Two Oransay Grave-slabs

Slabs at Oransay, Argyll, Plate LX, Sculptured Stones of Scotland, Vol. 2, 1856.

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.

Grave-slab at Oransay Priory; photo credit: Andreas G. Wolff.

The other pourtrays a man in armour. Two figures, apparently ecclesiastics, are engaged in buckling on his Spurs. The sculpture of this slab is in high relief. One of the figures on the pillar may represent St. Michael and the Dragon.

1 Sir Donald MacDuffie, Conventual Prior of Oransay, d. 1554/5.


Grave-slab of Domhnall MacDubhtaich, Conventual Prior of Oransay (1538-1554/5); photo credit: Carron Brown.

[HIC] IACET D(OMI)N(U)S DONALLDUS / MACDUFFIE PRIO[R (CON)VEN/TUALIS DE O[RR]ANSAY QUI / OBIIT AN(N)O MDL-
“Here lies Sir Donald MacDuffie, Conventual Prior of Oransay, who died in the year 155-”

[This tombstone was originally in the mural recess of the MacPhie chapel, with the foot towards the east. He was appointed Prior by authority of the Pope in April 1538 and died in 1554; he had probably been in ill-health since an application had been made to permit him to retire, and since his gravestone was able to be prepared with confidence in advance.]

(http://www.colonsay.info/text/ORONRIPweb.pdf)

A Personage As Singular As He Is Loveable

St. Columba at Oronsay from Rev. C. Arthur Lane, Illustrated Notes on English Church History (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1901).
St. Columba at Oronsay from Rev. C. Arthur Lane, Illustrated Notes on English Church History (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1901).

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.