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, […]

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, […]

“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, […]

The Sacred Wreck

XXX. IONA. ON to Iona!—What can she afford To us save matter for a thoughtful sigh, Heaved over ruin with stability In urgent contrast? To diffuse the Word (Thy paramount, mighty Nature! and time’s Lord) Her temples rose, mid pagan gloom; but why, Even for a moment, has our verse deplored Their wrongs, since they fulfilled […]

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 […]

Mecca of the Gael

In spiritual geography Iona is the Mecca of the Gael. It is but a small isle, fashioned of a little sand, a few grasses salt with the spray of an ever-restless wave, a few rocks that wade in heather and upon whose brows the sea-wind weaves the yellow lichen. But since the remotest days sacrosanct […]

Cnoc nan Aingeal

Another time also, while the blessed man was living in the Iouan island (Hy, now lona), he made this known to the assembled brethren with very great earnestness, saying, “To-day I wish to go alone to the western plain of this island; let none of you therefore follow me.” They obeyed, and he went alone, […]

Kilchoman Cross

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 […]

Once the Luminary of the Caledonian Regions

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

The Head of the Table

The Chief of the Macdonalds happening to be in Ireland, was invited to an entertainment given by the Lord-Lieutenant. He chanced to be among the last that came in, and set himself at the foot of the table near the door. The Lord-Lieutenant asked him to come and sit beside him, and Macdonald, who had […]