing the actual text of ‘THE BAND AND STATUTES OF ICOLMKILL.’ The purport of the BAND is that, at a Court held by Bishop [Andrew] Knox [of the Isles] in the sacred Island of Iona on the 24th of August 1609, nine of the Highland and Island chiefs, — viz., Angus Macdonald of Dunivaig in Islay, Hector Maclean of Duart in Mull, Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat in Skye, Rory Macleod of Harris, Rory MacKinnon of Strathordaill in Skye, Lauchlan MacLean of Coll, Donald Macdonald of Ylanterim in Moydart (Captain of Clanranald), Lauchlan Maclean of Lochbuy in Mull, and Gillespie MacQuharrie of Ulva, — had bound themselves by the most solemn oaths to future obedience to his Majesty and to the laws of Scotland.
The Statutes of Icolmkill.
They are nine in number as follows :–
- The ruinous kirks to be repaired, and a regular parochial ministry to be established and maintained, with the same discipline as in other parts of the realm, the same observance of the Sabbath and of other moralities, and the suppression in particular of the inveterate Celtic practice of marriages for a term of years.
- Inns to be set up in convenient places in all the Islands for the accommodation of travellers, so as to put an end to mere idle wandering and to the burden on the resources of poor tenants and crofters by the habit of promiscuous quartering.
- To the same purpose, all idle vagabonds without visible and honest means of living to be cleared out of the Isles; and the chiefs themselves to cease from capricious exactions upon their clansmen, and be content each with a household retinue of as many gentlemen and servants as his means will support, — e.g. MacLean of Duart with eight gentlemen, Angus Macdonald, Donald Gorm, Rory MacLeod, and the Captain of Clanranald, with six gentlemen each, and so proportionally with the rest.
- Still to the same purpose, all sorning and begging, and the custom of “conzie,” to be put down. [Sorning is the practice of extorting free quarters & provision. Conzie is the practice of billeting the lord's soldiers upon the tenantry.]
- A main cause of the poverty and barbarity of the Islanders being “thair extraordinair drinking of strong wynis and acquavitie, brocht in amangis thame pairtlie be merchandis of the maneland and pairtlie be sum trafficquaris indwellaris amangis thameselffis,” all general importation or sale of wine or aquavitae to be stopped by penalties, with reserve of liberty, however, to all persons in the Islands to “brew aquavitie and uthir drink to serve thair awne housis,” and to the chiefs and other substantial gentlemen to send to the Lowlands for the purchase of as much wine and aquavitae as they may require for their households.
- Every gentleman or yeoman in the Islands possessing “thriescore kye,” and having children, to send at least his eldest son, or, failing sons, his eldest daughter, to some school in the Lowlands, there to be kept and brought up “quhill they may be found able sufficientlie to speik, reid, and wryte Inglische.”
- The Act of Parliament prohibiting all subjects of his Majesty from carrying hagbuts or pistols out of their own houses, or shooting with such firearms at deer, hares, or fowls, to be strictly enforced within the Islands.
- The chiefs not to entertain wandering bards, or other vagabonds of the sort “pretending libertie to baird and flattir,” and all such “vagaboundis, bairdis, juglouris, or suche lyke” to be apprehended, put in the stocks, and expelled the Islands.
- For the better keeping of these Statutes, and in conformity with the rule that the principal man of every clan is answerable for all his kinsmen and dependents, this present agreement to be a sufficient warrant to all chiefs and sub-chiefs to apprehend and try malefactors within their bounds, seize their goods for the King’s use, and deliver over their persons to the judge competent to be farther dealt with; the chiefs becoming bound not to reset or maintain within their bounds any malefactors that may be fugitive from the bounds of his own natural superior.
– Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Vol. IX, 1610-1613 (1889).
With regard to the “inveterate Celtic practice of marriages for a term of years,” Màrtainn MacGilleMhàrtainn observed eight-five years later:
It was an antient Custom in the Islands, that a Man should take Maid to his Wife, and keep her the space of a Year without marrying her; and if she pleased him all the while, he marry’d her at the end of the Year, and legitimated the Children: but if he did not love her, he return’d her to her Parents, and her Portion also, and if there happen’d to be any Children, they were kept by the Father: but this unreasonable Custom was long ago brought in disuse. A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland, by Martin Martin, 1693.
Wizard. — Lochiël.
Wizard. — Lochiël! Lochiël, beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scatter’d in fight.
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
‘Tis thine, Oh Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is rd with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
Oh weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead:
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave,
Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.
Lochiël. — Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer!
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight!
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.
Wizard. — Ha! laugh’st thou, Lochiël, my vision to scorn?
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn!
Say, rush’d the bold eagle exultingly forth,
From his home, in the dark rolling clouds of the north?
Lo! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
Ah! home let him speed — for the spoiler is nigh.
Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
‘Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven.
Oh, crested Lochiël! the peerless in might,
Whose banners arise on the battlements’ height,
Heaven’s fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
And a wild mother scream o’er her famishing brood.
Lochiël. — False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan:
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
Then welcome be Cumberland’s steed to the shock!
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
Clanronald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array —
Wizard. — Lochiël, Lochiël, beware of the day!
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
But man cannot cover what God would reveal;
‘Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
And coming events cast their shadow before.
I tell thee, Culloden’s dread echoes shall ring
With the bloodhounds, that bark for thy fugitive king.
Lo! annointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath,
Behold, where he flies on his desolate path!
Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
Rise, rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
‘Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors:
Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where?
For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banish’d, forlorn,
Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn?
Ah, no! for a darker departure is near;
The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
His death-bell is tolling: oh! mercy, dispel
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell!
Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
Accursed be the faggots, that blaze at his feet,
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat,
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale —
Lochiël. — Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale:
For never shall Albin a destiny meet,
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat.
Tho’ my perishing ranks should be strew’d in their gore,
Like ocean-weeds heap’d on the surf-beaten shore,
Lochiël, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.
– Thomas Campbell, 1802.
To the most superficial observer it is too apparent that Ritualists cannot remain in their present abnormal position. They cannot possibly continue to minister in the Anglican Establishment, which naturally has no sympathy at all with their so-called Romanistic proclivities. They must of necessity, if consistent, either walk in the broad way of Anglicanism, or in the narrow way of Catholicity. They must, if consistent, hold by the Establishment of the sixteenth century, or enter into the communion of that one — that only true Church of Christendom which is coeval with the existence of Christianity — which is Catholic and Roman — which walks under Apostolic guidance — which attaches a meaning to every rite, and which breathes the breath of life into the least as well as the greatest act of religion. Apart from this Catholic Apostolic Roman Church, these mystic rites are dead — these religious ceremonials are devoid of vitality — these gorgeous vestments are a snare — these confessionals are a sham — these celebrations are a delusion of the wicked one, and the whole system of sacramental acting in the present Ritualistic Churches is an egregious hallucination which may please but not satisfy; which may amuse but not console — which is superficial and not substantial — which is a painted cobweb devoid of all reality — which perhaps may not unhappily be assimilated to those deceptive apples which grow with such luxuriance on the banks of the Dead Sea, that are beautiful without, but utterly empty within! This indeed is a most disastrous state of things for immortal souls. Prayers earnest and persevering have been long offered to bring about a change — that change, blessed be God, has come. The dove with the green branch of hope has returned to the ark, signifying that the deluge of heresy, which for 300 years had inundated the whole island, is rapidly subsiding. The times, therefore, are full of augury — “Coming events cast their shadows before.” An altar for Iona, and High Mass in Westminster Abbey! J. Stewart M’Corry, D.D., The Monks of Iona; in Reply to “Iona, by the Duke of Argyll”; London (1871).
Some time before the Massacre of Glencoe, the laird of Appin (Tighearna na H-Apunn) had a servant of the name of Colquhoun, in whom he placed great confidence. On a certain occasion he sent him to Inverness (Inbhirnis) for money. The road from Appin to Inverness passed through Glencoe, but Colquhoun was afraid to take it on account of the wild character of the MacDonalds. Avoiding Glencoe, he went down Glen Leachd-na-Muighe, ascended the big pass (Am bealach Mòr), and thence made his way over the hills to the Highland capital. Having done his business, he returned by the same route. As he was passing over the hills above Glencoe, who should he meet but MacIain and his men, who were out hunting. They had rested to take luncheon, which consisted of barley-bread, cheese, and whisky. The bread was in the form of sausage-shaped cakes about seven inches long and an inch and a half in diameter. Colquhoun being invited to partake of the fare, he complied without hesitation. As they were seated on the grass around the chief, the MacDonalds began to confer with each other as to the propriety of using means to prevent Colquhoun from reporting to his master the kind of food they had. Colquhoun overheard what they said, but appeared as though he did not notice it. In order to throw them off their guard, he proposed that they should try who would take the largest bite out of a cake and eat one most quickly. When he saw their mouths full he took to his heels. A party of the MacDonalds followed him as soon as they recovered from their surprise. A waterfall being in his way, he leaped across it, which only two of his pursuers succeeded in doing. Turning upon the foremost of these he cut him down. The other, deeming discretion the better part of valour, gave up the pursuit. The waterfall is to this day called Leum Mhic-a-Chombaich — i.e., Colquhoun’s Leap. When Colquhoun reached home he informed his master of the treatment he had received from the MacDonalds. His master reported the case to the authorities, informing them at the same time that it was not safe for any one to go to Glencoe. This formed one of the many charges that had been accumulating against the unfortunate MacDonalds.
Note. — The following is from the pen of “Nether Lochaber”: “At the battle of Inverlochy (1645) a young man whose name was David Colquhoun, from Loch Lomond side, performed such prodigies of valour that Stewart of Appin took special notice of him, and soon afterwards took him into his own service. David Colquhoun married, and had lands given him in Duror. In course of time the Colquhouns multiplied, and became an important sept under the banner of MacIain Stiùbhart. Seventeen Colquhouns from Appin were at Culloden, where eight of them were killed. They were physically a very fine body of men, being accounted the biggest and heaviest men of the western mainland. Their descendants even at the present day are remarkable for personal strength and size. They are called the ‘dimpled Colquhouns’ from a peculiar dimpling all over the face when they smile, giving them a most pleasing expression. This dimpling is characteristic only of the Appin sept. Other Colquhouns have it not.”
– From the Gaelic of Archibald Campbell, Black Crofts, Benderloch;
Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
Once when Black Duncan of the Cowl was in the house of Buchanan of Bochastle (Bochaisteil), the food that was customary at the time was put before him — milk, bread, and cheese. Black Duncan liked the cheese well, and he said to Buchanan, “Where was this cheese grown (made), laird of Bochastle?”
“It grew among the broom in these yellow braes and hollows,” replied Bochastle.
In a short time thereafter Black Duncan observed, “I should like to see your title-deeds. I am sure they are good.”
“I have no written title-deeds,” rejoined Bochastle; and he went to his armoury, got a sword and a target, stood before Black Duncan with these, and said, “These are the title-deeds of the land of Bochastle, and there are none but these.”
“Oh, very good — very good. Lay them by — lay them by;” and the laird of Bochastle went and laid by his sword and target. There was nothing further about this for the time being.
Black Duncan went home, and the laird of Bochastle did not in the least suspect that he himself and Black Duncan were not on amicable terms.
It happened some time after this affair that the laird of Bochastle went to Edinburgh, and Black Duncan of the Cowl was there at the same time.
They met one another at the same inn. Black Duncan had sent Green Colin1 with a large force of men to plunder Bochastle; but Buchanan was not aware of this, and Black Duncan felt inclined to give him a hint of the matter. So he said to Buchanan, “Would not this be a fine day to carry off a cattle-spoil from Bochastle?”
“It would be equally as good a day for turning back the cattle,” answered Buchanan. Nevertheless the latter did not know that Black Duncan had sent a force of men to carry off a spoil, and the two were speaking to one another as though they were in jest.
When Green Colin had reached Bochastle, the people of the place did not expect that he was coming for pillaging purposes, till the men who were with him began taking away the cattle. The people of Bochastle did not know that Black Duncan was not at peace with them; but Colin took away the cattle of the district, and went with them up the Strath of Balquhidder and the way of Lairig Eirinn (Pass of Eirinn or Erne). The laird of Bochastle had five sons, who were called the Red-haired Lads of Bochastle: these went and raised all the men in Bochastle and Lenny (Làinidh), who went after the cattle-spoil to turn it back.
There was a man at Lenny (Làinidh) who had been fishing on the river. He killed a trout, with which he went home. He spoke of the excellence of the trout, and a woman who was in said —
“It does not signify much to you; you shall never eat a bit of it.”
“It is a lie,” he said; “I will eat a part of it.” He cut a piece off the trout and put it on the fire to roast it, but before it was ready the cry came for armed men to turn back the cattle-spoil.
This man went out and went away with the rest. He was slain at the battle of Lairig Eirinn (Pass of Erne), and never returned.
They overtook the plunderers at Lairig Eirinn. Green Colin turned back towards the pursuers and said, “Let the best man among you hold up his hand!”
The eldest son of the laird of Bochastle held up his hand. Green Colin let fly an arrow at him, and the arrow pierced his armpit.
Green Colin cried, “Bring home that spike to the women of Lenny (Làinidh), that they may see how good the aim was.”
“Well now,” said Bochastle’s eldest son, “let the best among you hold up his hand.”
Green Colin scorned to decline to lift his hand himself, and he lifted his hand. Bochastle’s eldest son put an arrow in his bow: he shot it at Green Colin, and the arrow went in at his mouth and out at the back of his head; and the laird of Bochastle’s eldest son cried, “Bring that spike home with you, that the women of Lorne may see how good the aim has been.” A battle then began between the plunderers and pursuers, and the battle went against the plunderers. The latter were scattered, and six of the sons of Black Duncan of the Cowl were slain that day. Black Duncan’s force had to flee, and the red-haired lads of Bochastle turned back the cattle.
Black Duncan, as has been said, was at the time in Edinburgh, and the Baron of Bochastle along with him. A messenger was sent to Edinburgh to inform Black Duncan of the affair of the cattle-spoil, and of how the battle went. The messenger arrived in Edinburgh, and the Baron of Bochastle met him in the street, and knew by his dress that he was from the land of the Campbells.2
So he inquired of him, “What is your news? I perceive that you come with intelligence to the Black Knight.”
“I come to the Black Knight with the intelligence,” replied the messenger, “that the cattle-spoil which his men were taking away from Bochastle was turned back; that a battle was fought; that Green Colin was slain, and his men slaughtered.”
The laird of Bochastle continued his inquiries until he ascertained all the particulars, and he then said to the messenger, “You would be the better of a drink after your journey. Come into the inn, and I will give you a drink.”
They went in. The laird of Bochastle called for a bottle of ale. They gave a drink to the messenger, and said to him, “Stay here till I come back. I will go and get the Black Knight and bring him home.”
The messenger sat where he was, and the laird of Bochastle went out quietly, got the messenger’s horse, and rode home before Black Duncan could obtain information concerning the battle, and then get men and send him (Bochastle) to jail. The messenger sat in the inn till his patience was exhausted, and he had thereafter to search for Black Duncan in the best way he could.
– From the Dewar MSS. Given to the Editor by Lord Lorne, for whom and the Duke of Argyll the tales were collected in 1870-1871. Translated by Mr. Hector MacLean, Islay; Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll: Legends, Traditions, and Recollections of Argyllshire Highlanders, Collected Chiefly from the Gaelic, with Notes on the Antiquity of the Dress, Clan Colours, or Tartans, of the Highlanders (1885).
1 “Green Colin” must have been a natural son, as he cannot be Black Duncan’s eldest lawful son Colin, who succeeded as 8th Laird and 2nd Baronet of Glenorchy.
2 This is perhaps an important early reference to district (tartan) dress.