Among the Ruins

We were now treading that illustrious Island, which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish, if it were possible. […]

MacCrimmon Pipers

Give McIntyre ye pyper fforty pounds scots as his prentises(hi)p with McCrooman till May nixt as also provyde him in what Cloths he needs and dispatch him immediately to the Isles. Instruction from John Campbell, Earl of Breadalbane, to his chamberlain, Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine, c. 1697. Item paid to quantiliane McCraingie McLeans pyper for one complete year as […]

Two Oransay Grave-slabs

PLATE LX. AT ORANSAY. The slabs on this Plate are selected from the many examples within the ruined church here. The one represents an abbot1 in his rich ecclesiastical vestments, with one hand lifted up in the act of benediction, and the other holding his staff. The other pourtrays a man in armour. Two figures, […]

Flame of God

ST. BRIGET OF THE SHORES I have heard many names of St. Briget, most beloved of Gaelic saints, with whom the month of February is identified . . . the month of “Bride min, gentle St. Bride” . . . Brighid boidheach Muime Chriosd, Bride the Beautiful, Christ’s Foster Mother . . . but there are […]

Seals of the Burghs of Argyll

CAMPBELTOWN is built on what was originally the seat of the Dalriadan monarchy. About the middle of the third century Cormac, King of Ireland, quelled a dispute which had arisen between two tribes, and during this civil war Cormac’s cousin, Cairbre-Riada, conquered a district in the north-east of Ireland, which he called Dalriada, or the […]

Last of the MacDonalds of Islay

“FOR it shall be known, I shall seek no other refuge but only your Majesty’s clemency, nor no other living, but that which your Majesty’s princely liberality, it shall please your Highness bestow upon me as at more length, the bearer will inform your Majesty, and so I beseech God to bless your Highness with […]

Canna, Cross, and Camel

The island of Canna, along with the islands of Eigg, Muck, and Rum, form the parish of Small Isles, in Inverness-shire. The church of Canna, dedicated to St. Columba, stood about the centre of the island, in the bottom of a narrow glen. There are two burying-grounds close to each other. In the older one, […]

Highland Virtues

Their Notions of Virtue and Vice are very different from the more civilized part of Mankind. They think it a most Sublime Virtue to pay a Servile and Abject Obedience to the Commands of their Chieftans, altho’ in opposition to their Sovereign and the Laws of the Kingdom, and to encourage this, their Fidelity, they […]

Song of the Highland Clans

Oran Nam Fineachan Gaidhealach. Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair A chomuinn rìoghail rùnaich Sàr-ùmhlachd thugaibh uaibh, Biodh ur roisg gun smùirnein, ‘S gach cridh’ gun treas gin lùib ann; Deoch-slàinte Sheumais Stiùbhairt Gu mùirneach cuir mu’n cuairt! Ach ma ta giamh air bith ‘nur stamaig, A’ chailis naomh na truaill. Lìon deoch-slàinte Theàrlaich, A mheirlich! stràic […]

“God thee bless, thou loved Iona.”

THE DEATH OF COLUMBA. Saxon stranger, thou did’st wisely, Sunder’d for a little space From that motley stream of people Drifting by this holy place; With the furnace and the funnel Through the long sea’s glancing arm, Let them hurry back to Oban, Where the tourist loves to swarm. Here, upon this hump of granite, […]

Dean Monro on Jura

Duray. Nairest that iyle layes Duray, ane ather fyne forrest for deire, inhabit and manurit at the coist syde, part be Clandonald of Kyntyre, pairt be Mac Gullayne of Douard, pairt be M’ Gellayne of Kinlochbuy, pairt be M’ Duffithie of Colvansay, ane iyle of twenty-four myle of length, lyand from the southwest to the […]

O Rosary That Recalled My Tear

A phaidrín do dhúisg mo dhéar, ionmhain méar do bhitheadh ort: ionmhain cridhe fáilteach fial ’gá raibhe riamh gus a nocht. Dá éag is tuirseach atáim, an lámh má mbítheá gach n-uair, nach cluinim a beith i gclí agus nach bhfaicim í uaim. O rosary that recalled my tear, dear was the finger in my […]